Image Copyright: MC1 R.J. Stratchko/Navy
By Hope Hodge Seck, Staff writer
Twenty retired Marine Corps generals — including former U.S. Central Command chief Gen. Jim Mattis and previous commandant Gen. James Conway — joined forces with Marine Commandant Gen. Jim Amos to call for a minimum of 38 amphibious warships to meet the Corps’ ongoing expeditionary mission.
Calling them the “Swiss Army Knives” of the sea, the group of retired three- and four-star generals wrote to the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday, calling on its members to provide supplemental Overseas Contingency Operations funding to pay for readiness and reset of the Navy’s current amphibious fleet and to invest in future construction.
“Experience over the past decade demonstrates that the demand for amphibious warships will not decrease,” they wrote in the letter, first published by the U.S. Naval Institute. “Their versatility and interoperability with our allies have repeatedly caused them to serve as the cornerstone of America’s visible forward presence, projecting metered power and response to crises ranging from non-combatant evacuations and humanitarian assistance to direct military intervention.”