U.S. Army and Marine Corps Equipment Requirements: Background and Issues for Congress [December 20, 2006]   [open pdf - 214KB]

From the Summary: "The United States Army and Marine Corps have been at war -- first in Afghanistan and then Iraq -- since November 2001. According to the Chief of Staff of the Army, General Peter Schoomaker, 'for the last five years, a period longer than World War II, the Army has had as many as 18 to 20 brigade combat teams deployed on a rotational basis in combat conditions.' In a similar manner, the Marine Corps has deployed its forces and equipment in what has been described as 'the harsh operating environments of Iraq and Afghanistan' where the heat, sand, and dust as well as operational rates 'well in excess of peacetime rates' has taken a heavy toll on the Army's and Marine's equipment, which, in some cases, was more than 20 years old when the conflicts first began. [...] Congress, in its appropriation, authorization, and oversight roles may be faced with some of the following issues: [1] Should the Army and Marine Corps reconsider the policy of keeping large quantities of equipment in theater instead of rotating it home when units redeploy from Iraq and Afghanistan?; [2] How and when will reserve forces will be re-equipped?; [3] The impact on the Army and Marines of equipping Iraqi and, potentially, Afghan security forces?; and [4] How the Army can fully equip its Modular units?"

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CRS Report for Congress, RL33757
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