Navy-Marine Corps Amphibious and Maritime Prepositioning Ship Programs: Background and Oversight Issues for Congress [Updated April 12, 2007] [open pdf - 173KB]
From the Summary: "The Navy is proposing to maintain in coming years a Navy with 31 amphibious ships and an additional squadron of 14 Maritime Prepositioning Force (Future), or MPF(F), ships. The MPF(F) squadron is intended to implement a new operational concept called sea basing, under which forces would be staged at sea and used to conduct expeditionary operations ashore with little or no reliance on nearby land bases. […] The Navy's FY2008 unfunded programs list (UPL) -- a list of programs that the Navy desires but which are not funded in the Navy's proposed FY2008 budget -- includes, as its top item, an additional LPD-17 at an estimated cost of about $1,700 million, and, as its second item, two modified Lewis and Clark (TAKE-1) dry cargo ships for the MPF(F) squadron, at an estimated combined cost of about $1,200 million. These two TAKEs are currently scheduled for procurement in FY2009 and FY2010. (The FY2008 budget also requests $456.1 million in the National Defense Sealift Fund (NDSF) for one 'regular' TAKE-1 class ship intended for general Navy use, not for the MPF(F)). One potential issue for Congress is whether to fund an additional LPD-17 and/or one or two additional TAKEs in FY2008. Additional potential oversight issues for Congress include the estimated cost of the two TAKEs in the Navy's FY2008 UPL, the adequacy of the 31-ship amphibious-ship force-level goal, the stability of the amphibious and MPF(F) force-level goals, the clarity of the sea basing concept, the potential affordability and cost-effectiveness of the sea basing concept, sea basing's relationship to the Navy's new Global Fleet Stations (GFS) concept, and Navy and Marine Corps coordination with other services in developing the sea basing concept. This report will be updated as events warrant."
CRS Report for Congress, RL32513