Thursday, January 20, 2011

Rep. Turner Calls for Defense Department to Complete Evaluation of the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle

Rep. Mike Turner (OH-03)
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Mike Turner called on Defense Secretary Robert Gates to evaluate the results of the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle’s (EFV) testing program before determining whether to cancel the program. This follows Secretary Gates’ announcement that he has slated the EFV for termination and will use the remaining funds in the program to shut down the program. This decision throws to the wayside, billions of taxpayer dollars invested in this vital program for our U.S. Marines.

“After years of development and investment, it’s unwise to schedule the EFV for termination, no matter whether the results of its testing program are positive or not. This is a military procurement program that the Commandant of the Marine Corps has indicated to be the number one ground combat procurement priority of the service. In an hour of war, we cannot leave our Marines dependent on a 40 year old fleet of slow, lightly armored Amphibious Assault Vehicles that lack the firepower and mobility necessary for survival on the modern battlefield.”

The Commandant of the Marine Corps, James Amos, along with many Commandants before him, has defended the amphibious assault capability as an “absolutely enduring requirement.” Maintaining the ability to achieve forcible entry from the sea serves as a credible deterrent to our nation’s adversaries and is a critical component of the Marines’ operational requirements. This is a requirement which will not fade away. Moreover, this mission is currently being filled by an antiquated machine, which does not meet the needs of our modern warfighter, and which puts lives in danger.

“The wrong course of action is to symbolically cancel a heavily invested program without evaluating its success, thereby, sacrificing the fiscal and physical security of the taxpayer. We should show them that the government is not only serious about efficiency, but is smart enough to make the common sense decisions necessary to save taxpayer dollars.”