"Today the Secretary of Defense announced the termination of the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) program. I support his decision. After a thorough review of the program within the context of a broader Marine Corps force structure review, I personally recommended to both the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of the Navy that the EFV be cancelled and that the Marine Corps pursue a more affordable amphibious tracked fighting vehicle.
"Despite the critical amphibious and warfighting capability the EFV represents, the program is simply not affordable given likely Marine Corps procurement budgets. The procurement and operations/maintenance costs of this vehicle are onerous. After examining multiple options to preserve the EFV, I concluded that none of the options meets what we consider reasonable affordability criteria. As a result, I decided to pursue a more affordable vehicle.
"Our nation's amphibious capability remains the Corps' priority. In the complex security environment we face, the execution of amphibious operations requires the use of the sea as maneuver space. A modern amphibious tracked vehicleis the means towards this end. It enables the seamless projection of ready-to-fight Marine rifle squads from sea to land. It is thus the key to allowing ship-to-shore operations in permissive, uncertain, and hostile environments; assuring access where infrastructure is destroyed or nonexistent; and creating joint access in defended areas. It is also central to the entire Marine tactical vehicle strategy for operations ashore. Once on land, an amphibious armored fighting vehicle provides the Marine rifle squad with the protected mobility and firepowerto maneuver to a position of advantage to rapidly close with, engage, and defeat the enemy.
"The Marine Corps remains committed to develop and field an effective, survivable and affordable amphibious tracked vehicle. To bring this capability to the force sooner rather than later, we intend to capitalize on the Office of the Secretary of Defense's recent efforts to streamline procurement and to rapidly accelerate the acquisition and contracting processes in developing our new amphibious tracked vehicle requirement.
"Shortly, we will issue a special notice to industry requesting information relative to supporting our required amphibious capabilities. We look forward to working with industry in meeting this challenge to field a modern and affordable amphibious tracked vehicle that will support our nation's needs."