Magazine article National Defense

Marine Corps Working to Restore Readiness. (Washington Pulse)

Magazine article National Defense

Marine Corps Working to Restore Readiness. (Washington Pulse)

Article excerpt

The much-discussed "reconstitution" of U.S. military forces after the war in Iraq needs to be viewed under a different light this time around, said Gen. Michael W. Hagee, commandant of the Marine Corps.

The Defense Department's emphasis on transformation should prompt the services to carefully decide how they should restore the readiness of their forces and upgrade their equipment, Hagee noted.

"We don't necessarily want to go back to where we were before Operation Iraqi Freedom," he told a meeting of defense reporters. It's not just a matter of "refilling old bins," he said. "In many cases we will. But in some cases, we don't want to fill those old bins."

Marine leaders will have a tough job trying to practically reconstitute the entire Corps. Most of the 65,000 Marines who participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom should be returning in August, but that is not a certainty, Hagee said.

Since last fall, about 68 percent of the Marine Corps has been forward deployed in Iraq and Okinawa, Japan. …

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