Carter: Pentagon will spend more on Marine Corps readiness

Carter: Pentagon will spend more on Marine Corps readiness

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. — Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Wednesday said the administration's 2017 Pentagon budget request will include more money for Marine Corps readiness, particularly in aviation.  

He said the budget request, which will be formally unveiled next Tuesday, will include money for maintenance of the F/A-18 Hornet in depots and spare parts. 

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"We're adding funding in the FY17 budget, specifically to make up some maintenance shortfalls and delays in the past. That'll be important to folks here," he said. 

He also announced earlier in the day that the Pentagon would increase the purchase of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighters by 13, including 10 for the Navy and three for the Marine Corps, as well as 16 more F/A-18s. 

Carter highlighted the investment in maintenance as an example of increasing readiness of forces for today's wars — a top concern of Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Bob Neller, he said.  

The investment in more F-35s will go towards keeping the Marines ready to fight in future wars, he added.