Marines: September 21, 2000


The Marines continue to push for enough amphibious ships to carry three full brigades, but will have to settle for about two and a half. Each amphibious readiness group includes various ships; by the end of the current round of shipbuilding in 2008 these will include one amphibious carrier (there will be five LHAs and seven LHDs), one amphibious transport (an LPD or Landing Platform Dock), and an LSD (or Landing Ship Dock). Each group of three ships will be able to carry (more or less) a battalion of troops. The problem is that it takes five groups (15 ships) to carry a brigade, and there will be only 12 groups (36 ships), enough for two complete brigades and two separate battalions.--Stephen V Cole


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