Marines assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, Maritime Raid Force, check their weapons during a call-away drill in the hangar bay of the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship Essex. A force structure review has called for a reduction of the active-duty force from 202,000 to 186,800. (MC3 Adam M. Bennett / Navy)
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The future Marine Corps will be smaller, but designed to serve as a "crisis response force," according to the newly released report by the 2010 Force Structure Review Group.
Made up of 100 officers and senior civilian officials, the group met between September and January to outline recommendations for the Corps as it shifts away from the prolonged conflicts of Afghanistan and Iraq.
The plan calls for a reduction of the active-duty force from 202,000 to 186,800. The drawdown start-time will be dictated by the fight in Afghanistan, Marine officials have said.
Key reductions include:
• A 13 percent drop in ground combat forces, including an 11 percent reduction in infantry, 20 percent reduction in cannon artillery and a 20 percent reduction in armor
•A 16 percent drop in fixed-wing tactical aviation squadrons
• A 9 percent drop in logistics
• A 7 percent drop in Marines assigned to non-operational billets
• And a 12 percent drop in the civilian work force.