After nearly 60 years of service, the U.S. Marine Corps begin divesting its fleet of its largest armored recovery vehicles in accordance to the future redesign of the service.
As a part of Force Design 2030, the Hercules M88 recovery vehicles are being divested from the Marine Corps in an effort to accelerate modernization and realign capabilities, units and personnel to higher priority areas.
Tank units on the East and West coasts shuttered this month and began hauling their armor to military depots, the service said.
The Marine Corps will eventually divest of all three of its active tank battalions as it moves from a “second land army” back to its maritime roots of defending ships at sea, island-hopping and battling for contested coastlines, in preparation for potential conflict with near-peer adversaries such as China.
The 15-page document outlines a plan to modernize the Marine Corps in accordance with the National Defense Strategy, and doing so within the financial means available. It is also being conducted with respect for the history of the Corps.
As the Marine Corps changes from using the heavier tanks and M88s, there is a focus to increase capacities in other areas, such as Rocket Artillery Batteries, Light Armored Reconnaissance companies and active component unmanned aerial vehicle squadrons.