WASHINGTON — The Marine Corps is requesting $50.34 billion for fiscal year 2023, which would invest in multiple modernization projects but reduce the active-duty force by about 1,500, according to the proposed budget released Monday.
The proposed spending plan represents nearly two percent growth from the prior fiscal year, the Navy Department’s budget official told reporters at the Pentagon on Monday. The Marine Corps is part of the department.
Coupled with a 5% growth in the Navy budget, the Marine Corps budget brings the department’s total budget to approximately $230.8 billion.
“I would admit [that is] a lot more money than we thought we were going to get at the start of this process,” said Rear Admiral John Gumbleton, Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy for Budget.
Still, the service’s proposed budget calls for about 177,000 active-duty Marines — down from the service’s 2022 request for 178,500 active-duty soldiers.
The budget also requests about $17.3 billion for support staff, $12.2 billion for procurement, $16.3 billion for operations and maintenance, and about $3 billion for research and Development.
The Marine Corps is also requesting nearly $4.8 billion in modernized firing platforms, including $4.3 billion for the F-35 Lightning II program, $345 million for anti-ship missile systems and $80 million for long-range fires.
The budget also includes $885 million for sensor and ship upgrades, including $484 million to support the MQ-9A Group 5 unmanned aircraft system program.
Gumbleton said the investments align with the service’s Force Design 2030, a modernization effort announced in March 2020 that aims to move the Marine Corps from a force focused on large-scale amphibious and sustained operations to a optimized force to support naval expeditionary campaigns.
The service is also requesting nearly $1.5 billion for military housing projects, down about 35% from the previous year.
The $1.5 billion includes about $249 million for three new married quarters construction projects in Guam, where the Marine Corps is working to move its personnel from Okinawa, Japan.