Marines cut training to fund hurricane costs, border mission

March 21, 2019 - 4:44 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Marine commandant is warning that some unexpected costs, including from major hurricane damage and unplanned deployments to the U.S.-Mexico border, are forcing him to cancel training exercises and will degrade combat readiness.

Gen. Robert Neller says in a memo that the Marines have pulled out of three military exercises and cut equipment maintenance. He says Marine participation in more than a dozen other exercises will also be canceled or reduced and other cuts will be needed if the service doesn't get budget help.

About $3.5 billion in damage was done to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina and surrounding facilities by Hurricanes Florence and Michael. The Marine Corps says those are the most significant costs forcing the training cuts. Marines have also been used for the border mission.

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