Washington: US military readiness has declined in the sea, air and space domains since 2017, US Defense Capabilities and Management, Government Accountability Office (GAO) Director Diana Maurer said.
“What we have found is rather troubling. Broadly speaking, mission capability, can units execute their missions, has declined since 2017,” Maurer told a Senate panel. “While the Army and Marine Corps improved in the ground domain, we found declines in the sea, air and space domains.”
Maurer added that the F-35 program in particular suffers from a variety of sustainment woes, and fleet wide mission capable rates have declined every year since 2020.
The Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps face substantial gaps between what it costs to operate the F-35 aircraft and what they can afford to maintain it, according to Maurer.
In addition, Maurer said the Navy had nearly $1.8 billion in deferred ship maintenance, mainly in its cruisers and amphibious ships, and maintenance delays went up over a 10-year period.