CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
Fiscal Year 2015 will usher in a few changes around the Corps, to include shifting missions from wartime to more traditional training and special missions, to reductions in end strength and budgetary constraints, including cuts to Marine Corps Community Services (MCCS) Marine and Family Programs.
Announced in a recent Marine Corps administrative message (MarAdmin) 505/14 Family Readiness, Family Care, and Semper Fit programs within MCCS will all be impacted. To ensure the impacts don’t affect mission readiness, programs designated as "Core," such as Lifestyles, Insights, Networking, Knowledge and Skills (LINKS), LifeSkills, and Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP), will be protected through the reduction of "Non-Core" programs.
While some impacts were announced in the October MarAdmin, Camp Pendleton officials are working to lessen the direct impact of the proposed changes to MCCS patrons. Rather than immediately implement fees, or cut programs, officials will initiate program changes over time, with most beginning early 2015. Additionally, MCCS officials were able to absorb most of the budget reductions through staffing modifications, improving business efficiencies, and streamlining, before considering reductions in programs and services.
"We began by carefully reviewing budgetary cuts in support functions and offsetting costs with non-appropriated funds, which MCCS was able to absorb the majority of the planned budget reductions," said Lee Farmer, assistant chief of staff for MCCS. "Additionally, by increasing the efficiencies in programs and services, we absorbed a portion of the reductions in the individual programs affected which decreases the budgetary impact to our patrons."
To ensure that required reductions in programs and services are in compliance with Headquarters Marine Corps guidance and balanced for all MCCS patrons across the installation, Marine Corps Installations-West (MCI-West) officials collaborated with I Marine Expeditionary Force and other tenant commands to develop reasonable program changes.
"Our intent was to talk with all interested parties, to ensure a common understanding of the program changes and reduction we will begin implementing next year," said Brig. Gen. Edward Banta, Commanding General MCI-West - Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. "These were some hard decisions and difficult choices, but we developed these necessary changes with a clear vision toward minimizing the impact on our Marines, Sailors, and their families."
In early January, MCCS Camp Pendleton will begin announcing specific program changes to ensure patrons are informed prior to changes going into effect, with some beginning as early as Feb. 1. Stay tuned to mccsCp.com for more information.