The Navy will be forced to cut back on its missions, training and equipment maintenance if Congress cannot pass a 2013 defense budget and avert automatic, across-the-board spending cuts set to begin March 1, the vice chief of naval operations testified Tuesday before Congress.
“Under these circumstances, we assess your Navy will be limited in its ability to provide the capability and capacity called for in the current defense strategy,” Adm. Mark E. Ferguson III said during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.
The Pentagon currently is operating under a continuing resolution that holds spending at 2012 levels.
If Congress merely extends the resolution, the Navy will have to delay the construction of the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy, the completion of amphibious assault ship USS America, and cancel the procurement of a destroyer and hundreds of weapons.
If the automatic spending cuts begin March 1, flight operations will be curtailed, deployments canceled and maintenance delayed on ships and aircraft. Also, most non-deployed operations, including training and certifications for sailors, will be suspended.
“We will immediately begin to erode the readiness of the force,” Adm. Ferguson said. “We must be mindful of the corrosive effect of this uncertainty on the morale of our people.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Kristina Wong is a national security reporter for The Washington Times, covering defense, foreign policy and intelligence affairs. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Elaine Donnelly
Extending sexual misconduct to combat units
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
A collection of reader guest articles, thoughts and opinions by Communities writers and breaking news and information.
Abhishek Seth re-considers the power of PR, Issue Placement, the world at large, and the issues at hand.
Wall Street news before (and occasionally after) the opening bell.
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall
NRA kicks off annual convention