You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

U.S. Navy Paints Even Bleaker Budget Picture

Feb. 20, 2013 - 08:59AM   |  
By SAM FELLMAN   |   Comments
  • Filed Under

With Congress on a break — and no budget deal in sight — the U.S. Navy expects automatic spending cuts to take effect in March. These cuts would damage the industrial base and “strain” sailors, according to updated Navy budget guidance provided to Navy Times, Defense News’ sister publication, on Tuesday.

The service’s planning document echoes the dire warnings made last week by the Navy’s top officers and provides the best preview yet of the countless impacts that the cuts will impose on the fleet.

The Navy faces dual budget crises this year: $4 billion in automatic “sequestration” spending cuts and $4.6 billion in cuts if the military continues to be funded at last year’s levels.

In the new guidance, the Navy says that the lack of a Pentagon spending bill impairs $5 billion in shipbuilding, a three-fold increase over the last estimate.

Under the document’s “impacts” section, the Navy states the continuing resolution will impose: “reduced forward presence,” “a damaged industrial base,” “increased strain and OPTEMPO on our sailors and civilians,” and “aircraft depot cuts.” The purchase of a second Virginia-class attack submarine and a second destroyer in fiscal 2014 would now be “unlikely.”

The Navy says these individual cuts are “representative” so as to show lawmakers and the public possible affects of deep spending cuts.

The sequestration cuts, the Navy warns, will pierce much deeper.

The Navy’s document says it will force the service to cancel 10 destroyer and frigate cruises; cancel the Bataan Amphibious Readiness Group deployment; halt work-ups for the Ronald Reagan and Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Groups; reduce exercises and port calls; defer repairs and cancel overhauls; and cancel F-35B testing aboard amphibious assault ship Wasp, among many other impacts.

All these combined effects will hamper the Navy’s ability to respond to crises, the service says.

It will result in “immediate coverage gaps in multiple COCOMs,” the Navy document said, using the abbreviation for combatant commanders. Four strike groups would “shut down at various intervals:” John C. Stennis, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan and Theodore Roosevelt. And over time, the fleet would shrink by as many as 40 ships.

More In World News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

More Headlines from North America



Login to This Week's Digital Edition

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Exclusive Events Coverage

In-depth news and multimedia coverage of industry trade shows and conferences.



Defensenews TV

  • Sign-up to receive weekly email updates about Vago's guests and the topics they will discuss.