May 19, 2016
Every day, we should be grateful for the law enforcement officials who put themselves in harm’s way to keep us safe. This week, as we honor National Police Week, we offer a special thank you to all the men and women who, with dedication and courage, work hard every day to protect our communities and our loved ones.
Don’t forget to find an opportunity this week to commemorate the dedication of these special patriots – whether it’s by post on social media or a personal thank you to a local officer. We are grateful.
Yours in Service,
P.S. – I will always stand to support those who serve to protect our communities. Recently, I joined in sending a letter to increase resources for the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program, which has been a critical asset to state and local law enforcement officers as they combat drug trafficking around Richmond and Hampton Roads.
May 18, 2016
The Seapower legislation I recently authored begins the process of rebuilding the U.S. Navy, authorizing three more ships than the President funded, and providing the most money for shipbuilding since President Reagan was in office. From aircraft carriers to submarines and much more, my legislation not only provides our sailors with the resources they need to be successful--it also supports the national strategic asset that is the Hampton Roads industrial base. As the full House of Representatives prepares to vote on the annual defense policy bill that includes my Seapower legislation, you can read coverage of the work I've been doing to support our warfighters in The Virginian-Pilot here or below.
Yours in Service,
Defense spending plan moving through Congress is good news for Hampton Roads
May 18, 2016
For Hampton Roads, where Pentagon dollars are a lifeblood of the economy, the 2017 spending proposals making their way through the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate are mostly good news.
Sailors should get a pay raise. The region’s shipbuilding and repair industries are in line to be fully funded. The legislative plans would block President Barack Obama’s desire to start a new round of military base closings and stifle the Navy’s desire to mothball 11 cruisers, including two based in Norfolk.
There’s one noticeable downside that could affect the region’s construction contractors: Spending for onshore construction projects is markedly smaller than previous years.
The new year may not be one for major new initiatives, but the proposals – if they become law – will give the region a stable source of funding and defense work, said Craig Quigley, executive director of the Hampton Roads Military and Federal Facilities Alliance.
“I’d say stability is desirable. This is pretty stable,” Quigley said Tuesday.
The annual spending plan, known as the National Defense Authorization Act, is one of two major bills that decide how lawmakers allocate defense money. The NDAA sets policy rules and directs spending, while the appropriations bill writes the checks.
The House and Senate armed services committees have each drafted their versions of the authorization act in recent weeks. The full House is expected to take up its bill later this week. After the Senate considers its own version, negotiators for the two chambers will work out a compromise.
Quigley predicted a final agreement won’t be reached until late this year. National and congressional elections will bring negotiations to a standstill until Congress returns after the Nov. 8 voting, he said.
In the meantime, here’s a breakdown of some key elements that resonate in Hampton Roads:
Aircraft carriers and submarine construction: Both the House and Senate legislation would continue funding construction at Newport News Shipbuilding of the two Ford-class carriers, the USS Gerald R. Ford and USS John F. Kennedy, as well as preparations for construction of a new USS Enterprise. They also include money for midlife overhauls of the USS George Washington and the USS John Stennis.
At the urging of Rep. Randy Forbes, a Chesapeake Republican, the House bill proposes speeding up the pace of carrier construction to begin building a new flattop every four years instead of every five. The change, beginning in 2022, would add more jobs and ensure an 11-carrier fleet, said Forbes, a senior member of the House committee. The Senate version does not include that provision.
The Navy would buy two more Virginia-class submarines as part of a multiyear procurement. The attack subs are a joint project with Newport News Shipbuilding and Electric Boat in Groton, Conn. Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, a member of the Senate committee, said he expects Newport News would be “deeply involved” in future years in building replacements for the Navy’s Ohio-class submarines.
Ship construction and overhauls: Both chambers’ authorization act proposals provide enough money for ship repairs or overhauls to reverse the recent trends of layoffs in local shipyards, said Bill Crow, president of the Virginia Ship Repair Association. Recently approved contracts mean the private yards are expected to see a boost in work this summer that will stretch into 2017, Crow said.
“We’re definitely seeing an upturn,” Crow said. “There’s work on the horizon for the next year or so.”
Quigley said, if adopted, the spending will help the Navy catch up on a backlog of ship maintenance.
”This is something we really need,” he said.
Pay and benefits: A pay raise is coming for sailors and other service members, but the amount is up for debate. The House bill proposes a 2.1 percent increase while the Senate bill favors the 1.6 percent raise requested by the Pentagon.
Military construction: Hampton Roads would be getting its smallest allocation of brick-and-mortar construction money in several years, Quigley said.
A total of $86.2 million was proposed by the House committee for a project at Norfolk Naval Station and two projects at Joint Base Langley-Eustis. By comparison, last year Congress approved more than $240 million for eight projects on bases or facilities in Norfolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, Hampton and Newport News.
Quigley said the view of many in Washington is that buying equipment, training, overhauling ships and aircraft, and fighting wars have a higher priority than building projects. He noted that Obama’s original proposal didn’t include any money for military construction in the region.
No base closings and the cruisers stay put: Both the House and Senate rejected the Pentagon’s request for a new round of base closings.
The legislators’ proposal also blocks the administration’s plan to mothball 11 guided missile cruisers, including the Norfolk-based USS Anzio and USS Vella Gulf. Defense officials have tried for years to get congressional approval to remove the ships from service to save money and slowly bring them back online after overhauls.
Read the full article here.
May 17, 2016
Earlier this morning, I joined America’s Newsroom to talk about Iran’s treatment of our sailors and why – in the absence of leadership from the Administration – it is critical that Congress acts now to hold Iran accountable. That’s why I introduced a bill to do just that. Watch here or below to learn more >>
P.S. You can read more coverage of my bill this week in the Washington Times, The Hill, the New York Post, or the Washington Free Beacon. Equipping and defending our defenders – so they can successfully accomplish their missions and return safely home – will always be my top priority in Congress.
May 05, 2016
Americans will not forget the imagery of our ten sailors on their knees, detained at gunpoint by the Iranians.
What they may not know is since then, Iranians have reenacted the surrender spectacle during one of their annual "Death to America" demonstrations, Iranian TV has aired footage purporting to show an American sailor crying, and Iran's Supreme Leader has publicly issued "medals of conquest" to the Iranians responsible for capturing our sailors.
The Administration's response? U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry thanked Iran, saying: “I want to express my gratitude to Iranian authorities for their cooperation in swiftly resolving this matter.”
I recently received a classified briefing on the initial findings of the Navy’s official investigation into Iran’s detention of American sailors, and found the information deeply disturbing. Afterwards, I called on all Members of Congress to get briefed on this incident as soon as possible, and another briefing was made available to all Members of Congress. But understanding the ramifications of the incident is just the first step to ensure this doesn’t happen again. In this vacuum of leadership left by the Administration, Congress has a responsibility to act.
I recently joined WAVY TV to talk about the bill I introduced to hold Iran accountable. Watch here or below.
April 29, 2016
Yours in service,
Far too often in recent years, politics has been allowed to interfere with getting our warriors the resources they need to accomplish their missions and return safely home. The F-22, the most advanced fighter aircraft in history, was cut despite growing threats to America's air dominance. Today, Russia and China are moving rapidly to challenge U.S. air superiority -- while our Air Force has shrunk to the smallest size in its history.
In the recent defense policy bill passed by the House Armed Services Committee this week, I authored language directing the Air Force to study bringing back the F-22 to meet the growing threats to our national security. You can read my op-ed in The Wall Street Journal today, co-authored with former Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne, about the F-22 and why we need to be better equipping our Airmen, here.
P.S. Restarting F-22 production may not be the answer to the challenges we face in the air. Changes in technology, the industrial base, the export market and the operating environment must be evaluated. But with the end of the Obama Administration in sight, it is high time to begin crafting a strategy informed by facts, not an agenda.
April 27, 2016
In case you missed it, I sat down with Comcast Newsmakers to discuss the legislation I recently authored as Chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee.
Today, we have a Commander-in-Chief who vetoed funding for our Armed Forces over funding for the EPA and IRS. I believe equipping our men and women in uniform with the ships and aircraft they need to win and return home safely comes before any IRS agent’s salary. My legislation makes rebuilding our Navy and defending our men and women in uniform our top priority.
Watch the full interview here or below.
April 27, 2016
The Hampton Roads ship repair industrial base is truly a national asset. The men and women of our region have dedicated their lives to supporting our warfighters, and they are the best in the world.
I recently authored legislation that would ensure our ship repair industry is given the stability it needs to thrive by making sure that major repair availabilities are done domestically rather than abroad. My legislation is moving through the Armed Services Committee this week. You can read about my work advocating for this important economic and national security resource in the Daily Press this week.
Virginia Politics: Forbes pushes ship repair measures
April 26, 2016
Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Chesapeake, wants to bar U.S. Navy ships deployed far from the United States from using foreign shipyards for major overhauls or repairs – that is, projects that take more than six months.
It’s a move he says will help U.S. yards maintain themselves and that will insure work done on naval vessels meets U.S. standards.
Forbes’ proposal is the latest in his series of ship repair initiatives, including measures already adopted by the House Armed Services. Those are:
* a boost in funding for Navy Operations and Maintenance manpower intended to prevent inactivation of cruisers and deactivation of the Navy’ 10th carrier air wing
* an additional $1.3 billion for operations and maintenance that includes $158 million for readiness work on ships that are afloat, $308 million for ship depots and $275 million for Navy sustainment, restoration, and modernization projects.
* Tightening standards for doing repair work away from a vessel’s homeport; while work that required more than six months can now be done at other parts, Forbes’ proposal increases that threshold to 10 months. The move eases burdens on sailors and families and gives the Navy more flexibility to mitigate dips in shipyard workloads, he said. It also, of course, benefits Hampton Roads.
Click Here to view this email in your browser
Click Here to be removed from this list
April 26, 2016
Our warriors are on the front lines, all over the globe, defending this country. Even now, our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines are risking their lives for our freedom.
My greatest obligation as I serve in Congress is ensuring that our heroes are the best equipped and best trained so that they never find themselves in a fair fight against those determined to destroy our way of life. Last week, I introduced Seapower legislation that represents the largest increase in funding for shipbuilding since the Reagan era. The goal is to make sure our men and women in uniform have the resources to execute their missions and return home to their families.
I recently spoke to Defense News about my legislation and commitment to keeping our military strong. You can read my interview here or below.
Interview: Randy Forbes
April 24, 2016
Randy Forbes, who represents a portion of the Tidewater region that includes the US Navy’s largest naval base and shipbuilding giant Huntington Ingalls, has long branched out to express concerns about defense issues far beyond his home ground. The nearly-released mark of the Seapower subcommittee’s 2017 naval budget reflects Forbes’ desire to increase naval spending into Reagan-era territory. By adding more than $2 billion to the Obama administration’s request, Forbes would raise shipbuilding levels to $20 billion a year and beyond – numbers not seen since the 1980s. He spoke April 20 just as the Seapower bills were being made public.
Your subcommittee’s proposals are in keeping with the general push in the House Armed Services Committee for increased military spending. What are your expectations this ambitious bill will carry through the legislative year?
I am very confident that you will see it go out of the House. And I am actually pretty optimistic we’re going to see it go through the Senate. We’ve got a high degree of optimism on this mark.
Even if the $20 billion level is reduced, you’re certainly socializing that level of shipbuilding. Is that also a goal?
We are putting it out there and I think people are embracing this very strongly. This is setting a check valve as to shipbuilding. It is also important that this is the highest level of shipbuilding funding since the Reagan era. I hope it is a down payment on the 350-ship Navy. [And] it is important for the rest of the world to look and see I’m not going quietly into the night with the dismantling of the Navy and we’re going to begin turning this around.
You foresee $20 billion-plus annual shipbuilding requests for the foreseeable future.
Where is the money coming from?
You’ve heard [HASC] Chairman [Mac] Thornberry talk about the need for a higher end for national defense. If we get the dollars he is talking about then we are going to get those dollars in some form. The other thing is over a longer period of time we have to continue to look at efficiencies. Many of the things in this mark actually do those efficiencies. [With the SSBN(X) Ohio Replacement Program submarine] we get to buy twelve boats for the price of 11. [With] Fire Scout [unmanned helicopter], for four more we pay $70-plus million for one, we get four more for another $50 million -- that is a crazy good deal. But I think -- no buts about it -- we need higher ends for a national defense. I think the country is realizing that now. And we’ve talked about we only need a shift of about 1.5 percent to be able to do all the shipbuilding we need.
A shift inside the budget?
I’ve always talked about raising that top line. But even if we didn’t you could have adjustments in that budget that could build ships.
This is a major election year, where everything is political. Is this a Republican initiative? Is this something that can come from across the aisle?
First of all, I will tell you this is a Republican initiative. I hope this is a Democrat initiative. But our subcommittee is very bipartisan in how it acts, how it functions. That is not just language -- this is a bipartisan mark. This is along the lines of people who believe strongly in defending and protecting the country. It is something that is going to be embraced by both the Republican and the Democratic parties because it is an American issue not a partisan issue.
You propose buying an aircraft carrier every four years. Doesn’t that make it harder to pay for? The Navy had moved to five years for affordability reasons. And you want to do this in the 2020s when the SSBN(X) submarine will be in full acquisition.
Actually we think it will reduce the price because of efficiency. If we get these [production] lines running the way they can, ultimately it’s going to be a cost saver for us. But we have to look at all the projections. By 2040 we’ll be down to a 10-carrier fleet. I think about three-fourths of the members of Congress realize that is a dangerous place for us to be. I think the Pentagon realizes that. I think the good news is both the industrial base and the Navy have realized that this four-year turnaround time is a very doable time frame.
Carriers are intended for a 50-year lifespan. The viability of the carrier is being debated in light of new and growing threats from the Chinese and elsewhere. Yet you see the viability of the aircraft carrier worthy of the investment, especially across the 21st century.
Not just me, but I think the United States Navy sees that same viability. I think most military analysts think that. There are challenges to the carriers just like there are challenges to Guam, to cyber. But we are not going to say we are pulling out of Guam. We are not going to not use computers anymore. I think what we do is roll up our sleeves and say how do we overcome these challenges. Equally important, our bases are getting fewer and fewer across the world, but the threats are getting larger. The most important platform we have in keeping the conflict from going from 0 to 3 is a carrier and a carrier strike group. The most important thing we have to win that conflict is our surge capacity with our carriers. We simply can’t do that if we get down to 10 carriers.
There is talk of basing another carrier and an air wing in the western Pacific, perhaps Japan. What’s your view on that?
No, I don’t think we need to do that. I think the analysis doesn’t show that. The analysis shows we need to have carrier coverage dependent not on where they’re home ported but on the number of carriers we have. So I don’t see the need to do that, and you start to look at a lot of cost that may make it prohibitive.
You’re also asking the Navy to study how to keep building two attack submarines per year in those years when SSBN(X) is funded and maybe even three, which could make four subs a year in the 2020s.
In 2029 we are going to be down to 41 subs. Right now the requirement minimum is 48. I think that [after the Navy’s current force assessment is complete the] number is going to be higher than 48. Then you realize that regardless what number we put on paper the Chinese are looking at our limits and they’re probably going to double what we have. The only way we close the gap is by adding an additional submarine beginning in 2021. I feel very comfortable that that is the right way to help close that delta. I feel very comfortable the industrial base can handle it. And I think the Navy is beginning to feel very comfortable that we can do that.
An attack boat runs about $2 billion plus. To balance that plus-up would you support a reduction in the number of surface ships built every year?
Two things I emphasize are the false choices [the Office of the Secretary of Defense] was trying to make us make between capacity and capability, and I’m not going to let them also give us a false choice between surface ships and submarines. Weaknesses are weaknesses, vulnerabilities are vulnerabilities. I’ve seen these threat levels increase. I’ve seen the Russians buzz us at 30 feet above our ships. I’ve seen the Iranians shooting missiles across our bows. I’m seeing them capture our soldiers. I’m seeing Chinese aggression in South China Sea. I’m seeing the North Koreans trying to get a ballistic missile with nuclear capability to hit this country. None of that suggests to me that I need fewer surface ships or that I need fewer submarines.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter directed the Navy last year to reduce LCS procurement to one ship this year, although the Navy is requesting two ships based on industrial concerns. You restore a third LCS in 2017. You would appear to be directly at odds with Carter’s appreciation of the LCS program.
I am directly at odds with Secretary Carter’s lack of a study or analysis to suggest we can change that. I want to make sure no one sat back with a pencil and said we need more money here, cut these programs out. And so far the studies and analysis from the Department of Defense and the Navy say we need 52 small surface combatants. You can’t just sit back and erase those studies and say okay now I think 40 is the right number. If you want to do something else tell us what else you are going to do. And if you want to have a different analysis, do the analysis but at least give us the facts not just your opinion.
Do you still support a down select on LCS to just one shipbuilder?
No. I don’t think we need to do a down select at this particular point in time and as long as we don’t need to do it I think we can keep both of these yards going.
You also are trying to add another amphibious ship in this budget, either an unrequested 13th LPD-17-class amphibious transport or a new LX(R), a ship the Navy isn’t planning on buying until 2021. What is your thinking there?
The Marine Corps feels they need it. Not just want it, need it. We are very concerned about their amphibious capabilities. The other thing is we are moving along pretty well with how we are building those LPD 17 ships. You talk about efficiencies and costs it just makes sense while these [production] lines are doing well why cool them off, why have the cost of getting them started up again when we can go ahead and produce ships we know the Marine Corps is going to need. This is something the Navy is going to embrace and we have given them the flexibility here to do it. We don’t want to break that rhythm.
The Navy is proposing yet another variation on the cruiser modernization plan, the program to take 11 cruisers out of service, modernize them and return them to active duty. Congress has been clear in its desire to have the work done in sequence and limit the number of cruisers out of service at any one time, yet the Navy now proposes to induct all 11 cruisers into modernization by the end of 2017. What’s your reaction?
We just went back and took a page out of Ronald Reagan’s book Trust and Verify. We said if that is what you want to do let’s just prove it. So what we have done is kind of put a lasso around the Secretary of Defense’s office and said as soon as the Navy certifies they’ve got all these under contract we are going to let you have your dollars, and until you do we want you to put a little skin in the game. We are just going to take your word that you are committed to doing this. If they’re committed to doing this they shouldn’t have any problem with this provision at all.
But you know, when they first came over here they were all gung ho about euthanizing these cruisers -- but every single one of them admitted they needed the cruisers. They were euthanizing because somebody at [the Office of Management and Budget] told them they needed to take these cruisers out. I don’t want OMB running the national defense of this country. Then we said we are not going to let you do it. Of course they got religion, came back and said you misunderstood us, what we really want to do is modernize and not euthanize them. So they did the 2-4-6 program, which was their program by the way. [The 2-4-6 program allows the Navy to modernize 2 cruisers a year, remain under modernization for no more than 4 years, and allow no more than 6 ships to undergo modernization at any one time.]
Now we are just saying okay, we are going to do your program. We are going to take you at your word, but you need to put your money where your mouth is. And as long as you are committed to doing this fine, but we are going to find out whether they are or not. And that is all we do in this mark, to say we are going to hold your money until you’ve got certifications, you’re doing what you are saying you are going to do.
So you reject this latest proposal for all 11 ships to be out of service by 2017?
Yes. We think we need these cruisers. I want to make sure this is not a ploy just to take them out to meet some sort of artificial budget requirement that somebody somewhere other than the Navy has imposed upon them.
This situation has been going on for some years now, and Adm. John Richardson has succeeded Adm. Jon Greenert as Chief of Naval Operations (CNO). Why is it you continue to question their sincerity?
We have indications from them that this is driven by dollars and cents, not driven by some new plan they have. I do not question the CNO’s integrity or his forthrightness, nor did I previous CNOs, but I think this is something driven outside the Navy itself.
At-sea incidents and encounters with China, Russia, Iran and North Korea continue, often with US ships simply watching as jets zoom close by and missiles are launched over their bow. How do you think the Navy is doing in responding to these multiple threats?
I don’t think the Navy makes the decision oftentimes on what the response is. I think that is an administrative decision that comes from the commander in chief. I think if the Navy had its options the Navy would have had a little stronger response when you look at, for example the South China Sea and what the Chinese have done there. I know that is something they felt we should be stronger at. I am very concerned about some aspects of the readiness that we have. And quite honestly I can’t tell you if it is based on specific incidents right now or if it is over all the Navy.
I do think though that it is imperative for us to make sure we are meeting the needs of the Navy. When I look at just a couple of snapshots -- one snapshot is [Pacific Command commander] Admiral [Harry] Harris telling us that he is only getting 62 percent of the submarines he needs. That worries me. When I hear that in 2007 we could meet 90 percent of our combatant commanders validated requirement, and this year we will meet about 43 percent, that bothers me as well. And when I see reports that our Marines flying our planes are having to go into museums to get parts that gives me serious pause. That is why we think this mark is so important, to tell Congress, tell the world we are turning this around and we are serious about it.
Click Here to view this email in your browser
Click Here to be removed from this list
April 22, 2016
For the last 8 years, this Administration has been dismantling the greatest military in the world. But as the world becomes more dangerous, we simply cannot continue undermining our national defense and sending our sons and daughters into the fight without the equipment and training they need.
This Administration has repeatedly attempted to mothball half of our Navy's cruisers, some of the Fleet's most capable warships. I recently wrote an op-ed in Navy Times explaining why I am preventing this from happening in the Seapower legislation I released this week. Bottom line: this Administration wants to manage our Navy’s decline, I am committed to rebuilding it. Read more in Navy Times.
Lay-up plan jeopardizes some of the Navy’s best ships: Forbes
By Congressman Randy Forbes
April 21, 2016
Over the past five years, the United States military has been under tremendous fiscal pressure. Since 2011, when the Budget Control Act capped defense spending and created the threat of sequestration, the armed forces have seen their budgets cut significantly. While the world has grown more dangerous, each service has been driven to sacrifice elements of force structure on the altar of austerity. For the U.S. Navy, the sacrificial victims have been cruisers and amphibious ships. Thus far, Congress has been able to save these vital vessels from the chopping block, but action by Congress will be needed once again in 2016 to keep them in service and prevent the further degradation of our Navy.
As even proponents of cutting cruisers and amphibious ships will concede, both types of ships are critical components of the Navy’s fleet. Cruisers are the closest things to battleships still in U.S. service, large surface combatants packing long-range radars and an arsenal of guided missiles. While capable of carrying out a wide variety of missions, cruisers’ primary mission is to defend our carrier strike groups and allies like Israel and Japan from air and missile attacks. Amphibious ships, on the other hand, serve as transports and floating bases for U.S. Marines so that they can remain in-position and ready to intervene in times of crisis.
Despite the important roles these ships play, however, the administration plans to take almost a dozen of them out of service. Under what the Navy is euphemistically calling a “phased modernization” plan, half the Navy’s cruisers and an amphibious ship would be tied up to piers and put into an inactive status. Combat systems and electronics would be removed from the ships and kept in warehouses ashore. Hatches would be sealed, tanks would be drained, and giant dehumidifiers placed throughout the ship to control rust. The ships’ personnel would be spread throughout the rest of the fleet, with only a skeleton crew kept aboard.
The ships would be kept in this sad state for up to 12 years before eventually being repaired, modernized, and returned to the fleet in the 2020s. Although unmanned and unequipped, these mothballed ships would still be counted by the administration toward the size of the fleet, despite the fact that it would take 12 to 24 months to get them ready for deployment. According to the Navy, taking these ships out of service now would allow them to serve into the 2040s, but the primary motivation for inactivating the ships appears to avoiding the cost of manning and operating these ships.
This is not the first time the administration has proposed taking these ships out of service. In both 2012 and 2013, the administration proposed to permanently decommission 9 cruisers and amphibs with over a decade of service life left in each of them. Each time, however, Congress overrode the administration’s proposal, secured additional funding for the ships, and kept them in service. Shifting gears, the administration first proposed a “phased modernization” plan in 2014, but Congress mandated that the Navy instead follow a “2-4-6” plan, under which only two ships can be taken out of service each year, no ship can be out of service for longer than four years, and no more than six total ships may be out of service at any one time. This compromise, which remains the law of the land, allows the Navy to achieve some savings while mitigating the shortfall in ships and reducing the risk that they will never actually be brought back out of mothballs. Two years later, the administration is now proposing to revert to “phased modernization” and lay up all 11 cruisers and one amphibious ship at the same time.
This convoluted history reveals several things. The administration’s vacillation on whether to decommission or inactivate the ships shows that the various proposals have been driven by budget considerations, not strategy or operational analysis. It also shows that this administration cannot be trusted to adhere to any plan, raising the risk that once these ships are inactivated, plans will change and they will never brought back into service. Fortunately, the events of the last few years also demonstrate that Congress is both willing and able to pay for elements of Navy force structure that this administration would rather do away with.
The “phased modernization” plan remains an ill-advised one that Congress should continue to oppose. Both cruisers and amphibious ships are badly needed by our combatant commanders at present, and demand for these assets will only grow as air and missile threats proliferate and the Marines return to the sea. Rather than cutting force structure, Congress should be holding the line and keeping our existing ships in service, so that in cooperation with the next administration we can begin the important work of rebuilding our Navy and growing our fleet to the size we need.
April 21, 2016
While our military is under-resourced and straining to keep the fight against ISIS and radical Islamic terrorism off American soil, the Commander-in-Chief is opening our borders to thousands of Syrian refugees.
I’m working to build back our Navy to the 350 ships needed to make sure the fight stays far from our borders. There should never be any question about providing our warriors with what they need to accomplish their missions and return home to their loved ones. Watch coverage of my Seapower legislation on Channel 13 News Now.