Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04), Chairman of the House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee, announced today that he has received a response from Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations, to a letter Forbes authored and was signed by other members of the Virginia congressional delegation expressing concerns regarding the fiscal responsibility or strategic necessity of building an expensive and redundant nuclear-support infrastructure for CVN homeporting at Mayport.
In response to Forbes' letter, Admiral Greenert wrote that due to "Department of Defense strategic and budget reviews, the size of the fiscal adjustments compels us to take a comprehensive strategic review, examining every program element, including the funding required to homeport a CVN in Mayport." The text of the letter is available below, and the full letter is available here.
"The United States Navy is facing drastic shortfalls in ship maintenance, inspection failures for Navy ships have nearly tripled in the past four years, and currently, 1 of 5 ships inspected is either unfit for combat or severely degraded. Alarmingly, the Navy is already struggling to meet the needs for ships and submarines of our commanders in the field and the ability to do so will only be further diminished by a shrinking fleet and ongoing, indiscriminate budget cuts to national defense over the next decade. In such an age of budget austerity, the Navy would be wise to reverse its decision to build an expensive and redundant CVN homeport in Mayport. I am pleased to hear from Admiral Greenert that the Navy is indeed reassessing its decision." said Forbes.
Dear Mr. Forbes,
Thank you for your letter of September 23, 2011 regarding the decision to homeport a Nuclear-Powered Aircraft Carrier (CVN) in Mayport. I appreciate your thoughtful and constructive inputs on the current fiscal challenges in relation to the strategic dispersal of our CVN Fleet.
From a strategic standpoint, the rationale supporting the decision to disperse our East Coast Carrier Fleet remains sound, as validated in the Secretary of Defense-led 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review. Within the context of the ongoing Department of Defense strategic and budget reviews, the size of the fiscal adjustments compels us to take a comprehensive strategic review, examining every program element, including the funding required to homeport a CVN in Mayport. You can be assured I will include your concerns in the Navy’s strategic calculus.
I am grateful for your commitment to the Navy and dedication to service members in the Commonwealth of Virginia. I have sent a similar letter to the co-signers of the 23 September letter.
JONATHAN W. GREENERT
Admiral, U.S. Navy