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Forbes Leads Bipartisan Letter to Hagel on Importance of 11 Carrier Fleet

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Washington, D.C., Jan 28 | Alex Gray (202-225-6365) | comments

Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04), Chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, today released a bipartisan letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on the importance of maintaining the U.S. Navy’s eleven nuclear aircraft carrier fleet. The letter was signed by eleven Members of Congress.

 

“The Secretary of the Navy was right this past fall when he noted that a smaller aircraft carrier fleet would be unable to execute the missions described in the Defense Strategic Guidance,” Congressman Forbes said. “Such a reduction in the Navy’s carrier force would profoundly damage U.S. national security, limiting our ability to deter aggression around the world and respond to crises in a timely manner. It is unacceptable to pretend that the United States lives in anything less than an 11 carrier world given China’s growing assertiveness in the Asia-Pacific, rising instability in the Middle East and the persistent danger of global terrorism. As Rear Admiral Moore has phrased it so starkly, we're an eleven carrier Navy in a 15 carrier world.”

 

         

January 28, 2014

 

 

 

 

The Honorable Chuck Hagel

Secretary of Defense

Office of the Secretary of Defense

1000 Defense Pentagon

Washington, D.C. 20301

 

Dear Mr. Secretary:

We write to reiterate our strong support that the United States Navy should continue to require a naval fleet of no-less than 11 nuclear aircraft carriers.

The constant state of “surge” our Navy has operated at for the past decade is a testament to the growing demand signal from our Combatant Commanders and the shrinking size of our fleet. With the United States entering an era where our sea-services are likely to be called on to provide more presence, deterrence, and engagement throughout the Indo-Pacific littoral and across the globe, we believe now is the time to reinvest in our fleet, not look for ways to reduce its size and accept greater risk. Indeed, in a letter Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus sent to us in October 2013, he stated that a smaller nuclear aircraft carrier fleet would “deliver less forward presence, increased response time, and delayed arrivals to conflict. This force would be unable to execute the missions described in the Defense Strategic Guidance.”

Last year the House of Representatives expressed its strong support for the nuclear aircraft carrier fleet by voting overwhelmingly to maintain a statutory requirement to retain 11 operational aircraft carriers by a vote of 318 to 106. There is no doubt that there is enduring bipartisan support for a robust Navy supporting a capital fleet of 11 nuclear aircraft carriers. We strongly agree with Rear Admiral Thomas Moore who stated last year that “We’re an 11-carrier Navy in a 15-carrier world…The demand signal is not likely to go down any time soon.”

            Thank you for your attention to this matter.  We look forward to working with you on this issue and to strengthen our sea services in the years ahead.

           

           

      Sincerely,

 

 

                                                           

HOWARD P. “BUCK” MCKEON                                       MIKE MCINTYRE

Chairman                                                                                 Member of Congress

House Armed Services Committee                                                                                                                                                    

 

 

J. RANDY FORBES                                                             SUSAN DAVIS

Member of Congress                                                               Member of Congress

 

 

 

ROB WITTMAN                                                                   RICK LARSEN

Member of Congress                                                               Member of Congress

           

 

 

SCOTT RIGELL                                                                    DEREK KILMER

Member of Congress                                                               Member of Congress

 

 

 

DUNCAN HUNTER                                                             SCOTT PETERS

Member of Congress                                                               Member of Congress

 

 

 

BOBBY SCOTT                   

Member of Congress    

 

 

 

 

 

 

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