Obama defense budget hurts Navy's readiness for carrier operations

Washington Free Beacon:
The commander of U.S. Naval Air Forces said Thursday that budget constraints are hurting the force’s ability to generate and recover readiness.

Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker, who has served as the Navy’s “air boss” since January 2015, said that the service does not have enough funding to meet current commitments without exhausting aircraft and watercraft and harming long-term readiness.

“It’s really the ability to generate current readiness and recover readiness at the same time,” Shoemaker told an audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. while discussing challenges facing the Naval Air Forces. “The supply of our forces is not sufficient to meet the demand right now.”

Shoemaker said budget constraints and fiscal uncertainty have made it difficult to prioritize current and future commitments.

“It shows in both sustaining our aircraft and also our carriers, which are coming out of maintenance a little bit longer as we continue to operate them forward,” he said.

Shoemaker echoed concerns of naval leaders and lawmakers who have warned of the service’s ability to overcome challenges and meet commitments on an increasingly tight budget.

Over the last four years, the Navy has been allocated $30 billion less than it requested, according to March testimony from Adm. John Richardson, the chief of naval operations. President Obama’s fiscal year 2017 budget requested $155 billion in base funding to support the Navy and Marine Corps, $5 billion less than the funding level for the current fiscal year.

“The challenges are increasing and funding is decreasing,” Richardson told lawmakers.
There is much more.

Obama's defense budget is putting US national security at risk and could be extremely costly in the event of new conflicts with more capable enemies.  Congress has apparently agreed to the reduced spending as a way to rein in Obama's domestic spending.  That is what the sequester is really all about.


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