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Joint Forces Journal

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VOL. 24 - NO. 32
AUG 18 - 25, 2019
PO BOX 13283
OAKLAND, CA 94661-0283

510.595.7777 FAX

Joint Forces Journal is published privately, and in no way is connected with DoD, the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard. This website and the printed newspaper are intended for the members of the Armed Forces and their families. Contents do not necessarily reflect official views of the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard, and do not imply endorsements thereof. The marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation, or any other non-merit factor of the purchases, user or patron for advertisers prohibited. If a violation or rejection of this equal opportunity policy by an advertiser is confirmed, the publisher shall refuse to print advertising from that source until the violation is corrected. Editorial content is prepared and edited privately, and is provided by the Public Affairs Office of U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard installations. Correspondence and material for publication should be addressed to: Editor, Joint Forces Journal, P.O. Box 13283, Oakland, CA, 94661-0283. Deadline for receiving articles and photos is 3 p.m. Monday for publication on Friday of that week. Joint Forces Journal editorial policy is to use bylines and photo credits where applicable and when submitted.

Navy's Plan to Retire a Carrier Early Could Be Axed by New Bill

Jun 08, 2019
by Gina Harkins
Members of Congress are doubling down on the law requiring the Navy to operate 11 aircraft carriers after service leaders sought to send a flattop into early retirement.

Members of the House Armed Services Committee have drafted legislation that would bar the defense secretary from reducing the number of aircraft carriers below the previously set requirement of 11. Paying to refuel the carrier Harry S. Truman is "crucial to national security," they wrote.

"The committee continues to believe that the nation's pre-eminent power projection capability is embodied with the aircraft carrier strike group," the draft fiscal 2020 National Defense Authorization Bill states.

President Donald Trump is committed to keeping the Truman active for decades, Vice President Mike Pence told sailors in late April. That's despite the White House's 2020 budget including plans to retire the Truman decades early in lieu of paying to refuel the ship's nuclear reactor, which is typically done around the ship's midlife.

"As part of this budget request, we made the difficult decision to retire the Truman in lieu of its previously funded refueling complex overhaul that was schedule to occur in fiscal 2024," the Navy's 2020 budget documents state. Navy leaders planned to use the cost savings to pay for new capabilities, including unmanned vessels.

The House bill, if passed, will officially scrap that plan.

"No funding would go toward anything that would reduce the carrier force structure below the current statutory requirement of 11," House Armed Services Committee staff members told reporters.

The bill also proposes $17 million for the Navy to pay for the Truman's refueling and complex overhaul. Lawmakers are also suggesting that instead of retiring a carrier and dropping down to 10, the Navy build up to a 12-carrier fleet.

"The committee continues to support an expansion of the aircraft carrier force structure to obtain the Navy's requirement of 12 aircraft carriers," the bill states. That includes support for a two-carrier buy for the third and fourth in the Ford-carrier class, which Navy leaders say saves billions in taxpayer spending.

The Senate Armed Services Committee released its proposed budget plan last month. The two committees must agree on a compromised spending bill before it can be passed through Congress.

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Photo caption: The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) transits the Atlantic Ocean to her homeport of Norfolk, Va. Harry S. Truman was conducting training aircraft carrier qualifications off the coast of Florida. (U.S. Navy/Seaman Apprentice Leonard Adams)


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