The Navy's 2016 Force Structure Assessment shows a need for a fleet of 355 ships. Operations and maintenance money, badly needed to deploy and repair ships and train sailors, also must be funded adequately as the fleet grows. These investments are crucial and must be fully funded in the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY2019) appropriations.
Operational demands have continued to grow regardless of arbitrary budget restrictions like sequestration. Consistently working the fleet harder, with fewer resources, is insupportable over time. This budget does not go far enough to grow the fleet. Three different independent studies showed that our Navy needs to grow to at least 355 ships--and to get there, we need to fund at least 13 new deployable battleforce ships for FY2019. This budget could undo all the investments in readiness made in this budget request: a small fleet means each ship and crew works harder, because deployment requirements remain demanding and constant.
We support increasing the Navy budget, especially in shipbuilding. The Congressional Budget Office has stated we need a shipbuilding budget of at least $26.6 billion/year to reach the 355-ship goal that the Chief of Naval Operations says we need. As Members of Congress consider funding for FY2019 it is imperative that they fully fund both readiness and ship procurement.
Why you should take action
Tell your member of Congress that you care about the Navy's readiness, and want Congress to ensure it has the resources and strength to execute its mission safely and effectively.