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 2020 appropriations process.
Operational demands have continued to grow from our political leaders and Combatant Commanders, regardless of arbitrary budget restrictions like sequestration. Consistently working the fleet harder, with fewer resources, is insupportable over time. Three different independent studies showed that our Navy needs to grow to at least 355 ships. Fortunately Congress funded 13 new combat ships in Fiscal Year 2019, and the Navy announced plans for Service Life Extensions of many attack submarines and destroyers. A small fleet means each ship and crew works harder, because deployment requirements remain demanding and constant. We must not return to that reality with a smaller shipbuilding budget in FY20.
We support increasing the Navy budget, especially in shipbuilding. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has stated we need a shipbuilding budget of at least $26.7 billion/year to reach the 355-ship goal that the Chief of Naval Operations says we need.
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.
- Congressional Budget Office Analysis: Navy's FY2019 30-year shipbuilding plan
- Congressional Research Service: Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans
- Navy Fiscal Year 2019 Long-Range Shipbuilding Plan