|Targeted News Service|
Shrunken but stable
"Forward presence is our mandate. We operate forward to give the president the options to deal promptly with contingencies," Greenert told the panel, directing their attention to small charts he gave them showing the global distribution of deployed ships, bases and support areas.
"Our efforts are focused in the
Over the past year, the
"The 2014 budget will enable an acceptable forward presence. Through the remainder of the year we'll be able to restore a lot of our fleet training and our maintenance and our operations, and we'll recover a substantial part of the 2013 backlog that we've talked about quite a bit in this room," Greenert told the senators.
"The president's 2015 budget submission enables us to continue to execute these missions, but we're going to face some high risk in specific missions articulated in the defense strategic guidance," he added.
The CNO said the
To prepare the
-- Provide a sea-based strategic deterrent;
-- Maintain a forward presence;
-- Maintain the capability and capacity to win decisively;
-- Maintain the readiness to support the above;
-- Maintain and bring in asymmetric capabilities and maintain a technological edge; and
-- Sustain a relevant industrial base.
"Using these priorities, we built a balanced portfolio of capabilities within the fiscal guidance we were provided," the admiral said. "We continue to maximize our presence in the
As a result, "we face higher risk if confronted with a high-tech adversary or if we attempt to conduct more than one multiphase major contingency simultaneously," he added.
"As I testified before you in September," he told the committee chairman, "I'm troubled by the prospect of reverting to the Budget Control Act revised caps in 2016. That would lead to a
Greenert said such a
"It limits our options and the nation's decision space, and we would be compelled to inactivate an aircraft carrier and an air wing, he said. "Further, our modernization and our recapitalization would be dramatically reduced, and that threatens our readiness and our industrial base."
If the nation reverts to the Budget Control Act caps, Greenert added, "year by year it will leave our country less prepared to deal with crises, our allies' trust will wane, and our enemies will be less inclined to be dissuaded or to be deterred."
In his remarks to the panel, Amos said the
"This is why I share the CNO's concerns about the impacts associated with the marked paucity of shipbuilding funds," he said.
America's engagement throughout the future security environment of the next two decades will be undoubtedly naval in character, the
"Expeditionary naval forces are America's insurance policy. We're a hedge against uncertainty in an unpredictable world," the commandant said. "
If the nation is saddled with the full eight years of sequestration, Amos said, the
"When we built that force, we started almost a year ago today, and we looked forward expecting sequestration would be signed in March of this past year. So that force of 175,000, with 21 infantry battalions and the appropriate rest of the combat service support, is a fully sequestered force that will maintain itself out into the future," Amos explained.
To maintain the near-term readiness now of those deployed units and those that are about to deploy, he said, Amos said, he reached into operations and maintenance accounts within his authorities and canceled 17 programs.
"I'll be able to do that for probably another two years," he added. "But the 36th commandant will reach a point, probably two years from now, where he's going to have to take a look at that readiness level and say, 'I'm going to have to lower that so I can get back into these facilities [and] my training ranges that I can't ignore, and the modernization.'"
Otherwise, Amos said, "we'll end up with an old
In his remarks to the
The decommissioning of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington would be an issue, Mabus said. "Three destroyers, one submarine, four support ships, and one afloat forward-staging base that we are currently planning to build -- we could not build at those levels," He said.
One of the perverse things that happens with sequestration, Mabus said, is that as the
In response to a question about whether there is an area he considers a special problem area, the secretary cited fair compensation for service members and what he called the unique characteristic that the
"We -- the CNO, the commandant and I -- are working very hard to protect that presence ... with sailors and Marines on those ships to give options to this country," he said.
American Forces Press Service
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