Budget cuts may put the US at the risk of losing one of its aircraft carriers, the USS George Washington. According to the Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert, the budget cuts would limit the Navy’s ability to refuel the ship, leaving it unusable. The aircraft carrier takes great deal of manpower and funding to defuel its nuclear capability and then refuel it.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert told lawmakers Wednesday that the Navy would need a 450-ship fleet in order to meet the global needs of combatant commanders.
“For us to meet what combatant commanders request, we need a Navy of 450 ships,” he told the House Armed Services Committee.
Officially, the Navy’s position is to achieve a 306-ship fleet by the end of the decade, service officials said. At the moment there are 289 ships in the Navy, according to service officials who said the number reflects a new method of counting ships.
The new counting method, based on what the Navy calls a global force allocation management plan, adds hospital ships and forward-positioned patrol craft to the ship-counting methodology. In addition, the new counting procedure only counts forward-deployed mine countermeasure ships and does not count those that are not deployed.
As a result of the new ship-counting method, the Navy’s current ship total jumps from 284 to 289.