VCNO: Navy Will Be “Flat Out Of Money” Without Supplemental Funding

By Capt Joseph R. John, February 14, 2017: Op Ed # 336


The Obama administration sliced the Pentagon budget by 52% over 8 years, putting the security of the Republic and American lives at risk.  A reduced budget imposed upon the US Navy in 2009 began the decline in the US Navy’s strength.  Then the Budget Control Act of 2011 further weakened the US Navy.  The passage of Obama’s Sequestration in 2012 by Republican and Democrat leaders in Congress, gutted the US Navy.  Sequestration could never have diminished the size of Navy’s Fleet to the pre-World War I number of ships, if Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress hadn’t cooperated very closely with Obama to retain the sequestration policy, each year, every year, for 5 years. 


Obama appointee holdovers in government are seriously and negatively affecting the readiness of the US Navy and hampering the execution of Naval Special Operations.  Obama holdovers are still filling appointed positions in the Pentagon, hampering the Chief of Naval Operations’ efforts to strengthen the US Navy.  There are 160 Obama appointee holdovers on the National Security Council affecting military  operations.  There are a handful of Obama appointee holdovers at the CIA who were groomed to oppose President Trump by John Brennan and Mike Morell (they both repeatedly lied about Benghazi).  There are Obama holdovers in NSA, DHS, EPA, and the FBI, including some members of the Muslim Brotherhood, CAIR, ISNA, MAS, etc., who are opposing President Trump.   The 9 personnel who criminally released the content of General Mike Flynn’s telephone conversations with the Russian Ambassador to the press were Obama holdovers.


Obama’s destructive budget policy resulted in the accelerated erosion in readiness, fleet maintenance, and “combat effectiveness” of the US Navy’s surface, submarine, and air forces.  The below listed destructive policies, imposed on the US Armed Forces by the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, USN (Ret), and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus contributed to the erosion of the strength, morale, and “combat readiness” of the US Navy.

Admiral Mike Mullen, USN, force fed the social experiment on diversity into the US Navy that degraded unit morale, unit cohesion, and “combat effectiveness;” withheld information from Congress that 3 rescue missions by (1) a Marine Corps Fast Team 3 hours away, (2) the USS Stennis Carrier Battle Group 6 hours away, and (3) two armed F-16Cs 3 hours away from Benghazi were prevented from launching to save American lives; imposed new dangerous rules of engagement on the US Navy and US Marine Corps that increased their combat casualties in Afghanistan; and did not terminate the restriction imposed on Navy Chaplains preventing them from reading their Cardinals’ letters on Sundays from the pulpit to their parishioners (a violation of the Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech clauses).


The most inept Secretary of the Navy in US history, Ray Mabus, ordered the implementation of Admiral Mullen’s above listed destructive policies on the US Navy.  Mabus approved the reduction in the number of ships in the Fleet

to fewer ships than the Navy had prior to 1913.  Mabus presided over the firing of many senior and Flag officers who were viewed as not being “politically correct,” and replaced them with newly selected senior and Flag officers who met specific “politically correct” selection criteria; and he directed newly promoted Flag officers to drive “politically correct” destructive policies into the US Navy.   For the first time in 240 years, Mabus named newly commissioned US naval ships for extremely liberal, progressive, and gay individuals with no military service, instead of naming those ships for the deceased, highly decorated, and/or heroic U S military personnel the Navy had always named its ships after.  


The current Situation Report on the US Navy was presented in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee by Vice Chief of Naval Operations Admiral William Moran, USN, in the below listed article. Admiral Moran said “Our long-term readiness continues its insidious decline,” and “the Navy will be flat out of money” without supplementary funding.  


He argued that financial constraints have eroded military readiness.  The Navy’s reduced budget was only part of the problem; the Navy’s operations tempo over the last 15 years, in support of overseas conflicts, has been very hard on the wear and tear of ships, aircraft, and submarines.  Because of budget reductions, aircraft, ships, and submarines have been unable to train at sea, or obtain needed shipyard repairs, contributing negatively toward the Navy’s “combat effectiveness.”  


From 1981 to1988, President Ronald Reagan increased the number of ships in the US Navy fleet to 566 ships, which included 15 carrier battle groups, 4 battleship surface action groups, 100 attack submarines, 35 ballistic missile submarines, and 412 other ships.


The Obama administration reduced the carrier force to 10 ships, reduced the submarine force to 58 attack submarines and 14 ballistic missile submarines, and reduced the remaining ships of the fleet to 192 ships.  Many of the carriers, submarines, and ships are stuck in port, because the US Navy hasn’t been able to cover the cost of repairs for ships requiring shipyard availability and because of the lack of spare parts.  The Navy hasn’t been able to purchase billions of dollars in spare parts for its aircraft, submarines, and ships, making some of their operations too hazardous for Naval personnel to man and operate.


For 8 years, China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran have been involved in a massive ship building and modernizing program for their fleets; collectively, they have 231 submarines and 371 combatants surface ships.


The US Navy’s has fewer ships in the fleet today than it had in 1913, prior to WWI, and the Navy has been prevented from funding a ship building program to keep up with China, Russia, and Iran’s fleet expansions because of the reduced DOD budget.  To meet minimum requirements, 350 US Navy ships are required in the fleet.  Normally, 1/3 of the fleet is scheduled for shipyard availability, 1/3 of the ships are scheduled for post deployment R&R and underway training, and 1/3 of the fleet are deployable.  Today’s fleet has 91 deployable ships; President Reagan’s Navy had 189 deployable ships.


For 15 years the wear and tear on the Navy-Marine Corps fighter aircraft dramatically reduced the number of operational aircraft; their numbers are in a “death spiral.”  The only long-term solution would be to acquire both F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter faster than the current procurement schedule.   Sixty percent of the Navy’s front line combat jet fighter, the F/A-18 Hornet, have been grounded and are unfit to fly because of maintenance issues and lack of spare parts.  The attrition in the number of aircraft and consumption of spare parts is outpacing procurement.  The Obama administration cancelled 175 strike fighters from procurement; that has to be turned around to meet high-end threats like SA-300/400s (advanced Russian anti-aircraft missiles), and the aircraft Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran operate.


Only 439 out of 1,065 US Marine Corps aircraft, are flyable because the aircraft are worn out, are affected by heavy maintenance issues, and lack the funding for spare parts.  Almost three quartersof the Marine Corps’ F-18 Hornets– some of the oldest in service – are overused and under-maintained; they are wearing out.   Because of lack of funding for fuel, spare parts, and maintenance, and because required monthly pilot flight training has been severely restricted, pilot flight proficiency and qualification have been degraded.


For 8 years, the US Navy hasn’t been able to afford the purchase of billions of dollars in spare parts for its aircraft, submarines, and ships, making their operations, in many cases, too hazardous for the Naval personnel who operate them, to permit them to continue operations.  The result has been a dramatic reduction in the available number of deployable platforms.


The Vice Chief of Naval Operations pleaded with lawmakers to repeal sequestration legislation, because it continues to negatively affect readiness and “combat effectiveness” of the fleet.   Sequestration has been limiting defense spending, and has been limiting procurement, every year, for 5 years.  Admiral Moran has been arguing that fiscal constraints over the past 8 years is crippling the Navy’s capability to effectively respond to multiple threats.


While the Navy’s strength was being hollowed out, Obama refused to let the Navy defend the nation’s right to “Freedom of Navigation.” Obama prevented US naval warships from performing the same standard naval mission in the South China Sea that it previously performed for 70 years.  From 2012 to 2016, while China was in the process of militarizing Scarborough Shoals in the Spratly chain of reefs in the South China Sea, US naval warships were prevented from sailing near the Shoals.  During that 4 year period, China was constructing airfields and missile sites on land it reclaimed from the sea bottom.  China has since claimed the Scarborough Shoals as its sovereign territory in violation of international law.   


Naval Special Warfare Operations have been compromised by Obama personnel holdovers.  On January 29th, SEAL Team SIX led a counterterrorist operation against Al Q’ieda in Yemen, in order to gather intelligence and terminate cell leaders.  SOC William “Ryan” Owens, USN (SEAL), was lost in the operation, which turned into a preplanned ambush.  Al Q’ieda received details, including timing, in advance of the operation.  Intense fire, which came from pre-established positions circumventing the targeted buildings, was poured into the SEALs upon landing. 


Following the raid, Abid, Imran, and Jamal Awan, three Muslims brothers from Pakistan hired by the Obama administration at a salary of $160,000/year (one brother was only 22 years old) were abruptly fired by the Trump administration.  They were hired by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, operating as a Fifth Column entity in the US government, to manage Top Secret IT communications for 50 Democrat Congressional House leaders and Democrat Congressmen on the House Permanent Select Intelligence and Foreign Affairs Committees. The brothers were accused of funneling Top Secret messages to outside servers; they were also accused of stealing classified equipment.


The Awan brothers also managed IT transmission of Top Secret information on Congress members Debbie Schultz (D-FL), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Andre Carson (D-IN) and 47 other Democrat congressmen’s computers.  They had access to Top Secret communications for Democratic Congressional members of the Intelligence and Foreign Affairs Committee, who receive advance details on planned Top Secret Special Operations, including advance details of the January 29th Counterterrorism Operation in Yemen by SEAL Team SIX, where the SEALs were ambushed by Al Q’ieda terrorists.


The hiring and retention of three Muslim brothers from Pakistan by the Obama administration and by Democrats in Congress, and holding them over, compromised a counterterrorist operation, inflicted serious casualties on US Navy SEALs, and compromised the national security of the United States.


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