Admiral: Cuts to impact reshaping Navy
Federal budget cuts that are “debilitating, sudden, steep” will hamper plans to reshape the Navy, the country's chief of naval operations said on Monday.
“We'll be smaller, but we have to be the best,” Adm. Jonathan Greenert, a Butler native, told a luncheon gathering in the Rivers Club, Downtown, sponsored by the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh.
The sequestration that began last week dealt the Navy an $11 billion blow, including about $4 billion from its operations budget for the six months remaining in the fiscal year. The Navy already had budget constraints because Congress froze Defense Department spending at 2012 levels without a spending bill.
In all, the cuts reduced the Navy's budget by about 20 percent, Greenert said.
“We need a spending bill,” he said, noting that would allow him to move money from Navy investment accounts to operations for the rest of 2013 and then focus on crafting ways to adjust spending in 2014 and beyond to accommodate smaller budgets.
Still, the Navy will add to its fleet of 286 ships, said Greenert, who took his post in September 2011 and serves on President Obama's Joint Chiefs of Staff. About 40 ships are under contract or under construction, he said.
Bigger plans involve refocusing the Navy's efforts on the Asia Pacific, including relocating home ports from the U.S. East Coast to the West Coast and reaffirming relationships with Korea, Japan, the Philippines and Singapore.
The Navy has 53 ships in the western Pacific Ocean and intends to increase that to about 60, Greenert said.
“We need to be out and about, around the world, where it matters,” he said. “And that's where it matters the most.”
The Navy needs to have access to strategic maritime crossroads, such as the straits of Hormuz and Malacca, Yokosuka and the Suez Canal, he said.
“It's all about the economy,” Greenert said. “If there's a problem at one of these places, it affects the whole world.”
But the Navy needs more operating money so that it can put ships there, he said.
“It's how many ships we have forward that matter most. ... It's about being where it matters, when it matters,” Greenert said. “We're not unready overnight, and we are not weak. But we need to get back in balance.”
Jason Cato is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7936 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Fitzgerald stacks legislative wins as Allegheny council members struggle
- $24M water filter project at Aspinwall treatment plant nears kickoff
- Transplant patients in limbo over coverage under UPMC-Highmark pact
- Bucar grilled by City Council, likely to win approval as public safety chief
- Revised anti-nepotism policy lets Allegheny County judges keep family in jobs
- Motive remains unclear in slaying of Kennedy Township man
- Newsmakers: Miriam Klein, Amy Kerr
- Army defends job cut notices to captains in Afghanistan
- 1 intruder killed, other shot and wounded in Carrick home invasion
- United States proposes tougher rules for moving crude oil, ethanol by rail
- Moon Area board reconfigures elementary buildings, votes again to close school and explore merging with Cornell