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Published On: Wed, Feb 8th, 2017

Adm William Moran warns that most of Navy aircraft cannot fly, discusses financial crisis of the military

Adm. William Moran warned Congress Monday of the dire condition of the Navy’s aircraft, confirming that more than 60 percent of Navy and Marine Corps strike fighters are out of service.

Moran testified to the House Committee on Armed Services during a hearing on military readiness. He was joined by the vice chiefs of staff from the Marine Corps, Air Force and Army. Federal defense spending caps resulting from former President Obama’s Budget Control Act of 2011, sequestration, were found to be a major reason all the services were suffering from a severe lack of readiness.

“For a variety of reasons, our shipyards and aviation depots are struggling to get our ships and airplanes through maintenance periods on time,” said Moran in his statement. “In turn, these delays directly impact the time sailors have to train and hone their skills prior to deployment.”

Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) raise the First Navy Jack (Don’t Tread on Me), Yokosuka, Japan (Dec. 23, 2001). US Navy Photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class David A. Levy

“We would be just flat out out of money to be able to do that. I think everyone here knows in ’17 the Navy took a $5-billion cut in its topline, if that comes to fruition that’s $2 billion of readiness cuts we’re going to have to take, which is immediately applied to things like ship avails.”

Five attack submarines would see their maintenance availabilities canceled this year and be put at risk of being decertified if no supplemental were passed out of Congress, Moran added.

Breaking Defense updated the figures, publishing that “More than 60 percent of Navy and Marine Corps strike fighters are out of service, the Navy confirmed today (Tuesday). While 62 percent of fighters are effectively grounded, the overall figure for all naval aircraft is 53 percent. [UPDATE: With some of the oldest fighter jets in service, Marine Corps figures are even worse: In December, 74 percent of Marine F-18 Hornets were not ready for combat — 208 of 280 aircraft…”

Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt began the second hour of his radio show in the topic, listen to the Moran audio below.

For example, legislators have asked the Congressional Budget Office to study alternative spending plans to build a 355-ship Navy over 15, 20, 25, or 30 years. Congress has failed for the ninth straight year to produce a budget before the Oct. 1 start of fiscal 2017, reverting to continuing resolutions that keep money flowing at prior year levels.

 

 

photo Gerd Altmann via Pixabay

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- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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