Navy to Contemplate Changing Minimum Ship Requirement
The Navy is preparing a force structure study over the next several months that will be based on the new strategic guidance the Pentagon released in January, Adm. John Harvey, commander of Fleet Forces Command, told reporters Tuesday.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert has “a strategic view now from the commander in chief. He’s got a budget that is coming from the Congress. Okay, let’s figure out what kind of Navy matches those two together and here is what we’ll come up with,” Harvey said, reported CQ Today.
The study likely will recommend a lower minimum fleet size than the current threshold of 313 ships. The Navy currently has fewer than 290 ships.
During last week’s preview of DOD’s fiscal 2013 budget request, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the Navy would reduce the number of ships by slowing the pace of building new ones and accelerating the retirement of existing ships. He called for retiring seven cruisers and two amphibious ships earlier than planned, while pushing back production of a large-deck amphibious ship and two smaller amphibious ships, and eliminating construction of two littoral combat ships.