Norfolk, Va. – Navy Secretary Ray Mabus sent a letter to all Navy and Marine Corps personnel today detailing the first round of immediate cuts the service will implement now that the budget sequester has started. Click here to view the enter letter.
Many of the cuts will impact Hampton Roads. Among them:
- Several previously announced cuts will remain in effect. They include the delayed mid-life refueling and maintenance of the USS Abraham Lincoln, the halt in repairs to the damaged submarine USS Miami and the damaged destroyer USS Porter and the delay in the next deployment for the carrier USS Harry S. Truman.
- The just-arrived USNS Comfort and her supporting ships and personnel will not be deploying to Central and South America this year.
- Carrier Air Wing Two will shut down in April, this will initiate the preparations to gradually stand-down flying in at least three additional air wings with two more air wings being reduced to minimum safe flying levels by the end of the year.
- The deployments of six unnamed ships that were planned for April will be canceled or delayed
- The service will start modifying contracts for yet-to-be built Virginia-Class submarines, nuclear reactor power units and Joint High Speed Vessel 10.
- March introductory flight training for future pilots has been cancelled.
- The civilian hiring freeze, the planning for civilian furloughs, and the reduction of all training not related to the readiness of deployed or next-to-deploy forces will continue.
“Navy department leadership understands the uncertainty that these and other decisions create both amongst our people and in the defense industry upon which we rely,” wrote Mabus.
“The lack of a legislative solution to avoid sequestration is deeply regrettable. That said, we must endeavor to deal with the situation as we face it, not as we wish it could otherwise be. We will continue to keep the safety and well-being of our people foremost in mind, even as we try hard to keep whole the force structure which supports them. We will also continue to keep the fleet and fleet marine force fully informed as follow-on decisions are made.”