RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia’s senators want to make sure funding for a carrier replacement doesn’t go away.
Mark Warner and Tim Kaine have asked the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense to protect funding for a Carrier Replacement Program.
According to Warner and Kaine, if the Department of Defense is temporarily funded through a Continuing Resolution as expected, it will delay shipbuilding, jeopardize national security and threaten jobs in Hampton Roads.
The senators say the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier fleet is already stretched thin. Currently, the Navy is operating with a waiver to run with one less nuclear powered aircraft carrier than required by Congress.
“The current fleet of ten nuclear-powered aircraft carriers is being utilized at unprecedented rates because of a complex security environment and a delayed procurement of additional ships. This over-utilization is resulting in extended deployments, deferred maintenance, reduced operational availability, increased ownership costs and potentially shortened life spans for these strategic assets,” wrote Sens. Warner and Kaine in a letter to the leaders of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense. “Ensuring stable and adequate funding for the Carrier Replacement Program is one of the foremost steps Congress can take to allay the risks associated with the current shortfall in available aircraft carriers.”
The Department of Defense has requested nearly $1.4 billion to fund the Carrier Replacement Program.