NISRIC Navy Day – Notes by Jim Taylor
RADM (ret) Joe Carnevale did another outstanding job translation the data base of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) into a picture the average taxpayer can understand. The most disturbing piece of information was the fact that all the money the federal government took in from all sources in 2013 was barely enough to pay the entitlement bills for the year (Social Security, Medicare and Medicade being the big items). That means the all the rest of government bills, defense and all other departments, were paid for with borrowed money (deficit money). This helps us understand the tremendous pressure on the future defense budgets and our industry. The defense maintenance budget is only funded to 80% and Navy is moving to stand down 11 0f 22 cruisers, 4 of them in 2015 and inactivate 12 surface ships including all 7 reserve frigates to help cover the funding shortfall.
CNO reminded us that 70% of the world’s surface is water, 80% of the world’s people live within 100 miles of the coast, 90% of the global trade travel by wage,r and over 90% of the world’s communications between continents travels on cables under the sea. These facts highlight the importance of having a dominant Navy to protect our national interests. We operate forward with 92 of our 288 ships deployed today. We are in the process of building the next generation of Navy ships and modernizing our most capable combatants but the budget challenges are great.
From left to right: Joe Koreis, Mark Kipps, Ed Zajonc,
Congressman Derek Kilmer, Greg Bryant, Gene Kegley, Carla Newell
RADM Rowden, the Surface Warfare Sponsor on the CNO’s staff, discussed the strategy for our surface combatants. We plan to”make the things we have today work “build to the future and “support rebalance to the Pacific. It is all about Warfighting First. Our future ships must embrace flexible designs and technology enabled effective upgrades to achieve our goals in this funding environment.
On the hill crawl: Gene Kegley, Carla Newell, Greg Bryant, Jeff Bjornstad, Ed Zajonc (Mark Kipps photographing). In addition to Congressman Kilmer’s office our group visited Senators Murray and Cantwell, Congressman Smith, and Congressman Larsen.
The threat they all acknowledge, is the drastic impact to future budgets if we experience sequestration again. There is no approach that will keep the Navy from shrinking dramatically if that happens. Each of us needs to be vocal with our politicians on supporting our Navy. Your PSSRA board is doing our part in concert with the other Ship repair Associations.
Notes by Jim Taylor, RDML (ret)