Defense

September 11, 2013

Future Navy ops like Syria at risk by budget cuts

Lolita C. Baldor
Associated Press

American warships in the eastern Mediterranean Sea remain ready to strike Syria if ordered, but impending cuts in the defense budget will make that kind of operation far more difficult in the years to come, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said Sept. 11.

Mabus said that even now fewer ships are going to sea, fewer Navy pilots are flying and fewer Marines are training because of the automatic, across-the-board cuts that would slash more than $50 billion from the 2014 defense budget and $500 billion over 10 years. And he warned that if those reductions continue, the military response could be compromised in future crises like Syria.

Whatever course of action our nation decides to take on Syria, I do know this: The maritime options are flexible and they are significant and they are swift and they are sovereign,î Mabus told an audience at the National Defense University. ìBut unless we act to address the damage of continuing resolutions and sequestration, they are options which may be limited or just not available in the future.

His comments came on the heels of President Barack Obamaís order Tuesday that the military must maintain its presence in the Mediterranean to keep pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad and to be ready to strike if needed. The military decision is in conjunction with efforts to forge a diplomatic solution that includes putting Syriaís chemical weapons under international control.

The two-pronged U.S. strategy is aimed at deterring Syriaís use of chemical weapons on its own people. The administration says that a chemical weapons attack launched by the Assad regime in the suburbs of Damascus last month killed more than 1,400 civilians, including at least 400 children.

The Navy presence currently includes four warships armed with dozens of Tomahawk missiles, a Navy amphibious assault ship carrying Marines and two aircraft carrier strike groups ó numbering as many as 10 ships ó in the broader region.

While the Navy has routinely kept warships in the Mediterranean, including as part of an effort to provide missile defense for allies and U.S. interests in the area. But, budget restrictions have already forced the military to cut the number of aircraft carriers permanently in the region to one. The second one is only there temporarily because of the tensions in Syria.

Mabus said Wednesday that the persistent Navy presence in the Mediterranean gave Obama the flexibility to have forces ready quickly to launch strikes without having to move troops and ships in from distant bases. That flexibility, he said, ìwill almost certainly be compromised and diminishedî as the budget cuts continue.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

Smart-mortar will help Soldiers more effectively hit targets

Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez Nick Baldwin and Evan Young, researchers with the Armament Research Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal, Pennsylvania, discuss the 120mm Guided Enhanced Fragmentation Mortar ...
 
 

Air Force assigns new chief scientist

The Air Force announced the service’s new chief scientist to serve as a science and technology adviser to the secretary of the Air Force and the chief of staff of the Air Force, May 21. Dr. Greg Zacharias will be the 35th chief scientist and is ready to “dive in” to his new role. “I...
 
 

TSgt promotion release delayed to allow system validation

Technical sergeant promotion selection results, originally scheduled for release May 28, will be delayed to enable the Air Force to continue to validate extensive system changes to the Weighted Airman Promotion System, officials announced. The 15E6 technical sergeant promotion cycle is the first to incorporate recent changes in the enlisted evaluation and promotion system. Recent...
 

 

Freedom completes rough water trials

The littoral combat ship USS Freedom completed Seakeeping and Structural Loads Trials, commonly referred to as Rough Water Trials in late March the Navy reported May 21. The U.S. Navy must demonstrate the seaworthiness and structural integrity of each new ship class. One of the primary ways the Navy verifies these qualities is through a...
 
 

Air Force releases Strategic Master Plan

The Air Force officially released the Strategic Master Plan May 21, which is the latest in a series of strategic documents designed to guide the organizing, training and equipping of the force over the coming decades. The SMP builds on the strategic imperatives and vectors described in the capstone document, America’s Air Force: A Call...
 
 

HYT extension possible for SrA-MSgt in 35 career fields

Eligible senior airmen, staff sergeants, technical sergeants and master sergeants in 35 Air Force specialties will be able to apply for a high year of tenure extension and, if approved, will be able to extend between 12 and 24 months past their current HYT. The Air Force is introducing several personnel and manpower initiatives to...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>