The Navy League of the United States is concerned about new shipbuilding construction proposed in the FY 2003 DOD Budget. The Navy League appreciates that there are though choices involved in the budget and supports the Navy’s decisions to recapitalize its force by funding operations and management and other critical areas. However, only half the ships the Navy needs are slated for construction. The Navy League and other national security organizations have been advocating a shipbuilding rate of at least 10 to 12 ships per year.
The funding of 5 ships is not only inconsistent with what the Navy has said is necessary to maintain a 300-ship fleet but is contrary to the 360 ship fleet the Navy League believes is necessary to meet the national security needs of our Nation and maintain a productive industrial base.
Navy League President
Timothy Fanning said, “this news of only 5 ships being funded is disappointing to our leadership, particularly when the Nation is at war and is most vulnerable. Our best defense is a good offense, which means that we must engage terrorists before they reach our shores. The sea services have the ability to do this by projecting power from the sea. They need the best equipment and weapons to fight our enemies and defeat them. The Navy should not be forced to choose between spare parts and new ships. They need them both.”