Adm. Mark Ferguson, Vice Chief of Naval Operations, offered a revealing look at the future of the Navy if budget cuts are approved.
The admiral gave the keynote address at the recent opening of the ONR (Office of Naval Research) Naval S&T (science and technology) Partnership Conference and ASNE Expo.
Speaking to a capacity crowd as keynote speaker, Ferguson said the Navy is already working hard to do more across the globe-with less resources. "The implications of trying to absorb a 9.4 percent cut on top of the significant reductions we've already done in fiscal year 2013 budgets, will have a very significant impact on the workforce, on the research and development (R&D) accounts-on everything," said Ferguson.
Without some sort of adjustment by Congress, currently the subject of discussion on Capitol Hill, the nearly 10 percent across-the-board Department of Defense budget cuts are slated to commence in 2013 and continue for 10 years.
The admiral stated he is personally hopeful lawmakers will moderate the cuts before they kick in, but noted that if no adjustments are made, the long-term as well as immediate effect on the Navy will be heavy.
"If you project out 10 years-remember the budget control act talks about 10 years of reductions- now you start talking about a fleet reduced to about 230-235 ships," he said. "Now you start talking about reduction of manpower commensurate with that. Now you start talking about the reduction of money going to warfare centers, to R&D efforts."