FW: Bipartisan Virginia Delegation Expresses Support for 11 Aircraft Carrier Fleet

Randy Forbes
2015-01-22 08:49:46

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Friend –

Joined the Virginia delegation in sending a
As Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower & Projection Forces, I will remain an untiring advocate for a robust carrier Fleet and a strong U.S. Navy.

Yours in service,

Randy


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From: Va Delegation;
Sent: Wednesday, January 21, 2015 9:42 AM
To: Forbes, Randy;
Subject: BIPARTISAN VIRGINIA DELEGATION EXPRESSES SUPPORT FOR 11 AIRCRAFT CARRIER FLEET
                  
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 21, 2015

BIPARTISAN VIRGINIA DELEGATION EXPRESSES SUPPORT FOR 11 AIRCRAFT CARRIER FLEET

WASHINGTON, D.C.Today, U.S. Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner and U.S. Representatives Bob Goodlatte, Bobby Scott, Randy Forbes, Rob Wittman, Gerry Connolly, Morgan Griffith, Robert Hurt, Scott Rigell, Dave Brat, Don Beyer, and Barbara Comstock wrote a letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel expressing their continued support for the 11 aircraft carrier fleet in advance of the release of the President’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget proposal.

In 2014, the House and Senate Armed Services Committee secured full Fiscal Year 2015 funding for the refueling and overhaul of the USS George Washington (CVN-73). In making the case for maintaining the 11 aircraft carrier fleet beyond 2015, Virginia delegation members cited the ability of aircraft carriers to respond rapidly throughout the world to military and humanitarian crises.

“The deployment of our carrier fleet to numerous conflict zones across the globe last year further demonstrates why we must continue to invest in this critical capability to ensure future military capacity and flexibility,” the Virginia delegation members wrote. “Most recently, the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77) was critical in responding with strikes against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and later assisted humanitarian relief efforts on Mt. Sinjar…Whether in the Asia-Pacific region or responding to continued strife in the Middle East, our national leaders and combatant commanders require carriers to meet the threats in today’s world.”

Delegation members concluded by noting the uncertainty and budgetary constraints imposed by sequestration, and committed to working tirelessly in a bipartisan manner to reduce its harmful impacts.


Full text of the letter is below: 


The Honorable Chuck Hagel
Secretary of Defense
Office of the Secretary of Defense
1000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 20301

 
Dear Secretary Hagel,

We write to you regarding the President’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget, and to express continued support for the 11 aircraft carrier fleet, consistent with the statutory mandate and national security requirements.

The Fiscal Year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act and Fiscal Year 2015 Omnibus Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act fully funded the USS George Washington (CVN 73) refueling and complex overhaul, imparting a strong signal of congressional intent to maintain the statutory requirement of an 11 aircraft carrier fleet.  We applaud the Department of Defense for taking the initial steps to maintain the 11 aircraft carrier fleet beyond 2015 through funding of the refuel and complex overhaul of the USS George Washington (CVN 73).  As Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus stated in October 2011, “There's a law that we got to have 11 carriers. It's like gravity - it's not just a good idea, it's the law.”

Aircraft carriers continue to be the “flexible force,” and the most proven way for our Armed Forces to respond rapidly throughout the world to military and humanitarian crises.  Carriers are the centerpieces of both defense and diplomatic policy, allowing the free flow of trade as well as a visible demonstration of force around the globe.  The deployment of our carrier fleet to numerous conflict zones across the globe last year further demonstrates why we must continue to invest in this critical capability to ensure future military capacity and flexibility.  Most recently, the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77) was critical in responding with strikes against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and later assisted humanitarian relief efforts on Mt. Sinjar.  When North Korea again threatened its neighbors in July by launching missiles, the USS George Washington (CVN 73) responded to deter any further escalation. As China continues to build a modern and regionally powerful Navy, maintaining an 11 carrier fleet is a vital aspect to our Asia-Pacific strategy. Whether in the Asia-Pacific region or responding to continued strife in the Middle East, our national leaders and combatant commanders require carriers to meet the threats in today’s world.

We understand the uncertainty and constraints imposed by sequestration, and will work tirelessly in a bipartisan manner to reduce its harmful impacts.   Thank you for your consideration and we look forward to working closely with you on this matter.

Sincerely,

 

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