Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee
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"The tankers, bombers, and airlift programs that fall under the “projection forces” side of our panel’s oversight serve as the backbone of our nation’s ability to bring and sustain the power that preserves our nation’s interests around the world. As we know all too well, however, these important aircraft all share the common enemy of age. The tankers and bombers in service today are largely legacy aircraft. These aircraft, in most cases, are much older than the airmen and women who fly and service them. That is why it will be critical that we ensure that the 2018 budget properly invests in the refueling, mobility, maritime patrol and long-range strike programs under our purview."
“Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We are joined today by three distinguished witnesses to discuss the fiscal year 2018 budget request for the Department of the Navy and Marine Corps. Before we get into the substance of the hearing, I think it is important to remember the context in which we are considering the budget request submitted yesterday. In December of last year, the Navy under President Obama and Secretary Mabus released an updated Force Structure Assessment (FSA) that laid out a requirement for increasing the fleet from 308 ships to 355. Among other factors, the FSA noted that increased operations, lengthened deployments, and changing conditions around the globe necessitated the boost. Then, in the early days of the Trump Administration, the Navy submitted an accelerated fleet plan that, in the words of Acting Navy Secretary Sean Stackley, “offers a first step towards a framework to develop strategic guidance and identify the investments needed to reinvigorate our naval forces.” That plan identified 29 additional ships that the Navy found could be accelerated in support of the larger fleet identified in the FSA."
May 23, 2017 Press Release
“The 2018 budget released today begs the question: where is the Navy build up?” said Courtney. “We have a new Force Structure Assessment calling for 355 ships released last year that was the result of a lengthy analysis on the future needs of the fleet conducted by the previous administration. We have an accelerated shipbuilding plan prepared by the Navy in the early days of the new administration that found that 29 ships could be added to the shipbuilding plan over the next few years beginning in 2018. And, just last week, the Chief of Naval Operations released a white paper underscoring the urgent need to get moving on the larger fleet."
“Ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea is critical for our national security,” said Courtney. “Given the increasing challenges we are seeing around the globe in excess maritime claims that threaten stability and commerce on the seas, the lack of US ratification of UNCLOS leaves us without a seat at the table when key decisions and rulings are made. I will continue to urge my colleagues in the Senate to ratify the convention and address our most obvious maritime double standard.”
"Since the cancellation of the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle in 2011, the Navy and Marine Corps have wrestled with what the right distance is for the Marines to disembark the ship and what type of vehicle that should be in. This is not an easy debate and is one I am sure we will talk more about today. However, there is more to this than just what distance an amphibious ships should launch its vehicles from or what type of vehicles those should be. Our military is a joint force and will always operate that way in any contingency, so we need to be talking about how to fully integrate our amphibious forces and ensure they are leveraging the technologies that are other forces are relying on. "
May 3, 2017 Press Release
“While this should have been completed last year, I am pleased that members from both sides of the aisle finally came together to pass a fair and bipartisan spending bill to close out the fiscal year,” said Courtney. “Our military leaders and industry have been clamoring for the budget certainty they need to move forward on a wide range of programs and priorities. This could have been finalized months ago, and it is my hope thebipartisan framework passed today can serve as a model for avoiding similar delays on the 2018 budget. As ranking member of the Seapower subcommittee, I am pleased that this measure reflects many of the priorities I have worked on including robust investment in our undersea forces. I am proud to have fought for key investments in programs important to Connecticut that will contribute to our state’s growing manufacturing resurgence and our nation’s security.”
At an event hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the U.S. Naval Institute, Courtney discusses his concerns with submarine readiness and maintenance challenges. Read more from the US Naval Institute.
May 1, 2017 Press Release
“The Coast Guard occupies a special place in eastern Connecticut and our region is proud to be the future home of the National Coast Guard Museum,” said Courtney. “With nationwide fundraising efforts already underway to design and build the new museum, I am committed to ensuring that Congress do all it can to support this worthy project. I commend Senator Murphy for playing the pivotal role in securing this funding through his work on the Senate Appropriations Committee. This is a huge boost to the national effort to create the long overdue museum, and sends a powerful signal that this effort has strong backing of the Congress, the federal government and the Coast Guard.”
April 24, 2017 Press Release
“The trip was a great opportunity to learn more about naval facilities and partnering shipyards on the west coast and to meet the captain, officers, and crew aboard the USS Connecticut which is 1 of only 3 Seawolf-class submarines ever built,” said Courtney. “Being one of the only Seawolf submarines, the Connecticut has special features including faster speed, deeper diving ability, and greater firepower than any other attack submarine in our fleet. It had been a while since Connecticut’s namesake ship had a visitor from the state so I brought them a few special treats including Connecticut shaped chocolate bars from our own Munson's Chocolates, a pennant from the University of Connecticut, and a basketball signed by Geno Auriemma and the record-setting 2017 UConn women’s basketball team. It was great visiting with Commander Brian Taddiken of the USS Connecticut and his crewmembers, many of whom hail from Connecticut and have served at the Groton SUBASE."
April 7, 2017 In The News
If a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step, then the drive towards a larger Navy starts with last year’s updated Force Structure Assessment – the shipbuilding plan of the future.