jump to example.com

Sen. Warner presses Navy on carrier gap

U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner, Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, today pressed the Navy to explain how it plans for the deployment and maintenance of the U.S. aircraft carrier fleet.

As a result of the return of USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) to port in Norfolk, Va. in December, as well as maintenance delays on the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), there is currently no carrier present in the Middle East to support the fight against ISIS.

“In fact, in each of the past two years, there has been a gap in carrier coverage in the Middle East. The absence of an aircraft carrier not only harms our force projection capabilities and limits some of our military’s flexibility to quickly respond to any number of unforeseen events that may arise, it removes from the table an incredibly important asset in our ongoing fight against the Islamic State,”wrote Sen. Warner in a letter to Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson. “While I appreciate the Navy’s diligent work to mitigate the challenges associated with having fewer aircraft carriers than are legally and operationally required, I have several questions about how we can avoid similar strategic gaps in the future.”

Sen. Warner’s questions for the Navy were:

  • When did the Navy know it would have a gap in carrier coverage in the Persian Gulf, and how was that operational gap communicated to interested members of Congress?
  • While maintenance on the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) was scheduled for six months, it ultimately required 13 months to complete. Why was the Navy’s estimate of the time required for maintenance so far off the mark? What is the Navy doing to improve its forecasting of required maintenance down time?
  • Press reports suggest that delays at Norfolk Naval Shipyard contributed to the scheduling challenges with CVN 77, and that some of the scheduling challenges were due to lack of trained personnel. Was this a factor, and if so, what, if any, consideration did the Navy give to seeking help from other shipyards?
  • Does the Navy have a plan to address shipyard manpower and training issues to alleviate these reported personnel challenges? Are there statutory or fiscal issues Congress could address to help alleviate these issues?
  • Are there any other factors that contributed to the delays that occurred in CVN 77 being ready for deployment?
  • After the Navy became aware of the delays in CVN 77’s Planned Incremental Availability, did the Navy consider any plans to compress the pre-deployment training period so that the ship could embark in time to relieve CVN 69 as scheduled? What effects would compression have on the crew’s ability to carry out the mission? How were training decisions affected by, and how did they comport with, the Optimized Fleet Response Plan?
  • Is there an accelerated effort underway to close the current gap in carrier coverage created by these delays? If so, what costs does that impose upon the Navy?
  • How will operations in the combat theater be affected by the absence of a carrier?

A copy of the full letter is available here.

Maintaining the Navy’s fleet of 11 aircraft carriers, which are vital to projecting the country’s strength around the world, has been a bipartisan priority for Virginia’s congressional delegation. In 2014, when the 11-carrier fleet was in danger, the delegation successfully restored funding for the refueling and overhaul of the USS George Washington (CVN-73) after the Pentagon did not include it in its FY 2015 budget request.


College football TV schedule: Week 4

The following schedule is for college football games from Division I (FBS and FCS) for the dates of Sept. 21-24, 2017. Courtesy the National Football Foundation.

Skyline Drug Task Force touts new online tool to combat illicit drug sales

Law enforcement officials from across the region gathered in Waynesboro Thursday to talk up ReportADrugDealer.com, an online reporting tool being used to combat illicit drug sales.

Cliff Hyra: Libertarian reaches out to undecideds in Virginia governor race

Cliff Hyra, the Libertarian candidate for governor, was technically at Tuesday’s Virginia gubernatorial candidate debate.

Another new poll gives Northam big lead in Virginia governor race

One Virginia governor race poll released yesterday had Democrat Ralph Northam and Republican Ed Gillespie tied.

Poll: Trump unpopular in Virginia

President Donald Trump is well under water among Virginia voters, according to new poll results released by the University of Mary Washington.

The Petty Hearts bring Tom Petty tribute to Wayne Theatre on Sept. 22

Tom Petty tribute band The Petty Hearts are coming to the Wayne Theatre on Friday, Sept. 22.

Virginia Chili, Blues n' Brews Festival set for Saturday

The Virginia Chili, Blues n' Brews Festival will celebrate its 10th anniversary on Saturday in Downtown Waynesboro.

Events Calendar

Upcoming events in the Shenandoah Valley, Central Virginia and statewide from the Augusta Free Press Events Calendar. Don't see your event listed? Email augustafreepress2@gmail.com.

UVA alum Chris Long to donate first six NFL game checks to fund scholarships

The Chris Long Foundation announced today that Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long will donate his first six game checks of the 2017 NFL season to fund two scholarships in his hometown of Charlottesville.

Game Preview: VMI, Chattanooga look to get back on track on Saturday

VMI knew the 2017 football season was going to be a rebuilding year. Chattanooga, coming off a playoff appearance in 2016, had its usual high expectations.

Game Preview: UVA has a chance at Boise State

Vegas and the ESPN Power Index don’t give UVA much of a chance to win at Boise State on Friday night.

Street Knowledge with Chris Graham: First look at UVA-Boise State

Chris Graham and Scott German take a first look at the UVA-Boise State game set for Friday night.

Web Design, Marketing

Augusta Free Press LLC provides clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia and beyond with marketing and PR solutions including web design, TV/radio, social media and overall marketing campaign design and implementation.

Recent Posts
Your One-Stop Media Shop
Augusta Free Press LLC provides clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia and beyond with marketing and PR solutions including web design, magazine/brochure, TV/radio, social media and overall marketing campaign design and implementation.
  • Web Design

    You want a new website, but don’t have the first clue as to how to build one. That’s our job. We take care of all facets of web design – visual design, layout design and content development. Get your business online for as little as $1,299.
    Learn more about AFP Web Design services.
  • Graphic Design

    The staff at Augusta Free Press Publishing has been recognized by the Virginia Press Association for excellence in layout and design. Whether you need a fresh business card design, rack card, ad, flyer or full magazine design, we can help with all your graphic-design needs.
    Learn more about AFP Graphic Design services.
  • Marketing

    Augusta Free Press manages advertising campaigns for small- and medium-sized businesses across Virginia. You don’t need to hire a full-time marketing coordinator. Bring the experience of the Augusta Free Press team to work for you – for a fraction of the cost.
    Learn more about AFP Marketing services.