Congresswoman Elaine Luria challenges Navy leaders

Elaine LuriaCongresswoman Elaine Luria (VA-02), a Navy veteran who retired at the rank of Commander, questioned top Navy leadership on a range of issues, citing excessive “change and churn” as an obstacle to effective strategic planning.

Fresh off challenging military leaders over the proposed and premature decommissioning of the Norfolk-based USS Harry S. Truman, Congresswoman Luria highlighted a pattern of shifting requests by the Navy. This includes the fact that last year’s 30-year shipbuilding plan and budget had no cruisers decommissioning through 2023; this year there are six. Plans to decommission minesweepers have also shifted.

Congresswoman Luria then mentioned the Navy’s evolving annual Force Structure Assessments, which recently have shown a vast range of 308 ships to 355 ships. She later cited personal experience, saying that the surface warfare training pipeline changed four times during her 20-year career in the Navy.

“If the vision changes every year, do we really have a clear vision?” Congresswoman Luria said. “Why are there so many changes year over year, and do we really have a long-term vision toward 2050 for the Navy?”

Congresswoman Luria represents Virginia’s Second Congressional District, where the Navy is a critical presence and the local economy depends on stability in the shipbuilding industry.

Video of Congresswoman Luria’s exchange with Navy leadership at the House Armed Services Committee hearing can be seen here and here.

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