Luria questions experts on employment, capabilities of naval ships
Congresswoman Elaine Luria participated in a House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces hearing to hear perspectives from outside the Navy about future force structure requirements and ship capacity and employment.
During this hearing, Luria, a 20-year Navy veteran, noted that the Navy lacks a consistent vision for their future force. “Without a force structure assessment and with a 30-year shipbuilding plan that radically changes every year, we cannot serve the sailors on the deckplate” Luria said.
“The near-constant churn of senior leadership in the Navy has prevented important decisions from being made and priorities set. Congress is ready to meet those needs when the Navy can state their needs,” Luria said.
The witnesses highlighted that the Navy is at a “once-in-a-generation decision point” as the Littoral Combat Ship line comes to an end and the Frigate-Guided Missile is being designed.
“Determining how to distribute combat power across the fleet, deciding on a forward-basing model, and re-evaluating the Optimized Fleet Response Plan to maximize the nation’s investment in the Navy are key decisions that the Navy needs to make now to guide a consistent plan for the next decade,” Luria said. “The impact is particularly large in Hampton Roads, home to the world’s largest naval base, where we build and repair ships, host the East Coast master jet base, and train and certify the individual units and strike groups. Our region plays a role in every aspect of Force Generation, so we need to know the Navy’s plan so we can be ready to support the Navy’s mission.”
The committee was joined by Admiral Gary Roughead, USN (Ret.) Former Chief of Naval Operations, Bryan Clark Senior Fellow Hudson Institute, and Ron O’Rourke Specialist in Naval Affairs Congressional Research Service.