Rep. Forbes: Navy Shipbuilding Plan a 'Fantasy Land'

Image: Rep. Forbes: Navy Shipbuilding Plan a 'Fantasy Land' Shipyard workers watch as the lower bow section of the nuclear powered aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford is lowered into position at Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Va.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013 02:29 PM

By Melanie Batley

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Rep. J. Randy Forbes is urging the Navy to overhaul its 30-year shipbuilding program, calling it a "fantasy land" that can't be sustained on the $16 billion budget requested for 2014.

"We cannot run the U.S. Navy on fantasy [numbers]," the Virginia Republican who heads the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee said Tuesday, according to The Hill.

Forbes has presented an alternative plan that would force the Navy in effect to live within its means by scaling back a 30-year plan that he believes can't be sustained, based on a recent analysis by the Navy and the Congressional Budget Office.

That analysis suggests that the Navy needs between $19 billion and $22 billion annually to meet its target of 300 warships over thirty years to sustain its defense and national security missions across the globe.

Forbes said his move was intended to force the Navy to make its plan "a little more realistic . . . instead of the fictional document" the service initially submitted.

But the move could put Forbes at odds with senior Navy officials concerned that the rewrite could end up resulting in the Navy ultimately getting fewer ships.



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