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Defense News: More Than Half of Navy's Planes Can't Fly

Image: Defense News: More Than Half of Navy's Planes Can't Fly

(Photo by Song Kyung-Seok-Pool/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 07 Feb 2017 12:53 PM

More than half of the Navy's aircraft are grounded, including nearly two-thirds of F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet strike fighters, because there is not enough money to perform maintenance on them, Defense News has reported.

This represents about double the historic norm for aircrafts that are out of service for regular maintenance at any given time.

A similar situation exists for Navy ships, as there are also not enough funds to fix them, while some submarines have been out of service for unusually long periods.

In addition, the Navy does not have enough money to move around servicemen to change assignments, and about 15 percent of its facilities are in failed condition.

Training and flying hours have also been cut to such an extent that the Navy says it is struggling to maintain minimum flying requirements.

Defense News reports that the situation is so dire that the Navy is expected to ask for money that can be spent immediately, rather than funds for long-term projects.

"Our priorities are unambiguously focused on readiness — those things required to get planes in the air, ships and subs at sea, sailors trained and ready," a Navy official said.

Heritage Foundation senior research fellow for defense policy John Venable told The Washington Free Beacon that there is such a backlog that "it'll take them several years to refit, refurbish, and repair the F-18s that are in unserviceable condition. They can't catch up even if the Trump administration gave them all the money they need."

Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, who is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, is pushing for an emergency $26 billion supplemental spending bill to help alleviate the situation, especially readiness training for pilots.

The Republican senator said Congress needs to boost the defense budget by at least 15 percent in fiscal year 2018 to recoup the military's losses after eight years of defense cuts under former President Barack Obama.

The House and Senate Armed Services Committees are scheduled to have hearings this week on the military's readiness levels ahead of next month's discussions over the National Defense Authorization Act.

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More than half of the Navy's aircraft are grounded, including nearly two-thirds of F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet strike fighters, because there is not enough money to perform maintenance on them, Defense News has reported.
navy, planes, hornet, fly
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2017-53-07
Tuesday, 07 Feb 2017 12:53 PM
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