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Experts Give Blueprint to Beefing Up US Naval Fleet

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By    |   Thursday, 13 Apr 2017 11:56 AM

Meeting the presidential and military requirement of a 350-ship Navy is not as daunting as it seems, two experts wrote in a new analysis.

Retired Navy Capt. Jerry Hendrix and former U.S. representative to the U.N. General Assembly Robert C. O'Brien presented their case in Politico on how President Donald Trump can spearhead a project to add a net 44 ships to the country's Naval fleet over the next eight years.

A brief summary of their proposal:

Look at older ships scheduled to be decommissioned and determine which ones, if any, can be overhauled and kept in service.

Look at the Navy's Ready Reserve fleet, which are ships designated for wartime use. The decommissioned but preserved ships are kept in the water throughout the world, and some of them might be able to be put back into full-time service, Hendrix and O'Brien wrote.

If the Navy can get some of its older ships back into service, it should focus on building two new aircraft carriers simultaneously (which might get the government a discount), submarines, and small surface combatants (frigates and offshore patrol vessels). The current construction of Arleigh Burke-class destroyers should continue.

Hendrix and O'Brien wrote that their plan of beefing up the Navy's fleet will add jobs to the U.S. economy in the shipbuilding and ship repair industry.

"Mothballed ships will flow into Philadelphia, San Diego and along to Gulf Coast and come back to life," they wrote. "New ships will come together in Wisconsin, Alabama, Louisiana, Oregon, and even along the banks of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, just as they did during World War II, driving a renaissance in American shipbuilding and bringing much needed well-paying jobs to the nation's heartland."

To pay for the aggressive plan, Hendrix and O'Brien suggested increasing the average ship procurement budget by $7 billion each year over the next eight years. Additional budget increases for aviation procurement ($3.5 billion), operations and maintenance ($8.6 billion), and personnel costs ($8.2 billion) are also suggested. Also, they proposed the Navy's annual budget should increase from $160 billion to more than $190 billion by 2024.

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Meeting the presidential and military requirement of a 350-ship Navy is not as daunting as it seems, two experts wrote in a new analysis.
experts, blueprint, us, naval, fleet
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2017-56-13
Thursday, 13 Apr 2017 11:56 AM
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