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Congressional Group Urges Navy to Maintain Ships

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Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert testifies before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies about the devastating affects of the continuing resolution and sequestration on military readiness. US Navy Photo

Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert testifies before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies about the devastating affects of the continuing resolution and sequestration on military readiness. US Navy Photo

A group of ten Congress members are urging the Navy not to defer maintenance of surface ships as part of the service’s plan to find money to cover mandatory budget cuts.

New legislation, signed into law on Tuesday, passed a modified version of the Fiscal Year 2013 defense bill and removed the fiscal threat of a yearlong Continuing Resolution that would have limited the Navy financially.

In a Wednesday letter, addressed to Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert, the group of ten House members encouraged the Navy not to differ the depot level maintenance on surface ships.

“These availabilities are crucial to the long term health and sustainability of the Navy surface fleet and industry that supports it,” read the letter sent from the office of Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.)

“It is our understanding that by alleviating the restrictive nature of a continuing resolution, we would see restoration of the maintenance availabilities that were potentially subject to cancellation.”

The new legislation allows the services to shift an additional $10 billion into operations and maintenance accounts,. In the last month, the Navy said those accounts would be the most effected by sequestration and budget cuts, reported The Hill.

As part of a worst case scenario for budget cuts, the Navy in February said it would suspend depot level maintenance on all ships and aircraft in the third and fourth quarters of the current fiscal year.