Subcommittee seeks to retain aircraft carriers

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The House Armed Services’s Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittee sought Tuesday to prevent the 2016 retirement of one of the Navy's 11 aircraft carriers.

The version of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act released by the subcommittee would provide “full funding for the refueling and complex overhaul" of the U.S.S. George Washington, according to a summary from Chairman Randy Forbes (R-Va.).

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“The mark provides for the continued service life of [the U.S.S. George Washington], meeting the legal requirement for the U.S. Navy to maintain an 11 carrier Fleet and rejecting an Administration plan to move toward a 10 carrier fleet,” the statement said.

The markup also aims to ensure full funding for the U.S.S. Gerald Ford, which is due to be delivered to the Navy in 2016. It would also provide a two-a-year procurement pace of Virginia-class attack submarines and protect the procurement of two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers in 2015.

The early version of the bill also supports the continuation of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program, including procurement of two LCS ships and advance procurement for two further LCSs.

Forbes will also seek to prohibit the premature retirement of cruisers and amphibious ships, the summary said.

“Whether ensuring an 11-aircraft carrier fleet, setting the direction for the future composition of the carrier air wing, continuing the United States’ advantage in undersea warfare, or supporting our Air Force refueling capability, this mark continues our subcommittee’s bipartisan tradition of advocating for U.S. dominance at sea and in the air,” Forbes said in the statement.

The full text can be found here.