Navy chief: Budget cuts 'unrelated' to security flaws at bases

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Greenert's comments come a day after a scathing Pentagon Inspector General report detailing numerous flaws in security measures at Navy installations. Pentagon officials released the closely-held IG report in the wake of Monday's mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, which left 13 people dead, including the gunman.

The IG report specifically found that 52 felons had received unauthorized access to military facilities for 62 to 1,035 days. It said that had placed “military personnel, dependents, civilians, and installations at an increased security risk.”

In addition, the Navy did not “follow federal credentialing standards and DOD contractor vetting requirements and did not provide 7 of the 10 installations visited the appropriate resources and capabilities to conduct required contractor background checks,” it said.

Pentagon investigators claimed some of the security shortfalls might have been the result of Navy cost-saving efforts.

The man identified as the shooter in Monday’s attack, Aaron Alexis, was a former petty officer who had worked at the Navy Yard as a contractor.

In the aftermath of theshooting, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered a worldwide security review of U.S. bases.

On Wednesday, Greenert told lawmakers Navy leaders expect to have a preliminary review completed within weeks.

"I expect to have a rapid review completed within two weeks, which, of course, we will share" with Congress, the four-star admiral said.

"Nothing matters more to us than the safety and security of our people,.”

On the IG's findings, Greenert said he has raed the report and service officials were reviewing the investigator's findings.

'To the degree we have vulnerabilities, we'll correct them, and we'll do it expeditiously," he said.

But the Navy chief reiterated the continued spending reductions facing the the Navy and the Pentagon were not a cause for Monday's shootings or the security deficiencies uncovered by the IG.

"I can assure you . . .  the cost control measures that were mentioned in this report have nothing to do with budget shortfalls" or the across-the-board spending reductions caused by sequestration, Greenert said.