Bipartisan Virginia Delegation Expresses Support For 11 Aircraft Carrier Fleet
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner and U.S. Representatives Bob Goodlatte, Bobby Scott, Randy Forbes, Rob Wittman, Gerry Connolly, Morgan Griffith, Robert Hurt, Scott Rigell, Dave Brat, Don Beyer, and Barbara Comstock wrote a letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel expressing their continued support for the 11 aircraft carrier fleet in advance of the release of the President’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget proposal.
In 2014, the House and Senate Armed Services Committee secured full Fiscal Year 2015 funding for the refueling and overhaul of the USS George Washington (CVN-73). In making the case for maintaining the 11 aircraft carrier fleet beyond 2015, Virginia delegation members cited the ability of aircraft carriers to respond rapidly throughout the world to military and humanitarian crises.
“The deployment of our carrier fleet to numerous conflict zones across the globe last year further demonstrates why we must continue to invest in this critical capability to ensure future military capacity and flexibility,” the Virginia delegation members wrote. “Most recently, the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77) was critical in responding with strikes against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and later assisted humanitarian relief efforts on Mt. Sinjar…Whether in the Asia-Pacific region or responding to continued strife in the Middle East, our national leaders and combatant commanders require carriers to meet the threats in today’s world.”
Delegation members concluded by noting the uncertainty and budgetary constraints imposed by sequestration, and committed to working tirelessly in a bipartisan manner to reduce its harmful impacts.