According to Admiral Jonathan Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations, sequestration is undermining military readiness and the US Navy’s ability to respond to unforeseen circumstances. In a conversation at AEI on Thursday morning, Admiral Greenert discussed how sequestration is forcing the Navy to cancel ship deployments and defer critical maintenance — and how these problems will only grow worse under continued cuts.
Admiral Greenert then outlined the value of forward-deployed forces, but cautioned that to maintain this global presence with a shrinking fleet, the service is being forced to reduce its “surge-ready” forces tasked with responding to unexpected crises. He observed that budget cuts have already reduced the number of surge-ready carrier-strike groups and amphibious-ready groups by two-thirds. As sequestration rolls on, Admiral Greenert warned that this reduced capacity to respond will continue into 2014.
America’s global presence as facilitated by the daily forward-deployed missions of US Navy and US Marine Corps ships and personnel remains a vital component of American military strategy. However, with the current budget realities of potentially reducing the number of “surge-ready” carrier-strike groups by two-thirds and with only half of planned surface ship availabilities ready for 2014, the Navy’s worldwide presence risks shrinking.
How does Navy leadership intend to balance the need to maintain readiness, forward presence, and ship and aircraft maintenance in light of potential continued sequestration? How would decreased presence impact US military capabilities and the foreign policy goals they underpin? And what is the Navy’s plan for maintaining forward-deployed forces to ensure America’s global presence and to protect US interests overseas?
AEI’s Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies will host Admiral Jonathan Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations, in the third installment in a series of four events with each member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
If you are unable to attend, we welcome you to watch the event live on this page. Full video will be posted within 24 hours.
Jon Kyl, AEI
Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, US Navy
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Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert’s career as a submariner includes assignments aboard USS Flying Fish, USS Tautog, submarine NR-1, and USS Michigan, culminating in command of USS Honolulu from March 1991 to July 1993. Subsequent fleet command assignments include Commander, Submarine Squadron 11; Commander, US Naval Forces Marianas; Commander, US 7th Fleet (August 2004 to September 2006); and Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command (September 2007 to July 2009). Greenert has served in various fleet support and financial management positions, including as deputy chief of Naval Operations for Integration of Capabilities and Resources; deputy commander, US Pacific Fleet; chief of staff, US 7th Fleet; head, Navy Programming Branch; and director, Operations Division Navy Comptroller. Most recently, he served as 36th vice chief of naval operations (August 2009 to August 2011). He is a recipient of various personal and campaign awards including the Distinguished Service Medal (six awards) and the Defense Superior Service Medal and Legion of Merit (four awards). In 1992, he was awarded the Vice Admiral Stockdale Award for inspirational leadership. Greenert became the 30th Chief of Naval Operations on September 23, 2011.
Jon Kyl was a US senator for 18 years after serving for 8 years in the US House of Representatives. He was elected unanimously by his colleagues in 2008 to serve as Republican whip, the second-highest position in the Senate Republican leadership, which he held until his retirement in 2001. As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he helped write reforms to US patent law and the landmark Crime Victims’ Rights Act, as well as important provisions of the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, and other antiterrorism laws. At AEI, Kyl joins former senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) to lead the American Internationalism Project, a new effort within AEI’s Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies. The project aims to rebuild and reshape a bipartisan consensus around American global leadership and engagement.