"I am pleased that the House Armed Services Committee's annual defense policy bill increases funding for the Navy's readiness and maintenance needs while also strengthening the national strategic asset that is the Hampton Roads ship repair industrial base," Congressman Forbes said. "By raising the threshold for major ship repair availabilities conducted outside the United States, this legislation provides greater stability for homeport shipyards and avoids inflicting additional hardship on sailors' families. We owe the men and women who serve this country in uniform nothing less."
Among the provisions introduced by Forbes:
- Increases Navy Operations & Maintenance and manpower funding to sustain carrier air wing, cruisers, and prevent a hollow force. The full committee legislation increases funding for Navy Operations & Maintenance and manpower to support Forbes' efforts to prevent the inactivation of cruisers and deactivation of the Navy's 10th carrier air wing.
- Increases funding for ship repair, depots, and readiness. With Forbes' support, the full committee legislation authorizes an additional $1.3 billion in funding for Navy Operations and Maintenance on top of the President's budget request. This includes $158 million for afloat ship readiness, $308 million for ship depots, and $275 million for Navy sustainment, restoration, and modernization projects.
- Raises the threshold for competing ship repair availabilities outside homeports. At Forbes' request, the full committee legislation includes a provision that raises the threshold requiring major ship repair availabilities to be performed in homeport from 6 months to 10 months. This change provides greater stability for homeport shipyards, saves sailors and their families the hardship of moving to other ports, and gives the Navy more flexibility in mitigating workload valleys.
Forbes will also be offering an amendment before the full Committee that:
- Prohibits the Navy from performing major availabilities on forward-deployed naval forces overseas. Forbes' amendment prohibits the Navy from performing any overhaul, repair, or maintenance work that exceeds six months on forward-deployed naval vessels in foreign shipyards. This change will help sustain our domestic ship repair industrial base and ensure that work on forward-deployed vessels maintains U.S. standards.