Congresswoman Elaine Luria Questions Naval Experts on Employment and Capabilities of Naval Ships at Seapower and Projection Forces Hearing
WASHINGTON, D.C. On Thursday Congresswoman Elaine Luria participated in a House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces hearing to hear perspectives from outside the Navy about future force structure requirements and ship capacity and employment.
During this hearing, Congresswoman Luria, a 20-year Navy veteran, noted that the Navy lacks a consistent vision for their future force. “Without a force structure assessment and with a 30-year shipbuilding plan that radically changes every year, we cannot serve the sailors on the deckplate” Luria said. “The near-constant churn of senior leadership in the Navy has prevented important decisions from being made and priorities set. Congress is ready to meet those needs when the Navy can state their needs.”
The witnesses highlighted that the Navy is at a “once-in-a-generation decision point” as the Littoral Combat Ship line comes to an end and the Frigate-Guided Missile (FFG) is being designed. “Determining how to distribute combat power across the fleet, deciding on a forward-basing model, and re-evaluating the Optimized Fleet Response Plan to maximize the nation’s investment in the Navy are key decisions that the Navy needs to make now to guide a consistent plan for the next decade.” Says Luria. “The impact is particularly large in Hampton Roads, home to the world’s largest naval base, where we build and repair ships, host the East Coast master jet base, and train and certify the individual units and strike groups. Our region plays a role in every aspect of Force Generation, so we need to know the Navy’s plan so we can be ready to support the Navy’s mission.”
The committee was joined by Admiral Gary Roughead, USN (Ret.) Former Chief of Naval Operations, Mr. Bryan Clark Senior Fellow Hudson Institute, and Mr. Ron O’Rourke Specialist in Naval Affairs Congressional Research Service.
Congresswoman Elaine Luria represents Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee, where she is the Vice Chair of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, where she serves as Chair of the Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee.