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Navy: Sequester Could Further Delay Fleet Maintenance Activities

U.S. Navy photo
U.S. Navy photo

The U.S. Navy predicts that more than half of surface vessel maintenance availabilities are at risk of being deferred if the sequester continues into the next fiscal year, Federal News Radio reported Monday.

Jared Serbu writes two Navy admirals testified before the House Armed Services Committee recently and noted the branch faces an estimated $2 billion backlog of deferred maintenance work.

“As I look at the readiness indicators of our surface ships today and the likely scenarios we’re forecasting under a sequestered budget in 2014, I am very concerned,” Rear Adm. Timothy Matthews, Navy director of fleet readiness, told the committee.

Rear Adm. Thomas Rowden, Navy director of surface warfare, told panel members that sequestration-related furloughs have disrupted waterfront and technical services and government oversight of contract work.

“As a result, we have seen an increase in material deficiencies and the cross-decking of spare parts, which are early indicators of readiness degradation,” Rowden added.

“One of the problems that I foresee is if we delay the execution of maintenance, as time goes on, the price to accomplish that maintenance increases in a greater-than-linear fashion,” he added.

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