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Congressional Group Backs Naval Fleet of at Least 11 Nuclear Aircraft Carriers

Buck McKeon
Buck McKeon

The U.S. Navy wants to maintain a fleet of at least 11 nuclear aircraft carriers and 11 members of Congress are backing the request, Military Times reported Tuesday.

Christopher Cavas writes that in a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the lawmakers said Navy’s request to retain 11 operational aircraft carriers won in the House last year with a vote of 318 to 106.

“In a letter Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus sent to us in October 2013, he stated that a smaller nuclear aircraft carrier fleet would ‘deliver less forward presence, increased response time, and delayed arrivals to conflict. This force would be unable to execute the missions described in the Defense Strategic Guidance,'” the group said in the letter cited by Defense News.

“We strongly agree with Rear Admiral Thomas Moore who stated last year that ‘We’re an 11-carrier Navy in a 15-carrier world… The demand signal is not likely to go down any time soon,'” the representatives added.

The group was led by Rep. Buck McKeon of California.

Other lawmakers supporting the request include Republican Reps. Rob Wittman and Scott Rigell of Virginia and Duncan Hunter of California and Democratic Reps. Mike McIntyre of North Carolina, Susan Davis and Scott Peters of California, Rick Larsen and Derek Kilmer of Washington and Bobby Scott of Virginia.

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