While the Navy continues to make strides in increasing readiness, its top civilian entreated industry to do its part.
“We welcome the support of industry if we are going to increase readiness and meet the operational demands of today and tomorrow,” Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer told an audience a May 8 speech at the Navy League of the United States Sea-Air-Space exposition in Oxon Hill, Md. “Industry understands that our security, stability and prosperity rely on ready and combat-capable forces that are capable of projecting naval power.”
Spencer pointed out that the administration is pressing Congress to take a “balanced approach” to budgeting, which would rely upon moving forward with ongoing projects and sustaining the industrial base. Both are key, he said, to ensuring that the Navy retains its competitive edge over potential adversaries. He also noted that both the Navy and Marine Corps F/A-18 programs are in rough shape. The Navy can fly just about 70 percent of its Super Hornets, while the Marines are in the high 70s, he said.
Spencer also stressed the importance of restoring safety and performance standards, so that incidents last year like the separate fatal collisions involving the destroyers Fitzgerald and McCain never occur again.