Navy Likely to Seek Fleet-Size Increase

Ships from the U.S. and Republic of Korea navy transit in formation during an exercise in the East Sea on March 8, 2016. (Photo by Ed Thompson/U.S. Navy)Ships from the U.S. and Republic of Korea navy transit in formation during an exercise in the East Sea on March 8, 2016. (Photo by Ed Thompson/U.S. Navy)

The Navy will likely ask Pentagon and congressional leaders to support a significant increase in the size of its fleet to meet fast-emerging threats and changing demands, service officials told Scout Warrior.

A formal analysis is needed prior to any formal request to increase its overall fleet size above and beyond the current plan to reach 308 ships by the end of the decade.

“In order to be good stewards of taxpayer funds, we need want to make sure that when we go over to the Hill (Congress) to have those conversations – we need to have that analysis that shows that we need more.  That is what we are going to do within the next year,” a Navy official said.

Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. John Richardson, has said the service is launching a study to examine increasing the size of the fleet to address a fast-changing threat environment. While Richardson did not indicate what results the analysis might yield, he did say the service may very well need a new force structure alignment. An official said the new assessment will likely be reflected in the 2018 defense bill budget submission expected early next year.

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About the Author

Kris Osborn
Kris Osborn is the managing editor of Scout Warrior.