MARCH 4, 2013 — Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced March 2 that the Navy will go ahead with reductions in spending in order to meet the fiscal constraints imposed by sequestration. Secretary Mabus's announcement followed a warning by newly installed Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that Defense Department civilian employees will "particularly" feel the pain sequester will bring to the entire defense workforce.
"Our number one concern is our people, military and civilian, the millions of men and women of this department who work very hard every day to ensure America's security," Secretary Hagel said in his first Pentagon press briefing. "I know that these budget cuts will cause pain, particularly among our civilian workforce and their families. I'm also concerned, as we all are, about the impact on readiness that these cuts will have across our force."
Some of those impacts on Navy readiness were spelled out by Secretary Mabus. In ALNAV 014/13, Secretary Mabus outlined a variety of reductions in operations, training and maintenance. Following is the text of the message:
DTG 022300Z Mar 13
FM SECNAV WASHINGTON DC
INFO SECNAV WASHINGTON DC
CMC WASHINGTON DC
CNO WASHINGTON DC
MSGID/GENADMIN/SECNAV WASHINGTON DC/-/MAR//
SUBJ/DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY RESPONSE TO SEQUESTRATION//
RMKS/1. LAST NIGHT, BECAUSE NO BUDGET DEAL HAD BEEN REACHED, THE BUDGET CONTROL ACT REQUIRED SETTING IN MOTION THE AUTOMATIC, GOVERNMENT-WIDE CUTS KNOWN AS SEQUESTRATION. GIVEN THAT REALITY AND THE ASSOCIATED IMPACT OF BUDGETARY UNCERTAINTY IMPOSED BY AN INDEFINITE CONTINUING RESOLUTION, THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY INTENDS TO COMMENCE SOME REDUCTIONS IMMEDIATELY.
2. NAVY PLANS TO:
A. SHUT DOWN CARRIER AIR WING TWO (CVW-2) IN APRIL. THIS WILL INITIATE THE PREPARATIONS TO GRADUALLY STAND-DOWN FLYING IN AT LEAST
THREE ADDITIONAL AIR WINGS WITH TWO MORE AIR WINGS BEING REDUCED TO MINIMUM SAFE FLYING LEVELS BY THE END OF THE YEAR;
B. DEFER USNS COMFORT HUMANITARIAN DEPLOYMENT TO CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICA, "CONTINUING PROMISE 2013″, INCLUDING SUPPORTING SHIPS,
SEABEES, AND MEDICAL UNITS;
C. CANCEL OR DEFER THE DEPLOYMENTS OF UP TO SIX SHIPS TO VARIOUS AORS THROUGHOUT THE MONTH OF APRIL;
D. LAY UP FOUR COMBAT LOGISTICS FORCE (CLF) UNITS IN PACOM STARTING IN APRIL;
E. RETURN USS SHOUP (DDG 86) TO HOMEPORT EARLY AND NOT PROCEED AS USS NIMITZ (CVN 68) ESCORT TO CENTCOM;
F. RETURN USS THACH (FFG 43) TO HOMEPORT EARLY FROM DEPLOYMENT TO SOUTHCOM.
3. WE WILL ALSO IMMEDIATELY:
A. BEGIN NEGOTIATING CONTRACT MODIFICATIONS TO DE-OBLIGATE EFFORTS FOR ANY INVESTMENT PROGRAMS FOR WHICH THE REMAINING UNOBLIGATED BALANCE WILL BE INSUFFICIENT AFTER THE SEQUESTRATION REDUCTION IS APPLIED. MAJOR PROGRAMS AFFECTED INCLUDE VIRGINIA-CLASS SSN ADVANCE PROCUREMENT, REACTOR POWER UNITS AND JOINT HIGH SPEED VESSEL (JHSV 10);
B. COMMENCE FINAL PLANNING TO SLOW MARINE CORPS DEPOT MAINTENANCE ACTIVITIES, INCLUDING REDUCTIONS IN THE NON-PERMANENT WORKFORCE;
C. CANCEL MARCH INTRODUCTORY FLIGHT SCREENING FOR FUTURE PILOTS/NFOS;
D. ANNOUNCE INTENT TO CANCEL BLUE ANGELS SHOWS SCHEDULED FOR APRIL 2013 [FOUR SHOWS: MACDILL AFB (TAMPA, FL), NAS CORPUS CHRISTI TX, VIDALIA GA, MCAS BEAUFORT SC];
E. CEASE NEW USMC ENROLLMENTS IN VOLUNTARY EDUCATION TUITION ASSISTANCE;
F. CANCEL MARCH NAVY RECRUITING MEDIA SUPPORT AND REDUCE THE MAJORITY OF ADVERTISING CONTRACTS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE UNDER CONTRACTUAL CONDITIONS.
4. THESE ACTIONS ARE BEING TAKEN TO PRESERVE SUPPORT FOR THOSE FORCES STATIONED OVERSEAS AND CURRENTLY FORWARD-DEPLOYED. REDUCTIONS IN LOWER-PRIORITY FORWARD OPERATIONS, AND SIGNIFICANT REDUCTIONS IN ALL OTHER OPERATIONS, TRAINING, AND MAINTENANCE ARE THE RESULTS OF THIS SELECTION PROCESS. WE MADE THESE CHOICES CAREFULLY, WHILE TRYING TO PRESERVE OUR ABILITY TO REVERSE OR QUICKLY RESTORE NEGATIVE EFFECTS IF AND WHEN FUNDING IS RESTORED.
5. ACTIONS WE HAVE TAKEN TO DATE WILL CONTINUE, TO INCLUDE THOSE AFFECTING THE DEFERRAL OF MAINTENANCE FOR USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN 72); THE DEFERRAL OF REPAIR WORK FOR USS MIAMI (SSN 755) AND USS PORTER (DDG 78); THE DELAYED DEPLOYMENT OF USS HARRY S TRUMAN (CVN 75) AND USS GETTYSBURG (CG 64); THE CIVILIAN HIRING FREEZE; THE PLANNING FOR CIVILIAN FURLOUGHS; AND THE REDUCTION OF ALL TRAINING NOT RELATED TO THE READINESS OF DEPLOYED OR NEXT-TO-DEPLOY FORCES.
6. NAVY DEPARTMENT LEADERSHIP UNDERSTANDS THE UNCERTAINTY THAT THESE AND OTHER DECISIONS CREATE BOTH AMONGST OUR PEOPLE AND IN THE DEFENSE INDUSTRY UPON WHICH WE RELY. THE LACK OF A LEGISLATIVE SOLUTION TO AVOID SEQUESTRATION IS DEEPLY REGRETTABLE. THAT SAID, WE MUST ENDEAVOR TO DEAL WITH THE SITUATION AS WE FACE IT, NOT AS WE WISH IT COULD OTHERWISE BE. WE WILL CONTINUE TO KEEP THE SAFETY AND WELL-BEING OF OUR PEOPLE FOREMOST IN MIND, EVEN AS WE TRY HARD TO KEEP WHOLE THE FORCE STRUCTURE WHICH SUPPORTS THEM. WE WILL ALSO CONTINUE TO KEEP THE FLEET AND FLEET MARINE FORCE FULLY INFORMED AS FOLLOW-ON DECISIONS ARE MADE.
7. RELEASED BY RAY MABUS, SECRETARY OF THE NAVY.//