CNO Delivers Shipbuilding Plan Featuring a Bigger and More Capable Fleet
CNO Delivers Shipbuilding Plan Featuring a Bigger
and More Capable Fleet
By Chief of Naval Operations Public Affairs.
Washington D.C. -- (NNS)
January 10, 2006 -- Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike
Mullen submitted his long-range shipbuilding plan to Congress Feb. 7, designed
to grow the Fleet to about 313 ships – up from 281 today.
Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), Adm. Mike Mullen speaks
with reporters during a roundtable session about the Navy's Long Range
Shipbuilding Plan just submitted to Congress. The plan, which maintains the
requirement for 11 aircraft carriers, will reverse the fleet's decline in size
by growing from 281 ships today to about 313 ships in the future.
U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley
“We need a Fleet for the future which is balanced in many capabilities,” Mullen
told reporters at the Pentagon. His plan will meet the requirements of the
Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) and reverse the recent trend of shrinking the
“We’re at 281 ships today and it’s my view we need to turn that around with the
embedded capabilities that we’ve looked at,” he said.
The Navy’s 30-year shipbuilding plan is required by law and accompanied the
Navy’s FY 07 Budget submission to Congress. It supports the new emphasis on
expeditionary and conventional warfighting missions expressed in the QDR. The
QDR was submitted to Congress Feb. 3.
The plan is also designed to stabilize the Navy’s shipbuilding future for
warfighting Sailors and industry partners. Building a Fleet for the future is
one of Mullen’s top three priorities, which also include sustaining current
readiness and developing 21st Century leaders. Shipbuilding, he said, is one of
the most daunting challenges the Navy faces today.
“Current readiness is in pretty good shape, the people accounts are in pretty
good shape, and my biggest challenge is to build a Fleet for the future in a
very, very different world that covers a full range of missions,” Mullen said.
Endorsed by the Secretary of Defense and Secretary of the Navy, the plan
supports the Navy’s continuing trend toward modernization and a larger force
than the one currently deployed around the globe to win the Global War on
Terrorism, respond to humanitarian crises, and deter future competitors in the
Highlights of the plan call for a Fleet of 11 carriers starting this year, and
populating the Fleet with 15 Littoral Combat Ships and 113 Surface Combatants by
FY 11. The first LCS is scheduled to be christened this fall and commission
early in 2007.
“I have got to invest the resources, stabilize the plan, and in my expectations
for industry, establish it,” Mullen said. “[We must] support a strategic
partnership between the Hill, industry and ourselves.”
Mullen also responded to questions regarding the Navy’s increasing role in Iraq
and new missions, including taking command of Joint Task Force Horn Of Africa (JTF-HOA),
assuming responsibility for detainee operations at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the
establishment of the Naval Expeditionary Combat Command with it’s related
missions, increased demand for Special Operations Forces, and the creation of a
Foreign Area Officer community.
“Basically you take skill sets that we have to assist, take the talent that we
have to assist in what’s going on over there, and to look at it really from as
joint a perspective as we can,” Mullen said about the Navy’s expanding roles and
missions. “It’s very clear that the ground forces have been in a very tough
rotation over the last several years, and if we can pitch in and help relieve
some of that we’re going to.”