WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Elaine Luria (VA-02), a Navy veteran who retired at the rank of Commander, today questioned top Navy leadership on a range of issues, citing excessive “change and churn” as an obstacle to effective strategic planning.
Fresh off challenging military leaders over the proposed and premature decommissioning of the Norfolk-based USS Harry S. Truman, Congresswoman Luria highlighted a pattern of shifting requests by the Navy. This includes the fact that last year’s 30-year shipbuilding plan and budget had no cruisers decommissioning through 2023; this year there are six. Plans to decommission minesweepers have also shifted.
Congresswoman Luria then mentioned the Navy’s evolving annual Force Structure Assessments, which recently have shown a vast range of 308 ships to 355 ships. She later cited personal experience, saying that the surface warfare training pipeline changed four times during her 20-year career in the Navy.
“If the vision changes every year, do we really have a clear vision?” Congresswoman Luria said. “Why are there so many changes year over year, and do we really have a long-term vision toward 2050 for the Navy?”
Congresswoman Luria represents Virginia’s Second Congressional District, where the Navy is a critical presence and the local economy depends on stability in the shipbuilding industry.