WASHINGTON D.C., (WAVY) – Republican Congressman Randy Forbes chaired a hearing Wednesday where he advocated for growing the size of the Navy’s fleet.
Forbes, the chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, heard testimony from former Navy Secretary John Lehman, on the Navy’s ship shortfalls and the need for a significantly larger fleet. Former Fleet Forces Commander Admiral Robert Natter will testify later.
Forbes released the following statement before the meeting:
When John Lehman stepped down as Secretary of the Navy in 1987 we had 594 ships. When ADM Natter retired from the Navy in 2003 we had 297 ships. Today we have a fleet of 272 ships that is too small to meet the demands being thrust upon it.
I look forward to hearing our witnesses’ thoughts on why and how we must change this trajectory and rebuild the Navy to the size and strength that sound maritime strategy dictates.”
In the coming months the defense policy bill will be rolled out.
Forbes hopes to use his subcommittee chairmanship to advocate for a larger Navy being included in the next policy.