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Navy Aircraft Carriers: Proposed Retirement of USS John F. Kennedy - Issues and Options for Congress

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Congressional rept.

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The Navys FY2007 budget proposes retiring the conventionally powered aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy CV-67 and reducing the size of the carrier force from 12 ships to 11. The Navys proposed FY2006 budget included a similar proposal. Congress, in acting on the FY2006 defense budget, passed a provision requiring the Navy to maintain a 12-ship carrier force. The issue for Congress for FY2007, as it was for FY2006, is whether to approve, reject, or modify the proposal to retire the Kennedy and reduce the carrier force to 11 ships. Until mid-2005, the Kennedy was homeported in Mayport, Florida. Prior to the proposal to retire the Kennedy, the Navys plan was to maintain a 12-carrier force and keep the Kennedy in operation until 2018. The Navy is now proposing to maintain in coming years a 313-ship fleet that includes 11 carriers. DoD estimated in December 2004 that retiring the Kennedy in FY2006 would reduce DoD funding requirements for FY2006-FY2011 by a net total of about 1.2 billion. In February 2006, the Navy estimated that overhauling the Kennedy and keeping it in service during the 5-year period FY2007-FY2011 would cost more than 2 billion. One potential issue is whether the carrier force should include 12 ships or some other number. If a carrier is to be retired in the near term so as to reduce the carrier force to 11 ships, a second potential issue is whether that carrier should be the Kennedy or another ship. Potential alternatives to the Kennedy include the conventionally powered Kitty Hawk and the nuclear-powered carriers Enterprise and Carl Vinson. A third potential issue for Congress concerns the relative military advantages of different homeporting arrangements for the carrier force. Congresss decision on this issue could affect U.S. military capabilities, DoD funding requirements, the Mayport home port, and the shipbuilding overhaul and repair industrial base.

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  • Administration and Management
  • Government and Political Science
  • Sociology and Law
  • Marine Engineering

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