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308 - ship ? eet.” man of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcom- “This year’s Force Structure Assessment is a very

While O’Rourke said expanding the ? eet will create mittee, speaking at the Surface Navy Association’s accurate re? ection because it takes the demand signal jobs, he also said the Navy of? cials have also identi? ed Annual Symposium in January in Crystal City, Va. “I from the COCOMs (the operational combatant com- readiness as a priority, and that maintaining and sus- think the strategy ought to be driving the budget. We manders), it looks at that in context of what’s happen- taining the ? eet is also important to maintaining force ought to ask the fundamental questions ‘what does it ing around the world, and what we can realistically do structure. require for us to do the things that this nation needs and achieve – and it says the Navy should be 355 ships. to do in order to provide presence and power projec- I think that that is exactly where we need to be and it’s

Congressional Support tion and defending this nation?’ And then say, ‘How do very close to what the incoming administration says the

According to Paul Pedisich, author of a new book we make the budget decisions to make that happen, un- Navy needs to be sized at. So that’s our target. That’s from the Naval Institute Press: Congress Buys a Navy: derstanding that there’s always going to be a gap?’ But where I believe Congress, the House Armed Services

Politics, Economics, and the Rise of American Naval the only way we understand that gap, and the only way Committee, needs to look at and has to ? gure out ‘how

Power, 1881-1921, the president and the secretary of that Congress makes the priority decisions that it must do we achieve that?’ Now our job is to ask the questions the Navy both need Congress to fund the ? eet. make – that it is constitutionally required to make – is about how we did we arrive at that number?” “The Secretary of the Navy’s budget must be vet- to have a discussion about what that strategy should be. Simple and straightforward, maybe, but it comes with ted through the Joint Staff, and the Defense Secretary And I think that that is what’s just been laid out be- a price tag.

then reconciles the Army, Navy and Air Force submis- fore us with the Navy. The Force Structure Assessment “The Congress’ job, obviously, is to say, ‘Okay, how sion to the President’s Budget (PRESBUD). But even for 2016, I think, lays that out perfectly. If you look at do we authorize that and then how do we fund that? the president can’t actually fund the Navy or the other the assumptions that that force structure assessment is How do we make those critical decisions?’ And I am services,” says Pedisich. “That’s the job of Congress, based upon, it’s based upon the demand signal from the con? dent that, working hand-in-hand with the Navy, which authorizes and appropriates all federal spend- combatant commands. What are the needs? What are that we could meet that goal and we can get to that 355- ing.” the combatant commands see that they need in order to ship navy. I think the capacity is there in our industrial “Obama had no money. Trump has no money,” said make sure that they are providing for this nation’s pres- base to do that,” Wittman said. “I think that what they

Pedisich. ence, for power projection, and make sure we deter and have now as far as hot production lines, mature designs, “For years it has been the budget that has driven the respond to adversaries around the globe. Pretty simple is there, I think the industrial base can provide all of strategy. I think we ought to be looking at things the and straightforward.” the different support mechanisms, the systems are all opposite way,” said Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA), chair- Wittman said the Navy’s plan is spot-on. in place for us to do that. It’s our job to make sure that www.marinelink.com 25

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