Growing Concern for Carrier Gaps Among Congress

Though Navy carriers have been absent from Central Command’s operating area in the past, a gap in the 2016 Pacific operating area has caused a great deal of concern within Congress.

Service leaders suggest that even if sequestration cuts are reversed and full funding is restored, 2018 could be the soonest the Navy would regain operational readiness. Right now, the service is not able to meet its commitment to field two carrier strike groups — with only 10 of 11 required carriers.

“The Navy and Congress must continue to work together productively to ensure that we deliver our new carriers in a timely, cost-effective way to get back to the 11 carrier force as soon as possible,” said Rep. Joe Courtney, a Democrat from Connecticut and ranking member of the Seapower subcommittee.