A recent report indicates that many of the U.S. Navy’s cargo ships, needed to move supplies in support of future military operations, require repairs or should be replaced.
Both independent U.S. Sen. Angus King and Democratic U.S. Rep. Jared Golden of Maine, who serve on their respective Armed Services Committees, say the study underscores a serious problem facing the military.
Golden says the House committee has held hearings on the issue and will continue to push for both new ships and better maintenance of existing vessels.
“Our sealift capabilities are lacking. It’s a serious problem and Congress has been holding hearings about it trying to hold the Navy’s feet over the fire to come to us with a plan on how we can address that issue,” he says.
King says he wants the Navy to adopt minimum readiness standards similar to those used in the private sector to make sure the ships are in good shape.
“What I am pressing is for the military to aspire to a higher, to a leveled of readiness akin to what the commercial sector has. If the commercial airlines only had 60 percent of their planes ready to fly at any given moment, they would be out of business,” he says.