UPDATED WASHINGTON: The Navy could abandon its long-standing goal for a 313-ship fleet in its new force structure plan to meet the needs of the White House’s new national security strategy.
Navy leaders are in the midst of drafting a new force structure assessment, according Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mark Ferguson. That new assessment will bring the Navy in line with the goals laid out in the White House’s new national security strategy unveiled last week.
But it will likely change the Navy’s long-standing goal of a 313-ship fleet, he said said during today’s speech at the Surface Navy Association’s annual conference in Arlington. That 313-ship goal was based on the national security priorities set by the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review. With the change in focus from that QDR to the new plan set by the Obama administration, the Navy “will have to re-look” the feasibility of fielding a 313-ship fleet, according to Ferguson. “I think all of us recognize that under those  assumptions and that financial picture that was a great force structure to do what was needed,” he said of the 313-ship goal. “We are going to go back and take a look and see what direction that is [now].” Keep reading →