USS Lincoln (CVN-72) Refueling Delayed

| February 10, 2013

The US Naval Institute is reporting that the sequestration cuts to DoD budget will cause a delay in the refueling and long-term overhaul of the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), which was scheduled to go into a 4-year complex overhaul/refueling (RCOH) later this year:

Lincoln was scheduled to be moved to Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Newport News Shipyard later this month to begin the 4-year refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) of the ship.

“This delay is due to uncertainty in the Fiscal Year 2013 appropriations bill, both in the timing and funding level available for the first full year of the contract,” the message said.
“CVN-72 will remain at Norfolk Naval Base where the ships force personnel will continue to conduct routine maintenance until sufficient funding is received for the initial execution of the RCOH.”

Apparently, only the local Congressman, Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) seems to be displaying any level of concern regarding this issue, but as bad as this looks at first glance, it’s even worse:

Forbes called the delay, “another example of how these reckless and irresponsible defense cuts in Washington will have a long-term impact on the Navy’s ability to perform its missions. Not only will the Lincoln be delayed in returning to the Fleet, but this decision will also affect the USS Enterprise (CVN-65) defueling, the USS George Washington (CVN-73) RCOH, and future carrier readiness.”

The move by the navy is the second this week involving funding for carriers. On Wednesday it announced it would delay the deployment of the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) to the Middle East do to the ongoing budget strife bringing the total number of carriers in U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) to one until funding normalizes.

As anyone who has ever served in a maintenance-intensive MOS/NEC knows, especially one like nuclear power where constant “oversight” or “help” is a way of life, deferring or postponing maintenance is NEVER a good thing. As with most critical issues in life both in and out of the military, it’s a question of, “Pay me now, or pay LOTS more later.” We’re not paying now so that people can create the illusion we’re fiscally responsible, at the very real cost of readiness and national security.

This is, as we all can easily deduce, a sham. Here we have a government which has no interest in paying for items which fall under Constitutional mandate under Article I, Section 8, but is hell-bent on spending trillions of dollars per year over and above what it takes in to provide “fairness” for things like SS Disability for adult babies, welfare and food stamps for (some) professional deadbeats, and checking out how well shrimp perform on treadmills, none of which the Founding Fathers ever envisioned the government being the benefactor of such largesse. We’re not paying now for what we should. Unfortunately, the prices we pay down the road will be measured in more than dollars.

This administration, and specifically this president, said in front of veterans that they had no intent of balancing the budget on the backs of veterans. Of course they didn’t…then again, they had no intention of balancing the budget, period.

But we’ve been down this road before. Welcome to the hollow force, circa 2013.

Category: Politics

Comments (21)

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  1. Bam Bam says:

    One more reason we should have guns… Things get much worse we will have to bring our own to fight wars!

  2. Green Thumb says:

    Well written and spot on.

  3. BU3 KYLE says:

    Well written, I have no illusion of making BU2 anytime soon if ever. My experience will be lost. If the fleet can’t suppprt its ships how can us small communities exist.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Aircraft carriers don’t vote, and Panetta and other Dems make damned sure their crews don’t. Pay more later? More $$ to go to the pockets of union members, but it will be diverted to union dues, which in turn are diverted into Dem election campaign coffers – with whatever $$ remains belonging to the Dem.

    Rather like shuffling a pea under some tea cups, but completely legal.

    Our enemies combined have only a few carriers. This action creates parity. So who’s watching our nuclear stockpile – and not just ICBM?

  5. DaveO says:

    #4 was me.

  6. Green Thumb says:


    Interesting point.

  7. 3C3P says:

    Definitely a spot on commentary. The current “admisitration” has no clue as to what they are doing. It has been shown time and time again their absolute failure at any thing they do.

  8. Ex-PH2 says:

    Well, is it simple incompetence? Or is it something more insidious?

    It almost seems like both.

  9. Herbert J. Messkit says:

    First off the defense cuts concern me BUT in the back of my mind I wonder if we aren’t being manipulated by the lying bastards. Sort of like when the debt limit is approaching and they threaten to close yellowstone, Statue of Liberty and the Washington monument first, and lay off cops and teachers but not burocrats

  10. UpNorth says:

    Sparky, you might want to remember that, back in ’09, the National Institutes of Health gave someone a $2.5 million dollar grant to make sure that Chinese hookers drank less, and $400K to find out “why drunk gay men in engage in risky sexual behavior while drunk — and just what can be done about it” in Buenos Aires. National defense, meh, no one in this regime cares.

  11. 2549 says:

    I imagine it to go down like this:

    Two to three year delay in refueling the Lincoln. Early/Forced retirements and furloughs decimate the shipyard knowledge/technical base. When the Lincoln does get refueled, it’s over budget and long on schedule. Washington and Stennis get mothballed. Who want’s two Xe precluded DIW CVN’s in a shooting match?

    You go from maybe one or two carriers down to three or four with the Enterprise decommissioning and the Ford not expected for three more years. BZ’s all around!

  12. A Proud Infidel says:

    I doubt that the B. Hussein Øbama Administration even remotely cares as long as they have the sniveling liberal media kissing their a**es and they keep getting all the lavish multimillion dollar golf outings and vacations they want!

  13. WOTN says:

    Boehner & Co. need to look back at history and with who is remembered for “raising taxes in 89/90” vs. who forced that through and who was held accountable for the near govt shutdown then. They need to look at who pressed for spending cuts from 94 to 98, and who is remembered for that balanced budget period that followed. They need to look at who increased the budget deficit from 2006 to 10, and who is remembered for it.

    The POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) group not only want Sequestration (in part as a way to blame Boehner for DoD and MediCare/SS cuts), but they want to cut Defense even more while increasing dependency spending and increasing taxes.

    The POR group’s concept for the US Military is to incorporate it as a part of UN “peacekeeping” force, and diminish the US Military capability to the point that it can no longer operate as a unilateral force, but rather that future Presidents are forced to rely on multilateral coalitions.

  14. Old Trooper says:

    The leftists might say “who needs that many carriers anyway”? Well, we aren’t the only ones paying attention to this type of stuff; our enemies are paying attention, too. They know what we have out there right now and, thanks to our media, know what we have sitting at the dock collecting barnacles, too. They know that the Truman hasn’t left port for Persian Gulf duty, because of our budget issues, and now they know that the Lincoln isn’t going to be back in the game for much longer than originally scheduled. What leftists don’t understand is that ship maintenance isn’t like going to Jiffy Lube for an oil change, or taking your Chevy in for a bad alternator. It takes years for overhauls and every day that a ship sits idle, it takes longer to get it back up to mission capable.

  15. NHSparky says:

    Who want’s two Xe precluded DIW CVN’s in a shooting match?

    As a former RO, I’ll just say it takes a LOOOOONNNNGGGGG time in EFPH before you get to that point, and if you haven’t put those bad boys in drydock long before steady-state Xe preclusion, you’ve got some ‘splainin to do, Lucy.

    Although I will say at prototype I saw some interesting ways to get the plant up and running when core EOL was approaching. Google “cold water jump-start” if you want a chuckle.

  16. NHSparky says:

    Oh, and actually, tne Nimitz-class carriers are A4W, not D1W. No such animal as a D1W, although there was an A1W (Enterprise) and D1G Core 2 (1st flight 688’s).

    No, where we’re going is going to be almost as bad (if not worse) than the gutting of the SSN/SSBN force in the 1990s. Now while you might be able to make the point that the 616/640-class SSBN’s might no longer have been needed with the collapse of the Soviet Union, you really would have a hard time convincing me that it was a good idea to eviscerate the SSN force like it was during the 1990’s with the op-tempo that was being conducted at that time (remember kids, BTDT, bought the t-shirt.)

    When you start decomming first-flight 688’s with barely 15 years of service (and nowhere near core EOL) simply because you don’t have the money to keep them running/fueled, and VA-class boats aren’t even close to keeping pace with decomms, well, look where we are now.

  17. Former 3364 says:

    @NHSSparky That was DIW (Dead In Water), it’s a skimmer thing 🙂

  18. NHSparky says:

    **facepalm**…thank you. See, I told you I was an RO!

    Yeah, as a fellow bubblehead, you understand my “love” for skimmer pukes (or is that one word?)

    Case in point to non-nukes: There are RO’s (ET’s), EO’s (EM’s), Mechanics (MM’s) and ELT (Engineering Laboratory Techs, taken from MM rating.)

    Ask each group to give the answer to: What is 2 plus 2?

    The RO will whip out his TI graphing calculator and give the answer of 4.000000000.

    The EO will take a piece of paper and come up with 4.

    The Mechanic will use his fingers and occasionally come up with, “Grunt.”

    The ELT will look at you as he’s locking the door to Nucleonics and go, “What do you want it to be?”

  19. Ex-PH2 says:

    Sparky, wait ’til Spiffy waltzes in here and says ‘drones will take the place of all that’, or some such similar ignorant nonsense.

    And this comes in the face of the Chinese navy’s increased volume in ships and personnel, never mind land forces.

  20. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    Break out the oars—and the Ben Gay.

  21. NHSparky says:

    Air Cav–as a wise old Chief of mine once told me (among other things):

    We keep you alive to serve this ship. So row well, and live.

    But that’s gotta be a BITCH on a 90,000 ton aircraft carrier.