Katherine Blakeley, a defense budget expert at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, said Congress has appropriated increasingly more money for readiness since 2009.
“If you look at those funding levels between 2009 and 2017, Congress has actually appropriated a smooth, upward line,” she told Defense News earlier this week. And, she added, “From a training perspective it doesn’t look like there is a real pile of missing money for Navy sailors, Navy pilots, and flight-support crew.”
She also said budget caps do not appear to be the problem since funding levels have actually been higher than former Defense Secretary Robert Gates had anticipated before the caps.
“That says to me it needs more inquiry, and it’s not a question of there being no money,” she said. “Maybe the Navy is wrong in their estimation of how much money is needed, but Congress has consistently been appropriating more.”