U.S. Navy Readiness: The Fleet’s Problems Are Not Fleeting
The Defense Department defines readiness as the military’s ability to execute the national security strategy of the United States. By that standard, the Navy has continued to satisfy most of the maritime force requirements of combatant commanders. However, meeting those demands in the face of a shrinking fleet has resulted in deferred maintenance, aging ships, and worn out personnel. Without significant changes to the fleet’s size, operational tempo (OPTEMPO), or maintenance budget, the Navy will be at risk of suffering a precipitous drop in readiness in the years to come.