The House Armed Services Committee wants to save five warships from the Navy’s retirement chopping block, pushing back against the Pentagon’s proposal to decommission 24 ships as part of its fiscal 2023 budget.
Proposals by the subcommittee on seapower and projection forces would prohibit the retirement of the guided-missile cruiser USS Vicksburg and four amphibious vessels up for mothballing: the USS Germantown, USS Gunston Hall, USS Tortuga and the USS Ashland.
The move also would require the secretary of the Navy to “consult” with the commandant of the Marine Corps on all major decisions “directly concerning amphibious force structure or capability,” according to a recently released summary of the proposals from the subcommittee.
“There’s strong support for the commandant of the Marine Corps’ assessment that he needs no fewer than 31 amphibious ships,” a committee staffer said, according to the U.S. Naval Institute. “Prohibiting retirement of the [amphibious warships] certainly gets after that plan for that program.”
The Navy says it wants to decommission 24 warships in order to save $3.6 billion that it will use to boost its future fleet.