Congressmen ask Navy to delay ship repair moratorium

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a letter to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and the Adm. Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations, U.S. Rep. Ander Crenshaw, R-Jacksonville, on Monday requested that the Navy delay its proposed February 15 cancellation of all third- and fourth-quarter ship maintenance availabilities.

Crenshaw, a member of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, made the request to provide additional time to resolve sequestration spending cut levels.

Crenshaw is one of nine members of the United States House of Representatives who signed the letter to Mabus and Greenert.

"With a fast-approaching sequestration deadline, I am working to find solutions that will put the nation on a path to fiscal responsibility without forsaking military readiness," Crenshaw said in a statement released by his office. "While I understand the Navy is in a precarious budget position and must begin planning for the looming budget cuts, I believe that the February 15th deadline to cancel ALL remaining maintenance work for this year is too early. The Navy should take small steps that are reversible to weather the storm of sequestration until the President and Congress can find a way forward. Cancelling all ship repair work on February 15th will set off an irreversible chain reaction that will delay ship deployments and risk ship readiness for years to come."