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Tell Congress to Stop Wasting Money on a Sinking Ship

LCS.pngThe Navy is wasting hundreds of millions of dollars on a combat ship that is cracking, flooding, rusting and can’t even keep its engines running.  But it’s also buying an alternate version of the ship that doesn’t have nearly as many problems—and costs $12 million dollars less per ship. So why is the Navy still pouring taxpayer dollars into the more expensive version?

We need you to contact your Member of Congress today and demand that the Navy stop wasting taxpayer dollars.

The Navy plans to use these close-to-shore combat ships to help bust drug traffickers and modern day pirates. Keeping both versions of what the Navy calls the Littoral Combat Ship doesn’t make sense. The two versions have vastly different designs, so sailors and others who work on one ship aren’t properly trained to work on the other. This only makes naval operations less flexible and more expensive.

So which ship should the Navy choose? It should certainly take a hard look at POGO‘s findings that the version designed by Lockheed Martin has been plagued with equipment problems, serious cracks, and engine failures. When the ship was involved in a counter-drug trafficking operation—which included detaining suspected drug smugglers—the electricity on the entire ship went out, leaving it adrift.  

We simply can’t afford to waste money on a floating lemon. This is the perfect opportunity to make the Navy set a deadline to choose between the two ships. We urge you to contact your Member of Congress on this issue today.

Recipients

  • Your Representative

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Message

Dear [Decision Maker],

I am a constituent concerned about the amount of money the Navy is wasting on the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program. The Navy is planning to purchase these ships to engage in mine sweeping, counter submarine warfare, and surface combat. The problem is, the Navy can't make up its mind between two different versions of the LCS--so it's buying both. This decision will waste at least $187 million in taxpayer dollars over the next ten years, according to an investigation by the Project On Government Oversight (POGO).

The Navy recently purchased four Littoral Combat Ships--two from a team led by Lockheed Martin, and two from a team led by General Dynamics. Keeping both versions of the ship is impractical and expensive. According to the Armed Forces Journal, "With dozens of different systems on each design, sailors qualified to serve on one LCS or the other are no more qualified to serve on the other LCS class than an amphibious sailor."

The Navy needs to decide between the two ships, and soon. POGO released a report showing that Lockheed Martin's ship has design and equipment problems, serious cracks, and engine-related failures. When the ship was involved in a counter-drug trafficking operation--which included detaining suspected drug smugglers--the electricity on the entire ship went out, leaving it adrift. Ultimately, the Navy should make this decision--but it should strongly consider these findings.

The Fiscal Year 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (FY14 NDAA) will likely come to a vote soon. This represents a good opportunity to set a deadline for the Navy to cancel one version of the Littoral Combat Ship. I urge you to support efforts to stop wasting money on the LCS.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]