Tell Congress to Save $7 Billion by Retiring the USS George Washington


Here’s a pop quiz: How many aircraft carriers does the U.S. Navy need to maintain military superiority? Before you answer that question, consider that no other country in the world, including China and Russia, has more than two carriers.

Would five aircraft carriers be enough? How about seven or eight?

The fact is, the U.S. has ten nuclear powered carriers in its fleet, with another scheduled to become operational in a mere two years. However, carriers are incredibly expensive to maintain and top military strategists have raised serious doubts about their vulnerabilities in modern warfare. So, considering all those factors, does it make sense for the Navy to spend $4.7 billion next year to refuel the USS George Washington?

Thoughtful naval experts think the Pentagon could easily trim its budget by reducing its carrier fleet, while still maintaining a Navy second to none. We agree.

Tell Congress to Save $7 Billion by Retiring the USS George Washington


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Dear [Decision Maker],

I'm writing to urge you to enact commonsense Pentagon budget savings and allow the Navy to retire the USS George Washington aircraft carrier next year. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), this move would save the United States roughly $7 billion over the next nine years. Maintaining an eleven carrier fleet is tremendously expensive and is a requirement that should be openly questioned.

Last year, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel initiated the Strategic Choices and Management Review to examine how the Pentagon could make do with the smaller budgets mandated by Congress via the Budget Control Act. The strategic review found that the United States could reduce its carrier fleet to eight or nine strike groups under lower funding levels. A similar analysis conducted by the Center for a New American Security, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the American Enterprise Institute came to the same conclusion. All four think tanks unanimously recommended slimming the U.S. carrier fleet.

As you and your colleagues work toward achieving the deficit reduction targets set out in law by the Budget Control Act, you should forgo the refueling of the George Washington and allow the carrier fleet to shrink. We would like you to help us build support so that an amendment may be offered to allow the Navy to retire the George Washington. Furthermore, you should support the elimination of the statutory mandate for a certain number of carriers and let the nation's needs and priorities dictate the fleet.

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