Adm. Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations, testifies before Congress. Navy photo

The Chief of Naval Operations told Congress Wednesday that budget cuts under the sequestration have degraded the Navy’s readiness and capabilities to the “lowest point in many years.”

The Navy will automatically lose $25 billion in funding if Congress does not reverse automatic military budget cuts designed to reduce overall federal spending.

“Navy readiness is at its lowest point in many years,” Adm. Jonathan Greenert said in testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee‘s defense subcommittee. “The budget reductions have forced us to cut afloat and ashore operations, it has generated a ship and aircraft maintenance backlog, and it has compelled us to extend unit deployments.”

Since 2013, Greenert said, many Navy ships have been on deployments for 8 to 12 months or longer, tiring personnel and reducing the service life of equipment. Degraded readiness posture, he added, has also adversely affected the Navy’s ability to satisfy contingency response requirements.

The admiral said he consider’s President Obama’s budget request a floor and urged lawmakers to avoid stop-and-go funding.

“The budget request represents the floor,” Greenert added, “and any funding level below the submission will require a revision to our strategy.”

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.