A bi-partisan Congressional delegation from California, including all five representatives from San Diego, has called on the Navy to increase its fleet to 11 aircraft carriers despite budget pressure.
San Diego-area Republicans Duncan Hunter and Darrell Issa and Democrats Susan Davis, Scott Peters and Juan Vargas joined ten of their colleagues in signing a letter Wednesday to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.
“Any permanent reduction below a fleet of 11 aircraft carriers would jeopardize America’s ability to simultaneously sustain carrier operations in the Mideast and Asia and potentially change us from a global to a regional power,” the Congress members wrote.
Currently the Navy operates 10 Nimitz-class aircraft carriers and has two Gerald Ford-class vessels under construction.
The Navy’s budget proposal calls for 11 carriers, and Congress has passed a law requiring that many, but the budget sequestration has made it impossible to fund a full fleet.
San Diego has been home to as many as three carriers in recent years. California has numerous companies that contribute parts, services and support to the production and maintenance of Navy aircraft carriers.
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