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Saved from the Scrapper: This Navy Aircraft Carrier Won't Be Retired After-all

David Axe

Security,

Lawmakers are lining up to reject the U.S. Navy's proposal to prematurely decommission, as a cost-saving measure, the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman. The Navy likely anticipated the widespread opposition, observers pointed out, underscoring that the sailing branch apparently floated Truman's early retirement as a ploy to secure additional funding in the 2020 budget. The ploy apparently is working.

It's likely the Navy knew lawmakers would refuse to let the service decommission Truman. Politico reporter Dave Brown cited the Truman kerfuffle as a case of "Washington Monument Syndrome."

Lawmakers are lining up to reject the U.S. Navy's proposal to prematurely decommission, as a cost-saving measure, the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman.

The Navy likely anticipated the widespread opposition, observers pointed out, underscoring that the sailing branch apparently floated Truman's early retirement as a ploy to secure additional funding in the 2020 budget.

(This first appeared earlier in the month.)

The ploy apparently is working.

There is "zero" chance the House Armed Services Committee will approve the decommissioning, said Rep. Joe Courtney, a Connecticut Democrat and the chair of the HASC seapower subcommittee.

"The Truman is only about 25 years old, which in [terms of] an aircraft carrier is actually pretty young," Courtney said, according to Business Insider.

"I think in terms of it getting any endorsement in the seapower mark this year I think is zero," Courtney added, according to Defense News.

The Washington Post columnist David Ignatius on Feb. 26, 2019 first reported the proposed carrier cut. Breaking Defense a day later confirmed that the 21-year-old Truman is the ship in question.

The Navy previously had planned to keep Truman in service at least another 25 years. In an abrupt reversal, the Navy in its 2020 budget proposal reportedly will propose to cancel Truman's 2024 mid-life overhaul, effectively forcing the service to decommission the vessel once its nuclear reactor cores wear out some time in the 2020s.

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