Via Washington Post:
Delaying work on the USS Abraham Lincoln will extend the amount of time it is unavailable for deployment, increase maintenance costs and delay when other aircraft carriers can undergo their overhauls.
The Navy said it is delaying the work because it is short about $1.5 billion and Congress hasn’t passed an appropriations bill to fund it. The delay is one in a series of cuts the military is making in order to cut costs ahead of billions of dollars in automatic spending cuts, known as sequestration, set to take effect March 1. Earlier this week, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta canceled plans for the USS Harry S. Truman strike group to deploy to the Persian Gulf on Friday in an effort to save hundreds of millions of dollars in fuel, supplies and other costs.
The Navy has already warned that it would cancel deployments to Central and South America if sequestration takes effect and limit deployments to Europe, among other things.
According to the U.S. Naval Institute News:
U.S. Rep. J. Randy Forbes, the chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower subcommittee, issued a statement saying the delay was “another example of how these reckless and irresponsible defense cuts in Washington will have a long-term impact on the Navy’s ability to perform its missions. Not only will the Lincoln be delayed in returning to the Fleet, but this decision will also affect the USS Enterprise (CVN-65) defueling, the USS George Washington (CVN-73) RCOH, and future carrier readiness.”
“Canceling and deferring maintenance creates a significant backlog of deferred maintenance and affects future year schedules and cost, as well as future readiness,” Navy spokesman Lt. Courtney Hillson told the institute news service. “The fiscal uncertainty created by not having an appropriations bill — and the measures we are forced to take as a result, place significant stress on an already strained force and undermines the stability of a fragile industrial base.”