A member of the Senate Armed Services Committee says he hopes the U.S. Navy fleet, which was decimated during the Obama years, can be rebuilt to deal with growing threats from adversaries such as China.
Lawmakers recently passed the defense budget, which calls for a nearly $300 billion increase in spending over the next two years. The defense spending package calls for $700 billion for fiscal year 2018 and increases that amount to $716 billion for fiscal year 2019 to finance the day-to-day operations of the Pentagon.
U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, introduced legislation that funds expanding the navy fleet to 355 ships, from the current 270, over the next decade.
Wicker tells OneNewsNow the U.S. never needs to find itself in a situation like the 1930s and early 1940s, when it was totally unprepared to face the Axis Powers in World War II.
"The American people rose to the occasion – and we'd do it again,” he says. “But I sure would hate to have to be put in that situation."
The best way to prevent history from repeating itself, he says, is for the current generation to ensure that China and Russia can't rival the aggression of Japan and German by outmatching the United States.
Citing a news article from Defense News, OneNewsNow reported in a Feb. 2017 story that a whopping two-thirds of U.S. naval aviation was unfit to fly, including fighter jets such as the F/A-18 Super Hornet.
The defense budget also adds nearly 26,000 more troops and the Navy will get 10 new ships including an aircraft carrier, three destroyers, and two attack submarines. Furthermore, nearly 80 more Joint Strike Fighters, 60 Apache attack helicopters, and 24 F-18 Hornets will be added.