No further cuts to carrier fleet?

US won’t cut carrier fleet to fix budget: Panetta

Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta, right, and Rear Adm. Walter E. Carter, commander of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 12, watch flight operations aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65). The Enterprise Carrier Strike Group is underway conducting a composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Scott Pittman/Released)

Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta, right, and Rear Adm. Walter E. Carter, commander of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 12, watch flight operations aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65). The Enterprise Carrier Strike Group is underway conducting a composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Scott Pittman/Released)


Good news, if true:

Aboard The USS Enterprise: The United States will not cut America’s fleet of 11 aircraft carriers to help trim the budget deficit, Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said on Saturday, citing tensions with Iran as an example of why the massive ships are so critical to national security.

Panetta was addressing about 1,700 sailors headed to the Gulf this spring aboard the USS Enterprise, which after a half-century of service is about to embark on its final tour before being taken offline in November.

We’ll see. There is already a gap between the retirement of the Big ‘E’ and the addition of the USS Gerald R Ford (CVN 78).

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