The military had proposed an early retirement of the USS George Washington, reducing the U.S. carrier fleet to 10, as part of plan to deal with cost cuts imposed by Congress. That touched a nerve among a bipartisan group of lawmakers, who called on Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in a letter last week to block the move and preserve what they argued is a potent symbol of American power.
The Washington is due for mid-life refuel and refit in 2016, but it had been proposed to skip that but possibly operate the ship until the fuel gave out. That would have been somewhere between 2016 and 2021.
The Navy is required by law to operate 11 carriers. They currently have 10, with a special provision for the recently-retired USS Enterprise (CVN 65) to count toward the total by keeping her commissioned. At this point she could not be re-activated even in the event of two simultaneous World Wars.
Yet she counts as one of the 11. This is also known as bullshit.
In other news, those who criticize the Navy for not having any battleships are overlooking the USS Constitution.