Navy disputes early years of SIOP underfunded by $500M to $1.5B per year

By Justin Katz  
October 22, 2019 at 3:24 PM

The Navy today said it will need in the range of $1 billion to $2 billion per year to support its long-term shipyard infrastructure optimization plan.

Vice Adm. Thomas Moore, Naval Sea Systems Command chief, said the Navy's current request is based on the work it plans to do in FY-20, but acknowledged more money would be needed in future years. Moore was testifying to the House Armed Services readiness subcommittee.

He said Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) was "spot on" with the lawmaker's suggestion that the program must be funded to roughly between $1 to $2 billion per year.

Inside Defense reported earlier this year that the Navy requested $454 million in the fiscal year 2020 budget and planned to request $2.7 billion throughout the future years defense program.

Moore also said the program will receive a "substantial uptick" in FY-22 and FY-23 and will eventually stabilize at about $1.5 billion per year.

After the hearing while speaking to reporters, Moore and Navy acquisition executive Hondo Geurts challenged Lamborn's characterization of the program being "underfunded." They contended the current request supports all of the activities the Navy plans to execute in FY-20.

Lamborn also questioned whether the money would be protected during the budgeting process in future years.

Moore and Geurts, who was also testifying to the subcommittee, said the money has been "fenced off" by putting it into a single program. In the past, according to the Navy officials, the four public shipyards have submitted separate requests for funding, which resulted in the facilities competing against each other.