The Defense Department has reprogrammed $216 million from the Navy’s operation and maintenance account to the National Defense Sealift Fund, according to an April 5 reprogramming document.
Approximately $144 million is required “to support 10 Large Medium-Speed Roll-on/Roll-off ships and five Roll-On/Roll-off container ships” in fiscal year 2019, according to the document signed by Elaine McCusker, the Pentagon’s deputy comptroller.
Roughly $72 million is required for the Navy’s two hospital ships, Mercy (T-AH-19) and Comfort (T-AH-20).
The document indicates the money is being transferred from an operation and maintenance account but does not elaborate on why the funds are available for reprogramming.
The National Defense Sealift Fund is a supplementary funding account, similar to the National Sea-Based Deterrence Fund, used by the Navy to procure and maintain the Ready Reserve Fleet and other support vessels meant to aid the military in times of surge deployment.