Spencer: Navy holding industry forum in May about theoretical demand surge

By Justin Katz  
April 10, 2019 at 3:18 PM

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include a comment from the Navy.

The Navy will host a forum for industry next month on what to expect if the military's demand suddenly surged, according to the service's top civilian.

"Our acquisition and sustainment arm, through [Navy acquisition executive Hondo] Geurts is actually doing a 'what happens when the balloon goes up' [event] with industry. We're having a forum," Navy Secretary Richard Spencer told the House Armed Services Committee today in a hearing about the service's fiscal year 2020 budget.

"What would happen to capacity, and what could our suppliers expect to do if in fact we really surged the demand?" Spencer continued.

Spencer's remarks were in response to a question about Chinese shipbuilding capabilities potentially exceeding those of the U.S. in the 2030s.

The Navy acquisition executive “has had a team actively working on prudent planning to ensure we are ready to mobilize our acquisition community and industrial base for a wide variety of scenarios,” Navy Capt. Danny Hernandez, Geurts' spokesman, told Inside Defense in an April 11 statement when asked about the upcoming event.

“One of the initiatives in this planning is a table-top engagement with industry representatives since they are key to the readiness of the Navy,” he continued.