The Numbers Aren’t There, And It’s Getting Worse
By Harold Hutchison
The United States Navy is in a crisis. Its numbers are dwindling – at a time when several adversaries are strengthening. From a high of 594 ships on 30 September, 1987, it has declined to 290 ships, less than half the total.
The Navy has dropped from a high of 15 carriers on 30 September, 1991 to 10 today. Worse, in the last two years, three aircraft carriers have been either retired or sold for scrap. While the carriers were ancient (in some cases, pushing sixty years old), keep in mind it took just under five and a half years to build USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77), the newest carrier in commission. Her first deployment did not occur for two years and four months after her commissioning.