President Donald Trump Reverses Pentagon & Navy Decision to decommission Super-carrier USS Harry S. Truman 25 years early. He says he has overridden an “order” to retire the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman ahead of schedule
on February 28, 2019, Pentagon & Navy decided to retire USS Harry S. Truman Aircraft carrier 2 decades early, Shrinking Carrier Fleet To 10 to save billions of dollars. See Details – Link
I am overriding the Decommission Order of the magnificent aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman, built in 1998 (fairly new), and considered one of the largest and finest in the world. It will be updated at a fraction of the cost of a new one (which also are being built)!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 1, 2019
According to few sources Pentagon, Navy, In Dark About Trump’s USS Truman Decision. Pentagon leadership was only given a few hours warning that Vice President Mike Pence would announce the Trump administration’s new opposition to retiring the USS Harry S. Truman 25 years early, as the Navy had long planned.
The last-minute heads-up came just after President Trump made the snap decision morning to reject a key provision of the Navy’s budget he had approved earlier this year. The Navy estimates it would save $3.4 billion over the next five years — and $20 billion over the next three decades — by not refuelling the nuclear-powered carrier, and retiring it around 2025.
It is important to immediately note that there is no “decommission order” to rescind. The Trump Administration had formally proposed the plan in its own budget for the upcoming 2020 Fiscal Year, which Congress looked guaranteed to oppose, and now Trump and the Pentagon appear to have abandoned the idea in the face of mounting pressure from Congress.
The proposal to decommission Truman kicked off a public debate about the utility of aircraft carriers. Faced with questions about the aircraft carrier’s relevance in light of Chinese and Russian long-range anti-ship missiles gave a forceful defence of the platform.
.@POTUS asked me to deliver a message today — We are keeping the best carrier in the world in the fight! We are NOT retiring the Truman! The USS Harry S. Truman is gonna“Give ‘Em Hell” for many years to come! pic.twitter.com/VFt7zb9L3b
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) April 30, 2019
The biggest complaint, as Trump’s Tweet notes, has been that the carrier is relatively young and still has decades of service life left in it, both of which are true.
The Navy does appear well on its way to “shaking the tree” for that extra money, but it’s hard to see how this process, and the political capital expended for no reason, was better than simply asking for the funding up front.
The next several months will be critical for the Navy as Congress decides how much money to allocate to these priorities. But now that the $3.4 billion the service was counting to pay for much of that modernization appears gone, the effects will likely be felt across the service.