The Navy this weekend announced additional cutbacks to deal with sequestration, now that the automatic, across-the-board spending cuts are official.
The service will defer or cancel up to six ship deployments to various locations around the world through April, according to the memo from Navy Secretary Ray Mabus. The message did not identify the specific deployments.
The Navy plans to shut down Carrier Air Wing 2 in April. According to its website, the wing is based at Naval Air Station Lemoore in California. Of the squadrons that make up the wing, one is based at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach: the VFA-34 Blue Blasters.
"This will initiate preparations to gradually stand-down flying in at least three additional air wings, with two more air wings being reduced to minimum safe flying levels by the end of the year," the Mabus memo states.
Yet another action affects the USNS Comfort, which just moved to Naval Station Norfolk this weekend. The Navy will defer its deployment to Central and South America as part of the "Continuing Promise 2013" humanitarian mission. That deferment affects an unspecified number of Seabees and medical units.
Commenting on the proposed actions, Lt. Cmdr. Chris Servello, a Navy spokesman, said: "We remain hopeful that Congress will act – fix sequester and pass an appropriations bill. Many of these reductions could be reversed – there is still time. We will wait until the last possible moment before making cancellations that can't be recovered."