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The Navy sailed out of its budget crunch on Tuesday, when legislation that funds the service, along with the rest of the government, through September was signed into law. But the fleet did not emerge unscathed.
The spending bill enacts so-called sequestration cuts that strip the Navy of an estimated $4 billion through the rest of the fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.
“We still have a little bit of a shortfall in operations and also in our investment accounts due to sequestration, but we're in much better shape,” said Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jon Greenert in a video update posted Friday to the Navy's YouTube page. “So, what's next? Well, we're going to move ahead in a very deliberate fashion and decide what's important and make sure we fund those most important things.”
Among his top priorities: restoring steaming days, flying hours, needed overhauls and pre-deployment preps.
“For our sailors out there, what it means is your pay will be stable as it has been, our manpower accounts have been stable throughout this whole turmoil that we've gone through,” Greenert said. “We're going to retain our family readiness programs as they have been. PCS will remain stable throughout all this, so moves should continue apace. Tuition assistance is still at 100 percent, and I'm working to keep it at that level.”
Greenert visited Navy Times headquarters in Springfield, Va., on Tuesday for an exclusive interview, in which he offered a more in-depth preview of what sailors can expect over the next six months and beyond. It will appear in the print edition that hits newsstands Monday and will be available to Prime members that day at NavyTimes.com.