NewsBytes 2007


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March 1st 2007: DON Budget WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The nation’s top Navy and Marine Corps leaders told members of Congress March 1 that the Department of the Navy’s (DoN) proposed $139.8 billion budget request for fiscal year 2008 (FY08) fully supports near and long-term warfighting requirements and will help win the global war on terror (GWOT).

Through the Fleet Response Plan, we continue to meet the demands of the Combatant Commanders for trained, flexible and sustainable forces, with six Carrier Strike Groups available on 30 days notice and an additional Carrier Strike Group ready to surge within 90 days,” Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Mullen  said.

The proposed budget represents a $12 billion increase from last year’s baseline appropriations. It provides for improved facilities for schools and child care and a three percent across-the-board pay increase for service members.

The FY08 ship construction and aviation procurement plan includes the first CVN-21 aircraft carrier, a Virginia-class submarine, one amphibious assault ship, one logistics ship and three Littoral Combat Ships. It also calls for 18 EA-18Gs; 24 F/A-18E/Fs; 21 MV-22 Ospreys, unmanned aerial vehicles, mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles (MRAP vehicles) and the continued development and procurement of F-35 joint strike fighters.

The budget allots $14.7 billion for shipbuilding, an increase of about $3.2 billion over this year.

The V-shaped-bottom MRAP vehicle is designed to fill the gap between the flat-bottomed Humvees being used today and the Joint Tactical Light Vehicle, which is designed to offer greater protection against IEDs.

February 28th 2007: Ronald Reagan Awarded First Battle "E" USS RONALD REAGAN, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) earned the 2006 Commander Naval Air Force Carrier Battle Efficiency “E” award for the West Coast, the first Battle "E” ever for the Navy’s newest aircraft carrier.

The Ronald Reagan CSG departed San Diego Jan. 27 on a surge deployment in order to fill the role of USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63), the Navy’s only permanently forward deployed aircraft carrier, as it undergoes scheduled maintenance in Yokuska, Japan.

February 28th 2007: Big E Underway USS ENTERPRISE, At Sea (NNS) -- The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) left its homeport Feb. 28 for the first time since returning from its regularly scheduled six-month deployment in November.

For the next few weeks, Enterprise, along with embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1, will conduct carrier qualifications while underway in the Atlantic to maintain combat readiness.

The Big E is the centerpiece of the Enterprise Carrier Strike Group (CSG), which also includes USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51), USS Stout (DDG 55), USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98), USS James E. Williams (DDG 95), USS Gettysburg (CG 64), USS Philadelphia (SSN 690) and the fast combat supply ship USNS Supply (T-AOE 6).