A little noticed but hugely important impact of the current budget cuts is the just announced decision to delay the nuclear refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) of the USS Abraham Lincoln as reported by Navy Times at www.navytimes.com. RCOH is the multi-year mid-life refueling and overhaul that allows carriers to serve another twenty or so years. What’s the big deal, you ask? So what if the RCOH starts a little later? Well, RCOH only takes place at one location in a single dock. The availability of that dock is scheduled years in advance since it must serve the entire carrier fleet in a carefully choreographed sequence. The domino effect of this decision, if the delay lasts any significant amount of time, will be felt for years. We may wind up with multiple carriers unavailable for service due to needed refueling that can’t be accomplished. Alternatively, we may see another carrier retired early because of unresolvable scheduling issues and/or to save money. A RCOH costs around $3.5B – no small change! For the moment, the
will sit idle at Lincoln awaiting a decision. Norfolk
This is an immediate example of CNO's publicly stated policy of cutting maintenance in favor of new construction. This is idiocy or political gamesmanship in the extreme and neither is worthy of the United States Navy or the CNO. This CNO is gutting the Navy.