As reported by Navy Times website (1), Defense Secretary Hagel has acknowledged that one of the options for dealing with continued sequestration budget effects is to reduce the number of carriers from 11 to 8 or 9. Admittedly, this is just Hagel floating budget trial balloons so let’s not all run around shouting that the sky is falling. On the other hand, ComNavOps has, on numerous occasions, stated publicly that the Navy is on a path towards operating only 8 or 9 carriers so I see nothing about this that leads me to believe it won’t happen.
Some of you may recall that 11 carriers are mandated by law so it would require a new law or, simply, waivers to operate less than 11. That shouldn’t be hard to do especially since it’s Congress that agreed to the sequester to begin with and Congress that willing gave the Navy a waiver to operate only 10 carriers with retirement of
Read the linked article and you’ll get more details about which carriers would likely be retired, why they can’t simply be mothballed, and lots of other good tidbits.