The Navy is tightening its belt and this means a lot of people in San Diego may be squeezed out of a job.
The Navy is announcing major cuts because of budget shortfalls, and they'll take effect almost immediately.
The Navy's top officer released an internal Navy memo Thursday, calling for immediate action across the Navy to address budget shortfalls congress hasn't acted on. Personnel cuts will decrease the size of the Navy-wide shipyard workforce by more than 3,000 people, and they'll come in the form of a civilian hiring freeze and termination of temporary employees.
A senior Navy official tells NBC 7 that in San Diego, the Navy plans to cancel ship mid-life maintenance for 10 ships, saving more than $200 million dollars. They also plan to cancel aircraft maintenance at North Island, on the order of more than $80 million dollars.
The Navy will also reduce ship operations and aircraft flying hours, stop non-mission essential travel and postpone new projects. Repairs of facilities, including piers, runways, and buildings will also be halted.
Defense leaders in our community have been warning about this and it’s happening now for two reasons:
First, congress still hasn't passed a 2013 appropriations bill, so the Navy has had to operate at 2012 levels under a continuing resolution.
Secondly, they're bracing for sequestration; automatic, across the board spending cuts that will go into effect in March unless congress acts to stop them.
According to a senior Navy official, the Navy intends these reductions to be reversible.
But, just like a ship can't turn around quickly, neither can the impact of these cuts be quickly reversed, especially when it comes to the defense industry.
It's important to note that sailor pay, benefits, and retirement are protected.