The Navy can get more from less. Using fewer but better-prepared engineers will cut costs and improve readiness. The key is in the training.
Few days passed during 2011 in which the words “deficit,” “budgetary constraints,” and “fiscal responsibility”—in context with the Department of Defense—weren’t in the headlines, ominously raising the prospect of deep cuts in Pentagon spending. With the failure of the supercommittee in November, the Budget Control Act dictates a reduction in federal spending of $1.2 trillion over ten years, which could mean billions lost to the Navy. Just before this issue went to press, House and Senate conferees agreed to lop $43 billion from overall DOD spending for the current fiscal year. Whatever final numbers eventually are agreed on, they will not alter one fundamental truth: The Department of the Navy must start finding ways to cut costs while improving mission readiness.