Impact Of Sequestration On Navy Will Be Significant, Admiral Raymond Alexander Tells Navy League Meeting

Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Rear Admiral Raymond Alexander, center, was the speaker for the Chattanooga Area Council of the Navy League. On the left is Dan Saieed, installed as new president, and on the right is outgoing president, Sandy McMillan.
Rear Admiral Raymond Alexander, center, was the speaker for the Chattanooga Area Council of the Navy League. On the left is Dan Saieed, installed as new president, and on the right is outgoing president, Sandy McMillan.

"The effects of sequestration on naval construction will have a significant impact on fleet readiness," said Rear Adm. Raymond Alexander. If this happens, "are we ready to fight a war?" he asked.

Adm Alexander was the guest speaker for the quarterly meeting of the Chattanooga Area Council of the Navy League, which met Tuesday for dinner at the Choo-Choo. Now retired, the Admiral emphasized that his remarks are his own and he is not speaking for the Navy. He speaks, however, from a vast knowledge of naval construction.

During 28 years of Naval service, he held every leadership and command billet within the Naval Construction Force. He served on flag staffs as well as on two joint commands as the deputy engineer. During his 33 year career he made employments to many foreign countries and during the Gulf War was assigned as the forward engineer for the First Marine Expeditionary Force and led Seabee detachments during the ground assault with the First and Second Marine Divisions to liberate Kuwait City.

In Iraq he commanded the First Marine Expeditionary Engineer Group. He retired in 2008. Currently he serves as the executive vice president for engineering and physical security for Professional Project Services in Oak Ridge, Tn.

Sequestration, the result of the 2011 Budget Control Act, mandates a 10% cut across the board for defense and non-defense and for the department of defense means an actual 50% cut or $960 billion over the next nine years.

What this means in cuts for the Navy means all kinds of ships will not be built. For example, there have long been two carriers in the Persian Gulf. This cut will mean there will only be one ship, maintenance will be deferred and all shore facilities for maintenance and repair will be cut by 50 percent. Civilian employees will be laid off or deferred for 22 days a year.

"Dollars and cents cuts are coming," Adm. Alexander said, "and nothing can be done about it. We will have to live with it unless Congress changes and that doesn’t seem likely."


Weekly Road Construction Report

Here is the weekly road construction report for Hamilton County: South Crest Road Bridge repair project over I-24 (between MM 182.3 – 182.4) and East Main Street (Mid-State Construction Co, Inc.):  Work on this major bridge repair project on the South Crest Road Bridge over I-24 and East Main Street in Chattanooga continues. During the project, the bridge itself is closed, ... (click for more)

Whitfield Government Offices To Close Friday For Holiday

Whitfield County governmental administrative offices, including the Courthouse, will be closed  Friday  in observance of Independence Day.   County offices will reopen at their regular times on  Monday . (click for more)

Work Set To Restart On Chickamauga Lock This Year

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers allocated $3 million that Congress provided for fiscal year 2015 to restart construction on Chickamauga Lock this year, Senator Lamar Alexander and Rep. Chuck Fleischmann announced. “We need to replace Chickamauga Lock before it fails, and I talked with Secretary Darcy today to thank her for making this project a priority by deciding to restart ... (click for more)

Boyd Asks Coppinger For Public Apology; Does Not Get One

County Commissioner Tim Boyd on Wednesday morning read a letter in which he asked County Mayor Jim Coppinger for a public apology. However, he did not get one. Instead, County Mayor Coppinger called remarks last Wednesday by Commissioner Boyd that the county mayor had $4.4 million in discretionary funds "ridiculous." He said that money includes such items as the Humane Educational ... (click for more)

Police Need To Stop The Road Cowboys - And Response

Where is our highway patrol?  If they were known to regularly patrol our interstate highways through our city I don't think it would take long before the "truckers" were aware of it.  There are places in our country where this is the case.   When I have traveled Interstates 24 and 75 I may see the occasional car pulled over but rarely if ever is it an 18-wheeler. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Garden This July

As the month of July dawns this morning, a walk through my garden shows some flowers blooming, my marigolds dying, and the grass is greener than I thought it would be. But as I look for what’s good and what’s bad, let’s remember that some firecrackers pop while others fizzle. Here we go… A BANG to career criminal Whitely Bulger, the 85-year-old master criminal who in a recent ... (click for more)