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."


Hunter Museum To Host Jazzanooga Brunches This Fall

The Hunter Museum of American Art will host a special series of brunches this fall featuring live jazz in partnership with Jazzanooga, a citywide celebration of jazz co-founded by Shane Morrow and James McKissic. The Hunter Museum has been a partner with Jazzanooga since its 2011 inception. This year they are expanding the partnership beyond the April events to include a series ... (click for more)

East Ridge Police Department To Conduct Labor Day Weekend Saturation

The East Ridge Police Department will be conducting a patrol saturation across the upcoming Labor Day weekend. The additional officers will focus their efforts on vehicle crash reduction and public safety enhancement. ERPD would like to wish everyone a happy and safe holiday weekend. (click for more)

Bradley, 24, Charged In Death Of Boy, 3; Child Had Numerous Injuries After Left With Boyfriend; Mother Was In Workhouse

Justin Dale Bradley has been charged with criminal homicide in the death of a three-year-old child, who was rushed to the hospital on Wednesday and later died. Police said Dakota James Arndt had numerous injuries over his body. Authorities said Bradley, 24, is the boyfriend of the child's mother, Brianna Kwekel, who was in the Workhouse at the time. Ms. Kwekel was serving 48 ... (click for more)

Helen Burns Sharp Asks Recovery Of Legal Fees In Successful Black Creek TIF Lawsuit

Helen Burns Sharp, citizen activist who sued to try to stop a $9 million Black Creek Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and won, is seeking to have her legal expenses paid by the city and the developers. Ms. Sharp said in a court filing that her legal bills to attorney John Konvalinka are $74,427 thus far. Chancellor Frank Brown ruled in favor of Ms. Sharp, saying the Sunshine ... (click for more)

The Many Lessons I Learned From Helen McDonald Exum

Helen McDonald Exum was my friend and mentor. As I think of her passing I can only imagine the celebration that is happening in heaven as the news of her arrival is being told. I am sure that there is a party that not only has she organized but that there is not a detail that has been left to chance. I am sure that it is the grandest of events, for you see, she has been planing ... (click for more)

Insurance Burden Should Not Fall On The Teachers

I have attended several Hamilton County School Board meetings over the past few months, including the recent special called meeting" to vote on teacher insurance changes. First, let me say I am very impressed with Superintendent Rick Smith and his staff at the Central Office.  Mr. Smith is a very dedicated public servant, working hard to provide services to our community ... (click for more)