(JustPatriots.com)- Shortly before President Biden unveiled his budget proposal to shrink the US Navy fleet by two ships, Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro said in a recent speech that he believes fighting climate change is a top priority for the Navy, Fox News reported.
While speaking at the University of the Bahamas on March 1, Del Toro said he made climate change one of his “top priorities” when he became Secretary of the Navy. He said both the Navy and the US Marine Corps are “accelerating and broadening” the efforts on “climate and energy security.”
However, with China increasing its naval fleet, most senior Navy officers and military experts warn that Biden’s proposal to shrink the naval fleet is coming at a bad time.
In recent years, the US Navy has set the goal of 355 manned ships. However, rather than increasing the fleet to meet that goal, since taking office, the Biden administration has proposed reducing the fleet to below the roughly 298 ships currently available.
The Biden budget is calling for the decommissioning of 11 ships and replacing them with only 9 newly-constructed ships, making a net loss of two vessels. This proposal has prompted skepticism from lawmakers in Congress who have spent the past two years trying to spare the Navy from the administration’s proposed cuts to the fleet.
Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, told Fox News that Biden’s defense budget is “sinking our future fleet.” Wicker added that the president risks US “maritime security” by refusing to maintain readiness or a plan to increase “battle force and command” in the future.
But Navy Secretary Del Toro believes focusing on so-called climate change would help address the problem of the country’s maritime security.
While speaking in the Bahamas earlier this month, Del Toro said a focus on climate change is not a “trade-off” between “climate security” and the “core mission” of the Navy and Marine Corps. He said “embracing” new “climate-focused technologies” as well as a “climate-informed posture” will strengthen the Navy’s ability to “stand by our partners and allies.”