Letter to the Editor: Navy, Marines at a tipping point

Dear Editor:

The U.S. Navy-Marine Corps team is in trouble.

After years of being overworked and underfunded, our U.S. Navy-Marine Corps team is threatened with worn out warships and crewmembers needed to man them.

A new study from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) finds that strain on ships and Sailors is reaching a tipping point, as they are continuously called upon to respond to crisis, rising tensions in the Asia-Pacific, and counter the increasing threat of Islamic State militants.

But a broken Navy is a problem for more than just our national defense. 

If the U.S. Navy is unable to protect global commerce, it could have a significant impact on the cost and availability of consumer goods from retailers ranging from Amazon to Wal-Mart, and all companies that rely on international maritime shipping to get products into the hands of consumers. 

We are asking too much of our ships, Sailors and Marines, and are not providing enough support.

A larger and fully sustained fleet is needed to:

•    Protect sea-lanes for the free flow of commerce that is vital for the global economy; 
•    Keep our enemies and adversaries in check; 
•    Support our diplomatic efforts around the globe and; 
•    Delivery of medical supplies, food and water when natural disaster strikes. 

We cannot allow the erosion of the Navy-Marine Corps team to continue. 

Without a significant investment by Congress and the Administration in the Navy’s future, we are placing our national defense, our leadership in the world, the strength of our economy and the health of the global economy at great risk.

We must insist on an investment by Congress in the Navy-Marine Corps team before it is too late.

Hector Ramos