Today, the CNO put all ship maintenance on hold! No overhauls, no availabilities, no repairs! Why, there has not been a Federal budget for four years!! Try that at home! And now, as the President's Pastor said; The chickens have come home to roost!
But what is the real impact of the Senate's failure to do their Constitutional duties? Ships and aircraft are incredibly complicated machines that wear out and break. When major systems on a ship fail, it cannot get underway or perform a critical mission area. But what about the less important systems. Let's look at the non-skid coating on the deck of a DDG. It wears out because of sailors walking on it and the sea water washing over it, and things being being drug over it. When the non-skid looses it's grit, it can be slippery, especially when it gets wet. Now, put that slick deck at sea, in sea state three, at nigh, during a replenishment! Someone slips, falls over the side, and is lost!
There is another impact also. Ships and Aircraft require planned, periodic, depot level maintenance to permit those intricate systems to function through their planned service life. On aircraft, made of special metals like aluminum and magnesium, corrosion, caused by salt water, is a big, life cycle issue. No corrosion control equals aircraft failing much before their planned service life.
Now you can see how the failure of a minor system can be tragic. But, doing decks is on hold!! Why, because the Senate did not do their Constitutional duty. If that was an enlisted person who failed to do a maintenance requirement that ended up injuring another sailor, that enlisted person would be in deep trouble. Is the Leader of the Senate? No.
The same issues apply to aircraft. If a minor system fails on an aircraft, it may not return! But the real problem is not the Navy's ability to plan maintenance. It is our legislator's failure to do their jobs. But, the Fleet Sailors are the ones who will feel the punishment for the Senate and President's incompetence. I just hope it will not result in the death of a sailor!