May 27, 2021
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement regarding the reported redeployment of the USS Ronald Reagan:
“Force protection must always remain our highest priority, and I have complete confidence in the crew of the USS Ronald Reagan. However, the reported redeployment of the Reagan from Indo-Pacific Command to Central Command underscores that we are asking the military to do too much with too little. There are no other carriers available, and the Ford remains far behind schedule. The Secretary of Defense should not have to choose between providing force protection and keeping an aircraft carrier in the priority theater.
“As Americans pause to reflect on the sacrifice of service members during the Memorial Day weekend, the Biden administration is expected to deliver its budget proposal for fiscal year 2022 — a budget that cuts funding for our military. This sends a terrible signal to Beijing, who will also take note of this aircraft carrier leaving the Western Pacific.
“This redeployment also highlights the fundamentally flawed approach of unconditional withdrawal from Afghanistan. While no one wants to keep American troops in Afghanistan forever, leaving without a plan will certainly require continued deployment of warships and aircraft as the military attempts to conduct a similar counter-terror mission from afar. Every day, it becomes clearer that the American military requires much more funding to carry out U.S. strategy.”