The defense secretary officially terminated five upcoming ship deployments last week and ordered one deployed frigate to return home. These ships have been on notice for the past month that their cruises may be canned, but lawmakers — when they passed a military funding plan through September — made it official.
Fleet Forces Command and the Pacific Fleet blamed the actions on automatic spending cuts, known as sequestration. It will strip $4 billion from the Navy’s coffers just this year.
Fleet statements made no mention whether the service will ground as many as four air wings, possibilities that Navy officials disclosed in early March. Meanwhile, three more ship deployments hang in limbo.
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