NORFOLK -- The Navy's top admiral tackled some tough topics during a visit to the USS George H.W. Bush at Naval Station Norfolk Wednesday.
Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert held an "all-hands" meeting with sailors aboard the aircraft carrier.
Afterwards, Greenert met with reporters and talked about the impact of sequestration cuts on his branch's ability to meet mission. The Navy had to trim $13.7 billion from its budget in 2013 and faces $14 billion in cuts in 2014.
Greenert said the cuts could have a big impact on ship repairs, noting that the Navy would have to reduce its planned ship maintenance availabilities by 50 percent if Congress doesn't intervene and give the service budgetary leeway to move appropriated money around.
"The immediate impact, if we don't do this right, a ship that is getting ready to deploy doesn't get all is work done, so, it's less capable," Greenert said. "The long-term impact, the debilitating affect that you would have if you chose not to take your car in for long-term maintenance, your warranty doesn't work, ships don't get to the expected service life, and I'm concerned about that."
Greenert also discussed base security and force protection four weeks after the Washington Navy Yard shooting rampage which killed 12 people.
Greenert said he's confident Navy personnel are safe, but he said an on-going review of security is essential.
Greenert said the following issues need to be studied: How do we credential? How do we look at backgrounds? How do we measure the different threat conditions? How do we look at firearms at our bases with rights and all that goes with it?