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Rep. Elaine Luria prioritizes expanding Navy's fleet in 2023 defense spending bill

The House Armed Services Committee announced it will support growing the fleet, expanding shipbuilding capabilities and addressing childcare needs.

NORFOLK, Va. — U.S. Rep. Elaine Luria, who represents much of Hampton Roads, announced Wednesday that the House Armed Services Committee will advance efforts to bolster the Navy's fleet.

The efforts in question would be put into the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act -- the annual legislation to establish the military's budget for the year. 

According to her office, Luria wants the Navy to acquire 15 destroyers, which are large and maneuverable warships, over the next five years. She also wants to cancel the retirement of four ships.

Luria also wants to include provisions that would improve childcare access for military members.

Also included in her priorities, Luria is backing the transfer of nearly eight acres of land from Naval Air Station Oceana to the Hampton Roads Sanitation Department to enable the construction of a new service road.

Luria also wants $80 million toward construction projects for Norfolk Naval Station, Joint Base Langley-Eustis and Naval Air Station Oceana Dam Neck Annex as well as $22.4 million for energy resilience and conservation programs at Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads.

It is unclear whether these provisions will be included in the final version of the 2023 NDAA, but Luria has made it clear that these are her priorities. 

Back in April, Luria criticized a proposal to cut the Navy's fleet by 24 ships, arguing it would halt the branch's efforts to reach its goal of 355 ships.

Under that plan, the Navy would decommission nine Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ships, five Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers, four Whidbey Island-class amphibious dock landing ships, two Los Angeles Class attack submarines, two oilers and two Montford Point-class expeditionary transfer docks. 

"We cannot add by subtracting, so, this again takes us yet further away from our goal of a 355-ship Navy, which is in fact law," said Luria.

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