BND Responds to Budget Sequestration
The Board of Directors of Broward Navy Days, Inc. wrote the following letter to members of the South Florida Congressional Delegation in response to the impending federal budget sequestration:
February 10, 2013
Dear Senators and Representatives,
Broward Navy Days, Inc. (BND) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is supporting and advocating for the United States Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine. Our 23rd annual Fleet Week Port Everglades (FWPEV) is scheduled for April 29 - May 6, 2013. FWPEV is a unique South Florida opportunity to honor and celebrate our maritime armed forces. It provides a wide variety of recreational, vocational and community service activities and allows the Navy to showcase its fleet force capabilities to citizens, businessmen and women and our political leaders.
The military’s success in fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan while responding to major humanitarian crises throughout the world is a tribute to their dedication and professionalism. I urge you, our elected officials of Congress to provide the required resources for our military to continue to carry out their important missions. As the Navy prepares contingency planning to respond to sequestration, BND feels a proactive need to point out the benefits of FWPEV. Accordingly, I am requesting your support to hold the line on Sea Services funding. Furthermore, I emphatically request that you sponsor or strongly endorse a defense appropriations bill for fiscal year 2013 to eliminate the pending Department of Defense (DoD) sequestration cuts and the strangling uncertainties that exist today.
We understand that budget reductions are necessary and inevitable and stand ready to join you in finding a solution to the current budgetary impasse. However, sequestrations as it currently exists, will only result in a lose-lose outcome for our nation's security, our war-fighters, and quite possibly tens of thousands of your constituents in the 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, and 24th Congressional Districts who benefit from FWPEV.
Patriots serving patriots. Broad community support is what makes our magic possible. Unlike many Navy Weeks around the country organized by DoD, FWPEV is primarily a PRIVATELY FUNDED initiative financially supported through membership, sponsorship, private contributions, special events and in-kind donations. As of February 10, 2013 our organization has already laid out tens of thousands of dollars towards this year’s events. We would be materially and irreparably harmed should DoD cancel FWPEV at this late date. Please consider the many desirable benefits we provide;
Today, the Navy is globally engaged. Half of its ships are at sea and 43% are forward deployed. The Navy struggles to meet current requirements with only 284 ships, our smallest fleet since 1916, and 41 fewer than the 325 ships the Secretary of the Navy has validated are needed to adequately meet current and future requirements and possible challenges. The Navy’s situation and overall mission is quite different than the other services. Their worldwide responsibilities will continue nearly as intensely as today after pullback from Central Asia with only a minor reduction in deployments and overseas presence anticipated. The nation cannot afford to downsize the Navy because it is already undersized today. Unfounded cuts for the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard will have a severe effect, one that we cannot afford to incur in view of national security issues on the horizon.
Our members fully understand the economic challenge facing our country and the tough decisions that need to be made. The cost after a decade of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan has been $1.2 Trillion - less than the debt the government added last year alone. We can solve our fiscal problems without cutting the Sea Services and incurring a negative impact on our security or undermining the local benefits of hosting FWPEV.
On behalf of the tens of thousands of members, sponsors, supporters and friends of FWPEV, I request your support to hold the line on Sea Services funding and endorse a defense appropriations bill for fiscal year 2013. As fellow countrymen, I very much admire and respect your representation of our community in Congress and your important work on behalf of the United States.
Jean-Sebastien GrosChairman, Board of Directors
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Broward Navy Days, Inc.5300 North Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308T: 954-649-4777