USNS Comfort, Kauffman and Grasp Deployments Cancelled

USNS Comfort, Kauffman and Grasp Deployments Cancelled

U.S. Fleet Forces formally notified several Navy commands that the Secretary of Defense approved cancellations of their upcoming deployments.

The April deployments of the Naval Station Norfolk-based USNS Comfort (T-AH 20), USS Kauffman (FFG 59) and the Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-based USNS Grasp (T-ARS 51), along with their supporting units, have been cancelled due to budget limitations imposed by sequestration.

Kauffman and Comfort were scheduled to deploy to the U.S Southern Command area of responsibility (AOR), and Grasp was scheduled to deploy to the U.S. European Command AOR.

Each respective chain of command has begun to notify the affected Sailors and civilian mariners of these cancellations. As the Secretary of the Navy stated in a message March 1, the Navy has been preparing to cancel or defer a number of surface ship deployments through the month of April.

While the final decision to cancel these deployments was deferred until the last possible moment in the event the cancellation was not necessary, these commands had been previously directed to prepare for cancellation. The ships will remain in their respective homeports while crews conduct training and maintenance.

The Secretary of Defense has directed and U.S. Fleet Forces is ensuring that constrained resources are being prioritized to support forces operating forward, and to those being trained to relieve them.

Naval Today Staff, March 25, 2013; Image: US Navy