NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - Defense Secretary Leon Panetta addressed a group of sailors aboard the USS Enterprise this weekend.
Panetta reassured the troops the U.S. will not cut its fleet of 1,100 warships despite the Pentagon slashing $487 billion from its budget.
The USS Enterprise will be deactivated and then replaced about a year and a half later with the brand new USS Gerald R. Ford.
Secretary Panetta explained why it's important for our country to stay strong at sea.
"Our view is carriers, because of their presence and the power they represent. It's an important part of our ability to maintain power in the Pacific and Middle East," said Panetta.
The Enterprise Carrier Strike Group is scheduled to head to the Middle East in March.
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