Ship commander speaks about canceled deployment

Published On: Feb 08 2013 03:04:16 PM EST
USS Gettysburg

U.S. Navy

MAYPORT, Fla. -

Capt. Robert Hein, the commanding officer of the USS Gettysburg, spoke Friday, two days after finding out his Navy ship that was supposed to head out on a deployment to the Persian Gulf would not be.

Instead, Hein is staying at Naval Station Mayport with his sailors due to budget cuts.

The Navy announced it was delaying the deployment for the USS Gettysburg guided missile cruiser. The cruiser is part of the USS Truman battle group.

A Naval Air Station Jacksonville-based helicopter squadron, HSM-74, is also part of the group. The entire battle group's deployment was delayed.

Now the 380 sailors of the USS Gettysburg will just be waiting.

"These guys are flexible. They understand," Hein said. "On one hand, they were excited to deploy, excited to do what they were trained to do. On the other hand, the opportunity to spend a little more time at home works out pretty well, too."

The military is also considering other cuts for budget reasons.

About 800,000 civilians around the country could be furloughed for 22 days over several months. That could have an impact on civilians working at the Naval Aviation Depot at NAS Jacksonville.

About 46,000 contract and temporary workers around the country could be laid off.

And budget cuts could have an affect on some local private companies as well, which do ship repair work on local Navy vessels.

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