Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a former Naval officer, unveiled an ambitious plan to significantly strengthen the United States Navy if elected president, marking a level of naval expansion not witnessed in over four decades. During a presentation at the Heritage Foundation on October 27, DeSantis outlined his “Naval Expansion” plan.
In his proposal, he presented a vision for a “four-ocean navy” of nearly 400 ships, which he shared with the American public. DeSantis also set an ambitious timeline, aiming to reach 355 ships by the conclusion of his first term and 385 ships by the end of his assumed second term.
Additionally, he outlined a long-term vision to transform the U.S. Navy into a 600-ship fleet within the next two decades. Currently, the United States Navy possesses more than 280 operational ships, including the USS Jack H. Lucas, a recent addition to the Pacific Fleet that was dispatched on October 7.
Bryan Griffin, the press secretary for Governor DeSantis’s campaign, shared that the plan involves expanding the fleet to 355 ships within the first four years through a combination of new ship construction and reactivation of reserve vessels. They plan to increase the number to 385 in the subsequent term, a growth similar to the one achieved during the Reagan Administration when the number of ships increased by 85 in 8 years, according to Griffin.
Furthermore, the campaign emphasized that the goal of attaining a 600-ship Navy within 20 years would be realized through a comprehensive and achievable shipbuilding strategy. Governor DeSantis underscored that the primary motivation behind this military expansion is to deter the aggression of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
DeSantis emphasized the importance of demonstrating strength in dealing with the CCP, especially within their sphere of influence. He emphasized the necessity of having robust hard power capabilities to counter China’s ambitions concerning Taiwan and the first island chain, asserting that such capabilities would preserve peace.
Throughout his campaign, Governor DeSantis has consistently highlighted the rising power of China as a significant concern, emphasizing the imperative of enhancing America’s presence in the Indo-Pacific region. He pledged to redirect U.S. foreign policy to prioritize the Indo-Pacific as the most critical area for safeguarding U.S. interests and security.
In his support, DeSantis cited Winston Churchill, stressing the importance of maintaining open and active sea routes that enable global trade. He also called for reforms in export controls and collaboration with allies to establish new supply chains independent of the CCP’s influence.
In addition to emphasizing naval dominance, Governor DeSantis articulated a vision for achieving technological superiority. He proposed allocating less funding to “left-wing universities” and channeling more resources into research and development within the Defense Department. He expressed his desire for greater diversity and innovation in the defense industry, advocating for a broader range of companies to meet the nation’s defense requirements.
Governor DeSantis is the only Republican candidate who was in the military. During his speech, Governor DeSantis underscored that true peace can only be achieved through strength. DeSantis is continuing his campaign activities, traveling to Las Vegas, Nevada, where he will participate in the Republican Jewish Coalition’s Leadership Summit on October 28.