The Navy announced it's planning to scrap all eight of Freedom class littoral combat ships, along with five cruisers, as part of its proposal to cut $3.6 billion from its budget over the next five years, according to Military.com, a privately owned news service aimed at military members, veterans and their families.
The decommissioning proposal must still be approved by Congress.
A Navy spokesperson told reporters Monday that the decision to eliminate the littoral class ships was driven by design flaws with the ships' engines, according to Military.com.
The USS Billings was commissioned in August 2019 in Florida. The ceremony was sponsored by groups in Billings, and a commissioning committee from Billings raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay for the ceremony, including $150,000 left over to support sailors on the ship.
U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, who lobbied to name the ship after Billings, gave the principal address at the commissioning, and his wife, Sharla Tester, was the ship's sponsor.
This week, the proposal to scrap the littoral fleet was criticized by several members of Congress, including Rep. Elaine Luria, a Virginia Democrat and former Naval officer. She noted on Twitter that 11 of the ships headed for scrap are less than 10 years old. This includes the USS Billings.
All to save…0.5% of their budget. This, along with an anemic building program, will shrink the navy to 280 ships, at the same time they are calling to build a 500-ship Navy. HINT: If you want to grow the Navy, stop decommissioning more ships than you build. 5/7— Rep. Elaine Luria (@RepElaineLuria) March 29, 2022