New Navy Chief of Staff Admiral Jonathan Greenert said Monday that he is not concerned about the recent surge in visa applicants for the Navy.
The Navy has not had a new major vessel built in over 20 years, the shipyards that built it were mothballed and the fleet was not replenished during that period.
Greenert, who replaced retired Adm.
James Stavridis in the Navy, told reporters Monday that it’s critical that Navy officials know the workforce is there and how they can increase it.
“I think it’s important to make sure that we’re vetting our employees and our personnel for a lot of different things,” Greenert told reporters.
While Greenert and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus have been pushing to increase the number of applicants to the Navy and to hire more sailors and Marines, they have yet to implement the new policy that would require hiring more permanent U.S. citizens.
It remains unclear how the Trump administration would address the issue.
In the meantime, the Navy has been increasing its hiring of permanent residents and refugees.
More than 200 new positions have been added to the workforce since last year, according to the Office of Naval Research.