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  • Decline of the US Navy?

    I have been reading this series of articles on time - nation(dot)time(dot)com/2012/12/05/is-the-fleet-steaming-forwardor-backward/

    The author has written three articles on the current status of the US Navy, its declining numbers and capabilities. Its very poor performance in countering the cruise missile threat, very poor performance in anti-mine warefare, underfunded maintenance leading to the fact that one fifth of the fleet cannot pass inspections and fewer than one half of the fleets deployable combat aircraft are fully mission capable. The US Navy also appear to have almost no counter to a small quiet diesel-electric submarine.

    All of these concerns are documented and sourced from actual USG reports and studies. The author Winslow Wheeler, is no armchair enthusiast, but the Director of Straus Military Reform Project of the Center for Defense Information, a part of the Project on Government Oversight (POGO)

    These reports do not bode well for the US Navy. It appears that with the cruise missile and mine threat from China, China could effectively conduct an area denial operation against the US Navy. This would keep the US navy out of an area, thereby allowing the Chinese achieve any limited objectives (say seize the Sprately's or Taiwan for that matter) they see fit?

    I am a huge supporter of the US Navy. I have just felt that they are being less and less funded over the years and are losing the effectiveness that they once possessed.

    I believe some radical changes are required, yet with fiscal cliffs and budgetary cuts, this may not happen.

    What are your opinions? Are the US committing a deadly sin, just assuming that the Navy is all powerful and all capable, without actually doing something concrete to keep that status quo? Hubris at play?
    Only the dead have seen the end of war

  • #2
    Hi

    Declined in relation to when and what?

    Numbers have an obvious value, but they aren't the only factor in determining the outcome of a modern naval encounter.

    Regards
    "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." Churchill

    "I'm no reactionary.Christ on the Mountain! I'm as idealistic as Hell" Eisenhower

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by buka001 View Post
      I have been reading this series of articles on time - nation(dot)time(dot)com/2012/12/05/is-the-fleet-steaming-forwardor-backward/

      The author has written three articles on the current status of the US Navy, its declining numbers and capabilities. Its very poor performance in countering the cruise missile threat, very poor performance in anti-mine warefare, underfunded maintenance leading to the fact that one fifth of the fleet cannot pass inspections and fewer than one half of the fleets deployable combat aircraft are fully mission capable. The US Navy also appear to have almost no counter to a small quiet diesel-electric submarine.

      All of these concerns are documented and sourced from actual USG reports and studies. The author Winslow Wheeler, is no armchair enthusiast, but the Director of Straus Military Reform Project of the Center for Defense Information, a part of the Project on Government Oversight (POGO)

      These reports do not bode well for the US Navy. It appears that with the cruise missile and mine threat from China, China could effectively conduct an area denial operation against the US Navy. This would keep the US navy out of an area, thereby allowing the Chinese achieve any limited objectives (say seize the Sprately's or Taiwan for that matter) they see fit?

      I am a huge supporter of the US Navy. I have just felt that they are being less and less funded over the years and are losing the effectiveness that they once possessed.

      I believe some radical changes are required, yet with fiscal cliffs and budgetary cuts, this may not happen.

      What are your opinions? Are the US committing a deadly sin, just assuming that the Navy is all powerful and all capable, without actually doing something concrete to keep that status quo? Hubris at play?

      All US military services are constantly making trades between funding provided and the missions required. Over a period of time some/many changes made in the name of “efficiency” are seen to have been ill advised. It is difficult for the service leaders to say they can’t perform a mission but the consequence of “doing more with less” over a long period of time will eventually take its toll.

      As the military budget continues to be reduced to address the current economic conditions I can only hope that the civilian leadership understands that with reduced funding come reduced capabilities, including the ability to do all the missions which have been accomplished in the past. Generally that is not the case.

      At least the Navy had the will to do an honest assessment of its readiness, document that assessment, and report it to congress. It will take time and unfortunately funding to reverse this trend. However, currently the Navy is doing something about the issues. I can only hope that it continues to pursue the needed actions, and that congress provides adequate funds needed for the US Navy to continue to be able to perform the missions assigned to it.

      Here are Navy and Congressional responses to the noted assessment.

      FLEET READINESS REVIEW PANEL REPORT (ONE YEAR LATER)

      Even before the Fleet Readiness Review was completed, the Fleets and Surface Type Commanders had started taking steps to address concerns that required immediate action. In order to build upon this preliminary work and to sustain the Fleet Readiness Review's momentum, U.S. Pacific Fleet and U.S. Fleet Forces Command established a senior executive body, the Fleet Review Panel Senior Leadership Oversight Council (FRP SLOC), to guide and oversee our efforts to improve Surface Force readiness
      and wholeness.
      - Over the past year, this group has made significant headway in addressing many of the shortfalls cited in the report. Improvements include:
      --- Clear administrative control. The Ship Class Squadrons established in 2007 performed important work in readiness metrics development, trend analysis, and ship class advocacy. However, since most of the CLASSRONs operated outside their assigned ships' chain of command, they confused authority, responsibility, and accountability for ship readiness. Because of that organizational defect, we disestablished the Ship Class Squadrons last year and reinforced ISIC and TYCOM direct ownership of Surface Force readiness. The Fleets also clarified the supported-supporting relationships between Strike Group Commanders and Type Commanders. Today, there is no doubt as to who is responsible and accountable for the readiness of every ship on the waterfront.
      --- Improved manpower and manning. Next year, we will begin restoring billets to units that had been optimally manned (CG,DDG, LHD, LPD-17, LSD). These restorations will put more trained Sailors in those ships that tend to bear the brunt of high-tempo Fleet operations. Additionally, we have designated specific NECs as critical for safe and effective operations at sea. In partnership with the Navy Personnel Command, we're also launching pilot programs to implement a billet-based distribution system that will generate enlisted requisitions that capture the unique nature of the work associated with specific billets. We expect to implement this model fully by 2016.
      ---- Increased maintenance. We have extended CNO maintenance periods from 9 to as long as 15 weeks in order to give government and commercial maintenance communities time to execute the repairs and upgrades necessary to achieve ship expected service life. We drove down the backlog of ship's force capable (TA4) work, funded Corrosion Control Assist Teams, and reduced our repair work request (2-kilo) screening time by 75% - initiatives that are paying dividends today. We realigned our Regional Maintenance Centers underneath the Naval Sea Systems Command and placed our Port Engineers underneath our Type Commanders - moves that put the right talent in the right places to drive ship maintenance. Additionally, we expect to increase the manning at our Regional Maintenance Centers in the near future in order to provide greater capacity and capability to effect mission-essential repairs between major repair periods. ....................................
      http://www.public.navy.mil/usff/Docu...1-yr_later.pdf
      GAO - Navy Report to Congress
      In addressing the adjustments it is making to improve material readiness, the Navy's report to Congress presents several actions that are completed, in process, or planned. For example, the report states that the Navy has already made organizational changes. Specifically, the report notes that Naval Sea Systems Command directed the creation of the Surface Warfare Directorate and a Deputy Directorate for Readiness. These two entities will manage the complete life-cycle support for all nonnuclear surface ships and address material readiness challenges. The Navy's report also noted planned actions to improve training and manning. The Navy stated it has already begun to implement changes in training such as an enhanced material readiness course at the Surface Warfare Officer School. Additionally, the Navy plans to increase the number of critical billets in optimally manned ships by 1,120 billets in fiscal years 2012 and 2013, and create 285 additional shore billets to reestablish the sea-shore flow between ship and intermediate-level maintenance organizations and to provide skilled craftsmen when sailors return to surface ships. Further, the report added that future budgets would include additional manpower to support the Fleet's regional maintenance centers. ...........................
      http://www.gao.gov/assets/100/97626.html

      Comment


      • #4
        The question becomes

        [QUOTE=PitchRate;2415609]All US military services are constantly making trades between funding provided and the missions required. Over a period of time some/many changes made in the name of “efficiency” are seen to have been ill advised. It is difficult for the service leaders to say they can’t perform a mission but the consequence of “doing more with less” over a long period of time will eventually take its toll.

        As the military budget continues to be reduced to address the current economic conditions I can only hope that the civilian leadership understands that with reduced funding come reduced capabilities, including the ability to do all the missions which have been accomplished in the past. Generally that is not the case.

        does theUnited States needs to operte in certain areas of 'relatively mature ' states.
        The Far East should be able to defend itself, provided Japan & Taiwan stop squabbling over rocky islets. Shale gas CNG conversion would mean an energy secure America could withdraw from inside the Persian Gulf.
        The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

        Comment


        • #5
          This document outlines the U.S. Strategic guidance. It basically says we will continue to be the world’s policemen. http://www.defense.gov/news/defense_...c_guidance.pdf

          From the President’s message in that document published by the Department of Defense:
          “This review has been shaped by America’s enduring national security interests. We seek the security of our Nation, allies and partners. We seek the prosperity that flows from an open and free international economic system. And we seek a just and sustainable international order were the rights and responsibilities of nations and people are upheld, especially the fundamental rights of every human being. “
          And from the Introduction:

          “U.S. economic and security interests are inextricably linked to developments in the arc extending from the Western Pacific and East Asia into the Indian Ocean region and South Asia, creating a mix of evolving challenges and opportunities. Accordingly, while the U.S. military will continue to contribute to security globally, we will of necessity rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific region. Our relationships with Asian allies and key partners are critical to the future stability and growth of the region. We will emphasize our existing alliances, which provide a vital foundation for Asia-Pacific security. We will also expand our networks of cooperation with emerging partners throughout the Asia-Pacific to ensure collective capability and capacity for securing common interests. The United States is also investing in a long-term strategic partnership with India to support its ability to serve as a regional economic anchor and provider of security in the broader Indian Ocean region. Furthermore, we will maintain peace on the Korean Peninsula by effectively working with allies and other regional states to deter and defend against provocation from North Korea, which is actively pursuing a nuclear weapons program.”

          Primary Missions of the U.S. Armed Forces
          - Counter Terrorism and Irregular Warfare
          - Deter and Defeat Aggression
          - Project Power Despite Anti-Access/Area Denial Challenges
          - Counter Weapons of Mass Destruction
          - Operate Effectively in Cyberspace and Space
          - Maintain a Safe, Secure, and Effective Nuclear Deterrent
          - Defend the Homeland and Provide Support to Civil Authorities
          - Provide a Stabilizing Presence
          - Conduct Stability and Counterinsurgency Operations
          - Conduct Humanitarian, Disaster Relief, and Other Operations

          Comment


          • #6
            It would be wise, from an outside observation point, to not think of the world as it was during the Cold War in the 1960s. Lots of business interests promote this, but this philosophy is detrimental to America and the entire world, IMHO.
            When looking for the reason why things go wrong, never rule out stupidity, Murphy's Law Nº 8
            Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it. George Santayana
            "Ach du schwein" a German parrot captured at Bukoba GEA the only prisoner taken

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by buka001 View Post
              I have been reading this series of articles on time - nation(dot)time(dot)com/2012/12/05/is-the-fleet-steaming-forwardor-backward/

              The author has written three articles on the current status of the US Navy, its declining numbers and capabilities. Its very poor performance in countering the cruise missile threat, very poor performance in anti-mine warefare, underfunded maintenance leading to the fact that one fifth of the fleet cannot pass inspections and fewer than one half of the fleets deployable combat aircraft are fully mission capable. The US Navy also appear to have almost no counter to a small quiet diesel-electric submarine.

              All of these concerns are documented and sourced from actual USG reports and studies. The author Winslow Wheeler, is no armchair enthusiast, but the Director of Straus Military Reform Project of the Center for Defense Information, a part of the Project on Government Oversight (POGO)

              These reports do not bode well for the US Navy. It appears that with the cruise missile and mine threat from China, China could effectively conduct an area denial operation against the US Navy. This would keep the US navy out of an area, thereby allowing the Chinese achieve any limited objectives (say seize the Sprately's or Taiwan for that matter) they see fit?

              I am a huge supporter of the US Navy. I have just felt that they are being less and less funded over the years and are losing the effectiveness that they once possessed.

              I believe some radical changes are required, yet with fiscal cliffs and budgetary cuts, this may not happen.

              What are your opinions? Are the US committing a deadly sin, just assuming that the Navy is all powerful and all capable, without actually doing something concrete to keep that status quo? Hubris at play?


              I for one am still very optimistic. I think we will continue to be far far superior than our nearest competitor for a very long time..
              Future projections for the U.S economy are very optimistic riding on the fact that the U.S will soon become oil independent.
              We are going through a turbulent phase at the moment but we will weather it. I think the U.S Navy sets extremely high standards for its equipment and personnel and on rare occasions it may be possible that it may not meet those high standards but overall it is far superior to anything our closest competitor ie the PRC will have for the foreseeable future.
              There is a worldwide trend of enhancing capabilites by superior tech rather than numbers and the U.S is no exception for eg we may see a decrease in expensive manned platforms but their loss will be made up by wide spread use of much less expensive UAVs and UCAVs.
              While we should strive to improve our economy we should not get too carried away by the doom and gloom scenarios that many amongst us constantly portray and the absolutely dishonest and rubbish hype and propaganda that our potential adversaries indulge in.

              Our Naval history is witness to our unmatched capabilities, standards of excellence and professionalism and it will not change as far as I can see.

              Comment


              • #8
                Being a retired Navy Chief my perspective is a bit different. What I am seeing lately (in my opinion) is far too much reliance on gear, too much emphasis on including women, too much emphasis on computer based training, while spending too much money on gear of dubious value such as the LCS or the amazingly expensively DDG1000. My two cents.
                Give me a fast ship and the wind at my back for I intend to sail in harms way! (John Paul Jones)

                Initiated Chief Petty Officer
                Hard core! Old School! Deal with it!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Call 'em like ya sees 'em, Chief. I couldn't agree with ya more.
                  ARRRR! International Talk Like A Pirate Day - September 19th
                  IN MARE IN COELO

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bass_Man86 View Post
                    Being a retired Navy Chief my perspective is a bit different. What I am seeing lately (in my opinion) is far too much reliance on gear, too much emphasis on including women, too much emphasis on computer based training, while spending too much money on gear of dubious value such as the LCS or the amazingly expensively DDG1000. My two cents.
                    This^^^

                    While technology is nice, and all, it is also subject to computer error, human error, and malfunction. The end game seems to be to reduce manpower, but who will be running the ship, and fighting the battles when all hands are too busy with damage control?
                    Don't waste your time always searching for those wasted years...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      LCS

                      Navy information says the Littoral Class Ship (LCS) is not a loser.

                      http://nation.time.com/2012/10/12/re...l-combat-ship/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by drivin-fool View Post
                        This^^^

                        While technology is nice, and all, it is also subject to computer error, human error, and malfunction. The end game seems to be to reduce manpower, but who will be running the ship, and fighting the battles when all hands are too busy with damage control?
                        The price of a professional navy means your pay scale has to be competitive with that of the civilian world.

                        Recruiting smart sailors cost money.
                        Training smart sailors cost money.
                        Retaining smart sailors cost even more money.

                        Frankly its the price you have to pay to get the best stuff and people.

                        Secondly, no other navy has the tempo of the USN. That wears down ships and uses up alot of supplies (fuel, food, etc).

                        The majority of the naval budget goes towards personnel and operations and maintenance.

                        http://www.finance.hq.navy.mil/FMB/1...B_Overview.pdf

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by IDonT4 View Post
                          The price of a professional navy means your pay scale has to be competitive with that of the civilian world.

                          Recruiting smart sailors cost money.
                          Training smart sailors cost money.
                          Retaining smart sailors cost even more money.

                          Frankly its the price you have to pay to get the best stuff and people.

                          Secondly, no other navy has the tempo of the USN. That wears down ships and uses up alot of supplies (fuel, food, etc).

                          The majority of the naval budget goes towards personnel and operations and maintenance.

                          http://www.finance.hq.navy.mil/FMB/1...B_Overview.pdf
                          I cannot begin to agree with you more but with that being said a huge part of the problem are the collateral costs of doing business. Too much civilian infrastructure that includes too many overpaid 25 lbs. brains of the likes of Norman Polmar, who by the by has no time in uniform even as a boyscout. There are also way too many flag officers in the Navy, in fact there are more Admirals than there are ships and they all have these amazingly bloated staffs. The Navy could also save an amazing amount of money by getting rid some of the dead weight in the officer ranks and by terminating some of these self licking ice cream cones that constitute the Program Management Offices; too many of them.

                          The issue with women in uniform has created a host of issues that resulted in a degradation in leadership. Women need to be held to the same standards as men; same haircuts, same uniforms, and most of all the same physical fitness requirements. I have seen to many Navy ships along side for unreps on which the line handlers were virtually all men while the the women were kept on sound powered phones because the most of them cannot handles being line handlers.

                          The Navy needs to fix these issues but until someone in the upper echelons finally developes the intestinal fortitude to say that the Emperor has no clothes things will get worse. I suspect that it will take a war to change these treands though.
                          Give me a fast ship and the wind at my back for I intend to sail in harms way! (John Paul Jones)

                          Initiated Chief Petty Officer
                          Hard core! Old School! Deal with it!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Very soon the US Navy will be a "shell" of what it once was......


                            Somali Pirates (with AK47s and RPGs) once terrorized an area of the world that the US Navy transitted; heck, even a US flagged vessel was captured and the Pirates were going to keep all captives for ransom.

                            China has "super-silent" diesel submarines that have penetrated the ASW network of a Carrier Battlegroup.... They've even got a aircraft carrier that is going through the run-ups to be fully mission capable.

                            There is no more comaraderie in the US Navy, because the PC police won't allow "Men to be Men'......
                            Kevin Kenneally
                            Masters from a school of "hard knocks"
                            Member of a Ph.D. Society (Post hole. Digger)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Kevin Kenneally View Post
                              Very soon the US Navy will be a "shell" of what it once was......


                              Somali Pirates (with AK47s and RPGs) once terrorized an area of the world that the US Navy transitted; heck, even a US flagged vessel was captured and the Pirates were going to keep all captives for ransom.

                              China has "super-silent" diesel submarines that have penetrated the ASW network of a Carrier Battlegroup.... They've even got a aircraft carrier that is going through the run-ups to be fully mission capable.

                              There is no more comaraderie in the US Navy, because the PC police won't allow "Men to be Men'......

                              Great post which sums it up nicely. We had the same PC problem even when I was serving. I can only imagine what it's like now.
                              Don't waste your time always searching for those wasted years...

                              Comment

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