OSD Considers Chopping Flattop

OSD Considers Chopping Flattop

File this one under QDR rumors, although senior OSD officials thought about cutting a carrier from the very beginning of the QDR. Now, sources tell us that OSD may actually chop an additional carrier from the Navy’s battle fleet, a move that would take the force down to nine carriers from the current total of 11.

The Navy plans to retire the CVN-65, the Enterprise, in 2012. The resulting 10 carrier force would be further reduced by one if DoD’s rumored reduction is enacted. Skipping a future carrier purchase doesn’t save money now. Cutting one flattop from the existing force would.

The Navy’s latest shipbuilding plan — that’s the FY-2009 30 year plan for a 313 ship fleet, the Navy did not submit a shipbuilding plan with the 2010 budget — calls for a total of 12 carriers by 2019. As CRS Navy analyst Ron O’Rourke pointed out in a July report on Navy shipbuilding, the Navy added a 12th carrier to its proposed 313 ship Navy in 2007.


“The Navy’s February 2008 report on the FY2009 30-year shipbuilding plan states that the 313-ship plan includes 11 carriers and does not include a reference to “eventually 12” carriers, but the long-range force projection in the report continues to show a total of 12 carriers in FY2019 and subsequent years,” O’Rourke writes.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates endorsed the Navy’s plan to shift procurement of the new CVN-78 Gerald R. Ford class carriers from one every four-and-a-half years to one every five years. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the cost to build a Ford class carrier at $11.2 billion each; the Navy plans to buy 7 by 2038.

To be sure, there are plenty of obstacles to cutting a carrier from the fleet. For one, the Navy is required by law to maintain 11 carriers. The Navy has an outstanding request for a legislative waiver from Congress so it can retire the Enterprise, which would drop the carrier force to 10 for 33 months between the retirement and the scheduled entry of the first of the Ford class into service in 2015. Lawmakers have yet to act on the request.

Interestingly, when former CSBA naval analyst and now Navy under secretary, Bob Work, gave his shipbuilding brief earlier this year, he said that if forced by a constrained shipbuilding budget to trim the planned build, he would cut the carrier force to 9.

Work said that 9 carriers was the minimum number needed to handle a strategy that keeps one carrier strike group forward deployed in the Pacific and one in the Indian Ocean. He said that during wartime, a 10 carrier force could generate six strike groups in 90 days. I’m guessing then that 9 carriers could generate 5 strike groups.

Work’s former boss at CSBA, the influential Andrew Krepinevich, wrote in the July issue of Foreign Affairs in an article titled, “The Pentagon’s Wasting Assets,” that carriers risk “operational irrelevance” as nations develop improved submarines and increasingly accurate, long-range anti-ship missiles that put the big flattops at risk. Krepinevich is part of the “red team” that is examining the QDR.

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urmm… i dont like this idea… i guess that means longer and more frequent deployments for carrier crews.…

Well it would certainly trim the purported strike fighter shortage.

I don’t like this idea either i think our government has gone down the drains.

While we need carriers (how many is up for debate). It wouldn’t matter if we have 9, or 900 carriers, we need to develop a way to counter anti-carrier missiles that we know China has.

Zach, 2 fewer carrier battle groups covers the manpower for two essential Army BCT, solves some of the “fighter gap,” and $22.4 billion + escort ships + fighters + daily support costs no doubt pays for nearly half the manned ground vehicle expense of around $90 billion.

We have exponentially more carrier capability than anyone else in the world, now and indefinitely. Our capability will expand with the F-35 and EA-18G. The successes of the Aegis and SM-3 will more than be up to any hypothetical Chinese Anti-Ship Balllistic Missile threat.

PLAN diesel-electric subs are not very effective in open ocean because they cannot stay submerged long enough to search a wide area. Split the difference between Guam and Taiwan, and our carriers would be safe and could exploit planned USAF aerial refuelers.

Here we go again, the Democrats have a strong history of downsizing our military strength when they take power. I had been waiting for this, (expecting it, to be more accurate).

Regan built up a great Navy! what happened when the Dems took over back then? Battleships gone, Crusers reduced, dont hear of many frigates anymore, do ya?
OTA2 12 year Navy disabled Vet.

It is possible to make a carrier cheaper and with fewer people?

Sure you can, but youd you want to? hey Ihave a dingy in my back yard! why not put a plank on it with a few RC plaines to fly off of it??

shoot! darn fingers don’t type the way they used too.. lol — sorry for typos

Iohn.I mean cheaper and with fewer people but with the same firepower.Maybe with automation i mean.Or UAS.That is my question.

John..I mean cheaper and with fewer people but with the same firepower.Maybe with automation i mean.Or UAS.That is my question.

Well, this government has to make change as promised even if it may mean very serious damage to the country. Let’s us just follow Obama since he is the new Messiah.

Well we are in big trouble not seen since the Jimmy “the naval reject” Carter.

Nine carriers with today’s sailors seems a stretch on deployments, but we did it back when. However, with the mismanagement of the F-35, and these lanquishing wars, we are short of resources, cash, and the will power to win. The soldiers and sailors and airmen are not the problem. The volunteer force is the problem as we no longer have the citizen soldier as in early Rome, but a professional cadre like Rome latter and doomed to repeat their mistakes.…a professional army means unprofessional citizens, and hence the election of an unqualified messiah who like Hitler promised everything and has delivered absolutely nothing.

How typical. Time for more military cuts! Got to love the Democrats…

Currently, we should have other military priories than trying to get up to 12 carriers, yet we shouldn’t cut the number down to 9.

USS Enterprise (CVN-65) was commissioned in late 1961. Meanwhile USS Nimitz (CVN-68) was commissioned in early 1975. Once CVN-78 replaces the Enterprise, we can probably get a few more years out of Nimitz, during which we can concentrate on other shipbuilding priorities.

Relax people. We are STILL going to have 10 Carriers, only one of them will be in dry-dock. If the **** it’s the fan, we will be back to 11. The last enterprise will retire in 2012, the numbers will go down to 10. 1 Gerald Ford will hit the seas in 2015, back to 11. With 2 in dry-dock.…finally, down to 9. But could always go back up to 10 active at one time.

I mean 11 Carriers. One is always in dry-dock. With 9 Carriers, 2 will always be in dry-dock.

Not to mention it will KILL the Fighter Gap! We’ll, until the F-35’s hit full production in 2013. Also, now the remaining Carrier groups will be larger, with about 5+ more warships per remaining groups. So, we killed 2 birds with stone.

Bad play. Carriers project power, and 9 won’t do. I hope JASON is correct.

Stop slamming the Dems and the CINC. How did we get into this mess? Took 8 f-ing yrs didn’t it?

Trimming the number of Carrier Battle Groups would mean longer and/or more frequent deployments. Making some Navy personnel deploy almost as long/often as the Army & Marines. Heaven Forbid!

As someone who is actually on a ship not a retired old man scorned. I am not surprised by this because the ships we have now are sh**ty they probably wouldn’t last any time in any real navy war and they can see this which is why we need to get these old ships out and put the new ones in. I know this means for me longer deployments but I would willingly sacrifice that to feel safe. Also This has nothing to do with Obama granted he will be the one to sign the approval but he did not come up with the idea.

Lorren
How do yo know that the pres didn’t come up with the idea. He needs to cut somewhere, why not in the DOD, the dems do it everytime. Yes I am a retired old man, but I like you spent 15 years on ships.

Now your conspiracist thats great. I gotta go work.

Cut a carrier, fund health care.

It sure will fix the fighter gap won’t it?

The Maritime Service has mismanaged funds and now is facing a stark reality … 9 CSG’s means retiring NIMITZ at 35 years vice the 50 years it was designed and built for, amazing.

HOLLOW FORCE

Two wars, forget it. One and a half wars, also unaffordable. At least these decisions then allow you to cut everything. Hey we don’t have any threats and couldn’t possibly have to face more than one at a time, right?

F-35 or nothing: so far it is nothing.
Kill, F-15, F-16, F-22, and F/A-18 and buy nothing. USAF is looking at up to an 800 TACAIR aircraft deficit. The Navy will be least 200 aircraf short based on current analysis. It could get worse as F-35 continues it’s death spiral. An “all stealth” fighter force is starting to look like no aircraft on the flight ramp. Sure they are even harder to detect when they don’t actually exist in numbers sufficient to protect the country.

Now, another carrier gone? I guess our foreign policy will be to show the other contries that we are just as socialistic as they are. Hmm I wonder if that will work with everyone?

These choices appear to be top down driven from one man who apparently know so much that he issues gag orders against any contrary opinions.

I’m nervous.

Do we have any Carriers in Reserve, and how long would it take to activate them?

We are all saying mostly the same thing. I remember the fire truck analogy. A fire truck 1 block away can respond more quickly than another 4 or 5 blocks away. We are doing away with our fire trucks to cut costs. I was stationed on an old Garcia class FF when Secretary of the Navy John Lehman told congress, we dont need a 600 ship fleet, we can do with 585. Fast forward to just 8 years later and I was stationed aboard a year old Burke Class destoyer when we were told we were going to have 25 percent less of a maintenance budget than we did last year. We could not buy basic consumables and we had to cut back. People would transfer out and they were not replaced. Our DC man were standing watches in our enginerooms and they were good but it was because we just could not cover all the watches we were supposed to have. So lets cut more ships, our enemies would agree its a great way to save money.

Maybe it is time to consider something along the lines of a mixture of Super Carriers (Nimitz & Ford) and a new Escort Carrier.

Consider something along the lines of a modified LHA-6 America class Amphibious Assault Ship.

At less than half the displacement, perhaps a modified America class ship could be powered by 1 A1B reactor. A Ford class ship will require 2.

A major consideration in the size of past Super Carriers has been the size and weight of the steam catapult system. The Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) scheduled for deployment on the Ford offers great weight and size reduction.

Maybe an America class hull could be modified to add an angled waist flight deck, and a skip-type forward launching deck.

An America class ship is currently approx. 200 ft shorter & 30 ft narrower at the beam. To offset these smaller dimensions reduce to one catapult for the forward and waist flight decks, from the current two found on the Nimitz & Ford (future).

The Ford class carriers are projected to cost in the area of $12 Billion a piece. The gas turbine powered America class amphibious assault ships are projected to cost in the area of $2 Billion per ship. Of course, with hull modifications and the addition of catapult systems & a nuclear power plant, costs per ship would increase. But, even with a tripling of the cost an America class ship, it is still only half the cost of a Ford class Super Carrier.

I am no naval engineer, nor have I served in the Navy. But, it seems to me that “we have done it this way,” isn’t a legitimate answer anymore. (nor ever has been)

Again, I am not suggesting the banishment of the Nimitz & Ford class Super Carriers to the scrap heap. But, a mixed fleet of Super & “Escort” type carriers.

Maybe it is time to consider something along the lines of a mixture of Super Carriers (Nimitz & Ford) and a new Escort Carrier.

Consider something along the lines of a modified LHA-6 America class Amphibious Assault Ship.

At less than half the displacement, perhaps a modified America class ship could be powered by 1 A1B reactor. A Ford class ship will require 2.

A major consideration in the size of past Super Carriers has been the size and weight of the steam catapult system. The Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) scheduled for deployment on the Ford offers great weight and size reduction.

Maybe an America class hull could be modified to add an angled waist flight deck, and a skip-type forward launching deck.

An America class ship is currently approx. 200 ft shorter & 30 ft narrower at the beam. To offset these smaller dimensions reduce to one catapult for the forward and waist flight decks, from the current two found on the Nimitz & Ford (future).

The Ford class carriers are projected to cost in the area of $12 Billion a piece. The gas turbine powered America class amphibious assault ships are projected to cost in the area of $2 Billion per ship. Of course, with hull modifications and the addition of catapult systems & a nuclear power plant, costs per ship would increase. But, even with a tripling of the cost an America class ship, it is still only half the cost of a Ford class Super Carrier.

I am no naval engineer, nor have I served in the Navy. But, it seems to me that “we have done it this way,” isn’t a legitimate answer anymore. (nor ever has been)

Again, I am not suggesting the banishment of the Nimitz & Ford class Super Carriers to the scrap heap. But, a mixed fleet of Super & “Escort” type carriers.
Sorry… forgot to say great post — can’t wait to read your next one!

Nah. His worship has bigger problems to worry about then the Defense Budget. With an approval rating averaging about 50%, and Congress/Senate polls leading in the Republican side about +6. Proves kiddos, Liberalism fails *cough* Califorina *cough*.Hell, even the Republicans are leading their! Say bye bye Boxer. Jimmy Carter folks, Jimmy Carter.

All this info– brings to mind things tht took place long ago.I’ve been around since FDR was voted in for the first time,I’m a Navy Veteran of the Korean“Police Action“As Harry called it;FDR sat around and watched “Rome’ Burn” while the Japs and Nazi’s thumbed their noises at the League of Nations.Dmeocrats seem to have a lock on tearing down every thing we worked on building up and then blameing the results of their failures on other folks. Reagan resolved Carters disaster(Remember the Iranian Hostage Crisis?)Bush #1 let things go to pot and Slick Willy gave it a coup de gras by blowing up an Aspirin Factory when the Trade Centers got their first taste of Terrorism, And the USS Cole got slammed!.If you younger folks would only look to the past you’d see how to learn a lot from those old mistakes.
It’s about time we started thinking more about preserving America and a lot less about which of our next dinner parties we’re going to, and how to fix the next days hangover. Something about Healthcare??
Thank you.

Good Morning Folks,

The point here is not 10–11-12 carriers but maintaining the ship building infrastructure to build nuclear ships. Currently we have only two ship yards that can build and service nuclear ships and they have to have business or they will go out of the nuclear and most likely military ship building business.

The United States in order to keep this industrial capacity wikk hve to have a carrier and two submarines in construction at all times.

Good Morning Folks,

The point here is not 10–11-12 carriers but maintaining the ship building infrastructure to build nuclear ships. Currently we have only two ship yards that can build and service nuclear ships and they have to have business or they will go out of the nuclear and most likely military ship building business.

The United States in order to keep this industrial capacity will have to have a carrier and two submarines in construction at all times. If we don’t we can quickly end up buying carriers from the French as the Russian currently are and the Chinese are shopping.

ALLONS,
Byron Skinner

Cole,

Your disingenuousness is truly pathetic.

Two Army BCTs can’t do what ONE Carrier Strike Group does much less so stop the BS that we should dismantle the USAF & the USN & increase the size of the Army.

Removing carriers does NOT do anything to ‘solve’ the fighter gap. All it does it cause the ALREADY insufficent numbers of fighter to have to work THAT much more, causing the gap to widen even more later due to faster attrition.

We have exponentially more resposibiities around than anyone else in the world requiring those carriers. The number of carriers (& fighter) needed is in NOT based on fighting China!!! OR countering a Chinese Anti-Ship Balllistic Missile threat.

“Two Army BCTs can’t do what ONE Carrier Strike Group does much less so stop the BS that we should dismantle the USAF & the USN & increase the size of the Army.” Actually, a carrier strike group can’t do anything but blow stuff up. The threat that kind of power counters is not what we face thse days. The reality is, that 1 Army or Marine BCT is far more practical in todays world than an extra carrier group. The Navy has long been identified as the force with the most fat that could be trimmed. Be pro Navy all you want but modern technology is rapidly making our current Navy an expensive but highly vulnerable asset with limited utility.

Cutting the carrier force down under the current number of 11 is a tragic mistake. We still haven’t learned from history the passed mistakes we made by downsizing. The current rant today from DOD is focus on Irregular Warfare. Irregular Warfare is not new and will continue. So will Kinetic Warfare and the Carrier Strike Force is the Power Projection that is needed no matter who the threat may be and no matter what area of the globe. Our SECDEF,SECNAV, CNO, CJCS, and our Admirals should be fighting to save and continue this formidble strategic asset that is essential to the existance of the free world, our allies and our nation.

Naval airpower is in almost as bad shape as USAF airpower will be a in a few years. Cutting down the number of carriers to 9 won’t fix that. The USN Navy needs a true high end stealth fighter to complement the F-35C and Super Hornet.

You may know the classic example from college Economics that simplifies the problem down to this: a nation can buy one of two things, guns or butter.

Guns make you militarily stronger, while butter builds your economic and industrial base. You have to have both or you’re in trouble over the long term.

But America has a hard time balancing them — we always seems to reel from one extreme to the other.

America cannot pay its bills now because we’ve spent the past eight years buying guns (i.e., paying for two wars) and neglecting butter (i.e., letting bankers, brokers, and realtors make fortunes while wrecking the economy in the process.)

Now, we as a nation must tend to the butter again, or we can’t afford even the guns we do have. We’re in a fight now that carriers cannot win for us.

Let’s support the Administration as it works to lead us back from the edge of economic collapse. And let’s try to keep the big picture of the world economy so we don’t shoot ourselves in the leg.

For a career long Army vet, carriers have always been the Navy’s ace in the hole. Their ability to monitor sea lanes, track “rogue” ships, and aircraft and allow strategic and tactical air support along an off shore coast line out of eyesight and short range missile range is invaluable.
Maintaining a VIABLE number of carriers to me,seems to be the key question here. If the crews on board don’t have adequate supplies, materiel, qualified personnel and equipment to keep them fully operational and SAFE, then — what’s the point ?
They look tough at sea ?

pfcem,

“Disingenuous” as in calculating? Sounds like that’s what the QDR must be doing to figure out how to pay required personnel bills?

Or is it calculating like my erroneous citing of 2 BCTs equal to 2 Carrier groups. It’s actually about 14,000 sailors which is the equivalent of four Army BCTs…not two.

Four BCTs was all it took to win OIF I in 2003. No number of CVNs or AEFs could have done that alone given the years of no-fly zones and recurring bombing campaigns. A Joint team is required that includes the ground component.

When you look at the casualty figures for this war and others as of late, it is clear that the ground component requires the same asymmetric advantages that already safeguard the air and sea components.

A 2008 study indicates that 513,000 troops have served in Iraq since 2003. 197,000 have had more than one tour with 53,000 having deployed 3 times. That’s 3 years or more for Army troops.

In addition to combat deaths drastically skewed against the ground component, there were 1013 amputations as of February 2008 of which 730 involved a major limb. 78% of those amputations involved the Army, with the Marines suffering 19%. The Navy and USAF were 2% and 1% respectively. Traumatic brain injury (TBI)percentage numbers are nearly identical with 10% of all deployed Army and Marines bearing the overwhelming brunt of 5503 TBIs as of Feb 2008.

Suicide rates for Soldiers were 9.8 per 100,000 in 2001. In 2006 they had climbed to 17.5.

So now perhpas you begin to understand why the Army and Marines need more force structure to reduce numbers of tours AND need better protected combat vehicles more than the Navy needs 11 Carrier groups or the USAF needs 10 AEFs and more than 186 F-22s.

Please don’t persist in claiming the Navy requires more than 9 CVNs when no other nation on earth has even a single equivalently capable CVN let alone 9. Please don’t cry ex-Secretary Wynne’s tears over insufficient 5th Generation fighters when no other nation has a single one, let alone the thousands we will have soon enough.

But plenty of nations have ground troops capable of killing our Soldiers and Marines. And plenty of Soldiers and Marines are destined to serve 4–5 tours and more in a combat zone before this war on terror is complete.

If they plan to chop an additional carriers, postpone it in three years. With the growing consern on China, Iran, N. Korea, Russia and the wars we still have in Iraq and Iran. We may still need them. Just get rid those that run on fuel. But keep the ones that run on deisel, and nuclear.

Cole,

I’m sorry, but you seem to have forgotten the:
3 brigades of the 101st ABN,
3 brigades of 3rd ID,
1 brigade of the 82nd ABN,
3 RCTs (1,5,7)of the 1st Marine Div.,
the British 1st Armoured Div (7th Armoured Bde, 16th AASLT Bde, 3rd Commando Bde),
& the 173rd ABN/4th ID Bde TF.

To me, this seems to be significantly more robust than the claimed “Four BCTs was all it took to win OIF I in 2003.“
And that is only the major ground combat brigades involved.

Roland, the US Navy does not have any non-nuclear aircraft carriers in service.

Chris,

You should educate yourself as to how many BCTs we have vs how many carriers we have & what each do.

***

Cole,

Disingenuous.

The USAF, the USN, the US Army & the USMC each have their own roles. DELIBERATELY cutting one to one in order to give more to the other is complete BS. ESPECIALLY since defence is about the only things these days being cut. It is truly pathetic how some think the way to solve any problem is to simply throw more money at it EXCEPT when come to defence where the ‘solution’ it to cut.

I especially love your BS deliberate ingoring of the USAF & USN contribution not only to winning the war in 2003 but in what wer have been doing since, are doing now & will be doing in the future.

Of course the US Army & the USMC need more force structure but that IN NO WAY means that the USAF &/or the USN need less OR that cutiing the USAF &/or USN to increase the US Army &/or USMC is a smart thing to do.

Stop with the BS that the number of carriers (& 5th generation fighters or anything else) we have is in any way related to how many carriers (& 5th generation fighters or anything else) anybody else has.

And take a wild guess what our casualty rates & deployment schedule would have been like if ‘the surge’ had occured in 2003/2004 (when it SHOULD have happened).

The Value of the Navy in general vs returns on investment is not good at the moment. The mothballing of one carrier should be no big deal.
And, I say this as a Vietnam (in country) Navy veteran.

I also view 50% of the money spen on Iraq and Afghanistan together as a total waste. We have not met our unstated objectives in Iraq, and I doubt that we will do any better in Afghanistan.

Not to mention that the VA is up to it’s long standing habits in dealing with disabled veterans of all wars.

I just noticed today that the government will not increase SSA, (no inflation) yet because of “competitive” reasons, will be giving area (DOD) government employees a 4% raise.

FormerDirtDart,

You are right on the number of BCTs. But even the number of heavy BCTs was initially predicted to be insufficient with 4th ID having to sail from Turkey. In hindsight, we also now know from the way that post war stability operations and the surge turned out that more force was required.

Nevertheless, 3–4 Heavy BCTs with modernized equipment is every bit the equal of two carrier battle groups. Just the power of one BCT…heck one armored battalion of 3rd ID was often overwhelming to several regiments of Iraqi armor and infantry.

Coming up with numerous warfighting BCT given the ARFORGEN training/deployment cycle, means we need 45 active BCTs to have the number available for immediate deployment of 1/3 to 1/4th of that 45 in emergency scenarios.

pfcem,

45 active BCTs is an essential requirement to meet proven war-on-terror deployment burdens…not a luxury. Reset of war-worn equipment is a requirement…not a luxury. I showed in my other post answering you that a single carrier battle group is more than up to task against the Chinese. Cutting non-essential Navy carrier groups to cover absolutely essential Army BCT requirements just makes sense, IMHO.

The sole thing perceived as a luxury by Congress appears to be Army modernization. While the USAF and Navy have contributed enormously to the war, they also continue to be modernized because they don’t share the same manpower and reset costs. The Marines continue to contribute enormously to the war…but they also continue to modernize. Only the Army, due to its enormous manpower and reset requirements is being told it may need to wait to modernize.

Again, why is it that the service bearing the greatest burdens of warfighting is the sole service that Congress and DoD is slow to fund? Crusader, Comanche, ARH, now FCS MGVs…the list goes on of programs cut that in the context of USAF, Navy, and Marine programs…were not that expensive.

FormerDirtDart, The CV63 — Kitty Hawk Class Aircraft Carrier is now the only oil-fired aircraft carrier still in service and is also the only U.S. aircraft carrier homeported outside the United States
These type of carrier was the once needed to be chop because they are not economical. But keep all carrier that run on nuclear and deisel. We still need them specially this days because of the growing consern on China, Iran, N. Korea, Russia and the wars we still have in Iraq and Iran.

roland ‚i am not sure but i think that the CV 63 was informally retired on 31 January 2009 and was finally decommissioned on 12 May 2009.

TOA arguments…I can protect the country better with XXX BCTs and I need to denude the Navy & AF to fund this ..>LOL> once we unplug from the SWA mire… What would 2 or 30 BCTs do for us in: Iran, TW Straits, Straits of Hormuz, Syria, Venezuela or Georgia (if we lost our mind and intervened there)?? If we employed 5 BCTs in Georgia…without the Navy & AF, how would you protect the US ground force from devastating attack from the air? or protect our logistics on the sea.…NOW, if an argument was made to increase Army TOA to use the Army on the US/Mexican border, that would make sense…Otherwise, a prudent and traditional US foreign policy would use AF/Navy forces as our prime instruments of power because we rarely have any intention of conquering (OK…we occasionally are forced into or make bad decisions)…would we conquer the PRC or re-invade TW or invade & capture Tehran or Damascus? Are we planning conquer the world?? If so, it will require another election and a big re-think..LOL
So…sounds like an Army/USMC uber alles TOA is an unbalanced and unsound strategy.

Roland
The Kitty Hank was decommisioned 12 May, 2009. The George Washington assumed her duties as in Oct 2008 as the fleets forward deployed carrier based at Yokosuka Naval Base. She was replaced in the fleet by the George H.W. Bush, commisioned 10 Jan, 2009 the final Nimitz class carrier.

ALL
I refer you to the F22 cuts. The F35 upcoming BUDGET visit, the OBNA withdrawal plans for Afganistan, etal. Check the Center for American PRogress Defense sites. These actions, plus the Carrier drawdown are out there for your review.
The Leftist OBNA is gutting the DOD, right on schedule.
Semper FI
end

no its gonna come back and bite em is whats gonna happen alot of funny stuff goin on lately know what i mean

Mark,

It would take numerous BCTs to seize and hold Iranian territory adjacent to the Straits of Hormuz, invading from Pakistan. No need to invade the whole country in any scenario.

Suspect the Israelis would instantly welcome our ground forces on their shores against Syria…but frankly they don’t need our help on the ground or sea, or in the air. Columbia would welcome our ground forces in any pre-attack of Venezuela, which is unlikely and sure doesn’t require amphibious assault or F-22s when F-35 would do. Are we thinking of invading Mexico now? Where did that come from.

For some places like Taiwan and Georgia, you need effective warnings/indications and heavy/light ready task forces, similar to the 82nd Airborne model, to be air-deployed BEFORE the start of conflict…not after the fact.

You forget that the Army soon will have SLAMRAAM and THAAD and already has Patriot and nearby AEGIS SM-2/SM-3 and Naval airpower, not to mention you guys who have more than sufficient F-22/F-35A for the few hundred effective Russian/PLAAF fighters.

Giving the Army their due has nothing to do with making the USAF and Navy a hollow force. They have excess capacity and that is clear…just never admitted.

As for using airpower alone and never putting boot to ground, guarantee that things would be different in the Baltics today if all we had ever done was bomb. Saddam Hussein would still be in power if all we ever did was bomb. Nothing in Afghanistan has been helped by constantly bombing.

An invaded Taiwan would still have PLA troops intermingled with the populace if all we ever did was bomb. In Georgia, if all we did was bomb and shoot down Russian fighters, all we would have is nuclear war.

Dear Sirs:
I dont like what this means. Yes, it means a smaller dod budget. It also means our sailors
will deploy longer and more frequently. I thought we went by the old thought strength by
numbers.

Can somebody send my email some information about when the USS Independence CV-62 was
decommissioned. Thank you.

Sincerely Yours,
Craig Moritz USN AMHAN

Craig Moritz USN AMHAN
Independence was decommissioned in ceremonies at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Washington, on 30 September 1998 said wikipedia./en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Independence_(CV-62)#Decommissioning_and_fate

Cole,
Nice obfuscation…your “Disney” scenarios demo a very active imagination.
No amount of unclass, “make believe” analysis can change the facts…the DoD budget is going to get smaller.…we are an air/seafaring nation and have & will protect ourselves in the main with air and sea power. Hence the funding reality that you constantly whine about..We need an ground force, not a very big force, but a lethal and agile ground force capable of dealing with a range of conflict from irregular warfare to a small conventional fight…it matters not to me whither the ground force is the Marine Corps or the Army. A large standing US Army (after we drawdown out of Iraq/Afghanistan) is a waste of money and does not provide the military force required for our security or to safeguard our vital national interest.
There is a military mission on the US/Mexican border that is normally undertaken by an Army…the US is evidently not interested in the mission or unwilling to use our Army.

60 Billion wasted on GM but no money for national defense.

Thanks to all that fell for the hopeychange stuff from the J Wright disciple…

Good Evening Folks,

I’m following this give and take with some sense of amusement. The BCT is nothing more then a temporary Headquarters structure to manage a grouping of battalions. The BCT has no definition as to size, number or type of battalions or anything, or even how many a Division can have, or even a set rank for it commander it can be from a LTC to a BG. Or in the case of the 173ed. Airborne a MG.

Th Army is not based on the BCT but according to the CARS 1957 Army reorganization, the Battalion will carry forward a units history.

As for the 82nd. Div. it is at this time undeployable by air as a drop unit of battalion size or larger, and most certainly would not be the unit of choice to go into Taiwan in the very unlikely case that the PRC would commit an act of aggression.

Comparing a ground action to a Naval engagement is the old apples and orange thing. It don’t mean nottin’.

ALLONS,
Byron Skinner

Byron your BCT info is dated. Its THE thing now.

Craig Mortiz,

The Independence was decommisioned on 30 Sept 1998. She was mothballed, and basically stripped for parts. March 2004 she was stricken from Navy roles, and awaits being completely dismantled or donation as an artificial reef. The scavenging of her for parts has left her unsuitable for further life as a memorial or museum.

Bryon Skinner

You may want to actually read up some on the Brigade Combat Team modular design, because you are out of date. Try Wikipedia under: Transformation of the United States Army http://​en​.wikipedia​.org/​w​i​k​i​/​T​r​a​n​s​f​o​r​m​a​t​i​o​n​_​o​f​_​t​h​e​_​U​n​i​t​e​d​_​S​t​a​t​e​s​_​A​rmy , or Brigade Combat Team http://​en​.wikipedia​.org/​w​i​k​i​/​B​r​i​g​a​d​e​_​c​o​m​b​a​t​_​t​eam ; or try GlobalSecurity​.org

Additionally the 173rd is commanded by a Col., Colonel James H. Johnson currently (don’t go screaming “OPSEC” it’s from the Bde’s web site), and has never been commanded by a MG to my knowledge. It was commanded by a BG (along with other “Seperate” Bdes, but this designation no longer exists) during the Vietnam era, but hasn’t since it was reactivated on 12 June 2000 (I was there) as the 173rd Airborne Brigade (no “Seperate”)

As always, the following is only my opinion.

No smoke screens here Mark. But I am concerned with talk that the QDR might think along the lines you describe. There are rumblings that some might believe the Air Force and Navy can deal with bigger threats while the Army and Marines are irregular warfare forces.

That fails to recognize the absence of historical evidence that the air and sea components alone can win any major war. WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Panama, Desert Storm, Somalia, the Balkans, OEF, OIF all indicate the need for effective ground forces to conduct warfare and counterinsurgency.

You are correct that defense budgets will be getting smaller, like it or not. The Air Force and Navy already project asymmetric advantages capable of dealing with any foe into the indefinite future. Therefore, we must address the sole component bearing the greatest warfighting, and counterinsurgency deployment burden…but getting the fewest resources except manpower.

The unmanned revolution is naturally suited to sea and airpower. Technology also can reduce manning of other systems (automatic co-pilot). Witness Littoral Combat Ship, UCAV, unmanned undersea and surface vessels, BAMS on the Navy side, and Predator/Reaper/MC-X, future bombers and fighters, and other future systems of the Air Force Flight Plan.

Open oceans and thousands of feet of altitude, time, and lateral separation simplify unmanned navigations and airspace/seaspace deconfliction. Land navigation on busy roads amidst civilians and over complex terrain is a far greater challenge for unmanned technology. The demands of counterinsurgency require human interaction, and securing of populations and infrastructure as rebuilding occurs…often due to overzealous airpower employment.

The Navy and Air Force provide superb capabilities to support stability operations, civil suppoort, as well as combat operations. But only the ground component has experienced numerous casualties in warfare and counterinsurgency. Some Air Force and EBO proponents would claim that we don’t need boots on the ground and that is the way to avoid ground casualties. History shows that is an impossible dream.

Given that impossible “Disney” fantasy…that bombing alone can realize long term international conflict resolution…we must return to historical evidence that the lnad component has inevitable respnsibilities in every conflict. Given the corresponding substantial land footprint, casualties will occur because most nations can reach out and touch our ground troops far easier than they can airmen and sailors.

Given that reality, the obligation of any nation is to do its utmost to safeguard the lives of servicemen most at risk. Countless billions have been spent chasing the last percentage of unfair fight advantage for air and sea services. When is it the Army’s turn?

Unless reset, manpower, and modernization occurs, Army forces will continue to be the nation’s minimum wage worker, expected to do all the work while “managers” in clean clothes and air-conditioned offices get all the benefits.

Good Afternoon Cole,

I respectfully disagree with you on the BCT, I know of no defining TO&E for a BCT. It can be a flagged Unit waiting for a home to a robust Independent Headquarters Command with a mixed grouping of battalion unattached to a parent Division, operating under Corps Level Command or higher. To the best of my knowledge the Army doesn’t track the histories of BCT’s.

The unmanned revolution is very much alive and advancing at a smart pace in the ground combat arena. The pacBot is considered to be an indispensable by commanders in both Iraq and Afghanistan. It also is noted that both Lockheed and Boeing have a shopping list of small companies that hold patens for unmanned ground vehicles and systems. The iBot company who manufactures the pacBot is a prime target of the two industry giants. I doubt if the United States will make any more manned combat vehicle, Tanks, AAV’s, ACV’s, APC’s, ADA, etc in any large numbers.

I do agree with you Cole on the Air Force and the Navy. The unmanned system are their futures. Both services are capital heavy and currently have no major threats to deal with. For the Navy it’s piracy which is more of an institutional and dysfunctional chain of command problem then a tactical problem on the seas. The AF is just resisting a role of being the Army/Marines air lifter and taking the “hero” out of the loop.

On you conclusion about the Army Cole, I do agree, but sad to say that’s always been the fate of the ground pounder. Or as a sonnet by George Orwell that goes something like this:

You can sleep tonight,
because rugged men,
stand ready to fight.

ALLONS,
Byron Skinner

Byron,

http://www.bctmod.army.mil/downloads/pdf/2009%2005%2008%20EIBCT%2009–9077.pdf

http://​www​.defenselink​.mil/​r​e​l​e​a​s​e​s​/​r​e​l​e​a​s​e​.​a​s​p​x​?​r​e​l​e​a​s​e​i​d​=​8​726

http://​www​.defenselink​.mil/​r​e​l​e​a​s​e​s​/​r​e​l​e​a​s​e​.​a​s​p​x​?​r​e​l​e​a​s​e​i​d​=​1​2​763

The first link shows the old FCS gear spin outs going to the early IBCT. You can also google Brigade Combat Team and look at the Wikipedia link for maneuver BCT wiring diagrams. Not sure they are still accurate but they look about right. There are a bunch of other BCT types as well: Fires Brigade, Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Combat Aviation Brigade…yes you can always task organize.

Byron,

You continue to so a working knowledge od Army related term, but not their application.

Of course the Army tracks the linage and honors of Brigades. They track the Linage and Honors of every organization issued a guidon on up.
http://​www​.history​.army​.mil/​h​t​m​l​/​f​o​r​c​e​s​t​r​u​c​/​l​h​.​h​tml

Cole & Skinner,
Good inputs. I expect that all Services will be cut (after Iraq/Afghan are resolved)in the next few years.

That said, you fellows remained possessed by some of wrongheaded notions such as: the “decisive engagement” in conventional war will be fought by the ground force, your evident infatuation with UAVs and the idea that all future conflict will follow the Iraq/Afghan model…ain’t so, state on state, conventional warfare will happen…if we allow our conventional capabilities to wither, we do so at our strategic peril.

The ISR, range, speed and lethality that the US Air Force possesses dictate that no ground force can survive as a viable offensive threat to the US or our ground forces (again, unless we gut the AF). So, the investment in airpower guarantees the success of the US ground forces in conventional war. If the USAF is allowed to atrophy to the point where some other nation’s air component could achieve localized or general air dominance; then, neither the US Army or USMC will venture upon that battlefield. The price tag for air dominance is expense, but get over it…the ground component cannot live without this investment.

As an aside, “irregular warfare” and some “hybrid fights” are less decisively served by the heavy killing power of air; consequently, it requires a heavy investment in ground force structure…I haven’t heard anyone advocating cutting our ground force guys short in their struggles in SWA. This is the USA/USMC’s case to make with “the suits”…the CINCs are ground guys…there are more Army & USMC flags near the SecDef & POTUS than AF..if you got a problem, look within your own ranks.

A word on UAVs…if you are in the least familiar with technology of how UAVs work, then, you should understand the limits of these platforms. UAVs will likely be very useful in a variety of scenarios but they are not the “in-expensive cure-all” that you gush over.

Finally, the “inside the Beltway TOA” arguments have changed only slightly since 1947. All Services make dodgy claims and the AF is no exception…but the thing that irritates airmen are the air power philistines (with not one hour of air combat time) that profess to simplify what is a very complex & dynamic military capability into a few banal bromides. It seems that every ground guy that finished boot camp or attended War College is an expert on the employment of air power?? Who knew fighting at 20 miles/minute with & against the most advanced technology in world was that simple?? Yet, I don’t hear airmen bloviate on the structure of infantry or armored forces…who could take them seriously.

Can the same be said of ground guys?

Byron

Additionally, the US Army started phasing out the use of the Combat Arms Regimental System (CARS) in 1981, and began using the U.S. Army Regimental System (USARS).

Good Evening Mark,

The ground guys, 11B in the Army are at the bottom of the social ladder as one might say, even the 11C’s view themselves superior to the 11B’s.

As for air crews the 11B really don’t like them, especially Army helicopter crews, they work 9–5, don’t go out in bad weather, always have reason why they can’t hit the da** target, get a full night sleep every night, don’t worry about the rain, have hot chow on demand, know where the PX is, have clubs and snack bars and laundry service.

Even tankers have it vastly better then the 11B, because they have to stay with their vehicles they can’t do the most dangerous job of war the night ambush patrol, and if you can get fuel to them you can get hot chow and mail.

If you really want to experience what war is like go out for ten day, in the bush with the legs. A typical riffle platoon in Vietnam had over 200% casualties in the course of a 12 month period. A Cavalry Platoon was not far behind with about 150% casualties in 12 months.

The choppers put in in a DZ and will pick you up where ever you might end up. Your fire support is an artillery umbrella that is no longer valid when you run into some sh** and you have some idiot officer on the horn trying to determine where you are on his map that is different then yours. When he calls the fire mission there is about a 50% or better chance he will call it on you.

The weather is best ignored. When it rains you get wet, when the sun is beating down and you are busting the bush you keep going. When you take casualties you do you best to keep them alive. When the dust off comes in all to often with some body bags, contrary to popular thinking grunts don’t carry body bags with them, they wrapped the KIA in a poncho and the put the body in a body bag that is dumped out of the chopper and hopefully with some ammo and rats. Fill the bags and the chopper come back around and you toss you buddy into the hovering chopper like a bag of garbage.

Yes mark, the ground pounder, doggie, grunt, what ever you want to call thinks that everybody else is a slacker and he is right. You don’t see air crew volunteering for the Infantry, but offer a rifleman a door gunners job and he’s gone.

ALLONS,
Byron Skinner
11B Rifleman, Vietnam.

Why not make all Navy ground pounders, These carriers have not been in major combat(ship to ship)sense WW11. Besides, the author did say it was a rumor.

You are both correct FormerDirtDart and Elgatoso…The –itty Kitty CV-63 was indeed retired/Decommissioned this year Jan and May respectively. I served aboard 4.5 years in the 70s…The only road hog that had escallators on board (came in handy for working parties. I remember when we had 14 bird farms afloat. Bigger is not better…we need to do our jobs smarter with technology we can do the same with 10 carriers as we did with 14. Numbers don’t scare anybody, capabilities do! We need to run with no fewer than 5 bird farms on each coast, with 2 in hot standby as a sound deployment scheme. The mission is to project air power. Play to win.

I have a simple question, what was the high point in Carriers in service? What was the highest number of Carriers in service at one time?

I seem to recall that over the past 30 years we have been slowly reducing Carrier Task Force Groups. I believe that although they are very expensive, they are our best way to project strength worldwide. The Carrier Task Force Groups are the MEU’s are the backbone to our national security and we should never reduce the numbers. It takes days or weeks to get them into position when needed and sometimes more than one may be needed in certain situations.

My feelings are to increase not reduce our Carrier Group numbers. Increase the pay to our military service personnel and completely rebuild the Veterans Administration since it is in a horrendous condition.

despite the Navys p/r on this, i thought the real reason for a Navy at all was to ensure that US vessels could have free and unthreatened access to the 7 seas.

the rest is sort of an added job load.

the most curious thing i worry about lately is the pirate situation off Somalia. if the Navy wants more carriers, or whatever, have them formulate a gameplan to protect (completely protect) world sea trade in the region and sell vessel insurance delivered by the US Navy in the naval insurance market to help offset the expenses.

i find nothing wrong with the US both projecting its values, protecting the high seas, and making money on the deal. that way, we’d have a lot less b___ about how much all this stuff costs.

also, and i’ve made this suggestion around various blogs lately, have the excess military (and God knows there are a lot of idle resources in the military) assigned to produce energy resources in those areas of the US which have been declared ‘offlimits’ by Congress and apply the net profits to paying for the Obama Medical Plans. …and the VA hospital system.

again, no reason the military can’t be a money maker just like everyone else.

Things have changed whether we agree with the change or not. Change is always going to happen. I agree with the red team that our largest ships are tempting targets and probably would result in loosing several carriers and too many military men and women, in a short period of time in an out and out war.

We have to take care of the current maintenance of personnel and equipment. I do not like seeing situations where we have to make do with what we have as we had to do in Vietnam ( I was ASA in country on the ground in 1970). We should not project any force in any way that can not be properly supported and maintained. This means rethinking everything including the amount that our friends and some so called friends need to bring to the table for mutual defense. We also need to play nice and try to get rid of some enemies, take care of our people with the proper healthcare and their dependents when they are qualified to receive it too. I am 100% permanently and totally disabled. I hope that doesn’t happen to any of you. However, if it does you will find out that the VA healthcare is a fraud and outright dangerous. But if you only have that and nothing else you will put that carrier into the healthcare and disability compensation and meet the current needs before talking about our future needs. People in my age group paid into social security and medicare. The government emptied the trust fund which would have accumulated interest if properly invested and there would be no shortage of money for the baby boomers. It is a federal crime for private corporations to do what the government did to us. I would start asking myself if we can’t properly take care of those who fight and have fought what will the situation be like when it is your turn. Let’s turn blackwater and specops loose on our individual enemies which cause us so much trouble and start fixing things at home in the meantime. Proud to have served as a professional, sad to see our constitution being pulled apart when I am no longer in the shape to fight for it again. James, Imee, and JD

Well, I guest we’ll just let the chinese take over the oceans globally.

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