Land Forces Will Fade, Navy Rise

Land Forces Will Fade, Navy Rise

As the U.S. withdraws from Afghanistan and Iraq and land forces encounter more and more obstacles to operating — fenced in by rising insistence on sovereignty — the U.S. Navy’s role will only grow in importance, says the chief of naval operations, Adm. Gary Roughead.

Roughed, speaking at a conference hosted by the University of Chicago on Capitol Hill, offered new versions of the old Marine and Navy mantra that the littoral is where it’s at globally, with at least 26 mega-cities in the littoral zone and much of the world’s production and natural resources moving across the blue oceans from manufacturing plants and oil and gas fields to consumers.

Climate change will only highlight the rising importance of the Navy as fishing patterns shift south and north. And the importance of the opening of the Arctic for longer and longer periods to shipping and fishing fleets “cannot be overstated,” Roughead said, saying it’s the biggest shift since the last Ice Age.

The Navy, he said, is better positioned for such an environment — political and physical — simply because it can operate offshore free of the constraints of inserting forces where they may well not be wanted.

After his talk, I asked Roughead if this meant a larger or a different fleet than the current mix of 313 they aim for. Not really, he said, adding that there will be much more cooperation with other navies. He specifically rejected the 1,000 ship construct, which argues the US and its allies constitute a huge force should they work together. He said his vision is more inclusive and would include non-governmental organizations, a wide array of other groups and organizations, as well as other countries.

In other news, the admiral said he thought the news media had over-hyped the importance of problems with an engine of Lockheed Martin’s Littoral Combat Ship that came to light the middle of last month. He said such engines are routinely replaced and said he wasn’t just trying to talk up the program. Turbine blades had broken. That is a not uncommon problem with jet engines, the CNO said. “To cite that as a flaw in the ship just doesn’t make sense,” he said. The contract for the next tranche of LCS should be awarded next month, he said.

Also, Roughead told us his service has identified $28 billion in efficiencies over the Future Fears Defense Plan (FYDP). “Most of the savings” were scraped from multiyear buys, new product lines (no examples offered) and from “overhead structure.” He said the Navy moves have “actually enhanced readiness<’ in part because they have moved more people to serve on ships.

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“He said such engines are routinely replaced .…”

Please tell me the admiral was misquoted? I never heard of a situation where ship’s engines were “routinely” replaced.

Since Roughead thinks that the LCS has anything to do with worthwhile naval power, he is part of the problem and not part of the solution.

As I understand it these engines are very similar to a jet engine. He was saying that just as those are replaced so would a similar engine.

Good Evening Folks,

I wouldn’t put to much on what Admiral Roughead said. He’s kinda strutting around right now because the DoD in an order to save America’s ship yards has spread a couple of billion dollars in pork around in bribes to entice General Dynamics not to sell Bath (two DD-51-s), to buy Avondate (four tankers) to keep Norfolk ($102 billion to refuel four Los Angeles subs that were going to be decommissioned), $400 million to Electric Boat to start the next generation of SSBN’s and a $100 million to start converting Seawolf and Conneecticut to become a Jimmy Carter and are holding two future ships (and LSD and a LPH(2) over the head of NG to keep Pascagoula open.

This is just the old Army Navy thing and I’n sure General Casey or some Army 4 Star will make a similar speech.

Regarding the Littoral issue. First ships routinely do not blow engines. There are serious problems with the whole LCS program and don’t be surprised if that is not a center of attention of the “57’s”. The major problem with the concept of a “Green Water Water” or “Littoral Waters” zones are that since Vietnam there really hasn’t been that much action in these waters. In fact most of the countries outside of Africa that are costal regions with the exceptions of North Korea and Myanmar are stable countries and have in there own best interest to keep things quiet. Africa is so important to the United States we created a theater level (4 star) command “Africa Command” with it HQ in Stuttgard Germany?

A look at the globe and it instantly become apparent that the US is not an isolationists country. The silk road doesn’t g from Beijing to San Francisco nor does the Orient Express run form New York to Istanbul. This is nothing more the occasional heart burn of the under class of the Republican Party. The Country Club Republicans who are in fact the party are very much internationalists. Like the babbling’s of a common drunk talk of American isolationism ignored.

As far as the Navy’s role, well a lot of that is being discussed right now in Hanoi in regard to the South China sea. Since it is in the interest of no country to disrupt world commerce. One item that is not in the wingers agenda is the openings of the Northwest passage and the Northeast Passage, which due to global warming are expected to be open for at least six months a year to passage by the end of the decade. The far North is not friendly to what we are designing as LCS. Do I hear a need for more ice breakers?

I do admire buzz 1’s attempt to understand Washington’s farewell address, but I don’t think he got the message, besides every President since GW has ignored his advice. On peculiar things about US politics and law is that no future President or Congress is bound by any actions or laws of past Presidents and Congresses. It is noted that ole’ GW has a taste for European wines, English Cheddar and Irish wool he also sold his tobacco on the London exchange.

Well my daily allocation of time is about up.

Byron Skinner

We’ve been operating gas turbines on major surface units since the advent of the SPRUANCE (DD 963) class. The LM2500s were not “routinely” replaced. Even when they were it was not so simple a thing as removing an aircraft engine from the wing and slapping on another one. But I digress; far more troubling is the fact that they need to change out an engine on this overpriced, under armed, under manned “wannabe” warship.

This does sound like standard “in future budget cuts, better look elsewhere” talk. The Navy admirals see themselves as the future — so do the Army and Air Force generals. If the admiral is comparing ship borne turbine engines to air borne turbine engines — he is stretching the comparison a long way! Aircraft and even tanks have far easier access to the engines — they often slide out on rails. Not so with a ship.
In the coming budget cuts — the Navy will take their share. Byron mentioned Africa Command — that is a prime area for a cut. Really, a 4 star dedicated to a continent that is in chaos? We could devote the attentions of a 1 star there and save some mahogany office furniture.

BREAKING NEWS: Navy spokesperson states that naval power is the future. Stop the presses, call Oprah, this one is BIG! .….…NAVY PLLEEAAASEE!

If you thought that was hot, check out the stoies we’re following for you next week: “4 Star Air Force Officer claims future belongs to Jets,” Followed by our suprising poll “9 out of 10 Tank Commanders think US needs more Mechanized Forces,” and finally our top analyst looks into allegations of a “Forklift Gap” with North Korea.

This guy is a joke — brown nosed his way to the top off the backs of others — Still talks out his 6, pay him no mind at all.

Yeah — we had a name for this looser and it wasnt Roughead if you know what I mean, I had one or two dealings with him and he is an uninformed sleeze. (would be a good cabinet member in todays congress)

He meant the blades on that type of engine

THis guy must be smoking dope or something!

Don’t forget he and Mullen want a repeal of DADT. Maybe time for a shower and trip to the ladder. And by the way if you think the rest of the heavies aren’t brown boxes and political hoaxes you better look yourself in the mirror while you scratch you head. At least the Marines are still the fighters.…..

I think “heavies” are getting ready to follow Mullen to Hollywood with their PR hoaxes. Mullen learned well from his Dad, didn’t he ?????

Ah life is wonderful esp for a four star. !!!!!!! God forbid they close BATH for Mississippi river boats. Should buy Norwegian and get a quality product, deliverd on time and within budget. But that would take jobs away from the “Big Boys” when they retire. How dare I forget.

Norwegian? Personally I am not all that impressed by the LCS designs, but we should at least license-produce such a foreign design as opposed to having them get all of the work.

Think the Norwegian design was tested for a year on the West Coast. The Navy leased the ship for a year. I never did see the results. I think Sweden or Denmark have a model as well. It just seems the foreign yards can design and build a quality ship, on time and budget. Whereas the ones we have in Mississippi stink and should be shut down. Thank you Trent Lott. Bath at least Bath has people who care what they build. Korea builds good ships as well. They have workers who still have a work ethic. Just look at the San Antonio and New York. Ahhhhh. And we pay GenDyd good money for them and then have to turn around and pay them again to fix them.

But do people like the CNO pay for these issues with their job. Yea right — I forgot. How long do you think a commercial company would tolerate this type of performance. The CEO pays with his job.

This CNO has also tried to push his social agenda at the Naval Academy. Look at the admission figures. The USN is not a social experiment.!!!!! There are questions floating around that would indicate we may not have gotten the best of the best. This is not a beat down on the kids either.

Naval power is the future, along with long range, high volume indirect fires delivered by the airforce. No more counter-insurgency. The military is certainly capable, but as a nation, we have no desire to do it. Too expensive, but most importantly it takes too much time and is never decisive.

What this means strategically is that the US will need to have to learn how to rapidly escalate issues to scales in which we can respond by breaking nations and societies. Not the best or desireable outcome, but reality.

In the future we will have short periods of time to inflict decisive damage. It may be that the unspoken strategy of the nation will have to be to allow, even invite attacks on the homeland to allow for brief door openings. Our number one goal must be to deny our enemies the ability to inflict decisive damage to our society. Unfortunately that level of damage is probably much lower than we might think. But, as a nation, our imagination is much more limited that we might desire and the political will, absent existential angst, to conduce endless counter-insurgency is not there…

This means that somebody in military leadership will need to pick up the history books and understand the nature of the conflict we are in with Islam. That means go all the way back to 650 AD

I do wish the Admiral would address plans regarding the actual blue water navy. There seems to have been a lack of any real news since the Zumwalt Class was capped at 3 ships.

Hopefully those DDG-1000s will be useful technology demonstrators for our next generation of destroyers/cruisers, it will be interesting to see how the effective or problematic the hull design is in actual operations.

Interesting comment but.
1. They want to cut one carrier strike force. Even with what we have the radius of defense forces Naval Aviation to the range limit of the F/A 18. Guessing the new Avenger will be the answer.
2. CG1000 with a “popgun” — well about worthless. Should be canxed for budget reasons. Probably will be very expensive to maintain as there will only be three. It was a political buy anyway to keep our yards open.
3. I am not a fan of the USAF ( too much time to generate missions and range) but will concede high volume fire is nice — if you own the assets ( we cut the F22 and the F35 is questionable), are close enough to the conflict to have any “free airspace” to work. I often wonder about the cancellation of the F35 and go with rebuilt F15/F16/and F/A 18s and rely on pilot skill to pull us through.
4. I would point out the purchases by several nations of high tech aircraft from Russia make for an interesting gig. I think we all can concede China and India are the next “big” areas of concern. And with North Korea as a alternate. Sell the Japanese the F22 they want and let them put their own radars and weapons in/on them. assign them NK.……
5.. Country cannot afford a new bomber. Period. Although my guess there is a prototype around somewhere. Maybe the USAF will use the Avenger as well as the Navy.
6. And finally to agree with you — this nation is about out of will power and darn near broke. Use the USSR as an example. We simply cannot afford to be everyone’s big brother anymore !!!

We are broke and simply cannot afford 2 to 3 billion dollars for a single DDG 1000. Buy the Burke class in numbers and you will have lots of ships at a modest price virs 3 ships that will be questionable for years and years to come. That is if they aren’t canceled by a new cost cutting Congress. You are right about the problematic hull design — physics says no — Admirals say yes. Guess we will we see.

Regarding the hull design, supposedly it did fine in smaller scale testing. But we shouldn’t go and order 50 such ships without real world trials.

I believe construction has already started for DDG-1000 and DDG-1001. DDG-1002 could still get axed.

Why would India be a threat? The U.S. has no major disputes with them. In fact, their strategic goals align nicely with ours — address Pakistan, minimize global Islamic jihad, and counter-balance or contain China.

actually these engines DO slide in and out on rails very easily and can be changed out at sea in 3 days!!


Littoral talk show, heard this one under Adm Zumwalt, and others.

Grunts on the ground, still own the show.

Semper Fi

We Will Prevail

India is an area of high interest/concern to us. Perhaps I could have worded it better . It is all the things that are happening around India. Pakistan and India are shall we say not on the best of terms. Both are nuclear nations. Indias get stronger and Pakistan wants more nucs etc etc..Then their issue with the Chinese isn’t anything we should ignore. This has been long lasting. Then there is the spill over of divergent groups from Pakistan etc. This is a serious issue. The point is — we can sucked into conflicts. There is also the littoral issue with all the ocean area rights (oil and fishing) in the area. India is buying — I think up to six now ( of last week) of our new ASW 737 aircraft. They are acquiring the old Russian carrier ( garbage) — no idea why we just didn’t give them the Kitty Hawk — which was probably in excellent shape coming out of Japan — and selling them F/A 18. Instead they buy Russian equipment. Kind of a foreign affairs blunder. But maybe we didn’t want to upset China. I isn’t a cut and dried issue with India.

Economy wise they are taking jobs from us — abet our companies are moving there — their economy is pretty good. Economic war. So putting all this together it is an area of concern — not necessarily a overt threat per si. But.….….…..

Think you are right. I think I would wait until a few trips to the North Atlantic in the winter are accomplished before I take a ride. :) The Navy is also having trouble with minimal manned ships which these ships are designed to be. They are so technical that the crew has trouble repairing all the electronics which means we hire more tech reps. I guess it is the sign of the times. This is not and let me repeat not a put down of the crew but the education needed by the crew to run these is hard to find with the pay etc that they get. Look at our sub fleet — they are going to women because of the shortage of qualified people to do he job. The women are taking up the slack thank goodness.

I just like shear number instead of a few so that when you lose one it isn’t the end of the road. Kind of like the old Soviet attitude with airplanes.

if you don’t own the air, ur pretty f-‘d am i correct? the soldier will always be needed to take and hold ground.

I’ve heard all this before. Pretty much what Rumsfeld’s modernization and the focus on a small, more technically equipped Army and Marine Corps. The fact of the matter is, unless we make some SERIOUS moves towards energy independence, we don’t get to pick where we will be sending troops in the decades to come. As a nation, we have long since made the choice that we want cheap imported oil, at nearly any cost, and I don’t foresee things changing. There’s no political will for it. So we’ll get tangled in more nasty little wars, the kind where the enemy fights dirty and hides among the populace and uses asymmetric tactics and terror. The only way to get at him will be with boots on the ground, because so far, Hellfires and gunships don’t seem as good at discriminating between enemy fighters and innocent local nationals as your average Infantryman. That could change, of course, but it will be a while.

Hopefully though, future engagements will be more limited in scope than our recent ones!

Then why did the navy start the Individual Augmentee program Admiral? Huh, huh? Nothing, nada will ever replace the grunt!
The Old Chief

I wonder: Is that you, Karl, from our “special” other board? If so: Be very welcome “on board” here! Did finally somebody make it here…

Roughhead (Colin too), the rest of you mere mortals and even the ever-liberal blowhard B Skinner, actually particularly him, should read CBSA’s “Regaining Strategic Competence” by Krepinevich and Watts. Then perhaps you all could have a sensible dialog about what the admiral said and what he should have said. Coming at these senior leader statements from the viewpoint that “I have the correct knowledge and he’s wrong and so are the rest of you” isn’t much of a contribution.

We require a national defense strategy before we can affirm a service’s future importance, let alone roles and force structure. Give it a read at http://​www​.cbsaonline​.org. No I’m not affiliated with CBSA in any manner.


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