The Navy faces reality

The Navy faces reality

This is not how the Navy was supposed to be.

Its littoral combat ship program was going to be as fecund as the shad. Its advanced large new surface combatants would be … well they’d be out there somewhere, but you wouldn’t see them because they could stand well over the horizon. It was going to be a service custom-built to influence events ashore From The Sea… rather than one repurposed from its Cold War mission of a high-seas Super Jutland against the Soviets.

To the outside world, this vision has been in tatters for years, but the Navy’s leadership clung to it desperately. It kept insisting it could reach its goal of 313 ships, and then even more than that, as a “floor” for the size of a future fleet. “Quantity has a capability all its own. It’s a big ocean out there. We need the ships yesterday.” The talking points were branded onto Big Navy’s institutional brain, and they kept reappearing despite all the LCS delays, the service’s own projected ship and submarine shortfalls, and the obvious budget storm clouds overhead. Until now.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert told sailors aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp that, yeah, looks like the Navy’s going to stay the same size — at best — for the next five years, Otto Kreisher writes for AOL Defense. Next week’s budget is expected to do away with some 19 ships over the coming years, by one estimate, and although new hulls will continue entering the fleet, its best hope is to break even. Simple numbers can be deceptive, too: The Navy’s LCSes, for example, may not do an actual deployment until 2017 or later, so the pressure on the legacy fleet will stay high even as they enter service.

The Navy will always accomplish its missions, but with a shrinking and aging fleet, crews and gear bear the extra burden. The USS Bataan’s amphibious ready group, which included the amphibious transports USS Mesa Verde and USS Whidbey Island and the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, had to spend 10 and half months deployed. Mechanical problems meant the amphibious assault ship USS Essex could not participate in an exercise last month out in the Western Pacific. The submarine force is gritting its teeth for seven-month deployments.

Bottom line: A Navy that does not grow and continues to operate at a high tempo is an engine running out of oil. It may get you there, but the longer you run it, the more damage it takes, until you run the risk of not being able to repair it anymore.  The service’s leadership may have known this privately all along, but Greenert’s acknowledgment seems to mean it’s willing to start doing so publicly.

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Hell, we had a 700 ship Navy under Regan, but now that we pay contractors a profit on every day they drag out development and on every dollar they can jack up the cost, suddenly we can’t even keep 300 ships afloat. Obviously paying contractors a profit incentive to screw over the US taxpayer is working just as well as any actual capitalist might expect. One thing is for sure, we certainly don’t want to go back to the bad old days when the Navy designed their own ships, as they did in the 1980s. No, certainly not! We got too much bang for our buck in those days. We’ve got to stay the course. There are Admirals who might otherwise never get to retire to that cushy job at the defense contractor facility of their choice otherwise. Plus, imagine all of those poor bureacrats we’d put out of a job if instead of hiring the useless to watch over the shoulder of the theiving defense contractors, the Navy had to hire engineers as government employees to design their ships. Oh the horror!

Man are you ever full of crap. The Reagan era Navy APPROACHED 600 ships but never got anywhere near 700. More importantly, the ships of that era were designed and built in commercial (not government) shipyards. Spruance Class, Perry Class, Ticondarogas, Virginia Class (cruisers) as well as the Los Angeles class Subs were all designed and built privately.

Maybe you should shift your “contractors are bad” fight to aircraft. Oh Yeah, F-4, F-14, F/A-18, F-16, F-15, A-10, etc were all designed and built by those evil contractors.

Proof more Army money should goto save the Navy since its needed more in the Far East.

Dfens, just change your name to “profit for dragging out development.” That’s the only thing you ever have to say on every single article posted on this site.

And we got close to that 600 ship Navy only by keeping everything afloat whether it was needed, seaworthy, or otherwise. It was one of Reagan’s 1980 campaign pledges, and by 1986 the Navy was breaking the bank and the fleet began its decline in numbers.

Buy some diesel subs .… with 500 million each you could buy 6 instead of 1 nuc. sub.

Northrop Grumman spun its shipyards off because they were performing so poorly and while General Dynamics seems to be doing better with its yards, their Marine Systems Division is consistently its lowest performing division in terms of earnings to revenue.

Right, comrade, capitalism could never work. What was I thinking?

Yeah, why talk about the problems with procurement when we could talk about how wonderful the pitiful reminant of our Naval force really is. The world is such a wonderful place, and I was missing it all. What a shame.

By the way, someone who read on more than a 2nd grade level might have caught the fact that I did not say the Navy had to BUILD their own ships. I merely suggested that they go back to DESIGNING their own ships.

The Navy did not do the detailed design on those ship classes. They did an overall systems design as they continue to do today. In the case of the ship that I precommed in the early 80’s Newport News did the detailed design , created the prints, etc.

Thats fine for many other Navy’s and the US could use a few diesels for some particular missions but in general, the long distances from the US to patrol areas and deployment patterns of the US fleet call for the bulk of the subs to be nuclear powered.

Good to know the FED bailout helped save a Japanese tuna-fishing fleet — maybe we could just put some “pods” on those boats … great camo!

Many of the troubled programs will cancel themselves as they slow down and eventually just stop. The navy needs LCS to pretend they have a future but every year the program slows, the capabilities decline and the projections are lower. Eventually they will just stop.

Economically we can only support a military 10% the size of the current one, but it will take decades of decline before that is reached. Boiling the frog slowly will be the name of the game.

ok Navy leadership, sit down, shut up, and listen.

fact one: the economy is crap and not getting any better, the budget is getting cut
fact two: our ship numbers are dwindling because of your incompetence
fact three: we haven’t maintained our ships, a large part of the fleet is crippled because of your incompetence
fact four: the LCS is crap no matter how you spin it
fact five: the LCS is a giant sucking black hole, sucking the life out of the Navy’s ship budget
fact six: most of you are poor ass leaders, who care more about being PC then being a warrior

your orders:
#1 stop LCS production yesterday!
#2 used part of the saved money from LCS program to do critical maintenance and upgrades on our existing fleet
#3 fire half of the admirals, (we don’t need one admiral for every ship we have-we’re not a third world navy). Use save money for ship building and maintenance.
#4 Take the National Security Frigate concept and start building affordable, heavily armed frigates NOW! We need at least 30 of them. Use the other part of the saved money from the canceled LCS program for this.
#5 eliminate any and all programs, offices, commands, systems that don’t directly help our ability to put a hurt on the enemy (our ability to fight). This act alone will save billions.
#6 last and final order, revive the culture of being warriors, drop the PC culture in the deep.

now move out!

I’m not saying you don’t have a valid concern. It’s just frustrating that that is your ONLY concern — ever. We get it. Give us something new to discuss.

I don’t know what you were thinking, as your thought processes appear to be illogical and turgid at best, and somewhere between inane and insane at worst.


Contractors are capitalists…


Newport news, the multinational corporation, or Newport News the facility owned by the US Navy? Hmm, I’m thinking the latter.

Hey, we could discuss how it is the bureaucrats that the Navy hires to levy those “excessive requirements” on defense contractors. You know, those folks the military industrial complex wants you to think are to blame for dragging out development and jacking up costs? Of course, there’s really nowhere to go from there. We have no examples of these gilded requirements to look at, because if you actually pick on some real requirements then people with actual names and faces get kind of defensive and start calling these defense contractors on the BS they’re spreading. On the other hand, I can point to a real FAR 16.405–2 (–18/html/Subpart%2016_4.html) that actually exists, that you can actually read and see for yourself how stupid a method of buying weapons it really is. Which do you want to do, repeat the lies of the MIC, or talk about real solutions to real problems? Or hell, censor me and that will fix all your problems, right?

Yes, and therein lay the problem.

Big Rick you’ve got my vote shipmate!! We are all on the same side I think! Defens and oldretswo you guys need to get your heads out of each others tail and stop playing who can trump who with the petty knowledge . Let’s hit the deck plates running and turn two with some real solutions. As you were!!!

I was in the Frigate navy, you know the “torpedo sponges” we were always ready to “take one” for the team ;-D


Emretusn I don’t have my head in my tail. One, tell me one time in history that there has been peace with a piece of paper. If you enemy strikes you strike harder. Two you must of had a easy life while you were in. I’m a 100% P and T. I gave up my health for a life time and I got to come home. No one wants war it evil but what is more evil is not kicking ass. During WW2 Chamberlin and Kennedy sold Europe down the tubes with Hitler. When Chamberlin got off the plane with that wonderful piece of paper with Hitler he said we bought and have peace. Hitler invaded and started in Europe. Real solutions is be ready and be ready to act. Next time a bullet comes at you put up a peace of paper to stop it.

Thank you, we beat this diesel topic to death all the time.

I have faith in the F35 saving the branches. It has about 2 or 3 years tops to get its @#$% together on some very important issues. That QLR sugar coats it a bit, a given since it’s a DoD doc, but at the end of the day they can’t cover the facts. If it doesn’t solve some major system issues the F35 will not meet requirements and will be no better than simply buying currently available advanced legacy aircraft. I have faith the F35 will fall on its face and serve up $385 billion in savings.

Yea because failed regimes are the ones you want to emulate.

So sad they can pay these GSA contractors lots of money… our money. and yet they can’t strengthen our military personnal. We need that. I looked at the medal of honor wall today at NAS Jax. common people.. not special forces. No big buff highly skilled people getting these medals. But people whos heart was for their country. Everything has got to be for the money doesnt it. pretty soon we will have troops looking like universal soldier. LOL. sorry.

not to replace all .… just to have force multiplication in low intensity theater. To patrol around the Philippines islands you need several subs that could come close to land. You don’t need a 3 billion sub everywhere …

In an ideal world, maybe, in this one, where does the $ come from? I mean after all the article is about the USN not having enough $ as it is to reach its goals. In regards to China we don’t want to get close in to shore, we want to draw them out to deep water. I could see a few maybe for use in interdicting the Indonesian Straits and keeping them from being able to cross into the Indian Ocean and that’s about the only use.

John I don’t have to play war hero be John Wayne. I did my time in thengulfwar and I served quietly and with honor I don’t need to thump my chest and say look at me look at me!! . I’m not a glory hound. The fact of the matter is we need to kick anyone’s ass that threatens our way of life and the f$&@#% politicians need to stay the hell out of it!! . This is a dead issue . Please guys no more thump thump! Your gonna make have to bring out the big guns. We don’t have to brag we’re all on the same team ! As you were!!

The flaw in what you’re saying is that LCS is intended to fill certain existing gaps. Regardless of how well or how poorly it currently will perform those roles If you cancel it, you will have to replace it with either a new design or a variant of an existing design. At best the “savings” would be absorbed by that hypothetical replacement. At worst reabsorbed into the national budget and the Navy loses that money.

On #5 how “directly” is directly?

Hell, failed regimes are the only ones we seem to want to imitate, especially that particular regime. They’re the ones who institutionalized the whole concept of the government picking the winners and losers. Sound familiar? It’s only the people who recommend we go back to doing things the American way that ever catch crap here.

Problem is the brass is like a bunch of kids wanting what is new — The Cyclone class PC’s were supposed to be our answer to littoral warfare but were deemed to big to actualy perform it and thus they started going away for a while until revived for ghanistan and iraq and pirate hunting (we had turned them over to the coast guard prior to the war and gave a couple away). The the brass got a glimpse of the VISBY class corvette look at its specs and capabilities then look at what they want the LCS to do but very slightly modified, just as the brass requirements are slightly modified for the JLTV over the gurka and the infantry combat vehicle is slightly modified version of the Iveco personnel carrier. Thing is that we could of had the VISBy built here in the US (have built Sweed — german craft before here) for a lot less than the LCS. Brass doesnt know what they want anymore until they see what the other kids are playing with.

YOu are living in a fantasy land, come back to reality.

The name of the game is reducing commitments, especially the costly ground wars we keep getting suckered into. Next on the plate is Syria — we need to say NO! We’ve spent billions between 1991 to the present building up bases and deploying forces in the Middle East to support countries that are just plain crappy. They are crap because of their culture and values so exporting democracy isn’t going to be effective — they are just too corrupt to make it work.

Yes we need to cut defense spending but the first place to start is the money spent on these crap hole countries.

I’m ex USAF but I think you’re both right. The military kills the enemy and let them rebuild themselves. I don’t see a culture that can sustain a democracy in the Middle East except for Israel. There’s too much corruption in the rest of the countries.

Dollars are always the issue when buying weapons systems, particularly in what is supposed to soon become “peacetime”. The diesel boats are in fact cheaper than nuke boats, but… projecting a diesel submarine half way around the world is a non trivial logistics challenge, almost REQUIRING a sub tender and operating base in the depoyment area. It can be done, as we, the Japanese and the Germans demonstrated in WW-I and WW-II, but… it is NOT easy!

An alternative might be to take the French approach. Their Rubis class is barely 2600 tons, but is nuclear powered. Hull speed only applies to surface ships, so… Hydrodynamically, the Rubis is no more limited in terms of top speed than the Los Angeles class at 6000 tons (if the horsepower is available). Smaller boat, smaller crew, and essentially the same long range capability sounds like an interesting capability in a world of shrinking budgets.

There must be a national defense strategy to build the services around. Some say “no nation building” while the reality is we must do that for securing the peace. Holding on to the the Big Bang cold war has to give way to seeing emerging economies, developing nations, as having world influence where our military building becomes oriented to that context appropriately is the correct play. If we get the big picture in focus, a national strategy, the intelligent response will prove itself. Go back to the SeaPower strategy, connected with larger DoD/State/Commerce/ department objectives, then project growth on likely and meaningful probabilities. This long range planning has gone undone for so long, yes there is a penalty for lack of planning, which will increase if continued unchecked.

It’s something to this. As priorities shift, budgets should also do the same. Reacting is not the goal here, better planning to minimize unplanned responses to unpredicted events has to be minimized.

Enough of the “contractors are evil BS”! They’re on our side 2 and most of them are folks trying to get the job done, not people looking to just milk the system. Yes I am a contractor but not long ago I was active duty and nothing about my quality of work or effort changed. The problems with contractors is in the management of the contractors. We GS and military folks should be the managers and the contractors should be the specialists. Personally I’d much rather be a GS than a contractor but some idiot in DC seems to think contractors are more cost effective. If it is true it’s only because nobody clears out the dead weight in the GS ranks (and we all knwo there’s plenty of that).

In my career field (USAF computer programmer) the biggest problem with active duty folks was the totally inadequate training. Quite frankly the training for my career field was horrible. You can’t train someone who knows nothing about software system design how to create an application in 6 weeks — it just isn’t possible. The entire career field is held together by people like me who spent tons of off time learning how to really do the job right. You can’t get rid of contractors until you train the military folks right and stop cutting corners. Of course computer programming is a mess anyway in that the USA is only graduating 10% of the IT folks it needs to because the young folks don’t thinks it’s a cool career choice (partly because it’s a lot harder than a lot of other non-technical majors).

Procurement issues are huge. Waste from the process, ‘especially’ with regard to intellectual property and protections, arguably, could add a couple of carriers to the fleet and operate them for 10 years. Defense Complex marketing is for profit. Some of the $300 hammer stuff is hype but in different forms it happens. Who was it that built a helicopter too big to operate off a Navy ship, for the Navy?

America is forgetting it is a maritime nation. Flagging a ship in America is the most exhausting in cost, regulations and politics among other able ship building nations. Why hasn’t the Jones Act been revisited?

I really have a tough time understanding why now days we even need a Navy other than SUBs and small patrol boats. Their ships are sitting targets that can be wiped out from thousands of miles away with a missile or just under the water’s surface with a torpedo . They can’t hide, they are slow, satellites can track their every move. Beef up the Air Force’s troop caring capacity, bombers, and air to air, and air to to ground fighters and you will get the job done faster and at less cost. Send in the ground troops after the battle is over to keep piece.

Subs per unit are much more expensive than a surface combatant. For instance, a SSN’s land attack capability is limited to the TLAMs that can be fired out the torpedo tubes or VLS. A run of the mill DDG-51 has 96 VLS cells. A converted SSGN is converted from a SSBN hull originally designed for ICBMs: the fact that it was not a new hull design speaks volumes to the costs involved in submarine construction, especially of the larger type.

A future surface navy of carriers, DDGs (farewell CGs, now that they are essentially identical) and LCS is considerably simpler and more sensible than the modern one that keeps CVN, DDG, CG, FFG and LCS. The CG’s and FFG’s are relics and have little utility for their personnel and equipment costs, compared to building out more DDG’s and LCS.

Something about a desire to retain quality, as it is with Norway, versus being like Panama and Liberia?

The French also have an interesting minisub in the works.

Yes, indeed! Very interesting, but more as a potential “target” than as a USN asset. The issue is again the “legs” of the boat. Size it up to the minimum required to pack a nuclear power plant and. .. . perhaps! As a reference, consider the little “NR-1″ nuke boat (currently retired) was only about 400 tons but nuclear powered with an operating crew of eleven plus three “scientists”.

Im not sure that I would want to try to “force” a chokepoint (Straights of Malacca for example) if it had these 800-ton diesel/electric Andrastas hiding in every little crevice. Sold to current friends that might turn into enemies, this boat could be a big problem.

you are a blathering idiot and know not of what you speak. Ships at sea have defensive weapons that you obviously know zelch about. The Air Force has the morons in DOD and Congress buffaloed they are the ones who suck the DOD dollars from the other services the ones who really get the job done with boots on the ground. The job has NEVER been finished with bombing or CAS thousands of feet agl nor with millions of tons of expensive bombing. Not in WWII,not in Vietnam and not in Irag or Afganistan. Yeah they can soften the target somewhat but in the end its the Man on the ground who gets the job done. And the ones who can and will maintain the PEACE!!!

Repealing the Jones Act would eliminate ALL commercial shipbuilding in the US, how would that improve the US’s standing as a maritime nation?

So it is only in fantasy land that if you give a “for profit” defense contractor an obvious profit incentive to drag out development and jack up costs that they actually do this? If I lived in the “real world” like you, defense contractors don’t care about maximizing profit? Clearly this is the very sort of common sense thinking that allows this sort of scam to continue. The defense contractors who lobbied for this method of procurement think you are too stupid to be allowed to keep your money, and you seem hell bent on proving them right. Enjoy the screwing. I just don’t swing that way.

You really are in a fantasy land if you think that every contractor is motivated by that — yes. Are there some that jack up costs –obviously but all of them? Obviously not. If your ire is at the corporations themselves and not the workers then I can understand it to a degree but the vast majority of the contractors I work with are prior military and they have the exact same ethics as they had when they were active duty.

A bigger problem is the incompetence of the government management. I have yet to work on a contract where the government didn’t regularly change requirements which usually results in higher costs? Who’s to blame then? The government manager who didn’t get the requirements right in the first place.

I don’t know whether to hope it suceeds or fails. One one hand much of our legacy aircraft have a lot of wear and they can’t fly forever so something needs to replace them. On the other hand how long will it be before somebody else builds a UAV fighter that can outperform the F-35? I’m hoping we have several decades but I’m definitely not an expert at such things so I don’t know.

To reuse an old USAF term..… … SHACK!

A shady or incompetant contractor can always be held to the line or kicked out of the party on his face by a competant and diligent PEO and government program management team. There are few meaningful checks and balances on the PEO or program office folk.

Screw up the requirements for a procurement and its underwater before it is under contract, and if you have ever watched the pre– and post-contract requirements evolution you would generally NOT be impressed.

Bob is arguing with Bob? How confusing! For the record I agree with Bob. Yeah you, not him.

It’s amazing to me that people still believe that a war can be won by air forces alone even though it has never happened. I’m ex USAF and I appreciate the fact that they are very good at what they do but they can’t win a war single handedly. Combined arms is the key to victory and has been for centuries.

We need to keep the USN alive and well with both a surface fleet and a submarine fleet. I’d like to see the USN start protecting commercial vessels that register their ships in the USA and not protect other ships. Then funnel those funds directly to the USN. How many ships would a company lose to pirates before they’d change their registration from Liberia (or where evere) to the USA?

Which one’s the real Bob and which one is the robot Bob!?

The issue with nuke boats more than thier size is the MAIN and Aux seawater systems needed to maintain the powerplant. They flow masssive ammounts of water and you honestly dont want to suck up sand or sedimate into them operating in shallow waters. It would be possible to put in alternate suction and discharge for them when in shallow water but then you run the risk of the tell tale funnel on the suction or mushroom from the discharge. You dont have these issues with diesel boats running on thier batteries and todays conventionals are 10x more capeable than those of WWII in aspects of range and submerged running on batteries. Not suited for everything but I wish we had some back in inventory.

And there is a specific reason that you can not combine a nuclear reactor with onboard batteries? You would just “run” the nuke when you needed to recharge or dash. The example that I gave elsewhere in this discussion was the USN’s NR-1 research sub. She is smaller than the Rubis class, and if I understand the intended mission, designed to operate very near the ocean bottom, AND nuclear powered. Not trying to say that there are not issues with putting a nuke boat in the littoral environment, there are; BUT I dont think that the problems are by any means “unsolvable”. :-)

Nuc boats do have batteries — they just dont last long. I know the NR1 well, She was usualy towed out to sea, yeah she was deep diving but she stayed away from the bottom. The issue would arrise from shallow water ops, There are definately things that could be done. The NR1 was more of a submersible than a sea going sub, I cant get into details but life on her was rough and very cramped even for a submariner. Over 50% of an 88 or VA sub is engine room unknown to most folks which does not leave much people space. Nucs have thier place definately but so do conventionals, I would try to come out of retirement to get back on one.

we could start with the ‘power point’ admirals and their huge staffs, that alone should eliminate at least 1/4 of them ;-D

“because it’s a lot harder than a lot of other non-technical majors” how true


Apparently they also have a conventional Rubis.

“The Turquoise SSK submarine is a derivative of the Rubis Amethyste Class, developed for export. Turquoise is equipped for anti-surface and anti-submarine missions and is capable of carrying out special missions, from intelligence gathering and mine laying to commando landing and recovery operations.
The diesel generators and battery capacity ensure a low indiscretion rate and a long submerged endurance. The indiscretion rate is the ratio of the time needed to remain at periscope depth to recharge the batteries and the total operating time.
The endurance of the Turquoise SSK submarine is more than 60 days, whereas that of the Rubis Amethyste is 45 days. Underwater endurance of the Turquoise can be considerably extended by the fitting of the Mesma air-independent propulsion (AIP) system, developed jointly by DCN, Air Liquide, Bertin, Izar (formerly EN Bazan), Framatome-Thermodyn and Technicatome.”

I’m still a little intrigued at the Andrastra/Scorpene combo…though the Scorpene is export-only; which means it’s unlikely to serve in the French Navy. And it’s also unlikely that a navy would procure both the Scorpene and the Andrasta; which means the parts commonality is kind of moot?

hey Jeff, what’s the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. We plan on building 55 LCS and somehow in the rebuilding over and over again of LCS boats we expect a miracle to happen and for them to actually become useful???

yes, we need to stop the LCS insanity, it gives us ZERO capabilities and it’s cost are astronomical. Anything would be better then the LCS. And yes that does mean we start afresh, but the alternative is a Navy full of LCS boats-do you really want that? I don’t believe that you do. It would mean the end of our Navy as we know it.

There you go. The system works. Long live the status quo. The usual shill crap.

IF and it’s a big IF the PEO is on the ball.

I find it ironic that the DoD has gone from contractors where folks work under the direct management of the government (military or government civilian) to contracts where the defense contractors manage the contractors. In my (admitedly limited) experience the government received a lot more for their money when I worked directly for a government employee but that requires a government manager who is on the ball. I work in IT (software systems development) and not producing weapons systems per se so I have no idea what that world is like.

I’ve worked on both civilian and government software development efforts and the 2 are that different. There’s typically more bureaucracy with the government but it also reduces the risk of failure but that’s about the only difference. It really comes down to competent management.

bitch bitch bitch with no solutions — you’re nothing but a troll.

too bad they don’t realize the pay is commensurately better.

Any more talk about the Navy taking more of the Army vessels? I know the JHSVs were all transferred to Navy (to be civilian manned) but that program was just cut. The Army has the 8 LSVs that might be considered “ships” by the Navy. They are similar but smaller than the old LSTs. 30 man crews x 8 = 240 personnel required to man, about the size crew of one destroyer.

Wait a minute, I agree with DFENS on one small point. The system does NOT work, and I said so when I mentioned that there are no real checks and balances in the system to protect the user from the acquirers!

And I agree with you, Zak, on the other. He is a troll! :-)

Many things can be “corrected later”, acquisition malpractice just isnt one of them! :-(

I will disagree with you on one point. Bureaucracy does NOT reduce the risk of failure, if anything the inertia of the bureacracy increases the chances of a failure but it does insulate the perpetrators from the consequences of a failure. So long as “process” was followed, and decisions were made by committee consensus, and we only did what we are supposed to do.… no one person ends up accepting blame when it goes into the can. So if you were refering the risk to the career stemming from a failure, Id probably have to agree with you, but I dont think that you were! :-)

I agree that the system doesn’t work and that the corporations themselves do sometimes milk projects but to paint every contractor as a criminal is ludicrous.

Sometimes the bureaucracy does help reduce the risk of failure — at least on software projects. It makes the people ordering the system actually spend sufficient time thinking about what the system is supposed to do as opposed to some civilian projects I’ve worked on where the requirements were written on a napkin (literally for 1 project) and changed constantly. All of that change vastly increases the risk.

But I agree that on the other hand the bureaucracy can be a horrible thing too. Maybe instead of bureaucracy I should use the term planning.

Don’t get me started on decisions by committee…ugh.

Totally agree! And even the criminal contractors would not be able to get away with it given the current legal environment and DUE DILIGENCE on the part of the government acquisition community. Its just vaguely conceivable that even a diligent acqusition team might be duped during the execution but by the time you get through the test phase, any shortchanging or outright fraud in the production of the equipment SHOULD be discovered, corrected, and if justified, prosecuted.

The key word is “diligent”, but you have to tack on words like “professional” and “honest” to get a full picture! :-)

But you must understand, if a committee is formed, preferably one of those committees without a chairman of course, you can insure that you inflict the weaknesses of each member in total! :-) Its a very rare committee of peers that ever gets anything done!

Better to think of the “committee” that is formed every morning at a “Captain’s Standup” onboard most well-run USN ships. Everybody is in theory an equal in the DISCUSSIONS, but the captain’s vote on the DECISIONS always wins!

What, the system doesn’t work? You don’t say! And sometimes corporations do act in their own best interests? Get out of town! Wow, next thing we know, you’ll be admitting that putting capitalist incentives in place for a “for profit” defense contractor to screw us might have been a bad idea. And as for how to fix the problem — clearly you’d never have thought of this yourself, but, what the hell, why not go back to contracting like we did before we reimbursed contractors for 110% of their development costs? I mean, that was a system that worked well enough to win the Cold War. Maybe people then weren’t as stupid as everyone seems to like to think they were these days.

and the other side of the coin is that sometimes the active duty folks don’t have the know how or experience to get certain jobs done so contractors are needed. Providing technical expertise has been a contracting job for centuries for a reason.

In some cases, I’ll agree with you wholeheartedly. For example, when they last rolled out the Iowa’s to do battle, the USN did not have anyone with even minimal competancy in operating a 16-inch turret, so they went out and tried to recall some of the “old hands” that had run the ship in Vietnam. Some came back on active duty, and I strongly suspect some signed on as rather high paid “training consultants”. What else could the USN do.

On the otherhand, when a weapon system is designed and procured that can not be operated by the proverbial Corporal or Lt Schmuckatelli, and requires that the gaining service hire on contractors to run or maintain it.… . sounds like one of those “ility” requirements that got canned for the sake of CPI, SPI and the PM’s next promotion opportunity!

We need a small fast craft missile boats for future defense against future possible threat with Iran, N. Korea, Russia and China..

Hey NUMBNUTTS, the Regan navy was for 600 ships, and it never got there. I believe it topped out at 583. You are what happens when a dipshit has a computer but no brain.

I understand all the problems the Navy is facing. I see you have set priorities, uniform changes, who drank a beer last night, off ship living quarters for crew members and somewhere in all this ships, crews and their welfare.

Excellent observations, especially heavily armed frigates. The frigates of today are not at all armed except for 50 cals and what the heck are those suppose to do. They are POS. They break down every chance they get because they are too old.

Dfens, you just aroused my brain more than any aphrodisiac ever could. The longer I’ve been in, the more waste I see as we convert military shore jobs into civilian jobs. I went straight from ship to school on PCS orders, needed help on a friday at the personnel support detachment, but the 12–16 cubical workers were too busy hosting a birthday party while they soaked up DOD dollars by the hour. The shipyard rewards its workers for meeting (not exceeding, but meeting) deadlines with up to 3 days off paid in full. System = broken.

There is NO Air Force aircraft capable of destroying a sub at depth in existence today, so we need a method of doing this. Hitting ANY ship from a ‘thousands of miles away’ is somewhat difficult, even if the ship does act as a ‘sitting target! The Navy has such methods and equipment. The Navy can position a large carrier just off the shore of a belligerent nation or assist a city which has been devastated by a tidal wave! This was demonstrated in the tidal wave off Aceh, where a carrier provided manpower assistance, food, power, hospitalization, etc. The Air Force, on their own, cannot even carry required base maintenance heavy equipment from the U.S. to ANY over-seas location. Again, the Navy can, and, at a cost savings the A.F. can’t match. This could be done by civilian ships, HOWEVER, since most of these operate under foreign flags, they’re not really accountable to the U.S., when you come down to it! Ponder on that, Bob!

You got it number by number! Wish we had someone like you in charge. PC is a piece of lard floating around with nothing to do. Maintain the ships we have, if necessary use the parts sitting in the wear house labeled for contract use only. Hey how about putting a bunch of Americans to work in steel mills making American parts for American ships. I think a bit of pride would go a long way. Look at our (America’s) financial problems, quit buying from countries we defeated in past wars just to help their problems. They lost, why should we pay for it twice. Once with the money to win and second to rebuild their country. Let’s rebuild the USofA and let the rest of the world beat the crap out of each other. Bring home ALL of our troops, weapons, repair parts. Lock our borders for a while, not being predigest, just BEING. God Bless The United States of America. Let God do what (He/She) wants to with the rest of them all!

Yes, no big mystery about it. It’s just that all the people who should be looking out for our interests have, in one way or another, their hands in the cookie jar. There’s no disinfectant like shining a little light on what’s going on so the US taxpayer knows to demand better.

the Navy is vital to our defense… We won the war in the Pacific because of the Navy…History is doomed to repeat itself for those of us who forget it.…

you are a cockroach, have some respect for the Commander in Chief.

Roger that “Rick” !! And while they are at it, quit the stupid political stunt-making of those in Norfolk who are doing everything they can to prevent the re-positioning of just one carrier to Mayport, FL !! Let’s see, Pacific carriers are located where? Atlantic Fleet carriers are in one place! Anybody remember the words PEARL HARBOR?? Get the NSF program up and going and stop the wasteful timetables, bid processes, etc. and get the ships out there. When will we ever learn???


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