Navy struggles to meet demands

Navy struggles to meet demands

“Not enough people, not enough parts, not enough training, not enough everything.”

Vice Adm. Thomas Copeman gave a blunt assessment Tuesday of the Navy surface fleet’s state of readiness in the face of the indefinite heavy commitment of ships to the Persian Gulf and the new White House strategy calling for emphasis on the Pacific.

“I’ll tell you we’re stretched thin,” Copeman said of the 167 surface ships in the 288-ship Navy. “Op tempos have increased, resources have gone down,” said Copeman, commander of Naval Surface Forces.

And it’s only going to get worse in the way of funding, with or without sequestration – the threat of massive defense budget cuts if Congress and the White House fail to reach a deal on debt and deficit reduction by March, Copeman said in a keynote address to the 25th annual conference of the Surface Navy Association in Crystal City, Va.

“Despite the fact that we’re pretty thinly resourced, we’re doing the job” currently, but “resources are going to drop, they’re going to drop significantly,” Copeman said.

The Navy’s surface ship problem was illustrated Monday when four destroyers – the USS Higgins, Stockdale, Lawrence and Shoup – from the carrier Nimitz Strike Group left West Coast ports for a Pacific deployment without the Nimitz.

The 37-year-old Nimitz was laid up with an “emergent maintenance problem.”. The Nimitz was to have replaced the carrier Eisenhower in the Persian Gulf in the spring to keep a two-carrier presence there, along with the carrier Stennis, against the Iranian threat

The Eisenhower returned to Norfolk, Va., before Christmas to have its flight deck resurfaced, and now will go back to the Gulf in late spring, leaving the Stennis to provide a one-carrier presence until then.

The Stennis itself deployed four months early last August to meet the need for two carriers in the Fifth Fleet, headquartered in Bahrain.

As budgets go down, and the missions for Navy ships go up, the problems with maintenance, supply and training will only multiply, Copeman said.

“We have a sightline on what’s wrong out there in the fleet,” Copeman said. “We do a good job of knowing what’s wrong,” given improved databases, Copeman said.

“What we don’t do a good job of is doing something about it,” he said.

Supply of parts and stores is also “trending in the wrong direction,” Copeman said. Ships’ commanders have come to learn that “you have a 50–50 chance of getting the part you ask for,” Copeman said. “We don’t have the resources to buy the parts we know we need.”

The overall message to ships’ commanders was to make do with your ship and “get it in a state where you can fight your ship if you have to,” Copeman said.

The retention of personnel in the new era of limited resources was also a major concern, Copeman said.  “We’re taking away people and training,” Copeman said, and the remaining personnel will leave under the added strain.

“People will start walking,” Copeman said. “They’re going to say – ‘Nope, not going to do it.’”

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There’s certainly some truths in this article, but I’m optimistic about some things that could be mitigating factors to the negative budget trends.
Firstly, I think anyone that regularly reads defense blogs knows by now that people “up top” will scream bloody murder, if they think it will help keep their funding from being cut, regardless of the consequences of such.

Also, I don’t think the military will have much of a problem retaining personnel because it still provides them with something that they wouldn’t have outside the military. That being A JOB. To many personnel, that added strain is better than being unemployed considering the lack of availability of good paying jobs to the younger demographic of adults currently serving.

Lastly, and on a patriotic note.….. I believe in that characteristic of “American ingenuity” that may come out in times like these where our men and women in the service will make due with less and figure out ways to make things work. Kind of along the concept of necessity being the mother of invention.

Everyone knows times are not easy right now with finances for America, and whether one accepts or doesn’t accept the likelihood that the defense budget is going to get cut, I still think it’s valid that tough times can bring out the best in people.… especially the people in America’s military.

Wow, I knew we had a problem, but I didn’t know it was this bad. The Navy really should cancel the LCS and F-35C (which would free up around $169 billion total for something in the range of the next 20 years) so it could shift funding to solve these problems. These are definitely much more important.

JimBobJoe you need to remember your history of the Viet Nam War era. Long deployments, short turn arounds, deferred maintenance and long at sea periods of high opperating tempo. Add to that poor leadership and direction from the top of the chain of command and you will get the same result. The highley skilled petty officers and CPO’s you need to keep the fleet and air wings operating at the tasking level put on the navy will vote with thier feet. In hte modern navy the majority of enlisted men are marriedand your spouse has a lot of influence on whether a sailor renlists or not. There are jobs out there for highley skilled technitions. When resources are scarce it takes a lot of times and money to train replacements. I remember well having our port call for Christmas in Naples cut short and getting underway for the Persian Gulf and pulling into Norfolk 144 days later with our only time off a couple oof steel beach picnics. It gets old fast. When morale suffers retention does too,

It doesn’t free up anything. Its merely transformative. The LCS was still supposed to replace a variety of ships, and if you cancel LCS you still have to solve those problems. So while it maybe justified to cancel LCS its not going to solve these other problems.

Yes, it would actually. The LCS is not able to replace the role any of these ships play. The Navy doesn’t need ships that are just new. It needs the RIGHT ships for the job. The LCS is obscenely expensive and dysfunctional. It would be better to make new destroyers and cruisers. Even the Vietnam-era assault gunboats would be better than the LCS if we made them in large numbers. I think the Navy should make a lot of unmanned, cheap, heavily armed boats that are small and fast for the job that the LCS is required to do.

With $169 billion we could make some new destroyers and cruisers, buy the parts we need for the ships we already have, buy a whole new air wing of Super Hornets to solve the fighter gap, and increase the quality of training and living for our sailors that would make more of them want to stay.

I couldn’t even read all of this. The Navy has been trying to boot out people for years. Their “Blue to Green” program is one example. Seriously. They discharge the people they should keep and keep some of the dirt bags that should have either been discharged or sent to the Army (sorry Army). I’ve known of people that have wanted to stay in and were discharged. My daughter and son in law were lucky and were able to re-enlist again, but my daughter had to make a career move because her field was overmanned and she would have been discharged. She and her husband are outstanding sailors and want to make a career out of it. They are almost halfway there. The powers that be need to stop at least talking about the Navy being stretched thin when they have been getting rid of people for years. Yes, the boats are getting old, but the people who want to stay in and are good at their jobs should be allowed to remain in service.

It bring to question why we are building 3 Zumwalt Class “Destroyers” for 20 Billion dollars. Those precious dollars could be much better used to build more Burke’s, and more parts for the existing ships in the fleet. If they are have a 50–50 chance of getting a part for a class of 60, can you imagine the chances of a class of 3?

We had a 600 ship Navy when they designed their own ships. Now they can’t keep half that number floating, and their glorified PT boat costs more to design and build than an Iowa class battleship. What could possibly be wrong? I know, let’s hire some more government contractors to figure it out. I’m sure their lobbyists are explaining it all to Congress right now.

You know those a$$holes who bray do more with less? And those guys who design and plan for perfect world senario’s?

Yea this is the end result.

wrongheaded comment. $20 Billion includes almost 20 years of R&D which has produced transformational capabilities including integrated power, incredible stealth and vulnerability, reduced manning and precision gunnery at extended ranges–to name but a few. I suggest you read the GAO and other reports on the Comparative costs of Zumwalts (or derivatives) in serial production and Burke Flight III’s. Moreover see the comment above on the RIGHT ships and ask yourself which ship you’d prefer to fight from in a Taiwan Straits or Yellow Sea scenario.

1 star (ret) … They spent a lot on preliminary R&D efforts. Cost of building the 3rd in class DDG-1002 is coming in well under $2.5B. If they were to order another five ships in the near term in a multi-year buy, they could very probably get them for less than $2.5B each.

I think the proper term is “uncredible stealth”, as in “it would be stealthy if it didn’t have so f’ing many edges, but it cost the same as if it really were stealthy.”

The LCS is lamentably designed to ignore all the lessons learned about littoral fighting culled from WW2 (they were the most violent, given the smaller scale of the littoral battles). Its too lightly armed to get a serious attacker to think twice, and not armored sufficiently to take a hit — and incredibly expensive to boot.

All the nations that were initially interested in the LCS design have since walked away, which is a very bad sign; And other nations have built far more heavily armed (and stealthier) ships that are just as versatile for far less money.

A very bad deal for the US Taxpayers overall.

One thing the Navy could do, is to dust off some Harriers, and send the new USS America (LHA-6 — an assault ship without a well deck — essentially a CV without the angled flight deck and catapults) to one of the less active areas to patrol.

That way we can still show considerable interest while taking pressure off the CVN’s.

Least a Poor CIC and those in the Brass that supports him. Make you wonder who they answer to the People of the United States or to Obama, have they forgotten toe old saying Duty Honor Country, or is it now Obama, cow down to him and worry about next Star

Maybe they should now have retired the Big “E” until the other carriers have been repaired, guess they werenot thining

Yes, the fleet is in desperate trouble. Yes, the USN is horribly overcommitted relative to the number of available hulls. Yes, that gap will now grow inexorably from here on out, and accelerate. Yes, the handful of new hulls being commissioned, such as LCS, are far less combat-capable and far less combat-survivable than those they are replacing.

But, everyone wearing a Naval uniform will have been instructed for hundreds of hours about the absolutely critical issues of “diversity” and sexual harassment. As several CNOs now have repeatedly said are their most important goals for the service.

Let’s not lose sight of what’s really important here. Priorities, people, priorities.

“Moreover see the comment above on the RIGHT ships and ask yourself which ship you’d prefer to fight from in a Taiwan Straits or Yellow Sea scenario.”

Okay, let me go ask myself that question. Be right back.

All right, I’m back. I broke in on myself, excused the interruption, and asked myself which ship I’d “prefer to fight from in a Taiwan Straits or Yellow Sea scenario.”

All I said in response was “SSGN”. Does that help?

That’s partially because of all the experienced sailors the navy sent back home on ERB… Lay off 5000 people who are legitimate deckplate leaders and leave in a group of chiefs who have been convicted of child abuse and are scared to train junior sailors because of their off duty shenanigans and don’t want to lead from the front. Go ahead and start the new chief365 program with no initiation period for these “chiefs” coming up now and the navy will continue to get weaker.… This has been a trend occurring for almost 7–8 years now…

Largest, most powerful, best funded Navy in the world and Vadm Copeman says the USN doesn’t have enough resources. Most Navy optemo and presence requirements are self inflicted wounds.

We are going to see more and more of this as Washington shuts down our military
to pre WWII status

I remember clearly what it was like.….….……in fact vividly, e.g when I was with a squadron we
had to post sentries to keep our aircraft from being cannibalized
(we could not get them all in the hanger at once)
as parts were so hard to come by.….……and so many more things just like it.

But Obama said in the debate Navy ships are just like horses and bayonets you don’t need as many. Of course having a ship in two different places likely will be a probelm.

Perhaps the Navy should live within it’s means instead of schloffing off officers who immediately go to work for the military industrial complex… Simply amazing the corruption and waste there is within the military as a result of the MIC. That what lobbyist do, corrupt our government for the wealthy few instead of the politicians working for those who elected them.

Ignorant comment by a fox fantast dittohead.

I mean what the hell is going on here i served in a squadron on board the U.S.S.Nimitz CVN-68 during the 80s before we became the world damn police for every damn hot spot on the planet,and now your telling me we have less than a 300 surface ship fleet are you kidding me?? And Obama and the rest of those A-holes i9n Washington,want to reduce the whole military as a whole are you really that damn stupid or has history not taught the United States,a damn thing when Japan attacked in 1941 and than Germany and Italy and was the United States ready to defend HELL No!! Does anyone see a pattern with those jackasses in the white house and Congress or not?

Maybe we should look at why we’re the world’s policeman and makes some cuts based on our national interests, rather than protecting everyone else’s rear.

Think about how much the military has spent developing new ideas for planes, ships and the military in general. How often has the MIC turned around and used it for commercial use and not given the government any of the profit. As taxpayers paid for the new developments, why wasn’t some of the profit returned to the taxpayers?

Even if it had been, it would not have gone to DoD. So, as taxpayers, we get to pay for what is developed numerous times. Once when DoD developed it, once as a user of the product and then the cycle repeats as everyone wants it to become better.

If the Navy really is hurting this bad , why not open up enlistments to guys like me that are physically capable but they say I’m too old . I would love to go back in and finish my 20 or more . I had to choose between my famile or the Nave ‚but now theres no problem there . Think about it many of us are already trained and able to go but the Nave says NO .

The Navy has not been unilaterally cutting people, Congress has been cutting funding for Personnel manning which is the same as cutting people.

I was around in the 1970s when the fleet was poorly funded, poorly manned, and poorly stocked with repair parts. It was not a pleasant experience…we would transfer lube oil and spare parts from destroyers that were not getting underway for an exercise to the ones that were. Then we’d have to re-transfer the lube oil and spare parts when ships returned from the exercise.

First let me ask if you were ever in the military? You sound like a armchair quarterback. I retired from the Navy(submarines) in 1973. My oldest son retired from the Navy (surface) a little over two years ago. He was there for all the campaigns in the middle-east. They never had enough crew members to deploy with out getting some from other ships that was also true for missiles.. They never had anywhere near as what they needed. Before I retired we were doing 85 days at sea at a time with no port calls. The new submarines are built to run 28 years with out refueling. The Navy has said at the rate that are operating that the may make 24 years. All military personnel are volunteers and this is a rough life for what you get. Don’t think for a minute that they won’t walk.If you haven’t WALKED THE WALK DON’T TALK THE TALK..

If This Is The Case, Then Obviously, The Formerly Called Department Of Defense Needs To Re-Allocate Fiscal Spending Recently Concentrated On The Military Into The Navy And Air force Upgrade As Forecast In The Original X-Files Documents.

Also, The Department Of Defense Needs To Take Special Interest In The Boeing 787 Grid Issue, Such Matters Will Be Of Interest As They Bring More LOGISTICAL FLUENCY Into Their MULTI-DIMENSIONAL ‘SHIP’ Development: ‘Sea-Ship’, ‘Submarine-Ship’, ‘Air-Ship’, ‘Space-Ship’, etc.

From The Department Of Defense Into


You make my argument for me, 20 billion is 20 billion. Can you imagine how much it is going to cost to maintain the “transformational capabilities “? We are going to set up school houses for maybe 500 sailors, what is that going to cost? The 3 Zumwalts will be nothing more than R & D ships, and everyone knows it. I still chuckle when anyone mentions “precision gunnery”. When was the last time we fired a gun in anger? We can buy thousands of unmanned drones to support our marines for the cost of 1 Zumwalt, with no crew costs, training cost and more flexibility.
I’d much prefer to command a Burke in Taiwan Straits or Yellow Sea scenario. The Lockheed RADAR was removed from the Zumwalts when the cost hit 6 billion per copy without the R&D costs. There is reason we are going back to the Burkes, the life cycle costs from the 1000’s are just way to much in our time of fiscal crisis.

We’ve been this way for since 2007, When the Dems took the house under Pelosi, she cut us and used military pay and tied it to entitlements, no entitlements no military pay…Boy you people really do have short attention spans.…SMH…silly sheep, tricks are for kids…

This is a lie straight from the TOP. I know people work in the ordering part area in Navy. They said every year, they throw surplus extra parts away once the external auditors came. By doing this, they can get more so call budget money in otherwise they receive zip for it.

We need a CLEAN house period. The mentality for people working for such department is sickening.

Better to have no Navy at all than to have one that’s something less that totally politically correct!

Not only should their budget be cut, but we should also expect more from them for significantly less than we are spending now. Personally, I think we let them off the hook for the corruption and waste if we don’t expect both.

That is what has been done time and time again. It is time to stop this foolishness. Kicking the can down the road is what Congress has been good at, but look where it got us. I went through a similar shortage of funds for maintenance and upkeep during my career, and can tell you first hand that nothing good comes from it. With American troops still supporting a 10 year old war and providing security around the globe, where does it stop? How can they be expected to make do in this situation? We had retention problems back then, and the Navy will have them again. With the uncertainty of the carreer path of enlisted sailors today, I don’t blame them for bailing out of this mess.

There used to be a saying that we are being asked to do more with less so much that we will soon be asked to do everything with nothing. Welcome to the obama administration and their attempts to improve the world by reducing the US status to the rest of the world. They truly believe that crap and have been implementing it for 4 years. There is NO reason to believe it will not continue until the American public wakes up, if that happens before it’s too late.

The Air Force might take em!

Every body will be hurting with this one. All Congress have to do is get off their fat lazy azzes and do their job, if they can’t do that, then what in h-ll are they doing in Washington????. They are the only bunch that collects a paycheck for doing nothing, thats why their ratings are so low.….what is it now…about 9%?

No, it’s better to have a Navy that can follow orders and directives.

I’ve been saying this for years bring back the USS Wisconsin and USS Iowa battleships out of mothballs/museum pieces since the Navy has such a BIG shortage of ships!!!

I retired after 23 years of service, and If the Navy wasn’t so concerned about my BF I would have served 30 yrs. They caused a lot of their problems by kicking out good hard working people who wanted to serve, but I loved my job and mentor a lot of folks. I’m built like a Samoan, work out twice and day, and it never stopped me from doing my job.

Are you sure “UK. Prime Minister .David Cameron” hasn’t been seconded to the DoD. Just a thought.

Here, our Top Brass are expected to work miracles with less. Soon we will have lots of “Scrambled Egg” on parade and no one to salute them.

Rather than leave the “Drones” in Afgan when you pullout, could I make a request on behalf of our forces that UK forces be giving a few as well as funds to operate them.…..!

It’s congress that is insisting on cutting defense funding not the President. Do you read at all?

Romeo Tango! Contractors? Words of an ADM who is likely at Eternal Muster now was that soon krs would tell us what we need; not us, the Navy, giving them our requirements. That came to pass before I retired.

Amen Brother

Strange its Obama who is gathering all the attention to banning guns instead of avoiding sequestration. Thats the problem.

This “frees up” $169 billion and creates two new large requirements for aircraft and ships that will likely cost $169 billion or more once all is said and done.

We need something that can be bought in greater numbers than destroyers or cruisers. There is a lot wrong about the LCS and we’d probably be better off with a new frigate, but that’s still going to cost money. We also need something more than the F/A-18 in the near-future. If you’re hoping Congress is going to adequately fund F/A-XX I think you may be fooling yourself.

The first DDG-1000 is almost complete and set to be launched this year. You want to throw all of that out? There is a value to these ships in testing technologies and design features that could be incorporated into our next true class of destroyer. They will also still function as destroyers beyond that.

Well, all that and we are going to extend carrier sea tours to 9 months.…wonder how that will effect retention and enlistment so emphasize the shortage of personnel. Learn to design ships that are functional and maintainable. Too many of the new hulls (think LCS and the Zumwault Class) are floating science projects and above the scope of repair at sea by organizational level maintenance. Too many conceptual ideas (lets talk EMALS and advanced arresting gear)…concepts that you can explain to a PhD electrical engineer but that E6-E9 will have a hard time grasping the finer points to make it work. Been there, done that. Commissioned a CVN, Sprunace Class and Ticonderoga class, road an FFG 7. When you tell a sailor he has 1000 sensors in his system and there is Conditioned Based Maintenance, it is hard to get them down on the equipment to touch, see and hear if it is running correctly. As the cost of subsequent hulls increase the number of repair parts stocked decreases. As we incorporate foreign made components (Think IF diesel engines) into our ship design we realize too late that they are not as reliable as American made. Thank you.

Rich CEO’s of contracting companies can buy all the Congressmen they need to keep this fraud going. Naval officers have no equivalent lobby. It’s time for the people who pay the bills to speak up and put an end to this crap.

It will be a Navy of fairy boats for sure.

You’re fooling yourself if you think that the F-35 and LCS will satisfy those requirements. The requirements will still be there even if the Navy buys them. They are both BAD DEALS for the Navy and should be cancelled. We could satisfy the needs of the Navy by purchasing upgraded Super Hornets with upgraded anti-radar missiles in large numbers that will be able to defeat anything our enemies could put up in the near future. The Navy most likely will not have funds for the F/A-XX, but they might have funds for something that could be developed off of the X-47.

I like the idea of a new frigate. That would work as long as it’s cheap. I also think that a cheap fleet of small fast unmanned boats with heavy armament could be easily mounted on and controlled from the frigates.

“The Stennis itself deployed four months early last August to meet the need for two carriers in the Fifth Fleet, headquartered in Bahrain.”

The horror. The Stennis has Rec Rooms, gyms, ice cream bars, 4 meals a day, air conditioning and nobody shooting at you. Deployed BCT Troopers would consider that a paid vacation…

To ALL MEMBERS, retired, and active U.S. Navy. If you voted for Mister Obama, and you have read the HONEST words of this admiral who TOLD THE TRUTH about the readiness of our Navy. Shame on you for doing so.
Mister Obama, and the Democrats in Congress are determined to Destroy our Nation, one step at a time. And the first, most important step is DEGRADING, and DOWNSIZING our Military. Which means, not only your pay, and benefits go down, or stay the same. But your DEPLOYMENTS will increase, and be longer, while Congress will Prevent you from Leaving active duty.
If you voted for Mister Obama. THAT IS WHAT YOU VOTED FOR. Hope you are proud of yourselves.

But the radical militias of America say a large military is a bad thing so…

My son was one affected by ERB, he had 12 years in IT and left his post in Aug due to ERB, to some one with just a few years in the service…who would be the highest ranking personal to take his job. He wanted to stay in.…a few months later we read this!

F-18s, reactor plants, and high tech electronics are not the SS Minnow, the hot water heater for the Howard’s shower, and the radio the Professor has pieced together from some fishing twine and Mary Ann’s bra wire of Gilligan’s Island. I don’t care how good a comshaw artist the sailors onboard Nimitz are, they aren’t going to trade coffee and rags for the parts needed to keep that kind of ship going…those days are over. They may be full of ingenuity but you can make a landing gear from a coat hanger or a nuclear level I valve from a garden hoe.
As my 87 yr old dad says, “It takes money to ride the train!”

20–20 vision.

The F-35C working in conjunction with the Super Hornet is far better than relying on either aircraft alone. A UCAV developed from the X-47B will be a new and useful capability to the Navy, yet we are still well away from the point where it could be considered comparable to a real fighter. That program is also likely to occur regardless of the F-35C’s fate. I simply don’t think the USN should take such a chance in the hope they will get the funding for a new strike fighter even if it better fits their requirements. Unless something is changed about this entire system, chances are this new fighter (which will be required to be more capable than the F-35C) will also be horribly expensive.

A new frigate similar to many of the newer European designs would be better than the LCS in many roles. Yet deploying unmanned craft is one thing the LCS with all of its free space could do pretty well. So that’s one potential use for the hulls already built or in construction.

The LCS was also supposed to fulfill some secondary but important tasks like minesweeping. I don’t think they even have that module yet, but that’s something else to consider. Still, I’d think we’d be better off halting LCS orders and selecting/designing a proper frigate. It shouldn’t be anything too radical, more like a downsized Burke than a downsized Zumwalt.

Even Better yet. A navy with leaders who are willing to speak up and lay out the truths rather than the “facts”. Where is our “Billy Mitchell?”

You assumed that the military personnel were allowed to have their votes cast or counted. The military is still conservative. The boards of election are overrulled by wide sensor spots and crooked politicians.

Unfortunately, folks, it is all true. Some of it self-inflicted, some of it due to incompatence or turf protecting and a lot of it due to totally messed up priorities. Maybe an adequate fleet could be maintained under the current budget. with a lot of refocusing, but there wouldn’t be anything left for “futures”. This situation has been building for years. The biggest problems are cuts in maning levels and cuts in maintenance. Ships are frequently unable to meet deployment schedules and that further tightens the schedule for everyone else.
The only thing new here is that someone near the ttop is finally willing to admit that we are in deep “stuff”.

What the US could use is a debate on why it needs to spend as much as the rest of the world combined on security (for who?). Currently we are paying massive costs for an empire we the citizens and taxpayers get little benefit from. Do we get preferred access to Saudi oil at a discounted rate? Do we get exclusive access to Japanese, Korean, or Israeli markets? Do we get preferred pricing on imported strategic minerals? These are the historical reasons for building empires. Instead, we get the honor of being disliked to hated for our involvement in regional politics. The intent is to maintain a banking system that maintains the dollar as THE global reserve currency (google the petrodollar system), with the benefits being collected by formerly American now multi-national corporations.

(Exxo ceo Lee Raymond “I’m not a U.S. company” “So they really see themselves as a global entity, sovereign and organized on behalf of their shareholders without reference to the government of the country where they happened to be headquartered.”)

For 75 years America has been the Arsenal of Democracy. We carried a the costs of a huge defensive effort against the soviets, basically outspending them ’till they went bankrupt. We sucked our easy to get to oil fields dry. Now we’re suppose to be the market of last resort for the whole world. In the current financial crisis every country’s plan is to export more. To who? Guess. Why is up to the US keep sea lanes open so China can import our manufacturing base? Oil is a fungible commodity, the OPEC countries have to export it or collapse, and apparently no matter who protects it on its way to the market place, it gets sold to the highest bidder, so are we paying for that security.

Granted, there can be a case made that a wave of instability could happen if the US refused its current role as the Corporate Global Enforcer. The East India Company had a military too, but it was payed for out the company’s coffers. If we are required to be the CGE, the there needs to be compensation. Charge the Saudis and the Israelis 200 and 50 billion apiece per year for maintaining a ME environment that they can survive in, Korea 100 billion for keeping the starving NK zombies at bay while they invest in their manufacturing infrastructure Charge a “global security tariff” on all imports into the US. Allow only US flagged vessels into our ports. That would help the whole terrorists sneaking nukes into a port problem too.

This all just one question. What are we getting for spending more than the entire world combined for our security and global force projection?

Add: to emphasize just what our sacrifices are buying, the cost of the Afghanistan war so far is 2011 killed, thousands injured by horrible blast affects, and an estimated 1.2 trillion dollars. The estimated yearly budget needed to provide Afghanistan with a native security force capable of maintaining a western style nation/state is multiple times larger than the Afghan GNP. Can help but think there were better ways to convince the Taliban not to get involved with Saudi terrorists.

And the Taliban aren’t going anywhere.

“What I learned is that Afghanistan is one big vicious cycle composed of smaller cycles. The three most dooming feedback loops are the violence cycle, the Pakistan/Taliban cycle and the opium/corruption cycle. Combined, these dynamics make it impossible for anyone to pacify and develop Afghanistan.”

Ejecting from Afghanistan

If links are not allowed.

Or google Ejecting from Afghanistan

You might want to look into this a bit more. The Navy does not set its own deployment requirements, those are based on REQUEST FOR FORCES from the CINCs such as CENTCOM, PACCOM, EUCOM, etc. They are the “customer” for Naval and other forces and those requests are filled by the Navy and other services. The CNO and his staff do not sit in a meeting and decide “Eh, its slow today, lets send a few ships out and burn up some of our budget”.
Right now, the very difficult customer demand is the CENTCOM request for a 2.0 Carrier prescence in the Arabian Gulf area. That number then pulls with it a large trail of Cruisers, DDGs, Supply Ships, Submarines, etc into significant OPTEMPOs. Demand for Minesweeping assets in the Arabian Gulf is also having a large impact on OPTEMP and crew utilization on the Mine force.
The demand for Theater Ballistic Missile defense ships in Westpac and Europe is also moving a lot of the Cruiser/Destroyer force around.

The answer is: We get a lot of process and very little in the way of actual hardware.

Look at the way the DoD pays for weapons. The contractors make $1.10 on every $1.00 they spend designing and building weapons. What would you do if you could get a contract like that? Would you try to spend as little as possible so you could make as little as possible, or would you do just the opposite? It’s like this nation woke up one day and decided that whole capitalism thing is bs.

Well said Master Chief. Former RM here as well. You must remember how the Clinton years, after the First Gulf War changed everything, and thousands of sailors were BOUGHT OUT, with lures of Packages that didn’t include retirement benefits, or even partial medical coverage.
When they began downsizing Reagan’s 300 ship navy…the writing was on the wall. And…TODAY we are reading all of the WARNINGS, but the DEAF in Congress are with the President, and are trying to Destroy us from WITHIN.

Just ONE ANSWER. Do you enjoy having the Freedoms, Rights, and Liberties granted by the Constitution our President, and Politicians are trying to destroy?

Yes the procurement system is corrupt. Elements of financial system are corrupt. Just google USB (which has repeatedly been caught doing business with drug dealers and terrorists) and Libor fraud. The major actors in bank and defense have become too big to kill. Even worse, as some one pointed out up the comment stream, foreigners are getting defense contracts! China harvests defense tech and intel from its “corporate relationships”. Really, Gitmo needs to be expanded to include economic terrorists.

A old example. Back in the ‘80s Hyundai sold the soviets the machine tools and software they needed to manufacture extremely quiet propellers for their subs. That tech was the result of US research. Instead of their executives going to prison and Hyundai losing ALL of their US patents, They paid a fine. It is estimated that the cost of compensating for the quieter soviet subs would be 80 billion dollars, guess who get the 80 billion dollars.

Look Chuckles, I was gifted my first rifle when I was 10 years old. I don’t have a problem with background checks, registration or making large mags hard to get. I don’t want live my life on a hair trigger making continual threat assessments. It’s not that hard to scan and see who is carrying. All that is to me is knowing where I can go to get a gun if I need one. NO ONE can be on high alert all the time

If you’re referring to the PPACA; If in this world one should expect to change jobs/careers seven times in their lifespan, How can someone plan to have children without a government presence in healthcare? One serious medical event will bankrupt most families. A college education cost at least 60Gs from soup to nuts. Education loans are not eliminated by bankruptcy. If your children are healthy and are content with a high school diploma, good for them! Walmart might be hiring.

But these circumstances will result in only morons and religious fanatics (God will provide) having children. Unless of course, the government bans birth control. Somehow, I have a feeling you’d be OK with that.

I served in the USN from ’67 to ’97 — so I saw first hand the Carter years. Ships couldn’t get underway, whole squadrons of F-14s had “bare firewalls”, no spare parts, morale was so low you couldn’t measure it. We had no money and leaders who could not (or would not) fight the White House. Seems like we’re “repeating history” because we cannot learn from it. Sad, because it breaks the backs of the sailors, and creates a hollow force. It was amazing to see the incredible changes which occurred when Reagan came into the White House, beefed up the Defense budgets, and put “real leaders” in charge of the military. We very quickly had a force that could accomplish Dessert Storm. Sadly, we cannot repeat that now, if we had to do it again.

It’s not an issue of recruiting, it’s an issue of not having enough money to fund adequate maintenance or enough ships to do the job. That leaves the remaining ships and their crews with more time at sea.
The first thing leaders in the military look to cut is personnel. They forget people make everything else work.

20 Years Retired Navy, Still doing the Same Job — Now going on 13 Years DOD GS-9 Civilian Instructor.. Seen a lot of ups and downs in $ Money Funding over the years… SHYTE is so tight right now, we Seriously — Not Kidding — Literally have to Bring Our Own Toilet Paper!!! No $ for the styrofoam or paper cups for the Navy And Marine Corps students.. But We still continue to carry out the mission… alas, Toilet paper is not a priority. Shyte Stinks!

S-H-Y-T-E Stinks!

Sorry, Monty…grind your axe somewhere else. This is a laughable non-sequitur. DADT violators constituted less than 1% of all Navy discharges each year. I suspect they discharged more for wool allergies and flat feet.

Most the contractors here in Afghanistan are worth about 30k a year, not the 200-300k they make now

But we have 1 trillion payed out for welfare. Good job government

To be fair, the Perrys were probably not long for this world, short of putting in a mini VLS like the Aussies did. But I don’t know what good that does in the grand scheme of things.

The LCS has a gun, no NLOS and depends on its modules to save the day. It has defense in the form of RAM and CIWS, but what makes it a Littoral Combat Ship? It is a Littoral Support Ship, intended to de-mine or fight Boghammars, presumably under the umbrella of VLS-capable ships parked further out.

When we realize that a large fraction of our LCS in the Middle East are hanging onto MCM modules 24/7, we’ll ask ourselves why we included modular functionality if we were going to stick to the same functions most of the time (eg, who needs a Swiss Army knife when you only use the knife, and could have gotten a bigger knife?)

LCS will make more sense if we take the module-less export models and group buy with foreign navies, and keep about 15–25% of the LCS fleet as modular. Think the entire fleet needs to become minesweeper on a moments notice?

Putting a VLS on the Perrys would have been useless unless you coupled it with a completly new Fire Control System. The MK92 with CAS and STIR was/is severely limited and not really capable of very much.

I’m 72 yrs old ready to go back to duty aboard a carrier if they need me

everyone in congress should have to spend 3 months on deployment and experience the food and living conditions aboard a ship and then be able to run for a political office, see where we go then

If they would drop the f-35 that would pay for a lot of things.

I served in the Navy during the Korean war on the USS Rochester and the USS Hornet. In those days we had the greatest naval force in the world! I hate to think the idiots in Washington are reducing the size of our ships at sea!
Jim Gough Austin, TX

I wish there was way to get handle on inflation for upkeep for the services, including the Navy. I remember when i served in the US Navy. They had supplies they were paying through the nose for and civilian markets could make them and sell them for cheaper. Still quality product. Navy now can barely keep things operational while still policitions play their games to try to keep their version of America going. I wish they pay attention the neglict their inflicting on the US Armed Forces. It needs help, need its politicians to actually remedy situation thats reducing the military into something that can barely keep up with their demands.

I worked the supply bit in the Navy and when the end of the quarter was near you spent every dime on any thing you could get your hands on so that you could get more the next time around or at least keep the same amount you had. Our problem was electronic repair parts, equipment was keeping up with new technology, 1970 when tubes were going out along with other old ideas, and thus more money was needed. I’m sure not much has changed except for inflation and the greed of defense contractors.

If the Navy had not spent so much money and effort on politically correct social engineering, they wouldn’t be in this situation!

Well said! Those guys who keep saying to do more with less will keep saying that BS until they have you doing everything with nothing!

My favorite thing about Army guys is how every one of them is a naval expert. Carrier Task Forces will still be leaving early, and staying late, on deployments at sea — even after the last troop leaves Afghanistan. Just as they were doing decades before Afghanistan. If you think operations at sea are not dangerous, you haven’t done your homework. Don’t believe every rumor, or everything some egg-head in a “think tank” publishes. Hold off on putting in your transfer to the fleet, or you’ll regret it.

And that’s why we have a 16 trillion dollar debt. So that our politicians and CEOs can act like big shots in front of a global audience. They do it by convincing the people in middle America that they need to pay for it all.

They’ve opened up all combatant vessels to women now. Part of the sales pitch was that it would improve “manning” problems. How’s that working out?

Actually it was Toshiba, a Japanese firm. Not Hyundai.

That said, the ROKA is still defending the DMZ. The US is the one that still maintains the 2nd plus a large support tail.

Bet whatever you like. I was a 2342 Teletype repairman, and 2304 Morse Code Operator…probably before you even knew what an NEC was. In fact. I was probably finishing Boot Camp in Great Lakes before you were even born.
So. When you make assumptions…as you did. That only proves what the word ASSUME really means for you.
Let us know when you finish standing watches for 30 years. If you have the NEC to use the English language by then.

You can rest assured that no matter what these individuals are making, the company they are working for is making 5 to 10 times that amount. Plus the company they are working for is lobbying the federal government 24/7 to keep the war going and to maximize the expenditures in whatever area they are involved in supporting. We hear from the Republican party all the time about how they are going to reduce the size of government. They are also big champions of outsourcing government to contractors who turn around and finance their campaigns, but expect bigger contracts in return. Then we all sit back in amazement as government grows instead of shrinks when the Republicans are in charge. Hiring defense contractors is clearly not the way to peace, nor is it a recipe for smaller government.

Is corporate welfare the good kind of welfare? What’s your rally cry, “more money to the rich, less for the poor”? Brilliant.

Yet your assumptions are just as baseless.

If you insist. Now what?

The Air Force has cut off all replacement people for those that get out. The Navy has the problem of these long deployments at sea, and little time back in port to fix the ships. Besides, who wants to go around looking like the guy on a box of Cracker Jacks?

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