Congress Questions Plan to Pay for 11-Carrier Navy

Congress Questions Plan to Pay for 11-Carrier Navy

Plans to permanently retire the USS George Washington and bring the Navy’s carrier-fleet total down to 10 are still being debated in ongoing budget deliberations despite reports the White House has scrapped any plans to reduce the carrier total.

Some of the uncertainty centers around potential funding for the mid-life refueling for the USS George Washington in the upcoming 2015 budget submission, dollars which may still be uncertain or under review, Capitol Hill and Pentagon sources said.

The uncertainty comes amid widespread discussion about whether the Defense Department’s upcoming 2015 budget proposal will remove funding for one aircraft carrier and bring the fleet total down to 10. One possible avenue for accomplishing this could be the early retirement of the USS George Washington, a Nimitz-class Navy aircraft carrier in service since the early-90s and slated for refueling over the next several years.

The prospect of dropping to 10 carriers stirred much reaction, inspiring a bipartisan group of lawmakers to send a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel asking that the Navy fleet of carriers be kept at 11.

Subsequently, the White House intervened to ensure the number remains 11 and prevents the USS George Washington from being permanently retired, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

However, some officials on Capitol Hill who strongly support the need for at least 11 carriers, said they were still not sure if the funds would be restored.

“We are still watching this with concern,” a Congressional source said.

Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., one of the authors of the letter to Hagel and Chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, told Military​.com he feels strongly about maintaining an 11-carrier fleet.

“The centerpiece of American Seapower remains the aircraft carrier. Today, we are on track to have an 11-carrier fleet in a world that demands 15. While the debate to reduce the carrier fleet further will likely continue within the administration, I hope the White House and the Defense Department can come to the mutual realization that we should be preserving and enhancing our naval power, including an 11-carrier fleet, rather than debating dramatic and potentially damaging reductions to our Navy,” he said in a written statement.

The USS George Washington is slated to enter its mid-life maintenance and refueling, called Refueling Complex Overhaul, or RCOH. The RCOH overhaul is a massive mid-life technological boost and refurbishment for the ship, to include work on the hull, flight-deck, arresting gear, catapults and a rebuilding of the island house on the vessel.

RCOH, deemed essential to bring a carrier to its full potential 50-year life-span, can last up to 44-months and cost from $2.6 to $3 billion. Funding for the RCOH for the USS George Washington will need to be in the 2015 budget in order for the carrier to continue its service.

Pentagon officials have said the fiscal year 2015 budget request is slated to be released March 4. One official explained that there is often a back and forth exchange on budget items between the Pentagon and the White House. At one point in the process, the White House sends their input back to the Pentagon through a move described as passback, a Pentagon official described.

The discussion about U.S. carrier needs and requirements has inspired strong reactions from analysts and experts on all sides of the debate.

One expert believes the Navy actually needs 12 carriers in order for the US to properly project power and be ready in the event of crisis around the globe.

“We are now trying to shoulder more of the international security burden on the shoulders of the Navy. The Navy needs to get bigger to do that. We need 12 carriers to adequately service the needs for our forward deployed naval power,” said Bryan McGrath, managing director at FerryBridge Group LLC, a defense consulting firm based in Easton, Md.

In particular, McGrath argues that the US needs to maintain a carrier presence in three distinct geographical hubs, the Mediterranean, Asia and the Middle East.

“In the last several years the maritime strategy enshrined a two-hub Navy in the Arabian Gulf or Indian Ocean and East Asia as a second hub,” McGrath said.

McGrath said events in recent years underscore the importance of having an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean as well.

“Libya, Benghazi and Syria all suggested that the presence of an aircraft carrier would have been helpful to achieve American policy goals,” he explained.

Another analyst suggested the U.S. could go down to as little as nine aircraft carriers through strategic use of amphibious assault ships and land-based fighter jets.

“We have 11 additional aircraft carriers in the form of the large deck amphib. There may be cases where we can use those as aircraft carriers or as the equivalent. That may require some re-examination of how and where the Marine Corps conduct missions but I think we should be flexible,” said Michael O’Hanlon, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a Washington D.C.-based think tank.

O’Hanlon added that most countries around the world regard what the U.S. calls a large deck amphibious assault ship as an aircraft carrier. Navy Wasp-class amphibious assault ships have a large, approximately 830-foot, flight deck and are able to land Harrier Jets and a wide range of helicopters such as the MV-22 Osprey, AH-1W Cobra and CH-46 Sea Knight, among others.

The recently completed USS America, the first in a new series of big-deck amphibs being developed by the Navy, is built with even more deck space than previous ships of its kind. It has an 844-foot flight deck and is built with an aviation centric focus, able to accommodate the F-35B short-take-off and landing Joint Strike Fighter as well as the MV-22 Osprey.

While amphibs have a flight deck that is just over 800-feet and a width of just over 100-feet – they are considerably smaller than most Navy aircraft carriers which have a flight deck that is more than 1000-feet long and a width of more than 250-feet. Carriers are also built with catapult technology to launch planes. The Navy’s newest aircraft carrier, for example, is built with a 1,100-foot flight deck and is able to launch fixed-wing aircraft such as an F-18 fighter jet.

O’Hanlon also suggested that the US might be well served to strategically base land-based fighter jets in various countries in the Persian Gulf region in order to counter the potential threat from Iran and achieve a daily presence without necessarily having a carrier nearby for day to day missions.

“I believe we can put Air Force fighter jets in some Persian Gulf countries. We obviously would want to do this with some political care and we would want to do it in more than one place so we are not hostage to the politics of just one country,” O’Hanlon said.

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We are a seafaring nation with oceans on three sides. Our economy and national security are tied to oceanic trade. We are also the world’s largest free nation, and both of those facts combined demand that we have a strong Navy that can maintain a Worldwide presence and with that presence comes stability i.e peace. A weak Navy historically invites instability and no peace. It’s always better to be strong and peaceful than weak and at war trying to defend one’s country and allies.

If anything, we should be expanding the Navy/Corp team while contracting the Army and Air Force.The future points toward the Pacific and all that that implies. There is no future of massive land wars aka Iraq and the ‘Stan. So logic would dictate that we prepare for the most likely scenario, and this means cutting back on the Army and Air Force, (after all they can’t fight in the Pacific if they are here in conus), and building our carrier fleet back up to normal levels of 13 or more.

One needs to remember a critical fact. When one says we have 11 carriers that means we really only have 5 or 6 available at any give time for a national emergency, and 3 or 4 or those will be scattered to the four corners of the world. At best, if there was a flare up in the Pacific we would only have 1 or 2 carriers available for a long period of time, perhaps weeks.

Of course we still need an Army and Air Force, strategic bombing will become important in any future Pacific action but other than that they won’t be able to contribute that much. The same goes for the Army, they won’t be able to contribute that much do to simple logistics-there is no means to move the Army from here to there. We no longer have fleet of transport ships that can move armies and neither do we have the sealift to move their equipment.

The next conflict in the Pacific will be a “come as you are” scenario. It will be quick and deadly, and only those assets that can enter the arena quickly. or are already there, will matter.

That’s funny. I question Congress’ plan to bay for the F-35.

yep, a total waste of money

We are not the security of the world. If the American people think this through, we re not building a military to protect the American people as it should be, yet to protect American business interest abroad. There has not been a threat of an attack on American soil since WWII, Russia never had a large surface fleet due to the two oceans that divide us. No other country can ever attack us by sea. So why the large Air craft fleet? The middle east conflict is not about the people but about the flow of oil. The Asian conflict is not about the people but about the protection of Japan. The Med conflict is yet again about the flow of oil. Let the world protect itself and let us stop building a military to defend the interest of not only American business interest but global business interest. We spend over 10 times the amount of the next 5 large countries military and this doesn’t alarm the American people! I say drop the Aircraft Carriers to 10, five for Atlantic Fleet and 5 for the Pacific Fleet, supported by the Marine Corps’s flat tops. They are by all means part of the Navy as well. Wake up America, we can not afford to defend the world from countries that we can destroy if it wasn’t for oil.

Thank goodness we have not had a repeat of 9/11! But, I can remember after it happened, you could not buy an American Flag, ’cause everyone wanted to fly one, and everyone was behind a strong military. Now, people in Washington worry more about keeping their jobs; which means throwing more money at programs like welfare, food stamps, etc. than providing for a strong defense. Wake up morons of D.C.!

We have 11 additional aircraft carriers in the form of the large deck amphib. There may be cases where we can use those as aircraft carriers or as the equivalent.
This is most certainly true — one of them supported the Libyan campaign and fully accomplished the mission. The large deck amphibs are as large as anyone else’s carriers, and with the advent of smart weapons, are vastly more lethal.

These smaller-deck carriers should be built with a ski-jump to enhance the weapons load they can carry, and be sent to less volatile parts of the world, thereby reserving the large deck carriers for potential trouble spots.

It is also notable, that one Ford-class carrier costs $14B, where a USS America (LHA-6) costs $3.4B. Hence — we can buy 4 smaller deck carriers for the price of merely ONE Ford (escorts not included), and increase our overall global coverage while distributing our assets.

Here we go again. The Republicans not only hurt Military Retirees, Active Duty, Wounded Warriors and yet provide cover for Military sexual predators. They now are in favor of assaulting the Security of this Country by deleting taxes on the Rich while or retired veterans pay 35% taxes on Military Retirement pay. Republican’s subsidizing “Big Oil” and “Wall Street”. At the same time they pay tax incentives for the rich by cutting food stamps for the Poor. Our people are now at the Security risk of the Republican Sequestration. At the same time we subsidize the F-35, Lockheed Martin and the Republican State of Texas at the tune of $167Million per jet times 2600 platforms or about 1.5 Trillion over the next 20 years. Since we have been integrating the F-35 since 1995 (Over 20 Years) and given that stealth is dead we just continue to move down the ultimate path of history instead of funding CVN’s and platform upgrades. Naval and Air Force assets are the key to any OCO or incursion we may have in the future. The Republicans are jeopardizing the security of this Country to enable the Rich and their children to continue making Trillions on Wall Street yet never lift a hand in it’s defense. It is a pathetic time in which we live. On the other hand we cannot provide a disability check to our veterans who should be provided disability immediately as they out process from the service. Instead they self medicate for shouldering the responsibility of War for each of us Democrat or Republican. The Republicans lead in darkness while the light of Democracy shines.

Cut the F-35C and money magically appears to RCOH. But Hagel and the OSD are scrambling to reduce the F-35s unit cost, so the Navy’s stuck with the –C until wiser heads prevail.

Options in Libya were limited the lack of a CVN in the theater. The amphib basically acted a rescue scow, like what was on station off of Korea and Vietnam during those conflicts. Large deck amphibs cannot replace CVNs — it will take more than four to replace the striking power of one CVN. Six Harriers — the usual compliment of an LHD — vs four squadrons of F/A-18s + electronic attack aircraft. Do the math.

Which bill put forth by the Republicans proposed deleting taxes for the rich? Do you have the house resolution number so we can all look it up? Maybe even provide us a link so we can see it for ourselves.

Can you also provide a link to the sequestration bill that the Republicans voted for and the Democrats voted against? Clearly it must not have happened since President Obama would have vetoed it. Thanks.

You totally made up your “We spend over 10 times the amount of the next 5 large countries military”. It is a flat out LIE. The usual comparison is that the US spending is the same as the next 20 nations combined and a big part of that is differences in pay scales (they don’t pay their people very much) and exchange rates but you’ve just told a huge whopper here.

Amphibs carry very few “smart weapons” because the platforms that fly from them, AV8s and helos are not the major launch platforms for smart weapons. Even more importantly, the Amphibs do not carry an Early Warning/Command and Control aircraft like the E2 or an EW aircraft like the EA6/EA18 and those are key components of being able to project power. Projecting Power is why Carriers are needed and the L ships are of limited utility in doing that.

How about this Mit Romney, 13% Tax on an annual income of 29 Million versus 35% Tax for a Retired Military Veteran making $65K. How about NO Draft and all Volunteer Force to protect you and this country from harm and provide security so you can steel funds from the American Taxpayer. Hummm not to mention the Republicans obsession with the Current President who has brought the Country from the Brink of catastrophe under and has led us through two wars and the killing of Osama Bin Laden… Now our President has to fight the Republicans, Terrorists, the State of Texas and the rest of the public that believe WAR is the Final frontier. You that have not Picked Up a Weapon or Fought in a Battle, or understands Death. Freedom is Not Cheap and the Republicans have and continue to undermine the President, this Country and the people that built fought and died for the Roads that give the Rich a Path to Market. Now the President has to decide which Commissary on the bases to close, how to pay our Veterans, Wounded and Homeless as well as how to purchase a Carrier for the Navy… thinks to “Big Oil”, the Rich and Lockheed Martin…. Get a Grip on reality, drop to your knees and ask the Lord to forgive you for not helping the poor and providing for our Veterans.

Can you spell “Trickle Down”???

The military needs to do a total review. I’m not a navy guy so I would hope they would act better then this “I gots to have this, and right now” attitude. It isn’t working. I am still waiting to hear why the marines need f-35s for close air support over A-10s, Harriers, and helicopters.. I served with the 11th ACR in Vietnam and NSA.

We have enough TACTOM’s, TLAMS, UAV’s and SACTOM Assets… We do not need another Bomber. As an Air Force guy this is nothing more than added wasteful funding. The B-52H in addition to modified unmanned platforms and complete the “Kill Chain” anytime anywhere. We need to BE SMART.… Stealth is DEAD… We have the Capability to dispose of any Target under any circumstances utilizing our current weapons system platforms and future POM and PR upgrades. However, we do need additional CVN’s and NGAD platforms. If we stopped production of JSF and F-22 we would have enough funding to produce upgrades to connectivity and the “Kill Chain” that would eclipse any threat.

Once again, please link us to the HR that introduced legislation to delete taxes for the rich as you stated. Otherwise nice talking points from the DNC.

The reality is Democrats care very little about the military or our veterans. That’s not their voting base.

The US tax code does not tax someone making 65K at 35%. Even if you add in Social Security and medicare, it is not anywhere near 35%. Your numbers are pure fantasy.

Federal Income tax is •10% on taxable income from $0 to $17,850, plus
•15% on taxable income over $17,850 to $72,500 so in the case of someone making $65K,
without any deductions, the tax owed is $8858 and that is 13.6% of the $65K. Now that example ignored the standard deduction and any others that the person would have so the real amount of taxes paid would be much lower.

Come on man… try to be at least a little honest in your posts.

Harriers are almost beyond repair at this point and there is no produciton line to build more of them. A-10 is a great airplane but not able to operate from carriers or amphibious ships. Marines use helicopters extensively but there are close air support missions that are beyond the range and weapon capability of helos.

Once again, respectfully, we can see that your other shoe has finally dropped off…if you want to talk about Stealing (not steeling) money from the tax payer, look no further than your feckless President and the past 50 years of entitlement spending that will drive all of us off a cliff. Shame on you and your vapor locked rant.

LOL…“Trickle Down” Strikes again. You do not even know or understand the “Kill Chain” or Taxes. Suggest you pick up a Weapon and Sand the Post.

Please go back to your Religious Republican Party and when you Stand before the Lord, YOU will have to explain your actions not me.

Matthew 25:35–40

35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Like I said kill the F-35 program and work on funding current carriers. I find it funny showing Pentagon stupidity why they want to retire a relatively new carrier (USS GW) instead of the USS Nimitz which was built in 1968 and is very old and should be retired first after the venerable USS Enterprise. Time to kill wasteful Army programs meant to fight Iraq all over again and fix on most funds for the US Navy for now. But the Bras and Politicians want to blow billions all over again.

Tax Laws and Links from the United States Congress for your review:

The phrase Bush tax cuts refers to changes to the United States tax code passed originally during the presidency of George W. Bush and extended during the presidency of Barack Obama, through:
Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA)
Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 (JGTRRA)
Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010
American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (partial extension)

If you are talking about the current KILL Chain (just make sure that everyone understands your logic) is where 90 percent of its decision makers are utter flipping idiots who have forgotten (or never learned, most likely) the basic and fundamental tenets of military strategy, who cannot ever be counted on to save the United States in the event of REAL war against a prepared and lethal enemy.

more $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ for the social experiment that is ongoing here in US

You obviously do not comprehend “Steel”, Steal”, “Stolen”, “Taken”, Chase, Citi, BOA, Big Oil, Mit Romney’s 13% taxes and the worst recession in 80 years. A Republican President Hoover threw us under the train as did the last Republican Party President. We had a balanced Budget prior to our last President that destroyed America. Stock Market up 200% over the past 8 years. Yet because our “Rich” will not pay their far share since they do not pay the 90% Tax as did our rich following WWII to pay off the debt and take care of the Poor, Veterans and Homeless. You may want to move to Canada.…

I asked you to link us to the HR that introduced a bill to “delete” taxes on the rich. You can’t because it doesn’t exist.

Meanwhile, the economy is in the tank, more people are holding on part-time jobs than ever before, the federal debt has exploded and one out of five are on food stamps. This is not a Republican problem, it’s a problem created by both parties and a president who has no business sitting in the chair.

Chase, Citi, BOA…aren’t those the banks that President Obama bailed out?

You complained about roads earlier. How’re those “shovel ready” projects working out? How much did we spend for those? What exactly did we get?

Unbalance is what I’m saying. Retired the Washington, instead of an older ship with more wear and tear on it? Were the refits on the Nimitz and Roosevelt that complete that the Washington is too worn down to be good comparison. Stupid. They should hold off anyways, the Gerald Ford has so many bugs in its design it can’t launch Jet aircraft from its catapult/railgun.

Congress wanting spin down the fleet just cover their butts with their isolated/its-about-me voters. Sad.

I do not agree with retiring the GW. It has a special place in my heart as I did a combat cruise aboard her.
that said, the reason for putting GW on the block before Nimitz (and Ike, Vinson, etc) is that GW has not yet been refueled/SLEPed and the older ships have already been through that process. Since Nimitz has recently been rebuilt, she is actually “younger” than GW.

So, please show us how someone making $65K per year will pay 35%.

Oh and don’t start with your stuff about picking up a weapon and standing a post as I’ve been there and done that.

It appears very obvious that if we simply cancelled the F-35 most of the funding crisis will go away, then there will be no more discussion about the carriers

So I say cancel the pig right now, it can’t fly, it can’t carry, it can’t shoot, it can’t defend, but it can burn through billions and billion of dollars for a very very long time. Heck, by the time it’s fully operational the Chinese will have discovered warp drive

I just don’t trust our elected members in congress. We have so muck pork costing billions. Are we getting the truth from our present administration. A divided congress nothing gets done. Look at the drugs coming into our country. I don’t have anymore faith in the leadership of this present administration. Are my statements wrong?

No thanks, perfectly happy putting the steel to ya right here from the US. Better you should move to Canada the way you are putting the trill up your leg on Democrats. Steel means to fortify. Steal is what the Trickle down theory is.…. So, are you asking for a cure for the Clapp? Obama Care got you covered? We also had the Gold Standard instead on Monopoly Money.

Here’s a thought…

Fund the RCOH on the Washington. Then, pull funding for the next planned super carrier after the Ford, and instead focus on outfitting the USMC flat tops for a more rounded mission role, or designing smaller “real” carriers designed to carry 20–30 aircraft (but it sounds like the newest amphibs can do this with a deck ramp).

Quick math: Assuming a Nimitz has a 5k sailor crew, and a new pocket carrier fields 3,500 sailors, a 1,500 sailor reduction, at an average $50,000 annual salary (with benefits) over a 40 year life span equals $3B saved over a 40 year ship life. Mind you that is not counting the lower cost of daily operations, materials, etc.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t have super carriers, but we don’t need ALL of our carriers to be supers. We could probably field 8 supers, and 4–6 pockets and come out ahead in both budget savings and mission flexibility.

You’re probably right in that not all carriers need to be supers.

The Ford is allegedly going to be a ~3800 crew carrier; and on paper it will have less human capital costs than a Nim. Less crew means less space allocated to water storage, foodstuffs, housing, which means a possible shrinkage in size of the carrier as designed, or allocation of more room to other things.

Of course, we hope that other costs decrease as well. For instance, new radar is cheaper and easier to maintain than what was aboard the Nimitz, that newer systems are more reliable, capable with less mean time between failure…

That said, there’s super-carriers, medium-carriers (the old CV’s) and “pocket” carriers (perhaps meaning welldeckless LHA, helicopter carriers, skijump carriers…)

They’ve been coming in since Nixon said they were bad and the price doubled on the street. When you ban things, only criminals deal in them. Prohibition failed because legislating human behavior only works to a point.

I’d be interested in seeing the return of smaller catapult-capable carriers. As always there are limits to the the size of an efficient air wing that can be carried in a smaller carrier, but is much more capable than the minimal improvement provided by taking an LHA-6 and removing its well deck spaces.

what america needs is a strong Navy and Air Force what we dont seem to need is a strong Army at this point the Navy maintains peace through presence

NOW is the time that the Joint Chiefs should be fighting for the interests of their services; NOT AFTER THEY RETIRE! They do not want to make waves now, because they are looking for post-retirement jobs. It makes me sick to think of how they are selling the future of our military down the tubes. Congress needs to shut their yap, ’cause they know nothing about military operations. They “TRY” to micro-manage us, but have failed at every attempt.

Question marks go inside the quotation marks.

Global capability isn’t cheap.

That’s like saying UPS or DHL is “spends more on delivery than the three thousand bike messenger companies”…because three million bicycle messengers can’t deliver next-day air.

The price of oil has risen so much that we are in the middle of a boom for shale and tar sands. All the good cheap stuff is gone, and at a certain price level we are once again energy independent…a place we haven’t been since the 20’s-60’s. Similarly, this probably gives us a 20–50 year window to figure out how to /stay/ energy independent (or at least to rely on suppliers in the Americas instead of in the Middle East or Asia).

Despite the incredible sums of money we spend year to year we can’t find $3 billion to get another 20 years out of a carrier? Maybe our wise politicians need to check under the seats of their private jets and Air Force One.

Your comments are GLARINGLY ignorant of history, the purpose of a Navy, and current events. __1. The Constitution gives Congress the authority “to define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations” and “to provide for a Navy” to do just that (Article 1, Section 7). Those “piracies, felonies, and offenses” were being committed against sea-going commerce which is BUSINESS as well as military ships. __2. “There hasn’t been a threat of an attack on American soil since WWII”???? I guess you never heard of 9–11, Al Queda, the Shoe Bomber, the Diaper Bomber, the other attacks on the World Trade Center, the bombing of the Boston Marathon last year, etc., etc. Are you serious??!

3. “Russia never had a large surface fleet…” Really? Check your facts — they had a HUGE surface fleet during the 80’s, and I was out on USN ships for more than two decades and saw them all with my own eyeballs.
4. “No other country can ever attack us by sea” What planet are you on? As we speak there are Russian ships off our East Coast threatening an attack, and the entire West Coast is within striking range of China’s latest missiles. It’s not a big stretch to believe that very soon they will have sea-based missiles that can target the American land mass as well. China is not building aircraft carriers to go on fishing trips my friend.

yep, all of those golfing vacations and trips to see his boy friend do add up to some serious $$$$

““There hasn’t been a threat of an attack on American soil since WWII”???? I guess you never heard of 9–11, Al Queda, the Shoe Bomber, the Diaper Bomber, the other attacks on the World Trade Center, the bombing of the Boston Marathon last year, etc., etc. Are you serious??!”

To be fair, a 1000 ship Navy wouldn’t have prevented any of your examples.

We did not have a balanced budget prior to Bush. Clintons last year budget proposal in 2001 generated $ 133 billion dollar deficit.

As someone who has seen close air support, it will not be pretty with F-35s. So we have to use them. I would hope a better program would come along.

Maybe congress and the prez ought to think about enacting a policy for themselves! Somewhat like the one they want for the military retirees. When they leave congress, and are eligible for THEIR retirement of 100% of their pay; they should only collect 50% of it FOR LET’S SAY — THE FIRST TWENTY (20) YEARS AFTER RETIREMENT! We could probably refuel the GW in about two years with the savings. OF COURSE WE ALL KNOW WHAT THE CHANCES OF THAT HAPPENING ARE!!!!!

yeah.…..‘The Navy” by its “presence” has done a fine job in Syria, Libya, & sub-Saharan Africa.…. not 2 mention counter-insurgency in the Philippine’s.…get a clue.…u probably don’t realize that Mexico is in a full-blown narco-civil war, right on our unsecured southern border.…. read a few issues of Foreign Policy, or Defense News, or the Armed Forces Journal…guys like u scare me.….…

FYI: India is the worlds largest Democracy w/a very capable Armed Forces„ even a “nugget” knows that.….& China is now approaching the USA’s import/export levels. The US is facing HUGE foreign policy challenges, many of the in a asymmetrical warfare scenario setting. yeah keep building 8 –10 billion dollar CVN’s that can’t survive a “saturation attack by the PLA’s DF-21D’S, the LCS another piece of junk that will do what? keep the Straits of Malacca “open”?? with Hainan Island’s “cave base” full of diesel subs.… during WWII the Submarine Service sank half of Japans merchant fleet & approx. 1/3 of her man’o’wars’ 1/2 of ALL ships sunk!.….look at their numbers & their 50% causality rate your comment disrespects their ultimate sacrifice, & the US Army didn’t participate in the many amphib. landings & the Burmese front ?????.….& then the USAAF the fleets of B-29’s that fire bombed Japan to the ground.….yup carriers have there place, but with our nation being basically bankrupt, & terror threats abound having a US Ship sailing somewhere deter’s what? AQAP, its many off-shoots, a cyber attack, the recent domestic terror attack against the power grid in San Jose, which has gone virtually unreported by the media.….. I respectfully disagree.….…

Drop the carriers to 10 and begin a new class of flat deck that’s built around UAV squadrons. You could have if get away with being smaller and cheaper to run. You’d run light on flat decks for a few years, but the transition to unmanned squadrons needs to start now.

And if we have to fight somebody with modern electronic capabilities this entire carrier air group will be of limited use.

Is a modern aircraft any less susceptible to modern EW? No, of course not. EMI shielding isn’t rocket science. If anything it’s easier to do on a unmanned system where the aircraft are smaller and don’t require windows. This reluctance to “trusting the computers” is unfounded and only delays the inevitable. Keep in mind I’m not saying trash all future CVN production, I’m only saying begin augmenting them with these smaller UAV motherships.

Having served onboard CVNs and served overseas over 10yrs I can attest that there is nothing in our inventory that can replace a CVN. Other countries are not trying to catch up, China and India are both in hot pursuit of CV development. If we don’t take care of these assets in 10yrs China will have a CV patrolling of the coast of Cali then what will do? As for land base aircraft, one point that they fail to mentioned is the protection, maintenance, and welfare of crew and assets; not to mention the red tape we must go through to get permission. If people believe that countries overseas welcome our presence with open arms, they need to see the news.

What an utterly biased and uninformed statement. It is so convoluted and vacuous as to defy a detailed response. You just don’t have the first clue what you are talking about.

DO NOT diminish the navy of a country that SHIPS most of its goods…seriously? the aircraft carriers are our last REAL mobile strongholds… we used to have more.


No IR, he was duly elected, the problem is the American Electorate.…..68% vote on a Presidential Election cycle, lower in the off years, as I think Thomas Jefferson said: “The best guarantor of democracy, is an informed citizenry” When only 2 out of 3 people show 4 a POTUS Election.…(like my Dad use to say) people get the government they deserve. We have met the enemy & he is US!

Blight: actually Heroin is cheaper now than ever. I lived through its scourge in NYC in the 70’s, it seemed like it was on every other st. corner. The pot 2 day is 3x more potent & is smoked in “Blunts”. The heroin is so plentiful st. dealers don’t have to cut it down.…its really sad when u see the human toll it takes. Its no secret the PLA manufactures Crystal meth. Large quantities (shipping containers) of which have been intercepted. All this coupled with Rx drug diversion have made this country awash in illicit drugs. Then throw in the Alcohol & well the situation speaks 4 itself.……

I would like to mention that the aircraft you are talking about is the F-22, not the F-35.

Can you spell Mit? It’s Mitt Romney.

We don’t need one carrier never mind 11. If the Navy wants Carriers let them hold a cake/doughnut sale
to raise money for them. Spend the money on infrastructure, healthcare, etc. All we need in the Navy is
Nuclear submarines that take on China or Russia if the need arises. We should stop being the World
Policeman and get the hell out of the Middle East — we simply don’t belong there.

Remember the YF-17 now the F-18 that first Flew in 1971 it was a fail design to the F-16. That was over 40 years ago and now the F-18 is a great plane I say give the F 35 a chance. And for the people that say stealth is dead if so why is China and Russia building a stealth fighter? And for those of you that was not around in the 1980s you may not remember the Falkland war, ask the British if they would have liked to have had a Nimitz class carrier or two. I personally think they killed the Nimitz class to early for the Ford class, and for the cost of one Ford class you could’ve gotten two Nimitz class China has one maybe two rejected Russian carriers and now they are ready to kick the Americans out of the Pacific get real Russia has three maybe four Proto type stealth fighters and they are better than the F-22 for real?

The Carriers days are over, we need to look out of the box that has focus on us many of years dont get me wrong we need a strong naval force but while I was on the USS Enterpise off the coast of Russia there were Russia bombers over our heads with nukes while the F-14s were trying there best to protect our zone they could not just one nuke drop from there bombers within our zone would had that carrier flip flopping in the north pacific if we have a carrier force station on certain islands that would be great like having a interstate running across the nation where planes can land and takeoff in key areas also China has a weapon design just to kill carriers while in the indian ocean a russian bomber flew under the radar and flew right over the deck of the Enterprise and could at that moment blew us out of the water loaded with nukes the CAPTAIN of the ENTERPRISE told us we let that one slip by no F-14 escorts. we got to think out the box. but we have other means also but since that day I knew the carriers days were over. good day!

Retire all carriers and buy more submarines.

You can thank your boy Barry for Syria, Libya, Africa oh and you forgot Egypt and soon Iraq which he has screwed up with his total lack of any real world experience. Heck, he didn’t even finish his 1term in Congress. It’s guys like you that scare me.

Let’s put that money aside for minute, I know it’s hard.… but let’s think about the man and women that are serving on these carriers. The fewer carriers the longer the deployments, The longer the deployment The hard it is on your families we should have never let the carrier Force fall below 12 having served on two carriers the John F. Kennedy and the Carl Vinson in the 1980s these deployments were nine months and hope you got back, and that was doing the Cold War there were a lot of men who lost their families during these deployments… The divorce rate was very high. The Navy could have build two improved Nimitz class carriers for the price of one Ford class carriers and we would not be talking about this now but who would have thought 10 20 30 years ago that we would be having the budget crisis we’re having now. Let’s be frank we all know that they are more Republican millionaires then they are Democrats we won’t even talk about the billionaires. The only way to get more money for the budget is to get more people back to work not part-time jobs but full-time employment if you don’t want to raise the taxes on the few that are working then you must increase the job market

Carriers and submarines are like state patrolman,.… If you are on a four-lane highway or eight and a law-abiding citizen not talking about the criminals but law-abiding citizens if the speed limit is 60 most people still would try to do 65 or 70 breaking the law and putting everyone else at risk, he or she knows that the state patrolman may be out there but they don’t see him, so even law-abiding citizens Will be tempted to break the law. But we all know when one state patrolman is on the scene how that same law abiding citizen pause are slow down. Submarines will never stop a war they are not built to be seen but let a carrier battle group show up on the world’s oceans.… We will never know how many lives are saved because that state patrolman showed up on the highway,.. And we will never know how many conflicts or wars have been stop because our carriers are around the world… God bless America!!! And Peace through a strong defense.

Ok one major reason for the small deck LHA, LHD replacing CVN’s angle flight deck. IF you have a fixed wing coming in with damage,the angle deck is there to enhance safety for the pilot and the entire crew. it provides a way to recover an aircraft while at the same time launching without danger to either. sure, you could put a catapult on the smaller carrier and launch a larger , heavier aircraft with more avionics, but you can not do that at the same time due to limited deck space for stand by aircraft. This is why the angled flight deck came into being and the major reason a CVN can run launch and recovery operations at such a fast pace.…when flight ops demand a high valumn of sorties you can not replace the CVN

Angle decks, provide a measure of safety for crew and pilots allowing simultaneous launch and recovery which is why they went to them in the age of Jets. Small deck carriers can’t launch and recover enough sorties safely as the elevators can’t keep the decks clear enough for safety. CVN’s have 4, small deck carries in my day had only 2. while you could add a cat launch capability to the smaller deck, without the angle deck you can perform only one operation safely, this is especially important if an aircraft in damaged from flak or has bingo fuel.…

Well it only makes sense to reduce our capability to project power world-wide. After all, obama’s foreign affairs policies are so successful, a powerful navy is no longer needed. Witness our huge successes in Iran, North Korea, Syria, Afghanistan, and now Iraq becoming even more stable and secure. Our relations with China are becoming more and more friendly and the Soviet Union is now our close ally. What’s wrong with you people, anyhow, don’t you folllow the current news? Besides, we need thay money to support domestic programs, 8 free cell phones for welfare recipients isn’t enough for the on top of food stamps, education grants, heating grants, and too few other benefits.

hey I was on the Kennedy in the 70s class act here’s to ya my friend

F35B should be the same or better than an AV8 for Close Air Support. Of course an A-10 would be even better but they aren’t able to operate from Amphibs or CVs

Your story is overcome by events. Since the time of it, Enterprise got new radars and the large “billboard array” which didn’t really work was deleted in favor of stuff that actually works. The battle group now has several Aegis ships with their very good detection capability. Surprise overflights aren’t a real problem any more.

On the other hand, we had six carriers and airwings in place aroiund Iraq for gulf War 1 doing integrated operations that could not have been done from the few land bases that we had in the area.

Please do me a favor and tell me where in the US Constitution does it say that the govbernment is responsible for providing Heathcare and infrastructure. I can gladly show you where it says that the government is responsible for providing an Army and a Navy.

obama is a muslim terrorist who is trying and succeding in ruining our US Constitution and the freedoms 1,ooos of veterans gave their lives for. Get the muslim bastard out of office asap. Maybe the people of America will wake up in the mid-terms in November and vote the demodummies out of power. Then and only then can we IMPEACH the muslim bastard from kenya who is trying and succeeding to ruin our country. WAKE UP PEOPLE BEFORE ITS TOO LATE!!

You seem to be using emotion rather than reason in crafting your diatribes. Not to mention starting from a factual-error base.

1. Sequestration was President Obama’s idea. (I respect the office, NOT the person.) It seems the Republicans fell into the trap of trying to be bi-partisan and perform the entire budgetary process, while the President once again neglected his Constitutional duties re: the submission of a budget. Much like voting PRESENT rather than YEA or NAY.

2. I was a Navy brat and a career Marine, with 24 months of service in the Republic of Viet Nam. That little purple thingy amid the fruit salad on my chest shows that I’ve given to my country and have a solid foundation on which I base my vote. More often than not I vote Republican, but have also voted for the Democrat, Independant or Green person. Not once have I seen OIL or GREED or BIG BIZ on the ballot. I sure as hell didn’t fight for THEM; it was for my Country and fellow Marines.

3. As for helping the poor, check out the length of time and total cost of the “War on Poverty.” I don’t mind helping, but being the sole support? The Good Lord helps those who help themselves.

Part 2.

4. Providing for our Veterans? I suggest you get a grip on reality, Congress has never kept a promise for very long. Once they’ve gotten mileage from the headlines and everybody feels good about themselves, cost becomes the driving force. Check your history books; whether the Republicans or the Democrats control the House, programs come and go. It’s called the political process.

5. As for the number of carriers (CVN) , I feel that 25 of ‘em in a 1,100 ship Navy is about right. Along with a 2,500 USA-flagged Merchant Marine, we’d have a capability to finally see a reasonable op-tempo. Sadly, ships AND people wear out.

6. But who’s gonna pay for it? President Johnson and our current astronomical debt show us that we CANNOT have beans and bullets at the same time, even if our current population would stand for rationing ala WW II.

So “Once Again”, if you’d dial down the heat and use a little cold reasoning seasoned with facts, you might blame the real source. In the immortal words of Pogo, “I have seen the Enemy, it is us.” Or as I say, vote the person, not the party.

Carrier fleets must be sustained should we need to put a base somewhere quickly. Airlift supports valuable capabilities. It places ground forces in the area NOW and is how we deliver heavy weapons/supplies. You cannot retain real estate unless you have boots on the ground. Hardware will travel to the site via the transport command. Strategic bombing is an option that serves multi-purposes. First strike, precision strike and massive destruction. Fighters, in place at many Pacific locations are ready to react quickly — since air superiority must be obtained quickly. American assets on the ground serve as a deterrent to a potential attack, since few countries want to fight with their enemy if the US will intervene. There is land basing of forward fighting units all over the Pacific. Hawaii, Alaska, Guam, Korea, Japan (mainland and Okinawa), complemented by a very powerful and capable US Navy presence. All services are needed in this problematic world. The US should be prepared for inplace, mobile, large/small contingencies, lest we find ourselves in a situation in which we cannot effectively respond.

If there is a war, you cannot hold the ground unless you have boots on the ground. There could easily come a time when presence will not stop a foe.

They should NOT retire the USS George Washington. It is a fairly new boat.…..and it is a heck of a lot cheaper to refuel them than it is to build a new one.

To provide similar capabilities to manned aircraft those UCAVs are going to have to be a similar size. So you won’t be able to carry that many more UCAVs unless you want to sacrifice certain capabilities (such as supersonic speed, range, or payload) in the trade for small size.

UCAVs and UAVs have their uses for sure, but we aren’t at the point where a carrier with such an air group would provide any advantage (that outweighs the disadvantages) over a carrier with a mixed air group of manned and unmanned aircraft.

You are right that modern modern aircraft are indeed susceptible to modern EW. But they are still capable of a greater degree of operation if they lose something like GPS for example. If the enemy can somehow jam a UCAV’s command link, it’s pretty much entirely relying on GPS/INS to get to the point A, drop a JDAM on it, and return to the carrier. Not too flexible. As time goes on you can begin to add a greater degree of autonomous capability, self-defense, selecting and prioritizing targets with various sensors, choosing the correct weapon to use, and so forth. Yet this is still many years off.

Look how much flak the F-35 gets for having what, 10 million lines of code? A fully autonomous UCAV is going to need a lot more than that.

KrazyCol, the failure to use carriers in the scenarios you cite was not the fault to the ships’ capabilities. Rather, it was the fault of a feckless Commander-in-Chief.

There are two articles about the COLA cap on veterans in today’s news. If you read the informative one, it will tell you that when it cam down to taking a choice between the veterans and the children of the illegal aliens, the veterans lost hands down. Doesn’t it just rub your buhda that veterans rank below illegal aliens?

Amen. As a Navy vet who served on a carrier (USS Coral Sea CVA-43) I seriously question the need for such a huge carrier force. When we were helping to evac Saigon a Soviet Fast Attack Sub equipped with nuclear tipped torpedoes was on our tail. It would have only taken one sub-surface burst to take out the entire task group. Today the Chinese have developed carrier killing missiles that can be land or sea based. These massive ships are simply sitting ducks as was demonstrated when a Chinese diesel-electric sub popped up in the middle of the fleet during joint exercises. We need smaller more nimble and more cost effective carriers about the same size as WWII escort carriers. The super carrier is simply a way to give corporate welfare to the war industry that is bleeding the middle class dry.

Escort carriers are too small for the heavy jet aircraft of today…unless you want to go back to the turboprop age.

It’ll probably be something bigger than an LHA but smaller than a supercarrier…used to call them CV’s before they were all scrapped or sunk.

I think if the dod needs money they should go and pull it out the sewer they have been throwing it down for decades of failed platforms and outright waste. they will get no pity from this taxpayer.

Only problem having mix force is the fact currently, we need fix wing aircraft fly from these “pocket” carriers. This means either make UCAV that just as good as a F-18 type fighter and needs less flight tech take off and land from. Right now, F-35B is only fixed wing aircraft in production (limited as is at the moment.) to be effective from such a platform.

Back when Carter Administration was pushing to downsize fleet, they’re was proposal for the CVV which was basicly a medium size conventional-powered aircraft carrier. However, the cost for the design at the time was on par to a repeat of the John F Kennedy Class (CV-67), which would. It would been 60 aircraft verse 90 for the roughly same

It looks like the CVV is probably the smallest sized carrier that is worth building out. Anything smaller and you’re in LHA-6 territory…small to the point that you can only use STOVLs. CVV is probably the bare minimum size, and then there’s bigger Kennedy and Kitty Hawk carriers, and then the Nims are bigger than that in turn.

Seems the Taxpayer is getting screwed here.….…..Are we in such good shape, that we can now chunk Air Craft Carriers after only 1/2 of their useable lifespan has been consumed ?


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