Carrier Debate Still Unresolved Ahead of Budget Roll Out

Carrier Debate Still Unresolved Ahead of Budget Roll Out

Questions about whether the Navy should continue to maintain 11 aircraft carriers or drop to 10 for budget reasons are still lingering as the Pentagon gets ready to unveil its 2015 budget proposal.

“The majority of the budget decisions have been made but there may be some items about which there are still ongoing deliberations,” a Pentagon official said.

The heart of the issue centers on available budget dollars and whether the Navy can maintain an 11-carrier fleet or whether it can still meet its requirements with a 10-carrier fleet.


Many analysts and decision-makers are wrestling with a few basic questions: If a carrier is retired, where will the extra funds go? If funding for an eleventh carrier is preserved, are there other areas of the Navy budget that will need to be scaled back?

“There will be a large bill associated with keeping that carrier. If the Navy has to foot that entire bill, it will impact a lot of programs in small cuts or some big cuts in a few programs,” said a source familiar with the Navy budgeting process.

One plan under review has been to suggest retiring the USS George Washington, a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier slated to go through mid-life refueling and overhaul over the next several years. While carriers typically serve for as long as 50 years, with 25 of them after the mid-life refueling – there has been discussion about whether the George Washington will retire at its half-way point, thus lowering the total number in the fleet to 10.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the White House has made it clear that the Navy will have an 11-carrier fleet. However there is still concern at the Pentagon and in Congress about whether there will be enough money to support this.

As recently as last week, it was unclear whether roughly $3 to $4 billion in budget dollars needed to refuel the George Washington and preserve its service were present in the soon-to-be released 2015 budget proposal, according to Pentagon sources.

The upcoming budget drop will include five-year spending projections for a wide range of programs. This year, such an effort is complicated by the fact that the current Congressionally-passed budget deal only covers 2014 and 2015, allowing sequestration to return in 2016. Unless there is a new deal similar to the current one for 2016 and beyond, sequestration will remain in effect.

One analyst said decreasing to 10-carriers could free up funds in the Navy budget for other high-priority programs.

“Cuts to the carriers would be a way of equaling out the cuts across services. Within the Navy, this can amount to finding room for other sorts of ships and function as a way to ensure the budget has more room for destroyers, LCS and submarines,”  said Ben Friedman, a research fellow with the Cato Institute, a Washington D.C.-based think tank. “There will be some tradeoffs you will need to make.”

Friedman also said the Navy could likely get by with fewer carriers.

“The idea would be to have more of a surge Navy and do less port calls and less military to military exercises. If we did that we would not have any problems with a lower number of aircraft carriers,” he said. “If you look at the last couple of wars and the most air intensive portions, we have had carriers to spare.”

He also made the point that funding for carriers will also need to be matched with operational and sustainment dollars for the ships as well.

Many other analysts and lawmakers have been vocal in their support for an 11-carrier Navy, citing mission requirements, a need for forward presence, and consistent demand for carriers around the globe.

Many proponents of an 11 carrier fleet point to the fact that in the 1980s the nation had 15 aircraft carriers.  Up until 2011 Congress required by law that there be 15 aircraft carriers in the Navy, a number that was changed to 11 in 2011.

A group of lawmakers recently authored a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, urging the Pentagon to fund 11-carriers for the Navy.

The man leading the effort to build the new Ford-class carriers, Navy Admiral Tom Moore, Program Executive Officer, Carriers, emphasized the fiscal pressures of today’s budget environment.

“Carriers are expensive and there is no doubt about that but I think it’s pretty clear that they provide a lot to the nation,” Moore said.  “The best thing we can do is drive affordability into the platforms.”

Moore said carriers can complete a full-range of missions for the U.S. military, ranging from disaster relief missions like those in Haiti to full-scale combat support such as operations in Afghanistan.

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How long does it take to mobilize and push out a carrier group if it’s at home? Friedman states we had carriers to spare during the last couple major wars. It’s worth noting the Navy had many weeks or months to prepare.

The only thing I know is this. If the United States would not heed the lessons of the past, then it will be another FAILED country in the history book. Those nations or states, who failed to listen to the lessons of history are bound to repeat so said Santayana. Remember Rome? Remember France? or Great Britain? or Russia?. Maintaining 22 carriers, not just 11, would be the best — if the U.S has Billions, if not — Trillions to spare. But — sadly — yes the US had TRILLIONS — not savings — but debt. I think that US should maintain at most 5 carrier strike group considering that no countries on earth could match it Strike group even if it would be cut to just 5 strike groups. War is just an expense — a burden to the US taxpayers.

Want to be able to afford an 11 carrier fleet? Not too hard — and the Congressional Budget Office wrote the prescription years ago in their report regarding the causes of the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression:

- Fully rescind the Bush Tax Cuts for the super wealthy (that were supposed to be temporary)
– Fully rescind the corporate welfare programs started under the Bush Administration
– Remove the limits on the Social Security Withholding Tax

These will go a LONG way to restoring the economic foundation of this nation — and therefore — start the Us back on the road to reviving our national security and economic integrity.

The one thing you can be sure the Navy won’t cut is its reliance on defense contractors. That’s a given.

For each CVN deployed at sea in a CSG there is one returning from deployment, plus one getting ready to deploy, plus one being repaired. That puts four ship in rotation to keep one of them deployed.

Alternatively, a ship can be kept in a state of near readiness, ship and crew ready to put to sea on short notice. That ship can be kept CONUS or further forward, such as is the situation with the CVN kept in Saesbo Japan. That ship cannot remain in that state of readiness indefinitely, would need to be taken off line for refitments and repairs, but fewer than four ships are required for that rotation.

And after some time, each CVN needs refueling and major overhaul, which takes a ship out of rotation for a year, so as one come out of that rotation a replacement needs to go into that rotation.

Having 15 ships allows having 3 actively deployed (requires 12 for that rotation), plus one forward in Saesbo Japan, plus two in for refueling and major overhaul. Three actively deployed allows one CSG in the western Pacific, one in the Indian Ocean / Persian Gulf, and one in the Mediteranean and Atlantic. The CVN in Saesbo Japan allows relatively quick surge in that theater.

It is disappointing to see Cato take this stance. Even given their isolationist ideology, one would expect that they understood defense well enough to keep the Navy strong. Instead they are just following their blind libertarian “cut government across the board” mantra.

facepalm…
Really?

Just 0 carrier strike groups and Prompt Global Strike instead. Cheaper and less vulnerable.

Because each actively deployed CVN requires four in rotation, reducing numbers to only 9–10 CVN while keeping several CVN in state of near-readiness means having only one CVN actively deployed at sea.

Having only one CVN deployed at sea means only one CSG deployed at sea, probably covering a region from Japan and the Korean peninsula the east to the Persian Gulf and Somali coast of Africa in the west. That spans an area larger than what can be practicably supported as one theater of operations.

US political and diplomatic influence has been buoyed many decades by active display of US naval power, and this would be a major contraction of that relative to what it was in year 2000.

That lack of presence creates a maritime power vacuum, and power abhors a vacuum. Somebody will take the opportunity to fill the void, strengthening their influence while weakening ours.

AN AIRCRAFT CARRIER WILL LAST LESS THAN A DAY IN A WAR WITH CHINA, WHICH IS COMING SOON. WHAT WE NEED ARE DRONE AND CRUISE MISSILE ROBOT SHALLOW DRAFT CATAMARAN PLATFORMS. DRONES FOR REPLACEABLE GPS AFTER THE CHINESE SHOOT DOWN OUR GPS SATELLITES. WE COULD BUILD AND ARM ONE OF THESE EVERY FIVE DAYS FOR THE COST OF ONE CARRIER.

We are planning for a shift to the Pacific, yet we are contemplating a reduction in aircraft carriers. Policymakers do realize that the Pacific is mostly water, whereas the Mid East/SW Asia is mostly sand (and Europe is mostly land?) There is only one US sovereign airbase close enough to the First Island Chain to operate tactical aircraft, and a few others on foreign soil. China has 30 plus. We have to ditch the paradigm of equal funding across the services. The Army is the logical place to find the money. Throw them a bone, and give them Cyber, but reduce the ground force. The public is tired of occupations, and our allies must be more responsible for their own defense.

Duh.

The Navy has been compensating for not having 12 carriers (in the scenario you outlined above) by extending the time that each is actively depolyed. This should have only been a short term workaround, but it’s turning into the rule. This will cause the Navy pain if the economy ever fully recovers, since crew retention rates will plummet, but they’re basically getting away with it for now. Going to 10 carriers will only aggravate the situation, or will ulitmately reduce forward presence, which is exactly what America’s adversaries desire.

Why do we never see a title “Air Force Base Cuts debate before the Budget”?

Lands bases are much less flexible than carriers yet carriers are the topic of cuts.

Expensive? yes. Extremely valuable? yes

I would argue it is much harder to attach a carrier group than a land base.

And, who would want to face the attack of a carrier strike group?

I still don’t get why they retire a relatively new Carrier the USS GW made in 1992 compared with the Nimitz itself which is very old and made in 1968. Shows Navy has some illogical and maybe sleazy plans to carry out which ships stay of go. I can also say dump the worthless JSF and LCS and you have enough money for your 11th carrier.

I respect your opinion.

It is not carrier strike groups that caused the budget crisis. Blame government for making poor decisions with taxpayer money for years and years. The thought and appearance of carrier strike groups alone scares the bejesus out of potential enemies. It is very effective and capable form of detente. I like keeping it at 12, but will settle for 10. Not less. I’m sure the admirals know, but however many carriers it takes to have the correct number in maintenance and still provide world coverage. That is how many we need.

Having both will be fine. A war with China is not to be underestimated, however, most of the hotspots in the world require carriers.…..and, or not, drones.

Over the last 30 years, there have been numerous AF bases closed. Worldwide. Some were turned into guard bases. Some were turned over to host governments. If allowed, more would be closed if not for area politician influence.

The cost of being ready for anything is extremely high, lest we want WWIII to begin. We were isolationist before WWI and WWII — and look what happened. The policy of the US government after WWII is to get and stay involved in world affairs to the point where widespread war will not break out. Paying for that is not easy. Paying for a world war would be worse. A major war between only the major powers is not likely, although possible. World wars in the past have started because of small wars spreading quickly. The image of the US sticking its nose into world affairs is not popular.…..however, we have not had a WWIII, either. I have no problem with the US having a reputation as having a finger on the trigger at all times.

My assumption about the choice of the USS GW is that it’s simply tied to trying to avoid the massive refueling bill, but it may also be linked to a conspiracy theory that it got a little too close to Fukashima. That contaminated wastewater from the power plant was flowing out into the ocean. Maybe it got into the ship’s water tanks. Some of GW’s aircraft certainly got too close, and this will cost the taxpayer plenty. But you won’t read much about any of that.

Some good comments, especially about how many carriers it takes to staff one operating area (one deployed, one in work up, one just back, with a fourth in overhaul). But we face a money problem. And, yes, the military caused some of this deficit spending, by maintaining too large a budget after the collapse of the Evil Empire.

If we want to preserve a counter force to China in the Pacific, just give whatever carrier is stationed in Japan to Japan — along with its battle group and all support infrastructure. They’re a very wealthy country (they own about $800 billion of US Treasuries). Results in no loss of combat power, and they can pay their own way.

Then, to save more money, decommission the GW, as the next carrier scheduled for an overhaul. ALL savings from cutting both carriers (and their battle groups) go towards paying down the Navy’s sequestration cuts. Get real! There won’t be any SAVINGS to be reapplied to anything else in the Navy. The budget is going DOWN, not up. We’re $17 trillion in the hole, and climbing. No “Great Power” stayed great with that kind of counterweight. Even the Founding Fathers realized militaries bankrupt countries. That’s why they authorized and Army and Navy in the Constitution, and then refused to fund them for years, instead relying on a militia, or National Guard, defense.

Plus, the new big deck amphibs being built are the more capable, multipurpose ships needed to support the kinds of situations we’ll be facing in the future. Not the all-attack CVNs we have.

Yeah, the Navy is perfectly ready to go back to building and maintaining its carriers. Brooklyn and Philly Naval Shipyards will answer the call!

Build and arm one every five days… based on what? where is the production line and who has done an analysis of the not yet existing blueprints to figure out the time requirements. If the Chinese can take out a well protected CVN, they will feast on unprotected catamarans.

By the way, where do you get the idea about “shooting down” GPS sats? You might want to look at the orbital altitude of the GPS constellation versus the altitude of the satellites that have been shot down.

Nimitz, Ike, and Vinson have had mid-life upgrades / refueling and are essentially new ships. Abe Lincoln is in that process right now and will be a new ship once again. GW is the next ship in line to get the upgrade/refuel and thus is (in ship life terms) the oldest carrier being operated.

The military does not approve its own budget nor do they propose it. If the Military’s budgt cause some of the deficit then look at Congress and civilian DoD leadership.

You could zero the defense budget and the US would still have a yearly budget deficit. The magnitude of non-defense spending alone is greater than the amount of money that the US government take in.

It has nothing to do with national security. It has everything in the world to do with defense contractors and their workforce. I served on a carrier in the 90’s, and that carrier was built in ’56. It would still be better than any other nation’s navy.

You mean trading JDAMs for ICBMs that nobody knows whether or not they’re nuclear or conventional, right? Think about that for a minute.

And that carrier no longer exists. The CVs that were decommissioned in the 90’s and early 00’s were old and tired and most are gone. This debate is about how many does the US keep. the first one that needs overhaul is Nimitz because its reactor cores are almost used up. If, as you say, its all about the defense contractors and their workforce then maybe the Navy should just do the work with sailors. Of course the US Navy has never overhauled and recored and carrier’s nuclear reactor but heck, I’m sure that they could do it.

The Constitution stimulates supporting both military and all the other areas (commerce, education, public welfare, etc.). So why should non-defnse programs carry all the burden of the cutbacks? Or are you admitting that the Pentagon is a legitmate welfare queen and the other social programs are not?

If you mean the military does not “appropriate” its budget, you are correct. But the Pentagon proposes its own budget with very little change from the president or Congress.

My basic point is that there may be a National Security Strategy under which the US covers all threats. But, with limited threats these days, other countries need to share that burden (instead of us paying THEIR bills). If they don’t want to invest in their own national defense, then they’re voted with their pocketbooks, and we shouldn’t cover their risk.

So is there anything particularly wrong with having a Navy more focused on “surge” capability? I mean I’d imagine that all our land bases in the Persian Gulf and the Pacific would be able to suffice in the event of hostilities until naval reinforcements arrive. Iran is never going to win a war against us and a coalition of gulf states, while China can probably be sufficiently deterred with some combination of submarines, land-based aircraft, and anti-access capabilities on the part of our allies. With a carrier or two over the horizon ready to deploy, that ought to be more than enough deterrence power.

Well, the good news is that Adolf Hitlers don’t come around very often in history. The likelihood of someone as insane as Hitler coming to power is low, and the likelihood of them coming to power in a country with considerable military strength is even lower. A military buildup takes time…when Germany rearmed, France and Britain had time to do the same. If a threat starts to grow on the horizon somewhere, we will know about it, and we can respond.

I think we need to try and come up with a “cheap” alternative to replace a few of these nuclear carriers. We should try building something like a carrier battle group around one of the Marine landing ships with their Harriers and soon to be F-35. We should also revisit the idea of having a big ship or sub or both stocked full of Tomahawks. I think they called the concept an Arsenal ship. We also need to immediately build a drone carrier, its shocking this hasn’t happened yet.

Dude that’s easy, everybody knows the nuclear warheads are painted black and the conventional warheads are navy blue.

We will not need a navy when the bill from obamacare comes due. The US military needs to be 1/10th the size it currently is. Divisional structure in the army and especially in the marines is simply a way to keep flag officers employed. the pentagon? bureaucrats generating work for other bureaucrats?

blue and gold teams for every ship and airwing. T-38’s and cessna’s to maintain flight hours in garrison. Cut marine aviation and the navy’s trigger pullers. Just let marines try out for the seals and naval aviation units. Give the A-10’s to SOCCOM. Chuck the LCS and build more coast guard cutters with mixed navy and CG crews. and more destroyers, subs, P-8’s, and airlifters. ie the stuff that wins wars.

L class amphib ships cannot nearly equal the firepower, persistence and sortie generation of a CV, plus its slower and far less survivable. Good for limited actions, but not a replacement for a CVG.

Yeah obviously to get something cheaper your going to have to sacrifice some performance. I start with the idea that the carrier today is fast becoming relegated to pounding 2nd and 3rd world countries into submission. It is very questionable whether or not the current mega carriers of the Nimitz and soon to be Ford class could actually get close enough to China to be a factor. With this in mind I think the Navy should be looking for alternatives like smaller drone carriers, arsenal ships, and yes maybe modified marine landing ships that could continue to impose their will on 2nd and 3rd world countries that don’t have “carrier killer” missiles.

If you are referring to DF-21 ballistic missiles, there are a lot of questions about their ability to hit a moving target, and its kill chain is vulnerable. Anyway, if a missile can hit a carrier, then it could just as easily hit any surface vessel larger that a Whaler — but CVNs are more robust than other ships, and can absorb damage better than others. The meme about only good against “2nd and 3rd world countries” is a bit tiresome, and the CVG can get close enough to the FIC to successfully engage and win. But the Navy still should obtain longer ranged aircraft for their decks, and the F-35 is not it.

Neither of us can know the reality with the DF-21, having said that the Navy is developing or has already developed strategies and doctrines to deal with this threat so apparently they take it pretty seriously. That tells me that the threat is real. Your right this does mean that all ships are vulnerable which is why I suggested different ways to cope. I think subs loaded full with tomahawks would work good for high threat environments like China, followed by Arsenal ships, and then finally when Chinese defenses have been sufficiently weakened our carriers can try and justify their existence. Remember one lucky shot with an anti-ship missile and we have 5000 dead.

There are no CVNs homeported in Sasebo, Japan. The CVN73 is homeported in Yokosuka, Japan and under goes a short maintenance period every year. It is currently scheduled to be replaced in Japan by the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN76)which is currently homeported in San Diego.

I believe that it was the Reagan that went to Fukushima. But think of the money they could free up if they killed the LCS and F35 programs.

Never say never Jacob. the German people of all people allowed a Hitler to arise, generally speaking German people are logical and sensible, so how in the heck did a “Hitler” happen there.

Lesson learned, if if can happen in Germany it can happen anywhere

Lesson to be learned, things move at a much more rapid pace today than they did in the late 1930, Leaders can rise up overnight and take over. China’s military buildup is vast and enormous, they are floating new ships at a much much faster rate than we are, and they words and deeds of the last few years clearly indicate they intend to use their new power.

A few point to consider

–Large carriers are much harder to kill (mission or otherwise). The larger the tonnage the tougher it is.
–Nuclear carriers are the fastest ships in the fleet, the amphibs are slow by comparrison
–Large (nuclear) carriers have many times the fighting punch of smaller ones
–Large carriers has many times the weapons and fuel load
–Large carriers are well armored and hard targets compared to regular Navy ships
–You don’t save that much money by building a smaller carrier, the economics are not there

Sorry, right now I see China making nice “targets” for us. Remember, things have to work reliability and China has a long way to go.

I am going to put on my tin foil hat but have you not heard the news that China has taken out sats? They have made this new thing called a laser… It shoots a light beam that can be focused on a sat control panel heating it up frying the controls making it in-op.
All sarcasm aside it is true they have done it. I am sure other countries have the ability as well, so gps useless in a major war with a country that has tech such as lasers. Another thing I find funny is do people really not think wow that weird why is that so many sats seem to be breaking or in-op floating around in space these days?

Here is the news from 2006 but if you do a google search you can find much more out. http://​www​.telegraph​.co​.uk/​n​e​w​s​/​w​o​r​l​d​n​e​w​s​/​1​5​2​9​864

Negative. I mean trading carriers for hypersonic drones and cruise missiles.

Even in that case, something has to be nearby to launch the cruise missiles. B-52s are the only Air Force asset that can do it and while the Navy can pack hundreds of them into their ships it’s not their only card to play. Tomahawks are currently $500k a piece and while are awesome weapons lack the versatility of a manned aircraft with multiple weapons load outs. A Tomahawk blows up stuff with a 1000 pound warhead. That’s it. No CAS, no CAP, no recon, no EW, you can’t recall it, and if 1000 pounds is overkill you better have a Plan B.

The closest we’ve come to a hypersonic drone is the X-51 which was pretty much just an engine test.

That is precisely my proposal: to withdraw all carriers, to assume the loss of versatility and to develop a hypersonic drone of intercontinental range. Forget the nearby platform.

What exactly do you think that China is doing right now? It is enlarging it’s army massively. It is going from 1 carrier to 4 very fast. And it is expanding its air force quickly also.

That is the ideal situation for rotation of carriers. But as you cut the number of carriers, they are being sent back out to sea before they are completely ready for sea. The crew is still working on the final repairs while they are just leaving port, and hoping that they make them useable in time.

But then again — US does not have money. All it have is debt — TRILLIONS OF IT. It is now about time to re-think before everything would be too late.

It is obvious the lessons of the past are never learned and bound to be repeated time and again because historians are not politicians.

The folly of superficial thinker cannot be fully comprehended because the majority of the thinkers think the same.

In order for the government to have money to provide for the national defense is not to waste the people’s money and the only way to do that is to keep the money away from the government which has absolutely no business handling money.

The super wealthy cannot buy us out of the mess that the super spenders have put us in.

AS for social security, it is pure foolishness to tax people for getting their money back and which the government has held away from their rightful owners.

If you want real answers to real fiscal problems you cannot think that giving the government money is the responsible thing to do.

Someone making such statements only shows that they have no clue about how reckless the government is.

Keep the money away from the gov and all of our financial woes will disappear. National defense starts with national solvency. When a household spends beyond its means, collectors will soon be at the door. The collector is almost upon us and the people think giving the federal gov money is a good idea. I think we need to wake up, the gov is taking us down a deep and dark abyss.

This is way too simplistic and ignores the valid and important role our Navy plays in the Indian Ocean littoral, including the Persian Gulf, Straits of Hormuz and the Horn of Africa. And substantial reductions in Army end strength are flawed for the same reason that carrier reductions are problematic. If you are projecting force, you often end up going “all the way”.

Guilty of utilizing the KISS principle, plus it’s only a paragraph. Anyway, any reductions in the carrier force would affect operations globally. The money to support the status quo is not available, so doing business as usual is not an option. The American public is not in the mood to engage in another ground war in Asia, or anywhere else except under very specific conditions — certainly there is no appetite for any sort of occupation / nation building. The Army could easily be downsized to secure a robust defense of the nation, while retaining specialized capabilities. Any expeditionary operations should be the territory of the Marines.

Why not keep and maintain thepresent 11 Carrier’s and build smaooer carrier’s in the furure .Now that we have CSTOL aiecraft the carriers would not need catapilts.You might retain a Arresting Gear or two for emergency landings.Also have the modern defense systems on them .

Your “drone carrier” would be a CVN unless you gut the capability of both the aircraft and the ship.

According to Rear Adm. Mike Manazir, the Navy’s director of air warfare, the UCLASS unmanned CATOBAR stealth aircraft is going to be in the range of 70,000 — 80,000 pounds, 35–40 tons. Take away the CATOBAR and you would take away a lot of weapons payload. They can use a tanker to add fuel after takeoff. But they cannot add more bombs and missiles while the aircraft is in flight. The catapult greatly assists the acceleration of heavier aircraft to well above stall speed.
http://​news​.usni​.org/​2​0​1​3​/​1​2​/​2​3​/​n​a​v​y​-​u​c​l​a​s​s​-​w​ill–

We do have smaller Carriers. They are called amphibious landing ships.

China was a paper tiger then and still a paper tiger now. They’re just good for show but really toothless. Like people with inferiority complex, they want to make a lot of noise. And they do make a lot of noise in the world stage. World power they’re not!

The cost of defending our country and our way of life outweighs the cost of extra carriers. The future battle fields will be in Asia and the Pacific. It’s a vast ocean folks, that’s why we need extra carriers.

Not to kick a dead horse but I found this article interesting given what we commented about here.
http://​www​.ft​.com/​i​n​t​l​/​c​m​s​/​s​/​2​/​7​8​9​2​0​b​2​e​-​9​9​b​a​-​1​1e3

Also besides what we both said earlier both China and the US are totally dependent on satellites to use their precision munitions. So in reality whoever blinds the other first by knocking out their satellites will win.

.

Thx for the link. As the authors implies, AirSea battle is a highly escalatory strategy. Luckily there are other strategies to deal with a rambunctious China.

If we’re going to go with less carriers, then we need to increase their availability. Perhaps a blue crew/gold crew system to send people home while keeping the carrier forward-deployed is preferrable to bringing ships back to homeports.

If we expect to fight in the Pacific, we need to relearn lost skills, such as mobile drydock deployment in the atolls. We can’t expect to keep the fleet headed back to Pearl all the time…and Pearl may be mined, or bombed out.

Carriers would be an ideal platform to use to deter or combat China with. As a matter of fact Aircraft Carriers are becoming the preferred choice around the world. A several Navies are acquiring them, Including India, Russia, UK, Italy, and CHINA! So, now you want the USN to give up it’s lead????LOL

if China is a paper tiger why do we need carriers LOL.

Newsflash: POTUS Bush hasn’t been POTUS. There’s a new one, POTUS Obama!!!! & his economic, foreign policy, & health care policies speak 4 themselves! You have to get ready for Fall 2014…war on women, gay rights, 54 million on food stamps, a 63.7% labor participation rate, 54 million on snap, 8 trillion added to the national debt, yeah!!!!!! keep up the good work dems!

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