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Us Navy Ship Number Increase Goal Announced

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#21 Ken Estes

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Posted 26 December 2016 - 0425 AM

And as ever they will be disappointed.



#22 Halidon

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Posted 27 December 2016 - 0933 AM


Of course when a politician announces a nice round ship number as a military necessity, we can be almost certain there is no military justification for such a figure, as war plans generally exceed them. The best example was the Reagan/Lehman 600 Ship Navy, and the only justification I could find was...wait for it...25 per time zone. So a 350 Ship Navy can't even speak to that, being uneven in such distribution.

 
To that, still a meaningful thing about Trump's 350 is that it implies a policy that turns around from reduction to increase. I'm pretty sure Obama would not say something to imply increasing ships as he thinks the US military is already more than big enough.
The Obama administration and his SECNAV Ray Mabus have supported a rather more healthy shipbuilding program than their predecessor s, the fleet has grown during the past 8 years and before this report was to continue growing. And, lest we forget, this report comes from Ray Mabus' Navy not the Trump Transition, Heritage, or any other external group.

Edited by Halidon, 27 December 2016 - 0933 AM.


#23 JasonJ

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Posted 27 December 2016 - 1040 AM

 

 

Of course when a politician announces a nice round ship number as a military necessity, we can be almost certain there is no military justification for such a figure, as war plans generally exceed them. The best example was the Reagan/Lehman 600 Ship Navy, and the only justification I could find was...wait for it...25 per time zone. So a 350 Ship Navy can't even speak to that, being uneven in such distribution.

 
To that, still a meaningful thing about Trump's 350 is that it implies a policy that turns around from reduction to increase. I'm pretty sure Obama would not say something to imply increasing ships as he thinks the US military is already more than big enough.
The Obama administration and his SECNAV Ray Mabus have supported a rather more healthy shipbuilding program than their predecessor s, the fleet has grown during the past 8 years and before this report was to continue growing. And, lest we forget, this report comes from Ray Mabus' Navy not the Trump Transition, Heritage, or any other external group.

 

Well, some things to consider.. Obama's predecessors are Clinton and Bush Jr. and they had their own circumstances, Clinton was in the immediate post-Clod War so a Navy arms reduction was natural. And Bush Jr. was during the first 7 years of the war on terror and Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. There really wasn't need to rebuilt the US Navy. But during Obama's years, CHina started to grow in strength, albeit, really only noteworthy in the second half of Obama's years, but China's naval strength has grown fast, their first carrier, a couple dozen of modern Type 54 frigates, half a dozen of modern Type 54 destroyers with an other half dozen on the way. 10,000 ton Type 55 destroyers now getting into production, and of course, the numerous artificial islands in the South China Sea including three large air bases. And all this coming together with aggressive territorial claims. The current USN, USMC, and Air Force is still considerably stronger than the gains China has made so far, but there is nothing equivalent to China's rapid build up during Clinton and Bush Jr. So one would expect from the Obama administration in at least his least year of 2016 a decision to respond in a corresponding way to China's naval build-up.

 

Looking at the historical number of ships in the US Navy, and even though the total number of ships went up and down and finished low (285, 288, 284, 287, 285, 289, 271, 275) it probably could be argued that US Navy strength still went up during the Obama years since the biggest change was the number reduction and removal of the frigates with more destroyers coming into service. I suppose the US Navy planned on more LCS being in service to keep the total number of ships around 285 rather then dipping into the 270s. There is probably a stated goal of necessary number of ships somewhere prior to the 355 announcement but I haven't had luck in coming by it.

 

But in any case, overall, I can't say the 275 (or 308 depending on how it's being counted) in 2016 matches in a corresponding way to China's growth. Although I guess technically, the new USN goal to have 355 ships is still under Obama, but maybe a little sooner might have been better, but I suppose the UN tribunal started by the Philippines against China regarding the South China Sea  would have had to run it's course first so as to have a sincere approach on the UN tribunal case. Procedures started in 2013 and with finally the decision made in July 2016 where the Philippines' case won against China who refused to show up for all of the proceedings throughout. I guess the good thing about that slow approach is that it shows that other means have really been tried but to of no avail. So announcing a decision to boost the USN to 355 6 months after the tribunal decision is reasonable I suppose. If the USN was to maintain a fleet size of about 285 (or about 310) ships in the next 10 years, the JMSDF would become more critical in helping the US keeping China in check as the US wants to operate all around the globe and have some ships in reserve. But if the USN can increase its size, then it reassures it's absolute dominance and the JMSDF will not be needed so much and can just stick to a mostly support role in the grand scheme of things.



#24 DB

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 1750 PM

So just how long does a change in fleet numbers (upwards) follow the decision to build up? In other words,m id the Obama administration actually decide to increase numbers, or did they inherit a decision made previously? (If it was a speed typical of the way the UK works, such a decision would have probably been made in the Reagan era to start having effect now).



#25 Ken Estes

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 1850 PM

Quite right. The cycle for weapons procurement and delivery now exceeds even a two-term president's time in charge, hence all major systems remain derived. But, just as economic news falls upon the guy in charge, so do the merits and demerits of the Mil-Ind Complex.



#26 tankerwanabe

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 1920 PM

Is there enough man-power to crew the increase in ships?

#27 DB

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 2222 PM

There won't be if you count the people employed now. It's not as if the military keeps people painting rocks and peeling potatoes waiting for a change of direction any more - that's conscription era stuff.

 

Whilst "enlisted" numbers won't be there, I think that they're much less important than the officer and senior NCO/Warrant officer numbers. You can't just make those up in a year or two, although I suppose it's possible that there may be a large number of people whose promotions are blocked due to lack of posts for them.



#28 Halidon

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 1039 AM

So just how long does a change in fleet numbers (upwards) follow the decision to build up? In other words,m id the Obama administration actually decide to increase numbers, or did they inherit a decision made previously? (If it was a speed typical of the way the UK works, such a decision would have probably been made in the Reagan era to start having effect now).

It's not just the current size of the fleet at any given moment which determines the real-time health of the Navy. The type, age, and condition of the individual ships matter, as does what ships are about to be retired and which are on order/under construction at the moment. CVN-78, for example, has been built primarily during the Obama administration and won't be in-service before Trump takes office, but it was ordered during the Bush administration and the decisions about when and how to build it very much rest on the Bush DoD. The last of the Frigates retired while Obama was in office, but the decisions to de-fang them and to move forward without a direct replacement occurred in the early 2000s and 90s. Trump and whoever follows him (here's hoping anyway) will have ships ordered under Obama's watch entering the fleet, and will (hopefully) order ships their successors will inherit.

The Obama administration has set the goal for the final size of the fleet higher (twice, counting this new 355 report), ordered and constructed more ships, and has done a better job keeping the shipbuilding industry healthy than his two predecessors.

#29 JasonJ

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 0900 AM

11 Ticonderogas to retire throughout the 2020s.

 

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Navy’s surface fleet will start losing some its biggest guns in 2020 at a rate of two per year.

In 2020, the cruisers Mobile Bay and Bunker Hill will reach their service life of 35 years and are slated for decommissioning. But despite the age of the hulls, some observers are loathe to see the cruisers go, especially given that there is no immediate replacement for the 567-foot ship that bristles with 122 vertical launch missile tubes and two 5-inch guns.

“I think the right idea is to put them into a [Service Life Extension Program] and keep them in the fleet,” said Jerry Hendrix, a retired Navy captain and analyst with the Center for a New American Security. “It’s cheaper to do that than a new build.

“Furthermore you have 122 VLS tubes in there, and if you are replacing these with the [Arleigh Burke-class destroyers] you get a 25 percent decrease in the number of cells. We really need those tubes. We need the mass — we need the capacity.”

According to the Navy’s 30-year shipbuilding plan, the Navy will continue to have between 98 and 100 large surface combatants in the fleet during the years the cruisers are decommissioning. The Navy is systematically putting its newest 11 cruisers in layup to modernize them and extend their service life into the late 2030s. But a decommissioning schedule obtained by Defense News shows the oldest 11 cruisers will be out of the fleet by the end of 2026.

The rest of the schedule is as follows: Antietam and Leyte Gulf in 2021; San Jacinto and Lake Champlain in 2022; Philippine Sea and Princeton in 2024; Normandy and Monterey in 2025; and Chancellorsville in 2026.

Bryan McGrath, an analyst and consultant who runs The FerryBridge Group, said decommissioning the cruisers would hurt the surface Navy and that putting them in a Service Life Extension Program is a better alternative.

“It is a sign of the Navy’s budget problem,” McGrath said. “In order to put forward a balanced program of modernization, maintenance, acquisition, personnel and everything else the Navy has to pay for: It’s not skin; it’s not fat; it’s not muscle; they’re cutting into bone now.”

 

“The administration can talk out of one side of its mouth about the need for a 350-ship Navy, and then out of the other side they are talking about mortgaging current capacity to meet present needs. It’s sad, its irresponsible and it needs to stop.”

The cruisers, however, were only planned for 35 years, and the ships in the fleet have been ridden hard for decades. The aluminum superstructure, for example, has constantly had cracking issues.

355 ships, missile tubes

What’s unclear is what effect decommissioning the oldest cruisers would have on the Navy’s stated, but unfunded, goal of 355 ships.

None of the Navy’s force structure assessments that get the fleet to 355 ships requires the service keeps the 11 oldest cruisers in the fleet past their service life date, according to a source knowledgeable of the Navy’s shipbuilding program and who spoke on background.

What is clear is that decommissioning cruisers has been politically tricky for the Navy for years.

In 2012 and in 2013, the Obama administration proposed decommissioning nine of the Navy’s cruisers as a cost-saving measure but was repeatedly blocked by Congress — an effort led by then-Rep. Randy Forbes, a Republican from Virginia. But the cruisers the Navy planned to decommission had about a decade of service life remaining, and the cruisers now being planned for decommissioning are all up against their sell-by dates.

The Navy is currently executing what’s known as the 2-4-6 plan, a compromise hashed out between Congress and the Navy to keep at least 11 cruisers in the fleet to run shotgun on the air defense of the 11 carriers in the fleet into the 2040s.

The 2-4-6 plan calls for two ships at a time to be sidelined for no longer than four years and that no more than six ships will be in this inactive status at one time.

In a statement to Defense News, the Navy said the current decommissioning plan abides by the congressionally mandated 2-4-6 plan and keeps the Navy within its budget.

“The cruiser modernization plan provides the most effective balance of war-fighting requirements, legislation and fiscal constraints,” said Lt. Seth Clarke, a Navy spokesman.

According to the schedule obtained by Defense News, the last cruiser, the Cape St. George, would leave the fleet in 2038, with 40 years in active service, accounting for the four-plus years it will have spent in what’s known has “phased modernization.”

As to the issue with reduced number of VLS tubes, a one-for-one swap of a cruiser with a new destroyer would reduce the Navy’s available VLS real estate by nearly 300 tubes. But what’s unclear is how, for example, the new Virginia Payload Module and a new guided-missile frigate program might offset the reduced number of cells currently being toted around by cruisers.

What is crystal clear is that there is no shortage of demand for the Navy’s VLS capability, especially as missions such as ballistic missile defense become increasingly important and put an ever-larger strain on the Navy’s surface ships.

The Navy currently has 34 ballistic missile defense-capable ships (32 if you subtract the two ships that are currently inoperable due to collisions over the summer). The Navy proposes to keep upgrading and extending the life of the destroyers in its inventory to cover its BMD missions, which can impact the Navy’s ability to use the ship in multiple roles because it has to stay in a certain location to ensure it can have a good shot at a ballistic missile shot by North Korea or Iran.

https://www.defensen...atants-in-2020/



#30 Nobu

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 1020 AM

The Japanese Navy, reduced to the support/logistical mission in Japanese home waters. Literally carrying water for the USN.

 

From the Imperial Japanese Navy to the Herbivore Navy in 2.5 generations. It has come to this.


Edited by Nobu, 12 October 2017 - 1021 AM.


#31 JasonJ

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 1041 AM

The Japanese Navy, reduced to the support/logistical mission in Japanese home waters. Literally carrying water for the USN.

 

From the Imperial Japanese Navy to the Herbivore Navy in 2.5 generations. It has come to this.

 

ASW, BMD, and Soryu subs too you know.



#32 rmgill

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 1206 PM

There won't be if you count the people employed now. It's not as if the military keeps people painting rocks and peeling potatoes waiting for a change of direction any more - that's conscription era stuff.

 

No, now they have Consideration for Others and SHARP training ad infinitum. 



#33 Ken Estes

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 1625 PM

Ho hum. It remains Amateur Hour in the Wrong Washington. Do try to sleep it off.



#34 ScottBrim

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 0202 AM

Ho hum. It remains Amateur Hour in the Wrong Washington. Do try to sleep it off.

 

Ken, if the Cascadia Fault lets loose with The Big One at 02:00 in the morning, all you Puget Sounders will be having quite a few more headaches to deal with in addition to the ones you may have had before you turned in.  

 

In other news, my youngest son has now been offered career status. My advice to him is that he hasn't yet done all the useful things he can do in the USMC, and that he should stay on through another contract while getting the kind of diverse experience that will serve him well whatever he decides to do next in life.






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