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The Case for Reforming the Navy

January 12, 2010
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All this week along with Capt. Wayne Hughes and others we have been making the case for major structural changes in the Navy establishment, especially its ship procurement practices. With a $171 billion annual budget, they still lament of having too few ships and are apparently headed for a 240 ship fleet. In response to an article posted by Admiral John C. Harvey, Jr, US Navy Fleet Forces Command, Raymond Pritchett of Information Dissemination just went off! And we applaud him for it. Here is Galrahn’s response in part, without comment from us except for our favorite quotes highlighted:

The Navy has bowed to the alter of AEGIS to produce nothing but the largest possible ships of the battle line, will not even tolerate discussions about submarines that aren’t nuclear, and will sacrifice everything to stay with only big deck aircraft carriers – the three most expensive types of vessels in the modern maritime era. The Navy has allowed the Marine Corps to build the most expensive sea traveling tank in history with the EFV – only to realize the requirements of 2 decades ago for the system disappeared about 2 decades ago. Don’t even get me started on the MV-22 and its associated “at all costs” approach to requirements.

The sea service spends more money on aviation than on actual ships, and oh btw, throws every capability that is actually used in the current wars into the NECC – a capability that gets almost no actual support from either the ships or aircraft fleet forces of the Navy. The Navy has almost no ships to fill the role of Nelsons cruisers and doesn’t understand why ship handling skills might not be optimal. The Navy has not adapted at all suggesting they are not concerned at all that the number of ships in the fleet is shrinking. ONRs job is to rapidly field equipment to the fleet, but won’t even let go of Streetfighter despite a law passed in Congress. Oh btw, laws passed in Congress regarding the Navy are casually ignored – without consequence. The Navy puts more people ashore than at sea in a theater of war – then boasts the fact in pride without reflecting the potential associated problematic issues? When piracy breaks out – the constitutional basis for a United States Navy – the US Navy tells the shipping companies to go deal with the problem themselves? Nine years after invading Afghanistan and with a clear understanding that opium trafficking at sea globally is heavily influencing conditions in that country, how effective has the US Navy been in contributing towards that aspect of the war effort? This is the same Navy building a barely armed $600 million, 3,000 ton, shallow draft, speed boat chaser and Navy leadership is worried about doing more with less? The LCS is the personification of “less capability for more money” but Navy leadership lacks the courage to kill a bad implementation of a good idea. Why does the Navy build ships with “littoral” in the name when the Navy has exactly zero concept of operations developed towards littoral warfare? Why does the Marine Corps and Navy have different definitions of the phrase “littoral warfare” if they are the same service?

10 Comments leave one →
  1. elgatoso permalink
    January 13, 2010 12:19 am

    How many admirals are pilots,or asked in another way,what is the percent of pilots in the high echelons of the Navy?

  2. leesea permalink
    January 12, 2010 9:31 pm

    MrsD, or as I have been saying in regards to the latest Pentagonese:

    We can go from Phase Zero to Phase whatever at the crack of a gunshot… or missile hit….or mine explosion…or swarming attack – take you pick. There are many naval leaders with there heads in the water (sand~).

    And are we really to trust tht Rep Gene Taylor is going to tell the Navy the right course of action when he has a backyard shipyard?

  3. Mrs. Davis permalink
    January 12, 2010 4:17 pm

    The problem is personnel, not platforms. And unfortunately the solution usually begins with a defeat in battle.

  4. Distiller permalink
    January 12, 2010 3:25 pm

    Yip, something’s bugging Pritchett here. But he is right. As another factor I’d add the total indifference and ignorance of the beltway caste in things military and geo-strategic that leaves the forces without direction. (Still won’t post at his site, his forced ID thing is bugging ME! :-))

  5. Scott B. permalink
    January 12, 2010 2:58 pm

    Mike Burleson said : “Scott, I know! Know a good lawyer?”

    Why even bother with a lawyer ?

    Just revisit some old posts like this one and enjoy !

  6. Mike Burleson permalink*
    January 12, 2010 2:28 pm

    Scott, I know! Know a good lawyer?

  7. Scott B. permalink
    January 12, 2010 2:25 pm

    “The Navy has bowed to the alter of AEGIS to produce nothing but the largest possible ships of the battle line, will not even tolerate discussions about submarines that aren’t nuclear, and will sacrifice everything to stay with only big deck aircraft carriers – the three most expensive types of vessels in the modern maritime era.”

    Information Dissemination plagiarizing New Wars. Again

  8. Scott B. permalink
    January 12, 2010 2:19 pm

    Raymond Pritchett said : “The LCS is the personification of “less capability for more money” but Navy leadership lacks the courage to kill a bad implementation of a good idea.”

    Mr. Flip-Flop strikes again !!!

  9. Mike Burleson permalink*
    January 12, 2010 1:35 pm

    Chuck, I should let folks know, the Sea Links is the only time I am completely unbiased. No opinions, just the news. But just in the Sea Links!

  10. Chuck Hill permalink
    January 12, 2010 12:53 pm

    Starting to see a confluence of opinion?

    Having read this series Mike posted on Sea Links (great service):

    Pre-WWI Cruiser Development Part I. Pt 2, Pt 3, Pt 4. (Air, Land, and Sea)

    Could not help but notice that at that time the US Navy had virtually all battleships and no cruisers that were not serving as second class battleships. The only other navy in a similar situation was the Russian navy that was soundly defeated by a rising Asian power.

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