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Mitt Romneys Navy.

Navy1960

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The current level of ships, 285 in fiscal 2011, is actually not even the lowest since 1916. The historical list shows that the lowest ship force was reached during the Bush administration, when the number of ships fell to 278 in 2007. Given the change over time in the composition of the naval force, that probably is the most relevant comparison — and the trend line is up.

Romney’s pledge to build 15 more ships per year, including three submarines, also is less than meets the eye. The current Navy plan is to build 34 ships over the next four years — 10 in 2013 — including seven submarines as part of its goal to reach at least 300 ships by 2019. (The Congressional Budget Office, however, has raised questions about whether this plan is feasible.)
Mitt Romney’s claim that the Navy is as small as in 1916 - The Washington Post

A couple of things come to mind here, one is a common misconception that building more ships per year equals a massive Fleet size. It does not, in fact according to John Lehman former Navy Sec. and one of the architects of Mitt Romneys plan here it will equate to an additional Carrier Battle Group and Air Wing, which seems to make sense if one understands that at least One Carrier is always out of service for various reasons , not the least of which is repairs that are always scheduled. The other thing that is overlooked here is the age of the current FFG-7 frigates which will soon be retired. So given these factors a plan to restore these and keep an additional Carrier Battle Group at Sea makes sense. While yes, it makes no sense at all to ask the Americans to cut programs and yet at the same time increase spending to make this happen, it does make sense to increase revenue in whatever method you wish to increase it in order to make your plans come to reality without impacting the budget. Another thing overlooked here is this, shipbuilding in this nation employs a great many Americans as well as the many industries that support it, such as Steel, Electronics, and hundreds of others. The article in The Post seems to be caught up in numbers and capability of current Naval assests rather than age and economic impact as well as force projection. For example, the older a ship is, the more it takes to keep that ship effective and at Sea, in terms of dollars and manpower, etc. I admit when I first heard of this plan by Mitt Romney it made little sense, however if the Navy builds these ships with a keen eye on keeping costs down, and for once pays attention not to the need of the contractors , but to the need of the Navy then it makes sense.
 

rightwinger

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The numbers are irrelevant. Especially in a historical context

It all comes down to threat, mission and battle readiness

Newer ships have greater range, require less support and have much more lethality. It should be expected that we have a smaller fleet....which does not necesarily correlate to a weaker fleet
 
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Navy1960

Navy1960

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The numbers are irrelevant. Especially in a historical context

It all comes down to threat, mission and battle readiness

Newer ships have greater range, require less support and have much more lethality. It should be expected that we have a smaller fleet....which does not necesarily correlate to a weaker fleet

That's just the point though, it makes perfect sense to advocate for replacing ships such as the FFG -7 Class OHP, which is approaching 30 years, as well as ships like the USS Enterprise which is over 45 years old and set to retire. There comes a time in a ships life-cycle where it becomes less lethal and technology catches up to it, as well as the costs to keep it at Sea are higher in the long term than those to replace it. My point here is that some see the sheer number of ships and think that equals a massive Fleet and it does not. Heres another thing that people seem to discount, no matter how lethal a ship is once it is at the bottom of the ocean it is no longer lethal, and you can have the best Missile platform ever devised but if you only have a few and all those are gone , you have no more Missile platforms. My feelings are that a fleet should consist of ships that meet the needs of the Fleet regardless of size, and should not only be lethal , but also be cost effective. Thats the rub here RW, I suspect with DODs spending habits in the last 15 years, the word cost effective has little meaning, especially when you look at the F-35 and what a spending cow that program is.
 

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I agree that the numbers aren't too important in this case. A more advanced and powerful vessel equipped with advanced over the horizon weaponry could fill the position of six older and less capable ships. Also, the United States Navy has more battle tonnage than the next thirteen navies combined. I don't think Mitt needs to press this issue too strongly.
 

rightwinger

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The numbers are irrelevant. Especially in a historical context

It all comes down to threat, mission and battle readiness

Newer ships have greater range, require less support and have much more lethality. It should be expected that we have a smaller fleet....which does not necesarily correlate to a weaker fleet

That's just the point though, it makes perfect sense to advocate for replacing ships such as the FFG -7 Class OHP, which is approaching 30 years, as well as ships like the USS Enterprise which is over 45 years old and set to retire. There comes a time in a ships life-cycle where it becomes less lethal and technology catches up to it, as well as the costs to keep it at Sea are higher in the long term than those to replace it. My point here is that some see the sheer number of ships and think that equals a massive Fleet and it does not. Heres another thing that people seem to discount, no matter how lethal a ship is once it is at the bottom of the ocean it is no longer lethal, and you can have the best Missile platform ever devised but if you only have a few and all those are gone , you have no more Missile platforms. My feelings are that a fleet should consist of ships that meet the needs of the Fleet regardless of size, and should not only be lethal , but also be cost effective. Thats the rub here RW, I suspect with DODs spending habits in the last 15 years, the word cost effective has little meaning, especially when you look at the F-35 and what a spending cow that program is.

With todays missile technology, many of our ships are just targets anyway. In a real shooting war (which hasn't happened to the US in over 65 years), older ships would not last too long as was seen in the Falklands.

Ships need to be smaller, faster and more stealthy
 
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Navy1960

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The numbers are irrelevant. Especially in a historical context

It all comes down to threat, mission and battle readiness

Newer ships have greater range, require less support and have much more lethality. It should be expected that we have a smaller fleet....which does not necesarily correlate to a weaker fleet

That's just the point though, it makes perfect sense to advocate for replacing ships such as the FFG -7 Class OHP, which is approaching 30 years, as well as ships like the USS Enterprise which is over 45 years old and set to retire. There comes a time in a ships life-cycle where it becomes less lethal and technology catches up to it, as well as the costs to keep it at Sea are higher in the long term than those to replace it. My point here is that some see the sheer number of ships and think that equals a massive Fleet and it does not. Heres another thing that people seem to discount, no matter how lethal a ship is once it is at the bottom of the ocean it is no longer lethal, and you can have the best Missile platform ever devised but if you only have a few and all those are gone , you have no more Missile platforms. My feelings are that a fleet should consist of ships that meet the needs of the Fleet regardless of size, and should not only be lethal , but also be cost effective. Thats the rub here RW, I suspect with DODs spending habits in the last 15 years, the word cost effective has little meaning, especially when you look at the F-35 and what a spending cow that program is.

With todays missile technology, many of our ships are just targets anyway. In a real shooting war (which hasn't happened to the US in over 65 years), older ships would not last too long as was seen in the Falklands.

Ships need to be smaller, faster and more stealthy

Which makes a good case for a smaller , yet faster, and cheaper Ship that can be built in numbers with stealth technology. Heres a good example.

The Sa’ar 5 only requires a crew of 71, costs far less to buy, support, and operate. Its smaller size makes it more difficult to target and its smaller draft allows it to operate in shallow waters. These three "Israeli" ships are built by Ingalls shipyard in Mississippi in 1995, the same location where the current Aegis destroyers are made. As a result, politicians should have no objections to building three Sa'ar frigates each year in place of one fewer Aegis DD-51 destroyer. The Navy would not need billions of dollars to develop and test these frigates, it could simply place an order this year for a Sa'ar design fitted with current Navy communications systems.
21st CENTURY FRIGATES TODAY

As a suggestion the Navy could build an updated version of a ship like this rather than a bloated LCS, for shallow waters and end up with a mixed fleet which is larger, more lethal and more cost effective and still have room for an additional Carrier Battle Group.
 

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It's nice that Mitt has developed such a great love for the US Navy.

Too bad he didn't love it all that much when he COULD have served in it on Yankee Station.
 

Sallow

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The numbers are irrelevant. Especially in a historical context

It all comes down to threat, mission and battle readiness

Newer ships have greater range, require less support and have much more lethality. It should be expected that we have a smaller fleet....which does not necesarily correlate to a weaker fleet

That's just the point though, it makes perfect sense to advocate for replacing ships such as the FFG -7 Class OHP, which is approaching 30 years, as well as ships like the USS Enterprise which is over 45 years old and set to retire. There comes a time in a ships life-cycle where it becomes less lethal and technology catches up to it, as well as the costs to keep it at Sea are higher in the long term than those to replace it. My point here is that some see the sheer number of ships and think that equals a massive Fleet and it does not. Heres another thing that people seem to discount, no matter how lethal a ship is once it is at the bottom of the ocean it is no longer lethal, and you can have the best Missile platform ever devised but if you only have a few and all those are gone , you have no more Missile platforms. My feelings are that a fleet should consist of ships that meet the needs of the Fleet regardless of size, and should not only be lethal , but also be cost effective. Thats the rub here RW, I suspect with DODs spending habits in the last 15 years, the word cost effective has little meaning, especially when you look at the F-35 and what a spending cow that program is.

Romney's advocating for building 15 ships a year and submarines.

Seriously?

15 ships is ALOT..and submarines are basically obsolete.
 
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Navy1960

Navy1960

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The numbers are irrelevant. Especially in a historical context

It all comes down to threat, mission and battle readiness

Newer ships have greater range, require less support and have much more lethality. It should be expected that we have a smaller fleet....which does not necesarily correlate to a weaker fleet

That's just the point though, it makes perfect sense to advocate for replacing ships such as the FFG -7 Class OHP, which is approaching 30 years, as well as ships like the USS Enterprise which is over 45 years old and set to retire. There comes a time in a ships life-cycle where it becomes less lethal and technology catches up to it, as well as the costs to keep it at Sea are higher in the long term than those to replace it. My point here is that some see the sheer number of ships and think that equals a massive Fleet and it does not. Heres another thing that people seem to discount, no matter how lethal a ship is once it is at the bottom of the ocean it is no longer lethal, and you can have the best Missile platform ever devised but if you only have a few and all those are gone , you have no more Missile platforms. My feelings are that a fleet should consist of ships that meet the needs of the Fleet regardless of size, and should not only be lethal , but also be cost effective. Thats the rub here RW, I suspect with DODs spending habits in the last 15 years, the word cost effective has little meaning, especially when you look at the F-35 and what a spending cow that program is.

Romney's advocating for building 15 ships a year and submarines.

Seriously?

15 ships is ALOT..and submarines are basically obsolete.

Actually it's not , it's a little more than we are building right now, and as the current plan calls for a Fleet size of 313 Ships and Mitt Romneys plan calls for a Fleet size of 350 it represents an increase of one Carrier Battle Group and one Carrier Air Wing. As for being obsolete, submarines are no where near obsolete, while yes it's true that submarines are not performing the same mission they did during the cold war , if you looked you will find that large number of our long range strikes now are performed by submarines and several of the older Ohio class Ballistic Missile submarines have been restasked to perform new missions that are more suited to today. While there is little need to spend large sums of money on ships in my humble opinion that have a Cold War type stance that have cost large sums of money and use the "put all our eggs in one basket" so to speak, there is a large need to replace older ships with smaller , faster and more lethal, and cost effective ships and yes submarines as well. It's not my contention at all, to suggest we do this at the expense of programs that Americans enjoy, and to suggest we cut taxes and also do this is wreckless to say the least. In fact, it makes more sense that if this is your goal to increase the size of the Fleet, and replace those ships that need it, and I happen to agree with that, then pay for it, and not only that, make sure when you do, your getting what you asked for in terms of dollars and getting it on time.
 
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Oldguy

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I could support a larger Navy. In fact, a MUCH larger Navy as I believe it is the basic, absolutely essential military force.

However, I would not support paying for it with more borrowed dollars.

Here's a suggestion to raise money for expanding the fleet:

1. Reduce the size of the Active Duty Army to little more than a rapid reaction force and Special Operations, but upgrade the National Guard and Reserves to much more rapidly mobilized BCT's which could fall in on pre-positioned equipment and be gone in days, rather than weeks or months.

2. Eliminate every mission of the Air Force except aerial warfare.

3. Eliminate the Marine Corps totally. We don't need two ground combat forces.

4. Cut out about 3/4 of the General or Flag officer slots. We have far too many senior officers running around doing nothing.

5. Close the service academies. They're no longer producing combat leaders, but managers and we have enough of them. ROTC and OCS can do a better job.
 

JakeStarkey

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Do we need another Carrier Battle Group and Carrier Air Wing?

Are properly funding R&D in stealth technology and over the horizon delivery and destruction capability?

Do we really need a Marine Corps?

Should the forces be unified into one armed force with air, naval, and ground branches?

And guys? Thanks for a thoughtful conversation.
 

whitehall

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The current level of ships, 285 in fiscal 2011, is actually not even the lowest since 1916. The historical list shows that the lowest ship force was reached during the Bush administration, when the number of ships fell to 278 in 2007. Given the change over time in the composition of the naval force, that probably is the most relevant comparison — and the trend line is up.

Romney’s pledge to build 15 more ships per year, including three submarines, also is less than meets the eye. The current Navy plan is to build 34 ships over the next four years — 10 in 2013 — including seven submarines as part of its goal to reach at least 300 ships by 2019. (The Congressional Budget Office, however, has raised questions about whether this plan is feasible.)
Mitt Romney’s claim that the Navy is as small as in 1916 - The Washington Post

A couple of things come to mind here, one is a common misconception that building more ships per year equals a massive Fleet size. It does not, in fact according to John Lehman former Navy Sec. and one of the architects of Mitt Romneys plan here it will equate to an additional Carrier Battle Group and Air Wing, which seems to make sense if one understands that at least One Carrier is always out of service for various reasons , not the least of which is repairs that are always scheduled. The other thing that is overlooked here is the age of the current FFG-7 frigates which will soon be retired. So given these factors a plan to restore these and keep an additional Carrier Battle Group at Sea makes sense. While yes, it makes no sense at all to ask the Americans to cut programs and yet at the same time increase spending to make this happen, it does make sense to increase revenue in whatever method you wish to increase it in order to make your plans come to reality without impacting the budget. Another thing overlooked here is this, shipbuilding in this nation employs a great many Americans as well as the many industries that support it, such as Steel, Electronics, and hundreds of others. The article in The Post seems to be caught up in numbers and capability of current Naval assests rather than age and economic impact as well as force projection. For example, the older a ship is, the more it takes to keep that ship effective and at Sea, in terms of dollars and manpower, etc. I admit when I first heard of this plan by Mitt Romney it made little sense, however if the Navy builds these ships with a keen eye on keeping costs down, and for once pays attention not to the need of the contractors , but to the need of the Navy then it makes sense.

Scuse me Navy 1960 but maybe you are still living in the past. In case you didn't notice the US is the only super power left in the world and the current threat on the ocean is by jihad extremists driving suicide speedboats. How many Carriers do we need? One could argue that the days of a big surface Navy are over and big ships offer nothing but targets for missile attacks and a single boomer submarine could annihilate an entire country. The Navy is a lot of things including "a global force for good" but it is not an employment agency.
 

Oldguy

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Do we need another Carrier Battle Group and Carrier Air Wing?

Yes. In fact, I think we need about double the number we have now.

Are properly funding R&D in stealth technology and over the horizon delivery and destruction capability?

Probably, but we'll never know for sure because a lot of that funding is hidden, and rightfully so.

Do we really need a Marine Corps?

No. But, you'll never get that through Congress.

Should the forces be unified into one armed force with air, naval, and ground branches?

Maybe. It has it's points and counterpoints.
 
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Navy1960

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The Navy’s FY2013 30-year (FY2013-FY2042) shipbuilding plan, which was submitted to
Congress on March 28, 2012 (more than a month after the submission of the FY2013 budget on
February 13, 2012), does not include enough ships to fully support all elements of the Navy’s
310-316 ship goal over the long run. The Navy projects that the fleet would remain below 310
ships during the entire 30-year period, and experience shortfalls at various points in ballistic
missile submarines, cruisers-destroyers, attack submarines, and amphibious ships. The projected
cruiser-destroyer and attack submarine shortfalls are smaller than they were projected to be under
the FY2012 30-year (FY2012-FY2041) shipbuilding plan, due in part to a reduction in the
cruiser-destroyer force-level goal and the insertion of additional destroyers and attack submarines
into the FY2013 30-year plan.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/RL32665.pdf

Good read, there, and interesting comments, I happened to read an article in Navytimes this morning about a proposal for a reduction in Flag Officers and the sheer number of redundant missions that different services perform. As everyone is aware that has ever been around Military spending for more than 5 seconds, they soon learn, that a lot of it is more a spending free for all that has little to do with whats best for the warfighter, or the service, and more to do with contractor profit. I have always felt that keeping a lethal 350 plus ship Navy was not a hard task to accomplish if it was the Navy that dictated the costs, and the construction schedules as well as the types of ships it needs to congress rather than being told what it needs by congress. That is how you end up with a Navy that will has ships that cost billions and yet still have a shortage of ships to meet the missions and let others age to the point where it cost additional billions to replace them.

On another note, after reading the comments about combined missions, Im reminded of the recent debacle on the Service Uniforms. The Army invested 4 billion dollars trying to develop what it called the ACU before testing was complete, after having invested this sum of money into this they were deemed inferior to the Chinese uniform and are going to be replaced, the Air Force is no different , they fielded the airmen battle uniform "tiger stripes" if you will, in 2007 and and they were soon found to have the same problem and now the Air Force has ordered that Airmen must wear the Army Multi-Cam. The Navy "aquacam" uniform wll needless to say the only thing thats going to hide is grease spots and thats why they developed a new combat uniform for Seals and support staff, then along comes the Marines who complained that it was too close to the Marine Corp MARPAT and now the Navy is expending additional dollars developing a 3rd rendition of it's desert combat uniform for the SpecWar and support staff and there are calls for dumping the "aquacam" for a woodland camo. If you read this you are starting to get the picture of what a mess it all actually is, when in fact the GAO has made it clear that the Marine Corp MARPAT would be perfectly suited for all services.
 
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Navy1960

Navy1960

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The current level of ships, 285 in fiscal 2011, is actually not even the lowest since 1916. The historical list shows that the lowest ship force was reached during the Bush administration, when the number of ships fell to 278 in 2007. Given the change over time in the composition of the naval force, that probably is the most relevant comparison — and the trend line is up.

Romney’s pledge to build 15 more ships per year, including three submarines, also is less than meets the eye. The current Navy plan is to build 34 ships over the next four years — 10 in 2013 — including seven submarines as part of its goal to reach at least 300 ships by 2019. (The Congressional Budget Office, however, has raised questions about whether this plan is feasible.)
Mitt Romney’s claim that the Navy is as small as in 1916 - The Washington Post

A couple of things come to mind here, one is a common misconception that building more ships per year equals a massive Fleet size. It does not, in fact according to John Lehman former Navy Sec. and one of the architects of Mitt Romneys plan here it will equate to an additional Carrier Battle Group and Air Wing, which seems to make sense if one understands that at least One Carrier is always out of service for various reasons , not the least of which is repairs that are always scheduled. The other thing that is overlooked here is the age of the current FFG-7 frigates which will soon be retired. So given these factors a plan to restore these and keep an additional Carrier Battle Group at Sea makes sense. While yes, it makes no sense at all to ask the Americans to cut programs and yet at the same time increase spending to make this happen, it does make sense to increase revenue in whatever method you wish to increase it in order to make your plans come to reality without impacting the budget. Another thing overlooked here is this, shipbuilding in this nation employs a great many Americans as well as the many industries that support it, such as Steel, Electronics, and hundreds of others. The article in The Post seems to be caught up in numbers and capability of current Naval assests rather than age and economic impact as well as force projection. For example, the older a ship is, the more it takes to keep that ship effective and at Sea, in terms of dollars and manpower, etc. I admit when I first heard of this plan by Mitt Romney it made little sense, however if the Navy builds these ships with a keen eye on keeping costs down, and for once pays attention not to the need of the contractors , but to the need of the Navy then it makes sense.

Scuse me Navy 1960 but maybe you are still living in the past. In case you didn't notice the US is the only super power left in the world and the current threat on the ocean is by jihad extremists driving suicide speedboats. How many Carriers do we need? One could argue that the days of a big surface Navy are over and big ships offer nothing but targets for missile attacks and a single boomer submarine could annihilate an entire country. The Navy is a lot of things including "a global force for good" but it is not an employment agency.

Right now we have 10 Carrier Battle groups white, and well my posting is not suggesting we do soemthing like this wrecklessly and of course the main reason you do something like this is not as a "jobs" program, however when you do build ships, I was suggesting it does create many jobs, not only in the shipyards themselves. If you have not noticed the last Ohio Class Submarine "Boomer" was launched in 1996 the first one the USS Ohio and 3 others have been converted to SSGN's and are no longer "Boomers" in the pure sense of the word. I was suggesting however that a newer and more modern Navy is a good thing, not a bad thing, and one that is larger and more cost effective is also a good thing, the fact that it creates jobs while not a driving factor , it does remain a benefit. I am not suggesting we run off and start building ships for the Navy the way we have been without paying for them and still further buying ships that are money pits , but rather ones that do the job, and meet the needs of the service and are fully paid for. Now having said this, it makes the case for not cutting taxes doesn't it ? if one plans to do such a thing as well as trim the budget and be a good steward of the economy.
 
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