CHESTER HAS MOVED!: Navy Not 'Correctly Balanced' For Future, Clark Says

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Navy Not 'Correctly Balanced' For Future, Clark Says

Can't give a link cause it's subscriber-only, but check this out:
The Chief of U.S. Naval Operations, Adm. Vern Clark, said Jan. 11 that the Navy is not "correctly balanced and optimized for the world of the future," and that it faces a three-decade-long effort to fully reform its forces to accommodate national security needs such as anti-terrorism and homeland security. Reiterating his call for a "new strategic construct" for the Navy, Clark said the days of major naval engagements are past - at least for now - and that concerns such as missile defense and close-shore operations are driving structural changes in Navy force sets. "Building a force set that is designed only to deal with ... major combat operations ... is the incorrect approach," he said in the keynote address to the Surface Navy Association's national symposium in Arlington, Va. *** Where once he believed the country should work toward 375 Navy ships, new methods and technologies such as "sea swapping" crews among ships at sea have led Clark to re-evaluate even that number. "We're not walking around with our heads in the sands," he said.
How can we possibly know what the threat will be in 30 years? And it will take that long just to fix the force for the current mission? Perhaps some effort should be spent on fixing the ways that we fix the force. Ships and subs are capital-intensive and all, but 30 years? Wow.


Blogger De said...

Based on the last successful Navy program - Aegis - this is about right. It includes the upfront planning, including scoping out mission requirements and individual ship requirements, design, test (design a little, test a lot - and get it right), then the cycle of actually building a ship, placing it in commission, updating the design as indicated by practical experience, and finally, simply getting enough (expensive)ships of a particular type to have an effective force. This last is a lengthy process because of limited shipyard facilities and more limited budget (how many billion dollar ships can we afford a year?). From start (1970) to effective force (1995), Aegis ran about 25 years. Interestingly, the first Aegis cruiser, CG-47 became operational in 1983 (about 13 years into the program) and is now being retired.

January 12, 2005 at 6:18 AM  
Blogger USMC_Vet said...

Not enough time to justify this comment as it should be but...

There needs to be some transformation for added missions unforseen as a potential workload for USN. However, let's not get too carried away too quickly. Last I checked, our next naval adversary (in the classical sense) looming on the horizon is a little fella named China, flexing his muscle with both submarine purchases and indigeonous development.

While they may have scrapped the idea of a competing carrier force for the forseeable future, that does not mean that they have conceded naval authority challenges.

If the regime in China remains (and there is no cause for hope that it will in my lifetime), hot conflict is inevitable within the 5-12 year timeframe. Maybe sooner, but I don't think they see themselves as battle ready yet.

Naval power will dictate regional victory.

A hot war will surely bring conflict beyond the Taiwan Strait. Think Panama Canal and the Bahamas.

We cannot afford to lose track of a growing and increasingly agressive China while we pursue the war on terrorism. Think of every terror-supporting America hating state. China sells them fiber optics comm, SSM & SAM systems, air defense systems...and we buy flip-flops and plastic bunnies.

China is the primary conventional war power we should be actively preparing to confront. They sure as hell are. To doze off now would be costly eventual invitation, if you will.

Just my two cents...

January 12, 2005 at 9:03 PM  
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