Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Budget Highlights

Before we start, here’s a brain teaser.  Can you come up with a single sentence that includes all of the following buzzwords and phrases?

  • Transform
  • Platform-centered
  • Capability-centered
  • Distributed
  • Networked
  • Unique maritime influence
  • Maritime domain

I know, you’re thinking that a single sentence with every one of those buzzwords would just be meaningless jibberish.  Well, if you can’t come up with your own sentence, we’ll look at the Navy’s sentence that contained every one of those buzzwords a bit further into the post.

Now, on to the main subject …  From the Highlights of the Department of the Navy FY2014 Budget book (1) come these tidbits.

In FY 2014 six battle force ships will be delivered:
1 SSN
1 DDG
1 LHA
2 JHSV
1 MLP

In FY 2014 sixteen battle force ships will be retired:
7 FFG
3 CG
1 SSN
1 LPD
2 LSD
1 MCM
1 T-AOE

I take it we can all see which way the Navy force level is going?  Moreover, note the disparity in combat power between what’s leaving the force and what’s entering the force.  In addition to numbers, we’re losing a lot of combat force that’s being replaced by non-combat JHSVs and MLPs.  We’re witnessing the hollowing of the Navy.

The book captures the trends in this table (adapted and modified for formatting on this blog).

Figure 19 – DON Battle Force Ships


FY 2012
FY 2013
FY 2014
Aircraft Carriers
11
10
10
Ballistic Missile Subs
14
14
14
Guided Missile (SSGN) Subs
4
4
4
Nuclear Attack Submarines
54
55
55
Surface Combatants
110
101
92
Expeditionary Warfare Ships (Amphibious)
30
31
29
Combat Logistics Ships
31
32
31
Mine Warfare Ships
14
13
12
Support Ships
21
23
26
Battle Force Ships
289
283
273


Note, in particular, the drop in surface combatants from 110 in 2012 to 92 in 2014.  That’s a reduction of 18 combat ships in just a couple years.

The above totals include all of the Reserve Battle Force Ships which accounts for 8 ships in FY12/13 and 7 in FY14.  Yeah, you read that right.  The Navy has a vast reserve fleet of SEVEN ships available to augment the fleet in the event of war.  Our enemies tremble at the might of our reserve forces just waiting to be called forth to battle!

The sharp-eyed among you may have noted that the only category of ship that is increasing in numbers is “Support Ships”, whatever they are.  I’m guessing that’s the JHSV, MLP, and the like but the book doesn’t define what’s included in each category.

How’s that affordable new carrier coming along?  According to the highlights, FY14 includes over half a billion dollars ($588M) for continuing cost overruns on the Ford, CVN-78.  This figure will continue to rise as construction progresses.  Yikes!!

And now, here’s the answer to the opening brain teaser.  The book contained this sentence regarding mine countermeasures (MCM),

“The Navy remains committed to fielding and delivering the future MCM force that will transform the Navy from the platform-centered legacy force to a capability-centered force that is distributed, networked, and able to provide unique maritime influence and access across the entire maritime domain.”

Whew!  That’s a load off my mind.  I was afraid the MCM program was going to be just a bunch of Powerpoint buzzwords but that statement makes it clear that the Navy is serious about MCM. 

That’s enough for now, I suppose.  I wonder if the Navy reads their own printed materials?  Hmmm …….



4 comments:

  1. Sorry, everyone, about the poor appearance of the table. I just couldn't get it to display correctly.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Perhaps the reason for so few reserve ships is the cannibalization program...
    https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&tab=core&id=1c62b3f01af4b97caffcffc6f58c4833&_cview=0
    Bill the Shoe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bill, thanks for that link. I'm not sure if that's meant to be the start of scrapping or some other purpose. All the remaining FFG-7s are being retired in the next year or so, so taking the equipment for use in active ships seems unlikely. Regardless, there's several usable ships that won't be kept as reserve. I don't understand the lack of a reserve fleet. The Navy seems to think we won't get into a war or, if we do, we won't lose any ships. Puzzling.

      Delete
  3. Any idea on which of the 3 CG's will be retired ?

    ReplyDelete