Saturday, December 21, 2013

Decommissioning Update

You’ll recall that the Navy’s announced list of ships slated to be decommissioned in 2013 included four Aegis cruisers:  Cowpens, Vicksburg, Port Royal, Anzio.  At the time of the announcement we noted that it made no sense to early retire ships that constituted the backbone of the Navy and were not yet at the end of their expected service lives.  It was widely speculated that this might be a political game being played by the President, through the Navy, attempting to force Congress to come up with additional money to “save” the cruisers.

It now appears that that is exactly what happened.  Congress came up with the money in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 and none of the cruisers have been retired as of this date.  It remains to be seen what will happen in 2014.  Regardless, this type of gamesmanship is unworthy of the Navy and their participation in it is unseemly and disappointing.

The next issue, of course, is maintenance.  It appears that none of the four ships is receiving needed maintenance though hard information on that is difficult to come by.  It appears that the ships are being left in limbo and are being allowed to further deteriorate. 

This is just a deplorable situation all the way around.

2 comments:

  1. Four more ships that are going to be decommissioned eventually but USN complains about the fleet getting smaller and smaller. Ok, they aren't good for front line use but nothing else we can use them for? We can't remove AEGIS and transform them a little to be used in some less intensive role?

    Nope, just good to be scrapped....Thank god these idiots now at DoD weren't in charge during WWII because we wouldn't have made it.

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  2. Five more frigates are set to "pay out" in FY2014:

    USS NICHOLAS (FFG 47) 17 Mar 2014
    USS ROBERT G BRADLEY (FFG 49) 28 Mar 2014
    USS DE WERT (FFG 45) 04 Apr 2014
    USS RENTZ (FFG 46) 23 May 2014
    USS HALYBURTON (FFG 40) 08 Sep 2014

    Along with:

    USS AVENGER (MCM 1) 30 Aug 2014
    USS DALLAS (SSN 700) 26 Sep 2014
    USNS BRIDGE (T-AOE 10) 30 Sep 2014
    USS DENVER (LPD 9) 30 Sep 2014

    An orgy of decommissionings follow in FY2015, including seven more frigates and not four, but seven cruisers:

    USS PELELIU (LHA-5)
    USS TAYLOR (FFG-50)
    USS GARY (FFG-51)
    USS MCCLUSKY (FFG-41)
    USS ELROD (FFG-55)
    USS SIMPSON (FFG-56)
    USS VANDERGRIFT (FFG-48)
    USS SAMUEL B ROBERTS (FFG-58)
    USNS RAINIER (T-AOE 7)
    USS LA JOLLA (SSN-701)
    USS COWPENS (CG-63)
    USS ANZIO (CG-68)
    USS VICKSBURG (CG-69)
    USS PORT ROYAL (CG-73)
    USS GETTYSBURG (CG-64)
    USS CHOSIN (CG-65)
    USS HUE CITY (CG-66)
    USS WHIDBY ISLAND (LSD-41)
    USS TORTUGA (LSD-46)

    Another (un)intended result of the gutting of the fleet, is the decimation of the industrial base in Mayport. In 2002, Mayport was home to 21 ships including the USS John F Kennedy (CV-67). At the close of 2013, 18 ships, including three puddle-jumpers (PC's), call Mayport home. Of those, four have been added in just the last few months, with the promise of two more to come, including the USS IWO JIMA (LHD-7) by 2015. But also by 2015, Mayport will lose 10 of those "20" ships, leaving just 10 ships at Mayport . Without a massive influx of additional ships from Norfolk, Mayport will become a backwater port and a prime candidate for closure in the next BRAC round.

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