CNO Greenert has proudly established his three tenets, as he calls them, for the Navy. In order, they are:
Hmm … Not very catchy as slogans go but that’s okay. If those principles actually guide the Navy, the Navy would be fairly well served. So, the question becomes does CNO walk it or just talk it?
|CNO - Walking or Talking?|
Warfighting First also refers to priorities. What should the Navy be spending its time and budget on? According to this tenet, it should be all about warfighting. The budget should be directed towards warfighting. Personnel time should be devoted to preparing for war by high quality, realistic training. Fleet activities should be focused on one thing only – warfighting. In reality, the Navy is far more focused on monitoring drinking, conducting sensitivity training, investigating sexual harassment, promoting diversity, pursuing co-ed ships, and providing humanitarian assistance. None of these activities promote warfighting. One, in particular, should be totally dropped from the Navy’s mission list and that is humanitarian assistance. While it sounds harsh, in a time of severely limited budgets and overworked ships, aircraft, and personnel, this is a mission that does not further the Navy’s warfighting readiness. Quite the opposite, in fact. Budget funds that could go towards maintenance are being used to conduct humanitarian missions. Entire carrier or amphibious groups are being devoted to it at enormous daily operating cost. Precious airframe flight hours are being expended on food distribution. Thousands of man-hours are being used to distribute supplies instead of training for war. The Navy simply can’t afford to conduct humanitarian assistance at this time. In a time of limited budgets and resources, warfighting has to be the priority, just as CNO says but fails to abide by.
The litany of problems can go on but this illustrates the current state of readiness of the Navy. The Navy is as unprepared for war as I’ve seen it in my lifetime.
Operate Forward. This tenet is less obvious in intent. I don’t know what CNO means by this but I’ll take it at face value. He’s referring to forward presence, presumably. Show the flag, gunboat diplomacy, policeman on the corner – that type of thing. For a nation with a sense of global responsibility as well as global interests, this too seems obvious. This tenet comes down to two things: numbers and, to a somewhat lesser extent, quality. Forward presence can only be achieved by having a sufficient number of ships forward deployed and that requires a critical number of ships. To a lesser extent, the quality of the ships forward deployed matters. For instance, a few forward deployed LCSs (
) aren’t going to provide nearly the results that a carrier group would. No foreign country, friend or enemy, respects or fears an LCS. Honestly, not knowing what ships are deployed where, I can’t really evaluate CNO’s success in implementing this one. All I can do is note the trend towards a smaller fleet and a less powerful and impressive one and be concerned that we’re not on a good path moving forward. Singapore
|USS Port Royal - Ready for War?|