Wednesday, December 12, 2012

CNO's Remarks

CNO Greenert’s public remarks continue to reveal a man who is either delusional, lying, or is the consummate political animal in a military uniform.  The latest comments came at a National Press Club luncheon on 16-Nov-12.  Consider these tidbits.

“We’re not downsizing, we’re growing … The ship count is going up and the number of people is going up.”
Huh?!  From the total manning for the Navy over the last several years is

2005    362,941
2006    350,197
2007    337,547
2008    332,228
2009    329,304
2010    324,400
2011    ?
2012    318,406 (as of Nov 2012)

We’ve already thoroughly discussed the fleet size in previous posts.  It’s not only shrinking, it’s getting weaker as the LCS, MLP, and JHSV replace Aegis cruisers, amphibious ships, and Perry class frigates.  The only way one can count the fleet as increasing in numbers is by counting non-combat ships.  CNO’s statements are misleading, at best.

CNO discussed OpTemp and longer deployments. 
“OpTempo has been a little higher than I expected at this time a year ago.  We need to reconcile how we’re going to continue to support that.”
Adm. John Kirby, Chief of Information for the Navy, has stated that deployments for carrier groups and SSBNs are going to increase to an average of up to eight months, well above historical norms and Navy goals.  If the fleet is increasing in size, as CNO claims, how is it that deployments are getting longer?

CNO is unsure how to support higher OpTempos?  How about building more ships and more useful ships instead of the useless LCS.  OpTempos are going to continue to increase as the LCS replaces retiring ships because it can’t be used for anything worthwhile and it has no endurance so some other higher end ship is going to have to pick up the slack.

On the subject of mine warfare, CNO stated,
“You don't need a mine countermeasures ship and a large helicopter drawing a sled to clear these things out.  Smaller ships [from foreign navies] can become very effective."
What the ... ?!  I thought we had to have a 380 ft, 3000 ton, 45 kt LCS in order to perform mine countermeasures.  That’s what we’ve been told all along.  Now we find out that we don’t need a mine countermeasures ship and helos?!!  Well that would have saved some money if we had known that.  Presumably, now that we know this, we won’t be building anymore LCSs!  Anyone remember the small mine clearing ships called the Avenger class?

Regarding the rash of CO firings, CNO had this to say. 
“I don’t understand why they’re misbehaving but I’m concerned about that.”
The number of CO firings has gone up on his watch.  Where’s the accountability from him?  Perhaps he should fire himself for failing to correct the epidemic of firings.

Seriously, most of what this CNO says is totally at odds with facts and reality.  Is it any wonder why we have an epidemic of leadership firings?  It’s clear the Navy is no longer selecting for integrity, honesty, and character.


  1. "You don't need a mine countermeasures ship and a large helicopter drawing a sled to clear these things out. Smaller ships [from foreign navies] can become very effective."

    That's been the Navy's attitude for what, forever?

    Off the top of my head I can think of two instances where it didn't work out too well..

    Operation Earnest Will, we asked NATO members for help in clearing Iranian mines, and they refused until the Iranians planted mines outside the Gulf.

    Operation Desert Shield/Storm, we had all kinds of help, and yet took two hits on two ships, and couldn't even get past the planning stages of an amphibious invasion of Kuwait because of the mine threat.

    Every one of our potential opponents knows not to get into a straight up fight with us. They also know that we are horribly neglecting any type of MCM capabilities.

    The Iranians aren't using left over mines from WWI anymore, my understanding is they are getting quite sophisticated.

    It is idiotic to depend on other countries for this... and I think shows that we just aren't serious. And haven't been for some time.


    1. Jon, thanks for stopping by. Your comments concerning mine countermeasures are spot on. I shudder to think what a conflict with China will produce as regards mines. There are so many narrow chokepoints in and aroung the South/East China Seas that naval operations will severely impacted. We not only need far more MCM capability than we have but we desperately need the ability to conduct mine clearance under combat conditions which is something we don't currently have at all.

  2. The CNO is trying to put a smiley face on a bad situation. What he should do is go out on a limb and call this what it is – horrible. What’s the worst that can happen to him or other four/three stars? They get retired a little early?

    In the 1940’s the USAF pushed strategic bombing hard, at the expense of the Navy/Marines Corps. The new supercarrier United States was cancelled to buy more B-36s, and a number of high-ranking officers like Dan Gallery and then CNO Denfield resigned in protest or had their careers cut short blasting the decision.

    Turns out nuclear warfare as a first resort wouldn’t work in Korea, Vietnam, etc. And carriers are still valuable platforms. The “Revolt of the Admirals” were right.

    Where is that revolt today? Eight month deployments the norm? It’s not sustainable in the long-term. Ships and sailors will wear out from it, and reenlistment rates will plummet.

    For the good of the Navy Admiral Greenert needs to make an issue about this. Even if it cuts his career a little short.

    A couple of months ago Admiral Harvey sent a message out right before his retirement lamenting the state of the Navy today. A fat lot of good it did; no one, outside of navalists, knew about it. Imagine if he had gotten fired/retired for his outspokenness instead: Everyone would have heard about it.

    The CNO, VCNO, and others need to call this garbage what it is, a hollowing out of the Navy and do it until either funding improves or they get cashiered.

    1. Well, you're absolutely right. While the military exists to serve the public, that doesn't mean the military has to blindly go along with every dumb thing that civilian leadership comes up with. It is the responsibility of military leadership to take a stand when the military is being misused. Where were the mass resignations over the conduct of the Viet Nam war? Where were the protests over Iraq and Afghanistan, if warranted? Where are the current protests and resignations over the hollowing of today's Navy? Where are the protests and resignations over the Navy's JSF, LCS, minimal manning, INSURV failures, etc.?

      To the man of honor, there are worse things than death. Likewise, to the leader with honor, courage, and integrity, there are worse things than loss of a career when going along with idiocy means the loss of lives entrusted to you and the diminishing of national security. Firing off a memo on your way out the retirement door is not the action of an honorable and courageous man.

      Where, indeed, is today's Revolt of the Admirals? Where are the leaders with courage?


Comments will be moderated for posts older than 30 days in order to reduce spam.