Monday, November 20, 2017

Just Say No

How do you fix readiness issues?  According to the Navy, you cut back on maintenance!

“In prepared remarks for the House Armed Services Committee, Vice Adm. Troy Shoemaker testified that some carrier air wings have already cut maintenance back from two shifts to one due to lack of manning amid constant deployments" (1)

Only the Navy could be dumb enough to do this. 

What’s the solution?  Just say NO to constant, worthless deployments.  When the choice is between saying no or creating a hollow force, the choice is easy and obvious.

Just say NO.

Wait, you whine, the military can’t say no.  They have to follow orders.  Right, but they’re not even attempting to say no.  You say no and force the Commander in Chief to publicly order you to conduct a deployment that will jeopardize readiness.  No president is going to do that.  The problem is that the Navy keeps saying yes and then keeps cutting maintenance to enable the ill-advised deployment.

Just say NO.

How bad is the situation?

“As of October, Shoemaker said, only half of all Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets were flyable, and only 31 percent were fully ready to fight and deploy.” (1)

Only 31% of Hornets are combat capable today.  If this isn’t the time to say no, when is?  0%?

Just say NO.



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(1)DoD Buzz website, “Navy Cutting Maintenance, Cannibalizing Planes Amid Readiness Crisis”, Hope Hodge Seck, 9-Nov-2017,


14 comments:

  1. I might have the exactly wrong take on this, on what the responsibilities of the admirals are, but at some point I'd think it would be their duty to say 'NO, we are eating our seed corn and hurting our security'. Leave some stars on the table if need be.

    We are putting sailors at risk with this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You recall the "Revolt of the Admirals" incident?

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    2. That's exactly what I had in mind. I'm not saying it would be easy, but these people have responsibilities to the sailors who serve under their authority. Responsibility goes hand in hand with authority.

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  2. The ones who say no will find someone else in their job and themselves on retirement. Mattis is the one who needs to start saying no.

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    Replies
    1. "Mattis is the one who needs to start saying no."

      That would be ideal but, failing that, do you recall the "Revolt of the Admirals" incident? If not, look it up in Wiki. Those who serve the country have a higher duty than career.

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  3. Just need to look at the recent deployment of 3 carriers at the same time near NK last week, who much had to be scrapped together to make that happen? Was it really necessary? Maybe BUT, what is that going to do with deployments next year? Availability of F18s and SHs? Supposedly, they had to raid depots to make it happen....

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  4. We need a presence/patrol/colonial fleet and a wartime fleet. We sail the crap out of our high end assets - for what?

    Port the battle fleet, focus on maintaining, training, and short mission specific cruises (like show of force off NK).

    Use those useless LCSs and other ships built or leased for the task of the BS partnership missions and pocket lining of foreign contractors.

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  5. Has the old C-1 -C-4 status reporting system been dismantled or transformationalized into uselessness? If not there are some COs that are falsifying reports on their readiness.

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    1. I don't know about the reporting system but yes, clearly, readiness is being falsified. Perhaps "distorted" is a better word. For example, the destroyer COs in 7th fleet undoubtedly reported satisfactory readiness because they had certification waivers. That's not lying, it's more distorting. The key is that the distortions have been accepted by higher authority without any corrections being applied.

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  6. Just when I thought that the issue was limited to Marine aviation. Wow I'm surprised this is not getting more traction considering the party in power. Sounds like an issue no one on either side wants to crow about.

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    1. If you're referring to the readiness issue, that's a military-wide problem. The Army and AF have just as many and just as serious readiness issues. I don't follow and report on them. I've heard that the AF, for example, has a severe pilot shortage that is getting steadily worse.

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    2. McKinsey, the consulting firm, did an analysis of defense expenditures by the OECD countries (advanced economies). I don't have a link, but I do have a pdf, which you can find by googling "McKinsey, Benchmarking Performance in Defense."

      There are a number of interesting conclusions, but to me the most revealing: The average OECD country spends 26% of its defense budget on combat, 11% on combat support, and 63% on admin and other. It would appear that there is a lot of overhead that could be trimmed to find funds for readiness.

      But wait, that's just the average OECD country. The US is much worse: 16% combat, 7% combat support, and 77% admin and other. Last figures I saw, we have more people in the Pentagon today that it took to win World War II.

      I know where we could get lots of funding for improved maintenance, training, and readiness. And if we do the "high-low" procurement model, let the low end do the routine stuff and save the high end for possible peer wars.

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  7. >>Only 31% of Hornets are combat capable today

    Don't forget to decrement that number by the fraction needed for self-tanking.

    1 flyable hornet does not equal 1 hornet available for mission tasking.

    ReplyDelete

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