ComNavOps has been harping relentlessly on the theme that the Navy has lost its warfighting mentality and capability, that we no longer train effectively for warfighting
And now, here’s proof from some former ship captains and former Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work as described in a Breaking Defense article (1).
“The fleet, argues former Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work, is demonstrating presence at the expense of training for high-intensity warfighting.”
The Navy’s mission is warfighting, not presence and DepSecDef Work is confirming that the Navy has lost its warfighting focus, just as ComNavOps has been saying all along.
“When officers join the
’s elite Halsey Group that studies high intensity
warfighting, Work said, they need remedial briefings on the full capabilities
of the very systems they’ve been using at sea.” Naval War College
Remedial briefings on the systems they’ve been using and are supposedly proficient with?! That’s more proof of loss of focus.
ComNavOps has also harped on the unrealistic and nearly worthless training that the Navy provides. Well, here’s a former ship captain’s take on that.
“Every time a ship gets prepared to do a SM-3 shot, quite literally, a team of rocket scientists comes on board and they groom the system,” Eyer [retired Capt. Kevin Eyer, former skipper of the cruisers Shiloh, Chancellorsville, and Thomas Gates] said.”
Where’s the value in having a team of experts come on board and prepare a ship for a test? What does that tell us about the state of the weapon system or the crew’s training? Nothing! That team of experts is not going to be on board when war comes.
More on unrealistic training from Capt. Gerry Roncolato, who commanded the destroyer Sullivans and Destroyer Squadron 26.
“… when was the last time we had an unconstrained ASW exercise, (where) you go with an unalerted sub, an unalerted surface ship, you’re given a mission, you can fire as many torpedoes as you have, you have to win. We don’t do that.”
“Same thing goes for air defense exercise that is unconstrained and unalerted — we don’t do it,”
You’ll recall that I’ve described the fleet wide degradation of the Aegis system? Here’s part of the reason why.
“The Navy used to have a special Aegis training command to help sailors learn how to get the most out of the complex system, recalled retired Vice Adm. Peter Daly. That command is gone now, and key training for the task has been truncated.”
ComNavOps has called for greater live fire exercises.
“Live-fire training has also been cut back, Daly said … We’ve done things in the fleet like eliminate the proficiency missile firings.”
Loss of focus on the main mission is further addressed by Work.
“Since 1991, Work said, the Department of Defense evolved into a “Department of Shaping,” more concerned with “shaping” the environment to avoid a war than preparing to fight a war.”
There’s nothing wrong with trying to prevent a war but not at the expense of being prepared to fight one because, ultimately, wars start despite our best efforts to avoid them.
and Germany didn’t care about our peace efforts
and Japan and Russia are shaping up to be the same. We can promote peace but we’d better be
prepared for war – and we’re not. China
Work goes on to nicely sum up,
“All ready forces were committed to
, Iraq , or counterterrorism and partnership exercises around the world, with
no surge force
in reserve and ready to react instantly to aggression. Afghanistan
“We could accept that in a period with no great power competition,” Work said, but not now. “In this period of time, we have to rededicate ourselves to (being) a warfighting navy.”
ComNavOps has a very low opinion of Mr. Work but, on this topic, he’s correct. We have little or no surge capability to respond to a sudden need with. If
were to take advantage of our
situation we’d have no way to stop them.
What are we going to do, send 7th fleet ships that can’t even
We’ve given up our surge capacity to support highly questionable active deployments. Worse, our supposed surge units have cross-decked personnel and equipment/aircraft to deploying ships just to meet immediate needs. Our surge personnel, equipment, and aircraft are already “surged”. There’s little left at home and none of it’s surge capable.
(1)Breaking Defense website, “US Navy Is NOT Ready For Major War: Ex-Skippers, Bob Work”, Sydney J. Freedberg, Jr.,