Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Fighting "Sea Blindness" - Chief of Naval Operations Tells Congress "We need more ships"

A few short weeks ago, I put up a post on Sea Blindness, by which is meant the seeming inability of Americans to grasp that, while "the U.S. is not quite an island nation, it is a nation deeply dependent on the seas and the free flow of commerce across them." During Midrats Episode 216(at about 19:51), I asked our guest, Seth Cropsey, about "sea blindness" and whether the time had come for our senior naval leaders to tell the elected civilian leaders that the Navy has reached the point at which there are missions and areas we cannot perform or cover with the size Navy we currently have and are projected to have in the near term.

An excerpt from Episode 216:

Well, last week, the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Greenert went before the House Armed Services Committee and did a little counter-Sea Blindness work, both in his written testimony and in his spoke words.
First, from his prepared written testimony:
Chairman, as I testified before you in September 2013, I am troubled by the prospects of reverting to the BCA revised caps in FY2016. That would lead to a Navy that is just too small and lacking the advanced capabilities needed to execute the missions the nation expects of its Navy. We would be unable to execute at least 4 of the 10 primary missions that are laid out very clearly in the Defense Strategic Guidance and QDR.

Even more, according to Military.com, "CNO Tells Congress the US Needs 450-Ship Navy"
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert told lawmakers Wednesday that the Navy would need a 450-ship fleet in order to meet the global needs of combatant commanders.

"For us to meet what combatant commanders request, we need a Navy of 450 ships," he told the House Armed Services Committee.

Officially, the Navy's position is to achieve a 306-ship fleet by the end of the decade, service officials said. At the moment there are 289 ships in the Navy, according to service officials who said the number reflects a new method of counting ships.
As Claude Berube wrote somewhere, when the news was the Army being cut to pre-WWII levels, the Navy was at pre-WWI levels. See here, where it shows the fleet in April 1917 had 342 ships.

Good for Admiral Greenert snd Secretary Mabus for standing up on this issue.

1 comment:

  1. Would be surprised if you were unaware M.T., but not certain your readers would be familiar with this relevant bit of chicanery.

    Earlier this month our Navy changed the rules by which it counts its fleet of combatant ships. Because the inventory will now include 10 coastal patrol craft, two hospital ships, and 11 defunct cruisers cruisers in the combatant lineup, some politicians now hope to confuse voters with inflated count and claim future counts are not comparable to yesteryear's traditional counts.
    more here: http://goo.gl/D3ETGc