Twofer Tuesday

Blog Post
Devout Mohammedan Congress person Ilhan Omar, a member of “the squad” has been officially accused of appropriating Alabama’s culture by marrying her brother.
She countered that while it’s true that she did marry her brother,  Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, it was only a marriage of convenience and that his heart always belonged to his goat, Jasmine. While many can understand a preference to a she-goat over Ilhan Omar, the matter of culturally appropriating an Alabama custom remains and may be an issue in her coming bid for re-election this November.
If ‘taco Tuesday’ (which happens to be today) is cultural appropriation of Mexico, how much more serious is the Omar matter?

USN Blues
The US Navy has had a lot of black eyes recently, and they’ve all been self-inflicted. After a number of critical blunders, USS Gerald Ford, CVN-78, is now expected to deploy in 2024, rather than 2020, and the cost over-runs are being absorbed by the funding earmarked for USS John F. Kennedy CVN 79, USS Enterprise CVN 80 and USS Doris Miller CVN 81. As of this writing, I am not convinced that CVN 81 will ever be built.

The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS, which also stands for Little Crappy Ship) program is a complete abortion but we keep building them, only to scrap them once they’re complete.

DDG 1000 – floating lemon

The DDG 1000 series won’t ever be front line ships despite the billions spent.

And the Navy (in its wisdom) has slowed construction of the Arleigh Burke DDG 51 series of destroyers.

The FFG(X) and CG(X) are as far in the distant future as the new Navy bomber to replace the Intruder, now long out of service.

Disastrous collisions at sea have revealed serious problems with the navy.

Admirals working hard (overtime) trying to cashier SEALs, contrary to the explicit directions of the Commander-in-Chief have not made points.

The current budget proposed by President Trump reduces the money earmarked for the US Navy and the admirals are wounded.  But the truth is that the Navy isn’t doing a very good job. Sealift capability is marginal at best. The Navy needs to search its soul and perhaps reduce the number of admirals by half as a show of good faith.

As a retired naval officer, I don’t like to write this sort of thing, but it’s true.

21 thoughts on “Twofer Tuesday

  1. Nah, the Zumwalts are big. They'll eventually fill those hulls with something useful.

    The previous administration sure did a lot of harm to the parts of DoD that actually did something useful for America, though.


  2. I started laughing at the first sentence of this engaging post, then I got to Naval component.

    Speaking of which, I read somewhere that the Navy had taken delivery of its first F35s and… they don't work.

    Surely heads should roll.

    Free Roger Stone.

  3. Priorities. The eight years of Obumer left all branches in bad shape. Read now how the Navy wants to drastically reduce the size of the naval infantry component.

    Looking at the first term of President Trump, his focus seems to be getting the right stuff to the war fighters currently in harm's way. After his reelection, watch him clean house.

    There are good and competent folks in the ranks. Under 45, their day will come. Those who, have never had a conflict with what is good for their career is good for their service, best start polishing their resumes, IMO. Or, is that just wishful thinking?

  4. Fuzzy's. Taco Tuesday. $1.50 tacos. I'm in.

  5. The F-35 like the F-22 require a lot of maintenance. If you want to put two F-22's in the air you need four on hand. The F-35 isn't supposed to be quite as bad, but it's the metric.

    Cultural appropriation is serious. I avoided eating tacos at a taco Tuesday event today until people persuaded me that it was not cultural appropriation.

  6. The DDG 1000-1003 need billions more to get them to be effective in their combat roles. It's a monumental waste.

  7. The Navy has been wanting to reduce its commitment to the infantry since I was in diapers. The USMC usually ends up with a fair share of hand-me-downs from the Army. That may not be the case today. The Navy got rid of the SEALS by shifting them to Joint Special Operations Command (an Army command). What surface warfare type can really trust men who wear camo and kill people from a living rather than driving ships around?

    AND shifting the SEALs to JSOC was the very best thing that happened to them. I was around as a reserve officer when that happened. Pre-JSOC, at least half of the equipment available was left over from Korea or Viet Nam. Post JSOC, the windows of heaven opened and all kinds of new goodies came in to replace the junk. The Sea Fox was retired and replaced by a new and effective Special Boat Squadron vessel, the MK 8 SEAL Delivery Vehicle (Mini-sub) was scrapped and replaced by a new, cool SDV that actually works the way it should. I could rant on, but sometimes, getting folded into an Army command is a blessing because Big Army has a lot of money to pay for war fighting. The Navy is a hardware service – ships, subs, squadrons and ports. The Air Force is similar in nature – airplanes and runways. Every budget cycle, the USMC fights for it's slice of the Navy budget and if that budget is cut, the USMC is the first casualty.

  8. I find it somewhat ironic that the Ford-class carriers are named for a President who was the butt of never-ending jokes on Saturday Night Live.

    My God, what's happened to our Navy? I can hear my Dad spinning at about 8500RPM from here…..

  9. The Coat Guard's National Security Cutter would make, with few changes (mostly lengthening the hull for adding some vertical launch cells, a wonderful frigate. Proven hull, proven fighting ability, pretty darned nice.

    So Big Navy is looking at a lengthened LCS. (Facepalm, Facepalm HARD!)

  10. Of course it's a waste, but somewhat less of one than just throwing them away. The jury's still out on whether you can say that about LCS.


  11. NSC and LCS are near-twins, making an actual frigate out of either one isn't much of a stretch. It basically comes down to reducing the speed requirement on LCS and increasing it on the NSC, and then adding capability to both.


  12. I said that LCS was a waste when they were developing the first couple of platforms, (four of which were commissioned and are now decommissioned) for SPECOPS use. They were acoustically FAR TOO LOUD and could be heard by Inshore Undersea Warfare units beyond the horizon. So scrap that mission. They are unable to defend themselves from almost any air threat; They are unable to defend themselves from almost any sea threat; and they have very short legs so they need to be tethered to another ship operationally or when in transit.

    The LCS has one potential military mission. They can strap a really big radar reflector on them and make them look like aircraft carriers to sensors. Yes, they can be a bullet sponge.

  13. Why? You have an army/infantry.

    The USMC is a legacy service. While I do like the marines and think that they are still valid, it's tough to justify their existence today. Yes, over the horizon amphib operations. I know the doctrine, and don't disagree because I can envision their use – maybe – one day – in that role. However, ever since Inchon, Korea, before I was born, they've been used as regular leg infantry.

    The Marines operate as "their own branch" when participating with the Joint Chiefs, etc. But has their time come and gone? We send them to defend embassies but couldn't that be accomplished by the Army? They float around on amphibious ready groups but you could train the Army to handle an amphibious mission.

    I don't argue for an end to the USMC, but I think that they struggle to remain valid. In the days of fighting sail they had a use as a landing force. They were valid in the Pacific against the Japanese. They took beaches and were replaced by Big Army (MacArthur's Army) once the beachhead was secured. Will they ever do that again?

  14. When you put it that way, they sound progressive. I don't know if I could handle a progressive taco.

    There was a taco shop set up at Ocean Beach, CA, and I knew the owners. They went for the "healthy taco alternative" and they went out of business.

  15. Commander Salamander's blog (see the sidebar) has continually discussed options for a FFG(X) and none of them include a stretched National Security Cutter. The NSC has proved to be exceptionally effective when operated by the Coast Guard in the role it was designed for.

    The LCS is looking for a mission that it can perform, and it hasn't found one yet. I doubt that it ever will.
    – It is undermanned for a combat role and there is a lot of crew burn-out even operating at a reduced tempo.
    – It is underarmed for any valid combat role. (NSC is not designed to function in a high threat environment)
    – It has a very short range.
    – It is acoustically very loud (bait for any submarine)
    – The vaunted modules that were supposed to make the ships mission flexible haven't ever been built and likely never will be.
    – It is incapable of defending itself against an air, surface or subsurface threat.

  16. "We send them to defend embassies but couldn't that be accomplished by the Army?"

    We could, but the Army's dress uniform is not as pretty as the Marine's. I think that that makes a significant difference. Plus, Marines' mental attitude are completely different from the Army's in combat. I think that justifies the relatively small additional cost in the Defense budget that pays for the USMC. I believe that Marines will be needed as a combat force before this century is through.

    Paul L. Quandt

  17. "The Coat Guard's National Security Cutter…"

    Still not proofreading before posting, I see Andrew. You make far too important points to spoil them with unnecessary spelling errors.

    Or, perhaps there is a branch of the service that I am unaware of, the coat guard. To protect high government official's outer wear?


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