CNO is Heading in the Right Direction

we are out of time to get it wrong again

Gina Harkins over at Military Times yesterday has some great quotes from CNO Gilday. He is saying things most readers here will be happy with. 

It would have been ideal for a CNO 10-12 years ago to have said most of the following – because it was as true then as it is now – but we’ll take today over another decade’s wait. 

We need to look for action and follow through, but this is all very sound stuff;

"I don't mean to be dramatic, but I feel like, if the Navy loses its head, if we go off course and we take our eyes off those things we need to focus on ... I think we may not be able to recover in this century," Gilday told reporters Friday, ahead of the document's release. "Based on the trajectory that the Chinese are on right now -- and again, I don't mean to be dramatic -- I just sense that this is not a decade that we can afford to lose ground."

The Long Game is real and we are reaping what the Age of Transformationalism sowed. We cannot fix the errors of the past, but we can change the direction we are heading in now as we set up for the future. 

We have not just lost a decade, in a very real sense we lost the better part of two if you want to be picky. However, a decade ago it was clear what the errors were in the first decade of the 21st Century, it just took a decade for it to soak its way up to the top. 

More evidence that we “get it;”

"... I am more interested in getting it right in a deliberate fashion than I am getting it fast."

I take that to mean a greater respect for technology risk and throwing away the snake oil of “jumping generations” and all that crap. The above comment is especially good as it takes aim at those who, either ignorant of the past or arrogantly thinking it no longer applies, were heading full speed in a Transformationalist mindset that begat LCS and DDG-1000 with unmanned systems. The technology is just not mature enough, from engineering to weaponeering. 


We have a lot more testing to do.

Buying large numbers of unmanned vessels by the mid-2020s is "unrealistic," Gilday told reporters. Instead, by the end of the decade, sailors "must have a high degree of confidence and skill operating alongside proven unmanned platforms at sea," he said.

Exactly.

We also seem to be taking a few bites of crow and returning to our core competencies;

"This includes divestment of experimental Littoral Combat Ship hulls, legacy Cruisers, and older Dock Landing Ships," he wrote. "It also includes divesting non-core Navy missions like Aegis-ashore. Transferring shore-based Ballistic Missile Defense sites to ground forces enables Sailors to focus on their core missions at sea and frees up resources to increase our lethality."

FREEDOM Class LCS should be mothballed as soon as practical. That and the other steps will allow us to re-capture Sailors towards higher value uses of their time and talents. No, it won’t be easy … and neither will the money;

"It may not be as smooth of transition as everybody wants," he said, "... [but] we need to divest from some of these capabilities that are becoming very expensive to maintain." The Navy is transforming at a time when military leaders are bracing for possible budget constraints. Gilday said he doesn't expect any sort of plus-up. President-elect Joe Biden has acknowledged that the military is facing threats it hasn't seen since the Cold War, but slammed President Donald Trump for abandoning fiscal discipline when it came to defense spending.

Will everyone please stop using the “T” word, except when used ironically or as an insult? Thanks. 

In addition to money, the last 10-20 years has seen a lot of wasted money, personal/professional capital, and warfighting ability because … our leaders decided other things were more important – or they just were well meaning people who had the wrong approach. Either way, we are … no kidding here … out of time.

…Gilday said there is no time to waste in pushing ahead with … investments in public shipyards, dry docks, maintenance facilities and aviation depots that he says are overdue for upgrades.

That last bit – the “unsexy but important” is something we can and should do immediately. It looks like that is the plan. 

Actions we must do now; stop double-pumping. Stop more than 6-month deployments. That wasn’t addressed in the article … but I thought I throw it in here for good measure.

Good words; let’s see action.

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