How Many Bottles of Catsup are in the Flag Mess?
there will be math
I’m really not sure what value there is of these number exercises. I mean, sure, they are a required ceremony, but do they really move the needle?
The U.S. Navy will submit another force structure analysis to Congress by mid-June that is likely to show a requirement for more ships compared to today’s target of 373 and actual inventory of 296, according to the service’s top officer.
The size of the fleet has been a major point of contention between the Navy and lawmakers in recent years. The Navy has for years conducted studies showing the need for more than 300 ships, then for 355 ships, and now for 373. The actual size of the fleet, on the other hand, has shrunk during that time. Lawmakers have pushed to buy more ships than the Pentagon-approved budgets have asked for across the last two presidential administrations, and lawmakers have pushed back against Navy plans to decommission ships early that have become too worn down and challenging to repair.
Here’s the problem, we have yet to complete some rather fundamental requirements first.
What exactly is the strategy we are basing this on? I’m not all that interested in “studies.” Let me pick my team and I will create a 3-5 different studies that will all sound correct but will come up with different numbers. The numbers do not matter if those you are asking for the money from to build them - the American taxpayer, their children and grandchildren unborn who you are borrowing money in their name, their elected representatives - do not understand WHY we have to have such a large Navy. I don’t care if the senior uniformed leadership and assorted navalists know … are we sure the people know?
We cannot properly build and maintain 296 right now. Why should the American public give us more ships when we can’t take care of the ones we have?
What do those numbers actually mean when it comes to their ability to project power, at range, west of Wake? What percentage of that ship total - such as LCS - will be of little to no use except in secondary theaters of operation or tertiary mission sets elsewhere but in the fight?
No, I think the numbers discussion isn’t just becoming farcical, it is at best immaterial until items 1-3 are complete - at worst if not properly couched eroding what little institutional capital we have.
Until then, build Arleigh Burkes until the crack of doom; spot-weld as many VLS cells we you can on what can get underway; expand shipyards and maintenance facilities until the only things stopping us are the EPA and the courts.
Also, I think the catsup question is 6.5.
There are 6.5 bottles of catsup in the CNO’s Flag Mess.