35 Comments

The maintenance reduction is going to bite us in the ass, isn't it? And is the reduction in proposed weapons procurement temporary, or will it be maintained until inflation destroys out stocks?

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Milcon keeping up with inflation (not really) and reduction in maintenance $'s... it's not like there is any empirical evidence to suggest that could be a problem... /sarc-off.

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POTATUS wants to relive the Carter Admin: I recall my first operational assignment where the base had to sell the coal used for heating back to the government in the spring, so we would have money to fly airplanes until the new fiscal year.....

Instead of our mandated 28 flight hours a month, we only got 20....

Vehicles on blocks with the tires removed, so save fuel.

Maintenance deferred.....again and again.

Yep, its 1978 all over again

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The Carter Era. That reference to "POTATUS" triggered me, Doc. Some folks were happy to see a Navy guy, a Nuke no less, as our new President. How did that pan out? Like sifting for gold in a muddy Nebraska feed lot. Rabbit replaced roast beef. Extruded potato machines than converted powdered potatoes into cardboard-tasting curly fries, scalloped potatoes, julienne potatoes, mashed potatoes, chips, sticks that replaced real Idaho potatoes. The budget for repair parts was reduced, and down equipment became a leadership and management problem for the DIVO & Chief and a professionalism problem for the Petty Officer that might just show up come eval time. It was proposed that sailors pay for the privilege to park on base because those parking lots don't maintain themselves. But to my knowledge, no base commander saw fit to pursue that. The Energy Crisis, M.E.O.W. & W.I.N., double-digit inflation, Operation Eagle Claw, the "Malaise". Carter, now 99, is in hospice care. I wonder if they have an extruded potato machine there. Hope not. If they do, I'll have Amazon deliver some peanut brittle and canned peaches.

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Now, now Dale, don’t be too hard on Jimmy Carter. A retired university professor told me two weeks ago that Carter’s problems stemmed from the fact that he had to deal with a Republican Congress. To be honest, I was surprised he didn’t blame Trump.

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Thanks, Tom. I don't never mind no feedback, specially when I done went off half-cocked. I'd forgot them Chexen Balenzess what was holding Jimmy back. Was wondering...you think they can puree that peanut brittle for him? Elsewise I'll send tapioca.

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Elect a politician from the 1970s get an economy and military from the 1970s.

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A few weeks ago I bought a 2006 Tacoma with only 122,000 miles on the clock, and 18 years of “experience”. I bought the vehicle because others have driven them over 300,000 miles and because of my favorable experience with the model. But 18 years is 18 years and I am the fifth owner. Noticing what I thought was an oil leak (turned out to only be the dealer’s sloppy job of changing oil) and a TPMS light that I couldn’t resolve, I took it to a local garage I trust. They also found a bad transmission seal, a leaking thermostat fitting, and two cross-threaded wheel hub studs, in addition to a bad set of TPMS monitors as I also strongly suspected.

The 2024 NDAA provides for less ops and maintenance money than was asked for, and Big Navy’s maintenance request is ALWAYS less than what is needed to support all of the ship procurements that excite the DC Crowd (tm) AND all of the ships currently in the fleet. Someone, anyone, needs to explain to the green eye shade crowd the basic essential chemical equation of rust, and that it stops for neither man nor beast, neither operator nor administrator. The purpose of my Tacoma story is that time is always an enemy to ships, whether it’s rust or operating systems. When a ship goes into an overhaul, everyone on the waterfront knows that the most problematic of work items are those that include the phrase “open and inspect” because you never know how ugly things will be.

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It should also be noted that the Naval Weapons Procurement was cut by hundreds of millions. This given the need for hundreds of LRASMs to be built in order to defend Taiwan in a sustained conflict, this budgeting tradeoff is a staggering oversight.

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The main reason we were a global power is we understood the importance of logistical infrastructure from a global perspective. You can't project air without airfields that can support your aircraft, otherwise they land and become expensive static displays. You can't project your maritime forces without suitable logistics and (at times) repair facilities to support maritime movement and sustain operations beyond their internal fuel and munitions. That infrastructure requires its own support structure to make it possible. No one else could do it the way we could.

Sadly, we have seen a major degradation in our front line capabilities as aircraft and ship availability decline due to shrinking numbers, poor maintenance and supply issues (which impact training and operations). Force projection capability has also significantly declined as the all important global infrastructure has degraded due to lack of funding and expertise aging out.

The one thing that doesn't seem in short supply is our delusional mindset that we are as capable as we were twenty years ago. Hubris may not be the right word, but it will have to do for now.

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We learned nothing from Ukraine. You can't have tanks without the ability to maintain and repair them. That is true for every complicated piece of equipment.

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Complicated defined as an M4 or more complex?

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An M4 needs to be zeroed and constantly cleaned - especially if you are playing in a sandbox. It's not like a Kalashnikov.

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No kidding

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Weapon quals should include firing an equivalent enemy weapon, eg AK47, to understand what you’re up against

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Good idea!

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I got a feeling much of the Army procurement is replacement for Ukraine shipments. Question I’m pondering: will the Army build up also provide some benefits for a Naval build up?

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No, in fact one of the biggest losers in this budget battle is Naval weapons procurement. Good thing we don't need to build hundreds of LRASMs to defend Taiwan or anything...

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Maybe I'm not reading the NDAA tea leaves correctly; i.e., I might be wrong in my interpretation of page 2888 and the pages surrounding page 2888. It appears to me that the US Army is preparing to fight a serious land war in Europe including going so far as to launch air-to-ground hypersonic missiles from its own aircraft.

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I read 2888 and beyond as replenishing our stocks. Our magazines are empty. The sheer amount of weaponry the army needs to replace is staggering. If you pull that thread you can see the Ukrainians fired a shit ton of ordnance at the Russians. Staggering.

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Oh and we left a fuckton on the field in Afghanistan.

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I hope the Navy can protect the convoys needed to get that equipment over to Europe.

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LOL. Sure that's why we are decommissioning cruisers, and slow-building building frigates.

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The Navy lost its escort capability long before they started decomming the cruisers.

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LOL!!!

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Of course they are. An army needs an air arm.

It's long past time to close down the Air Force and return it to the USA where it belongs. As for that silly Space Farce, space is a navy mission.

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Dec 12, 2023Liked by CDR Salamander

CDR Salamander has provided us with an invaluable service with his analysis.

The budget is ground truth. It is almost a solemn moment in DC when the SECDEF, CJCS and Comptroller appear before the SASC.

As we can see the budget is a mixed bag and many here have pointed out its various shortcomings.

My concern is the underlying thinking behind the budget.

We do not have the necessary industrial base or financial resources necessary to fulfill our commitments if a lot bad things happened simultaneously around the world.

Our leadership - which does not fill me with confidence - would have to start making hard choices between guns and butter as Lyndon Johnson was forced to do.

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A reduction in Navy maintenance funds at a time when Navy maintenance is already years behind is a crime. New ships and planes are great, if you can maintain them, but it is very obvious that we are not doing so and if we cannot maintain the current fleet how do we maintain a bigger one?

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The squadrons will cannibalize their old birds to keep the new ones flying.

(Nothing changes.)

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True, that was happening when I was in during the ‘90’s. Does not work as well for ships though, especially subs and carriers. We need to play serious catch up on maintenance or everything else is a waste of time.

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Exactly!!! While its a pipe dream, itd be nice if Congress (who shouldve stopped trusting the USN over a decade ago) would step up and say "nothing else new for you until you show youll take care.of what you've got!!" Debacles like the Boise are the things that mass firings should be made of...

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Faster! Higher! Deeper! Longer! And make it all run on electricity! Except, we won't smack down a bunch of Houthi pirates, we allow Iran to cause all kinds of trouble, at sea, on land, and in the air, and we patrol the world's oceans to ensure an endless flow of Chinese-made products.

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Dec 13, 2023·edited Dec 13, 2023

All the King's Horses, Men (People, Folks, Indeterminants ...), or Money....

None of it seems to be solving this problem... Not even some great drag shows are moving the needle.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/craighooper/2023/12/12/facing-a-navy-wide-sailor-shortage-uss-ford-sheds-500-600-crew/?sh=f92b8cd51c0f

"Facing A Navy-Wide Sailor Shortage, USS Ford Sheds 500-600 Crew"

"In the face of a massive shortage of Navy sailors, America’s newest aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), has downsized, cutting the crew aboard by hundreds of sailors."

How many more sailors can the Ford afford to lose...say, in an attack...before she (if you don't like the use of that term...bite me) can no longer be "Recoverable"

Why it matters when you don't have enough carriers to begin with...

https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/ships/logs/CV/CV5-Coral.html

Slogan for the USN of 2023...

We Cannot Afford To Fight!

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Contrast...

https://www.navy.mil/Resources/Videos/videoid/848529/

And compare...

https://youtu.be/0fTp4GzPWuE?si=5RVHZUF3TeaERHLt

Which Navy is more on the ball about a potential conflict in 2030?

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So, were cutting naval weapon procurement by hundreds of millions, Air Force Aircraft procurement by hundreds of millions and Navy and Marine Operations and Maintenance by hundreds of millions to pay for vehicles and weapons going to Ukraine...why shouldn't we be upset about this again? Don't we need more LRASMs, aircraft and maintenance capability in a shooting war with China over Taiwan or the Philippines?!?

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