500 ship Navy is a bit of a pipe dream

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Oct. 1, 2020) An F/A-18E Super Hornet attached to the “Wildcats” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 131 launches from the flight deck aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). Ike is operating in the Atlantic Ocean in support of naval operations to maintain maritime stability and security in order to ensure access, deter aggression and defend U.S., allied and partner interests. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Cameron Pinske)

News that Defense Secretary Esper is calling for a 500 ship Navy is good news. We’ve had a Navy too small trying to do too much for some time now, and its been ignored while we stayed focused on fighting terrorism. This resulted in a lot of extended deployments, poorly executed maintenance periods and burned out ships and Sailors.

But while a 500 ship Navy would help, we have a long way to go to get there. When policy makers discuss ships, it’s as if the numbers of ship is what matters. But there is a lot more to it:

  • Personnel. The last time we had 500 ships was in 1991. Since then, we’ve drawn down Navy personnel to about 330,000 to cover about 270 ships. Essentially, to get to 500, we’d have to double the number of Sailors. That would make the Navy larger than any of the other services, and a massive jump in personnel costs.
  • Shipyards. We can’t fix the ships we have now fast enough. Nearly doubling ships would mean we need more shipyards to build and maintain them. Given that American shipbuilding is almost exclusively government, we don’t have a great civilian infrastructure to turn to. So we’re either building new yards (expensive) or building in foreign countries (sending money overseas).
  • Support. Ships have to communicate, and rely extensively on satellite systems, which we don’t have enough of now. Combined with a variety of other support, and the price adds up quickly.

We can get away from personnel costs with more unmanned systems, but unmanned systems still require humans, and considerably smarter people to run them, which the military struggles to keep in, because other companies like Amazon will throw a lot of money at unmanned operators. This only gets worse as AI and unmanned systems spread in the commercial sector.

We’re getting to a tipping point with the Navy. We expect ships to be everywhere all the time, but we don’t have the ships, infrastructure or people to do that in peacetime, let alone war. We’re smart to recognize that, but its going to take a lot more than wishful thinking to get to a sustainable fleet level.

As a side note, the above picture was labeled “Rosy Outlook” on defense.gov. Most appropriate I think.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

More Overtime, Town Hall comments, Peaceful Arabs, Twitter vs the 99 Restaurants and another $100 on Trump Under the Fedora

Yesterday I ended up working a six hour shift on my day off due to increased business at my day (well evening) job. I’m told that this overtime will likely be offered for the next month during what is traditionally our dead period before Black Friday.

Remind me how bad that Trump economy is?


Watched the two town halls yesterday before the lifestream three quick points

  1. When you’re electing a leader to face a tough world you want one who can handle opponents playing hardball
  2. It’s clear Joe Biden’s battery is winding down as he got slower as the event went on, one might think they were winding him up between breaks.
  3. The contrast between fixers in the crowd (including an Obama speechwriter asking questions) for Biden and the way the two candidates were treated in real time is the real contrast that the media wanted to avoid.

If you agree with Joe Biden that Donald Trump deserves very little credit for peace in the middle east, ask yourself this question:

Did you ever think you would read those kind of poll number concerning peace with Israel in your life outside the Babylon Bee?


Went to lunch with DaWife yesterday at the 99 Restaurant as Happy Jacks is still not opening for lunch during the semi lockdown.

They have worked hard to earn our business so I suspect we will alternate between Happys and the 9’s when they reopen, that’s called treating your customers right.

Twitter hasn’t figured this out yet

Gab added 100,000 active users in the last 48 hours. I’m one of those people who came back to give it another go

Twitter might not care all that much right now but I’ll wager that the IE people weren’t all that worried about Firefox when it launched either.


Finally Tralfaglar the only pollster who got 2016 right is predicting a Trump win, albeit in the mid 270’s.

That seems pretty low to me, but in fairness last time the Democrats didn’t see him coming and their vote fraud apparatus was only active in a couple of states with key races (read NH) so perhaps they are adjusting for the need to win beyond the margin of fraud.

I ended up betting another $100 on trump on twitter with an individual yesterday which is $100 beyond what my limit was but frankly if I was richer I’d literally bet the house I first lived in when we got married on this result.

Prediction: The realization that Biden is going to lose and lose big is going to hit the left very soon, once it does things will get very interesting.

Futureworld

Falling asleep in front of the TV the other night, talking heads in my ears, yabbering about the polls — a grim Election Day for Trump and the Republicans in the apparent offing — a vision from the future then seeped into my mind. It came in the form of a news article, dateline: June 19, 2023.

“Former President Donald Trump celebrated Juneteenth today by announcing his candidacy for the Republican nomination, throwing the 2024 presidential race into chaos.

“After barbecuing spare ribs at rapper Ice Cube’s Bel-Air estate in celebration of the newly established federal holiday, Trump took to the mansion’s rooftop to make his big announcement before being whisked away by helicopter, a banner emblazoned with the nascent campaign’s slogan, “Put America Back Together Again,” trailing behind in the wind.

“’It’s time we dump that loser broad in the White House,’ Trump said, in apparent reference to President Kamala Harris. ‘All she’s done is lose, ever since she kicked my ass – which, really, she kicked Pence’s ass, if you wanna get technical. And she’s done nothing ever since, absolutely nothing, it’s really quite remarkable,’ he said. He then listed several things Harris did that he would immediately reverse, ‘Starting on Day One, or before, even,’ he promised.

“Among Trump’s proposals was to divide California into five separate states, a single state along the coast, and four states carved out of its more rural, more conservative interior. This, Trump promised, would cancel out the admission of North Puerto Rico, South Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C. by the Democrat-controlled Congress in 2021. ‘The coast is iconic, you know, the California coast, I didn’t really think it should be broken up, so we’re keeping it as one state,’ Trump explained.

“Trump promised to increase the Supreme Court by twelve new Justices, and presented a list of forty judges he promised would be considered. ‘Twelve’s a good number, you know, twice as many as Kamala’s,’ Trump said, referencing the six new Justices Harris and the Democrats added to the Court in the spring of 2022.

“The reaction among Trump’s Republican rivals for the nomination was swift. Texas governor George P. Bush, who had been a frontrunner for the nomination once sought by his father, Jeb Bush, immediately announced he was withdrawing from the campaign. ‘I would not sully the good name of political campaigns by continuing to run for the same office as him,’ he intoned.

“Florida Senator Marco Rubio was more diplomatic. ‘I believe competition makes us all stronger,’ he insisted. ‘And no matter what office I may have in the future, I look forward to doing the work of the American people.’

“When asked about Trump’s announcement, President Harris laughed awkwardly. ‘As an American, he can do and say whatever he wants, and I’ve asked the FBI to put an immediate tap on his phone, as he is a known security threat,’ she said to reporters. The reporters had no follow up questions for her.

“In his announcement, Trump also promised to re-open all churches, which the Democrats had deemed ‘dangerous to science,’ free all Republican political prisoners currently housed in the federal prison at Alcatraz, and to review the status of former President Joe Biden, admitted to Walter Reed Medical Center in February 2021 and rarely heard from since.”

After waking up, I felt a little warm, and had to take my temperature. Can’t be too careful, what with the Wuhan floating around. Yeah sure, catching it’s unlikely, but in this world, anything’s possible.