Saturday, November 07 2015
How could this happen? How could Congress let it happen? How could the Navy let it happen?
It seems two things are happening. First, the navy is building complex technically advanced ships that take a long time to build. Second, budget cuts and the high cost of technically advance ships have reduced the number of carriers the navy can afford.
Current events forced the navy to push the ten carriers they have beyond their limits and normal maintenance and overhaul schedules were cancelled, shortened or delayed. After years of borrowing from Peter to pay Paul, Peter’s note has come due—five of our ten carriers are tied to the pier getting the maintenance they needed long ago. Now the five remaining carriers are having to carry twice their normal load. This will require more maintenance for those ships down the road. It’s a death spiral.
I like the idea of giving our seamen the finest ships and technology available. However, no matter how capable and advanced a carrier is, it can only be in one place at a time. This is not a quality versus quantity problem. The world has grown far more unpredictable and dangerous since the 1970’s when we had twelve active carriers. We are down to five. We need more hulls in the water.