[about LCS] We need to think of the best way to operate the ship and maintain the ship with 40 people and not being overly consumed with cosmetics. Cosmetics are man-hours.This is almost reads Onionish, and I am sorry and even if he is the CNO, this cannot go unchallenged.
I don't like anything that creates work.
First, why are we at this stage of LCS that the CNO still does not have a staff that can give him the answers about "...the best way..."?
Second, talk to any shipfitter (Byron, the floor is yours...) but there is a lot more telling about a dirty ship than simply "cosmetics." Just as the external appearance of a person's skin, hair, eyes, and hands (not to mention smell) are a good indicator of the general health and well being of that person - so it is with a ship, aircraft, submarine, etc.
Third, review the reports from the ships from the last real Navy war, The Falkland Islands, if you think the experience from WWII and Korea is bad ... or heck the USS NEW JERSEY (BB-62) during her Lebanon deployment ... among others. You have to have enough sailors to properly man constant wartime watches and to maintain a clean - and therefor livable and healthy - ship. Additionally, a ship that is not maintained by its crew due to manning has issues that directly lead to lower usable life. If we still had Destroyer Tenders I might see some mitigation possiblities - but we don't live in that world.
Not to even go into damage control issues ....
How do you square the CNO's statement with this from the opening of the Surface Ship Life Cycle Management (SSLCM) Activity.
"SSLCM Activity will execute the complex task of maximizing the material readiness of our current Fleet by ensuring each and every ship in our inventory is ready to respond to their missions today, tomorrow, and well into the 21st century," said Vice Adm. Kevin McCoy, commander of NAVSEA. "And as we continue to build our future Fleet, particularly as our Littoral Combat Ships come online, every newly commissioned ship will be meticulously tracked right out of the gate to ensure our warfighters, our taxpayers and our nation get the most out of these national assets."You can't have a poorly crew maintained ship and then expect to get a full, cost effective life out of it - you just can't; never in the history of the world's navies has that been done.
None of the 40-person talk has anything to do with building & crewing a ship and a ethos that will take ship in harm's way. If we must have a uni-mission Corvette, then I would rather have 40 LCS that can conduct wartime operations and fight, than 55 that create CDR billets to help the Surface Community have more people competitive for the CAPT board.
One last comment for the CNO, as I am all for offering options, I respectfully submit that if you "...don't like anything that creates work." then please get rid of 80% of our part of the Diversity Industry, cut back on the patronizing EO BS briefs by 66% - and then recode those billets into something that puts ships to sea and takes care of our Sailors. Heck, in the money we would save in sending everyone to make-work, racist diversity seminars we could move a few more Sailors this summer.
That is one idea, there are others ......