Tuesday, January 12, 2010

CFFC goes Salamander ....

... at least when it comes to the Strategic Risk that is a Norfolk centric CVN force.

We have covered it here multiple times over the last few years about Mayport and Strategic Homeporting, but it seems to have just a little more heft coming from ADM J.C. Harvey Jr. (that dude is all over the place).

A senior Navy fleet commander said there are many serious reasons to move an aircraft carrier from Naval Station Norfolk, Va., to Naval Station Mayport, Fla., although he stopped short of fully advocating for that or predicting whether it would happen.

Adm. John Harvey, head of Fleet Forces Command, recalled his second day on the job last summer, when he took a tour of the Norfolk waterfront to see the fleet for which he was newly responsible:

“I see three carriers on the waterfront, and I know Northrop Grumman [shipyard] is holding hostage four more carriers across the James River — I say that with love — in refueling, repairs, and so forth. I stop, and I think, and I’m looking at the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel” — which spans the mouth of the channel Navy warships take to and from their base.

“A bad 30 minutes, from weather, from man-made accidents, from terrorism — 30 bad minutes at that tunnel, and we’ve got half the Navy’s carrier fleet, plus all of its East Coast repair and construction [facilities], bottled up for who knows how long,” he said.

Harvey’s comments came in response to a question from a crew member of the Norfolk-based carrier Theodore Roosevelt, who was in the audience for Harvey’s speech at the Surface Navy Association’s annual symposium outside Washington. Although Harvey cautioned he was not formally advocating for what the Navy has called “strategic dispersal” — creating additional East Coast ports that can support and repair carriers, as the Navy has on the West Coast, he said the worry about ships trapped in or out of Norfolk was a real one.

“When you look at it from my perspective, the strategic imperative for having another homeport capable of a CVN is not idle talk,” Harvey said.
...and Amen.


JLF999 said...

Easy peasy, babe.  Nothing new here, r.e. siege of Constanitoniple.  Yep, it was just about but not quite good enough with 15th century tech......that tech has gotten a bit better since.

Quartermaster said...

There is a need for another CV port. The Navy recognized this when it homeported JFK in Mayport.

As for base vulnerability at NORVA - The state terminal is just to the south of NORVA, so placing a small nuke on a merchie and driving it into Hampton Roads is quite doable.

IN '75 my wife and I, having nothing better to do, drove down the waterfront and saw 4 CVAs tied up at the northern pier (this was just before Nimitz was commissioned), and remember thinking how little the Navy has learned from the past.

The Air Wing thing would not be hard to work out. The politics of a reasonable basing scheme is, sadly.

MR T's Haircut said...

you know I meant no disrespect to you on my comment over at Adm Harvey's blog.  My contractor comment was geared more to the sweetheart deals that ride the coats of the Flags.  Most contracting is Vital to national defense and mission and the deck plate contract employee does work out of pride and service to nation.  but the 30000 foot picture is often heavy on connections and money and sometimes come at the costs of the services... </span>

Byron Audler said...

I understand completly...which is why when I speak of those same people, I call them "mil-corps".

lurker said...

Air wing part is a non-issue. West coast carriers have been transiting from seattle to sandiego to pick thiers up for ages. Yes it sucks for ships company, but if it works for two west coast carriers...

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