Monday, June 07, 2010

SECDEF - the savings are there

SECDEF - it isn't impossible. It just requires leadership, vision, and the willingness to attack sacred cows.
Mr. Gates set a deadline of July 31 for receiving details on programs and personnel to be cut and a description of savings in management practices to be included in the budget proposal for the next fiscal year, 2012. Two-thirds of the ordered savings must be an actual money transfer from noncombat accounts to the war-fighting budget, while one-third can be found in efficiencies and eliminating redundancies and overhead.

The specific instructions are included in three unclassified guidance documents signed by Mr. Gates — one to the armed services, one to the Pentagon’s primary agencies and directorates, and one to the global combatant commands.

For fiscal year 2012, the departments of the Army, Air Force and Navy — which includes the Marine Corps — must each find $2 billion in savings, while the rest of the Defense Department must find $1 billion in savings. By 2016, each military department must have $10 billion in savings, with $7 billion across the rest of the Pentagon.

“You are not going to be able to do it just on pure efficiencies,” Mr. Lynn said. “You are going to have to eliminate lower-priority programs. You are going to have to find headquarters that you don’t think you need. You are going to have to find staffs that you think you can cut.”
Here are some minor but low hanging fruit. DACOWITS last year had 15 memebers, it now has 35. Cut to 8.

Lead from the front. We have more Flag Officers than ships. Cut Flag Officer billets by 30-50%, with a bias to 50%. Remove all BA/NMP directly associated with that Flag Officer billet.

Want to attack bureaucratic bloat? Get 1-each CDR CO from the Surface, Air, and Submarine forces. Have them go up to the ink board (no PPT allowed) and have them diagram their Operational and Administrative Chains of Command. Set a goal with eliminating 30-50% of those Staffs. Once those UIC are eliminated, only allow 10% of their BA/NMP be retained and transferred to other UICs. Take the 90% left as savings. Include Staffs that those COs have to send reports to who are not in their CoC.

Ask VADM Curits why he needs
three Lieutenant Commanders in his Diversity Shop. Tell him to get by with a LDO LT. Transfer one of the LCDR BA/NMP to NAVSEA/SUPSHIPS and take the other two as savings.

Ask the CNO how many Woman and Diversity advisors he has on his Staff and what their military and/or GS level are. Eliminate two-thirds of them. Downgrade the billets' paygrades. If contractors; eliminate the position.

Rinse, repeat throughout the fleet. Chump change? Sure - but look at the chart of CoinStar for the last couple of years. Chump change adds up to a lot - it also sets the right example. Don't ask a DDG CO to give up XX% of his critical billets when your staff has grown.

That is just first blush. If you want more discussion - at a higher level - check out yesterday's Midrats discussion in the first half hour with Bryan McGrath.


LT B said...

It would be interesting to see how many from the political officer corps, er, I mean diversity directorate will get cut.  What do they offer towards putting steel on target?  ZERO, NADA, NILCH! 

AW1 Tim said...

I agree with El Tee Bee.  :)

Why can't we simply eliminate the entire "Diversity Enterprise" ? While we're at it, close down Millington and shift whatever's left there that we retain to some other spot.

Sell the base to the locals.

AW1 Tim said...

Here's another idea: Eliminate most of the travel offices. When a sailor needs to travel under orders, where the government is picking up the tab, why not have the PSD folks figure out what the costs should be, and transfer that amount into the sailor's account. Everyone has a bank card these days, and all their funds are electronically deposited.

  Let the sailor make his own flight and hotel arrangements. If he can score them for less, then he gets to keep the rest. If he goes over, it comes out of his pocket.

  If we are giving 19 year olds and 20 year olds the responsibility of maintaining expensive aircraft, ships and other equipment, shouldn't we allow them to make their own travel arrangements?

Anonymous said...

To be fair to VADM Curtis, when he took over CNSF, the diversity office was a CAPT and LCDR, both full-time. He pared it back to one full-time LCDR- the other two cited in the post were stash LIMDU. I'm not a big fan of diversity offices in general, but at least he moved it in the right direction.

Redeye80 said...

Don't get me started on the travel system.

Remember the system is designed to find fraud not help the service member.

DTS should have been a step in the right direction but it has become another bureaucratic nightmare.

MR T's Haircut said...

<span>"Ask VADM Curits why he needs </span><span><span>three Lieutenant Commanders</span></span><span> in his Diversity Shop. Tell him to get by with a LDO LT. Transfer one of the LCDR BA/NMP to NAVSEA/SUPSHIPS and take the other two as savings.

Ask the CNO how many Woman and Diversity advisors he has on his Staff and what their military and/or GS level are. Eliminate two-thirds of them. Downgrade the billets' paygrades. If contractors; eliminate the position."

John said...

AMEN! to all of Phib's proposals and the comments above.

Maybe add taking a really hard look at closing USNA and depending on other commissioning sources for Navy/Marine officers.  Get some from USMA/USAFA, rest from ROTC, etc.  That would eliminate one of three service academies, and sell the campus to developers and that should pay for a couple of real actual warfighting frigates.

Byron said...

You can heave a bunch of JAGs over the side too, if that's they way they see justice done in Japan. Close the hospitals, give personel a good HMO card to use. Chances are when you go to a dispensary you're going to get a referal anyway. And Mayport NS built a fancy modern dispensary...but it doesn't have an ER. If someone receives life threatening illness/trauma, nearest hospital is minimum 7 miles through heavy traffic.

ShawnP said...

Eliminate all Quartermasters.........OS's can do the job.

Anonymous said...

Sal, There are nearly 27 CDRs
(~6900)for every ship and 13 CAPTs
(~3400) for every ship. That's 40 scrambled egg wearers for every ship. That is more egreggious than 1 Flag per ship imho.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Phib:  The answer is clear, if not always simple. The only thing that really matters is what improves the Navy's ability to put ordnance accurately on the enemy and degrades the enemy's ability to reverse the flow. Anything else is just rubbish.

Take out the trash. (Hat tip: Manfred Von Richtofen)

UltimaRatioRegis said...


Here I was thinking that the money should go to diversity programs, DACOWITS, NNOA, the various ethnic/racial/gender/(and coming soon) preference history months (except whites/males/heteros), modifications to SSN/SSBNs to get women aboard, USNA football, another "service" uniform, more Admirals, and a $600m 3000-ton "stealth" speedboat incapable of either killing another ship or defending itself.

All those operational/sea-going commands have been hogging it all....

SNAnonymous said...

It makes me sick every time the squadron sends us out to a det, wait until the last minute to buy the return tickets, and end up spending $1k a pop to COMAIR someone back.

Anon said...

Disagree about the JAGs - the ones I worked with added value.  My beef with the JAG Corps is this "Region Legal Service Office" nonsense they implemented a few years ago, meaning many commands are now advised by someone who works for the regional JAG CO.  I don't want to call some guy from another command when I need advice, I want a trusted counselor sitting at the wardroom table.  Hell, I'd be happy if we could put a JAG on every ship - as long as the ship CO and ONLY the ship CO gets to sign their FITREP. 

DM05 said...

A service in decline when tip 'o the spear has to compete with all the well oiled nonsensical machines URR outlines for billets & budgets. Sad, really.

LT B said...

I have a couple friends that are JAGs.  (Like saying you have a friend that is gay?  lol) but even still I don't want them getting operational control of everything.  You want a JAG to handle the stupid sailor tricks, fine; the current weight put on lawfare rather than warfare has made us weaker militarily IMHO.