Imagine this were true.
The Northrop Grumman-built Aegis guided missile destroyer Gravely is ready to set sail today, company leaders said Thursday.Of course that won't be her homeport ... but imagine if it was. Imagine if we had 3-6 DDG's homeported in small to medium sized towns and other places here and there.
The ship is scheduled to leave at 8 a.m., bound for its homeport in Wilmington, N.C.,
Imagine that we actually accepted the history of naval warfare and practiced strategic homeporting.
I have been stationed at small bases and large. From a quality of life, family life, and professional work environment - the small bases were far superior to larger ones where you could rot in PSD for days. Sadly for today's JOs ... the small(er) ones are mostly gone.
Even though the USAF forgot "DENSE PACK" decades ago - we seem to practice that now with our Fleet. There are significant Strategic Risks for a fleet concentrated in a few vulnerable areas - especially during the holidays. Roll that macro into the micro of quality of work/life where we have Sailors who are clawing for a parking spaces after running an 1-hr commute (tunnels willing) starting at 5-6am so their children can go to a decent neighborhood school.
Imagine three DDG or so homeported in Wilmington, NC - another three or so in Portland, ME. A half-dozen in Charleston (again) ... and that is just East Coast thinking. What small bases could we use on the West Coast?
Bloated costs and BRAC savings gone? No, not if you think lean and smart. Do we bring all that overhead with us because we have to - or because it has become habit? Can't we run a lean and efficient base structure instead of that mid-20th Century model we are stuck in?
Ponder. Small bases. Big smiles.