Wednesday, December 15, 2010

SECNAV: "No room for discussion"


With SECNAV, ADM Harvey and SALAMANDER wanting it to happen for the same reason;
how can it not happen?
Whether the Navy would abandon plans to move a carrier, Mabus said it would not.

"I knew that question was coming, and I'm not going to be defensive about it," he went on, according to a report in The Virginian-Pilot.

Virginia's Congressional delegation has been pushing back hard on the decision, made earlier this year, to homeport a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier at
Mayport Naval Station.

Mabus told the
Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce it simply wasn't wise to homeport the East Coast's entire carrier fleet in one port.

"From a strategic standpoint, that's not sustainable," he told the crowd. "We have to disperse our carrier fleet."
Well, we know what could stop this no-brainer - petty VA politics. Let's give the new Congress a chance to do the right thing.

63 comments:

Casual Reader said...

Is this the same locality that objects to the jet noise?  How ironic.

Anonymous said...

I guess they forgot what happened on Dec 7th

ewok40k said...

Do you expect third-league politicians to understand even basics of naval strategy?

Anonymous said...

<span>

So where is the Navy going to come up with the more then billion dollars to build nuclear and aircraft carrier specific facilities in Mayport? They don’t have money to do normal ship maintenance, their shipbuilding budget is way over budget and every week we hear about the F-35 costing more money.

DJF
</span>

Guest said...

It's all about the money.  Jets bring noise which reduces home values.  Carriers bring people which means the need for more houses, hence risiing home values.

Guest said...

The model for maintenance comes from San Diego.  There will be a small full time group employed from Norfolk Naval Shipyard to work maintenance issues, and when repairs are needed, especially nuclear repairs, teams will fly down from VA.  For six month availabilities huge numbers will come from VA, and local shipyards will fill out the rest for topside maintenance.

Southern Air Pirate said...

Actually it is the VA Beach crowd, Concerned Citizens Against Jet Noise aka CCAJN. That objects to jet noise to the point that during town halls about trying to build a new OLF and upgrade NAS Oceana, that some of thier were calling Senator Warner and CNO Clark  "Fraking Liers". What is also sad is most of the ones with thier skivvies in a twist are retired O-5 and above black and brown shoes from the Naval Service. All of whom moved in and around Oceanbanna during that time period tween the demise of the A-6, the sun downing of the F-14 and before the arrival of the Cecil Field F-18 community. I also know that UPS and FedEx are eying that property to move thier activities from Norfolk Intl if Oceana closes. So can you imagine that crying if 737's and other short haul cargo jets are flying in and out of there at all times of the day?

xformed said...

So little pork, so many places to buy votes...

The Usual Suspect said...

Didn't Clemenceu say something about this regarding Generals and now it applies to politicians?  War being too important to be left to the Generals...and now planning is too important to be left to the politicians.  So Brigadier General Ripper was right when he said, "Politicians have neither the inclination nor the the ability for strategic thought."

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sid said...

Perhaps those folks need the pig farm back....

Anonymous said...

<span><span>

So its going to be even more then a billion since “huge numbers will come from VA” means huge per diem payout every time there is work done. The Navy itself at first said that new facilities alone would cost 400 million, now they are up to more then 500 million and they haven’t even started construction yet.

DJF
</span></span>

Anonymous said...

The pier access situation at Mayport sucks right now, and they want to park a flattop there?  All these 0-6 and above and high priced consultants with their reserved parking spaces 50 feet from the brow never seem to realise the logistics of moving manpower and materials onto the ships...

cdrsalamander said...

There used to be two CV based in Mayport ... I think three at one time.  That with DD/DDG/FF/FFG three deep.

As for reserve parking spaces.  Only COs should have one.  Full stop.  Don't get me started on the FOD that is reserved parking spaces.

pk said...

what ever happened to the great sport of throwing "excess" reserved parking space signs into the bay at the head of the pier?

skippers signs used to be holy, others well......

C

Guest said...

If the 737's move in I would be willing to say the local community should have some say about flight times, number of aircraft, etc.  That would be a different environment than what the area was initially used for when they bought their homes.

As for the the current use, when the residents decided to move there, they knew exactly what they were buying into.  Especially the retired military.  They knew they were going to live with the sound of freedom.

QMC(SS) said...

Parking sucks due to administrative fodder rather than logistics fodder...Spaish for:  It sucks because Mayport MAKES it suck!  Agree with Sal's cut on reserved spaces, though I'll be the first to admit that I've more than once used the "CO Guest" parking space!  (Hey, if I'm visiting a ship for a tech-assist, then I am, by definition, a "guest" of the CO, No?)  :)

Guest said...

I seem to remember a Bull Ensign sign going for a swim....

pk said...

there is a good chance that there will be massive public works ependitures, as in reinforced pier structures, additional shore power capacity, additional fiber optic lines
for secure voice and data transmission, larger freshwater lines and sewage systems....

this thing is the gift that keeps on giving for the station.

they might even have to install a larger valve on the money pipeline for this project.

C

pk said...

in long beach ca. there was a group of concerned citizens that lived  under the flight path for landing at the dity airport. the airport where douglas long beach (later boeing) built dc3's, dc6's dc8's dc9's, dc10's.

terrible noise, so bad that president reagans dc7 was not allowed to land there.

now thats not a problem. there is the c17 assembly line at the west end of the runway but the traffic jams when the 56,000 employees came to work and went home are gone as are the ones in torrance wheere the 58,000 employees at the small parts plant worked.

yep they got rid of the noise all right.

C

leesea said...

What can trump the strategic "imperative" is MONEY!  Simply put is this something which HAS to be done now?  The price tag is about $400 million to facilities improvement.  The other comments on how the technicians and specialized yard workers coming down from NORVA should not be deminished.   Those mean higher operating costs for a carrier at MYPT.

It is absolutely correct to observe that MYPT is a viable alternative homeport BUT can the USN afford it?

I would add that bringing and ARG and some escorts is very much doable at a singificantly lower cost.  Should not Gators being bottled up in LCRK also be considerd unadvisable strategically.  AND the USMC base at Blount Island can support them (better) IMHO.

Former NAVSTA MYPT CO said when I asked him about above "We could bring them in tomorrow"

Dollars will trump strategy methinks?

ShawnP said...

Dogs and Carriers should stay out of Virgina.

Navy Suppo said...

Terrible waste of the taxpayers money.  Somehow we have managed to survive with all east coast CVNs in Norfolk for 10 years.  Leave them there!  The cost for the "N" portion of the CVN move is astronomical.

If we must, move an ARG (LHD/LPD/LSD) to Mayport and have them be the first response to anything in the 4th fleet AOR.  We have something similar in Sasebo, though the exact mission/ROE are likely different.

James said...

Ya'll remenber pearl harbour? All those pretty little planes lined up in neat packed rows waiting for one little hit?

When a enemy uses a single nuke to take out a good portion of our navy in one go and kill so many crews i want yall to remember all the b&^%hin.

Of course then there is a fun idea. Move a few dozen cheap diesel subs have them resupplied at sea from a converted cargo vessel for the trip. Then when the war starts and all those carriers start moving out hit em all as they come out....course you could hit one...the others have to stay pinned up while those subs are hunted down.

Look my weird ideas aside.........its just a bad idea to bunch up so much of our naval power in one place. YES it will cost. But having to replace all the ships lost would cost more in money not to mention lives.

Redeye80 said...

You could say the same about all the air bases stateside.  One good mortar team could knock out more than a couple of squadrons. Just saying!

The Usual Suspect said...

Like all the heavy lift at McChord almost wingtip to wingtip...

ShawnP said...

The Navy should move all ships from that godforsaken region called Hampton Roads. It has been made painfully obvious for decades that we as a Navy are not wanted in that area. They don't want us to walk on their grass. They target us outside our bases. They don't want us to fly and pratice our craft. But suddenly when we want to move one or more of our ships they want us all of a sudden. The worst tour I ever had in the Navy was on a amphib out of that area. If I done one more tour with such open hatred from the local populace. I would have gotten out of the Navy. Frankly we are more welcome as a Navy in Bahrain than Norfolk.

John said...

A.  Dispersal is a good idea.
B.  Dispersal in a nuclear threat era isnot nearly as important as in the past.  So the [fillin the blank] bad guys have to target two ports instead of one.  Not that difficult a challenge.
C.  We don't have the money to make this work.
D.  In all probability the nitiwits in Congress will continue to starve the military while growing entitlements, so there will be insufficient CVNs to fill up the available pier space anyway.  Unless they want to park a marginally operational one in Mayport just to say they have a carier there.

This is an idea which would have made much more sense 20-25 years ago with fantasies of a 600 ship Navy and Strategic Home Porking.  Now, not so much.

THe "leadership" seems focused on DADT and Diversity and the other important stuff anyway.

James said...

"THe "leadership" seems focused on DADT and Diversity and the other important stuff anyway."

That an LCS, DDG-1000, New LPD designes that suck etc, etc, etc.

ShawnP said...

At one time the Forrest Fire (CV-59), Suckin 60 from Dixie (CV-60) and the Swanky Franky (CV-42) were all in Mayport.

Byron said...

Here, here. All us Yardbirds want Gator Freighters!

Byron said...

And, sad to say, I've worked on all three...including the carrier from hell, the JFK.

Byron said...

Ya'll can keep those Virginia boys up tha-yah, we'll let ya know when the tea kettle needs some tweakin' :)

Byron said...

No, this is Jacksonville in Northeast Florida where we truly believe that jet noise is the sound of freedom. Only a handful of old cranks ever complain and no one pays any attention to them.

ShawnP said...

That makes you reallly, really olddddddddd.

ShawnP said...

Once on a ship in Charlie town the Bosun's Mates nailed the CO's front window with a monkey fist.

xformed said...

Yep...the DH/SWO signs were regular casualties at the D&S Piers.

xformed said...

Mmmmm...Yep...if it was only once...then we were there at the same time, but I suspect it was maybe a time or two more.

Hell, there are pic of entire torpedoes in cars on the pier, from shooting test shots in empty tubes, too.

leesea said...

according to the unsolicitied comments I have heard here in JAX, sailors are much happier in NE FLA.  We should welcome more Marines too.  Go look up Blount Island Command

xformed said...

My dad was civil service land appraiser and came down in the early 80s to discuss easements around Oceana.  Community says "if you want us to not build on it, buy it."  Did get some zoning for commercial only from them, but mostly it was a standoff.

James said...

Carrier from hell?

Southern Air Pirate said...

Big John was a USNR ship from 1992 till it was decommissioned in 2007. NavAirSysCom (the folks who own the carriers and pay for maintenance) ran her into the ground by not paying for a couple of major overhauls in that time period. Even though she was SLEP'd in 1995 in Philly, and the last conventional carrier to be SLEP'd there, they didn't give her anything more then some limited pier side yard time. There was a plan just after her failing INSURV in 2001 to pay for some yard time up in VA at the end of a deployment, but powers to be saw more $$$ to be saved to try and save the Big E if they just decomm'd Big John.

Skippy-san said...

SAP-Don't forget that in making JFK a "reserve ship" she had really bad manning challenges as a whole lot of TAR's woke up to the fact that they would now have to be going to sea in the AIMD and other departments of the ship to man her. That-was directly at odds with why a lot of them had gone TAR to begin with- and as a result the ship was undermanned. JFK's AIMD did not work well and the Air Wings that had to embark and recieve services from it hated it. Makijng JFK a USNR ship was a big mistake and had a lot to do with the problems it had in the early 2000's.

Byron said...

Yes, it does, sonny, and this coming May I'll have been in this business for 40 years ;)

Byron said...

She was in crappy shape, yes, but there was around $700, 000,000 spent on her in 2003. What made her a crappy ship was the inordinate amount of really crappy sailors aboard her. I got the impression that she was a dumping ground for those who couldn't hack the grade elsewhere.

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LT B said...

I saw an XO's sign get switched w/ the handicapped parking sign.  That was always funny to watch as the XO's head spun like Linda Blair's in Exorcist.

Navy Suppo said...

Having served in ships in both Mayport and Norfolk I can certainly validate that sailors are happier in Mayport.  The further away from the TYCOM/Fleet the less day-today intrusion, which lowers the stress level for the entire crew. 

The Pearl Harbor analogy works if one believes that a fleet or squadron can conduct a surprise attack ala the Japanese in 1941.  The US taxpayers can't afford to fund the solution to every worst case scenario related to national security unless everyone is willing to pay Western European level income taxes or worse.  I refuse to buy into the live in constant fear syndrome but prefer a be vigilant but do so smartly approach...trust but verify.

Byron said...

The only reason I'd agree with for dispersal has more to do with those things that with the help of terrorism can cause a channel to be blocked. That pretty much pertains to all Naval Stations including Mayport. The biggest advantage to Mayport is proximity to the sea. For the average  frigate/destroyer/cruiser, it's less than five minutes from slipping lines to passing the end of the St. Johns River jetties and full speed ahead.

leesea said...

I have been on sea details out of NORVA and LCRK, both time consuming and tricky until one gets to CBJ.  Mayport is not shut down by winter weather either.  Take a look at Navy Times today.  Now coming out of downtown or Blount Island takes some more time.

Therapist1 said...

Excuse me sir!!!!  There are no petty politics in the Commonwealth of Virginia! :)

ShawnP said...

To this day the most memorable day of my Naval Career wasn't getting ESWS, EAWS, NAMS or making OS1. It was the way Jacksonville welcomed home the Saratoga Battle Group on March 28, 1992. Mayport Road was lined with citizens saying thank you from the front gate all the way to Atlantic Blvd. Norfolk is lined with citizens saying thank you in one finger ways.

andrewdb said...

NavAir = Sound of Freedom

UPS/FedEx = Sound of Commerce

Byron said...

Heh, heh, saw one of the "empty tube" shots on Delta pier at Mayport :)

Byron said...

You're damn right we did, and we all knew that you left one of your own in the sands of Iraq. Yes, this city still remembers Scott Speicher.

pk said...

it supposedly happened on 1010 dock at pearls. supposedly the fish ended up at the door to the exchange with the admiral buying cigaretts at the cash register.

pk said...

there was a legend on the west coast that in the town of norfolk there was a yellow line painted across the street six blocks from the naval station gate and sailors were not allowed past it.

C

leesea said...

does that mean that politics in VA are all felonies?~~  LOL

sid said...

<span>At one time the Forrest Fire (CV-59), Suckin 60 from Dixie (CV-60) and the Swanky Franky (CV-42) were all in Mayport.</span>

I was there during those days...Did plane guard for the FDR on her last bit of flt ops she did for some A-7s doing carquals.

The FID changed homeports from Norfolk to Mayport just after she left to be decommissioned.

sid said...

<span>At one time the Forrest Fire (CV-59), Suckin 60 from Dixie (CV-60) and the Swanky Franky (CV-42) were all in Mayport.</span>

I was there during those days...Did plane guard for the FDR on her last bit of flt ops she did for some A-7s doing carquals.

The FID changed homeports from Norfolk to Mayport just after she left to be decommissioned.

Dirt said...

I must disagree on this one CDR S. The question is not where would our sailors be happier as some commenters seem to indicate. Nor is this a "No Brainer" as you state. The question is what type of military readiness and combat force capability can we generate with a given amonunt of funding. In this case we're talking about $1 Billion.

Given that in an unconstrained funding environment, we would always like to disperse our forces, but that's not the world in which we live.

Understand that on any given day, well over 50% of our fleet is already dispersed because it's underway or forward deployed. This isn't 1941 where our ships tended to remain in port for long stretches of time, so Pearl Harbor is not analogous to Hampton Roads.

I also understand that a lot of sailors don't like living in Hampton Roads. Sorry. Too bad.

For $1 Billion we can buy a lot more combat capability and readiness than the advantages of moving a single carrier.

pk said...

B:

long beach naval shipyard/naval station at pier "E" had a straight shot to sea and it was approximately 1.5 miles to the sea bouy.

they closed us anyway.

C

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