It has been awhile since I have taken a shot at speechwriters ... but I cannot help myself.
Someone please help out the Secretary of the Navy. He is the head of the most powerful Navy in the world, seriously. When he fails, the Navy fails.
There is so much fail here it is hard to read. So hard to read, I am sure there are more fails here than I caught.
Last time I pinged on speech writers, it was one of the CNO's speech writers ... this time it is an exceptionally painful read by the SECNAV that is gathering fails like a Spaniel gathers beggarwweed.
I almost don't want to do it - but if no one else will motivate by the threat of shame ... here we go.
One of the really cool parts of the job of being Secretary of the Navy is you get to name every ship of the United States Navy. Now, I thought about naming them The Levin and The Kohl, but there’s something about having to be dead before you get a ship named for you and I just didn’t want to do that to them.Bush 41, call your office ... and the SECNAV really should never say "... really cool parts ..."
So LCS 5, the next ship to be built here, is going to be the USS Milwaukee and the LCS 7, the USS Detroit. They’re going to be the fifth ship named Milwaukee and the sixth ship named Detroit that have sailed for the United States. So we’ve had two cruisers, the Milwaukee and the Detroit, that both fought in World War II. These ships are worthy successors to those other Detroits and Milwaukees.This is what pains me the most. For 95% of Sailors who have been around awhile, MILWAUKEE and DETROIT mean two things - a Replenishment Oiler (AOR-2) and a Combat Support Ship (AOE-4). Not that there is anything wrong with that - but well within Active Duty living memory and - POOF - down the memory hole.
Let's look back at that quote again. The last part;
So we’ve had two cruisers, the Milwaukee and the Detroit, that both fought in World War II. These ships are worthy successors to those other Detroits and Milwaukees.Hey - some truth in naming. Let's look at the records of the USS DETROIT (CL-8) and USS MILWAUKEE (CL-5).
They were immediately post-WWI light cruisers so obsolete by the time WWII broke out that they were assigned only to the least hostile periphery of the conflict from the South Atlantic, Southeast Pacific, and convoy escort duty on both oceans. Considered so limited, that the the MILWAUKEE was even given to the Soviets for a few years as a substitute for part of the Italian Fleet they never got.
The only meaty parts of the war they saw was some shore bombardment in the Aleutian for DETROIT. They both did very honorable and important convoy escort duties. Great warships with Sailors performing solid service at war - but no SAN DIEGO.
Compared to the rest of the Fleet - CL-5 & CL-8 were considered second-rate ships not suited for the requirements of modern warfare. Yes SECNAV - perfect names for LCS.
These are going to be the backbones of the U.S. Navy for the next few decades. And it’s because of the skill of the workforce here. - what you all have done. And thanks to these two senators – we would not be standing here today without the hard work that they did in November and December of 2010 to allow us to buy both variants - to allow us to buy the ones from here and the ones from Mobile.Our backbone is fragile, ... errr ... "exquisite" I mean ... little crew endurance, very expensive, and uni-mission. Heck of a backbone. Pinkie-toe of the Fleet - perhaps. Exposed & shaved nut-sack of the Fleet - maybe. Tender nipples of the Fleet - even better. Backbone? Notsomuch.
... and because LCS is the gift that keeps on giving ...
The first ship that you built, the Freedom, deployed two years early. In its first deployment in the Caribbean, in a little bit more than three weeks, it seized almost three tons of cocaine. And the reason was that those fast boats the drug runners used would see a gray ship on the horizon and just figure they could outrun it. Well, they couldn’t.Like I have said for years - a very expensive medium endurance cutter. By all means, give them to the USCG so we can build a Navy ship.
...and yes. I know. LCS will be a large part of the Fleet. It is too late to kill it. We need to make it work. We have to find the way to best utilize it ... yes ... like only having a 28ga at a pheasant hunt - you just have to do your best. Yes, I know. I won't be part of happy-talk or false-hope though. No. That gets people killed. Be honest with your limitations and you are less likely to do stupid things.