Via our buddy Phil Ewing at DODBuzz, seems like Salamanderesque verbiage is breaking out all over the place.
A pair of top Navy officials admitted Tuesday that its endemic readiness problems are basically unresolved — and may keep getting worse — before the service’s plans to fix its surface fleet finally take effect. Vice Adm. Bill Burke, the Navy’s top maintenance officer; and Vice Adm. Kevin McCoy, head of Naval Sea Systems Command, told a House Armed Services Committee panel that it took so many years, and so many interconnected decisions, to put the surface Navy in its current state that it would take a lot of time and effort to get it right again.Congressman, they get away with it because there is no accountability. You are actually promoting those who fail to tell you the truth.
Over the past five years and beyond, Navy inspections have found that a growing number of the Navy’s surface warships aren’t ready to fight: The ships are in bad physical shape, carry broken equipment, insufficient spare parts, and can’t even rely upon their advanced weapons and sensors. But despite years of embarrassing reports in the press and harangues from Congress and top DoD officials, the fleet has been slow to recover, given the wide range of causes for its woes. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, when the “running government like a business” craze swept the Pentagon, top leaders rewarded commanders who could get the job done for less money, which then sparked a flurry of inter-related decisions that had the net effect of reducing the readiness of the surface Navy: The Navy fielded smaller crews, making fewer hands available for regular maintenance; it cut human-led, hands-on instruction, preferring to teach sailors their jobs using “computer-based instruction,” which meant they weren’t qualified to do their jobs at sea. And simple budget cuts meant ships didn’t get the regular maintenance or spare parts they needed.
has taken years to get the top brass to acknowledge the failures of initiatives such as “top 6 roll-down,” “lean manning,” and the “fleet response plan.”
McCoy and Burke said that about 70 percent of the Navy’s hoped-for fleet of 313 ships is in service today, but the service can only get to that goal if all its destroyers and cruisers, for example, actually serve for their full 40 or 35 years.
But Congress has heard Navy leaders give this explanation many times before, Forbes said. He pointed to statistics that showed an ever-growing number of Navy warships were being found unready each year — from 12 percent in 2009 to 24 percent last year, and 22 percent already this year. What is the Navy’s target for that number? Forbes asked. McCoy and Burke said the service is in the process of formulating one, but it’s a complicated situation. Forbes complained that defense witnesses always come before Congress with a plan for how they’ll get better, but they seldom appear to be able to act on it; as when DoD was unable to even conduct the basic audits of itself that officials promised they would.
Admitting the problem - one we have been talking about here for years - is the first step. Now we need to be very specific about what those bad decision were, who made them, and how we correct them.
Thanks also goes to Rep. Forbes (R-VA) for getting these VADM on the carpet to bring the conversation to the next level. More, much more. Keep pushing, keep asking. Next step is for you to find a way to FORCE the Navy to reverse its CYA act of classifying INSURV - reports that were unclassified for decades. There was no reason to do that, even less reason now.
Ask the incoming CNO about that, I am sure he will love the question.
Hat tip LT B.