Saturday, July 14, 2012

Another LCS Shoe Drops

Go ahead. Line them up; get 'em on ice. I prefer mine European and anything "Lite" is not allowed.

So many people owe me and other members of the Front Porch beer right now it is just getting silly.

What have we been saying about the Potemkin Mission Module CONOPS from day frigg'n one? Via DefenseNews;
The original idea for the littoral combat ship (LCS) envisioned modular mission packages that could be rapidly swapped, so one ship could change missions easily from mine warfare, for example, to anti-submarine warfare over the course of a single deployment.

But instead of taking just days to make the switch, it’s now apparent it could take weeks. An LCS assigned to a particular operation will likely operate in a single “come-as-you-are” configuration, requiring additional ships equipped with other mission modules to provide the flexibility the concept once promised.
The classified study, known as the OPNAV report (referring to staff reporting to the chief of naval operations), was headed by Rear Adm. Samuel Perez. Beginning in January, Perez and a 10-person team looked at all aspects of the fleet’s “readiness to receive, employ and deploy” the LCS.

USFFC in January conducted a “sustainment war game” to understand the issues and risks in manning and supporting an LCS across the Pacific Ocean — a key concern with the Freedom, the first LCS, scheduled to deploy to Singapore in the spring of 2013. It will be the first time an LCS has operated outside the Western Hemisphere.

Another war game, focusing on operations and war fighting, was held in mid-June. The results of that effort are still being analyzed, Navy sources said.

While the Navy would not release the OPNAV report, a number of sources familiar with both LCS and the report said it lays out in greater detail the problems and issues confronting the entire LCS effort, including the concept of operations (CONOPS), manning shortages, maintenance and training concerns, modularity and mission module issues, and commonality problems between the two LCS variants.

It also cites problems with how the LCS is perceived in the fleet, how leadership presents LCS capabilities, and the need to effect changes in virtually every operational area.
This is just rich.
“As I looked at some of the draft documentation to say how we’re going to run LCS, what I thought we needed to do was a rebaselining, understanding how much information we’ve generated on how we’re going to operate these ships, and take that and build a foundation,” said Rear Adm. Thomas Rowden, OPNAV’s director of surface warfare, during an interview at the Pentagon. “I will call this a concept of employment, or CONEMP.”

Rowden is leading the work to coordinate and compile the LCS analytical efforts.

“The reality of it is, it’s time to step back and say, what did we get wrong here?”
Admiral - you could have been reading CDRS for the last six years to get the answer to that question (maybe you have, natch) - and even better you can ask why we had a command climate that didn't allow these concerns to come to the front? Nothing put on CDRS was not said early on in the program along the big table - with concerns moved to "back up slides."

None of this is new. Welcome aboard.

Hat tip Claude.

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