Wednesday, March 05, 2014

The Navy and the QDR

If you have not already from last night's post, click here for the QDR or just reference it below.

I don't get too wonky about QDRs as they are OBE fairly fast, but that doesn't mean they aren't important. They are very important because they are used as a reference point for decision makers and those tasked with deciding how to man, train, and equip our future Fleet.

In that light, here is a summary of the major maritime points as I see them:
The Navy will prioritize:
- Maintaining a credible, modern, and safe sea-based strategic deterrent, including required investments to start SSBN(X) submarine construction in FY2021; and
- Sustaining or affordably enhancing asymmetric advantages to remain ahead of or keep pace with adversary threats including offensive strike capabilities such as the Offensive Anti-Surface Warfare weapons, Next-Generation Land Attack Weapon, Virginia Payload Module, and F-35 programs.
There is your outline for the Terrible 20s with bullet #1, but #2 gives plenty of focus.
No new contract negotiations beyond 32 Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) will go forward. The Navy will closely examine whether the LCS has the protection and firepower to survive against a more advanced military adversary, especially in the Asia-Pacific region. The Navy will submit alternative proposals to procure a capable and lethal small surface combatant.
I know that is old news now, but I just wanted to put it out there again for the Front Porch to roll in.
... the Marine Corps will plan for an end strength of 182,000 active duty Marines, with additional cuts to 175,000 if sequestration-level cuts are imposed in FY2016 and beyond.
You can never have enough Marines - but in a global context that is an unmatched combat force pound-for-pound. Workable.
By 2020, 60 percent of U.S. Navy assets will be stationed in the Pacific, including enhancements to our critical naval presence in Japan.
No need to change that.

There is quite a bit in there about sequestration that requires your attention as well - but to be frank, it all bores me to death and I'll let the politicians work on it, and those who like to play in that sandbox. No offense to the authors (it actually reads well), it is just "it".

All in all, this just reinforces my general feeling about QDR: it means a lot to some very important people - but for me it still lies between meh and feh.

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