Details tell stories. More often than not, they tell stories much deeper than what is only seen with they eyes.
As we are all excited about working towards a 350-ship Navy (I sure am) we are in danger of not fully understanding a more pressing problem right in front of us. It is a simple story - one known to Sailors for thousands of years.
In our case we have a picture of three of our ships, and they tell a story that was not the intention of the person to took and published it.
Look at the decks. Look at the hulls. Look at the fittings. You can get the hi-res version of the pic here.
As a wise man emphasized to me last year,
"this tells a story of nothing magic - long deployments- fewer deck SNs - less time and money to do preservation - I've seen better but also seen worse."Our pros know this, but they can only do what they can do for corrosion control improvements. Chemistry, metallurgy, and physics have their own laws - laws that are not kind to being neglected.
This pic was not some random pic either. This was the featured image yesterday at navy.mil.
Have we reached the point where we have defined adequacy down? Is this the image we want the world to see of our Navy?
This picture was a picture of choice. At no point did someone say, "We are in an ongoing INFO OPS and PSYOPS campaign. Public Affairs should support those efforts. I think we can find a better picture than this to feature today."
This matters, but perhaps it can still serve a function - it allows the truth of the material condition of our ships and the byproduct of "optimal manning" to break out in to the open.
We should look at the budget wedge we are putting towards preservation and deck Seaman, and budget a bit of a cushion - I think we're going to need it once we start digging around.
Remember the excuse for sinking all those SPRU barely 20-yrs old? They weren't taken good care of? Well ... yea. The Terrible 20s may be, well, you know.
Hat tip Phil.