Monday, July 12, 2021

The Hard Truth in an Inactivation Schedule

Ship inactivation, are, in a way, sad things to see.

Especially for those who served on them, these ships represent untold hours of dedication, hard work, love, sacrifice, and memories of long, boring watches and flashing rushes of adrenaline.

Each story is unique, but in aggregate they tell other, perhaps more meaningful stories about the naval service they represent, and the nation they serve.

For those focused on capability, the question should always be twofold; 1) Are we commissioning more or less of what are are decommissioning?; 2) Are we going to have more capabilities tomorrow than we have today?

For those focused on the Navy's stewardship of the taxpayer's investment in their working capital, an entering argument might be, "Are we getting as much as we can out of what we buy?"

There are a broad measure you can use as quick-look measures of both the utility of a ship, the value the Navy puts on it, and the degree of care the Navy took in its ownership.

1. Are ships lasting as long as their designed service life?

Released, naturally, the Friday before a three day weekend, go ahead and review the below for the details, but here is the quicklook from here, based on Class.

- Patrol Craft: Average age of ship, 27 years. We plan to send them to foreign military sales. They have more life left, yet we are letting them go without a direct replacement. Before you respond with, "Muh LCS..." read the whole message.
- Cruisers: Average age of ship, 30 years. This is their design life ... and considering what we did to their SPRUANCE sisters, not bad. This does leave a gaping hold in capabilities ... but this is what happens when your procurement program fails on CG(X), and slow rolls the horribly named Large Surface Combatant (LSC). Incompetency flavored with a lack of accountability bears a bitter fruit. We will simply have to work around it.
- LCS: Six years. Six frack’n years. I don’t think I need to say more.
- Amphibs: Always get your money's worth. 36 years.
- Subs: Well run programs get better than average results. 35 years.
- USNS: 38 years. Man, that's an old ship. Heck, one, T-AK 3016 was originally a Soviet ship.

UNCLASSIFIED// ROUTINE R 021303Z JUL 21 FM CNO WASHINGTON DC TO NAVADMIN INFO CNO WASHINGTON DC BT UNCLAS   NAVADMIN 145/21   PASS TO OFFICE CODES: FM CNO WASHINGTON DC//DNS// INFO CNO WASHINGTON DC//DNS// MSGID/GENADMIN/CNO WASHINGTON DC/DNS/XXX/JUL//   SUBJ/FY22 PROJECTED SHIP INACTIVATION SCHEDULE//   REF/A/DOC/OPNAVINST 4770.5J/20200904// REF/B/DOC/OPNAVINST 5400.44A/20111013//   NARR/REF A IS GENERAL POLICY FOR THE INACTIVATION, RETIREMENT, AND DISPOSITION OF U.S. NAVAL VESSELS. REF B IS NAVY ORGANIZATION CHANGE MANUAL (NOCM) FOR SUBMITTING ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE REQUESTS (OCR) TO INCLUDE SHIP DECOMMISSIONINGS OR INACTIVATIONS.// POC/CDR JIM [redacted]/MIL/N9IS/LOC: Washington DC/TEL: 703-693-[redacted]/EMAIL: [redacted](at)   RMKS/1.  This message shall be read in its entirety to ensure all stakeholders in the ship inactivation process are aware of the projected retirement schedule for the upcoming fiscal year 2022 (FY22), respective responsibilities and necessary follow-up actions.  Ship retirement decisions reflected in paragraph 2 below align with the President’s Budget for 2022. This plan will be adjusted if necessary based on subsequent execution year decisions made by leadership or as required by Congressional action.   2.  To facilitate fleet planning efforts to conduct decommissioning continuous maintenance availability (CMAV) or inactivation availability (INAC), the projected schedule for inactivating U.S. battle force and non-battle force naval vessels in FY22 is promulgated as follows:   Ship Name                     Proj Inactive Date     Post Inactive Status USS TEMPEST PC 2              29 MAR                 FMS USS TYPHOON PC 5              14 MAR 22              FMS USS SQUALL PC 7               10 APR 22              FMS USS FIREBOLT PC 10            01 MAR 22              FMS USS WHIRLWIND PC 1            24 APR 22              FMS USS SAN JACINTO CG 56         30 SEP 22              OCIR USS LAKE CHAMPLAIN CG 57      31 MAR 22              OCIR USS MONTEREY CG 61            22 FEB 22              OCIR USS HUE CITY CG 66            31 MAR 22              OCIR USS ANZIO CG 68              31 MAR 22              OCIR USS VELLA GULF CG 72          18 FEB 22              OCIR USS PORT ROYAL CG 73          31 MAR 22              OCIR USS FORT WORTH LCS 3          31 MAR 22              OCIR USS CORONADO LCS 4            31 MAR 22              OCIR USS DETROIT LCS 7             31 MAR 22              OCIR USS LITTLE ROCK LCS 9         31 MAR 22     OCIR USS WHIDBEY ISLAND LSD 41     30 APR 22     OCIR USS PROVIDENCE SSN 719        02 DEC 21     RECYCLE USS OKLAHOMA CITY SSN 723     21 JUN 22     RECYCLE USNS APACHE T-ATF 172         30 JUN 22     DISPOSAL USNS 1ST LT HARRY L MARTIN T-AK 2015       30 DEC 21     DISPOSAL USNS LCPL ROY M WHEAT T-AK 3016               31 DEC 21      DISPOSAL   3.  Per reference (b), Fleet Commanders shall submit an Organizational Change Request for commissioned U.S. ships to formally notify the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV) of a ships decommissioning, inactivation, or end of service.  Submit revisions due to operational schedule changes per references (a) and (b).  It is the responsibility of Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command and Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet in coordination with their respective TYCOM to ensure the appropriate lower echelon commands are notified of any changes in the ship inactivation schedules, as well as Integrated Warfare (OPNAV N9I) and OPNAV resource sponsor.   4.  Adjustments to paragraph 2 ship inactivation's that cross the current fiscal year must be coordinated with OPNAV N9I due to Congressional requirements for execution year force structure changes that differ from what Congress authorized/appropriated and signed into law by the President. OPNAV shall promulgate changes to the inactivation fiscal year as required.   5.  The ships commanding officer, masters, or Immediate Superior In Command, shall submit a final naval message (normally transmitted in conjunction with the decommissioning ceremony) announcing the ships official retirement date and include a brief history of the significant events in the life of the ship per reference (a).  The Naval History and Heritage Command (NAVHISTHERITAGE WASHINGTON DC) and Naval Vessel Register Custodian (NVR NORFOLK VA), shall be included as INFO addresses.   6.  Released by Mr. Andrew S. Haeuptle, Director, Navy Staff.//   BT #0001 NNNN UNCLASSIFIED//

A final note ... let me strap on my old Flag Sec loopy-thingy; a CNO message should NEVER have a typo, much less two.

On the copy of this message I received, I have two. 1) It identifies WHIRLWIND as "PC-1." It is PC-11. 2) It 1ST LT HARRY L MARTIN as "T-AK 2015." It is "T-AK 3015."

I know, I know, I am a typo machine ... but I am just a blogg'r pumping stuff out over b-fast and conference call.
UPDATE: Check out the comment section, the Front Porch found some more typos. Now I'm mad I didn't catch 'em on the 1st read.

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