Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Making LCS Work the Only Way the Critics Said it Could be

Both the Freedom and Independence Class LCS have been - if we are to be polite - suboptimal in both utility and performance. We've documented that for the better part of 17-years and that record is all available at the LCS tag, so no need to rehash the whole sordid thing again.

Well ... maybe just a little bit.

Of course we should have adopted Plan Salamander as outlined over 11-yrs ago, but we have what we have. Smart people with hard jobs given enough Sailor sweat and seabags of cash have managed to get the Independence Class to contribute to the presence mission in WESTPAC, but as outlined in Megan Eckstein's latest at Defense News, Freedom remains the more troublesome of the sisters.

There is a nice graphic in her article that I know the folks on The Front Porch would get a little schadenfreudesque pleasure in seeing because it reflects what many of us predicted when The Smartest People in the Room™ told us that the mission-module concept would be all that and a box of chocolates. Of course, as led by our friend Chapomatic and others, even before this blog started in 2004, people were warning that it was - like the phantasmagoric manning CONOPS - simply not realistic with the humans we have. 

In the end, these would be single mission ships. That was clear, but those warning were dismissed. And so, BEHOLD!

The LCS program originally promised three mission packages, each interchangeable with any of the ship hulls and able to be swapped on demand. The Navy changed its operational model in 2016, assigning each ship to a division within the LCS squadrons based on a single warfare area, allowing the ship crews’ composition and training to be tailored to that warfare mission.

LCSRON 2 set up a mine countermeasures division in October 2020; the division and its ships will finally get their mission package early this year.

Hopefully one of the lessons Big Navy will take away from the Age of Transformationalism is that if your programs are moving forward through threats and silencing people to the point that everyone in the room agrees with you that - yes - we can ignore centuries of best practices because we are smarter and better than previous generations who did great things ... then perhaps you're not in a good place.

Good to see that the Freedom Class is starting to get its footing and BZ to the good people in hard jobs for making it happen. It isn't what was promised or even what we need, but it is what we have; our legacy from the Age of Transformationalism we will simply have to make the best of. 

0.5 >0.0. Yes, we were promised 4.0 and only received 0.5 ... but I will go to war with 0.5 over 0.0 any day.

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