Wednesday, April 05, 2006

LCS-2 gets a big ship name

Time to beat my head against this wall again.
Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter has named the Navy's newest Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) – Independence.
Why is it that we are wasting a name like “INDEPENDENCE” on one of the overpriced, underarmed, fast and not so furious, cheesy, “mission modules that don’t exist but on PPT and paper,” Little Crappy Ship?

Naming LCS-1 FREEDOM was bad enough. Just to build the callous on my head up some more. FREEDOM and INDEPENDENCE belong on capital ships. FREEDOM and INDEPENDENCE need to be as big as their ideas. You put a name like that, especially one with such a tradition as INDEPENDENCE, on a CVN, LPH, or at least a SSN. It is almost like the little insecure kid of any age who buys a Pit Bull, brags about his prowess in all testosterony, and makes his friends call him “Hoss” or “G-One” – you just want to ask, “Why so insecure – what are you trying to compensate for?” I can almost hear it now……
“The USS INDEPENDENCE was sunk yesterday when confronted last night unescorted by a (insert country X here) Corvette. According to initial reports by a surviving crewmember, the Corvette was disguised as a South African Corvette of the same class operating in the same area. Their UAV provided clear pictures with no indications that it was from Country X.

Though able to defeat the two SSM fired at her, she was unable to escape at high speed due to damage from a 76mm round to her stern, keeping her to under 20 KTS. The Corvette was able to stand off outside the range of the only remaining significant weapon, the INDEPENDENCE’s 57mm gun. With the superior range of the Corvette’s 76mm gun, the enemy was able to leisurely destroy INDEPENDENCE in less than 5 minutes. With over 30 hits to her hull and superstructure, and on fire in multiple locations – the Captain of the INDEPENDECE could not control the fires onboard and abandoned ship with a loss of 30 of 65 crewmembers. Of the surviving 35 crewmembers, 20 had significant injuries. From initial SSM fire from the Corvette to the sinking of the INDEPENDENCE, the engagement took less than 20 minutes. The INDEPENDENCE was returning from a Mine Warfare mission and was not equipped to confront the superior firepower of the other warship.

The Corvette was sunk early this morning while trying to return to port, 10 miles from its territorial waters, by a Marine F-35 flying off the newly commissioned USS Clinton (CVN-21). Country X reports there were no survivors.

Vice Admiral Whisenhant-Black, COMFIFTHFLT, has ordered all remaining LCS to be escorted by either one of the Burke class DDG, or similar Allied warships while conducting operations. With only two ASUW modules available, and those still under evaluation, the risk of the remaining LCS operating independently for Mine Warfare or ASW is too great as they are needed to support Special Operation once those modules arrive.

On a similar note, this morning President Feingold stated that action would not be taken against the remaining Naval units of Country X as there is no way to determine if their Corvette initiated action, or if as charged, the INDEPENDENCE initiated hostile action when its embarked UAV attempted to collide with Corvette. The fact the Commanding Officer and Executive Officer were killed in the action along with all onboard records have made determination of the initiation of hostile action difficult. The President would not confirm or deny reports that he talked to the President of Country X after the sinking of the Corvette and apologized that he didn’t first ask for clarification about what happened first and that he had not authorized any action against the Corvette. Additionally, he would not respond to questions about a request by Country X for a UN investigation into the night action.

Initial buzz around the John Murtha Building (formally The Pentagon) is that VADM Whisenhant-Black may be relieved. That is seen as unlikely by many insiders due to her close relationship with the Secretary of the Navy McKinney and past support for her career by Vice President Boxer. Murtha Building watchers are keeping an eye on Secretary of Defense Sullivan’s schedule next Tuesday, where he is to take a bike ride with VADM Whisenhant-Black after her testimony at the Senate Armed Services Committee about need to restart the cancelled DDG-1000 program.”
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Hat tip Kinshasa on the Potomac.

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