Tuesday, December 13, 2011

So, you want to decom Tico's, eh?

As the budget shrinks - cuts will have to be made. The only way to make sure we get the best result is through vigorous debate - as our system is designed.

Checks and balances are messy and time consuming - but they are the best thing out there.

Along those lines, six Congressmen; Rep. Scott Rigell (R-VA), Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL), Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI), Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL), Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), and Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-CA) sent a letter to the CNO that starts thus;
We are writing to express our deep concern about ongoing USN consideration to deviate from the current ship modernization program of record by decommissioning up to nine CG-47 Aegis class ships. US security and prosperity requires a maritime strategy dependent on capable seapower projection. Therefore, We strongly oppose the premature decommissioning of any USN ships and especially those of the CG-47 Aegis class.
You can download the letter here.

Oh, and if you want to feel sad; click this.


Eric Palmer said...

Is that photo that early Tico that served a whopping 18 years?

Adversus Omnes Dissident said...

put up or shut up time......do you want 278 M-4 ships or 224 M-1 ships?

Cannot get there from here with current funding streams (and leadership / congressional priorities and requirements)

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

I shouldn't have looked, now I'll be sad all night.

John said...

Don't worry, we have 20 LCS coming so we are protected from danger.

As long is it is nothing more dangerous than a canoe with a AK-47.

ewok40k said...

quote from few posts ago:
The first seven Arleigh Burkes will be decommissioned prior to their 35 year Expected Service Life, being deemed too costly to operate with the large required crews and too old to upgrade to modern combat systems. The same fate will befall the Ticonderoga-class cruisers, with 9 being retained in service to act as escorts for the super carriers.

someone somewhere is "I told ya so!"

FCC(SW) said...

It ebbs and flows.  First it was:

DECOMM the Spru-can's MUCH too soon; then it was:
DECOMM the OHP' Figs MUCH too late.

... so we were due for another MUCH too soon.

chief torpedoman said...

It all seems to come down to the expense of personnel. The FFGs had a smaller crew than the Spru cans.

Penny wise and pound foolish. Would you rather have a large expensive ship that can do many jobs or a small cheaper-to-operate ship that can do a lot fewer jobs.

Can someone tell me who was the S.O.B. who pushed through the decom of the Spru cans? Was he the same one who made sure there was no chance to bring them back by the sinkex operations.

Seems like someone should be turned in for Waste, Fraud, and Abuse of the tax payer's money, not to mention impersonating a sailor.

Adversus Omnes Dissident said...

Ready for this one?  My first line (278 vs 224) came from Admiral Greenert when he was VCNO.

Surfcaster said...

Rotting away again Philadelphiaville
Searching for my lost Ready Reserve Fleet
Some people claim that there's only Congress to blame
But I know its all the &@%#@!s fault

Apolgies. I get silly when I'm pi$$ed. Meet the new plan, same as the old plan.

Spruance, Ticos, Perrys.

Burkes are next.

As a taxpayer I cannot see how this is mot fraud somewhere, let alone efficient savings of tax dollars.

Spade said...

I like how we're making these agreements to base BMD ships here and there and then decomming some so we won't have enough to meet our obligations.

Not that we've been very good in general about meeting our obligations to our allies since, oh, the 70's.

Retired Navy Ship Designer on next career. said...

One part of the problem is that we build ships that are too specialized and don't have sufficient displacement, space and power margins to be easily upgraded throughout their lives.  

The recently built Dutch destroyers have very tall deck heights and lots of open space at commissioning.  They cableways and cable routes are sized such that they are only filled 25% and have lots of room to run cables without cutting and welding.  The physical, elecitrical, and electronic architecture of the ship is "open" for receiving any future change during a lengthy service life.  As with our programs - many of these changes are unforeseen or unplanned at the beginning of the design process.  

Sort of like an improved Spruance - with beer.

Another approach to the analogy is that we need to be building Ford F-150's instead of a customizing a BMW sport wagon that will haul gravel and fit 8 passengers at the same time.

byron's internet daddy said...

buh bye, mayport mafia.  bad time to be a red state. 

UltimaRatioRegis said...

What?  Not enough platforms and resources to execute our 2007 Maritime Strategy?  Heaven forfend! 

That's okay.  We will just adopt Air-Sea Battle Concept.  Which ignores the need entirely for advanced bases.  Yeah.  That'll do.  No matter how unrealistic and naive it is, we will cover our obtuseness and downright stupidity by calling it "thinking outside the box".

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Don't forget, they won't be mothballed in a reserve fleet so when the screwup becomes obvious you can't reverse us.

More flag officers than ships and throwing away ships to save...what?

I'm soo confused.

UltimaRatioRegis said...


You aren't confused in the least.  You also get the gold star.  No mothballing.  No preservation.  Why?  Costs too much.  We would rather recapitalize a $2.5 billion warship at 60% service life, driving TCO costs up dramatically, than spend $1-2 million a year to keep the ship viable for reactivation in case of crisis. (To cost as much as the loss of 40% of service life, the vessel could be mothballed for 800 years or so....)

Yeah, the Navy business model.  When Admirals blather about cost reduction and "lifecycle costs", it is a fair bet that they know little of what they speak except to parrot the party line that their bosses want to hear.

Byron said...

Phib, might want to explain the facts of life to this asshole before I start using the bad language on him..shipyard bad language...the kind to make a master chief blush.

Mike M. said...

Dear Congressman:

Would love to keep ships.  Need to keep ships.  Have no money, all funds diverted to pork plans and crony capitalism.  Please send cash.

Overworked, Underfunded Navy

Mike M. said...

True, but new construction allows Congressmen to boast about how much money they brought to their districts.  Mothballing doesn't.

I won't speculate about how scrapping ships makes rebuilding a slow, costly process; where mothballed ships can be reactivated quickly.  After all, the current Administration would not be trying to permanently reduce the United States to a second-rate power, would it?

Benjamin Walthrop said...

Capacity for future growth needs to be a requirement in the JROC documents above and beyond the current design margins that SHOULD be built into during the specification process.  The USN will probably learn this lesson as some of the technologies from DDG-1000 begin being exercised by the fleet.  Poorly though out OPNAV requirements and each acquisition PM having relatively independent Title X authority is a big part of the acquisition problems facing the USN at this time.

QMC(SW)(ret) said...

That is a sad picture. Look at those LKAs just rusting away...oh wait, you meant the CG? 

UltimaRatioRegis said...


New construction?  Where might that be?  By the by, mothballing these ships can occur in the very same districts in which new construction, if any, would occur.

And no, this administration would never think to reducing America to impotence militarily or fiscally.  After all, the Obamas love America, and have always been proud of her and her flag.

Byron said...

Which also explains why our ships cost so much to build. Once Congress sees a new weapon system coming, they work like ferrets on catnip to shove every piece of pork into the platform they can. If anyone doubts me, then spend as much time as I do with Navy prints trying to order materials that are so source-limited it isn't funny.

C-dore 14 said...

Unfortunately, the reality will be 224 M-2/M-3 ships before the next force reduction.

cdrsalamander said...

Ummm, yea.  M.I.D.  You're being rude to your elders.  Pick a new name please.

Strike 1.

cdrsalamander said...

Another reason to build a run of 12-24 Dutch ships until we can get our act together.

Leesea said...

BW I agree and in might recent experienc the JORC docs do NOT help when naval officers and NAVSEA in particular do NOT know what kind of ship they are buying.  A recent quote for inside the Pentagon:  We don't design ships we use contractors' designs", well if that is the case then how the hell do they know WHAT to buy and HOW to build it?~~

Leesea said...

<span>I worked on converting two of those to T-LKA El Paso and Mobile in 1990s (ALEP program).  El Paso came up from Baltimore under her own power with a CIVMAR crew.  Mobile towed up.  Good old steam ships which COULD be used again.</span>

Leesea said...

URR yeah farely!  First there is a quality to quantity etc.  Second the USN is terrible at figuring out how to support ships which are forwad deployed for long periods  AT SEA.  Ok if some country gives them basing righs until the counrty does NOT agree with BMD, then.. well you know.

Meanwhile the NFAF is going to be reduced AND since the NFAF is meant strictly for u/w deliv4ery, how would forward BASE support be hanlded, local contracts?  More money to foreign economies?

pk said...


back in the day when i was making nuts and bolts by the ton it became apparent that all of the tico's, spurances and lha's  as well as a host of other boats built on the mississsisiissiisippi had deck plates made by a certain company that was a subsidiary of a certain company. they were a pretty good product but used a strainge little screw to tie them down that was made by a sub of the sub of the building yard. these deck plates were used in both engineering and electronics spaces by the thousands. the procurement chain was horrendus and took about 9 months at overhaul priorities to get them.

when the ships that used these things came up on compartment closeout milestones they would steal the things from each other by the hundreds. one time i had one lha and two spruances bidding against each other for the things (i would give 1000 for a large ham for the shop christmas party...)

i would take a box of 100 with me (fit in a jacket pocket, they were liddle biddy things) to a meeting on a ship and set them in the middle of the wardroom
table and watch to see who jumped on them, ususlly weapons got the prize as they seemed to be younger and faster than the engineers.  

finally i ran off about 25,000 of them and had one of my guys make sure there was a couple of hundred boxed and ready for stealing on the corner of my desk at all times, it made things more straight forward.

so you see B the business of propriatary materials and parts is nothing new. i know that it makes your work harder but i'm pretty sure you can handle it without raising a sweat. you will become pretty good at reasearching substitutions and writing waiver requests though.

just remember the "you gotta want what you got and got what you want" principle applies.

pk said...


what you are talking about is commonly called "institutional knowledge". we see a product built for years and the product has features that make the thing really work well from a practical point of view. then the people that designed the original, based on literally man centuries of experience in that work, retire or go away in the corporate wars, leave the scene and a new group of college educated lads take over and put out a really "up to date" product that the users hate.

try building a weapons elevator mod that was drawn up by a 6 man shop that went out of business as the ink on the prints dried and had the local highschool drafting class check the prints. thats a real example of my premis.


Byron said...

C, the only part of that proprietary crap that bothers me is that it costs the taxpayer up the ass for nothing but pork. Part A was equal or superior to to Pork Part B...and cost at least 1/3. At least we got past the "sole source" BS. And no, I'm not getting past this problem; I'm dealing with one right now: trying to find parts for a hospital bed on a 30 year old ship that was made ONCE back in the 70-80s and by a company that no longer does business by that name...

pk said...


in in each veterans administratio hospital there is a "crew" probably in the "engineering department" that repairs beds........ some of that stuff they keep forever. you just might strike paydirt by getting in touch with the guys that run that bunch for either a source or an acquisition by inventory transfer.


C-dore 14 said...

@Leesea, All you have to do is find enough qualified steam engineers under the age of 75 ;) .  BTW, I did my MIDN 1/C summer cruise aboard MOBILE during her first WESTPAC deployment.

Bob said...

First money goes away from non-BMD priorities because BMD capacity is vital.  Then planned BMD capacity gets cut.   What kills me is that multiple program offices already have spent a lot of time and money to plan and prep for the modernization (including BMD) of those Baseline 4 CGs.  The problem is that the Navy never, ever looks at the portfolio and says, "Guys, we need to terminate non-critical programs in order to fully fund our priorities."  Instead, it's more across the board cuts slathered atop everything.  If you don't prioritize programs, then you don't prioritize cuts to those programs.  The result is things like this.

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

Alas, that is one o0f the reasons the Big Badger Boat will move no more.