Monday, April 07, 2014

Must have been the tiddledeewinks of wargames III - The Phantom Farce

Wargameapaloosa just keeps feeding easy blog posts.

If you missed Part I and Part II, then read them and come back so we can start the parabasis.

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. over at BreakingDefense brings us a fairly garden variety LCS tale of woe;
By now, the Navy brass have surely gotten tired of GAO taking shots at LCS. But according to GAO, LCS sailors are getting literally tired of the ship: They averaged about six hours of sleep per day, 25 percent below the Navy’s eight-hour standard, and key personnel such as engineers got even less. That’s in spite of extensive reliance on contractors both aboard and ashore, with a “rigid” schedule of monthly returns to Singapore that restricted how far from port the LCS could sail; the decision to increase Freedom‘s core crew by 25 percent, from 40 to 50 — the maximum the ship can accommodate without a “significant” redesign; and the 19-sailor “mission module” crew, who are supposed to operate LCS’s weapons, helicopters, and small boats, pitching in daily to help the core crew run the ship’s basic systems.

The core crew’s engineering department in particular told GAO they had no idea how they’d keep the ship going without help from the mission module’s engineers. But the module the Freedom took to Singapore, the “anti-surface warfare” module that includes several small boats, has many more engineers than the forthcoming mine-countermeasures and anti-submarine warfare modules. In fact, while the entire 19-sailor anti-surface module crew has skills useful in running the ship itself, the MCM crew has only four sailors who could help, and the ASW module only one. That means an LCS outfitted to hunt mines or subs would effectively be 15 to 18 sailors short — about 20 to 25 percent.
Yes, yes, yes ... all very nice to hear again. The Front Porch circa 2005 says "hello," but Sid isn't impressed ... however, that is not the most important part of Sydney's article.

Well, as we have seen as of late, the overcaffinated alter-boys from the LCS Cargo Cult have their rapid response team on short-standby - and they did not let Sydney and the GAO's blasphemy stand for too long.
This afternoon, Navy spokesman Lt. Robert Myers provided us the service’s official response to our story:

“While I won’t speak to an unreleased, FOUO [for official use only] report what I can say is the Navy is continuously refining and testing the LCS program as we learn the full extent of possibilities for these first of a kind ships. Each successive LCS commissioning is a testament to the hard work and experience gained from Freedom’s deployment to Singapore. We have incorporated engineering modifications which improve performance and we continue to look at the concept of employment, as exemplified by the recent war game in Newport.”
Ummm, ok. Thank you for the latest edition of the "LCS PAO Random Response Generator." That isn't, again, the important part of the story. (Yes, I am dragging this out)

Let us revisit Rear Admiral Rowden from last week,
“The ships we are playing are the ships we are building today,” says Rear Adm. Thomas Rowden, director of surface warfare.
Drum roll please, and cue to the camera to Sydney;
One thing I was able to find out is that the wargame doesn’t seem to have any computer models or simulations of the LCS performance, with the outcome of combats between the “Blue” (US) and “Red” (enemy) teams being determined by human umpires known as the “White Cell.” So while the wargame was a great venue for exploring concepts, as Lt. Myers said, it doesn’t prove anything about the Littoral Combat Ship’s real-world performance.
Glory, glory, glory. Nice. Very nice. LT Myers, Rear Admiral Rowden's PAO is one the line and would like to speak with you.

Hat tip MH.

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