Monday, December 30, 2019

355: Have we Earned it?

When you ask for something, especially money, from another party so you can in return give them a benefit, you have to show them a few things:

1. That you bring value relative to other options available to them.
2. That you have a track record of performance – hopefully something well known to yourself an others.
3. That you will be a good steward of their investment.
4. That you will not over-promise and under-deliver.
5. That you won’t embarrass them for having invested in you.

As the Navy slouches in to the 2020’s, have we earned the investment, trust, and confidence of the American taxpayer and their elected representatives that navalists know will be needed to maintain our dominance at sea?

Our friend Robert Farley smells it too.

Nice summary:
…the Navy wishes to accelerate the decommissioning of four littoral combat ships, each of which had more than a decade of expected hull life. ... This would represent not so much the death knell of the LCS project as much as belated recognition of the failure of the promise of the program. ... The Navy has also proposed accelerating the retirement of the aging Ticonderoga class cruisers … the latest proposals include cuts to future Arleigh Burke destroyer construction … the Navy would slow acquisition in the FFG(X) program, and perhaps delay construction of a Virginia-class attack submarine. … ongoing difficulties with the Ford-class carriers.

This much is clear: The Navy has not won the necessary battles within the Department of Defense and with the American public to accomplish the goal of a 355-ship Navy. Winning both of these battles was necessary to expanding the fleet to the extent navalists have desired, and it does not appear that the Navy won either.
He doesn’t even address DDG-1000, CG(X) or a series of lesser known embarrassments so far the last decade. He doesn't have to.

Roll those into a few other items I’ll include in my year-end post – and no one should be surprised that our Navy is supine, off-foot, and ill-positioned to make its argument in the new decade.

We did this to ourselves, and those who have their own agendas and programs to feed, are going to take advantage of it if we don’t get better.

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