What do you believe are the most serious negative impacts of having a Navy that is at its smallest size since 1917?Posted by Randy | October 23, 2012
America’s Navy now stands at 285 ships, the smallest Navy since 1917 when measuring fleet size in terms of number of ships. Over the past decade the Navy has called for and planned towards a variety of different shipbuilding plans, all of which are larger than the roughly 300-ship Navy the President now says we need. For instance, in 2002 the Navy put forward a goal for a fleet size of 375 ships and since 2006 it has been pursuing a goal of 313 ships. Furthermore, a bi-partisan panel of defense experts concluded in 2010 that a fleet of approximately 350- ships was necessary to meet America's security demands.
Today's ships are most certainly more technologically-capable than they were in the early 20th century, but numbers still matter. A ship can still only be in one place at one time and demand for Navy assets
Perhaps most importantly, the small size of the fleet has serious implications for our sailors and their families. Despite a requirement for Navy ships to be deployed for six months, deployments of seven months or more have become regular occurrences. The Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Jonathan Greenert, has publicly stated that "we can’t run at that rate,” but admitted that seven to seven-and-a-half month deployments will become the new norm because of the increased demands on our fleet. These longer deployments also threaten to wear out the fleet before the end of its intended service life, driving up maintenance costs or forcing ships back to sea with low readiness levels.
Read more about Congressman Forbes’ position on this topic, especially as it relates to US presence in the Asia-Pacific realm, in his piece in the US Naval Institute’s Proceedings, “Rebalancing the Rhetoric,” here.
Question of the Week: What do you believe are the most serious negative impacts of having a Navy that is at its smallest size since 1917? (Multi-Answer)
( ) Greater stresses on our sailors and their families.
( ) The Navy can be fewer places and do fewer things, even though demand for Navy ships is increasing.
( ) Longer deployments and more maintenance costs for the fleet and the taxpayer.
( ) None. Our Navy is more capable than it was a century ago.
( ) Other – (Share your thoughts below).
Take the poll here.
Find out the results of last week’s instapoll here.
Users are solely responsible for the opinions they post here and their comments do not necessarily reflect the views of Congressman Forbes.
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