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Offline FSTO

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US Navy Woes
« on: October 17, 2017, 10:36:15 »
The collisions of McCain and Fitzgerald are symptoms of a far deeper problem facing the USN. Cdr Sal outlines them very well in this post.

http://cdrsalamander.blogspot.ca/2017/10/the-line-is-holding-but-you-can-hear.html

Tuesday, October 17, 2017



 
The line is holding ... but you can hear the load it is carrying





Many of the threads we've discussed here over the years have come together in this one deployment of a cruiser.

 In all the discussions about what we need to do to remain the premier naval power in the world and the tools we provide our Navy to do it, there is a lot of theory talking about talking. That is natural, as it is easy to hide some problems from the general public and even those in "the know" when your greatest challenge is yourself.

 Often in peace, when things are not where they need to be nothing bad happens. Why should it? They system is not under stress. Likewise, when things are going real well, nothing really bad happens either. It is hard to find something that you can put your hands on to get a tactile feel of what is going on.

 The USS MONTEREY (CG 61) just gave us one of those moments. We should take a moment to see why the world's largest Navy continues to show the signs - from retention to collisions at sea - of an organization under stress from overuse.

 We did not get here by accident. From the rise of China, the demographic/economic/religious drivers of migration and terrorism, to the expansion of mid-20th Century weapons technology - all the threats we see evolved in clear sight.

 How did we get there?

 First of all are the 2nd and 3rd order effects of the manning concepts of the Transformationalists. Instead of seeing our Sailors as our greatest asset, instead they saw only costs. As a result, they were treated as green-eyeshade mentalities have always treated people as a cost.

 The shambolic mess of at-sea manning speaks for itself.

 Instead of joining a long, almost anonymous list of people making strong, steady progress in evolving the fleet step by step, they decided to reach for fame in an arrogant leap as none have done before - to succeed for their name - or sell the future of others to fate when it was time to make the flash flesh.

 LCS, DDG-1000, CG(N?)-X, and the restart of the DDG-51 line speaks for itself.

 Training and readiness were no longer seen as how one prepares and measures the ability to take ships and Sailors to go in harm's way when the time comes, but uncomfortable and difficult things that if not properly "shaped" might produce the wrong color on a stoplight PPT. Fudge, hedge, ignore.

 The material condition of the SPRU as we decomm'd them were the first sign, and then to the everyday results of a the lack of depot level support requiring already undermanned ships to do that work themselves that we see today speaks for itself.

 We will do more than less, not because it is the best thing to do, but because it is what we want to do to make the theory flesh, get our check in the block, and hopefully make it through the change of command ceremony without a bad FITREP, crunched ships, and dead Sailors.

 The initial reports of the factors that led to the FITZGERALD and MCCAIN speaks for itself.

 Instead of a natural progression from the TICO cruiser, we created an unaffordable, program and technology risk laden monster that went nowhere. We still do not have a modern frigate - or any frigates for that matter. We tried to force-mode a "no frigate" requirements on a world that demanded them. We still do not have a DDG-X design. Will the Arleigh Burkes become the Navy's B-52, where four generations of a family will serve on the same platform?

 And in OCT of 2017, where have two decades of malpractice gotten us? We find ourselves at the second half of the second decade of the 21st Century surrounded by threats in hostile waters we watched grow for years and did little ... and are found wanting not by some exotic and advanced adversary - but our inability to execute the very basics of seamanship from anchoring to avoiding being run over by merchant ships.

 With no great battles at sea, no lurking threat in the deep attriting our fleet, we are running short of ships.

 ...and so, we have to do this;

The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61) departed Naval Station Norfolk Oct. 16, for a surge deployment to the U.S. 5th Fleet and U.S. 6th Fleet areas of operation.
Why?

The guided-missile cruiser Monterey will deploy on Oct. 16 as the Navy shuffles ships around to ensure there are enough ballistic-missile defense ships in the Pacific in the wake of two major accidents that rendered the destroyer’s McCain and Fitzgerald unable to deploy.

“Monterey will leave on a previously unscheduled deployment to the 5th and 6th Fleet areas to conduct maritime security operations,” Lt. Cmdr. Courtney Hillson told Navy Times Thursday.

“This deployment will allow the Hawaii-based destroyer O‘Kane to deploy to 7th Fleet to provide more BMD-capable ships in the region,” she said, referring to ships with ballistic-missile defense systems.
Didn't MONTEREY just get back from deployment? Yes, she did;

It will be Monterey’s second deployment to both regions in the past year. Monterey left Norfolk June 1, 2016, as part of the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group and spent most of that deployment in 5th Fleet supporting operations there. The ship returned home Jan. 19.
Deployed 7.5 months. Home 9 months. Deploying again.

 This 27-yr old cruiser and her crew are headed out again. Didn't we just spend a couple of months talking about how riding our ships hard and leaving them up wet, along with burning out crews was bad?

 The MONTEREY will turn-to and take care of business as ships and Sailors have done for thousands of years. The why and when are the responsibility of senior leadership. I hope she has the material, training, and manning support she requires that the MCCAIN and FITZGERALD didn't.

 This little vignette is exactly why the likes of Jerry Hendrix and Bryan McGrath have been warning that our Navy is too small.

 We know what not to do, but we continue to do it - because we have decided we "have to." Hope isn't a plan, as the saying goes - but that is where we are. We hope that the MONTEREY will not find herself in a place where she demonstrates what we just got through telling Congress and the American people what happens when you ask too much - stretch demands too far - of our ships and the very human men and women we put on them.

 The line is holding fast, but can you hear that? That sound resonating up and down the line?

Since Canada's military is tied to the US military pretty tightly. I have witnessed these same issues facing the RCN. Transformation became a buzz word with us as well and look at what we have ended up with. No AOR's, way late Maritime air and no real date for replacement of the frigates.

Dark days ahead.

Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2017, 19:19:33 »
Yikes!

Quote
Only one-third of Super Hornets ready to ‘fight tonight’ as of October, admiral says

Just a third of the Navy’s F/A-18 Super Hornets were fully mission-capable and ready to “fight tonight” as of October, the head of Naval Air Forces told Congress on Friday.

Only half of the service’s 542 Super Hornets were flyable as of last month, Vice Adm. Troy Shoemaker told the House Subcommittee on Readiness at a hearing on aviation readiness.

The relentless pace of operations since 9/11, coupled with budget uncertainty in recent years, has forced the Navy’s aircraft and warship communities to do more with less, affecting overall readiness as a result, according to a copy of Shoemaker’s prepared statement to lawmakers.

Additional funding in FY2017 helped address immediate readiness shortfalls, Shoemaker said, but more will be needed as the service grapples with everything from an ascendant Chinese military to a belligerent North Korea and an Iranian force prone to incitement.

“Naval Aviation needs a multifaceted approach to readiness recovery that include aircraft procurement, consistent funding of readiness accounts and (military construction) and infrastructure investments,” Shoemaker said.

The Navy deployed four carrier strike groups this year to support combat operations and provide deterrence, he said.

Shortcomings meant the Navy had to “cannibalize aircraft, parts and people to ensure those leaving on deployment had what they needed to be safe and effective,” Shoemaker said.

“The demand for Naval Aviation forces greatly exceeds our ability to supply those forces,” he said...
https://www.defensenews.com/news/your-navy/2017/11/09/only-one-third-of-super-hornets-ready-to-fight-tonight-as-of-october-admiral-says/

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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2017, 08:39:52 »
Captain Junge has a super article about the problems facing the USN and has some solutions.For example the Navy is kicking around the idea of bringing frigates out of mothballs.Instead he feels that the Navy should focus on insuring that all ships are manned at wartime levels.

https://warontherocks.com/2017/11/somethings-wrong-surface-fleet-arent-talking/

Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2018, 19:07:42 »
Hoo boy, more planes/parts for RCAF!

Quote
US Navy to scrap scores of fighter jets from its inventory

The U.S. Navy is moving to scrap almost 140 older Hornet fighters from its inventory and accelerate the transition to newer Super Hornet models in a bid to cut the costs of maintaining old aircraft that have seen hard use over two decades of continuous combat operations.

The Navy projects it will recoup the better part of a billion dollars over the next five years, money used to fund other readiness initiatives both in the beleaguered Naval Aviation Enterprise and elsewhere.

The plan, hashed out in June, is to strike F/A-18 “A” through “D” models for a total of 136 Hornets, 66 of which will be gone by the end of 2020...

The Navy thinks this is an opportunity to get some usable spare parts for the in-service jets and help the Marine Corps by sending it the best of the remaining aircraft.
https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2018/03/06/navy-to-scrap-scores-of-fighter-jets-from-its-inventory/

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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2018, 08:48:21 »
The USN has a pilot shortage and will pay a retention bonus of up to $175000 to keep pilots.

https://www.stripes.com/news/navy-offers-new-bonuses-to-keep-pilots-in-uniform-1.518090

Offline SupersonicMax

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2018, 11:29:21 »
The longer we, the CAF, bury our head in the sands and refuse to acknowledge that money is part of the retention solution (and keep saying losing pilots is a loyalty issue), the worse it's going to get, to a point, in the near future, where we will not be able to meet our mandates.

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2018, 09:53:13 »
The longer we, the CAF, bury our head in the sands and refuse to acknowledge that money is part of the retention solution (and keep saying losing pilots is a loyalty issue), the worse it's going to get, to a point, in the near future, where we will not be able to meet our mandates.


I agree with you, Max.

Anecdotally, back in the early 1960s, the Signal Corps, especially, but, indeed, the whole Army, was having a helluva time retaining technicians and other skilled tradesmen (we were almost all men) ... many people wanted to join and learn a valuable trade ~ the five recessions of the late 1940s, 1950s and 1960/61 were over and the economy was on track for an almost 15 year "run," but military salaries had not kept pace with the realities of the fast growing Canadian economy.

That was, in fact, one of the drivers for the changes to rank and trade that Mr Hellyer introduced in the mid 1960s. But in the early 1960s the Army (and I guess the Navy and RCAF, too) changed the grade pay structure so that the top paid people, like me, were still, as corporal radio technicians, paid more than Signal Corps captains or Infantry staff sergeants, because we were, quite simply, too hard to retain ... but so were vehicle mechanics and heavy equipment operators and almost every skilled trade we had. Enlistment rules also changed ... a soldier could join the Artillery, for example, or even Signals as an operator or lineman, on a three year engagement but technicians were enlisted for five years. On selection for a Group III trade course, where the high salaries kicked in, one had to re-engage for, as I recall and I may be wrong, eight additional years.

Money mattered then and the extra money worked, I think. I do not see any fundamental change in human nature or society that changes that.
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Offline dapaterson

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2018, 10:13:36 »
I will argue that our pilot problem has two facets: The RCAF's congenital inability to train pilots, and the RCAF's stubborn insistence that, having spent north of $1M to train a pilot, we employ the majority in non-flying roles.

A smaller pilot occupation, properly employed, and with a better training system would meet our needs.  And not require financial incentives above what they already receive.

Alternatively, the Capts who are so hard done by could release and fly for Porter or fly other sub-100 pax aircraft, and make about the same as a non-spec pay Sgt.
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Offline Rifleman62

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2018, 10:21:18 »
The RCAF will still be flying for years, old aircraft.
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Offline winnipegoo7

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2018, 10:34:46 »
Alternatively, the Capts who are so hard done by could release and fly for Porter or fly other sub-100 pax aircraft, and make about the same as a non-spec pay Sgt.

Wistful thinking?

RCAF pilots are well educated and generally intelligent. Many have engineering degrees.

Presumably they could quit the RCAF and enter into many lucrative career fields like:
Engineering
Medical  (become a doctor)
Law enforcement
CSIS
Go into politics
... I’d argue that there are nearly unlimited opportunities for these people.

edited to add that I heard that there will be up to $80,000 available for education if you release from the CF - that helps start a new career
« Last Edit: April 02, 2018, 11:24:56 by winnipegoo7 »

Offline SupersonicMax

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2018, 12:12:49 »
I will argue that our pilot problem has two facets: The RCAF's congenital inability to train pilots, and the RCAF's stubborn insistence that, having spent north of $1M to train a pilot, we employ the majority in non-flying roles.

A smaller pilot occupation, properly employed, and with a better training system would meet our needs.  And not require financial incentives above what they already receive.

Alternatively, the Capts who are so hard done by could release and fly for Porter or fly other sub-100 pax aircraft, and make about the same as a non-spec pay Sgt.

I will disagree with you.  I know several highly experienced pilots that were in flying positions that quit (some were offered positions that not many people would refuse).  Main disatisfiers?  Pay, quality of life and lack of recognition.  We invested well norh of $1M in those people (more to the tune of $5M) and that's probably gas alone during their training. Would it be so bad to invest an extra $50-75K a year (and a contract) to keep them in and retain the experience?  Could we use some creative solutions such allowing withdrawing a pension while continuing serving Reg Force (but stopping contributions to the pension plan and any increase in annuity other than cost of life index)?

Some left for much more lucrative flying jobs, some left for other fields and some left for the airlines, knowing they will take a financial hit for 2-3 years before coming back to their current pay (120-130k a year) and then go up from there. 

I will also disagree that we need a smaller cadre of pilots.  We need operators in HQs.  I have seen 1st hand what happens when non operators are put in charge of operations and sometimes, they entirely lack operational sense in their decisions (and make damaging decisions).  In the Fighter Force, I want to say we hit a balance but I may not have the whole picture...

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2018, 12:30:53 »
Pilot Majors start at $120K (ignoring allowances), which is comparable to pilots in most civilian airlines with thousands more hours.  They gained their training and experience as paid CAF members (unlike civilian pilots who paid significant amounts of money to get their license and flight hours).

Given the cost of pilot training, it is wasteful to have such a large proportion of the trade employed at desks.  Perhaps what's needed is NCM pilots who spend their careers on the flightline, and a much smaller group of pilot officers who split their time between flight operations and non-flying jobs?
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Offline SupersonicMax

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2018, 12:38:43 »
Pilot Majors start at $120K (ignoring allowances), which is comparable to pilots in most civilian airlines with thousands more hours.  They gained their training and experience as paid CAF members (unlike civilian pilots who paid significant amounts of money to get their license and flight hours).


Irrelevant.  A 2,000 hrs CAF pilot is not the same as a 2,000 hrs pilot in the civilian world and companies acknowledge this fact.  We generally have years more experience in aviation, which isn't the case for our civilian counterparts.  Furthermore, most of our time is command time and we are put in aircrew supervisory roles (standards, training, auditor) much earlier.  All in all, our experience (as a whole, not just hours) is extremely valued and that makes us marketable, more so than someone with equivalent hours in the civilian world.  FWIW, New hires can upgrade to Aircraft Captain in 1-3 years ar Jazz where the salary is more than what we make. 

The fact that our training was paid for is equally irrelevant.

Offline SupersonicMax

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2018, 12:40:47 »

Given the cost of pilot training, it is wasteful to have such a large proportion of the trade employed at desks.  Perhaps what's needed is NCM pilots who spend their careers on the flightline, and a much smaller group of pilot officers who split their time between flight operations and non-flying jobs?

You will need the same amount of pilots.  And the same proportion will end up in HQs.  What is expensive isn't the salary (and you'll have the same issues with NCMs:  they'll want to be compensated fairly):  it's the training.  Making pilots NCMs won't solve that issue.

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2018, 13:29:06 »
You will need the same amount of pilots.  And the same proportion will end up in HQs.  What is expensive isn't the salary (and you'll have the same issues with NCMs:  they'll want to be compensated fairly):  it's the training.  Making pilots NCMs won't solve that issue.

What if there were less Pilot positions in HQs?  Does CJOC (as an example) *really* need Pilots behind desks, or can those be filled with Any Air trade (or even any trade)?
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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2018, 13:35:04 »
What if there were less Pilot positions in HQs?  Does CJOC (as an example) *really* need Pilots behind desks, or can those be filled with Any Air trade (or even any trade)?

The size of the HQ in CJOC needs to be revisited, and then apportionment of the 25% remaining between trades can be done.

The CAF has an indecent obsession with oversized, underemployed HQs.
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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #16 on: April 02, 2018, 13:44:29 »
I will also disagree that we need a smaller cadre of pilots.  We need operators in HQs.  I have seen 1st hand what happens when non operators are put in charge of operations and sometimes, they entirely lack operational sense in their decisions (and make damaging decisions).  In the Fighter Force, I want to say we hit a balance but I may not have the whole picture...
Totally understand and agree, Max.

One thing l felt the RCMP did right and we did wrong, when l was an MP was our Security Officers.  All RCMP members go through Depot and spend time in the street, doing the job before they Commission and move upwards.  It annoyed me to no end to have Officers whom had never walked in my shoes regulating how l would do my job, with what equipment etc.  The majority l knew had washed out in other trades before being sent to us. 

Offline tomahawk6

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #17 on: April 02, 2018, 13:57:12 »
Its pretty standard for US J staffs to have officers from each service.Now days some folks are not in the same trade they started their career in due to consolidation.I thank my stars that when I arrived at my first duty station as an airborne infantryman that I did not wind up pulling guard duty at a Nike site.The Command needed paratroopers more as they were short and airborne units had more priority.They probably sent som MP's to fill the shortfall. ;D

Offline tomahawk6

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #18 on: April 02, 2018, 22:47:45 »
The cure for the pilot shortage isnt money oddly enough.

https://www.stripes.com/news/pilot-retention-more-than-a-money-issue-navy-s-personnel-chief-says-1.520002

Navy pilots would rather have more time in the cockpit than cash bonuses designed to keep them in uniform, according to the chief of naval personnel.

Feedback from the fleet shows that not enough flight time, lack of warfighting focus and poor work-life balance are the three biggest reasons why aviators leave the service, Vice Adm. Robert Burke wrote in the March issue of the U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings Magazine.

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2018, 23:03:40 »
Wouldn't more flight time unbalance the work-life balance even more?

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #20 on: April 02, 2018, 23:05:02 »
USAF has retention bonuses of $35k a year and they're still hemorrhaging pilots. You're never going to compete with all private sector salaries, get close and be happy with that.

Offline dapaterson

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2018, 23:12:35 »
Wouldn't more flight time unbalance the work-life balance even more?

Given the choice, I'm guessing that pilots would rather get 10 additional flight hours than spend ten hours doing DLN training on WHMIS; controlled goods; security awareness; Flossing and You: The Dental Crisis; The Army's New Ranks: Who you're talking to with your hands in your pockets, and the plethora of other items that fill non-flying hours.

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2018, 23:23:03 »
Given the choice, I'm guessing that pilots would rather get 10 additional flight hours than spend ten hours doing DLN training on WHMIS; controlled goods; security awareness; Flossing and You: The Dental Crisis; The Army's New Ranks: Who you're talking to with your hands in your pockets, and the plethora of other items that fill non-flying hours.

Flossing and You will help prevent the scourge of GIIINNNGGGIIIIVVVIIIIITTTTIIIIIIISSSSSS!!!!!!!!! 

But yes, 10 hours means a) 10 hours out of the office and DLN, and b) 10 more hours into their logbook for the airlines  :nod:
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Offline SupersonicMax

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #23 on: April 02, 2018, 23:39:56 »
Flossing and You will help prevent the scourge of GIIINNNGGGIIIIVVVIIIIITTTTIIIIIIISSSSSS!!!!!!!!! 

But yes, 10 hours means a) 10 hours out of the office and DLN, and b) 10 more hours into their logbook for the airlines  :nod:

10 hours actually means 2-3 hrs in the logbook.

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #24 on: April 02, 2018, 23:49:58 »
10 hours actually means 2-3 hrs in the logbook.

Depending on airframe.
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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #25 on: April 02, 2018, 23:56:52 »
My point is that 10 hours will never equal 10 hours in the logbook.

As far as money is concerned, it is not the solution; it is part of the solution.  At least in the private sector you get compensated for your overtime....  I feel if the government was paying for military overtime, our time would be better utilized... 

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #26 on: April 03, 2018, 00:05:33 »
All military pay includes an overtime factor.

That said, because COs never see Reg F pay, it's assumed away as a sunk cost, and people's time is treated as worthless.  So you end up incentivizing saving $75 on TD flights that take six hours longer - because we assign zero value to the six hours of wasted time.
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Offline SupersonicMax

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #27 on: April 03, 2018, 00:20:46 »
All military pay includes an overtime factor.

That said, because COs never see Reg F pay, it's assumed away as a sunk cost, and people's time is treated as worthless.  So you end up incentivizing saving $75 on TD flights that take six hours longer - because we assign zero value to the six hours of wasted time.

Does it account for 10-15 hrs of overtime every week?  Because that's what most fighter pilots do.

Offline SeaKingTacco

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #28 on: April 03, 2018, 00:24:19 »
Does it account for 10-15 hrs of overtime every week?  Because that's what most fighter pilots do.

Come sail with an MH Det sometime, princess.

We will show you what "overtime" really means...

Offline SupersonicMax

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #29 on: April 03, 2018, 00:29:19 »
Come sail with an MH Det sometime, princess.

We will show you what "overtime" really means...

I like how you resort to naming to get your point across.   Very mature.   I can play who has the bigger penis too....  but I am better than that.  I was responding to a claim that there is overtime taken into account in our pay.  I was asking if that was meant the overtime I am used to.  Not suggesting we have it harder than anybody...  but I guess you do.

Offline SeaKingTacco

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #30 on: April 03, 2018, 01:00:59 »
I like how you resort to naming to get your point across.   Very mature.   I can play who has the bigger penis too....  but I am better than that.  I was responding to a claim that there is overtime taken into account in our pay.  I was asking if that was meant the overtime I am used to.  Not suggesting we have it harder than anybody...  but I guess you do.

My point is: you consistently trot out the line of just how hard fighter pilots have it.

Guess what: lots of people have it hard in the CF.

I am not suggesting, BTW, that MH folks need special treatment. It is, what it is...

Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #31 on: April 03, 2018, 05:52:02 »
Alright both you fine folks, I think both your jobs are equally cool!  Now be nice  8)

Here is a funny story about time wasting.  2011 MAPLE GUARDIAN/RESOLVE (can't remember if they changed the name yet or not).  It's early November in Alberta so the temperature can fluctuate from anywhere to +10 during the day to -20 at night.

We are doing a Battalion air mobile insertion via helicopter to conduct a deliberate attack.  The kicker is the helicopters we were using were American and they had to leave the next morning so what do they do?  They insert us 20 hours before the attack so we can 'exercise' an insertion.  Also, we are under weight restrictions to get everyone in so we had to leave all snivel kit back at P6. 

Well wouldn't you know, it goes from +10 to about -15 that night  :rofl: I had fallen asleep on the ground and woke up to prep my kit and I couldn't move my arms or legs and was shivering uncontrollably.  None of us brought sleeping bags (the big army one doesn't really fit in the day bag when you've got a 522, ammo, water, etc).  The boys and I stood around in a circle hugging each other for a couple of hours before we moved. 

All of that so some Senior Officer could watch a Battalion insert via a helicopter.  The whole scenario was completely illogical as we sat for 20 hours only a few km away from the objective. 

My point, what's your time worth to the CAF?  Exactly Zero  ;D
« Last Edit: April 03, 2018, 06:05:37 by Humphrey Bogart »

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #32 on: April 03, 2018, 05:56:32 »
Come sail with an MH Det sometime, princess.

We will show you what "overtime" really means...

We love having you guys on board.  You guys can really curtail Sea Training with you're "work-rest ratio requirements". 
Lead me, follow me or get the hell out of my way

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #33 on: April 03, 2018, 07:40:03 »
We love having you guys on board.  You guys can really curtail Sea Training with you're "work-rest ratio requirements".

Amen to that, brother.   :nod:

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #34 on: April 03, 2018, 08:38:35 »
..... TD flights that take six hours longer - because we assign zero value to the six hours of wasted professional reading (undisturbed by family, dog, etc) time
   :nod:

(Note: while it may be part of professional reading, airline time may not be the best opportunity for catching up on trends in aviation terrorism   :facepalm:  )

Offline SupersonicMax

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #35 on: April 03, 2018, 08:53:40 »
My point is: you consistently trot out the line of just how hard fighter pilots have it.

Guess what: lots of people have it hard in the CF.

I am not suggesting, BTW, that MH folks need special treatment. It is, what it is...

I relate to what I know.  I am not going to give MH, LRP or transport examples simply because I am not part of the communities.  But yes, keep calling me names..

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #36 on: April 03, 2018, 11:14:21 »
I relate to what I know.  I am not going to give MH, LRP or transport examples simply because I am not part of the communities.  But yes, keep calling me names..

Kind of like your RMC days here. ;D

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #37 on: April 03, 2018, 11:54:56 »
I relate to what I know.  I am not going to give MH, LRP or transport examples simply because I am not part of the communities.

And that is, of course, perfectly reasonable.

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #38 on: April 03, 2018, 15:16:40 »
I relate to what I know.  I am not going to give MH, LRP or transport examples simply because I am not part of the communities.  But yes, keep calling me names..

I apologize for hurting your feelings.

Nobody who is posted to an Op Sqn of any flavour should have any expectation of an 8-4, 40hr work week.

It just does not work that way.

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #39 on: April 03, 2018, 16:31:37 »
The issue at hand is what drives people - who require effort and money to recruit and train - out of the CF (and US Navy, etcetera).

"Expectations" or not, things eventually become dissatisfiers, and people with marketable skills will, in many cases, bail when dissatisfiers outweigh satisfiers. And who can blame them? Who should expect anything otherwise?

I enjoyed the two police helicopter trials that I flew in 1999 and 2000. Peel Region was the hardest work that I've ever done in a cockpit - mainly due to the operating environment (most of our patrol area was within Toronto International's control zone) - but very satisfying. I came in, checked weather, briefed, and flew three two-hour patrols in a ten-hour shift, was paid 1.7 times as much as my Class A pay, had no responsibilities outside of the cockpit, and no real irritants. It was a pretty good deal.

I can certainly understand others leaving for better things.

Many of those people would, however, elect to stay if their conditions were improved - which would likely be much cheaper than paying to train replacements (especially as newly-Winged Pilots will take many years of operational flying to become as effective and useful as the ones that we are losing.

What is wrong with somebody pointing that out, using his community as an example?

My first three flying tours - 427 Squadron, 444 Squadron Lahr, and 400 Squadron Downsview, were all very good postings (except the ignoranus "running" 444 Squadron during my last two years there). We flew one or two (and sometimes three) trips daily, left work at a reasonable time each day, and had comparatively little BS make-work/PC crap to do. Life was good in those days - but we were not as short of people then as we seem to be now, either, so unpaid overtime was not necessary.

Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #40 on: May 02, 2018, 15:01:47 »
This might cause some woes--start of lengthy piece:

Quote
Is Secretary of Defense Mattis planning radical changes to how the Navy deploys?

A typical carrier deployment from Norfolk goes like this: A tearful goodbye on the pier, a trip across the Atlantic, then one or maybe two port visits in Europe before heading through “The Ditch” and into U.S. Central Command territory. There you will stay for the bulk of the cruise before returning the way you came.

Those days might be coming to an end.

The Navy and Pentagon planners are already weighing whether to withhold the Truman Carrier Strike Group from deploying to U.S. Central Command, opting instead to hold the carrier in Europe as a check on Russia, breaking with more than 30 years of nearly continuous carrier presence in the Arabian Gulf. But even more fundamental changes could be in the works.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has made clear as the military’s top civilian that he has a very different vision for how the military will be used in the future. And recent comments have hinted at big changes on the horizon for the Navy and how it deploys.

In testimony last month, Mattis twice compared that kind of predictability to running a commercial shipping operation, and said the Navy needed to get away from being so easily anticipated.

“That’s a great way to run a shipping line,” Mattis told the House Armed Services Committee. “It’s no way to run a Navy.”

But as Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Joseph Dunford drive towards new ways of employing the fleet, changing the way that fleet deploys will put pressure on its existing deployment model, forcing the Navy to rethink a structure that governs nearly everything it does — from manning and training to its maintenance cycles.

In an era of great-power competition with China and Russia, Mattis describes the Navy showing up where it’s not expected, making deployments less burdensome to the fleet and its families but more worrisome to a potential adversary.

“The way you do this is [to] ensure that preparation for great power competition drives not simply a rotational schedule that allows me to tell you, three years from now, which aircraft carrier will be where in the in the world,” he told House lawmakers. “When we send them out, it may be for a shorter deployment. There will be three carriers in the South China Sea today, and then, two weeks from now, there’s only one there, and two of them are in the Indian Ocean.

“They’ll be home at the end of a 90-day deployment. They will not have spent eight months at sea, and we are going to have a force more ready to surge and deal with the high-end warfare as a result, without breaking the families, the maintenance cycles — we’ll actually enhance the training time.”

OFRP under pressure

Experts contend that what Mattis is describing, a concept he’s labeled as “Dynamic Force Employment,” would necessarily create tension with the Navy’s current deployment model known as the Optimized Fleet Response Plan, an iteration of similar plans that have been in place since the Cold War.

Under the plan, introduced in 2014 by then-Fleet Forces Commander Adm. Bill Gortney, ships operate in a 36-month cycle that carves out 16 months for training and maintenance, a seven-month deployment and 13 months where the carrier and its escorts are to maintain a high level of readiness in case it needs to deploy again.

Around that model the Navy builds everything from when it brings in new recruits to boot camp to when an aircraft carrier needs to come out of its years-long reactor overhaul. It’s also a system that builds in a significant dip in readiness where, during maintenance phases, ships lose sailors with critical skills to other commands and shore duty assignments.

The dip in readiness is deliberate and informs both manning levels on the ship and the Navy’s overall end strength. Simply put, there are not enough trained sailors in the Navy to fill every job on every ship, and that’s all built into the plan.

The key to the whole plan working, however, is at least a degree of predictability...
https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2018/05/02/is-secretary-of-defense-mattis-planning-radical-changes-to-how-the-navy-deploys/

Mark
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Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #41 on: June 07, 2018, 16:24:36 »
Yikes!  PLA Navy must be chuckling hard:

Quote
The US Navy’s ships are getting old. They might be getting a lot older.

The U.S. Navy is eyeing extending the service life of all its ships according to an internal document produced by Naval Sea Systems Command that outlines the outer limits of each of the hulls currently in the fleet.

The analysis, first obtained by the military blog CDR Salamander, shows that as part of the Navy’s effort to grow the fleet to 355 ships, the service is eying extending the lives of the non-nuclear surface ships currently in the fleet to as much as an average age of 49 years, with some platforms being extended to as old as 53 years.

The letter, which qualifies that the extended service lives are contingent on following class maintenance plans, proposes extending the early Arleigh Burke destroyers to 45 years and the Flight IIAs to between 46 and 50 years. It also proposes cruisers could be extended to between 42 and 52 years; littoral combat ships to between 32 and 35 years, up from 25 years; and the amphibious assault ships to as long as 53 years up from 40 [emphasis added, really out-doing RCN].

The document raises questions about how exactly the Navy would accomplish the extended service lives on its heavily used surface combatants and amphibious ships, especially platforms such as the cruisers that the Navy has proposed in recent past be decommissioned citing burdensome maintenance and upkeep costs. The average cruiser, for example, is almost pushing 30 years old. The oldest destroyers, the Fight I Arleigh Burkes without a helicopter hanger, are between 21 and 27 years old.

The costs of owning the aging platforms is only going to increase every extra year the ships are in service. But foremost among the concerns to consider, experts say, is what it would take to keep the combat systems functioning and relevant into the future.


...

https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2018/06/07/the-us-navys-ships-are-getting-old-they-might-be-getting-a-lot-older/

Mark
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Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #42 on: October 17, 2018, 16:00:18 »
Lessons for RCAF?

Quote
Navy Working Through Plan to Hit 80 Percent Hornet Mission Capable Target

The Navy is working through how it will try and hit the ambitious readiness target set by Secretary of Defense James Mattis for Hornet and Super Hornet fighters, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development, and Acquisition James “Hondo” Guerts said on Tuesday.

In a September memo, Mattis told the Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force those services needed to have their fleet of fighters to meet an 80 percent mission capable rate by the end of Fiscal Year 2019. The Navy’s current rate is 53 percent for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fleet and 44 percent for the service’s reserve fleet of F-18C Hornets [emphasis added].

Leading the effort for the Navy will be commander of Naval Air Forces, Vice Adm. DeWolfe Miller III, Guerts said.

...Miller is looking to commercial aviation for tools and techniques, Naval Air Forces spokesman Cmdr. Ron Flanders told USNI News last week.

“One of the main efforts involves adopting commercial best practices to modernize maintenance depots and streamline supply chain management,” Flanders said. “By adopting these proven practices, we will rapidly attain the ability to sustain increased numbers of full mission capable aircraft and achieve SECDEF’s readiness vision.”

Both Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer and Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan have promoted commercial aviation maintenance practices as a model to improve how quickly the services can repair their aircraft.

In a roundtable with reporters in August, Spencer sent the Navy and Marines to Delta airlines to see how the company had reduced its maintenance backlog...

In the shorter term, the Navy and Marines are also considering shedding older aircraft to focus repair efforts on newer aircraft that don’t require as much maintenance...
https://news.usni.org/2018/10/17/navy-working-plan-hit-80-percent-hornet-mission-capable-target

Mark
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Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #43 on: October 28, 2019, 13:20:27 »
What mighty carrier force?

1) All 6 East Coast Carriers In Dock, Not Deployed: Hill Asks Why

Quote
As the Navy scrambles to get enough parts and people to move carriers back out to sea, it's facing a crowded waterfront at Norfolk.

When the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman missed a planned deployment last month after suffering major electrical problems, the only East Coast-based carrier currently capable of deploying was forced to head back to the dock.

As the Navy scrambles to get the Truman out to sea, it is pulling material and work crews from two other carriers undergoing their own long-planned refit and repair availabilities, though Navy officials say they don’t expect the Truman’s problems to affect those other repair efforts. As it sits pier-side in Norfolk, the Truman has plenty of company, joining an already crowded Norfolk waterfront where six of the Navy’s 11 carriers are currently tied up. At the time we’re going to print that means not one of the six carriers based in Norfolk are ready to be deployed.

One congressional staffer familiar with Navy issues called the fact that there are so many ships at Norfolk at the same time “unusual,” but said this has happened before. “How much of an issue this will be operationally will depend on how long the situation lasts,” the staffer said.

Normally, six carriers are based in Norfolk. Four are based on the West Coast, with two based in San Diego and two in Bremerton, Wash. The final carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan, is the only carrier based outside of the United States, in Yokosuka, Japan.

It’s unclear how long the Truman will be out of commission, but early estimates that it would be ready by the end of November might be too optimistic, according to a person familiar with the issue...
https://breakingdefense.com/2019/10/all-6-east-coast-carriers-are-at-the-dock-hill-presses-for-oversight/

2) VCNO Burke: Navy Needs New Readiness Model for New Era of Conflict

Quote
The Navy’s current carrier strike group readiness generation model may no longer work in today’s era of great power competition and struggling ship maintenance yards, the vice chief of naval operations said.

The Navy’s two fleet commanders are taking a “hard look” at the current model, the Optimized Fleet Response Plan, and will send the chief of naval operations ideas for better or different models for this era of great power competition, Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Robert Burke told USNI News today.

Speaking at the Military Reporters and Editors annual conference, Burke said that OFRP had been written in 2012 and was optimized for a different world than the Navy operates in today. With two major near-peer competitors in the world and ship maintenance yards that are struggling with aging infrastructure and inexperienced workforces, a new model may be needed, the VCNO said.

“We understand why the carriers are in the situation they’re in. OFRP was designed – the O in OFRP stands for optimized – it was optimized in 2012 around some different objectives. So we recognize that we have to take a good hard look at it,” Burke said.
“We started that look last July, and Admirals Grady and Aquilino, the two fleet commanders in the Atlantic and the Pacific, owe CNO an answer on that here in the coming months. But we are very open to making changes to that readiness plan, and we’ve taken it down to the fundamental assumptions and principles of it, and what do we have to do differently.”

OFRP is a 36-month cycle built around about six or seven months of maintenance work, followed by six months for basic and integrated training, a primary deployment of about seven months, and then a “sustainment” or “surge” phase to round out the three-year cycle, where the carrier strike group retains its high readiness and could deploy a second time or surge forward for a contingency if called upon by national leaders.

However, the yards that maintain carriers – especially the Norfolk Naval Shipyard on the East Coast – are backed up with carrier and submarine repair work, and maintenance availabilities are being estimated at much longer lengths due to the backlogs there. For instance, USNI News previously reported that USS George H.W. Bush’s (CVN-77) ongoing maintenance availability should last 10-and-a-half months, but it is scheduled for 28 months due to yard capacity.

Overall, four of the Navy’s 11 aircraft carriers are totally out of the OFRP cycle altogether: USS George Washington (CVN-73) and USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) are in or about to go into their mid-life refueling and complex overhauls, respectively; USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) is wrapping up its post-shakedown availability but will still need to go through full ship shock trials typically done to first-in-class ships, followed by another maintenance period, before it can start working up for a maiden deployment likely in 2024; and Bush is at the front end of its planned 28-month availability at Norfolk Naval Shipyard. Another carrier on the West Coast, USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70), is in a lengthy docked maintenance period, but the Navy has declined to comment on how long the availability was planned for.

Of the 11 carriers, just two are deployed today: USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), which has been deployed for seven months already and will remain on station until a replacement can relieve it, Burke said, and USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), which is the forward-deployed carrier in Japan [emphasis added].
https://news.usni.org/2019/10/25/vcno-burke-navy-needs-new-readiness-model-for-new-era-of-conflict

Mark
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« Last Edit: October 28, 2019, 13:50:58 by MarkOttawa »
Ça explique, mais ça n'excuse pas.

Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #44 on: October 28, 2019, 13:53:18 »
Plus the shrinking USN:

Quote
Navy May Scrap Goal of 355 Ships; 310 Is Likely
The Navy, facing a budget crunch in the near future, is looking for more punch from fewer ships, a top Admiral says.

A top Navy official suggested today the service is reconsidering its long-stated goal of a 355-ship fleet, floating the idea that a number around 310 ships would be about the best it can do if current funding projections hold.

Without big increases in shipbuilding accounts over the current five-year budget projection, “we can keep around 305 to 310 ships whole — properly manned, properly maintained, properly equipped,” Navy vice chief Adm. Robert Burke told reporters today. Although a 355-ship Navy “is a great target for us, it’s more important that we have the maximum capability to address every challenge that we might face,” he added.

As it stands now, the Navy has 290 ships, and will hit 300 by next fall, but as Navy leadership tries to build more ships, it has to confront two significant problems: keeping the ships it has in good condition, and wrestling with what are expected to be flat or declining budgets in the coming years. Only about 30 percent of the Navy’s destroyer fleet can leave port on time after repairs, while six of the service’s 11 aircraft carriers are in dock under repair, including the USS Harry S. Truman, which was supposed to deploy to the Middle East last month but has been hobbled by electrical problems.

The Truman can’t relieve the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier in the Middle East, forcing the Navy to extend the big deck’s 7-month deployment. “She’s just over eight months now,” Burke said in the Navy’s first confirmation of the extended deployment, “because the world gets a vote.”

During a Wednesday hearing on Navy readiness, Rep. John Garamendi, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee readiness subcommittee, warned the service’s top acquisition official, “if you cannot take care of a 290 ship fleet, so maybe you shouldn’t build more.”

Burke’s comments appear to offer a peek into the new force structure assessment the Navy and Marine Corps are currently working on, slated to wrap up by the end of the year. The two services want to more fully integrate their operations and spending, allowing the Marines to support the fleet from land using precision fires and F-35s based on small, ad hoc bases.

Burke didn’t close the door on the larger fleet size, which was a major talking point for President Trump on the campaign trail in 2016. “It’s not to say we won’t getting 355, but some tough decisions need to be made,” Burke said, citing concerns over the Navy’s ability to repair ships on time and get them back out to sea. “On readiness, are we there yet, are we exactly where we want to be or should be? No.”

Part of the problem has been years of continuing resolutions passed by Congress in lieu of full yearly budgets. Those have affected operations and maintenance budgets...
https://breakingdefense.com/2019/10/navy-may-scrap-goal-of-355-ships-310-is-likely/

Mark
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Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #45 on: November 10, 2019, 13:06:28 »
Are USN Super Hornets properly organized and deployed, and are their pilots properly trained? Start of a major piece by a serving officer:

Quote
Improve F/A-18 Super Hornet Training and Readiness with More Missiles and Fewer Missions

The performance of American naval aviators in the early years of the Vietnam War was dismal. Navy fighter jets, launching from aircraft carriers on “Yankee Station,” flew air-to-air and air-to-ground  missions over North Vietnam. The North Vietnamese sortied their own fighter jets, Soviet-built MiGs to shoot down American aviators, resulting in intense aerial combat between the two forces. From June 1965 to September 1968, U.S. aircraft fired nearly 600 air-to-air missiles. In nearly 360 engagements, the likelihood of a kill was one per ten missiles shot, and the kill ratio between U.S. aviators and the North Vietnam Air Force was two to one. In the Korean War, American fighters had enjoyed a 10-to-1 ratio, in World War II, the Navy F6F Hellcat fighter’s kill ratio was 20-to-1. Something needed to change.

The Navy directed Captain Frank Ault to assess what went wrong. He published his findings in The Report of the Air-to-Air Missile System Capability Review, commonly known as “The Ault Report.” The report led to the creation of the Navy Fighter Weapons School, or TOPGUN. Ault singled out two major problems with fighter squadron training and readiness. First, F-4 Phantom II pilots were not firing enough air-to-air missiles in training to prepare them for employing the missiles in combat. Next, the multi-role Phantom was being over-used for air-to-ground missions, resulting in aviators unskilled in aerial combat. The Navy consequently refocused on air-to-air employment and by the end of the conflict, the kill ratio improved significantly, to as high as 15-to-1.

Modern U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet squadrons find themselves in circumstances similar to those Ault investigated in 1968. Current Navy strike-fighter squadrons do not fire enough air-to-air missiles, and their training mission profiles are too fragmented between air-to-air, air-to-ground, and other mission areas. In a future conflict with China or Russia, as in the past, naval aviators should expect these deficiencies to yield combat losses unless they are mitigated in peacetime. The Navy should increase missile-firing allowances for strike-fighter squadrons and explore ways to specialize squadrons for either fighter (air-to-air) or attack (air-to-ground) roles.

We’ll Do it Live

American naval aviators need more practice firing air-to-air missiles. Currently, firing an air-to-air missile in training is a rare event. It requires weeks or months of planning, occasional squadron detachments to other airfields, and the right combination of training range availability, support assets, logistics, and more. Many aviators go their entire career without firing a missile. Those who do typically get just one opportunity.

Training requirements for the F/A-18 Super Hornet, the Navy’s mainstay strike-fighter, are governed by a training “matrix,” a spreadsheet that outlines every task required for a squadron to be considered ready for combat. The matrix states that before deploying, each fleet squadron must shoot four missiles: two AIM-9 infrared-guided missiles, and two AIM-120 radar-guided missiles. The training requirements for the F-35C Lightning II — currently equipping just one operational squadron and destined to comprise one quarter of the Navy’s strike-fighter fleet — are still in development. The Ault Report, meanwhile, recommends that the Navy “provide F4 [sic] pilots with one each AIM-7 and AIM-9 per pilot during [Fleet Replacement Squadron] training and two each… per pilot per year in fleet squadrons thereafter.”

Current FA-18 student aviators fire no air-to-air missiles during their training, perhaps due to the expense and complexity of doing so. Fleet squadrons are only assured of shooting the mandated four missiles per two-year cycle.

Vietnam-era aviators fired missiles in exercises and in combat and still performed poorly against the North Vietnam Air Force. As a result, Ault recommended an increase in live missile allowances. The report focused on the “kill ratio,” that is, how many North Vietnamese planes were shot down compared to American planes, and on the ratio of missiles fired compared to missiles that hit their targets. In 1968, both were tilted strongly against the Americans. Using this methodology to describe missile-firing allowances, Ault’s recommendation of two missiles per student was a ratio of 2-to-1. Meanwhile, the current missile-to-student ratio is 0-to-1. For operational fleet squadrons, Ault recommended a ratio of 4 missiles for every one pilot every year, while the modern missile-to-pilot per year ratio is about 1-to-8 (see Figure 1 below).

Ault’s focus on firing live missiles stemmed from improper missile employment, resulting in a high number of misses. Vietnam-era aircraft, with analog computers and vacuum tube radars, required constant tweaking to ensure reliable missile performance, problems today’s computer-driven aircraft largely avoid. Modern software-simulated missile training modes and flight simulators provide aircrew with combat-realistic indications without firing half-million-dollar weapons, while “heads up” and helmet-mounted displays provide missile data without the need to check cockpit displays.

However, these solutions only go so far. The first time a live missile leaves your aircraft is a unique experience. Like the first time driving alone with your driver’s license, there are numerous items to check and recheck, procedures to follow, and a feel to the experience that no simulation can replicate...
https://warontherocks.com/2019/11/improve-super-hornet-training-and-readiness-with-more-missiles-and-fewer-missions/

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Offline CBH99

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #46 on: November 11, 2019, 17:37:54 »
He makes some good points and good suggestions, absolutely.  I have no experience as a pilot, so can't comment on his suggested mandated weapons/firings, but the overall point of having some squadrons really focusing on air-to-air while others really focus on air-to-ground probably has merit.




I think all branches of military - including US and allies - are simply experiencing the necessary shift in mindset from fighting the wars from the past 18yrs+, so fighting a future high end conflict.

For the past 20 years+, conflicts in the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, etc have required more of a focus on supporting ground forces & taking out an enemy's ability to wage war on the ground.  With tensions heating up with China, it makes sense to start focusing on large scale peer-on-peer types of engagements.


As time moves on, geopolitics change, and the conflicts that come with that also change - there will always come the time when militaries need to adapt and change the way they do things.
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Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #47 on: December 24, 2019, 12:12:13 »
What 355 ship navy, destroyers and cruisers section:

Quote
Pentagon proposes big cuts to US Navy destroyer construction, retiring 13 cruisers

The Department of Defense has sent a plan to the White House that would cut the construction of more than 40 percent of its planed Flight III Arleigh Burke destroyers in in fiscal years 2021 through 2025.

In total, the proposal would cut five of the 12 DDGs planned through the so-called future years defense program, or FYDP. In total, the plan would cut about $9.4 billion, or 8 percent, out of the total shipbuilding budget, according to a memo from the White House’s Office of Management and Budget to the Defense Department obtained by Defense News. The memo also outlined plans to accelerate the decommissioning cruisers, cutting the total number of Ticonderoga-class cruisers in the fleet down to nine by 2025, from a planned 13 in last year’s budget.

The Pentagon’s plan would actually shrink the size of the fleet from today’s fleet of 293 ships to 287 ships, the memo said, which stands in contrast to the Navy’s goal of 355 ships. The 355 ship goal was also made national policy in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act
[emphasis added].

The memo comes on the heels of a wave of rhetoric from the Navy and the highest levels of the Trump Administration that the goal remains 350-plus ships, and the memo directs the Pentagon to submit a “resource-informed” plan to get to 355 ships, though its unclear how that direction might affect the Navy's calculus with regards to destroyer construction. The document gives the Navy a degree of wiggle-room to try and redefine what counts as a ship.

“OMB directs DOD to submit a resource-informed plan to achieve a 355-ship combined fleet, including manned and unmanned ships, by 2030,” the memo reads. “In addition to a programmatic plan through the FYDP and projected ship counts through 2030, DOD shall submit a legislative proposal to redefine a battleforce ship to include unmanned ships, complete with clearly defined capability and performance thresholds to define a ship’s inclusion in the overall battleforce ship count.”

Destroyers are built by General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Maine and by Huntington Ingalls in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Each destroyer costs an average of $1.82 billion based on the Navy’s 2020 budget submission, according to the Congressional Research Service.

A Trump Administration official who spoke on background said the Navy's proposed plan to shrink the fleet is being driven primary from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and that OMB is strongly behind the President's goal of 355 ships...

Cruisers (Again)

The fate of the cruisers has been a nearly annual fight on Capitol Hill, as the Navy has tried desperately to divest themselves of the troublesome class, though this year's proposed cancellation of six cruiser modernization plans did not make a stir on the Hill.

The cruisers themselves are the largest surface combatants in the Navy’s inventory but have become increasingly difficult to maintain. Cruisers have 26 more vertical launch system, or VLS, cells per hull than their Arleigh Burke Flight IIA destroyer counterparts, and 32 more than the Flight I Burkes.

Cruisers act as the lead air defense ship in a carrier strike group but as they have aged, the fleet has managed everything from cracking hulls to aging pipes and mechanical systems. The ships’ SPY-1 radars have also been difficult to maintain, as components age and need constant attention from technicians.

Last year, the Navy proposed canceling the modernization of Bunker Hill, Mobile Bay, Antietam, Leyte Gulf, San Jacinto and Lake Champlain in 2021 and 2022. The new proposal would accelerate the decommissioning of the Monterey. Vella Gulf and Port Royal to 2022, which would cut between three and seven years off each of their planned lives. The plan would also advance the decommissioning of the Shiloh to 2024, three years earlier that previously planned...
https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2019/12/24/pentagon-proposes-big-cuts-to-us-navy-destroyer-construction-retiring-13-cruisers/

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Offline Blackadder1916

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #48 on: January 10, 2020, 19:18:09 »
The US Navy has devised a solution to the problems of competency and morale among its surface warfare officers.  Leather jackets!

https://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=111811
Quote
Navy Announces Institution of Surface Warfare Officer Leather Jacket

Story Number: NNS200109-04Release Date: 1/9/2020 12:59:00   From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) qualified officers can now stand bridge watches in a soon-to-be issued leather jacket per NAVADMIN 004/20 released Jan. 9.

The institution of the SWO leather jacket—similar to the aviation bomber jacket—is meant to build esprit de corps and reflect a symbol of the tactical warfighter expertise that come with earning a SWO pin.

 “The Surface Warfare community has a long-standing history of excellence, and a uniquely identifiable item is one way to signify the outstanding achievement and professionalism of our Surface Warfare Officers,” said Vice Adm. Richard Brown, commander, Naval Surface Forces. “Those who wear the jacket will be easily identified as a part of a long lineage of professional ship drivers and maritime warfighters.

Wear and eligibility instructions were published in NAVADMIN 004/20 complementing the newly released OPNAVINST 10126.5, Management and Control of the Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) Leather Jacket, which outlines issuance and management procedures for this new uniform item. The SWO leather jacket will be organizational clothing and only available through the naval supply system.

Active, Reserve and Full Time Support (FTS) officers with designators 1110, 1115, 1117 who have earned the SWO qualification are authorized to wear the jacket.  SWOs with designator 1113 are authorized to wear the SWO leather jacket if issued while on active duty or during reserve support assignments.

Officers who earn a surface warfare qualification and are issued a SWO leather jacket while serving in designators 1110, 1115, and 1117 and who transfer to other designators are authorized to continue wearing the SWO leather jacket.  Officers who transferred from designators 1110, 1115, and 1117 prior to the date of this instruction will not be issued a SWO leather jacket.

Personnel qualified to wear the SWO leather jacket may retain their jacket when separating or retiring from the Naval Service under honorable conditions. However, they are not authorized any subsequent issues or replacement issues after retirement or separation.

The SWO leather jacket availability for issue and wear is planned to start this summer as part of a phased issuance that will continue through 2021. Additional details on the phasing and eligibility for first issue will be promulgated by COMNAVSURFOR.
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Offline dapaterson

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #49 on: January 10, 2020, 20:08:59 »
Well, it worked for the RCAF's pilot problems, right?
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Offline Dimsum

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #50 on: January 10, 2020, 23:01:26 »
The US Navy has devised a solution to the problems of competency and morale among its surface warfare officers.  Leather jackets!

https://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=111811

At least the aviation community has some history with leather jackets.  I'm not sure how a leather jacket will make people want to stay.
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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #51 on: January 11, 2020, 00:40:21 »
The USN has more people than some armies, over 300000, but they will try to fix this with more money. I think the real problem is lack of leadership. Same issue in the Army. You have to actally live leadership. For example early in my career it was all about taking care of your men and they will take care of you.  8)

Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #52 on: January 11, 2020, 10:53:14 »
At least the aviation community has some history with leather jackets.  I'm not sure how a leather jacket will make people want to stay.

I'm picturing a bunch of Navigators who just finished the FNO course sitting around the gun room whinging....

"But we're pilots too you know!"

I like sailing but I've got no problem saying certain NWOs come off a little self-entitled at times.  The career manager briefs with all the whinging about promotion speed, money, etc are always entertaining.

Offline Dimsum

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #53 on: January 11, 2020, 11:12:57 »
I'm picturing a bunch of Navigators who just finished the FNO course sitting around the gun room whinging....

"But we're pilots too you know!"

I like sailing but I've got no problem saying certain NWOs come off a little self-entitled at times.  The career manager briefs with all the whinging about promotion speed, money, etc are always entertaining.

Meanwhile, half of the aircrew officers are trying to find ways NOT to get promoted and posted out of line squadrons...
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Offline Good2Golf

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #54 on: January 11, 2020, 12:06:43 »
Well, it worked for the RCAF's pilot problems, right?

No.

The difference is that the US Navy PROVIDES the jackets and lets you WEAR them on operations = potential improvement to morale, however minor.

The RCAF makes you BUY the jacket, and PROHIBITS you from wearing them on operations = institutionally passive-aggressive kick to the groin.

;D

Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #55 on: January 11, 2020, 13:11:02 »
Meanwhile, half of the aircrew officers are trying to find ways NOT to get promoted and posted out of line squadrons...

Hahahaha!

I'm using that... "If you are such a shiphandling rockstar, why are you trying to get promoted so you no longer have to do it?"   ;D

Offline Dimsum

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #56 on: January 11, 2020, 13:44:16 »
No.

The difference is that the US Navy PROVIDES the jackets and lets you WEAR them on operations = potential improvement to morale, however minor.

The RCAF makes you BUY the jacket, and PROHIBITS you from wearing them on operations = institutionally passive-aggressive kick to the groin.

;D

I think the disconnect is this:

Quote
“The Surface Warfare community has a long-standing history of excellence, and a uniquely identifiable item is one way to signify the outstanding achievement and professionalism of our Surface Warfare Officers,” said Vice Adm. Richard Brown, commander, Naval Surface Forces. “Those who wear the jacket will be easily identified as a part of a long lineage of professional ship drivers and maritime warfighters.

People who see "leather jacket" will think "aviator", not "Surface Warfare Officer".  They could have their warfare insignia on the nametag but everyone will still think "hey, s/he's a pilot!" 

Also, the leather jacket is hardly unique; flight crew have been wearing them for almost a century.  If anything, having SWOs wear it now is weird.  If they want to be unique, give them something else.  Maybe a ColRegs patch*.   ;)

*too soon?
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Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: US Navy Woes
« Reply #57 on: June 02, 2020, 13:47:57 »
Start and end of a post, possible big implications for RCAF (further links at original):
Quote
Whither US Navy Fighter Aviation? How many more Super Hornets?

Further to this post,

Quote
What Does the Fast-Growing PLA Navy Mean for the US Navy (and others)?

Valerie Insinna (tweets here) of Defense News gives the matter a thorough review:

Quote
At a budgetary crossroads, the US Navy’s aviation wing must choose between old and new

In the coming years, the U.S. Navy will be faced with a decision that will radically shape the carrier air wing: Is the service willing to sacrifice dozens of new Super Hornet jets for the promise of a sixth-generation fighter in the 2030s?..

If in fact production of the Super Hornet (now the improved Block III) stops–or looks like stopping–in the near future, what are its prospects in current fighter competitions for the RCAF, Luftwaffe, Finnish Air Force and Indian Air Force/Indian Navy?
https://mark3ds.wordpress.com/2020/06/02/whither-us-navy-fighter-aviation-how-many-more-super-hornets/


Mark
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« Last Edit: June 02, 2020, 14:00:16 by MarkOttawa »
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