Saturday, February 20, 2010

Nautical Knowledge

(fm the BC thread "Once in a Blue Moon")

(who said British ships carry little ammo because they expect them to sink)
The same logic would say give the pilots enough fuel to go one way. Think of the money saved. It is for the children.

At one time the Navy put some effort into walking the line between being touchy feely and overbearing in demonstrating that they cared about the family separation issue. If done wrong it results in the Captain's wife playing queen over the other wives but if done thoughtfully such efforts can help. John Lehman once made a famous presentation before Congress, complete with charts and graphs, about the importance of Retention and the impact on retention of the critical quality known as NIBWM, pronounced Nib-wham. He was detailed thorough and passionate in his testimony and at the end some distinguished person threw up their hands and said words to this effect, "Mr Secretary you win. We are all convinced. Now just what in hell is NIBWM?" Mr Lehman looked up and smiled and answered "Nights in bed with Mama Sir."

Subotai Bahadur,
My only addenda to your fine post is that for reasons of operational efficiency and cost optimization it really does make sense for a nation of Britain's size to build three CVBGs. One will always be in repair and one in training but available to surge. If you only have one or two you are inviting an attack when you are unable to respond. Ideally the EU would provide for another 3 Carrier Battle Groups. The do not need to build a navy as large as America's because it is reasonable for them to invest more at this time in their ground forces. Of course we know that they intend to build none of this.

the UK won’t even be breaking even on the costs

That depends on what they value in the Falklands. Remember that the English do like Handel's Messiah. ... and we like sheep ...

Captains went on a search and strip of flammables

That possibly helped produce the "Paperwork Reduction Manual" which killed many a tree and was kept in a cabinet with the dangerous in the hands of an Ensign "FOD Manual."

Sandy Daze,
Why do we need combat survivable ships?

Because it is a long swim home.

Old Salt,
Best way to kill them is as far away as possible

In the Stone Age, hope I am not revealing anything at this point, I took a Combat Systems test that went something like this:

1. The best way to engage an enemy surface threat is?
a) With guns at close range.
b) With missiles at medium range.
c) With an aircraft at a distance.

2. The best way to engage an enemy air threat is?
a) With guns at close range.
b) With missiles at medium range.
c) With an aircraft at a distance.

3) The best way to engage an enemy subsurface threat is?
a) With torpedoes at close range.
b) With ASROC at medium range.
c) With another submarine or an aircraft at a distance.

I learned to love Navy exams like that. The only way that my ships could have attacked a submarine would have been by throwing trash over the fantail. It does make sense to me that the Navy build real gunboats, with 6" (155 mm) guns both to support the Marines and to pacify recalcitrant regions as described by Joseph Conrad. The Navy does need more high end true Cruisers capable of independent operations to establish presence and respond to immediate contingencies. Low end ships like the LCS class have a role in escort duties in pirate infested regions but the costs must be kept under control. If a full flight of 30 were built then the contractor would have to make it a reasonable expense. Otherwise the drive to a smaller Navy continues.

Old Salt,
The USS England (CG-22) was a Leahy class double ended Terrier (SM2-ER) shooter that had the old 3" guns removed and Harpoon installed, that our CO disconnected when transiting the South China Sea. That meant that it had essentially no guns capable of engaging a small craft except for possibly an M-60 machine gun and the M-14 rifles in the Armory. God help us if we ever had to use the ASROC or the torpedoes. The ship had no meaningful ASW command systems and when I asked about the sonar I was told that we'd be lucky if we found a submarine by running over it. Once I did attend a basic ASW school at Point Loma, and found it the most boring thing imaginable, but they assured me that if I was on a real sub hunter they would teach me a more interesting class. On board the ship we never conducted ASW drills that I remember.

The AAW capability was excellent and I loved the NTDS interface. During a simulation I shot down more attacking aircraft than I launched missiles. Now that was a good drill.

After I left the ship the Navy put a fortune into upgrading the entire class under the New Threat Upgrade program to a standard that would potentially help support the ABM mission. Almost immediately after installing the new systems the ships were decommissioned.

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