Wednesday, March 12, 2014


I have to hand it to the admiralty in the Pentagon. They come up with the most bizarre stupid crap on the planet. On the face of it, it may seem a little unusual to suddenly decide that little patrol craft should be counted as line of battle warships but the USN has been playing this game for a very long time. The admirals fight like hell to hold on to old ships to keep the numbers up, get screwed out of them by budget manipulators in the Pentagon and then fight like hell to remain relevant as the world's largest navy by reclassifying impotent and harmless ships as "warships."
USS TEMPEST off the coast of my old town, Manama, Bahrain (MC3 Billy Ho/Navy)
I didn't have a problem counting Mine Countermeasures ships as warships since these ships are the ONLY ships capable of sweeping mines more than once and mines have been, far and a way, the most damaging and destructive weapon used against the USN since World War II ended almost 70 years ago. In my view it is the same as counting ballistic missile submarines as warships. They also specialize in a unique form of naval combat and few would refrain from referring to them as warships even if they do call them boats.

This is a little embarrassing for me. I drove ships alongside the pier in the film below a hundred times and we never would have dreamed of using a tug on my 173 foot long ship. This video speaks volumes about the seamanship of the modern USN.

Some interesting fact sheets from that fount of factual misinformation wikipedia.   The first link was to the Littoral Combat Ship which consists of two totally different designs but it doesn't matter much since both types are harmless. This wikipedia link describes the Patrol Combatant ships. The LCS costs around $560 million per ship. The PCs were bought with bottle caps and some left over green stamps. 

In other LCS related news today I see that the Chief of Naval Operations is establishing yet another top policy council of admirals to advise him on the little crappy ships (LCS) that it bought and is still buying in enormous numbers. His first little crappy ship council headed by the number 2 officer in the navy hasn't had much of an impact selling us on a ship that is effectively harmless and landlocked. The LCS has enormous trouble getting underway and on the rare occasions it does get underway and leaves port it promptly breaks down and needs to be towed back and it still doesn't have any functional weaponry or sensors. You'd think the ships would work after all that money, time and effort making power point slides and since the ships have been around now for almost 10 years.

It's worth noting that the PC's were no bargain either. They were initially designed and built to a fake specification to replace the MK III patrol boats used by Special Boat Squadrons. They were rejected by just about everybody in Special Warfare and the navy gave them away to the Coast Guard, who gave them back to the Navy. The Navy desperately wanted to give them to the Reserve but the GWOT and the Mina al Bakr and Khor abd Ullah Iraqi oil terminals needed a meaningful non-islamic defense forces to keep from being blown up, so the Navy/Coast Guard war-fighting team kept the boats around. They were though, on their way out with the A-10 if not for 9/11.

No comments: