Friday, March 25, 2005

And all the ships at sea

Walter Winchell used to open his broadcast with: "Hello Mr. and Mrs. America and all the ships at sea." I like that phrase. Especially the way Walter used to deliver it.

It looks like a lot of the ships are at sea. Out of 12 Carrier Battle Groups 6 are currently deployed or under way.

Look at the list:

USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) - Sea of Japan
USS Nimitz (CVN 68) - Pacific Ocean
USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - Atlantic Ocean
USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) - Persian Gulf
USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) - Atlantic Ocean
USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) - Red Sea

Normal rotation is to have 8 in port refitting and training with 4 CBGs deployed. Last summer the Navy did a seven CBG surge. For training. This year it looks like the real thing. Note 2 of the 6 are in Arabian waters with 2 more possibly headed in that direction.

And that is not all.

The Marines have the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) [15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) (SOC)] near Iran.

USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) - Persian Gulf
USS Duluth (LPD 6) - Persian Gulf
USS Rushmore (LSD 47) - Persian Gulf

And the following amphibious assault ships with their compliments of Marines are at sea:

USS Nassau (LHA 4) - Atlantic Ocean
USS Peleliu (LHA 5) - Pacific Ocean
USS Bataan (LHD 5) - Atlantic Ocean
USS Austin (LPD 4) - Atlantic Ocean
USS Cleveland (LPD 7) - Pacific Ocean
USS Shreveport (LPD 12) - Atlantic Ocean
USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) - Atlantic Ocean
USS Comstock (LSD 45) - Pacific Ocean

Could be a feint. Could be preparation for action.

Verrrry interesting.


Anonymous said...

You're reading too much into it. The CVBG's are relieving each other on station (in the gulf) and the other ones are doing their normal workups.

It's about a 6 week transit from the west coast to the gulf - shorter from the east coast, so it looks like more is out here than there really is.

The other ships are probably doing their workups to get ready to come out here. Despite the new surge concept, we're still wedded to the 18 mo rotation if nothing out of the ordinary happens.

M. Simon said...

The surge concept is the key in my opinion.

Doing the work ups closer to the action is also a very good idea. At the very least making the deployments contingent on events is excellent. With the democracy moves afoot a show of force and a larger overlap in the rotation schedule at this time is a very good idea.

Another key is not the change in the rotation schedule but the change in thinking.

The carriers are going from 170 or so strikes on target per day (1991) to about 300 today with a goal of 1,000 in the next several years. Without increasing the number of people or ships required.

That is equivalent to increasing the size of the Navy by a factor of 3 or more by management alone. Double the strikes in 1/2 the time.

The idea of putting more resources at sea so they take less time to deploy is also excellent in an era of unreliable allys.