The Navy didn’t want to stop bombing Kahoolawe.

The Navy had that Tailhook Scandal in which officers were alleged to have sexually assaulted 83 women and seven men, or otherwise engaged in “improper and indecent” conduct at the Las Vegas Hilton in Las Vegas, Nevada.

It was a Navy captain running administrative operations in Saigon during the Vietnam War who was convicted of stealing goods and money under his command.

It was a Navy SEAL who was accused of serious war crimes in the Middle East but was allowed to retire with his benefits and his dolphin pin intact.

The Navy has let the Pearl Harbor Shipyard get so swamped by work that ships’ crews often are landlocked for a full year until repairs can be made and their ships returned to sea duty.

The Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly looked stupid saying the aircraft carrier skipper who warned of rising virus infection on the ship could have “caused our adversaries to take advantage.” What? Iran is going to attack our fleet because one carrier is temporarily down for crew change?

And now the Navy is saying it still plans to hold RimPac at Pearl Harbor and at sea off Hawaii. Will it keep all crews confined to ships? We sure don’t want a few thousand sailors walking around town!  I’m hearing about maybe a one-day exercise and then head to sea or homeports. What good is that? Waste of money and wear-and-tear on ships.

And some very respected experts are questioning the Navy’s whole ability to adequately defend us in the event of war with Russia or China.

In an interview with the political affairs publication The National Interest, Milan Vego, Professor of Operations at the U.S. Naval War College, said “lack of understanding of naval theory” makes it difficult for the Navy to develop “sound doctrine”, and as a result, to determine force requirements.

 For example, Vego notes that the Navy has an ingrained offensive mindset, which contributes to neglect of the defensive elements of naval combat such as mine warfare and protecting maritime trade. At the strategic level, this conditions a preoccupation with sea control (offensive), as opposed to sea denial (defensive). However, Vego said, it is not inconceivable, especially as capable competitors emerge, that the U.S. Navy might be put on the defensive and forced to shift its focus from sea control to sea denial.

The United States Navy plans to rapidly expand its fleet of ships, as part of the Trump era military buildup, but finding enough sailors to keep them operational could pose a serious challenge, according to analysts.

The Navy plans to reach 326 active ships by 2023 from its current 283, according to its long-range construction plan. That net increase of 43 ships could require approximately 35,000 more sailors than the roughly 328,000 active duty sailors now serving.

We have a relatively new Navy Secretary appointed by President Trump, but his time to make changes might be limited. He’ll likely be gone if Trump loses the 2020 election.

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Published by Bob Jones

Journalist since age 19. St. Petersburg Times, Noticias y Viajes in Madrid, Overseas Weekly in Frankfurt and Paris, the Louisville Courier- Journal, the Honolulu Advertiser, KGMB-TV, NBC News foreign correspondent in Africa and Southeast Asia, and MidWeek columnist. LL.B LaSalle University Law. 3 years in the U.S. Air Force. Covered: Vietnam War, Iraq #1 in 1991. George Foster Peabody Award for distinguished journalism for reporting in China. Married to Denby Fawcett, one daughter. Brett Jones.

3 replies on “The Navy Has Self-Inflicted Troubles”

  1. Some of the things you mention are strange to write in that order of history and make a cohesive blog. To many early thoughts. The navy can have a training session during a civilian shut down but no roaming as all the bars, hotels and most food is closed. Ubers could drive them around but to what ends? See another base or check out the surf? No they won’t be ashore for leave. Drinking could be on base but not with other ships crew. It is like wartime without the bullets. This treatises for a mad movie is continuous. Not believable but true.

  2. David and I live near Ford Island, the Arizona, and the Mighty Mo. It’s a bull’s eye for terrorists. I agree with Robocon: the Red Hill fuel tanks have got to go somewhere else. My older daughter teaches at Radford High School, where there are a lot of military dependents. Radford High School was named after Admiral Radford of the U.S. Navy. Every morning at 8 AM, the national anthem is played over loud speakers at Ford Island. We hear it loud and clear where we live. Have a good day, Bob.

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