Author Topic: US Navy Woes  (Read 9505 times)

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Offline SupersonicMax

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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... 

Offline dapaterson

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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 »

Offline Halifax Tar

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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..

Offline tomahawk6

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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

Offline Loachman

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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.

Offline SeaKingTacco

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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.

Offline Loachman

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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/

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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 »
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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/

Mark
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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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