Another interesting article came out in the Washington Post about the state of the US Navy. It is interesting in that it was written not by a “generalist” expert, on all issues at once, but by a specialist. Retired Rear Admiral Tim Yurkowski, judging by his last name - of Polish origin, served on navy 31 year.
“The US Navy has a serious problem. The question is, is anyone paying attention.
The threat from the Chinese Navy is well documented. China has already surpassed the United States in the number of ships and is the largest navy in the world. China has 348 ships versus America's 296. China continues to build more ships and is estimated to have a fleet of around 440 in five years. Meanwhile, the US Navy is decommissioning ships, and by 2027 their number will reach 280.
The Navy's plan is to decommission the ships and older units, allowing them to pay for a future fleet. The plan is called "no investment". The plan can be good and well-intentioned. But the threat from China exists now, not five years from now. The current combat readiness of our navy exacerbates the problem. In its latest report, which analyzed the readiness of all military services to be "mission capable," the Office of General Accountability found that the navy had the worst failures.
In a recent testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, a GAO official who oversees military readiness said the findings he had gathered over the past five years were "pretty troubling." In one of its reports released earlier this year, the GAO said that Navy warships are breaking down more often than expected and repairs are taking longer.
These are not good signs for the US Navy, which is facing a constant and growing threat from the Chinese navy, which is building up its capabilities. Even the chief of naval operations, in recent testimony before a House committee, said he was concerned.
“I am not satisfied with where we are in terms of maintenance and force readiness,” said Adm. Mike Gilday. “It really needs improvement.”
Illustrating the current state of readiness, he pointed out that over the past 18 months, the Navy and Marine Corps teams have not been able to take part in three urgent missions. The two most recent cases were the failure of the navy to send landing craft with marines to provide support after the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria, and the evacuation of personnel from Sudan. None of these events were combat related, but non-combat evacuations, humanitarian relief and disaster relief operations are part of the country's DNA. This is who we are.
When sailors and marines go ashore and provide assistance, including medical assistance, it makes a statement and strengthens our reputation as a global force for good. Unfortunately, we have not been able to support this kind of operation as it has been for decades in the past. Why? Because we didn't have free ships with Marines on board in any of those theaters of war. Of course, the United States did provide assistance to the victims of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria - but not to the extent that a Marine expeditionary unit or an MEU on a large landing ship could do it.
US citizens in Sudan were forced to make the dangerous 500-mile journey from Khartoum to Port Sudan with no support other than a drone to monitor the evacuation route. In fact, they were left to their own devices. Upon arrival in Port Sudan, they were placed on two Navy transport ships manned by civilian sailors.
In February 2022, as Russia was building up its forces along the border with Ukraine, an MEU unit was ordered to deploy to Europe in case support was needed. The Marines were prepared. Unfortunately, the three landing craft that were supposed to take them to Europe did not get maintenance in time for deployment.
The leadership of the Marine Corps publicly apologized for their failure to respond to these said events, for which the Marines have historically been responsible.
Gen. David Berger, commander of the Marine Corps, told Congress that he deeply regrets the fact that the Marines were not deployed to assist in the earthquake relief and evacuation of the population of Sudan. General Berger said that, as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he has an obligation to provide the political leadership with the best options.
“Here I felt that we couldn’t offer them the best option because we have marines and equipment and they are trained, but we didn’t have ships,”
- he said. In a separate series of remarks, the general lamented the level of readiness of the amphibious fleet of the Navy - 32%.
"We can't live with it"
- noted the general.
Warning flags about the state of our navy have been raised many times over the past few years. What we have illustrated by our failure to respond to the three situations discussed above is only part of the overall degradation of our park. Our navy has been neglected for the past 30 years because every administration over that period of time has failed to realize that we are a maritime nation dependent on the oceans. Our political leaders need to understand what President Theodore Roosevelt said about the Navy:
“A good navy is not a provocation to war. This is the most reliable guarantee of peace.”
Accordingly, American political leaders need to rethink their priorities and accelerate shipbuilding in the country. We need ships and we need them to be ready. The clock is ticking."
The author took the liberty and removed all sorts of blah blah blah about universal values, etc. But if someone is interested, you can read in the original. The article was published in the Washington Post on May 10 this year.
Some scold me for my amateurish approach and capricious moods in matters of the general state of the US Navy and NATO as a whole. I suggest reading an understanding comrade and draw your own conclusions.
By the way, I recently read on the Internet that in order to urgently push Gerald Ford to the first operational deployment, I had to pick up the components made for John F. Kennedy, all the same, while it is being completed, the necessary units will be made more, maybe even not just once.