Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced Adm. John Richardson, director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, will serve as the next chief of naval operations. Read More
The following is an April 28 letter from Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert to House Armed Services Committee chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) regarding cruiser modernizations. Read More
The sea services cannot buy their way to successfully implementing the Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower, the service chiefs said on Friday. Instead, they will have to pay close attention to how they man, organize and partner with other militaries to ensure they achieve all the capabilities required by the strategy. Read More
WASHINGTON NAVY YARD — Development work for the reactor that will power the Navy’s next generation nuclear ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) was fully funded in the so-called Fiscal Year 2015 “cromnibus” that was signed into law last month, the head of the service’s Naval Reactors told USNI News on Friday. Read More
On Sunday former Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Frank Kelso, died in his home state in Tennessee, “following a fall this week that resulted in a severe head injury,” according to a report from al.com.
The following is an excerpt of 2009’s preface to Kelso’s U.S. Naval Institute oral history.
The early 1990s were a time of substantial-even tumultuous-change in the United States Navy. Adm. Frank Kelso presided over the service during that era as the Chief of Naval Operations and faced a host of daunting challenges. Read More
Cid Standifer is a freelance reporter, web designer and translator based in Arlington, Va. She has written for Military Times, Inside Washington Publishers and the Roswell Daily Record.
Proceedings, September 2012
What types of aircraft will be deployed on tomorrow’s flattops?
What should the carrier air wing (CVW) of the future look like? This rather abstruse topic has taken on new significance of late as a consequence of the article in the July issue of Proceedingsby Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert. The title of the article, “Payloads over Platforms: Charting a New Course,” the discussion in it of the diminishing value of stealth, and the positive mentions of both the F/A-18 Hornet and unmanned systems such as the Scan Eagle and Fire Scout led some observers to accuse the CNO of somehow being secretly opposed to the carrier variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Under intense criticism, Admiral Greenert and his staff appear to be employing the “Humpty Dumpty” defense (“When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”), asserting that the article did not refer in any way to the F-35 but instead to stealth in the future. 1
The F-35 non-controversy aside, Admiral Greenert made a profound statement that could have dramatic implications for the character of U.S. air power in general and the future CVW in particular. The CNO declared that “we need to move from ‘luxury-car’ platforms—with their built-in capabilities—toward dependable ‘trucks’ that can handle a changing payload selection.” Why? Well, by definition “luxury car” platforms are expensive both to buy and maintain. In addition, they tend to look good and have great performance but can be of limited utility. A dependable “truck” has a wider range of uses, particularly if one doesn’t mind riding in the back. A payload-centric approach also allows for more rapid technological refresh at lower cost as well as the ability to tailor forces for the conflict du jour.
One conclusion to be drawn from the CNO’s assertion is that the value of the performance characteristics associated with so-called luxury-car platforms is declining. Those include stealth, speed, maneuverability, perhaps even survivability. There are several reasons for the Navy’s tastes in tactical aircraft to be changing. Obviously, two related ones are declining defense budgets and the high cost of advanced manned platforms. Another is concern regarding the anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) threat.