Home » Budget Industry » CNO Greenert: Ohio Replacement Program First in a List of U.S. Nuclear Needs


CNO Greenert: Ohio Replacement Program First in a List of U.S. Nuclear Needs

150805-N-AT895-015 WASHINGTON (Aug. 5, 2015) Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Mike Stevens hold an all-hands call with members of the N2/N6 directorate at the Pentagon. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Nathan Laird/Released)

150805-N-AT895-015
WASHINGTON (Aug. 5, 2015) Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Mike Stevens hold an all-hands call with members of the N2/N6 directorate at the Pentagon. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Nathan Laird/Released)

While the Navy has spent much of the last few years strategizing on how it will come up with the money for the $100 billion replacement for the Ohio nuclear ballistic missile submarine without sacrificing its shipbuilding budget, the dozen planned boomers are the first of several 1970s and 1980s era nuclear strategic weapon systems that need to be recapitalized, outgoing Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert said on Monday.

Speaking at an all-hands call in San Diego, Greenert said the modernizing or replacing the U.S. Air Force’s Northrop Grumman B-2 Sprit long-range bombers and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) would follow on the heels of the Ohio replacement program (ORP) sea-based nuclear deterrent.

“We have national strategic nuclear modernization challenge of the next 20 years and it starts with the Ohio replacement,” Greenert said.
“We’re all sailors here and we think and talk about the Ohio but right after the Ohio is the B-2 bomber and that needs [to be] modernized. It’s time, it’s decades old. Right around that time the ICMBs out there, those processes and those networks, they need to be upgraded.”

The Air Force is expected to award a contract for its Long Range Strike Bomber later this year, while the air service is contemplating how it will refresh its ground based Minute Man III ICBMs.

A B-2 Spirit, two F-16 Fighting Falcons and an F-18 Hornet sit on the flightline at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, for Exercise Valiant Shield. US Air Force Photo

A B-2 Spirit, two F-16 Fighting Falcons and an F-18 Hornet sit on the flightline at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, for Exercise Valiant Shield. US Air Force Photo

In his comments on the ORP program, Greenert repeated the service’s call to fund the program outside of the services shipbuilding accounts — an average of $15 billion yearly expenditure into the 2020s — in order not to hurt other shipbuilding priorities.

“We want to show you — that would be to Congress and the Department of Defense staff — this what your shipbuilding plan would look like we we took all of the money to pay for the Ohio [replacement] out of the shipbuilding plan, he said.
“We’ve showed in many ways how this will impact the other programs and they’re not good. It’s not pretty.”

An undated artist's rendering of the Ohio Replacement. Naval Sea Systems Command Image

An undated artist’s rendering of the Ohio Replacement. Naval Sea Systems Command Image

While ORP is the number one modernization priority for the Navy — repeatedly said by both Greenert and his relief current Naval Reactors director Adm. John Richardson — the submarine replacement program isn’t the only priority in the service.

“You ever see a little kids soccer game? And the ball goes over there and all the little kids run after it? We’re not all running after the Ohio replacement program,” Greenert said in a response to a question.
“It is the number one program for us — to recapitalize our sea-based strategic deterrent — but it isn’t everything.”

Greenert is set to retire from the service next month.

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Categories: Budget Industry, News & Analysis, Submarine Forces, U.S. Navy
Sam LaGrone

About Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He was formerly the U.S. Maritime Correspondent for the Washington D.C. bureau of Jane’s Defence Weekly and Jane’s Navy International. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.

  • Brian Donovan

    Maybe we should provide free healthcare, education and modest room and board for all citizens who need it first.

    • NavySubNuke

      Good suggestion Comrade. Once we are all living in government shanty towns and standing in bread lines then we will all be truly free and happy right?
      I mean what better way to inspire the American work ethic than to give people all they need for free — that will really get the stupid and the lazy off their couches and into the work force right comrade?
      Rather than trying out the failed policies of Communism – which others have tried and all have failed – why don’t we worry about the constitution that has worked for over 200 years. By allowing our citizens to have life and liberty (by providing for the common defense) and the pursuit of happiness (notice it doesn’t promise actual happiness – that is up to people to find themselves) we can best provide for all the citizens —- including those willing to work hard —- rather than just rewarding laziness and ignoring the opportunities our educational system and society provide.

      • Brian Donovan

        Really? that describe Sweden, Denmark, Holland and Germany?

        I believe in the founders Locke liberal, social contract. Promote the general welfare of we the people in order to form a more perfect union.

        Automation and tech are eliminating the need for most jobs and concentrating the wealth in fewer and fewer hands. Just what the founders feared. We now spend more on war than nearly all the rest of the nations combined, and we use it to wage wars for profit and topple democracies.

        Id you just starve the people, keep them homeless, and make education too expensive they will preserver, right?

        • NavySubNuke

          Comrade there is a reason Europe is dying out – and they are best left to the immigrant flood that is going to do it. The best thing we can do here in America is work on actual solutions instead of relying on a third grade understanding of how the world works like you display above.
          If there is one thing we have proven in this country it is that if you give people all that they need then far to many of them won’t bother doing anything extra. Look at the state of welfare in this country prior to the mid-90’s when we cleansed the lazy off the rolls. It has been long enough that people have forgotten this lesson and are doing all they can to get people back on – but luckily there are enough who remember to prevent this.

          • Brian Donovan

            They are living longer and are happier.

          • NavySubNuke

            Check out their birth rate to see what i am talking about. Although the Germans are doing pretty well the rest of Europe……

          • Brian Donovan

            Low birth rate is a good thing, the world is overpopulated.
            Also the USA and Europe are nearly the same compared to the rest of the world.

          • NavySubNuke

            Hopefully you have taken that conclusion to heart and refused to reproduce.

          • Brian Donovan

            Indeed, you?

          • NavySubNuke

            Heck no – I’m doing my best to raise well educated kids with good manners who understand the value of hard work and taking advantage of the chances life gives you rather than relying on the government to provide for them.
            Glad to hear about your decision to remain childless though – the world needs more people who share your beliefs to do the same.

          • Brian Donovan

            See, only the poor and ignorant bring more children into the world than we can handle.

          • NavySubNuke

            Again, I hope everyone who shares your beliefs feels the same way and subsequently chooses not to reproduce. The world will be a better place.

          • Brian Donovan

            Really? what make you a worthy pro creator? high intelligence? mine’s in the top 1%. I know, you are obedient, and will kill on commend, right? Or perhaps you are rich and can promise a solid future for your children., please tell use why you are worthy?

            You just WANT to have kids, like everybody else on the planet, and that’s why it’s over populated.

            Idiocracy is what your are living.

          • NavySubNuke

            Aww sweetie, its really nice that you think you are in the top 1% of intelligence but come on now – just because it is the internet doesn’t mean you can lie to everyone. Your 3rd grade level of understanding on how the world actually works gives you away just a little bit.
            But don’t worry, I’m sure your mother thinks you are smart. Thanks again for not having kids though – the world will be a better place when your genetic line is cleansed from existence.

          • Brian Donovan

            It wasn’t a question about me.

          • NavySubNuke

            Sure it wasn’t. Just please promise me you won’t change your mind – I’d hate to think of your genetic line continuing.

          • Brian Donovan

            I haven’t over populate planet, you have chosen to. Look, you may be a great guy, I don’t know you, but you can’t say why you are procreating. I know why I didn’t. I had a terrible family. My brothers have kids that are so much like me, my DNA heritage is secure.

            Don;t you think everyone who wants kids should think about why? and if they have the resources needed?

          • NavySubNuke

            See if you were smarter you would realize that the problems are two fold – one is that people smart enough to evaluate if/how many kids they should have don’t have all that many. Second people that aren’t smart enough to consider evaluate tend (but not always) to have them in bunches.
            That is the whole point of the opening of idiocracy – it actually captures the issue quite well when all is said and done.
            And I’m glad to hear that your genetic line is being passed down by others – it is the nurture side of the equation that is more suspect after all.

          • Brian Donovan

            That is the conundrum. If we all think our DNA is worth increasing in the next generation, then the over population continues. But only moral and thinking people will even consider that concept. The good news is that the solution to over population seem to be relative prosperity. Once people achieve middle class levels, they stop having so many kids, unless their religion of whatever pushed to. That means you need a society level program to education people and encourage them to have fewer kids. 1 or 2.

          • NavySubNuke

            Its more of a combination of education plus a recognition that resources are limited. That is the problem with your opening assumption of just giving people enough to meet all their basic needs —- if you do that and you don’t have the education system already in place the population will explode as all the stupid and lazy go even crazier breeding than they already are.
            And thanks to the idiots running both of our nearly identical political parties there really isn’t much of an education system left in this country to accomplish step 1.

          • Brian Donovan

            Sure, people need education, healthcare, and modest room and board to feel secure. But population growth has slowed everywhere live standards have improved, at least averaged over 10 years or so.

            We sure agree on idiots running both parties. They will squeeze the people till the economy crashes then blame someone else.

    • Steve

      Comrade,

      We already do that. See Medicaid and requiring hospitals to treat indigent as to healthcare. See public schools, etc. for education. See food-stamp program, section 8 housing, etc. for the rest. We also give free phones, etc., etc. Maybe we should give thought to encouraging people to graduate high school, stay in a marriage, and raise children together. All the studies show that actually works –but it may not be PC.

      Maintaining a USA robust defense is what is contemplated by the Constitution as what the federal government should do. And this Nation having such a capability is the strongest guarantee of a more peaceful world than anything else.

      • Brian Donovan

        Other nations have made that claim, and things didn’t go so well. Our system is nothing like what you blithely describe. poor people are put in debt every step of the way, we work more hours than even most third world countries. We have pitiful vacations, we are stressed, we have high food insecurity, homelessness and most people cannot afford education. Meanwhile we have predictor “schools” to rip the poor off, cops that treat them as ATM’s, and targets, and poisons dumped in our food and air.

        Our “defense” is a war machine, toppling democracies and replacing them with neoi N.zi in the ukrain, shwa in Iran, the list goes on and on. We spy not only on the world, but our own people. We used to get upset when we heard the Staz. and the USSR were doing that to there people.

        Our bankers are robbing the world, taking our money and using it to buy up everything and impose austerity around the world.

        We imprison more people than the rest of the world too, and mostly for prohibition.

        But that’s all fine with you because it’s wrapped in a flag and holding the cross.

        • Steve

          I could not disagree more with what you say. We are a generous and wonderful Nation that does so much for its people and people worldwide. That is my opinion and that is why I love this country and stay here. Why do you stay here since you think the country is so horrible?

          • Brian Donovan

            Try moving to another country, you think it’s easy?

            Besides the same plutocratic force are at work worldwide and you can’t escape the USA’s greed before citizens corrupting influence anywhere.

            Nationalism is a vice, not a virtue. It blinds you to the evils in your own country.

          • Brian Donovan

            BTW Komrade, you should have said Heil Komrade given your leanings.

            Me, I say hello. Hi folks.

            Don’t complain, you started it.

          • Steve

            Not complaining at all. If one looks up Comrade in the dictionary the first definition is companion or friend but that was not the meaning that was intended. The second one is someone with strongly leftist views. That was what was intended, But I would expect that you would admit that you have such views so why the concern?

          • Brian Donovan

            Leftist mean for rule by the people, right means for rule by the rich.

            You are against everything our Locke Liberal, social contract, leftist founders believed in and founded the country on.

            They faught against the Burke, rule by the rich monarchists.

            You are for rule by the rich. “Fascism aught rightfully have been called corporatism”, said Mussolini, the man who coined the term Fascism.

            “I hope we shall crush … in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already
            to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country”.
            Thomas Jefferson

            “As riches increase and accumulate in few hands . . . the tendency of things
            will be to depart from the republican standard.”
            Alexander Hamilton

            But you won’t care.

        • Navyjag907

          Why don’t you go somewhere else? Maybe one of the Peoples’ Paradises or Europe where they specialize in wasting other people’s money?

    • Ctrot

      The US Welfare state already accounts for 2-3 times more than we spend on defense.

      • Annie May

        Why bother using facts, his mind is already made up.

      • Brian Donovan

        Social security is not welfare, it a prepaid system. see, even the language has been tricked up to fool people.

        Besides: the responsibility of the gov it to

        Promote the general welfare of we the people in order to form a more perfect union.

        You want to live a nation of diseased, retarded, ignorant desperate homeless people? You think that will be a pleasant place for all but the psychopaths to live? you think that will be a strong nation?

    • Navyjag907

      That’ll stop our enemies in their tracks. Where in our massive expenditures for social programs with their massive waste do we need to spend more (where it might make a difference)? I thought the first Federal responsibility was defending this country!

      • Brian Donovan

        Really, diseased, retarded, ignorant desperate serfs will win the war every time.

  • J_kies

    Funding the ORP as a war deterring system outside of the shipbuilding budget for warfighters is the right thing to do. Historically; the George Washington was cut in half during construction with the missile compartment stuck in using a ‘Defense Wide’ account outside of the shipbuilding line. After the ORP is paid for the Bomber re-cap is the next item to fund. The Nation should reexamine the intended role of the ICBMs due to their lack of flexibility in the current multipolar deterrence world.

    • Marauder 2048

      Meanwhile, the Air Force is proposing to fund the bomber, ICBM, ALCM and tactical nuke recap within the existing budget structures while the Navy requires a bespoke budgetary mechanism. Incongruity of this nature requires strong justification and will make it difficult for the Navy’s supporters in Congress.

      • J_kies

        Sir – those assertions are patently untrue (AF budgets) as of the FY15 FYDP. The 16′ FYDP isn’t available until after Appropriations and the 17 FYDP is in negotiations in the building.

        Any assertions made beyond the FYDP are pure brown BS. The Navy has responsibly brought their budget gap forward. The USAF is something different but ‘responsible’ isn’t a term I would apply.

        • Marauder 2048

          Responsible? I don’t seem to recall the CSAF quasi-legally lobbying for an exclusively single service strategic deterrence fund. Evoking the George Washington’s unique funding arrangement is really quite a silly comparison; in no way can the current, orderly ORP process be compared to the post-Sputnik panic. A separate ORP fund rewards the Navy for mismanaging its shipbuilding.

          *If* the Navy was building CG(X), DD(X) and a credible SSC maybe they would have an argument for a separate fund. But the Navy is doing a warmed over Burke, a warmed over LCS and mothballing cruisers.

  • John B. Morgen

    The United States Navy should be thinking about building nuclear powered submarines, armed with nuclear long range cruise missiles; instead, of arming the submarines with conventional ballistic missiles.

    • Ron Grube

      There’s no such thing as a “nuclear long range cruise missile” Cruise missiles are relatively short range which means you would need a lot more submarines and a lot more missiles to be where you need to be when you need to be there. Arms limitations would not allow us to have that many “nuclear cruise missiles” Long range ballistic missiles allow us to make better strategic use of the weapons that we are allowed. Meanwhile, we’re building plenty of Virginia class subs that can carry conventional cruise missiles close to shore.

      • John B. Morgen

        In 1971 the Navy started a study about using long range SLCMs as strategic weapons on board submarines, besides continuing to use ballistic missiles. In March 1983, the BGM-109A Block I, strategic SLCM had entered service. These SLCMs had a range of 1350 nm, and armed with a 5-200 Kt thermonuclear warhead. However, in 1992 all BGM-109A SLCMs were retired from the Navy.
        As for the nuclear arms limitation treaties, are you cocksure such weapon systems are not allowed because the Russian submarines of the Oscar II, Akula and Sierra classes are carrying armed SLCMs that are with nuclear warheads?

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