Home » Aviation » Training, Spares Already Hurt by Continuing Resolution; Longer CR Would Block Slew of Ship Buys in January


Training, Spares Already Hurt by Continuing Resolution; Longer CR Would Block Slew of Ship Buys in January

The guided missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG-108) leads the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2), Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD-47) and San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS Anchorage (LPD-23) in formation during a simulated strait transit as part of Dawn Blitz 2017. US Navy Photo

Lawmakers bought themselves two more weeks to pass a defense spending bill, after extending the continuing resolution that has funded the government since the start of the fiscal year, but the Navy is already seeing decreased readiness as a result of operating under a CR and would face severe procurement challenges if a defense budget isn’t passed by the end of the month.

The House and Senate voted Thursday night to fund the government at last year’s spending levels through Dec. 22, after the original CR that spanned Oct. 1 through Dec. 8 was set to expire tonight. Lawmakers avoided a government shutdown, but with several political issues hanging over the process of passing appropriations bills, it is unclear whether the Senate will pass its appropriations bills and agree to a compromise with the House appropriations bills within the next two weeks.

The Navy and Marine Corps planned to boost operations and maintenance spending in Fiscal Year 2018 – specifically in their spares and logistics accounts, to keep more aircraft and ships ready for operations – and not having access to that higher spending level in the first quarter of the fiscal year has already hurt readiness rebuilding efforts, the Navy’s budget office told USNI News in a statement provided today.

“Assuming that the Department will receive an enacted budget funded at the PB18 (President’s Budget 2018) request, Navy will continue fleet operations and training with no reductions in flying hours. However, we will delay replacement of spares and repair parts on supply shelves in our ships, submarines, and aircraft carriers across the non-deployed Fleet to cash flow our flying hour program,” according to the statement.
“The impact of not purchasing replenishment spares is that training and readiness will degrade, so even through the Navy intends to continue flying and steaming ships at home, the efficacy of operations and training will be degraded as we cannot source spare parts for our ships and aircraft that we depend upon for this very same pre-deployment training.”

Under a continuing resolution, the services must spend at the previous year’s budget, rather than the current one. No new programs can start that were not funded the previous year – which hurts the Navy’s shipbuilding budget especially – and spending increases are not allowed. In the case of readiness spending – on training or spares, for example – the Navy could begin its ramp-up of buying spare parts now, in anticipation of the full amount of money coming later, but the service then risks running out of money before the end of the year if Congress ultimately cannot pass a FY 2018 spending bill and forces the Navy to operate under a full-year CR, which last happened in 2013. Conversely, if the Navy gets off to too slow a start on its spending ramp-up, it may not be able to get contracts in place and spend the money fast enough once the FY 2018 bill is passed.

“Because the FY18 requested funding is much higher than the FY17 amounts for Navy O&M (operations and maintenance), if we do not spend close to the planned FY18 execution, the result is to have too little time once an appropriation occurs at the higher level to meet Congressionally mandated execution benchmarks of 80-percent obligations by 31 March,” according to the statement.

As long as the CR doesn’t extend into January or later, the Navy will not cancel ship maintenance availabilities or reduce flying hours for squadrons. As a result, though, “we are decrementing most other aspects of O&M so that current and deployed operations are properly funded.”

On the training side of operations and maintenance, negative consequences of a CR are already apparent.

USS Tripoli (LHA-7) is launched at Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss. on May 1, 2017. US Navy Photo

“Impacts begin immediately, within the first 30 days of a CR. By 90 days, the lost training is unrecoverable due to subsequent scheduled training events. These training losses reduce the effectiveness of subsequent training events in FY18 and in subsequent years,” according to the statement. The 90-day mark would come at the end of December.
“Most major exercises and training events are scheduled for the spring and summer, and presume individual and unit-level training was completed. Training scheduled during the period of the CR, however, must be re-scoped and scaled to incorporate only mission-essential tasks and objectives, so units enter the major exercises less prepared.”

On the procurement side, many program offices avoid awarding contracts or reaching major milestones in the first quarter of the fiscal year, since the last nine years have begun with a CR. Still, a further extension if lawmakers cannot pass a defense spending bill by Dec. 22 would begin to cause some serious procurement headaches.

Already the Navy has been unable to spend money to finish up ships it bought in past fiscal years – in many cases a little extra money is needed to get the ships across the finish line and successfully delivered and commissioned into the fleet, or extra money is needed if the construction overruns the costs Congress allotted.

The Navy told USNI News that, under the continuing resolution, it cannot complete eight Littoral Combat Ships; four Arleigh Burke-class destroyers; amphibious assault ship Tripoli (LHA-7); aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), which already commissioned into the fleet but may have remaining work that was deferred until the post-shakedown availability; and landing craft air cushions (LCACs) 101-103.

USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78). US Navy Photo

Come January, the Navy plans to buy many ships, and a further-extended CR would not allow that. The Navy plans to award a $466-million contract in January for the second John Lewis-class T-AO(X) fleet oiler; a $76-million contract in January for a T-ATS towing and salvage ship; a $32-million contract in January for the LCU-1700 amphibious surface connector; and a contract in January for DDG-51 advance procurement on the Vertical Launch System. In June, the Navy would award a five-year multiyear contract award for the DDG-51s.

Until the Navy and Marine Corps are operating under an actual FY 2018 appropriations bill, the services cannot begin on several new-start programs and program increases. For new starts, the services plan to spend $162 million on the Amphibious Combat Vehicle, $40 million on the MQ-4 unmanned aerial vehicle, $21 million to buy 90 small-diameter bombs, $74 million on LCS in-service modernization contracts, $11 million on advanced arresting gear for the next aircraft carrier, and $53 million in F/A-18 Super Hornet advance procurement.

On quantity increases, the services plan to buy 527 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles in 2018 compared to 192 in 2017; four CH-53K heavy-lift helicopters instead of two; 20 F-35B Joint Strike Fighters instead of 18; 110 LCS module weapons instead of 24; 25 Long-Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASM) instead of 10; 17 Mk-48 torpedoes instead of 11; 185 AIM-9X missiles insetad of 152; and 110 Hellfire missiles instead of 100. None of these quantity increases can take place under a CR.

A longer CR would spell a lot of trouble for the ship maintenance world. No ship availabilities were deferred in FY 2017 due to funding – though leaders feared some would be deferred or canceled due to funding challenges in 2017 and a CR that lasted through the end of April.

The amphibious transport dock ship USS Carter Hall (LSD-50) approaches the fleet replenishment oiler USNS Big Horn (T-AO 198) for a replenishment-at-sea. Carter Hall is underway with the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) participating in ARG/Marine Expeditionary Unit Exercise. US Navy Photo

Still, “because the FY18 Ship Maintenance program is at an all-time high for funding, the port-loading plan and integrated ship maintenance schedule is pressurized. For FY18, 14 ships have begun their availabilities,” according to the Navy statement. If lawmakers pass a defense appropriations bill in the next two weeks, “the Navy believes it can manage the ship maintenance program without cancelling any availabilities. If the CR were extended beyond late January 2018, the Navy may delay the induction of 10 ships, which will exacerbate the planned ship maintenance in FY18, and will slip ship availabilities into FY19, further impacting that plan.”

“CR funding shortfalls have been exacerbated by funding for initial repairs on the Fitzgerald (DDG-62). Using tools such as split-funding contract line items and minimally funding Navy Working Capital Fund activities, the Navy has managed not to defer any availabilities during the current CR period. However, the following FY18 ship availabilities will be considered for schedule slip if the CR were to be extended through six months,” the statement continued, listing at-risk availabilities for: USS Coronado (LCS-4), set to begin maintenance on Dec. 15 in San Diego; USS Port Royal (CG-73), set to begin maintenance on Dec. 22 in Hawaii; USS Princeton (CG-59), set to begin maintenance on Dec. 25 in San Diego; USS San Diego (LPD-22), set to begin maintenance on Dec. 31 in San Diego; USS Carter Hall (LSD-50), set to begin maintenance on Jan. 22 in Norfolk, Va.; USS Oscar Austin (DDG-79), set to begin maintenance on Feb. 2 in Norfolk; USS Vella Gulf (CG-72), set to begin maintenance on Feb. 19 in Norfolk; USS James E. Williams (DDG-95), set to begin maintenance on Feb. 19 in Norfolk; USS Mahan (DDG-72), set to begin maintenance on Feb. 19 in Norfolk; and USS Chafee (DDG-90), set to begin maintenance on Feb. 26 in Hawaii.

Aircraft maintenance depot inductions wouldn’t be impacted unless the continuing resolution were to be extended for the full fiscal year, the statement added.

  • Curtis Conway

    It’s make or break folks. Time for Congress (particularly the Senate) to do THEIR jobs, and DEFEND THE COUNTRY. They have been deferring their responsibility long enough. If they cannot, we must push the Master Flush Button again in congress during the next election and keep the Independents and Conservatives coming into the mix.

    • Marc Apter

      The “Conservatives” are part of the problem, as all they know about the Military is what they see in the movies, and what their Corporate supporters tell them.

      • Chesapeakeguy

        Of course, the left never hides their disdain for the military. Just ask them…

        Next?

        • DaSaint

          The House has a Republican Majority. They should be able to do whatever they wish. The Dems are headless, aimless, and lifeless, yet the Republicans can’t seem to get their act together. Get rid of the damn Sequester! Is that so hard to understand??

          • Chesapeakeguy

            DaSaint, you aren’t going to get an argument from me over how feckless the Republicans are. With supposed control over the entire government, we’re still committed to and engaging in the very same disastrous courses of action that the Democrats introduced long ago. The ‘Sequester’ is NOT the problem. There is waste and abuse within the military budget as there is in every other aspect of government spending. It’s all about NECESSARY spending. That threshold is something that is never strived for, and given political realities, probably cannot be achieved. Unless and until the government introduces a BRAC like process to apply to the ENTIRE government, good money will continue to be thrown after bad.

          • DaSaint

            Agree with you on that!

    • Duane

      Conservatives ARE the problem. They’ve been in charge for years now, both branches of Congress, since the 2014 election.

      • muzzleloader

        Still crying in your cereal over Hillary losing?

        • Duane

          No – just totally unsurprised at how screwed up the nation has become now that it’s been taken over by the ideologues on the right. Just as it would be screwed up if the ideologues on the left were in charge.

      • Chesapeakeguy

        Says Duane, who accuses everyone but HIMSELF of being an ‘ideologue’. These snowflake Hillary worshipers just can’t help themselves I reckon. LOL..

        • Duane

          Ideology is a fact. I am no ideologue, I do not subscribe to either right wing nor left wing, since all wings are by nature ideologues … that’s the definition of being out on the wing.

          I stated a simple fact, which apparently you have tremendous trouble understanding. The conservatives HAVE been in charge since the 2014 election, both houses of Congress. And the Presidency was won in the 2016 election.

          Yet here we are.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            You Duane, are not honest.Get your head out from under Hillary’s desk and do some research on which side is threatening to shut down the government. Your beloved Dems are more interested in protecting those illegals known as ‘Dreamers’ than they are in protecting the country. Get off your dead, lying rear end for once.

          • Duane

            I’m not a democrat, never have been a democrat in my life. I am registered as an Independent, after having abandoned the GOP last year when it nominated the Russian-lovingt traitor who now sits in the oval office, having sold our country downriver to the Russians, which is like the most obvious thing in the world right now. Even current opinion polling shows large majorities of Americans today believe that Trump and his people have been improperly dealing with the Russians, and have a great deal to hide from the independent counsel. But the tribalists in the GOP simply refuse to acknowledge that they elected the Kremlin Candidate. There will be a reckoning, eventually.

            But Trump is the classic case of why ideology is a failed way to live. It totally blinds its partisans, robs them of all sense of proportionality, reality, causality, sensibility, etc., just rah rah for the team.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            You’re not a Democrat like Stalin wasn’t an anti-capitalist! Your OWN WORDS always betray you. You say Trump colluded with the Russians, while continuing to selectively ignoring the overwhelming and mounting evidence of your God and icon Hillary and Obama’s collusion with them. As I said, you’re not honest!

      • Ctrot

        Republicans and Conservatives are not synonymous. Conservatives haven’t been in control in this country for over 100 years.

        • Duane

          The conservatives ARE the GOP – they abandoned the Democrat party back in the 1970s and 1980s. They control the country today – both the White House and both houses of Congress for the last three years, and the House of Representatives since the 2010 election. And as we all should know, the House is keeper of the pursestrings, which determines Defense spending, which is the point of this thread.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            I don’t think anyone can argue that the money pumped into the boondoggle that is your beloved LCS could have paid for much of what is being lamented about here. Prematurely retiring the Spruances and the Perrys after defanging them to make money available for a class of ships that still have more problems than solutions is something that SHOULD be held against ALL in the Congress who have allowed that.

          • Ctrot

            The GOP controls Congress and the WH, not conservatives. To a leftist like you it may seem that all of the GOP is conservative but it simply is not so.

          • Duane

            I’m not an “ist” of any flavor, all ideologues are useless and destructive to the nation. And yes, the conservatives control the GOP which controlls the nation and has controlled the nation for years now. All the things that people are unhappy with today, and at least through 2018, are totally and completely the fault of the conservatives.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Wrong again, as always. Whatever the GOP is, and I will agree with one and all that at present it’s not much to wrote home about, they are NOT ‘controlled’ by conservatives. In most cases they can accurately be described as ‘Democrat-lite’. If real ‘conservatism’ was practiced and implemented there wouldn’t be these kinds of cluster-you-know whats taking place, especially any affecting our military.

          • Duane

            So you’re even far more radical than the radical conservatives who obviously control the GOP today. Thanks for letting us know to discount your radical ideology.

          • Ctrot

            That you call the current GOP “radically conservative” proves your own bias and that you are, despite your protestations to the contrary, a leftist.

            There is nothing radical about the desire to maintain a world class defense, except to leftists.

            There is nothing radical about defending the lives of unborn children, except to leftists.

            There is nothing radical about controlling the borders of ones nation, except to leftists.

            There is nothing radical about believing that wealth belongs to its creators rather than the state, except to leftists.

            There is nothing radical about upholding and defending the US Constitution as it is written rather than misconstruing and reinterpreting it to suit ones own political agenda, except to leftists.

            So thank you Duane for proving, once again as you have so many times before with your leftist viewpoint posts, that it is YOU who is the radical here.

          • Duane

            Well, Exhibit A is the GOP Congress just voted for a tax giveaway to the rich that is opposed by the voters in every opinion poll by margins of 2:1 or greater. A tax “reform” that is the diametric opposite of what Trump proposed during last year’s campaign. Trump himself is one of the biggest benefactors (cuts his personal tax rate from 39.6% to 25%, eliminates the estate tax altogether). The GOP held no hearings on the tax bill, all the markups were done in secret behind closed doors, and even today the GOP is still marking it up to give even bigger tax cuts to the wealthy.

            The American people oppose this bill, but the GOP is bulling ahead with it anyway.

            If that isn’t radicalism, then you don’t know the meaning of the word.

          • Ctrot

            Exhibit A in your trial for being a leftist is that you think letting wealth earners keep more of the money THEY MAKE is a “tax giveaway”.

            I don’t care if the brain dead US public opposes it 20 to 1, this country was founded on the principles of freedom and that includes freedom from government confiscatory levels of taxation of wealth earned by individuals and corporations.

            And given that US corporate tax rates are the highest of any western industrialized nation that must make all those others with lower tax rates “radical right wing GOP fanatics” as well! LOL, your logic is faulty.

            Case closed, you are a radical leftist.

          • Duane

            Well, it’s been United States policy, enshrined in our Constitution and in US law to have a progressive income tax since more than a century ago.

            If you believe our Constitution is a leftist thing, you only reveal how utterly radical you are.

          • Ctrot

            Are you serious? There is not one single word in the US Constitution, not in Article I nor in the sixteenth amendment which established the income tax, that taxes should be “progressive”.

            You should stop now before you embarrass yourself further.

          • Duane

            I wrote the Constitution and the laws. The Constitution authorized the income tax, and Congress has continually made the income tax progressive since the 1930s. It is the law of the land.

          • Ctrot

            Yes, I know what you wrote. And you’re still wrong. Laws passed by leftists like yourself made the tax progressive, the Constitution did not. You tried to add weight to your erroneous argument by linking progressive tax code to the US Constitution and that is a lie.

          • Duane

            There you go again. You’d call David Duke a leftist if he disagreed with you right wingnuts on any thing. That’s what you call everybody who is not part of your 5% of the population over on the far right tail of the normal distribution curve of political persuasion.

            I’m done with you now – obviously you’re delusionally and massively koolaid drinking. Go bother someone who cares what you think.

          • Ctrot

            Fine, you can’t argue facts so you resort to personal attacks.

          • muzzleloader

            Ctrot, Chesapeake, you guys are wasting your time talking to Duanne. The dude is a card carrying leftist who is also schizophrenic. He claims he is not an ideologue, yet when you corner him he outs himself as the frothing Marxist he is. As with all hard core leftists he is delusional, still clinging to the paranoid fantasy that Trump is a Russian plant. Trying to explain Constitutional matters with a Marxist like Duanne is like trying to teach calculus to a drunk, it can’t be done. Btw, kudos to you guys for standing up for true conservativism and our constitution.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            We know that. But I admit to taking some amount of pleasure in making hacks on venues like this choke on their OWN words. What can I say?

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Spoken like the uber-leftist ideologue you always have been.

            Next?

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Please show me where the term “Progressive” is listed within the 16th Amendment. ‘Progressive ‘ taxes are the result of your sode’s continuing class warfare on success and initiative in this country.

          • Duane

            Income taxes are Constitutionally authorized, and progressive income taxes are the law of the land. It’s simple moral recognition that those who are barely able to feed or house themselves should not have to shoulder the same burden as those who are incredibly wealthy.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            So, as always, you CAN NOT prove the crap you spew. That’s sooo you, Duane..

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Are those the same opinion polls that told us your hero Hillary would be POTUS? Hmmm, Duane?

          • Duane

            No – the national olls that showed Clinton ahead of Trump were correct actually, because she in fact did win the popular vote by 3 million over Trump. Trump’s victory in the Electoral College was in a handful of competitive states by small amounts (less than 1 percent). It is a myth that the polls were more wrong in 2016 than in other Presidential election polls.

            The current polling on the GOP tax bill does not reflect a margin of 1 or 2 points – it is literally 2: 1 against, as in 50s to 60s against. vs. 20s to low 30s for.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Those ‘votes’ were almost entirely in The People’s Republik of Kalifornia. Real credible there Duane. And those same polls still had her winning EVERYTHING by a landslide. But embracing criminal activities and antics is the very essence of your chosen party.

            Polls taken today also show Trump beating your goddess Hillary AGAIN. Life is tough for you snowflakes these days, ain’t it now? LOL..

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Only an ideologue like yourself could spew such manure Hillary, er, Duane. Record numbers of people still on welfare, government intruding more and more into ordinary folks lives, that alone is proof that no ‘conservatives’ control anything within the government. Keep lying though. We expect nothing but from those f you on the extreme left in this life…

            Next?

          • Duane

            Enjoy your Maximum Leader’s polling in the low 30s … it’s only going down from there once his criminal conduct is fully proven, which it is well on its way to be doing. You claim to be pro-American, but Trump is pro-Russian and Pro-Trump (the two are related given how compromised he is), and Russia is our no. 1 geopolitical enemy. Trump is the Kremlin Candidate … he is being revealed.

            And you extremists rightwingnuts are just plain nuts .. to you, every one who does not agree with your extremism is an extreme lefty.

          • Ctrot

            Oh no you’re not an ideologue at all, you just happen to toe the democrat party line constantly and blame Republicans for all the ills of the entire world, but it isn’t ideological. Right, and I’m Santa Clause.

            Once again, Conservatives do not control the GOP. If we did Donald Trump would not have been the GOP nominee, Ted Cruz would have been. If Conservatives controlled the GOP Mitch McConnell would not be Senate Majority Leader, Paul Ryan would not be Speaker of the House and Kevin McCarthy wouldn’t be House Majority leader. If the GOP were controlled by Conservatives there would be more that 7 GOP Senators / 50 GOP Representatives with a “B” or higher Conservative rating as ranked by “Conservative Review”. If Conservatives controlled the GOP Obamacare would have been repealed already, a southern border wall would have been funded and Planned Parenthood defunded. I could go on, but it is already obvious that facts are of no consequence to you.

    • Samuel Clemens

      Defend from what? Terrorism hype? Don’t need ships for that. Collusion with the Russians?Just lie back like an obedient dog following the orders of your electoral Russian handlers when your people are nearly knocked out of the sky by Putin’s air jockey grandstanding? Bluster while North Korea becomes a 1950 class nuclear power, which is enough to bring total devastation. Defend from stranding your people in Niger under attack? What were they doing their anyway? Maintain 100+ bases to attract every form of local trouble from which you should refrain. Bomb the Middle East to gain eternal hatreds so Russia (again) and Iran can pick up the pieces? Perhaps to punish hillbillies in Afghanistan for daring to resist foreign invaders year after year? Maybe to feebly threaten man-made islands by means of missile bait called surface ships? Oh yes, do tell us your “defense” objectives that don’t include starting more wars of aggression against people who don’t really threaten us. Please do. No doubt we need more feeble minded opportunists to squander tax payer money as you suggest because as other nations have shown before militarism is such a great end in itself which brings such great rewards. Or made the flush should bring in people who can think, work out plans, and be efficient. Whatever they are, they aren’t con-servative.

    • Stephen

      This CR is ridiculous! We have combat status in the Middle East & other arenas. Ships & aircraft need maintenance or render idle. Congress! Instead of crafting a give away to the Billionaire’s Club; put real focus on fixing military budget shortfalls.

  • vincedc

    So let’s pretend that I am a member of congress. I all see is that the Navy has not reduced any steaming of flying hours due to the current CR. Since there is not a ribbon cutting ceremony for restocking spare parts in a warehouse, there is little motivation to do anything. The Navy needs to start reducing operations to make sure that they have sufficient resources for an unplanned conflict. Congress created this crisis. It is time to hold them accountable.

    • DaSaint

      Yet reducing operations creates vulnerabilities, actual and perceived. Having ships pierside increases the time required to get to an area of concern. Risky. Should something happen, who gets the blame, Congress or the Navy? Not fair, but life seldom is.

  • Ed L

    Provide for the Common Defense. The DOD and Coast Guard need to be on 5 year budgets. Not this year to year bit.

    I use to hate working the department budget During a year we would not deploy but do a few exercises and a number of Back by Friday. We would have money left over approaching the end of the fiscal year But as to not have our budget reduced the next fiscal year we would stock up on items we really wanted for our Sail Loft and Bosun Locker. Items like coveralls for sides crew, extra paint Then before the deployment we take a trip to the bone yard and get a few hundred yards of used wire rope Which we use in foreign ports as trade to get the sides painted. So the crew could get maximum liberty

  • Samuel Clemens

    Wouldn’t it be nice if for once we saw actual military requirements for massive, massive procurement rather than just throwing the most money possible for no real reason other than throwing the most money possible? If it is January, must spend, spend like drunken sailors, so to speak. Imagine if there were actually needs and strategies considered first. National objectives and real threat analysis. Let’s have waste, fraud and mismanagement addressed up front. Throwing money at things for no good reason doesn’t do anything but create the most inefficient military in the world with more waste than next nine countries combined. And the most vulnerable. In the end it is way to make a military that is vulnerable to well planned, efficiently chosen countermeasures. The colossal waste would be unsustainable in prolonged combat. Aircraft carriers would last minutes in a real global conflict just as battle ships did in the last big one. Oh, the irony of military graft and incompetence all because politicians want to decimate their own societies to prop up economic super elites – precisely how empires implode.

    • Curtis Conway

      No, the money going to the right places. It’s just at this point with so many needs, including maintenance, spares, and training, it is hard to conduct operations, and build a larger force all at the same time.

      • Samuel Clemens

        Zero analysis, all obsessive spending. You want training to build and defend a nation – end student debt. Yet another floating missile target won’t do it.

        • Curtis Conway

          A quick review of the November Conference Report of the 2018 NDAA would indicate otherwise.

          • Samuel Clemens

            Then you haven’t read it. It is list of items to spend money with greatest recklessness possible. Does it answer what are the economic, political, and security goals of the United States in various regions around the world against military strategy and tactics to support those goals? Does it have a clue why Afghanistan goes on and on and on for longest least productive military campaign in US history? Does it contain ANY answers to a systemic threat analysis that the military faces on an ongoing basis or may face in the foreseeable future? Does it integrate with science, industry, and socio-economic polices and objectives of the United States. Does it address environmental risks, costs and vital features to protect and defend? War as they say is diplomacy by other means, How does that fit?|How does it fit with ideological objectives of the United States? Peace and freedom what noise, huh? How do multiple bases around the world increase our security rather than simply increasing our risk aka “attack surface” as one factor considered for any risk analysis to defend against hostile actors. Nothing, nada, zilch. it is all spend, spend, spend for reasons that are never stated. Does it address the massive, massive percentage of waste found by the Inspector General? Nobody has the faintest idea if that list is anywhere near optimal or even might be counterproductive such as what is the negative economic impact on the United States of burden of extreme spending which President Eisenhower noted at the end of his second term, someone who certainly knew of which he spoke. Why make these particular purchases rather than increasing funding to scientific research, free tuition, or retirement of student debt to support the long term economic competitiveness of the United States upon which all relative military power ultimately rests? China may well get us to spend ourselves into the ground like the Soviet Empire before us without firing a short. Is this a good thing? There is nothing answered because nobody has the courage to ask the hard questions when an addiction to spending for spending’s sake is SO much easier. And ultimately so self defeating. Q.E.D.

      • DaSaint

        I will admit that it’s often hard to justify ‘fears’ when our military budget is larger than the next 8 or 9 largest militaries, combined, including our adversaries. Imagine if my Yankees had a $1 billion annual budget, and the next largest team had a $150 million annual budget.

        • Curtis Conway

          In another contest us Rebels did pretty good with what little we had.

          The problem is that the lead in innovation and advances will wear thin in time (or be stolen), and we now have global responsibilities with Allies standing up slowly to take on their parts (responsibilities in their regions, and work well with their neighbors). We still must provide leadership, and act like Army Rangers . . . “Lead the Way”!

          • DaSaint

            We need to remember that it is possible for the ‘Rebels’ to beat the Empire. Happened a couple hundred plus years ago…and also in a future land far, far away!

            That’s a lesson that we should never, ever forget, lest we end up on the other side of the equation.

          • Curtis Conway

            Unfortunately, I think we have individuals in the Deep State that are on that side. They perpetrate untruths on the public, defend each other in their unrighteousness KNOWING they are unrighteous, and spew all manner of hyperbole and untruths, slant investigations . . . to the point it is hard to trust the ‘Good Guys’ in the FBI! No, these unrighteous individuals violate their Oaths to the Constitution, and HIDE THE TRUTH . . . mostly while hollering at the top of their lungs “transparency transparency”. Well, Judgement is real and the day of reckoning approaches.

        • Curtis Conway

          It will take at least a decade to shake out all the damage created to our Defense mechanisms over the last decade, and wring out the wrinkles left from the last eight years.

      • Samuel Clemens

        That in no way answers the question. It just says there are many ways to squander money. How does the endless boondoogle of Afghanistan and its enormous cost help us as a country? Or hurt us? What did we give up to support the massive burden of military spending? How does such a large global presence actually attract threats rather than repel them? Given the collapse of technology advantage in engineering superiority how do we handle threats with measures that will remain effective against advances that may be ahead of ours. What to do with all that old 20th century collection of weapon systems other than make more that are easily defeated in all out combat such aircraft carriers that are as credible as battle ships before them? How did we adapt to various scenarios and use cases less than all out war that may or may not justify old style weapons, including both aircraft carries and battleships? And new styles ones, particularly, smaller, cheaper and autonomous ones capable of meeting asymmetric threats? Which treats and why? What credible threats do large surface ships aka surface targets for torpedos and missiles counter in the 21st century? Why do we run around Africa like free range assassins in so many literal bush wars? How come the largest expenditure in recent US history turned Iraq over to Iranian control and re-enforced Russian and Iranian control in Syria? How did defeating ISIS turn into yet another tactical victory and strategic defeat, oh shades of the first Gulf War? Why so much to help our potential enemies and rivals with nothing to show for it? What do we really need in Europe? Why do we need massive expenditure rebuilding nuclear weapons other than political graft? How does US political and diplomatic strategy align with global assassination teams like the ones run by JSOC? How do we defend against high precision medium range weapons of China that we don’t have because of treaties and neglect? How do we defend huge expensive ships with hundreds and thousand of humans against swarms of drones in the air, on the surface and underwater? Look for any level of analysis and it is not there. Just a list wants, many of them obsolete before designed because the military requirements at the strategic and tactical level are not defined and simply unknown. That is a country wasting its resources to competitive and economic ruin while increasing risk to itself.

  • Chesapeakeguy

    On thing that never changes it seems, and that is regardless of which side or party is in control of the Congress, the military is always forced by them to purchase equipment and items the military does not want. A few years ago it was reported how the Army was being forced to buy Abrams tanks they didn’t need or want. I remember back in the late 1980s when Senator Arlen Specter was able to force the Navy to buy 2 tankers that were to be built in a shipyard in Pennsylvania that the Navy had not certified for such construction. Those 2 ships were never completed, though hundreds of millions of dollars were certainly spent on them.

    These decisions by the Congress have nothing to do with actual national security, but are based entirely on maintaining jobs within states and districts. It has everything to do with the farming out of various aspects of ship and aircraft and vehicle construction to all parts of the country, even though many of the companies charged as the prime contractor used to have the capability to manufacture most if not all components on site. That drives the costs over and above what they should. It ensures the ‘back door’ kind of deal making and support that results in the military being stuck with things they don’t want or need. That is impacting the military in these situations of contentious budgetary negotiation and actions.

  • MarlineSpikeMate

    The Navy has GAINED about 70 billion dollars per year in funding since 2000, and has DECREASED the fleet size by 40+ ships in the same time frame… and they need more money? They need to learn how to maintain, train and operate their ships without a giant inefficient bureaucracy.

    • UKExpat

      I do not think that the problem is caused by a “… giant inefficient bureaucracy.” The answer is much simpler and can be summed up by one word which is “CONCURANCY”

      The gross mismanagement of the USN’s procurement contracts, over the last decade or two, whereby the US DoD’s Contract “Critical Path Construction Programs” have been consistently vandalised by the inclusion of ridiculously naïve “CONCURANT” working practices have literally devastated the US Navy’s procurement projects. It is probably the biggest financial scandal ever in the whole of the USN’s history. It has cost the US navy hundreds of billions of dollars and the loss/delay of numerous new projects/ships A few examples projects affected include Zumwalt Destroyers, LCS, F35s, EMALS & AAG, Ford Class, Rail Guns, etc. etc.

      How the culprits of this mismanagement seem to have been allowed to continue in this manner is beyond belief.

      • MarlineSpikeMate

        Sure, that is a huge problem, but is confuddled amongst the ridiculous bureaucratic system. Look at the congressional hearings with the Surface TYCOM ADM Rowden last year! The Navy couldn’t even point out who was really in charge of one thing or another. In fact, he couldn’t answer most of the questions, even though he is overall in charge of training and maintaining the fleet. Concurrency is a symptom of the inefficient bureaucracy. The inefficiency of Navy is a breeding ground for such things, much like a hot humid room breeds mold or a dirty kitchen attracts roaches and rats.

        Additionally, concurrency explains some of the cost overruns and shortcomings with procurement, but does little to explain how with 70 billion increase in spending and giant reductions in personal and ships, the Navy is unable to train and maintain what it has.. There is no excuse for this.