The US surface fleet may not be adequately trained for high-intensity combat, four experienced former skippers and the former deputy secretary of defense warned a US Naval Institute conference here on Monday.
The US Navy has huge budgets but has mismanaged so that many sailors are trained for basic tasks
“Navigation and seamanship, these are the fundamental capabilities which every surface warfare officer should have, but I suspect if called to war, we’ll be required to do a lot more than safely navigate the Singapore strait,” where the destroyer USS McCain collided with an oil tanker, said retired Capt. Kevin Eyer, former skipper of the cruisers Shiloh, Chancellorsville, and Thomas Gates. “If our surface forces are unable to successfully execute these fundamental blocking and tackling tasks, how can it be possibly be expected that they are also able to do the much more complex warfighting tasks?”
So $140 billion per year naval budgets and they thought they could skip over training sailors to actually sail and operate their ships.
Sailing around showing the flag and not training to actually fight
This summer, the Navy lost 17 sailors and crippled two destroyers in peacetime accidents, a clear sign the fleet has been run ragged by day-to-day demands to show the flag around world. The fleet, argues former Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work is demonstrating presence at the expense of training for high-intensity warfighting.
* Every Aegis (antiaircraft and antimissiles ship can go out there and engage airborne targets.
* But intercepting ballistic missiles (ICBMs) like North Korea’s is an even more demanding task requiring special training that many crews may not have.
* Special rocket scientists have to join ships for every SM-3 ballistic missile shot
* The Navy used to have a special Aegis training command to help sailors learn how to get the most out of the complex system but they cut back on that key training