TOC Ready Room 28 April 2022: How do you solve a problem like the Navy? (and other naval musings)

What’s wrong and right, afloat.

Modern naval problems, it turns out, look pretty much like naval problems from any time.  The parameters are resources, logistics, geography, and technology.

This will be a tweet-enriched lightning round.  The big punch comes at the end.  It’s a doozy (and yes, I know:  if I were tediously pedantic I’d spell it Duesy.  Life is short).

A number of negative things are happening in a concentrated burst.  One is that the Navy brass – “Big Navy” – has just proposed to whack out a big chunk of the fleet for the foreseeable future.  With a target over the last half-decade of 355 ships, the Navy would decline from its current 296 ships to 280 in Fiscal Year 2027 (FY27).  In the best case among three options proposed by the Navy, the fleet would recover to 299 by FY32, 10 years from now. Continue reading “TOC Ready Room 28 April 2022: How do you solve a problem like the Navy? (and other naval musings)”

Russia-Ukraine: An alternative scenario

Rumors of war-war flying fast. What if there’s another option?

Saturday morning in the U.S. sees reporting that President Biden is recalling U.S. diplomats from Kyiv, and suspending consular services at the embassy.

Russia is also said to be pulling diplomats out of Ukraine. Continue reading “Russia-Ukraine: An alternative scenario”

U.S. officials seek to counter China move on potential naval base in Atlantic

In the Atlantic: China, persisting.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that U.S. intelligence believes China is seeking to use the port of Bata in Equatorial Guinea, on Africa’s West coast, as a forward base for naval operations in the Atlantic.

There has been speculation about such a move for some time.  I wrote in May 2021 about an earlier report at the Washington Times, which cited Army General Stephen Townsend, Commander of U.S. Africa Command, expressing concern that China was seeking a naval base in West Africa.  General Townsend didn’t mention a specific country or port, but prior information indicated Senegal, Cape Verde Islands, and Western Sahara were possibilities.  (That article also dealt with reports that China wants to make a forward base out of Kiribati in the Pacific, with the initial outfitting to support an air base.) Continue reading “U.S. officials seek to counter China move on potential naval base in Atlantic”