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Ironduke
03 Aug 03,, 06:38
The following are satellite photos of United States warships, inactive, in reserves in the event of war or as needed. In the first Gulf War, 79 of these ships were reactivated.

http://www.fas.org/irp/imint/beaumont-med.jpg
Beaumont Reserve Fleet, Beaumont, TX. About 50-75 warships, cruisers, destroyers, and frigates by the appearance of it.

http://www.fas.org/irp/imint/benicia-mid.jpg
Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet, Benicia, CA. Approximately 40-50 warships. Cruisers, destroyers, frigates.

http://www.fas.org/irp/imint/ndrf-james-mid.jpg
James River Reserve Fleet, Ft. Eustis, VA. About 40-60 warships. Looks like a few battleships in the mix.

thrawn
26 Aug 03,, 02:21
Anyone have any info on the number of ships and the classes on inactive reserve?

Bill
26 Aug 03,, 04:32
Go to the naval section and post a thread asking that to Rick USN.

He has those numbers i'm sure.

bigross86
26 Aug 03,, 11:05
Really cool pix...

UnitedDiversity
09 Sep 03,, 00:31
do I see flat decks in there?

Ironduke
09 Sep 03,, 00:36
Originally posted by UnitedDiversity
do I see flat decks in there?
Possibly. The US built a few hundred aircraft carriers during WWII IIRC. Not all large ones, some were smaller.

TopHatter
09 Sep 03,, 05:42
Yes, right of the top of my head there were a dozen to 2 dozen large-deck Essex-class carriers built, 2 dozen Independece-class light carriers and several dozen escort carriers built. The USN's battle fleet at the end of WW II was beyond comprehension, even today.

bigross86
09 Sep 03,, 12:47
How many of those carriers acan actually be restored and used today in the jet-age?

TopHatter
09 Sep 03,, 14:44
Originally posted by bigross86
How many of those carriers acan actually be restored and used today in the jet-age?

Many of the Essex-class carriers were modernized after World War II to operate jet aircraft via steam catapults. They were also equipped with angled-decks and eventually the Fresnel landing system, which replaced the guys with the paddles doing their little dance to guide the planes in.
None of the light carriers or escort carriers were equipped for CTOL jet operation AFIK, but that obviously wouldnt be a probablem for VTOL operations.

bigross86
09 Sep 03,, 15:30
So the Essex class carriers would be converted to jets, and all the others would go to the USMC?

TopHatter
09 Sep 03,, 16:56
Actually, a couple of the Essex-class carriers (maybe only 1) were converted to be among first LPHs (Landing Platform Helicopter) until the then-new Iwo Jima-class LPHs joined the fleet. The smaller carriers, the CVLs, didnt really get too much of an upgrade after WW II. They were kinda makeshifts, built on the hull's of light crusiers. I know a couple of them were transferred to foreign navys. The Cabot (Spain) and Belleau Wood (France) come to mind.
The escort carriers, the CVEs, were very tiny, having been built on merchant ship hulls. I don't think hardly any were kept too long after WW II ended. As far as I know, none of them even exist anymore.

bigross86
09 Sep 03,, 20:47
But if they had to restore the carriers, than only the Essex's would actually go to the navy. The others would be converted into LPH's or stuff like that for the USMC.

TopHatter
09 Sep 03,, 21:42
Well, remember of course that the Navy always operates the ships and it doesnt really matter what class of ship it is as far as using it for amphibious (USMC) operations. The Navy simply selected the ships it had on hand and simply changed their mission and outfitted them appropriately. Several Essex-class carriers were redesignated CVS since they the centerpiece of an ASW Task Force, some were designated CVA meaning attack carriers and at least 1 was converted to an LPH configuration but this was more a of stop-gap measure, used to prove the concept etc. One of the light carriers was also used as an LPH, so it really didnt matter what class the ship was. Now mind you, the Essex-class carrier they used as an LPH was not the best choice. She was too big, too old and required too much manpower for the mission. The Iwo Jima-class was much better suited to the task.
I could probably dig out specific examples of what was used for what or direct you to some good websites that have the info if you want

bigross86
09 Sep 03,, 22:50
Can you please? I'm afraid my internet searching skills leave something to be desired...

TopHatter
10 Sep 03,, 00:57
Sure no problem. I found some stuff on the web along with some URLs . So here's some info on early LPH ships, all of which were converted WW II carriers of one type or another:
OK looking back on my earlier posts, I see that my details were incorrect as I suspected.
The first helicopter carrier intended AND convertered to carry a complement of Marines and helos for the purpose of vertical assault was USS Thetis Bay (CVE-90). She was one of the tiny escort carriers from WW II and have been mothballed after the war. She was recommisioned in July 1956 and redesignated CVHA-1. She basically proved the concept of vertical envelopment was valid and feasible. She carried 1,000 Marines and equipped to operate 20 troop-carrying helos. There was plans to convert USS Block Island (CVE-116) to the same role, but the funding was not available, though she was confusingly redesignated LPH-1.
There was a total of 3 Essex-class carriers converted to the LPH role but they were only a temporary measure. They were USS Princeton (CV-37/LPH-5) USS Boxer (CV-21/LPH-4) and USS Valley Forge (CV-45/LPH-8. USS Tarawa (CV-40) operated with helos at some point but kept her CV designation.
The Iwo Jima-class LPHs started construction in 1959 and went into service in the late 60's and early 70's. They carried a reinforced Marine battalion of 1700-2000 men and some 30 helos. Incidentally, it was only a couple of years ago that the last of the Iwo Jimas was finally decommissioned and the Iwo Jima's proud name is carried on by the latest Wasp-class LHD big-deck amphib carrier.
As far as the Essex-class carriers, the Independence-class light carriers, and the various classes of escort carriers go, there are no escort carriers left, they were scrapped years ago. I think that USS Cabot was scrapped or in the process of scrapping after she was returned by Spain. She was the last her breed. There are several Essex-class carriers still left, but only as museums (with 1 exception I think). USS Intrepid is in New York City, USS Hornet is in California, USS Yorktown is in South Carolina, USS Lexington is down in Texas and I think USS Oriskany is still awaiting her destiny with the scrappers in California. She may be gone right now, I'm not sure.
I highly recommend Guy Derdall's www.warships1.com, though the site seems to be down at the moment. Also www.navsource.org is also excellent, particularly the link at the bottom of this post. You'll see how the early LPH's had a hugely mixed background and how the sequential numbering of them and Iwo Jimas really got jumbled.http://www.navsource.org/archives/10/11idx.htm

bigross86
10 Sep 03,, 14:07
So essentially what you're saying is that there are no longer any carriers aside from the Nimitz Class.

TopHatter
10 Sep 03,, 14:23
Yeah basically. The only "true" carriers operating CTOL aircraft in the USN are the 9 Nimitz-class carriers, USS Enterprise and USS Kitty Hawk and USS John F. Kennedy.
All other "aviation" ships in the USN are amphibious assault ships that operate only VTOL/VSTOL craft like Harriers, helos and (maybe) tilt-rotor aircraft.
I highly recommend this link to Global Security.org for all manner of information on US military http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/index.html

bigross86
10 Sep 03,, 14:51
USS Enterprise and USS Kitty Hawk and USS John F. Kennedy.

Damn, I forgot about the Forrestalls.

TopHatter
10 Sep 03,, 15:09
Lol, you didnt forget about them, they're simply not in commision anymore. Neither are any of the Midway-class carriers

bigross86
10 Sep 03,, 15:20
Aren't the Kitty Hawk, JFK and Enterprise Forrestalls?

TopHatter
10 Sep 03,, 15:35
Well...I guess you could make the arguement that they are "enlarged" or "improved" Forrestals. When I get a chance I'll do some research on that

Stinger
10 Sep 03,, 15:49
Originally posted by bigross86
Aren't the Kitty Hawk, JFK and Enterprise Forrestalls? CVN-65 Enterprise is easily her own class

TopHatter
10 Sep 03,, 16:09
Well, I tried to edit my post but something went wrong, so here it is again.
Most sources I've read have referred to the Kitty Hawks, JFK and Enterprise as "modified" Forrestals. The others numerous minor changes, some changes to length and beam etc and other major changes like propulsion (with Enterprise obviously). Also the islands on the post-Forrestal class carriers were modified, most notably Enterprise
So, most references list the supercarriers this way.

Forrestal Class - All have been removed from service
USS Forrestal (CV-59)
USS Saratoga (CV-60)
USS Ranger (CV-61)
USS Independence (CV-62)

Kitty Hawk Class - Only Kitty Hawk in service until 2008?
USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63)
USS Constellation (CV-64)
USS America (CV-66) Slightly modified variant

Enterprise Class - Still in service until 2013?
USS Enterprise (CVN-65)

John F. Kennedy Class - Still in service until 2018?
USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67)

Most of this info is from Global Security.org, definitely worth checking out. I've spent 2 hours at a time browsing Global Security :D

Edit: A few details for clarity

bigross86
10 Sep 03,, 22:09
It's amazing how many of these names I recognize. Hearing some of these ships battle stories would probably be an amazing thing.

TopHatter
10 Sep 03,, 23:57
Remember too that a couple of those carriers bear the proud names of World War II carriers as well, so their namesake's battle histories are just as fascinating.
The supercarrier's battle record is mostly from Vietnam and Desert Storm, with things like Operation El Dorado Canyon (the Libya bombing) thrown in for flavor :)

bigross86
11 Sep 03,, 08:39
But Operation El Dorado was done by F-111's...

TopHatter
11 Sep 03,, 14:13
Order Of Battle for Operation El Dorado Canyon

United States Air Force

28 KC-10 and KC-135 tankers

5 EF-111 Raven ECM (Electronic Countermeasure) aircraft

24 FB-111 Strike aircraft (six of these were airborne spares, and returned to base after the initial refueling)

United States Navy

USS America
USS Coral Sea

14 A-6E strike aircraft

12 A-7E and F/A-18 Electronic warfare and jamming aircraft which undertook air defense suppression for the mission

Several F-14 Tomcats which took up the long range Combat Air Patrol (CAP) responsibilities

4 E-2C Hawkeye airborne command and control and warning aircraft


http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/el_dorado_canyon.htm

Remember that the Air Force had to fly a circuitous route from Great Britain, avoiding French airspace. That link also includes a quote (criticism actually) from an unnamed source ""more aircraft and combat ships than Britain employed during its entire campaign in the Falklands."

Edit:Spelling and clarification

bigross86
11 Sep 03,, 20:37
What were the A-6Es for? All the precision bombing was done by the F-111's. I like the "accidental" bomb in the French Embassy. It's a real shame they retired the A-6's.

TopHatter
12 Sep 03,, 16:13
"Mission planners decided, as part of the effort to attain tactical surprise, to hit all five targets simultaneously. This decision had crucial impact on nearly every aspect of the operation since it meant that the available US Navy resources could not perform the mission unilaterally. The only two types of aircraft in the US inventory capable of conducting a precision night attack were the Navy’s A-6s and the Air Force’s F-111s. The Navy had two aircraft carriers in the Mediterranean at the time planning for the raid: The America and The Coral Sea. Each had ten A-6 aircraft, but these were not the total of 32 aircraft estimated as required to successfully hit all five targets with one raid." http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/el_dorado_canyon.htm

bigross86
13 Sep 03,, 18:16
So the A-6's were used as backup if too many F-111's aborted?

TopHatter
15 Sep 03,, 16:02
Originally posted by bigross86
So the A-6's were used as backup if too many F-111's aborted?

Come on now my friend, you arent going to pass any more IAF tests until your reading comprehension improves :mad:

Let's look at the article again.

Mission planners decided, as part of the effort to attain tactical surprise, to hit all five targets simultaneously.

OK, so we have here 5 separate targets in Libya to attack, at night, with PGMs.

...it meant that the available US Navy resources could not perform the mission unilaterally.

I would take this to mean that the mission planners were intending (initially) to use only the USN carriers in the area and not use USAF strike aircraft but circumstances dictated otherwise.

The only two types of aircraft in the US inventory capable of conducting a precision night attack were the Navy’s A-6s and the Air Force’s F-111s.

So we now have a list of available aircraft types that can be used. We have precisely 2 aircraft types we can use, but unfortunately, one of those types is not only land-based, but land-based in Britain and we need to hit Libya, roughly 1400 miles (2300 km) away.


The Navy had two aircraft carriers in the Mediterranean at the time planning for the raid: The America and The Coral Sea. Each had ten A-6 aircraft, but these were not the total of 32 aircraft estimated as required to successfully hit all five targets with one raid.

Here we have our carrier assets and exact number of all-weather strike aircraft. We need to hold a few back in reserve for ASuW among other things and since we only have 20 total and we want to use at least 32 aircraft for the raid, we have a serious shortfall of aircraft. So, we have to use land-based aircraft to complete the strike package. Fortunately, those aircraft are based on a loyal ally (Britain) but the best route takes them over a rather reluctant ally (France). Nothing that can be done about that except fly a circuitous route and provide enough aerial tankers to fuel every car in Los Angeles.
Sooooo....do you see now? :LOL

bigross86
15 Sep 03,, 19:25
Yeah, but my question was, that if some F-111's aborted the mission, could A-6E's take their place as part of an integrated USN/USAF mission and still strike all five targets simultaniously

TopHatter
15 Sep 03,, 22:08
Your first question was a bit confusing :)
I suppose the A-6's could have taken over, but I kinda doubt it. The USN would have been briefed on their targets only (I think) and anyway the USAF had their own airborne spares.