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Thread: Bring Back The Iowa Class Discussion And Debate

  1. #46
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    Sorry gang. But this subject has been beaten to death over the last 12 -13 years or so. It was IMHO a mistake to dec ommission them. But Im afraid getting them back is a non-starter barring something like a World War and you all well know my thoughts on how that will go. So its extremely unlikely it will ever happen. Sorry. Like my Dad who served on the USS Wisconsin during Korea, they are dead.

  2. #47
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    Yeah, I didnt really want to say it, but you're right. Had they not be decomm'ed in the 90s they might still be around and upgraded further, perhaps to the standard that the USNSFA advocates. As it is....*sigh*
    Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat ~ Theodore Roosevelt

  3. #48
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    Many of you need to study the period of 1981 to 1994 to get a sense of how all this came about. Even AEGIS had major problems until 1993(real or imagined ,especially the first five) 10 years after the first ship was commissioned. Many if not all CVBG relied far more on NTU ships than TICOS, although thats a little acknowledged fact.

    I forget now but Ill try to look it up. AEGIS stood for something like "Aint Ever Gonna" something or other.

    I am sorry but the USN is extraordinarily complex and as much as Ive studied it am still amazed by its history, good or bad in outcome.

  4. #49
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    Uh Rick, was that post supposed to go elsewhere?
    Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat ~ Theodore Roosevelt

  5. #50
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    My dad worked on the arsenal ship(he was on the team to sell it) for Lockheed Martin and he said the Arsenal Ship was cheaper to run then the Battleship(he said that all the research has been done on the cost), because it only has a crew of 16(BB has crew of over 1500), requires less maintance, and burns less feul.

    He says the munitions were going to be a small cost of the whole system. What do you have to say about this?

    He also said that the Government gave a 1 billion dollar contract to three different teams to develope the MOB(Mobile Offshore Base) which is gonna have a 1.5km long airstrip and can have a C-5 land on it. He is supposidly involved in this program. This will probley die once the Carrier Admirals get their hands on it. They want to be in charge of a Carrier Group not like 6 barges.

  6. #51
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    My (humble) opinion of the arsenal ship.

    A good idea, just not really practical.
    As far as it being much less expensive to man than a battleship: Absolutely, obviously.
    On the other hand, an arsenal ship is pretty much single-capabilty. A battleship has many different capabilities and therefore requires a larger crew. (Not to mention it's size and age). Most of the battleship's other capabilities have been covered in previous posts so I won't go into them again.
    The bottom line is, neither the battleship nor the arsenal ship, nor the Zumwalt DD-21 destroyers will be sailing the seven seas again. A damn shame as far as the battleships are concerned.
    Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat ~ Theodore Roosevelt

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    "Yeah, I didnt really want to say it, but you're right. Had they not be decomm'ed in the 90s they might still be around and upgraded further, perhaps to the standard that the USNSFA advocates. As it is....*sigh*"

    They're not decommisioned.

    Iowa and Wisconson are in Category B 180 day reserve status, as mandated by Congress.

  8. #53
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    Originally posted by M21Sniper

    They're not decommisioned.

    Iowa and Wisconson are in Category B 180 day reserve status, as mandated by Congress.
    Small clarification on naval terminology:

    The Navy lists all battleships as being decommisioned as of 31 March 1992. A decommisioned warship can then be placed in reserve (in the case of the battleships) or disposed of (scrapped, donated, sold etc). If a ship is to be disposed of, it is then stricken (removed) from the Navy Vessel Register (NVR). Currently, only 2 of the Iowa's have been stricken (USS Missouri and USS New Jersey) although a few years ago, ALL of them were stricken until, as you pointed out, Congress stepped in and forced the Navy to reinstate USS Iowa and USS Wisconsin to the NVR as Category B reserve units. However, they remain decommisioned until returned to active duty.
    Check out this link to the NVR, there's some neat information here for literally thousands of ships http://www.nvr.navy.mil/nvrships/s_type.htm
    Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat ~ Theodore Roosevelt

  9. #54
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    Roger that TH.

  10. #55
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    Eh, sorry if I came off as a know-it-all....wasnt my intent
    I didnt know Lurker posted on Guy's website...it explains alot about him though. Far too many anti-battleship trolls over there. I used to really enjoy reading those boards, but it got to be too repetitous.
    Do you know if anything happened to Guy? The warships section hasnt been updated in a couple of years. (Although I know he's usually busy as hell...). It's too bad, Guy really put together a first-class site.
    Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat ~ Theodore Roosevelt

  11. #56
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    Guy still posts there as Warships1. He also posts at David Newton's board as Warships Admin.

    He is a very good guy, i agree.

  12. #57
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    Oh, and i took no offense.

    If i'm wrong, i want to know- preferably with some proof, which you provided.

  13. #58
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    The Battleship Reactivation Debate Continues

    im Carey: Naval Surface Fire Support from Battleships -- THE Savior for Troops Ashore and a 'Serious Reminder' for Our Enemies Around the World

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------





    March 15, 2005

    [Have an opinion on this column? Sound off in the Jim Carey Discussion Board.]

    I remember well the days in Vietnam when Naval Surface Fire Support [NSFS] was known well to every ship at sea and even better to the Marines and Army troops ashore who called in that fire time after time. Indeed, those troops ashore remember it better than I do because more often than not, it saved their lives.

    I also remember when John Lehman [then Secretary of the Navy Lehman] "brought back the battleships" during the Reagan Administration. He had to search for some of the older retired sailors who had manned those huge guns in earlier wars for the experience needed on how best to operate them, and he found them in the retired ranks and in the Naval Reserve and those gunners eagerly came back on ACDU and served superbly and with honor.

    A foreign friend of mine who lived in the Middle East once related to me the reaction that rippled through the population of his troubled nation when an American battleship could be seen steaming up and down the coast offshore, since everyone, even nations with no battleships, knew the guns on those magnificent ships could drop a shell the equivalent of a small Volkswagen with pinpoint accuracy on any coordinate, and continue to do so for days and weeks. What an incredible impact these ships had on our nation's ability to enforce foreign policy and to bring a visible sign to belligerents that "we mean business."

    So all's well in the world, eh? The troops ashore have this great NSFS ship to bail them out of tough spots when they're surrounded by the enemy and the Commander-In-Chief has these magnificent visible assets that can go anywhere in the world to make clear to all in the area that "we're serious about our presence there."

    Well, not really.

    At least not if you're talking about having A battleship or THE battleships available to do the job. They've all been mothballed to save money. But at least they're mothballed, right, so that when we need them again we can scrub em up and flush out the pipes, send the crews, and get these huge weapons platforms underway to do their jobs?

    Well, not really.

    Now there's talk of the Navy's "Striking from the Naval Register" these great one-of-a-kind assets that allows some in our nation to already be clamoring to convert these precious ships into museums. And once they're gone, THEY ARE GONE! These ships and their guns and capabilities and presence are not something you pick up off-the-shelf at the local Sears store. They take years and years to build. And you're talking billions of dollars to be able to replace these world's finest NSFS platforms that we already have available to us today in the Navy's mothball fleet.

    Kinda makes you wonder, doesn't it? Why are we doing this? Is this in our long-term best interests, or is it another one of those short-term cost-cutting efforts that often turns out NOT to be in the best interests of our Navy or our foreign policy enforcement abilities [one would think by now we've learned that depending upon the United Nations is a non-starter] or our ability to save the lives of troops ashore.

    And you know what? We're not alone in raising these questions. Turns out that there is a large and highly-respected segment of our own U.S. Government that thinks as we do, namely that striking from the register "or museuming" the mothballed battleships is a BAD IDEA! And it's not just a couple of old battleship sailors sharing a beer and reliving old times that are saying this. This is our federal government's own Government Accounting Office in their report GAO-04-973 of Sept. 2004, less than 6 months ago. Just go to www.gao.gov and punch it up. Seems to me we ought to be listening to them.

    Now don't get me wrong. I've always considered myself a realist and mean to be in this argument as well. I don't pretend to claim that there will never be a time when it won't make good common sense to send the battleships the way that sail and coal went as sources of ship's power. I'm just saying NOW IS NOT THE TIME.

    There are ships on the drawing boards and already into the research and development and testing cycle, including DD[X] and CG[X], that may provide the NSFS rate of fire and on-station time needed, but we have yet to build a single one and probably won't for the next 7-8 years. And when you look at the GAO report and the Navy's own numbers, these are going to be VERY EXPENSIVE SHIPS. We may well need them for the future, as "the 21st Century alternative," but my argument is "don't get rid of the battleships until we have the battleship gunfire support capability replaced in the fleet." And this is not just me talking. LTGEN Mike Williams, USMC said when testifying before the Congress in March 2000 "There is no existing Navy program of record that satisfies this [volume of fire] requirement."

    (continued)

    Page 1 | 2 |





    Jim Carey: Naval Surface Fire Support from Battleships -- THE Savior for Troops Ashore and a 'Serious Reminder' for Our Enemies Around the World

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------






    Page 2

    [Have an opinion on this column? Sound off in the Jim Carey Discussion Board.]

    And here's what some other "experts of note" have to say so you don't think this is just something I dreamed up in my Navy Surface Warfare Officer brain:


    Former USMC Commandant General P. X. Kelley: "There is no weapon system in the world that comes even close to the visible symbol of enormous power represented by the battleship"


    Former CENTCOM Commanding General Tommy Franks in a letter to USNFSA Executive Director Dr. William Stearman: " ... naval surface fire support will remain key to the success of future littoral operations ... I found your discussion of the need to bring back two battleships to 'bridge the gap' between the absence of naval gunfire and organic fire-support intriguing. Battleships have served the American military well in previous conflicts. The importance of having sufficient naval artillery support to complement the long reach of our cruise missiles cannot be overstated"


    Congressional Research Service's Ronald O'Rourke in Nov. 2004: " ... reflects a need to replace the high volume, all weather naval surface fire support capability for supporting Marines and other friendly forces ashore that the Navy lost in 1990-1992 when it removed the four reactivated Iowa-class battleships from service"


    Former SECNAV John Lehman in a January 2000 article of Naval Institute Proceedings: "The law requires that the Navy maintain two battleships on the register until it can certify that it has surface fire-support capability that equals or surpasses that of the battleships"


    General Walt Boomer, USMC [Ret.] who commanded the I MEF during Operation DESERT STORM: "[Battleships] with their long-range guns, massive firepower, and ability to respond in any weather filled a niche that nothing else could"


    Captain Larry Seaquist, U. S. Navy [Ret.], Former Skipper of U. S. S. IOWA, writing in the American Legion Magazine: "What the Navy does these days is try to influence events ashore and that's just what a battleship does ... When we would sail the IOWA down the Straits of Hormuz during the Iran-Iraq War, all of southern Iran would go quiet"


    Senator John McCain wrote in 1997: "The very substantial attributes of these platforms [battleships] remain more relevant today than during the height of the Cold War. The Navy's emphasis on littoral operations since the dissolution of the Soviet Union and subsequent atrophy of it's fleet has increased the value of battleships immeasurably ... I can think of no compelling reason for mothballing the last of the battleships ... and every reason for retaining them in the fleet"


    USMC Commandant General James Jones in a June 2000 interview with Armed Forces Journal International: "I regret we took them [battleships] out of service before we had actually fixed the naval surface fire support problem"


    Former House Armed Services Committee Chairman [now deceased] Cong. Bob Stump [R-AZ]: "Measured against their capabilities, they [battleships] are the most cost effective and least manpower intensive warships we have ... It is imperative that two battleships be returned to active service as soon as possible to close the dangerous NSFS gap"


    USMC Commandant Michael Hagee, on April 1, 2003: "Our nation's expeditionary forces will remain at considerable risk for want of suitable sea-based fire support"


    Senator Ted Kennedy [D-MA] on April 9, 2002 at Senate Sea Power Subcommittee: "[there appears to be] little hope that the Navy would be able to meet the Marine Corps fire support requirements in the foreseeable [future]"


    USMC Deputy Commandant, LTGEN Robert Mangus on 12 March 2005 [just 2 days ago as this is being written] in Pacific Stars and Stripes: "Quality is important, and we get the quality that we want" he told members of the House Armed Services Committee. "But the quantity itself is a problem. It's a problem with having peacetime forward presence. It's a problem for being able to rapidly surge the right number of ships. It's a problem for major combat operations" And "Slipping or cutting the replacements is what concerns me. The trend over time goes down. When you need that capability in the future, it does concern me"

    Trust me, I've done a lot of research on all this. And while I'm sure the Navy is under pressure to make choices and set priorities as to what they do with currently available scarce dollars, in my view they get too little in savings by scrapping the battleships for what they lose in capability to save the lives of troops ashore and to make it clear to belligerent nations that "America means business" when we park one of these giants in view of any nation's civilian populace.

    I've found a great source that says all this much better than I do in their Frequently Asked Questions page -- The Navy Surface Fire Support Association. Go to their FAQ section at www.usnfsa.org/FAQ/FAQ where you will find chapter and verse all the rationale for what I argue above.

    And if you don't want to believe me or the folks at USNFSA, surely the combined opinions of Former CENTCOM Commanding General Tommy Franks and Former SECNAV John Lehman and General Walt Boomer and Captain Larry Seaquist and Senator John McCain and Former Commandant of the Marine Corps General P. X. Kelley and Congressional Research's Ronald O'Rourke and Former USMC Commandant James Jones and Former House Armed Services Committee Chairman Congressman Bob Stump and current USMC Commandant General Michael Hagee and Senate Sea Power Subcommittee Member Senator Ted Kennedy and current USMC Deputy Commandant LTGEN Robert Mangus can't all be wrong.

    I say bring back the battleships and keep them on duty till we have their replacements in the fleet.

    Anything else available for use today does not keep faith with our troops in combat ashore and our ability to project our intentions with belligerent nations around the world.

    [Have an opinion on this column? Sound off in the Jim Carey Discussion Board.]

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    2005 By Rear Admiral [Ret.] Jim Carey, CHAIRMAN, NATIONAL DEFENSE COMMITTEE. All opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily reflect those of Military.com.


    << Page 1 | 2 |

  14. #59
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    At this point it's probably never going to happen short of major war.

    Such is life.

  15. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by M21Sniper
    At this point it's probably never going to happen short of major war.

    Such is life.
    Aren't their propulsion plants rather, antique?
    Rust has to be taking it's toll.
    If they are necessary, then lets make some new one's.
    Composite armor and the latest versions we can come up with in these guns has to be better...
    Pretty ships, but too old.

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