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Thread: USN Strategic Readiness Review 2017 Published

  1. #1
    Military Professional JCT's Avatar
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    07 Apr 05
    San Diego, CA

    USN Strategic Readiness Review 2017 Published

    The USN recently published its Strategic Readiness Review (SRR) 2017 in response to the recent 7th Fleet incidents. You can find it here. A good review of the report was done by CDR Salamander. He is a retired SWO, you can tell from his blog that he loves the Navy, but has been very critical of many of it's senior leadership's decisions over the years. Many of the things he has talked and warned about bore fruit in 2017. This report lays much of it out, states what has gone wrong, and has many recommendations on how to fix these shortcomings. I've always respected his writing and found many of his views to mirror my own. I'm not a Sailor, but I work for the USN and so see some of this in action.

    CDR Sal has a number of good things to say about the report, I think it's worth looking at what he has to say. Some pull quotes from his blog to whet your interest. Bold text is from the SRR:

    Remember over the last decade+ where I said how much I wish I/we were wrong, but I didn't think we were. Well, we're here.

    Many of these deficiencies have been observed and authoritatively documented for years, however the naval capacity that had been built up for the Cold War masked their impact. That past margin in ships, aircraft, and sailors enabled the Navy to make mitigating adjustments in fleet operations, training, maintenance, and funding to accomplish assigned missions.
    …and where was that nadir, and who was in charge?

    No, they don’t go full Salamander and call people out by name, which is fine and proper for such a document. That is our part of the ecosystem - but really isn’t all that interesting here. We all know who they are, and those who don’t can simply search the archive here going back to 2004 and it’s all there.

    This Strategic Review examines the long degradation of readiness and recognizes that improvements in readiness will not happen overnight – they will require sustained focus, commitment, and funding.
    And some more:

    Here is the PCS cycle paradox in a nice, small package.

    The growing mismatch between the supply and demand of ships taxed fleet personnel and consumed material readiness at unsustainable rates.

    Within the fleet, often the only option to meet those demands were short-term tradeoffs to training, manning, and maintenance. Accepting those trades and increasing risk across the force was seen as necessary to get the job done. Over time, the Navy’s “must do” wartime culture was adopted for peacetime as long-term readiness and capability were sacrificed for immediate mission accomplishment.

    This is all on the leadership in place at the time. Their jobs as stewards of our naval power was to ensure that this did not happen. It did.

    With fewer resources available, ship crew workloads grew significantly, expanding their work days and weeks to unsustainable levels.

    Good lord how many times did we rail against this through the years? “Bags of cash and Sailor sweat will be the band-aid and cure-all for Flag Officers’ sweet little lies.”
    CDR Sal's blog post goes on, it's a long read, but he summarizes the highlights from 100+ page SRR, hitting optemp, manning levels, Staff bloat, training, Goldwater-Nichols, and the inability of the Navy to say "No". Another topic he mentions is that the Navy in 2003 eliminated the 16 week SWO School basic course. That's like sending your platoon commander/leader to take charge of his rifle/artillery/tank/etc platoon straight out of basic officer school and expecting them to pick up their skills via OJT! Madness! Just to save a few dollars more. Thankfully the course was reinstated, but the damage was done to a short generation of SWOs.

  2. #2
    Senior Contributor
    Join Date
    13 Nov 07
    Holy shit wtf is going on in the Pacific fleet?!!

    The Fitzgerald, the McCain, horrible COs, ludicrous incompetence, appalling morale and higher command leadership MIA. This is the outfit we are depending on to counter NK and China?
    Last edited by citanon; 03 Jan 18, at 13:34.

  3. #3
    Lei Feng Protege
    Defense Professional
    Join Date
    23 Aug 05
    Arlington, VA
    among other factors, Services warned that this would happen due to sequestration. also much higher ops-tempo than before.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  4. #4
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    01 Nov 09
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    among other factors, Services warned that this would happen due to sequestration. also much higher ops-tempo than before.
    Yet a bad commander, a horrible commander, would be an every day responsibility of the Navy to weed out of the system independent of a budget. Reading about the Shiloh one wonders if they were aboard a 1717 ship and not a 2017 ship.

  5. #5
    Regular thebard's Avatar
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    19 Jul 17
    Columbus OH
    Sounds to me like the CO holds most of the direct blame for creating a toxic atmosphere, and his boss wasn't minding the store. I've seen the same thing in companies I've worked for over the years, but it's a lot different because there is no command authority and you can always leave whenever you decide. The worst penalty you have to worry about is getting fired, which I've wished for on several occasions. Imagine going into a war zone with a crew like that.

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