We’ve been here before… Under Carter…


The U.S. Navy’s F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet strike fighters are the tip of the spear, embodying most of the fierce striking power of the aircraft carrier strike group. But nearly two-thirds of the fleet’s strike fighters can’t fly — grounded because they’re either undergoing maintenance or simply waiting for parts or their turn in line on the aviation depot backlog. 

There isn’t enough money to fix the fleet’s ships, and the backlog of ships needing work continues to grow. Overhauls — “availabilities” in Navy parlance — are being canceled or deferred, and when ships do come in they need longer to refit.

Every carrier overall for at least three years has run long, and some submarines are out of service for prolonged periods, as much as four years or more. One submarine, the Boise, has lost its diving certification and can’t operate pending shipyard work.

The Navy can’t get money to move around service members and their families to change assignments, and about $440 million is needed to pay sailors. And the service claims 15 percent of its shore facilities are in failed condition — awaiting repair, replacement or demolition. 

Congress has failed for the ninth straight year to produce a budget before the Oct. 1 start of fiscal 2017, reverting to continuing resolutions that keep money flowing at prior year levels.

The dire situation of naval aviation is sobering. According to the Navy, 53 percent of all Navy aircraft can’t fly — about 1,700 combat aircraft, patrol, and transport planes and helicopters. Not all are due to budget problems — at any given time, about one-fourth to one-third of aircraft are out of service for regular maintenance. But the 53 percent figure represents about twice the historic norm.

Sixty-two percent of F/A-18s are out of service; 27 percent in major depot work; and 35 percent simply awaiting maintenance or parts, the Navy said.

Under the continuing resolution, the senior Navy official said, another 14 ship availabilities will be deferred in 2018 — one submarine, one cruiser, six destroyers, two landing ship docks, one amphibious transport dock and three minesweepers.

At least there is some fuel, and most of the pilots and crew are able to maintain their basic quals, if not their complete readiness package, unlike when we were going cold iron on entire squadrons for 30-60 days at a time.

I just hope this can be turned around in time, before things get totally out of hand.


TBT… — 13 Comments

  1. The years of Obamanation have been hard on the Navy in particular because it is completely hardware centric.

    In addition to the critical maintenance crisis situation and the lack of spare parts, there is also a gross lack of anti-shipping missiles. I don’t think this paper tiger situation is lost on the Chinese — who are looking to deploy a 500 ship navy to counter the USA.

  2. Thank you so much, Obama and the Demoncrats. Stop sending money to our enemies and divert it to the military, both active and retired. Bring back some of the experienced officers and men we lost due to downsizing… before they get use to civilian wages.

  3. All the forces are being hit. The 3rd Brigade 4th ID recently was sent to Poland. When their equipment arrived the vehicles were out of fuel and the batteries dead. Manpower wasn’t available to properly supervise and check the civilian contractors hired to make the move.

  4. In early ’74, my tin can won the squadron’s Battle “E”. All six ships then promptly spent the next six months in port, due to the Arab oil embargo. When we next set sail, we had to start all over again. It’s a good thing that nothing of an emergency nature happened that fall, as we’d have been unprepared for it.

  5. LL- Correct, nor are there TLAMS in the pipeline, or smart bombs….

    CP- True! We need all that.

    WSF- Concur, it’s just that I had data for the Navy.

    Rev- Oh yeah, I remember that…

  6. “Fundamentally Transform”
    Only damn promise he kept.

  7. Old Fo, Check Navy.mil for the picture of a SOY Board. Here is what I posted on my Facebook: 2 things I notice about this picture about a Sailor Of the Year interview that is troubling. First point, when headlines are that there are not enough FMC strike fighters to defend against the local flying club, WHAT THE HELL are we spending big buck to rent a hotel conference room for or if this is not a hotel but a headquarters building, our flag officers must think they are in the Air Force! They need to get their tails back aboard ship. Second point, if this sailor is up for SOY, has there been a change to regs on hash marks? I see 3 stripes, times 4 years equals 12 years, where is the Gold Crow and Hash marks? If he can’t wear gold why is he up for SOY? Just an old fart wondering what is happening to the Navy these days.

  8. Randy- To put it mildly, and it will take 3-4 years to dig out from this…

    Stretch- See above…

    George- Priorities, but those are a changin’… And I don’t have a good answer. Gold used to be a requirement to go for SOY if the sailor had 12 years in…

  9. Certainly not the Navy of my time(1980-86). They brought the BB’s back out of mothballs then. Now, can’t even maitain the active fleet? Sad.

  10. It’s MUCH worse than any of y’all know. ALL the services are in this shape or worse. I have been trying to tell everyone this for years. Obama tried to castrate the US Armed forces then start a war that they could not win. G_D help us, because if we had to fight pissants like North Korea or Iran we’d have a hard time. Russia or China would just crush us. Our military; ALL OF IT is setting in junk yards and depots, PER OBAMA’S orders. What’s left are worn out parts moving in formation. The Military you remember is GONE. Replaced by faggots, feminist and junk equipment that was only chosen by the communist party for its ability to bankrupt white America. If we are VERY lucky D.Trump POTUS has time to rebuild. BUT; Our services are in piss poor shape, and a rebuild will take years. EVEN IF Trump has the guts and clout to purge the pinkandrainbow Col’s. from the fumble factory.