Carriers in Mayport.
Big bruahaha. It’ll cost a lot of money to get a nuclear carrier into Mayport simply because the facilities aren’t there to support her (i.e. nuclear repair level facilities, etc).
Now, Team Virginia thinks the Navy (and DoD) is gonna give that idea another looksee.
The Defense Department has decided to review the Navy’s decision to relocate an aircraft carrier from Hampton Roads, Va., to Florida, according to an announcement Thursday from Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, who praised the move.
So, the arguments are going to go something like this, I’m guessing:
1) Why do you need another nuclear carrier homeport when we already have four? (Norfolk, San Diego, Bremerton, and Japan). shhhhh don’t you pay no mind to the fact that 3 of those are West Coast.
2) SOUTHCOM has said he doesn’t need aircraft carriers, he needs frigates and LPDs and Coastal Patrols (oh my!!). So if the COCOM of Mayport don’t need it, why are you feeding it to him? (a legit concern, but Florida has alot of coastline. Just because you’re near the Caribbean doesn’t mean you’re only allowed to go to the Bahamas, ya know?
3) The Navy has cited studies of the risk of a catastrophic event (hurricane) affecting Thimble Shoals channel or *gasp* someone doing something sneaky like blocking the 100 yard wide channel with a ship. What is the REAL likelihood of these happening? Oh, I dunno, what are the chances of some guys flying two planes into the Twin Towers? That’s pretty farfetched of an idea, right?
oh …. wait.
and this is my favorite 4) We’ve never needed two nuclear capable carrier ports on the East coast before now, so why the urgency??
and that, my friends, is the rub. It’s not about having two nuclear capable carrier ports.
It’s about having two carrier ports. Period.
It’s not about what makes the car go, it’s about the rocks we throw out of the windows. See, what Team Virginny seems to be conveniently forgetting is that, until we Decommed JFK, we HAD two carrier ports on the East Coast.
That means if someone were to go ass crazy in Hampton Roads and park a small boat in the middle of the channel while searching for blue crab, it’s ok because the Florida Carrier could move out, launch some planes, and put warheads on foreheads.
Now we can’t rely on that installed back-up plan. Sure, the chances are quite small of another Willoughby Spit creating hurricane hitting Norfolk. But it happened once, so it can happen again.
And anyone who’s ever been in that channel knows how narrow it is. Hell, if I wanted to cripple the East coast Navy, I’d just blow something up by the Cheseapeake Bay Bridge tunnel. Task complete. Nothing will come in or out.
But the military doesn’t get paid to hedge out bets by taking strategic risks based on the notion of “well, seriously, what are the chances it *might* happen??” We determine the worst case scenario and protect against it. We don’t get to develop COA’s and then tell the guys with stars, “Oh, *that* little fella? I wouldn’t worry about that little fella.”
I’m getting really tired of Congress trying to tell the warfighters how to do their job. If they think they can do a strategic analysis (that isn’t corrupted by input from every contracting lobbyist in the free world telling you you’ve GOT to do something retarded like planning to fight invading hordes of Communists with these wicked cool slingshots we make in Beaufort, South Carolina) then have at it.
If not, then let’s please remember some Civil-Military affairs and listen to those we appoint to lead our military. Civilian control of the military is one of the most sacred, unique, and fundamental facets of our country that ensures the military continues to serve the people. To that end, the people, through their duly elected representatives, appoint the leaders of the military. But let’s remember they were appointed for their knowledge of their craft, not for their ability to garner votes in an election year. So their recommendations should be paid listened to with a little more respect for the years of experience from which their wisdom is derived.
After all, I don’t tell my mechanic how to fix my car. You know, unless I want to continue paying repair bills because I thought bubble gum was as good as welding.