(Photo: US Navy)
Mackenzie Eaglen and Rick Berger, War On The Rocks: How Congress And The Pentagon Joined Forces To Worsen The Navy's Carrier Gap
Earlier this month, the USS Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (CSG) returned to Norfolk from an eight-month deployment, a cruise extended a month to meet strike requirements in Operation Inherent Resolve against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). As “extended” tours become the norm across the fleet, it is yet another reminder that aircraft carrier demand continues to outmatch supply. The question is whether this latest warning will be enough to change plans and redirect investments.
Washington is rightfully worried about carrier coverage around the globe as hot spots grow hotter. Yet politicians are not working creatively enough to get additional aircraft carriers into the fleet faster, even though it would help alleviate these “presence gaps” and influence events more favorably for the United States. Case in point: As we explain in detail below, Congress and Pentagon civilian leadership joined forces to change the way the Navy tests and fields its carriers in a manner deleterious to the Navy and America’s presence in key hot spots.
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WNU Editor: It all comes down to money .... which is something that is in short supply for the U.S. Navy. And while changing test schedules and shock trials may expedite the process .... there are also other problems that need to be addressed .... The US Navy Is Now Facing Its Greatest Fear: Obsolete Aircraft Carriers? (Dave Majumdar, National Interest).