Fellow Patriots:

I asked our team to pause for family time this week before kids return to school. The homepage is updated daily. The Digest returns on Monday, August 2. —Mark Alexander

Navy Mismanagement of Carrier Force Bites America

From 15 to 10 carriers, and now the Ford may not deploy on time.

The Navy is in a world of hurt. It’s less than half the size it was when Ronald Reagan left office. Carrier air wings have fewer combat aircraft than they did in 1991 — about 33% less. We’ve gone from 15 carriers to 10. Now, the Navy’s newest carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), may not be able to deploy on time, leaving America short one more carrier.

That’s not a good thing. The ChiComs have played a Cersei Lannister gambit in the South China Sea — and that puts American allies like the Philippines in a bind. America also has to confront the presence of China’s DF-21 anti-ship ballistic missile — which, while overhyped, still inflicts virtual attrition on a Navy with too few hulls.

How did we get here? First, the Navy chose to prematurely retire the USS Enterprise (CVN 65), banking on the Ford being ready to fill in. Even though Newport News Shipbuilding could have done a second overhaul on the Big E, the Obama administration ignored the growing threats from China, Iran (which has been harassing American ships), and the Islamic State (not to mention the fact that the Russian reset wasn’t quite working), and went ahead with the scrapping process. Second, the Obama administration began to scrap seven older carriers that were being kept in reserve.

Did we mention the world was getting more dangerous while we junk eight major strategic assets?

It took almost seven years from laying the Gerald R. Ford’s keel to getting her to this point, and even then, with all of the new technology on board — like the electromagnetic catapults, the AN/SPY-3 radar, and new arresting gear — it may take time even after she’s commissioned for her to be ready to deploy.

You’d think that Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus would have acted to address this before it got too severe. But Mabus has been more interested in dissing Navy heroes who don’t buy into the politically correct changes in DOD policy he and others have been pushing.

Sadly, the Navy’s carrier force isn’t the only place where the mismanagement of our forces has been a continuing trend. Three of the Navy’s Freedom-class littoral combat ships have suffered damage to their engines. The Marine Corps has been struggling to find sufficient numbers of flyable F/A-18 Hornets. The Air Force is falling short of pilots. Army OH-58s are getting older as proposed replacements like the RAH-66 and ARH-70 fall victim to the budget axe. Even ground troops could see defense cuts rob them of the game-changing XM25 “Punisher,” officially known as the Counter Defilade Target Engagement (CDTE) System, even though it performed well in operational testing in Afghanistan.

Cuts like these, not to mention the onslaught of political correctness and social engineering, don’t just hurt the material performance of our troops. As Mark Alexander wrote Wednesday, they also kill the military’s most valuable resource — morale. That means troops, some with combat experience, may retire or not re-enlist, creating a vicious cycle of declining readiness due to subpar training due to loss of experience.

Reversing this trend won’t be easy, but it will be essential. Because an unprepared military invites aggression — which will be far more expensive in money, equipment and lives than it would have been to properly maintain our forces in the first place.

So how were those defense cuts a bargain, again?

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

★ PUBLIUS ★

“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2021 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.