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Old 02-17-2020, 03:56 PM   #16
Rufus Shinra
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"Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers."

Aristophanes, 444 BC - 385 BC

I guess the world has only gone worse and worse since then, and I'm pretty sure the youth of now will grumble about how the then new generation sucks while they enlisted for their country to go to Afghanistan, had to face the collapse of the social contract their own parents known (in which college could easily be paid with a part-time job, when simple jobs were highly-paying thanks to the lack of overseas competition and when corporations had a bit of loyalty to their employees). It is our fate, the fate of everyone who lives long enough, to end up complaining about "these kids now". And if you want a more modern reference than Aristophanes, Back To The Future works pretty well too. ;-)


PS: oh, and by the way, that quote from Aristophanes was in a comedy play where he makes Socrates or Plato say it, because it was already cliche, back in Ancient Greece.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ikalugin View Post
While I agree with you that many of those missions can be completed with FFGs the problem is that US needs to maintain dominance in naval theatres which means that they need all those DDGs and if anything I think that the decision to focus on them was a good one given limited USN resources post Cold War.


As to the crews - USN is known to deploy intentionally larger than normal crews as this makes at sea maintenance and the like easier.
Can't maintain dominance without working crews, and considering its current levels of spending plus the limited population reservoir for tech-intensive jobs that have to compete with the private sector, this isn't a sustainable trajectory taken by the US military, particularly as China builds itself up with a much larger population base and more concentrated geographical ambitions. So, nah, this isn't a race that can be run for a long time, neither on the economics, politics or human fronts. Something is going to break if it keeps going, might be the budget, the crews or the political ambitions.


Remember what happened with the Soviet Union when it tried to keep up with a larger economy and population base: China is more than satisfied to build up in a way that pushes the US to build more with an ever growing impact on the budget as well as on the manpower.

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Old 02-18-2020, 02:37 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Rufus Shinra View Post
Can't maintain dominance without working crews, and considering its current levels of spending plus the limited population reservoir for tech-intensive jobs that have to compete with the private sector, this isn't a sustainable trajectory taken by the US military, particularly as China builds itself up with a much larger population base and more concentrated geographical ambitions. So, nah, this isn't a race that can be run for a long time, neither on the economics, politics or human fronts. Something is going to break if it keeps going, might be the budget, the crews or the political ambitions.

Remember what happened with the Soviet Union when it tried to keep up with a larger economy and population base: China is more than satisfied to build up in a way that pushes the US to build more with an ever growing impact on the budget as well as on the manpower.

Hard choices, I know. But then the better path to increasing the number of crews with the same pool would be the more automated rather than smaller ships, for example compare Russian and US submarines. This choice makes even more sense when you consider the division of labour between US and allies, with countries like Japan providing suplimentary capabilities like SSKs.


As to the economics - it was mostly about doing all three of Gorbachev's policies at the same time (now for the history quiz - what were they?) rather than the size etc.
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Old 02-18-2020, 04:57 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by ikalugin View Post
Hard choices, I know. But then the better path to increasing the number of crews with the same pool would be the more automated rather than smaller ships, for example compare Russian and US submarines. This choice makes even more sense when you consider the division of labour between US and allies, with countries like Japan providing suplimentary capabilities like SSKs.


As to the economics - it was mostly about doing all three of Gorbachev's policies at the same time (now for the history quiz - what were they?) rather than the size etc.
Consider that Russian submarines don't have much of the same missions as the US', they aren't trying to patrol all the oceans en masse at all times, so the patrol length is probably quite shorter. As for allies, that would require a sustainable diplomatic posture ensuring reciprocal loyalty, which, to use an euphemism, isn't exactly the trend taken at the moment by the civilian leadership in the US.

The size of the economies matter, and keep in mind that the US isn't in a shiny situation either, economically-speaking. Infrastructure is in a very had state, governmental healthcare spending is still growing without result, the educational system is increasingly dependent on foreign-born students to fill the needs for STEM graduates, the base industry lacks competitiveness and the management is infamous for its short-sightedness (Boeing, for example). I'm not saying that the US is going to implode ŕ la USSR, but IMO, these military ambitions are becoming increasingly unsustainable due to internal tensions, disengagement from allies thanks to US diplomatic choices and pressure from China to push for higher defence spending.

Going for a frigate/destroyer navy would seriously reduce the costs while keeping capabilities pretty similar. After all, from what I understand, the US hasn't produced as many missiles for its ships as it has VLS cells in the USN. The AB on their own have roughly 6 500 cells (more if you count the ESSM in quad packs), and I kinda doubt they've produced as many Tomahawk, SM-2/3/6, ASROC and ESSM. Then there are the Tico.
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Old 02-18-2020, 05:50 AM   #19
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Man, I come on here to check for a mod, and see this hot potato.

Here are my two cents:
(1) This is a manning problem. I witnessed first-hand how the Surface Navy uses up sailors, then expects them to conduct super-human feats of prolonged alertness and performance. Folks, the human body is similar to a machine; when the battery starts to get low, it needs a recharging, or it will start to malfunction. I know: I have been so exhausted before that I was hallucinating, a quality you do not desire in a watchstander at sea or anywhere. Somewhere along the way, some high-ranking muckitymuck convinced the Navy they could get away with a certain level of reduced manning because "muh computers," and my experience has been that this was a swindle. Anyone who has been to sea with the Surface Navy has seen the empty racks down in the berthings. These ships were built to carry a certain amount of crew. As long as there are exhausted sailors due in part to pandemic under-manning, there will be mishaps at sea. Further, I am under the unpopular opinion that even with perfect manning, the chance of a mishap remains. Risk can be minimized; it can not be completely eliminated at sea. Godspeed the fallen.

Quote:
apparently USN officer didn't have a lot of real naval training
(2) False. I cannot speak to what goes on at the Naval Academy; I came into SURFOR via OCS. Immediately after commissioning, I attended Surface Warfare Officer School for three weeks. The course included shiphandling, COLREGS, navigation, and simulator time. We practiced getting underway, landing to the pier, underway refueling, anchoring, man overboard drill, and operating in dense traffic and low visibility, all while learning to monitor sensors and manage the bridge team to develop a surface picture. Once I reported aboard, and while underway, I was placed on the bridge watch to learn under instruction of the OOD.

(3) I don't think every SWO has the same training experience, and the lack of uniformity in training is problematic but likely unavoidable. For example, some newly commissioned SWO's report to ships going into the yards, and you can learn some stuff at the simulator labs, but you can't beat learning at sea. Another difference is every commander is different. One way to fix this is to divorce crews from ships, turn over the ships fully to the yards, select and train a crew for deployment, issue them a ship like you would issue a Marine a rifle, they sail on it, then turn it over to the yard when done. But the Navy leadership will never go for this; they are content to have a crew moldering on a dry-docked ship for two years or more (think about nuclear refueling for example). I have some radical ideas on how to fix these issues plaguing SURFOR, but I am allowed to because I now command an armchair. ;D
=== BT ===
(4) The notion that the root cause is some generational problem is a whole cloth invention. These are the hardest working people I've met, and may I propose that if this were a lazy generation: there would be no volunteers!


(5)Regarding funding, you could audit the Pentagon and the DoD contracting milk wagon and find enough money to launch and man another 500 ships. The whole apparatus is riddled with waste and needs to be leaned up, but enough lunch tickets have been issued that it is politically untenable to clean it up. Maybe I am overly pessimistic on this, oh well.

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Old 02-18-2020, 06:12 AM   #20
Rufus Shinra
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Amen with this, oversoul. I've experienced similar levels of physical and mental exhaustion a couple of times (civilian here, my most memorable 'the hell is happening to me' was after days without sleeping and working on my PhD thesis, at which point I was becoming aware of my brain's unability to focus even as I tried to push through). Without rest, the alternative is hard drugs as it was done during World War II for soldiers, some of whom being given early versions of meth to remain active in combat situation after too much time without rest.

It shouldn't come as a surprise that this isn't a sustainable doctrine for management of the forces. As for the waste in resources, you'd have to rework entirely the incestuous relation between the Pentagon, the MIC and the Congress, which is pretty infamous all over the globe for the revolving door policies between all three. These lead to absurd amounts of waste and program mismanagement. Of course, I really don't see any change happening there without a massive military/political disaster caused by it.
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Old 02-18-2020, 09:03 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rufus Shinra View Post
Consider that Russian submarines don't have much of the same missions as the US', they aren't trying to patrol all the oceans en masse at all times, so the patrol length is probably quite shorter. As for allies, that would require a sustainable diplomatic posture ensuring reciprocal loyalty, which, to use an euphemism, isn't exactly the trend taken at the moment by the civilian leadership in the US.

The size of the economies matter, and keep in mind that the US isn't in a shiny situation either, economically-speaking. Infrastructure is in a very had state, governmental healthcare spending is still growing without result, the educational system is increasingly dependent on foreign-born students to fill the needs for STEM graduates, the base industry lacks competitiveness and the management is infamous for its short-sightedness (Boeing, for example). I'm not saying that the US is going to implode ŕ la USSR, but IMO, these military ambitions are becoming increasingly unsustainable due to internal tensions, disengagement from allies thanks to US diplomatic choices and pressure from China to push for higher defence spending.

Going for a frigate/destroyer navy would seriously reduce the costs while keeping capabilities pretty similar. After all, from what I understand, the US hasn't produced as many missiles for its ships as it has VLS cells in the USN. The AB on their own have roughly 6 500 cells (more if you count the ESSM in quad packs), and I kinda doubt they've produced as many Tomahawk, SM-2/3/6, ASROC and ESSM. Then there are the Tico.

Russian submarines (and their Soviet predecessors) had (and still have) much the same missions (with 90 day patrols and the like) but they have (and had) smaller crews due to higher automation, you can see how it works in all areas from tactical to navigation to engineering.
The best current example would be comparing the larger Yasen-M with ~85 strong crew to RN's Astute class with it's ~98 strong crew to Virginias with ~135 strong crew.
Incidentally smaller crews and higher automation also allowed better crew comforts ie earlier use of individual bunks, recreational zones and so on.

Sustainability of the global ambitions is a valid but ultimately separate from the fleet composition question, ie the politicians make this sort of decisions and then Naval planners build around it.

I think that this is again the wrong way to go, I think the core difference between European FFGs and USN DDGs is not the size or class of the ship but the level of automation, which drives the large USN crews in general. So your objectives (a higher number of smaller crews using the same manpower pool) could be obtained that way but you would need to break institutional inertia for this, like it happened with say the rifle ammo.
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Old 02-18-2020, 04:58 PM   #22
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I should add, most or all countries are suffering from the "Millenial" problem.
Young people were grown up thinking they didn't have to win, they only had to show up to get the same trophy as the winners.
Most of them know very little about courage, honor, or anything related to actually being that type of person.
Your statement of the population being kindler and gentler is correct.
As fortunate as that is in regards to less racial division and so forth, it WILL have the downside of peoples that would seek to end the USA realizing they might be able to, from within.
I won't speak to religions or politics, but i'm quite sure you know what i'm saying without saying it.
lol, where do they find these people xD
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Old 02-18-2020, 05:09 PM   #23
Rufus Shinra
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lol, where do they find these people xD
Anyone who gets old enough will think that of the newest generation. I find it amusing that those who blame the current generation for being indolent, cowardly, entilted and so on, come from the generation that attacked veterans from the Vietnam draft for being baby killers (in the US) or pissed on the Unknown Soldier Tomb (in France, during May 1968), for example. But those who complained about said examples usually ignored the stuff their own generation messed back in their time, and so on all the way to Neanderthal.

Because, dammit, in my time, kids weren't weaklings who thought fire was a given.
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Old 02-19-2020, 12:32 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Marcobolo View Post
Thanks for posting that article.
But your closing statements caught my attention even quicker.
This:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onkel Neal View Post
Plus, I suspect the caliber of sailors has changed over the years. Our society has changed.
My generation wasn't as tough as my father's generation. The current generations are softer yet. It's not a thing to characterize as blame or denigration, it's just a result of our success as a society. We're nicer, more thoughtful, and more understanding and supportive of each other.
Both my father and uncle were USN towards the end of WW2, late 1944. My father was on a destroyer in a csg. My uncle was on a tender in another fleet.
They both saw action but won't talk about anything but the fun times.
From what I have gleaned over time both saw some boats sunk and don't want to talk about the details.
They were/are both farmers before and after they served. And still the two toughest men i've ever met.

I followed my fathers footsteps and went into the USN at 20 years old. I spent 5 years patrolling for Somali pirates. We sunk more than a few and brought them onboard (brig) and dropped them off to the local authorities. Fairly sure they were all likely executed by firing squad after a VERY short trial. The (at least then) somali government didn't like them any more than merchant ships did.

I did get to go to a lot of exotic ports getting to/from patrol area though.




Speak for yourself


But yes, my nephew (my sister passed away) seems to think I owe him something. I've told him the only thing I owe his lazy Millenial self is a swift kick in the ass. He can't even hold a job at a fast food restaurant while saying he is a "Chef" and won't work for anyone until they appreciate his ability.
I've suggested to him his only chance is to become a military cook because he runs out of his moms money in a few more months.
And i've let him know in no uncertain terms he won't get a penny from me unless he proves himself a man.

See? I am softer and kinder. I likely will make you walk the plank but I won't shoot you in the back to get you to swim, I'll just yank the plank out and find out if you can swim or not.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcobolo View Post
I should add, most or all countries are suffering from the "Millenial" problem.
Young people were grown up thinking they didn't have to win, they only had to show up to get the same trophy as the winners.
Most of them know very little about courage, honor, or anything related to actually being that type of person.
Your statement of the population being kindler and gentler is correct.
As fortunate as that is in regards to less racial division and so forth, it WILL have the downside of peoples that would seek to end the USA realizing they might be able to, from within.
I won't speak to religions or politics, but i'm quite sure you know what i'm saying without saying it.
Ok, boomer.
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Old 02-19-2020, 02:56 AM   #25
Rufus Shinra
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Ok, boomer.
OK, attack boat.
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Old 02-19-2020, 04:11 AM   #26
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Just for the sake of clarity - I am a liquid fuelled silo based heavy ICBM.
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Old 02-19-2020, 06:40 AM   #27
Rufus Shinra
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Just for the sake of clarity - I am a liquid fuelled silo based heavy ICBM.
And I'm a pretty delta-canard pre-strategic nuclear bomber myself. *wiggles his canards in a suggestive manner* Could be much worse, though.
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Old 02-19-2020, 06:02 PM   #28
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Well you have a much more fun life than I do then.


I mean I am to spend my whole life in that silo and this is the best outcome possible for everyone.
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Old 02-22-2020, 11:51 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Onkel Neal View Post
It's the dead of night, and the USS Fitzgerald is on a secret mission to the South China Sea.

The sailors on the $1.8 billion destroyer are young, tired and poorly trained.
"Poorly trained" crew on secret mission sound like a joke.


Lack of competences, rashness, selfconfidence.
But, of course, the true is inconvenient for the most powerful fleet in the world...
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Old 02-22-2020, 12:49 PM   #30
Rufus Shinra
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But, of course, the true is inconvenient for the most powerful fleet in the world...
I thought the article was about the US Navy, not Lichtenstein's historically undefeated navy.
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