‘Can do’ No Longer Can

The Navy is under the microscope for it recent Pacific area collisions, but my view is that we should ask, “What do you do when ‘can do’ can’t.
I remember a near 600 ship Navy, and now we have 278, with more challengers on the high seas. The only way to cover is to Work everyone twice as hard, which you can do for short periods but not as the norm. It has been the norm for years.

Anyone who has ever been a Blue Water Sailor knows that ships operate in a hostile environment, salt water, and that maintenance must be constant. If you drive that ship, and therefore its crew, twice as hard then men and machines decay at four times the normal rate.

I stood with a Commanding Officer of my Submarine in Pearl Harbor, who with tears on his face said, “This crew is not ready to deploy, but we will tomorrow because if I say we are not ready, they will replace me with another CO who knows our crew less but will take us on patrol.”

We fortunately came to no major problem, but in those days deployments were only six months. Today deployments are twice that. The Navy is destroying itself because the brass won’t say, “Finally, we no longer can.”

Can do no longer can. Either reduce the tempo of operation, or increase the ships and sailors to get relief for a badly overworked Navy.

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