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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:43 pm 
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So as not to mess upt he picture thread...

There is no Cavalry School in the Army any more. Armored Cavalry operations fall under the purview of the Armor School.

Cavalry units are essentially armored reconaissance forces, or they are armor or infantry formations that are called "cavalry" units as part of army history.

FM 17-95 Cavalry Operations

Cavalry Leader's Course

Doubtless there is an institution in the Army somewhere that teaches horsemanship, since even without SF units using horses, many units have horses for parades, mascots, demonstrations, and things of that nature. 1st Cavalry Division does a lot of this.. but for combat, it's an armored formation.

As to the carrier issue, Obama has not scrapped any carriers. What he has done, however, is stretched the building time for each carrier to 5 years, which will eventually shrink the carrier fleet to only 10. As to nuclear power, Obama is hostile to it, and to submarines, but then almost everyone has been hostile to nuclear powered surface combatants since the CGN-42 controversy, and submarines have gotten short shrift since the end of the cold war. The entire Virginia class is an excellent example of how much money we waste trying to save money.

As for surface combatants, when oil was cheaper there was a reasonable argument for conventional surface ships other than carriers, but there never was any tactical argument in favor of them other than the possibility of affording more ships. Now that oil is expensive, the cost arguments are thin indeed, and generally ignore the fact that if you build nuclear ships you also need fewer tankers.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 6:05 pm 
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Revenge of the picture threeeeeead!



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 6:39 pm 
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It's interesting that Obama complained about the 313 ships number and Romney's assertion that it was smaller than WWI by saying "well, now we have carriers and submarines".

Submarines existed in WWI albeit nowhere near as effectively as today.

Furthermore, that 313 ship number is based on a specific mix of ships, as is the 346 from the quadrennial defense review, and in both cases its far smaller than either the 600 ships of 1988 or even the 450 or so ships the Reagan administration started with.

As for bayonets, the army uses them too. I have about 70 in my arms room.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 11:00 pm 
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Not to mention "We have aircraft carriers now" is a terrible response because even aircraft carriers can't be in two places at once. Sure, they're good at projecting power, but you're limited in the coverage they can provide by how many you have.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 7:57 am 
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Kaffis Mark V wrote:
Not to mention "We have aircraft carriers now" is a terrible response because even aircraft carriers can't be in two places at once. Sure, they're good at projecting power, but you're limited in the coverage they can provide by how many you have.


Very true, and while carriers are faster than WWI BBs, they aren't that much faster, and because their escorts are fossil fueled, that constricts them more than otherwise. Romney should have said "Yes Mr. President bit the oceans are the same size.".

The other thing people forget is that at any time of 11 carriers, 3-4 are being overhauled. You can surge more for a major war, but that means more than usual in the shop in a few months.

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Last edited by Diamondeye on Sat Oct 27, 2012 8:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 8:07 am 
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And the operational range of the fighters/bombers they carry??


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:13 am 
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TheRiov wrote:
And the operational range of the fighters/bombers they carry??


Are not relevant to this issue. Don't confuse strategic capabilities with tactical.

Aircraft extend the range at which a carrier can engage relative to a battleship, and are more flexible, but they don't allow a carrier to be in 2 places at once. 1 or 2 carriers can replace dozens of battleships, but, like a battleship fleet, those carriers can only do one overall mission at a time. This is why carriers were removed from the SIOP a long time ago, and strategic bombers like the A-3 and A-5 were never replaced. The aircraft were good planes, but their strategic nuclear role tied them to parts of the ocean near their targets, thus preventing them from doing other things, and thereby limiting their isefulness as instruments of policy.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 2:28 pm 
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I'd like to double the size of the aircraft carrier fleet, as well as their corresponding escorts.

I'd like to correspondingly (in terms of $ cost) reduce the amount of forward bases.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 5:55 pm 
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DFK! wrote:
I'd like to double the size of the aircraft carrier fleet, as well as their corresponding escorts.

I'd like to correspondingly (in terms of $ cost) reduce the amount of forward bases.


This is a fantastic idea, provided its accompanied by agreements allowing us basing access in friendly countries in times of need.

Let me tell you why. Right now we have 11 carriers. Disregarding Enterprise, which is on its last deployment, that leaves us with 10 Nimitz-class ships, plus one Ford-class ship under construction. The Nimitz was commissioned in 1975, the Bush in 2009, so 34 years to build 10 carriers.

To make the math easy, we'll say a carrier lasts 50 years, just a bit under Enterprise's lifespan. Let's also assume we get a new carrier about every 3.5 years, roughly the average for the Nimitz-class.

This means in 13 more years we'll begin losing Nimitzes, and lose one roughly every 3.5 years thereafter.

At that rate, to double the carrier fleet, assuming the Fords start coming online in 2015 as planned, and every 3.5 years thereafter, at the point Nimitz would retire in 2025, we'd be at 12 total carriers, and after that stagnate at that level, alternating between 12 and 13 ships.

In order to double the fleet, we'd have to nearly double the rate of construction. It is probably not feasible for the one yard that builds nuclear carriers to double the speed of construction, so another would need to be opened. This would invite competition and drive costs down, and there would be a strong incentive to be the better performer because once the fleet was doubled, new construction would slow to what was needed to maintain the force. You don't want to be the worse yard at that point.

Right now, effective competition for carriers is simply not possible. There are not enough built for any other corporation to maintain the facilities needed.

What's worse is this program to "slow down" construction. This can only drive up costs. Any time a procurement program is "slowed", it ends up increasing in cost, both absolute and per-unit. This is a constant battle in defense procurement. It's been a serious problem ever since Congress discovered it was a lot more fun to horse-trade what would get built between districts rather than simply allocate money to the services and let them order what they needed within the authorized ceiling.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 8:23 pm 
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I thought the new carrier class was Reagan.

edit: My mistake. The Reagan was a Nimitz class carrier, not a class of its own.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:32 pm 
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On another positive note, the Navy's public affairs office has been asking for input on what to name CVN-80 and above. There's no hard information, but word-of-mouth is that the public is strongly in favor of names like Enterprise, Saratoga, Lexington, and Wasp. The public opposes more presidents and politicians as names, so although many "good" names are taken, Enterprise, Lexington and Saratoga are definitely available. Hopefully we can be spared any mores names that belong on destroyers (Nimitz) obscure politicians (Forrestal, Stennis, Vinson), Presidents no one cares about (Ford, Bush) or presidents that seem to demand a carrier named after them because they got shot (Kennedy).

If we were really lucky, Ford and Kennedy could be renamed before christening.

It should also be noted that the new carriers will, between the air wing and the ship itself, have about 1,000 fewer sailors than the Nimitzs. This will create a great deal of cost savings over the ships predicted 50-year lifespan.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:12 pm 
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In other news China fields a 5th Generation fighter.

Gee.. what does it look like?

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