Tony Capaccio, who always gets brilliant scoops on Navy issues with Bloomberg, has found a copy of the Navy's new five-year budget plan. Some of the proposed cuts.
- SM-2 is reduced to 849 from 1,033
- JSOW-C is reduced to 1,879 from 2,663
- SM-6 is reduced to 637 from 688
- LW MK-54 reduced to 770 from 1,336
- ESSM will be boosted to 236 from 62
- Joint Tactical Radio is canceled
- EP-X replacement delayed
- MV-22 reduced to 132 from 150
- KC-130J reduced to 15 of 28
- 1 LHA(R) canceled
- All Mobile Landing Platforms canceled
- Both Command Ship replacements canceled
- JHSV is reduced to 9 from 11
- 1 Virginia class submarine canceled
- All FFG-7s retired 1 year early
The service’s proposal to trim planned spending from 2011 through 2015 to $666.3 billion from $698 billion reflects Defense Secretary Robert Gates’s guidance calling for modest growth with emphasis on improving the security of nuclear weapons and upgrading the capabilities to conduct irregular warfare and cyber defense.Budget cuts are hard, but observe the trends. Fewer Littoral Combat Ships, fewer JHSVs, cutting the Command Ships, and cutting the logistics fleet sea base ships means the Navy is cutting the bottom tier of shipbuilding to support the top tier. Cuts to the Command Ships in the information age suggests the Navy has become too reliant on communication networks in belief that the Virtual Admiral in Virginia or Hawaii can effectively command the fleet during war. While everything else can be legitimately debated as a priority alignment, cutting the Command Ships is a highly questionable decision I think.
President Barack Obama assigned Gates to rein in defense spending, which now consumes about 19 cents of every dollar of the federal budget. Adjusted for inflation, defense spending has grown about 43 percent since fiscal 2000. When war costs are included, the number increases to 72 percent.
The Navy is reducing the total budget $31.7 billion over five years through 2015, an average of $6.34 billion annually, by deferring or canceling weapons programs by $7 billion and cutting the shipbuilding account by $18 billion (an annual average of $3.6 billion). In other words, when it came time to reduce the Navy budget, shipbuilding took over 55% of the cuts! The shipbuilding budget only makes up 10% of the entire Navy budget at around $13 billion annually, but takes more than half the total cut? WTF? With priorities like that, it is legitimate to ask whether the Navy is a sea service, or a government jobs program. Congressman, next time any Admiral says 313 ships under oath, keep in mind the Admiral is knowingly being dishonest to your face.
At a time when we have recently stood up 4th Fleet and 10th Fleet, the shore based Flag staff bureaucracy continues to plow ahead with a cut of only $1.34 billion annually to the entire Navy and Marine establishment. The Navy needs to do some soul searching, and cut deep into the shore based bureaucracy. Some of those Flag commands have staffs that number in the thousands. It is time to move what can be moved onto ships, and reduce the bureaucracy footprint ashore.
It should be noted that one reason why the $1.34 billion cuts outside acquisition is probably so low is because this cut comes as the administration moves forward with expanding the Marine Corps by 22,000. It is likely that even with the $1.34 billion cut to personnel and readiness, that budget will be much higher in FY2011 than just a few years ago.