Friday, January 25, 2013

Crowd-sourcing Future Fleet Designs

The Navy is rapidly headed for fiscal shoal waters where tough decisions will need to be made, with perhaps the design of tomorrow's fleet being the most important. The combination of unsustainable O&M expenditures and deployment tempo, a broken acquisition bureaucracy, indeterminate strategic futures, declining manning levels, and a ground swell of deferred maintenance creates an extremely complex environment in which to plan a future fleet. In an effort to expand the dialogue of this important issue beyond the inner circles of OPNAV, the Beltway Bandits, and think tanks, here's another experiment in crowd-sourcing. Below, American taxpayers, our international colleagues (including likely a few adversaries), and other random readers can have a chance to vote on some alternative U.S. Navy fleet compositions. Please choose one of the above options* and feel free to discuss your rationale in the comments below. I've purposely kept the options a bit vague and open for interpretation to promote discussion. Unfortunately, limitations in polling (and my tech skills) prohibit more than one vote, but feel free to log in and cast a second vote in this completely unscientific poll if you think there is some combination of the above that is preferred. As I've done in the past here, at a future date, I'll provide a summary of the best responses in the comments.

For full disclosure, my votes will be cast for smaller, more distributed and affordable ships, and a move towards more naval unmanned systems. But don't let that sway you... Spread the word here.

*Tech notes: If your browser is having trouble with the voting widget, hit the refresh button.  Hit the red x to close the little ad banner.

The opinions and views expressed in this post are those of the author alone and are presented in his personal capacity. They do not necessarily represent the views of U.S. Department of Defense, the US Navy, or any other agency.

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