July 13, 2004

Is the Deployment Surge Just an Exercise?

USS Truman: Out for fun and games?


USS Harry S. Truman, USS Enterprise Leave Norfolk to Test Navy's Deployment Capabilities

(AP) - The USS Harry S. Truman sailed Wednesday- and the USS Enterprise left Thursday - in a test of the Navy's ability to have seven of its 12 carriers away from port simultaneously, a major shift from the way carriers have traditionally been used.

The two Norfolk-based carriers are participating in the exercise, dubbed "Summer Pulse 04."

"Summer Pulse 04" continues through August, with seven carriers conducting joint exercises and international exercises with allies from the Americas, Europe, Africa, Australia and Asia, officials said.

"The ability to push that kind of military capability to the four corners of the world is quite remarkable," Navy Secretary Gordon R. England said when he announced plans for the demonstration last week in Washington. "Several years ago, we could deploy only two" carriers at the same time.
The other carriers taking part in "Summer Pulse 04" are the Norfolk-based USS George Washington and San Diego-based USS John C. Stennis, which are already deployed; the USS Kitty Hawk, based in Yokosuka, Japan; the Mayport, Fla.-based USS John F. Kennedy; and the USS Ronald Reagan, which left Norfolk last week and is en route to its new home port of San Diego.

As a seafaring friend of mine once remarked, an aircraft carrier is not really listed on the books as a "ship," but as a "strategic asset." And when a country starts to move 7 out of 12 of these assets around on the global chessboard, it might betoken something more than just a summer 'exercise.'

Indeed, if this were wartime (What? It is? Who knew?) moving this much killing power out onto the seas would be thought of as a fleet surge.

Truman, Enterprise, Stennis, Washington, Kennedy, Reagan, Kitty Hawk. It could all be, of course, just prudent planning and practice. On the other hand,

given the various signals being sent by Homeland Security, the nearness of the Olympics, and the advent of the elections, it may be a case of "Fortune favors the forward deployed."

Oh, did I mention that another carrier, the USS Abraham Lincoln is listed by the Navy as underway as well?

It's also interesting that the same page: U.S. Navy - Status of the Navy tells us that 92% of our surface ships are currently underway or deployed, and that 91% of our submarine fleet is either underway or deployed.

This is a lot of activity.

It would be interesting to know the last time these figures were achieved. Granted that in any navy there will always be a bit of moving about on the oceans. That is, after all, what the Navy does. But the percentages strike me as high, especially those of the submarine fleet.

The submarine fleet is an area that hasn't gotten much attention in the last few years. It has been living up to its moniker as "the silent service." Indeed, the one question you never hear asked in various news stories is "Where are the ballistic missile submarines?" Of course there wouldn't be an answer since exactly where our Armageddon machines are is probably the most closely guarded secret in the Navy. Still, it is worth recalling exactly what these submarines are:

Ohio-class/Trident ballistic missile submarines provide the sea-based "leg" of the triad of U.S. strategic deterrent forces. The 18 Trident SSBNs (each carrying 24 missiles), carry 50 percent of the total U.S. strategic warheads. Although the missiles have no pre-set targets when the submarine goes on patrol, the SSBNs are capable of rapidly targeting their missiles should the need arise, using secure and constant at-sea communications links.
'No-preset targets' might be comforting unless, as an enemy, you come to believe that's not exactly true. And as for the business end of these submarines, the Trident II missile, it is worthwhile reviewing their specs too:
Primary Function: Strategic Nuclear Deterrence
Power Plant: Three-stage solid-propellant rocket
Length: 44 feet (13.41 meters)
Weight: 130,000 pounds (58,500 kg)
Diameter: 83 inches (2.11 meters)
Range: Greater than 4,000 nautical miles (4,600 statute miles, or 7,360 km)
Guidance System: Inertial
Warheads: Nuclear MIRV (Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicle)
-- Navy Facts

Trident II Details Here

This bland list is most remarkable for what it doesn't say. "Range: Greater than 4,000 nautical miles" probably means somewhere in the region of 5,000 nautical miles.
"Warheads: Nuclear MIRV" doesn't specify the number of warheads on each missile, which is classified, but it is thought that the number is between 5 and 8.

As for the effect of an single submarine's compliment of Trident II's:

.... in the most recent issue of [the Navy's] Undersea Warfare magazine: "The TRIDENTs carry a MIRVed missile in each of their 24 missile tubes. MIRV is the acronym for Multiple, Independently targeted, Re-entry Vehicle, meaning that after reaching the target vicinity the missile's warhead splits apart into as many as ten smaller nuclear bombs aimed at ten different targets with computer-controlled accuracy. How this works - and the precise number of reentry vehicles in each warhead - is secret, but the tremendous fact is that a single broadside from such a submarine - all 24 missiles fired at the same time - can destroy any nation on the face of the earth. No nation - and this includes our own - could even hope to function, or even continue to exist, in the face of such a salvo."
-- Major Issues - Nuclear Subs
A single salvo from a single submarine. We have 18 such submarines. Status and deployment: Classified.

I used to think I was just a paranoid individual, until, on 9/11 I discovered I had real enemies. Right now, with most of the surface fleet and submarines moving out to their "summer games," the muttered warnings from Homeland Security, and the retreat of Spain and the Phillipines all adding their notes to the chorus, I think I'll go out to the garage and check on those supplies of food and water again. It could be a long, hot summer.

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Posted by Vanderleun at July 13, 2004 9:00 AM | TrackBack
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Great post! Minor nit: a ship is "under weigh," not "underway." Under weigh means that the anchor is raised and secured ("Weigh anchor" being the command to do so.)

The terms harks from sailing days when a ship either had to be anchored or sailing, having no onboard power.

Posted by: Donald Sensing at July 13, 2004 12:43 PM

Reverend Sensing,

You'd better email your comment to the Navy. The link to status of the Navy indicates "underway." I mean, I didn't know this tidbit, but I was just an Army REMF :-)

And yes, good post. Does seem like a waste to have all that firepower at sea without hitting some of the bad guys around the globe. I do wonder...

Posted by: Brian J. Dunn (The Dignified Rant) at July 13, 2004 1:50 PM

It is 'underway', but the anchor is 'weighed'.

As for the 92% deployment - that makes sense. A carrier group can range from 7-12 ships including the CV, plus 1-2 SSNs.

The question is whether there are sufficient air assets deployed with the carriers.

Posted by: P. A. Breault at July 13, 2004 2:25 PM

As of October 2004, we'll have 14, rather than 18, Ohio SSBN (w/ Trident IIs). Four of the subs have been converted (in accordance with the 1994 Nuclear Posture Review) into SSGNs (guided missile subs) each carrying 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles.

Posted by: Bravo Romeo Delta at July 13, 2004 3:47 PM

Isn't "deployed" a subset of "underway"? If so, that means you can not add up the 53% "underway" and the 41% "deployed" to get 94% "away from home port".....

Having said that, over 50% of the carrier groups underway is impressive.

My concern would be whether this "Exercise" is not disrupting the OpTempo of the carrier groups and their personnel tremendously.

Posted by: Any A. Mouse at July 14, 2004 7:31 AM

'Deployed' and 'underway' mean two different things. The former is generally applied when a ship or task force is sent away from their home port for an extended period. The latter can be anything from local operations, training, local port visits, etc.

As for Op-tempo, the Navy recently changed their doctrine to allow more time in homeport for the carrier groups and to surge them where the need arises. Hence the 'exercise'.

Posted by: P.A. Breault at July 14, 2004 11:06 AM

(1) the ships are safer there - wherever they are - then in port; remeber the USS Cole.

(2) instead of forward positioning our assets for a retaliatory or pre-emptive attack,

why doesn't GWB just announce that he's closing down the CIA and returning the FBI to its civil crime mission,

and then

tell the leaders of the nations that are harboring or financing or otherwise supplying people, logistics - or support of any kind - to our Jihadist enemies

(like Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Sudan, Yemen, Iran, et al - maybe france, too)

that they had better find the evil-doers and kill them, because if we get hit with another attack -

we will automatically nuke them all: their biggest cities and their industries and their resources and all their miltatry assets.

I think the evil-doers will be caught pretty fast.

And then we can bring all the boys home.

Posted by: daniel at July 14, 2004 9:33 PM

Concur with Anonymous and Breault re underway and deployed.

A deployed ship is (probably - unless in a liberty port) underway, but an underway ship is not necessarily deployed.

Also, have to call BS on "under weigh".

"Underway" is the correct term.

Posted by: Kevin at July 14, 2004 11:11 PM

Excellent post, Mr. Vanderleun, thank you. Linking to it ...

Posted by: Jeff Brokaw at July 15, 2004 5:07 AM

Kevin is correct. However, don't forget "Forward Deployed" such as USS Kitty Hawk, USS La Salle, etc. These ships are homeported overseas (Yokosuka and Gaeta) and might or might not be underway at any given time. However, P.A. Breault has raised the $64 question: Are the Air Groups aboard the carriers or still sitting on the ground at their home bases ?

Posted by: Sandcrab at July 15, 2004 6:24 AM

Some years ago, I was touristing the Connecticut area and was taken to a lover's lane/drinking lounge for derelicts on the west side of the Thames river just upstream from New London. Nice little clearing at the end of a dirt road, looking out over the river at the ass end of about ten submarines. Seemed to be a lot of them in port, with no putting-to-sea frantic activity going on.
Fat target, thought I, whether in range of the old M72 LAW, or somebody's nuke.
Dispersal is a good idea.

Posted by: Richard Aubrey at July 15, 2004 6:41 AM

"tell the leaders of the nations that are harboring or financing or otherwise supplying people.. because if we get hit with another attack - we will automatically nuke them all:"

There is reason to believe that has already happened.

Posted by: mark Buehner at July 15, 2004 6:47 AM

"There is reason to believe that has already happened."
There is? Please explain.

Posted by: g at July 15, 2004 8:04 AM

"There is reason to believe that has already happened."
Care to comment further? I can see the reasons in our behaviour, have you noticed reasons in other countries behaviour? It might explain increased activity in the EU (they might not be on the list, but they would sure be affected by the disappearance of countries on that list, as would Israel, Iraq, India and others) could be explained away as increased awareness of internal threats as well.

Posted by: Oscar at July 15, 2004 8:13 AM


During the Cold War we could think like that because were were dealing with civilized (i.e. city based) enemy.

But think about Pakistan for a while. It is not really civilized. There is no civil society. Its cities are not productive places. The state is really the army (a portion of which is well disposed to us).

The problems are the tribes in the mountains (unreachable by nuclear warefare). Mad mullahs in urban slums (killing mice by burning down buildings) and the ISI and some elements in the Officer Corps (too small a target).

Incinerating Karachi would probably solve more problems for the regime, than it would cause, but it would not solve the main portions of the terrorist problem, in the mountains or the Army.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at July 15, 2004 9:19 AM

Could it actually be an exercise? Yes, it could. With the changes going on with in the naval structure and reduction in manning, this could be just that, an exercise, to ensure we have the abilities to have these large assets underway and available in short notice.
Could this be leading to something greater, sure, but until that happens, we may never know. Fortunately ships schedules are not published information, greatly enhansing the security of our ships and personnel, this largely due to the bombing of the USS Cole.
Our military's largest asset is the Navy and ships. Forward projection of power anywhere in the world. Without that ability, where would we be as the leaders of the free world? Maybe that forward projection and a little persuasion on our part to some of these countries that are assisting, or harboring these people might just be good thing. Nuking them isn't the answer. A few targeted bombing runs might not be a bad idea, but you can't beat looking out on the horizon and seeing a fleet of US Navy ships and all their might aimed at you can be a real deterent.

Posted by: JB at July 15, 2004 9:37 AM

About a year ago, one of the officers in a large command said to himself "why do the surface ship people waste so much of their operating cycle"? Thus the FRP was born. You think up a new idea, you have to prove it works. Details at the link below. I'm being deliberately vague because I was in on it a little bit.

Think of the inertia of large objects, and think of the system that gets ships underway as a very large bureaucratic object.

And it is "underway", as in "underway making way", even though you "weigh anchor".

Underway aboard a ship that was part of the PULSEX,


Posted by: chap at July 15, 2004 11:05 AM

Oh, yes...watch this stuff on a more regular basis, and you see different patterns than you do with a snapshot...

Posted by: chap at July 15, 2004 11:08 AM

A few commenters have asked about the status of the air wings associated with the carriers:

Navy NewsStand - Eye on the Fleet

Stennis and her embarked Carrier Air Wing Fourteen (CVW-14) are currently on a scheduled deployment during Summer Pulse 2004. Summer Pulse 2004 is the simultaneous deployment of seven aircraft strike groups (CSGs),

Posted by: Gerard Van der Leun at July 15, 2004 11:45 AM

It seems to me that the possibilities being speculated about here - training vs dispersal, deterrence, or forward posturing - are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

Question: where are the gators and the MEFs/MEBs/MEUs? To what extent are they participating?

Posted by: Owen at July 15, 2004 12:13 PM

What you have all said is very interesting, I have a son on the USS CARL VINSON who was a part of the summer surge. As you know he can not reveal any info about where they were or what they were doing, but we do know that they were fully loaded with there air support and as our son put it they were practicing bombing targets. I am very concerned having a son on a carrier during this time and reading some of your posts puts alot of questions in my mind. they will deploy in Jan for 6 months and leave there home port of Bremerton, Washington and end up in Norfolk.Thankyou for the post-makes you think. LKTurrell

Posted by: Lisa Turrell at July 15, 2004 3:01 PM

Seven full-deck carriers operating together . . . Task Force 38 rides again!

Posted by: Mike (2d) at July 15, 2004 3:44 PM

Aren't they all going to the Taiwan area?

Posted by: daniel at July 15, 2004 6:16 PM

"Deployed" means a carrier is ready for to conduct operations AND is in the area where it is to conduct operations - i.e. the Indian Ocean, the Med, the Taiwan Strait, et al.

"Underway" is a much larger term that can mean anything from a day training at sea, moving to and from operational areas, right down to the ship being moved by a couple of tugs from one place in the harbor to another.

Using the "1 in 3" ratio, the US Navy can possibly have 8 of its carriers "deployed" or "underway" at the same time. Likewise surface ships and submarines.


Posted by: C.T. at July 15, 2004 7:31 PM

Anyone have a real source on the 'under weigh' debate? I believe, historically, it was truly 'under weigh', but has become 'underway' in common modern usage. ( Admiral, for example was originally 'Emir'. )

under weigh
a variant spelling of: under way
[ETYMOLOGY: 18th Century: variation due to the influence of phrases such as to weigh anchor]
Source: The Collins English Dictionary © 2000 HarperCollins Publishers

and my Encyclopedia Britannica says:

Main Entry: under weigh
Function: adverb
Etymology: by folk etymology
Date: 1777

: under way

So I'd say both are acceptable, but 'under weigh' is somewhat deprecated.

Regarding the deployment, I figure this is an admiral back in DC proving his idea is better than all other other admiral's ideas. I doubt this is a move towards war with anyone. It's certainly meant as a message to the region and to France ( who recently exercised with Mainland China's navy off the coast of Taiwan. )

Posted by: Aodhan at July 15, 2004 7:58 PM

Since the fleets are heading off in two different directions, what if there is a suggestion of a double front war? Hypothetically, a grab for Taiwan at the same time as a major attack against Iraq or Saudi Arabia, say by both Syria and Iran, as example.
The concept might be for the latter to shut down the Saudi oilfields and threaten to cut off most of the oil from Europe and the US. Maybe then, NK could attack south and/or a massive barrage of Taiwan would be followed by the scheduled PLA landing invasion exercise turning real, augumented with a flotilla of civilian and military vessels.

An essential part of the eastern scenario would be to disable the ports of Bremerton and San Diego, along with the Panama Canal, effectively cutting off the Pacific Fleet from maintenance and rearmament. There are no other available deep water ports available to perform these tasks in the Pacific.

What is crucial is determining what the window would be for this to take place, and why.

Posted by: anonymous at July 15, 2004 8:52 PM

globalsecurity.org has good running order of battle for US forces. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/where.htm
also for worries about surgex detracting from training see http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/frp.htmwhich has graphic showing the training cycles and surge availabilities.

Posted by: HapArnold(dec) at July 15, 2004 9:27 PM

The rates of deployment are unprecidented except perhaps in the early desperate days of WW2.

This particular strategy might be called the anti-Pearl Harbor Strategy: don't be in port when the attack comes. This problem has been on the Admiral's minds since about 8AM 7 Dec 1941 Hawaii time.

Posted by: M. Simon at July 16, 2004 12:02 AM

The time to use nukes was during the Afghanistan battle, on the plains in the middle of nowhere. The site of the Taliban being vaporized in 5 or 6 tactical nuclear explosions would have sent a real message. Our Glorious Leader has shown he does not have the balls.

We did send a message recently, though. We showed the gook who runs North Korea that big ass trains loaded with weapons for Iran Blow Up Real Good. Perhaps we shall see more of this?


Posted by: Xiaoding at July 16, 2004 6:09 AM

Mike (2d) and daniel,

No, they aren't all operating together, and no, they aren't all heading for Taiwan. I can't believe how far that grossly incorrect Straights Times article has gotten. I sent an error correction email to Glenn Reynolds after he posted that article, and fortunately he posted the correction:


Posted by: Owen at July 16, 2004 6:59 AM


All those subs were there because that's where they are manufactured. EB -General Dynamics Electric Boat (gdeb.com) - is the contractor that builds them. My grandmother worked there during the 80's and complained about Reagan constantly. Oh the irony!

She never could talk about much, and tours were out of the question, but she did come home with some very interesting pictures of Trident subs half built, guts hanging out. The plant is in Groton, CT across the river from New London. I was privileged enough to see a christening and launch one rainy Sunday morning. Ships are released to slide down a ramp stern first. Subs are side-dumped.

New London has a large US Coast Guard base where the Eagle is stationed. Much training is done at this base. At the time, all Coasties were required to climb the rigging of the old square rigger prior to graduation. She'd set sail once or twice a year. What an event! I tell ya, you've seen nothing till you've seen the Eagle leading a Trident sub out of port!

Posted by: Dean in Des Moines at July 16, 2004 8:58 AM

Taiwan Dispute Between U.S., China Heating Up
Friday, July 16, 2004
By John Gibson

Heads up everybody who thinks the U.S. is getting pushy around the globe... you're about to get all worked up again.

As you may have noticed, the U.S. and China have a continuing dispute called Taiwan. It's been papered over with our official policy called 'One China,' but at the same time — we make noises about democratic values.

And one of the noises we're going to be making over the next month is sending seven Navy aircraft carrier battle groups — count them, seven — into the China Sea, between China and Taiwan.

In an op-ed piece in the Los Angeles Times, author Chalmer Johnson (search) points out that this signal from the U.S. government is like screaming at the capitalistic commies in Beijing: "We're big, we're really really big."

China calculates it could handle two carrier battle groups — which include guided missile cruisers and attack submarines — but not seven, especially not when the U.S. still has five extras steaming around offshore someplace.

So Johnson says China will be provoked to go on a militaristic buildup to push back on the U.S., and that provoking them is the wrong thing.

Hmmmm. Some people think Ronald Reagan (search) challenged the Soviets to a spending race called the arms race, and they stood down because they couldn't afford it.

How about China, which just passed the U.S. as the world's most popular international investment location?

We may not be able to outspend China like we outspent the Soviets, but maybe we will... because China might rather spend its money modernizing its country and forget about a chest-bumping game with the U.S. over Taiwan for now.

But down the road? The Bush doctrine — that the U.S. will allow no country to compete with us militarily — may be put to a serious test.

Posted by: RP at July 16, 2004 9:29 AM

China's economy is far more precarious than most outsiders realize. The internal stability of chinese society and the chinese government is also overestimated by most uninformed persons. Stressing the chinese government will expose its military weakness and its inability to catch the US within the next 30 years at least. That is exactly what the US should be doing, providing a reality check to overambitious planners within the Beijing government.

Posted by: Ross Fielder at July 16, 2004 12:12 PM

I read this and kept thinking "Loose Lips Sink Ships"

Posted by: Phil-Z at July 16, 2004 12:23 PM

OMG. OMFG. How many people are going to keep buying this BS that we're sending 7 carrier groups to the Straights? If the LA Times actually published an op-ed with that claim in it, somebody at DoD better get on the horn to them fast and set their dumb asses straight.

This is unbelievable. This disinformation has been floating around for at least 2 weeks, all because The Straights Times found some comment posted at Sina.com and blathered it as gospel rather than contacting the Navy and asking.

THINK PEOPLE. We have 12 carriers. In a pinch, like our last 2 wars in the Persian Gulf, we mass 4-6 of them, at most. That's because there's, like, an actual shooting war and stuff, ya' know? Not, like, just an exercise.

The links to the right info are out there. You just have to look.

The reporters and the organizations they work for who are peddling this absolute baloney are inexcusably unprofessional and lazy.













Posted by: Owen at July 16, 2004 12:46 PM

Does anybody know the names of the five carriers that are not out right now? And are the seven that are out the newest(most modern) of our fleet?

Posted by: J.B. Saunders at July 16, 2004 1:37 PM

**Does anybody know the names of the five carriers that are not out right now? And are the seven that are out the newest(most modern) of our fleet?**

The Kitty Hawk and Kennedy are the 2 oldest that we have (though the Enteprise may be older than the Kennedy), and the last 2 non-nuke carriers we have, IIRC. But all our carriers are pretty far ahead of most things that float.

Posted by: Crusader at July 16, 2004 2:38 PM

Thanks Crusader. Does Russia have any left, or were they all sold for scrap in the eighties?

Posted by: J.B. Saunders at July 16, 2004 3:11 PM

Is it true the U.S. has more aircraft carriers than the rest of the world COMBINED??? I read a list that mentions only ten foreign "active" carriers in the world today(the UK has 3, France 1, Russia 1, and a few others scattered around the world)If that's true, no wonder the Soviets went bankrupt trying to keep up. The words "Don't f**k with the United States" have never been more true...

Posted by: J.B. Saunders at July 16, 2004 3:48 PM

We'll in the carrier counting debate, there are two factors. One is that, yes, we do have more than half the world's carriers. The other factor is that we field the only supercarriers. These ships carry huge air wings (70-90 places v. 20-36) so, essentially, our naval air contingent is a great deal larger and more powerful than the entire air force fielded by some nations.

Posted by: Bravo Romeo Delta at July 16, 2004 4:52 PM

JB Saunders said:

**Is it true the U.S. has more aircraft carriers than the rest of the world COMBINED??? I read a list that mentions only ten foreign "active" carriers in the world today(the UK has 3, France 1, Russia 1, and a few others scattered around the world)**

Russia just sold the Admiral Gorshkov to India recently (2-3 yrs?), which gives India 2 (this "new" one plus the old Viraat, which was formerly a British carrier). There are rumors about Pakistan wanting one, just to counter. The French one,bas I understand it, is basically a piece of crap which they can barely keep running...

Posted by: EGC at July 16, 2004 6:17 PM

Are the air wings attatched to our carriers actually ON the carriers at sea right now? Would they be on board if this were just an exercise? Did the Constellation get decommissioned yet?

Posted by: J.B. Saunders at July 16, 2004 9:41 PM

The wings are with the carriers. The Constellation was decommissioned in 1933.

Posted by: Gerard Van der Leun at July 16, 2004 10:53 PM

Owen, you seem a little emphatic. So why no links?

Posted by: Crid at July 16, 2004 11:03 PM

We didn't have aircraft carriers in 1933. I was talking about the USS Constellation, the second of the "Kitty Hawk" class carriers, scheduled to be decommissioned this summer sometime. Has it happened yet?

Posted by: J.B. Saunders at July 17, 2004 12:10 AM

Whoops, sorry Gerard,
I guess we did have a couple of carriers in 1933, but the Constellation I was talking about was launched in 1960. I should have been more specific...

Posted by: J.B. Saunders at July 17, 2004 12:24 AM

Trivia contest: Anybody know the name of the ONLY U.S. carrier to be sunk by an atom bomb blast? There was one, in 1946. It survived the FIRST a-bomb explosion, but was sunk by the SECOND, which was detonated less than 500 yards from her, near the Bikini Atoll during a test.
Pretty interesting stuff. That tough bitch actually made it through the first blast...

Posted by: J.B. Saunders at July 17, 2004 12:38 AM

It's an excercise. We don't go to war with just the Navy. If this was real, there would be activity from the other services. Since there are no reports of the Air Force forward deploying or the Army moving out of the lower 48, I'm afraid the Navy's story is correct.

BTW the USS Saratoga was sunk at Bikini. It's the only carrier you can dive on.

Posted by: John Lynch at July 17, 2004 3:09 AM

I have it on very reliable authority that the most modern ship in the fleet (USS Reagan) is somewhere near South America right now engaged in 5 nation exercises with ships of its own group and ships not attached to a battle group. As of two weeks ago the port near Lima, Peru looked like San Diego there was so many LGSs. Don't think S.A. is a "hotspot." Not to pour water on the conspiracy theories but you know the Navy does do a lot of exercises.

Posted by: Can't Really Say at July 17, 2004 5:08 AM

The next carrier to be completed is supposed to be named the George H.W. Bush, making it one of the few navy vessels named for a living person(The Reagan was another)What improvements will the Bush have over the Reagan, if any? Does any body out there think W.J. Clinton will get a carrier named after him?(ha, ha)

Posted by: J.B. Saunders at July 17, 2004 10:46 AM


In my 7/16 0659 comment, I put up this link:


Follow it. Follow the links there. Windsofchange has a thread on this as well (no time to paste the link now), as do Vodkapundit and LGF.

Posted by: Owen at July 17, 2004 1:45 PM

Owen: Thanks!

Posted by: Crid at July 17, 2004 5:01 PM

Yeah Saunders. He just may. And they'll call it the BJ Boat ; )

Posted by: Nick M. at July 17, 2004 7:46 PM

I read somewhere that the new carrier USS George H.W. Bush(The last of the "Nimitz" class) wil be outfitted with something called an "open architecture information center" which will allow a crew of 3200 instead of 6000+ like the other Nimitz class carriers. That is a huge reduction in crew requirements. How is this possible? Are they simply assigning more personnel to the air-wing to handle the jobs the crew used to do? Or is this something of a technological revolution? Anybody out there know anything about this thing?

Posted by: J.B. Saunders at July 17, 2004 8:52 PM

Status of the Navy: http://www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/news/.www/status.html

Posted by: 6Gun at July 18, 2004 7:19 PM

Regarding the constellation, it's being decommissioned this month I think. http://www.navy.mil/homepages/cv64/noflash/home.htm

As for the next generation of carriers, they're supposed to be run by windows and are being built by Microsoft. ( Well, sort of. The Gates family reportedly owns Newport News according to Seattle Times. )

Posted by: Aodhan at July 19, 2004 7:53 PM

Great. Now our carriers can "freeze" just like Windows, and I can imagine a pop-up or two clogging their radar screens every few seconds. Undoubtably, the new carriers are going to come with a *ctrl-alt-delete* key. I hope they have a lot of tech support on those ships. Nerds in the Navy!

Posted by: J.B. at July 19, 2004 8:37 PM

Perhaps you intended to say "straits" of Taiwan. Otherwise, the taiwanese hetero's will think we don't like them (grin).

Posted by: m at July 21, 2004 8:01 AM

In response to our new carriers, they along with all the new ships the Navy is building are going to be the most technilogically advanced in the world.
Just for general info, Bill Gates and CO doesn't own Newport News. He may own stock but doesn't have controlling interest.
Additionally, the Navy, our sailors, and the civilian employees who work on our ships are probably the most well trained technicians in the world. "Nerds" no. Yes there are those of us who have extensive computer and electronics training but it is neccessary to maintain the complex control systems required to run those ships. Would you want us to call "Geeks on Call" when our missle control systems go down and start launching missles on it's own? I don't.

Posted by: JB at July 22, 2004 8:08 AM

Look up until the last few months I was the most laid back guy you will ever meet; however, something?, something?, is going on here that nobody, or very few people know about. If the goverment really cares about security why is it that four years after 9/11 our border with Mexico IS A JOKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We have 80 year old women being yelled at for having nail clippers in the airport but thousands are walking across that border everyday! With everything our goverment is capable of why cant we put a huge mine field across that border with razor wire etc? Last note...has anybody else seen all the web sites that swear that the stock market is going to crash worse than 1929 and the fed knows it and wants it to happen?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: st-67 at August 12, 2004 11:47 PM

I was deployed with the Enterprise this past cruise, and it was a bunch of B.S. wargames. I like all of your views on what you think the navy is doing though.

Posted by: Brandon at August 15, 2004 7:04 PM

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Posted by: Cody at September 8, 2004 5:59 PM
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