Procuring Modular Containerships For Flexible and Affordable Capability

CIMSEC – The U.S. Navy should pursue commercial containerships and compatible containerized mission systems. These ships and systems will allow the U.S. Navy to rapidly field new technologies, expand the maritime industrial base, grow the ranks of experienced seafarers, and provide surge capacity in times of national need. Containerships, as well as combination containership/roll-on roll-off vessels (ConRo), would allow the U.S. Navy to affordably procure a large number of hulls compared to typical naval warships, and open options to augment a range of missions. These ships would allow conventional combatants to focus their high-end capabilities on the highest priority missions, while augmenting many of their capabilities with containerized support. Containerships can act as valuable force multipliers and retain a significant amount of modularity in a time when conventional naval force structure is at risk of falling behind the rapidly evolving state of capability.

Poisoned Water: How a Navy Ship Dumped Fuel and Sickened Its Own Crew – A years-long investigation reveals that the Boxer unintentionally compromised its own water supply in 2016, when it intentionally and potentially illegally dumped diesel fuel into the ocean and immediately sucked the noxious liquid back aboard the ship and into its water supply. Those conclusions can be revealed by for the first time after interviewing key personnel on the ship at the time of the incident, as well as through a review of documents obtained from sources.

These may be the world’s best warships. And they’re not American

CNN – It’s a growing problem that has United States naval commanders scratching their heads: How to keep up with China’s ever-expanding fleet of warships.

A potential solution is within reach, if the US is prepared to think outside the box.

Allies in South Korea and Japan are building some of the highest spec – and affordable – naval hardware on the oceans. 

Buying ships from these countries, or even building US-designed vessels in their shipyards, could be a cost-effective way of closing the gap with China. 

Provide Southcom With Permanently Assigned Littoral Combat Ships

CIMSEC – Assigning permanent vessels to SOUTHCOM will require special funding so the combatant command can shoulder the burden of funding ships the Navy may not want to pay for. This funding is not only needed for fuel and maintenance of the ships, but also increased manning at Fourth Fleet and logistical support in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Navy, Department of Defense, and Congress need to take appropriate budgetary considerations in the upcoming fiscal years so the LCS(s) can operate under SOUTHCOM as permanently assigned assets. With its extremely limited resources, SOUTHCOM bolsters U.S. interests and supports U.S. allies across Latin America and the Caribbean. While no other combatant commands (or the Navy in general) appears that interested in the LCSs, imagine the outsized impact SOUTHCOM could reap with these permanently-assigned ships.

Junior Sailors on USS George Washington Endured Some of the Toughest Living Conditions in the Military, Says New Navy Investigation

USNI News – Since 2017, junior sailors assigned to aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN-73) were subject to some of the toughest living conditions in the military, according to a new Navy investigation. Sailors assigned to the carrier over its almost six-year-long maintenance period at HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding experienced poor living conditions, up to three-hour commutes and isolation from their families and peers as part of life in the shipyard. Complaints about the life as a George Washington sailor, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, fell on deaf ears within Navy leadership, according to the quality of life investigation. While Washington has been in the middle of its midlife overhaul and refueling at Newport News Shipbuilding, nine sailors died by suicide, according to Navy records reviewed by USNI News.

Hard Truths: The Navy and Marines Need Another #METOO Moment: Part Two

CIMSEC – In Part One we shared our experience and gave some interpretations of the data. In this part we will finish that discussion and proceed to a set of recommendations. In the spirit of the discussion, it is important to understand that the trends are all heading in the wrong direction, indicating that policy and procedure changes are not enough. A culture change is required, starting at the unit level, if these trends are to be reversed.

Hard Truths: The Navy and Marines Need Another #METOO Moment: Part One

CIMSEC – This article is a collaboration between two authors with very different experiences, in the hopes that some combination of their views – one as a former Commanding Officer and the other as a federal agency chief counsel with 30-plus years of Sexual Assault/Harassment (SASH) experience – will resonate and drive tough conversations among mid-grade leaders. The Department of Defense has received over 65,000 reports of sexual assault since 2010 and each of us has a role in holding individuals who commit sexual assault and sexual harassment accountable for past crimes and creating an environment where sexual assault and sexual harassment are not tolerated.

Fleet Forces chief wants to make a smaller Navy more lethal

Defense News – The head of U.S. Fleet Forces Command operates a fleet smaller than the Navy planned, due to delays in ship and submarine construction and maintenance. But Adm. Daryl Caudle said reducing operations isn’t an option, as Navy forces routinely find themselves in contact with their Russian and Chinese counterparts and demand for their presence is on the rise. So the admiral has put together a four-part plan meant to maximize the fleet’s usefulness.

Navy Wants To Sell-Off Six Nearly New Littoral Combat Ships

War Zone – The U.S. Navy plans to make six Littoral Combat Ships (LCSs), two Independence class vessels and four Freedom class vessels, available for sale through its Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program in the next two years. The oldest and youngest of the ships intended to be sold have been in service for just under eight years and just under three years, respectively.