DefDog: The 350-Ship Navy (if Mitt Romney Wins)

Ethics, Military

Came across these references — John F. Lehman, the 600-ship SecNav under Reagan, is one of Romney's advisors.

2012-11-02  Both Obama and Romney Proposals Don't Meet Navy Requirements (USNI Proceedings)

2012-10-22  When It Comes To The U.S. Navy, Numbers Matter (John Lehman at

A strong Navy is not a drain on our economy, it is its foundation.

2012-10-22 How Big Should The U.S. Navy Be? (NPR)

2012-10-07  Mitt Romney’s Big Plans for the U.S. Navy (DefenseNews)

Among the new details he revealed: Plans to create an 11th carrier air wing, one for each aircraft carrier. F/A-18 Super Hornet strike fighter production would continue beyond 2014. The amphibious fleet would be built up to the Marine Corps’ requirement of 39 ships. An entirely new, battle-group-deployable frigate would be procured, along with a ballistic missile defense ship.  The campaign has pledged to build more submarines and destroyers, and production of the littoral combat ship (LCS) would continue.

. . . . . . . .

First, we’d continue the littoral combat ship, and we’d begin a battle group-deployable frigate program that would replace the FFG 7s [frigates]. And we would increase the numbers per year of the destroyers, and we would go for a missile defense ship that is optimized using an existing hull form, for the new Air Missile Defense Radar (AMDR), which really won’t fit in the existing Arleigh Burke class.

We would also include getting up to the accepted requirement for Marine amphibious lift, so there’d be an increase in amphibious ships. The exact mix as between the different types, whether we go all for the LSD [landing ship dock replacement] versus the LHA+ [new assault ship] or some other mix, that hasn’t been fully fleshed out yet. But there will be an increase in amphibs.

Robert David STEELE Vivas
Click for Personal Web Page

ROBERT STEELE:  DefDog knows that I have championed a 450-ship Navy since 1990 when I completed my task as Study Director of Planning and Programming Factors for Expeditionary Operations in the Third World (MCCDC, March 1990).  Although both the Navy and Marine Corps force structure working groups at the time refused to consider reality-based or evidence-based planning, I believe the day that they must is approaching.

I have learned a great deal since then, and my real-world experience now includes both a short-run for President (accepted as a candidate by the Reform Party) during which time I learned a great deal from some top economists, and on my own dime and time, over 1800 non-fiction books read across 98 categories, all of which have been factored into my thinking about the threat, strategy, force structure, and the over-all Planning, Programming, Budgeting System/Execution (PPBS/E) process.

PRIORITY ONE:  Without the means, nothing serious can be done about the Department of Defense.  The President and Congress need to agree on the Automated Payment Transaction (APT) Tax as a replacement for ALL OTHER taxes, beginning with income and small business taxes.  The APT Tax can TRIPLE the disposable budget at just the time we need to do that. 

PRIORITY TWO:  We must establish the integrity of the Planning, Programming, and Budgeting System/Execution (PPBS).  This needs to be done at the Whole of Government level,and within the Department of Defense as well as within individual services.  This is not rocket science — it merely requires intelligence with integrity, both of which have been lacking across the policy, acquisition, and even the operations processes.

I have been fortunate in my experiences.  The 350-ship Navy is incrementally better than what we have now but it is not transformative.  This week we shall learn if the next four years are going to favor the resurrection of defense or its final demise.  For myself, I would like very much to help create a 450-ship Navy that can deliver a platoon of Marines with a Cobra overhead anywhere within 24 hours; a company with Harriers overhead within 48 hours; and a Battalion Landing Team with organic air in 72 hours.  My proposal includes more hospital and assistance ships, makes strategic use of the Maritime Sealift Command platforms, and restores the two battleships, one for each sea, with the humble observation to the CNO that he still cannot provide naval gunfire in support of the Marines anywhere at all…battleship ammo is still the least expensive, most sustainable and most accurate naval gunfire around, that I know of.

At the same time we have to get serious about a long-haul Air Force–one that can drop an air-deliverable Army anywhere within a week's time, and at the same time, using conscripted air, do a Berlin Airlift for 30-90 days.  The US Army has to transform itself.  The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs is on the right track — build from the bottom up and build to reinforce the strategic corporal (or the super-empowered captain).

Here is my prior work: 2012 U.S. Naval Power in the 21st Century: 450-Ship Navy, <24 Hours to Anywhere, Peace from the Sea — Full Text Online.  I have created a memorable Tiny URL that links to the post, where both a Word document and full text online can be viewed:

Financial Liberty at Risk-728x90