Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Monday, June 13, 2005

VADM Munns vs. Navy Brass?

For those not glued to the all-Michael news outlets (all media, basically) Newsday has a report on the congressional hearings held today in Groton. The big news for me is VADM Munns, ComNavSubFor, seemingly contradicting earlier policy statements from Big Navy on future submarine numbers:

"The Navy's top submarine commander warned Monday against reducing the size of the nation's sub fleet, saying there are already more missions than submarines to complete them. "Testifying before a House Armed Service subcommittee, Vice Adm. Charles L. Munns said current shipbuilding projections, which suggest a sub force 25 to 40 percent smaller that today's fleet, put the nation at risk."
..."Munns said the current fleet size should be maintained, an opinion the Navy doesn't share, according to its most recent shipbuilding projections. Those projections, submitted to Congress, predict a fleet of 41 to 45 submarines. President Bush and congressional leaders expect to build one Virginia-class submarine a year until 2011. Navy officials said this shipbuilding plan won't keep up with the decommissioning of Los Angeles-class submarines.
"No one is comfortable with that," Munns said. "That's not a risk that anyone thinks we should take."

Should be interesting to see how this turns out. My personal opinion is that they'll stay at the 1 boat per year buy rate until about 2010, and then "project" two a year after that; it means absolutely nothing (they've been projecting 2 or more per year four years out for the last 6 years) but it'll put Congress on record as supporting a bigger sub fleet in general.

Oh, and for the Jackson verdict: he'll be acquitted on everything except for maybe the alcohol charges; after all, he's a celebrity in California, and there's no videotape of him committing the crime.

Going deep...

Update 1120 14 June: Here's a good report on the hearings from The New London Day. Excerpts:

"In response to questions from subcommittee members, Munns made the point several times that the fleet needs at least 54 submarines. At one point, when he discussed the most-needed future capabilities, he listed as the No. 2 priority the ability to “connect” submarines to the rest of the fleet with better communications, and No. 3 to expand the use of off-board and autonomous sensors and weapons.
"His top priority? “A sufficient number of hulls,” he said.
"Members seemed surprised when he responded negatively to a question from Simmons, the vice chairman, as to whether he had “signed off” on the official Navy plan for 37 boats.
“No one is comfortable with that,” Munns said. “It's more risk than any of us think we can take.” "Simmons questioned whether the study has any credibility if the admiral in charge of keeping submarines ready to deploy has not endorsed it. “I'd like to know that our senior submariners are involved in that decision,” he said. “I think it's absolutely a requirement.”


Blogger ninme said...

I don't get your Groton article. Where's the Michael Jackson angle? I don't know how to process it...

6/13/2005 6:01 PM

Blogger Eagle1 said...

Let me check the "Surprise-o-Meter" on VADM Munns arguing against reducing the sub force... nope, didn't even register.

Good call on Michael Jackson. Pretty crummy job by the prosecution overall, and some really creepy parents do not add up to a good case.

6/13/2005 7:53 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

I'm was a little surprised to see him so publicly put out something different from the party line so soon after the party line got announced, although since the latest DoD numbers tend to back him up, I suppose I shouldn't be. As far as the MJ references, that was just my chance to tweak the media for their all-Michael, all the time focus -- and hey, the topic even made it into your "Michael-free" zone, Ninme... (plus, I wanted a place to put down a prediction that I was so sure would come true, after my miserable performance in the NCAA BB tournament.)

6/13/2005 9:04 PM

Blogger Subsunk said...

My old boss (a beltway bandit now) said he thought the CNO had gotten the submariners across the breakers with the cost of new hulls. So he wasn't surprised when Groton was on the list.

If the CNO has other priorities than submarines because we are too expensive and the money is needed to go to the Army and Marine Corps, that is one thing. If he and the Joint Staff still expect us to perform the current mission load, then obviously 34 subs, even 54 is probably too low to do the ISR missions. But if we as a country aren't interested in intel on the traditional bad guys instead of Middle Eastern ragheads without submarines or even much of a Navy, then can you blame him for knocking the Force down so low?

We'll just have to do our best with what we got. Because the money for 54 ships ain't there. Its sad, but I bet it can't be fixed.


6/15/2005 2:15 PM

Blogger Chap said...

I wasn't so surprised since that's what happened in 2000--Congressional testimony like that from sub leadership.

Didn't help.

6/16/2005 6:21 PM


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