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.)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Time Magazine: Scare-Mongers?

I haven't gotten my copy of Time magazine yet this week, but it looks like they're going back into the "write about stuff to try to scare people" mode. Their cover story this week is about "What War With Iran Would Look Like" -- there's a synopsis here, which contains these excerpts:
The first message was routine enough: a "Prepare to Deploy Order" sent through Naval communications channels to a submarine, an Aegis-class cruiser, two minesweepers and two minehunters.
The orders didn't actually command the ships out of port; they just said be ready to move by October 1.
A deployment of minesweepers to the east coast of Iran would seem to suggest that a much discussed, but until now largely theoretical, prospect has become real: that the U.S. may be preparing for war with Iran.
Whoa, scary! The article goes on to couple this "news" with a report that the CNO apparently ordered an updating of plans for the potential blockading of Iranian ports; this prompted an apparent denial from DoD that anything strange was happening, according to The Army Times (which still was able to get in a quote from a Democratic congressman about how scary the Administration is).

I don't know if the CNO ordered a routine review of war plans or not, so let's concentrate on the first item in the article: the "prepare to deploy" part. Interestingly, it mentions "two minesweepers and two minehunters" -- I wasn't sure there was that much of a difference between the two existing classes of Mine Countermeasures ships, but let's assume for the sake of argument the Time meant "Osprey-class MHC" for minesweeper and "Avenger-class MCM" for minehunters (although it could be vice versa). Time makes it seem like a big deal that we're sending minesweepers (or hunters) to the Gulf, without bring up one salient point: we already have 4 of them stationed there! Yes, that's right; we already have 2 Osprey-class MHCs (USS Cardinal and USS Raven) and two Avenger-class ships (USS Ardent and USS Dextrous) forward-deployed out of Bahrain.

OK, so we already have four minehunters there -- it still sounds scary to be doubling our force, you might say. It might be, if it wasn't for the fact that the two Osprey-class ships currently in Bahrain are being decommissioned in Dec. '06 and being transferred to Egypt. So, it looks like rather than doubling the force, we're just replacing the ones that are already there but leaving. Since all the Osprey-class ships are to be decommissioned by the end of 2008, I wouldn't be surprised if the two "minesweepers" that got prepare to deploy orders were the Cardinal and Raven, who are going to "deploy" to their new owners in Egypt -- which means we'd still just have four minesweepers in the Gulf.

And what about the cruiser and the submarine that were mentioned? Well, it turns out that Navy ships, especially since 9/11, do "surge deployments" all the time -- this search of Navy NewsStand returns almost 300 hits for surge deployments, including ones for USS Memphis, USS Columbia, and USS Louisville from this year.

Bottom line: This just isn't a big deal, no matter how much Time wants us to believe it is.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Time; they give me a boner for war!

RM1/SS
"Coner the Barbarian"

9/20/2006 8:54 AM

 
Blogger Subsunk said...

What a bunch of airheads. They need a hobby. Or else go get laid.

Time is filled with morons.

Subsunk

9/22/2006 6:08 PM

 
Anonymous Jim said...

I was on the Cardinal and it comes as a surprise to me that they'd deploy anywhere. MHCs/MCMs don't work. Maybe one out of the bunch is capable of making a small deployment, but generally the equipment is broken and crew is worn thing/untrained. I think the Ardent was the only boat to ever actually go out. In fact, it went out so much it kept the jolly roger flying to celebrate their constant getting screwed, having to pick up the underways for another ship that couldn't make it.

12/23/2006 4:10 PM

 
Blogger teknishn said...

Just came across this blog while searching for information on the Raven and Cardinal transfers to the Egyptian Navy (EN). I live and work in Egypt supporting the EN under the US FMS program. The ships are currently enroute to Egypt from Bahrain via heavy-lift. Jim's comments concerning their not working is a bit of an understatement if what we are being told here holds true. Should be interesting once they arrive and the EN actually see what they've received for free, with the added bonus of $30 Mil provided to conduct maintenance and upgrades (i.e. installing equipment and systems that we no longer use or want). What a good deal! Oh well, keeps me employed :-)~

teknishn

5/31/2007 7:53 AM

 

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