CNO sequestration guidance; the end of national security

| February 7, 2013

Someone sent us a letter that serves as guidance from the Chief of Naval Operations for that sequestration thing that we were told in one debate between the President and Mitt Romney wasn’t going to happen, oh so many lifetimes ago. Basically, the letter says that there will be no more flying time for pilots, no more ship maintenance, no more depot maintenance for the 3rd and 4th quarters of the year. I guess the world will come to a standstill while sequestration doesn’t happen;

Sequestration guidance1

Sequestration guidance2

From CBS News;

Late Wednesday afternoon, the 5,000 crew members of the aircraft carrier Truman got the word: they will not be leaving their home port of Norfolk, Va., for the Persian Gulf this Friday, as planned.

Their deployment is being postponed due to the looming budget crisis. Vice Admiral Mark Fox says that means the U.S. will have only one — instead of the normal two — aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf.

I may be sensitive, but I feel like I’ve been lied to – sequestration is certainly happening.

Category: Barack Obama/Joe Biden, Military issues

Comments (28)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I’m not yet convinced it’ll happen – this sort of thing is part reality (in terms of preparation) / part political posturing. It carries a lot of weight to go into arguments saying, “Look, this is BAD.. we can’t even deploy one of our carriers to the god-damn Persian Gulf!”

  2. Twist says:

    Perhaps one of you more buoyant types can answer a question for me. Doesn’t it cost about the same keeping a carrier in port as it does when the carrier is out to sea?

  3. 2549 says:

    There is more than enough fluff in the DoD budget to support sequestration cuts. I don’t know who I’m more ticked off with, the politicians or the Admirals for clinging to their sacred cows. There is no reason why the DoD can’t weather these cuts without sacrificing readiness and deployments.

    I looked up the numbers yesterday. There are 1.4M active duty and 800k civilian employees. 800k civies in DoD? Seriously? You can’t tell me with a straight face there needs to be that much overhead.

    I lack faith in politicians and flags to make the necessary decisions. It can be done. We’ll choose not to.

  4. royh says:

    I’d imagine keeping a carrier in port is far less expensive than deploying said carrier. Most of the savings probably come from not having an air wing operating from the carrier.

  5. teddy996 says:

    @2 and 4- Carriers make steam for cheap- that’s the big advantage of nuclear. Once the reactor is put in, the only operating costs are from water treatment chemicals. A shut down reactor costs almost as much to run as an operating reactor, so in this sense, there’s no real savings. Not having the airwing flying will save on fuel costs, and not deploying will save on the hazardous duty and at-sea pay.

    Neglecting ship maintenance, however, will prove to be expensive down the line. Certain components in the reactor plant are kept online 24/7 while shutdown in port, and the auxiliary systems for those components function 24/7 while those components are running.

    The only extra cost that I see is the electric bill. The ship’s entire in-port electrical load is supplied by shore power. They run a 13,500 volt service to the pier, which is transformed down on the ship to the various other voltages needed to run the ship’s electrical system. Some of those in-port reactor plant auxiliary loads draw hundreds of amps.

    Anyone want to guess how much per month in electricity it costs the navy to have a mobile city plugged in to the civilian grid?

  6. Hondo says:

    It’s not just the carrier itself, Twist. As royh noted, the CAG burns a lot of fuel. Mail has to be delivered; ditto supplies/critical repair parts/etc . . . . Even if the carrier is nuclear (and thus cheap to operate), most of the rest of the support chain isn’t.

    And I’m not sure, but I don’t think carriers typically deploy solo. Other ships typically go with them. (One of our Naval brethren step in and correct if I’m out to lunch, please.)

    It’s sort of like deploying a soldier to Afghanistan. The main cost isn’t paying his/her salary, which costs the USG only slightly more deployed (due to CZTE). The major cost ends up being for the logistical support tail to get and keep them there. Shipping stuff 1/2 way around the world gets expensive.

  7. Crotchity Old Bubblehead says:

    This situation is a win-win for Obama and the liberal left. Layoffs/furloughs of civilian employees, limiting flight and other operational time and eliminating manpower (i.e. forced service separations) will occur. The left will be able to use these and other impacts as an example of what the Republican controlled congress implemented in 2012/2013 when the 14 and then more importantly the 2016 elections cycles occur.

  8. teddy996 says:

    @7- That’s the real savings, Hondo. The cost of running the support craft. Destroyers and cruisers run gas turbines, which burn JP-5, the same as our jets and helos. So do the supply ships.

  9. Ex-PH2 says:

    “no more flying time for pilots, no more ship maintenance”

    No flying time for pilots is not a good thing. The Truman carries Stealth planes, among other types. These aren’t just Cessnas or taildraggers that you can basically run a checklist on and then go flying. They require extreme skill and extreme maintenance, and the pilots need to be in the air, not in simulators while the planes are hangared. Hours logged in a simulator are not real-time hours. This is the height of sheer stupidity.

    No more ship maintenance? Correct me if I’m wrong, Chief and Sparky, but don’t ship’s engines of any kind, big or small, require regular serious maintenance and use if they’re not to freeze? And don’t tell me bulkheads and hulls don’t need maintenance. So what are they going to do? Sit at dockside and collect barnacles?

    Why are my tax dollars going to waste on Pancetta’s salary?

  10. teddy996 says:

    @10- the shafts are always turning in port, Ex, about 1/6th turn per hour on a little jack motor. Keeps them from siezing up. Generally, on a carrier, main engine maintenance is a drydock-level evolution. It’s serious business, and not generally handled pierside.

    The maintenance that is handled pierside, that will be disastrous if it is stopped, are things like routine PMs, the bulkhead maintenance, and divers checking sea chests.

  11. Flagwaver says:

    Panetta’s salary? I don’t see the Congresscritters or el Presidente taking a pay cut for this.

  12. Twist says:

    Thanks all for answering my question. I’m not exactly Navy savy.

  13. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    OK. I am angry!

    Let me net this out for you.

    In 1979 when I joined the US Navy this is what I fleet looked like:

    1/2 of all ships were not seaworthy (meaning defferred maintenance drastically effected material condition of readiness).

    1/2 of all aircraft suffered from the same fate (not airworthy).

    1/4 of all aircraft were in the mode of being canabalized for spare parts.

    1/4 of aircraft flew airworthy.

    That all changed of course during the election of 1980 and in early 1981 … the 600 ship Navy and new fighters came.

    Along with that, leadership and funding exceeded that of our foes and we won every engagement since (althoigh this could be argued – I won’t entertain such a discussion).

    We are headed striaght back to the days of ships when ships could not steam.

    “Ships that can not stean are no longer weapons systems, they are monuments of failure and have neither impressed nor sunk the enemy”. Fleet Admiral Earnest J. King, USN

    He also said, “no fighter ever won his fight by covering up, merely fending off the other fellow’s blows”.

    “The winner hits and keeps on hitting even though he has to be able to take some stiff blows in order to keep on hitting.”

  14. Twist says:

    I feel like I am reliving the Clinton era (I’m too young for the Carter era).

  15. Old Trooper says:

    @14: The drooling moonbats all point to how much money Reagan spent on the military as their justification for calling him a warmonger, when in actuality, he had to rebuild and refurbish our country’s military from many years of neglect. Anyone that knows anything would be able to tell them that it costs more money to rebuild a military than it does to maintain one, especially when you talk about equipment. Ask any mechanic if they would leave a car sitting unattended in the elements for 5 years and then expect to go out and fire it up without it needing any maintenance done on it whatsoever. Now, replace the car in the scenario with a ship, vehicle, or aircraft and you get a look at where Reagan spent the money.

  16. Ex-PH2 says:

    Woodrow Wilson did not want to involve the US in a European war: “Every man who really loves America will act and speak in the true spirit of neutrality, which is the spirit of impartiality and fairness and friendliness to all concerned….I venture, therefore, my fellow countrymen, to speak a solemn word of warning to you against that deepest, most subtle, most essential breach of neutrality which may spring out of partisanship, out of passionately taking sides. The United States must be neutral in fact, as well as in name, during these days that are to try men’s souls. We must be impartial in thought, as well as action, must put a curb upon our sentiments, as well as upon every transaction that might be construed as a preference of one party to the struggle before another.”

    We went anyway.

    FDR resisted getting us into a war until he had no choice.

    In both cases, the military in all its parts was dog-eared and set off to one side as unimportant.

    The Cuban missile crisis was Krushchev’s test of Kennedy by building missile launch sites in Cuba.

    I just wonder how stupid the Democrats really are about our vulnerability. They don’t need to blame the next attack — and I do feel there will be one or more — on the Republicans. They can blame it on themselves.

  17. DefendUSA says:

    The bozos aren’t gonna be happy til it’s gutted. I remember the changes Reagan made and man, was morale high. Call it squandering the peacetime dividends…started with Carter, Reagan built it up, Clinton downsized and Bush fought…now you got the bumbler…Ugh. It makes me sick.

  18. melle1228 says:


    The problem with your analysis is that they are cutting ONLY the military. No one see the military as a sacred cow, but when that is ALWAYS the first and LAST thing cut; it pisses people off, especially when this administration is busy building up EVERY other area of the government. And military always has to deal with the fall out.. You want to make some significant cuts;there are lot better useless programs to cut.

  19. PintoNag says:

    @17 My only minor correction would be that part about who gets the blame. The Dems will never blame themselves. If there are more attacks, they will be by islamic extremists. The Republicans will get blamed because Bush took us into the ME, thereby “inflaming muslim sensibilities.” So will always go the storyline. We will ALWAYS get blamed.

  20. Ex-PH2 says:

    @20 – “The Dems will never blame themselves” — very possibly so. They are approving these cuts and drawbacks (I’m using polite terms here) and throttling the military now, and we need to keep that at the forefront.

    But who will they turn to when they are attacked again?

  21. PintoNag says:

    @21 Precisely. They want all the perks, with none of the responsibility. Same old story.

  22. 2549 says:

    Melle, my point wasn’t for the DoD to take point on budget cuts for the fed and lead the way. My point was sequester is coming. The DoD can weather the cuts without hurting readiness. But we won’t do that. We’ll cut deployments and draw down troop numbers and save bureaucratic largess.

    Sequestration is the only thing right now offering any relief to trillion dollar deficits. This shit has to stop.

  23. streetsweeper says:

    Add their trillions of dollars boondoggle, Obamacare too.

  24. Old Trooper says:

    I read that the Lincoln is sitting idle, due to delaying the refueling and overhaul at Newport News Shipyard, which was supposed to begin later this month.

    So, tell me, again, how Obama and company is doing such a bang up job?

  25. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    @ 5 thank you … JC did the same thing to our military. When I joined the Navy in 1979 50 percent of the fleet failed INSURV (could not steam), 50 percent of the planes and helos could not fly, every one smoked weed …it was bad!

    BTW … the CNO letter was prepared well in advance. It really is a large FU to the Administration.

    Each branch wrote their own … in a way snapping it off in their CinC ass!

  26. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:


  27. NavCWORet says:

    Something not covered in the “cost” of not deploying is the invaluable training that is lost. Not being underway mean SWOs don’t practice ship driving, flight ops (both carrier and small boys), general quarters, engineering casualty wvolitions and so on. This training cannot be accomplished ashore (regardless of how good the simulators aw, they can’t match weather conditions and sea state that you “feel” while underway. Pilots can’t practice grabbing that 3rd wire or conducting 1v1 engagements, etc.