Originally posted by Helmkat
reply to post by schuyler
Just a little info.
I was in the USN in 1986 and in the America battle group, we were in the Med. for six months. I was involved in the "line of death" engagement and
B-52's flew out of England to drop their bombs in addition to the the America airplanes. I know I've dated myself here but regardless if America
wanted to they could have a carrier on station in no time at all and or fly planes out of Eurpoe to if they wanted to.
Great. Exciting times. Thank you for your service.
What is "no time at all"? You know how fast carriers can move, right? Well, we have two in the Arabian Gulf. They could theoretically turn one of
those around, like the Enterprise which just went through the Suez, and backtrack over to Libya. That's certainly possible. It would take a week or
so. Is that 'no time at all'? Of course, you have to weigh that with the Arabian Gulf mission itself. There has been one carrier in the Gulf for 20
years, but DOD seems to feel two are necessary these days to kind of tweak Iran.
Then we have several carriers at Norfolk. Two of them, the Eisenhower and the Roosevelt, are non-deployable, in the shipyard undergoing incremental
maintenance. The Eisenhower is scheduled to get out of maintenace in April, but that doesn't mean it will be immediately deployable. The Roosevelt is
undergoing refueling and won't be remotely ready for deployment until 2012.
Hmm. So that leaves two carriers now at Norfolk, the Truman and the GHW Bush. The Bush just completed a Composite Unit Training exercise, which is
typically done just before deployment, so it is effectively ready to go. If they decided to send the Bush to Libya, it would take about two weeks. Is
that "no time at all"?
Not to leave the west coast carriers out of the picture. The Lincoln is coming home from the Arabian Gulf at the end of a deployment. It's also
running low on fuel and will soon go into the shipyard. It's unlikely they'll turn that ship around. The George Washington is forward deployed in
Japan unlikely to be diverted anywhere far away from North Korea and China. The Reagan is undergoing training exercises in preparation for a coming
deployment.The Stennis is on a port visit to San Diego and is home ported in Bremerton. I guess that has some potential for a surge deployment. And
the Nimitz is non-deployable in the shipyard. If any West Coast carrier were deployed, it would take about a month to go on station. Does that
constiute "no time at all"?
We only have 11 carriers. Four of them are non deployable, if you count the Lincoln. Theer are five on the East Coast, one of which is already
deployed and two non-deployable. That leaves only two carriers that are candidates for deployment at all.
So, if you move a 5th Fleet carrier up the Suez, you're a week out. If you surge an east Coast carrier, assuming they can leave immediately
(unlikely) you're two weeks out, and if you deploy a west coast carrier, you're at least a month out. We can go over the Amphibious Ready Groups,
too, if you want, but it's pretty much the same situation. The Iwo Jima and the Bataan are the only two (out of ten) that have a remote chance of
deploying immediately. I'm just thinking here that none of these possibilities constitutes "no time at all."
Of course, that all begs the question of intentions. I've already said we could establish a no-fly zone, but if you're talking boots on the ground
in any significant way other than some special forces sorties, it's not going to happen.