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Problems with USS Wasp?

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posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 09:48 AM
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I just read an extremely interesting article on the USS Wasp (LHD-1). Since September of 2004, the Wasp has not had a deployment longer than four months, and hasn't loaded up an MEU. The Kearsarge had an 8 1/2 month cruise last year, and Battan had a 10 1/2 month cruise that ended in February.

The standard excuse for her not deploying is that she is the dedicated testing platform for the JSF shipborne operations, but JSF testing didn't begin until 2009, and there were only a few flights last year. I don't believe there are any scheduled for this year. She also participated in Osprey testing, and ferried a number of aircraft to Iraq in September of 2007, but was back home by December.

She has however, done an outstanding job of representing the US Navy at many festivals and events through the years. Her biggest mission has been humanitarian relief in Lebanon from August to November of 2006.


By its own admission, the U.S. Navy is straining to meet its operational demands. Regular deployments routinely exceed the old six-month standard, and increasingly, ships are away from home for seven and eight months. The high operations tempo, particularly hard on aircraft carriers and amphibious ships, is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

But one ship in that group has been conspicuously absent from the deployed battle force.

Instead of loading up hundreds of Marines and their gear from a Marine expeditionary unit (MEU) for extended operations with an amphibious ready group (ARG) — like all other amphibious assault ships — the Norfolk, Va.-based Wasp has been held out of the deployment rotation and generally kept close to home.

While sister ship Kearsarge completed an 8½-month cruise in 2011, and the Bataan got back in February from a deployment lasting 10½ months, Wasp’s longest time at sea in recent years didn’t even reach four months.

Sou rce
edit on 6/20/2012 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)




posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 10:28 AM
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Interesting......

Perhaps there is something wrong with it, but I don't know why they wouldn't just say that and put it in to drydock and repair/upgrade???

Perhaps, between all the testing of new aircraft, disaster and humanitarian relief needs, training, etc....it's just been decided that they should keep an amphib at home for any contingencies. After Katrina it wouldn't be a bad idea. With the short trips to sea (looks like 3 months was about the longest) it wouldn't need to have alot of heavy maintenance, and could be called upon at a moments notice. When a ship goest o sea for 9 months or more on a rotational basis, it is unavailable when it gets back due to several different and often lengthy maintenance and overhal schedules.

Good find.



posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 11:16 AM
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reply to post by SrWingCommander
 


It may be that there is a problem with it that would cost so much to fix that it would be as cheap to get a new ship instead of repairing her. The Navy, like the Air Force has to keep a certain number of ships in the fleet, and I believe a certain number of each class. So they may be in a position where they CAN'T fix her, but don't want to admit there is a problem with her.

I know the Air Force has a number of aircraft that aren't flyable, but every few months they go out and run engines, and move them around. They have to keep them in inventory, so they can't get rid of them.



posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 11:50 AM
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Originally posted by Zaphod58
reply to post by SrWingCommander
 


It may be that there is a problem with it that would cost so much to fix that it would be as cheap to get a new ship instead of repairing her. The Navy, like the Air Force has to keep a certain number of ships in the fleet, and I believe a certain number of each class. So they may be in a position where they CAN'T fix her, but don't want to admit there is a problem with her.

I know the Air Force has a number of aircraft that aren't flyable, but every few months they go out and run engines, and move them around. They have to keep them in inventory, so they can't get rid of them.


All the Armed Forces of the world have "Hanger Queens". From Vehicles to Aircraft and Ships that are parted out with those parts being slowly replaced, but not at a quick enough pace to return the vehicle back into service.

I always thought that was the reason we had boneyards. But on personal experience, I know you can go into any motorpool in the US Army and find them.

But something as big as the Wasp? I don’t see it. The Government loves to throw money at problems. If there is a major problem with the Wasp, there is money being thrown at it, but that money is being siphoned off to other programs or test bed tech.

Creative finances ring a bell?



posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 12:01 PM
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reply to post by TDawgRex
 


The Tarawa class is due to start being replaced in FY14 by the new America class LHAs. They may have decided to save the money for repairs and put it towards the new class of ships. The USS Freedom (LCS-1) has major problems too, so they might be using the money towards that. The Navy higher ups, and some members of Congress think the LCS ships are going to be the best thing since sliced bread, despite all the major problems with them.



posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 12:40 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


My impression of them is Too Expensive, along with Too Complex... Results? As we see, "hanger queens". Any bugs should have been eradicated years ago...so from this laymans view of things, something is intrinsically wrong, not cosmetic as it were...

But my expertise is strictly limited to "oh, my gosh, how does anything that big float?" So what do I know?



posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 12:43 PM
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reply to post by seagull
 


The LHA/LHD class ships are very complex. Think of them as the bastard child of a dock and an aircraft carrier.
That adds a lot of complexity to an already complex ship. They have the flight deck, and hangar deck for a decent number of aircraft/helicopters, and they have a well deck that can launch hovercraft or amphibious craft for the Marines.



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