Navy Officials: Current BMD Strategy ‘Unsustainable'

Triton

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Navy Officials: Current BMD Strategy ‘Unsustainable'; Greenert Asked Hagel for Review
by Megan Eckstein
March 19, 2015 5:05 PM

Source:
http://news.usni.org/2015/03/19/navy-officials-current-bmd-strategy-unsustainable-greenert-asked-hagel-for-review

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As demand for regional ballistic missile defense (BMD) capabilities sharply increases, the BMD forces’ operational tempo is trying to keep pace while funding is not – leading defense officials to question if a new BMD strategy is needed.

During a House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee hearing Thursday, several members spoke of a Nov. 5, 2014, memo from Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno to then-defense secretary Chuck Hagel, asking for a revised BMD strategy.

“The recent Army-Navy Warfighter Talks highlighted the growing challenges associated with ballistic missile threats that are increasingly capable, continue to outpace our active defense systems, and exceed our Services’ capacity to meet Combatant Commanders’ demand,” according to the memo obtained by USNI News.

“Additionally, looking ahead at the long-term budgetary horizon and the attendant financial pressures that the Budget Control Act would impose, we believe a Department sponsored ballistic missile defense strategy assessment is warranted.”

Adm. Bill Gortney, the current commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command who served as U.S. Fleet Forces commander from 2012 to 2014, explained the Navy’s position during the hearing.

“I was in the staff talks, Navy-Army staff talks that generated that particular lecture, and the fundamental issue from the services comes down to, are we spending our money correctly, and what is the impact for the money that we are spending?” he said.
“The primary concern that they have … is that we’re really emphasizing being a [missile] catcher and shooting a rocket down with a rocket. That’s a very expensive proposition, and it drives low-density high-demand assets, their operational tempo, up. So when [Greenert and Odierno] talk about unsustainable, it’s not only in terms of cost, but it’s in terms of the operational tempo of the forces that are doing it. And so what we really need is … a deterrence policy that helps keep missiles on the rail through deterrence, we have kinetic and non-kinetic options to keep missiles on the rails, and then we start attriting the threat once they get airborne, starting with the boost phase and throughout that particular flight so that we start knocking down missiles in a more effective and cost-effective manner.”

In the memo, Greenert and Odierno criticize that the Pentagon’s strategy is “acquisition-based,” “unsustainable” and “favors forward deployment of assets in lieu of deterrence-based options to meet contingency demands.”

Gortney added that homeland defense, including missile defense, is meant to be “an away game” but that sequestration cuts have already wrecked the accounts that fund training and overseas operations, and future rounds of cuts would only further hurt force readiness.

“That is going to drive these low-density, high-demand assets, be it Patriot, [Terminal High Altitude Area Defense] or Aegis BMD ships – their operational tempo is going to go up, only stressing a very very stressed force as it is,” he told the subcommittee.
“Ballistic missile defense ships are at the highest OPTEMPO that we have, and those are the forces that are going to feel that impact that’s going to directly affect how well we defend ourselves in the away game.”

Navy officials, including acquisition chief Sean Stackley, have spoken recently about the challenges of maintaining the cruisers and destroyers to meet the combatant commanders’ BMD needs even as the ships are aging and maintenance budgets are tight.

At a recent conference, Stackley called the Aegis-equipped cruisers and destroyers the “backbone” and “workhorse” of the fleet. He noted “we have 84 today at sea and that number is growing, but the reality is that our cruisers are at midlife, they’re eclipsing midlife, and our destroyers are entering midlife. Two things we’ve got to do: one, we’ve got to get them to their full service life … and we’re going to look to extend their service life. So we’ve got to get them, at that midlife, get their upgrades in place, get the degree of ballistic missile defense that we need to get our BMD ship count up.”

Subcommittee member Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) noted in the hearing that the combatant commanders requested about 44 BMD ships a year from Fiscal Year 2012 to 2014, but in the 2016 request they ask for 77. Gortney said the demand for regional missile defense has skyrocketed as the threat proliferates, making it even more important to tackle OPTEMPO and the cost curve.

Vice Adm. Jim Syring, director of the Missile Defense Agency, noted in the conversation that the combatant commanders are asking the CNO for “more and more and more, and I see that escalating over the next several years.”

“CNO and the Navy have other things for those ships to do in terms of sailing with strike groups and protecting the strike groups, and [in the memo] I think you see the CNO saying that I don’t have the assets in the future to cover all the requirements from the combatant commanders around the world, I’m just asking for a new strategy in terms of how do we do that, how do we integrate left and right of launch, how do we move this into advanced technology and get on the right side of the cost curve, in his words.”

Subcommittee chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) said he was disappointed with Hagel’s response to the memo, characterizing the former secretary’s response as supporting the current BMD strategy.

As badly as the BMD force is stressed now, Syring warned that sequestration in FY 2016 would devastate the MDA budget, which does not have a operations and maintenance account to raid and is not authorized to receive Overseas Contingency Operations account funding, which has helped shield the services’ budgets from the full effects of the sequester.

Syring said that earlier cuts forced delays in testing, including for the Raytheon-built Standard Missile-3 Block IIA missile.

“I took further risk on the SM3 IIA development program and essentially removed all of the margin in that very important program,” he said.
“We must deliver that missile in 2018.”

Syring suggested that sequestration could bring the MDA’s requested spending level of $8.1 billion down to $6.7 billion, at which point “you’re starting to jeopardize our future capability in terms of what we’re able to say to the American people on our ability to defend the homeland.”

MDA has a flight test planned for the SM3 IIA in May at Point Mugu, Calif., and in June the agency will conduct the first intercept test with the SM3 IB from an Aegis Ashore test site in Hawaii, MDA spokesman Rick Lehner told USNI News.

MDA intends to buy 209 SM3 IBs by the end of FY 2016 and is working through the process to request multiyear procurement authority.

“Given the design stability of that missile and the successes that we’ve had with intercept and where the predicted reliability is with that missile, we are pushing a multiyear certification authority through the [Defense] Department to send over here to request multiyear procurement authorization,” Syring said.

“We estimate it will be a 14-percent savings over annual procurements, and we view that as a good deal for the American taxpayer and the right thing to do.”
 

sferrin

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In order for deterrence to work one has to have a credible offensive force and convince the other guy you're willing to use it. Our nuclear forces are in a shambles and as for part 2, Zero is about as threatening as a mentally deficient, quadriplegic sloth. Russia is showing the world what a credible deterrent is. Modernized SSBNs, ICBMs, SLBMs, and does anybody doubt Putin would be willing to use them?
 

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sferrin said:
In order for deterrence to work one has to have a credible offensive force and convince the other guy you're willing to use it. Our nuclear forces are in a shambles and as for part 2, Zero is about as threatening as a mentally deficient, quadriplegic sloth. Russia is showing the world what a credible deterrent is. Modernized SSBNs, ICBMs, SLBMs, and does anybody doubt Putin would be willing to use them?

Don't impugn sloths even quadriplegic ones!

Putin already threatened to raise DEFCON (or whatever Russia calls it) over Crimea

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/putin-russia-prepared-raising-nuclear-readiness-crimea-29650399

http://news.nationalpost.com/2015/03/17/russia-planning-to-send-nuclear-capable-bombers-to-crimea-missiles-to-poland-border/

Maybe this was the whole "I'll have more flexibility after the election" whispered into Medvedev's ear. Translation "I won't do anything if you more on Ukraine, the Baltics (coming soon)
 

Triton

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Is the Navy too fixated over BMD?

"U.S. aircraft carrier and part of its escort 'sunk' by French submarine during drills off Florida"
Mar 05 2015
by David Cenciotti

Source:
http://theaviationist.com/2015/03/05/us-aircraft-carrier-sunk-by-subs/

On Mar. 4, the French Ministry of Defense released some interesting details, about the activity conducted by one of its nuclear-powered attack submarine (SNA) in the waters of the North Atlantic Ocean.

According to French MoD website (that is no longer online, even if you can still find a cached version of the article titled “Le SNA Saphir en entraînement avec l’US Navy au large de la Floride”), the Saphir submarine has recently taken part in a major exercise with the U.S. Navy off Florida.

The aim of the exercise was joint training with U.S. Carrier Strike Group 12 made by the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, several Ticonderoga cruisers or Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and a Los Angeles-class submarine, ahead of their operational deployment.

The scenario of the drills saw some imaginary states assaulting American economic and territorial interests; threats faced by a naval force led by USS Theodore Roosevelt.

During the first phase of the exercise, the Saphir was integrated into the friendly force to support anti-submarine warfare (ASW) by cooperating with U.S. P-3C Orion P-8A Poseidon MPA (Maritime Patrol Aircraft): its role was to share all the underwater contacts with the other ASW assets.

In the second phase of the exercise, the Saphir was integrated with the enemy forces and its mission was to locate the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt and its accompanying warships and prepare to attack the strike group.

While the fictious political situation deteriorated, the Saphir quietly slipped in the heart of the multi-billion-dollar aircraft carrier’s defensive screen, while avoiding detection by ASW assets.

On the morning of the last day, the order to attack was finally given, allowing the Saphir to pretend-sinking the USS Theodore Roosevelt and most of its escort.

Although we don’t really know many more details about the attack and its outcome, the scripted exercise its RoE (Rules of Engagement), the simulated sinking of a U.S. supercarrier proves the flattop’s underwater defenses are not impenetrable.

This is the reason why modern subs often train with aircraft carriers: they pose a significant threat to powerful Carrier Strike Groups.

Obviously, this was not the first time a submarine scored a simulated carrier kill with torpedo attacks.

For instance, in 2007 HMCS Corner Brook, a Canadian diesel-electric submarine “sunk” UK’s Illustrious during an exercise in the Atlantic.
 

sferrin

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Triton said:
Is the Navy too fixated over BMD?

"U.S. aircraft carrier and part of its escort 'sunk' by French submarine during drills off Florida"
Mar 05 2015
by David Cenciotti

Source:
http://theaviationist.com/2015/03/05/us-aircraft-carrier-sunk-by-subs/

On Mar. 4, the French Ministry of Defense released some interesting details, about the activity conducted by one of its nuclear-powered attack submarine (SNA) in the waters of the North Atlantic Ocean.

According to French MoD website (that is no longer online, even if you can still find a cached version of the article titled “Le SNA Saphir en entraînement avec l’US Navy au large de la Floride”), the Saphir submarine has recently taken part in a major exercise with the U.S. Navy off Florida.

The aim of the exercise was joint training with U.S. Carrier Strike Group 12 made by the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, several Ticonderoga cruisers or Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and a Los Angeles-class submarine, ahead of their operational deployment.

The scenario of the drills saw some imaginary states assaulting American economic and territorial interests; threats faced by a naval force led by USS Theodore Roosevelt.

During the first phase of the exercise, the Saphir was integrated into the friendly force to support anti-submarine warfare (ASW) by cooperating with U.S. P-3C Orion P-8A Poseidon MPA (Maritime Patrol Aircraft): its role was to share all the underwater contacts with the other ASW assets.

In the second phase of the exercise, the Saphir was integrated with the enemy forces and its mission was to locate the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt and its accompanying warships and prepare to attack the strike group.

While the fictious political situation deteriorated, the Saphir quietly slipped in the heart of the multi-billion-dollar aircraft carrier’s defensive screen, while avoiding detection by ASW assets.

On the morning of the last day, the order to attack was finally given, allowing the Saphir to pretend-sinking the USS Theodore Roosevelt and most of its escort.

Although we don’t really know many more details about the attack and its outcome, the scripted exercise its RoE (Rules of Engagement), the simulated sinking of a U.S. supercarrier proves the flattop’s underwater defenses are not impenetrable.

This is the reason why modern subs often train with aircraft carriers: they pose a significant threat to powerful Carrier Strike Groups.

Obviously, this was not the first time a submarine scored a simulated carrier kill with torpedo attacks.

For instance, in 2007 HMCS Corner Brook, a Canadian diesel-electric submarine “sunk” UK’s Illustrious during an exercise in the Atlantic.

Again? Why is it every time a sub "sinks" a carrier it's the end of the world in some quarters?
 

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sferrin said:
Triton said:
Is the Navy too fixated over BMD?

"U.S. aircraft carrier and part of its escort 'sunk' by French submarine during drills off Florida"
Mar 05 2015
by David Cenciotti

Source:
http://theaviationist.com/2015/03/05/us-aircraft-carrier-sunk-by-subs/

On Mar. 4, the French Ministry of Defense released some interesting details, about the activity conducted by one of its nuclear-powered attack submarine (SNA) in the waters of the North Atlantic Ocean.

According to French MoD website (that is no longer online, even if you can still find a cached version of the article titled “Le SNA Saphir en entraînement avec l’US Navy au large de la Floride”), the Saphir submarine has recently taken part in a major exercise with the U.S. Navy off Florida.

The aim of the exercise was joint training with U.S. Carrier Strike Group 12 made by the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, several Ticonderoga cruisers or Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and a Los Angeles-class submarine, ahead of their operational deployment.

The scenario of the drills saw some imaginary states assaulting American economic and territorial interests; threats faced by a naval force led by USS Theodore Roosevelt.

During the first phase of the exercise, the Saphir was integrated into the friendly force to support anti-submarine warfare (ASW) by cooperating with U.S. P-3C Orion P-8A Poseidon MPA (Maritime Patrol Aircraft): its role was to share all the underwater contacts with the other ASW assets.

In the second phase of the exercise, the Saphir was integrated with the enemy forces and its mission was to locate the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt and its accompanying warships and prepare to attack the strike group.

While the fictious political situation deteriorated, the Saphir quietly slipped in the heart of the multi-billion-dollar aircraft carrier’s defensive screen, while avoiding detection by ASW assets.

On the morning of the last day, the order to attack was finally given, allowing the Saphir to pretend-sinking the USS Theodore Roosevelt and most of its escort.

Although we don’t really know many more details about the attack and its outcome, the scripted exercise its RoE (Rules of Engagement), the simulated sinking of a U.S. supercarrier proves the flattop’s underwater defenses are not impenetrable.

This is the reason why modern subs often train with aircraft carriers: they pose a significant threat to powerful Carrier Strike Groups.

Obviously, this was not the first time a submarine scored a simulated carrier kill with torpedo attacks.

For instance, in 2007 HMCS Corner Brook, a Canadian diesel-electric submarine “sunk” UK’s Illustrious during an exercise in the Atlantic.

Again? Why is it every time a sub "sinks" a carrier it's the end of the world in some quarters?
Because people don't understand how exercises work, and the Silent Service doesn't go running its mouth every time it does its job.
 

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Seems to be standard procedure for every ally of ours to brag about it when they sink one of our carriers in an exercise, probably because they're jealous of them.

Does the BMD ship concept pitched a few years back still have any value versus trying to cram as much of that capability as possible into the Burke hull? In an ideal world I'd say it should be one of the primary roles of a new class of large cruisers but it seems Navy shipbuilding isn't in a good spot these days.
 

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More like our current strategy, which is a result of the late 1990s Clinton-era policy decisions made as we designed our current stable of systems is wearing out the force.

Back then; the hot thing was THEATER defense. As in, the defense of local assets such as our field armies and such from moderate ballistic missile threats, such as improved SCUDs, and other MRBMs.

For theater defenses to work, they had to be quickly deployable and highly mobile; or integrated into existing assets (AEGIS warships).

However, the ever increasing pace of deployments due to proliferating ballistic missile defenses -- everyone wants BMD, and they want it now -- is placing a greater strain on the tactical units that make up our deployable force.

To put this into an example off the top of my head.

AN/TPY-1 is a great easily forward deployed radar that can be moved by C-17 to anywhere in the world, and it works great in our current system. Only problem is that the Missile Defense Detachments who run the TPY-1s have been deployed over and over for the last couple of years.

Come home from a deployment; your wife is threatening to break up with you if you leave again; and what do you know, orders have been cut ordering you back out for another nine months to a different part of the world that is currently a hotspot to run the TPY-1 there.

Meanwhile, the 49th Missile Defense Battalion (GMD), with it's fixed silos in Greely.....sits back and appears to have no problems with retention.

But of course, we can't have more than one fixed heavy BMD missile site; because that'd be destabilizing, so we need to constantly rush around medium level BMD units to fill service needs; wearing them out in the process!
 

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Unsustainable you say? Stunner, PAC-3 MSE, SM-6 Increment I, II, SM-3 Blk Ia, Ib, IIa (IIb is not IIb), THAAD-ER.

Surely we could benefit from some consolidation; the Navy should reconsider its allergy to liquid propellants.

I think the larger issue is that the Navy is now vastly more concerned about terminal BMD given the credible
threat posed by ASBMs. SM-6 can do terminal BMD and other things (anti-surface, AAW) whereas SM-3 is a single
purpose weapon.
 

sferrin

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marauder2048 said:
SM-6 can do terminal BMD and other things (anti-surface, AAW) whereas SM-3 is a single
purpose weapon.

Thing is SM-6 can't touch SM-3 in exo-atmospheric capability. They've looked at PAC-3 at 4 per cell at sea. MSE would work there as well.

Thing is not all weapons are easily consolidated as they vary wildly in capability. There really isn't a land-based analog to SM-6 for example, nor a sea-based analog to THAAD.
 

marauder2048

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sferrin said:
marauder2048 said:
SM-6 can do terminal BMD and other things (anti-surface, AAW) whereas SM-3 is a single
purpose weapon.

Thing is SM-6 can't touch SM-3 in exo-atmospheric capability. They've looked at PAC-3 at 4 per cell at sea. MSE would work there as well.

Thing is not all weapons are easily consolidated as they vary wildly in capability. There really isn't a land-based analog to SM-6 for example, nor a sea-based analog to THAAD.

The advent of Aegis Ashore is blurring the lines between land-based and sea-based interceptors; at $750 million per site it's vastly more attractive than a $2.5 billion+ AMDR ship.

How much of SM-3's exo-atmospheric goodness is predicated on cues from datalinked OTH sensors (esp. sat, uav, etc)?

The reason is that the Navy now seems to be institutionally dubious as to the viability of such long distance datalinks.
 

jsport

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marauder2048 said:
sferrin said:
marauder2048 said:
SM-6 can do terminal BMD and other things (anti-surface, AAW) whereas SM-3 is a single
purpose weapon.

Thing is SM-6 can't touch SM-3 in exo-atmospheric capability. They've looked at PAC-3 at 4 per cell at sea. MSE would work there as well.

Thing is not all weapons are easily consolidated as they vary wildly in capability. There really isn't a land-based analog to SM-6 for example, nor a sea-based analog to THAAD.

The advent of Aegis Ashore is blurring the lines between land-based and sea-based interceptors; at $750 million per site it's vastly more attractive than a $2.5 billion+ AMDR ship.

How much of SM-3's exo-atmospheric goodness is predicated on cues from datalinked OTH sensors (esp. sat, uav, etc)?

The reason is that the Navy now seems to be institutionally dubious as to the viability of such long distance datalinks.

How so dubious on long datalinks?..never heard that.
 

marauder2048

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jsport said:
marauder2048 said:
sferrin said:
marauder2048 said:
SM-6 can do terminal BMD and other things (anti-surface, AAW) whereas SM-3 is a single
purpose weapon.

Thing is SM-6 can't touch SM-3 in exo-atmospheric capability. They've looked at PAC-3 at 4 per cell at sea. MSE would work there as well.

Thing is not all weapons are easily consolidated as they vary wildly in capability. There really isn't a land-based analog to SM-6 for example, nor a sea-based analog to THAAD.

The advent of Aegis Ashore is blurring the lines between land-based and sea-based interceptors; at $750 million per site it's vastly more attractive than a $2.5 billion+ AMDR ship.

How much of SM-3's exo-atmospheric goodness is predicated on cues from datalinked OTH sensors (esp. sat, uav, etc)?

The reason is that the Navy now seems to be institutionally dubious as to the viability of such long distance datalinks.

How so dubious on long datalinks?..never heard that.

I'm mostly going by the latest Maritime Strategy document and Bryan Clark's (formerly one of CNO Greenert's advisors)
CSBA studies and commentary.
 

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With regards as to the GMD system:

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-missile-defense-flaws-20150530-story.html#page=1

Not the most reliable source, but still.
 

sferrin

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marauder2048 said:
sferrin said:
marauder2048 said:
SM-6 can do terminal BMD and other things (anti-surface, AAW) whereas SM-3 is a single
purpose weapon.

Thing is SM-6 can't touch SM-3 in exo-atmospheric capability. They've looked at PAC-3 at 4 per cell at sea. MSE would work there as well.

Thing is not all weapons are easily consolidated as they vary wildly in capability. There really isn't a land-based analog to SM-6 for example, nor a sea-based analog to THAAD.

The advent of Aegis Ashore is blurring the lines between land-based and sea-based interceptors;

Not really. One is land-based the other is sea-based. It doesn't blur anything whatsoever with regards to the missile. Land-basing and sea-basing both have their advantages and disadvantages regardless of the missile in question.
 

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Colonial-Marine said:
Seems to be standard procedure for every ally of ours to brag about it when they sink one of our carriers in an exercise, probably because they're jealous of them.

Perhaps they recognise what the US Navy has been telling them for decades that the carriers are the US Navy's capital ships nowadays?

I believe HMAS Ovens was the first conventional submarine to sink a US Navy super-carrier (Enterprise) way back in 1982...
 

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Colonial-Marine said:
Seems to be standard procedure for every ally of ours to brag about it when they sink one of our carriers in an exercise, probably because they're jealous of them.

And it’s all total BS. Anti-submarine warfare is very different between exercise and actual practice. It’s like simulating WWI infantry assaults without replicating artillery frontages and long range machinegun fire.

In a peacetime exercise there is no way to simulate the effect of live homing torpedos being fired on doubtful contacts. During the Falklands War 31 Mk 46 torpedos were launched on such contacts for the result of three whales killed. There were also many Mk 10 Limbo mortar bombs fired at sea floor objects just to make sure there were no submarines hiding there. The effect of live torpedos in the water is considerable for any submarine trying to penetrate an anti-submarine defence around and under a carrier battle group. Even if those torpedos are not directly targeted at that submarine. It requires far more caution on their behalf than in a peacetime exercise. And in war time there is no holding back on firing those torpedos. The magazines are deep and the war stocks of lightweight torpedos extensive.

So take with a huge dose of caution the plethora of periscope photos of aircraft carriers. Not only are the anti submarine exercises unlike the real thing, and the submarine guys know this, but they often taken under more dubious circumstances (like not in the actual exercise) and bandied about to further intra service rivalry and the politics of budget allocation. And since they are remotely controversial the usual bandwagon of blood sniffing journalists, hyperbole hacks and ignorance addicts join in screaming and shouting about them despite how ignorant they are of the all important details.
 

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Also, during exercises; carriers are mostly confined IIRC to a box in the ocean for various reasons, I believe.

In a real war; they''d be constantly moving at 30 plus knots in and out of the wind over hundreds of miles in a single day rather than being constrained to a general area.
 

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