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Subject: Where and Why Homeport CVN 70 in 2009?
Galrahn    8/22/2006 1:41:47 PM
There is an interesting discussion quietly taking place within the US Navy. Where will the USS Carl Vinson be homeported in 2009? The QDR calls for 6 Aircraft Carriers to be deployed to the Pacific. As it stands today, in 2009 the list will be: CVN 73 - USS George Washington - Yokosuka, Japan CVN 74 - USS John C. Stennis - Bremerton, Washington, U.S.A. CVN 76 - USS Ronald Reagan - San Diego, California, U.S.A. CVN 68 - USS Nimitz - San Diego, California, U.S.A. CVN 72 - USS Abraham Lincoln - Everett, Washington , U.S.A. When the USS Carl Vinson completes its nuclear overhaul, the Navy has announced it will be moved to one of four homeports: San Diego, Pearl Harbor, Guam or Bremerton, Washington. http://www.navytimes.com/story.php?f=1-292925-2051517.php The question is, where would you put the Vinson and why? I would go with Guam personally, although Pearl Harbor is a good idea too. A good background for why Guam is worth a look can be found in Newport Papers #26, Chapter 4 for those looking for more information. http://www.nwc.navy.mil/PRESS/npapers/np26/NP26.pdf There is one major drawback of Guam that I can see. A Chinese submarine can get to Guam from Shanghai in just under 18 days at 4 knots, or 14 days at 5 knots. It would take 38 days to get to Pearl Harbor from China at 5 knots, meaning it would be virtually impossible for Chinese conventional subs to do anything about that. It would take about 7 days for a carrier to respond to Chinese theater event from Pearl Harbor, while it would take about 1 day to respond from Guam. By comparison, it would take a carrier about 10 days to respond from San Diego. For calculating response times, this link can help with distances. I'd be very interested in the opinion of those from Australia, considering it is a discussion of putting considerable US Navy firepower in your backyard. http://www.world-register.org/dist.htm Which would you choose and why?
 
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CardEE    RE:Where and Why Homeport CVN 70 in 2009?   8/22/2006 5:45:13 PM
I guess it really depends on how much infrastructure is on Guam, and how much the USN is willing to add. To support a CSF, you need quite a logistics tail, and from Guam that tail would stretch a long way. It would also take weeks to replenish stocks in the case that fuel depots and arms stores are destroyed. Thus, I think you would need to safeguard your supplies with both an integrated air defense network and by having most of the supplies in segmented underground storage locations (underground fuel tanks). This would prevent a small attack from having a devastating effect on the ability of the carrier to deploy. Before I’d commit a carrier to Guam, I would ensure that a number of things are done (some of which might already be complete, and I just don’t know about them): 1) Install acoustic sensors around the island to monitor undersea traffic. 2) Dedicate a few submarines to patrol the area around Guam 3) Deploy PAC-3 patriots, SLAMRAAMS, and maybe some Avengers around the island 4) Deploy a squadron of F-15’s and a couple of AWACS to defend local airspace. 5) Deploy P-3s to assist in undersea 6) Construct segmented underground fuel and re-supply storage. 7) Have ready stocks in the US ready to be flown to Guam immediately in the case of a crisis. If the USN feels that it can control the air and water around Guam, then I think it is the best place to dock the Carl Vinson. If there is a reasonable chance that China could sneak a couple of submarines nearby and launch a successful cruise missile strike on the first day of a war, I think it would be better to leave the Vinson at Pearl. CardEE
 
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EW3    RE:Where and Why Homeport CVN 70 in 2009?   8/22/2006 8:46:46 PM
My instinct is for Guam, but the truth is Pearl would be much better. Consider that a carrier deploys for 6 months at a time. So when deployed the carrier will only transit from HA west once, so the time difference to WestPac is minor. It might be useful to use Guam as a frequent liberty port while the carrier is deployed as it keeps it close to the front in a snug harbor. (This is being done already). A lot of the things CardEE brings up are either already done or in the works. I will say this for Guam, it would be a great homeport for crew members with families. But for single enlisted men, it's pretty small.
 
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Galrahn    RE:Where and Why Homeport CVN 70 in 2009?   8/22/2006 8:57:51 PM
1 through 5 have not be done, but Guam holds the largest Aviation Fuel farm in the USAF, and has stocked storage facilities for over 100,000 munitions for the US Navy alone, which would cover 6 and 7. Guam already acts as the forward supply depot for all branches of the US military in the Pacific theater. I do know that 1, 3, 4, and 5 have not happened. Guam will have 5 submarines by the end of next year, with the USS Buffalo bringing the number to SSNs to 3 this year. The current proposal for Guam infrastructure upgrades is called the "Joint Guam-Military Master Plan." It hasn't been released to the public, but there are some details out there, and since a lot of it is military upgrades to the island, it will require congressional approval.
 
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Agent Orange    CVNs at NS Everett?   10/11/2006 7:44:20 PM
 

Greetings from Whidbey Island Washington. I find the discussion on where the next CVN will be berthed on the Pacific very interesting. I just completed my 19th book on military hardware, a photo essay on the Navy’s fleet of SSBN/SSGN Ohio Class Trident boats and started working on number 20.

 The subject matter for my 20th book is the Navy’s CVN fleet and how it will effect the 21st Century. In most of my findings, it looks as though NS Everett, the current home of the USS Abraham Lincoln, CVN 72, was designed from the very beginning for two CVNs.

Considering the safety of Puget Sound, its relative proximity to the Puget Sound Navy Ship Yard, NS Bremerton and Sub Base Kitsap/Bangor, it makes sense, but then when do our military planned ever make any sense.  

 
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EW3       10/11/2006 7:59:45 PM
See two issues with Puget Sound.
 
1. It's about 6000 miles to Taiwan.
2. We are putting a lot of eggs in one basket.  If China or the NK were to take a few shots at Puget Sound some time in the next few years they would take out a lot of our Naval resources.   
 
I also am starting to hear stories that in Bremerton they are not as Navy friendly as they were.
 
 
 
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DropBear       10/11/2006 8:25:20 PM
For calculating response times, this link can help with distances. I'd be very interested in the opinion of those from Australia, considering it is a discussion of putting considerable US Navy firepower in your backyard.

Whilst I have no opinion as to USN homeporting as it doesn't have anything to do with Oz directly, I think Guam sounds fine. B-52's have used that rock for years and apparently Japanese based USMC units are to deploy to Guam. Why not a carrier?
 
I think the notion of supplies (point #7) could be alleviated by storing equipment in Darwin, Oz. US Forces have flown in and out of Darwin for years with regular trashie airbridge flights the norm. Conventional weapons and other supplies could be based there and it would give a good opportunity for USN forces to fly against Oz, Malaysian and Singaporean assets.
 
Sidenote - Has the USN ever seriously considered Fremantle, Western Australia as a base? USN Carriers always stop over on their transits to and from the Persian Gulf when in the Indian Ocean. Half the RAN is based at Fleet Base West and the facility could no doubt be expanded to accomm a flat top. The USN used to homeport subs there during WW2, don't see why they couldn't return.
 
 
 
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perfectgeneral       10/11/2006 8:51:59 PM
Two in California, two in Washington and Two in Japan would be ideal, but will the Japanese stand for it? Guam seems more sustainable as a Western Pacific presence in the long term.
 
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DropBear       10/11/2006 9:05:00 PM
 
Haven't the Japs become a bit antsy wrt American Forces being deployed there? What with isolated rapes and the general malarky that goes along with thousands of young single blokes, I would have thought the Japs would be glad to see the back end of many US Forces.
 
Maybe this might change since the Norks have let off the bomb?
 
Anyway, Guam is a hop skip and a jump from Oz. No better place to have libery/RnR than the top end of Oz!
 
 
 
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EW3       10/11/2006 10:24:32 PM
The problem with Guam is that you need to have all the facilities to support a carrier there, including the air wing.  Plus you'd want her escorts there as well.  The footprint of a carrier is huge.  That's why Pearl Harbor is a resonable choice at least as an interim step.  During a deployment the distance advantage of being in Guam only saves about 12 days steaming out of a 180+ day tour.  
What would be interesting is to come up with alternative solutions.  The newer carriers require less maintenance so they could be deployed forward to a place like Guam for say a year then rotated back to the states and another ship forward deployed.  Maybe a year in Freemantle.  
 
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DropBear       10/11/2006 10:39:43 PM
What would be interesting is to come up with alternative solutions.  The newer carriers require less maintenance so they could be deployed forward to a place like Guam for say a year then rotated back to the states and another ship forward deployed.  Maybe a year in Freemantle. 
 
What do you mean by a year in Freo? Would Vinson (for example) port in Freo for a year then go Stateside, to be replaced by another flatty to Fre for its own 12 month deployment and so on...
 
Wouldn't it be cheaper to just base the flatty in Freo for many years and merely FIFO (fly in fly out) ships crews to Oz for their tour?
 
 
 
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