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This is a discussion on US Navy News and updates within the Navy & Maritime forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Originally Posted by icelord From experience operating with USNS the only military people are operations officer, comms and embarked security ...


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Old April 2nd, 2013   #691
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From experience operating with USNS the only military people are operations officer, comms and embarked security detachment. Occasional uniforms float around but the Replenishment and majority stores are Merchants along with flight deck.
Im guessing the helo would come under the same protections as the USNS fleet has in regards to maritime laws and operations?
Back in the iceage, 1970's all the service ships were commissioned (oilers, ammo food etc) usually with a brown shoes as a CO to give them experience before taking over a CV.
On deployment, Operation Market Time, we were supported by the ships of COMSERVGRU5 based in Sasebo.
Don't know when it all changed.
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Old April 2nd, 2013   #692
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Thanks for that I didn't know. Are all the flight crew and flight deck crew contractors as well? I saw a doco on the USNS Peary and the helos still carry military markings.
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All USNS vessels are primarily manned by civilian crews with a small number of Navy personnel. I believe Evergreen Aviation may currently holds the contract.

From what I could find, the use of contract Pumas began in 1999: The Naval Institute Guide To The Ships And Aircraft Of The U.S. Fleet - Norman Polmar - Google Books

Every image I have seen of the MSC Pumas show them sporting a basic all white livery with large black aircraft registration numbers. This can hardly be construed as "military markings"
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Old April 2nd, 2013   #693
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Back in the iceage, 1970's all the service ships were commissioned (oilers, ammo food etc) usually with a brown shoes as a CO to give them experience before taking over a CV.
On deployment, Operation Market Time, we were supported by the ships of COMSERVGRU5 based in Sasebo.
Don't know when it all changed.
Cheers
It seems to have changed in 1990:
"Today's Navy Regulations define the classification and status of naval ships and craft:
1. The Chief of Naval Operations shall be responsible for ... the assignment of classification for administrative pur- poses to water-borne craft and the designation of status for each ship and service craft. ....
2. Commissioned vessels and craft shall be called "United States Ship" or "U.S.S."
3. Civilian manned ships, of the Military Sealift Command or other commands, designated "active status, in service" shall be called "United States Naval Ship" or "U.S.N.S."
4. Ships and service craft designated "active status, in service," except those described by paragraph 3 of this article, shall be referred to by name, when assigned, classification, and hull number (e.g., "HIGH POINT PCH-1" or "YOGN-8").
-- United States Navy Regulations, 1990, Article 0406."
USN Ship Naming
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Old April 2nd, 2013   #694
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Some interesting things in this link about the three "modular" slots on the Independance. Will be interesting to see it fitted out with the MK46 30mm cannons like the Freedom.

Independence class littoral combat ship LCS Austal US Navy
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Old April 3rd, 2013   #695
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Some interesting things in this link about the three "modular" slots on the Independance. Will be interesting to see it fitted out with the MK46 30mm cannons like the Freedom.

Independence class littoral combat ship LCS Austal US Navy
Yes, the Independence class LCS are able to carry two Mk46 30mm GWS. They would be inserted in two bays (port & starboard) just aft of the antennae mast.

You can see the cover over the empty starboard bay in this photo: http://goo.gl/sfFk9

You can also see the empty bay that was intended for the cancelled NLOS missile module aft of the Mk 110 turret.

Edit: This photo show the module bays better: http://goo.gl/MsLKO

Last edited by FormerDirtDart; April 3rd, 2013 at 12:19 AM. Reason: Found a better photo to support the information I was providing
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Old April 3rd, 2013   #696
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It seems to have changed in 1990:
Civilian manning of US replenishment ships began in the 70s, but it wasn't until the 2000s that the entire replenishment fleet became civilian manned. IIRC the Supply class AOEs were the last to transfer to MSC.
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Old April 4th, 2013   #697
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Sure a couple of RAMs and ESSMs is not cheap but seriously how often does a ship has to kill so many swarm ships that costs are a real problem?

What may happen much more often is hitting land targets in some backwater area with PGMs. And that's where costs and capability really matter.
The last time I can remember anything remotely like a swarm attack was the Iranian boghammers in the 1980's.
While it would be foolish to totally ignore the posability of one happening, I think the money would be better spent enhancing existing, more versatile and cost efective weapon systems so they can also deal with possable swarm tactics.

In the case of the LCS rather than the Griffin, I would have a 76mm gun with PGM. Add to this a drone capable of over the horizon targeting. Then back it all up with a missile armed helo.

All equipment readily available, all capable of performing this and many other missions.

In all a much cheaper more versatile weapons package.
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Old April 4th, 2013   #698
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The last time I can remember anything remotely like a swarm attack was the Iranian boghammers in the 1980's.
While it would be foolish to totally ignore the posability of one happening, I think the money would be better spent enhancing existing, more versatile and cost efective weapon systems so they can also deal with possable swarm tactics.

In the case of the LCS rather than the Griffin, I would have a 76mm gun with PGM. Add to this a drone capable of over the horizon targeting. Then back it all up with a missile armed helo.

All equipment readily available, all capable of performing this and many other missions.

In all a much cheaper more versatile weapons package.

There was a MOU signed to market the 76mm with LCS back in 2003, and I understand that this is being looked at again with a view to perhaps inserting it on later ships in the class. There's some debate as to if Indy can take the gun without reinforcement but LCS 1 (Freedom) is good to go apparently.

We'll see- 76mm with Vulcano ammunition backed up by a navalised Fireshadow or SPIKE would be potentially a game-changer.

It *really* depends on what the USN want to do with the thing however - and what they plan to team LCS up with when it's doing stuff.
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Old April 4th, 2013   #699
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Well, the Philippinos did what they were advised - I'm sure that there has been a lot of .....Taking it up with the US embassy ever since ....................

Was it stupidity or simply arrogance? .................. probably both!

Brings to mind that old joke:

US Ship: Please divert your course 0.5 degrees to the south to avoid a collision.

CND reply: Recommend you divert your course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.

US Ship: This is the Captain of a US Navy Ship. I say again, divert your course.

CND reply: No. I say again, you divert YOUR course!

US Ship: THIS IS THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS CORAL SEA*, WE ARE A LARGE WARSHIP OF THE US NAVY. DIVERT YOUR COURSE NOW!!

CND reply: This is a lighthouse. Your call.
Just in today: Four fired for marooning minesweeper on ocean reef

When someone is fired in the USN, is he/she going to get discharged from service or get a demotion?
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Old April 4th, 2013   #700
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It *really* depends on what the USN want to do with the thing however - and what they plan to team LCS up with when it's doing stuff.
I'm linking back to a doc ASSAIL put up a while back, it's a paper by Bob Work.

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Nevertheless, senior Navy leaders envisioned the ship would be used in three basic ways:

• As an integrated part of a Carrier Strike Group (CSG) or Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG), several LCSs with tailored mission configurations would perform “vanguard scouting,pouncing support, and other tasks.”

As part of an LCS Division or a Littoral Action Group (LAG) withup to six ships, LCSs would be forward deployed in order tomaintain a continuous presence in forward theaters in order to build FORCEnet situation awareness. In wartime the divisions/LAGs would integrate into FORCEnet battle networks “to complement power projecting multimission ships.”

• Finally, LCSs could conduct limited independent (mobility) missions in low threat areas, such as SOF support, AT/FP, MIO,NEO, HA/DR, or logistics support

I've made bold the most interesting concept IMO, the other 2 options being pretty much what was expected.

It's given me something to think about though, a network of LCSs working in conjunction with eachother would produce a much more survivable unit in a higher threat environment. It's important to rememberthat as much as people like to talk about the LCS being incredibly vulnerable, that the USN doesn't intend to let them operate independently in anything other than a low threat environment.
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Old April 4th, 2013   #701
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Many do not give the LCS credit for being a tough little ship and are happy to perpetuate the image of a floating deathtrap, a catastrophe waiting to happen the moment it experiences battle damage. As Dr. Work recounts:



However, as the design progressed, LCS survivability started to rely
less on avoiding a hit (e.g., susceptibility) and more on reducing ship
vulnerability and improving recovery after taking a hit. This move
was made partly in response to grumblings from the surface warfare
community, which was highly skeptical of warship based on
commercially derived designs.

Accordingly, during the design and construction of the two Flight 0 prototypes, the Navy directed the two LCS design teams (LM and GD) to shift to ABS Naval Vessel Rules (NVR), which were more stringent than the earlier commercially-based
ABS High Speed Naval Craft Rules. Naval Vessel Rules define a set of
combatant standards applicable only to hull, machinery, and electrical
passive survivability requirements (e.g., structural strength, redundancy and separation), and not to ship combat systems.

Consequently, the move to NVR meant an LCS’s main propulsion plant and associated auxiliaries, electrical generation and distribution systems, navigation, internal communication and announcement systems, fire mains, and navigation and external communications systems all had to be shock hardened. A second result was the addition of extra watertight compartmentation to allow the ship to
remain afloat even with three compartments and 15 percent of its
overall length flooded—the same damage stability requirement for
Level II and Level III combatants. Finally, the LCS was provided no less
than three redundant firefighting systems.
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Old April 4th, 2013   #702
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The last time I can remember anything remotely like a swarm attack was the Iranian boghammers in the 1980's.
The Iranian Revolutionary Guard practice swarm tactics and there are you tube videos showing recent practices and live firings. There are also videos of such swarms harassing US ships in the Straights of Hormuz.

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In the case of the LCS rather than the Griffin, I would have a 76mm gun with PGM. Add to this a drone capable of over the horizon targeting. Then back it all up with a missile armed helo.

All equipment readily available, all capable of performing this and many other missions.

In all a much cheaper more versatile weapons package.
Problem is that a choke point crossing like the Straights of Hormuz over the horizon targeting is pointless and would likely be handled by on station aircraft. Also just about all the current ASM's do not have IFF and the USN doesn't want to accidentally sink a merchant or fishing boat, so the ROE is pretty strict.
The current ASUW package along with the installed gun and Griffin should work just fine for the foreseeable future with the current ROE, which is not likely to go away any time soon.
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Old April 4th, 2013   #703
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The asymmetric threats including swarming boat attacks cunningly employed by Red Force during Millennium Challenge 2002 also demonstrated the lack of an adequate screening force to protect high value assets could be very costly.
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Old April 5th, 2013   #704
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Problem is that a choke point crossing like the Straights of Hormuz over the horizon targeting is pointless and would likely be handled by on station aircraft. Also just about all the current ASM's do not have IFF and the USN doesn't want to accidentally sink a merchant or fishing boat, so the ROE is pretty strict.
The current ASUW package along with the installed gun and Griffin should work just fine for the foreseeable future with the current ROE, which is not likely to go away any time soon.
The weapons package I suggested was a way to strike missile armed FACs at beyond their firing range at a cheaper price and over a longer sustained peroid. Plus of course do NGS and other normal missions.
In the situation you discribe it may not perform any better but I don't see it doing any worse. A 76 mm gun backed by a Hellfire equiped helo, visual targeting no IFF problems. Also drones are used to identify and strike targets in populated areas on a regular basis, so telling the differance between a FAC and a fishing vessel should be less of a problem.

Last edited by MickB; April 6th, 2013 at 04:41 AM.
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Old April 6th, 2013   #705
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Aren't many of them armed with SAM's and wont they have fighter support? And if they are in the littorals they may have to worry about artillery and other land based threats.


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The weapons package I suggested was a way to strike missile armed FACs at beyond their firing range at a cheaper price and over a longer sustained peroid. Plus of course do NGS and other normal missions.
In the situation you discribe it may not perform any better but I don't see it doing any worse. A 76 mm gun backed by a Hellfire equiped helo, visual targeting no IFF problems.
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