‘You’re on your own’: US sealift can’t count on US Navy escorts in the next big war

Kind of depressing:

US sealift can’t count on US Navy escorts in the next big war

What war are these guys planning on fighting? From the 1940’s?


So is the company, or the Coast Guard for that matter, going to not flip their shit when I go “emissions dark” and turn off my LRIT? Get my crew to not use their cell phones? They don’t work at sea anyway. This was a perplexing article on many fronts. If the military wants their gear in theater, they will step up and protect the ships carrying it. As for the mariners turning to. If the money is right, they’ll come out of the taverns.


The US Navy is a boondoggle for US contractors. Aircraft carrier battle goups became obsolete once land based missiles were developed that were capable of going further than the carriers planes. There is a good reason other countries do not spend their money on carriers. It is money wasted.


I was thinking the same thing. They are comparing mariner numbers to WWII, when relatively small Liberty Ships carried an officer and crew compliment of over 40 mariners.

There are ONE exception though: https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/news-and-latest-activity/features/equipped-for-the-future
Others don’t think that creating a great big target for any “enemies” to aim their rockets at is worth the money.

PS> Not creating enemies are by far the cheapest option.

Marad can’t get the ships to go to sea. During the sortie for hurricane Florence quite a few in Norfolk could not get underway or broke down on the way out. One had a boiler room fire and had to return. Weeks later on another sea trial another fire. Heard that a couple LMSR were limited to slow speeds because of bottom fouling.

The current state of the reserve fleet appears worse than the period of Gulf War 1

I think the key thing is that no one is sinking ships right now. What I took from the article is that they don’t have any capacity to protect shipping. If any country decided to engage in commerce raiding at sea, it would be like the early days of the Battle of the Atlantic. The first and second “Happy Times” for the German U-Boats come to mind.

1 Like

“In the event of a major war with China or Russia, the U.S. Navy, almost half the size it was during the height of the Cold War, is going to be busy with combat operations.”

Yeah, busy for about the length of time it takes a ballistic missile swarm to wipe both sides (and everyone in the middle) off the planet. That is about 1/10th the time it would take to contact the union hall and post the jobs.

The whole idea is a very disturbing joke on the American taxpayer and a sad commentary on the state of American politics and its so called leadership.


Global shipping now compared to WWII is a sitting duck:

  • In the past cargos were carried on many thousands of smaller ships. Today’s cargo and product ships are much larger and far fewer. Knocking out just one of today’s ships would be like taking out an entire Atlantic convoy.

  • Detecting ships in the past required line of sight and was difficult. Today it’s trivial to find all the ships in the oceans with surface and airborne radar, satellites and undersea listening stations strung out under the seas.

  • Destroying ships used to be difficult with dumb torpedos, unguided rockets and artillery. Today’s long range guided missiles and torpedoes launched from undersea, surface, land and aircraft take the sport out of it. Ships can be reliably destroyed from the other side of the ocean.

  • Replacing ships used to be possible with the vast number of shipyards around the world. Today no one could make ships fast enough with the smaller number of shipyards and stretched out global supply chains.

In conclusion, any unrestricted conventional warfare between advanced nations would quickly bring today’s sealift to a swift end. EMCOM and celestial navigation would only briefly delay the inevitable.

Wartime sealift is a quaint and archaic notion.


Other countries don’t, because other countries can’t. Those with the means however are:

I don’t care how far your missile can fly, I care how far you can aim it. Over the Horizon Targeting is not so easily accomplished.

1 Like

As far as I understand it, not being a military person, you only need to get your smart missile within a general area. From there it will be able to detect and recognise it’s target(s) and steer itself to a hit using radar, laser and heat detecting cameras.

Your present “adversaries” (soon to become "enemies??) have the technology to do this, and the satellites to keep track of your surface fleets anywhere around the would. You may as well paint a big target on the flight deck of the carriers, for all the difference it will make.

As for the usefulness of your reserve fleet in a major conflict, I agree with Steamer and DeckApe.
By the time you got any of it to sea it will all be all over, for ALL of use.

This isn’t the 1940’s.

Many countries have the technical ability to build aircraft carries, but few have any interest in doing so.

China build carriers not to attack USA homeland, or project power worldwide, but to protect their home waters and trade routes, This includes not only their coastal waters and the South China Sea, but stretches to the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean.

Means includes far more than technical ability. Take Norway as an example. Even if you had the funds to build a carrier, you would have to double the size of your navy just to crew something similar to a single CVN.

The Truman has space for more combat aircraft on board than the entire Norwegian air force

Norway is a VERY unlikely candidate to build, buy or operate an Aircraft carrier. What in God’s name would they do with it???

Norway have no enemies, or likely to be attacked by anybody in the foreseeable future.
It would be VERY foolish to provoke our great neighbour to the east by developing an offensive naval or military force.

Credible national defence and protection by the NATO alliance is the logical approach for all of Western Europe, not to go creating enemies by careless talk, or foolish actions.

1 Like

As far as I understand the Truman will not dock in any Norwegian ports, nor will any of her escorts.
She will also respect the security zone around the major Russian naval bases on the Kola Peninsula. (I.e. not move north of a certain latitude, which have been the rule since the cold war days)

Our cooperation clearly illustrates that we have good intentions and aim to please. Go Navy!

You’re right. No one is going to war with Norway. I have been to Norway, worked with Norwegians, spent countless hours in bars with Norwegians & I’m not fighting them. Norway’s defense strategy is ingenious. Be so annoying that no one wants to engage them.


Getting back to the subject at hand, “You’re on your own” was essentially the response we got when our MSC “survey” ship was being harassed by Iranian gunboats in the Persian Gulf. The fleet would usually refine their answer by providing us with a response time but it didn’t leave me with a warm fuzzy feeling thinking about one of Mohamed’s disciples developing a nervous twitch.