Navy says its not the size of the fleet, but how you use it
NORFOLK, Va.—The Navy says the size of its fleet is just fine, thank you, and to stop counting its ships and start thinking about the service’s skill in using them. The Navy raised the subject in rolling out its new slogan, “Presence, not size, matters.”
The U.S. Navy currently has about 290 ships, significantly smaller than China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), with over 300 vessels, plus several hundred more in the China Coast Guard. But Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson recently said that the best measure of sea power employment effectiveness—"How you use it!" in Richardson's phrasing.
Naval analyst Norm Marpol called this viewpoint an overcompensation for inadequacies as a result of “fleet envy.”
Commander Ward Burke, a staff officer with DESRON 9, disagrees with the naysayers. "Sure, the PLAN has a lot of width and depth," Burke says. "But they're unskilled in maneuvering and seamanship. They can't get the job done if they can't use their tools.”
"You can't ju…
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