Marine Link
Saturday, November 25, 2017

US Navy: Bigger is Better, but at What Cost?

By Edward Lundquist

The U.S. Navy has a balanced fleet, but it wants to grow bigger and better. Will the budget allow both?

 
Maritime Reporter's March 2017 cover story on the U.S. Navy was all about the numbers. There exists several plans to grow the fleet beyond the current number of 308 ships, the Mitre recommendation of 414 ships, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment 340-ship proposal, and the Navy’s decision to grow the fleet to 355 ships, and the Trump administration’s 350.
 
With so many numbers being bandied about, there are even more suggestions on how to get there. The decision to expand the number of ships is based on sound analysis, and most of the suggested numbers are the result of a thoughtful examination of the requirement and the reasonable pathways to achieving growth.
 
According to a report to Congress by the Congressional Research Service, the figure of 355 ships appears close to an objective of building toward a fleet of 350 ships that was announced by the Trump campaign organization during the 2016 presidential election campaign. “The 355-ship goal, however, reflects the national security strategy and national military strategy that were in place in 2016 (i.e., the Obama Administration’s national security strategy and national military strategy).”
 
But no matter how you slice it and dice it, there’s a huge cost. 
 
And those who want to point to instantaneous gratification, and see an immediate growth in fleet size, will not find it in this most recent budget submission to the Congress.
 
The current Presidential Budget delivered to Capitol Hill does call for an increase in defense spending. This year’s budget submission is about readiness, not new construction.
 
The non-partisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) estimates that “procuring the 57 to 67 ships that would need to be added to the Navy’s FY2017 30-year shipbuilding plan to achieve the Navy’s 355-ship fleet and maintain it through FY2046 would notionally cost an average of roughly $4.6 billion to $5.1 billion per year in additional shipbuilding funds over the 30-year period, using today’s shipbuilding costs.”
 
There are also time and industrial capacity constraints to achieving the 355-ship objective. “Even with increased shipbuilding rates, achieving certain parts of the 355-ship force-level goal could take many years,” CRS reports. “For example, the 355-ship force-level goal includes a goal of 12 aircraft carriers. Increasing aircraft carrier procurement from the current rate of one ship every five years to one ship every three years would achieve a 12-carrier force on a sustained basis by about 2030. As another example, the 355-ship force level includes a goal of 66 attack submarines. Increasing attack submarine procurement to a rate of three attack submarines (or two attack submarines and one ballistic missile submarine) per year could achieve a 65-boat SSN force by the late 2030s. CBO estimates that the earliest the Navy could achieve the 355-ship fleet would be 2035.”
 
That means manning and tooling up the nation’s shipbuilders and suppliers.
 
“Ramping up to higher rates of shipbuilding would require additional tooling and equipment at some shipyards and some supplier firms. Additional production and supervisory workers would need to be hired and trained at shipyards and supplier firms. Depending on their specialties, newly hired workers could be initially less productive per unit of time worked than more experienced workers. Given the time needed to increase tooling and hire and train new workers, some amount of time would be needed to ramp up to higher shipbuilding rates—production could not jump to higher rates overnight,” the CRS report said. “Some parts of the shipbuilding industrial base could face more challenges than others in ramping up to the higher production rates required to build the various parts of the 355-ship fleet.”
 
CRS cited a non-partisan Congressional Budget Office Costs of Building a 355-Ship Navy report, which it submitted to Congress in April 2017. 
 
“All seven shipyards would need to increase their workforces and several would need to make improvements to their infrastructure in order to build ships at a faster rate. However, certain sectors face greater obstacles in constructing ships at faster rates than others: Building more submarines to meet the goals of the 2016 force structure assessment would pose the greatest challenge to the shipbuilding industry. Increasing the number of aircraft carriers and surface combatants would pose a small to moderate challenge to builders of those vessels. Finally, building more amphibious ships and combat logistics and support ships would be the least problematic for the shipyards. The workforces across those yards would need to increase by about 40 percent over the next 5 to 10 years. Managing the growth and training of those new workforces while maintaining the current standard of quality and efficiency would represent the most significant industrywide challenge. In addition, industry and Navy sources indicate that as much as $4 billion would need to be invested in the physical infrastructure of the shipyards to achieve the higher production rates required under the [notional] 15-year and 20-year [buildup scenarios examined by CBO]. Less investment would be needed for the [notional] 25-year or 30-year [buildup scenarios examined by CBO].”
 
But the obstacles are not insurmountable, and frankly the kind of problem that the Navy and industry wants to solve.
 
The Navy currently has “hot production lines. “Our facilities are in pretty good shape,” said then Assistant Secretary of the Navy (now the acting secretary) Sean Stackley at the Surface Navy Association’s annual symposium. “Industry’s going to have to go out and procure special tooling associated with going from current production rates to a higher rate, but I would say that’s easily done,” he said. 
 
“My sense is that the industrial base will size to the demand signal,” said Rear Adm. William Gallinis, the program executive officer for ships at the SNA symposium. “We just need to be mindful of how we transition to that increased demand signal,” he said. 
 
Also speaking at the SNA event, Adm. William Moran, the Vice Chief of Naval Operations said the priority is readiness. Before inauguration, Moran said the Trump transition team inquired about what the Navy could do with more money right away. “The answer was not, ‘Buy more ships.’ The answer was, ‘Make sure that the 274 that we had were maintained and modernized to provide 274 ships’ worth of combat time.’ Then, we’ll start buying more ships,” he said.
 
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said the nation needs a more powerful Navy, on the order of 350 ships, that includes a combination of manned and unmanned systems. “More platforms are necessary but not sufficient. The Navy must also incorporate new technologies and new operational concepts.” 
 
 “As we increase our naval power, our focus cannot be on some distant goal decades in the future. The Navy must get to work now to both build more ships, and to think forward - innovate - as we go,” Richardson said. “To remain competitive, we must start today and we must improve faster.” 
 
“I believe that strong naval forces - maritime forces - are uniquely suited to help manage the increasing pace and complexity of change, by virtue of the uniquely productive relationships that are possible, and by virtue of strong history and advocacy for behavior in accordance with a well understood and agreed-to set of rules,” said Richardson. “And navies can do this in a way that preserves the opportunity for growth, and yes, the opportunity for competition, but also in a way that avoids conflict and violence.” 
 
The U.S. Navy operate as a balanced mix of aircraft carriers, expeditionary warfare platforms, combatants and auxiliaries. Here are some of the key Navy ship programs:
 
Nimitz-class aircraft carriers
The Nimitz-class supercarriers are a class of 10 nuclear-powered aircraft carriers in service with the United States Navy. These ships are 1,092 feet long with a displacement of over 100,000 tons. The two A4W pressurized water reactors drive four propeller shafts for a maximum speed of over 30 knots. The reactors can operate for more than 20 years without refueling. All ten carriers were constructed by Newport News Shipbuilding Company in Virginia. USS Nimitz was commissioned on May 3, 1975, and the final ship in the class, USS George H.W. Bush, joined the fleet in 2009. The ship has a crew of about 5,500 including the airwing of about 90 aircraft.
USS Nimitz (CVN 68), Bremerton, Washington
USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), Norfolk, VA
USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), San Diego, CA
USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), San Diego, CA
USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), Newport News, VA
USS George Washington (CVN 73), Norfolk, VA
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), Bremerton, WA
USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), Norfolk, VA
USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), Yokosuka, Japan
USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), Norfolk, VA
 
Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers
USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), first of a new class of aircraft carriers, will be commissioned this year. Two more are on the way. The fourth ship in the class, CVN-81, is scheduled for procurement in FY2023, with advance procurement (AP) funding scheduled to begin in FY2021. 
USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), Norfolk, Virginia (commissioning summer 2017)
 
Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine (SSBN)
The Ohio-class SSBN is an 18,600-ton, 560-foot nuclear submarine carrying 24 missile tubes for Trident C4 ballistic missiles, capable of conducting 100-day long submerged strategic deterrent patrols.
USS Henry M. Jackson (SSBN 730), Bangor, WA
USS Alabama (SSBN 731), Bangor, WA
USS Alaska (SSBN 732), Kings Bay, GA
USS Nevada (SSBN 733), Bangor, WA
USS Tennessee (SSBN 734), Kings Bay, GA
USS Pennsylvania (SSBN 735), Bangor, WA
USS West Virginia (SSBN 736), Kings Bay, Ga.
USS Kentucky (SSBN 737), Bangor, WA
USS Maryland (SSBN 738), Norfolk, VA
USS Nebraska (SSBN 739), Bangor, WA
USS Rhode Island (SSBN 740), Kings Bay, GA
USS Maine (SSBN 741), Bangor, WA
USS Wyoming (SSBN 742), Kings Bay, GA
USS Louisiana (SSBN 743), Bangor, WA
 
Ohio-class guided missile submarine (SSGN)
Four of the Ohio-class SSBNs were converted to SSGNs to provide the Navy with unprecedented strike and special operation mission capabilities from a stealthy, clandestine platform. Armed with tactical missiles and equipped with superior communications capabilities, SSGNs are capable of directly supporting Combatant Commander's strike and Special Operation Forces (SOF) requirements. Each SSGN is capable of carrying up to 154 Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles, which are loaded in seven-shot Multiple-All-Up-Round Canisters (MACs) in up to 22 missile tubes. The tubes are also able to accommodate future payloads such as new types of missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, and unmanned undersea vehicles.
USS Ohio (SSGN 726), Bangor, WA
USS Michigan (SSGN 727), Bangor, WA
USS Florida (SSGN 728), Kings Bay, GA
USS Georgia (SSGN 729), Kings Bay, GA
 
Virginia-class attack submarines
Ten 10 Virginia-class attack submarines are being procured under a 2014-2018 multiyear procurement (MYP) contract. The next group of submarines will be built with an additional ship section called the Virginia Payload Module (VPM) that will substantially increase the boats’ weapon capacity. 
USS Virginia (SSN 774), Groton, CT
USS Texas (SSN 775), Pearl Harbor, HI
USS Hawaii (SSN 776), Pearl Harbor, HI
USS North Carolina (SSN 777), Pearl Harbor, HI
USS New Hampshire (SSN 778), Groton, CT
USS New Mexico (SSN 779), Groton, CT
USS Missouri (SSN 780), Groton, CT
USS California (SSN 781), Groton, CT
USS Mississippi (SSN 782), Pearl Harbor, HI
USS Minnesota (SSN 783), Groton, CT
USS North Dakota (SSN 784), Groton, CT
USS John Warner (SSN 785), Norfolk, VA
USS Illinois (SSN 786), Groton, CT
Washington (SSN 787) - Keel laid Nov. 11, 2014
Colorado (SSN 788) - Keel laid March 7, 2015
Indiana (SSN 789) - Keel laid May 16, 2015
South Dakota (SSN 790) - Keel laid April 4, 2016
Delaware (SSN 791) - Keel laid April 30, 2016
Vermont (SSN 792) - Construction began May 2014
Oregon (SSN 793) - Construction began September 2014
Montana (SSN 794) - Construction began April 2015
Hyman G. Rickover (SSN 795) - Construction began September 2015
New Jersey (SSN 796) - Construction began March 2016
Iowa (SSN 797) - Construction began September 2016
Massachusetts (SSN 798) - Construction began March 2017
Idaho (SSN 799) - Under contract
Arkansas (SSN 800) - Under contract
Utah (SSN 801) - Under contract
 
Seawolf Class attack submarines
The Seawolf (SSN 21) class of stealthy nuclear-powered fast attack submarines was designed to succeed the Los Angeles class for Cold War missions. Although extremely capable, the end of the Cold War prompted the Navy to seek a less costly submarine, resulting in the Virginia-class.
USS Seawolf (SSN 21), Bremerton, WA
USS Connecticut (SSN 22), Bremerton, WA
USS Jimmy Carter (SSN 23), Bangor, WA
 
Los Angeles Class attack submarines
USS Los Angeles (SSN 688) is the lead ship of a class of 60 nuclear-powered fast attack submarines (SSN), first of which entered service in service with the United States Navy 1976. 36 of the class are still in commission. The 362-foot long 688s displace nearly 7,000 tons submerged.
USS Bremerton (SSN 698), Pearl Harbor, HI
USS Jacksonville (SSN 699), Pearl Harbor, HI
USS Dallas (SSN 700), Groton, CT
USS San Francisco (SSN 711), San Diego, CA
USS Buffalo (SSN 715), Pearl Harbor, HI
USS Olympia (SSN 717), Pearl Harbor, HI
USS Providence (SSN 719), Groton, CT
USS Pittsburgh (SSN 720), Groton, CT
USS Chicago (SSN 721), Guam
USS Key West (SSN 722), Guam
USS Oklahoma City (SSN 723), Guam
USS Louisville (SSN 724), Pearl Harbor, HI
USS Helena> (SSN 725), Norfolk, Va.
USS Newport News (SSN 750), Norfolk, VA
USS San Juan (SSN 751), Groton, CT
USS Pasadena (SSN 752), San Diego, CA
USS Albany (SSN 753), Norfolk, VA
USS Topeka (SSN 754), Guam
USS Scranton (SSN 756), Norfolk, VA
USS Alexandria (SSN 757), Portsmouth, NH
USS Asheville (SSN 758), San Diego, CA
USS Jefferson City (SSN 759), Pearl Harbor, HI
USS Annapolis (SSN 760), Groton, CT
USS Springfield (SSN 761), Groton, CT
USS Columbus (SSN 762), Pearl Harbor, HI
USS Santa Fe (SSN 763), Pearl Harbor, HI
USS Boise (SSN 764), Norfolk, VA
USS Montpelier (SSN 765), Norfolk, VA
USS Charlotte (SSN 766), Pearl Harbor, HI
USS Hampton (SSN 767), San Diego, CA
USS Hartford (SSN 768), Groton, CT
USS Toledo (SSN 769), Groton, CT
USS Tucson (SSN 770), Pearl Harbor, HI
USS Columbia (SSN 771), Pearl Harbor, HI
USS Greeneville (SSN 772), Pearl Harbor, HI
USS Cheyenne (SSN 773), Pearl Harbor, HI
 
Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers (CGs)
Ticonderoga (CG 47)-class guided-missile cruisers (CGs) are highly capable multimission warships with significant offensive and defensive warfighting capabilities for strike group or independent missions. These cruisers feature the Aegis Weapons System, centered on the SPY-1B/(B)V multi-function, phased-array radar. The first five CG 47s have been retired, with the remaining 22 ships receiving extensive upgrades. The 9,800-ton CGs have helicopters, guns, torpedoes, Close-In Weapon Systems, and can fire Standard, Tomahawk, Evolved SeaSparrow Missiles, and Anti-submarine Rockets. They are capable of ballistic missile defense.
USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), San Diego, CA
USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), San Diego, CA
USS Antietam (CG 54), Yokosuka, Japan
USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55), Norfolk, VA
USS San Jacinto (CG 56), Norfolk, VA
USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), San Diego, CA
USS Philippine Sea (CG 58), Mayport, FL
USS Princeton (CG 59), San Diego, CA
USS Normandy (CG 60), Norfolk, VA
USS Monterey (CG 61), Norfolk, VA
USS Chancellorsville (CG 62), Yokosuka, Japan
USS Cowpens (CG 63), San Diego, CA
USS Gettysburg (CG 64), Norfolk, VA (TEMP)
USS Chosin (CG 65), San Diego, CA
USS Hue City (CG 66), Mayport, FL
USS Shiloh (CG 67), Yokosuka, Japan
USS Anzio (CG 68), Norfolk, VA
USS Vicksburg (CG 69), Norfolk, VA (TEMP)
USS Lake Erie (CG 70), San Diego, CA
USS Cape St. George (CG 71), San Diego, CA
USS Vella Gulf (CG 72), Norfolk, VA
USS Port Royal (CG 73), Pearl Harbor, HI
 
Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers (DDG)
These 8,900-ton guided missile destroyers currently feature the Aegis Weapon Systems and the SPY-1D(V) multifunction phased-array radar. More than 60 are in service. Ten Arleigh Burke-class (DDG-51) are currently being procured under a FY2013-FY2017 multiyear procurement (MYP) contract. The CGs have helicopters, guns, torpedoes, Close-In Weapon Systems, and can fire Standard, Tomahawk, Evolved SeaSparrow Missiles, and Anti-submarine Rockets. They are capable of ballistic missile defense. Beginning with DDG 123, the ships will built to the new Flight III version with the Raytheon SPY-6(V) Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR). 
USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51), Norfolk, VA
USS Barry (DDG 52), Norfolk, VA
USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53), San Diego, CA
USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54), Yokosuka, Japan
USS Stout (DDG 55), Norfolk, VA
USS John S McCain (DDG 56), Yokosuka, Japan
USS Mitscher (DDG 57), Norfolk, VA
USS Laboon (DDG 58), Norfolk, VA
USS Russell (DDG 59), Pearl Harbor, HI
USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60), Pearl Harbor, HI
USS Ramage (DDG 61), Norfolk, VA
USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62), Yokosuka, Japan
USS Stethem (DDG 63), Yokosuka, Japan
USS Carney (DDG 64), Mayport, FL
USS Benfold (DDG 65), San Diego, CA
USS Gonzalez (DDG 66), Norfolk, VA
USS Cole (DDG 67), Norfolk, VA
USS The Sullivans (DDG 68), Mayport, FL
USS Milius (DDG 69), San Diego, CA
USS Hopper (DDG 70), Pearl Harbor, HI
USS Ross (DDG 71), Norfolk, VA
USS Mahan (DDG 72), Norfolk, VA
USS Decatur (DDG 73), San Diego, CA
USS McFaul (DDG 74), Norfolk, VA
USS Donald Cook (DDG 75), Norfolk, VA
USS Higgins (DDG 76), San Diego, CA
USS O'kane (DDG 77), Pearl Harbor, HI
USS Porter (DDG 78), Norfolk, VA
USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79), Norfolk, VA
USS Roosevelt (DDG 80), Mayport, FL
USS Winston S Churchill (DDG 81), Norfolk, VA
USS Lassen (DDG 82), Yokosuka, Japan
USS Howard (DDG 83), San Diego, CA
USS Bulkeley (DDG 84), Norfolk, VA
USS McCampbell (DDG 85), Yokosuka, Japan
USS Shoup (DDG 86), Everett, WA
USS Mason (DDG 87), Norfolk, VA
USS Preble (DDG 88), San Diego, CA
USS Mustin (DDG 89), Yokosuka, Japan
USS Chafee (DDG 90), Pearl Harbor, HI
USS Pinckney (DDG 91), San Diego, CA
USS Momsen (DDG 92), Everett, WA
USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93), Pearl Harbor, HI
USS Nitze (DDG 94), Norfolk, VA
USS James E Williams (DDG 95), Norfolk, VA
USS Bainbridge (DDG 96), Norfolk, VA
USS Halsey (DDG 97), San Diego, CA
USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98), Norfolk, VA
USS Farragut (DDG 99), Mayport, FL
USS Kidd (DDG 100), San Diego, CA
USS Gridley (DDG 101), San Diego, CA
USS Sampson (DDG 102), San Diego, CA
USS Truxtun (DDG 103), Norfolk, VA
USS Sterett (DDG 104), San Diego, CA
USS Dewey (DDG 105), No homeport
USS Stockdale (DDG 106), San Diego, CA
USS Gravely (DDG 107), Norfolk, VA
USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108 ), San Diego, CA
USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109), Norfolk, VA
USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110), San Diego, CA
USS Spruance (DDG 111), San Diego, CA
USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112), Pearl Harbor, HI
PCU John Finn (DDG 113), Under construction
PCU Ralph Johnson (DDG 114), Under construction
PCU Rafael Peralta (DDG 115), Under construction
PCU Thomas Hudner (DDG 116), Under construction
PCU Paul Ignatius (DDG 117) - under construction
PCU Daniel Inouye (DDG 118), Under construction
PCU Delbert Black (DDG 119), Under construction
 
Zumwalt (DDG 1000) —class guided missile destroyer
DDG 1000 is a stealthy multi-mission combatant optimized for operations in the littoral. Zumwalt-class guided-missile destroyer. It has a long-range precision fires capability to support forces and to strike targets ashore. It features an integrated propulsion system that generates 78 MW of power, and has sophisticated survivability features. Despite being much larger that DDG 51, it has a much smaller crew.
USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000), San Diego, CA
PCU Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001), Under Construction
PCU Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG 1002), Under Construction
Littoral combat ships and frigates
 
Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)
The Littoral Combat Ship is a fast focused-mission combatant designed to address the asymmetric threats in littoral waters on mines, quiet diesel submarines and swarms of fast armed boats. LCS is being built in two variants. The Freedom-class variant is a monohull, built in Marinette, Wisconsin. The Independence-class is a trimaran, built in Mobile, Ala. Both have core systems to fight and defend the ship, and are modular and can be configured with mission packages to address those three asymmetric threats. The crews rotate between their homeport and the forward deployed ships. The Navy has a requirement for 52 LCS.
 
Freedom-class variant
USS Freedom (LCS 1), San Diego, CA
USS Fort Worth (LCS 3), San Diego, CA
USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) - Mayport, FL
USS Detroit (LCS 7) - Mayport, FL
PCU Sioux City (LCS 11) - under construction
PCU Wichita (LCS 13) - under construction
PCU Billings (LCS 15) - under construction
PCU Indianapolis (LCS 17) - under construction
PCU St. Louis (LCS 19) - under construction
PCU Minneapolis-St. Paul (LCS 21) - under construction
PCU Cooperstown (LCS 23) - in pre-production phase
USS Marinette (LCS 25) - in pre-production phase
PCU Little Rock (LCS 9) - under construction
 
Independence Variant
USS Independence (LCS 2), San Diego, CA
USS Coronado (LCS 4), Singapore
USS Jackson (LCS 6) - San Diego, CA
USS Montgomery (LCS 8), San Diego, CA
PCU Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) - delivered, Mobile, AL
PCU Omaha (LCS 12) - under construction
PCU Manchester (LCS 14) - under construction
PCU Tulsa (LCS 16) - under construction
PCU Charleston (LCS 18) - under construction
PCU Cincinnati (LCS 20) - under construction
PCU Kansas City (LCS 22) - under construction
PCU Oakland (LCS 24) - in pre-production phase
PCU Mobile (LCS 26) - in pre-production phase
 
Frigate (FF)
The next-generation frigate (FF) is currently envisioned to be a modified multi-mission littoral combat ship (LCS) with enhanced lethality and survivability in support of surface warfare (SUW) and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) missions. The FF will operate independently, as part of a strike group, and serve as an escort. Both the Freedom and Independence variant may be selected for the frigate, but the COMBATSS-21 (an Aegis Weapon System derivative) has been selected as the combat management system. The existing LCS training and maintenance infrastructure will be able to support the frigate program.
 
LHD 1 Wasp-class amphibious assault ship and LHA 6 America-Class amphibious assault ship
LHD and LHA amphibious assault ships are the centerpiece of U.S. expeditionary strike groups, carrying elements of a Marine landing force, and able to embark, deploy, and land combat-equipped Marines and aircraft, to include MV-22 Osprey, F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter and rotary-winged aircraft for sustained periods. 
USS Essex (LHD 2), San Diego, California
USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), Norfolk, Virginia
USS Boxer (LHD 4), San Diego, California
USS Bataan (LHD 5), Norfolk, Virginia
USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), Sasebo, Japan
USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), Norfolk, Virginia
USS Makin Island (LHD 8), San Diego, California
USS America (LHA 6), San Diego, California
PCU Tripoli (LHA 7), No homeport, under construction
 
LPD 17 San Antonio-Class amphibious transport Dock (LPD)
The San Antonio LPD is an amphibious transport supporting Marine Air/Ground Task Force (MAGTF) lift requirements. The 684-foot, 25,000-ton ship has a crew of 25,000 long tons, and a crew of about and can carry up to 700 Marines with their equipment. LPD 17 20,000 square feet of space for vehicles and 34,000 cubic feet for cargo. The well deck can launch and recover traditional assault craft and landing craft air cushion vehicles (LCACs). Aviation facilities include a hangar and flight deck for current and future fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft. 
USS San Antonio (LPD 17), Norfolk, Virginia
USS New Orleans (LPD 18), San Diego, California
USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19), Norfolk, Virginia
USS Green Bay (LPD 20), San Diego, California
USS New York (LPD 21), Norfolk, Virginia
USS San Diego (LPD 22), San Diego, California
USS Anchorage (LPD 23), San Diego, California
USS Arlington (LPD 24), Norfolk, Virginia
USS Somerset (LPD 25), San Diego, California
PCU John P. Murtha (LPD 26), San Diego, California
PCU Portland (LPD 27), Under construction - San Diego, California
PCU Fort Lauderdale (LPD 28) - Detail Design and Construction contract awarded Dec 19, 2016
 
LSD 41 / 49 Whidbey Island / Harpers Ferry-Class amphibious dock landing ships
Whidbey Island/Harpers Ferry dock landing ships support Marine expeditionary units and transport and launch amphibious assault vehicles and landing craft with their crews and embarked personnel. They can launch and recover LCACs and have aviation facilities for a variety of Navy and Marine Corps helicopters as well as the MV-22 Osprey. There 12 LSDs in the fleet (eight LSD 41-class and four LSD 49-class) are being provided a mid-life upgrade.
USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49), San Diego, CA
USS Carter Hall (LSD 50), Little Creek, VA
USS Oak Hill (LSD 51), Little Creek, VA
USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52), San Diego, CA
USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41), Little Creek, VA
USS Germantown (LSD 42), Sasebo, Japan
USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43), Mayport, FL
USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44), Little Creek, VA
USS Comstock (LSD 45), San Diego, CA
USS Tortuga (LSD 46), Little Creek, VA
USS Rushmore (LSD 47), San Diego, CA
USS Ashland (LSD 48), Sasebo, Japan
 
LX(R) Dock Landing Ship Replacement
LX(R) is intended to replace the LSD 41 Whidbey Island and LSD 49 Harpers Ferry classes of dock landing ships when they reach their end of service life in 2025. The plan is for a cheaper, less capable ship built on the basic LPD 17 seaframe as the LSD replacement.
 
PC 1 Cyclone-Class Patrol Coastal (PC)
The Cyclone-class Patrol Coastal ships conduct theater security cooperation tasks (TSC), high-value unit escort, maritime security and infrastructure protection operations, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. Ten PCs are forward deployed to the U.S. Fifth Fleet in the Arabian Gulf, based in Bahrain, and three are supporting the U.S. Fourth Fleet, homeported at Mayport, Florida. The Fifth Fleet ships have received new remotely-fired guns, Griffin missiles and Puma unmanned aircraft. 
USS Hurricane (PC 3), Manama, Bahrain
USS Typhoon (PC 5), Manama, Bahrain
USS Sirocco (PC 6), Manama, Bahrain
USS Squall (PC 7), Manama, Bahrain
USS Chinook (PC 9), Manama, Bahrain
USS Firebolt (PC 10), Manama, Bahrain
USS Whirlwind (PC 11), Manama, Bahrain
USS Thunderbolt (PC 12), Manama, Bahrain
USS Shamal (PC 13), Mayport, FL
USS Tornado (PC 14), Mayport, FL
USS Tempest (PC 2), Manama, Bahrain
USS Monsoon (PC 4), Manama, Bahrain
USS Zephyr (PC 8), Mayport, FL
Amphibious Command Ships (LCC) 
Amphibious command ships (LCC) serve as flagships, and are the afloat headquarters for combatant commanders. They provide command, control, communications, information systems, and intelligence to the commander and staff.
USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20), Gaeta, Italy
USS Blue Ridge (LCC19), Yokosuka, Japan
 
T-EPF 1 Spearhead-Class Expeditionary Fast Transport (formerly Joint High-Speed Vessel)
The Expeditionary Fast Transport is a high-speed (35 knots), shallow-draft surface vessel with roll on/roll off capability and significant volume for vehicles, cargo and passengers to provide intra-theater logistics support. EPF is operated by Military Sealift Command civilian mariners, and can be reconfigured with adaptive force packages to perform various missions, such as theater security cooperation, intelligence and surveillance.
USNS Spearhead (T-EPF-1) In service
USNS Choctaw County (T-EPF-2) In service
USNS Millinocket (T-EPF-3) In service
USNS Fall River (T-EPF-4) In service
USNS Trenton (T-EPF-5) In service
USNS Brunswick (T-EPF-6) In service
USNS Carson City (T-EPF-7) In service
USNS Yuma (T-EPF-8) In service
USNS City of Bismarck (T-EPF-9) Under construction
USNS Burlington (T-EPF-10) Under construction
USNS Puerto Rico (T-EPF-11) Under construction
Unnamed (T-EPF-12) On order
Unnamed (T-EPF-13) On order
 
Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB) and Expeditionary Transfer Dock (ESD)
The Expeditionary Transfer Dock (ESD) (formerly known as the Mobile Landing Platform (MLP)) is an The 80,000-ton, 785-foot long ship that utilizes float on/float off technology to support seabasing and expeditionary forces with a surface interface between large, medium speed roll-on/roll-off (LMSR) prepositioning ships and surface connectors including landing craft air cushion vehicle (LCAC), amphibious assault vehicle (AAV), and the future ship-to-shore connector (SSC). 
The Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB) is an ESD variant that supports airborne mine countermeasures (AMCM) and support to Special Operations Forces (SOF) as an afloat forward staging base. ESD and ESB are operated by the Military Sealift Command.
USS Ponce (interim AFSB(I) (ESB))
USNS Montford Point (T-ESD-1)
USNS John Glenn (T-ESD-2)
USNS Lewis B. Puller (T-ESB-3)
USNS Hershel "Woody" Williams (T-ESB-4)
T-ESB-5 Under construction, NASSCO San Diego
 
T-AKE 1 Lewis and Clark-Class dry cargo and ammunition Ship
The 12 Lewis and Clark T-AKEs are operated by Military Sealift Command in the combat logistics force (CLF) role. They provide logistics support—food, parts, consumables, ammunition and fuel--to ships underway though connected and vertical replenishment.
USNS Lewis and Clark (T-AKE 1) 
USNS Charles Drew (T-AKE 10) 
USNS Washington Chambers (T-AKE 11) 
USNS William McLean (T-AKE 12) 
USNS Sacagawea (T-AKE 2) 
USNS Alan Shepard (T-AKE 3) 
USNS Richard E. Byrd (T-AKE 4) 
USNS Robert E. Peary (T-AKE 5) 
USNS Amelia Earhart (T-AKE 6) 
USNS Carl Brashear (T-AKE 7) 
USNS Wally Schirra (T-AKE 8) 
USNS Matthew C. Perry (T-AKE 9) 
USNS Medgar Evers (T-AKE-13) 
USNS Cesar Chavez (T-AKE-14) 
 
T-AO 187 Kaiser-Class and T-AO(X) Replenishment Oiler
The Navy has 15 Henry J. Kaiser-class fleet replenishment oilers, operated by Military Sealift Command in support of the combat logistics force. They provide fuel and supplies to Navy strike groups. 
USNS Henry J. Kaiser T-AO-187 
USNS Joshua Humphreys (T-AO-188) 
USNS John Lenthall (T-AO-189) 
USNS Andrew J. Higgins (T-AO-190) 
USNS Walter S. Diehl (T-AO-193) 
USNS John Ericsson (T-AO-194) 
USNS Leroy Grumman (T-AO-195) 
USNS Kanawha (T-AO-196) 
USNS Pecos (T-AO-197) 
USNS Big Horn (T-AO-198) 
USNS Tippecanoe (T-AO-199) 
USNS Guadalupe (T-AO-200) 
USNS Patuxent (T-AO-201)
USNS Yukon (T-AO-202) 
USNS Laramie (T-AO-203) 
USNS Rappahannock (T-AO-204) 
 
T-AO(X) Replenishment Oiler 
The T-AO 205 John Lewis class will replace the T-AO 187s. Seventeen T-AO 205s are planned, with delivery of the first ship in FY 2020.
 
T-AOE 6 Supply-Class Fast Combat Support Ship
Two T-AOE 6 fast combat support the combat logistics force. Operated by Military Sealift Command, the 49,000-ton, 754-foot long T-AOEs can operate at high speed to support carrier strike groups with carry the full spectrum of fuel, ammunition and cargo.
USNS Supply (T-AOE 6) 
USNS Arctic (T-AOE 8)
 
 
(As published in the June 2017 edition of Maritime Reporter & Engineering News)
Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Nov 2017 - The Workboat Edition

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