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View Diary: Not the Anniversary You're Thinking Of (105 comments)

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  •  I was in the battle group at the time (18+ / 0-)

    The whole thing was a sorry affair, but, sadly, typical of the Navy. Let's not find fault with the captain and the nimrods who came up with the idea of using the battleships again, let's pick on teh gay and blame it on them.

    The battleships were a gross waste of money and incredibly inefficient. Not only did the guns have problems, it was a daily miracle that their engineering plants didn't blow up (old steam plants/boilers).

    Reagan's grand plans for a 600 ship navy was an utter failure. We spent billions retrofitting the Daniels class destroyers and Leahy class cruisers with new C3 and missile systems, but nothing for their engineering plants or hull, and all 18 of those ships were razor blades within 5 years - terrible waste of money; none of them could even go to the Persian Gulf because they were missiles only.
    So many $$ went to new ships / retrofit ships that there was then no $$ left to actually operate them, I remember Norfolk regularly had 4 carriers in port at all times.

    But hey, it was all teh gay's fault.

    Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

    by absdoggy on Mon Apr 19, 2010 at 05:52:04 AM PDT

    •  Home port in NY Harbor (6+ / 0-)

      The other part of the controversy that people forget is that the Iowa was destined to be a stationed out the proposed Staten Island Home Portuntil the explosion dashed those plans.

      In the 1980s, the United States Navy had a base on Staten Island called Naval Station New York. It was composed of two sections: a home port in Stapleton and a larger section around Fort Wadsworth, where the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge enters the island. Originally, this base was to be the home port for the battleship USS Iowa (BB-61), but an explosion in one of the ship's turrets led to the vessel's decommissioning. A number of other vessels, including the frigates USS Donald B. Beary FF 1085 and USS Ainsworth FF 1090 and at least one cruiser, the USS Normandy (CG-60), were based there. The base was closed in 1994 through the Base Realignment and Closure process because of its small size and the expense of basing personnel there. It was recently announced that the property will be converted into a mixed-use waterfront neighborhood with an announced completion date of 2009.

    •  No success like failure (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Crashing Vor, milkbone, trumpeter

      Reagan's grand plans for a 600 ship navy was an utter failure. We spent billions retrofitting ...

      At the risk of cynicism, let me observe that those who got the billions may not have regarded the program as a failure.

      •  Interesting you say that, let's see now, who got (9+ / 0-)

        the $$?

        Philadelphia Naval Shipyard - fucked up the USS Saratoga boiler plant overhaul in 1982 to the tune of a $30M re-do and delaying the ship's return to operating schedule by several months, causing more cost overruns to shift the carrier operating schedules around. Also fucked up the retrofit of the Biddle and the Dale (Leahy class cruisers I note above)in 1988, costing over $50M and delaying their return to the fleet by several months. Finally closed in September 1995 due to their shoddy work.

        Norfolk Naval Shipyard - fucked up Daniels class destroyers and 2 Leahy class cruiser retrofits. $100M cost overruns in the end.

        And, the grand daddy of them all - the new missile system - the SM-2 missile? The one that all of these billions were spent on, and all of the billions spent retrofitting the destroyers and cruisers were based on? When test fired for the first time, warhead separated from the rest of the missile, which blew up on the launcher. Followed by 2 more premature separations in test firings. Followed by a 4 month delay and many millions more to find out what went wrong.

        And lo, what was the problem? The O-Rings failed.  Sound familiar? Yes, just like the space shuttle Challenger, 3 years prior. And why did they fail? Not made to spec, just like the Challenger.  And who made the O-Rings? Morton Thiokol, just like the Challenger. And why would this company, that caused such a disaster, be allowed to bid and indeed win the bid to supply the new missile system? Trent Lott, their grand defender.

        Those who got the billions were incompetent failures to begin with, they regarded the program as a cash cow.  But you never hear a teabagger bitch about this, do you?

        Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

        by absdoggy on Mon Apr 19, 2010 at 07:10:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  There was value in the Iowa (4+ / 0-)

      they had been using the BB's in Korea and Vietnam,
      and the sheer fire support was impressive.

      My understanding was the wisconsin class ships ran low pressure steam 300 PSI, so even with the age of the
      boilers, they should have been fine.

      i've seen boilers from the 20's still functional.

      The problem was they weren't doing repairs on the turrets particularly for static control.

      Static in a turret or magazine is death around the
      powder bags.

      Can't say much about the daniels or Leahy class ships.

      George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

      by nathguy on Mon Apr 19, 2010 at 09:35:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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