Manual Navy Nuclear Aircraft Carrier (CVN) Homeporting at Mayport: Background and Issues for Congress

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Given the technical challenges involved in building and operating carriers, China might elect to begin by building conventionally powered carriers of perhaps 40, to 70, tons displacement, and then progress to construction of larger and possibly nuclear-powered ships. The Varyag has an estimated full load displacement of about 58, tons. A carrier with a displacement closer to 70, tons could support a larger air wing, and would more likely be able to operate CTOL airplanes.

For comparison, the U. Chinese aircraft carriers could be used for power-projection operations, particularly in scenarios that do not involve opposing U.

After Aircraft Carrier USS Ronald Reagan Group besieged By Some Chinese Warships in SCS Region

Politically, aircraft carriers could be particularly valuable to China for projecting an image of China as a major world power, because aircraft carriers are viewed by many as symbols of major world power status. In a combat situation involving opposing U. Surface Combatants China since the early s has purchased four Sovremenny-class destroyers from Russia and deployed nine new classes of indigenously built destroyers and frigates some of which are variations of one another that demonstrate a significant modernization of PLA Navy surface combatant technology.

China has also deployed a new kind of missile-armed fast attack craft that uses a stealthy catamaran hull design. The Charles de Gaulle can operate an air wing of about 36 aircraft, the future UK and French carriers are to operate air wings of about 40 to 45 aircraft, and the U. Congressional Research Service 11 China Naval Modernization surface force is one of the largest in the world, and its capabilities are growing at a remarkable rate. China in ordered two additional Sovremenny-class destroyers from Russia; the ships entered service in and One author states that "the new Chinese missile destroyers were apparently designed, at least on the basic level, at the Russian Northern Design Bureau Table 2 summarizes the five new classes.

Table 2. Naval Institute Proceedings, September The Luhai-class ship is believed to have served as the basis for the Luyang-class designs. Compared to the Luhai, the Luyang I-cIass ships appear stealthier.

Push to move a Norfolk-based aircraft carrier to Florida restarted

The four new frigate classes, like the new destroyer classes, feature improved AAW capabilities. Another author states that "the Chinese bought their active-array destroyer radar from the Ukrainian Kvant organization, which is unlikely to have the resources to develop the project much further.

Congressional Research Service 13 China Naval Modernization designs, some of the new frigate designs have been put into larger-scale series production. Table 3 summarizes the four new classes. Table 3. It is unclear whether construction of Jiangwei II-class ships will continue after the 10 th ship. The Houbei class is being built in at least six shipyards. Forty were in service as of , and a total of as many as might be built. One observer stated in that "In addition to the Houbei class, one observer stated in that China in ordered 24 to 30 Molniya-class ASCM- armed fast attack craft from Russia.

The first four, according to this observer, were to have been delivered by late or early The design has an estimated displacement of 17, tons, compared with about 15, tons to 16, tons for the U.

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The first Type 07 1 ship entered service in Some observers believe that China might build a total of four to six Type ships. Reported Potential Type Amphibious Ship China reportedly might also begin building a larger amphibious ship, called the Type LHD, that might displace about 20, tons.

Such a ship might have, among other things, a greater aviation capability than the Type 07 1 design. Some observers believe China may build a total of three or more Type s. Some countries are acquiring larger amphibious ships as much, or more, for these kinds of operations as for conducting amphibious landings. Politically, larger amphibious ships can also be used for naval diplomacy i. Other New Amphibious Ships and Landing Craft Aside from the Type and Type projects, China between and commissioned into service three new classes of smaller amphibious ships and landing craft.

Each type was built at three or four shipyards. Between these three other classes, China commissioned into service a total of 20 amphibious ships and 10 amphibious landing craft in Additional units in some of these classes are possible. China also has numerous older amphibious ships and landing craft of various designs.

These systems reportedly include land-based over-the-horizon backscatter OTH-B radars, land-based over-the-horizon surface wave OTH-SW radars, electro-optical satellites, radar satellites, and seabed sonar networks. Although many of these operations have been for making diplomatic port calls, some of them appear to have been for other purposes.

The ships, including a guided-missile destroyer, were spotted by a Japanese military patrol plane near the Chunxiao gas field, according to the [Japan] Maritime Self-Defense Forces.

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Jacoby, U. No details were given on the size of the squadron or the area it will patrol. Navy aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk CV , which reportedly was operating at the time with its strike group in international waters in the East China Sea, near Okinawa. According to one source, this was only the third deployment of Chinese naval ships into the Indian Ocean in more than six centuries.

China is also building port facilities that may support Chinese naval operations in the Indian Ocean, along the sea line of communication linking China to Persian Gulf oil sources. One press report in stated: China is building up military forces and setting up bases along sea lanes from the Middle East to project its power overseas and protect its oil shipments, according to a previously undisclosed internal report prepared for Defense Secretary Donald H.

Net Assessment, who heads Mr. Rumsfeld's office on future-oriented strategies. Erickson and Juston D.

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Naval Institute Proceedings, March According to sources. Brig Gen Shein is commander of Ayeyarwaddy Irrawaddy naval headquarters, which controls the island. According to sources monitoring developments, China decided to help Myanmar upgrade systems in the island. According to the article. The Pentagon report said China, by militarily controlling oil shipping sea lanes, could threaten ships, "thereby creating a climate of uncertainty about the safety of all ships on the high seas. April 12, , p. Congressional Research Service 18 China Naval Modernization Myanmar would increase its naval troop strength on the island, while China would help in building two more helipads and storage systems for arms.

Although numbers of ships can be relatively easy to compile from published reference sources, this CRS report does not present comparisons of such figures, because they are highly problematic as a means of assessing relative U. Given these other significant contributors to naval capability, navies with similar numbers of ships or similar aggregate tonnages can have significantly different capabilities, and navy-to-navy comparisons of numbers of ships or aggregate tonnages can provide a highly inaccurate sense of their relative capabilities.

Differences in capabilities of ships of a given type can arise from differences in factors such as sensors, weapons, C4ISR systems, networking capabilities, stealth features, damage-control features, cruising range, maximum speed, and reliability and maintainability which can affect the amount of time the ship is available for operation. The potential for obscuring differences in the capabilities of ships of a given type is particularly significant in assessing relative U.

Figures on total numbers of Chinese submarines, destroyers, and frigates lump older, obsolescent ships together with more modern and more capable designs. Congressional Research Service 19 China Naval Modernization and more capable ships, this is not necessarily the case. This CRS report shows numbers of more modern and more capable submarines, destroyers, and frigates in Table 1, Table 2, and Table 3, respectively. This is a particularly important consideration in comparing U. Consequently, navies are better measured against their respective missions than against one another.

This is another significant consideration in assessing U. As stated at the outset, in the debate over future U. Congressional Research Service 20 China Naval Modernization Statements from Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and other DOD officials suggest that the QDR may place a relatively strong emphasis on programs for supporting current combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as programs for conducting irregular warfare e. This has suggested to some supporters that the QDR may place relatively less emphasis on, among other things, programs for countering improved Chinese military forces in coming years.

Secretary Gates addressed the issue, particularly as it regards the Navy, in an April 17, , speech at the Naval War College, stating: some people may think I am too consumed by the current wars to give adequate consideration to our long-term acquisition needs. Not to mention the ability of an agile adversary to get inside our ponderous decision and acquisition cycle.

Mirror (Mayport, FL) ( 12-07-2017 )

All of this goes far beyond Iraq and Afghanistan - it goes to the heart of maintaining a defense posture rooted in real-world scenarios with real-world assessments of our capabilities and, perhaps most important, our limits, both institutionally and operationally. Now, even with this in mind - and perhaps especially with this in mind - we cannot ignore the risks posed by the military forces of other state actors.

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Where the trend of future conflict is clear, I have made specific recommendations. For example, I hope to accelerate the buy of the Littoral Combat Ship, which, despite its development problems, is a versatile ship that can be produced in quantity and go to places that are either too shallow or too dangerous for the Navy's big, blue-water surface combatants.

The committee believes that a better assessment of these cost estimates of the various alternatives is warranted. The committee also believes that a complement of non-nuclear-powered surface combatants could be more compatible with the existing support structure at Naval Station Mayport and less expensive than duplicating a nuclear maintenance capability that already exists on the East Coast.

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  8. The committee also notes that the northeast Florida ship maintenance industrial base could be enhanced if the Department of the Navy were to base non-nuclear-powered ships at Naval Station Mayport. Naval Station Mayport already has the pier infrastructure necessary to homeport non-nuclear-powered surface combatant ships, and the maintenance requirements of these alternative homeporting solutions appear to be more closely matched to the expertise of the existing local ship repair industrial base.

    Finally, the committee understands that a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier homeported at Naval Station Mayport could undergo at the installation only two of the four types of scheduled carrier maintenance availabilities: the Carrier Incremental Availability and the Planned Incremental Availability. Furthermore, the Navy has indicated that the remaining two types of scheduled nuclear maintenance availabilities can be conducted only in the Norfolk area, requiring a temporary shift in homeport to Norfolk to complete these availabilities.

    The committee believes that such a temporary shift in homeport could present an additional requirement on carrier crews and their families that could be avoided if Naval Station Mayport were resourced with non-nuclear-powered ships. According to the final environmental impact statement for the proposed homeporting of additional surface ships at Naval Station Mayport, Florida, homeporting of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier CVN would result in "temporary surges of maintenance employees associated with the three-year depot-level maintenance cycle for the CVN.

    The committee directs the Comptroller General of the United States to provide an assessment to the congressional defense committees by February 15, , of the readiness and cost impacts of CVN homeporting and maintenance at Naval Station Mayport on the U. The committee is concerned that the Navy's recommendation to homeport a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier CVN at Naval Station Mayport NAVSTA Mayport , Florida, could result in the relocation of a critical warfighting asset to a region that may lack the ship maintenance industrial base necessary to meet the specialized repair, maintenance, and related readiness requirements of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.

    Even though the Navy plans to build the necessary facilities at considerable cost, no plan has been presented to address the lack of a trained, highly skilled workforce necessary to staff those facilities and maintain these complex systems. As a result, the committee understands that implementation of the Navy's recommendation would require maintenance teams from other nuclear-powered aircraft carrier homeport locations to be sent to NAVSTA Mayport temporarily to support maintenance requirements, potentially at significant additional cost. Additionally, the committee is aware that the existing private ship maintenance assets located in the Jacksonville, Florida, region has evolved to support the current fleet of non-nuclear-powered ships at NAVSTA Mayport.

    Under current ship retirement plans, these private ship maintenance capabilities will face severe work reductions, placing their continued existence in jeopardy. The committee does not believe that placing a critical warfighting asset at a location with inadequate maintenance support capabilities, implementing a recommendation that could result in significantly increased ship maintenance costs, or allowing the nation's ship maintenance industrial base to erode are acceptable outcomes. Therefore, the committee directs the Secretary of the Navy to provide a report to the congressional defense committees by December 15, , on the ability of the private ship maintenance industrial base in northeast Florida to support nuclear-powered aircraft carrier maintenance requirements, the likely costs to the Navy that could result from establishing such maintenance capabilities within the local industrial base, and the impacts on costs and workforce scheduling that could result if the Navy must provide the maintenance workforce from another nuclear-powered aircraft carrier homeport location.