2007 Decommissioning List


Jim Hathaway

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A lot of mine warfare ships, I remember all the scrambling to build them in the late 80s when we retired most of the older ones.
Seeing Dolphin (AGSS-555) on the list, I wonder if this is scheduled, or a result of the fire she had a few years back.
Interesting to see an LHA, Saipan listed for experimental use. I wonder what will be done with her?
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Experimental is a general catch all which can mean...literally...anything. She could be used as an electronics test platform in the same manner as the Bunker Hill was, or she could be thoroughly buttoned up and tested to destruction the way the America was.

The decision to decommission the Dolphin comes as no real surprise. Even if that fire hadn't been an issue, the hull itself is over 38 years old. The disposal of the mine warfare vessels worries me as recent history has shown that even the most primitive mines can cause some real problems. Every single U.S. warship which suffered battle damage during the last Persian Gulf War was due to mines.

There's an ugly lesson out there waiting to be relearned.
 

Jim Hathaway

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>Experimental is a general catch all which can mean...literally...anything
Development of operational doctorine for the Osprey comes to mind also-
>There's an ugly lesson out there waiting to be relearned.
You won't get any disagreement from me on that-
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Updated decommissioning list at http://www.npc.navy.mil/NR/rdonlyres/70F9D2A9-7D18-4729-910D-16A45E82E633/0/NAV06253.txt

quote:

3. THE REVISED SHIP DECOMMISSIONING SCHEDULE IS AS FOLLOWS:
SHIPS HULL DECOM DATE REVISED DECOM DISPOSITION
AUSTIN (LPD 4) 27 SEP 06 NO CHG LOGISTICS SUPPORT
CORONADO (TAGF 11) NONE LISTED 30 SEP 06 DISPOSAL
HERON (MHC 52) 30 SEP 07 01 OCT 06 FMS
J HUMPREYS (TAO 188) 30 NOV 06 01 OCT 06 OSIR
PELICAN (MHC 53) 30 SEP 07 01 OCT 06 FMS
SALT LAKE CITY
(SSN 716) 03 NOV 06 NO CHG STRIKE (NOTE 1)
DOLPHIN (AGSS 555) 01 OCT 06 08 DEC 06 SINKEX
CARDINAL (MHC 60) 30 SEP 07 30 DEC 06 FMS
RAVEN (MHC 61) 30 SEP 07 30 DEC 06 FMS
TRENTON (LPD 14) 07 DEC 06 17 JAN 07 FMS
SALVOR (ARS 52) 13 JAN 07 12 JAN 07 TRF TO MSC
OGDEN (LPD 5) 22 FEB 07 21 FEB 07 FMS
H G RICKOVER
(SSN 709) 30 SEP 07 01 MAR 07 STRIKE
SAIPAN (LHA 2) 27 APR 07 NO CHG EXPERIMENTAL
SHREVEPORT (LPD 12) 28 SEP 07 NO CHG DISPOSAL
SAFEGUARD (ARS 50) 26 SEP 07 NO CHG TRF TO MSC
MN-SAINT PAUL
(SSN 708) 30 SEP 07 27 SEP 07 STRIKE (NOTE 2)
HONOLULU (SSN 718) 30 SEP 07 01 NOV 06 STRIKE (NOTE 2)
Kind of intersting that the Saipan is going to see some use for experimental work.
 

Jack Devine

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Jan 23, 2004
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There are four Los Angeles class boats on that list. I know the Virginia class are coming on line, but certainly not as fast as they seem to be decommissioning ships. After seeing the recent incidents in the western Pacific involving some unpleasant surprises, this does not seem to be a good time to shrink the fleet.
There may be more than one ugly lesson out there waiting to be relearned, and that's an expensive education.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>There may be more than one ugly lesson out there waiting to be relearned, and that's an expensive education.<<

You won't get any disagreement from me on that. Unfortunately, the Los Angelas class is pretty much obsolecent and the cost of refueling the reactors and refurbishing the boats is presently seen as being more expensive then it's worth in the current fiscal environment.

Arguements about quality versus quantity notwithstanding, numbers do matter as even the very best and most powerful warship in the world can only be in one place a time. Even an old LA class boat is more then a match for what the Chinese have to offer, and with the poor state of North Korea's forces, it's not even a contest, but you still need the numbers to cover the ground.
 

Jack Devine

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I agree, numbers do matter. The Los Angeles boats are getting obsolescent compared to the latest and greatest of the USN or RN, but they're quite capable compared to pretty much anything in the old Soviet fleet. With the growing confidence of the Chinese navy it helps to have defense in depth. That recent incident where a Chinese submarine appeared two miles from a US carrier would have been a career-ending moment back in the Bad Old Days. A mediocre boat at the scene of a crisis beats a top-notch boat back home tied to the pier.

I was surprised to see that the Ohio and a few sisters are being converted to SSGNs. It makes sense, the hulls have plenty of service life and the conversion makes them far more useful tactically than as SSBNs.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>That recent incident where a Chinese submarine appeared two miles from a US carrier would have been a career-ending moment back in the Bad Old Days. <<

I'm not so sure about that. A diesel boat operating on battaries is one of the quietest submarines you can find in operation today, and that makes them very tough to find. The Navy has been working on the problems for decades now with no really satisfactory solution in sight.

The Chinese have been buying some of the best the Russians have to offer by way of the updated KILO design and you better believe they've been studying these boats and applying the lessons learned to their own.

Where diesel boats tend to come up short is in undserwater endurance, but advances in air independant propulsion are making great strides in correcting that.

>>I was surprised to see that the Ohio and a few sisters are being converted to SSGNs.<<

I don't know why that is since this has been years in the making.

>>It makes sense, the hulls have plenty of service life and the conversion makes them far more useful tactically than as SSBNs.<<

A very pretty point there. For all the firepower that a boomer has, it seems almost an oxymoron that they would have little tactical value. The problem here is that they are so powerful that you dare not use them unless you want your own cities turned into glassed over self lighting parking lots in the retalitory strike that's sure to follow.

On a seperate note, the following article appeared in the Navy Times today;
quote:

JFK to visit Boston before decommissioning starts.

The Navy is still mulling the details of the ailing aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy’s decommissioning, but officials have made the decision to give the ship one last hurrah before taking her out of service.

“The Navy is developing a detailed decommissioning plan befitting of her distinguished history of service to our nation,”￾ said Capt. Conrad Chun, spokesman for Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk, Va.

“The final decommissioning date has not been set. JFK will remain in Mayport [Fla.] for some period of time. The exact timeline for the decommissioning process has not been finalized, either.”￾

Chun confirmed the decommissioning will take place before October 2007.
For the rest of the story, go to http://www.navytimes.com/story.php?f=1-292925-2427291.php

Comment: As sad as any retirement is, this one is long overdue. The Navy tried to retire this venerable ship last year but was blocked in the effort by Congress. By any account I've been hearing, this ship is in very poor condition.
 

Jack Devine

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About the Ohio - it's obviously been years in the making, but it was news to me. Then again, a lot of things are news to me!

I've heard of problems with the Kennedy for quite a while too. There was quite an uproar back in 2001 when the ship failed its predeployment inspection. It's not often that a Navy inspection makes national news.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>There was quite an uproar back in 2001 when the ship failed its predeployment inspection.<<

Yeah...I remember that. The CO got sacked and I strongly doubt that this fiasco was career enhancing for whoever was unfortunate enough to be the Chief Engineer at the time. The catch is that in terms of upkeep, the ship has been getting the short end of the budgetary stick. HAd she recieved that planned SLEP overhaul that both the Kitty Hawk and the Constellation recieved, I don't think she's have the issues she has now.

As it stands, corrosion problems with the mountings for the arresting gear machinary means that the ship can't even operate fixed wing aircraft. Since fixed wing ops are quintessentially what these ships are intended for, that makes it hard to understand why this vessel is still in service.
 

Jack Devine

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"hard to understand why this vessel is still in service."
Good point. Although it's called an 'aircraft carrier' the idea is to do more than just carry them about. The article you referenced did indicate that there's been a lot of deferred maintenance for the Kennedy, an awfully stupid way of saving money if you ask me. After spending a large fortune to build such a vessel, letting it rot seems almost criminal.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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The revised decommissioning list is posted here. The revision reflects the addition of the USS John F. Kennedy.
quote:

4. THE REVISED SHIP DECOMMISSIONING SCHEDULE IS AS FOLLOWS:
SHIP PREVIOUS REVISED DISPOSITION
NAME DECOM DATE DECOM DATE
JOHN F KENNEDY(CV 67) NONE 30 SEP 07 TBD(NOTE 1)
HERON (MHC 52) 01 OCT 06 16 MAR 07 FMS
PELICAN (MHC 53) 01 OCT 06 16 MAR 07 FMS
DOLPHIN (AGSS 555) 08 DEC 06 15 JAN 07 DISPOSAL
CARDINAL (MHC 60) 30 DEC 06 07 JAN 07 FMS
RAVEN (MHC 61) 30 DEC 06 07 JAN 07 FMS
TRENTON (LPD 14) 17 JAN 07 NO CHG FMS
SALVOR (ARS 52) 12 JAN 07 13 JAN 07 MSC
OGDEN (LPD 5) 21 FEB 07 22 JAN 07 FMS
H G RICKOVER
(SSN 709) 01 MAR 07 NO CHG INACT (NOTE 2)
SAIPAN (LHA 2) 27 APR 07 25 APR 07 EXPERIMENTAL
SHREVEPORT (LPD 12) 28 SEP 07 NO CHG DISPOSAL
SAFEGUARD (ARS 50) 26 SEP 07 NO CHG MSC
MN-SAINT PAUL
(SSN 708) 27 SEP 07 NO CHG INACT(NOTE 2)
HONOLULU (SSN 718) 01 NOV 06 NO CHG INACT(NOTE 2)
NOTE (1): CV 67 IS SCHEDULED TO BEGIN ITS INACTIVATION AVAILABILITY ON
OR ABOUT 31 MAR 07.
See https://www.npc.navy.mil/NR/rdonlyres/B5AA3BD3-C4F0-4FAF-8850-8D26969E1CDB/0/NAV06373.txt for the full message.
 

Jack Devine

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This makes one wonder just how much life is left in the Kitty Hawk and the Enterprise. It's a good thing we have one carrier nearing completion. Even the Nimitz is now 31 years old - any idea of the planned life expectancy of that class?
 

Jim Hathaway

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From what I have read, the Nimitz Class units are due to begin being replaced in 2025.
BTW, has anyone seen any released photos of the weapons shoot on Ex USS America?
I only saw a photo of a big area of disturbed water where she went down, but no photos yet of the shoot.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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The Kitty Hawk is due to be replaced by the George Washington in the near future, and that would place her decommissioning for fiscal year 2008. The upside to being based in Yokasuka is that she benefits from the skills of the Japanese shipfitters who are very good at what they do. This is likely the reason why she's held up as well as she has when her sister ships were being worn out to the point of being rendered nearly useless and even unsafe to operate.

See http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/63.htm

The Enterprise, like the Kitty Hawk, was commissioned in 1961 and looks to take the title of the oldest commissioned warship when the Kitty Hawk retires. (The relic USS Constitution notwithstanding.) See http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/65.htm

Currently carriers are being designed with a nominal service life of 50 years which means that the CVN-78 class currently being designed will be serving well into the latter part of this century. See http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/78.htm

Unfortunately, no photos of the USS America SINKEX have been released other then the one that Jim Mentioned which can be seen at http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/026654.jpg

There is a website at http://www.ussamerica.org/ which is run by veterens from this ship. To say that they were unhappy about the ship's fate is something of an understatement, but realistically, there weren't a lot of other viable options. A ship that doesn't have a good chance of becoming a musuem really has only two other options for disposal, one being reefed as the Oriskany was or being cut up in a scrapyard.
 

Jack Devine

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Well, 2025 would put the Nimitz itself right at 50 years of age, so that would make sense. It's not that long ago that a 50 year old naval vessel would be a relic consigned to coastal patrol duties. Must be a sign of a good design and proper maintenance.

I can sympathize with the America's veterans, but disagree with them. You're right about the options available and becoming a museum was not about to happen. We're lucky to only moderately underfund the museum ships we already have, a ship this size would take far too much to preserve. So compared to being reefed or scrapped, is it really any dishonor to provide valuable experience by being a target? Mathematical models are great, but hard evidence about supercarrier sinkings is (thankfully) scarce. We don't know and aren't likely to find out for years what was learned from her sinking, but it could save countless lives in years ahead. The ship was able to serve her country even after her service life. I don't find any shame or cause for regret in that.
 

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