SAVE THE DATES

Find out more!


February 3, 2006

Pentagon releases QDR

QDR COVERThe much-leaked QDR (Quadrennial Defense Review) can now be downloaded from the Pentagon at http://www.defenselink.mil/qdr/report/Report.pdf.

If the leaks you heard included relabeling the "Global War on Terror" as the "Long War," downsizing to 11 Carrier Battle Groups, building two attack subs a year, putting more of the Navy in the Pacific and building more Littoral Combat Ships, your sources were pretty good.

Here's some of what the QDR says about plans for the Navy and Navy shipbuilding.

Vision

Joint maritime forces, including the Coast Guard, will conduct highly distributed operations with a networked fleet that is more capable of projecting power in the "brown and green waters" of coastal areas. They will be capable of projecting force and extending air and missile defenses from far greater ranges. Coast Guard and naval capabilities will be fully integrated. Undersea capabilities, both manned and unmanned, will use stealth, survivability, endurance, payload size and fl exibility to complicate potential foes' planning efforts and strengthen deterrence. The future force will have capabilities for conventional global strikes against time-sensitive targets. It will have greater capacity for riverine operations and other irregular operations. The future joint force will exploit the operational flexibility of seabasing to counter political anti-access and irregular warfare challenges. The Maritime Prepositioning Force (Future) family of ships will advance the capability of seabasing to support a wide spectrum of joint force operations. Special Operations Forces will exploit Afloat Forward Staging Bases (AFSB) to provide more flexible and sustainable locations from which to operate globally. The fl eet will have greater presence in the Pacific Ocean, consistent with the global shift of trade and transport. Accordingly, the Navy plans to adjust its force posture and basing to provide at least six operationally available and sustainable carriers and 60% of its submarines in the Pacific to support engagement, presence and deterrence.

Progress to Date

Consistent with these future force characteristics, the Navy has developed and implemented several initiatives to increase the Navy and Marine Corps fleet forces. Applying distributed operating concepts, the Navy increased the number of available independent strike groups from 19 to 36. The Fleet Response Plan (FRP) modified the Navy's tiered readiness posture to increase the amount of time a ship or other naval unit is fully ready to deploy. The FRP produces adaptable force packages and sustains higher readiness throughout a unit's operational cycle, decreasing the Fleet's down time and enabling immediate deployment of six of the Navy's eleven carrier strike groups, with the addition of two more within 90 days. Rotational crewing has further increased the operational availability of forces by up to 33%. operational availability, or "employability," of Navy and Marine Corps fleet forces. Applying distributed operating concepts, the Navy increased the number of available independent strike groups from 19 to 36. The Fleet Response Plan (FRP) modified the Navy's tiered readiness posture to increase the amount of time a ship or other naval unit is fully ready to deploy. The FRP produces adaptable force packages and sustains higher readiness throughout a unit's operational cycle, decreasing the Fleet's down time and enabling immediate deployment of six of the Navy's eleven carrier strike groups, with the addition of two more within 90 days. Rotational crewing has further increased the operational availability of forces by up to 33%.

The Navy is rapidly developing and fielding the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) to provide an advanced littoral warfare capability. The Coast Guard is recapitalizing its deepwater ships and improving its ability to conduct joint operations with the Navy. In 2003, the Navy began converting four of the oldest nuclear ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) to guided missile and special operations platforms. The four submarines will re-enter service by September 2007. Modifications will allow embarked Special Operations Force (SOF) personnel to penetrate denied areas to locate high-value individuals, designate targets for precision strike, or conduct direct action missions. Each submarine will also carry more than 150 Tomahawk cruise missiles.

QDR Decisions.

To achieve the future joint maritime force characteristics and build on progress to date, the Department will:

  • Build a larger fleet that includes 11 Carrier Strike Groups, balance the need to transform and recapitalize the fleet, improve affordability and provide stability for the shipbuilding industry.
  • Accelerate procurement of Littoral Combat Ships to provide power projection capabilities in littoral waters.
  • Procure the first eight ships of the Maritime Pre-Position Force (Future) to improve the Department's ability to operate in restricted access environments.
  • Provide a Navy riverine capability for river patrol, interdiction and tactical troop movement on inland waterways.
  • Build partner capacity to improve global maritime security by reinvigorating the Navy Foreign Area Officer program and procuring Disaster Relief Command and Control flyaway communication support capabilities.
  • Return to a steady-state production rate of two attack submarines per year not later than 2012 while achieving an average per-hull procurement cost objective of $2.0 billion.
  • MORE NEWS STORIES