18 June 2006

What in the world is the Navy thinking.

I had this little article passed on to me by a friend living back in Norfolk. From the Daily Press, Next Northrup/Grumman Newport News Aircraft Carrier may be named after President Ford.

Now I understand the need by the powers to be in the 5-sided wind tunnel to open the congressional purse strings a little bit to pay for their new pet projects. I also know that sometimes to get this to happen you name ships after famous people or after states, cities, rivers that the congressional critters you love come from. It happens all the time. Yet since the introduction of the CVN-68 Hulls they have been named for politicos after Chester Nimitz. What is even worst is that some of these politicos where never completely friendly to the US Navy. Harry S. Truman wasn't a friend of the Navy. Truman was famous for cutting the complete military to the bone just after World War 2. Then during the debates about the defense budget in 1949, he killed the planned aircraft carrier named "United States" the first super carrier design and instead paid for the large intercontinental bomber the B-36. This lead to the famous "Admirals Revolt" which a number of influential, important, and famous US Navy admirals and the Secretary of the Navy chose to retire or resign instead of being told to plan for a Navy whose sole purpose was to ferry army troops overseas to occupy hostile land after the USAF had nuked everything in sight. It wasn't until the Korean war the the influence and power of the carrier was proven to both the SecDef Louis Johnson and Truman, but that is another history lesson for another time.
So what is the Navy thinking letting the next carrier be named after another politico?
There are a large number of currently unused that they can name the next carrier. Names that bring back names of history, of sacrifice, of heroism. Names like Lexington, Saratoga, Ranger, Yorktown*, Hornet, Franklin, Coral Sea, Midway, Hancock, Oriskany, Langely, Valley Forge, Intrepid, etc. I could possible go on. I mean the Royal Navy re-uses named with a regularity and they seem to stay true to thier naming conventions for thier ships. So why can't we?

*Yes I know that we have already re-used the name Yorktown for a guided missile cruiser, but that ship has recently been decomissioned. So the name is up for grabs again.

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