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Where are the carriers?


Lord GVChamp

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The United States has 11 aircraft carriers.

Here are where our carriers currently are: 1 underway to the South China sea, 1 deployed in Japan to be ready to respond to North Korea, 1 deployed in Japan to help in relief efforts, 1 deployed in the Red Sea heading to the Suez Canal, and 1 in the Arabian Sea.

We have 1 additional carrier ready to be deployed in case WWIII breaks out tomorrow. The rest (5) are under-repair.

At the start of the Arab protests, the US had no carriers deployed in the Mediterranean. Instead, we are relying on the French working over-time to get their carrier out of the docks, and the Spanish being generous enough to deploy their own despite being borderline bankrupt. I do not know if the Italians have deployed theirs, and the British no longer have a carrier worthy of the name. None are comparable to US carriers: the French one is less than half the size of a standard US carrier.

Just something to keep in mind the next time someone tells you we need to cut the military budget by 50%.

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Why does the US need 11 carriers in the first place when no other country has more than two? What are those carriers doing in all of those places, just sailing around looking cool? Why is there an aircraft carrier helping in Japan? That's a very odd use of an aircraft carrier.

In fact, why does the United States need to be present in any of these situations? Mind your own business.

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Why does the US need 11 carriers in the first place when no other country has more than two? What are those carriers doing in all of those places, just sailing around looking cool? Why is there an aircraft carrier helping in Japan? That's a very odd use of an aircraft carrier.

In fact, why does the United States need to be present in any of these situations? Mind your own business.

The quake carrier was likely on Pacific deployment already and was rerouted to help in aid efforts. The other carrier in Japan was recently offshore conducting exercises with South Korea after the North Koreans attacked South Korea. The other carrier is headed to the South China Sea because of that whole China problem, and we usually maintain a carrier in the Arabian Sea. The Red Sea deployment is unusual, afaik.

But, yes, we can certainly cut back on our carriers. It simply means cutting back our defense commitments. Like not enforcing no-fly zones over Libya, not protecting Taiwan or helping South Korea, not keeping on-site deployment ability into the Middle East. Something's gotta give.

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Why does the US need 11 carriers in the first place when no other country has more than two?

Before recent decommissions, the proportion of carriers to GDP of the US was either similar or smaller than most nations. With the large number of places that the US currently has military forces, it makes sense to keep them, since they add a lot of flexibility to a military.

What are those carriers doing in all of those places, just sailing around looking cool?

When a carrier is moved to an area out of the norm, it's typically telling someone to back off from something. A US carrier has a $%&@ ton of destructive firepower, so they are pretty good at diffusing situations without a problem.

Beyond that, they do training exercises, do exercises with other military groups (domestic and foreign) and pretty much standard blue water naval operations.

Why is there an aircraft carrier helping in Japan? That's a very odd use of an aircraft carrier.

Since Japan can't legally have a large military and the US was for the most part the country that decided that was going to happen, we have strong defensive obligations to Japan. With North Korea under the rule of a crazy dictator right next to South Korea, it gets to cover double duty. This carrier is almost always in or around Japan. That's the first one.

The second one is there because a carrier is essentially a floating city. All US carriers are prepared for large scale disaster relief, including emergency medical personnel, some firefighting capabilities, aquatic rescue capabilities, food and water distribution and hazard cleanup. They also have a large number of nuclear specialists (they are nuclear powered), so this would really be useful if more than one of the reactors had problems or a large number of personnel were killed by the accident and Japan needed help with that

In fact, why does the United States need to be present in any of these situations? Mind your own business.

That's quite the can of worms, and one I really don't feel like getting into right now.

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Why does the US need 11 carriers in the first place when no other country has more than two? What are those carriers doing in all of those places, just sailing around looking cool? Why is there an aircraft carrier helping in Japan? That's a very odd use of an aircraft carrier.

In fact, why does the United States need to be present in any of these situations? Mind your own business.

I know you're just trolling and all, but with a highly advanced military like the U.S. has, most of the work is maintenance. At any given time, roughly half of our ships are under maintenance. Aircraft take multiple hours of maintenance for every hour of flight time even if nothing breaks.

Most countries don't HAVE to have many because WE have them. For example, Japan doesn't need 3 or 4 carriers because we have them.

Aircraft carriers (along with the support ships) bring resources to bear and so it's not that odd to see one helping out Japan.

As for having a presence in world affairs, that's what we do. We project power throughout the world to safeguard American (and allied) interests. We also conduct military operations fairly regularly with the same goal -- from bombings like you've seen recently in Libya to special operations missions you'll never hear about. It's what we do. Deal with it.

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Um, you don't need carriers to bomb in Libya.

Japan wouldn't 'need' carriers as it doesn't have a 'need' to project its power far offshore.

Also, xfd at the level of America exceptionalism itt.

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Um, you don't need carriers to bomb in Libya.

The last time the United States bombed Libya, we had to use aircraft flying out of Great Britain.

Who also thought they didn't use carriers and planned to mothball them. Good thing the Argentines attacked before the Brits got done with the planned decommissions!

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Why is there an aircraft carrier helping in Japan? That's a very odd use of an aircraft carrier.

Helicopters tend to be helpful when a nation's entire infrastructure is rocked to !@#$.

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Um, you don't need carriers to bomb in Libya.

You really haven't been paying attention to how this is being fought, have you?

Aircraft have been launched from the USS Enterprise, the Giuseppe Garibaldi, the USS Kearsarge (an amphibious assault ship capable of launching a small number of harrier jump jets) and France is moving the Charles de Gaulle to the area to support the attack. With fighters and other small craft, they only have a relatively short amount of fuel, which really hampers their ability to run combat air patrol missions. Having carriers in the area also greatly increases the response time of aircraft in a combat scenario and increases the overall flexibility of the group. Remember, the mission isn't to bomb Libya; it's to establish a no-fly zone and protect civilians. Most of the bombing so far has been to anti-air and air force facilities, which is pretty important to the establishment of a no-fly zone.

Japan wouldn't 'need' carriers as it doesn't have a 'need' to project its power far offshore.

Actually, as an island nation, Japan is a prime example of a nation that would need that kind of capability.

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Um, you don't need carriers to bomb in Libya.

Japan wouldn't 'need' carriers as it doesn't have a 'need' to project its power far offshore.

Also, xfd at the level of America exceptionalism itt.

Yes, because it's not as though they have two highly hostile nuclear capable nations just across the sea from them or anything.

Also, you guys should remember that most of the carriers (as well as much else in the military) are holdovers from the Cold War when we needed them to compete with the Soviet Union.

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Also, you guys should remember that most of the carriers (as well as much else in the military) are holdovers from the Cold War when we needed them to compete with the Soviet Union.

I wasn't aware the Soviets had a carrier fleet to speak of.

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To be honest, we should never have commissioned those carriers in the first place, simply because we're not ready to keep them yet. Britain has been a naval-heavy nation since damn near the dawn of freakin' time, but that era ended years ago, when we de-colonised and dismantled our own empire. Since then, we've gone back to being a small nation trying to act big.

We don't need carriers at this point in time, since we don't have a need to project power overseas. Number one on the milspec budget should have been all about defence of the realm- purchasing corvettes, subs, battleships, frigates, etc. We should have focused on rebuilding our home navy to pre-1939 standards, then allocating whatever money we had left to maintaining those ships. The ONLY way we should ever have bought an aircraft carrier (yes, I say bought not made- we are crap at constructing our own, I mean let's face it, the Queen 'Liz Class is !@#$e) is if World War Three is on the horizon...

That being said, if we absolutely had to make them, we should have scrapped other stuff on the budget and focused the majority of the money on making GOOD carriers..then squandering the rest of it on the Nimrods, 'cos those we DO need.

Heh.

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Ignoring the fact that there's really no reason for the United States to be 'projecting power' all over the globe and thereby continuing its proud tradition of making enemies wherever it goes, this is still a silly discussion.

Japan wouldn't 'need' carriers as it doesn't have a 'need' to project its power far offshore.

Actually, as an island nation, Japan is a prime example of a nation that would need that kind of capability.

This is a pointless argument. Let me tell you why.

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Why does the US need 11 carriers in the first place when no other country has more than two?

To give Europe an excuse to mothball half our carriers and keep the other half in port.

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How long do carriers typically stay "in-repair" for? Does it seem odd to have nearly half out of commission at the moment?

Drydocking is a normal phase of upkeep for naval warships. I doubt the carriers mentioned 'in maintenance' are all drydocked, but are probably undergoing minimal upkeep and repair. I seriously doubt they're out of commission and would easily be underway if necessary.

Also, in response to the carrier being used to assist the Japanese tsunami issue, it's the USS George Washington which is home-ported in Yokosuka, Japan. It's permanently forward-deployed, and is an excellent ship to be used in assisting its host nation.

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How long do carriers typically stay "in-repair" for? Does it seem odd to have nearly half out of commission at the moment?

Well, it does cost money to have all those carriers going around doing nothing, so "in-repair" tends to double as a way of keeping them in readiness so they can be deployed in the build-up to a war, but also not paying as much for them.

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I wasn't aware the Soviets had a carrier fleet to speak of.

They had up to seven carriers and were working on three more, which would have given them one less carrier than the US has at the moment. I'll also note that if the Soviets decided to invade Europe, they had a whole lot less need for them than we did in that situation. Naval power projection becomes much more necessary when you're one of the two developed nations on your side of the world.

To be honest, we should never have commissioned those carriers in the first place, simply because we're not ready to keep them yet. Britain has been a naval-heavy nation since damn near the dawn of freakin' time, but that era ended years ago, when we de-colonised and dismantled our own empire. Since then, we've gone back to being a small nation trying to act big.

We don't need carriers at this point in time, since we don't have a need to project power overseas. Number one on the milspec budget should have been all about defence of the realm- purchasing corvettes, subs, battleships

I was already suspicious that you didn't know what you were talking about it, but I knew for sure right here.

Drydocking is a normal phase of upkeep for naval warships. I doubt the carriers mentioned 'in maintenance' are all drydocked, but are probably undergoing minimal upkeep and repair. I seriously doubt they're out of commission and would easily be underway if necessary.

They aren't totally undeployable. There was some talk of cutting one of the maintenance cycles short and moving it to the Med to support a no fly zone, but the commitment of the French and Italian carriers made it unneeded. Typically, only one is actually in dry dock at a time (refueling and complex overhaul), so if absolutely needed, they can be sent to sea.

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They aren't totally undeployable. There was some talk of cutting one of the maintenance cycles short and moving it to the Med to support a no fly zone, but the commitment of the French and Italian carriers made it unneeded. Typically, only one is actually in dry dock at a time (refueling and complex overhaul), so if absolutely needed, they can be sent to sea.

That's as much as I expected. So, which ones are in port due to maintenance right now? I'm going to guess the Carl Vinson, the Lincoln, the Kennedy, the Reagan, and the Truman?

e: if I'm right, I'll be surprised...but I haven't heard much about the Reagan and the Truman lately, so I assume they're in port.

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That's as much as I expected. So, which ones are in port due to maintenance right now? I'm going to guess the Carl Vinson, the Lincoln, the Kennedy, the Reagan, and the Truman?

e: if I'm right, I'll be surprised...but I haven't heard much about the Reagan and the Truman lately, so I assume they're in port.

Not sure about the others, but I know the Roosevelt is currently undergoing RCOH.

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You really haven't been paying attention to how this is being fought, have you?

Aircraft have been launched from the USS Enterprise, the Giuseppe Garibaldi, the USS Kearsarge (an amphibious assault ship capable of launching a small number of harrier jump jets) and France is moving the Charles de Gaulle to the area to support the attack. With fighters and other small craft, they only have a relatively short amount of fuel, which really hampers their ability to run combat air patrol missions. Having carriers in the area also greatly increases the response time of aircraft in a combat scenario and increases the overall flexibility of the group. Remember, the mission isn't to bomb Libya; it's to establish a no-fly zone and protect civilians. Most of the bombing so far has been to anti-air and air force facilities, which is pretty important to the establishment of a no-fly zone.

And yet somehow both France and Britain are able to send planes without carriers. And the US is also sending planes in from Italy.

Actually, as an island nation, Japan is a prime example of a nation that would need that kind of capability.

*Assuming they had some desire to wave their dick about on the international scene.

[hint, they don't]

Yes, because it's not as though they have two highly hostile nuclear capable nations just across the sea from them or anything.

"An arms build up and power projection will prevent war."

Also, you guys should remember that most of the carriers (as well as much else in the military) are holdovers from the Cold War when we needed them to compete with the Soviet Union.

And yet the US is replacing them.

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