While the U.S. may be on its way to restoring the erstwhile preeminence of the military, those forces are primarily located in the United States. In the event of a conflict with a major power or even rogue regional actor, it will have to project most of that power thousands of miles to Europe, the Middle East or Asia. Once deployed, those forces will need to be sustained by a steady flow of supplies. For that, there needs to be a sealift fleet of sufficient size and with a variety of capabilities. The military sealift fleet, simply put, is about to go off a cliff. Our forces will arrive in the war zones and wither for lack of support and supplies. The key to the Nation’s future sealift capability rests with the procurement of a common hull auxiliary multi-mission platform (CHAMP). Currently, the Navy is considering procuring two different hulls to cover the range of missions encompassed by CHAMP. The CHAMP program is in many ways as important to the future of U.S. military power as any other major acquisition. I have written about military sealift and the importance of CHAMP here.
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