There are reasons to suspect that the Battle Force 2045 plan for remaking America’s Navy will not come to much. It’s too ambitious and the timing is all wrong. However, there are elements of the plan that are both affordable and enjoy broad political support. One of those elements is sealift, the mission of expeditiously transporting U.S. military supplies to distant war zones. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper stated in unveiling Battle Force 2045 on October 6 that sealift would be addressed in his final plan, and that really is overdue to cope with the aging of the sealift fleet. The Navy’s current plan to extend the life of some vessels, buy second-hand commercial vessels from overseas, and build new ships to commercial specifications in U.S. yards seems sensible. If Esper (or his successor) step up to the need for new domestic construction, that should win plaudits on Capitol Hill. The danger is that sealift might be swamped by the other, bigger parts of the new plan. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
Find Archived Articles: