“The Pentagon is poised to send the LCS to thwart narcos”–DefenseNews

USS Freedom (LCS-1)

DefenseNews is reporting,

“The military is poised to decide whether it will use the littoral combat ship to stop illegal drug shipments from South and Central America to the United States.

“The move, amid pressure from lawmakers and the military command covering the Southern Hemisphere, would signal a new intensity in combating the importing of illegal drugs amid a tidal wave of opioid deaths in the U.S. It would also mean a program that has seen near-constant churn as the Navy has struggled to integrate the ship into the fleet may see more changes ― if it does have to gear up for a new mission.

There are some surprising remarks by a retired Navy Captain, reflecting what many of us believe.

“…Ultimately, if the Congress was serious about combating drugs in SOUTHCOM, he said, it should adequately fund the Coast Guard.

“What they oughta do is take a few billion from the Defense Department’s budget and give it to the Coast Guard,” Hoffman said.

“Operating Navy ships is expensive, and, at that cost, it may not be practical to send gray hulls,” he said, adding that the Coast Guard can do the job cheaper and better.

This may also reflects a desire among many in the Navy to avoid this mission.

As a side note, I would observe that the frequent assertion that the Navy is being run ragged bears some examination as to why. It does not seem to be because the ships are underway that much. The US Naval Institute News service provides a weekly “Fleet and Marine Tracker.” You can see the most recent here. Among other things it provides a number of ships in the fleet and number of ships underway. Generally the number underway is only a little over one quarter of the fleet total, and it almost never exceeds one third.

Note, I am not saying the crews are not overworked, I am just saying, it is not because they are underway too much of the time. As I recall my days afloat, we got a lot done while underway, away from the inport distractions.

10 thoughts on ““The Pentagon is poised to send the LCS to thwart narcos”–DefenseNews

    • All the LCS-1 variants will be homeported in Mayport, About 4 are here now. LCSRON-2 oversees their training, crewing and some engineering. And will handle the special mission module ops

    • Not exclusively for that purpose, It is simply that LCSs will be based only in San Diego and Mayport and they will be deployed from there for whatever purpose directed. There has been a presumption that the Freedom class in Mayport would do some work with 4th Fleet, but that is not their only function. They will also support 5th and 6th Fleet off Europe, Africa, and Asia.

      • Please be free to point out where exactly I made the claim that “Freedom’s” stationed at Mayport are for Drug Interdiction ONLY! As I said at least 10 will be Stationed there…

      • @Secundius, it was the “for that purpose” portion of “At least Ten of the “Freedom’s” are to be Stationed at the Mayport Florida NS for that purpose…” as a comment on a post about using LCSs to thwart narcos that threw me.

  1. having been u/w squid and coastie, a lot of the time u/w is training and bullshit.. not saying all bad but in between meds, north atlantic patrols, gitmo, and so many caribs, even wpbs the sched can be relentless. luckily had mostly good cos/oincs. one exception.

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