|02-24-2006, 07:04 AM||#1 (permalink)|
MSgt USMC Ret
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: San Diego
Navy ‘firmly committed’ to keeping 10 carrier wings
By Christopher P. Cavas
Times staff writer
The Navy is firmly committed to keeping all 10 of its carrier air wings despite plans to decommission one of its aircraft carriers, said a top service leader.
“We are committed to making 10 wings work because the 10 wings are key to controlling the risks associated with our ability to meet our rotational requirement and meet our surge requirement,” Adm. Robert Willard, vice chief of naval operations, said Feb. 22.
The question came up during a question-and-answer period after Willard spoke to a gathering of the Naval Aviation Foundation in Arlington, Va., The Navy has received Pentagon permission to decommission the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy this fall and reduce its carrier fleet from 12 to 11 ships. Some naval aviators have wondered whether the service would also reduce the number of associated air wings.
Since at least one carrier always is in a long-term overhaul — often lasting three to four years — the Navy doesn’t need to maintain an equal number of wings, which constitute all the aircraft a carrier takes to sea. Air Wings are not permanently assigned to a particular carrier, but rotate among deploying ships.
Willard admitted the service is facing “some affordability issues” to be able to field the 10 wings, specifically in its “ability to populate the air wing with adequate numbers of airframes.”
But reducing the number of aircraft in the squadrons that make up the wings is not an option that’s on the table, he said.
“There are a lot of answers to how you manage across the force, particularly as our aged airplanes undergo a good deal of maintenance and depot repair,” he told reporters after his address.
Willard and Adm. Mike Mullen, the chief of naval operations, and other top leaders have begun an examination of the key issues facing naval aviation, he said, adding, “We’re looking at a lot of options.”
Under the Fleet Response Plan, the Navy is committed to a “six plus one” carrier readiness strategy, where it maintains the fleet to be able to send six carriers and their air wings to sea at once plus another carrier and wing shortly afterward.
“Ten air wings right now are crucial to our success, so we’re committed to them,” Willard said.
|carrier, committed’, keeping, navy, wings, ‘firmly|
|Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)|
|New To The Site?||Need Information?|