via Defense News.
The US Navy’s F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet strike fighters are the tip of the spear, embodying most of the fierce striking power of the aircraft carrier strike group. But nearly two-thirds of the fleet’s strike fighters can’t fly – grounded because they’re either undergoing maintenance or simply waiting for parts or their turn the aviation depot backlog.Story here.
Overall, more than half the Navy’s aircraft are grounded, most because there isn’t enough money to fix them.
There isn’t enough money to fix the fleet’s ships, and the backlog of ships needing work continues to grow. Overhauls – “availabilities” in Navy parlance – are being cancelled or deferred, and when ships do come in they need longer to refit. Every carrier overall for at least three years has run long, and some submarines are out of service for prolonged periods, as much as four years or more. One submarine, the Boise, has lost its diving certification and can’t operate pending shipyard work, and leaders claim that if more money doesn’t become available five more will be in the same state by the end of this year.
Interesting. The story starts as a problem with Navy Aviation and then morphs into a general tale of woe for the entire Navy.
Something is seriously wrong with our military. We're seeing these issues in all of the services and despite modest spending cuts it seems like our equipment is falling apart. A robust audit of defense spending is needed. As things stand we shouldn't trust the Pentagon with a spending increase until they can properly account for the monies already on hand.