Funding Makes Sense
Thank you for your excellent
article in the February issue
concerning the technology and developmental progress of the E-2D
Advanced Hawkeye radar plane
[“Improved Engagement.”] Advanced Hawkeye is essential to the
future effectiveness of the fleet,
incorporating a range of connectivity and sensing enhancements that
would not have been possible a generation ago.
With China currently netting
together its maritime sensors and
experimenting with innovations
such as a maneuvering ballistic-missile warhead, the future survival of the fleet cannot be taken
for granted. Advanced Hawkeye is
designed to keep pace with emerging airborne threats while participating in the services’ transition to
However, proposals to save
money by reducing the number of
Advanced Hawkeyes bought each
year are detrimental both to the
security of the fleet and the viability of the acquisition plan. Some
programs are more important than
others, and cutting core programs
like E-2D to find money for marginal efforts like the DDG 1000
makes little sense.
Hard times require hard decisions, but cutting funding for Advanced Hawkeye falls more in the
category of a dumb decision.
Chief Operating Officer
Get Back to Basics
For Naming Ships
Iread in the February issue the
announcement that a new
Virginia-class attack submarine was
to be named after [former] Sen. John
Warner [“Virginia Senator Honored
With Namesake Submarine.”] Now I
have nothing against Sen. Warner,
but I say it’s way past time that the
Navy got back to the basics of naming ships.
Prior to World War II, Navy carriers were named for famous battles (Lexington, Saratoga, etc.)
while battleships were named for
states and cruisers for major cities.
Submarines were named for fish, as
they should be. Destroyers were
named for heroes where naval or
Marine Corps service cost them
their lives. Minesweepers for heroic traits, and tenders for American
geographical features (Salisbury
It’s a sad day when we name our
fighting ships after politicians when
there are so many others who died
preserving our freedoms and are,
therefore, much more deserving of
such an honor.
David W. Schill
The picture on page 21 in the
March issue of Seapower of
the [fleet ocean tug] USNS
Catawba (ATF-168) with blue and
gold stack markings [indicating it is
a Military Sealift Command vessel]
is symbolic of the tremendous loss
the surface warfare officer community has suffered. Ships like this
used to be the training platforms
for promising young officers. They
included both the auxiliary and
fleet tugs (ATA and ATF).
I know this from experience
because I was a reserve junior officer in my second assignment on
destroyers when I was asked what
it would take to keep me in the
Navy. I responded that I would like
to command a small ship to see if I
could really handle such an assignment. I was told to augment to the
regular Navy, which I did, and the
rest fell into place.
I received orders to command the
[auxiliary fleet tug] USS Catawba
(ATA-210). Hence my interest in
seeing the successor to the name of
my first command, but disappointment in seeing its blue and gold
stack markings. Although I went on
to be a department head, executive
officer and commanding officer on
other ships, nothing matched the
thrill of my first command.
The surface warfare officer community has lost a lot of attractiveness and a tremendous training
ground for junior officers with the
shift of ocean-going tugs and salvage ships from the fleet commanders to Military Sealift Command with Civil Service Masters.
Lessons in seamanship and ship
handling are learned every day on
Robert W. Kesteloot
Potomac Falls, Va.
■ The home state of U.S.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski was
listed incorrectly in the April
article “Odd Man Out.” Murkowski, a Republican, is from
■ The location for Camp
David was listed incorrectly in
the April Washington Report.
It is in Maryland.
■ The number of total recruiter points for the Seattle
Council was listed incorrectly
in the March Membership
Report. The council had 13
recruiter points as of Jan. 31.
■ The full-load displacement
for the Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate was listed incorrectly in the Navy Ships section of the 2009 Seapower
Almanac. Perry-class frigates
displace 4, 100 tons full load.
SEAPOWER / MAY 2009