The U.S. Navy’s top officer wants to end standingballistic missile defensepatrols and transfer the mission to shore-based assets.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John
Richardson said in no uncertain terms Tuesday that he wants the Navy off the
missile defensepatrols, a mission that has put a
growing strain on the Navy’s hard-worn surface combatants, and shifted towards
more shore-based infrastructure.
“Right now, as we speak, I have
six multi-mission, very sophisticated, dynamic cruisers and destroyers -- six
of them are on ballistic missile defense duty at sea,” Richardson said during
his address at the U.S. Naval War College’s Current Strategy Forum. “And if you
know a little bit about this business you know that geometry is a tyrant.
“You have to be in a tiny little
box to have a chance at intercepting that incoming missile. So, we have six
ships that could go anywhere in the world, at flank speed, in a tiny little
box, defending land.”
Richardson continued, saying the
Navy could be used in emergencies but that in the long term the problem demands
a different solution.