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Starfleet vs. U.S. Navy

dirtsailor73

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Report this Feb. 21 2012, 6:10 pm


Just kidding, this is not about an epic battle that the Navy would obviously lose. This stems from another thread that evolved into a hijack about the differences and similarities between Starfleet and the U.S. Navy.


Although I don't necessarily consider myself an expert on the Navy, I am a Senior Chief Petty Officer and have served on Active Duty for almost 20 years. I've served on three ships (two frigates and an amphib), a maintenance facility, an expeditionary boat unit, and a reserve center.


I am definitely not an expert in Starfleet, but am more than happy to compare and contrast to the best of my ability. So please ask away and I will answer what I can.


 


Steve


"The best diplomat I know is a fully activated phaser bank." ~LCDR Montgomery Scott, A Taste of Armageddon.

bvbpl

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Report this Feb. 21 2012, 6:52 pm

Okay, here's one: does it make any sense for Starfleet not to give O'Brien a commission when he became Chief of Operations on Deep Space Nine?  It seems to me that even though he presumably had a warrant, making O'Brien an officer would have avoided a lot of potential problems with officers, esp. non-Federation officers, trying to pull rank, going over his head, and generally getting to be a pain in O'Brien's rear.


May 4th, 2012 will be the thirtieth anniversary of the release of Duran Duran’s epic single “Hungry Like the Wolf.” Where were you when these young men from Birmingham ushered in the ecstatic era of New Wave and changed the face of music forever? How will you mark this seminal anniversary?

dirtsailor73

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Report this Feb. 22 2012, 5:49 am

I started on a rather lengthy reply last night right before I went to bed, but I accidently hit the wrong button and wiped my entire reply. Instead of getting angry and throwing my laptop across the room, I shut it down and went to bed. As I was dozing off to sleep, I remembered a paper that I had started writing some time ago after reading a discussion about O'Brien on a Forum on this Board.


So instead of starting from scratch, give me a day or two brush the dust off that paper and I will post it here.


 

FleetAdmiral_BamBam

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Report this Feb. 22 2012, 10:58 am

^^ yea - I had asked why O'Brien was never promoted to Master Chief - http://www.startrek.com/boards-topic/33350649/miles-o-brien-1


guillermo.mejía

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Report this Feb. 22 2012, 11:26 am

I have one as well. It's a two-parter actually:


How often is a ship refitted? And by ship I mean the larger frigates, destroyers and above.


What is the active service life of a vessel?


By the outer appearance of Picard's old ship, the Stargazer, it looks like some ships might be in an active role for over 70 years. Of course, Starfleet doesn't have to worry about rust or degradation of that sort.


"Aye. And if my grandmother had wheels she'd be a wagon." - Scotty, The Miracle Worker since 2265.

miklamar

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Report this Feb. 22 2012, 12:46 pm

Dirtsailor73, I understand some point in having an aircraft carrier, since each of its planes can carry an impressive arsenal.  But, I think it would be better to have a lot of small, missile-carrying ships rather than large ships that are obvious targets for enemies.


Var Miklama--Zakdorn, engineer. "A sound mind in a FULL body!" "Time, like latinum, is a limited quantity in the galaxy."

CaptainoftheVoyager

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Report this Feb. 22 2012, 3:08 pm

starfleet wins we have phasers and Mr. Scotty "i'm giving her all she's got captain"

Broadstorm

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Report this Feb. 22 2012, 3:28 pm

Quote: miklamar @ Feb. 22 2012, 12:46 pm

>

>Dirtsailor73, I understand some point in having an aircraft carrier, since each of its planes can carry an impressive arsenal.  But, I think it would be better to have a lot of small, missile-carrying ships rather than large ships that are obvious targets for enemies.

>


Any successful military is going to have a mix of options.  The Navy does have the small missile platforms which excel in some areas, but the carrier/fighters option works better in other areas.  An entire fleet comprised of only 1 design or concept will likely be defeated by a fleet of similar strength with more options.  Finding the weakness in 1 concept is easier than overcoming a fleet in which the several different concepts complement each other. 


Not to split off this thread as it was made to allow a different thread to get back to its original topic, but there was a tactical game I used to play.  In that game there were certain types of craft that had specific strengths, but also specific weaknesses.  I came up with groupings that exploited the strengths & compensated for the weaknesses of each unit in the grouping.


I didn't realize what we had started in that other thread, but I'll take the questions posted here as a sign that this topic was long overdue.

dirtsailor73

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Report this Feb. 22 2012, 3:42 pm

Quote: FleetAdmiral_BamBam @ Feb. 22 2012, 10:58 am

>

>^^ yea - I had asked why O'Brien was never promoted to Master Chief - http://www.startrek.com/boards-topic/33350649/miles-o-brien-1

>


For that answer, you'll have to ask Starfleet. I had nothing to do with it, or else I would have promoted him!


 


"The best diplomat I know is a fully activated phaser bank." ~LCDR Montgomery Scott, A Taste of Armageddon.

dirtsailor73

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POSTS: 104

Report this Feb. 22 2012, 3:56 pm

Quote: guillermo.mejía @ Feb. 22 2012, 11:26 am

>

>I have one as well. It's a two-parter actually:

>How often is a ship refitted? And by ship I mean the larger frigates, destroyers and above.

>What is the active service life of a vessel?

>By the outer appearance of Picard's old ship, the Stargazer, it looks like some ships might be in an active role for over 70 years. Of course, Starfleet doesn't have to worry about rust or degradation of that sort.

>


I'll answer your second question first, the average lifespan of a U.S. warship is approximately 30 years, however the USS Enterprise (CVN-65) has been in commission for 50 years (she's the oldest nuclear plant in the Navy); and the USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned ship in the Navy at 215 years. She doesn't see much action these days though.


Unlike Starfleet ships, U.S. warships average 6 month deployments with approximatley 9-12 months in between (not counting wars or emergencies). This inter-deployment time period is used for stand-down (time for Sailors to spend with families), maintenance periods and pre-deployment training.


Maintenance periods can range from pierside repairs to the ship or equipment, to a full-blown yard period where the ship spends time in drydock. Major refits like in ST are rare as repairs and upgrades are perfromed throughout the life of the ship. Nuclear powered ships are different as they tend to have long yard periods during their refueling, I am not sure of the time period on how often they require refuleing, but they can take up to 3 years to refuel. And a lot of other work is done at the same time.


"The best diplomat I know is a fully activated phaser bank." ~LCDR Montgomery Scott, A Taste of Armageddon.

dirtsailor73

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Report this Feb. 22 2012, 4:11 pm

Quote: Broadstorm @ Feb. 22 2012, 3:28 pm

Quote: miklamar @ Feb. 22 2012, 12:46 pm

>

>

>Dirtsailor73, I understand some point in having an aircraft carrier, since each of its planes can carry an impressive arsenal.  But, I think it would be better to have a lot of small, missile-carrying ships rather than large ships that are obvious targets for enemies.

>

Any successful military is going to have a mix of options.  The Navy does have the small missile platforms which excel in some areas, but the carrier/fighters option works better in other areas.  An entire fleet comprised of only 1 design or concept will likely be defeated by a fleet of similar strength with more options.  Finding the weakness in 1 concept is easier than overcoming a fleet in which the several different concepts complement each other. 

Not to split off this thread as it was made to allow a different thread to get back to its original topic, but there was a tactical game I used to play.  In that game there were certain types of craft that had specific strengths, but also specific weaknesses.  I came up with groupings that exploited the strengths & compensated for the weaknesses of each unit in the grouping.

I didn't realize what we had started in that other thread, but I'll take the questions posted here as a sign that this topic was long overdue.


Very true Broadstrom. An aircraft carrier is the most powerful warship in the world. That is due entirely to it's compliment of aircraft which can conduct air to air and air to surface warfare and can reach deep into enemy territory. But it still requires frigate and destoryers to protect it from submarines and smaller ships.


A study of naval warfare is a study of change. litorals vs. ocean, large vs. small, broadsides vs. crossing the T, battleships vs. aircraft carriers, missles vs. guns; the options go on and on.


Modern warships cost millions of dollars and take months or years to build. Trying to predict who your enemy is going to be and what type of warfare your going to be involved in is very tricky. Which is another reason why diversity is so important.


 


"The best diplomat I know is a fully activated phaser bank." ~LCDR Montgomery Scott, A Taste of Armageddon.

dirtsailor73

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Report this Feb. 22 2012, 4:23 pm

 


I'll start by appologizing for this being so long, when I started I didn't mean for that. I have noticed several discussions in the various forums about enlisted personnel in Starfleet, specifically centering on Chief O’Brien and what the duties of a Chief are. I wanted to take this opportunity to lay out some facts about what the U.S. Navy’s enlisted force does and how it is organized. Since Starfleet is loosely based on the Navy, many parallels can be drawn between the two. There are obvious differences between enlisted personnel in the U.S. Navy and Starfleet that I cannot speak to, but I am sure there are people on this board with a lot more knowledge of Starfleet personnel who can.  As a matter of fact, I would love to hear from those who know the cannon well and can talk about the enlisted personnel in Starfleet.


I am an Active Duty Senior Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, so I can speak for how the Navy utilizes enlisted personnel. I am a fan of Star Trek but have only recently gotten into the details and intricacies of it, so I am not qualified to speak on how the various Star Trek TV shows and movies utilize the enlisted personnel. I have never been very happy with how enlisted personnel are portrayed in Star Trek and it is my opinion that enlisted personnel have always been highly underutilized throughout all of the series, including and especially Chief O’Brian. I believe this to be primarily the fact that the writers, having never served in the military, have no idea how to utilize the enlisted personnel or what the purpose of a Chief is. Add to this that in a one-hour show, it is easier to deal with just officers instead of the intricacies of the officer/enlisted relationship. It is one of those instances where reality does not make good TV.


Let us start with some basics. Enlisted personnel are specialists in a narrow area of expertise based on their rating. Enlisted personnel are identified in two ways: rank and rate. Rank is exactly what you think it is; the enlisted person’s military rank (Seaman, Petty Officer 1st Class, Chief Petty Officer, etc). Rate, or rating, is the expression of the occupation in which enlisted person performs. For example, in the modern Navy there are rates such as Yeoman (administration), Boatswain’s Mate (general seamanship), Engineman (diesel mechanic), Gunner’s Mates (all weapons ranging from ship’s guns to small arms), Operations Specialist (radar operator), Quartermaster (navigation), and Information Technician (radio communications and computer networking). The list is extensive (there are approximately 59 ratings) and covers all aspects of operating a ship at sea.


For the sake of argument, there are three levels of enlisted personnel. The lowest level is the “non-rates,” E1-E3 (Seaman Recruit, Seaman Apprentice, and Seaman). These Sailors are straight out of boot camp and schooling. These are very junior Sailors (or “Blue Jackets") in their first few years in the Service. They are still learning about the Navy and their rating and tend to do most of the menial jobs that are required to keep a ship functioning (chipping and painting the hull, cleaning the bilges, taking out the trash, etc.) as well as maintenance on their equipment. The next level is the Petty Officers, E4-E6 (Petty Officer Third Class, Petty Officer Second Class, and Petty Officer First Class). These are Non Commissioned Officers (NCOs), the junior leaders in the enlisted ranks. They have generally served anywhere from three to twenty years.  These junior Sailors have a pretty good understanding of the Navy and their rating, but are still learning both. They are also learning leadership at this time by being placed in charge of smaller groups or work centers. The final level is the Chiefs, E7-E9 (Chief Petty Officer, Senior Chief Petty Officer and Master Chief Petty Officer).They are Senior Non Commissioned Officers (SNCOs), the senior enlisted leaders. They have generally served from 10 to 30 years. Although it is not appropriate to address a Senior Chief or Master Chief as “Chief,” they are all Chiefs. 


Since much of the discussion is about Chiefs, and Chief O’Brian in particular, I will go into a little more detail here describing their (our) function. Chiefs have five primary duties. First, they are technical experts, not only in their ratings but also in the Navy as a whole (“ask the Chief” is a common phrase in the Navy). Second, as the senior enlisted leaders in the Navy, it is their job to lead and train their Sailors. Basically, ensuring that maintenance is being performed, the equipment is running properly (and ensuring repairs when it is not), training their Sailors on their rating, and generally running their division. Third is training junior officers (O1-O4).  Again, as the senior enlisted leaders, they have many years of leadership experience and their duty is to train these young officers who have come straight from the Naval Academy (or other college) and have never lead anyone.  Their fourth duty is administrative, which most of us hate as a necessary evil. Personnel evaluations, maintenance reports, etc. must all go through (or be performed by) the Chief. Fifth is the keepers of Navy tradition and history. No, we cannot quote date & time of everything that happened during the Navy’s 235-year history, but most of us have areas of interest that we know well and we all know where to find answers to questions when we do not know. When officers have a question about tradition, they ask the Chiefs. There is a sixth duty; it is basically whatever is required of them. Chiefs are held with a general high regard in the Navy. You can take a Chief from say the Engineering Department and place them in a division of the Operations Department and they can still run that division. They may not be the technical expert, but their leadership experience enables them still be able to operate the division. They are also able to function at higher leadership levels within the chain of command if there are no officers available to do so. I will discuss this a little further later on.


I now want to discuss the relationship between Chiefs and junior officers, and officers in general. The purpose of junior officers is to lead their divisions or departments, but primarily it is to learn. Seamanship, navigation, naval warfare, leadership, all of the things they need to become senior officers and eventually command a ship. Some of these things they will learn from other officers, but most of them they learn from Chief Petty Officers. Yes it is true that all officers from Ensigns (O1) through Fleet Admirals (O10), and Warrant Officers (W1-W5), out rank Chiefs. However, all successful officers learn early on in their careers to listen to what their Chief has to say.


Not to get too far off the main subject, but I would like to make a few things clear to help better understand the enlisted/officer relationship. In the U.S. Navy officers are NOT technical experts. They are experts in seamanship and naval warfare, not in the minutia of the operation of a ship. This is the one glaring difference between the Navy and Starfleet. It is the enlisted personnel who troubleshoot and conduct repairs and do maintenance. Although officers may supervise/oversee repairs, they generally stay out of the way and let the Chiefs do this. Also, Navy officers don’t specialize like they do in Starfleet. An Ensign would report onboard and may be assigned to Repair Division as the Damage Control Assistant. They would do a year to a year and half at this job, and then move to another division in another department such as Ordinance Officer in the Combat Systems Department. This is part of their training to learn all aspects of how a ship functions to eventually command a ship. I am oversimplifying this and I apologize for that, but a thorough explanation would take too long and be beyond the scope of this post.


I do not want to get too deep into the organizational breakdown of the Navy, but I will say that every officer is in charge of something. Whether it is a division, department, ship, naval station, region, fleet or force they all lead something, and every one of those officers has a Chief who they can rely on for advice. Ensigns and Lieutenant JGs have their division Chiefs, Lieutenants and Lieutenant Commanders have their department Senior Chiefs, Commanders and Captains have their Command Master Chiefs, and Admirals have their Force or Fleet Master Chiefs (these are generalizations and depend on the size of the command, but they mostly hold true). The title of Command/Fleet/Force Master Chief is a position that certain Master Chiefs can hold. They are the same ranks as other Master Chiefs, but they hold the position of Senior Enlisted Leader, the senior enlisted person at the command. This position is, to my knowledge, exclusive to the military. Their job is to advise the Commanding Officer (CO), Commander or Admiral that they are assigned to on all matters concerning enlisted personnel. This could involve advising the CO on leadership issues, new instructions or how to implement new policy. It can also involve discipline for enlisted personnel who violate regulations. This position also does not necessarily need to be a Master Chief; small commands (such as a frigate or mine countermeasures ship) may have a Command Senior Chief or even a Command Chief. It depends on the size of the command and who is the senior enlisted Sailor at that command.


Now I will give you a little bit of my duties as a Chief that will, hopefully, help clarify what Chiefs do. My first duty assignment as a Chief was onboard a frigate. There I was assigned to the Auxiliary Division of the Engineering Department (since I am an Enginemen, this is normal). I had a Lieutenant JG as my division officer. My duties were making sure that maintenance was being performed on the equipment, the spaces were maintained (cleaned, painted, etc.), my Sailors maintained standards in grooming, uniforms, etc. and training my division officer. I also stood watches as either the Engineering Duty Officer (when in port) or the Engineering Officer of the Watch (when at sea). When I made Senior Chief near the end of that tour I temporarily took over duties as departmental Chief on top of my divisional duties that, on this small of a ship, mostly involved advising the Chief Engineer, my department head. My current duties are as the Training Officer and Command Senior Chief at a small Navy reserve center. As the Command Senior Chief my duties are the same as a Command Master Chief’s and I advise the Commanding Officer (a Commander) of the reserve center. As the Training Officer it is my duty to ensure that training is ready for the Staff and reservists, orders are processed, reservists are paid, etc. In addition, as the second most senior person on the Active Duty Staff, I am the de facto second in command of the center and assume the duties of Commanding Officer when the CO goes on leave, or is otherwise absent. So even though the reserve officers out rank me, I must instruct them (I can’t order them since they outrank me) to accomplish tasks from time to time due to my positional authority. It is an odd position to be in because you must respect their rank (some of whom are quite senior to me), yet still tell them what to do.


I apologize for the length here, I tried to keep it short. I hope this answers all or some of your questions regarding enlisted personnel in a naval force. As I said in the beginning, I cannot speak to how enlisted personnel operate in Starfleet. I can only explain how our Navy does things, and extrapolate those over to Starfleet in a general sense. If you have any questions about anything I have said here, or anything I have failed to talk about, please do not hesitate to ask. I am always happy to answer questions and will do my best to answer them or find the answers for you. After all, I am the Chief!


"The best diplomat I know is a fully activated phaser bank." ~LCDR Montgomery Scott, A Taste of Armageddon.

dirtsailor73

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Report this Feb. 22 2012, 4:28 pm

Quote: bvbpl @ Feb. 21 2012, 6:52 pm

>

>Okay, here's one: does it make any sense for Starfleet not to give O'Brien a commission when he became Chief of Operations on Deep Space Nine?  It seems to me that even though he presumably had a warrant, making O'Brien an officer would have avoided a lot of potential problems with officers, esp. non-Federation officers, trying to pull rank, going over his head, and generally getting to be a pain in O'Brien's rear.

>



To talk specifically of Chief O’Brien being a department head on DS9, I can only go by how the Navy would handle that. First off, it is my understanding from other posts on these forums that O’Brien was a Senior Chief on DS9 (another reason for me to like him!). Even as a Sr. Chief, I can’t see him being assigned as a department head, that is an officer’s position. Even on a ship as small as a Mine Countermeasures ship, with a crew of less than 30, the department heads are all officers with Chiefs as division officers. Now if he truly was a Warrant Officer, then I could see him as a department head. Warrant Officers are promoted from the Chiefs ranks and have been given a warrant (instead of a commission). They are basically highly specialized officers; they fall in between the officer and enlisted ranks in seniority. They stay strictly within their department instead of rotating around like junior officers do. They usually only hold division officer positions, but could be a department head at a very small command. I don’t know what the command size of DS9 was, so I can’t speak to that.


Does that answer your question? If not, let me know.


"The best diplomat I know is a fully activated phaser bank." ~LCDR Montgomery Scott, A Taste of Armageddon.

miklamar

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Report this Feb. 23 2012, 1:20 pm

Quote: dirtsailor73 @ Feb. 22 2012, 4:11 pm

Quote: Broadstorm @ Feb. 22 2012, 3:28 pm

Quote: miklamar @ Feb. 22 2012, 12:46 pm

>

>

>

>Dirtsailor73, I understand some point in having an aircraft carrier, since each of its planes can carry an impressive arsenal.  But, I think it would be better to have a lot of small, missile-carrying ships rather than large ships that are obvious targets for enemies.

>

Any successful military is going to have a mix of options.  The Navy does have the small missile platforms which excel in some areas, but the carrier/fighters option works better in other areas.  An entire fleet comprised of only 1 design or concept will likely be defeated by a fleet of similar strength with more options.  Finding the weakness in 1 concept is easier than overcoming a fleet in which the several different concepts complement each other. 

Not to split off this thread as it was made to allow a different thread to get back to its original topic, but there was a tactical game I used to play.  In that game there were certain types of craft that had specific strengths, but also specific weaknesses.  I came up with groupings that exploited the strengths & compensated for the weaknesses of each unit in the grouping.

I didn't realize what we had started in that other thread, but I'll take the questions posted here as a sign that this topic was long overdue.

Very true Broadstrom. An aircraft carrier is the most powerful warship in the world. That is due entirely to it's compliment of aircraft which can conduct air to air and air to surface warfare and can reach deep into enemy territory. But it still requires frigate and destoryers to protect it from submarines and smaller ships.

A study of naval warfare is a study of change. litorals vs. ocean, large vs. small, broadsides vs. crossing the T, battleships vs. aircraft carriers, missles vs. guns; the options go on and on.

Modern warships cost millions of dollars and take months or years to build. Trying to predict who your enemy is going to be and what type of warfare your going to be involved in is very tricky. Which is another reason why diversity is so important.

 


But, the point I would like to make is that you tie up so many other ships, protecting that one ship, that I think you could create several other "fleets" of smaller, equally effective ships, instead.


Also, just think of what a huge gap in your defenses would exist, if that one large ship and its entourage were somehow defeated.  Whereas, with several fleets of smaller, more numerous ships (with the same amount of resources), the loss of a few ships would not be as devastating.


I got this idea from playing a naval board game pitting smaller British ships against fewer, but more-powerful French ships.  (Also, remember the Spanish armada.)  The loss of a couple large French vessels threw the game to the British fleet.


Var Miklama--Zakdorn, engineer. "A sound mind in a FULL body!" "Time, like latinum, is a limited quantity in the galaxy."

Broadstorm

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Report this Feb. 23 2012, 2:42 pm

Quote: miklamar @ Feb. 23 2012, 1:20 pm

Quote: dirtsailor73 @ Feb. 22 2012, 4:11 pm

Quote: Broadstorm @ Feb. 22 2012, 3:28 pm

Quote: miklamar @ Feb. 22 2012, 12:46 pm

>

>

>

>

>Dirtsailor73, I understand some point in having an aircraft carrier, since each of its planes can carry an impressive arsenal.  But, I think it would be better to have a lot of small, missile-carrying ships rather than large ships that are obvious targets for enemies.

>

Any successful military is going to have a mix of options.  The Navy does have the small missile platforms which excel in some areas, but the carrier/fighters option works better in other areas.  An entire fleet comprised of only 1 design or concept will likely be defeated by a fleet of similar strength with more options.  Finding the weakness in 1 concept is easier than overcoming a fleet in which the several different concepts complement each other. 

Not to split off this thread as it was made to allow a different thread to get back to its original topic, but there was a tactical game I used to play.  In that game there were certain types of craft that had specific strengths, but also specific weaknesses.  I came up with groupings that exploited the strengths & compensated for the weaknesses of each unit in the grouping.

I didn't realize what we had started in that other thread, but I'll take the questions posted here as a sign that this topic was long overdue.

Very true Broadstrom. An aircraft carrier is the most powerful warship in the world. That is due entirely to it's compliment of aircraft which can conduct air to air and air to surface warfare and can reach deep into enemy territory. But it still requires frigate and destoryers to protect it from submarines and smaller ships.

A study of naval warfare is a study of change. litorals vs. ocean, large vs. small, broadsides vs. crossing the T, battleships vs. aircraft carriers, missles vs. guns; the options go on and on.

Modern warships cost millions of dollars and take months or years to build. Trying to predict who your enemy is going to be and what type of warfare your going to be involved in is very tricky. Which is another reason why diversity is so important.

 

But, the point I would like to make is that you tie up so many other ships, protecting that one ship, that I think you could create several other "fleets" of smaller, equally effective ships, instead.

Also, just think of what a huge gap in your defenses would exist, if that one large ship and its entourage were somehow defeated.  Whereas, with several fleets of smaller, more numerous ships (with the same amount of resources), the loss of a few ships would not be as devastating.

I got this idea from playing a naval board game pitting smaller British ships against fewer, but more-powerful French ships.  (Also, remember the Spanish armada.)  The loss of a couple large French vessels threw the game to the British fleet.


There are numerous variables to consider.  There is a certain flexibility to having a few smaller task groups that can split off, and those smaller groups do exist.  There is also the fact that those smaller groups, while more flexible in some ways, completely lack some of the capabilities of the carrier & its ability to deploy fighters.  As for the number of ships it takes to support a carrier, take that as an indication of how valuable the carrier is.  Even with the concept of taking out as much of an enemy force as you can, most militaries are going to compare risk to potential gain and won't go anywhere near an enemy carrier.  Also, the carrier is protecting the ships in its group, not just the other way around.  A carrier gets as much protection as it does because it is so valuable. 


Imagine you need to attack a certain area.  You can take all one class of ship or a mix.  If you take all one class, then you will have a great deal of one type of strength.  If you take a mix, then you will not have as much strength of one type, but you will have options.  The ability to exploit options is what enables a strong tactician with a weak force to defeat a weak tactician with a strong force.


I'll give you an example from that game I mentioned previously.  I played against the guy who was my toughest competition in our group.  Because of the rules we were using & how he exploited them, he ended up with a significant advantage.  If we had compared point values, we probably would have determined he had about a 50% advantage over me.  His units were faster, harder to hit & better armed than mine, but he had done 2 things wrong.  He had a fondness for a particular unit that basically establishes a zone of death, but it wasn't a good choice for the scale we were playing in this particular case.  He had allocated too much of his allotted force into this one unit.  Then he failed to protect it.  He was beating the crap out of me, but I got something in to where he should have never let it survive to do what it was there to do, but he did, so I did.  That primary asset needed proper support, but so did his smaller units.  After I took it out, the rest of his force fell apart because they no longer had the key unit protecting them.  That may seem like an argument against having key units, but remember that if he had properly supported it (which he was unable to do on that scale), and I had been operating in the 21%, he would have beaten me decisively.

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