VOL. 23 - NO. 17
MAY 20 - 27, 2018
PO BOX 13283
OAKLAND, CA 94661-0283

510.595.7777 FAX

Joint Forces Journal is published privately, and in no way is connected with DoD, the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard. This website and the printed newspaper are intended for the members of the Armed Forces and their families. Contents do not necessarily reflect official views of the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard, and do not imply endorsements thereof. The marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation, or any other non-merit factor of the purchases, user or patron for advertisers prohibited. If a violation or rejection of this equal opportunity policy by an advertiser is confirmed, the publisher shall refuse to print advertising from that source until the violation is corrected. Editorial content is prepared and edited privately, and is provided by the Public Affairs Office of U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard installations. Correspondence and material for publication should be addressed to: Editor, Joint Forces Journal, P.O. Box 13283, Oakland, CA, 94661-0283. Deadline for receiving articles and photos is 3 p.m. Monday for publication on Friday of that week. Joint Forces Journal editorial policy is to use bylines and photo credits where applicable and when submitted.

Navy 'Taking a Hard Look' At Pulling Frigates Out of Mothballs

Jun 16, 2017
by Hope Hodge Seck
Navy brass are seriously examining the possibility of pulling seven or eight of its Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates out of retirement as the service works to surge its numbers.

Speaking at a recent current strategy forum hosted by the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said the move was under consideration, though it would likely entail significant effort to modernize the older ships.

"We've got to be thoughtful about this," he said. " ... Those are some old ships and the technology on those ships is old. And in this exponential type of environment, a lot has changed since we last modernized those. So it will be a cost-benefit analysis in terms of how we do that.

The Navy built 51 Perry-class frigates in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The era of the ships was relatively short-lived; the first of the class, the Oliver Hazard Perry, was decommissioned in 1997, after just 20 years of service. The service decommissioned the last of the class, the Simpson in 2015.

Following their decommissioning in the U.S. Navy, a number of the ships were transferred to international navies, including those of Turkey, Egypt, and Pakistan, for continued use. Others were sunk for use as diving and fishing reefs, used as targets for missile tests, or dismantled for scrap.

There are now 12 Perry-class frigates listed in the holdings of the Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility, which maintains "mothball fleets" in Pearl Harbor; Philadelphia; and Bremerton, Washington. Some are marked as candidates for foreign military sale.

In a recent address at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., commander of Naval Sea Systems Command Vice Adm. Thomas Moore said ships in that era were not maintained or modernized with an eye to longevity.

"We kind of got rid of them at the 25-year point; we didn't do maintenance on them," he said. "The reality of it is, we really got rid of a lot of those ships because, from a combat systems standpoint, they had become obsolete."

That was true of the Perry-class frigates, which did not receive crucial warfighting updates and were overshadowed by the Aegis capabilities of the new Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and Ticonderoga-class cruisers. Within the Navy, some referred to the frigates as the "ghetto fleet."

It's not clear what it would take to get these ships sailing again in today's fleet or when Navy leadership will make a decision on whether or not to do so. Notably, Richardson made no mention of bringing the carrier Kitty Hawk out of mothballs as well, a possibility hinted at by Moore in a recent interview with Defense and Aerospace Report.

What is clear, however, is that relying on laid-up ships alone won't be enough to bring the Navy close to its goal of a 355-ship fleet. Richardson reiterated his goal to extend the service life of currently serving ships and making existing platforms more capable, using technologies such as directed energy weapons to get more than a ship's worth of capability out of every ship in the fleet.

"There are many types of those technologies that are out there, imaging radars, those sorts of things, to make each of these platforms more capable, delivering more naval power," he said.

* * * * *

Photo caption: The Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided missile frigate USS Boone (FFG-28) sails past the Statue of Liberty in the Hudson River during the kickoff of Fleet Week. (U.S. Navy/Michael W. Pendergrass)


Marines to Get New Psychological Operations MOS as Community Grows

Coast Guard Atlantic Area to Welcome New Commander

All-Female Crew Proves its Chops on Carrier Roosevelt

TRAVEL & ENTERTAINMENT: “Jersey Boys” Comes to San Jose’s Center for the Performing Arts” for Return Engagement

TRAVEL & ENTERTAINMENT: Tony® Award Winner Len Cariou Comes to Bay Area in “Broadway and the Bard: An Evening of Shakespeare & Song”

Army to Begin Equipping Heavy Units with Active Protection by 2020

'Material Issue' Delays USS Ronald Reagan’s Upcoming Deployment

BOOK REVIEW: "Fathers, Sons, and the Holy Ghosts of Baseball" by Tommy Murray

TRAVEL & ENTERTAINMENT: Transcendence Theatre Company presents "Stairway to Paradise"

Proposed Cannon Would Turn the B-1 Bomber into a Gunship