The U.S. Navy and Defense Secretary and 2020 Wash100 Award recipient Mark Esper have made recent efforts to expand the service branch’s fleet to at least 355 ships to keep pace with Chinese military modernization. However, the Navy has faced recent challenges to keep up with the capacity, Breaking Defense reported on Tuesday.
The Navy has faced recent obstacles in performing scheduled maintenance work. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has recently reported delays, noting that carriers are averaging 113 days late, while subs are coming in 225 days late.
To combat the challenges as the service branch works toward modernization James Geurts, Navy Acquisition Chief and 2020 Wash100 Award winner, has developed plans for the shipyards and shipbuilders in the case of American ships damaged by the Chinese or Russian fleets.
Geurts established the Wartime Acquisition Scalable Plan, to look at the US industrial base “beyond the traditional defense companies and its suppliers in order to meet the national defense strategy and the department of Navy’s readiness priorities to build and sustain a lethal naval force,” said Navy spokesman Capt. Danny Hernandez.
Geurts’ team will continue to expand how the Navy could rapidly increase shipbuilding. RADM Tom Anderson, program executive officer-ships, said “how prepared are we to go to the fight, and what would we do and how do we get better prepared,” to rapidly push ships out to sea and repair them when they came back.
Under the Wartime Acquisition Scalable Plan, Geurts will also establish how Congress will provide the proper personnel to enact these plans, and create a national capacity to enact modernization.
Anderson has researched smaller commercial shipyards that haven’t traditionally worked with the Navy, which could lead to newfound progress. The shipyards would introduce a number of large shipbuilding companies that could deliver repair and overhaul work.
Anderson recently visited a number of small, commercial shipyards in the Gulf Coast to potentially build the kinds of smaller manned and unmanned vessels for the Navy and Pentagon as part of the revamped 30-year shipbuilding plan.
James Geurts, Assistant Secretary for Research, Development, and Acquisition with the U.S. Navy and 2020 Wash100 Award recipient will serve as a keynote speaker during the event. Geurts will discuss how the U.S. Navy has continually worked to decentralize, differentialize and digitize the service branch’s work as well as develop its talent in the field.
The Navy has also accelerated acquisition channels, modernized emerging technologies and increased research and development to become more effective in warfare. As the Navy continues to evolve to meet the growing demands, challenges still remain.
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