The Navy should rethink the operational employment of carriers and other ships as part of the 30-year shipbuilding plan.
The eight appendices of the Navy’s 30-year shipbuilding plan do a thorough job describing the costs, funding requirements, shipyard capacity, and acquisition profile required to build a fleet of 355 ships.1 But Vice Admiral Bill Mertz, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfare Systems, has conceded that although a life extension for guided-missile destroyers will “[get] the Navy to 355 ships in 2036 or 2037, . . . it’s the wrong mix of ships,” adding that the Navy is “very focused on getting the right mix . . . in the end.”2