Keeping a fleet ready for war is a process of years of careful, consistent, and sustained stewardship of both personnel and material.
The easiest parts are the buying of equipment and recruiting new people.The hard parts, maintenance, training, and retention – mostly because they are hard – rarely break in to the open.
For our fleet, the structure we live in is the Optimized Fleet Response Plan (OFRP). It is a system few understand well, but is one designed around a peace time “efficiency” with only a passing interest in wartime “effectiveness.”
Decades of dominance at sea has provided the US Navy the luxury of such, but as China expands her fleet at an alarming rate – do we need a new construct?
Our guest for the full hour to discuss this and related topics will be Bryan McGrath, CDR USN (Ret.).
Bryan McGrath grew up in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, and graduated from the University of Virginia in 1987. He was commissioned upon graduation in the United States Navy, and served as a Surface Warfare Officer until his retirement in 2008. At sea, he served primarily in cruisers and destroyers, rising to command of the Destroyer USS BULKELEY (DDG 84). During his command tour, he won the Surface Navy Association’s Admiral Elmo Zumwalt Award for Inspirational Leadership, and the BULKELEY was awarded the USS ARIZONA Memorial Trophy signifying the fleet’s most combat ready unit. Ashore, Bryan enjoyed four tours in Washington DC, including his final tour in which he acted as Team Leader and primary author of our nation’s 2007 maritime strategy entitled “A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower.”
Since retirement, Bryan has become active in presidential politics, serving first as the Navy Policy Team lead for the Romney Campaign in 2012, and then as the Navy and Marine Corps Policy lead for the Rubio Campaign in 2016.