For the second time in seven months, mechanical or maintenance issues have prevented the USS Essex from meeting a commitment at sea, Navy officials said Wednesday.
The 21-year-old flagship of the forward deployed Expeditionary Strike Group 7 was scheduled to depart several days ago for Cobra Gold 2012, an annual exercise with Thailand. The mission was scrapped due to an equipment failure.
“It is true, the Essex will not be making Cobra Gold,” Task Force 76 spokesman Lt. Richard Drake said. “The cause is wear and tear.” (emphasis mine-XBradTC)
No, the cause is the idiotic “Fleet Response Plan” and “Optimal Manning” initiatives the Navy instituted when they adopted the “Enterprise” business approach to running a navy.
Cutting corners on maintenance schedules, and the people to perform that maintenance, means that ships that should last for 30 years or more are a mess at only 20 years of service.