Author Topic: U.S. Navy seeks to divest Mk VI patrol boats  (Read 478 times)

girder

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U.S. Navy seeks to divest Mk VI patrol boats
« on: June 12, 2021, 06:11:53 PM »
The Navy Wants To Get Rid Of Its Nearly Brand New Patrol Boats
By Joseph Trevithick and Tyler Rogoway February 15, 2021

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The U.S. Navy is looking to divest its nearly-new Mk VI patrol boats, the oldest of which are just six years old, and has already begun laying the groundwork to do so. Barring an order to change course from President Joe Biden's administration or intervention by Congress, the service plans to remove all 12 of these boats, examples of which are based in Guam, as well as in the continental United States, and forward-deployed in the Persian Gulf, from service before the end of the year.

An unclassified General Administration (GENADMIN) message that The War Zone reviewed said that the Navy is presently looking to get rid of the Mk VIs by the end of the 2021 Fiscal Year, or September 30 of this year. The GENADMIN came from the office of Vice Admiral James Kilby, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfighting Requirements and Capabilities, also known as N9, and is dated February 5, 2021. A source familiar with the state of the program says that Naval Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC), to which all of these patrol boats are presently assigned, could begin retiring them as early as next month.

The GENADMIN says that the plans for the Mk VIs are "in accordance with approved budgetary decisions." The message also says "this plan will be adjusted if necessary based on subsequent execution year decisions made by leadership or as required by Congressional action."

When contacted, the Navy would not confirm or deny any plans to divest the Mk IVs or any timeline for doing so. The service did confirm, indirectly, that a proposed decision regarding the future of these boats was part of the upcoming President's Budget Request for Fiscal Year 2022, or PB22. A public version of the annual budget request from the Executive Branch to Congress is typically released in February.

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There have already been indications that the Navy might be leaning toward getting rid of the Mk VIs. During a talk as part of the Surface Navy Association's 2021 Virtual Symposium in January, U.S. Marine Corps Major General Tracy King, the head of the Expeditionary Warfare division within the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, had said that Vice Admiral Kilby was in the process of making a new determination about what the service's actual requirements were for these patrol boats ahead of the 2022 Fiscal Year budget request.

"In wargaming scenarios against peer nations [such as Russia or China], the Mk VIs were deemed not really needed (given their small size and limited missile firepower)," King added, according to Naval News. The boats are "very expensive to maintain," the Marine Major General continued.