In a recent speech to the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson discussed the size and make-up of the U.S. Navy he believes is necessary to best defend the country moving forward.
Richardson described the six dimensions of the naval power nucleus: a bigger navy, a better navy, a networked navy, a more talented navy, a more agile navy and a more ready navy.
“Those are the components of the nucleus; if you try to tear one out, you don’t have naval power, you have some isotope of nuclear power, something that’s close but not really [naval power],” he said. “These isotopes are sometimes unstable, sometimes they decay, et cetera. It’s not the stable element we want, not the true thing.”
Richardson noted that the current size of the Navy is inadequate for the country’s defense needs and said the Trump administration’s quest for a 355-ship fleet is the correct number, as supported by several studies.
The CNO also said that as the fleet grew, so, too, would the number of sailors, along with their skillsets.
“As we get a bigger fleet, we’re going to need more sailors; as we get a better fleet we’re going to need sailors that are trained a little bit differently than we train them right now. Those systems demand different skills,” the CNO said.
He also emphasized readiness above all.