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From Mitt Romney's speech at VMI (sorry, veterans like myself don't consider VMI some great bastion of military heritage, today it's where either legacies have to go or wayward kids get sent) today:

"The size of our Navy is at levels not seen since 1916. I will restore our Navy to the size needed to fulfill our missions by building 15 ships per year, including three submarines."

As straight to the point as I can make it, he pulled this from his ass: More below rolled up band aid.

From the Naval History and Heritage website

U.S. Navy Active Ship Force Levels, 1886-present
This tabulation was compiled from such sources as the Navy Directory (issued at varying intervals to 1941); the Annual Reports of the Secretary of the Navy (issued annually to 1931); Comptroller of the Navy (NAVCOMPT) compilations; Department of the Navy (DON) 5-Year Program, Ships & Aircraft Supplemental Data Tables (SASDT); and records and compilations of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OP-802K, now N804J1D) Ship Management Information System (now Ship Management System), refined and edited with the assistance of the annual Naval Vessel Register.

For consistent historical comparison, Naval Reserve Force (NRF) and Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force (NFAF) ships, and Military Sealift Command (MSC) fleet support ships, are included in current and recent active totals. Figures, and conclusions drawn from them, would, otherwise, be historically inconsistent, and comparisons would be skewed.

In 2000, the total number of warships, including subs, was 318.  At the end of 2008 (coincidentally the end of the Bush presidency) the total number of warships was 282.  As of Sep 2011, the total number of warships is 285.  

So, not only did the size of the navy decrease from 318 ships to 282, or 11%, but it is 3 ships larger now than in 2008.  

Where in the hell does Romney pull this quote that the Navy is not at levels seen since 1916 ( I assume he meant it not as a compliment to Obama).  Also, he says he will build 15 ships a year.  What kind? Why? What analytical basis is that statement derived from?  

On Saturday, Assistant Sec of the Navy, Juan M Garcia III addressed the Officer Training Command at Newport Naval Station about the 21st Century navy.  In addition to a discussion about the record retention rates in the Navy he addressed the size of the total naval fleet:

"Garcia said the size of the fleet in 2013 will be 287 ships, but added that a 300 ship Navy is likely by 2019. He attributed the increase to the Navy's new class of ships.

"The size of the fleet is about right despite what is discussed in the blogosphere," Garcia said.

He said the recent 10 month-long deployments experienced by Sailors aboard the large deck ships like the USS Bataan and USS John C. Stennis are likely to be reduced to six or seven months."  Source:

So, to wrap up this singular point, somebody on Romney's lying staff looked at some statistic in some skewed way to make this statement.  Perhaps they should have gone to the commissioning of the USS Michael Murphy on Saturday.  

It takes years to get a ship designed, scheduled produced and in the fleet as part of an overall strategy.  Saying "I'll build 15 ships per year" is just such a know-nothing bullshit comment that it should be thrown back into his face time and again and the details asked again and again as to what type of ships, who says we need them, what is already in production.  This guy will say anything to get elected, and everyone better be aware of that.

1:53 PM PT: One more comment, speaking about where our carrier groups are or are not deployed at a given moment is stupid at best, traitorous at worst.

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