With the US Navy stretched beyond its means to meet worldwide commitments, planners are looking at ways to get more operational time out of the ships, aircraft and sailors on hand. One solution, says an influential analyst, is to consider basing not just one, but two aircraft carriers in Japan.
A second carrier in Japan would solve all western Pacific carrier needs, Bryan Clark, a naval analyst with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, said Tuesday, a day before presenting his findings at a Capitol Hill press conference.
“Not having the transit time from the West Coast saves about 20 percent in the deployment length,” Clark said, adding that his research shows a two-carrier force would result in a 1.4 presence factor, meaning at least one carrier would be available every month of a year, with both carriers available an additional four months.
Time offline includes maintenance and overhaul periods.