(Editor’s Note: This is part one of a two-part series. The Drift would like to welcome famous amphibian naval commentator CDR Salamander as the host of this week’s edition of The Drift, Vol. XXXIII. Next week, we’ll welcome Dean of the Naval Press Corps, Chris Cavas. They’re here to talk about one of our favorite topics: material condition. See you in June, Drifters!)
NAVASSA ISLAND: Good Evening Drifters,
It is an honor to cover OS2 Larter’s slack this week on The Drift as we slide on in to summer.
What is summer for? Well, hopefully you spent the last few months getting the dad-bod ready for the beach, updated the wardrobe, and have time scheduled to get our in public.
Why? Because summer is when you head out with friends and family to see and be seen. Vacations, visiting, festivals, or just a backyard BBQ with the neighbors.
Superficial or not, people will make assumptions about your physical, financial, and personal state by how you look, act, walk - and even smell.
As the landlord of The Drift outlined in Vol. XXVII: The Rust Dialogues on 19APR19, the superficial condition of a ship does more than just give you an indication of how corrosion control and preventive maintenance – and the required manpower to do the same – is on a warship, it has a deeper meaning.
Except when in an active shooting war – and even then – a primary mission of a navy is presence; showing the flag. To the citizens of its nation, the condition and performance of their navy does two things; first it shows that the navy is a good steward of taxpayers’ investment, and second it gives them piece of mind that if their navy sorties forward to defend the nation, odds are they are trained, manned, and equipped to do so.
No one hires a defense attorney whose hair is a mess, wears flip-flops, and shirt is stained with yesterday’s salsa – so too a nation will not be comfortable trusting its security to a navy that looks like it just came from the back corner of the mothball fleet of the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.
Likewise, no coastal nation will be impressed with an ally or a competitor who huffs and puffs about the power of its navy, and then it shows up off the coast looking like a discarded ’58 Buick with a tree growing out of the wheel well.
So, what opportunities does our Navy have to show off its dad-bod this summer? Too late to get the gym membership now, so grab a tube, a floating cooler full of your beverage of choice and jump in to the Ichetucknee of the maritime NATSEC ecosystem.
On to a Salamander Edition of The Hotwash.