From: Washington D.C.
Regarding escorts, I assume that ALL ships are attached to a carrier group. So, it would be some carrier group (probably outside of the area) that would lend one of its ships to the ARG. Is that right, or are there always some loose ships that aren't attached to a carrier group that could be used?
It depends. Some CSGs are basically fixed on paper. For example, in Yokosuka, Japan, the USS Ronald Reagan is forward deployed as the flag ship for carrier strike group 5 (CSG-5). CSG-5 consists of USS Barry, USS Curtis Wilbur, USS John S. McCain, USS Fitzgerald, USS Stetham, USS Benfold, USS McCampbell, USS Mustin, USS Antiedam, USS Chancellorville, and USS Shiloh. They might detach a few of them from time to time (to be part of a SAG, or participate in an exercise of some kind independent of the carrier), but the default is that they "belong" to CSG-5.
There are other ships which are also in Japan, though, which are not part of CSG-5. For example in Sasebo, there's the gators from PHIBRON 11, which belong to Expeditionary Strike Group 7, along with a bunch of minesweepers. The FDNF in Japan is a little bit atypical, though, because it's kind of muscular. They're forward, so they're meant to be muscular quick response force for any possible Asian crisis. The ESG Commander, then might pull his amphibs from PHIBRON 11 and then the CSG-5 might detach a cruiser and a destroyer (for example) and put them under ESG-7, or they might link up with other CRUDES sent from Hawaii or San Diego.
Other CSGs are not quite so fixed. CSG-2 out of Norfolk, for example, has deployed with a variety of different CRUDES as escorts in recent years, drawn of any of several different type commands in Norfolk and possibly submarines if there's a submarine or two under direct command of the carrier.
Notionally, a CSG consists of a carrier, 4-5 DDGs, 2 CGs, maybe an FFG or LCS or two, a submarine, and an MPA. In practice, the composition varies widely.
Notionally, an ESG consists of an LHD, an LPD, and an LSD with 2 DDG and a CG, maybe an FFG or LCS or two, plus a submarine and an MPA. In practice that too varies widely, like in the above example, which has a bunch of minesweepers attached to it.
The current carrier groups now seem to a 1 CG, and 3 DDGs assigned to the carrier. So, if a DDG from this group would be assigned to as an escort to an ARG, then the carrier group would temporarily be a ship short, is that correct?
It's possible. It's also possible that the ARG deployed with the escort and they didn't have to borrow anything from the CSG, or they linked up with other ships on deployment from CONUS.
The organization of the Navy is different from the organization of land forces like the Army where things are more standardized in a "one size fits all" mindset. With certain exceptions, usually in the case of forward deployed forces, the Navy is more free-flowing, and customizable, detaching and deploying in many different size force packages, depending on many variables and constrained in part just by what's available given the work up cycles. Ultimately, the arbiter of who gets what would be the joint force maritime component commanders (JFMCC) in theater, typically a numbered fleet commander.
Probably the best way to get a sense of how warships deploy and organize themselves is to go on the Navy's website and start reading their press releases. Look at this one for example:
So... the USS Ronald Reagan, deployed with the USS Chancellorsville, USS Shiloh, and an unspecified number of DDGs. It also describes how the USS Decatur, USS Momsen, and USS Spruance deployed independently in the same area in recent months as part of a SAG. In another article dated 3 months later, the USS Ronald Reagan (CSG-5) deployed with the USS Chancellorsville, the USS Barry and the USS Stetham. These are all routine deployments. In a crisis, the higher tensions rise, the more muscular and the response would be, so you'd expect to see more and more warships joining up with the CSG, ESG or deployed as independent SAGs.
Does that help?
< Message edited by SeaQueen -- 2/13/2019 7:20:30 PM >