military are overextended to a great degree. Our Navy is no exception with the responsibility to be able to cover all of the oceans and seas in the world. There can never be enough ships, or manpower to be able to keep a lid on all of the potential threats which could happen at any time.
Commanders have to prioritize when it comes to choosing which mission to carry out because of the shortage of equipment and manpower. The average commander walks a tightrope as he juggles mission balls in the air hoping that he doesn’t allow one to fall to the ground. Higher headquarters will throw out requirements with little concern about you get it done. Many times Commanders have to cut corners in order to meet unrealistic requirements and expectations.
I know this because I served I experienced this first hand. We were given requirements that headquarters knew were impossible. They really didn’t care because if we fell through and didn’t meet the minimum the blame would be placed squarely on the shoulders of the Commander who received the directive.
When I was stationed in Fort Stewart GA we never had the equipment that we needed when we deployed to the field, yet were expected to meet mission requirements as if we had it. I was told to go out and find radios which were required according to mission authorization.
When I was stationed in Korea for example, the duty officer had the responsibility of walking the entire compound twice each night. He had to physically check each door to insure that it was locked. This was absolutely impossible and they knew it. It placed any blame which was incurred from a door which was left unsecured on his shoulders regardless of who did it. Every duty officer knew that it covered headquarters at their expense, because if something went wrong he would be blamed for being derelict.
The Navy would probably be able to respond adequately to one situation but if there were several contingencies at once we would be woefully understaffed.