Posted by: viewfromtheriva | October 6, 2014

$1.7 billion US Navy warship Mesa Verde docks in Split


Ship Image

Split’s waterfront took on a new look today with the arrival of the USS Mesa Verde, a San Antonio class amphibious warship that costs $1.7 billion each. Its main function is to rapidly deploy 800 or so Marines into a hotspot using onboard landing craft and helicopters.

Designed with state of the art radar deflecting gear, the odd looking ship also has wedge shaped masts housing all sorts of 21st C electronics.   The ship carries the controversial tilt-rotor Osprey, whose cost overruns and accident-prone performance are almost as legendary as the San Antonio class cost overruns and shaky performance.

A U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 prepares to land aboard USS Nassau in 2008.

Above is a photo of the V 22 Osprey.  It carries about 20 Marines, but with an operating cost of almost $10,000 per hour, it costs more to buy and use than a 130 passenger Airbus 318!.

I couldn’t resist doing a little more math…for the same cost as the ship and its helicopters more than 50,000 Croatians could be employed full time for a year.  While there is no doubt that the US military has the best money can buy, the shocking lack of control over how much is spent to create it is a root cause of why such a wealthy country still has so much poverty and poor health care for so many of its citizens.

If there was less greed and incompetence, not only would the US have its juggernaut military, but countless billions would be available for the social good.

Standing on the Riva and looking at this out of place battle-grey Navy ship next to all the white and blue Jadrolinija ferries and sleek cruise ships, it sure was a spooky site—a reminder that not that far away from all our peace and tranquility, our planet is still a hostile place for many.

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