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Chapter 55 - The Administrator[]

"'s a numbers game. Once you accept that losses are inevitable, you then can begin calculating what acceptable losses look like. For generations, warfare has been the province of the elite-more of a sport than a concentrated conflict of will. Even in the depths of the Clan Invasion, armies were almost ludicrously small, planetary invasions decided by single regiments, or even battalions, by single Clusters and Trinaries. The Death toll among civilians was horrific, as they always are, but...not the participation. Very few populations have historically been wiling to commit to General Warfare, willing to deal with Wartime economies, able to provide the sheer manpower to fight in a general war..."

-Elizabeth Ngo addressing the Kowloon General Assembly after the Battle of Kowloon, 3067.

Overview: Sharon Ngo's Naval Budget from 3143 to the war declaration of 3147...

Admiral Ngo's budget was twenty percent of her predecessor's budget. This, well it didn't make sense. What made less sense, was what that money went to.

Fully fifty percent of FY3144's budget went to the construction of additional shipyards, rather than the purchase of new ships, fighters, or transports. JUST shipyards. A standard pattern was used and distribution ranged all the way from the periphery border areas inward. More than forty star systems; Including systems with no other industries, recieved pre-fabricated, packaged, assembled shipyard facilities, fueling stations, and so on. Another twenty percent went to the purchase and construction of supporting industrial facilities built not to produce ships, but to produce more yards, Ten percent went to low-interest loans for startup companies to assemble, and operate those shipyards, mainly focusing on civil infrastructure tasks, but with reinforcements and additional large-frame structures capable of handling warship production.

The remaining percentages went to paying existing personnel, recruitment, and maintenance costs, with one percent applied to the "Battleship 32nd Century" initiative-the design and procurement of full-scale warship production.

In sum total, less than .24 percent of the Lyran Commonwealth GDP was spent on the Frederic Steiner class, and compared to the previous year's expenditure of nearly half the LCN budget on the faltering and perpetually delayed Mjolnir II program, the results were...gratifying.

The FY 3145 budget saw an increase of 900% in registered jumpship transports throughout the Lyran Commonwealth, and saw the addition of the "general commerce enforcement and protection act", creating a reserve fleet loosely based on the Kowloonese Coast Guard model. This agency was tasked with three things:
1) ensuring jumpship and dropship safety and maintenance, with a thick budget for providing inspection, maintenance and repair to Merchant vessels
2) Low interest loans and extensive buyouts of mortgage obligations for civil shipping companies. This was largely focused on providing those services to smaller operations and single-ship companies. A beneficial side effect of this, was a sharp drop in smuggling, contraband, and Piracy as independent operators could be kept out of debt, with additional 'legitimate' work replacing criminal and black-market enterprises.
3)Procurement and training for Reserve crews on Cutter type jump-capable enforcement ships built to a standard control and monitoring scheme identical to that being installed on LCN front line vessels.

Fiscal Year 3146 saw the start of 'shakedown testing' for the LCS Frederic Steiner and the opening of eleven Naval yards throughout the Commonwealth. Keeping in mind that the FY3146 budget was only 45% of the FY 3143 budget for the LCN. The total number of military hulls in the black had increased radically, reaching levels not seen since the First Succession War.

FY3147 was the first time the LCN budgets matched the expenditures seen in 3143 and 3142 under the prior administration of the Commonwealth Navy. The fleet itself is radically different from what it was even four years ago. At .5% of the Commonwealth's total GDP for 3146, the LCN is still 'sucking hind teat' to the rest of the LCAF, which comprises a massive 1.23% of the Commonwealth's GDP and nearly 30% of the national budget.

FY 3148 will see the first increase to the LCN budget compared to what it was in 3143, with a projected increase of manpower by 900% and expected battlefield losses. The Shipyards are now building ships, factories are turning from commercial smallcraft to aerospace fighters and combat-capable smallcraft. Extensive reserves are being tapped to man this radically increased force.

Meanwhile, momentum is driving more industries, in more places, to be built to feed this growing juggernaut. It's not sexy or at least not as sexy as building lots of new BattleMechs at one or two sites. This is a new (Old) method of war. Industrialized war, the mobilization of a nation's potential industrial base to fight.

Note from the Author - Cannonshop[]

Sharon's got one of Lizzie's gifts: she's good at logistics. that is, she's good at figuring out how to set up the flow of supplies, men, material, and crazy necessary to power a massive Naval expansion on a relatively small budget in a realm where corruption in military contracts is, well...standard.

The Frederic Steiner class warship program was a perfect excuse to build up new subcontractors and cut old, connected and corrupt ones out of the loop until they play ball by HER rules.

Semier Datatron were the first ones to fall in line. Lockheed/CBM took a bit longer.

But, eventually, they too stepped up to play ball by 'Admiral's rules'.

Does four years seem unrealistic? Certainly to the talking heads at DNN it did. it's not. There are some neat things you can do with efficiencies of scale involved here. Sharon's programs ramped up the Lyran Shipbuilding and fitting industries to fill a wartime demand. Not a "traditional, brushfire raiding" wartime, but "All out we fight until we die screaming" wartime.

In the process, hyperstimulating the Lyran Economy out of the doldrums of the post-blackout crash.

By comparison, Roderick's reforms were minor in scale, and far more conservative, leading to a situation rarely seen in the Commonwealth: There are more regiments of Marines, than Ground forces, and more transport-capable ships, than soldiers to fill them.

In simplest terms, the army has some catching up to do.

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