Miscellaneous – 2013 World Naval Operational News Highlights

The ten most significant naval news stories / trends / themes this year included:

  • The ratcheting up of Chinese rhetoric and actions regarding territorial claims in the South China Sea, including the heating up of the Chinese / Japanese dispute over the Diaoyu / Senkaku islands, the declaration of a Chinese Air Defense Identification Zone over them, and the harassment of the USS Cowpens while it was steaming near the Chinese aircraft Liaoning while it was on exercises. At what point will the Chinese actions provoke a shooting incident with the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force?

  • The Russian Navy’s symbolic, tactical, and strategic support for the Assad regime in Syria. Is the Russian Navy the most influential fleet in the Mediterranean Sea today?

  • The successful humanitarian operation carried out by the Royal Navy, US Navy Marine Corps, and Chinese Navy in the Philippines for Typhoon Haiyan. When and where will the next one be?

  • The use of French naval and marine forces in support of Operation Serval in Mali. How long will the French military be involved in this conflict?

  • The renewing of Russia’s seaborne nuclear deterrent with the entry into service of the first Borei-class SSBN. Is the Bulava SLBM now felt to work reliably, given its checkered testing program?

  • The Indian Navy’s commissioning (finally!) nearly 10 years after purchase of INS Vikramaditya, the former Soviet Kiev-class aircraft carrier Baku. When will India’s indigenously produced Vikrant-class carriers come into service?

  • The effect of sequestration on the US Navy’s maintenance and procurement programs and especially operations, with the cancelation of the USS Harry S. Truman’s deployment to the Persian Gulf 2 days before sailing. Is the greatest threat to the US Navy a combination of the US economy and the US Congress?

  • The successful launch and landing of the X-47B UAV from the USS George H.W. Bush. Exactly what form will its operational counterpart take and when will it enter service?

  • The US Marine Corps reboot in the direction of its amphibious roots. Is their expeditionary (but not amphibious) nature going to be seriously challenged by the US Army in the Pacific?

  • The Philippines resorting to lawfare to protect its territorial claims in the South China Sea. Do they have a chance at the United Nations?

Statistics

In 2013, there were news stories linked to on 365 / 365 days – that is on 100% of the days.

In 2013, NOSI linked to 428 news stories.

In 2013, 197 of these stories (46%) were related to the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, or U.S. Military Sealift Command.

In 2013, 69 of these stories (16%) were background stories.

The remaining 162 news stories (38%) covered the operational activities of 21 nation’s navies, coast guards, and marine corps:

Angola, Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Iran, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Phillipines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and Vietnam

In 2013, 144,030 pages read (page hits) from 114,938 users (visitors). There were 11 email subscribers. There were 135,467 post views (impressions) and 68,907 unique users (reach) and 665 fans (members) on the NOSI Facebook page.

Miscellaneous – Asian Carriers By the Numbers

- USNI News – The Asia-Pacific region recently has seen a rise in construction of multipurpose, aviation-capable ships by major area powers. Australia, China, South Korea, Japan and Thailand all have built ships with full-length flight decks with a variety of purposes: some as helicopter carriers, some as amphibious assault ships. Only one, China’s Liaoning, was built to accommodate traditional fixed-wing aircraft carrier operations, but many others, such as Japan’s Izumo-class of helicopter destroyers could conceivably carry some form of vertical or short takeoff-and-landing aircraft.

The aircraft carrier building spree has been highlighted by the recent turn in world attention to Asia. Reports characterizing the development of these ships as an “arms race” miss an important point: although there has been a considerable ramping up of tensions in Asia among its major powers, construction of all of these vessels predates such tension. The construction of carriers could be considered a logical expansion of seapower by the nations involved, especially those whose economies rely on overseas commerce.

Miscellaneous – Naval Operations in Peacetime – Not Just Warfare Lite

- US Naval War College Review – The role of naval power in peacetime today is much different from what it was in the days of Mahan, but unfortunately naval theory has not kept up…This article argues that naval theorists and practitioners should rethink their approach to naval activities other than war and that they should recognize the importance of fully understanding the source, nature, and implications of the authorities invoked for action during peacetime. A framework is offered as a step toward a reconceptualization of the continuum of naval operations from peace to war.

Miscellaneous – General Failure

- The Atlantic – Looking back on the troubled wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, many observers are content to lay blame on the Bush administration. But inept leadership by American generals was also responsible for the failure of those wars. A culture of mediocrity has taken hold within the Army’s leadership rank—if it is not uprooted, the country’s next war is unlikely to unfold any better than the last two. An excerpt from Tom Ricks’ latest book…

Miscellaneous – Autonomous Sea Platforms Emerge At Euronaval

- Aviation Week – Unmanned systems at sea offer advantages and face challenges that are often different from those associated with airborne and ground-based systems. For example, in a patrol mission that calls for long endurance at low speed, the size of a manned ship is largely driven by the need to provide tolerable accommodation and stability for the crew—a limit that does not apply to an unmanned surface vessel (USV).