Distributed Lethality Requires Distributed Capability Across the Surface Fleet

USNI Blog – Rowden’s model of distributed lethality for the surface navy, today’s changing maritime security environment will require a shift in the core focus of the composition of our fleet. Distributed lethality demands that “if it floats, it fights,” according to N96 Director Rear Admiral Peter Fanta. To adequately meet modern challenges, the Navy must invest in a more robust fleet composed of a larger number of small surface combatants (SSCs), in addition to the traditional capital ships.

Southeast Asia’s naval rivalry — India and China

UPI – Much has been written recently about both the U.S. military/naval “pivot to Asia” and China’s extensive South China Sea maritime assertions, stirring up territorial claims and counter-claims. But if the possibility of a potential U.S.-China maritime confrontation dominates media coverage, another scenario equally unsettling is rising to the surface — increasingly assertive naval power projections by both China and India.

Marines Declare F-35B Operational, But Is It Really Ready For Combat?

Foxtrot Alpha – The Marine Corp has declared initial operational capability for their first squadron of F-35Bs. The announcement is seen by some as more of PR achievement as the aircraft still has years of testing ahead of it. Others will argue that it represents a major accomplishment for the beleaguered F-35 program. But regardless of who you agree with, the USMC have succeeded at ramming the aircraft through a marker post that has always been a huge point of contention.

Loitering With Intent

Harper’s – William Arkin writes: “When I look at the digital legions splayed out on a battlefield that is truly global, I see drones and the Data Machine they serve as the greatest threats to our national security, our safety, and our very way of life. If drones instantly ceased to exist, the black boxes at the heart of the Data Machine would still direct manned aircraft and satellites. And yet drones are the proper place to start thinking about our deluded pursuit of perfect war, which is produced by our hubristic endeavor to root out evil everywhere and our increased unwillingness to suffer human sacrifice in the course of making war.”

Lt. Col. Kate Germano on the Marines and Women

New York Times – For decades the Marine Corps has tolerated, even encouraged, lower performance from the young women who enlist in its ranks, an insidious gender bias that begins with the way women are treated immediately after they sign up and continues through their training at boot camp. The results are predictable – female Marines risk being less confident and less fully accepted than their male counterparts, because the Corps has failed them from the outset. That is the position of Lt. Col. Kate Germano, an active-duty Marine officer who commanded both a Marine recruiting station in San Diego and a segregated all-female training battalion at Parris Island, the Corps’ boot camp in South Carolina.

What it Takes to Win: Succeeding in 21st Century Battle Network Competitions

Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments – Success or failure in war is often measured in terms of territory gained and losses imposed on the enemy. These metrics, however, may not reflect what is really most useful in winning a war or a military competition. Our research shows that it is often more cost effective to impose delay, disruptions and inefficiency on adversary battle networks than to adopt traditional attrition warfare metrics. Our insights are derived from two of the most important competitions in 20th century conflicts: one between air defenses and strike aircraft and the other between submarines and anti-submarine forces. In this study, Dr. John Stillion and Bryan Clark quantitatively examine 100 years of air and undersea competitions. Their findings provide a framework for understanding the battle network competitions of today, as well as identifying operating concepts and technologies that can enable U.S. anti-submarine, air defense, and strike forces to be successful in future conflicts.

US Navy shifting its most modern aircraft to the Pacific

Flightglobal – The US Navy will extend its air arm in the Asia-Pacific region over the coming five years with the first deployment of the Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton unmanned maritime patrol aircraft to Guam in 2017 and an increased presence of other newly developed flying assets like the Boeing P-8A Poseidon and Northrop MQ-8C Fire Scout.