Procuring Modular Containerships For Flexible and Affordable Capability

CIMSEC – The U.S. Navy should pursue commercial containerships and compatible containerized mission systems. These ships and systems will allow the U.S. Navy to rapidly field new technologies, expand the maritime industrial base, grow the ranks of experienced seafarers, and provide surge capacity in times of national need. Containerships, as well as combination containership/roll-on roll-off vessels (ConRo), would allow the U.S. Navy to affordably procure a large number of hulls compared to typical naval warships, and open options to augment a range of missions. These ships would allow conventional combatants to focus their high-end capabilities on the highest priority missions, while augmenting many of their capabilities with containerized support. Containerships can act as valuable force multipliers and retain a significant amount of modularity in a time when conventional naval force structure is at risk of falling behind the rapidly evolving state of capability.

Three Cheers For The New U.S. Marine Corps, None For The Old

1945 – Let the paradigm shift continue! This week the Biden administration nominated General Eric Smith, the deputy U.S. Marine Corps commandant for combat development and integration, to ascend to the post of commandant, or top uniformed marine. This comes as glad tidings to those of us who favor “naval integration,” meaning the effort to alloy the American sea services—the Marine Corps, Navy, and Coast Guard—into a single keen-edged implement for denying, winning, and exploiting command of the sea in concert with our fellow armed services and allies.

A Strait Too Far: How a Deliberate Campaigning Approach in the Pacific Can Make Beijing Think Twice

War on the Rocks – Leading Northeast Asia security analyst Ian Easton argues that March through May is one of two ideal windows of meteorological opportunity for cross-strait amphibious operations, with the other occurring in September and October. For the U.S. joint force, the spring campaigning season in the Indo-Pacific is thus essential for strengthening regional partnerships, increasing multinational lethality, and instilling doubt in Chinese leaders’ minds about whether they could successfully invade Taiwan.

More Changes Coming to the Marine Corps as Planners Refine Force Design 2030

USNI News – After three years of modeling and experimentation to overhaul the Marine Corps for an island-hopping campaign in the Indo-Pacific, service officials say they are done divesting of older platforms and capabilities and need more money to continue modernizing the force. 

The annual update to Force Design 2030, released Monday, says the Marines will ask for more funding to address infrastructure needs like base housing while continuing to build a lighter force that’s mobile enough to move smaller units around islands and shorelines.

Poisoned Water: How a Navy Ship Dumped Fuel and Sickened Its Own Crew – A years-long investigation reveals that the Boxer unintentionally compromised its own water supply in 2016, when it intentionally and potentially illegally dumped diesel fuel into the ocean and immediately sucked the noxious liquid back aboard the ship and into its water supply. Those conclusions can be revealed by for the first time after interviewing key personnel on the ship at the time of the incident, as well as through a review of documents obtained from sources.

These may be the world’s best warships. And they’re not American

CNN – It’s a growing problem that has United States naval commanders scratching their heads: How to keep up with China’s ever-expanding fleet of warships.

A potential solution is within reach, if the US is prepared to think outside the box.

Allies in South Korea and Japan are building some of the highest spec – and affordable – naval hardware on the oceans. 

Buying ships from these countries, or even building US-designed vessels in their shipyards, could be a cost-effective way of closing the gap with China. 

French Navy Chief Calls For European Navies To Increase Presence And Engagement In Key Waters

Naval News – European navies may need to provide greater-still at-sea presence in key European waters – and further afield, into the Indian Ocean and beyond – to add mass in these regions to deter security threats if US Navy forces are increasingly focused on operational deployments in the Pacific, the French Navy’s Chief of Naval Staff told a major UK Royal Navy (RN) conference in London.