To Beat China In The Gray Zone, You Have To Be There

1945 – If you want to control something you have to be there to control it. Showing up intermittently and going away will not cut it if your opponent is there, in force, all the time, to impose its will.

US sailor charged over massive USS Bonhomme warship blaze in 2020

BBC – The US Navy has filed charges against a sailor over a massive blaze aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard in 2020 that destroyed the amphibious warship.

Keeping Littoral Combat Ships Nimble Key to Pacific Deployments, No Plans for 1st Fleet in Singapore

USNI News – The Navy is making Littoral Combat Ship deployments in the Indo-Pacific region more flexible and unpredictable, allowing the service to respond to impromptu engagement opportunities and ensuring the LCS are not tied to any fixed location for too long.

Blockade: Military-Economic Warfare vs. China

Clio’s Musings – This post assesses the potential of naval blockade as the principal component (along with cyber – not addressed) of a US national strategy of military-economic warfare versus China.

A New U.S. Navy Planning Model For Lower-Threshold Maritime Security Operations, Part 1

CIMSEC – This article asserts that the U.S. Navy will increasingly be called upon to operate in the constabulary end of activities short of war and proposes a 4-part constraints, restraints, enablers, and imperatives (C-R-E-I) analytical model for preparing the staff estimate to inform the mission analysis phase of the Navy Planning Process (NPP), when utilized to plan for such activities. 

Back to the Future: Routine Experimentation With Prototypes

CIMSEC – Broad agreement exists that the Department of Defense’s, and thus the Navy’s, acquisition system is bound like Gulliver by Lilliputian processes, resulting in an inability to adapt. This inflexibility threatens to increase the risks to operating forces as they face a growing number of adaptive adversaries, ranging from China and Russia, North Korea and Iran, to the Islamic State, Al Qaeda, and others. Well-intended legislation and increasing reliance upon computer modeling to inform the selection of future platforms and systems are major contributors to the current situation. Greater reliance on experimenting with prototypes at sea could provide a large improvement.

Fielding LCS Minehunting Mission Package Now A ‘Key Priority’

Breaking Defense – The senior officer overseeing the testing and fielding of the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship mission packages said on Thursday that fielding the mine countermeasures portion of those systems has become a “key priority.”

Submarine leaders want to tap into JADC2 network without giving away their position

Defense News – The Navy’s submarine force of the future will have to balance its need to remain stealthy against a need for information from the joint force.

Submarine industry is growing less fragile, but it needs stability going into SSN(X), increased repair work

Defense News – The U.S. Navy will ask the submarine industrial base to do a delicate dance in the coming decade: continue building two Virginia-class attack subs a year, ramp up the pace of building the much-larger Columbia-class ballistic missile sub, and begin designing and building the SSN(X) next-generation attack sub, all while restarting a submarine repair capability.

Two Iranian Warships Spotted Near English Channel

USNI News – Two Iranian warships are nearing the English Channel, according to satellite photographs reviewed by USNI News. The ships are thought to be headed to the Baltic Sea to represent Iran in a July 25 naval parade off the coast of St. Petersburg to commemorate the 325th anniversary of the Russian Navy.

A Toxic Brew Of Careerism And Fear: Why The Navy Could Lose A War To China

1945 – How do you change a culture? That question courses through a new congressionally mandated report from retired marine Lt. Gen. Robert Schmidle and retired Rear Adm. Mark Montgomery. The coauthors warn that failing to renovate the surface navy’s culture would court defeat against an increasingly well-equipped, increasingly rowdy Chinese navy.

U.S. Navy’s Virginia Class Submarines To Get 76% More Firepower

Naval News – Quantity has a quality all of its own. And when the quality relates to U.S. Navy missiles, having more of them is inevitably a massive increase in capabilities. The latest Block V Virginia Class submarine will greatly increase the number of missiles which can be carried. In effect this will make it a cruise missile submarine (SSGN). Yet it will not take away from this otherwise flexible anti-ship, anti-submarine, intelligence and special forces platform.

Sailors, Sailors Everywhere and Not a Berth to Sleep: The Illusion of Forward Posture in the Western Pacific

War on the Rocks – Given the very real limitations on deploying additional personnel or platforms to existing forward bases or to aspirational new ones in the Western Pacific, Washington ought to adopt a more peripheral approach to conflict management in the region. An emphasis on platforms that do not require new basing rights would offer a more mobile and survivable posture. 

US attempts to monitor PLA submarines with increased spy ship activities in S.China Sea

Global Times – A Beijing-based think tank is keeping an eye on an increase in close-range reconnaissance activities this year by US Navy ocean surveillance ships in the South China Sea, saying in a report released on Tuesday that the US is attempting to monitor Chinese submarine activities in the region and provide anti-submarine intelligence support.

An Alternative History for U.S. Navy Force Structure Development

CIMSEC – U.S. Navy and Department of Defense bureaucratic and acquisition practices have frustrated innovations promoted by Chiefs of Naval Operations and the CNO Strategic Studies Groups over the past several decades.1 The Navy could have capabilities better suited to meet today’s challenges and opportunities had it pursued many of these innovations. This alternative history presents what the Navy could have been in 2019 had the Navy and DoD accepted the kinds of risks faced during the development of nuclear-powered ships, used similar prototyping practices, and accepted near-term costs for longer-term returns on that investment.

Navy Adjusts F-35C Squadron Size to End Fighter Shortfall by 2025

USNI News – By 2025, the Navy will have solved its strike fighter shortfall in part by changing how it will field the F-35C Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter. Instead of two squadrons per air wing with 10 tails, the Navy will now field a single squadron with 14 tails.

Undersea Red: Captain Eric Sager on the Submarine Force’s New Aggressor Squadron

CIMSEC – CIMSEC shared questions with Captain Eric M. Sager to discuss the Submarine Force’s new Aggressor Squadron (AGGRON). In this conversation, Capt. Sager discusses what AGGRON is doing to enhance undersea lethality, the vital importance of connecting adversary doctrine to submarine force development, and how a dedicated Red team makes for much more realistic high-end combat training.

Here’s Our Best Look Yet At The Navy’s New Laser Dazzler System

War Zone – The Navy’s Optical Dazzling Interdictor, or ODIN, was photographed installed on the USS Stockdale during a replenishment in the Pacific.

New MQ-25 warrant officer specialty now open to sailor and civilian applicants

Navy Times – The Navy is poised to start selecting sailors and civilians this summer to become warrant officers and operate the MQ-25 Stingray carrier-based refueling drone.

A New U.S. Maritime Strategy

CIMSEC – This article outlines the path that led to the U.S. Navy’s current strategic deficit and proposes a framework for a new maritime strategy, one that should be immediately developed along with the corresponding force structure assessment. With a modest 5% additional investment in the Navy over the next five years, 90% of the changes required by this strategy can be achieved.

Lawmakers Survey: 94% of Sailors Say ‘Damaging Operational Failures’ Related to Navy Culture, Leadership Problems

USNI News – The Navy’s surface warfare community is weighed with a culture that values administrative chores over training to fight, ship commanders that are micromanaged and an aversion to risk, according to a new survey overseen by a retired Navy admiral and Marine general at the behest of a group of Republican lawmakers. That culture was at least partially responsible for a string “of high-profile and damaging operational failures in the Navy’s Surface Warfare community,” the report found.