RDML Christopher Alexander on Accelerating Surface Navy Tactical Excellence

CIMSEC – CIMSEC had the opportunity to discuss the evolution of the Surface Navy’s tactical development with Rear Admiral Christopher Alexander, commander of Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC). In this discussion, RDML Alexander covers new initiatives on measuring tactical experience, the increasing demand for Surface Warfare Advanced Tactical Training (SWATT) exercises, and how SMWDC is transforming to accelerate tactical skill across the surface fleet.

Surface warfare boss unveils strategy to create ‘more ready ships,’ better trained sailors

Defense News – The head of the U.S. Navy’s surface fleet has laid out a plan to prepare his force to deter or defeat a top-notch adversary, calling for specific steps to improve ship maintenance, successfully and rapidly field new weapons, develop high-end tactics, and ensure sailors and officers have high-quality training and mentoring.

The Global Operating Model’s Contact and Blunt Layers: Cornerstones for U.S. Naval Strategy Part 2

CIMSEC – In Part 1, we summarized the principles and functions underpinning the 2018 National Defense Strategy’s (NDS) Global Operating Model (GOM). We outlined the factors that motivated GOM development, and showed how the GOM’s historical lineage informs its contemporary utility. In today’s second and final installment in this series, we will outline the strategic importance of forward “competition operations” to deterrence. We will then identify the necessary attributes for naval forces operating in the Contact and Blunt layers, as well as factors that strategists should consider when thinking about such operations. We will conclude with some thoughts regarding the GOM’s overarching implications for future naval strategy and force employment.

Winged Luddites: Aviators Are the Biggest Threat to Carrier Aviation

War on the Rocks – Today, leaders in naval aviation are impeding the rapid adoption of reconnaissance and strike-capable aircraft carrier drones through deliberate incrementalism, purposefully constraining autonomous platform capabilities and delaying deployment with cautious and lengthy feasibility studies — all while adversaries accept greater risks to rapidly field imposing capabilities.

US Navy avoided a 2022 ‘trough’ in submarine fleet size, but industry challenges threaten future growth

Defense News – This fiscal year was expected to be the first in which the U.S. Navy dipped into a “trough” in its submarine force, falling below the previous requirement for 48 attack subs and facing two decades of reduced numbers, with as few as 41 at times. Instead, the Navy is holding steady at 50 and plans to only grow the fleet, thanks to efforts to extend the lives of many aging Los Angeles-class SSNs by about three years each and to refuel five of them altogether for additional years of operations.