1945 – James Holmes writes “Cognitive warfare”? Yes, please—and more of it!
USNI News – The vice-chair of the House Armed Services Committee does not support the Navy’s “divest to invest” strategy of ridding the fleet of aging and expensive-to-maintain ships and systems to free up money for the development of unmanned platforms and other new technology, saying the sea service needs to focus on getting ready for a near-term battle instead of looking too far out into the future.
USNI News – The following is the April 26, 2021 Congressional Research Service report, Hypersonic Weapons: Background and Issues for Congress.
(Thanks to Alain)
USNI News – The surface navy community is rolling out a new way to track and assess sailors’ experience and proficiency in combat skills – with the promise that commanders could tailor future training and build better watch bills – through a new Surface Warfare Combat Training Continuum (SWCTC) effort that is wrapping up a pilot program and will hit the fleet this summer.
CMISEC – The security-related risks of the United States pursuing decarbonization merit further scrutiny, especially with respect to decarbonization’s impact on the shipbuilding industrial base and its ability to contribute in a protracted great power conflict. Examples abound of the American decline in relative industrial strength and that of western nations generally. But unique to this point in time are the defense risks brought on by the proposed path to decarbonization and its likelihood to accelerate these trends.
National Interest – James Holmes writes that over at the Wall Street Journal last week, former deputy undersecretary of the navy and current Hudson Institute analyst Seth Cropsey aims a broadside at the U.S. sea services’ latest maritime strategy, titled Advantage at Sea. Cropsey’s broadside sails well wide of the mark. Let’s inspect—and see if we can correct—the fall of shot.
CIMSEC – CIMSEC discussed the 1980s Maritime Strategy with Admiral Tom Hayward (ret.), who initiated much of the Navy’s efforts toward changing war plans and adopting a more offensive role that would later be embodied in the Maritime Strategy. In this conversation, Admiral Hayward discusses how he came to learn of the Swing Strategy, how he initiated efforts to revise war plans, and how he advocated for these changes as commander of the Pacific Fleet and as the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO).
Defense News – Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday and acting Navy Secretary Thomas Harker praised the perennially problematic littoral combat ship during congressional testimony Thursday.
CIMSEC – Below are select excerpts from Admiral Mustin’s oral history, conducted by Dave Winkler of the Naval Historical Foundation and republished with permission. In these excerpts, Mustin shares his insights on developing operational and tactical methods for executing the Maritime Strategy at sea, how the bastion strategy of the Soviets affected tactical development, and how the offensive thrust of the Maritime Strategy required operational experimentation.
USNI News – As the Navy approaches the first-ever deployment of its advanced carrier air wing – with the fifth-generation F-35C Joint Strike Fighter paired with the CMV-22B Osprey to serve as the carrier onboard delivery plane – leadership from USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) and Carrier Air Wing 2 say they’ve ironed out many integration issues between the ship and the two new aircraft types and are ready for a final exercise this summer to prove they can deploy.
1945 – James Holmes writes that a back-to-basics approach offers the allies their best chance of massing more combat power for a contingency than can China’s armed forces. Look to the masters of strategy for wisdom—and execute.
USNI News – The Navy is set to debut its first at-sea hypersonic missiles aboard one of the service’s three Zumwalt-class destroyers in four years.
Associated Press – Ten years after they found and killed Osama bin Laden, U.S. Navy SEALs are undergoing a major transition to improve leadership and expand their commando capabilities to better battle threats from global powers like China and Russia.
CIMSEC – CIMSEC discussed the 1980s Maritime Strategy with Captain Spencer Johnson (ret.), who was instrumental in assembling the first briefed iteration of the Maritime Strategy in 1982. In this conversation, Capt. Johnson discusses how the strategy had to quickly come together to inform Navy programming, how it was received in its initial briefings by senior leadership, and how the Soviet Union reacted to the Maritime Strategy toward the end of the Cold War.
Naval News – As the Pentagon and Congress grapple on determining what to build to meet the “500-ship U.S. Navy goal,” a couple of years-old ideas and artist renderings may lead to a more flexible future for the U.S. Navy’s global operations.
USNI News – USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) and its air wing and strike group had a chance to fully show off their combat capabilities, using a recent at-sea testing period to demonstrate not only that Ford can keep up with its Nimitz-class counterparts but can use its new gear to perform better and faster, leaders in the strike group told USNI News today.
1945 – James Holmes writes that the key point of the newly published Unmanned Campaign Framework is to advance a hypothesis, namely that unmanned systems promise to help maritime forces accomplish their mission “through unlocking constraints on manned systems.” It seems the chief virtue of a family of unmanned systems isn’t leap-ahead technology. It’s that they have no crews, and thus are unbound by the demands and resources necessary to field and operate manned aircraft, surface ships, and submarines.
USNI Proceedings – Strategic purpose is not the same thing as operational necessities.
War Zone – In a possible glimpse of the future of naval warfare, an apparently new type of very small unmanned surface vessel, the ADARO, has been operating with U.S. Navy surface combatants during exercises off the coast of Southern California. The drone boat, which is reminiscent of a waterborne version of a mouse droid from Star Wars, is apparently intended, at least in part, to extend intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) coverage for the fleet when operating in regions close to the coast.
War Zone – The stealth destroyer USS Michael Monsoor will act as a command and control hub for manned and unmanned assets during the experiment off California.
CIMSEC – The challenges posed by China’s offensive deterrence paradigm require a new and innovative future force design for the US Navy.
USNI News – Off the southern California coast this week, the Navy has amassed a small fleet to help figure how its operational forces can use aerial drones, autonomous surface and subsurface vehicles in an integrated fight at sea and in the air to support the manned fleet.
Breaking Defense – The Navy and Marine Corps are testing radically new ways of operating in the Pacific by sending experimental unmanned ships into an ambitious exercise next week. Underpinning that exercise is an ambitious new plan for island-hopping that demands a fast implementation timeline.
War Zone – The U.S. military seems aloof to the fact that it’s being toyed with by a terrestrial adversary and key capabilities may be compromised as a result.
CIMSEC – The Service Squadrons played a pivotal role in sustaining the Fleet as it fought across the Central Pacific. It is a largely unknown history, but one worth relearning with the reemerging possibility of war between major powers. That experience highlights the need to make forward deployed logistics and repair capabilities both robust and mobile to better support the Fleet.