– CIMSEC – The age of the strike carrier is over. As the United States enters an era where the potential for modern great-power war is increasing dramatically in Eurasia, a return to the traditional roles of the aircraft carrier is required to maintain maritime access. Carrier-borne over-land strike warfare has not proved decisive in previous conflicts in heavily contested air defense environments, and will not prove so in the future. In the potential high-end conflicts of the twenty-first century, the likely utility of carrier-based land strike is largely non-existent. Thankfully, the traditional carrier aviation roles of maritime interdiction and fleet air defense remain highly valuable in wars against modern navies, but are precisely the roles, missions, and tactics sacrificed for sea based over-land strikes over the past sixty years. Regaining this capability will require a modest investment in existing and developing systems and capabilities and should be the force’s, the service’s and the nation’s highest objective in the coming years.
– Breaking Defense – Trump’s promised defense budget boost probably won’t materialize, the former Vice-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs said today, so we can’t afford to grow a larger military. Instead of more ships and troops, retired Adm. James Winnefeld said the military should prioritize investment in new ideas. His own service, for example, should overcome its post-1945 reluctance to lay mines off enemy shores and deploy networks of smart mines. The Army should cut soldiers to buy more modern equipment and stockpile a lot of it in Europe.
– Asian Times – While the Pentagon insists its warship maneuvers – the first under President Donald Trump – are routine, Beijing has denounced them as a threat.
– Navy Times – The embarked crew of the littoral combat ship Coronado, forward deployed to Singapore, was supposed to be home for Thanksgiving after a four- or five-month tour. But now the crew has been on board and overseas for eight months and there is no end in sight.
– Breaking Defense – The Army and Navy must link their missile defense systems into a single network so Navy weapons can hit targets spotted by Army radars and vice versa, the chief of Pacific Command said today. That’s a daunting technical task but, if surmounted, it could dramatically improve defense against North Korean, Chinese, or Russian missile salvos.
– CIMSEC – Distributed lethality depends on being hard to find and securing the element of surprise enabled by superior situational awareness. With the adoption of the distributed lethality concept, it is essential that the concept and doctrine for establishing and maintaining the Common Tactical Picture be reviewed and optimized to assure warfare commanders enjoy the tactical advantage of decision superiority over an adversary.
– BBC – US aircraft carrier the USS Carl Vinson has started what it calls “routine operations” in the South China Sea, with a fleet of supporting warships.
– Air Force – The US is pressing ahead with plans to improve airpower capabilities in the critical Pacific region.
– CIMSEC – The future of naval warfare is increasingly shifting to undersea competition, in both manned and unmanned systems. American seapower has excelled in this domain and holds a competitive edge today beneath the waves. But the U.S. Navy, by a combination of compressed funding and potentially crippling procurement cost increases, may not be well positioned to sustain its mastery of undersea warfare.
– USNI News – Three congressionally mandated studies outline what the Navy of 2030 could look like and present three very different takes on how the service could tackle its roles and responsibilities in the future.
– Breaking Defense – Light carriers. Robot PT boats. Unmanned subs. A congressionally chartered study, the Alternative Future Fleet Platform Architecture Study, “does not represent any official Navy position,” but offers a surprisingly bold vision for the future of the US Navy.
– USNI News – After a two-month gap, the U.S. Navy is again launching carrier-based strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria from the Mediterranean. Strike fighters from USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) launched Monday against targets in Syria as part of the ongoing Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR).
Navy Times – U.S. Navy and Pacific Command leaders want to ratchet up potentially provocative operations in the South China Sea by sailing more warships near the increasingly militarized man-made islands that China claims as sovereign territory.
– Breaking Defense – The Navy needs a vastly larger fleet — 414 warships — to win a great-power war, well above today’s 274 ships or even the Navy’s unfunded plan for 355, the think-tank MITRE calculates in a congressionally-chartered study.
– Defense News – A U.S. Navy office set up less than two years ago to oversee the warfare development of unmanned systems has been eliminated.
– Defense News – The US Navy’s F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet strike fighters are the tip of the spear, embodying most of the fierce striking power of the aircraft carrier strike group. But nearly two-thirds of the fleet’s strike fighters can’t fly – grounded because they’re either undergoing maintenance or simply waiting for parts or their turn the aviation depot backlog. Overall, more than half the Navy’s aircraft are grounded, most because there isn’t enough money to fix them.
– VOA – A U.S. Navy destroyer is patrolling off the coast of Yemen to protect international waterways from Houthi militia aligned with Iran. The USS Cole arrived Friday in the vicinity of the Bab al-Mandab Strait off southwestern Yemen to conduct “presence operations,” which will include escorting duties, to help protect vessels passing through the strait.
– Traditional Right – The debate in this country about maneuver warfare has centered on the Army and the Marine Corps, not the Navy….maneuver warfare as we now know it was developed by and institutionalized in the Prussian/German Army between 1807 and 1945. But it did not start there. It started in the Royal Navy in the second half of the eighteenth century.
– CIMSEC – CIMSEC sat down with author David Poyer, former naval officer and author of the ‘Tales of the Modern Navy’ series of novels, among other exciting modern and historical naval fiction titles. Poyer’s latest title, Onslaught, finds protagonist Dan Lenson in command of USS Savo Island during the opening salvo of the war with China. Poyer’s masterful character development, eye for technical details, and comprehensive understanding of life at sea have made him a favorite of fans of this genre. We asked him about his writing process, inspiration, and more.
David Poyer’s Dan Lenson / Modern Navy novels can be found: here
– USNI News – The new year began with no U.S. aircraft carrier and carrier strike group on watch in the Middle East. But the volatile Middle East region wasn’t devoid of U.S. military projection from the sea. For almost two months – and through the nation’s transition to a new administration – the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, aboard the three-ship Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, has been standing post.
– Defense News – With no fiscal 2017 defense budget in sight and little chance of an agreement before April – if then – the military services are submitting second and possibly third rounds of unfunded requirements lists to Congress. The lists include items left out of the original budget requests, ranked in order of priority should Congress find a way to fund them.
– Washington Free Beacon – A political battle is underway in the Trump administration over whether the president should pick a former Hong Kong-based financier with extensive business ties in China to be the next Navy secretary.
– National Interest – What James Holmes, one of the world’s leading naval experts, would change.
– USNI News – The next six years will bring numerous offensive and defensive capabilities to the U.S. surface fleet, culminating in Fiscal Year 2023 when the Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyer (DDG-51) reaches initial operational capability and the first frigate delivers to the fleet.