Naval Gunfire Liaisons and 21st Century Fires

CIMSEC – This article will discuss the role of the Naval Gunfire Liaison Officer (NGLO) as one human in a  JADC2-enabled theater. Any conversation about fires, lethality, and the Pacific leads either implicitly or explicitly to considerations of how naval vessels can support maneuver forces ashore. However, this legacy — maritime fires directed against terrestrial objectives — is now only one part of the equation. As concepts evolve for potential wars in the Pacific, the NGLO can provide maritime expertise that improves the integration of joint, multi-domain fires at the tactical and operational levels of war.

Buy More Ships And Renovate The Culture: The Navy’s New Plan To Prepare For War

1945 – Today the chief of naval operations, Admiral Mike Gilday, released an updated “Navigation Plan” for 2022. In effect, the Navigation Plan represents Admiral Gilday’s instructions to the service on how to execute the Triservice Maritime Strategy (2020), along with higher-order directives such as the National Defense Strategy and the interim National Security Strategy. Several things are worthy of note in the Navigation Plan, some of them head-scratchers.

You Go to War With the Watercraft You Have

War on the Rocks – The challenge of logistics in the Pacific theater is different than those associated with land movements across a shared border in Europe. Failure in the Indo-Pacific theater might not be represented by lines of stalled vehicles, but rather troops and equipment far removed from the battle and without adequate intra-theater lift to move them across the ocean. Though the Army and Marine Corps (via the Navy), each have plans to acquire intra-theater watercraft, without coordination and a significant increase in scale, U.S. forces could find themselves without adequate numbers of watercraft or a joint logistics concept that captures the dynamic changes of force design and modernization that each of the services has embarked upon.

Note From Nimitz: You Need Lots Of Ships To Take Risks In War

1945 – Niccolò Machiavelli, meet Chester Nimitz. In his Discourses on Roman history the Renaissance Florentine philosopher-statesman claimed that human beings do not relish change. In fact, he verges on saying people can’tchange as the times and surroundings change around them. They get stuck as events march on. Thankfully for World War II America, Fleet Admiral Nimitz was an exception to the Machiavellian rule.

Navy’s Atlantic fleet mulling new, high-readiness force

Defense News – The U.S. Navy has long sought more flexibility in how its deployable ships are used, but it’s been hard to break out of the mold: the high-demand destroyers, for example, go through maintenance and training, most likely deploy as part of a carrier strike group, have a few months of free time upon their return, and then start the process all over again.

Beyond the Gulf: U.S. Maritime Security Operations in the Mena Region

CIMSEC – Despite rumors to the contrary, the United States is not interested in disengaging from the Middle East. The Indo-Pacific is the new focal point of U.S. foreign policy, but the Middle East remains essential for U.S. interests. However, current patterns of interaction between the United States and its Middle Eastern partners are tied to routines that were hardened during the Global War on Terror. While these routines have proven difficult to escape and a source of political divergence at times, the reality today is that U.S. priorities are more disparate globally—and U.S. presence in the region should not remain locked within previous formulas.

New details emerge about the 2020 Bonhomme Richard fire, ahead of censure of three-star

Defense News – The initial response to the July 2020 fire that destroyed the multibillion-dollar amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard was uncoordinated and hampered by confusion as to which admiral should cobble together Navy and civilian firefighters, according to new information from the then-head of Naval Surface Forces.

Alliance Management Requires All Hands

CIMSEC – In the Indo-Pacific and beyond, almost every speech, strategy document, and think tank report mentions “allies and partners” as a critical element of American national security. The military’s culture is organized around warfighting, a concept that may not immediately bring the criticality of allies and partners to mind. When officers in the sea services sit down to discuss big strategic issues, conversations more often center on the strengths and weaknesses of our adversaries, while any assessments of our allies come as an afterthought.

Feedback Loops and Fundamental Flaws in Autonomous Warships

War on the Rocks – As the U.S. Navy pivots to autonomous technologies for its future hybrid fleet of crewed and uncrewed ships, defense professionals and military officers (inspired in no small part by the novels Ghost Fleet and 2034) are keenly aware that every automated system is at risk of intrusion. The focus on cyber attacks, however, obscures a more fundamental cyber reliability problem. When computers replace people in the role of monitoring engineering systems, identifying equipment failures becomes more difficult. Leaving those problems unfixed makes vessels fail earlier, and fixing them puts ships and people at risk. In short, automated systems can introduce system-wide vulnerability even if nobody hacks them.