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.

Navy Finally Sends Littoral Combat Ship To Middle East

War Zone – The Freedom class USS Sioux City recently became the first of either of the U.S. Navy’s two types of Littoral Combat Ship to deploy to Middle Eastern waters. The service has long said that these vessels, the first of which entered service in 2008, would be ideally suited to operating in the region. However, this historical trip comes as the Navy now plans to decommission and potentially sell off all of its existing Freedom class ships due to a design flaw, combat relevancy, and other considerations.