The Navy Owes Congress Independent Honesty, Not Joint Harmony

CIMSEC – The U.S. is out of space, money, and time for the Navy’s multi-generational plans that avoid uncomfortable disagreements while awaiting tectonically slow shifts in OSD bureaucratic and strategic inertia. In a decade where China seeks ascendance with a likely vassal Russia in tow, the U.S. and its public needs a strong, forward, and mobile military to backstop American interests abroad. The military’s failure to understand its rightful place in answering both to the executive and legislative branches has impoverished the public debate on military and foreign policy matters, and weakened national security. Strong, innovative leadership comfortable with serious but professional public disagreements between OSD and other services is necessary to innovate and advocate for America’s pressing security needs. Such leadership is possible, as proven by Admiral Burke, General Shinseki, General Berger, Vice Admiral Copeman, and others who took the right risks for the right reasons. If Washington headquarters continue to fear dissenting conversations held in public more than war, our Navy – and military generally – will face brutal defeat and the ascendancy of a system determined by strategic adversaries.

Carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in Sea of Japan Ahead of Key North Korean Anniversaries

USNI News – Aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) is in the Sea of Japan, in time to coincide with key North Korean anniversaries like the 110th birthday of its late founding leader Kim Il-sung on April 15 and the founding anniversary of the North Korean People’s Revolutionary Army on April 25. The carrier’s recent move is the second time this year Lincoln has been employed to conduct a presence operation to deter North Korea.

US Navy’s unmanned vessel plans need improvement, watchdog agency says

Navy Times – While the U.S. Navy is steaming full speed ahead in developing unmanned surface and undersea drones to augment the fleet of the future, the information technology and artificial intelligence that will drive these platforms remains a work in progress. The sea service needs to better map out its efforts, according to a government watchdog report released this week.

Despite Setback, U.S. Army Forges Ahead With Maneuver Support Vessel (Light)

Naval News – The U.S. Army’s Maneuver Support Vessel-Light (MSV-(L)) is intended to replace the Army’s Landing Craft Mechanized (LCM-8) with a new vessel that can sail at speeds much faster than the venerable LCM-8 and also carry a heavier cargo payload. The MSV(L) will be able to carry a single U.S. Army’s M1A2SEP Main Battle Tank onto the beach.

Navy Wants To Cut Two Nearly New Sea Base Ships That Are Like Nothing Else

War Zone – The U.S. Navy wants to decommission both of its Montford Point class expeditionary transfer dock ships as part of its budget plans for the 2023 Fiscal Year. Cutting these vessels, which are both less than a decade old, relatively young by ship standards, is ostensibly part of a broader reorganization of the Navy and Marine Corps to focus more on distributed operations. This logic seems highly questionable given that these floating logistics nodes, which are unlike anything else the service has now, offer capabilities that would be ideal for those new concepts of operations.

Send Simmers to the Skirmish: A Case For A Wing-In-Ground Effect Attack Craft

CIMSEC – A wing-in-ground maritime attack craft (WMAC) would present an opportunity to field a cost-effective, survivable asset that can punch above its weight and cost. Such a platform would assist the United States naval battlegroups in attriting adversarial surface platforms and shore-based area denial systems to pursue maritime superiority in a contested environment. The United States Navy should pursue the acquisition, experimenting with, and eventual conversion of commercially produced wing-in-ground craft to fill an anti-surface warfare role until purpose-built designs can be developed, tested, and fielded. 

Sizing the Carriers—A Brief History of Alternatives

US Naval War College Review – In the end, the debate over aircraft carriers always boils down to cost; their acquisition costs are much higher than for any other single-item defense program, making them a natural target for criticism. Combined with a simplistic perception of vulnerability, high costs tend to cause critics to declare aircraft carriers unaffordable—but “compared to what?”

A Generational Change in Naval Aviation Has Begun Amidst Tight Budgets, Fighter Gaps

USNI News – The Navy is making the first major changes to the carrier air wing in a generation. The service just wrapped up the first carrier deployment of the F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters – the first new fighter jet on a carrier in 20 years – and is a few years away from introducing the first unmanned aircraft into the air wing. But while the Navy is moving ahead with new platforms and ways of fighting, it is still wrestling with maintenance gaps and a fighter inventory too small to deploy and train efficiently. The service is also shifting its strategy to focus on the Indo-Pacific, a vast region for the carrier air wing to operate in, after two decades of providing close-air support for combat missions in the Middle East and Central Asia.

Navy Pilots Flying Dozens of Daily Russian Deterrence Missions from USS Harry S. Truman

USNI News – Since December, the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group, Carrier Air Wing 1 and its escorts have been operating in the Adriatic and Ionian seas launching 80 to 90 sorties a day as far north as Lithuania for a variety of missions with NATO-allied aircraft from Romania, France and Italy. Some fighters launched from Truman are training, while some are set to police NATO’s airspace and prevent Russian aircraft from violating those borders.

Littoral Disaster: Navy Wants To Retire 10 Littoral Combat Ships According To Report

War Zone – The U.S. Navy will reportedly seek to decommission between eight and 10 Freedom class Littoral Combat Ships, or LCSs, as part of its budget proposal for the 2023 Fiscal Year. This would despite the oldest example still on active duty being only seven years old. Last year, the service admitted that it would take years to implement critical fixes to the propulsion systems on all of the Freedom class vessels it has acquired to date.

Manning the Unmanned Systems of SSN(X)

CIMSEC – The submarine force needs sailors with specialized skills to maintain, operate and integrate UUVs into SSN(X) operations. Because the submarine force and the United States Navy at large lack a documented, repeatable, and formalized process for training UUV operators and maintainers, the qualitative concept and computational model presented in this article offers a bridge to scaling multi-UUV operations. The Navy needs to develop codified training and manning requirements for UUV operations and the infrastructure, both physical and intellectual, to support unmanned systems operations. The recommendations discussed here are focused on the specific use case of UUVs deployed from manned submarines.