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    Online Book

    Found this book here. And posted one chapter.:

    http://www.ndu.edu/inss/books/Books_..._02/01_toc.htm

    Chapter 28

    A Naval Operational Architecture for Global Tactical Operations

    J. Noel Williams and James S. O?Bras

    No naval policy can be wise unless it takes into very careful account the tactics that ought to be used in war.1

    ?Commander Bradley Fiske, USN, 1905

    The continuing effects of globalization on military and naval operations inevitably require the development of new tactics. This chapter describes an affordable, executable, naval operational architecture designed to carry out tactical operations successfully in an uncertain future characterized by globalization. The purpose of the architecture is to demonstrate how naval forces can be organized, trained, and equipped for tactical success in a balanced system that nests within the larger Department of Defense (DOD) system to create a system of systems.2 Such a system of systems, approach is fully in consonance with Joint Vision 2020, the future warfare vision of the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff.

    While more art than science in its execution, this architecture will delineate required capabilities with sufficient detail to articulate clearly its overall design and to provide a viable framework for implementation. Specifically, it will emphasize expeditionary littoral operations as an illustrative example of one component of a larger naval operational concept.3 Secondarily, it is another attempt to fulfill the challenge issued by Captain Wayne P. Hughes, USN (Ret.), in his seminal work Fleet Tactics, for a rebirth of tactical thought among naval officers.4 In describing the intellectual environment at the turn of the last century, Hughes stated, ?It was a time when naval officers aggressively asserted that policy and strategy were not to be unfounded wishes but plans that derived from a calculated capacity for tactical success.?5

    At the beginning of this global millennium, we must foster a similar intellectual environment within the naval services and acknowledge, along with Hughes, that ?tactical and technological developments are inseparable.?6 While excellence in operational art and strategy are necessary conditions for victory, they are not sufficient conditions. Tactical success is the foundation upon which the higher military arts are based. Employment of tactical units in a complex and hostile operating environment is based upon a well-developed and executed set of tactics and doctrine that seeks either to produce decisive tactical advantage in each deliberately initiated engagement or to neutralize the effectiveness of any engagement initiated by the enemy.

    The Systemic Challenge of Tactical Change
    It is worth remembering the words of Alfred Thayer Mahan, who observed:

    Changes in tactics have only taken place after changes in weapons which is necessarily the case, but that the interval between such changes has been unduly long. This arises from the fact that an improvement of weapons is due to the energies of one or two, while changes in tactics have to overcome the inertia of a conservative class, but it is a great evil.7

    He continues, ?History shows that it is vain to hope that military men generally will be at the pain to do this, but that the one who does will go into battle with a great advantage.?8 These are strong, critical but insightful words?words no less relevant today than when they were written over a century ago. As noted in chapter 1, there is a relationship that we are only beginning to recognize between contemporary globalization and seapower. Mahan was the great prophet of seapower, but he was also a strong proponent of technological and tactical change, what might today be called transformation. In his view, such change should suit the strategic environment and circumstances of the nation.9 Current circumstances are defined by globalization, including the proliferation of advanced military technology suitable for integration into antiaccess strategies. To achieve success in this environment requires an operational architecture that is more specifically tailored to the globalizing world, rather than simply retaining an architecture originally designed for the Cold War.

    What follows is an operational architecture that optimizes existing and planned capabilities while encouraging the development of the doctrinal, cultural, and experiential foundation upon which the naval forces of this nation can go into battle in a globalizing world with great advantage.

    Environment and Requirements
    As noted in chapter 2, change and uncertainty are the dominant features of the future security environment. But this is nothing new. The end of the Cold War could be said to usher in a return to normalcy in international relations. Globalization, deferred by World War II and the Cold War, has once again taken the forefront of the international agenda. As also noted in chapter 2, there are differences between the more typical times before the Cold War and today, particularly the increasing connectedness of modern information technology, but many of the strategic principles?of which the foremost is to prepare for uncertainty?remain. This is a principle that guides the proposed architecture, which will articulate capabilities designed for a changing, uncertain world?a full-spectrum world.

    As a maritime nation in a globalized world, the United States needs maritime forces capable of full-spectrum engagement and full-spectrum access assurance. In national security terms, full spectrum means the range of activities from peacetime training and engagement activities to theater warfighting campaigns?in short, the familiar low to high range of military training, peacekeeping, and warfighting operations. Agility and flexibility come to mind when thinking of characteristics necessary for forces to be effective in such a world.

    Maritime forces, by their nature, are continuously engaged globally. As ?permanent? overseas U.S. presence declines and as the interconnectedness of the world increases, the demand for maritime forces to remain active in the full spectrum of military activities will grow. Meaningful engagement in this type of world is hands-on, face-to-face, boots-on-the-ground, soles-on-the-deck-plates kind of work. Antiseptic, virtual presence will not do. Engagement is about people, not machines or technology, and being there is the sine qua non. Engagement is both physical and psychological?the act of conditioning a future battlespace involves developing detailed understanding of the political, military, and physical environment and shaping its future development to encourage allies, deter potential foes, and provide a state of assured coalition defense for U.S. interests.

    Assuring geographic access is also a critical task for maritime forces. Technology is strengthening the hand of those smaller nations and actors who wish to deny access to regions vital to the economic and security interests of the Nation. There is an ever-present requirement to guarantee access to sea lines of communication and, should conflict arise, to defeat the opponent?s area denial systems. Maritime forces are designed to assure access. The sustainable rapid response capabilities that maritime forces uniquely provide make them essential enablers of the joint fight.

    Tasks for the Fleet
    A forward-deployed peacetime fleet should provide three specific functional capabilities: peacetime naval functions, battlespace dominance, and power projection. These functions are further broken down into specific measurements of the required tasks in the table below.10

    Peacetime Naval Functions
    Assure safe transit of naval, joint, and coalition forces and commercial shipping
    Conduct at least two simultaneous noncombatant evacuation operations (NEOs)
    Conduct theater engagement activities and other peacetime missions as required
    Develop situational awareness
    Provide theater-wide situational awareness
    Battlespace Dominance
    Neutralize land-space denial system
    ?Protect three critical theater complexes
    ?Defeat a denial system consisting of 400 theater ballistic missiles (TBMs), 400 cruise missiles, 200 transporter-erector-launchers (TELs)
    Neutralize airspace denial system
    ?Destroy 4 integrated air defense system (IADS) command centers, 12 radar sites, 100 TELs
    ?Defeat a tactical air force of 200 planes (coordinated attack of 50 planes)
    Neutralize sea denial system
    ?Destroy 4 command centers, 12 sensor sites, 100 TELs
    ?Defeat a navy of 50 ships and 15 attack submarines
    ?Neutralize up to 2,000 sea mines laid in multiple fields
    Power Projection
    Halt a corps-sized ground force
    Defeat a brigade-sized ground force
    Neutralize 4 command centers and 100 TELs
    Neutralize complexes of 6 ports and 20 airfields
    These tasks are notional and intended only to demonstrate the types of threats a fleet can be prepared to counter in the first 2 weeks of a zero-warning future conflict. As noted in chapter 25 of the current volume, successful execution of such a wide variety of near simultaneous tasks with the limited assets available to a forward-deployed fleet is a daunting challenge. Success demands a high standard of tactical mastery employed to take full advantage of the battlespace conditioning that skillful and persistent peacetime forward engagement practice makes possible.11

    Force Composition
    Even in a network-centric combat environment, tactical groups (small, integrated systems of systems) will be required to cope with collapsed battlespace conditions and saturation raids.12 These tactical groups constitute the elements of an operational architecture. The presence of these forward-deployed groups in peacetime operations will serve as a major deterrent, but should deterrence fail, their ability to defeat area denial systems, dominate the maritime battlespace, and support coalition forces ashore can provide a foundation of assured coalition defense upon which limited-objective offensive operations may be undertaken.13

    The design and operation of these tactical groups will have a serious impact on current naval culture since the requirement to create tactical groups for specific combat tasks contrasts so sharply with the single multimission platform focus of the recent past. A single multimission platform tends to have a good but limited technical mission capability in several warfare areas, such as antisubmarine warfare (ASW), antiair warfare (AAW), and strike warfare, but maintenance and training demands tend to preclude development of sustained tactical competence in more than two disciplines simultaneously. Even if the technical potential of a single multimission platform could be fully realized, the limited magazine load-out would severely limit unit effectiveness in a high-intensity engagement. The classic solution to this problem is the formation of permanent tactical groups containing a mission-focused capability package surrounded by two layers of defensive capability in each applicable medium.14 The aircraft carrier battlegroup (CVBG) is the classic naval exemplar of this sort of thinking.

    Dispersed networked multimission platforms can constitute an effective force in the absence of threat but invite defeat in detail when a single platform can be exposed to a mass saturation attack or a stealth threat. In the presence of significant threats, the well-integrated tactical group can still exploit the benefits of theater-scale networking, while providing effective combined arms mutual support between elements.

    A new feature in tactical group design is the deliberate attempt to correlate mission capability with group signature. A tactical group designed to operate in a collapsed battlespace or near the edge of a defended envelope should not present a cooperative target. Such a group should have comprehensive signature control and quiet operating modes (that is, it should be able to disappear into the environmental background at will) and have the situational awareness to know when to do so.

    A group designed to execute a sustained mission that demands high-signature operations must operate well within a defended envelope and must be provided with effective multilayered defenses. Such a group may well be strategically or operationally significant. As a high-value, detectable target, it will attract enemy attention. An astute commander can employ camouflage, cover, and deception techniques to induce an enemy to commit and expose large resources to engage an enticing and exposed but false target.

    Four new naval tactical groups should be formed to complement the aircraft carrier battlegroup:
    theater air and missile defense group (TAMDG)
    theater land attack group (TLAG)
    mine countermeasures group (MCMG)
    expeditionary littoral attack group (enhanced amphibious ready group/Marine expeditionary unit?special operations capable [ARG/MEU?SOC]).
    These five standing tactical groups would be the basic building blocks for most naval operational forces. The four new groups would provide a sound foundation for a renaissance in expeditionary warfare and restore operational mobility to the carrier battlegroup as well. The following will describe these tactical groups using the force structure of 2015 to 2021 for convenience and simplicity. Some groups can be implemented today using program of record forces. Others, to achieve their full potential, must await the arrival of new capabilities in the 2010 to 2015 timeframe.

    Aircraft Carrier Battlegroup
    The redefined aircraft carrier battlegroup would consist of a nuclear powered carrier (CVN), a CG?52 class cruiser, 2 DDG?51 class destroyers, a nuclear powered attack submarine (SSN), and a logistics element consisting of a T?AO and T?AKE. The CVBG command element would manage the strike warfare assets of the fleet. This group is similar to but somewhat smaller than the traditional CVBG. It actually represents more air defense and strike capability and equal ASW capability than was present in a late Cold War CVBG. This CVBG is illustrated in figure 28?1.



    Theater Air and Missile Defense Group (TAMDG)
    The Navy theater-wide ballistic missile defense (TBMD) capability is scheduled for deployment in CG?52 class cruisers approximately in the year 2010. Deployment of this capability will make these ships high value strategic assets. If the CG?52 is to provide real protection, at least two and preferably three ships of this class must be kept forward deployed continuously in each of the high-threat theaters. The TAMDG would consist of two CG?52 ships for TBMD capability and would serve as host for the area air defense commander (AADC). These high-signature ships would be positioned by the joint force commander (JFC), protected by a DDG?51 and an SSN, and generally stationed well within the defended envelope. Being forward deployed and continually on station, the TAMDG is well positioned to coordinate theater air and missile defenses. The AADC can marshal the resources of the fleet to provide a protective air and missile defense umbrella over the theater area of responsibility (AOR). The TAMDB is illustrated in figure 28?2.



    Theater Land Attack Group (TLAG)
    The Navy is scheduled to deploy an interim surface land attack capability in the CG?47, CG?52, and DDG?51 class ships by 2007, with a mature capability arriving in the DD(X) class starting in 2010. The TLAG of 2015 would consist of one DDG?51, two DD(X), and one SSN. This TLAG will be a low-signature group capable of operating at the edge of the defended envelope and will be capable of intervening decisively in corps-scale ground maneuver warfare. The forward-deployed TLAG will become another strategic asset. This group will be responsive to the JFC by maintaining a continuous counterinvasion posture in peacetime. As additional TLAGs surge into theater, groups of this type become available to support forcible entry operations or to serve as a mobile naval firebase conducting deep interdiction operations. In the interim, the CG?52 and CG?47 could substitute for DD(X) starting in 2003. As NTW capability is deployed in the CG?52, they will no longer be available for this application. Nonetheless, establishing interim TLAGs would allow early development of tactics and tactical doctrine for such a group, would firmly establish their role with the JFCs, and would provide an additional decade for the development of the naval fire support coordination and command culture needed to turn this vital potential capability into a reality. Retaining the DD?963 and giving it the naval land-attack upgrade would be more logical than playing a shell game with the CG?52. But it would also be more costly than operating the FFG?31 that will be retained in its place pending the DD(X) arrival.15 The TLAG is illustrated in figure 28?3.



    Mine Countermeasures Group (MCMG)
    Naval mine warfare shapes the spatial and temporal dimensions of the littoral battlespace. A typical sea denial system consists of a regional ocean surveillance system, a command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence (C4I) element, a maritime strike element, a coastal defense element, a submarine warfare element, and a mine warfare element. As detailed in chapter 20, a properly integrated sea denial system can make maritime theater access quite difficult to assure. Over the next 20 years, we must expect to encounter some full-blown sea denial systems, a point well made in chapter 25. We are much more likely to face a light mine warfare threat in every operating area and a medium to heavy local mine warfare threat wherever an enemy nation deliberately plans aggression against our allies or our interests. We can no longer afford to wish away such threats. If we do not aggressively engage the mine warfare threat, we will find that our transoceanic power projection strategy becomes increasingly ineffective. This environment provides the strategic rationale for a major departure in our approach to mine warfare.

    The Navy intends to distribute widely an organic mine countermeasure capability throughout the fleet. This capability should provide a sea mine reconnaissance and mine avoidance capability with a limited mine disposal capability. This approach provides for a reasonable mine threat characterization and the ability to operate the fleet with reasonable safety in areas of light mine threat. But it does not provide the capability to assure the safe and timely movement of shipping over sea lines of communication, nor does it provide the capability to open port approaches or to ensure safe operating areas for amphibious forcible entry operations in the face of a medium to heavy mine threat. A heavier, dedicated, forward-deployed MCM capability is required to deal with such threats in a timely manner. This would be combined with a comprehensive program to exploit organic MCM capabilities by conducting an extensive and sustained overt and covert mine reconnaissance/precision seabed mapping and surveillance program in peacetime to develop and sustain up-to-date databases for exploitation in crisis response and theater warfare. Every Navy ship in transit would thus become a data-gathering platform.

    The mine countermeasures group is the embodiment of a dedicated MCM capability. It would consist of a mine countermeasures headquarters ship (MCS), an air MCM squadron equipped with modified Sea Hawk (CH?60) helicopters, a surface MCM squadron equipped with 4 Avenger-class mine countermeasures ships (MCM?1) and 3 Osprey-class mine hunter/coastal ships (MHC?51), a float-on/float-off (FLO/FLO) ship to provide high speed transport for the surface MCM squadron and a damaged ship evacuation capability, a sea barge ship (manned by Seabees, construction battalion personnel) to provide a magazine for assault MCM expendables and to transport eight landing craft air cushion vehicles modified for MCM duties (MCACs), and a SEAL team/underwater demolition team (UDT) group. This group would be complemented by an SSN for covert mine reconnaissance and a DDG?81 to provide area air defense and fire support for the MCM operation.

    One mine countermeasures group should be forward deployed in Japan or prepositioned at Guam. This Western Pacific MCMG could be activated about the third day following notification, Day (N+3), and on station and fully effective by Day (N+7) in the Northeast Asia (NEA) region. We propose that a second MCMG be forward deployed in Southwest Asia (SWA) or prepositioned in Diego Garcia, Singapore, or Perth, Australia. This deployment gives a similar employment timeline in SWA to that defined for NEA. This group can also deploy to the Mediterranean AOR by Day (N+10). Thus, one-third of the U.S. MCM capability can be operational in either the SWA or NEA regions within 1 week and two-thirds within 10 days thereafter. The third MCMG would be based in Texas and would serve as an MCM training and experimental base. The third MCMG should also have a rapid deployment capability (a third FLO/FLO and Seabee barge would be needed).

    The mine countermeasures group is essential for ensuring theater access in the face of a sea denial system and provides a credible basis for reactive early forcible entry and deliberate forcible entry operations.

    In addition to organic mine countermeasure capabilities, consisting largely of mine avoidance capabilities, a forward-deployed MCMG would be required to meet medium to high threat environments characteristic of forcible entry operations. The MCMG is illustrated in figure 28?4.



    Expeditionary Littoral Attack Group 16
    The expeditionary littoral attack group (ELAG) of 2015?2021 would consist of four amphibious ships, a DDG?51, a special operations capable (SOC) SSN, and a DD(X) (DD[X] or Streetfighter). This configuration forms a complete group level system of systems, better allowing multiple tasking (split amphibious ready group operations), allows for increased combat vehicle embarkation, and provides space for rapid reconfiguration. The ELAG design provides full composite warfare commander battle management, two layers of AAW defense (JSF?M Marine version Joint Strike Fighters and SM?IIBK4 standard missiles for area air defense and ship self-defense system on all ships for local area and self-defense) and ASW defense (SSN for outer zone, the SH?60R from an amphibious assault ship [LHD] and destroyers for inner- and middle-zone ASW), substantial fire support capability, and covert intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance and special operations forces insertion/recovery capability. The ELAG command element would be fully capable of marshaling and directing the full resources of the fleet for intervention in ground maneuver combat. The Navy currently plans to support 36 amphibious warfare ships. The current Global Naval Force Presence Policy can be fully satisfied with 9 ELAGs using the current peacetime rotational cycle. While a standard ELAG composition containing two large deck amphibious ships would be ideal, the program of record will not support such a design. The actual force would contain two ELAG varieties. Three ELAG (H)s would each contain a LHD, a Tarawa-class amphibious assault ship (LHA), a Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship (LSD?41), and a Harpers Ferry-class (LSD?49) as their amphibious component. Six ELAG (M)s would each contain a LHD/LHA, two San Antonio-class amphibious transport docks (LPD?17s), and a LSD?41 or 49 in their amphibious component. The ELAG (H)s would be based to service the Northeast Asia and Mediterranean AORs where the experience of the last decade shows that split-ARG operations are most likely.

    The ELAG, incorporating an enhanced four-ship ARG/MEU (SOC), would become the central building block for establishing amphibious forcible entry capabilities. This approach becomes possible because the ELAG has enough space to accommodate a complete battalion landing team (BLT) set of equipment with room in its lift print for reconfiguration afloat.17

    The above naval operational architecture, consisting of five tactical groups, proposes a federated naval force operational architecture based on a small set of combined arms naval tactical groups. An operational concept is needed to animate this operational architecture. The naval operational concept would include a basing and deployment pattern that provides peacetime engagement forces for the joint force commanders and supports a crisis response pattern that sustains deterrence in the unengaged theaters while providing adequate and timely combat potential for employment in the engaged theater.18 This early maritime forcible entry capability would be employable about Day (N+12) to (N+14). An operationally decisive deliberate maritime forcible entry capability may be rapidly concentrated for employment in major theater warfare about Day (N+30) to (N+35).

    To have a credible maritime forcible entry capability, a naval force must be able to achieve and sustain air and sea dominance in the objective area, isolate the land battlespace from reinforcement, reduce resistance on the beach and inland landing zones to low levels, and rapidly breach or bypass all obstacles and barriers to ingress to and egress from the landing zones and landing force objectives. It must also be able to land rapidly and sustain a landing force of sufficient combat power to seize and hold its objectives.

    A peacetime fleet between the years 2015 and 2021 would normally consist of a CVBG, a TAMDG, a TLAG, and an ELAG. By Day (N+10), this force level could be at least doubled. In addition, the forward-deployed/prepositioned MCMG and at least one maritime prepositioned squadron would have been activated and would have arrived on scene. This naval force constitutes a fairly large fleet. By Day (N+12), all of the preconditions for an early forcible entry (EFE) operation should have been achieved. We will now focus on how an amphibious task force with the mission payload for a Marine expeditionary brigade (MEB)?such as that detailed in chapter 23?can be rapidly formed from forward-deployed/forward-based forces and ready surge forces. The ELAG is illustrated in figure 28?5.





    Early Forcible Entry Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB)
    An amphibious advanced force would be formed from the regional MCMG, a TLAG, and an LHD from a forward-deployed ELAG (M) on or about Day (N+10). About the same time, a surging ELAG (H) and the remaining elements of the ELAG (M) would be concentrated in theater. The LHD of the ELAG (M) would be operated as a light aircraft carrier with a JSF?M air group. All surging and prepositioned shipping would sortie with a full personnel load. Other personnel would be flown to waypoints by commercial air transport to join ships in transit as they pass. Two composited enhanced MEUs represent the largest landing force reliably achievable on short notice with the existing program of record force. Some fairly minor modifications to the program of record open much broader horizons.

    A service support package for fly-in Marine squadrons could be prepositioned on forward-deployed CVNs. The retirement of the Tomcat fighter (F?14) and Viking-ASW aircraft (S?3B) squadrons after 2006 will create enough space on the 2 CVNs of our notional force to accommodate the 3 Marine Corps fighter-attack squadrons and 1 reconnaissance-intelligence aircraft squadron of a Marine aircraft group (MAG). This action will allow the seabasing of a fixed wing MAG on the CVNs and LHD (which would function as a light aircraft carrier). We further propose stationing a large medium-speed roll-on/roll-off ship (LMSR) acquired as the third ship of maritime prepositioning force?enhanced (MPF?E) in Diego Garcia (designated T?AK). This T?AK would have about 250,000 square feet of excess space. We propose modifying this ship to accommodate a landing craft air cushion (LCAC) compatible side stage and provide personnel accommodations for 900 people (for example, tank battalion personnel plus naval support element detachment). The net result is that about 150,000 square feet of actual vehicle space would be available in this one ship. After unload, this T?AK would become a combat service support ship for the MEB. We would also propose that three LMSR variants be built (designated T?AKD). This class would have a 4 LCAC well deck, accommodations for 900 personnel, and 250,000 square feet of actual vehicle space. One of these three ships would also be prepositioned at Diego Garcia. The T?AK and T?AKD at Diego Garcia could support a forcible entry operation in the Mediterranean or Northeast Asia AORs by Day (N+12).

    The landing force for our MEB can be a heavy brigade-sized ground combat element (GCE) with a substantial air combat element (ACE) and a lean combat service support element (CSSE) and at least 15 days of supply. The GCE could contain as many as one AAV mounted infantry battalion, one vertical assault battalion, a tank battalion (fly-in personnel, equipment aboard LMSR), and a light armored reconnaissance (LAR) battalion as its main close combat elements. Its ground fire support element would consist of one direct support artillery battalion and one high mobility artillery rocket (HIMAR) battery. The air transport component of the ACE is sufficient to deliver the vertical assault battalion in 2 lifts up to a 90 nautical mile radius in about 2 hours. The ATF surface assault can deliver 2 to 3 mechanized BLTs from about 20 nautical miles at sea in about 3 hours.

    This EFE MEB (assault echelon [AE]) requires 315,000 square feet (350,000 square feet if we include the NSE with the MEB assault echelon). The combined gross vehicle space in the 2 ELAGs is 208,000 square feet. The LMSR (T?AK) as modified for MPF?E adds about a gross of 150,000 square feet. The T?AKD adds an additional gross of 250,000 square feet. The total gross vehicle square available in the early forcible entry ATF is thus 608,000 square-foot gross to house a 350,000 square-foot ATF. This yields a combat loading factor of 1.7. This extra space allows the landing force to reconfigure its load plan afloat if necessary.

    The EFE ATF requires a well-designed deployment pattern controlled by a thoroughly professional joint maritime command element. This force could be the maritime component of a joint early entry task force that would resemble a small composite MEF. An Army airborne/air-landed brigade could provide a second ground combat element and an Air Force aerospace expeditionary force could reinforce the Marine ACE. Synchronization of the training, readiness, and deployment of the entire naval force will be required to ensure a responsive global surge capability, and a naval forces command (Navy/Marine Corps) could facilitate this essential task.

    Deliberate Forcible Entry MEB
    A deliberate forcible entry (DFE) force is another option available for military planners. A DFE force, available in the combat theater at Day (N+30), is a very large fleet including up to 5 CVBGs, 4 TAMDGs, 10 TLAGs, 2 MCMGs, and 1 expeditionary littoral attack force (ELAF) consisting of up to 2 MEB-size landing forces embarked on 2 ATFs. The MEB GCE is a heavy mechanized brigade with a robust ACE and a capable CSSE. Each MEB GCE is somewhat larger than that assigned to the EFE MEB. It has an additional mechanized BLT and artillery battalion. The DFE MEB can deliver 2 vertical assault BLTs up to 75 nautical miles inland in 2 lifts and can deliver 3 mechanized BLTs in 3 assault waves from about 20 nautical miles at sea in less than 2.5 hours. In this case, 2 ATFs with 32 of the planned 36 amphibious ships and 3 T?AKDs are committed to the operation. The DFE MEB GCE contains up to 3 AAV mounted infantry battalions, 1 LAR battalion, and a tank battalion as its main close combat elements. Its fire support element contains two direct support artillery battalions and a HIMAR battery. The corresponding ACE includes 32 Sea Stallion CH?53E, 48 Osprey MV?22, 24 Cobra AH?1 Z, and 12 Huey UH?1Y aircraft.

    An MEB-sized amphibious task force contains 16 amphibious ships and 1 proposed T?AKD. The DFE MEB (AE) requires 365,000 square feet (about 410,000 square feet if the NSE is included with the MEB). The ATF is composed of one ELAG (H) and three ELAG (M)s. The total gross vehicle space in this force is 681,000 square feet (431,400 square feet in the ELAGs + 250,000 square feet in the AKD = 681,000 square feet). This yields a combat loading factor of 1.7. A combat loading factor of 1.3 represents a tight load with about 18 inches of space around each vehicle.19

    The DFE ATF would be capable of delivering 4 mechanized BLTs ashore from about 20 nautical miles at sea in about 2 hours. It is also capable of delivering 2 air-mobile BLTs to landing zones at a radius of 100 nautical miles in about 2.5 hours.

    In summary, a robust amphibious forcible entry capability could be employed at 35 days following conflict start (C+35). The planned 36 ship amphibious force is fully utilized in support of an ELAF and an advanced force; however, the planned lift fingerprint is much too tight to allow for load plan flexibility. As discussed, this deficiency can be corrected by acquisition of three LMSR variants. The fly-in of ACE elements to the forward-deployed carriers mentioned earlier would be essential to forcible entry operations. A substantial Marine SSP and personnel augmentation could also be accommodated. An SSP could be prepositioned on each of the three forward-deployed carriers.

    Of note, the similarity between the two proposed forcible entry MEBs (EFE and DFE) and the MPF MEB design offers the possibility of standardizing the Marine Corps at the MEB level, which is discussed in chapter 22. A notional MEF would contain an MPF MEB and a DFE MEB.

    Conclusion
    The central feature of modern warfare is that a smaller, well-trained, well-balanced combined arms force is much more capable than a larger unbalanced force. The foregoing discussion is intended to provide a notional construct of how such a balanced naval force can be created with minor adjustments to the program of record. It is a compelling argument when one considers the emerging globalized security environment in which naval forces could be the primary means of establishing military access to areas of crisis.


    J. Noel Williams recently retired as lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps and is now associated with the Potomac Institute Center for Emerging Threats and Opportunities. His last military assignment was to the Strategic Initiatives Group, HQMC. A graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, he earned an M.A. in national security studies at Georgetown University, a Master of Military Studies from the Marine Corps University, an international relations secondary occupational specialty, and is also a graduate of the Marine Corps School of Advanced Warfighting. James S. O?Brasky is an expert in joint and naval force design and planning and in gaming advanced technology system designs. He recently retired from Government service after 32 years with the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division.



    Notes
    1 Bradley A. Fiske, ?American Naval Policy,? U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, January 1905, 79. [BACK]

    2 For a military perspective of the systems of systems concept, see William A. Owens with Edward Offley, Lifting the Fog of War (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2000), 98?102, 224?225. [BACK]

    3 The difference between an operational architecture and an operational concept is that the former documents how a naval force should be organized and the capabilities that it should possess, while an operational concept describes in more detail how the force expects to fight. [BACK]

    4 Wayne P. Hughes, Fleet Tactics: Theory and Practice (Annapolis, MD: U.S. Naval Institute Press, 1986); and rev. ed., Hughes, Fleet Tactics and Coastal Combat (Annapolis, MD: U.S. Naval Institute Press, 2000). [BACK]

    5 Hughes, Fleet Tactics: Theory and Practice, 1. [BACK]

    6 Ibid., 25. [BACK]

    7 Alfred Thayer Mahan, The Influence of Seapower Upon History, 1660?1783 (New York: Dover Publications, 1987), 9?10. [BACK]

    8 Ibid., 10. [BACK]

    9 See, for example, Mahan?s discussion in ?Considerations Governing the Disposition of Navies,? in Mahan on Naval Strategy: Selections from the Writings of Rear Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1991), 281?318. [BACK]

    10These are based on our own assessment of mission requirements in a globalized world and may not necessarily reflect current policy. [BACK]

    11 The zero-warning condition is an essential force design assumption. As force designers, we are charged with providing the warfighter with a system that ensures a reasonable probability of success under plausible worst-case conditions. For the foreseeable future, the plausible worst-case condition is a zero-warning conflict in the presence of area denial systems armed with weapons of mass effect. Zero-warning conflicts can arise from the following conditions:

    1. An enemy that attacks from an exercise posture without full force generation.
    2. An enemy deployment pattern that gradually saturates the indication and warning indicators so that an attack-imminent condition becomes the routine situation leading to discounted warning.
    3. An error in decisionmaking on the part of the President or the Secretary of Defense (for example, misinterpreting indications and warning). [BACK]

    12 The dominant reference on network-centric warfare remains Arthur K. Cebrowski and John J. Gartska, ?Network-Centric Warfare: Its Origin and Future,? U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings 124, no. 1(January 1998), 28?35. [BACK]

    13 Recognizing that both Clark A. Murdock (chapter 25) and Donald C.F. Daniel (chapter 27) argue that forward-deployed naval forces may not provide a significant deterrent, we have elected to focus on their capacity to support limited-objective offensive operations. [BACK]

    14 Layered defenses are designed to provide multiple opportunities to intercept threats to the group. Optimally, a naval group should have both an area AAW defense and individual ship self-defense capabilities with a ?depth of fire? that would allow for at least independent shots. A three-shot system reduces the possibility of a single missile leaking through to less than 3 percent. Likewise, the group should have an ASW outer zone, inner zone, and individual ship self-defense capabilities. In this regard, the group?s acoustic and electronic operational signature largely determines the dimensions and location of safe operating areas. [BACK]

    15 The FFG?31 class is the late construction product improvement of the FFG?7 design. Its combat system is more complete and better integrated than the earlier versions. An FFG?31 costs about half as much to operate as a DD?963 VLS. [BACK]

    16 As noted in chapter 19 of the current volume, the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations has recently initiated development of a concept of an expeditionary assault group, consisting of Aegis DDGs, SSNs, and combat logistics ships attached to (and trained with) current amphibious ready groups (ARGs). However, similar proposals have been studied in the past without resulting in changes to the current ARGs. Our concept of expeditionary littoral attack groups is similar to the proposed expeditionary assault group but includes additional capabilities. [BACK]

    17 A 60,000 square-foot enhanced MEU would be fitted into 104,000 square feet of actual space. This produces a combat loading factor of 1.7 versus the traditional 1.3. The current MEU lift print is 48,500 square feet. [BACK]

    18 A full exploration of the future naval operational concept is beyond the scope of this chapter. We must settle for a short exposition on how our tactical groups may be orchestrated to create an early maritime forcible entry capability for joint decisive operations in smaller-scale contingencies and for tactically decisive forcible entry operations in the early stages of major theater warfare. [BACK]

    19 The current lift print is even tighter because it includes vehicles preboated in the landing craft. A 1.7 combat loading factor eliminates the preboating and allows easy reconfiguration of the load plan afloat. A 2.0 combat loading factor would be needed if decontamination, container processing, and intermediate maintenance activity afloat were required. [BACK]

  2. #2
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    I posted that chapter because it deals with force structure which is my primary interest.

    Some of which GG, Sniper and I have been discussing.

    I will post other interseting exerpts that are relevenat to that sphere of inquiry such as from Chapter 29:

    "and two carriers in the Indian Ocean seem sufficient. A total of 2 can be sustained indefinitely with the current force of 12 carriers, although the carrier presence in the Mediterranean would go to near-zero, and in the Western Pacific the presence would be around 1.0 (the aircraft carrier homeported in Japan.) If the United States were to establish substantial airbases and a fighter aircraft presence in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, or Kyrgyzstan, the carriers might not be needed at all, and one of them could return to a resumed Southern Watch over Iraq (Southern Watch has been maintained minimally by the Air Force during the Afghanistan conflict)."

    Actually it takes eight/nine carriers to cover the IO "indefinitely" with two carriers.

    Transit periods would cover the MED and Pacific to some degree along with the fwd deployed carrier in Japan.

    One carrier will almost always be in SLEP.

    If you only want to cover the IO with one you could even reduce the carrier level to 10 with increased prescence in other areas.
    Last edited by rickusn; 26 Mar 06, at 23:40.

  3. #3
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    On the Marines Chapter 21:

    "Personnel. The missions that MAGTFs are likely to be involved in over the next several decades will most frequently involve small unit tactics with perhaps a squad or platoon of marines operating in rapid-action, high-stress environments. These operations will likely mirror missions conducted by special operations forces, such as Navy SEALS, Army Rangers, and Air Force Special Forces, much more closely than they mirror the more generalized amphibious assault operations that MAGTFs are currently task-organized and trained to conduct. The Corps will need to determine whether some of the resources spent on maintaining a large force of capable?but generally skilled?marines would be better spent on a smaller force of elite special forces marines and on the equipment that they need to conduct specialized missions.

    C4ISR. While upgrades to equipment across the board are required for MAGTFs to conduct the special missions that they will need to conduct in a globalizing world, there are some upgrades that are more critical than others. Small Marine Corps units operating independently in hostile territory where they will need to have extensive reach-back and fire support clearly need top-of-the-line integrated and interoperable C4ISR capability to have a high probability of achieving success in their missions. This C4ISR capability must seamlessly connect Marine units with each other and with Navy support units. Perhaps as importantly, this capability must connect these small units with the broad spectrum of joint force capabilities that may be brought to bear in a crisis?from satellites, to unmanned aerial vehicles, to other autonomous sensing and weapons platforms.

    Surface Assault Platforms. In a globalizing security paradigm in which emphasis is placed on small unit tactics delivered rapidly and often covertly by elite marines, the Navy and Marine Corps should reevaluate the emerging tactical mobility triad (MV?22, LCAC, and AAAV) and determine if the tremendous and ongoing investment in surface assault platforms is prudent and affordable. This is not to say that the Marine Corps should divest itself of all surface assault capability; clearly the service must hedge its bets and retain significant capability in this area. However, with the decreasing likelihood of major, opposed amphibious assault on hostile beaches, perhaps a scaled-down platform commitment is worth considering. This change would also impact the makeup of the Navy hulls that transport the MAGTF, especially given the large footprint of craft such as the LCAC and the AAAV.

    Air Assault Platforms. In an environment in which small MAGTF units must be transported by air quickly and often covertly, the composition of the Marine Corps air combat element (ACE) should be closely scrutinized. The current ACE, built around the venerable CH?46, CH?53?E, AH?1W, and UH?1 helicopters, as well as the AV?8B Harrier, is aging rapidly and is stressed to conduct current missions effectively. The Marine Corps is counting on the MV?22 Osprey to replace its aging CH?46 helicopters and perhaps eventually the CH?53E helicopter. The Osprey is a technologically advanced and highly capable platform, but it has been plagued by technical challenges and its long-term survival is not assured. Initially, the Marine Corps might be well served to develop a Plan-B for another air vehicle to replace its aging ACE transport aircraft should the Osprey not reach fruition. If the Osprey does survive and if the MAGTF moves toward an Osprey-dominant force, the capabilities of the entire ACE must be further evaluated in this context. The Osprey can outfly and outrange ACE components such as the AH?1W Cobra gunship that historically have provided the preponderance of escort support for Marine transport helicopters. If the Osprey is to transport Marines inland on special missions, than a companion support platform must be added to the mix to ensure that these helicopters are properly escorted.

    Maritime Prepositioning Ships. The Navy has made a substantial investment in hulls, and the Marine Corps has made an equally large investment in equipment that is prepositioned aboard these ships. Three squadrons of maritime prepositioning ships (MPS) are strategically deployed worldwide close to areas where expeditionary warfare forces are likely to be engaged. The purpose of these ships is both to sustain a MEU(SOC) embarked in an ARG and to provide the equipment and supplies to enable an airlifted MAGTF to be configured for combat operations as an adjunct to amphibious warfare forces already in theater. Among other items, these ships carry an expeditionary airfield, a naval construction battalion, and a fleet hospital. While they deliver a robust capability, the enormous cost to both the Navy and Marine Corps should be reevaluated in light of the new role that expeditionary warfare forces are playing in the 21st century.20 The Marine Corps may no longer need all of the heavy equipment resident in the ships of a maritime prepositioning squadron to be on-call and readily available simultaneously in three theaters of operation. Clearly, given the Title 10 requirement that the Marine Corps have three divisions and three air wings, this is not a decision that the Department of the Navy can make unilaterally. However, the issue should be dealt with forthrightly, not ignored. Additionally, as emerging technology makes high speed vessels more affordable, the Navy and Marine Corps should examine the viability of transitioning to a fleet of fewer?but faster?MPS in order to reduce both the number of hulls needed as well as the amount of Marine equipment tied up in these ships.

    Seabasing and High Speed Vessels. Closely related to the issue of maritime prepositioning ships is the issue of seabasing and the viability of high speed vessels?both as MPS hulls and as high speed lift between and among ships. Seabasing is one of the primary tenets of the Navy Capstone Concept of naval operations. It is a concept that enhances the rapid, sustainable enabling force capabilities provided by forward-deployed expeditionary warfare forces.21 Expeditionary warfare forces operating in an objective area for a sustained period require ongoing and substantial resupply. The seabasing concept provides this via sea-based as opposed to land-based sites. Among its primary attributes, seabasing provides the ability to resupply forces rapidly in an objective area while dramatically decreasing the risk to these forces. However, this concept of seabasing is critically dependent on the movement of enormous quantities of material between the sea base (notionally 100?200 miles off an adversary?s coast) to the amphibious warfare forces operating in the objective area (notionally 25?50 miles off that same coast). This concept has been evaluated in simulations and in wargames. The Corps has begun experimenting with catamarans to move marines and material between bases in the Western Pacific. However, unless or until the Navy and Marine Corps make a substantial commitment to some form of high speed vessel as an adjunct to complement ARGs and maritime prepositioning squadrons, the concept of seabasing will remain just that?a concept.22

    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. The Navy and Marine Corps have been at the forefront of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) development and have fielded the Pioneer UAV system that has been successfully employed in Operation Desert Storm, Kosovo, and numerous contingency operations, including Somalia and counterdrug missions. The capabilities delivered by UAV systems are critical to expeditionary warfare operations in a globalizing world as these operations increasingly depend on extensive intelligence preparation of the battlefield, C4ISR connectivity, battle damage assessment, and other capabilities that are delivered by UAVs in increasingly frequent situations where the risk of conducting such missions with a manned aircraft is deemed too high. The U.S. experience in Afghanistan validated the utility of UAVs and showcased the capabilities of emerging UAV technology. To ensure the continued viability of amphibious warfare forces, the Navy and Marine Corps must acquire this new technology as a matter of priority, since the extant Navy-Marine Corps UAV system, Pioneer, is based on late 1970s technology and has limitations that proscribe its tactical utility.23 As the Navy and Marine Corps embrace the technology of emerging UAV technology, especially systems such as Global Hawk, the capability built into these systems must enable them to link directly with ARG and MAGTF forces on the ground in order to exploit fully their tactical utility.

    Tactical Fixed-Wing Aviation. Prior to the changes wrought by a globalizing world?and when the United States and Soviet Union were still locked in a Cold War paradigm?U.S. war plans envisioned scenarios in which an entire Marine division might be locked in a land battle in sites as remote as Norway. This spawned the need for large expeditionary airfields and for a substantial investment in Marine Corps tactical aviation so that sustained division-level operations could be conducted without the dependence on Navy or Air Force tactical aviation. While the Cold War paradigm has been eliminated, the enormous investment in Marine tactical aviation has been sustained. In light of the increasing downward pressure on Navy and Marine force structure, a thorough analysis of this mission area appears to be in order to determine if these funds might be more effectively used for other expeditionary warfare needs. In light of the integration, interoperability, and transformation of the Armed Forces envisioned in Joint Vision 2020, a thorough review of Marine tactical aviation?and the ability to meet these needs with other joint forces?would seem prudent."

  4. #4
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    fROM cHAPTER 19:

    "Streetfighter, the Littoral Combat Ship, and the Case for Smaller Warships
    Do littoral operations in the antiaccess environment globalized world ipso facto require the U.S. Navy to rely on smaller ships? This is a primary question in the debate over military transformation. Many of the proponents of transformation?arguing that opposing forces will be replete with high-technology information systems and sensors?view surface ships as increasingly easy targets, especially in the littoral but at sea as well. (See chapter 25.) To some extent, this view is a legacy of the ?carriers as sitting ducks? debate that first emerged during the Carter administration and that periodically resurfaces?a debate based on budget concerns but on little, if any, tactical analysis. However, even supporters of a robust surface fleet have become convinced that a Streetfighter-type vessel?netted together by an extensive tactical network and sensor grid?is needed to conduct high-intensity combat in the collapsing littoral battlespace. Having fought strenuously against the Streetfighter concept since its articulation by Admiral Cebrowski, the surface warfare leadership now appears to have (of necessity) endorsed it in the form of the LCS program.24 But is this a valid conclusion?

    Our answer appears a vacillating one: it depends on the missions that the surface force is expected to carry out. If the primary mission of U.S. surface vessels will be to strike targets ashore in support of a joint and combined campaign against a regional opponent (that is, a major regional war), their primary weapon would be long- and medium-range cruise missiles. Substantial missile firepower is expensive in ship size. The bigger the ship, the larger the magazine, the more firepower that can be placed on target. If this is the dominant mission, smaller ships would not seem to present any advantage.

    Probably the appropriate measure of a globalized U.S. surface combatant force is the number of separate self-sufficient units that can be maintained abroad at any one time. That leaves open a choice between larger, effectively self-sufficient ships and smaller ones that must operate in groups. Hull steel is relatively inexpensive, and in terms of personnel, the smaller number of larger ships would probably be far less expensive to operate. The argument in favor of smaller ships?say, the size of existing frigates?would be that some important operations, such as maritime interception, require a more dispersed force. It may also be argued that the more numerous smaller ships are more difficult to destroy. However, a larger ship can probably survive several hits, whereas a smaller one may succumb to only one. Moreover, the cost to support units of smaller ships may be prohibitive.

    A key point is probably that a smaller ship would buy very little in terms of armed presence, because it would have so little inherent capability of its own; it would be effective only as part of a larger group, if then. That is, a large ship can accommodate both substantial defensive and offensive armament; it takes a major effort to sink. A smaller one would be armed with either offensive or area-defensive weapons, and quite possibly with very few in either case. Numbers of smaller ships could combine to provide serious capabilities; but one or two such ships would have neither. It must be admitted that at present, foreign navies seem quite content to use ships with very limited capabilities for naval presence missions, presumably on the theory that the locals are not sophisticated enough to realize just how empty their threat may be.25 Alternatively, they may feel that a weak ship suffices, on the theory that the locals realize that attacking it will bring down a much more massive attack from really powerful forces beyond the horizon. But, most recently, that has been bluff. When the Iraqis nearly sank the USS Stark, there were no real consequences for them.

    However, if a primary mission of the surface fleet is to maintain littoral sea control throughout a sustained joint military campaign in which the United States seeks to place land forces ashore?while the enemy retains the capability to repeatedly strike naval forces from shore?then Streetfighter/LCS-type warships in sufficiently large numbers would be key assets in any balanced fleet portfolio. This was a lesson the U.S. Navy learned during combat in the Pacific archipelagoes in World War II. Streetfighter/LCS can only be a successful innovation with a network-centric approach. But network-centric does not mean being unconcerned about numbers?smaller ships are effective as a coordinated fleet, not as individual units. The case for smaller ships is only convincing if they are bought in sufficient numbers, provide stealth advantages in a confused littoral battlespace, and can maintain their network capabilities even in the face of inevitable losses. Streetfighter/LCS development cannot be about cost savings because, as the discussion above indicates, they will not provide the economies of scale that a smaller number of bigger ships might provide."

    "Ninth, the decision to adopt Streetfighter/LCS concepts hinges on a clear understanding of the missions that the surface navy is expected to undertake in a future antiaccess environment. Also, the difficulty of this antiaccess environment must be patiently analyzed, not taken for granted. Our sense is that the surface navy has not yet accepted the difficulty of the future challenge (currently we are unchallenged), but that the transformation school is also overstating the enormity of the antiaccess threat. In any regard, a balanced fleet that combines high-end/low-end, large/small assets in a broad portfolio is the best naval insurance policy toward the future security environment. We hesitate to use former Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Elmo Zumwalt?s term of high/low mix because of the historical baggage that term brings, but the concept still makes considerable sense if prudently applied. Surface ships are not obsolete?but one size (type) does not fit all."

  5. #5
    Resident Curmudgeon Military Professional Gun Grape's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickusn
    Tactical Fixed-Wing Aviation. Prior to the changes wrought by a globalizing world?and when the United States and Soviet Union were still locked in a Cold War paradigm?U.S. war plans envisioned scenarios in which an entire Marine division might be locked in a land battle in sites as remote as Norway. This spawned the need for large expeditionary airfields and for a substantial investment in Marine Corps tactical aviation so that sustained division-level operations could be conducted without the dependence on Navy or Air Force tactical aviation. While the Cold War paradigm has been eliminated, the enormous investment in Marine tactical aviation has been sustained. In light of the increasing downward pressure on Navy and Marine force structure, a thorough analysis of this mission area appears to be in order to determine if these funds might be more effectively used for other expeditionary warfare needs. In light of the integration, interoperability, and transformation of the Armed Forces envisioned in Joint Vision 2020, a thorough review of Marine tactical aviation?and the ability to meet these needs with other joint forces?would seem prudent."

    Do you think the MC will be forced to buy Navy version of F-35?

    The didn't buy 18 E/F because they plan on replacing 18s and AV8s with STOVL 35s. But with the integration of MC squadrons with Navy CAW s will the Navy force them to go to like version 35s for interoperability/mant issues?

    If they do and the 420 STOVL #s get cut where does that leave that version? Limited buy from both the MC and the Brits.
    Its called Tourist Season. So why can't we shoot them?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Grape
    Do you think the MC will be forced to buy Navy version of F-35?

    The didn't buy 18 E/F because they plan on replacing 18s and AV8s with STOVL 35s. But with the integration of MC squadrons with Navy CAW s will the Navy force them to go to like version 35s for interoperability/mant issues?

    If they do and the 420 STOVL #s get cut where does that leave that version? Limited buy from both the MC and the Brits.
    The F35B has predictibally been the most difficult to develop thus far.
    All three, but particularly the B, have had serious weight issues.

    The A seems to be good to go, the C model looks to be the best of the bunch wrt performance but still has some weight issues to deal with. The B model has a lot of issues yet.

    So far the unit cost for all models has gone up by quite a bit vs the original pie in the sky estimates.

  7. #7
    Resident Curmudgeon Military Professional Gun Grape's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M21Sniper
    The F35B has predictibally been the most difficult to develop thus far.
    All three, but particularly the B, have had serious weight issues.

    The A seems to be good to go, the C model looks to be the best of the bunch wrt performance but still has some weight issues to deal with. The B model has a lot of issues yet.

    So far the unit cost for all models has gone up by quite a bit vs the original pie in the sky estimates.

    I know the problems with the program. The qusetion had nothing to do with it. Lets assume that all 3 versions get the bugs worked out and are fully funded.

    Since the Navy has incorporated Marine Squadrons in the CAWs do you think they will require the MC to buy into the carrier version for interoperability/mant support issue while afloat?
    Its called Tourist Season. So why can't we shoot them?

  8. #8
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    "So far the unit cost for all models has gone up by quite a bit vs the original pie in the sky estimates."

    "predictibally " LOL

    "Since the Navy has incorporated Marine Squadrons in the CAWs do you think they will require the MC to buy into the carrier version for interoperability/mant support issue while afloat?"

    Hasnt been decided yet. There are pros and cons to either approach.

    I posted excerpts on it somwhere. Maybe Sniper remembers where?


    Anyway thats beside the point.

    Remember the key issue.:

    Eliminating the USMC.

    Ive been mulling it over and come to the conclusion Snipers absolutely right.

    Not only is it doable but may even save money which I diidnt think it would at first glance.

    Of course my scenario makes it easier to save cash with some serious downsizing of the USN thrown in.

    First:

    Cut back the Carrier force to 10.

    Cut back the # of carrier air wings to 8.

    The USN should consider opting out of the JSF..

    And leave it an USAF program only.

    That means the 10 squadrons earmarked for carrier duty are no longer neccessary. Thats almost 1/2 the total of the USMC's 21 squadrons.

    And another up to seven squadrons can be scratched if the USAF doesnt want to supply a !/2 dozen aircaraft each to a much reduced (12 to 8 or 9) number of ESG's.

    That leaves four squadrons to transition to the USAF if they want to maintain them.

    Second integrate the USMC ground and helo forces into the Army.

    Stand up one division as the Amphibious Assault division with nine battalion landing teams to provide forces to serve aboard the ESG's amphibious ship component.

    Turn the rest into the Army's new syle Brigade Combat teams

    Third integrate whats left of the USMC TacAir(if nay) and other fixed wing aviation into the USAF.

    It is quite clear that the US is never going to undertake a WWII style amphibious assault. But it would be advisable to maintain a modicum of capability.

    The rest of the USMC operates very simiilar to the ARmy otherwise and might as well be part of the Army.

    While we are at it put all USN & USAF Special Forces units and helo assets in the ARmy.

    This is all doable.

    Especially with all the money saved downsizing the USN.

    Sorry GG.
    Last edited by rickusn; 28 Mar 06, at 04:03.

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