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Thread: 2003 CONOPS chp 8-9 & appendix's

  1. #1
    Join Date
    13 Sep 05
    Illinois, U.S

    2003 CONOPS chp 8-9 & appendix's



    This chapter discusses the Navy logistics process and analyzes a specific scenario to assess the Navy’s 2015 volume of fires and sustainment capabilities.


    Chapter 1 identifies Sea Basing as one of the four components of the naval transformation roadmap. Sea Basing enables the accelerated projection, protection, and sustainment of all dimensions of networked naval power, providing joint force commanders with unprecedented speed and flexibility of employment and expanded operational reach. As a primary enabling concept for Expeditionary Maneuver Warfare, Operational Maneuver From The Sea (OMFTS), Ship-To-Objective Maneuver (STOM), and other expeditionary concepts, Sea Basing supports the principles of:
    -- Preemption or striking with surprise from the vastness of the sea;
    -- Use of the sea as maneuver space for naval and joint forces;
    -- Creating and sustaining overwhelming operational tempo and momentum through maneuver;
    -- Enhancing strategic, operational, and tactical mobility;
    -- Rapid force closure and at-sea reconstitution;
    -- Capitalizing on the force protection inherent in the naval command of the sea.1

    The information set forth in this chapter is relevant to further development of the Sea Basing concept as it applies to surface combatants conducting naval fires by addressing the support requirements for sustained operations.

    Footnote 1: Naval Transformation Roadmap (Power and Access…From the Sea), Draft document dated June 2002.


    Sustained land attack operations require that the forward-deployed forces receive the proper logistics support. Logistics is defined as the science of planning and carrying out the movement and maintenance of forces.2 The concept of operations as presented in this document has highlighted the integrated employment of the latest developments in naval systems. The Navy’s logistics system must also be capable of providing the required personnel, materiel, and facilities to sustain operations in remote areas of the world.

    The Navy’s process for providing worldwide logistic support consists of several elements. The process starts in the United States with: (1) the production of the necessary materiel, (2) the training of the necessary personnel, and (3) the planning for and construction of forward based facilities and supply stations. The logistics process ends with the timely delivery of the necessary personnel and materiel to the deployed forces.

    Footnote 2: Joint Pub 1-02, Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms.

    8.2.1 Transportation to the Intermediate Support Base (ISB)

    Efficient worldwide logistics requires both the transportation and storage of the proper materiel, as well as the availability of the proper personnel to operate and maintain these facilities. Supplies are normally transported to advanced naval bases such as advanced logistics support sites (ALSSs) and forward logistics support sites (FLSSs) by civilian Military Sealift Command ships or merchant marine ships. Efficient worldwide logistics support depends upon the availability of sufficient sealift/merchant marine forces and the proper planning to assure advanced shipment of the required supplies. The current national military strategy relies on the availability of storage depots and advanced naval bases located on foreign territory.

    8.2.2 Transportation to the Surface Combatant

    The Navy’s combat logistic force ships will be loaded at the advanced naval base with the necessary supplies for the surface combatant forces. Three types of supply ships are expected to be available in the 2015 timeframe: the TAOE fast combat support ships, the T-AKE auxiliary cargo and ammunition ships, and the T-AO oilers. The T-AOE provides fuel, ammunition, cargo, and water. The T-AKE is a new ship design with the capability to replenish cargo and ammunition. The T-AO provides only fuel to the fleet. The combat logistics force delivers necessary supplies to the designated underway replenishment (UNREP) area for the surface combatants. Typically the UNREP area is relatively close to the area of operations, but still sufficiently remote to be considered safe from enemy attack—normally a one to three hour transit time. Some combat logistics force ships are Navy manned and armed, but most are now operated by the Military Sealift Command with civilian crews and are unarmed.

    8.2.3 Surface Combatant Replenishment

    The surface combatant replenishment cycle consists of the combatant departing its assigned operational station, transiting to the UNREP area, receiving the supplies, and then returning to its operational station. During replenishment the combatant will receive supplies via either CONREP (refuel or replenish alongside) or vertical replenishment (VERTREP, replenish via helicopter). The amount of time required will depend upon the type of combat logistics force ships involved and the specific supplies needed.

    Optimally, the combatant will receive all supplies in a single evolution. If multiple replenishment cycles from several ships are required, the time taken will be significantly longer. Under the best of conditions (i.e., daylight and calm seas) the UNREP process is hazardous and time consuming. The process is more difficult under adverse weather conditions. Vertical launched missiles cannot be resupplied at sea. Combatants must return to the advanced naval base to replenish these weapons. The Marine Corps has stated that the underway replenishment of all weapons is required to provide sustained fires.3

    Footnote 3: NSFS Requirements for Expeditionary Maneuver Warfare, CG MCCDC letter, dated 19 Mar 2002.

    8.2.4 Surface Combatant Logistics

    For this document it is assumed that weapons replenishment is the driving resupply factor for sustainment. Although combatants require fuel, water, food, spare parts, etc. to sustain extended operations, ideally they will receive these supplies during the time required to resupply the weapons. This section focuses on the process of providing the munitions necessary to keep the surface combatants on the firing line. If the simultaneous replenishment of other supplies with munitions is not possible, additional UNREP evolutions will be required and the overall resupply time extended. Weapons

    Surface combatants will have two types of weapons in the 2015 timeframe to support land attack operations: vertically launched missiles such as Tomahawk and ALAM, and gun fired munitions such as ERGM and LRLAP. Each type of weapon has its own unique logistics challenges and requirements. Understanding these logistics requirements is critical in developing the broader operational concepts for supporting land attack operations. Missiles

    Vertical launching system (VLS) installations on the cruisers originally included a strikedown crane for at-sea replenishment. However, today’s larger and heavier VLS missiles cannot be safely resupplied at sea even under ideal conditions. The strikedown cranes were subsequently removed from the VLS modules and the VLS missiles must now be resupplied pierside.

    A single VLS cell can be resupplied in about 20 minutes under good conditions. A single 64-cell launcher would require about 24 hours to be fully resupplied at this rate. Even if only the Tomahawk and ALAMs require resupply, the remaining missiles may still have to be relocated to extend the VLS module’s plenum life.4 VLS resupply will generally require two to three days pierside at the advanced naval base, plus the round-trip transit time of the surface combatant from the operations area. Transit time to the advanced naval base would ideally be about 8 to 12 hours, however it could take much longer. As a result, a surface combatant can be expected to be off the firing line for three to four days minimum whenever a resupply of VLS missiles is required.

    Footnote 4: Each 8-cell VLS module shares a common exhaust gas plenum. Each weapon type has a different affect on the wear of the plenum’s ablative resin affecting the module’s life. Gun Munitions

    Navy gun munitions may be resupplied via CONREP or VERTREP. Combat logistics force ships loaded with the appropriate supplies at the ISB will transit to the designated UNREP area to meet the ships. The T-AOE or T-AKE will conduct munitions replenishment operations in conjunction with the resupply of other goods. The time required to resupply the ammunition magazine varies with ship class and magazine capacity. The DDG 51 class 5-inch ammunition magazine will take approximately 16 hours to load out with 680 ballistic projectiles and associated propelling charges.5 This assumes favorable weather conditions and calm seas. The CG 47 class will require 12 to 16 hours for each 600 round magazine, assuming that sufficient manpower and replenishment assets are available to simultaneously resupply both forward and aft magazines.

    The addition of extended range guided munitions such as ERGM or ANSR6 to the 5-inch inventory will require a manual magazine reconfiguration to accommodate the specific mix of ammunition provided.7 These guided munitions will also require additional load cycles because only 16 rounds will fit on a standard pallet vice 48 ballistic rounds.

    Footnote 5: Based on Fleet Combat Training Center, Atlantic (FCTCLANT) estimates.

    Footnote 6: The 5” Autonomous Naval Support Round (ANSR) is described in Appendix B.

    Footnote 7: ERGM and ANSR are significantly longer and heavier than conventional ballistic ammunition, requiring special handling. Therefore, the resupply times to load these new ammunition types is expected to take at least as long as it currently takes.

    TEXT BOX: Effect of Gun Barrel Life on Sustainment

    The introduction of higher energy, hotter burning propellant for ERGM will reduce the expected gun barrel life. The threshold wear life of the Mk 45 Mod 4 gun 62-caliber gun barrel for ERGM is 1500 rounds with an objective of 3000 rounds.* The required barrel life for AGS is 3000 threshold and 6000 objective. This is compared with the current 5- inch 54-caliber barrel wear life in excess of 8000 rounds for ballistic ammunition fired with standard NACO propellants.

    The 18 surface combatants in the NEA scenario (see section 8.3.1) would fire an average of over 4600 rounds from each gun during the 40-day campaign. Thus, on average every gun barrel would need to be replaced at least once, and in some cases maybe up to three times depending upon the actual wear experienced, assuming all rounds to be equivalent to ERGM or LRLAP in terms of barrel wear. That means all of the ships must return to the ISB at some point in the scenario for regunning. This will further affect the ability to provide sustained naval fires.

    * Note: Extended range ammunition that uses a “boost to range” concept such as ANSR can be fired using cooler burning propellants such as NACO and therefore will not adversely affect barrel life.

    The fully automated 155mm ammunition magazines on the new DD(X) ships are expected to require about 13 hours to resupply at sea including 50nm transit time. The magazine for each gun is projected to contain as many as 600 long range land attack projectiles (LRLAP) and associated propelling charges. The variety of ammunition types should not affect the resupply rate of this automated magazine. Actual resupply times for DD(X) will not be known until the final design and manning level is available.


    Surface combatants must be capable of providing both NSFS and NSS fires at the right time and of sufficient volume for the entire duration of the operation. These fires must also be fully integrated with other joint and coalition assets. Planning, coordination, communications, and operational strategy are of little value if the required number and mix of weapons are not available. This section examines the capability of the Navy of 2015 to provide the required fires to support a land attack operation.

    8.3.1 Scenario

    Several analyses and studies were conducted over the past few years based on a North East Asian (NEA) conflict. Results from three of these studies8 were used to establish a basis for determining the naval fires volume and sustainment requirements during a Major Theater War (MTW). Two of the studies focused on a mid to high intensity scenario over a 17- to 19-hour period. The third study involved a 62-day campaign. The scenarios include the use of naval air, artillery, and NSFS. The types of missions assigned to naval surface fires are based upon the optimal pairing of weapons to targets.(9)

    Footnote 8: The three NEA source studies used in the preparation of this document are: Volume of Fire Study by NSWC Dahlgren Division, the NSFS Requirements and Capabilities Study by JHU-APL (both mid to high intensity scenario runs), and the Surface Combatant Force Level Study (SCFLS-II) by NSWC Dahlgren Division (a campaign run). A composite average was developed for use in this document to reflect neither the lowest or highest potential requirement for naval fires. Results from the three studies were combined to establish an average requirement for this operational situation. Estimates of the volume and sustainment capabilities for naval surface fires were determined using both a 10-day assault rate and a 30-day sustained rate of fire. This analysis illustrates the overall projected capabilities of the naval forces involved.

    Footnote 9: It is possible to use different weapons delivery assets such as close air support rather than NSFS; however, this would result in suboptimal weapons pairings. Factors impacting optimal weapons pairing include weather, responsiveness, and specific weapons effectiveness

    The active Navy had a force level of 316 ships in the year 2000 (table 8-1).10 Current budgetary and procurement plans suggest that the Navy will have difficulty maintaining a fleet of more than 300 ships through the next decade. Nevertheless, the characteristics of the 2015 carrier strike group (CSG) were projected by assuming that the 316 ship force level will be retained.

    Footnote 10: Congressional Budget Office numbers based on data from the Navy.

    Historically, approximately 60% of all ships are available for deployment at any given time (the others being in overhaul, maintenance, or predeployment). Therefore, it was assumed that two carrier strike groups would be on station to provide fires for the NEA MTW scenario. Table 8-2 lists the number of surface combatants projected to form the two CSGs. Frigates will not have an NSFS or NSS capability and are not included in subsequent analysis.

    Table 8-3 lists the associated combatant logistics support ships assumed available to resupply these two CSGs.

    8.3.2 Surface Combatant and Combat Logistics Force Capacities

    Table 8-4 lists the assumed loadouts for the available surface combatants at the start of the scenario. This inventory will be depleted as fires are requested. Individual ships will be removed from supporting land attack missions once all of the relevant weapons are expended, and either assigned to other missions (e.g., theater air defense) or sent to a resupply point (UNREP or ISB). The mix between TLAM and ALAM, and the other vertical launch missiles is assumed to reflect the NSFS/NSS primary mission area for these ships. Gun munition loadout assumes that the ANSR rounds would use the same ERGM stowage ratio11 relative to the standard ballistic ammunition. The ERGM/ANSR mix used for this analysis was 40/60. The magazine capacities for DD(X) are based on a reduced DD-21 design goal.

    Footnote 11: Each ERGM requires the same magazine stowage space as 2.3 standard ballistic rounds.

    Table 8-5 lists the assumed capacities for the combat logistics force ships supporting the NEA MTW scenario.

    8.3.3 Weapon Expenditure Rates

    The expenditures for the NEA scenario calculated from the three studies are presented in table 8-6. All munitions are expected to be ERGM, ANSR, or LRLAP equivalent. An AGS firing LRLAP at 12 rounds per minute is considered equivalent to one 155mm artillery battery (6 guns) firing at 2 rounds per gun per minute. The average surge and sustained rates used in this document are also listed in the table.

    A comparison of tables 8-4 and 8-6 shows that the total of 5,089 ERGM, ANSR, and LRLAP rounds available on the surface combatants will provide fires for less than one day at the assault rate and for 3 to 4 days at the sustained rate. Therefore, in order to sustain fires throughout the scenario, a sufficient inventory and resupply capability is required.

    Calculations based upon study data indicate that during the sustained level of support the ground force will generate approximately one NSFS fire mission every 20 minutes. During the assault phase, one NSFS fire mission will be generated every 4-1/2 minutes on average. These missions vary in types such as suppression, destruction, interdiction, neutralization, etc., such that on average each mission requires 22 rounds.12 Since the average fire mission is 22 rounds, then the average rate of fire at the sustained level is about one round every minute, whereas the high intensity (surge) scenario requires about five rounds per minute.

    A single Mk 45 Mod 4 gun can fire ERGM or ANSR rounds at a maximum rate of approximately 10 rounds for the first minute. The sustained rate is 2 to 4 rounds per minute and depends upon the magazine crew’s ability to manually move rounds from the shipping container to the hoist. The DD(X)’s advanced gun system will provide a sustained firing rate of 12 rounds per minute. Therefore, the scenario’s average sustained rate of fire could be met by a DDG with a single gun, but the surge rate would require either a single DD(X), two DDGs with one Mk 45 gun apiece, or one CG with two Mk 45 guns.

    Footnote 12: From the JHU/APL NSFS Requirements and Capabilities Study, the average fire mission requires 22 rounds of 155mm LRLAP to achieve desired effects. Therefore it is assumed that the sustained or surge firing rates will be divided into individual engagements each averaging 22 rounds.

    8.3.4 Time-on-Station

    At the start of the scenario, 9 of the 18 available surface combatants are assumed to be on station and ready to provide fires in support of the land attack missions. The remaining 9 would be assigned other missions until required to replace ships that have depleted their magazine inventories.

    The 9 surface combatants on station contain 441 land attack missiles and 2,544 long range projectiles. Two or three of the ships would be prioritized to handle as many fire requests as possible while the remaining ships on the firing line would handle the overflow when multiple fire requests are made simultaneously. This ensures that all 9 ships would not require replenishment at the same time.

    In this scenario for the sustainment phase, each ship would operate an average of 4+ hours on the firing line before running out of ammunition, assuming no reserve ammunition is retained prior to pulling the ship off the firing line. Rotating all of the 18 ships available to the firing line will sustain operations for approximately 80 hours. If the first ship UNREPs and returns to the firing line before this time, then the requirement for naval surface fires could be sustained indefinitely.

    The previous UNREP analysis indicates approximately 24 hours is required to resupply the gun ammunition and return to the operational area. This would meet the sustainment requirements; however, if the ship is required to return to an advanced naval base to resupply the missiles, then it may exceed the required 80-hour time limit.

    The assault phase of the scenario generates a fire request every 4 to 5 minutes. Two or more guns are required to support this rate of fire requests. Therefore, on average one ship must be replaced on the firing line every hour. Since there are only 18 ships available in this scenario and the projected UNREP evolution takes 24 hours, the first ship would not return before the last ship expends its magazine.

    Another major limiting factor is the time required for the combat logistics force ships to resupply the surface combatants. There are three ships capable of resupplying gun ammunition at the UNREP area: one T-AOE and two T-AKEs. Each supply ship would handle every third combatant, which would arrive on average about every 13 hours at the sustained rate. If each ship could be reloaded in less than 13 hours, then sustained operations are possible. The DDGs and CGs would require about 16 hours as previously discussed in paragraph

    Because the surface force consists of 16 DDGs and CGs and only two DD(X)s, additional combat logistics force ships and/or a faster UNREP capability are required. The ammunition replenishment limitation is further exacerbated when supporting assault level operations.

    These calculations assume the combat logistics force ships are dedicated to resupplying the surface combatants. However, they also have a requirement to replenish the other ships in the battle groups. Additionally, one of the three supply ships must return to the advanced naval base every 3 or 4 days to reload. The turn around time for a combat logistics force ship (including loadout and transit to and from the advanced naval base) is about a week. Based on this scenario, additional combat logistics force ships are required to support the operation.13

    Footnote 13: A more thorough resupply analysis for this two CSG scenario is necessary to determine the CLF requirement.

    8.3.5 Conclusion

    The planning, stationing, scheduling, and rotation of mission assignments among surface combatants and supply ships are the key elements in providing and sustaining the required volume of fires needed in the NEA MTW scenario. Minimizing the off station and resupply times will improve the situation. More combat logistics support ships; faster, more automated UNREP resupply systems; and larger surface combatant magazine capacities are necessary to meet the requirement.

    TEXT BOX: Comments by Adm. Mullen concerning replenishment at sea.

    Replenishment at sea is sustainment and must remain the cornerstone of “…anywhere…anytime.” But doing business the old way (labor-intensive replenishment at sea) will not suffice on optimally manned ships.

    Automation, palletization, and modularization not only reduce the Sailor workload, but make replenishment at sea more efficient and less time-consuming. The entire spectrum of replenishment needs to be viewed from a systems approach. We must think of the shipboard magazine as just one component of a complete ammunition supply, storage, and retrieval system. Technology and innovation – thinking future, not past – will build towards a rapid and sustainable replenishment at sea capability. If we are to be sustained contributors across the entire spectrum of the battle, we must have the capacity to address Volume Fires needs. Automated replenishment at sea will be an enabler. We should push as much of the logistics and sustainment piece as far forward as possible, maintaining inventory levels sufficient to sustain the fleet in any eventuality.

    Rear Admiral Mike Mullen
    Director, Surface Warfare
    11 September 2000

  2. #2
    Join Date
    13 Sep 05
    Illinois, U.S


    This chapter discusses some of the warfighting capabilities developed and executed during recent engagements. Transformation is not always about new systems, but can also include connecting and using old systems in new ways to provide the flexibility required to counter new and unanticipated threats. The surface combatant must bring a full array of capability that is interoperable in the joint warfighting arena. Concepts and systems discussed, if implemented, in previous chapters will provide the surface combatant of the future with these capabilities.

    Recent military experiences from Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan have validated many of the concepts of joint network centric warfare in general, and the land attack operational concepts contained within this document in particular.1 Numerous platforms and assets were connected in novel ways, providing new or enhanced operational capabilities to counter the latest threats.

    Afghanistan is a landlocked country and surface combatants were not directly involved beyond the initial Tomahawk strikes. It is instructive, however, to understand the evolving characteristics of 21st Century warfare in general, and the rapidly changing land attack capabilities of the other naval and joint forces in particular. The surface combatants will be significant players in the future as they are equipped with the enhanced land attack warfare systems as addressed in this document. As a primary example, targeting information is being provided directly from the sensor to the shooter, and the shooter must be capable of processing this information and rapidly putting ordnance on target.

    After action reports from Operation Enduring Freedom have also highlighted many of the issues raised in prior chapters of this document. Some of these issues are over-the-horizon communications; volume of fire versus precision; integration of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) assets; replenishment at sea; and a common operational picture. Some relevant insights into the evolving characteristics of 21st Century warfare are summarized in the following paragraphs.

    Footnote 1: Information contained in this chapter was derived from various open source materials.


    Operation Enduring Freedom demonstrated the effectiveness of network centric warfare and the emergence of the first generation of joint sensor, command and control, and engagement grids.

    The U.S. was able to monitor the battlefield over extended time periods by using a combination of manned and unmanned aircraft. These sensors provided a continuous flow of information to air and ground targeting systems. Directly linking these targeting systems to the global positioning system (GPS) guided weapons resulted in a significant compression of the sensor-to-shooter targeting cycle and an increase in the precision strike accuracy. A loitering aircraft carrying precision-guided munitions could receive GPS coordinates directly from the ground observers and provide ordnance-on-target within 10 minutes in some cases.

    9.1.1 Sensor Grid

    The networking and integration of data from the various ISR assets in the theater of operations provided a significant improvement in on-scene, near real-time and persistent situational awareness over the battlefield. The significant new contributors to the ISR asset pool were the Navy’s P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft and the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). These new assets, when combined with existing photographic and intelligence satellites, the E-3 airborne warning and control system (AWACS), the joint surveillance target attack radar system (JSTARS), and other electronic surveillance and intelligence gathering tactical aircraft, provided the prototype integrated sensor grid that resulted in enhanced mission effectiveness for the U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

    A second major achievement was the ability to rapidly transfer data from the intelligence communities’ assets and unique systems to the operational planners and weapon delivery platforms. Significant technical and procedural barriers continue to exist between these systems. However Operation Enduring Freedom exemplifies the movement toward a nearly seamless network centric battlefield. P-3C Maritime Patrol Aircraft

    The P-3C is the Navy’s land-based maritime patrol aircraft designed in the 1950s to search for Soviet submarines. The recent addition of a precision surveillance capability enabled the P-3C to gather intelligence, maintain long-term surveillance, and conduct reconnaissance of suspicious targets in the mountainous terrain of a landlocked country. This aircraft also has the capability to fire the stand-off land attack missile (SLAM), act as a communication relay platform, and perform battle damage assessment. The P-3C’s principle value, however, was providing situational awareness over terrain where deep valleys and towering mountains limited visibility. A verbal or electronic message could be sent out as soon as a suspected target was detected.

    For example, during Operation Anaconda in March 2002, the P-3Cs carried Navy SEAL commandos who radioed descriptions of the enemy to fellow special operations troops fighting on the ground. Images from the electrooptical, infrared, and synthetic aperture radar sensors were also sent directly to: (1) ground units via the tactical common data link (TCDL), and (2) senior commanders after routing via satellite communications through the regional operations centers. A megabyte-size jpeg image could be sent in 5–6 minutes. Studies are underway to add a broadband link capability for broadcasting real-time streaming video of time critical targets. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)

    The Air Force’s Predator was the UAV that had the greatest impact on the prosecution of the war. This UAV played a key role in sharply compressing the time delay between target identification and weapons release from hours to minutes or less. Operators at a ground tactical control station (TCS) provide remote control of the Predator’s airframe and sensors. A satellite link handles communications between the aircraft, ground operators, and anyone receiving the live video imagery. In the ISR mode, Predator is most effective when cued by other intelligence sources and used to provide real-time intelligence on targets that already have been identified. In the target attack mode, Predator realized a major improvement in capability when it was upgraded to provide live video feeds directly to the AC-130 gun ships. These gun ships used the live video to identify targets while en route to the target area, and could immediately fire at the targets once reaching the area. Predator also can illuminate targets by laser designation for attack by precision weapons fired from remote distances and, on occasion, has even carried and fired its own Hellfire missiles at selected targets.

    Future improvements call for Predator video to be provided to the cockpits of all Air Force and Navy attack aircraft. Mission planners also want the capability to rapidly integrate all intelligence data, whether from a Predator or other sources, into a single common tactical picture.

    The RQ-4A Global Hawk is a long range, high altitude UAV that had its operational debut over Afghanistan. Global Hawk provides broad area surveillance while flying at elevations at or above 60,000 feet, has a range of 1200 miles, can loiter for 24 hours, and carries high resolution radar sensors that can capture images through clouds and darkness. Follow-on versions may collect signals intelligence as well as imagery. In the ISR mode, Global Hawk works in conjunction with the Predator and other intelligence systems to gather a persistent layered picture of the battlefield.

    Both the Navy and Marine Corps have completed a major overhaul of their UAVs plans and are preparing to start several new programs. All UAVs will be controlled by the TCS. The Navy intends to pursue three types of UAVs: (1) a long duration, standoff ISR vehicle (possibly a marinized version of the Global Hawk); (2) a penetrating surveillance and strike UAV; and (3) a tactical UAV. However, there is no funded program to provide a UAV capability to surface combatants. The USMC will also seek a tiered approach, focusing on systems that are fully autonomous, TCS compliant, require minimum training and logistics, and are affordable. Targeting

    Extensive use of GPS was the most notable targeting improvement. GPS enabled precision strikes from information provided by both operational command centers using near realtime sensor information, and by special operations forces on the ground which directly uplinked real-time precision coordinates to bomber and attack aircraft. The use of GPS coordinates also enabled aircraft to deliver weapons from relatively large standoff distances to either ensure safety or surprise.

    The ability of U.S. and British special operations forces (SOF), acting as forward observers, to call in air strikes also provided a significant tactical advantage and immeasurably contributed to the successful and accelerated prosecution of the war. This is an excellent example of the advantages provided by network centric warfare when the decision authority is moved down the chain of command to the personnel in the field.

    This capability was enabled by providing the SOFs with: (1) the tactical authority to identify targets and to immediately call in air strikes, and (2) the capability to provide near real-time precision targeting information to loitering attack aircraft carrying precision guided weapons that could be programmed by the aircraft just before weapon launch. This capability was so successful that 84% of the Navy’s attack aircraft did not know the specific targets they were to attack until after they were in the target area.

    9.1.2 Command and Control (C2) Grid

    The primary command-and-control communications network used today by all services to create an air picture is the joint tactical information distribution system (JTIDS), also known as Link 16. JTIDS primary purpose is to pass targeting data to attack aircraft from airborne and ground sensors. JTIDS also allows numerous sensors and elements to share information sufficiently to provide a common air picture over the battlefield known as the single integrated air picture (SIAP).

    The joint composite tracking network (JCTN) is also being developed to track and engage potential targets. The Navy’s cooperative engagement capability (CEC) system that consolidates multiple sensor data into single composite track provides a major element of the JCTN capability to Navy units.

    Military actions in Afghanistan highlighted the recurring problem of communicating with mobile ground units. Also identified as an issue is the increasing demand for bandwidth to support many of the new systems coming on line. Some digital communications systems were found to not always be interoperable. This mountainous terrain made it difficult for troops who tried to use line-of-sight communications, forcing them to use expensive military and commercial satellites instead.

    Despite the problems noted above, communications links were responsible for providing unprecedented connectivity between a vast array of sensors, shooters, and decision makers. The Navy and Air Force also employed satellite uplinks and downlinks to establish communications between forces on the ground and air assets overhead. These links provided the sensor video feeds that were relayed as targeting information to the shooters.

    9.1.3 Engagement Grid

    Precision-guided weapons, together with the ability to either laser designate the target or rapidly provide GPS coordinates for the target, greatly contributed to overall mission effectiveness. Precision-guided munitions accounted for more than 60% of the ordnance expended in Afghanistan. The most notable weapon was the air-delivered precision guided 2,000 pound joint direct attack munition (JDAM), which has a circular error probable of under 30 feet. JDAM can be delivered by the Air Force’s long-range bombers, as well as by Air Force and Navy tactical aircraft. JDAM will soon be supplemented by a 500-pound version that will reduce collateral damage.

    The next generation precision-guided munition, providing a launch-and-leave capability, was successfully tested in December 2001 at the China Lake test facility. The AGM-154C unitary warhead variant of the joint standoff weapon (JSOW-C) was launched at 20,000 feet, flew autonomously with the aid of GPS navigation for approximately 20 nautical miles, located the target using an imaging infrared seeker, and hit the desired aimpoint. The JSOW-C also will be the first U.S. weapon to incorporate the broach penetration multiple warhead, developed by BAE Systems.

    A new thermobaric bomb was also quickly designed and first used in combat on a tunnel at the start of Operation Anaconda in March 2002. This weapon was specifically developed to counter the enemy’s use of the vast cave complexes in the Afghanistan mountains as a sanctuary. The bomb releases and then detonates a fine cloud of highly explosive chemicals, creating a massive shock wave that destroys everything inside a cave, bunker, or building.

    Precision-guided munitions, however, are not always the best choice for area targets such as extended and fortified trench lines protecting cities and strongholds. Vietnam style carpetbombing using “dumb” bombs once again proved highly effective against these target types. There is no substitute for sustained volume of fire (i.e., a large number of bombs covering a large target area) for degrading the enemy’s ability to fight.

    The emerging land attack capabilities of the surface combatant will enhance the variety of “arrows in the quiver” of the warfighter. This will also allow more appropriate weapon to target pairing than is presently available in many situations.


    The 1991 Gulf War proved that a lot of work was still required before the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps forces, as well as coalition forces, were truly interoperable. Major efforts in establishing joint organizations, communications, doctrine, procedures, and training since that time have proved highly effective. In Afghanistan joint interoperability allowed all the commanders in the region, as well as the Pentagon, to see the common operational picture on their desktop computers. All of the communications and most of the weapons were common, as well as the tactics, techniques and procedures for engaging targets. Forward ground observers calling in strikes saw almost no difference between Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, or Coalition aircraft.

    Unlike Desert Storm and Allied Force, several nearby nations with modern airports refused access to U.S. military forces for Operation Enduring Freedom. This decision severely limited the U.S. Air Force’s ability to stage tactical air strikes from land bases relatively close to the battlefield. Common systems and joint training enabled this missing component to be replaced with sea-based forces, and throughout the military campaign the Naval forces provided critical capabilities to support joint and combined operations. U.S. surface combatants and U.S. and Royal Navy submarines started the retaliatory action on 7 October 2001 with the launch of more than 70 Tomahawk cruise missiles against targets in Afghanistan. Navy and Marine Corps attack and support aircraft, teamed with long-range Air Force B-2 bombers (flying from the U.S.) and B-1 and B-52 bombers (flying from Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean), next mounted an around-the-clock air campaign directed by Army General Tommy Franks, commander in chief of the U.S. Central Command. Navy and Marine Corps aircraft were refueled in flight several times during their 6–10 hour missions by a fleet of U.S. and Royal Air Force aerial tankers.

    Command and control of air operations has also been a major challenge within the joint and coalition forces, right up through the 1999 Kosovo campaign. In Afghanistan, the combined forces air component commander (CFACC) provided a high degree of joint interoperability and coalition integration to optimize the use all available air assets.


    The battle underway in Afghanistan, the opening conflict of the 21st century, is an early illustration of the far-reaching transformation sweeping the joint military forces. Transformation is not always about new systems, but can also include connecting and using old systems in new ways to provide the flexibility required to counter new and unanticipated threats. The best symbol of this new mix of the modern and the mundane may be the lumbering 50-year-old B-52 strategic bomber, once considered a relic of the cold war, providing 35 tons of volume fire and close air support to troops on horseback. In this case some of these troops were special operations forces (SOFs) equipped with satellite phones and GPS devices capable of providing real-time precision targeting information to the bombers.

    Combining the B-52s (along with tactical aircraft) with the SOFs produced dramatic results as the Afghan Northern Alliance, outnumbered two-to-one by a dedicated and well-resourced foe, was able to overrun the entire country within weeks.

    The naval forces provided additional examples of transformational capabilities. By early January 2002 the naval services had flown 75% of the strike sorties carried out over Afghanistan from carriers operating more than 400 miles away. The quality of the strikes also improved as well.

    During Desert Storm the Navy averaged 10 aircraft per target. In Afghanistan one aircraft could take out two targets. The Marine Corps also showed the potential for ship-to-objective maneuver by flying more than 400 miles inland to an expeditionary site south of Kandahar, quickly seizing the Kandahar airfield needed for future operations, and conducting mobile hunterkiller patrols (similar to those practiced during the Hunter Warrior experiments in 1997) to block enemy escape routes. In addition, the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk deployed with a minimal air wing to serve as a floating special operations base in the North Arabian Sea.

    The growing capability of the fleet’s Tomahawk cruise missile, originally developed as part of the nuclear arsenal, is also indicative of the Navy’s steady transformation. The Tomahawk has transformed cruisers and destroyers from principally defensive escorts into critical components of long-range strike, and eventually will support time critical strike and requests for fire support.

    The Tomahawk targeting cycle was three days during Desert Storm in 1991. In the 1999 operations in Kosovo (allied force), the targeting cycle was reduced to about 100 minutes. For Enduring Freedom, it was reduced to about 30 minutes in some cases. The introduction of the Tactical Tomahawk weapon control system in 2004 will allow onboard mission planning and execution, and near real-time targeting and retargeting when the missile is in flight.


    9.4.1 Special Circumstances

    The significance of the lessons learned from the current conflict must be carefully considered in light of the special circumstances involved. Although the current success in Afghanistan has been dramatic, the success has depended on three primary factors.

    First, as the French learned during the German blitzkrieg in the opening days of World War II, war cannot be reduced to forward observers and artillery. This tactic worked well in Afghanistan because the spotters had the support of the local population and could travel easily. This will not be possible if the local population is hostile.

    Second, complete air superiority was established very early in the theater of operations. This freedom provided the airborne surveillance assets, special operations forces, attack aircraft, and heavy bombers with the ability to operate together unimpeded and achieve maximum effectiveness. Complete air superiority may not be available in future conflicts against a country with a sophisticated air defense capability. Serbian air defense forces were well trained, resilient, highly mobile, concealed, and patient, and provided a sustained (although degraded) capability throughout the 78-day campaign.

    Third, climate did not significantly impact the campaign. In Kosovo nearly 70% of the battlefield was covered 50% of the time with low clouds and fog. This rendered electro-optical and infrared sensors and human eyeballs useless in detecting and identifying most targets. Forested mountainous terrain had an equally adverse effect on all-weather radar. Precision strikes are only as good as the ISR systems that provide the targeting information. Over the past ten years, the quantity and capability of the precision strike weapons has outpaced the capability of the supporting ISR structure. Target concealment, deception, and mobility as well as weather, terrain, and air defenses will make the ISR problem even more difficult.

    9.4.2 Land Based Versus Sea Based Aircraft

    The Afghanistan campaign has convincingly demonstrated that the long-running debate of the effectiveness of land-based bombers versus seabased aircraft has no place in the 21st century joint operations. The air campaign was remarkable for the degree of seamless interoperability and mutual support between the Air Force and Navy-Marine Corps team’s aviation assets.

    Because of their larger payloads, the Air Force’s B-1, B-2, and B-52 long-range bombers carried most of the munitions into the theater of operations, and Air Force’s tanker, surveillance, and transport aircraft were also key to operational effectiveness. U.S. Navy and Marine Corps’ F/A-18s, F-14s, and AV-8B Harriers flew most of the strike sorties, however, providing a round the- clock strike capability and escorts for other U.S. and coalition aircraft. The Navy’s EA-6Bs, E-2Cs, S-3s, and P-3Cs provided critical support to the overall campaign as well.

    The long ranges involved in all air support missions put a large strain on both the aircraft and aircrews as well the supporting aircraft, such as the air tankers. This was true for both land and sea based aircraft.

    9.4.3 Joint Flexibility

    Future conflicts will require strategic, operational, and tactical flexibility and synergy between the joint military services to achieve national objectives. This flexibility will enable each service to leverage its unique synergies on the unpredictable modern battlefield. No single weapon system is sufficient in and of itself. The warfighter must be provided with a variety of weapon delivery systems, coupled with a high quality ISR capability, to ensure success on nearly every future battlefield. A good example of this flexibility is the blurring of the traditional line between the intelligence community and the tactical operators as the connectivity of the systems is improved. In Afghanistan this flexibility resulted in the rapid fusion of data received from the various ISR assets into tactically useful information, and the rapid passing of these intelligence products to mission planners and even weapon delivery platforms to rapidly engage targets.

    The new challenge will be contending with uncertainty. Planners cannot design specific forces for specific scenarios because they can no longer predict circumstances and adversaries with any precision. No one was pondering a major campaign in Afghanistan on 10 September 2001. The U.S. requires strategically agile forces that offer a broad range of capabilities while avoiding fixed airfields, forward bases, and ports that the enemy can strike back at. This force includes long-range airpower, highly maneuverable ground forces, and forward presence with a full spectrum naval fires capability.

    9.4.4 Surface Combatant Contributions

    Forward presence has little point unless the ships represent significant striking power. The Aegis combatants will provide a moderate land attack capability with the existing and programmed gun and missile systems. However, these same platforms can provide a transformational land attack capability by digitally connecting the existing sensor, command and control, mission planning, and engagement components. This connectivity would provide a true network centric warfare capability against time critical targets as well as provide a sustained and distributed fire support capability to support the maneuvering forces on the ground. Once these systems are fully netted, surface combatants will have the capability to conduct early, responsive, and precision tactical, operational, and strategic land attack missions while supporting the arrival of follow-on naval, joint, and coalition forces.

    The new land attack capability of the surface combatants will provide additional options for engaging enemy targets. Many targets may also be more optimally engaged with munitions such as ERGM or LRLAP vice some air delivered ordnance. This means that the target is appropriately engaged but with a cheaper yet similarly effective munition. These costs include the overall wear on the aircraft and support systems as well as the risk to the aircrew. Additionally, sea based fires may be more responsive to engaging a time sensitive target since they are available during day and night as well as during periods of reduced visibility.

    Afghanistan is unique because it is a land-locked country and Tomahawk is the only surface combatant weapon with sufficient range to reach potential targets. Future conflicts may find a large percentage of targets within range of all of the surface combatant’s land attack weapons, and may pose a sophisticated air threat. In this case, a long-range and robust land attack capability from both gun and missile systems would be highly valuable.

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