Category Archives: Surface Forces

Opinion: The Navy Needs a Wider Look at Wargaming

Opinion: The Navy Needs a Wider Look at Wargaming

navalwargames

Under the auspices of the Defense Innovation Initiative, announced by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel before he left office, Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work has sounded a call to revive the practice of wargaming in the Department of Defense. In a memo issued Feb. 9, Work announced plans to “reinvigorate, institutionalize, and systematize wargaming across the Department.”

This memo is a vital first step, and should instigate a Navy wide re-examination of when, why, and how we conduct these evolutions across the force. Lessons learned a century ago demonstrate that the Navy should take the memo’s intent on board, but must go even further than Mr. Work’s suggestions in order to maximize the warfighting ability and innovative spirit of the fleet. Read More

Pentagon Creates Electronic Warfare Programs Council to Boost U.S. Technological Edge

Pentagon Creates Electronic Warfare Programs Council to Boost U.S. Technological Edge

an EA-18G Growler from the Cougars of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 139 on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70).

An EA-18G Growler from the Cougars of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 139 on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) in January, 2015.Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work said Tuesday that electronic warfare would be a key component of maintaining the ability to win a guided munitions salvo in the future and needed additional investment. US Navy Photo

This post has been updated to include comments from vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. James “Sandy” Winnefeld.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Pentagon will formally create an Electronic Warfare (EW) Programs Council today, with the hopes of boosting the U.S. military’s waning technological edge in this area, Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work said on Tuesday.

Work, speaking at the Credit Suisse/McAleese 2016 Defense Programs Conference, said that the Pentagon’s Third Offset Strategy would center on winning a guided munitions salvo against an opponent, and EW capabilities would be pivotal to achieving this capability. Read More

Essay: The Coast Guard Legends of SOUTHCOM

Essay: The Coast Guard Legends of SOUTHCOM

Coast Guard Cutter Stratton. US Coast Guard Photo

Coast Guard Cutter Stratton. US Coast Guard Photo

On a warm July day in 2014, U.S. Coast Guard deck hands took in the mooring lines at 0930 on board USCGC Stratton, one of the Service’s newest Legend-class national security cutters.

Stratton slowly drifted away from the San Diego pier while a show-stopping three short blasts sounded from the ship’s whistle, alerting nearby maritime traffic that the 418-foot steel vessel was backing out. The engines shifted, increasing speed ahead. Stratton was outbound for sea. Read More

Battle Over How to Count Navy Ships is Confusing, But Not New

Battle Over How to Count Navy Ships is Confusing, But Not New

USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) leads ships from Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 12 during a maneuvering exercise on Sept. 23, 2014. US Navy Photo

USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) leads ships from Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 12 during a maneuvering exercise on Sept. 23, 2014. US Navy Photo

Lawmakers and Navy leadership spent the past year going back and forth over how to count the number of ships in the Battle Force fleet. The Navy made some changes last spring that immediately increased the size of the fleet and complicated the ship-counting effort: certain ships would count only if they were forward deployed but not if they returned home to the United States. Congress pushed back, passing into law what was essentially a compromise counting rule – and the third methodology to be used in a one-year span.

As a result of the back-and-forth, the Navy’s most recent ship-count projection it submitted to Congress contains two sets of figures: one with the Navy’s preferred method, and one following Congress’s rule. 

The dueling methods have led to confusing charts and tables earlier this year, but the conflict over how to count Navy ships is not new – the Carter and Reagan administrations both created their own sets of rules for counting ships. Read More

U.S. Sea Service Strategy Revision Includes Navy and Coast Guard Ship Counts, All Domain Access Outline

U.S. Sea Service Strategy Revision Includes Navy and Coast Guard Ship Counts, All Domain Access Outline

Crew of the USCGC Wrangell (WPB-1322) view flight operations aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) in 2006. US Navy Photo

Crew of the USCGC Wrangell (WPB-1322) view flight operations aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) in 2006. US Navy Photo

PENTAGON — The latest revision to the 2007 U.S. Sea Service strategy has added sections addressing the complexity of the intersection of cyber and electronic warfare and hangs a loose number on the number of ships the U.S. Navy needs to execute its roles in the world. Read More