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Document: Chief of Naval Operations’ Navigation Plan

The following is the latest revision to Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert’s CNO’s Navigation Plan, issued on July 20, 2015.

  • Curtis Conway

    Comments pursuant to the six programmatic priorities in your PB-16 and more:

    1) Any surface combatant cannot survive in a dynamic, rapidly changing and challenging multi-warfare battle space unless that vessel has an organic ability to combat every threat at some level. The AAW and ASCM arenas are the two primary regimes that every surface combatant must be able to counter, for they are the greatest danger that can destroy these vessels the quickest.

    2) That forward presence has been populated by ships that perhaps were inappropriate for the task, but could do the task because no one dared challenge the United States Navy. That is no longer the case. Even small surface combatants Must be multi-warfare capable. Otherwise we are not keeping the faith with our volunteer sailors.

    3) Without a basic and fundamental multi-warfare capability on Every Surface Combatant, this requirement is an unrealistic expectation. A fundamental and minimum multi-warfare capability must be defined and adhered to with the introduction of every platform, and retrofitted to those that already exist.

    4) Readiness requires training, exercise, spare parts, and shipyard availability. Force levels also plays as a component in that equation. Our force must have more small surface combatants like Frigates, but those vessels will have to fill missions that usually require a destroyer. The current configuration of the LCS/FF (even Small Surface Combatants -SSC) cannot do that and survive if it should find itself in a shooting match with a capable foe.

    5) If greater reliance of Electromagnetic or Directed Energy systems transpire,
    perhaps the LCS/FF or SSCs can be upgraded to be that expansion vessel. However, I would never want to go to the Arctic in one.

    6) To maintain the shipbuilding industrial base we simply must build more ships. Smaller surface combatants and perhaps Light Aircraft Carriers based upon current mature designs already in production can be expanded. The National Security
    Cutter would make a fine FFG, and the USS American (LHA-8) Class re-designated as a Light Carrier would add versatility, and greater force numbers, at less cost, and more rapidly, than building traditional vessels of like capability (DDG/CVN). New budgets lie in your future, so start planning now.

    Every platform in the US Navy that has a flight deck should be upgraded with Thermion, and procedures to provide a ‘Ready Deck of Opportunity’ should be published to prevent the loss of any F-35Bs in trouble and unable to get back to a large deck. Thermion should be the standard coating for all future flight decks.

    The Land Based Test Site for the AMDR should include tests for a 9-module configuration using the modules in the test antenna pursuant to determining the base configuration for smaller combatant installations. A definition document for what that installation should stipulate the power, cooling and available space
    requirements. This configuration could go on every surface combatant not equipped with SPY-1, or full AMDR installations, particularly on small surface combatant that may employ Directed Energy weapons.

    The F-35 combat system represents a tremendous increase in Naval Aviation capability. That capability should be fully leveraged. The US Marine Corps should be relieved of it requirement to acquire F-35Cs, and the full complement of F-35Bs should be restored to the force, improving their training, and logistical support
    requirements. Light Carriers should be considered, and they employ F-35Bs flown by the Navy Reserve Component. The increase of the F-35B buy will bring down
    the cost and provide a huge flexibility to Naval Forces Pacific in future crisis.

    With the advent of the F-35s with its synergistic effect, and growth of the F/A-18E/Fs in the Air Wings, strong consideration to increased EA-18G participation in the Air Wings should be considered. Electronic Attack will become even more effective and important with the Next Generation Jammer, not only to organic Navy forces, but Joint forces as well. We should be prepared to provide that support. Every EA-18G can be a shooter also. Development of the longer range AIM-120 with AGM-88E capability should be strongly considered.

    Development of an AEW&C V-22 Osprey to support Expeditionary Strike Groups and potential Light Carrier Battle Groups should be strongly considered. The topside triangular AESA antenna on the rotating wing section, along with a pressurized AEW&C module in the aircraft, could be developed and would be a welcome addition to any ESG/CVLBG underway in any AOR.

    “BZ” on the V-22 COD which is a required and necessary capability for the Pacific Pivot. Some thought to a KC-3A Super Viking for longer range and larger (out-sized) cargo loads should be considered. The Pacific is a large place and greater quantities of airborne fuel increases safety and COD capability. As a practical matter, all tankers any service should be able to receive fuel, transfer fuel, and pass fuel to other aircraft, regardless of tanker airframe.

    Acceleration of the Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program Block 3 systems should be coordinated with the NJG, and other EW capabilities surface & air, like Real-Time Spectrum Operations (RTSO) capability.

    The US Navy should support the creation of a Unified Electronic Warfare Commander (EWCOM) to assume the coordination responsibilities of all Joint EW tasking, assets, and coordinate the development of future EW capabilities.
    Responsibilities of EWCOM would be to coordinate with Cyber Defense by
    Joint forces.

    “BZ” again on the emphasis on efficiencies in our Aegis engineering power generation and propulsion. We have been throwing away huge quantities of
    energy for the sake of safety, when that energy could have been propelling the
    ship during about 60-80% of the mission profile. Employment of Versatile, Affordable Advanced Turbine Engines Program, or VAATE, combined with Enhanced Durability Engine (EDE) program, with its advanced core technology, and Integrated High Performance Turbine Engine Technology (IHPTET), the US Navy can increase the capability of every gas turbine in the fleet extracting more power, with less fuel consumption, and reduced maintenance requirements.

    The US Navy should be looking very closely at marinized version requirements for the ITEP (Improved Turbine Engine Program). The U.S. Army’s AATE program (Advanced Affordable Turbine Engine) provides 25% reduction in SFC, 65% higher
    power-to-weight ratio, 35% lower production and maintenance costs, and 20%
    longer design life relative to the T700, in the same size envelope. The program
    is expected to lead to a production turboshaft by 2023, and transition of USN helicopters using T700 engine family should be planned for upgrade. It is understood that marinized engines will reduce some of these efficiencies.

    Concerning helicopters, I saw no mention of the CH-53K which is a pivotal capability for USMC MAGTF operations. The CH-53Es are getting old fast. This testing has been precise, carefully executed, and marching to the right on the calendar. More aggressive testing regimen should be strongly considered.

    Concerning Overseas Presence Requirements and operational support:

    1) Some thought to greater use of Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) should be considered, particularly proof of the use of mother ships employing patrol
    craft in the littorals. I would suggest the Philippines as a potential operation area.

    2) Use of Naval Mobile Construction Battalions in assisting with the building of bases at Palawan Island, Philippines, is suggested. Coordination with USAF Red Horse could provide greater construction activity in a shorter period of time, over a broader spectrum of facilities.

    3) Assisting ASEAN (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar) in standing up an International Maritime Operation Center (IMOC) to facilitate the policing of traffic in that region generally, and the South China Sea specifically is strongly suggested. Assistance by the
    previously mentioned construction support should be considered. Joint forces exercises is obviously the vehicle to use for defining patrol areas/routes, and establishing the base of operations and procedures.

    4) All Aegis Ashore locations should have their inherent AAW capability restored and implemented, and this should be a no-brainer. If you cannot survive the air attack, you will not perform the BMD mission. It’s just logical.

    Although I applaud and support integration of women into the force, at no time should we reduce standards required to perform those missions for which they seek to participate. If we reduce the standards, then we negatively affect our readiness, and that may provide greater opportunity for the females, but it makes the country
    less safe, and thus is a net negative in nature.


    CWO3 Curtis E. Conway, Jr., USNR (Ret)

  • Rob C.

    Large Displacement Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (LDUUV)? Are they trying develop a UAV Attack Submarine?