Find a Security Clearance Job!

Military





From The Sea - - To Where

From The Sea - - To Where?

 

CSC 1993

 

SUBJECT AREA - General

 

 

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

Title: From the Sea--To Where?

 

Author: Lieutenant Commander E.T. O'Brien, United States Navy

 

Thesis: The issuance of the Navy white paper From the Sea is a positive and significant step

forward. It reflects the Navy's changing strategy and focus, conforming with the effects of the

changing world. This new maritime strategy must be a viable and credible "vision" for the Navy

as it focuses on expeditionary operations conducted from the sea instead of the Mahanian doctrine

of blue water/open ocean warfare. The Navy's commitment must be strong with a corresponding

shift in doctrine and force structure to support this strategy as we operate into the 1990's and

beyond.

 

Background: From the Sea was issued changing the focus of the Navy's strategy to

expeditionary warfare. The Navy's commitment to this new strategy will be tested as future

force structure and doctrine are developed in these austere financial times. Recent

decommissioning of cruisers and destroyers have increased the percentage of amphibious ships

in the surface force. This coupled with rapid improvements in fast sealift shipping are

indications that the Navy has initially moved in the right direction. Reduction in the total

number of amphibious ships will create problems in meeting the 12 ARG requirement set forth

by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Training is the one area where immediate changes can be made.

Changes in the curriculums of the Naval War College and Marine Corps Command and Staff

College to include expeditionary warfare is necessary to provide parent services and joint staffs

with the expertise required to implement the concepts of From the Sea.

 

Recommendations: The Navy must commit to From the Sea as the basis for future force

structure, doctrine and training.

 

From the Sea -- To Where?

 

OUTLINE

 

Thesis. The issuance of the Navy white paper From the Sea is a positive and significant step

forward. It reflects the Navy's changing strategy and focus, conforming with the shift in

National Security Strategy and the effects of the changing world environment. This new

maritime strategy must be a viable and credible "vision" for the Navy as it focuses on

expeditionary operations conducted from the sea instead of the Mahanian doctrine of blue

water/open ocean warfare. The Navy's commitment must be strong with a corresponding shift

in doctrine and force structure to support this strategy as we operate into the 1990's and beyond.

 

I. Navy changed Maritime Strategy to expeditionary warfare

A. OPNAV Staff realignment

B. Implementation of new strategy

l. Done within precepts of civilian controlled military

2. Budgetary Considerations have considerable impact

 

II. Expeditionary Warfare is centerpiece of new strategy

A. Define expeditionary warfare

B. Focus of expeditionary warfare is amphibious capability

C. Many missions already being conducted

 

III. Force structure must change

A. Recent decommissioning of cruiser/destroyers

B. Future force structure will be difficult to build

C. Shift current acquisition policies to buy more amphibious ships

D. LX construction

E. Adaptive force planning as influence of future platforms

 

IV. Amphibious shipping and lift requirements

A. Navy/Marine Corps requirement for 2.5 MEB lift

B. JCS requirement for 12 ARG (3.0 MEB) lift

C. Amphibious force structure to meet 12 ARG requirement

D. Fast Sealift shortages

 

V. Training

A. Development of expeditionary warfare experts

B. Expeditionary warfare not being taught in any school

C. Develop pipeline training for all levels

D. Accession and career paths

 

From the Sea - To Where?

 

 

From the Sea, The Department of the Navy's white paper giving the Navy's new

 

vision of the future, is a positive and significant step forward. It reflects the Navy's

 

changing strategy and focus, conforming with the shift in National Security Strategy and the

 

effects of the changing world. Vice Admiral William A. Owens, Deputy Chief of Naval

 

Operations for Resources, Warfare Requirements, and Assessments, stated that From the Sea

 

" is the most significant change in direction with regard to how we use the Navy that we

 

have seen since World War II."1 This "new" strategy must provide a viable and credible

 

"vision" as the focus shifts to expeditionary operations conducted from the sea, instead of the

 

Mahanian doctrine of blue water/open ocean warfare.

 

Operating expeditionary forces from the littorals of the world is not a new concept for

 

the Navy/Marine Corps team. Previously, the focus of national strategy has not been on this

 

capability; as the events of the last two years have demonstrated, that focus needed to be

 

changed. From the Sea is the first public acknowledgement of the shift in Maritime Strategy

 

to expeditionary warfare, in order to respond rapidly to world crises.

 

What is new, however, is building a naval strategy around the expeditionary warfare

 

concept that drives future procurement and force structure. The first step in this process was

 

the reorganization of OPNAV staff in order to align with the Joint Chiefs of Staff

 

organization and facilitate implementation of expeditionary warfare into the budget and

 

procurement process.2 Currently, the Director for Expeditionary Warfare, Major General

 

Harry W. Jenkins, works under Vice Admiral Owens in his N-8 organization. As

 

expeditionary warfare concepts evolve crossing many operational specialties and service roles

 

and missions, the role of the Director of Expeditionary Warfare could eventually expand to

 

the point of becoming the deputy chief of naval operations for expeditionary warfare.

 

Close scrutiny of From the Sea raises many questions and potential problem areas

 

concerning the Navy's commitment to expeditionary warfare as the focal point of a new

 

Maritime Strategy. How and why was the maritime strategy changed? What is the future

 

force structure and how do we build it with a tighter defense budget? Have training pipelines

 

been changed to reflect the concepts put forth in From the Sea? These are three questions

 

that need to be answered in order to ascertain the Navy's commitment to expeditionary

 

warfare.

 

The Navy Department's change of strategy follows the precepts of the civilian

 

controlled military system. The National Security Strategy was changed in May 1992 to

 

reflect the post-Cold War world situation.3 This dictated a corresponding shift in the

 

National Military Strategy to conform with National Security Strategy providing guidance for

 

future force structure and deployment. The Maritime Strategy then was changed to become

 

aligned with the new Military Strategy. This new Maritime Strategy was From the Sea

 

Recent world crises in Somalia and Bosnia have validated this shift to expeditionary warfare

 

as the building block of our Maritime Strategy. Concepts and visions developed during

 

President Bush's administration have been carried forward and embraced by President Clinton

 

and his administration.

 

The centerpiece of the new maritime strategy is expeditionary warfare.4 It is difficult

 

to write a strategy with "expeditionary warfare" as a centerpiece when it has not been defined

 

in even general terms. What From the Sea does outline are the general principles to be

 

considered in defining expeditionary warfare. Amphibious warfare, mine warfare, aircraft

 

carrier and air wing operations, surface warfare, submarine warfare and land warfare are all

 

areas which comprise expeditionary warfare. Also, From the Sea uses the terms littoral

 

warfare and expeditionary warfare interchangeably. Initially, this does not seem to be a

 

problem; however, failure to distinguish the two terms will lead to different interpretations of

 

From the Sea. Littoral warfare is that which is conducted in the coastal regions of the world

 

and is a subset of expeditionary warfare. One theme that does emerge is that there will be a

 

shift in focus to the amphibious force and embarked Marines.

 

The amphibious force and expeditionary capability have been around for many

 

years with Amphibious Ready Groups (ARG) continuously deployed in the Atlantic and the

 

Pacific for many years. They have conducted Non Combatant Evacuation Operations (NEO)

 

and humanitarian missions professionally in support of CINC and national taskings. Marine

 

Expeditionary Units (MEU) have been designated Special Operations Capable (SOC) since

 

1987, completing arduous workup periods in achieving SOC designation. From the Sea, has

 

not discovered a new form of warfare - it has rediscovered the capabilities of the

 

Navy/Marine Corps team.

 

In government as in business, one proof of commitment is the allocation of

 

money to a project or strategy. Recent cuts in the defense budget have tested the Navy's

 

commitment at a much faster pace than anticipated. The decommissioning of

 

cruiser/destroyer assets while limiting cuts to the amphibious forces, mine forces, and the

 

Marine Corps has shown the Navy's initial adherence to the tenets of From the Sea.

 

Force composition is a visible sign of the Navy's commitment to expeditionary

 

warfare. Future force structure is the key factor in having a flexible force that can transition

 

into the 21st century. Building a force with expeditionary warfare as guidance is a difficult

 

transition from the historic blue water focus of the past fifty years. Battlespace dominance in

 

the littorals and open ocean is assumed in From the Sea. This may be true in 1993;

 

however, failure to have a force which will continue this domination across the range of

 

warfare specialties will significantly decrease the survivability of ships, aircraft and ultimately

 

the ability to conduct expeditionary warfare.

 

Recent force cuts in surface ships have increased amphibious and mine warfare ships

 

as a percentage of the total force. This indicates that senior Navy planners are using

 

guidelines and concepts contained in From the Sea. Taking this to the next step would be a

 

hard assessment of exactly what is needed to maintain our control of the open ocean. There

 

has been no reduction in acquisition of Arleigh Burke class destroyers. The money saved

 

from not building one Arleigh Burke destroyer could be used to construct a large deck

 

amphibious ship (LHA/LHD), mine warfare ships, or develop Naval Fire Support Systems

 

replacing the firepower lost with the decommissioning of the battleships. Not only would this

 

enhance the ability to conduct expeditionary warfare missions it would send an important

 

political sin to the Navy and Congress that senior Naval leadership is committed to

 

expeditionary warfare.

 

The recent approval of the LX class as the replacement for LST and LPD class ships

 

being decommissioned is a large step in solving the shortages currently experienced in

 

amphibious lift.5 This replacement program has been a lengthy process which has extended

 

the service life of aging ships whose systems and propulsion plants were designed in the

 

1950's and 1960's. The uncertainty in finalizing details and delays in building the LX on

 

line reflect shortfalls in the programming and acquisition processes during the 1980's. The

 

aggressive pursuit of a viable and well thought out future force structure is key to keeping a

 

vibrant and capable modern force.

 

New and innovative ideas have arisen in addressing shortfalls in amphibious lift and

 

transitioning to an expeditionary warfare focus. The most current idea implemented is that of

 

adaptive force planning. A recent example of this process entails placing a Special Purpose

 

Marine Air Ground Task Force (SPMAGTF) on an aircraft carrier for a deployment.

 

Ideally, this force would be able to respond as quickly and effectively as the ARGs currently

 

deployed with the addition of carrier based aviation for support. As this process matures,

 

different combinations of forces will be tried in order to maximiie available assets and

 

respond to specific threats.

 

In theory this would seem to be a good idea; however, there are serious issues that need

 

to be addressed. The first is the likelihood of a CINC permitting a national asset to be tied

 

to supporting a small force ashore for an extended period of time. During Operation Sharp

 

Edge, the evacuation and support of the American Embassy in Liberia, one amphibious ship

 

was used to support a MAGTF ashore. It is difficult to imagine that a CINC would permit

 

the carrier assigned to the Mediterranean to sit off the coast of Africa for 3-4 months

 

providing logistical support for forces ashore. The second issue is that amphibious ships are

 

built to support the landing force ashore. Communication suites, supportability and the

 

experience of the USMC/Navy Amphibious team are key factors in deploying MAGTFs on

 

amphibious ships for scheduled deployments.

 

Adaptive force planning is for a range of contingencies rather than concentrating on

 

providing a more robust capability in one area. In doing this, there could be a mismatch

 

between available forces and the mission assigned. The 1986 Libyan strike by forces of the

 

Sixth Fleet could not have been conducted if the carrier had been loaded with a SPMAGTF

 

instead of the notional carrier air wing. Many lessons have been learned in the employment

 

and sustainment of troops ashore through years of ARG deployments. There has been a force

 

specifically built to do amphibious operations and it should be used. The primary purpose of

 

amphibious ships and their embarked troops is amphibious warfare, not conducting NEO or

 

humanitarian missions. Future force and operational planners must keep this in mind as an

 

attempt to try a variety of lesser options is considered.

 

Amphibious lift is the critical factor in expeditionary warfare in order to support

 

National Security objectives. Forward presence and crisis response are two of the pillars on

 

which National Security Strategy is built.6 The Navy/Marine team has based lift on USMC

 

warfighting requirements which translate to having the capability to lift 2.5 Marine

 

Expeditionary Brigades (MEB). This 2.5 MEB lift does not factor forward presence into the

 

equation. Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) has dictated a 12 ARG requirement to

 

support Marine Corps warfighting requirements and forward presence. This translates into a

 

3.0 MEB lift equivalent. The Navy has rightfully brought forth the point that it would be

 

difficult to meet the 3.0 MEB requirement within present financial constraints.7 The solution

 

in meeting the 12 ARG requirement was using large deck amphibious ships (LHA and LHD)

 

which have been built or bought and building bigger ships (LX) to meet lift requirements.

 

There will be a reduction in the total number of amphibious ships from 60 to 36 by the year

 

2007. There will be 12 ARGS, each consisting of 3 ships - LX, LHA or LHD, and LSD.8

 

Correcting these lift shortages in these times of austere funding is difficult at best.

 

Budget constraints have necessitated the 36 ship amphibious force to support the 12 ARG lift

 

requirement.9 Decreased flexibility will necessitate more time deployed for amphibious ships

 

or dictate less worldwide coverage. These are difficult choices. More time at sea will take

 

its toll on both the ships and its crew which could negatively impact retention and recruiting

 

efforts as well as maintenance.10 Lessening coverage, thereby increasing response time,

 

would be a risk that national policy makers would have a tough time accepting.

 

Another important part of the lift equation is Fast Sealift shipping. These ships are either

 

owned or chartered by the Navy and Maritime Administration (MARAD) with civilian crews

 

from the Merchant Marine. These ships provide lift for Army heavy forces, USMC Assault

 

Follow-on Echelons (AFOE) as well as providing sustainment for forces ashore and supplies

 

for humanitarian operations.11 Desert Storm and operations in Somalia have proven the

 

value of these ships. However, the U.S. Merchant Marine has been in decline and the

 

shortage of merchant seamen coupled with a reluctance of civilian companies to commit

 

profit-making assets to be ready to convert to military support operations on short notice

 

requires a hard look at the Fast Sealift program and its ability to support lift requirements.

 

The Navy has also addressed the Fast Sealift problem as well. Present programs to

 

add an additional 20 Fast Sealift ships have begun.12 These ships will be instrumental in

 

providing the required lift. More importantly, they provide more jobs for the U.S. Merchant

 

Marine. Another important benefit from the acquisition of these ships is that shipyards will

 

be provided with necessary work in the construction and maintenance of these ships to

 

maintain vital skills such as welding and machinery repair to keep the industrial base current.

 

Another demonstration of commitment is the allocation of personnel to a project or

 

strategy. Simply put, people cost money, therefore a commitment of personnel is in fact a

 

commitment of money. Expeditionary experts must be developed (both Navy and Marine) in

 

order to provide guidance and information to operational and administrative staffs and must

 

be directly involved in the decision making process. The Navy needs to take immediate steps

 

in correcting this problem. Initial actions in implementing the tenets of From the Sea are

 

critical in providing credibility and substance to the new strategy.

 

One area that can be addressed immediately is training. The first step in this process

 

is defining expeditionary warfare. From the Sea describes many of the factors that need to

 

be considered in defining expeditionary warfare. Amphibious warfare, mine warfare, anti-

 

submarine warfare (ASW), anti-air warfare (AAW) and land warfare are all components in

 

the expeditionary warfare equation. Currently there is no formal traing in expeditionary

 

warfare in any pipeline or school.13 There have been no changes to the curriculums at the

 

Naval War College or Marine Corps Command and Staff College since the issuance of From

 

the Sea. If the concepts and tenets of From the Sea are to put into practice then officers must

 

be formally trained early in their careers with their fleet experience reinforcing principles

 

learned "in the schoolhouse."

 

Due to the broad spectrum defined by expeditionary warfare, the Naval War College

 

should be the lead agency in developing and instructing the concepts of expeditionary

 

warfare. Inclusion in the curricula of the Naval Command and Staff and Senior courses

 

would present expeditionary warfare in an academic background where innovative concepts

 

could be tried and existing doctrine and attitudes could be validated or changed. The

 

development of the expeditionary ward curriculum must be done in tandem with the

 

Marine Corps War College and Command and Staff College in order to ensure that there is a

 

common approach to expeditionary ward and it agrees with published joint and service

 

doctrine.

 

If we are to embrace expeditionary warfare as the future of the Navy/Marine team

 

then we must rapidly train "experts" and get them in the fleet and also in the schoolhouse.

 

Surface Warfare Officers School (SWOS) should teach expeditionary warfare at all levels of

 

instruction including Division Officers Course, Department Head School, Prospective

 

Executive Officer (PXO), Prospective Commanding Officer (PCO), and Major Command

 

Course. This would provide the fleet with the academic principles of expeditionary warfare

 

while providing the "schoolhouse" feedback on how it is done in the fleet.

 

This aggressive approach to training at all career levels of the surface warfare officer

 

coupled with force reductions will make a more "complete" surface warfare officer who is

 

better equipped to operate in the expeditionary environment. This will pay dividends as

 

officers are trained across a variety of mission areas providing them with a better

 

understanding of the team concept that is so vital in these operations. The biggest beneficiary

 

of this training pipeline are the joint staffs who would be assigned officers who understand

 

the theory and practice of expeditionary warfare.

 

Accession policy for expeditionary warfare officers in the Navy is critical in getting

 

quality people whose ideas could make the difference in future developments in expeditionary

 

warfare. A viable and credible career path for these officers must be provided in order to

 

permit retention and upward mobility in the Navy and the joint arena.

 

Historically, the Navy has abdicated its role in amphibious warfare to the Marine

 

Corps. At operational and administrative staffs above the Amphibious Group (PHIBGRU)

 

level, Marine officers have been the point of contact for amphibious or expeditionary matters.

 

This would not appear to be a problem at first glance, however, there are many problems

 

related to expeditionary warfare: Carrier Battle Group (CVBG) and ARG interoperability,

 

mine warfare, and protection of the ARG against air and subsurface threats are just some of

 

the problems that must be solved. The landing force is just one component of expeditionary

 

warfare and in a truly joint environment the landing force could be Army or Marine. The

 

Navy must provide experts to staffs in order that all aspects of the expeditionary warfare are

 

adequately represented to Commanders.

 

From the Sea has provided the Navy with guidance for the force of the future.

 

Implementation will prove to be an extremely complex and difficult problem on almost every

 

level. Expeditionary warfare crosses every warfare and service boundary with far-reaching

 

consequences. The key factor in "changing the face" of the Navy is a well developed

 

implementation plan. This is crucial in today's austere fiscal environment; every decision

 

costs money, and bad decisions cost the most.

 

Rapid development of a professionally trained cadre of expeditionary experts is the

 

critical first step that must be taken. These experts must take existing and future force

 

structures and meld them to produce the Navy of the future. Rapid response by the Navy on

 

fast sealift issues and finalizing amphibious lift requirements and shipping are indications that

 

the Navy is adhering to the concepts and tenets of From the Sea.

 

From the Sea to where? It is the question that the Navy hierarchy must answer today.

 

The Navy has taken initial steps that demonstrate a commitment to expeditionary warfare as

 

the centerpiece of maritime strategy. There must be a sustained effort to continue structuring

 

a total force that will include the proper mix of surface ships, aircraft, submarines, and

 

supporting programs. It is impossible to maintain this momentum without a core of visionary

 

professionals who are trained and educated in expeditionary warfare. The next step in

 

moving From the Sea to the future is committing scarce dollars and personnel who will be

 

able to develop the concepts and nuances of expeditionary warfare. During the late 1980's

 

and early 1990's, the Navy's oversight of amphibious warfare and associated programs

 

caused more concern in Congress than in the Navy. If the tenets and precepts identified in

 

From the Sea are to be the basis of future strategy and policy-making, the Navy must

 

carefully and wisely take the next step in bringing the Navy into the next century.

 

ENDNOTES

 

1. Vincent C. Thomas, "The Most Significant Change Since World War II," Sea Power, March

1993, p. 11.

 

2. Ibid., p. 12.

 

3. Dick Cheney, Annual Report to the President and Congress, January 1993, p. 3.

 

4. From the Sea, September 1992,p. 2.

 

5. Interview with Commander John Maloney, USN, OPNAV N-853, Expeditionary Warfare,

Washington, D.C., 9 March 1993.

 

6. Cheney, p. 3.

 

7. Department of the Navy, Report to Congress on Amphibious Shipping Requirements, March

1993, p. 2.

 

8. Ibid.

 

9. Ibid.

 

10. Sean O'Keefe, "Be Careful What You Ask For...", Proceedings, January 1993, p. 73.

 

11. Interview with Captain Jenkins, USN, OPNAV N-853, Sealift Requirements, Washington

D.C., 11 March 1993.

 

12. Ibid.

 

13. Interview with Captain Paul Odell, Jr., USN (Ret), Naval War College, Newport, Rhode

Island, Curriculum changes as a result of issuance of From the Sea, 24 March 1993.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

 

1. Cheney,Dick. Annual report to the President and the

Congress, January 1993

 

2. Department of the Navy. From the Sea--Preparing the Naval

Service for the 21st Century, September 1992.

 

3. Department of the Navy. Report to Congress on Amphibious

Shipping Requirements, March 1993.

 

4. Interview with Captain Jenkins, U.S. Navy, OPNAV, N-853,

11 March 1993.

 

5. Interview with Rear Admiral J.B. LaPlante, U.S. Navy, Deputy

Director for Logistics, Joint Staff, 16 March 1993.

 

6. Interview with Commander John Maloney, U.S. Navy, OPNAV, N-853, 9 March 1993.

 

7. Interview with Captain Paul Odell, Jr., U.S. Navy (Retired), Naval War College,

Newport, Rhode Island, 24 March 1993.

 

8. LaPlante, Rear Admiral J.B., U.S. Navy. " The Path Ahead for `Gators and Marines."

Proceedings, November 1992, pp. 34-38.

 

9. Mundy, General C.E., U.S. Marine Corps. "Something Old for Something New."

Proceedings, November 1992, pp. 12-14.

 

10. O'Keefe, Sean. "Be Careful of What You Ask for...." Proceedings, January 1993, pp.

73-76.

 

11. Pierce, Commander Terry C., U.S. Navy. "Maneuver Warfare - From Theory to

Practice." Proceedings, November 1992, pp. 62-67.

 

12. Thomas, Vincent C. "Most Significant Change Since World War ll." Sea Power, March

1993, pp.11-17.

 

13. Trainor, Lieutenant General Bernard E., U.S. Marine Corps (Retired). "Still Go-ing...

Amphibious warfare." Proceedings, November 1992, pp. 30-33.

 



NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list