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Amphibious Warfare And The Composite Warfare Commander
Concept:  Doctrine In Need Of Change
CSC 1992
SUBJECT AREA - Warfighting
				EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Title:  Amphibious Warfare and the Composite Warfare Commander
Concept:  Doctrine in need of change
Author:  Major J. V. Medina, United States Marine Corps
Thesis:  Amphibious  warfare  doctrine  requires  significant
revision  to incorporate the Marine Corps doctrine of maneuver
warfare  into  the Navy's composite  warfare  commander  (CWC)
concept.
Background:  Amphibious  warfare doctrine demonstrated  its
worth during and immediately following World War II.  The Navy
developed  the CWC concept to enable the fleet to effectively
carry  out a multi-threat defense for a carrier battle  group.
According  to this concept,  the CWC exercises control through
subordinate warfare commanders while retaining overall respon-
sibility for the force.  The Marine Corps' warfighting philoso-
phy changed dramatically with the recent adoption of  maneuver
warfare.  Maneuver  warfare  is easily applied  to  amphibious
operations,  but  current amphibious doctrine is  incompatible
with  the  CWC concept.  While the Navy's fleet  doctrine  has
evolved to cope with quickly developing technology, amphibious
doctrine has remained virtually unchanged.  During any future
large scale amphibious operation,  simultaneous application of
these  two doctrine will prevent optimum utilization of  naval
forces.  The time has arrived for revision of amphibious  doc-
trine  to  allow maneuver warfare to be incorporated into the
CWC concept.  Four options are considered as possible solutions
to this dilemma.
Recommendation:  A serious review of amphibious doctrine  must
be conducted, with the purpose of making it more than compli-
mentary to the CWC concept.  Amphibious warfare doctrine should
be  modified  to include the AWC and CLF as  separate  warfare
commanders and to realign the responsibilities to include  the
Composite Warfare Commander.
AMPHIBIOUS WARFARE AND THE COMPOSITE WARFARE COMMANDER
	         CONCEPT:  DOCTRINE IN NEED OF CHANGE
			        OUTLINE
Thesis  Statement.  Amphibious  warfare  doctrine  requires
significant revision to incorporate the Marine Corps  doctrine
of  maneuver   warfare   into  the Navy's  composite  warfare
commander (CWC) concept.
I.	Composite Warfare Commander (CWC) Concept
	A.	Development of CWC
	B.	CWC Organization
II.	Maneuver Warfare and Amphibious Warfare Doctrine
	A.	Principles of Maneuver Warfare
	B.	Amphibious Warfare at the Operational Level of War
III.	Changing Missions of the Navy
IV.	Significant Problem Areas
	A.	Dilemma of two doctrine
	B.	Defensive versus offensive orientation
	C.	Unity of Command
V.	Alternative Solutions
	A.	Modify each situation
	B.	Integrate the ATF and the CVBG (senior officer as CATF)
	C.	CATF as Warfare Commander (CLF subordinate)
	D.	Modify Doctrine:  AWC and CLF as Warfare Commanders
VI.	Recommendation:  Modify Doctrine, AWC and CLF as Separate
	Warfare Commanders, and assign CWC specific responsibilities
AMPHIBIOUS WARFARE AND THE COMPOSITE WARFARE COMMANDER
	          CONCEPT:  DOCTRINE IN NEED OF CHANGE
                               by Major J. V. Medina, USMC
     Amphibious  warfare requires the  closest  practicable
     cooperation  by  all  the combatant services  both  in
     planning and in execution,  and a command organization
     which  definitely  assigns  responsibility  for  major
     decisions  throughout  all stages  of  the  operation,
     embarkation,  overseas  movement, beach assault,  and
     subsequent support of the forces ashore.
                           Admiral Henry K. Hewitt, USN
     Nothing is so important in war as an undivided command.
                           Napoleon:  Maxims of War
   Since 490 B.C. when the Persians were repelled during their
amphibious assault on Marathon,  amphibious warfare has under-
gone  many  changes.  For the United States,  the two  decades
following World War I  were a watershed in the development  of
amphibious doctrine.  Refinements to this doctrine during World
War II resulted in an extremely effective doctrine for amphi-
bious  warfare.1   This doctrine was institutionalized  in  the
naval service as Landing Force Manual (LFM) 0-1 and has since
become  joint  doctrine  as JCS PUB 3-02 (JOINT  DOCTRINE  FOR
AMPHIBIOUS OPERATIONS).  During the last forty years this doc-
trine has remained relatively unchanged.
   Fleet  doctine  for the operating forces of  the  Navy  has
undergone significant changes since the World War II era.  In
the mid 1960's,  increasing ranges and technical complexity of
new  weapon  systems  led the Navy to  develop  the  Composite
Warfare Commander (CWC) concept.  This concept was intended to
enable  the officer in tactical command (OTC)  to  effectively
carry  out  the multi-threat defense of a carrier  battlegroup
(CVBG).  In most instances,  the OTC is also the CWC.  Although
still  undergoing  change,  this doctrine is contained in  the
Naval Warfare Publication (NWP) 10-1.
       Amphibious  warfare doctrine and CWC doctrine  are  both
currently  in  use in the operating forces,  but  not  without
significant  problems.   In many instances (Southwest Asia for
example) "quick-fixes" are made to overcome blaring deficien-
cies.  Amphibious warfare doctrine requires significant change
to  incorporate the Marine Corps' doctrine of maneuver warfare
into the Navy's CWC concept.
  COMPOSITE WARFARE COMMANDER (CWC) CONCEPT
   Naval  warfare has experienced a growing reliance on  com-
plex technical systems,  greater threats from increased ranges
of enemy weapon systems,  and greater likelihood for  informa-
tion overload with corresponding reduced response times.  As a
result,  the  Navy attempted to provide for varying degrees of
decentralization through the assignment of subordinate warfare
commanders to handle specific responsibilities and the delega-
tion  of authority to carry out these  responsibilities.   The
technique which evolved to meet this need is the CWC concept.
   NWP  10-1  spells  out the specifics of  the  CWC  concept.
Briefly, the CWC retains overall responsibility for the force
but exercises his control through subordinate warfare  comman-
ders.  Three  subordinate warfare commanders are  specifically
designated,  although NWP 10-1 allows that "under certain cir-
cumstances  the OTC/CWC may find it convenient to assign  com-
manders  and  coordinators  above and  beyond  those  shown."2
Those  detailed in NWP 10-1 include Anti-air Warfare Commander
(AAWC),  Anti-submarine  Warfare Commander (ASWC),  and  Anti-
surface Warfare Commander (ASUWC).  In actual  practice,  how-
ever,  current  fleet operations include a Strike Warfare Com-
mander (STWC) as a fourth subordinate warfare commander.  This
change is already contained in the recently published JCS  PUB
3-04   (Doctrine For Joint Maritime Operations).  Figure 1 de-
picts the doctrinal CWC command structure.3
Click here to view image
Other subordinates may  be designated as coordinators to
assist in the management of specific assets of the force.
The Air Element  Coordinator (AREC),  Submarine  Element
Coordinator (SEC),  and Electronic Warfare Coordinator (EWC)
are examples.  The difference in the warfare commanders and
the coordinators is  spelled  out  as follows:
         The  supporting coordinators differ from the  war-
     fare commanders in one very important  respect.  When
     authorized  by the CWC,  the Warfare Commanders  have
     tactical  control  over  resources assigned  and  may
     automatically initiate action. The supporting coordi-
     nators execute policy, but do not initiate autonomous
     action. 4
      MANEUVER WARFARE AND AMPHIBIOUS DOCTRINE
   The  warfighting  philosophy  of the Marine  Corps  changed
dramatically with the adoption of FMFM-1.  The key  principles
of  this doctrine are:  to orient on the enemy rather than  on
terrain, avoid his strength and attack his weaknesses, disrupt
his cohesion, exploit tactical opportunities (therein lies the
importance  of mission orders),  and being able to operate  in
uncertainty  (the fog of war).5  In essence,  the aim is to be
better at creating and exploiting advantages over your  enemy.
Maneuver  warfare  recognizes  that  amphibious  forces  offer
greater  opportunities for military actions at the operational
level  of war than would normally be the case considering  the
relatively small size inherent in today's amphibious forces.
   Amphibious  doctrine of the 1940's and 1950's  demonstrated
that  the application of a relatively small force employed  in
an amphibious role could successfully be applied at the opera-
tional  level.   An  excellent example is the  Inchon  landing
early  in the Korean War.  This amphibious assault led to  the
collapse of the North Korean offensive and contributed  signi-
ficantly  to  the  expulsion of all North Korean  forces  from
South  Korea in a matter of weeks.  Unquestionably it was  the
Amphibious Task Force's (ATF) superb execution which made this
happen.  We  should recall that this ATF consisted of  several
carriers  in  addition  to the amphibious  shipping  with  the
embarked  landing  force.6  The task organization of  this  ATF
cannot  be emphasized enough.  The CATF fully  understood  his
purpose and applied the synergistic effect of his entire force
towards this goal.  This is a key to successful application of
maneuver  warfare during amphibious operations.  As stated  by
LCDR Terry Pierce in the Naval Institute Proceedings:
        To  employ  maneuver warfare  successfully  during
     amphibious   operations,  we need a commander who can
     visualize  the  entire campaign  at  the  operational
     level,  who  can  combine the results  of  individual
     tactical  actions to fulfill the  needs of  strategy.
     Joint  doctrine has dictated that this person be  the
     CATF.  As a result, the Marine Corps depends upon the
     CATF  to  command  and  to  delineate  a  commander's
     clear   intent   at   the operational level  of  war,
     which  should  convey the CATF's overall  scheme  for
     accomplishing the strategic aim.7
   Amphibious  warfare clearly exemplifies the  principles  of
maneuver  warfare.  The breakdown is not between maneuver war-
fare  and  amphibious warfare  doctrine,  but  rather  between
amphibious warfare and CWC doctrine.
	    CHANGING MISSIONS OF THE NAVY
   Since  Alfred Thayer Mahan published The Influence  of  Sea
Power Upon History 1660 - 1783,  the U.S.  Navy has focused on
sea  control  as  the primary mission of a world  class  navy.
Early in the 20th century, we began to incorporate the "Nelson
at Trafalgar" model (i.e. sea control) in the structure of our
navy.8  By the end of World War II,  we saw the need  for,  and
effectively  applied,  the "Nelson at Copenhagen" model  (i.e.
power projection) in the Pacific.  However,  upon war's end it
was quickly forgotten.
   With the collapse of the Soviet Union,  it has become clear
to  Department  of Defense planners that a navy designed  pri-
marily  around a mission of sea control is  not  logical.  The
national  security  strategy of the United States includes  a
mission  to  maintain regional stability.9   For  naval  forces
that translates into power projection.  This is not a  totally
new idea. Over thirty years ago Timothy Shea noted:
        The  seas  are no longer a self contained  battle-
     field.  Today they are a medium from which warfare is
     conducted.  The  oceans of the world are the base  of
     operations from which navies project power into  land
     areas  and  targets.  The mission of protecting  sea-
     lanes  continues  in being,  but the  navy's  central
     missions have become to maximize its ability to  pro-
     ject  power from the sea over land and to prevent the
     enemy from doing the same.10
	      SIGNIFICANT PROBLEM AREAS
   When these two doctrine are applied together,  as they must
be during any large amphibious operation,  major problems sur-
face.  Unless current amphibious doctrine is modified to incor-
porate  the CWC concept,  key commanders will always be  faced
with  the dilemma of having to select which doctrine to  apply
or  to  how  to modify both.  Since each  situation  generates
different  sets of circumstances,  and the various  commanders
will  have different backgrounds and levels of  knowledge,  it
should  be expected that personalities will significantly  im-
pact  how doctrine is applied and what modifications are made.
The  importance  of command  relationships  during  amphibious
operations  was  a lesson we learned long ago from  Gallipoli,
and one we had better not forget!
   CWC was developed as a defense-oriented doctrine. The addi-
tion  of  strike  warfare gives it  an  offensive  capability,
however,  its basic design was built on the need to protect  a
large  naval force.  The Amphibious Task Force (ATF),  on  the
other hand, is offensively-oriented.
   Another  potential disaster area due to conflicting respon-
sibilities is unity of command.  Amphibious doctrine has codi-
fied  that the Commander Amphibious Task Force (CATF) is  res-
ponsible for all aspects of the amphibious operation.  In order
to accomplish this, he is given command of all military activ-
ity in the Amphibious Operation Area (AOA).11  Yet,  what  hap-
pens  when  forces belonging to a Carrier Battle Group  (CVBG)
are needed to support the ATF?  Does the CWC take a back  seat
to  the  CATF?  This is not likely to happen since the CWC  is
often  senior  to the designated  CATF.  While  not  executed,
Desert  Storm  plans for both the assault at Ash Shuaybah  and
for  the  raid  on Faylakah contained  extremely  small  AOAs,
approximately  20 by 30 nautical miles.  The  Commander  Naval
Forces  recognized the need for CVBG support of the ATF,  how-
ever  the CVBGs would remain outside of the AOA and would  not
fall  under the command of the CATF.  A surface threat to  the
ATF  also existed,  and a surface combatant screen was  desig-
nated to protect the ATF's seaward flanks. This force was also
to remain outside the AOA and not under the direct control  of
the CATF.12
   Will  there  be sufficient resources made available to  the
CATF/CLF to accomplish the amphibious mission?  This  includes
not  only  carrier air,  but naval gunfire,  special  warfare,
logistics support,  and in-transit escort.  As long as the CATF
(the commander who receives the mission) does not command  all
the assets required to accomplish the mission,  there will be
problems with priorities and allocation of scarce resources.
		SOLVING THE DILEMMA
   In  solving the problem of two conflicting  doctrine,  four
possible alternatives exist. They are:
  (1)   Leave  the  two  doctrine  separate,  and  handle  each
situation by adapting the command relationships to fit.
  (2)   Integrate  the  ATF  and the  CVBG  when  the  mission
requires  both forces,  and assign the senior officer  as  the
CATF.
  (3)   Make the CATF a separate warfare commander in the  CWC
concept with a subordinate CLF upon embarkation.
  (4)   Use  the  CWC concept and modify  existing  amphibious
doctrine  so  that the CWC  assumes  certain  responsibilities
previously held by the CATF.
   The  first alternative appeals to many  amphibious  warfare
purists.  "If it ain't broke,  why fix it?" Although I  agree
it's  not  completely broken,  command relationships can  cer-
tainly be much better.  The following comments were made in  a
study following the recent war in Southwest Asia.
        During  Desert Storm,  a strike warfare  commander
     was included in the structure, but amphibious warfare
     was not.  The comments from Marine Officers  centered
     around  the confusion created when different doctrine
     or  structure  does not fit  the  situation.  Several
     senior  officers stated that this issue needs  to  be
     resolved  before the Marine Corps can make  decisions
     on our structure and doctrine for Component Commander
     and  compositing  issues  in  amphibious  operations.
     Interviewees  also  felt  that  there  are  too  many
     questions  left  to be answered on who fulfills  CATF
     and CLF roles as it relates to the CWC concept... The
     major impact on the Marine Corps is the CWC influence
     on CATF selection,  CATF/CLF relationships,  and  how
     current amphibious warfare doctrine fits into the CWC
     structure.   CWC   procedures   vary  by  fleet   and
     condition.  These  differences  must  be  taken  into
     account   when   considering  command   and   support
     relationships. 13
   Clearly,  there  was a problem in trying to get the command
relationships to conform to doctrine in Southwest  Asia.  This
was not solved,  and,  unless it is solved, it will again be a
problem during any future large scale amphibious operation.
   The second option, integrating the ATF and the CVBG(s) with
the senior officer as CATF,  offers many benefits. It also has
serious  problems  which must be considered.  Let's look at  a
hypothetical situation In which it is determined that in order
to accomplish the mission a force of one Marine Expeditionary
Brigade  (MEB) is required as the landing force.  Thirteen  or
more  amphibious ships will make up the assault echelon  ship-
ping.  It  is further determined that one CVBG is required  to
support the amphibious operation.  Using this option, we would
integrate  all  naval  forces into one  combined  task  force.
Further,  let's  call  the commander of this organization  the
Commander  ATF-CVBG Task Force (CACTF).  In coining  this  new
title, my purpose is to look at the tasks and responsibilities
of the CACTF without getting confused by the current doctrinal
responsibilities of the CATF.
   In  the situation I have described above,  the CACTF is the
commander of all naval forces.  He has responsibility for  the
amphibious  mission  which  is spelled out in  the  initiating
directive.  He can utilize the CWC concept for defense of  the
force  and to accomplish the amphibious mission.   He has  the
carrier  air  and naval gunfire assets to ensure  the  landing
force is adequately supported,  which is not the case for most
current  CATFs.  Before we immediately jump on this bandwagon,
however,  we  should  look at the drawbacks.  The  CACTF  will
probably  be the commander of the CVBG.  He and his staff  may
have  very  little,  if any,  amphibious  warfare  experience.
Amphibious  warfare  is  the most difficult  of  all  military
operations  and requires detailed planning  and  coordination.
Since  the best platform for command and control of amphibious
operations,  the  LCC,  is no longer available  to  amphibious
forces,  the  CACTF will probably locate  on a  carrier.  This
platform  may  have good command and control capabilities  for
carrier operations, but it does not have adequate capabilities
for amphibious operations.  The CACTF could not accomplish the
responsibilities as presently assigned the CATF under  current
amphibious  warfare  doctrine.  This solution offers  definite
advantages, but the problems it creates makes it a poor alter-
native.
   The  third  alternative,  making the CATF  a  separate  CWC
warfare  commander with a subordinate Commander of the Landing
Force  (CLF),  would  solve the problem of which  doctrine  to
follow.  Current  JCS  amphibious doctrine would  have  to  be
modified to indicate that the CWC has overall command,  other-
wise  we again have conflicts.  The problem with this alterna-
tive is that the CATF and CLF become "bit players" in a  major
play.  Since the CATF will not own everything he requires,  he
will  have to compete for scarce CWC assets to accomplish  his
mission. This will be an even bigger problem for the CLF. What
happens  when  he feels he Is not getting sufficient  support?
Does he go to CATF?  Since his direct superior, CATF, does not
own naval gunfire, carrier air, submarines, etc., he is likely
to  find the landing force without adequate support to  accom-
plish the mission in the most effective manner.
   The fourth option is a combination of the previous two.  It
optimizes  the  advantages and eliminates  some  deficiencies.
Amphibious  doctrine can be modified to fit into the CWC  con-
cept.  Major realignments of responsibilities will have to  be
made.  First,  we must get rid of the term CATF!  The term has
definitive  meanings  to everyone in the  naval  service,  and
continuing  to use it will only slow down or confuse  required
changes.  There  are  three key commanders for the conduct  of
modern amphibious warfare:  the commander of all landing forces
(still the CLF),  the commander of Navy amphibious ships (what
is  called the Amphibious Warfare Commander (AWC)  in  current
operational  experiments),  and  the  commander of  all  naval
forces,  which  I labeled CACTF in the hypothetical  situation
described with option two.  The title is not important,  it is
the  function this commander performs that is.  Figure 2  con-
tains a matrix which displays current responsibilities of  the
CATF  and CLF in arriving at the twelve key decisions required
in amphibious operations.14
Click here to view image
The AWC will still have responsibility  for detailed planning with the
CLF,  and  will  remain responsible for several of these decisions.  
Key decisions for the CLF will remain the same.  Some decisions will
now be made or  approved by the CWC/CACTF.  While this appears
similar  to option  two,  what  makes it different is that  several  major
decisions  and responsibilities formerly belonging to the CATF
will now be delegated to the AWC or CLF.  This decentralization
is already an inherent characteristic of the CWC concept.  The
key points are that the CWC will now be tasked in the  initia-
ting  directive with accomplishment of the amphibious mission,
he  will control all forces necessary to accomplish this  mis-
sion, and the CLF and AWC can address him directly as subordi-
nate  warfare commanders to resolve problems.  Figure 3  is  a
depiction  of  recommended  realignments  of  these  responsi-
bilities.
Click here to view image
		    CONCLUSIONS
   Amphibious  warfare doctrine demonstrated its worth  during
and immediately following World War II. The Navy developed the
CWC  concept to enable the fleet to effectively carry out  the
multi-threat  defense  of a carrier battle  group.  While  the
Navy's  fleet doctrine has evolved to cope with quickly  deve-
loping technology,  amphibious doctrine has remained virtually
unchanged. During any future large scale amphibious operation,
simultaneous  application of these two doctrine  will  prevent
optimum utilization of naval forces. The time has arrived for
revision  of amphibious doctrine to allow maneuver warfare  to
be incorporated into the CWC concept.
   A  serious review of amphibious doctrine must be  conducted
with  the purpose of making it more than complimentary to  the
CWC concept.  Amphibious warfare doctrine should be modified to
include  the AWC and CLF as separate warfare commanders and to
realign  responsibilities  to include  the  Composite  Warfare
Commander.
			NOTES
1.	U.S. Marine Corps, History and Museums Division, Progress
and Purpose:  A Developmental History of the United States Marine
Corps 1900-1970, Washington: 1973, pp. 41-58.
2.	U. S. Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval
Operations, Naval Warfare Publication (NWP) 10-1, Composite Warfare
Commander's Manual (U), Washington:  June 1985, p. 3.3.8,
CONFIDENTIAL.
3.	U. S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, JCS Pub 3-04, Doctrine For Joint
Maritime Operations, Washington:  1991, pp. 12.
4.	NWP 10-1, p. 2.2.
5.	U. S. Marine Corps.  Fleet Marine Force Manual (FMFM) 1,
Warfighting, Washington:  1990, pp. 3-30.
6.	Col Robert D. Heinl, Jr. USMC, "Inchon 1950," Assault From
the Sea:  Essays on the History of Amphibious Warfare, Naval Institute
Press, Annapolis, MD, 1983, pp. 337-353.
7.	Terry C. Pierce, "MAGTF Warlords:  A Naval Perspective,"
Marine Corps Gazette, July 1991, pp. 38-40.
8.	Barry M. Gough, "Maritime Strategy:  The Legacies of Mahan
and Corbett as Philosophers of Sea Power," The RUSI Journal, Winter,
1988, pp 55-62.
9.	The White House, National Security Strategy of the United States,
August 1991, pp. 1-10.
10.	Robert D. Heinl, Jr., Dictionary of Military and Naval Quotations,
1966, p. 208.
11.	U. S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, JCS Pub 3-02, Joint Doctrine For
Amphibious Operations, Change 5, Washington:  1988, p. 2-9.
12.	RADM J. B. LAPLANTE, USN, "CATF/CLF Relationships . . . From
CATF's Viewpoint," Briefing Charts, 20 February 1992.
13.	Darrell  L.  Stewart,  "Amphibious Operations in Southwest Asia,"
Research Paper #92-0001, Marine Corps  Research  Center, Quantico,
VA. July 1991, p. 11.
14.	U. S.  Joint Chiefs of Staff, JCS Test Pub 3-02.1, Joint Doctrine for
Landing Force Operations, Washington:  1989, p. IV-3.
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