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Dynamic Force Employment

The new Dynamic Force Employment construct will make the Navy “strategically predictable, but operationally unpredictable,” ensuring that readiness and long-term reliability never undermine security. Secretary of Defense James Mattis introduced a new concept called Dynamic Force Employment, which makes our naval force more agile and operationally unpredictable to our long-term strategic adversaries. As America enters a new era of great power competition, this strategy is radically reshaping the standard carrier strike group deployment.

The 2018 National Defense Strategy states that US forces must "Be strategically predictable, but operationally unpredictable. Deterring or defeating long-term strategic competitors is a fundamentally different challenge than the regional adversaries that were the focus of previous strategies. Our strength and integrated actions with allies will demonstrate our commitment to deterring aggression, but our dynamic force employment, military posture, and operations must introduce unpredictability to adversary decision-makers. With our allies and partners, we will challenge competitors by maneuvering them into unfavorable positions, frustrating their efforts, precluding their options while expanding our own, and forcing them to confront conflict under adverse conditions....

"Dynamic Force Employment will prioritize maintaining the capacity and capabilities for major combat, while providing options for proactive and scalable employment of the Joint Force. A modernized Global Operating Model of combat-credible, flexible theater postures will enhance our ability to compete and provide freedom of maneuver during conflict, providing national decision-makers with better military options.

"The global strategic environment demands increased strategic flexibility and freedom of action. The Dynamic Force Employment concept will change the way the Department uses the Joint Force to provide proactive and scalable options for priority missions. Dynamic Force Employment will more flexibly use ready forces to shape proactively the strategic environment while maintaining readiness to respond to contingencies and ensure long-term warfighting readiness."

In April 2018, just months after Dynamic Force Employment was introduced, the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group made history by being the first to demonstrate the strategy’s potential for keeping our Navy one step ahead of our adversaries. The CSG’s deployment began in April and became highly unpredictable when the carrier and a few of its strike group ships remained in the Mediterranean Sea instead of transiting to the Middle East as expected, and then returned to its homeport in Norfolk in July after completing three months of combat operations and cooperative exercises and engagements with NATO allies and partners in the Mediterranean and North Atlantic. When the carrier strike group “unexpectedly” returned to Norfolk for a “working port visit” – just three months into their deployment, it truly was a game changer for naval operations.

Between their unannounced return to homeport and operations in the North Atlantic waters, where a U.S. Navy carrier strike group hadn’t operated since the early 1990s, the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group performed flawlessly. This underway time also played an integral part in building multinational partnerships. The carrier strike group participated in Trident Juncture, the largest NATO naval exercise since the Cold War, as well as Baltic Exercises in the Adriatic Sea and Exercise Lightning Handshake with Moroccan partners.

For more than 70 years, aircraft carriers and their embarked aircraft have provided the U.S. Navy with unmatched maritime combat power. USS Harry S. Truman and its crew demonstrated this capability by launching 12,215 sorties, with 210 being combat sorties in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. By the end of the deployment, aviators logged an impressive 26,077 flight hours. All in all, the carrier strike group spent 229 days underway, sailed 72,820 nautical miles, conducted four port visits with key allies furthering international partnerships and safely completed 28 replenishments-at-sea.

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