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REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY
Over the last decade, the world has entered a new era of interdependence and opportunity. America benefited greatly since the end of the Cold War and has seized upon the immense possibilities that peace and economic growth offered to much of the globe. Naval forces have figured prominently in protecting our fundamental and enduring needs, both in the recent past and throughout our nation’s history. Navy and Marine Corps assets defend the lives and guard the safety of Americans; maintain the sovereignty of the United States with its values, institutions, and territory intact, and; promote the prosperity and well-being of the nation and its people. Forward-deployed Navy and Marine Corps forces today remain fully capable of supporting this nation’s ideals and defending its interests at home and abroad.
THE NAVY-MARINE CORPS TEAM: AMERICA’S 21st CENTURY FORCE
Naval expeditionary forces execute the National Military Strategy embodied in Shape-Respond-Prepare through application of four overarching concepts: Forward Presence; Deterrence; Power Projection; and Sea and Area Control. These concepts represent the unique dividends of this nation’s direct investment in naval power. Together, they facilitate the operational primacy of the Naval Service and are the cornerstones upon which naval strategy is built. Further, they are the strategic missions that naval forces, possessing the full-range of combat capabilities, provide this nation in its pursuit of foreign and domestic policy objectives.
Forward presence means maintaining naval forces in essential regions, and when necessary, sustaining additional sea, land, and air forces overseas. Forward presence capitalizes on the expeditionary nature of naval forces and is the Department of the Navy’s primary peacetime mission. On any given day, approximately 87,000 Sailors and Marines provide a critical forward presence element. In time of crisis, these forces are the prompt, sustained response this nation and our friends and allies expect. Quite simply, there is no substitute for being there with fully capable carrier battle groups and amphibious ready groups with embarked Marine expeditionary units. This visible guarantee that the United States can and will react to provocation and support its friends in time of need shapes the security calculus of would-be aggressors.
The Navy-Marine Corps Team responded to national tasking, on average, at least once every three weeks during 1998. This is a five-fold increase from that experienced during the Cold War. Naval forces were called upon to demonstrate their multipurpose capabilities in myriad assignments, ranging from combat operations to humanitarian assistance commitments. Some of these operations include:
· Operation Desert Fox - Navy combatants were among the first to conduct precision strikes against key Iraqi military sites, in response to continued Iraqi violation of United Nations resolutions.
· Cruise missile strikes on terrorist targets in the Sudan and Afghanistan in response to bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.
· A naval non-combatant evacuation in Eritrea of over 100 Americans and third country nationals.
· Continued Navy-Marine Corps team presence in conjunction with joint and combined forces in the Balkans while executing operations in support of fragile peace initiatives.
· Continued presence, flexibility, and firepower of carrier battle groups and amphibious ready groups in the volatile Southwest Asia area of operations. This included an eight-month period where a continuous two-carrier presence in the Arabian Gulf increased international pressure on Iraq.
· Marine Corps security support in Europe to a multinational organization charged to move highly enriched uranium fuel into safe storage.
· Humanitarian aid provided by Sailors and Marines following natural disasters in Kenya, New Guinea, Italy, and Central America.
· Continuous counterdrug operations in the Caribbean Sea and eastern Pacific Ocean culminating in several large drug seizures.
SAILORS, MARINES, and CIVILIANS: THE CORNERSTONE OF SUCCESS
One of the most vexing short-term challenges facing the Services is maintaining personnel force levels. Nowhere is this more evident than in some areas of manning in the Navy and in Marine aviation. Accordingly, the Department redoubled its focus on recruiting, training, developing, caring for, and retaining quality people. Meeting manning objectives is essential to the long-term success of the Department of the Navy.
Recruiting America’s Best and Brightest
The Department of the Navy is working hard to ensure America’s youth are aware of the diverse career possibilities in naval Service. The Navy and Marine Corps stimulate and challenge people at a relatively early age while providing a solid foundation of highly technical training, life skills, and leadership experience. Although the Marine Corps has achieved 40 consecutive months of recruiting success, both in quantity and quality, recruiting remains a problem for the Navy. The increasing percentage of high school graduates attending college coupled with a historically low unemployment level is especially challenging for recruiters.
Early in 1998, the Navy saw the potential for a recruiting shortfall and began working to minimize its impact. Immediate steps were taken—both within the Navy and through congressionally approved reprogramming—to increase funding for enlistment bonuses, the Navy College Fund, and recruitment advertising. This year, the Navy expanded the number of recruiters from 3,600 to 4,500.
Some officer recruiting difficulties exist as well. Recruiting challenges are most apparent in the submarine and surface nuclear warfare communities, as well as in the chaplain corps and some medical and dental programs. Several new solutions are being successfully implemented, however some manning shortfalls are likely to remain beyond FY 1999.
The implications of a well-managed professional force are never more important than now as the All-Volunteer Force enters an era of steady-state end strength for the first time. Family separation due to a high operating tempo (OPTEMPO), greater perceived pay disparity with the civilian community, lower advancement opportunity, an erosion of other benefits, and a strong economy adversely affected personnel retention.
Enlisted Retention: Overall enlisted first-term retention for the Navy over the last three fiscal years was approximately 32 percent, which equates to about 6 percent below what is required to support a steady-state Navy force-level. Overall enlisted first-term retention for the Marine Corps over the last three fiscal years was 20 percent, which equates to a rate that will adequately sustain the Marine Corps force-levels. A combination of efforts that encourage reenlistment, target funds for reenlistment bonuses, and improve advancement opportunity will help retain enlisted personnel. Additionally, the Chief of Naval Operation’s initiative to streamline the Inter-deployment Training Cycle will decrease personnel tempo between deployments and give Sailors more time at home. Despite these efforts, an across-the-board change to the military compensation package is necessary to address declining accessions and retention.
As afforded by legislation contained in the FY 1998 National Defense Authorization Act, the Department of the Navy is pursing initiatives that will allow increased focus and ability to achieve revitalization and replacement of our existing housing units through Public/Private Ventures (PPVs). This is a favorable step in addressing housing inequities. Changes in subsistence allowance correct pay inequities between enlisted personnel and tie increases in this allowance to a credible food cost index. Family separation pay, hazardous duty pay, and overseas tour extension bonuses also were enhanced to deal with hardship situations.
Officer Retention: Over the past few years, reduced force levels have naturally offset the impact of shortages in the Navy officer community. But now that end-strength goals are nearly met, action must be taken to counteract the draw of better paying jobs in the civilian market. Specifically, improved retention is needed to meet requirements in Marine Corps Aviation and across the major Navy warfare specialties of Surface, Submarine, Aviation, and Special Warfare. A number of initiatives that address quality of life issues and introduce or enhance retention bonus programs have been pursued. Clearly, dramatic action is necessary to stem the loss of talent in the officer community before current readiness is adversely affected.
Quality of Life
The Department of the Navy provides an array of quality of life (QoL) programs that are an essential component of the career benefits package. Many of these QoL programs also cultivate and reinforce Department of Navy core values, while others provide vital community support services. The Department of the Navy established QoL Master Plans to provide standards for QoL programs and services. LIFELines, a revolutionized, web-based approach to QoL support services education and delivery, will be inaugurated in 1999 and provide more direct access to these services.
The Marine Corps, in executing its QoL Master Plan, merged Morale, Welfare, and Recreation and Human Resources programs into the Personal and Family Readiness Division. The One Corps, One Standard goal is accomplished by a variety of initiatives that address the family, youth activities, and physical fitness. A premier example of a prevention-oriented program is Semper Fit, which promotes the personal readiness of Marines and healthy lifestyle choices for families.
Housing: Although most of the force lives in private sector housing, approximately one-third of married and single Sailors live in government-provided family housing or bachelor quarters. Refinements to the housing allowance system are underway to gain private sector efficiencies for the operations and maintenance of government-owned family housing. Savings gained from such efficiencies will result in new housing or will be reinvested in housing repairs, improvements, or wholesale replacement.
The Department plans to rely primarily on PPVs to meet its future housing needs where shortages exist. PPVs also are the first choice for accomplishing whole-house revitalizations or replacements. For example, the Navy is currently pursuing PPV actions in 16 locations involving over 29,000 units. The Marine Corps is pursuing privatization at nine locations involving over 8,000 family units. These initiatives will help solve a long-term housing renovation and replacement problem.
The Department is committed to improving the quality of life for our bachelors through the elimination of inadequate barracks and the achievement of a higher standard of living for our single Sailors and Marines. As currently programmed, the Marine Corps will completely replace inadequate barracks by FY 2005, eliminate all barracks maintenance and repair backlogs by FY 2004, and attain a 7-year replacement cycle for furnishings by FY 2003.
Medical: Medical readiness supports the Navy’s ability to effectively execute mission tasking, at home and while deployed. To meet the challenge of Operational Maneuver From the Sea, a new Naval Operational Health Service Support System will provide enhanced first responder care and far forward emergency surgery. The use of telemedicine provides operational and remote units a medical force multiplier by keeping Sailors and Marines on station, while maintaining direct contact with designated specialists.
Preventive medicine also is key to force readiness. An emphasis on preventative medicine—health education, reducing injuries, encouraging healthy lifestyles—is strongly supported in the Fleet because it is the first step in ensuring a fit and healthy fighting force. TRICARE, DoD’s triple option managed health care program, is intended to improve access and uniformity of benefits while ensuring a high level of medical readiness. TRICARE introduced some fundamental cultural changes in how beneficiaries receive care. In concert with the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the other Services, problem areas in implementing TRICARE are being actively addressed.
Another important focus for the Department is improving access to medical care for the Medicare-eligible beneficiaries over 65 years of age. Encouraging opportunities offered by the TRICARE Senior Prime demonstration project are being implemented at the San Diego Naval Medical Center. Additionally, other opportunities are being explored that will enhance delivery of health care benefits to our retirement community.
Training Today’s Force
The Navy and Marine Corps are making fundamental changes in their capacity to train. The objectives of the revolution in training are to: reduce the infrastructure cost of training and education, while reducing the overall time to train; improve personnel and training readiness; improve quality of life by increasing time in homeport; and make training a higher priority. The revolution is designed to eliminate inefficiencies and duplication in training and increase the speed of learning. In the face of decreasing resources and increased National Command Authorities tasking, we will require a leaner, better-trained force. Leveraging live training opportunities while remaining within optempo/perstempo constraints will be important aspects of keeping the Navy-Marine Corps team in the highest state of readiness. In addition, the Navy and Marine Corps continue to develop their modeling and simulation capabilities to enhance operational training at home and on deployment.
Initial training for officer and enlisted personnel must prepare them to handle increasingly diverse and sophisticated operating environments. Decentralized operations, increasing weapons lethality, asymmetric threats, and the urban environment require innovative and resourceful individuals capable of making decisions in extremis. The focus on building strong foundations in character, integrity, and leadership during recruit training and initial officer training is at the heart of a career-long continuum of education. The updated Battle Stations in Navy recruit training and the Crucible in Marine Corps recruit training are dedicated to instilling a common set of core values and building unit cohesion and teamwork.
GAINING EFFICIENCIES AND FLEXIBILITY FOR THE TOTAL FORCE
The Readiness Challenge
The most pressing long-term challenges to the Department are declining readiness of nondeployed forces and an inability to fully fund modernization initiatives. From 1988 to 1998, the Department of the Navy’s Total Obligation Authority decreased in real terms by 40 percent in constant 1998 dollars. Coincident with this decrease in funding was a marked increase in presence and contingency operations. Naval forces maintained a high level of readiness during this increase in operations by shifting resources from recapitalization and modernization accounts to support current operations and readiness. Decreased funding lines and increased operations have a detrimental impact both on personnel retention and material readiness. The impact is most apparent and acute in nondeployed readiness, that portion of the force that is not on deployment or soon to depart. The higher level of funding requested in the proposed President’s FY 2000 budget, along with savings realized by efficiencies in the way the Department operates, will begin to address some of these concerns.
Improving Our Processes Through a Revolution in Business Affairs
The United States Navy-Marine Corps team are the world’s premier naval force. However, as good as our forces is, the business processes that support that force are not efficient and effective when measured against the best practices of the public and private sector. This is unacceptable, particularly since the demands on our operational forces have increased as our resources have declined. Our people have taken extraordinary measures to save resources by reducing force structure and infrastructure. We have implemented many initiatives to improve our existing business systems and support to our forces. It has not been enough; we must and are doing more. Our challenge is to deliver the forces and capabilities required with the resources provided. The Department of the Navy cannot effectively meet its Title 10 U.S.C. responsibilities to operational naval forces by conducting our business affairs as we have in the past. We must change, and we must engender major change because business as usual will be insufficient.
We are developing a Strategic Business Plan (SBP) as a first step in organizing and managing the change that we require. This document will provide a strategic plan to transform naval business processes and infrastructure into those needed to support the naval forces of the 21st century. The plan will outline the Department of the Navy’s overall business strategy and provide a common focus to guide transformational change in naval business affairs. The plan will describe a strategy for accomplishing Title 10 responsibilities. It will outline goals that describe common directions. Facing our challenges and achieving our strategic goals will require the cooperative efforts of the entire Department as we transform our business operations. The SBP will focus and guide our efforts toward common strategic goals. Successful change will require active engagement and commitment from all Department of the Navy members. Innovative opportunities exist at all levels of the Department of the Navy. We will evaluate our business processes, keeping those that serve us well, and adapt the best practices of commercial or public enterprises to meet our other needs. As our effort matures and systemic innovations are identified, initiatives will be prioritized and integrated to enhance our use of time and other resources.
In the fall of 1998, we commenced several business reform initiatives in areas of recruiting, retention, training and assignment; commercial business practices; and housing. These reform initiatives are very much in support of the revolution in business affairs articulated in the DoD Defense Reform Initiative. From these initiatives, we are developing changes, which although iterative, will fundamentally revolutionize our business processes over the long term.
On the deckplate level, the CNO has initiated a program to improve the readiness of our nondeployed forces by reducing the requirements during the Interdeployment Training Cycle (IDTC) by 25 percent. This initiative will both improve nondeployed unit readiness as well as increase the quality of life of our Sailors between deployment cycles. The process will review training requirements and consolidate training evolutions to more efficiently train our forces in preparation for short notice contingencies or the next major deployment. In addition to the QoL benefits that this process will yield, the maintenance strain on aircraft and ships will decrease. Together, this will increase nondeployed unit readiness and provide units with a more manageable transition through the IDTC toward full combat readiness status.
The Department of the Navy has further improved its acquisition process, opening its Acquisition Center of Excellence (ACE) in early 1998. The ACE demonstrates a firm commitment to fundamental process changes required to achieve the faster, better, cheaper objective. The ACE was the site for the first-ever acquisition wargame—focused on 21st century aircraft carrier acquisition strategies. It will be the principal test bed and development site for simulation-based acquisition efforts that are expected to revolutionize design and procurement of major systems.
Research and Development
Science and technology are the fuel for naval warfare innovation. This year’s demonstrations provide today’s programs and tomorrow’s options—focused on affordability and technological superiority—with technological promise for the future. Considerable effort is focused on developing the means to rapidly transform or inject the fruits of science and technology into fleet application. The most prominent examples of this effort reside in shipbuilding technology as well as in the application of network centric warfare, land attack warfare, theater ballistic missile defense, mine counter measures, and antisubmarine warfare (see Technology for Tomorrow).
Maritime Technology (MARITECH), the technology development element of the President’s five-part plan to revitalize the U.S. shipbuilding industry, is aimed at improving the design and construction processes of ships to compete in the world market. MARITECH, funded at approximately $40 million per year, was established to run for five years (FY 1993 through FY 1998) and was managed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The new program, called MARITECH Advanced Shipbuilding Enterprise, is now managed by the Navy. It will focus shipbuilding research and development funding on technologies to further U.S. international competitiveness and reduce the cost of warships to the Navy.
In the area of submarine technology, the Navy is pursuing a strategy of increasing the new Virginia class attack submarine’s capabilities through the incremental insertion of advanced technology into follow-on ships of the class. The Virginia class design/build process incorporates the progressive business practices—including participation by industry, the shipbuilder, and government. This submarine class has built-in flexibility through the incorporation of modular construction techniques, open systems architecture, and commercial off-the-shelf components. The speed of technology development to fleet application will be increased as new technologies will be packaged in successive Virginia class SSNs rather than waiting for the next class of submarine. Increased capabilities funded for the first four hulls include organic mine reconnaissance, stealthy weapons launch, and greater littoral detection capabilities.
In the area of aircraft carrier construction, CVN-77 will have a new integrated combat system with multifunction arrays and incorporate additional new technologies into its systems. CVNX-1, the next generation aircraft carrier class, will have a new nuclear propulsion plant, an advanced electrical power distribution system, and electromagnetic aircraft launching and recovery system. CVNX-2 is planned to have an improved hull, improved crew habitability, survivability enhancements, performance improvements, new functional arrangements, and distributed systems to further reduce manning and life cycle costs.
In the area of surface ship technology, the Navy’s 21st Century Land Attack Destroyer, DD 21, will be designed from the keel up to provide support for forces ashore. Leap-ahead capabilities targeted for DD 21 include advanced major caliber guns, precision weapons, signature reduction, C3I systems with seamless joint interoperability, and enhanced survivability designs. DD 21 will incorporate an open system architecture and modular design such that new systems can be upgraded and inserted as new generations are produced. The Navy expects to realize a 30 percent fuel savings over the DDG 51-class through fully integrated electric propulsion systems, fuel-efficient propulsors, and new hull design. Finally, the Navy has established a 95-person manning objective for DD 21, which is a 70 percent reduction from DDG-51.
Reductions in Navy infrastructure have not kept pace with reductions in force structure. While the number of ships and Sailors were reduced by 40 percent and 30 percent respectively, since 1988, Navy infrastructure decreased by only 17 percent. Additional base realignment and closure (BRAC) actions are critical to support the Secretary of Defense’s Quadrennial Defense Review strategy and achieve the objectives of Joint Vision 2010. Separate from BRAC, the Navy continues to seek and test innovative methods for efficient infrastructure operations and management through improved maintenance practices, demolition of obsolete facilities, consolidation, regionalization, and competitive sourcing initiatives.
BRAC, to date, designated 178 Navy and Marine Corps bases and activities for closure or realignment. The strategy is to close facilities quickly, then complete cleanup and dispose of the property in support of local redevelopment efforts. In 1999, 11 additional closures will be added to the 162 closures or realignments already completed.
The Navy has recently embarked upon an aggressive effort to free money for readiness and modernization by reinventing its shore establishment. Efforts are on going in Navy concentration areas such as Norfolk and San Diego to consolidate or regionalize management to reduce base operating support costs, streamline management, and eliminate redundant functions. Regionalization also improves workforce utilization, development of most efficient organizations, opportunities for regional public/private competitions, process standardization, interoperability, and regional planning and prioritization. In conjunction with regionalization, the Navy also is reducing the number of major claimants involved in installation management. As regional installation management organizations are created, base operating support resources and responsibilities will transfer to a single major claimant. Simultaneously, plans are proceeding to transfer all installation management responsibilities from multiple claimants to permit each claimant to concentrate on its primary mission.
The Department continued its active program for environmental compliance and stewardship. Substantial progress has been made in shipboard pollution control, such as plastic and solid waste processors and oil pollution abatement systems. The conversion of air conditioning and refrigeration plants to non-CFC (chlorofluorocarbon) systems also continues on schedule. The Department of the Navy and the Environmental Protection Agency published the first phase of regulations that establish uniform national discharge standards for military vessels. This initiative is under development in partnership with the Coast Guard, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, and in consultation with coastal states.
The Department’s active Pollution Prevention Program, with state-of-the-art pollution prevention technologies, assists installations to meet various environmental requirements. These pollution prevention technologies also improve occupational safety, increase productivity, and reduce operations and maintenance costs. Pollution prevention measures helped reduce toxic releases by 51 percent from the 1994 baseline.
The Department continues to pursue environmental research and development in the areas of marine mammal protection, contaminated site cleanup, hull paints/coatings and life-cycle environmental protection in acquisition of weapons systems.
TECHNOLOGY FOR TOMORROW
Three areas of especially rapid technological growth— sensor technology, computer processing capability, and long-range precision guided weapons—are crucial technologies in maintaining an unparalleled offensive capability. Together, these advances represent the means for a vast increase in the ability of naval forces to find and exploit enemy vulnerabilities, and to significantly project precise power to all but a small fraction of the world’s surface.
Navy Concepts and Programs
Recognizing the challenges of tomorrow along with advances in technology, the Navy is investing its resources in five specific areas of warfare: Network Centric Warfare, Land Attack, Theater Ballistic Missile Defense, Organic Mine Countermeasures, and Anti-Submarine Warfare.
Network Centric Warfare (NCW). Central to the Navy’s future operations, NCW derives its power from the reliable networking of well-informed, geographically dispersed forces. A multi-sensor information grid will provide all commanders access to essential data, sensors, command-and-control systems, and weapons. This secure but accessible network will support rapid data flow between the sensor, command-and-control systems and shooter grids. The first steps toward meeting this requirement include implementation of Information Technology for the 21st Century and the sensor netting technology of the Cooperative Engagement Capability.
Land Attack. Precision land attack operations conducted from carrier-based aircraft, surface warships, and attack submarines provide massive, sustainable fires from the sea. High-intensity sea-based firepower will allow forces ashore to achieve critical objectives quickly and permit the flow of heavy follow-on forces within the desired timelines. In the early years of the 21st century, the Navy will have in its arsenal F/A-18 E/F and advanced Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) aircraft, follow on Tomahawk land attack cruise missiles, and 5"/62-caliber guns using extended range guided munitions to deliver devastating, long-range precision strikes in the littoral and beyond. Concomitantly, targeting will be achieved with a Naval Fires Control System that operates with joint fire support systems.
Theater Ballistic Missile Defense (TBMD). A TBMD capability is required to enable forward-deployed U.S., allied, and coalition forces to operate effectively in the face of a ballistic missile threat. Using the power of the Aegis SPY radar and the proven flexibility of the Standard missile, the Navy Area TBMD program is focused on providing a reliable theater missile defense network. The Navy Area TBMD takes advantage of the inherent flexibility and mobility of naval forces to provide defense against ballistic missiles without reliance on host nation permission or support.
The Navy Theater Wide (NTW) effort evolves from the Navy Area TBMD Program and consists of modifications to the Aegis Weapons System and the integration of the Lightweight Exoatmospheric Projectile (LEAP) on a three-stage SM-2 Block IV missile. The NTW system will be capable of high altitude intercepts of medium to longer range theater ballistic missiles. In the near term, a two-pronged development approach includes a seven-flight Aegis-LEAP Intercept program from FY 1999 to FY 2001.
Organic Mine Countermeasures (MCM). The Department of the Navy is investing now to equip carrier battlegroups and amphibious ready groups with organic mine hunting and mine clearance capabilities. Ships and submarines will deploy and control remote mine hunting systems and high frequency sonar. Variants of the H-60 helicopter will carry mine hunting sensors and neutralization gear such as the Airborne Laser Mine Detection System, the Shallow Water Influence Mine Sweeping System, and the Airborne Mine Neutralization System. Instead of waiting for weeks to get the dedicated mine-warfare assets on station, the commander will have mine detection and avoidance systems at his disposal. The tactical information and tools needed to allow freedom of action and dominant maneuver of his force in the face of a dangerous, cheaply deployed mine threat will be on station all of the time. The ultimate effect of deploying organic MCM systems is that it extends maritime domination into the littorals by minimizing the effectiveness of the most asymmetric and prevalent littoral sea threat, the sea mine.
Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW). Because of stealth, lethality, and affordability, the submarine is the naval weapon of choice for those countries looking for an asymmetric counter to superior naval forces. Therefore, full dimensional force protection and focused logistics mandate expedient and sustained dominance over any potential submarine threat.
The Navy is positioning itself to counter this undersea threat. An architecture that can accommodate commonality among all ASW platforms will be critical for both performance and affordability. Multi-static active detection systems will employ advanced processing while leveraging legacy ASW systems. The use of rapidly deployable, distributed arrays like that being developed in the Advanced Deployable System program, will provide wide area deployable shallow water undersea surveillance in the complex littoral environment. The Lightweight Hybrid Torpedo will offer the Navy improved weapon effectiveness against littoral submarine targets and countermeasures.
The Virginia-class attack submarine is designed for multi-mission operations and will expand from the traditional submarine missions of anti-ship and anti-submarine warfare. With added focus on acoustic and littoral battlespace dominance, the Virginia-class attack submarines will improve acoustic and non-acoustic stealth and will feature Special Warfare enhancements.
Marine Corps Concepts and Programs
Marine air-ground task force (MAGTF) operations are built upon a foundation of six core competencies. Expeditionary readiness, combined-arms operations, expeditionary operations, sea-based operations, forcible entry, and reserve augmentation define the essence of the unique Marine institutional culture, as well as the Corps’ role within the national military establishment.
Expeditionary readiness defines an institution ready to respond instantaneously to world-wide crises, every day. This requires a force that can transition from peacetime to combat operations at a moment’s notice, without critical reserve augmentation, and with certain success. It also demands a force ready to flourish under adverse conditions and in uncertain environments. Finally, it means being ready to defeat the opponent-after-next, which can be achieved only through continued investment in experimentation, adaptation, and change.
The MAGTF also requires an organic, combined-arms capability. For half a century, MAGTFs have trained to ensure their ground combat, air combat, and combat service support capabilities were directed by a single commander. Expeditionary operations is primarily a special mindset—one that ensures that Marines will be prepared for immediate deployment overseas into austere operating environments. Sea-based operations provide extraordinary strategic reach and give the nation an enduring means to influence and shape the evolving international environment. An appropriately prepared and equipped combined-arms MAGTF, operating from a mobile, protected sea base, provides the National Command Authorities with unimpeded and politically unencumbered access to potential trouble spots around the globe.
The Marines are best known for their fifth core competency, forcible-entry. In the past, forcible-entry from the sea was defined as amphibious assaults, establishing lodgements on the beach, and then building up combat power ashore for subsequent operations. It is now defined as an uninterrupted movement of forces from ships located over the horizon directly against decisive objectives. The sixth core competency of reserve integration captures the practice of augmenting and reinforcing active component units with the Marine Reserve in crisis response missions and adding to combat power for sustained operations.
Core competencies are not maintained without relevant and applicable concepts. These concepts are only realized with the proper, mutually reinforcing tools. The following elements are essential to full execution of Operational Maneuver From the Sea:
· Sea-Based Forcible-Entry Operations. Through modernization and tailoring of the amphibious fleet, ships that can ably serve as over-the-horizon launch platforms for the MV-22 Osprey aircraft, the short takeoff and vertical-landing variant of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), the Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAAV), and the already proven Landing Craft Air-Cushion will be provided. The amphibious lift modernization plan also maintains Marine Corps core competencies. It is formed around the 12 Amphibious Ready Groups (ARGs) needed to meet the nation’s forward-presence and contingency requirements while also achieving the fiscally-constrained amphibious lift goal of 2.5 Marine Expeditionary Brigade equivalents. The plan shapes the future amphibious force with the correct numbers and types of ships to provide a flexible and adaptive combined-arms crisis-response capability. Ultimately, the amphibious force will be composed of 12 LHA/Ds (Tarawa and Wasp classes), 12 LPD 17s (San Antonio-class), and 12 LSD 41/49s (Whidbey Island and Harpers Ferry-class), capable of forming 12 ARGs or operating independently.
The MV-22 Osprey remains the Marine Corps’ highest aviation acquisition priority and is necessary to conduct sea-based forcible-entry operations. The MV-22 flies significantly farther, faster, and with greater payloads than the current fleet of aging medium lift CH-46E/ CH-53D helicopters. This combat multiplier allows Marines to strike rapidly at objectives located deep inland. It provides Navy ships adequate stand-off distance in response to shore-based missiles, underwater mines, and other developing threats, and delays detection of the striking force.
An essential component in implementing ship-to-shore maneuver is the AAAV. Currently in the demonstration and validation phase, the AAAV will allow rapid, high-speed transportation of Marine combat units from amphibious assault ships located well beyond the visual horizon. When completed, it will be the most modern and capable amphibious vehicle in the world.
· Combined–Arms Operations. The Marine Corps depends heavily upon the use of fully integrated air support in combined-arms and expeditionary warfare. This approach reinforces expeditionary warfare by radically reducing dependence upon armor and artillery. Consequently, the Short Takeoff or Vertical Landing variant of the JSF is critical to conducting combined-arms operations in the future. The JSF will replace the Marine AV-8B Harrier and F/A-18 Hornet aircraft.
The Lightweight 155mm Towed Howitzer (LW155) will replace the aging M198 155mm towed howitzer as the only artillery system in the Marine Corps inventory. The LW155 is designed for expeditionary operations requiring light, highly mobile artillery, and will be transportable by MV-22 Osprey and CH-53E aircraft. The howitzer’s lighter weight and automated breech, rammer, and digital fire control computer will provide the MAGTF commander with increased responsiveness and efficiency. The program is in the engineering and manufacturing development phase with initial operational capability scheduled in FY 2003.
The recent past has shown that now, as ever, the Navy and Marine Corps play a critical role in the protection and advancement of U.S. interests around the globe. On-scene naval forces conducting peacetime presence or crisis-response missions frequently represent our nation’s political will and international policies first. Political will to influence events abroad is not enough to fulfill U.S. obligations. To deter aggression, foster peaceful resolution of dangerous conflicts, underpin stable foreign markets, encourage democracy, and inspire nations to join together to resolve global problems, the United States must have a multi-dimensional maritime force that is ready to shape and respond anywhere, anytime, around the globe.
Today, the most profound leadership challenge is the struggle to maintain current readiness while preparing to meet future requirements. The Navy and Marine Corps must address both the recruiting and retention of quality personnel, and the maintenance of aging equipment while modernizing Navy and Marine Corps forces for the future.
Navy and Marine Corps modernization is based on a comprehensive assessment of future threats. Even with increased funding for recapitalization and modernization, it will be a challenge to maintain the recommended fleet level as detailed in the QDR. Indeed, planned shipbuilding rates combined with aging equipment could impact naval operations within the FYDP. A downward spiral may ensue if reliability and capability upgrades are delayed to the point that the cost of maintaining older equipment consumes funds for equipment replacement. Another consequence of maintenance-intensive equipment is its negative effect on productivity and reliability, and thus quality of life is eroded. In short, today’s readiness is being preserved at the expense of tomorrow’s requirements.
Readiness is the foundation of our credibility as an instrument of foreign policy and national resolve. It also is the key measure of survivability for those we must send in harm’s way. Today, the Department of the Navy is forward-deployed and ready to protect our nation’s interests. At the same time, we must assure tomorrow’s readiness. The challenges detailed above must be addressed for the benefit of the United States of America, and the men and women of the Naval Service.
Richard J. Danzig
Secretary of the Navy
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