"Constitution Sails Again and Again"
(See T. G. Martin, pp. 2-4, October 1997 Proceedings)
Thomas C. Gillmer, Professor of Naval Architecture, U.S. Naval Academy (Retired)-Commander Martin's article is as his writing tends to be-well written and researched. It is also not without his protective attitude for the USS Constitution. His report on Old Ironsides' first sail in more than 115 years is quite detailed. And he was there, as a former commanding officer, to tell us about it.
But I get the message in his last paragraph that our venerable antique frigate should never do it again unless the wind is less than 10 knots and seas less than one foot-and only for a very short time. The idea is that a very old sailing ship must be treated like a very old person. Keep her in a rocking chair and don't let her move around at all, or something will surely break. Commander Martin has recommended before that the Constitution never be put under sail at all.
He used a rather unfortunate example of likening an old ship to an old person but perhaps this is actually a fairly good example. Doctors now are recommending activity for older people. I know-I am one, and it works. But let us not put the old frigate back as a stationary museum exhibit only, for she is more than an artifact. Idle ships and idle people alike deteriorate more rapidly. There is a remarkable soundness to the frigate's surviving bottom as well as her backbone.
I was contracted by the Navy's Ship Structures Division over six years ago to recommend ways to restore the Constitution's strength and to correct her hogging deformity. After much direct examination of the ship and study of the ship's past repairs and overhauls, I submitted a report and recommendations in September 1991. The major recommendation was to install the diagonal riders that Joshua Humphreys specified and originally invented. I discussed this system with a committee of naval architects from the Navy Department; it seemed to me that they found it very acceptable.
How the advice or decision got through to the restoration team in Charlestown Shipyard to install diagonal riders, after some years of ruminating, I do not know. I can reassure Commander Martin that the old frigate is stronger now than she has been in more than 100 years. Sailing a few times a year will not hurt her. Unpolluted water is good medicine for young and old.
The ship has responded. The keel is straight and will remain so for many years. The ship will sail. Let's try a 15 knot breeze, and a three- to four-foot sea. She will like it.
Master Chief Hospital Corpsman Richard B. Smith, U.S. Navy (Retired)-Sailors belong on ships, and ships belong at sea! The USS Constitution should and will sail again. The folks who did it this time and what a wonderful thing it was-are influential people only for a while. In time, they will be replaced, and their agenda will disappear with them. Bet even burning the sails would only delay, not prevent the Constitution's return to sea. How I want to see it again!
"Does Maritime Patrol Have a Future? (Part II)"
(See J. R. Macris, pp. 51-54, September 1997 Proceedings)
Lieutenant Jeffrey T. Rees, U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Macris's article provided an accurate portrayal of the growing depth of the maritime patrol mission. Indeed, it is the broad variety of mission capabilities that has permitted the VP community to maintain 12 squadrons in the current fiscally constrained budget climate. Where I disagree strongly with the author is in his assessment that maritime patrol needs to narrow its range of missions.
First, many of the missions identified are not separate mission areas at all. Maritime Patrol Aviation (MPA) primarily is a surveillance mission. The P-3C Orion aircraft is designed to fly for long periods and cover expansive search areas with a substantial suite of sensors. Scouting is the most important service we provide to the theater commander-in-chief and battle group commanders. The fact that we now can carry Mavericks and standoff land-attack missiles (SLAMs) enhances our ability to destroy what we locate while scouting. SLAM is not a mission, it is a weapon.
Second, counternarcotics, convoy escort, and battle-group support are all different flavors of the scouting mission. The P-3C is suited ideally for them, and VP air crews routinely train for the mission and are experts.
Also, antisubmarine warfare is a perishable skill. Our community has expressed concern about erosion of ASW proficiency, and has responded by maximizing the training opportunities where available. VP air crews are well trained for antisubmarine warfare, and are prepared to perform that mission for battle group commanders when the need arises. Maritime patrol has a future and is an essential element of "Forward . . . From the Sea" because of the broad capabilities we provide to battle group commanders and CINCs. If a single F/A-18 pilot can manage two completely separate missions, I'm confident that the ll-man P-3C crew can manage the missions of scouting and antisubmarine warfare.
Finally, on our new weapons upgrades, more P-3Cs need to carry the AGM-154A joint stand-off weapon (JSOW). The addition of this weapon would create a force multiplier for the battle group commander.
"Mergers Generate Political Clout"
(See D. Fulghum, p. 45, September 1997 Proceedings)
N. D. Ruenzel, Director of Communications, Electric Boat Corporation-Dave Fulghum quotes an unnamed senior House staffer discussing "the political clout these companies have to cause the Pentagon to buy things they neither want nor need. . . . The B-2 and submarine debates are about this."
Let's set the record straight. Funding for submarine programs, including completion of the third Seawolf (SSN-21)class submarine-SSN-23-and funding for the first four New Attack Submarines (NSSNs) were indeed in the Department of Defense's budget request because the Navy and our country want and need these boats to meet future force level requirements.
Were they the subject of healthy debate? You bet. But the implication they were neither wanted nor needed is simply untrue.
"The Arsenal Ship Survives . . for Now"
(See N. Polmar, pp. 87-88, November 1997 Proceedings)
EDITOR'S NOTE: As the November issue was on the press, Secretary of the Navy John Dalton canceled the arsenal ship program on 24 October 1997. A Navy spokesman said the decision was made because Congress funded the program for only $35 million, instead of the requested $150 million. The Navy will reprogram the $35 million that was voted for the program unless Congress requires the Navy to continue development of the arsenal ship.
"To Build a Better Sub"
(See I. D. Spassky and V. P. Semyonov, pp. 5861, August 1997 Proceedings)
A. V. Kuteinikov, General Designer and Chief of Design Bureau "Malachite" This article distorts the role of Russian enterprises in designing and constructing nuclear-powered submarines.
The first Russian nuclear-powered submarine (Project 627) is known as "Leninsky Komsomol"-"November" in Western classification (in the article it is incorrectly referred to as Project 927A), to which a battle number, "K-3," was assigned. K-3 went to sea trials on 4 July 1958. A photograph of this submarine appeared on page 59.
But this submarine was developed not by Central Design Bureau "Rubin," but by Special Design Bureau Number 143 (SDB-143, not SDB-43 as mentioned in the article), now known as SPMBM "Malachite," located in St. Petersburg (formerly Leningrad). The chief designer of that submarine and chief of SDB-143 was first rank Captain-Engineer Vladimir N. Peregudov-not I. D. Spassky, as it may seem to some readers.
Many Soviet research institutes and design bureaus took part in creating that submarine. The project could not have been completed without their participation. In particular, it is necessary to underline the role of NIICHimmash (later known as NII-8); its director and designer of the first ship nuclear power plant, academician Nikolai A. Dollejal; and scientific chief engineer of the power plant and of the ship as a whole, academician Anatoly P. Alexandrov.
Without these men it is impossible to appreciate fully the role of Russian science in the creation of Russian nuclear powered submarines.
The article also attributes Project 617 to the Rubin bureau-a submarine-analog of German series XXVI. Yet that project was developed by SDB-143 under the leadership of Chief Designer Alexei A. Antipin.
Early studies of that submarine were done in Central Design Bureau 18, but beginning with the conceptual project in 1949, all further project work on that submarine, including working drawings and technical documentation (1953), were done by SDB-143.
In 1952, the submarine that resulted from Project 617, "S-99," went on sea trials. In 1953, all further work on Project 617 was transferred to CDB-18, along with involved personnel including I. D. Spassky and S. N. Kovalev. SDB-143 was reoriented to focus on creating nuclear submarines.
Page 59 of the article mentions that Project 629 was developed by CDB-18. In fact, that submarine was developed by SDB-16 "Volna." Project 629's chief designer was Nikolai N. Isanin, who later became a chief of SDB-143. Submarines that resulted from this project were the first Russian submarines to be armed with ballistic missiles. Bureau "Volna" later became a pioneer in ballistic missile deployment on submarines.
"Who Will Cook the Food?"
(See R. S. Riche and R. O. Brown, pp. 74-77, September 1997 Proceedings)
Lieutenant Commander Mark Seeley, U.S. Navy-As a former executive officer of a Spruance-class destroyer, I am loath to defend the current, manpower-intensive method of shipboard food preparation. Nonetheless, I must disagree with the proposal suggested by Captain Riche and Commander Brown to outsource food preparation.
The majority of the manpower demands associated with food preparation come from the need for food service attendants, not mess-management specialists. Because food distribution and mess deck sanitation requirements will persist, regardless of the manner of food preparation, I am skeptical that the manpower savings touted as a benefit of outsourcing can be realized.
More important than the issue of manpower and dollar savings realized, however, is the price that outsourcing would exact on shipboard morale. Consistently high-quality, varied prepackaged meals simply do not exist. While most of us rely on the occasional frozen dinner for convenience, few would choose to dine on such fare on a regular basis.
The authors note that outsourcing may result in a "perceived loss of food quality," but that this perceived loss must be weighed against the cost benefits of using prepared foods. I would argue the opposite-that perceived quality of life is the essence of crew morale, and that the benefits of upholding this quality far outweigh the savings accrued from outsourcing.
Other than the frequency of mail call, few factors have a greater effect on morale for a crew on deployment than the quality of the food served. Meals provide one of the few regular breaks a sailor has in the seemingly endless routine of watchstanding, space cleaning, and equipment repair that make up life while deployed. Reducing dinner for the crew to a utilitarian feeding evolution-using cardboard trays, paper cups, and disposable utensils-would be seen and resented by the average sailor as an erosion of a important benefit, one that would not be easily offset by the installation of additional TVs, VCRs, exercise equipment, or other new items.
Several of the labor-saving ideas proposed by Captain Riche and Commander Brown (such as improvements to conveyers and reefer accessibility) have merit and deserve further study. I do not believe, however, that frozen and cook-chill food technology is sufficiently mature to justify a near-term, wholesale outsourcing of the Navy's food preparation process.
"QDR Misses the Point"
(See D. Hunter, pp. 30-32, October 1997 Proceedings)
Captain Chester C. Ferguson, U.S. Merchant Marine (Retired)-Not once in recorded history has a military force been able to isolate itself from the dysfunctions of its supporting society. History also dictates that no one nation forever shall remain first amongst the superpowers. This begs the question: How long will the United States of America remain in its present political, economic, and military position?
It should not come as a surprise to the readers of Proceedings that the nation's largest equal-opportunity employer also is now the nation's largest affirmative action program. I've watched the increasingly angry articles decrying the effects of this aspect of political correctness.
Currently, it is questionable whether flag rank can be obtained by warfighters who are deemed politically incorrect because of their words and actions. If I were asked what, in my judgment, was the most significant single factor that brought about the defeat of the armed forces of the German Reich, I would immediately answer, having to fight a war subordinated to a politically correct general staff.
As I watch the drawdown of our armed forces, I wonder how long the Pax Americana will last. We need a book that tells how close we came to defeat during this century. For instance, what would the beaches of Normandy looked like if the Germans had beaten us to "the bomb"? How many people know how close they came to doing just that-and how the Germans lost their two-year lead?
In my opinion, nothing will more define our armed forces' mission for the 21st century than one fact-the predicted doubling of the earth's population to about 12 billion. It has taken humankind about 200 million years to populate the earth with 6 billion people. These populations will need food, clothing, shelter, land, and the earth's resources-including energy. The nuclear genie is out of the bottle and will never be put back in. If the political institutions of the next century fail as badly as they have during the 20th century, the Navy and other maritime forces may face an impossible mission.
This scenario will mean national boundaries-those imaginary lines in the sand drawn by men to establish national sovereignty-will change radically. Most of this population explosion will occur in the nations least able to cope with it. Desperate people will resort to desperate measures. I am just a sailor, not a politician or social scientist-and I am certainly not a theologian. During my lifetime I have learned who must do the dying when those people fail.
The U.S. military's principal function will be to lead coalitions of peacekeeping forces. The best we can hope for is that their interventions will buy the time it will take for the political institutions to grasp the new reality-that the earth and its resources are finite.
Someone once said that "war is a much too important affair to be left to the judgment of the generals." Congressman Hunter's article is a clear demonstration of that statement's validity. Regrettably, as the article so clearly points out, we no longer have active-duty flag officers willing to fall on their swords, politically speaking, in order to put a stop to this irrational drawdown. Moreover, we must not be inhibited by unworkable, if not immoral, political agendas. I would go so far as to say that the term politically correct warfighters is a contradiction in terms. Warfighting and political correctness are far from synonymous.
The next major war may be our last scenario unless, as a nation, we come to our senses very soon. Earlier this year, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright stated that her ability to carry out foreign policy was directly proportional to our military strength. Her remarks say it is not yet time to "beat our swords into plowshares." But QDR, if implemented as proposed, will do just that.
The Honorable Duncan Hunter, Member of Congress-It has come to my attention that many who have read my article may mistakenly believe I was referring to Commandant of the Marine Corps General Charles Krulak as one of those who need to come forward regarding the funding shortfalls currently faced by our armed services. This is absolutely false and I recently took to the House floor to clarify that notion.
My views on this matter are clear. While the sea services and other branches of our military are underfunded, General Krulak has spoken up to that effect. He has provided a great service to this country, and I will continue to count on him as a friend and confidant. EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is an excerpt from the Congressional Record of 6 October 1997.
Mr. Hunter: Mr. Speaker, a couple of weeks ago I submitted an article for the prestigious military magazine on military affairs, Proceedings. In that article, I outlined the slippery slope that we presently are on with respect to our deteriorating national defense and where I think we should be going, what I think we should be doing, my opinion, and what future actions should be taken.
Mr. Speaker, my staff mentioned to me tonight, when they read the article, and I had mentioned service leaders who had not spoken up over the past several years, "Do you think people will think you are referring to Chuck Krulak?" . . .
Mr. Speaker, I am down here on the floor tonight to make sure that folks understand that is not the case, because Chuck Krulak is one of the finest Marine Corps Commandants and one of the finest Marine warriors of this century....
Once again, Mr. Speaker, let me applaud my good friend, Chuck Krulak, and all the great service he has given this country. And to everybody who has spoken up similarly, even though they have taken some hits for it, let us try to make the case again to the American people in this new year and bring that defense budget up.
"Foundering on Rocks, Shoals & Mines"
(See S. C. Truver and R. Nagle, pp. 50-56, August 1997 Proceedings) "Marine Mammals Are a Force Multiplier"
(See D. M. Renwick, R. Simmons, and S. C. Truver, pp. 52-55, August 1997 Proceedings)
James W. Fitzgerald, The Kildare Corporation-The Navy's use of dolphins with combat swimmers is certainly interesting. Now that the classification has been lifted, it is important to set the record straight as to the origins of such operations. In the early 1960s, my small company, Fitzgerald Laboratories, under the sponsorship of the CIA and through an ARPA contract, established a training center at the Key West Naval Base to develop operational dolphin systems termed dolphin navigation and ranging (DONAR).
While the Navy was doing exploratory studies in fenced pools of marine mammal behavior patterns, we routinely were operating with trained dolphin pods in open-ocean water off Key West, the Dry Tortugas, the Tongue of the Ocean in the Bahamas, and elsewhere.
Using pods of four dolphins, several DONAR systems were developed and demonstrated, including mine location; coastal intelligence; harbor penetration; object recovery; and antiswimmer systems. The antiswimmer system, using Key West-trained dolphins, was deployed in Cam Ranh Bay during the Vietnam War and was credited with the interception of several Viet Cong swimmers. In the same time period, we successfully deployed an operational dolphin pod to help in the recovery of a lost weapon in the ocean waters off Vieques Island, just east of Puerto Rico.
In roughly four years of open-ocean operation with two dozen dolphins, we never lost one. This included systems where the dolphins operated unattended over extended distances. For example, in a harbor-penetration exercise, the dolphin pod was released at night about five miles off an "enemy" harbor entrance. Each dolphin, towing a 25-pound "limpet mine," headed-unattended-for the harbor at a speed of about 10 knots, entered the harbor, placed their dummy mine on a selected "target" ship, and returned to the transport boat-all undetected by ship or harbor personnel. The entire exercise was completed in less than an hour and a half.
We developed a formal training course that included primary, basic, mission, system, and field training, and found that the dolphins adapted to "multimission" capability. Early in our program development, we found that performance improved markedly when we abandoned voice-gesture commands with fish-chunk reinforcement in favor of sonar Morsecode commands. We eventually had a lexicon of more than 25 commands that the dolphins readily learned and responded to.
One of the most intriguing results of our procedure was that the dolphins would answer back in kind. We initially thought this was just a mimic response until on several occasions we observed trainee dolphins responding to pulse code commands sent by senior dolphins.
Clearly, we stood at the threshold of full interspecies communication. Young dolphins sent to "school" to learn the language could be expected to carry on "conversations" in English via Morse code. The dolphin brain certainly has the capability. Unfortunately, we have never been able to obtain backing to pursue this exciting study.
In 1969, the CIA lost the Washington political battle over dolphin systems to the Navy, and our program was terminated. Based in the Navy's standard policy of "not-invented-here," essentially none of our technology was transferred to their program. Moreover, there was a concerted effort by the Navy to delete any historical account of operational dolphin systems developed prior to the Navy's program. Perhaps this short note will serve to correct the record.
"Surface Ship ASW: Modern Technology Outdated Procedures"
(See D. R. Klain, pp. 54-57, October 1997 Proceedings)
Commander James J. Shannon, U.S. Navy-Lieutenant Klain makes a good point about the requirements for a modern digital dead-reckoning trace (DDRT), but he misses the mark by claiming no one is doing anything about it. As far back as 1992, the Navy was testing a modern system to replace the antiquated DDRT on board the USS Fletcher (DD-992). It had various names; the last I remember was the Contact Management System. Only one person was needed to operate it; it was capable of performing target-motion analysis and limiting-lines-of-approach equations, along with other processes useful in undersea warfare (USW). Geographical data also could be inserted in this screen, just like a JMCIS display. Funding shortfalls probably expedited the demise of this system.
More important than that is recognizing that the requirement for a modern-day DDRT is not to replace paper with a CRT; it is to help tacticians process information better. Lieutenant Klain's comparison of USW to air defense is unwarranted. He claims an antisubmarine warfare evaluator can look at a subsurface contact and see both its relative and true motion. Not even a seasoned commanding officer can look at a console and mentally call "a lag or a lead" with relative motion to a sub. Nevertheless, in air warfare, these mental gymnastics are not necessary. Air warfare has the benefit of rapid radar returns and track quality data. USW does not have that advantage with a passive acoustic "emcon" condition or active sonar returns that can also be coming from rocks or wrecks. Air sensors do not have to contend with that environment.
All USW tacticians are best served in their early training by remembering: the synergistic relationship between the ship's mission; search assets available; threat's capabilities; environmental conditions, including depth and bottom topography; and effects of speed on the search and/or the evasion of the threat. If a tactician can master the intricacies of those five variables, he can articulate better the requirements of the systems he needs.
U.S. Naval Institute Warfare Exposition and Symposium
Thomas S. Momiyama-One benefit of a convention of concerned professionals such as the U.S. Naval Institute's Warfare Exposition and Symposium, held in Virginia Beach, 10-11 September, is that all of the issues we mull over as individuals begin to crystallize into foci of communal understanding-whether in agreement or disagreement.
A basic tenet emerging from the conference was that the warriors have not lost the edge, but that the nation might be losing its nerve. That is, in the nation's leadership, there is no resolve, save for rhetoric, to remain the world's only superpower or to acknowledge that such political and strategic dominance is essential to winning the expanding global economic competition. Using the classic Clausewitzian model of war being an instrument of policy, the policy is adrift.
The implosion of the Soviet Union and the ensuing far-from-home, regional instabilities have left a false confidence that we have won the Cold War, that peace is in hand, and that no Americans should be put in situations where they could get hurt. We have developed an American political culture that cannot stomach a casualty-ours or collateral. But as abundantly pointed out in this conference of warriors, war is a dirty business-that is, there are no "zero-casualty" wars. Therein lies the current disconnect between the military (which is in the business of winning wars against the nation's enemies with the accepted risk of being hurt in the process) and today's policymaking body (which considers the military a bequeathed surplus of equipment of unknown use in international politics, to be imposed bloodlessly).
In this culture of peace euphony, even some of those politicians who seem to understand the need and significance of the military in the inevitable conflicts of nations have wrongly been calling for technologies to solve the dilemma. Lieutenant David Adams, in his award-winning essay "We Are Not Invincible" (see pp. 35-39, May 1997 Proceedings), warns about some military leaders falling into this illusion. As General Anthony Zinni lectured in his conference keynote address, the military must adapt to technological advances and let technology improve the tools of the military. Clearly, technology may enhance the military intelligence and capability, but it is no substitute for the decision-making or right conduct intellect of the warrior or for the sage statesmanship of the political leader.
The discord of the military with its civilian management goes beyond this "peace dividend" mindset of the American society. The Constitution of the United States saw to it that the military reported to elected civilian offices so that the military may not take the nation to war as the only solution to international conflict. This prudent concept of civilian authority over the military has increasingly been usurped into hyped politicization and micromanagement of the military by executive and legislative bodies of civilians in partisan politics.
The military tradition and expertise in disciplinary matters, such as obedience and moral and performance problems, have been placed in distrust with major fault-finding inquisitions of the Secretaries of Defense and respective services, in the legal preoccupation of Washington politics. The expertise of these civilian heads lacks the wisdom of military leadership needed to discipline the troops.
As the Armed Forces Journal International (September 1997) described, "the recent resignation of the Air Force Chief of Staff General Fogelman was precipitated by a string of keenly felt setbacks that would have been beyond the ability of any uniformed officer to control. It seemed he was thrust into quixotic jousts with his civilian masters-contests he couldn't win."
The civilianization of defense governance may have an added dimension of corrosive effect-even on military leadership. Lieutenant Adams's dissertation on "the military's ignorance of the political danger of cultivating . . . a mindset that portends . . victory with [zero] casualties" is a case in point. Some generals and admirals may choose or have already chosen another approach of saluting the flag being waved by their civilian masters to sustain what's left of the military or to reinstitute the correct role of the military in a working democracy.
It is time we reviewed the roles and responsibilities of the civilian leaders to whom our forefathers entrusted the application-not the operation and upholding of the duties-of the military.
"XO Axioms for Excellence"
(See J. R. Nault, pp. 80-81, October 1997 Proceedings)
Lieutenant Commander Paul R. B. Kennedy-As a previous executive officer, I read Commander Nault's article with interest, and I agree with about 80% of the spirit, if not specifics, of the article.
I could not disagree more with his suggestion to "get rid of your computer" in Corollary 1 to Axiom 1. I found the increase in efficiency and the savings the computer and its associated technology brought to my XO tour were tremendous. Indeed, I can't imagine doing the job without a computer. My computer provided a spectrum of information from training records to PQS completion, to personnel data at my fingertips that prevented many a time-consuming trip down to the administrative office and greatly speeded up emptying my in-box. More and more vessels are equipped with a local area network (LAN) with embedded e-mail properties that save countless hours that were once spent tracking down individuals. The Navy is pushing toward a paperless force with everything on CDROMs, which are obviously impossible to use without a computer. The savings on paper and copier machine costs plus the boost in efficiency from delivering hundreds of daily messages via the LAN (or simply via disk) was incredible. Our command got to the point where a department head (or others) could draft a message, forward it to me via an attached file in e-mail for review, get it released by the commanding officer, and processed by radio central without the words ever hitting a piece of paper. This was all accomplished in a streamlined manner.
Commander Nault's recommendation of going out of your stateroom and getting around the ship is excellent advice. My experience was that the computer allows the XO more time to do just that. There is simply no efficient (or smart) way the XO can truly be the "administrative guru" per Corollary 3 to Axiom I without a state-of-the-art word-processing computer system that can harness technology to make the job easier.
Pertaining to Corollary 3 to Axiom I-"Draft Nothing"-I can think of many documents that belong in the XO's court. For example, during change of command, the XO should draft the recommended award for the CO and should draft the first cut of the Captain's departing fitness report. The thought that letting others draft these documents would ". . . save you time and make for a better document" is off base, because the XO is closest to the CO and knows better what items not to include in such documents. In addition, I drafted annual department head fitness reports and awards to those departing individuals. Who else would do this? There were several instances where, as XO, I would put out my own written guidance pertaining to cleanliness, planning board for training, 8 o'clock reports, and so on-which only I could write.
Perhaps what we are dealing with is an inherent difference between the daily routines of surface sailors and submariners-but certainly these issues deserve a closer look by anyone aspiring to become an executive officer.
(See J. Huber, pp. 36-38, September 1997; T. Burbage, p. 16, November 1997 Proceedings)
Loren Thompson, Executive Director, Alexis de Tocqueville Institution-Commander Huber's essay was cleverly written but conceptually flawed. He begins with the misleading premise that F-22s cost "$158 million per copy," asserts that at such prices the plane's stealth features "ought to work like a Romulan cloaking device" but don't, and then concludes that because the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) is "just down the road," the services ought to "skip the expensive one and buy the less costly one."
First, the F-22s will not cost $158 million each. Mr. Huber's own sources (for example, Aviation Week of 6 January 1997) cite a total program cost of $110 million per plane. Furthermore, the total program costs include all sorts of nonrecurring items such as research and development, tests, and tooling that would not contribute to the incremental cost of each new fighter. Once development is completed and tooling in place, the actual cost of producing each fighter (assuming economical production rates) would be about half the amount Commander Huber cites.
Second, the notion that the F-22's stealth features are somehow deficient is incorrect. The plane may not be "invisible," but as far as the current-generation surface-to-air and air-to-air missiles are concerned, it might as well be. It is very difficult to detect, even harder to track, and nearly impossible to acquire as a target. Commander Huber is right-some facets of the plane do have marginally greater radar returns than the forward aspect, but that concession to aerodynamic realities does not detract significantly from its virtual invulnerability to current weapons.
Third, the Joint Strike Fighter is not "just down the road," and there is no way of knowing how much it will cost when it finally arrives. The services won't settle on a design until spring of 2001, and the very demanding performance expected of the JSF's several variants makes delays in development highly likely. Even if all works out as planned, the JSF will not be deployed in large numbers to operational units for another generation.
Making real aircraft compete against the notional capabilities of programs in the "advanced viewgraph" state is a great way to destroy what is left of the military's plan to modernize tactical air power. I have no doubt that when the cost of the JSF program begins to hit, critics will use the same arguments against that plane that Commander Huber uses against the F-22. And they won't be any more valid then than they are today.
The Panama Canal: Another Giveaway?
Charles Maechling, Jr., international lawyer and former State Department negotiator-The Panama Canal is scheduled to convert to Panamanian control on 31 December 1999. In a turnover agreement being negotiated with Panama, the Defense Department, fixated on retaining an Air Force base for an inter-American drug interdiction operation, apparently has waived any interest in the Canal as such. The DoD position is that in one or more future crises, naval repair and supply facilities on each coast of the country will be adequate to handle fleet requirements.
This is another deplorable result of two 1977 treaties, in which President Jimmy Carter allowed Panama's largely symbolic grievances and his own unfounded foreign policy fears to override U.S. strategic interests. The first treaty turns over the Canal at the end of the century. The second instrument-the Neutrality Treaty-is of indefinite duration and gives the United States an implied right to intervene unilaterally to protect the Canal-but only from a security threat, not from deterioration.
Sooner or later, the Canal will have to be widened and deepened, to accommodate our aircraft carriers and the supertankers and huge container ships of world commerce. The 1914 locks need to be replaced, and computerized navigation systems must be installed. The language of the Neutrality Treaty is too restrictive for us to do this. Before it's too late, our negotiators should be told to secure a continuing U.S. naval presence and long-term involvement in the Canal's maintenance and modernization in the forthcoming pact. In any case, we are sure to be stuck with the bill.
"Strategic Attack Is No Myth"
(See G. Myers, pp. 36-39, August 1997; J. Rees, p. 28, October 1997 Proceedings)
Lieutenant Commander J. Morri Leland III, U.S. Navy-The conclusion that the title suggests is right on the mark. Strategic attack is not an outdated idea, but a relevant and viable portion of our joint warfighting capabilities. Mr. Myers makes a good case for the argument that systems of today are not inherently strategic; rather, it is the potential effect of those systems that may be strategic, operational, or tactical. However, he does a great disservice to the joint forces by making contradictory statements that seem like a thinly veiled attempt to make the U.S. Air Force the primary service for producing those strategic effects.
After correctly stating that "Air Force aerospace doctrine still describes air power as being `inherently strategic,"' Mr. Myers goes on to say that "aerospace doctrine no longer identifies a particular system as strategic or tactical; it is the effects a system achieves that are important...." Unfortunately, he narrows the field too much by attributing the modern capabilities of combat systems and smart weapons-lethality, responsiveness, and survivability-to only the U.S. Air Force systems. Certainly the long-range strike capability of the Air Force is an important part of our overall capability; however, there are other forces that may be capable of a quicker response while achieving the same effect. An impact of a Tomahawk cruise missile, an explosion from a special operations forces team's clandestine operation, or an Army tactical missile system launched from forces in theater all may be viable alternatives to a more conventional aerospace attack.
Furthermore, the author uses a weak reference to heritage and legal charter to propose that the Air Force is the only service that operates on a global rather than a theater perspective. To say that the "air arms of the other services are dedicated primarily to the support of their operational- and tactical-level operations" while the Air Force concentrates on the strategic level is completely contradictory to his thesis. Is an F-16 based in the United States a strategic platform, while a forward-deployed F/A-18 an operational/tactical platform? Neither is trueit is the potential effects of those platforms that define their orientation. In fact, each of the services must maintain a grasp of the strategic picture while functionally training their forces to perform specific missions.
By distinguishing the mission of the Air Force as operating "from a global rather than a theater perspective, in that its systems can consistently bring power and resources to bear anywhere on earth in a matter of hours," the author creates a false division between services. The forces of today, operating in a truly joint environment, all have the potential to contribute across the spectrum of conflict. Often, the forces on the scene have aerospace capabilities that can achieve nearly immediate "strategic" effect. To assign that mission to one service because of legal charter is ridiculous.
Ultimately, the author points at what should be the real debate-the options available for maintaining the long-range attack capability of the U.S. military. Admittedly, several of these options are Air Force-specific: more bombers, longrange missile carriers, transatmospheric vehicles, and long-range unmanned aerial vehicles. But the debate must also include consideration of the effect of forward- and mobile-based options and the increased range and lethality of theaterbased weapons. Finally, the issue of offensive information warfare capabilities should be considered from a completely joint perspective. No single service can lay claim to the information spectrum and its inclusion into warfare of the future.
Strategic attack is more viable today than ever before. With the modem strike capability of today's joint force, there are few places on the face of the earth that are invulnerable. The challenge is to nurture that capability jointly.
"Ship Killers From Low Earth Orbit"
(See K. Roy; pp. 40-43, October 1997 Proceedings)
Lieutenant Charles S. Gramaglia, U.S. Naval Reserve-Mr. Roy warns of a future threat where none is likely to develop. He compares the potential threat to carrier battle groups from orbiting antishipping weapons to the threat that the fleet aircraft carriers posed to battleships in the 1930s. But in the 1930s, aircraft carriers did in fact exist, while his spacebased ship killers exist only as a figment of one's imagination. And while his article is interesting to consider as a "what if," it illustrates the extreme improbability of a space-based ship killer, for reasons from technology to economics to politics.
Mr. Roy proposes a "smart, hypersonic, ballistic-guided missile or projectile launched from low earth orbit," weighing about as much as a 16-inch armor-piercing shell (roughly 3,100 lbs, including a rocket motor). This sounds like a beefed-up version of SDI's "brilliant pebbles" proposal-an orbiting kinetic kill vehicle (KKV) with a precision-targeting capability, modified to hit surface targets. Such a weapon would strike its target with a kinetic force of 1.6 to 2.1 kilotons of TNT-greater power than some tactical nuclear weapons. In the article's footnotes, however, the author argues that such weapons "are not weapons of mass destruction," and rhetorically asks "what response is appropriate to first use of kinetic energy weapons from space directed against military targets?" The Department of Defense presently defines weapons of mass destruction as "weapons that are capable of a high order of destruction and/or of being used in such a manner as to destroy large numbers of people" (JP 1-02, DoD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms). Any weapon with kiloton power would surely be classified as a weapon of mass destruction, and with good reason. Much as President Bush put Iraq on notice during Desert Shield and Storm that the employment of chemical weapons could lead to a nuclear response by the United States, the use of space-based KKVs would lead to retaliation with nuclear weapons. And finally, while it may be unwise to place too much credence in arms-control treaties, Article IV of the 1967 Treaty on Outer Space prohibits "place[ment] in orbit around the Earth any object carrying. . . weapons of mass destruction."
Mr. Roy states that "ships are ideal targets because they are complex, compact, and expensive." Ships are also mobile. There are dozens of fixed targets better suited than the carrier battlegroup for this precision-strike bolt from the heavens. If our adversary-sought a strictly military target, B-2/F-117 hangars, ICBM silos, or major command-and-control facilities would all be easier to strike. Perhaps they are not as compact as a ship, but targeting a fixed facility has much to recommend. This capacity for a decapitating attack would dramatically increase the probability of nuclear escalation in wartime, thereby ensuring the classification of Mr. Roy's space-based KKVs as weapons of mass destruction.
The development and testing of these weapons is not something that could be hidden from the United States, given our surveillance and intelligence-gathering assets. Even if another nation were to build an insurmountable lead in these technologies, a comparatively inexpensive antisatellite (ASAT) weapon, perhaps similar to the directed-energy ASAT currently being tested at White Sands Missile Range, could be deployed quickly before an operational space-based KKV.
Mr. Roy discounts the potential effectiveness of ASATs because the KKVs' orbits "could be changed at random." Well, not really. The orbits of satellites can be modified with maneuvering rockets, but such motion is limited because it consumes fuel at a prodigious rate. And during any orbital change, satellites easily can be tracked by ground-based radar and optical systems.
Mr. Roy cautions that "emerging superpowers [can] be expected to develop a space launch capability . . . [and] then development of a nonnuclear, spacebased, ship killer could [be deployed] relatively quickly." Yet this statement contradicts almost every technical point in the article: "The biggest challenge is required pinpoint accuracy. . . . Is such a capability possible? [It is] unknown.... Command and control would be challenging. There will be hundreds of ship killers and dozens of reconnaissance and targeting satellites." Whatever the likelihood, this threat could not possibly be operational until well into the latter half of the 21st century. Moreover, it is unbelievable that that any nation would find such a system economically attractive. There are other less glamorous, endo-atmospheric means to threaten both the carrier battle group and land-based installations.
With existing weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile technologies proliferating to such rogue nations as Libya, Iran, and North Korea, several new threats to U.S. national security are just over the horizon. The threat to U.S. national security will be from a "bomb-in-a-suitcase" or a "virus-ina-bottle," not this chimerical sword of Damocles. "Deployment of such a weapon system would mark the end of the carrier era." Perhaps, but I'm not waiting up nights.
"The Lost Obligation"
(See N. Hogan, p. 35, September 1997 Proceedings)
Commander Michael R. Adams, U.S. Coast Guard (Retired)-Actions speak louder than words. Holding Douglas MacArthur out as a paragon of military virtue because of his "duty, honor, country" speech ignores the reality of the general's life. A sense of duty includes an acceptance of subordination; a sense of honor includes honesty; a sense of country includes adherence of the Constitution. General MacArthur's failure to subordinate himself to his commander-in-chief during the Korean War proved that his ego exceeded his belief in constitutional values. Even before Korea, he spent decades hiding his personal ambitions behind a veil of service and supposed sacrifice.
While it might be time to "listen to the . . . counsel" of MacArthur, it is prudent to temper that guidance with the knowledge that his advice was for others and not, apparently, for himself.
"A Tangled Webb"
(See P. E. Roush, pp. 42-45, August 1997; R. Hegemann, C. van Someren, H. G. Summers, R. Kuntz, V. M. Hudson, L. Marano, L. Stovall, pp. 12-22, September 1997; J. D. Lynch, D. E. Phillips, P. S. Edwards, T. M. Kastner, G. W. Anderson, pp. 10-15, October 1997; D. C. Fuquea, K. H. Moeller, M. T. Owens, pp. 21-24, November 1997 Proceedings)
Lieutenant Colonel T. C. Greenwood, U.S. Marine Corps-I circulated Colonel Roush's article to my 55 Marine and Navy officers deployed in the Mediterranean on three ships. Their collective disappointment (almost without exception) with its substance matched their incredulity that the Naval Institute would publish an ad hominem diatribe against one of the more principled and courageous leaders of our time. But had the article not been published, my men would never have asked the following insightful questions.
Why does the author come across much less concerned than Mr. Webb with how well the Academy prepares midshipmen to lead in combat? If Mr. Webb truly has advocated physically abusing plebes throughout his professional life, why did the U.S. Congress confirm him as Secretary of the Navy?
>Why does the author focus almost exclusively on Mr. Webb's 1979 article and pay only scant attention to his recent articles and speeches-relevant material that captures his current views on today's issues? Why should "loyalty" at the Naval Academy (a college of sorts) be more important than loyalty in the operating forces?
> Why is Mr. Webb targeted by Naval Academy leadership for speaking out in search of the truth?
Using these questions as a line of departure for lengthy discussion and exchange of ideas, here is what one battalion commander gleaned from his junior officers:
> Colonel Roush is a college professor at a military university that cannot decide on what comes first-higher education, or preparing men and women for leadership in combat. Mr. Webb, on the other hand, has dedicated his entire adult life to arguing that war is the ultimate educational experience. We should not be surprised that warriors or aspiring warriors are misunderstood by those who are not-or by those whose memory of the "sound of the guns" has been dulled by the passage of time.
> Mr. Webb's views on women in the military, hazing, and almost every other issue were sufficiently "mainstream" and acceptable to a majority of our elected officials or he would not have been confirmed as Secretary of the Navy.
>Attacking "Women Can't Fight" is a ruse, intended to deflect interest away from Mr. Webb's views on more contentious issues like Admiral Boorda, Admiral Arthur, shipboard pregnancy rates, and his perception that flag/general officers fail to exercise moral leadership when they sacrifice subordinates in the name of expediency.
>Effective leaders in the operating forces encourage subordinates to discuss, debate, and argue about all professional issues even while executing the policies with which they disagree. Teaching midshipmen that the gag rule is an effective tool for imposing obedience in juniors is a recipe for disaster. It is not current practice in infantry battalions.
>Today, the search for the truth in the Navy Department is laudable, provided it does not challenge conventional wisdom or the status quo. Mr. Webb has done both-and has become the "enemy." Mr. Webb is accused of peddling resentment and cynicism. My officers see it as intellectual honesty, idealism, inspiration, vision, and peacetime heroism. What a pity that the Naval Academy Leadership Department is so out of touch with the fleet's junior officers-the operators.
Commander Jan M. van Tol, Commanding Officer, USS O'Brien (DD-975)Colonel Roush's article is a good example of the worst sort of intellectual McCarthyism. His attacks on James Webb's views on the issue of women in combat ironically reflect exactly the rhetorical techniques he condemns in his article. He argues de facto that viewpoints that do not agree with the current party line are not only illegitimate (and therefore shouldn't be allowed in public) but should be stigmatized and suppressed before they can do harm (in his eyes). This may be valid for unambiguously evil views such as those supporting Nazism or the Ku Klux Klan, but it is outrageous-and institutionally dangerous to advocate constraining debate on policy issues through intellectual distortion and intimidation.
On the disreputable techniques of argument found in the essay-where to begin? First, Colonel Roush uses stock political cliches to preemptively dismiss Mr. Webb's views. Besides being facile, this is intellectually content-free. How is the charge of "an appeal to the politics of resentment" connected to a rational discussion of whether women in combat help or hinder combat effectiveness? Even Vice Admiral Tracy, an ardent proponent, acknowledged as recently as February 1994 that the issue has not been debated publicly. Surely if the answer were so obvious, militaries around the would be smacking their collective foreheads and rushing to remedy their female deficiency. Certainly it is an issue that legitimately merits rigorous ongoing intellectual discussion while the evidentiary process evolves.
Colonel Roush essentially lampoons Mr. Webb's views. Perfectly fine for a satirical piece, but he professes to be writing a serious essay and should thus accurately portray the views against which he argues. For example, Mr. Webb obviously is not urging that midshipmen be beaten by cricket bats or otherwise mindlessly abused; he is arguing for acclimatizing future sailors to real stress, which as a consumer of some of the latest products of the kinder, gentler school of basic training, I can wholeheartedly attest badly needs doing.
Colonel Roush equivocates on the term "stress" throughout his piece. For example, the implicit argument that undergoing the stress of going "outside their identity to avoid overt harassment" is somehow related to the physical and moral stress of combat and that thus their surplus of such "stress" would make women more prepared to be warriors than their male counterparts is just plain silly.
Colonel Roush makes false (or at least unargued for) analogies. Most obviously, he reasons falsely by analogy with the military's experience with racial integration and, by extension, thus imputes bigotry to those who oppose the notion of women in combat on intellectually serious grounds, a classic ad hominem attack of the type he allegedly deplores. No less a figure than Colin Powell explicitly rejected that false analogy of racial and sexual integration in the context of the gays-in-the-military debate, stating the obvious fact that profound behavioral differences were not logically comparable with benign nonbehavioral differences in physical characteristics.
There is a much wider point here that goes well beyond the particulars of article or one issue. Whether we support the policy of women in combat in this case, we should be disturbed by the intellectually disingenuous techniques frequently used to push particular ideological agendas and to stigmatize opposing viewpoints. In particular, techniques that seek to delegitimize rather than refute opponents and their arguments poison the intellectual environment. For example, much of the fear and resentment Colonel Roush is right that it exists-in the fleet over the issue of female integration has stemmed not from the policy per se, but from the intellectually dishonest way it often has been presented and implemented, and the ruthless way in which intellectual disagreement has been censored and unpleasant evidence suppressed (the cashiering of Lieutenant Commander Carkhoff and Lieutenant Hultgreen's F-14 crash are cases in point). Had a process widely perceived to be open and evidentiary-based been used, there might well have been much greater active support for the radical innovation of assigning women to combatant units.
Today's "zero tolerance" mentality, political correctness, and de facto censorship regarding a wide range of issues is leading the Navy into a particularly unfortunate, even dangerous, intellectual environment. The only corrective for today's intellectually and morally corrosive atmosphere is rigorous intellectual honesty in debate and commitment to evidentiary processes to evaluate controversial ideas and programs. To quote Colonel Roush (though in a different context), "One thing is certain. Silence will not do. The issue is too important. There must be no more free rides for those who would undermine what this great institution is about."
"Square Peg . . . Round Hole!"
(See D. Hopkins, pp. 55-58, July 1997; A. G. Zgolinski, pp. 20-23, October 1997 Proceedings)
Lieutenant Commander William J. Cooke, U.S. Naval Reserve, Training Officer, NR JICPAC 1520-Commander Hopkins's articulate outline of our "misaligned management structures" as we face the next century includes an important prescription-reducing the bureaucracies of the Naval Reserve type commanders. I suggest, however, that we also need a fundamental transformation in how active-duty personnel and Navy leadership look at the people of the reserve force. Changes in our organizational structures will not be enough as long as reservists are thought of, even unconsciously, as "old SWOs," "old aviators," or "prior (fill in the blank)." To consider reserve personnel no more than replacements (only rustier) misses the point. Different does not mean lesser.
Reservists bring to the mix unique combinations of military experience and civilian success, often in fields diverse from their military service. The Naval Reserve Intelligence Program (NRIP) is a prime example of these synergies. You won't find an active-duty intelligence officer who is also a successful lawyer fluent in Japanese, or a federal environmental manager with international negotiating experience. The NRIP has many varied combinations of the skills and experience needed to answer the challenges of today's complex security environment.
Such synergies may seem more abstract in the warfare communities, but my experience with colleagues such as the commercial airline pilot flying regularly into Southeast Asia (valuable for confirming operational or logistics planning efforts), the realty specialist experienced in community redevelopment (valuable for base realignment and closure planning), or the sophisticated municipal financial manager (valuable to any command seeking to improve its management and financial control systems) suggests that similar synergies also will be found there. Wings, dolphins, SWO pins, and the rating badges really don't tell you what we can do for you today.
Our current capacity to understand the range of a reservist's skills and experience (through readiness ratings, individual training plans, questionnaires, and so forth) is quite rudimentary. Our personnel databases aren't really capable of providing a "data dump" with meaningful matches between needs and resources. It takes effort in the part of the gaining command, and not just from the reserve coordinator. Commands that have invested the time to have operational managers (staff officers, division officers, branch chiefs) become as familiar with their reservists, as their full-time, onsite personnel are able to integrate reserve personnel meaningfully into their commitments. The current use of several reserve flag officers to fill active billets is just the most visible example; other examples and opportunities exist throughout the ranks.
No enterprise succeeds, or even survives, with managers who don't know what their workforce does (or could do). The challenge for reservists is to provide a clear picture of who we are and what we can do. The challenge for Navy leaders is to provide a system that links the problems and needs of the active forces with reserve talent and then ensures those resources are welcomed and actively employed. It is a shared responsibility. If we can accomplish that together we will be well along the way to removing "the bureaucratic barriers that stand between reservists and their gaining commands."
"Battling Battery Boats"
(See W. J. Holland, pp. 30-33, June 1997; M. Klingler, p. 27, July 1997; F. Rosenius and J. P. Prisley, pp. 22-23, August 1997; J. R. Fitzgerald, pp. 19-20, October 1997 Proceedings)
Federico de los Rios-Instead of wasting more time arguing about the differences between nuclear and diesel submarines, the Navy should explore and exploit technological advances and build two or four diesel submarines. It should create a "Top Gun" submarine squadron, which will train our nuclear crews for future combat situations against these boats. Some will claim that this type of training can be accomplished by using virtual reality computer simulators. But simulators simply can't compare with the real life experience of hunting, finding, and "sinking" a modern, well-armed, well commanded, and difficult-to-find diesel submarine.
It is discouraging to see that the submarine community has become a passive, resistant-to-change, fossilized institution. What happened to the most daring and innovative submarine community in the world? Until the submarine community takes the sound decision of building diesel submarines with the latest and best technology around, it will remain a bystander in the race of better and more powerful diesel boats that are being bought by unfriendly nations-who won't be too shy to use them well.
"Special Ops Needs a New Player"
(See C. Forando, pp. 44-47, October 1997 Proceedings)
Senior Chief Petty Officer Dennis L. Noble, U.S. Coast Guard (Retired)-Lieutenant Forando notes that unless the U.S. Coast Guard builds a special-operations force and aligns itself more closely with the U.S. Special Operations Command, it "faces becoming a search-and-rescue and marine safety-oriented service." In his well-written article, Lieutenant Forando probably did not try intentionally to belittle the efforts of those who went before him and the scores who died in saving lives. Rather, he follows a tradition that seems endemic in the U.S. Coast Guard Academy officer corps.
Every 10 to 20 years, it seems the U.S. Coast Guard needs to be "saved." In the 1960s, oceanography would save the service, and the U.S. Coast Guard would take the lead role in the federal government in studying the sea. Every major cutter, including the overworked buoy tenders, did some type of oceanography. In the 1970s, the scene shifted from below the seas to the surface. and the U.S. Coast Guard would be "saved" by becoming the premier seagoing police officers. In the 1980s, the savior was to be the environment. Now it appears special operations or perhaps "deep water" (whatever that means), will be the salvation of the U.S. Coast Guard.
Meanwhile, the people who "only" did search and rescue worked hours no one should have to work, went short-handed, and went out with equipment often held together with spit and bailing wire. A few died trying to do what U.S. Coast Guard personnel have always done, and done magnificently-saving those in peril upon the seas. Lieutenant Forando and perhaps some high-level planners may believe the U.S. Coast Guard needs to be "saved," but they should ask the American public what they think of and want from their Coast Guard. The American people, who pay Lieutenant Forando and the planners, appreciate the U.S. Coast Guard as a search-and-rescue organization.
Lieutenant Forando follows the pattern of the service's Academy officer corps. They appear not to know or understand the history of their organization. In the 1930s, when the U.S. Coast Guard lost an all-out effort in a major war to stop the interdiction of an illegal substance, the service reached its nadir. Officers were cashiered, promotions moved at glacial speed, and the morale of the enlisted force bottomed. The lifeboat stations and their crews, however, continued to assist people in trouble. Meanwhile, one of the most important Commandants of the U.S. Coast Guard, Russell R. Waesche, Sr., recognized that the future lay in becoming a marine safety service.
In World War II, cutters did serve throughout the world as a part of the national defense. The U.S. Navy, however, specifically asked for surf men-the people who "only" did search and rescue- to train coxswains for the upcoming landing operations against the Japanese. Perhaps one problem is that most search and rescue done in the U.S. Coast Guard is accomplished by the enlisted force. Lieutenant Forando may not have had the privilege of experiencing the feeling that comes from saving a life. Nothing buoys a crew like a good save. On the other hand, I have never heard anyone say, "I just killed someone; I feel great."
Meanwhile, the crews of today who "only" do search and rescue continue to work hours no one should have to work-with no one in headquarters seemingly believing the amount of hours crews still put in-still using outdated equipment and still putting their lives on the line to rescue people from the cruel sea, as graphically evidenced on 12 February 1997 when three U.S. Coast Guardsmen lost their lives in going to the assistance of a sailboat (see D. Noble, pp. 40-41, August 1997 Proceedings).
Lieutenant Forando's article does point to a continuum. Why does the leadership of the U.S. Coast Guard seem to panic every so many years and why does the panic seem to slowly fizzle out? Perhaps what is taking place is the leadership is not trying to "save" the U.S. Coast Guard, they are really going to "where the money is." Once they have the money, then they must once again strike out in yet another direction, all under the guise of "saving" the service. If this is correct, then politicians in their continual search for funds have nothing on the U.S. Coast Guard. Perhaps it is time-in my view it is way past time-for the Coast Guard leadership to decide just what it wants to be instead of trying to be all things to all people. I then ask Lieutenant Forando, and headquarters leadership, what has lasted longer: search and rescue and marine safety-or oceanography, or any other "salvation" since the 1960s?
The small-boat stations and air stations are the heart of the U.S. Coast Guard and more than justify the service. Take this away and you lose the uniqueness and greatness of the U.S. Coast Guard. I recall the reasons two very young people, 19 years old, with only nine months in the service, told me why they joined the U.S. Coast Guard. One said he wanted to pay back his community and felt he could "by helping people." Another said she joined because the other services only trained for war: "We save people." Perhaps people in leadership positions should listen to what the nonrates in the U.S. Coast Guard have to say.