The Commanders Respond

As we approach the turn of the century, Proceedings is as important as ever to support this discussion in order to direct political attention to the value of maritime contributions in securing a stable and peaceful international security environment. Navies continue to be best suited to promote military transparency, and it is important to note the improvements in maritime cooperation around the world. In this context, NATO's Partnership for Peace program has successfully created a solid basis for the cooperative employment of maritime forces with partner navies beyond the Alliance.

Germany will continue to contribute its maritime share to the full spectrum of the alliance's missions. On its course into the 21st century the German Navy is focusing on four areas of armament activities. At the beginning of the next decade, air defense capabilities will be increased by the introduction of the Type 124 frigates equipped with an advanced antiair radar system. Area antisubmarine warfare and surface operations will be supported by new Type 212 submarines. Their air-independent propulsion system, a technological leap in conventional submarine design, will mark the beginning of a new era of conventional submarine tactical operation. In parallel, traditional capabilities in littoral warfare will be shifted to include more distant areas of operation with the procurement of corvettes. In addition, a modernized naval aviation component will complement the third dimension of our fleet capabilities.

Overall, the German Navy will profit from important technological improvements within the next ten years. The firm integration into NATO always has been and will continue to be the cornerstone in the conceptual outline of our Navy. Our aim is to maintain a well balanced fleet with the capabilities required for all of the alliance's missions.

The U.S. Naval Institute is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year. Naval audiences worldwide benefit from the new maritime ideas and concepts addressed in Proceedings. Congratulations and all best wishes for the continued success of the Institute and Proceedings, as one of the most valuable international fora for new maritime ideas and concepts as we enter the new century.

Vice Admiral D. B. Chalmers, Royal Australian Navy - One reason for the success and influence of Proceedings is the broad range of subjects it covers, a reflection of the world's navies and the plethora of roles that they perform. This makes it difficult to identify only one article which has been influential.

From a long list of articles that have stimulated thought, two stand out in my mind. The first was published in 1974, "Navies in War and Peace," by Admiral Sergei Gorshkov. Though written for a Soviet audience, it is a classic statement of the importance and utility of naval forces as tools of international relations. It emphasized to me the way in which nations that share no land borders constantly interact on the world's oceans, and the importance of the naval facet of that interaction.

The second article that stands out in my mind was a prizewinner in the Naval Institute's then-General Prize Essay Contest; "Naval Strategy and National Ocean Policy" by then-Lieutenant Commander James Stavridis, U.S. Navy, was published in the July 1984 Proceedings. Australia, which is dependent on the oceans to an even greater extent than the United States, is developing a National Oceans Policy. This is an important step for our Navy as well as the nation, at the very least because it acknowledges the value and individuality of the oceans, and the integrated and coordinated policy which is required. The Stavridis article impressed many of these facts on me more than a decade ago. As the Royal Australian Navy plans for its part in the management of Australia's ocean areas and works closely with the many groups who share an interest in the well being of the oceans, I appreciate the understanding that such articles in Proceedings have helped me develop.

Professor John Hattendorf, an eminent naval historian, has written that "there is an essential commonality among those who go down to the sea in ships." Although written in another context, it is a very good guide to the success of Proceedings and its pervasive influence in the worldwide maritime community.

I congratulate you on the success of your first 125 years and wish you fair winds and following seas for the next 125.

Vice Admiral L. Kroon, Royal Netherlands Navy - In response to the question I would choose the article "Like Thunder and Lightning" by Rear Admiral Daniel J. Murphy, published in the June 1997 Proceedings. As in all democratic countries, political reality in the Netherlands dictates that margins for change are extremely narrow. And indeed in the thought-provoking article by Admiral Murphy, it is not so much the science fiction-like proposal for change that caught my interest, but rather the well argued description of the way in which forces of NATO alliance nations can continue contributing existing capabilities into a changed whole.

It is arguably true that the alliance will have to make choices regarding future capabilities. Part of the necessary change follows from the paradigm shift to operating in the littoral, another from the unchecked proliferation of military technology in conjunction with growing regional instabilities. Most of the needs are indisputable. Most of the solutions are not-like the by now largely discredited idea for a single-purpose arsenal ship. But an essential part of the solution in any analysis must be the concept of joint operations, and a fundamental element of this concept is the ability to integrate forces smoothly.

In the Netherlands' view, operations will also almost always be combined. And because of that, interoperability always has been a key quality driver for the Royal Netherlands Navy. Thus Admiral Murphy's central idea of establishing full spectrum dominance within a fully integrated, mature, joint command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance architecture enabling arriving forces to "plug and play" makes extremely good sense to me. It is indeed the pursuit of exactly that capability that will allow alliance forces to continue integrating smoothly into the larger whole.

In addition to provoking thought, the article also has proven very quotable, not least because of the aura of inevitability following from unconscious association of the author's name with the famous law.

Admiral Angelo Mariani, Italian Navy - The considerable streamlining of one of the two major world naval powers undoubtedly determined a decline in attention to "sea control" and a general shift in the focus of naval power toward the shore control or, more so, toward the capability of influencing, at the strategic and tactical levels, operations carried out ashore.

In her May 1996 Arleigh Burke prize-winning essay "Moving Sea Power Ashore," Lieutenant Commander Carol Hottenrott, U.S. Navy, effectively synthesized the evolution of naval thought from Mahan's to Corbett's interpretation of local sea control.

This progressive shift from a naval strategy to a maritime strategy outlines a frame of reference where Italy, a country that can appropriately consider itself a mid-regional power with global trade interests, can be easily inserted, with its commitments related to an active role in the new scenarios, relying on a military policy with a clear maritime background.

These were the beginnings of the strategic revolution that moved Italian Navy attention from the exercise of sea control on the high sea toward the projection of naval power in an overall way within the world's littoral basins, with the aim of dealing with regional crisis or assisting in peace-support operations.

It must be stressed, however, that employment of naval forces in littoral basins must not be seen as abandonment of the traditional naval strategy: that of sea command.

On the contrary, in a local situation, sea control remains fundamental and essential in order to exercise power projection or to support land operations from the sea. As far as naval tactical background is concerned, this pertains a concentration of naval force employment from the "blue waters" to the so-called "brown waters." To operate in such waters does not signal a shift to merely coastal forces, because the view of our security borders and of the national interests is to be considered within an "enlarged Mediterranean," which extends to the Indian Ocean.

Within this historical framework, the Italian Navy determined the general characteristics of its own evolution: a forward presence to support diplomacy, the surveillance and control of the strategic sphere of interest; the ability to influence an environment; the immediate response to a developing crisis; the rapid deployment and the self-sustainability of forces for an extended period; the intervention and the protection of forces from the sea; and the capability to carry out the "lever function," which is best suited to the employment of the military instrument as a whole. L

Admiral Antonio Moreno Barbera, Spanish Navy - Given the great variety of U.S. Naval Institute publications, it is difficult to state exactly which articles or books have influenced our naval way of thinking. Undoubtedly, among all the Naval Institute's titles, Proceedings is the one most widely circulated within the Spanish Navy.

The broad assortment of topics considered, along with the different points of view expressed by the large number of authors, permits readers to draw from others' experiences and form opinions on many problems that are common to navies. Sections such as "Comment and Discussion" and "Nobody asked me, but . . ." enable readers to follow the exchange of opinions on specific issues or get acquainted with topics almost unavailable in other magazines.

Those exchanges of opinion, experience, and knowledge are very useful today as they underline the globalization of problems, above all in the context of defense.

The Spanish Navy, within this global defense context, faces multiple challenges in the 21st century. These challenges are centered in the integration of the new military structure of the alliance, full professionalism of the armed forces, commissioning of state-of-the-art units, consolidation of a joint command-and-control structure, and participation in multinational forces associated with the European security and defense identities, such as the European Maritime Force and the Spanish-Italian Amphibious Force (SIAF).

Many of these challenges are similar to those faced by the U.S. Navy, which are amply dealt with in the magazine. In this sense, the controversy on costly investments for the development of new technology is highly interesting, especially as the Spanish Navy is acquiring Aegis equipped units. Also, the nuances as regards the extent of the "joint" concept and the tasks of the different services, just when we currently are restructuring our operational commands and the compatibility of national strategy with the participation in different alliances, affect both countries.

The professionalization of troops and ratings is not a topical subject in the U.S. Navy, although it is highly instructive to learn of the problems associated with it. This may serve as guidance for the Spanish Navy in the decision-making process that may present unexpected difficulties, as it is something new for our armed forces.

For all this, I think that reading the prestigious Naval Institute publications, especially Proceedings, serves as a most valuable help at a time of change, when we can take advantage of experiences and situations of the most diverse nature within the professional sphere. Li

Vice Admiral R. C. Simpson-Anderson, South African Navy - As one reads Proceedings, one is struck by the superb contributions to the magazine from a variety of authors from all walks of life, be they civilians or uniformed personnel, academics or line officers. The contributions cover the full spectrum of issues that affect navies as they prepare for the new millennium-from the mundane yet critical problem of retention of personnel through debates concerning the strategic choices faced by armed forces and nations.

To single out any particular article as having influenced my views more than any other, therefore, would be both unfair and unwise. Several discernible themes, however, run through many of the articles that have been published over the last few years. One of these themes is something that I believe in very strongly, and concurs with my view of what the South African Navy is now and will continue to be in the future. The theme is one of professionalism-the every-day professionalism that is required of the men and women of any modern-day navy, large or small, to function efficiently and effectively in an increasingly complex and demanding world.

The South African Navy has relied heavily on the professional attitude of its people over the past several years. We have managed to maintain a navy that is highly regarded in sub-Saharan Africa, despite being hampered by severe budgetary restrictions. I always have believed in investing in the development of personnel as a critical factor in maintaining a credible navy, and the personnel of the South African Navy always have repaid that investment. Their professionalism has meant that every mission over the past five years has been executed successfully, no matter what that mission was or where it took place. As illustrated by many Proceedings articles, the personal professionalism required for this often develops spontaneously from within people themselves, given the right encouragement and motivation to do so.

It is this theme of professionalism, then, that will sustain the South African Navy in the future. Those nations from around the world that rely on South Africa for maritime support, of whatever nature, can rest assured that the professionalism of the men and women of the South African Navy will ensure that that support will remain at the highest levels.

Finally, allow me to congratulate the United States Naval Institute on its 125th anniversary. It is a wonderful achievement for a wonderful institution.

Admiral Sir Jock Slater, Royal Navy - I have long contended that the Royal Navy should be a versatile, balanced, and self-sustainable force capable of rapid projection of significant combat power within both multi-service and multinational operations. Whilst I cannot claim that a single book or article has influenced above all others this view, there is one less-well-known strategist who makes eminent good sense today: Major General Sir Charles Callwell. I commend to you his Military Operations and Maritime Preponderance, initially published more than 90 years ago and recently edited and republished through the U.S. Naval Institute Press in its "Classics of Sea Power" series with a most stimulating introduction by the distinguished defense analyst Professor Colin Gray.

Callwell's writing is highly relevant as the Royal Navy undergoes a fundamental change in focus. From a predominantly blue-water, North Atlantic-centered maritime force, we have shifted our emphasis in the last decade toward operations in the littoral. Furthermore, we are developing new and better ways of delivering power and exerting influence from the sea onto and above the land, alongside our sister services and in cooperation with our allies.

Advanced technology has given maritime forces the capability to make a crucial impact ashore and has blurred the boundaries of air, sea, and land, adding a further dimension, space, to the equation. The result is that operations in the littoral are, as often as not, joint, and the maritime contribution is potentially decisive.

Although Callwell was writing almost a century ago when he emphasized the vital importance of land and maritime forces working together, the relevance of his observations to today's strategic circumstances could not be more striking. Colin Gray's resurrection of them in the Naval Institute's "Classics of Sea Power" series is therefore both timely and most welcome.

I have no doubt Callwell would have praised the British development of a Permanent Joint Headquarters, a Joint Rapid Reaction Force, and the basing of Royal Air Force fighters on board our aircraft carriers, to name but three initiatives we have taken recently to improve the joint focus of all three of our services-and there is much more to come. D

Admiral Nuno Goncalo Vieira Matias, Portuguese Navy - Significant numbers of Portuguese naval officers in particular at the War College and on the Naval Staff always have followed the evolution of strategic thought.

Most of the U.S. Naval Institute publications, with Proceedings in the front row, take a distinguished place among the bibliographic references consistently used. We cannot single out, however, a specific article or book published by the Institute that has influenced our perspective about the future of the Portuguese Navy.

I can say that, nowadays, we need to have a global and correct view of the world environment, in order to find our role within the international defense and security organizations. For that objective, I think that a great deal of what is offered by the pages of Proceedings is helpful and deserves attention.

In Portugal, we have just finished the complex process of reviewing the military strategic concept and redefining the missions and force structures of the armed forces; as a result, there is no better moment to talk about force planning for the medium term.

The Portuguese Navy will continue to have a military component and a public service component to perform coast guard duties. Presently, we are at a turning point in terms of initiating a solid program to modernize the Navy. A very recent government decision approved the scheme to replace the old Albacora-class submarines. The next military program law, covering the period 1998-2003, almost certainly will include one LPD with organic landing craft.

On the other hand, in 1997 one T-AGOS-class ship was transferred from the U.S. Navy to be used as a hydrographic vessel, and negotiations are under way for a second transfer of a similar ship with the same purpose.

A small but well-balanced Navy is the goal to be achieved in the medium term, taking into consideration the defense maritime strategy focused on NATO and the Western European Union, and reserving a special place for cooperation with Portuguese-speaking countries.

Rear Admiral K. F. Wilson, Royal New Zealand Navy - The Naval Institute's challenging question in effect invites a vision statement: a view of "What [my] Navy should be," and what Naval Institute influence may have shaped that vision.

The time on watch for most Chiefs of Navy is short perhaps three years is the norm. During that time they are torn between two imperatives. The first is short term: To deliver operationally ready forces to meet arising contingencies, with all the implications that has for manpower, maintenance, and budget management. It is a demand driven scenario that brooks no failure. The second is the longer-term need to ensure a clear strategic direction is maintained, which has implications for planning for new ships and equipment and doctrinal change. It involves that least exact art of forecasting. It also often invokes a desire to "leave one's mark"-to have set a course for the future of the Navy that will be remembered. It tends to be a largely hardware-driven scenario. Balancing these two imperatives in a defining vision can never be easy.

I often thumb through back issues of Proceedings, and an article that I had read before and enjoyed recently recaptured my attention. Written by Rear Admiral James Winnefeld, U.S. Navy (Retired), and published in the May 1995 edition, it was entitled "Why Sailors Are Different." The overriding emphasis in the article for me was the enduring importance of a "shipmate tradition "the naval version of teamwork. It led to sharpening my perception of the need to step back from an over-concentration on the things we do and want to do, and to look harder at what we are. To conduct a reality check on our corporate culture. To not let a fascination with the technology of the revolution in military affairs obscure the need to seek improvements to conditions of service for our people. To ensure that the shipmate tradition is fostered and remains relevant. To guard against sacrificing our people values at the "altar of better," which is littered with the catch cries of bigger, faster, smarter, cheaper, and more efficient.

Thus the answer to the nub of the question is this. The Royal New Zealand Navy should be like any navy- effective and efficient; ready and professionally competent; technologically advanced and doctrinally current. But the influence of the Naval Institute article by Admiral Winnefeld was to remind me that the care of our men and women is my real task. They are the Navy of today and tomorrow. 

 

 
 

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