Comment and Discussion

Moreover, Peters' persistent whining about our elected leaders will do little to improve the nation's strategic lot in future conflicts. Instead, it is time to admit that the philosophy of zero casualties is less a reflection of society or "gutless politicians" than of a military profession that too often relishes the image of perfection at the expense of honesty.

Our only hope in future conflicts is that military officers will become the honest brokers-forever ready to proceed in harm's way to defend the United States' vital interests while at the same time honestly articulating the fact that freedom's battles rarely are won without incurring a substantial cost in casualties.

"Starting Cold War II?"

(See S. Eisenhower, pp. 38-43, May 1998; W. D. Smith, p. 14, June 1998 Proceedings)

Dr. Thomas C. Hone-I suspect Ms. Eisenhower and I are outnumbered by those favoring NATO expansion. We clearly are at odds with the President and his advisers. So I was pleased to see her article, and I hope the Naval Institute will continue to publish points of view that differ from those officially accepted in Washington.

The irony of the matter is that, as NATO expands, it also changes. The nations of central and eastern Europe who seek NATO membership or expect soon to have it will find that the powerful military alliance they want to use as a shield is neither all that powerful nor all that willing to defend them. Yet they will pursue NATO membership steadfastly, even if they end up joining an organization that is less a serious alliance than a kind of club.

Like Russia, the smaller nations of central and eastern Europe have their own notions of independence and national pride. These notions, and the desires that spring from them, can't be ignored by nations such as the United States.

Yet NATO enlargement should have been tied to bringing Russia into NATO. I realize how difficult that would be at this point, but Ms. Eisenhower is correct: Russia (and the other parts of the former Soviet Union, especially Ukraine and Belarus) simply can't be ignored, and definitely must not be isolated. They must be embraced, no matter how frustrating that embrace will be, and the embrace must be within a new organization-one that is both meaningful and not rooted in the Cold War.

"Navy Told to Phase Out Undertrained Doctors"

(See T. Philpott, p. 106, April 1998 Proceedings)

Lieutenant Danny Shiau, MC, U.S. Navy, intern at Naval Medical Center San Diego, Prospective Medical Officer, USS Harpers Ferry (LSD-49)-As a prospective general medical officer (GMO), I take issue with various points presented in the article. I have spoken with numerous former GMOs who have stated uniformly that they were trained sufficiently for the GMO experience. True, GMOs often are placed in remote duty stations or deployed ships, but as in most of medicine, there always are avenues for consultation with specialists at major medical centers. In ship deployments, larger decks (LHDs and CVNs) all embark board-certified specialists.

It is correct that GMOs have one year of intern training as physicians, but Mr. Philpott should be aware that in the civilian world, most interns become licensed physicians and frequently are employed as physicians in acute-care clinics or emergency centers while continuing residency training. This "moonlighting" is common, and the acuity of medical problems often is higher in these situations than in military settings.

On another matter, military and civilian training should be compared. Every military intern is required to undertake rotations in the emergency department, obstetrics/gynecology, psychiatry, orthopedics, and medicine. The majority of interns also rotate through pediatrics and critical care. This broad spectrum of training does not exist in civilian programs, and is inherent in the possibility of needing deployable military medical officers ready for most contingencies, whether in military or humanitarian efforts. Regarding a lack of training in female health issues, the rotation in obstetrics and gynecology gives adequate exposure to general principles of care short of deploying a board-certified ob/gyn strictly for that purpose.

The vast distribution of Navy and Marine personnel requires that many ships and units be supported not only by GMOs but by physician's assistants and independent duty corpsmen. In an ideal world, every ship and remote duty station would have a board-certified physician. However, given the realities of military medicine, general medical officers will continue to serve effectively-whenever and wherever they are needed.

"Building Surface Warriors"

(See M. Poole, pp. 34-37, May 1998; M. W. Little, p. 12, June 1998 Proceedings)

Lieutenant Brandon L. Bigelow, U.S. Navy, Fire Control Officer, USS Lake Erie (CG-70)-Lieutenant Michele Poole correctly identifies the two major shortcomings in today's Surface Warfare Officer School Division Officer Course (SWOSDOC): The school is too long and "provides limited practical training." The curriculum she proposes would not improve the performance of newly arrived division officers substantially. Prospective surface warriors do not need further grounding in tactics and naval history but they must learn how to drive ships.

When I arrived in Newport in June 1994, SWOSDOC had just completed a comprehensive overhaul of the division officer training program to make it more "interactive" through the use of scenario-based training and exams. Though ambitious in nature, the net result of this training was that the test question "List the seven rules of dead reckoning" became the test scenario "You are on watch as OOD, and the captain walks on the bridge and asks you, `What are the seven rules of DR?"' The fact is that there are some very boring, mundane facts that prospective surface warriors must learn long before they attempt to master the intricacies of naval tactics-and alas, the rules of DR are seven of them.

Lieutenant Poole laments that "students spend limited time reviewing geopolitical threats.... Officers must understand the nature of the conflicts around the world and the role that the Navy may play in them." When I arrived aboard my first ship in December 1994, it was all I could do to remember how to issue a standard helm command, let alone fathom the source of tensions in the Middle East. A prospective surface warrior needs to worry about qualifying as officer of the deck-not solving the world's problems.

"Student aviators fly planes, and student submariners operate nuclear power plants, but student surface warriors sit in a classroom," Lieutenant Poole writes. She fails to note, however, that student aviators and student submariners spend far more time in a classroom than do surface warriors before they are allowed to fly that plane or operate that nuclear power plant. The real genius of surface warfare is that it is all on-the-job training. I already had qualified as a surface warfare officer and transferred to my second division officer tour when friends in my year group in the aviation and submarine communities finally left their training commands.

Lieutenant Poole identifies precisely the problem with SWOSDOC when she describes the training for future officers of the deck. "[T]he instructors present eight hours of classroom training during the third week of class. Unfortunately, there is no practical application, and the information is lost quickly." The real trick is to cut the course of instruction to the bone and get these students to the fleet, where they really can learn.

Much of what is currently taught at SWOSDOC-or what Lieutenant Poole would have taught-is a review of required classes for Naval Academy and Navy ROTC midshipmen. During the course of their four years at college, midshipmen receive instruction in naval history, navigation, naval engineering, and principles of leadership. Only a handful of OCS candidates require this basic instruction upon commissioning, and they could easily receive it during summer sessions for the two-year NROTC scholarship students. The Surface Warfare Officer School Division Officer Course has neither the time nor the resources to correct such deficiencies.

Though bringing yard patrol craft back to Newport would be of some benefit to future surface warriors, it is not realistic in these economically constrained times. Nor is it necessary. We practiced standard helm commands, plotted on the Dead Reckoning Tracer, spoke on various radio circuits and stood watch as helm and lee helm while in the simulators during the summer of 1994. We also managed to get ourselves in plenty of trouble. I do not think a single one of us managed to get out of the simulators without hitting something. I shudder to think what we might have done to those YPs!

Prospective surface warriors require very little to get them started in the fleet. They need an understanding of basic shiphandling and deck evolutions. They need to learn the engineering plant specific to the platform to which they will report. They need a fundamental knowledge of damage control. And prospective surface warriors do need basic instruction in the administrative duties of division officers.

Such a course of instruction could be completed in as little as six to eight weeks. Prospective surface warriors could then report to their new commands with all of this knowledge fresh in their minds, and begin the serious business of qualifying.

As Lieutenant Poole rightly notes, "Officers and sailors learn how to stand watches by standing watches, not by sitting in a classroom." Right on!

"The Sailor and the State"

(See J. L. Byron, pp. 30-33, May 1998 Proceedings)

Ensign Thomas Strenge, U.S. Naval Reserve-Captain Byron's article raised some interesting concerns, but I believe he has some serious misconceptions on the separateness of the military and the country.

People always have tended to associate with individuals of like mind or vocation. The reason I choose to hang out with other junior officers in my spare time-rather than my longhaired, earring-wearing peers-is simple. As a group, I find that my fellow junior officers are harder working and more intelligent, and that they also have a greater sense of honor, integrity, duty, and selfdiscipline than do many other members of my peer group.

I'm against changing residency every time I get moved. I like being a resident of Jacksonville-it's my home and I keep abreast of developments there, even when I'm thousands of miles away. As for my current duty station, I get out, meet new people-including civilians-and we exchange ideas. I wish it were that easy to get in touch with our leaders-civilian and military-in Washington, who make a lot of the harebrained decisions we have to live with every day.

"Reserve Yard-Sale!"

(See W. K. Fogerty and T. Somes, pp. 64-67, February 1998; D. L. Woods, p. 16, April 1998 Proceedings)

Captain James F. Spagnole, U.SF Naval Reserve (Retired)-I concur wholeheartedly with the authors and with Captain Woods. As a reserve officer recalled to active duty, I had the opportunity to observe closely the selected reserve community, specifically temporary active reserve (TAR) administrators, for more than five of my 21 years.

The TAR community is at best a supernumerary, and at worst a drain on overall active force readiness. Cultural and programmatic nepotism is endemic. The touchstone must be "direct support of active Navy operations and activities." This can be accomplished more simply, cheaply, and effectively with some fairly attainable changes. First, shut all but a few "supercenters" colocated at major stations. These sites-three or four-would handle all information that now currently passes for work at New Orleans. Mandate that reserve training be exactly the same as active-duty training. Close the New Orleans activity completely.

Create Navy enlisted codes (NECs) and Navy officer billet codes (NOBCs) that define reserve support programmatic expertise and place them in administrative billets on board active commands and fleet staffs. Make those NECs and NOBCs positive factors for advancement.

Administer the entire reserve support program from active commands, using these supercenters. Computer support of retirement points and advancements now is sophisticated enough to do this with a minimum of paperwork and manpower.

Everybody wins. Active fleet commanders get sorely needed support that is off budget, paid through training funds earmarked for reserve forces. Budgeteers get to blueline the entire reserve administrative overhead account. Absorb or delete reserve assets not in direct support of fleet activities. Travel would grow as reservists from remote areas would have to make efforts to arrive at gaining commands or equivalent active commands. Make geographic locales a factor in assessing a reserve's readiness-i.e., the ability to respond quickly and arrive at his or her gaining command. Adjust pay to reflect actual time on station.

The responsibility of active commanders also will increase. Their role will be crystal clear-namely, to ensure that each reservist or reserve unit is of value. Unable to slough them off or blame "the reserves," the commander's commitment and concomitant promotion prospects will advance the cause of all who serve the reserve program.

"Super Hornet: The Sailor's Aircraft Is on Track"

(See P. Finneran and C. Allen, pp. 81-85, May 1998 Proceedings)

G. A. Spangenberg, former Director of Evaluation Division, Navy Air-The authors-and their editor-eliminated the possibility of anyone taking their case for the F/A-18E/F seriously by their statement in the fourth paragraph that the fly-by-wire system would enable the crew to return safely when "a nose, wing, or tail is missing." Even high-level managers should know better-or will editorial sabotage by critics of the program be blamed?

The Super Hornet should be judged by examining its capabilities in relation to those aircraft models it will be replacing-apparently, the F-14, A-6, and EA-6. Exceeding the capabilities of only its FlA-18 progenitors is not nearly enough if carriers and carrier aviation are to survive cost-effectiveness battles that are sure to come. For example: "The Gray Threat" study reported in the February 1996 Air Force magazine that the F/A-18E/F has a negative 1:3 exchange ratio against a Russian threat, while the F-22 and European fighters have positive ratios of 10:1 and 4.5:1, respectively. Naval aviators deserve better odds than are implicit in these figures and should start demanding them. I hope that the answer is not that all the shortfalls of the Super Hornet will be solved by the Joint Strike Fighter-an even more unbelievable solution to naval aviation's capability decreases.

"Could Forgotten A-12 Lessons Haunt the Super Hornet?"

(See J. P. Stevenson, p. 24, April 1998; R. F. Dunn, p. 14, May 1998; F. C. Spinney, pp. 1618, June 1998 Proceedings)

Captain Donald K. Forbes, U.S. Navy (Retired)-Even though Mr. Stevenson has focused on one major deficiency wing drop while in air combat maneuvering-and concluded, quite incorrectly, that the overall operational effectiveness of the F/A-18E in all modes is compromised, and even though he apparently has a big axe to grind, there is some merit in his raising the lessons of the A-12 acquisition-i.e., keep the bosses informed. For that reason alone, I believe his article worthy of publication for further professional discussion, which can enhance professional development.

The F/A-18E, our major aircraft acquisition of the decade, is too important to the future of carrier-based fighter and attack aviation, that our most senior leadership must always be aware of any uncovered deficiencies that could compromise any major aspect of operational effectiveness. Obviously, I do not agree with Admiral Dunn that "perhaps" the F/A-18E wing-drop deficiency should not have been passed up the line all the way to the Chief of Naval Operations. It should have! What the CNO does with such information is his own business, but he does need to know. If those in the chain of command either are incapable of discerning the gravity or importance of a deficiency or are unwilling to send bad news to the top leadership, then they are derelict in their responsibility to ensure that senior leadership has all the necessary information to carry out the wide-ranging functions entrusted to it. Without hearing the bad news, our top leaders cannot lend their insight, skills, and experience to the proper handling of the consequences of such news.

"Dear Mr. President"

(See J. Howe, pp. 44-46, April 1998 Proceedings)

Captain Jon Wright, U.S. Navy-I agree that one senior leader-the Coast Guard Commandant-should be put ". . . in charge of all resources involved in the counterdrug effort." History shows that during every war (actual or brushfire) in which the United States has become involved, there have been too many instances where the military became its own worst enemy by disregarding unity of command.

Service parochialism, excessive arrogance at senior command levels, and each service wanting the credit for some military success all-to one degree or another-indirectly aided the enemy, reduced our collective ability to bring our significant might to bear, and often delayed successful resolution of the conflict. Unity of command, even in a predominantly law-enforcement scenario where multiagency capabilities are being integrated, must be established and preserved if national objectives are to be achieved efficiently and effectively.

I have one point of clarification on an option mentioned in the article. Special Operations Command's 170-foot Cyclone (PC-1)-class patrol boats are commissioned ships, not boats. This is an important distinction for many reasons, but especially when proposing a permanent transfer of assets between agencies. A transfer of PCs to the Coast Guard most likely would involve transferring measurable total obligation authority read: people and money-from Major Force Program (MFP)- 11 accounts to the Coast Guard. MFP-1 is the funding source for all special operations forces peculiar requirements.

In the past, PCs have supported counterdrug operations and should continue to do so. But they also provide the naval special warfare component of the special operations forces (SOF) community a valuable and long-needed tactical maritime support capability. The best resolution of the debate over which mission areas PCs should focus on is to retain PCs as SOF assets, but employ them in support of selected, preplanned counterdrug missions that exploit their technical and performance capabilities, as well as the special operations planning and tactical capabilities of their parent squadrons and individual crews.

Also, when PCs are engaged in a counterdrug support role, all costs associated with their operation and support should come from funding appropriated for this "war." (At present, costs for PC fuel, port services, repairs, etc., incurred during counterdrug support missions are paid for by MFP-I 1 funds.) Under this basic plan of action, counterdrug planners would have access to these assets, and U.S. Special Operations Command would not have to use MFP-11 dollars for expenditures that are not SOF-peculiar. In addition, the naval special warfare community wouldn't lose a capability that fills a tactical surface mobility void.

"New Tools for New Jobs"

(See K. C. Reitinger, pp. 37-40, April 1998 Proceedings)

Lee Wetherhorn-Controlling violence through intervention offers a large range of options where employing nonlethal weapons might be advantageous. The dividing line is not always so clear that you can forecast it in rules of engagement. To the contrary, spelling out the conditions under which lethal force might be used may tempt one of the parties to seek out another one of those niches from which he can kill with impunity. Israeli forces in Lebanon are faced with this problem daily. Hezbollah troops regularly hide in the villages upon which Israel is committed to refrain from firing. There still is room for developing weapons and techniques to limit casualties during interventions. Developers must always keep in mind that they are support for actions that will lead to solutions-not solutions in themselves.

I have some firsthand experience with the problems of lethal and nonlethal excessive force. I briefed reservists doing security duty in the Ramallah area before and during the intifada period that the success of their mission was measured more by how well they defended Arabs from other Arabs than by how well they defended Jewish settlements. Israel provided troops doing internal security duty with hard rubber bullets and gravel cannons. Their training showed up in the rioting on 15 May 1998. The Palestinian "police" made weak efforts to keep stone-throwing mobs at a distance from Israeli Army positions. They did not try to prevent the rioting. Even so, the soldiers who were under attack used only tear gas and rubber bullets until they were in what was perceived as a life threatening situation. The change to live ammunition was controlled. There was no indiscriminate firing, so only a few of the rioters were killed in the Gaza area. In most other areas there were no fatalities although the ratio of stone throwers to troops was about 300 to 1.

"Book Reviews: Wings and Warriors"

(See R. Rausa, p. 115, March 1998 Proceedings)

Stanley G. Kalemaris-If Engen was selected for the V5 program in mid 1942, it is unlikely that he saluted Admiral Mitscher while launching from the Lexington (CV-2). CV-2 was sunk at Coral Sea; at that time, Mitscher was a captain. It's more likely that Mitscher was flying his flag in the next Lexington (CV-16) when Engen saluted him.

CVN-77: The Moffett

Vice Admiral Robert F. Dunn, U.S. Navy (Retired), and Commander Robert C. Whitten, U.S. Naval Reserve (Retired) - There is an unsung hero in the annals of the Navy and the time to recognize him and do him honor is now. By any measure, Rear Admiral William Adger Moffett is one of the preeminent fathers of naval aviation. The April 1997 award of the Acquisition Pioneer Award for Innovation and Leadership presented to the late Admiral Moffett by the Secretary of the Navy tells only part of the story. That citation reads:

"A visionary who did more to advance the cause of naval aviation than anyone else in history, Rear Admiral Moffett served as the Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics from 1921 through 1933. So deep was his commitment to establishing naval aviation that he jeopardized his own career by serving three consecutive terms as the chief of the bureau. He pioneered the integration of aircraft with fleet operations and was significantly responsible for introducing new technology to naval warfare, most notably the aircraft carrier. Rear Admiral Moffett was a true leader who revolutionized naval aviation and altered the course of history by laying the groundwork for the force that fought and won World War II in the Pacific. His remarkable achievements have earned Rear Admiral Moffett the title of `Architect of Naval Aviation' and the renown and special recognition as a naval `Acquisition Pioneer."'

The award underscores a remarkable career that spanned from a Navy of sail to one centered on naval aviation. He was both a visionary and a practical person who saw the potential of aviation in a naval environment long before he became the first Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics.

Early in his tour as Chief of BuAer, he was appointed technical adviser to the U.S. delegation to the Washington Naval Conference. It was his initiative that led to the opportunity for the United States to convert the battle cruisers Lexington and Saratoga to large-deck carriers, the backbone of the naval air force until the late 1930s.

Once started, the conversions proceeded slowly because of inadequate funding and cost overruns. Like the situation today, this led to criticisms of the carrier's utility, all of which were blunted by Admiral Moffett's strong evidence and articulate argument.

Yet, even as he worked to revolutionize the offensive power of the Navy, he never acted the outspoken rebel. Instead, he worked within the system, attaining his goals with diplomacy, tact, superior technical knowledge, and outstanding leadership. He worked particularly well with Congress, and the plans that he and House Naval Affairs Committee Chairman Carl Vinson worked up formed the basis of the Navy buildup of the late 1930s, a buildup without which the United States might have been shortchanged in World War II.

As Chief of BuAer, Rear Admiral Moffett also was a member of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), the predecessor of NASA and at the time, the only government research agency concerned with research in aeronautics science. He took this duty seriously, and the self-starter, engine cowl, and all-metal aircraft skin-among other things-came out of his efforts.

Rear Admiral Moffett was killed on active duty in the crash of the rigid airship USS Akron in 1933. That event tends to paint him as an airship aviator somewhat to the detriment of his many other achievements. That is most unfortunate because he was far more than airships. In the 1920s, nobody could foresee which element of naval aviation would prevail-airships, ship-based seaplanes, land-based patrol, or carrier-based air. That Admiral Moffett insisted upon and persisted in the pursuit of all the known avenues until one would prove out is to his eternal credit. We might not have the carrier, patrol, or surface shipbased aviation as we know it today had it not been for Rear Admiral William Adger Moffett. Sadly, he has not been recognized for his many contributions.

A destroyer of the 1934 program, the Moffett (DD-632) was named for him, but except for the Naval Air Station Moffett Field, now the Moffett Federal Airfield, nothing else had been done to recognize his many achievements and contributions until the recent award cited above.

Given Rear Admiral Moffett's enormous, almost overwhelming, contributions to naval aviation in its crucial early years, the time seems long overdue to name an aircraft carrier for him. Nothing less than the yet-unnamed CVN-77 will do.

New Info on 60 Minutes

Commander Gerald L. Atkinson, U.S. Navy (Retired)-Lieutenant Patrick J. Burns, U.S. Navy, appeared on 60 Minutes (CBS-TV, 19 April 1998) and for the first time on national television told what I believe to be the truth about the Navy's cover up of the cause-pilot error-of Lieutenant Kara Hultgreen's fatal accident in 1994 and the lowered qualification standards for the first female F- 14 pilots.

Lieutenant Burns, having been rebuffed by his chain of command, reported to an outside source the lowered standards being invoked by the Navy to bring the first female fighter pilots into the fleet on a timetable that fit the agenda of activists inside and outside of the Navy. Had Navy leadership listened, Lieutenant Hultgreen might not be dead, and her classmate, Lieutenant Carey Dunai Lohrenz, likely would not have taxed the operational Navy with the long, drawn-out proceedings that had her dropped from carrier aviation.

It has taken three and a half years to get out the facts about Lieutenant Hultgreen's accident and the lowered qualification standards in naval aviation. Had Navy leaders listened, none of this need to have occurred-and perhaps the mass exodus of demoralized junior naval aviators might not be happening. In addition, the even more egregious misbehavior of mid-level Navy officers-who systematically lowered standards in naval aviation training-would not have taken place.

 

 
 

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