Without exhaustive verification of his seemingly thorough research, the only criticism I have regarding Mr. Bradley's article is that a few errors concerning submarine operations and terminology apparently slipped past the magazine's editor.
"Don't Trade on the Uniform"
(See C. Graham, p. 79, July 1998 Proceedings)
Lieutenant Mark P. Maglin, U.S. Navy-Lieutenant Commander Graham concisely conveyed the sentiments of practically everyone I've talked to regarding Ms. Spilman's pictorial in Playboy. It was a disgrace to the uniform and to our profession. Does it matter that she technically wasn't "in uniform" for the nude pictures? That is much like saying a sheet painted red, white, and blue isn't really a flag when it's burned.
Civilian citizens may not understand our culture, but they inevitably expect discipline in the armed forces. I get a smarter salute from the 12-year-old in my neighborhood (albeit with the left hand) than most sailors render. And how many times has a relative or civilian friend asked you about "dropping and give me 50" or other stereotypical behavior? Most civilians, especially those with no military contact, get their impressions from the portrait that Hollywood paints-usually one of military precision, spit and polish, marching brigades, and discipline-more so than reality, and everyone wants to believe that's how it is (otherwise JAG wouldn't be such a popular television show).
Civilians may not understand our culture, but they know and expect military discipline. By quietly dismissing Ms. Spilman, our senior leadership may have taken the easy way out to avoid a few weeks of media attention-but it also told the American people that we are a lot less disciplined than they thought we were.
"It's Time to Face the Gender Paradox"
(See M. Owens, pp. 43-49, July 1998 Proceedings)
Captain Mike Cornforth, U.S. Naval Reserve (Retired)-I read Professor Owens's contribution with a weary feeling of "here we go again." Those opposed to women in combat parade the same tired old arguments and dated stories over and over again. It reminds me of how one of my uncles used to bemoan Franklin Roosevelt's "socialism" decades after the Great Depression.
Let's try to approach the issue on a more fundamental level. Professor Owens states that "opponents of women in combat contend that the military exists to fight and win the nation's wars." But proponents of women in combat also expect the military to fight and win the nation's wars.
Today, the Navy cannot fulfill its mission to the nation without women. Given that reality, it is incumbent on our Navy leaders to recruit and retain the best women. Most of the very best come with expectations that include a future in top enlisted and officer leadership. Top leadership is vested in those qualified in the combat disciplines and who pursue career paths of surface warfare, submarines, and naval aviation. If we want to recruit and retain the very best, we must offer opportunities for women to obtain one or more of those qualifications and pursue combat-related career paths.
The Navy has several years' experience with women in combat-related jobs. It sure would be nice if the Navy's leadership would prepare an assessment of that from the perspectives of ship and squadron commanding officers and publish it in Proceedings. That could get us away from the tired old arguments and dated stories. How about it, CNO?
"Rethinking Crew Coordination in F/A-18E/F Squadrons"
(See T. Standard, pp. 75-77, June 1998 Proceedings)
Major John N. T. Shanahan, U.S. Air Force, F-15E Division Operations Officer, USAF Weapons School-While Major Standard concedes that precision air-to-ground weapons delivery is the "ultimate objective" of a strike fighter such as the F/A-18 or F-15E, his piece focused on air-to-air engagements. In peacetime, air-to-air is often more "fun" than dropping bombs, but when it comes to combat, the strike fighter has one mission: bombs on target. To argue otherwise discounts 80 years of air warfare. Air-to-air training must not be neglected, but Desert Storm demonstrated that aircrews trying to put bombs on target were primarily occupied with surface-to-air missile and gun engagements. In such a high-stress scenario, two bodies in the airplane invariably are better than one.
Major Standard concluded that there are no performance differences between single- and two-seat aircraft in "low-to-moderate tasking environments." Few aircrews would consider combat to be anything but a high-tasking environment. The famous Red Baron summaries of aerial engagements during the Vietnam War showed that without exception the resounding comment pertaining to North Vietnam Route Package VI missions was that two sets of eyes, ears, and hands were better than one.
I agree wholeheartedly that advances in cockpit technology soon will eliminate the need for a weapon systems officer (WSO). But while that day is close, it is not yet here. This is particularly true for the deep-strike, all-weather fighter-attack aircraft. Remarkable advances in sensor technology have not been matched by a concomitant ability to fuse numerous sensor outputs into a format the average fighter pilot can handle. Indeed, we hear more and more about the dreaded problem of "information overload." I have flown enough night, multi-aircraft, high threat, low-altitude, poor-weather strike missions to understand that if such sorties are extremely demanding in peacetime, they will be virtually impossible to perform under the stress of combat. The two-pilot concept was tried with F-4s during Vietnam. It was an abysmal failure. At least there is a clear division of responsibilities between a pilot and WSO. In Vietnam, the pilot in the back seat often attempted to perform as a pilot rather than as a systems operator, degrading the overall decision making process and harming mission accomplishment. Now that both cockpits have equal access to all data and sensor operations, this problem would only be exacerbated in future combat.
Here is my counter-proposal: Eliminate the pilots and replace them with more WSOs. If technology has advanced to the point claimed by Major Standard, there should be minimal turmoil associated with teaching WSOs how to fly in the front seat. This will be slightly easier to achieve in the Air Force, where the WSO often gets valuable stick time, but it is nonetheless possible in the other services as well. This plan has the benefit of removing the mercenaries from the cockpit and replacing them with aircrews who do their job because they love it, not because they receive a variety of "pilot bonus" incentives. Think of the money to be saved. Send the pilots to their six figure airline jobs as early as possible (it's just a matter of time anyway) or to the staff, and let the WSOs fly the airplanes. The WSO's job is moribund. Let it die a graceful death, but do not kill it before it has served its purpose. Until the next-generation advanced strike fighter demonstrates true multiple-sensor data integration and fusion, the pilot-and-WSO mix will continue to be a lethal combination in combat. It will benefit Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force aviation for a few years to come.
"The Name Game"
(See N. Polmar, p. 87, June 1998 Proceedings)
Lieutenant Commander Brian N. Fletcher, U.S. Navy-Mr. Polmar's apparent unawareness of the accomplishments of previous ships named Seawolf results in his questioning the name our newest class of submarines, Seawolf.
He points out several problems associated with previous ships named Seawolf. The first Seawolf (SS-28/H-1) ran aground in 1920 and subsequently sank; four men died. The second Seawolf (SS-197) was sunk by U.S. forces during World War II; there were no survivors. The third Seawolf (SSN-575), early in her career, had her reactor plant switched from a liquid metal to a pressurized-water heat exchange system. Mr. Polmar thus concludes that "the three previous Seawolfs had less-than-auspicious careers, making it questionable why that name was chosen for what was to have been the lead ship of the world's most advanced submarine design." Mr. Polmar has done a great disservice to the ships named Seawolf through his selective recounting of their accomplishments.
There is no dispute that the SS-28/H-1 had a relatively inauspicious career and a tragic end. However, the SS-197 and SSN-575 were heroes of their respective eras and naming a class of submarines after these ships barely begins to honor them.
The SS-197's official numbers in her efforts in the Pacific in World War II are impressive: she is tied for seventh place in terms of number of ships sunk (18) and is ranked fourteenth in tonnage sunk (71,609). Her four Navy Unit Commendations and 13 battle stars are further proof of her gallantry.
The SSN-575, the nation's second nuclear submarine, was as instrumental in the development of the nuclear submarine as the Nautilus (SSN-571), and a front-line Cold War warrior for 30 years. I was a junior officer on the SSN-575 from 1985 to 1987. My father-in-law, now a retired master chief, served on board in the early days as a nuclear-trained enlisted man with both the liquid-metal and pressurized water reactor plants. While a reader could attribute my efforts to emotional involvement, what I present is a matter of record.
While equipped with a sodium-cooled reactor in 1957 and 1958, the Seawolf operated for 21 months, traveling 71,600 nautical miles. This included 240 days and 57,118 nautical miles of submerged steaming operations. Policy as much as technology contributed to the decision to switch to a pressurized-water reactor. This was a necessary step in the evolution of the modern nuclear submarine. Highlights of this period included a September 1957 embarkation of President Dwight D. Eisenhower for a submerged run off Newport, Rhode Island. This was the first time the Commander-in-Chief was transported by nuclear propulsion.
In addition, while on routine operations, she was diverted from her directed course to investigate the presence of a possible foreign submarine off our Atlantic coast-the first such operation by a nuclear submarine. One of her proudest achievements took place 7 August6 October 1958, when the Seawolf remained submerged, totally independent of the earth's atmosphere, for 60 days a submerged-operation endurance record.
In November 1970, the Seawolf changed homeport from Groton, Connecticut, to Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, California, for conversion to a special projects platform. In 1974, the Seawolf began her venerable career as an operational unit of the Pacific Fleet. Few details of her special-projects operations have been made public, but what is known further contradicts any presumption of a "less than auspicious career." From 1974 until her decommissioning in 1987, the Seawolf conducted nine Pacific deployments, earning four additional Navy Unit Commendations and a Meritorious Unit Commendation. She set yet another Navy record by remaining submerged for 87 consecutive days.
It is a very safe bet that the Navy leaders who approved these awards were fully briefed on the details of the Seawolf s missions. These leaders, in the mid- to late-1980s, were also in the best position to fuse the accomplishments of the SSN575 and SS-197, consider alternative names, and arrive at the best name for, in Mr. Polmar's words, "the lead ship of the world's most advanced submarine design." Their choice was even more amazing, because as Mr. Polmar correctly points out, the Navy entered a submarine naming era of "fish don't vote-congressmen and the citizens of cities and states do." Despite this, and no doubt other political factors, the leadership at the time relied on a former core value-tradition-and chose the best name for the class of submarines built to lead the U.S. Navy into the 21st century-Seawolf.
"Arctic ASW: Have We Lost?"
(See R. Boyle and W. Lyon, pp. 31-35, June 1998 Proceedings)
Captain Ted Davis, U.S. Navy (Retired)-Tremendous effort by two dedicated people produced this article. The implications of the article are understood by experienced submariners, but may be cloudy to casual readers. For example: "A single service problem requires single-service vision-not top-down joint vision." What Mr. Boyle and the late Dr. Lyon show is that our submarines today are designed by committee and funded by politics. Does the United States want a submarine force with an important under-ice capability? The answer, obviously, is "No." Will the United States someday regret this shortcoming? We don't know. And as usual, the visionaries-who have dedicated their lives to understanding the need and the means to achieve the end product are not heard.
Dr. Lyon devoted 55 years to understanding the importance of submarine ice operations and to giving our submarines the ability to operate and fight in that environment. In 1960, this was a hot item. A few knowledgeable people-submariners and engineers-backed Dr. Lyon, and the Arctic Submarine Lab produced an under-ice capability for our nuclear submarines. It soon will be gone forever, and the people who fought to tame the Arctic and their expertise will be forgotten unless something is done.
Is it that we no longer see a need to fight in the cold or protect our assets in that area? Just can't afford it all? Are those good answers? Building ships by committees to satisfy politics is wrong. We have missions that are clear, and one of the many missions is to control the seas-whether they are covered by ice or not. The authors argue that there is a common-sense approach, but unless we change our ways, we will lose the initiative and produce less-effective submarines and limit their capabilities.
"Landmines, Lies, and Other Phenomena"
(See J. Lynch, pp. 44-49, May 1998 Proceedings)
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont)-General Lynch's article, however well intentioned, is filled with factual errors, false accusations, and flawed conclusions. General Lynch quoted Senator Jesse Helms: ". . . the National Security Council reportedly has circulated a draft Presidential Decision Directive (PDD) designed '. . . to force the United States into de facto compliance with the Ottawa Convention.' . . . the Ottawa Treaty by another name-and without Senate ratification." But the PDD is merely an attempt to define U.S. policy in a way that is acceptable to the administration, including the Pentagon, and the Congress. In defense of antipersonnel landmines, he recalled Vietnam: "Minefields in this war were used to defend some headquarters and other major installations. The minefields were formally established, plotted, and recorded." In fact, U.S. mines often were sowed indiscriminately by aircraft, and, according to the Pentagon, caused thousands of U.S. casualties and an undetermined number of Vietnamese casualties. They continue to maim and kill civilians today.
General Lynch wrote: "The Nobel Committee's vote, the Ottawa Convention, Senator Leahy's efforts, and the possibility of White House interest in a Presidential Directive . . do nothing about the problems caused by mines in the ground today.... [I]nnocent people will continue to be killed or maimed by landmines for years to come." The treaty requires governments to identify and eliminate minefields within their territories. Also, since many of the 127 current signatories have been producers, exporters, and users of landmines, the fact that they have pledged to stop and to destroy their stockpiles will go a long way toward reducing future casualties.
Then he argues that "Rather than signing a useless ban, . . . efforts should be devoted to developing better ways to detect and neutralize mines." General Lynch apparently is not aware that, in 1995, Congress established the Pentagon's "Humanitarian Demining Technologies Research and Development Program," which does exactly that. I always have maintained that we need to get rid of the mines in the ground, stop laying new mines, and aid the victims. For a decade, I have pursued all three objectives-including securing the funding. General Lynch's criticizing the efforts of others and promoting errors of fact is no help.
"They've Shut Down the Fraternity!"
(See Y. I. Sos, p. 125, March 1998 Proceedings) p. 16, April 1998 Proceedings)
Rear Admiral Stanley W. Bryant, U.S. Navy, Commander, Carrier Group Four - Lieutenant Commander Sos is right-the old fraternity in which I grew up is closed-but it has evolved into a much better, more professional, more capable fraternity that I, for one, am very proud of. It certainly is not perfect, and we all must do everything we can to ensure that it still is fun to be a carrier aviator. But we can't have fun the way we used to. Times have changed and so have we-for the better. I have many great memories of and love to talk about the old days in our fraternity, but I will stop way short of saying we should go back to those days.
I do not understand what is "less exciting and less challenging" about operations that have been properly prebriefed. They certainly have not been either of those things for me in my last 18 months of flying from the ship.
As for the zero-defect environment, there are two issues here, and I think the author has commingled the two as if they are one. The first is the environment we are trying to create in naval aviation. We most definitely are striving for no mistakes in our daily operations, but not at the expense of operational primacy. Proper briefings and operational risk management are some of the tools we use to drive mistakes down to an acceptable level, and they do work. After all is said and done, you still go out and fly the mission once the briefs are behind you, and that's where the fun comes in.
The second zero-defect issue is the way mistakes are handled by the chain of command. Here the author claims that the squadron commanding officer and air wing commander no longer have a say in what is to be done with aviators after they have made errors, "with flag officers Monday-morning-quarterbacking every decision." The pendulum in this area may have swung too far in that direction in the past, or the author may have witnessed this process recently, but I do not agree that this is the way things work in the fleet today. In the past 18 months, when I have been in the position to be that dreaded quarterback, I have had neither the urge nor the necessity to disenfranchise the air wing commander and squadron commanding officer from their critical roles in this area, and plenty of mistakes have been made. The aviation flag community has spent considerable time discussing this matter, and it is our strong feeling that we must not interfere in this critical chain-of-command authority area. This is not to say that we, too, may not make an occasional mistake, but we are not bent on undermining the authority and responsibility of the squadron commanding officer and the air wing commander in the interest of protecting our own sixes.
An old squadron roommate of mine wondered if, perhaps, Lieutenant Commander Sos had not seen enough empty ready-room chairs resulting from inadequate briefings and devil-may-care attitudes. It is obvious that he has never made the long walk up to the front door in his blues and seen the face of a widow who knows why you're there before you've had a chance to say anything. We have a superior fighting force today. It also is much safer, and we have fewer empty ready-room chairs than we did in the old days.
"Is American Military Professionalism Declining?"
(See T. Ricks, pp. 26-29, July 1998 Proceedings)
Senior Chief Navy Counselor P. T. Pierce, U.S. Navy-Although Mr. Ricks raised some worthwhile questions, his analysis basically was out to lunch.
The whole discussion of political orientation misses the point. The shift by military members from predominately Democratic to primarily Republican affiliation seems more significant than it really is, and although his reasoning was incorrect, Mr. Ricks stumbled across the reason that "many people who were pro-defense no longer felt there was a home for them in the Democratic Party."
In 1976 (the milestone year cited by both Professor Ole Holsti and Mr. Ricks), Jimmy Carter, the Democratic presidential nominee, was a former nuclear power-trained submarine officer. Although clearly it was headed down the road toward extreme liberalism, the Democratic Party had not yet expelled its hawkish wing. Although he was a veteran, President Carter presided over a state of affairs (remember "stagflation" and "malaise"?) for both civilians and service members that sends a cold shudder down the spine of those who remember.
It was the resurgence of the economy and the restoration of the military under the Reagan administration, plus the squeezing out of conservatives from the Democratic Party, that pressed the shift in the political affiliation of most military people.
As Mr. Ricks notes, traditionally, military members have been conservative. That hasn't changed. The difference is that military service members no longer are welcome among the Democrats. In a two-party system, that leaves only one alternative. I agree that the U.S. military should not regard itself or represent itself to Congress as yet another special interest group. The problem arises when, by design or default, members of Congress begin to marginalize the military. The loss of political support in recent years has prompted increased political activity (primarily voting) by sailors. If Congress were to execute more faithfully its constitutional responsibility "to raise and support armies [and] to provide and maintain a navy," we wouldn't be in this quandary. An example of our marginalization is the fact that Congress passed into law a policy that caps military pay raises at 1/2% less than the raise civilian federal workers receive. With fewer advocates for a strong military in Congress, expect more political activism in the military at the grassroots level.
I also find it amazing the liberals such as Mr. Ricks are so terribly frightened of expressions of religious faith by anyone, including service members. Our "unanimous declaration" of independence speaks of "Nature's God," "being endowed by their Creator," and "firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence." Bearing this in mind, is a voluntary assembly at the Pentagon that begins with a prayer to Jesus Christ such a terrible thing? Or does the constitutional protection of free speech not apply to employees at the Pentagon-and the service members who may be expected to die to protect such constitutional rights?
"ANGLICO: Deep Fires or Deep Six?"
(See M. Morris, pp. 59-62, July 1998 Proceedings)
Lieutenant Commander T. W. Strother, U.S. Navy-As the former senior naval gunfire liaison officer in 2d ANGLICO (June 1994-October 1996), I agree with much of what Major Morris argues on the usefulness of ANGLICOs. But I do not agree that our organization ever was bloated, because every Sailor, Marine, and Soldier assigned to 2d ANGLICO irrespective of rank, branch of service, or community-was trained as a universal spotter. Everyone in the unit was qualified to serve with the infantry in the field, and everyone knew how to call in artillery, mortar, naval gunfire, or close air support missions.
Major Morris overlooked sources of manpower other than the Marine Corps. During my tour in 2d ANGLICO, our operations officer always was an airborne qualified Army artillery officer, and at one point, we had seven Navy line officers. Six of us were surface warfare officers, and one was an F-14 radar intercept officer. All were airborne qualified, and had attended numerous fire support and supporting-arms schools and naval gunfire liaison officer school.
Perhaps the future of ANGLICO lies in its past. The ANGLICOs superseded the World War II joint assault signal companies (JASCOs). The JASCOs included Navy, Marine Corps, and Army personnel. They had replaced the assault signal companies of very early World War II. The assault signal companies had taken the place of the members of individual ships' companies' gunnery departments who had, with little or no training, served ashore as naval gunfire support spotters. Bottom line: By 1944, JASCOs were assigned to nearly every U.S, Army division slated to conduct an amphibious landing. It was a truly joint unit for a truly joint operation.
Of late, units like Ist and 2d ANGLICO-though joint and combined in mission-have not been very much joint or combined in manning or funding. In 2d ANGLICO, our Royal Marine color sergeant detached in late 1995 and never was replaced. Although 2d ANGLICO had a U.S. Army representative, 1st did not. We could save the ANGLICOs by making them a truly joint unit-with joint manning and joint funding.
ANGLICOs need Navy officers, who can explain what the Navy can contribute better than can representatives from other services. They can also more easily identify ships that are not training up to par more quickly than Marine, Air Force, or Army officers can.
To help the Marine Corps continue this crucial mission, we could add Army enlisted forward observers, a handful of Army artillery and rotary-wing officers to serve as universal spotters, and Air Force officers to make ANGLICO truly joint. The Marine Corps would continue to send ground and air officers, enlisted forward observers, and field radio operators, and the Navy would continue to send corpsmen, too, but the numbers of some Army and Air Force detachments and Navy-Marine shore firecontrol party teams could be reduced. This also would take the burden off the Navy SEAL teams, who increasingly are regarded as ANGLICO-like firepower control teams.
I hope someone acts quickly to save ANGLICOs. With joint manning and joint funding, the units could remain the most lethal in the world at putting steel on target. Those who have seen the synchronization of air, naval guns, artillery, and mortar fire at Vieques know that the JASCO/ANGLICO heritage and mission must be saved if we are to remain a superpower capable of projecting power ashore in the littorals.
"The Sailor and the State"
(See J. Byron, pp. 30-33, May 1998; T. Strenge, p. 14, June 1998 Proceedings)
Commander Martin E. Church, U.S. Navy-I agree with Captain Byron that the military has become distant from the nation that it loyally serves. But I disagree that the blame lies solely with military members who have become isolated from their obligations as citizens. Quite the contrary, it is precisely because today's military members understand their obligations as citizens and voters that we try to exceed our military role and venture into the political sphere. Today's service members are talented, better educated than their predecessors, and believe they have a constitutional right to demand answers from the elected leadership.
What matters in this equation is the quality of obedience. As Captain Byron says, "there is no basis to criticize our Navy's current people" on this issue. Given the dramatic changes that have occurred in the last few years, today's military personnel have a lot to dislike about their orders. Yet, they have obeyed and implemented directives that they may believe ultimately are destructive to the vocation they have been called to.
Captain Byron ignores the fact that military members have not given up their rights as voters. The President and the elected leadership in Congress are ultimately answerable to these same individuals who are sworn to obey them.
Today's smarter Sailors want answers. They want to know why, if their services are so important to the nation, doesn't Congress want to put forth the resources to ensure they have the tools to do the job. They want to know why they can't have a compensation system that keeps pace with the growth of the U.S. economy. Too many of our finest people are leaving the services because they don't see the nation living up to its end of the contract. The military doesn't respect the people we elect? That's nothing new. I recall articles and novels written about the 1930s and 1940s that showed Army and Navy officers criticizing that "screwball socialist in the White House"-Franklin D. Roosevelt, today considered one of our greatest Presidents. The Navy just named a submarine for Jimmy Carter, a Naval Academy graduate who was not regarded as a pro-Navy President.
Captain Byron's statement that military personnel "would stifle free speech" is absurd. In 19 years of military service, I have observed just the opposite. While military personnel generally are conservative, they are not conformists. They have diverse opinions and ideas, and they zealously disagree with those who would stifle their freedom of expression. The fact that Proceedings publishes their wide variety of viewpoints is proof.
I am at a loss to understand how throwing money at Sailors and moving them off base somehow will create great awareness of the military among Americans. Or how it will save money. Any free time I get goes to my family. Given the hours most folks work on sea duty, there's little time to do anything else. Moving every few years makes it tough to get really involved in a community. I don't pay state income taxes because the law allows me not to. As for local taxes, we've all paid our share in property taxes and other fees. Paying 100% of health care insurance premiums will cost more than the current health care system. Thanks to BRAC and the desire to concentrate the Navy at just a few homeports, all his proposal will do is drive more people into the hands of unscrupulous real estate agents and landlords.
I've heard all I care to about the virtues of the free market. Free enterprise does offer a lot. It's also done a lot of people dirt. HMOs are great examples of the problems with dollar-driven private enterprise.
The real problem with isolationism of the military has two causes. First, when we got rid of the draft and the concept of universal military service, we got rid of the vehicle by which citizens are exposed to the requirements of national defense. So the majority of Americans can go on blissfully about their business without giving the military a second thought.
The other reason the military is isolated is that we, the Department of the Navy, took the military establishment away from the great cities. Today's Navy exists in only a few major ports, and these are not at the political or economic centers of the country.
Let's answer Captain Byron's question: Will these changes bring us into harmony and reconcile the breach between the military and U.S. democracy? I say no, absolutely not.
We will not hold our central institutions and political processes in great respect until the people in those institutions earn that respect. That means all Americans need to start voting and making better choices of elected leadership. Until then, the armed forces will continue to obey the lawful orders of our civilian leadership, though we may not like them very much. We will also continue to grouse about those orders in any forum where its legal to do so. That's because the Constitution requires us to obey and gives us the right to speak up.
As for becoming a part of our communities, I say we already are. We know them and respect them. As for benefits, it's true, there are problems. The current benefits and pay don't compete with what much of corporate American has to offer.
Funny thing is, for me joining the Navy was never really about money. It was about adventure, travel, excitement, and doing something I felt was making a difference for the United States and for the world.
All I ever want to see is those elected officials I'm supposed to respect so much, stick up for us once in a while. And maybe have enough parts, planes, ships, and money to do the job. That's not so much to ask for-is it?
"Soviet Sub Penetrates Sydney Harbor!"
(See D. Walsh, p. 105, April 1998 Proceedings)
Commander A. S. Brown, Royal Australian Naval Reserve-The following is a true story that relates to the Foxtrot class submarine, subject of Mr. Walsh's article, that until recently was on display at that National Maritime Museum at Sydney.
I was fortunate enough to be shown around the Foxtrot-540 not long after she arrived in Sydney from Vladivostok. There in the torpedo space was . . . a torpedo! The ex-Royal Australian Navy submariner showing me around told me the following tale. When the Foxtrot arrived in Sydney Harbor it was, of course, subject to Customs inspection, and I suppose, being a somewhat unusual import, the inspection was expected to be a little more detailed than usual.
What no one was prepared for was the "discovery" of the torpedo. Although the warhead was painted with a red-and-white check pattern, the Customs officers were adamant that torpedoes could not be imported into Australia by private individuals (which is probably true). They were told it wasn't a "real" torpedo, only a practice one, but they insisted on an explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) team to come and either verify it was safe or to disarm it.
EOD is usually an Army matter, and an Army EOD team duly arrived. The officer in charge announced that this was a torpedo (can't beat Army-they get it right every time) and that as such, it was used below the high-water mark (right again). Torpedoes belong to the Navy. Right.
So, off toddles Army EOD to be replaced by a Navy EOD team. Yes, they say, it is a torpedo (they must have done the Army course) but that the markings indicated that it was probably a Russian practice torpedo.
Not good enough, said Customs. Open it up. So it was opened up and, not surprisingly, was found to contain not a warhead but house bricks. Satisfied, the EOD team departed and the "importer" asked the Customs officer: "Are you happy now?" "Yes," said the Customs officer, "you can bring it in, subject to one thing. There's duty on importing house bricks."
And so it was that an Australian businessman was able to import a Foxtrot with torpedo duty free, but got hit with a bill for importing house bricks. Think this is just a peculiar Australian story? Perhaps, but never forget the power of the Customs officers, no matter whose they are.
"The U.S. Navy: The Sinking of a Carrier"
(See N. Polmar, p 88, July 1998 Proceedings)
"Let the Fleet Design the Carrier"
(See P. Vining, pp. 55-58, July 1998 Proceedings)
Rear Admiral R. L. Christenson, Head, Carrier Programs, on the staff of the Director for Air Warfare-Norman Polmar clearly identifies the challenge facing today's Navy-a constrained budget-but to declare CVX "sunk" is premature, inaccurate, and somewhat melodramatic. The Chief of Naval Operations has stated that the path may have changed, but the destination remains the same. The Navy still is committed to CVX, but will take a more measured approach to achieve a newly designed carrier in a progressive series of ships starting with CVN-77. To appreciate where the Navy is headed with its carrier strategy, one has to look first at the past. Mr. Polmar captured part of that landscape, but missed two critical elements the absolute need to support force structure and the overwhelming success of the Nimitz-class design.
The most fundamental "driver" of the future carrier equation is force structure-maintaining the carrier force level mandated by the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) to satisfy national security strategy requirements. Meeting Commander-in-Chief requests for a full-time carrier presence would require at least 15 carriers. Because this is not feasible in the current fiscal climate, the JCS has instituted a policy that allows deployed carriers to cover a wider geographic area and still be considered on-station for particular contingencies. However, the Navy, the JCS, and the supported Commanders-in-Chief still must contend with presence gaps in the major operational hubs for as long as two months at a time with a 12-carrier force.
Key elements in the Navy's carrier strategy are risk assessment and balance to ensure carrier force levels are maintained. To do this, the Navy must ascertain the remaining economical service lives of older ships, and decide when it will add new ships to the fleet in order to maintain force structure and combat capability. This, in turn, depends upon operational tasking, the funding available for research and development, new construction and upgrades, acquisition strategy, and the state of the carrier industrial base. With a nominal life of 50 years, simple math would dictate a carrier replacement schedule of one every four to five years.
CVX found its roots in the force structure review that took place shortly after the Clinton administration entered office. The "Bottom-Up Review," often referred to as the BUR, directed the Navy to evaluate "a full range of sea-based platforms to project air power and meet our military needs in the period 2020 and beyond."
Consequently, the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Resources, Warfare Requirements, and Assessment established a Future Sea-Based Air Platform Study Group, which included representatives from various Navy, Air Force, and Army staffs, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, industry, and think-tanks.
This group confronted the longstanding lack of an ongoing carrier research and development program-until 1996, there had been no significant carrier research and development for more than 30 years. This meant that a new class of carrier-and the technology that would make it feasible at a reasonable cost-would not be available in the near future. Consequently, the study recommended that the Navy pursue a two-pronged strategy: In the near term, acquire a tenth Nimitz class carrier, CVN-77; and develop a long-term plan for defining and developing follow-on, sea-based platforms for the 21st century. To have real choices in the future, the group concluded that the Navy would need a research, development, and acquisition plan that provided options for evolving to new classes of sea bases for naval aviation.
Therein lies the challenge-completely redesigning a weapon system as complex as an aircraft carrier. A robust research and development effort was proposed in the administration's fiscal year 1998 budget, but was reduced dramatically by Congress. That, in turn, placed increased tension on an already ambitious schedule to design a new class of ship in time to replace the USS Enterprise (CVN-65) in 2013. Concurrently, preliminary results from the Analysis of Alternatives, RAND Carrier Industrial Base Study, and the Naval Research Advisory Committee's ."CVX Feasibility" study gave decisionmakers insights into the critical design constraints and technological challenges of CVX. The "clean sheet" started to take on character.
The fleet was involved in a series of fleet process team meetings and overwhelmingly articulated the need for a big deck and no compromise in the mobility and maneuverability afforded by nuclear power propulsion. These elements were considered in a fiscal environment of the balanced budget agreement and one where the Navy fully funded CVN-77 within its Total Obligation Authority whereas in the past, carriers were considered "national assets" and were funded creatively by Congress.
The Navy's CVX strategy achieves the balance between risk and national security requirements. The first CVX will include a new propulsion plant and electrical generation and distribution architecture-the critical infrastructure that will not only yield immediate warfighting enhancements and life-cycle cost reductions, but is the key enabler to incorporate the revolutionary technologies and designs of the follow-on ships. Just as significant, it reduces the risks on the path to the next-generation aircraft carriers to a prudent and manageable level.
Therefore, the Navy has not lost an opportunity to develop a new carrier and is committed to a more capable and efficient warship with significant reductions in life-cycle costs. The prudent approach, however, is one that properly assesses risk and alters course when there are shoal waters ahead. To leap to a totally new design for CVX, given financial, technical, and schedule risks, could very well "sink CVX"-while a more measured approach ensures safe passage.
"The Smart Ship Is Not the Answer"
(See A. DiGiorgio, pp. 61-64, June 1998 Proceedings)
Captain Richard T. Rushton, Commanding Officer, USS Yorktown (CG-48), July 1995-June 1997-Mr. DiGiorgio's impassioned attack on the Smart Ship project is inaccurate and reveals a lack of understanding of its intention and scope. I was the Yorktown's commanding officer from the beginning of the Smart Ship project in October 1995 through the end of the assessment period in June 1997. I also have knowledge of the Yorktown's September 1997 incident.
The Yorktown was never towed as a result of any Smart Ship initiative. During my command, we lost propulsion power twice while using the new technology. Each time, we knew what caused the interrupt and were under way again in about 30 minutes. The September 1997 incident was caused by incorrect data insertion by a well-trained crewman. The Yorktown returned to port using two FFG-7 emergency control units that specifically had been requested by me, and supported by other commands as a risk reducer. We knew there were some risks in the engineering development model propulsion-control system installed under a rapid prototyping development effort. The bottom line: The data field safeguards found in production-level systems were not installed yet in the Yorktown by intention, until complete wring out was accomplished.
The Yorktown never missed an operational commitment, nor did she suffer a mission-degrading casualty during the Smart Ship assessment period. During that time she certified to deploy under the normal fleet training and assessment process. This effort included two light-off examinations, one of which was observed by the Propulsion Examining Board (PEB), an Engineering Certification (also PEB observed), and a final evaluation problem. She went on to execute a five-month Caribbean deployment that included extensive Smart Ship assessments by the Operational Test and Evaluation Force and Navy Manpower Analysis Center. Both organizations evaluated the Yorktown as fully capable in meeting the required operational capabilities in a projected operating environment. The proof is in their respective reports, included in the Smart Ship final report, approved by Commander-in-Chief Atlantic Fleet in October 1997.
The levels of automation in the Spruance (DD-963), Kidd (DDG-993), and Ticonderoga (CG-47) classes cited by Mr. DiGiorgio were recognized early in the project. We undertook a specific goal to attempt to make the Yorktown's manning procedures as efficient as we could prior to the arrival of new technologies to capture those advantages. We replaced engineroom watchstanders with a single roving patrol and relied on the sensors and monitoring capability of the original Litton propulsion-control system. We also leaned heavily on the originally installed "autopilot" to reduce bridge manning. We reduced manning in the combat information center by leveraging the automation features of the Aegis weapon system. These initiatives accounted for more than one-half of the manpower reductions realized.
The engineering initiatives were in the minority in the entire scope of the project. Challenges and changes to policy, customs, procedures, and technology were undertaken shipwide, including navigation, ship control, combat systems, supply management, and administration. The result: The Yorktown's crew was reduced from more than 380 to 22 officers and 317 men, without increasing individual workloads. This effort included things such as executing a reliability-centered maintenance review of the ship's planned maintenance system deck; and reducing administrative duties by reducing ship's instruction requirements, streamlining record maintenance, and automating routing. Many of the manning initiatives were taken from the deckplates, including the streamlining of the damage-control organization, which was proposed by several chief damage control men assigned to Commander-in-Chief Atlantic Fleet, and the reduction of engineering watches, proposed by the Yorktown's gas-turbine engineers. Deckplate-level personnel proposed most of the manning adjustments.
Mr. DiGiorgio's assertion that Windows NT is not reliable for use on a warship is also without merit. It is precisely the distributed architecture, using a fiberoptic mesh and "smart consoles" with Windows NT technology, that is essential to future ship system design. The Yorktown's technology installation provides tremendous flexibility in accessing and controlling propulsion and shipcontrol systems. We were able to monitor and control propulsion, combat systems, damage control, and navigation systems effectively from whatever station made sense within the mission requirement. The mainframed Litton system was good for what its limited 1970s-era capability provided, but it is woefully inadequate for the surface Navy's needs of today or of the future. Moreover, parts obsolescence has become a great concern.
Central to the Smart Ship project is providing the operational training required to support it. There is a significant challenge for providing the level of technical understanding and expertise in machinery control systems as well as the myriad of other needs for the Smart Ship core/flex organization. Surface Navy leadership has recognized this and fully supports the Smart Ship training architecture that includes 18 personnel assigned solely to support an active training organization. It includes a department-head school graduate, two junior officers, and a cadre of senior enlisted personnel, mostly chiefs and senior petty officers. This group forms the core of an aggressive operational training syllabus that provides the needed robust technical training. I put my best people in this organization and it proved highly effective throughout the assessment process.
Smart Ship is much more than just the engineering concerns voiced by Mr. DiGiorgio. To condemn the project based on his misconceptions is to derail a very important movement in the future of the Surface Navy. Navy leadership recognizes that our people represent a precious resource that must be used responsibly. The process is a giant step down the right road.
"Learn to Accept Women at the Naval Academy"
(See A. Stewart, pp. 42-44, June 1998 Proceedings)
Albert T. Derivan, M.D.-It has been some time since I served as a medical officer in the submarine service. But over the years, I have gained some understanding of human psychological development. I want to assure Midshipman Stewart and the entire Brigade of Midshipmen that failure to have a woman top Herndon does not imply anything other than seemingly healthy adolescent behavior. It does not take a Freudian psychiatrist to understand the male nuance of the monument in question.
Whenever young men and women are placed together in a highly competitive and closed environment, there will be sexual tension. This is a very normal feature of human sexual development. Attending the Naval Academy in itself is an extremely stressful experience, and it often adds to that tension. Certainly abuses and harrassment must be guarded against, but the mere presence of sexual tension is no indication of a pathologic situation. Indeed, the absence of such tension might indicate greater problems. I hope that women at the Academy soon will develop their own unique traditions, and that the men will have difficulty challenging them. Let's graduate well-trained healthy male and female naval officers, but let's not deny that men and women do have certain differences.
"Chance Second Chances"
(See D. Adams. pp. 65-68, June 1998 Proceedings)
Rear Admiral Ned Hogan, U.S. Navy (Retired)-The Vincent Astor Memorial Leadership Essay Contest winner hit the nail on the head-the Navy is in danger of succumbing to the infection of errorfree political correctness-with disastrous consequences to its institutional leadership. Lieutenant Adams points out that while individual failures of stewardship are of concern, the most serious effects of current leadership trends are the dominance of the Clinton liberal agenda over the traditions and ethos of the Navy, the furthering of the social agenda over combat readiness, and the sovereignty of expediency over duty, honor, and country. The recent flap at West Point, as reported in the I June 1998 issue of Time, promotes illegitimacy and duplicity as sovereign over matrimony, Military Academy behavioral regulations, and common sense-all of which reflect the dominance of the feminist doctrine in all things military. Where is the answer married cadets? The full integration of civilian university ethics into today's service academies? Or perhaps-as I believe the objective of the Clinton liberals to be-the closure of the academies?
Nancy Sherman, Distinguished Ethics Chair at the Naval Academy, appeared on PBS's 30 May 1998 Religion and Ethics Newsweek and supported New York City's pending `domestic partners' legislation and defended the rights of homosexuals to adopt children. While supporting Dr. Sherman's First Amendment rights to express her views, I am concerned that it is her ethics that are being taught at the Academy. In all of these matters, the institutional endorsement of the liberal point of view seems to be accepted by today's military leadership, particularly at the service academies, without debate-and that bothers me. Over the past several years, the success of the Marine Corps in holding the line against the feminist onslaught has been inspiring. By protecting their heritage and ethos, the Marines have maintained their preeminent fighting spirit. They have been rewarded with record numbers in their recruiting and retention efforts-results that enhance their selectivity and readiness. On the other hand, the Navy has adapted its soul to the feminist illusion, and as a consequence, recruiting and retention numbers are suffering. There is a message in these results.
Fortunately, the Naval Institute provides the forum to allow principled leaders such as Lieutenant Adams to air their views. Perhaps the top leadership of the Navy will heed his warnings.
Has the Sun Set on Celestial?
Captain Raymond J. Brown, U.S. Coast Guard-Elimination of celestial navigation as a requirement at the Naval Academy has been much in the news lately. I must admit that I am always reluctant to change; but, by the same token, I must agree with G. K. Chesterton that the true radical is not the one who removes a fence, but asks why the fence is there in the first place.
So why do we still break out the sextant? I was taught in my salad days that other means might fail and we would then need to navigate the old fashioned way.
But there are many things sailors maintain and train with that are seldom experienced for real. For instance, I have only twice in my career actually had a man overboard while under way-a much higher frequency than most sailors experience. Does that mean that those countless man-overboard drills are a waste of time? I expect that many commissioned ships have never actually fired a shot in anger. Does that mean that ammunition ought to be offloaded? The order "Abandon ship!" has not been given very often either. Does that mean that related equippage and training are not cost-effective? Back up that argument a little and a lot of damage control people, time, and money would be eliminated.
My questions here are of course rhetorical. At sea, some things that are vital to know seldom are required to be done, but no less important. But when they are mandatory, they can mean the difference between mission success and mission failure, the difference between life and death. And I submit we are losing that outlook. Granted, in a world of finite resources, you cannot do everything. What you choose not to do is as important as what you choose to do. Again, the frequency of a function is only one consideration with respect to that function's criticality.
I never really enjoyed celestial navigation. It was time consuming. It was meticulous work. It was usually done in eerie light. Also, I did not know for many years that I was left-eye dominant, thus skewing my sights. For the same reason, my small arms quals always had been marginal. Happily, I always had a senior quartermaster whose readings were a bit more likely to be accurate than mine, which always had a personal index correction factor. In the days before the Global Positioning System, a medium endurance cutter to which I was assigned as navigator spent more than a month on the prowl around the volcanic islands of the Northeast Caribbean. It was a navigator's cinch. However, we were extended because of hard intelligence on one of those elusive motherships in the lower Caribbean. As we proceeded southwest, it was goodbye visuals, goodbye radar arcs, goodbye what little use LORAN had been.
The law-enforcement action culminated in a seizure of a 311-foot freighter, 23 prisoners, a load of marijuana, and two goats (both rather high from eating the marijuana). Part of the final action was a rendezvous with another cutter set for 0500 on a January morning over a certain seamount. We headed for the site and, after the previous evening's star time, I concentrated on necessary law enforcement preparations knowing that we would rendezvous with a rather large and senior Coast Guard ship. I intended to take the morning off from star sights.
Well, it did not happen that way. We proceeded according to plan, but at 0500 there was nothing on the horizon. On radio, our consort advised us that they were waiting in the appointed place. The captain menacingly turned to me and said, "We had better be damned sure we are where we say we are." (We in this case meaning me.) I had the boatswain's mate hurry below to tell an ensign who was contentedly boresighting his rack that he was needed on the bridge immediately to shoot stars. The ensign, the leading quartermaster, and I then ran around the outside of the pilot house shooting stars that we would identify later. It was past star time and we were trying to beat the sun. The quartermaster chief and I then repaired to the combat information center to do reductions and plotting. Result? We were exactly where we said we were according to five lines of position and the fathometer. It turned out that the senior ship, relying solely on electronic means of navigation, was 66 miles away from the designated rendezvous point. It is likely that no rendezvous at all, in any meaningful sense, would have occurred had my ship not been navigating by the stars for the past week. We had averted the spectacle of two commissioned ships unable to find each other. It is well that the two crews never had the opportunity to compare professional notes in some pub ashore-because if the deckplate comments I heard about the navigational competence of our counterparts were representative of the village outlook, deliberations would have probably been a bit too spirited. But I digress.
I have often remembered that Caribbean passage. That was the only time I remember absolutely needing to shoot stars during my career. The point is, I really needed to shoot stars. Not likely to occur in the future? Maybe not. Still, I would not willingly risk my life, nor those of my men, upon that surmise.
Perhaps the sextant ought to go the way of the square rigger. However, if that is the right thing to do, let's make sure that we have counted the cost fully in terms of worst-case scenarios, not workaday convenience.
"Lest We Forget: The New Orleans"
(See E. Wertheim. p. 110, April 1998 Proceedings)
Senior Chief Fire Control Technician Henry A. Wristen, U.S. Navy (Retired)The USS New Orleans (CA-32) actually received 17 (not 16) battle stars.
Her belated seventeenth award results in a three-way tie for the most battle stars awarded to cruisers in World War II among the New Orleans, the Minneapolis (CA-36), and San Francisco (CA-38). These three ships were damaged severely during the vicious night surface actions around Guadalcanal in November 1942.
Although the archival records were corrected in a 1992 letter from Acting Assistant Vice Chief of Naval Operations G. C. Wileen, the sources used for everyday historical purposes have yet to be updated. One of the main sources for disseminating historical data on this subject is the audio history tapes at the U.S. Naval Memorial in Washington, D.C. The Memorial's management have yet to correct their tapes, even though they acknowledge the error and have a copy of Wileen's letter in the files.