Comment and Discussion

This acronym is benign and does not infer any specific objective or meaning. By adding a single word to the term, the resulting acronym will reflect the operational ethic of reacting in crisis, on short notice, with agility and purpose.

I simply suggest that STOM be revised to the term "Ship to Objective Rapid Movement" or STORM. STORM may then become known as the manner in which U.S. Marines and our Navy partners wage war, support peace, provide humanitarian assistance or present a threat to our foes.

I view the usage of the acronym STORM as presenting an immediate image of shock, violence, rapid movement, destruction, surprise and overwhelming force. This potential power may hover off the coastline of any nation in the world, poised to come unexpectedly ashore at any time or location. This will leave any foe unable to predict when the order "Land the Marines" will be executed.

"Excerpts from British Naval Officer Fitness Reports"

(See J. Lacouture, p. 24, April 1999 Proceedings )

Ex-Petty Officer P. Herlihy, Royal Navy —It was, as usual, great to read Proceedings , especially Captain Lacoutre's bit about British Officers Fitness Reports.

I have read the book in question, but I am not sure where it is at the moment. Our Parish priest was giggling at some of the articles when I saw it last.

There was one article in that book which relates to the line about the medical officer in Proceedings :

"My Medical Officer defines an alcoholic as someone who drinks more than his doctor. There are no alcoholics in my ship."

"Real Story of the Scorpion?"

(See C. McDonald, pp. 29-33, June 1999 Proceedings )

Captain T.J. Smith, U.S. Navy (Retired)— As a submariner, I find significant technical fault with Captain McDonald's theory, which in summary, postulates that the propulsion battery in a Mark 37 torpedo aboard the Scorpion exploded for no known reason. As a result of the battery explosion, the boat ascended to periscope depth and ultimately surfaced in order to ventilate the interior after the explosion and resulting fire. Some 22 minutes after the start of the casualty, the torpedo warhead exploded. Just 91 seconds later the ship exceeded crush depth with resultant implosion of the engine room and operations compartment.

To refute one of Captain McDonald's arguments, an internal torpedo explosion did not sink Scorpion . A Mark 37 torpedo warhead contains 330 pounds of HBX explosive, which is about 1.5 times more powerful than TNT. Scorpion carried 21 conventional warhead torpedoes of both Mark 37 and Mark 14 types. A reasonable mix of these torpedo types could result in a total onboard warhead explosive weight of approximately 7,700 pounds or 3.9 tons of high explosives. If one torpedo warhead exploded internally it would have certainly detonated all the others, and Scorpion would have been blown to bits. Her wreckage, however, reveals that she is still relatively intact. A torpedo explosion is thus not valid.

Although we will never know for certain, my theory for Scorpion's loss is that she suffered a stern plane casualty in the "dive" position when at high speed from which she could not recover—either real or inadvertently imposed by the stern planesman. Her wreckage is supportive of a casualty of this nature. The court of inquiry record correctly noted that "the stern plane control system constitutes one of the most potentially hazardous systems affecting the safe operation of high speed nuclear submarines." This statement is 100% correct.

On her homeward transit to Norfolk, Virginia after a Mediterranean deployment, the Scorpion would likely have been traveling at high speed—in the range of 30 knots—with the crew comfortable in their ability to operate the boat at this speed. If, for example, Scorpion was transiting at a depth of 300 feet at a speed of 30 knots and suddenly assumed a down angle of 30 degrees (which in this case is not excessive) due to a casualty to her stern planes, simple trigonometry shows that she would be increasing depth at a rate of 25 feet per second. At this rate of descent, it would only take 30 seconds for Scorpion to reach her crush depth of 1050 feet. This assumes that no recovery action was initiated by the crew, but some action was most likely attempted.

How do you stop the momentum of a mass of 3,500 tons moving at 30 knots in a distance of 750 feet—the distance between transiting and crush depth—in 30 seconds? There is a rudimentary emergency recovery procedure for this type of casualty known as "Blow, Back and Pray", but it may not have been adequate for this class submarine. The crew would blow all main ballast tanks to gain positive buoyancy, thus slowing the descent. The rudder would be placed over full, which tends to give the boat an up angle, with the rudder also acting as a dive brake. "Pray" needs no definition.

Blowing the main ballast tanks as Scorpion descended would not have emptied water from her ballast tanks as rapidly as she would have expected or liked. As she increased depth, sea pressure also would have increased from 132 psi to 462 psi or 3.5 times from her transit depth to her crush depth, thus requiring more air and a longer period of time to blow water from her ballast tanks in the recovery procedure. As a startling example, blowing her ballast tanks at crush depth would require the application of 21 times more air pressure for a considerably longer period of time than a normal surfacing at periscope depth. I don't think that the ship could be recovered with the procedures available to Scorpion , and unfortunately she proved it.

"Masters, Martyrs and Spectators"

(See C. Harris, pp. 30-34, April 1999; T. Buyniski, pp.18-19, May 1999; J. Walker, p. 18, June 1999 Proceedings )

Captain Thomas R. Fedyszyn, U.S. Navy —The astute analysis of Commander Harris accurately depicts the demography of today's U.S. armed forces: we are not attracting enough people, and they are not representative of our democracy. He correctly concludes that—left to market forces alone—the best we can do is to continue to attract "the best of the lesser privileged."

Emotion, however, must have led him to conclude that reinstating the draft is the appropriate remedy. Even Commander Harris points out that the services have forsworn conscription and no reasonable politician would dare associate himself with this idea. All our NATO allies are moving away from conscripted force, and even Russia intends to do so in better days. Perhaps a more modest proposal could create equitable class representation in the military, a closer identification between our military and its parent society, high quality personnel and increased numbers of applicants.

The military should go public. When the nation becomes aware of the changed composition of its armed forces, the plea to modify them is more likely to be heard. The most likely recalcitrants—Harris' "affluent and academically privileged"—either should be swayed by the egalitarian tone of the argument or silenced by the necessity to defend their unwarranted privilege. If the American public reflected on the situation, it could be persuaded to provide the tools necessary to integrate its armed forces along class lines.

When the mood is right, apply several modest correctives. Orient all ROTC programs to target quality and only quality. Don't accept today's maxim that we must get the largest number of officers per dollar spent, since this is a principal cause of today's demographic imbalance. Don't allow ROTC to exist at any university not ranked among the nation's best. Make the scholarship reward so enticing that there will be competition for all seats at the nation's best schools. Establish firm recruiting quotas by state, allowing New England the same opportunity to serve as the deep South. Finally, reopen serious debate on a national service regime (rather than a military draft) in which rewards would be skewed to flow to those choosing the military element.

Expensive? Not as much as the damage done to a democracy by a dissociated military.

"Where Will All the Admirals Go?"

(See W.J. Holland Jr., pp. 36-40, May 1999 Proceedings )

Vice Admiral Gerald E. Miller, U.S. Navy (Retired)— Admiral Holland's comments are most discerning and timely. Now is the time to start preparing for the ever increasing ability for higher authority—particularly civilian authorities—to get their oar in the act at a low level. If their input would stop at the commanding officer level, that might not be so bad; but there is a good chance it will go to lower echelons.

We have had such meddling before: The actions of former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara in the Vietnam War and the Cuban Missile Crisis come to mind. There was also that period from 1970-74 when the Chief of Naval Operations, in the pursuit of some admirable objectives to improve the lot of the troops, inadvertently bypassed not only the flag and commanding officer levels in the chain-of-command structure, but unbelievably bypassed the chief petty officer level as well. That can—and did—create real trouble.

Admiral Holland has written a neat, perceptive piece that points out real hazards in future handling of communications. Watch out for those civilians in high places. If information technology gives them the ability to have one hand on the throttle. another on the wheel, and a finger on the trigger, they'll use all of it.

"Human-Centric Warfare"

(See A. Zimm, pp. 28-31, May 1999 Proceedings )

Lieutenant Steve Rowe, U.S. Naval Reserve —Commander Zimm raises serious questions that reflect shortfalls in some of what has been written about network-centric warfare and information dominance. Fortunately, emerging concepts from Navy Warfare Development Command and other sources address these questions.

Much of the previous work in this area concentrates on real-time battlefield data collection, but network-centric operations must focus on common understanding of the battlespace, the enemy and the commander's intent. Our warfighters must have a foundation of historical knowledge of the region and its players to provide the context for real-time sensor information. Without that foundation, the warfighter must create his own context for incoming information, and history has shown that overlaying our own cultural experiences over enemy actions can result in serious errors of interpretation.

Earlier concepts have failed to recognize that we cannot attack key vulnerabilities if we lack a thorough foundation of knowledge about the way an adversary operates. The network-centric approach uses a systems view that focuses on what is required to accomplish the commander's objectives, based on an in-depth understanding of the enemy. Better information on how the enemy's systems function will enable the targeting of key weaknesses, producing greater effects with lower levels of effort.

It is this common understanding, not information quotas, that allows units to self-synchronize, empowered by the commander's intent and bounded only by the law of war and the rules of engagement.

Tactical leaders will use shared information to enhance speed of maneuver and responsiveness, exercising initiative to exploit enemy vulnerabilities. The Fleet Battle Experiments conducted over the last two years provide a glimpse of the power that network centric operations can provide to our forces.

For example, Fleet Battle Experiment Delta, held in the Korean Theater in October/November 1998, integrated 80 Army Automated Deep Operations Coordination System stations with 22 Navy Land Attack Warfare System terminals.

This brought about seamless coordination between the naval, air and ground component commanders, showing the potential for naval contribution to an Army counter fire mission.

As Commander Zimm notes, information presentation and human decision making are critical issues. The future network must integrate ergonomic interfaces that rapidly convey battlespace understanding. Displays must be adaptive and tailored for the unit and mission. While shared awareness is a goal, a tactical picture that is literally common across the entire force would overwhelm warfighters with unneeded information. More development is needed to determine the proper balance of push/pull, filtering conventions and default information for each unit type.

Even at a faster operational tempo, network-centric operations can lessen the effects of stress on the decision-making process. Shortening the orient, observe, and act phases of the OODA loop leaves more time for decision-making even in a shorter overall decision cycle. Speed is important, but it must not be placed ahead of quality in the commander's decision process—warfighters must be taught to recognize that enhanced battlespace awareness and unit self-synchronization will result in intuitive, deliberate and informed decisions.

There is still much work to be done. Network-centric operations require an evolving, learning organization and a culture of innovation for both peacetime development and wartime application. A willingness to try new ideas and accept some level of failure in experiments is perhaps the best hedge against strategic surprise, stagnation and irrelevance. This evolution will require fleet-wide dialogue and innovative thinking if we are to build the best possible future naval force.

"Why I Will Leave the Navy"

(See M. Butler, p. 2, April 1999; J. Hammond, R. Baldwin, J. Hardman, p. 12, May 1999; L. Baxley, p. 12, June 1999 Proceedings )

"Open Letters to Lieutenant Butler"

(See W. Toti, D. Brown, pp. 46-47, June 1999 Proceedings )

Lieutenant Commander Eric D. Lanman, Supply Corps, U.S. Navy —Senior Navy leadership needs to be concerned about articles such as Lieutenant Butler's. They are not written by sidetracked O-6s and retired senior officers—as some have suggested—but by disaffected O-3s and 04s who correctly expect more from their Navy and its leaders. The Navy isn't meeting their expectations now, and these officers don't feel that their expectations will be met in the future. If leadership is concerned and engaged, it is not readily apparent at the deck plate or mid-grade levels, where senior leadership hasn't been entirely trusted since junior officers observed the actions of flag officers during the Tailhook scandal.

Uniformed leadership needs to get out front and lead by demonstrating a passion for what they do. They need to accept accountability for their own actions and show a willingness to acknowledge their mistakes and to encourage risk taking from subordinates. They must be willing to go to the mat for their people, even if it means talking about unpleasant subjects with someone senior.

Additionally, while the needs of the Navy must always come first, in a two career society where adults would like to try to be more than absentee parents, family considerations need to be treated seriously, even if they can't always be heeded. Officers should not be counseled to keep mum on family considerations when discussing billets with their detailers and seniors in the chain of the command, for fear that they will suffer in the process.

Unless effective steps are taken, we risk losing the Navy's cadre of gifted and talented young officers either to careerism or to the civilian world. Uniformed leadership must acknowledge and heed the concerns of what should be our next generation of Naval leadership.

Rear Admiral Peter B. Booth, U.S. Navy (Retired)— While my contemporaries and I felt good about what we did in the decades of Vietnam and the Cold War, I would hesitate to describe it all as what Lieutenant Butler terms "passionate enjoyment." Hundreds of times we found ourselves staring down the catapult in the middle of nowhere and launching in our tactical aircraft into a black nothingness. Fun? Hardly. Part of the job description? Yes. Rather be somewhere else? Most likely. For what it's worth, at my five year mark, I was an F-4 pilot midway through a nine-month peace time deployment aboard the USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63), with my new bride and brand new daughter left at home in San Diego.

Being a naval officer is not about equal pay, pleasant COs, or having "passionate fun." It is about duty, honor, and country, all of which involve sacrifice. The following are attributes of the inspirational naval officer.

  • Combat is the raison d’être of the breed. When the time comes to confront the enemy, everything is second nature. The name of the game is to win and everything else is rubbish.
  • Patriotism runs deep and is fundamental to the breed. Those who have gone before, heroes or not, imbue a legacy that is ingrained from the day the uniform is donned.
  • Officers are willing to sacrifice. They often live in a shipboard cubicle devoid of family and loved ones. They do their obligatory shore duty, but strive to get back to the fleet and their tough jobs. They worry about money but are not driven by it.
  • Officers know full well the fine line between right and wrong and impart this ethic down the line. They take heat, if need be, and resist any compromise to good order and discipline.
  • Officers love their profession, welcoming its challenges. They are intensely competitive. They may question their motivation on occasion, but no matter what they will grit their teeth and get the job done right.
  • Officers know the strengths, foibles and problems of their troops. They do not coddle or condone mediocrity. "Attaboys" are in public, "chain jerking" in private.
  • Teamwork is fostered by officers. They promote a sense of team destiny and keep a weather eye for weak links. Knowing the immense value of listening, they foster a climate of feedback.
  • Officers work the chain-of-command, keeping their bosses in the loop both formally and informally. They resist the temptation to bypass the chain-of-command, and are loyal both up and down the chain.
  • Officers lead by personal example, with strong work ethic. They know the action, reward liberally and present an upbeat and positive zest for putting forth an above and beyond effort. Their troops look up to them and respect them for what they are.

"The U.S. Marine Corps in Review"

(See F. Hoffman, pp. 84-92, May 1999 Proceedings )

Ernest Blazer, Senior Fellow, Lexington Institute —In describing the busy pace of the Marine Corps after the end of the Cold War, Colonel Hoffman raises an interesting point—the scope and implications of which are still not widely understood throughout our national security planning apparatus. Nowhere in all the efforts to identify the distinguishing characteristics of the post-Cold War period was it fully recognized that it would be necessary to respond with military force to the sloppy "peace" born in the Cold War's wake. The U.S military was essentially sized and funded for a quiet patrol of the 1990s, on watch for war on the Korean peninsula or in the Persian Gulf. Of course, this decade unfolded much differently.

The consequences were predictable. The Navy, Marines, Army and Air Force were compelled to rob their future procurement and training accounts to pay for contingencies, while trying to keep current readiness high. Readiness and training slid to levels that neared the "Hollow Force" lows of the late 1970s. This military decision was never publicly debated by the Clinton administration, the Pentagon or Congress. Looking back, it is clear that the Pentagon's need to choose between today's operations and adequate preparation for tomorrow's wars should have been one of the most important considerations in the efforts to restructure the military after the Cold War.

In late 1998, the Clinton Administration finally responded, promising to boost military spending by $112 billion over the next six years. The Joint Chiefs of Staff told Congress that they needed about $36 billion more to reverse the damage done to infrastructure, readiness and delayed modernization during the 1990s.

The simple fact is that the Marine Corps can't buy the V-22 Osprey fast enough to rid itself of antiquated CH-46 helicopters. The Air Force's inventory of combat planes is aging and no relief is in sight. The Navy is getting close but can't get a lock on building enough ships to sustain a 300-ship fleet.

In the end, "strategic pause" came to mean not the absence of all conflict after the Cold War, but the suspension of logical thinking about the proper response to the messy peace that followed. The events of the 1990s inform us about the costs of being the world's lone remaining-and activist-superpower. That is a lesson we can afford to miss only for a short while.

"Where Have all the O-3s Gone?"

(See L. Lewis, pp. 24-26, February 1998; J. I. Morales, p. 12, June 1998 Proceedings )

Rear Admiral David P. Polatty, U.S. Navy, Commander, Carrier Group One —Lieutenant Lewis reports hearing fellow junior officers often say that they would stay "if the Navy just made an effort." The article also recounts the wise counsel of a senior aviator to those contemplating leaving to "make sure you know the color of the grass under your feet before you look to the other side of the fence." He goes on to ask for some "help in seeing the color of the grass," and notes that in particular, attention must be paid to weighing perceptions against reality. I couldn't agree more, and I want to offer some help.

Recently at Carrier Group One, at the request of Admiral Archie Clemins, Commander-in-Chief U.S. Pacific Fleet, we developed a Junior Officer Counseling Guide , in an easily updated loose-leaf format. It was designed as a tool for flag, commanding, and executive officers to facilitate exactly the kind of dialogue Lieutenant Lewis is asking for. Think about it-where can any of us turn for a desktop reference with tips on effective counseling? Where can we find data to support a personally tailored analysis of the value of our Navy compensations package? How about a look at the pros and cons of the three major warfare communities, or of the civilian business world? Command opportunities? All of these areas are covered and more.

The guide is not a hard-sell tract or a "how-to" gouge for more effective arm twisting. Rather it is designed to stimulate honest introspective thought, and to help junior officers take a fresh look at themselves, their goals, and the entire range of their available options. Beyond that, is also is a simple memory jogger to help senior officers cover all the bases when they talk to their junior officers. This guide is not offered as a panacea for our retention ills. It is not a magic recipe book that will turn around an individual whose steel-trap mind has slammed shut and can't be pried open by the facts. Like most everything, it's what you make of it. I hope our officers will try it and find it useful, but more than that, I particularly hope that this guide's existence will help our leaders to "just make an effort."

The Junior Officer Counseling Guide is available on the Comcargru One Home Page. See: http://www.navy.mil/homepages/ccgl/downloads . htm.

"Innovation in Sub Design, at Last"

(See N. Polmar, pp. 87-88, February 1999; W.B. Higgins, p. 26, April 1999; Proceedings )

"Tomorrow's Fleet"

(See Scott Truver, pp. 65-68, February 1999 Proceedings )

Captain Walt Stephenson, U.S. Navy, a maritime planning officer in NATO's Southern Region —Mr. Polmar hopes that a challenge to the industry from the Navy and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, followed by $10-15 million dollars in "think" contracts, may produce something new in submarine design "at last." Dr. Truver provides an attractive list of submarine improvements for the next century that would enhance submarine design without fundamental changes. Both articles suggest that we are at the brink of innovative changes in sub design. We aren't, nor do we need to be.

Putting a nuclear propulsion plant in a submarine fundamentally defines the ship. The same is true of the flat deck of an aircraft carrier and rotary wings for a helicopter. Maintaining the constraint of the propulsion plant precludes any truly innovative changes in the design. Nuclear submarines of the coming century will look like Thresher (SSN-593) or George Washington (SSBN-598). Hopefully, they will have a more flexible payload interface with the sea, as discussed in both articles, and more robust communications capabilities. Perhaps the percentage of weight and space devoted to the propulsion plant could be reduced. Submarines will continue to be expensive to build, but cheap over service life—a point that is somewhat misrepresented by Polmar, as Lieutenant Commander Higgins illustrates.

All of the submarine innovations have been in the propulsion plant. First was the diesel-electric plant that gave submarines global reach. The nuclear propulsion plant then liberated submarines from the atmosphere. Today, air-independent propulsion is making sustained submerged operations affordable for small and medium nations. While submarines incorporate remarkable new ideas such as electric torpedoes, ballistic and cruise missiles, satellite communications, and sound silencing, these are marginal improvements that could be installed in any of the three innovative submarine designs.

True innovations in ship design cannot be forced by think tanks or school houses. They arise from evolutionary changes in science and technology, political strategies or global economics. The discovery of the New World led to the galleon, and the invention of the airplane created the aircraft carrier. Innovations persist until rendered irrelevant. The diesel-electric submarine is vulnerable, but nuclear and air-independent submarines remain relevant and safe.

A few million dollars of "think" money is not going to produce innovation in submarine design, but innovation is not necessary. The nuclear submarine is capable of accepting all the improvements discussed in both articles. Other allies are developing the air-independent submarine. There are no existing ASW techniques that seriously threaten either model. We need a continued commitment to maintain modern submarine fleets, both at home and among allied nations. Smart folks will continue to produce the ideas required for marginal improvements. We should just keep building the submarines.

"Navy Blue Goes Green"

(See S. Honigman and J. Quinn, p. 56, August 1998 Proceedings )

Captain Mark E. Rosen, Judge Advocate General Corps, U.S. Navy, and Lieutenant Jeffrey J. Schueler, U.S. Naval Reserve —Concern for the environment plays a significant role in naval operations, from top-level policy determinations down to shipboard routine. The Navy has addressed environmental concerns effectively, in part, by reducing and managing shipboard waste disposal and adapting some operations to protect the ecosystems of the marine environment. With respect to protection of the environment, the Navy has put its money where its mouth is.

But Congress never intended for environmental protection to trump national security—the navy's primary mission. The taxpayers need to know that their tax dollars are being spent on programs and operations that protect national interests. Our sailors deserve to know that their lives are valuable, and that they will not go in harm's way without the most thorough training and the best equipment.

The Honorable Honigman and Captain Quinn report as fact that the Navy's actions in three cases—the ship shock testing of John Paul Jones (DDG-53), operations off Georgia and Florida near right whale habitat, and testing of the low-frequency active sonar-protected the environment with little effort.

If that were only so.

The costly and time consuming environmental compliance activities associated with the ship shock testing of John Paul Jones , the operations off Georgia and Florida near right whale habitat, and the testing of the low-frequency active sonar have all produced litigation or regulatory "consultation." This has delayed training evolutions and systems testing and evaluation critical to the Navy's primary mission of national security.

Over the last several years, as environmental efforts have taken up more and more of the Navy's resources, readiness has decreased. The pace of operations has increased as our commitments around the world have increased. But the resources committed to the Navy have decreased in real-dollar terms. Meanwhile, our people increasingly are kept on station for longer periods, with fewer training operations that are needed for littoral operations. We must focus our resources on readiness.

We must pay attention to environmental protection issues, but that cannot mean that we buy into processes designed primarily to make people feel good about their efforts to protect the environment. Many actions by uniformed and civilian lawyers, even though taken in good faith, simply run up the tab for the Navy. And in the process real damage is being done to the armed forces—not just in dollar terms, but in the misdirection of finite and valuable resources away from resource protection and national security priorities to the concerns of lawyers and environmental policy makers.

The slogan so often preached during the Cold War—with effective results—is just as true today: We must train like we will fight, for we will fight the way we train.

"The Recruiting Problem We Don't Talk About"

(See T. Strother, p. 192, May 1999; N. M. Jacobsen, p. 10, June 1999 Proceedings )

Captain Robert C Peniston, U.S. Navy (Retired)— If Lieutenant Commander Strother understands the recruiting problem, why cannot Navy recruiters do the same? The answer, I suspect, is that they turn Nelson's blind eye to the problem by using Madison Avenue guidance that advertises in-line skating on the Boardwalk and partying in New York City and other exotic places. It will be a miracle if this approach makes up for recruiting shortfalls—and downright deceitful, because extended deployments are now the order of the day and will certainly interfere with all this dreaminess.

These blue-collar types whose predecessors were the backbone of the Navy must be at the head of the Recruiting Command. The ones I have spoken to know that the armed forces are fighting outfits, whose sole purpose is to win wars—destroying and killing if need be—and they are not enamored with the priorities of Madison Avenue advertising and its misleading nine-to-five pitches.

If the recruiters will go after those who actually aspire to a rigorous military life and a sense of service to the country, maybe those types will sign on. Apparently, it works for the Marine Corps. It is worth a gallant try by the Navy.

Toughening the image of the Navy may not be easy, once a practice set forth by a new acronym—"COO" (Consideration of Others)—is in place. The word will get around. It took life when Lieutenant General Claudia Kennedy, U.S. Army, made a presentation to warrior like senior noncommissioned officers at Fort Huachuca earlier this year. From the reported reaction of this group, COO has no place in the rigorous training so necessary to prepare personnel for combat.

This is evidence of an ominous softness—along with other weaknesses of the politically correct contingent that disregards the hard lessons learned in America's wars. The men who fought in the Argonne in World War I, on Guadalcanal, across the sands of Iwo Jima, at the frozen Chosin, and in the streets of Hue City did not have to contend with the interference of political leaders in their training. They survived and won because they were toughened to meet the horrors of war on land, in the air, and on the sea. Combine COO with other aberrations, and there is one thing certain: Those who are not subjected to the most rigorous training for combat are being issued potential death warrants. Future foes certainly will not extend them any "consideration of others."

"Building Bridges in Haiti"

(See D. Covey, p. 93, January 1999 Proceedings )

Captain Martin W. Wilcox, Medical Corps, U.S. Naval Reserve —I was deployed to Haiti with Fleet Hospital Five as the General Surgeon, February-June 1997.

The history of Haiti is rife with instability and adversity. U.S. forces occupied this impoverished country 1915-1934, establishing a rudimentary but functional infrastructure. Unfortunately, Haitian nationals—the descendants of slaves—rarely were incorporated into or trained to maintain that infrastructure. The all-white occupation force of that era treated Haitians much as African-Americans in the United States were treated at the time. With the departure of the U.S. forces in 1934, that infrastructure fell into decay. In 1994, 20,000 U.S. military personnel returned to Haiti to deal with a host of problems, many of which were left over from 1934. Seabees and medical support were essential components of the U.S. force.

During the six-month period described by Dr. Covey, medical humanitarian assistance took three forms. First, "Primary Care" clinics were set up in shelters of opportunity. Thousands of Haitians were seen and treated at these clinics. Second, immunization clinics were conducted at a wide range of locations in and around Port-au-Prince. Finally, surgical humanitarian interventions were accomplished at a Port-au-Prince hospital, a small hospital in the countryside, and at the U.S. military medical facility in the country.

The immunization humanitarian assistance program probably resulted in the greatest long-term benefit to the Haitians. Unfortunately, there was little or no coordination among the U.S. military, the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children's Fund, or other non-government organizations that also conducted immunization programs. For example, WHO might re-immunize an area visited by U.S. military medical personnel or another international agency only months before—resulting in some Haitians being re-vaccinated several times.

The primary care humanitarian assistance clinics, which logged large numbers of patient visits, were of little lasting benefit. Patients diagnosed with hypertension were given a week's supply of medication; there was no follow-up. Infants were treated with Pinex, a medication to treat intestinal parasites and worms—based solely on a history of abdominal pain provided by the mother; but there was no attempt to verify the diagnosis before treatment. There were no programs to teach Haitians that the lack of sanitary conditions in their homes ensured almost immediate re-infestation. Many patients stood in line for hours to obtain any medication, knowing that the Americans gave drugs to every patient even if it were only aspirin. Many simply resold those medications on the black market to buy food for their families.

The medical approach to humanitarian assistance was to provide direct patient care. Such care may generate some temporary good will, but the practice of substandard medicine leaves a hollow legacy. That legacy might have been more meaningful had medical personnel applied their skills to teaching their Haitian counterparts. A coordinated effort between all U.S. and other international health agencies to assist Haiti in establishing the rudiments of a medical infrastructure also would have been a more meaningful and lasting goal.

This shortsighted approach was not limited to the medical realm. The Seabees constructed the only bridge in Haiti during that six-month period. Unfortunately, that bridge and the associated road were built without significant Haitian involvement. An opportunity was lost to teach Haitians the rudiments of building a road and constructing a bridge.

If the United States is to expend great sums of money engaging in peacekeeping missions such as Haiti, perhaps greater consideration should be given to establishing coordinated programs that will help the Haitian people to learn how to improve their own country. Haiti is replete with problems that will require decades to solve—if they can be solved at all. The current U.S. presence will not have any beneficial long-term impact on Haiti.

"Let the Youngsters Live Their Lives"

(See W. Carroll, p. 43, June 1999 Proceedings )

Lieutenant Commander Patrick J. Hurley, U.S. Naval Reserve —I am glad that we are capable of deploying such a hip and groovy fleet as described by Commander Carroll. His article, however, reminds me of parents who are having such difficulty communicating with a teenager that they lower themselves to speaking "their" language in hopes of communicating better.

I was appalled at his assertion that Cold War leadership is somehow responsible for perceived deficiencies with morale and readiness in today's Navy. I couldn't help but wonder how the opinions of a warrior who lost half his unit on the beaches of Normandy are outdated. Based on what Commander Carroll says, we should also ignore the opinions of those POWs who were unable to develop an appreciation for 1960's acid rock because they were being tortured in a Hanoi prison. I have difficulty understanding how he can attack "retired senior officers" who gave him his beloved Tomcats that performed so well in Operation Desert Fox.

Perhaps Commander Carroll should look to those who have fought in much more difficult conflicts to learn the true meaning of experience and sacrifice. Maybe then he will better understand their concerns and be a little more thankful for all that's been done for him.

"Changes in U.S. Naval Forces"

(See S. Morison, pp. 178-184, May 1999 Proceedings )

Captain David H. Buss, U.S. Navy, Executive Officer, USS Nimitz (CVN68)— I noted with some displeasure that under the heading of "Errata—Navy and Marine Corps Aviation," the redesignation date of the VA-34 Blue Blasters from VA-34 to VFA-34 was listed as 30 September 1995. While I certainly won't quibble about one day, I've got to insist that Morison at least get the year right! The redesignation occurred in 1996, not in 1995.

How do I know this? I was the last A-6 commanding officer of the Blue Blasters, having proudly but reluctantly relinquished command on 30 August 1996 following a highly successful and very demanding Mediterranean and Arabian Gulf deployment on the George Washington (CVN-73). My executive officer fleeted up to become commanding officer in 1996. He moved about 150 officers and enlisted men from Naval Air Station Oceana to Naval Air Station Cecil Field in September 1996, where the squadron was officially redesignated as the VFA-34 Blue Blasters on I October 1996. Intruders Forever!

"We're Recruiting Another Great Generation"

(See B. McGann, p. 6, April 1999; J. Hammond, p. 12, May 1999 Proceedings )

Master Chief Bruce Harris, U.S. Naval Reserve (Retired )—The Navy should look to the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps as a competent, qualified, and willing source of new recruits who are trained and physically fit to go to boot camp and to not only complete the training but to excel at it.

Every cadet who makes the rank of E-3 or higher in the Sea Cadet Corps and goes into the Navy as an E-3 saves the Navy $7,000 by being mentally and physically ready to enter and complete boot camp.

The Sea Cadet Corps is sponsored by organizations including the Navy League, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, and Elks Lodge. Unlike the Navy Junior Officer Training Corps (NJROTC), who get free new uniforms, the Sea Cadet Corps gets used Navy uniforms from Navy ships, brigs, and lucky bags. We turn out cadets who already think like Sailors, talk navalese, can march like a Marine, and can outrun any boot camp graduate.

Our cadets have learned to be followers but also understand leadership at the deckplate level in an actual operating naval-type unit. They have learned about equal opportunity and race relations and have learned how to work as members of a team.

Admiral McGann, the Naval Sea Cadet Corps is ready to give you the best Sailors, but we need the financial help like that the Navy gives to the NJROTC and the support of your recruiters to give us another great generation to train.

"VP + VQ + VPU = VPR?"

(See R. McCord, pp. 105-107, March 1999; D. Elliott, p. 20, June 1999 Proceedings )

Commander Susan Ann Davies, U.S. Navy, Commanding Officer, Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron Three —Lieutenant McCord's suggestion reflects an unfortunately common lack of understanding within the Navy of the community's distinctly different warfare specialty and the expanding roles and missions of the E-6 aircraft. Until last year, TACAMO (Take Charge and Move—strategic communications aircraft) had been under the administrative umbrella of the P-3 community, with the E-6 wing, Commander Strategic Communications Wing One (CSCW1), reporting to Commander Patrol Wings Pacific. Acknowledging that the fit never was quite right, the community began reevaluating its organizational structure. In July 1998, along with establishment of Commander Patrol Wings Pacific as an Echelon III command, TACAMO's administrative reporting structure was realigned to have CSCWI report directly to Commander Naval Air Pacific. This was the right move, considering our dissimilar aircraft and missions to the P-3 and S-3 variant patrol and reconnaissance (VP and VQ) communities. It also acknowledged the responsibilities of the wing, because CSCWI, dual-hatted as CTF-125, reports directly to the U.S. Strategic Commander-in-Chief.

Although TACAMO squadrons have been designated VQ since the late 1960s, the associated descriptor "reconnaissance" never fit the VLF communications relay mission for which TACAMO was named. With the recent modification of the E-6 to add an airborne command post capability, and expansion of its roles and missions into theater as well as strategic command and control, the community now is pursuing wing and squadron redesignation to reflect more accurately the multimission capabilities of the E-6.

The E-6 is a long-range; air-refuelable; command, control, and communications platform, and has demonstrated a plug-and-play capability during several exercises. Should the Navy choose a large or heavy jet variant for the multimission aircraft, our community is the logical first choice to lead the transition. We are the Navy's heavy jet experts, and have an established infrastructure to train, fly, and maintain them. Perhaps it is not too much of a stretch to consider the E-6 wing as the logical organization for the multimission aircraft.

"High-Altitude UAVs Should Be Navy Players"

(See M. McDaniel, pp. 70-74, February 1999 Proceedings )

Michael L. McDaniel —I have a few updates to share:

  • The RQ-3 Darkstar was canceled in January 1999.
  • The RQ-4 Global Hawk now has made 18 flights, for a total of 115 flight hours.
  • Maximum altitude reached to date is 66,000 feet. All communications links have been exercised. Sensor test flights began in December 1998, with very encouraging results.
  • The Air Force took over program control in October 1998, but this has not reduced the level of Navy participation in the program.
  • RQ-4 field trials are expected to start this summer; plans for the trials include expeditionary and littoral warfare scenarios.
 

 
 

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