'We Stand by You'

By Commanders of Navies

Our small Navy can provide the following forces for use in peace-support operations: a frigate, a corvette, two minesweepers, military transport, a medium landing ship, and two helicopters. Our goal is to be able to take part in peace support operations not only in the Black Sea but also in the Mediterranean. The tasks that can be accomplished are various and include participation in embargo and humanitarian operations, patrol, escort, evacuation, and mine countermeasures activities, control of navigation, search-and-rescue activities, and maritime interdiction.

These tasks were accomplished by our ships together with NATO and Partnership for Peace countries' navies according to NATO standards during the exercise Cooperative Partner, the national naval exercise Breeze, the naval exercises Black Sea Partnership (with Turkey) and Sea Breeze (with Ukraine), and the activation of the Black Sea Task Force (BlackSeaFor).

Our aim is to have forces in constant readiness, capable of taking part in peace-support operations. We are convinced that the experience gained through these operations and the study and adoption of NATO peace-support operations doctrine and its successful implementation in international exercises not only will strengthen the role of the Navy in the struggle against international terrorism, but also will allow us to achieve our strategic objective: the integration of our country with international security structures and operational interoperability with NATO countries' navies.

Vice Admiral Ronald D. Buck, CMM, CD, Canadian Navy
—One of our 4,500-ton frigates, HMCS Halifax , was on her way to Brest, France, as part of NATO's Standing Naval Force Atlantic when the al Qaeda terrorists struck the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. On 8 October, the Halifax (with a crew of 230) was ordered to leave Brest and join the U.S. naval forces operating in the Arabian Sea. She proceeded at best speed to the north Arabian Sea and was integrated immediately into the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) carrier battle group, to conduct interdiction operations and screening duties. Thus, the Halifax became Canada's first military response to the terrorist attack on our continental neighbor, principal friend and ally, our fellow NATO member, and our largest trading partner—the United States.

Later, the Halifax joined a U.S. amphibious readiness group centered on the USS Bataan (LHD-5)—another excellent example of our near-seamless level of interoperability with the U.S. Navy. (Canadian warships are unique in that they routinely are invited to operate as part of U.S. carrier battle groups and other formations. No other navy operates with the U.S. Navy in quite such a favored and trusted way.) With force protection supplied by the Canadian and U.S. escorts, the Marines were free to concentrate on their mission to land in force in Afghanistan.

The Halifax was joined on 20 November by the other units of our East Coast task group—the command-and-control and area air defense destroyer Iroquois , the frigate Charlottetown , and the supply ship Preserver . In late October, the Vancouver sailed from Esquimalt, British Columbia, joined the USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) battle group in San Diego, and arrived in the northern Indian Ocean in December. The Halifax arrived home on 11 February after being away since the previous August. Soon, the frigate Ottawa will replace the Charlottetown .

Approximately 1,500 naval personnel are serving in direct support of what has been named Operation Apollo. It involves about one-third of our entire fleet.

In the future, the use of space-based systems will complete the 21st-century revolution in military affairs. We believe these types of systems will be applied to virtually all aspects of naval operations, including anti- and counterterrorism measures. Allied to these technological leaps, we think our Navy will deploy as part of bilateral and multilateral coalition forces on expeditionary missions, and operate chiefly in the littorals. This form of forward security, where naval forces have the capability not only of landing but of supporting troops ashore as well, will govern our strategic and operational thinking, and give form to our governments' diplomatic efforts. In this way, the values of all freedom-loving peoples, and their interests, will be protected to a far greater degree than is possible at present.

Vice Admiral Mauricio Soto Gomez, Colombian Navy
—The dilemma confronted today by many democracies and legally established governments, Colombia among them, is how to face those organizations using terrorism as a mechanism for achieving their objectives. Taking into consideration how sorrowful and worrisome this phenomenon is, and the senseless and merciless damage it has caused the Colombian people, the eradication of terrorism has become a priority for the Colombian armed forces.

Based on their ties to illicit drug trafficking, terrorist groups such as the Colombian Armed Revolutionary Forces ( Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia , or FARC ), the National Liberation Army ( Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional , or ELN ) and the Colombian United Self-Defense Groups (the autodefensas , or rightwing death squads) have grown considerably in remote regions of the country. As a result, terrorism in Colombia has certain characteristics of extreme severity because these groups use terrorist tactics such as blowing up electric transmission towers, pipelines and other oil infrastructures, bridges, hydroelectric power plants, and water supply systems, and they resort to destroying civilian vehicles on country roads, kidnappings, and indiscriminate attacks on Colombian armed and police forces in which small towns are mercilessly destroyed. All these actions have earned the three groups the international qualification of "narcoterrorists," because their financial support comes mostly from illicit drug trafficking and kidnappings.

The violent acts of 11 September in New York City and Washington, D.C., have created a worldwide consensus rejecting these crimes. The international community also now better comprehends the problems facing Colombia and the mission objectives of its armed forces.

During the past five years, Colombians have endured the destruction of close to 3,000 electric transmission towers. During 2000, there were more than 300 attacks with dynamite on oil pipelines that have drastically and adversely affected the environment. In addition, 28 small towns were destroyed because of indiscriminate attacks by terrorist groups using gas cylinders as rudimentary mortars. According to government statistics for 2001, 1,159 civilians were killed and 1,849 were kidnapped. These Colombian groups are responsible for carrying out the greatest number of terrorist acts in the world.

The Colombian Navy is confronting terrorism by attacking the terrorists' main sources of financing: illicit drug trafficking, kidnapping, and extortion. Projecting its operations into the riverine and maritime environments, the Colombia Navy (contrary to other navies) acts according to the constitution as the law-enforcement authority, both at sea and on the rivers under its jurisdiction. Consequently, all its units carry out coast guard duties. Colombia's Marines also are an integral part of the Navy for riverine operations.

Outstanding results have been obtained with the Maritime Interdiction Agreement signed between the governments of Colombia and the United States to suppress illicit drug trafficking by sea. Even so, improving surveillance and making combined operations more efficient still is a goal. Statistics show that illicit drug trafficking by sea remains the most important means of financial support for these terrorists. During 2001 alone, the Colombian Navy seized more than 36.6 tons of cocaine with an international black market value surpassing $1 billion.

In the riverine environment that encompasses close to 6,800 miles of navigable rivers (which in some regions are the only means of communication), 3,000 Colombian Marines and 200 riverine units conduct joint operations together. During the past year, the Riverine Brigade destroyed 74 cocaine processing labs, seized long-range weapons, and confiscated 79 tons of solid and 24,000 gallons of liquid cocaine precursors. These operations make Colombia's Navy one of the most efficient forces in the fight against narcoterrorism.

Recent events demonstrate terrorism knows no boundaries. The capture of IRA terrorists who trained Colombian counterparts and international terrorist alliances to sell weapons in exchange for illicit drugs are undeniable evidence of the international menace they represent.

The Colombian Navy, with cooperation from the United States, will continue to fight an all-out war against the financial underpinnings of Colombian terrorists. These groups, in their mad spirit, have united the curses of drug trafficking and terrorism, creating one of the most feared illegal threats in the world.

Vice Admiral Hans Lüssow, German Navy —"We stand by you!" These were the spontaneous words used by the crew of the German destroyer Lütjens to express sympathy and solidarity with their fellow sailors in the U.S. Navy and the American people. These words also symbolize the deep cohesion and the long-standing friendship between two navies that stand side by side in the alliance for the freedom of their nations and their partners.

"We stand by you" also was the reaction of the German public. Shocked and taken aback by the events of 11 September 2001, Germany was ready immediately to give its full support to the United States in its fight against international terrorism. One visible sign of this decisiveness was the deployment of a German naval task group consisting of frigates, logistics units, fast patrol boats, and maritime patrol aircraft and helicopters to the area around the Horn of Africa. Since the end of January 2002, these forces have been deployed as part of Operation Enduring Freedom to protect sea lanes of communication and to block the sea supply routes of terrorist organizations. In addition, mine countermeasures units are on standby in Germany to be deployed to this area at short notice.

This is the first time the German Navy has been faced with this new type of asymmetric warfare. In this situation, the traditional scenario of a military conflict at sea with its classic warfare areas no longer is valid. Terrorist threats are unpredictable. The time of an attack and the targets are arbitrary and create new requirements for the capabilities of the crews and the force.

Great efforts have been made by the German Navy since mid-2000 to meet the future requirements in the areas of command and control, intelligence and reconnaissance, operational efficiency, mobility, and sustainability and survivability. This reorientation is being confirmed and accelerated by the imminent threat of terrorist activities. A great financial effort is being made especially to improve the command-and-control capability of our ships. Special emphasis is being laid on interoperability with the information systems of our allies.

Terrorists are active all over the world. So it would be inadequate and inefficient to restrict our operations exclusively to the NATO Treaty area. In the future, the German Navy must and will be able to conduct long-term joint and multinational operations with our allies in sea areas far away from Germany. Modern logistics support units such as the new combat support ship entering service are an important step in this direction.

Terrorism can hit our country as well. We must make sure our naval installations and forces are protected. We also must counter terrorism at its source, as we are doing at present with our naval force at the Horn of Africa. For this purpose, we must deploy units that have a high survivability and sustainability, and with a readiness that allows deployment in sufficient numbers. This is applicable both to blue-water and coastal-water operations; the latter are operations to which we can make a considerable contribution. The procurement of modern corvettes is an important step toward this goal.

To counter this new threat effectively we must cope with new requirements and change our training and equipment and procurement planning accordingly.

The United States is taking the lead in fighting terrorism, and the German Navy is contributing with many assets. Our American comrades have the support of our crews, who are convinced of the cause and are well trained, highly motivated, and prepared to join forces with their fellow sailors of the U.S. Navy.

Admiral Marcello de Donno, Italian Navy —From a maritime standpoint, the classic asymmetric threat is symbolized by the attack on the USS Cole (DDG-67). Maritime terrorist activity, however, can materialize not only in ports but also in coastal and blue waters, thus requiring renewed attention and increasing involvement of naval forces.

The Italian Navy is a frontline force with its area of responsibility lying in the heart of the Mediterranean basin, a complex region owing to the presence of a multitude of possible crisis scenarios. Its commitment to fight against transnational criminal activities always has been high, and this commitment has evolved progressively in recent years. After the attacks of 11 September, the responsibility of the Italian Navy in this field has increased greatly.

Our response has been focused on the following issues:

  • Assessing a wider and more effective range of force protection measures
  • Pursuing an enhanced capability in battlespace information dominance, and sharing relevant information with coalition partners
  • Emphasizing specific training at both individual and unit levels
  • Improving passive defense capabilities, sensor systems, and warning devices

Our overall aim is to increase the awareness of our men and women to the threat and to develop the right means and synergies to fight it. On an operational basis we have extended our surveillance mission to focus more attentively on all counterterrorism aspects, besides our routine anti-immigration tasks. Furthermore, we have kept our amphibious forces ready and available to meet any crisis management demand.

Following the launch of Operation Enduring Freedom, an Italian Navy task group has spearheaded Italy's military involvement in the fight against al Qaeda. The group, which includes the aircraft carrier Giuseppe Garibaldi and her air wing of AV-8Bs, the frigates Zeffiro and Aviere , and the supply ship Etna , has been integrated effectively within the U.S. Navy task force operating in the northern Arabian Sea/Persian Gulf areas, carrying out a wide range of air and naval missions on and from the sea.

In addition, the Italian Navy is participating in the NATO activities of intelligence gathering and sea control carried out by Standing Naval Force Mediterranean and Standing Naval Force Atlantic in the Mediterranean Sea to counter the terrorist threat.

Admiral Chang Chung-Kil, Republic of Korea Navy
—On 12 September 2001, just one day after the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., I sent a letter to U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Vern Clark expressing sincere sorrow and condolences to the United States and offering support to force protection of U.S. naval personnel and facilities in Korea.

I stated, "This act of terrorism is a vile and brutal criminal action against humanity. Moreover, it is an act of aggression that could not be forgiven by the civilized world." The Republic of Korea Navy considers international terrorism a threat to national independence and peace. With a number of international events such as the 2002 World Cup and Asian Games taking place in the Republic of Korea, the Korean government's decision to support U.S. counterterrorism efforts validates its national and international concerns with terrorism.

The Republic of Korea was one of the first countries to offer support to the coalition to fight terrorism. In December 2001, the Hyangro Bong , a tank landing ship, was dispatched to join the U.S.-led campaign against terrorism. This LST is a newly constructed 4,300-ton amphibious warfare ship. This Republic of Korea Navy Logisitics Support Group for the counterterrorism mission is named Ocean Star. Traditionally, a star in the the sky has played a role in guiding ships and a shining star represents peacefulness.

Ocean Star is comprised of a crew of 170 and is commanded by Captain Kim Jae-Whan. Under the command of the U.S. Pacific Command, Ocean Star supports operational activities in transporting war supplies of the United States and other allied countries. The dispatch of the Logistics Support Group provides an opportunity to reassure a solidified alliance between the Republic of Korea and the United States and to contribute to maintaining world peace.

Rear Admiral Peter McHaffie, OBE, Royal New Zealand Navy —New Zealanders waking on 12 September 2001 found it almost impossible to comprehend the twin towers of the World Trade Center had been brought down while they slept, destroyed by terrorists crashing highjacked aircraft into them and killing thousands of Americans in the process. The fate of the Pentagon chilled us further.

New Zealand television stations hooked in to U.S. channels, and all that day we watched and shared the agony of the people of the United States of America. Inveterate travelers and friends of the United States, many New Zealanders knew the towers, had near ones working in the financial district, and were impatient to strike back at the perpetrators.

New Zealand was one of the first countries to offer, in the week after the disaster, a military contribution (including special forces) to assist the United States in its operations to catch the organizers of the attack.

New Zealand Defence Force staff officers, including naval personnel, deployed before Christmas to Central Command in Tampa, Florida, and will continue to serve for as long as they are required. Other Defence Force personnel, again including naval people, are deployed with the U.N.-mandated, British-led, Afghanistan-bound International Security Assistance Force.

The New Zealand government is putting extra money into intelligence, command-and-control, counter-terrorism, and border-protection efforts over the next three years. Included is funding for the Defence Force to establish a capability to respond to a terrorist emergency of a chemical or biological nature.

For the Royal New Zealand Navy's 2,000 uniformed members, the first impact of the attacks was the imposition of a higher security status. Security at our only base, at Devonport in Auckland, now is much tighter and access is more limited.

A team of sailors found themselves seconded for two months to the Aviation Security Service when it quickly enlarged its domestic passenger screening teams, which now operate at most of the airports in New Zealand.

Life on the six larger ships of our fleet (one Leander -class and two ANZAC frigates, a tanker, a diving support vessel, and a survey ship) has seen a tightening of security measures. Ships deploying outside the usual beat of Australia and New Zealand, such as the diving support ship HMNZS Manawanui on guardship duties off the Solomon Islands, will operate under higher security conditions.

In a country tucked away at the bottom of the South Pacific, last stop on the way to almost nowhere, New Zealanders often think (wrongly) we are safe from all the problems of the world. The buffer of 1,500 kilometers of sea between Australia and us and the 10,000-and-more kilometers to Asia lull us into careless habits. One of the lessons of the 11 September attacks is that in today's world no nation can afford to be complacent.

Admiral Abdul Aziz Mirza, NI(M), S.Bt, Pakistan Navy —The people of Pakistan were shocked and outraged at the dreadful terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., that resulted in an unprecedented loss of innocent lives. Pakistan regards terrorism as an evil that threatens the world community. As a manifestation of its policy, Pakistan categorically and unequivocally denounced the barbaric acts of terrorism on humanity that occurred on 11 September. In the past, Pakistan has been itself a victim of such atrocities. The pain, caused anywhere by such activities, is felt equally by our people. Hence, Pakistan was quick to respond to the U.S. call for its fight against terrorism and decided to join the international coalition.

The government of Pakistan has taken strict measures against extremist elements within the country. Several organizations have been banned and collection of funds by them prohibited. To enforce the national effort against terrorism, the Pakistan Navy is playing a very important role. The following measures are being adopted as our contribution to fighting this menace:

  • Monitoring closely our sea exit and entry points to apprehend the fleeing terrorists
  • Enhancing patrolling to check on merchantmen carrying suspicious goods that may support terrorist activities
  • Enhancing port security and inshore surveillance
  • Monitoring of narcotics smuggling routes to apprehend drug traffickers, who are a major source of funding to terrorist organizations
  • Clamping down on local religious extremists escaping by sea

In addition, the Pakistan Navy has been and is cooperating with the coalition forces. Salient features of this cooperation are:

  • Facilitating coalition forces in their campaign against terrorism
  • Providing logistics support to coalition search-and-rescue elements
  • Ensuring security of coalition troops ashore
  • Maintaining regular coordination with coalition forces in management of sea and air space to avoid untoward incidents

Notwithstanding the above there is a need for extensive efforts at the international level to pinpoint and address the factors that lead to terrorism. Until we root out the causes that breed extremism, some misanthrope once again might succeed in bringing an even bigger catastrophe than 11 September upon the world.

In the end, the Pakistan Navy—despite its limited resources—is willing and committed to go to any extent to help our country and the international community in their resolve to combat terrorism.

Vice Admiral Traian Atanasiu, Romanian Naval Forces —International terrorism is a scourge of the modern world. The events of the past few years have proved that terrorists can strike indiscriminately at both civil society and armed forces, especially naval forces (such as the attack on the USS Cole [DDG-67] in 2000).

The entire population of Romania has received the tragic events of 11 September in the United States with consternation. Immediately after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the political and military leadership of our country took its first measures. In the spirit of total dedication to democratic values, the Romanian government has expressed without reserve its compassion and support for the American people.

From the military point of view, this involved immediate activation of some units destined for crisis management and the application of specific measures for this kind of situation.

In accordance with orders from superior authorities, the Romanian Naval Forces have activated their own structures for crisis management and put into action several new measures. This means, among other things, cooperation with local authorities having responsibilities in the security field, exchanging information and ensuring united action, strengthening the surveillance of some objectives and sensitive zones (in coorperation with Military Police forces), taking some special measures for checking the mail, and eventually preventing attempts to spread toxic substances through chemical or biological attack.

During this period, the Romanian Naval Forces have monitored continuously their areas of responsibility to identify quickly any risks or threats. At the request of the military and political leadership, the Naval Forces have kept on call a frigate designed for such an intervention.

The Romanian Naval Forces have taken a series of medium- and short-term measures:

  • Adapting the concept of Naval Forces use and their missions in accordance with the new threat of terrorism
  • Achieving close cooperation both with forces from the other military services and with civil organizations with responsibilities for fighting terrorism
  • Taking a series of measures to protect our own forces
  • Increasing cooperation with the forces of NATO member and partner countries and neighboring countries through participation in joint training exercises

All these measures fit in the way of approaching a new type of threat—terrorism. To solve this problem, the exchange of information and the assessment of progress will remain permanently at the center of our attention.

Rear Admiral Jörgen Ericsson, Royal Swedish Navy —The Swedish armed forces currently are undergoing extensive transformation. The overall objective is a defense system considerably reduced in volume but that is sophisticated, versatile, and adapted to a large number of different types of threats and operations. The events of 11 September and their consequences show that the likelihood of limited wars, shows of force, and armed attacks by different groups has increased. Freedom of the seas is more likely to be threatened by terrorist organizations and states. Such actions would have a huge impact on our economy, prosperity, and way of life. The Royal Swedish Navy has taken both short- and long-term actions to strengthen its capability to meet this challenge, focusing on asymmetric threats to the control of our littoral areas and the protection of sea lanes of communication, trade, and territorial integrity.

The transfer to a corvette fleet and the development of the multirole, stealthy Visby class is greatly strengthening this littoral warfare capability. In combination with the development of new amphibious warfare systems, the air-independent propulsion submarine system capable of special intelligence and surveillance tasks, and a long-range missile capability, the Royal Swedish Navy currently is strenghtening its ability to handle a broad range of threats.

After 11 September, the speed of this development was increased by several immediate actions:

  • Enhancing intelligence and surveillance efforts
  • Increasing and focusing readiness, both for specific units and within the command structure
  • Increasing efforts to reinforce the capability to meet and handle nuclear, biological, and chemical threats
  • Increasing participation in multinational exercises and operations

In the long term, developing capabilities for flexible actions and multinational cooperation on, above, under, and from the sea constitute the prerequisites for developing the Royal Swedish Navy into an effecitve instrument for use in extreme littoral areas. This transformation, already under way before 11 September, now is even more of a priority.

Admiral Sir Nigel Essenhigh, KCB, ADC, Royal Navy
—In the immediate aftermath of the appalling events of 11 September, Prime Minister Tony Blair committed the United Kingdom to stand "shoulder to shoulder" with the United States in the global war on terrorism. He stated that the United Kingdom's aim was to defeat terrorism as a force for change in the world. Since then, the British response has been two-pronged. First and foremost, we have employed the levers of state power—diplomatic, economic, and military—to contribute to the defeat of al Qaeda and the Taliban regime that supported it. Second, we have engaged in a concentrated effort across government to establish how these levers can be employed in the future to achieve the wider aim that is explicit in Mr. Blair's commitment.

From the outset of Operation Enduring Freedom the Royal Navy—as part of a wider U.K. joint force package—has been intimately committed to all phases of the operation, both in Afghanistan and more widely in the region. Our contribution has included Tomahawk land attack strikes, the development of theaterwide intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance, Royal Marine operations in Afghanistan, and enabling support from the sea. Royal Marines, forward deployed to Bagram and Kabul, conducted precursor ground force operations prior to the arrival of the International Security Assistance Force. We have made a major contribution to the unified coalition maritime component, assigning more than 13 ships and submarines and a two-star deputy to the U.S. Coalition Joint Force Maritime Component Command.

Such levels of integration and interoperability are testimony to the understanding and cooperation built between the Royal Navy/Royal Marines and U.S. Navy/U.S. Marine Corps over decades of operations in and around the Arabian Gulf and elsewhere. Experiences over the past four months have strengthened that relationship, and the Royal Navy and Royal Marines remain ready and prepared to play their full part in the U.S.-led campaign against international terrorism.

At the strategic level, the Royal Navy is engaged fully in the direction of the campaign, through my membership in the Chiefs of Staff Committee. In addition, we are contributing to the ongoing departmental study to ensure we have the right defense concepts, capabilities, and forces to deal with the threats from international terrorism in the future. This study will draw on the inputs and advice of key allies, partners, and academia. It is due to conclude in April 2002.

We are not starting with a clean sheet. Proceedings readers may be aware that, since 1998, the United Kingdom has been restructuring its defense capabilities to reflect the outcomes of the Strategic Defence Review (SDR). Inter alia, the SDR described an increasingly complex and less stable world. It set out the range of threats and risks to global stability and other British interests. These risks and threats included those emanating from nationalism, religious extremism, ethnic rivalry, and state-sponsored terrorism. So the ongoing study will develop the outcome of the SDR, not replace it.

The Royal Navy is well placed to support this work. Building on the SDR, the Navy Board has set out its strategic vision for the service (the Future Navy paper and Naval Strategic Plan can be found on the Royal Navy website at www.rnreference.mod.uk ). In the wake of 11 September, the Navy Board conducted a thorough review of its Future Navy strategy. It concluded that whilst some changes of emphasis might be needed (mostly in the areas of deployment patterns, command and control, and interoperability with partners—most notably the United States) it otherwise remained very sound.

Overall the Royal Navy has played a key role in the war against international terrorism since the attacks of 11 September. We are well placed to continue to do so and to adapt to any change required by the defensewide strategic study. It is by dynamically adapting to the changing demands of the strategic environment through the successful development of a versatile maritime force that the Royal Navy will fulfill its mission: to remain a world-class navy, ready to fight and win.

 

More by this Author

None found for this author.

Events and Conferences

None found for this author.


 
 

Conferences and Events

Defense Forum Washington 2014

Thu, 2014-12-04

Newseum - Knight Conference Center

Defense Forum Washington will take place December 4, 2014 at the Newseum - Knight Conference Center in Washington, DC.

2015 WEST Conference

2015 U.S. Naval Institute Member Event

Ultimate Skybox at The Diamond View Tower

Why Become a Member of the U.S. Naval Institute?

As an independent forum for over 135 years, the Naval Institute has been nurturing creative thinkers who responsibly raise their voices on matters relating to national defense.

Become a Member Renew Membership