Comment and Discussion

First, let us deal with the example of the phone and distance line, which Admiral Blair sites as evidence of a failed acquisition process. The acquisition community bas literally nothing to do with the presence of those phone and distance lines. Their use is mandated by Naval Warfare Publication 4-01:4 (formerly NWP 14). The Navy Warfare Development Command, not the acquisition community, maintains NWPs. Change the requirements, and the acquisition community will change what it buys.

Second, Admiral Blair seems to favor a "real-time" approach to implementation of technology. He laments acquisition program managers (PMs) being rewarded for maintaining budget and schedule and therefore failing to implement emerging technology late in the acquisition process. There are, however, other realties to consider. Program managers (who are in San Diego, not Washington D.C., if they are PMs for information systems) get rewarded for maintaining cost and schedule not because they willfully are detached from the operational forces, but because programs that violate their cost and schedule parameters get cancelled (witness Advanced Integrated Electronic Warfare System and maybe LPD-17). Trying to keep up with the war fighters' ever-evolving requirements and not stopping at a defined point is a certain recipe for failure. Then the war fighter gets nothing.

Admiral Blair, strangely enough, is trying to address issues that are above even his very high pay grade. The acquisition process serves the legislative branch of government as much as it serves operational forces, because by law it must. The kind of reforms Admiral Blair would advocate seem to require a rewrite of the Goldwater-Nichols and Nunn-McCurdy acts, which specify the required steps of major defense acquisitions. In addition, these laws were not passed out of spite or animus against our operational forces; they were passed to protect the taxpayers from programmatic risk. While defense acquisition serves the war fighter, it equally must serve the taxpayers. Allowing constantly emerging requirements to impact major defense acquisitions may improve the end product to the war tighter, but it will guarantee tremendous increases in programmatic cost and risk.

Small-scale, focused efforts, of the kind described by Admiral Blair, are invaluable in techno logy development and demonstration. They are a useful part of the way the acquisition community tests and services the needs of the war fighter. As a model for major defense acquisition, however, they are both illegal and unwise.

 

" Sunk Costs Sink Innovation "

(See T. Pierce, pp. 32-35, May 2002 Proceedings)

Rear Admiral Mike Mathis, U.S Navy, Research, Development and Acquisition Chief Engineer; and Dr. Wayne Meeks, Naval Sea Systems Command Battle Force System Engineer —The Naval Institutedemonstrates valor over discretion when it awards the Arleigh Burke prize to Captain Terry Pierce's essay—valor for supportingextreme viewpoints over discretion about the underlying quality of reasoning and information.

Our disagreement hinges on two interrelated questions about Captain Pierce's essay: Is the tactical component network (TCN) as superior to cooperative engagement capability (CEC) as he says, and is the acquisition system as bad?

Close reading shows that the only specific claim favoring TCN's performance is the use of less bandwidth, thereby permitting more participating units. No objective data are offered, and there is no indication of scientific principles by which TCN might deliver on this claim. The remaining assertions are of the non-specific "gee whiz" nature more commonly associated with television infomercials.

It is important to understand that we do not object to TCN per se, just to claims lacking objective supporting information. This becomes a critical issue in our business of killing enemies and destroying property. Ensuring that the right people (and only the right people) meet their makers is a more complex business than building a web page and deserves commensurately greater rigor. We acknowledge that the assurance functions and engineering discipline appropriate for controlling ordnance lead to chokepoints in the acquisition system. Numerous other chokepoints exist, and some are inflexible because of their statutory origins. Many were imposed with the explicit intent of protecting warfighters such as Captain Pierce as well as taxpayers from systems of poor quality or safety, immature or unworkable technology, and fraud.

The effort to properly integrate CEC into the fleet was a difficult endeavor made more so by the inability to engineer across the multitude of stove-piped programs. One positive outcome is that we have learned a lot about large system-of-systems challenges. After a decade of acquisition reform, good reasons for criticism of the acquisition system remain. But the decision to not reverse several years' progress in integrating CEC into combat systems of the fleet is not one of them.

We intend to submit a full-length article for Proceedings in the near future with a more comprehensive assessment of these issues.

 

"John F. Kennedy: Where Were the Chiefs?"

(See R. Jackson, p. 73, April 2002; F. Klinkenberger, pp. 10- 12, May 2002 Proceedings )

Master Chief Navy Counselor Paul T Pierce, USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75)— Iappreciate Senior Chief Jackson's comments, but his analysis lacks an awareness of other ingredients that are essential to success. While on the staff of Commander, Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, a few years ago, I had the chance to observe a similar (but less dramatic) scenario with the oilers in Earle, New Jersey. Like the John F Kennedy (CV-67), those ships suffered primarily from a lack of two critical factors: money for spare parts and for maintenance, and, frankly, what I would call "continuity of intentions" by the purse-holding leadership.

That doesn't mean that the failures in either case were deliberate. Nonetheless, while leadership understandably debated what to do with these aging ships (who would own them and spend money on them), the decline in their material conditions was the foreseeable, inevitable consequence of a failure to pay the cost of maintaining large, complex, and old machines. The fact that these ships were away from the Norfolk hub of the Atlantic Fleet probably didn't help. 

Should the deficiencies have been fully documented? Of course. Should the simple tasks have been done? Absolutely. But if the money, maintenance, and interest stream is dry over time, then all that a full ship's maintenance project leaves you with is lots of Is and Os on a computer and a ship in poor condition. Simple systems theory teaches us that while heroic effort certainly can make a difference, sheer effort by the goat locker could never have fully remedied the decline that occurred in these ships over time.

Chief Gunner's Mate Allen J. McLean Jr., U.S. Navy, Small Arms Training Department, U.S. Naval Academy— Senior Chief Jackson's article is perhaps well intentioned at best, but it is shortsighted and insulting at its worst. The attempt to blame the chiefs' community for the debacle on the John F. Kennedy is despicable and way off of the mark.

The author, a former maintenance and material management coordinator, mentions two very key items in his article: the current ship's maintenance project (CSMP) and the planned maintenance system (PMS). He further talks about this documentation being "honest and correct" for a ship to get through the Board of Inspection and Survey review (InSurv).

Let's talk about honesty first: Does anyone remember a few years ago when the John F. Kennedy was in a service life extension program (SLEP) which was cancelled six months early and turned into a pier side, ship's force overhaul in Mayport? I can only imagine the gargantuan size of the CSMP, both before and after the cancelled SLEP.

When the SLEP was cancelled—not by any chief petty officer I'm sure—it was done to "save" millions of dollars to be spent somewhere else more important than on one of the nation's few remaining nonnuclear carriers. Guess what don't get completed when there's no money? The jobs on the CSMP. You need money to buy the consumables and repair money to buy the spare parts.

Going further on the topic of honesty, didn't Rear Admiral Malone, Commander, Naval Air Force, Atlantic Fleet, say it was everyone's responsibility, including his, for what happened? If so, why wasn't he relieved as well as everyone else up the chain-of-command? And did everyone else, including Senior Chief Jackson, forget that after the overhaul was completed, the John F. Kennedy was supposed to make one deployment and then transfer to the reserve fleet as a training asset? Somehow she remained a carrier in the active fleet making numerous deployments.

Now let's touch on correctness. How many planning conferences did the senior chief sit in on prior to a SLEP where he was told to prioritize his CSMP as to what "he really needed" and "what he could do without until next time"? I know this was the case with the ships I was on. The "do-without" jobs got cancelled off the CSMP every time. Sometimes jobs sent off of the ship just came back cancelled. And how many jobs on the CSMP routinely are cancelled just to get the ship out of the shipyard on time? Of course, what doesn't get done always will fall on the backs of the ship's force.

I was stationed on board a destroyer where the InSurv Board came on board and shortly thereafter walked off. Its members said we had failed the InSurv. However, they said they'd give us a few weeks to "fix things" and come back; they did, we did, and we passed. How is it that we were bad enough to fail and managed to recover and pass the InSurv? Why didn't the John F. Kennedy and her skipper get a second chance?

Those who plan, budget, and authorize these crucial maintenance periods need to fully fund and allow adequate time for their proper completion. Until they do, no one should be fired.

 

"A Navy Out of Balance"

(See J. Byron. pp. 44-47. May 2002 Proceedings)

Rear Admiral Jim Stavridis and Lieutenant Jamie Burts, U.S. Navy— Captain Byron's supposition that the Navy's strategy, military loyalty, personal professionalism, and relationship to the United States collectively have failed and that we are a "service out of balance" is not well supported by either the slim "evidence" he provides or the real state of affairs in the Navy.

On strategy, there is a remarkable openness of thought today in the Pentagon on joint, all-service approaches to solving the nation's security challenges. We have just completed the first truly joint conflict in Afghanistan, and the results—based on systems used in a coherent, joint fashion—are gratifying. At an even simpler level, the Navy's job—mandated in Title 10—is to be prepared to conduct prompt and sustained combat operations at sea. We therefore support a balanced, joint program to do so, and the Department of Defense leadership, the Congress, and the President make the ultimate choices. It is a system that is functioning well, and is today open to innovation and crosscutting ideas: conversion of ballistic missile submarines to tactical missile submarines, expeditionary assault groups, overland radar systems in E-2 Hawkeye aircraft, alternative crewing arrangements-the list is long.

On loyalty, Captain Byron states that we are incapable of seeing outside of our warfare communities and that our loyalties are "upside down." We disagree. Everyday in the Pentagon we see senior admirals advocating what is right for national defense, not their communities: look at Vice Admiral Mike Mullen, the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Resources, Requirements, and Assessments, who is a surface officer (SWO) fighting for many non-SWO programs; look at the aviator Vice Chief of Naval Operations, a strong advocate for more high-speed surface logistics; look at Chief of Naval Operations, a surface officer trying mightily to solve the aviation bow-wave and develop innovative concepts for Navy-Marine Corps aviation integration; see the junior officers from a wide variety of communities in the superb analysis shops in the assessment division and programming division who make the to ugh choices everyday that impact their "community." To suggest that our service members are not fulfilling their loyalty to the nation and feel a greater loyalty to their communities is wrong. It simply isn't the case in the people we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with in today's Navy.

On professionalism, Captain Byron suggests we are most loyal to our careers and that the "current system rewards conformity and kills those who err, even once." First, either of LIS can provide examples of many officers who have made serious errors both at sea and ashore—both of us among them—who are still moving forward. We see people who everyday challenge assumptions. In today's post-9/1 1 environment, the pressure is on to find the innovators and move them forward. The emergence of such new processes as the CNO War Council, the Technology Working Group, and many others is evidence of the drive to find and reward innovators. We take chances everyday in every part of the Navy staff and the fleet, from the most senior admirals to the mid-grade action officers.

Far from being "out of balance," the Navy is sailing pretty damn cleanly through some choppy seas. Is there room for improvement and self-reflection? Certainly. But in the end, this is a case not of a Navy out of balance, but rather an article that seems harshly so.

 

"We Are Lifesavers, Guardians, and Warriors"

(See B. Stubbs, pp. 50-53, April 2002 Proceedings.)

Commander Robert L. Desh, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, International Ice Patrol— Bravo Zulu, Captain Stubbs! I don't believe I have ever agreed so completely with any article written about the Coast Guard in more than 30 years of service. Like the good Captain, I think Coast Guard Publication 1 (CGPUB-1) is an invaluable first step toward restoring a proper collective identity and unity of effort for the Coast Guard. I read it cover to cover, tabbed and highlighted what I thought were particularly important excerpts, and then made it mandatory reading for the entire crew. The Coast Guard absolutely needs the "organizational cohesion and common definition of the service" that Captain Stubbs so eloquently espouses.

Having lived through the radical swing between the "Yost Guard" and the "Kinder and gentler" Coast Guard that followed, I personally can attest to the collective identity confusion that racked our beloved service as the philosophy pendulum made its radical swing between the two Commandants. Captain Stubbs' choice of the term "whipsawing" is regrettably right on target.

I thought that Admiral Yost was on the mark with many of the initiatives he undertook to remind us that that the green ID card we carried in our wallets indicated that we were members of the Armed Forces of the United States. Not everyone agreed with me. Heck, many will never forgive him for making them shave their beards. I didn't agree with all the changes that Admiral Yost made, but I will forever argue that the Coast Guard needed the swing at that point in our history. Conversely, I was not a fan of the big push to the other side of center that followed under Admiral Kime. I guess the dog tags that I've worn around my neck since the day they handed them to me in boot camp were just too symbolic of the Coast Guard that I knew and loved.

In 1981, after spending my first ten years of service almost entirely afloat, I found myself assigned for the first time to the marine safety mission. I was surprised to find that there was a whole different Coast Guard that I didn't know about. After a decade with the organization, I found my collective experience to be marginally useful. All of a sudden, everyone was speaking a different language and playing by a new set of rules! It shouldn't be that way. Furthermore, the numerous little Coast Guard subcultures can't just say, "Oh, that's easy to fix. Just act like us." We need to think of ourselves as one—"lifesavers, guardians, and warriors."

I have the privilege to lead a Coast Guard unit, the International Ice Patrol, which crosses over several of our internal cultural divides. I believe Ice Patrol is a great example of how we truly can have a collective service identity. For the most part, the officers at Ice Patrol are oceanographers with a seagoing background-cuttermen. The enlisted work force is made up of marine science technicians whose careers are focused on the marine safety and environmental protection missions when not serving as "Ice Picks." To add to the mix, our chief partners are the highly skilled C-130 aircrews who we join in flying the iceberg reconnaissance missions over the North Atlantic. Despite these differences that would appear to cause great conflict, we are a small, tight, focused community that functions efficiently and effectively.

I credit part of our success to one of key elements touted by Captain Stubbs. We all study, know, and are proud of the distinguished history of Ice Patrol. Our spaces are filled with reminders of the dedicated folks who laid the groundwork for our success. We know their names and their deeds. As the Disney folks say, its "the power of story." It works!

 

"When Precision Weapons Are Ballast"

(See F. Turner, pp. 89-90, April 2002 Proceedings )

Lieutenant Commander Patrick Lueb, U. S. Navy —Idisagree with Lieutenant Commander Turner's approach to solving the Navy's targeting problems. The lion's share of his solution involves technology: new sensors, more powerful computers, and greater communications capability. He also addresses some organizational and doctrinal issues. I believe that technology is not the Holy Grail for solving future targeting needs. The answer is simpler and, at the same time, more complex.

During the Cold War, naval intelligence officers essentially alternated between sea and shore jobs providing direct operational intelligence support to the fleet. In this scheme, they constantly were honing their knowledge of the enemy and the processes needed to fight him. Under current manning procedures, many intelligence officers now do only two or three sea tours in a 20-year career. (The enlisted intelligence specialists, however, spend dramatically more time at sea.) The rest of that career is spent ashore, often with little to no interaction with the fleet or other operational forces. This results in sea tours becoming "educational" experiences to learn about—rather than employ—the latest systems and capabilities in the aircraft carrier's intelligence center (CVIC), as well as the capabilities and requirements of the battle group, not to mention understanding the current intelligence and operational problems. By the end of their typical two-year tours, the intelligence officers are just becoming comfortable with the jobs. With each new personnel rotation, the same education has to happen all over again.

It is this "educational" characteristic of operational intelligence assignments that most hinders effective targeting support to trigger-pullers. No amount of technology or doctrine will overcome this. Improving the Navy's ability to conduct time-critical strike begins with solid intelligence support from the whole CVIC team. This team must first understand the problem, grasp the processes associated with it, and then how to apply technology to help solve those problems. A thorough understanding of the problem and process is far more critical than new technology. The time spent trying to understand this new technology is time not spent on solving problems such as time-critical strike.

The solution begins with leadership familiar with the problems and the processes, in addition to technology. This leadership starts with naval intelligence officers groomed for the role through targeted assignments ashore and additional sea duty. This would result in an officer specializing in targeting and the application of power. These specialists would be able to oversee the development and implementation of tools and procedures to tackle the time-critical targeting problem. If the naval intelligence community is interested in solving complex problems like time-critical strike, then it needs to be focusing on and willing to invest more in people than technology.

Rear Admiral Richard B. Porterfield, U.S. Navy, Director of Naval Intelligence —We have all seen the statistics on the growth of precision-guided munitions (PGMs) as the weapon of choice for our combat commanders. Since Kosovo, this shift has been accompanied by criticism that the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) system is not prepared to support the robust use of these weapons. In reality, the situation in which we find ourselves is hardly surprising. It was perhaps inevitable that weapons development would outpace sensors given our historic emphasis on funding weapons rather than sensors. Our existing ISR systems, in the hands of creative and innovative intelligence professionals, have performed beyond their design. The future, however, requires that we shift our priorities, in vesting in sensors over weapons.

The key to exploiting the capabilities of our precision-guided munitions is a networked ISR system, incorporating pervasive and undeniable sensors. This network, however, can not simply support precision strike. It must be adaptable to the range of missions that we will be tasked to support. An afloat intelligence center can find itself supporting not only the full range of strike operations, but also maritime interdiction operations, special operations forces, amphibious operations, even antisubmarine warfare, simultaneously or in quick succession. To do otherwise denies us the flexibility that is a hallmark of naval power.

The Director of Naval Intelligence works closely with the Naval Afloat Targeting Integrated Process Team—the fleet forum for targeting issues-to address the doctrine, training, and standardization issues that Lieutenant Commander Turner raises. As the Navy's ISR functional manager, I am committed to ensuring that intelligence requirements of the fleet are supported in the coming years. PGMs will not be ballast—but rather ever more valuable strike assets as the ISR network to support them matures.

 

"Another View: TacAir"

(See E. Smith, p. 14, February 2002 Proceedings)

Major Robert L. Etter, U.S. Air Force (Retired)— This cartoon suggesting that Air Force tactical aviation (TacAir) doesn't have the range to be a valuable part of Operation Enduring Freedom seems to be in bad taste and incorrect because naval aviation could just as easily be the tag instead of Air Force TacAir. For example, page 33 of the February Proceedings features a report of F/A-18s being refueled by KC-10s. On page 95 of the March issue of Proceedings we find the quote: "the U.S. Air Force provided…more than 80% of the mission tanking to [U.S. Navy] carrier striking forces." The 25 February Aviation Week reported that an F/A-18 was forced to make an emergency landing in Pakistan after the fifth refueling from a KC-10 went bad. Air and Space had a story about F-14s being refueled by Royal Air Force tankers for Afghan missions.

I'm not a fighter jock, but the last time I checked we were all on the same team and should be helping each other out, not knocking each other's abilities.

 

"Jack of All Trades, Master of None"

(See D. Harris, pp. 90-93, March 2002; J. Schaaf, pp. 26-28, April 2002; D. Woodbury, J. Stoul, pp. 12-20, May 2002 Proceedings)

Captain C. F Ward, U.S. Naval Reserve (Retired)— If we accept the premise of Lieutenant Colonel Stout's letter, that the Air Force aviators are better at their task, then perhaps we should recognize the elephant in the room that nobody wants to mention. Visit an Air Force squadron and look for the greenie board that shows landing grades. When you discover that there is no such animal, it will come to you that all the air hours that Navy tactical pilots spend in the field carrier landing practice pattern, their Air Force brethren spend perfecting warfighting skills.

Thus, the choice is either increase the flight hours for Navy pi lots to compensate for this carrier requirement or spend the money to automate, to whatever degree of redundancy you wish, the carrier landing. If you choose the first option, then, as suggested, sort out which of the non-flying collateral duties that will be dispensed with, as days simply cannot be lengthened just to allow more fight hours. Obviously, it would then be a great help to have aircraft that vaguely resemble the deployment/wartime configuration. Were you to climb into an Air Force plane during that squadron visit, you would be astonished to see every cockpit space filled with operational equipment-for every flight, everywhere. Colonel Stout's letter was on the mark.

 

"V-22 Is Right for the War on Terrorism"

(See K. Smith, pp. 42-44, January 2002; D. Goure. pp. 12-14, February 2002; H. Dunn, p. 31, April 2002 Proceedings)

David Byrd —I am bemused that the Red Ribbon panel discussed in Colonel Dunn's letter (all card-carrying members of the rotary-wing brigade) supposedly are "objectively" evaluating a functional replacement for rotary-winged aircraft. Informative, and expert, no doubt they are, but they can't be objective about the subject at hand. The Blue Ribbon panel may be politicized, but since when have major weapon system procurements not been 90% political and 10% technical?

Colonel Dunn notes that platforms "using asymmetric rotors and propellers…were either cancelled, crashed, or found unsuitable." This might be news to all those Chinooks out there. Non-coaxial (more accurate than "asymmetric" since both V-22 rotors are the same size and equidistant from the center of mass) rotor layouts have been used to great success. Why is lift that is split fore/aft suddenly more wonderful than left/right? If one gets into ring vortex states, stalls, or uneven thrust conditions in either case, the ship does bad things. The advantage of flipping head over teacups instead of left wing over right isn't obvious.

More important, these panel reviews of the V22 are all based on hypothetical projections. It's an experiment! How "operational" were the first helicopters ten years after they took to the air? They weren't. Weapon systems kill people. In development, in use, in testing. Helicopters, improperly flown, kill people. The V-22 improperly fl own kills people. A roller skate can kill, too. It is disingenuous to imply the vehicle is fatally flawed because the operating envelope and rules of engagement (between the pilot and the control stick) haven't been developed fully yet.

When there are 50 years of combat evolution into fixing problems, then its value can be debated. A Bell 47 wasn't an early version of a Comanche—it was a Bell 47. It would have been foolish to cancel the Bell 47 because it couldn't do something or because it fell down a lot. The V-22 isn't whatever its evolutionary descendant will be in 2050 either. To kill the program, however, means that someone believes they are wise enough to know that a concept can't be made to work because the test vehicle has flaws that can't be fixed. That is the height of arrogance when it comes to technological development.

We have just relearned, sadly, that fins and rudders still fall off of airplanes when things aren't done right. Do they fall off because the pilot can't drive? Or do they fall off because designers didn't understand all the ways a pilot could drive? Maybe the designers and the pilots need to relearn some things and make adjustments. There have been airplanes with rudders nigh on 100 years now, but making people and high-speed machinery work safely together is never ever easy or simple. So let's give the V-22 designers (and pilots) a break here. Let them learn and proceed to define this new flight regime to our collective benefit.

There is no doubt that the V-22 is flawed. Are we not better off finding out, operationally, what flaws can or should be corrected and then deciding what the next iteration should look like? Just tossing this one out and saying "let's have a new program" wastes a lot of time and money (and probably lives). It's time for the rotor-wing brigade to realize that it's possible that there are other ways to go up and down besides hanging under a leading, lagging, flapping, spinning, and twisting metal stick.

 

" It's Not about Fun "

(SeeM. Butler, pp. 26-27, February 2002; K. Miller, March 2002 Proceedings)

Midshipman Manuel B. Strange, U.S. Navy —Master Chief Butler wrote that theNavy "has never been fun, nor should it be." I strongly disagree. I know I am just an ignorant youngster, but I believe in doing what makes one happy. No matter what the situation is, you should always try to find happiness. I have trouble understanding why people would be willing to dedicate their lives to something that they don't find "fun" in any sort of way.

Plebe summer was a rough situation, however I tried to make the best of it and looked at it as some contorted style of fun. The Naval Academy in general really isn't that much fun , but what keeps me going is the saying that goes around here, "work hard now, play hard for the rest of your life." I joined the Navy to do something that is not only patriotic and challenging, but also fun. If the saying were instead, "work hard now, then have no more fun for the rest of your life," I definitely would seek a different profession.

I believe the key to having a successful military is having people who love and enjoy what they do. In my eyes, fun is what motivates individuals to do a better job. Who is a better ball player, a professional who hates his job or a pro who plays not for the money but because he loves the game?

As to Commander Miller's response, I strongly agree with most of his points. However, I disagree with hi s opinion that "put the fun back in command" is "targeted to commanding officers and above, and deals with the act of commanding or experiencing command." I believe that everyone, from admiral to seaman, fall sunder this category. If we would follow John Boyd's ideas of decentralized command structure and have more initiative by subordinates then maybe every individual in the Navy could experience the "fun in command."

 

"This Naval Flight Officer Has Come a Long Way"

(See J. Miller, p. 104, April 2002 Proceedings)

Lieutenant Commander Dan Jenkins, U.S. Naval Reserve (Retired)— The article onAdmiral William "Fox" Fallon reminded me of another pioneering naval flight officer (NFO), Commander John C. ("J.C.") Smith. Commander Smith and his pilot Lou Page recorded the first confirmed MiG kill in Vietnam in 1965. He was later was one of the first officers in charge of the Navy Fighter Weapons School at Naval Air Station Miramar. I served under him as an ensign and lieutenant junior grade) when he was one of the first, if not the very first, NFO commanding officer of a U.S. Navy fighter squadron, VF-114.

Commander Smith was the finest officer I ever knew—and one of the finest men I've ever met. It's gratifying to see naval flight officers such as Admiral Fallon and Rear Admiral Mike McCabe leave their significant marks on our present and future Navy. They follow in a very good man's footsteps.

 

"The U.S.-Japan Alliance Is Vital"

(See A. Cummings, pp. 58-61, March 2002 Proceedings)

Peter Stanek— Withrespect to Japan's further participation as a military power within a U.S.-Japan alliance, neither its Constitution nor its Article 9 stands in the way. As a prime military, political, and economic force in the Western Pacific, Japan potentially has a crucial role in peace-keeping operations, either with the United States or acting independently.

A far more compelling and difficult obstacle blocks any realization of this goal: Japan's adamant refusal to recognize, confront, and remedy the history of atrocities against civilian populations committed by the Imperial Army in the Pacific War. Roughly 30 million Chinese civilians were slaughtered; 300,000 Korean and Philippine women taken as sex slaves; and more than one million prisoners of war (including thousands of U.S. citizens) sacrificed in Japanese mainland slave labor camps. These Imperial Army actions never have been acknowledged by the Japanese government, nor has any official apology been offered.

Perhaps no better example illustrates this issue than the episode known as the "Rape of Nanking," during which the Japanese Imperial Army in a six-week period at the end of 1937 massacred 350,000 unarmed Chinese civilians. These Japanese actions remain bitter memories for all of its Pacific neighbors.

But Japan has only to follow Germany's lead to redeem itself and rejoin the world's community of democratic nations. The German government repeatedly has apologized for Nazi war crimes, and paid more than $50 billion to individual victims, their survivors, and the state of Israel. Last year, a museum commemorating victims of the Nazi Holocaust opened in Berlin. German school textbooks unflinchingly record this black period of history.

In contrast, the Japanese government has yet to come to grips with its past. An official policy of denial directs Japanese foreign and domestic affairs. Even today, Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi persists in worshiping at the Yasukuni Shrine, which honors Japanese war heroes. Among them are class A war criminals indicted by the United States after the Japanese surrender and leaders of the attacks on civilians in Nanking.

Suppose a German chancellor made annual pilgrimages to a shrine erected to the memory of Adolph Hitler. What then might be the future of a U.S.-German alliance?

 

"No More Catch Phrases, Please"

(See J. Murphy, pp. 30-31, February 2002; R. Dunn, p. 14, March 2002; D. Nystrom, pp. 29-30, April 2002; S. Davis, p. 26, May 2002 Proceedings)

Chief Cryptologic Technician Interpretive James M. Murphy, U.S. Navy —LieutenantCommander Nystrom wrote very eloquently in response to my recent essay, but I think he missed the point. It was never my intention to decry the usefulness of Covenant Leadership. My intent was to show that this relationship did not need to be named and no phrase was needed to define it. Quite simply, it is one of the basic definitions of leadership.

When we accept positions of leadership, leadership is the covenant. These actions are required of us if we are to be leaders in the true sense of the word. Accepting the privilege brings with it a responsibility to invest time and energy to provide for the personal growth and development of our subordinates. Covenant Leadership is simply another axiom, another catch phrase we use to teach the most basic of leadership requirements.

Appreciative Inquiry, on the other hand, is not aligned with how we do business. As Lieutenant Commander Nystrom wrote, "Appreciative Inquiry is about examining the positive and not concentrating on the negative." If this practice were carried out in our day-to-day operations, mishap investigations would examine what went right, not what went wrong. The Navy Mishap report would list safety suggestions and examples of safety procedures being followed correctly, instead of displaying for our entire organization those unfortunate examples of when proper procedures are not followed.

Lieutenant Commander Nystrom's defense of Appreciative Inquiry goes so far as to disprove his own argument. He notes the results of the Navy Leadership summit as proof of Appreciative Inquiry's merits; however, he also lists several themes that describe what happens when Navy leadership is at its best. The second theme listed is "treating errors as learning experiences." Under his description of Appreciative Inquiry, should we not expect a theme entitled "treating successes as learning experiences?" His own justification of the theory demonstrates how the Navy, on a grand scale, values more the lessons we learn from our mistakes than from our successes.

I agree with Lieutenant Commander Nystrom's suggestion that we must learn from positive examples, but I think we can learn just as much, if not more, from our own mistakes. Those missteps we make during our careers are very much a part of our learning process. Just as we notate outstanding performance during semi-annual and annual evaluations and fitness reports, so too do we make suggestions for improving deficiencies. We do our sailors a disservice if we overlook their deficiencies. This is true in everything we do.

Commander Davis writes that he is concerned about my statement that I have confidence in my leadership abilities simply because I am a chief. I wish to relay to all readers that my statement was simply a representation of the leadership skills of the entire chiefs' mess. No one chief possesses every required trait to face the challenges that lie ahead, but the chiefs' mess, in concert with the wardroom and the white hats, can face any challenge—and we don't need another catch phrase to succeed. As a commanding officer, I hope Commander Davis has the same faith in his chiefs' mess that I have.

 

"'Water, Water Everywhere, Nor Any Drop to Drink'"

(See D. Walsh, p. 105, April 2002 Proceedings)

Midshipman J. Adam Pegues, U.S. Navy— Dr. Walsh highlights a problem that is increasing dramatically every day and promises to have dire consequences in the near future. Our nation needs to search for ways to improve our water consumption habits. This will take a grass-roots change, with each citizen doing his or her own small part, day by day.

There certainly is potential in using large sea-bound tankers to transport and deliver fresh water to offshore pipelines and ports where it is most needed. Dr. Walsh points out that legislation has paved the way for cheap conversion of former oil platforms to water-carrying ships. This is one method of alleviating shortages around the world, and will soon be tested in San Diego and other places.

In the shadow of recent world events, however, we must ensure the integrity of any type of oceangoing fresh water-delivery system. Whether by naval support, or through technological advances, careful planning must be given to the safety and protection of the crucial water cargoes as they are transported to their destinations.

Some method of distributing fresh water needs to be developed. Parts of the world will perish if some such a system is not soon developed and implemented. One thing to remember is that terrorists certainly would see the potential effectiveness of a strike on a country's fresh water supply. We should also recognize the vulnerabilities of such a system.

 

"The QDR and East Asia"

(See M. McDevitt, pp. 87-89, March 2002 Proceedings)

Lieutenant Commander Gerry Benavente, U.S. Navy— Thecaption on page 88 labelsthe submarine in the photo a Kilo. Instead, it is a Ming or Romeo.

 

" Interview: Christiane Amanpour "

(See F. Schultz, pp. 54-56, April 2002)

Henry Payne III —I wish you had asked Christiane Amanpour more relevant questions about journalism's role in reporting this war on terrorism. Her condescending answer to the question about President George W. Bush's "axis of evil" speech is arrogant, wrong-headed, and typical of today's journalism. Why can't she recognize this evil in many Arab countries that will not recognize Israel's right to exist? Why doesn't she report about the many Arab dictatorships surrounding the only true democracy in the Middle East? Why don't these oil-rich countries help the Palestinians by resettling them on their vast land holdings?

If she wants to report honestly on the war on terror, she would read publications such as Aviation Week and Proceedings, which will give her much information for stories about how our military is teaching terrorists a proper lesson.

 

 
 

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