Other than the AV-8, which doesn't normally operate from the big-deck carriers, today's Marine Corps aircraft cannot operate from an austere, front-line strip carved out of the battlefield. If the F/A-18s aren't operating as part of the fleet's carrier air wing, they require secure bases ashore. If you have secure bases ashore, the U.S. Air Force will be there in force—providing significantly more capability than organic Marine air. If you can't get airfields close to the action, then you are once again reliant on the Air Force for long-range shooters and tankers.
If I extend the logic of Captain Garick's argument to its conclusion, either Marine air needs to take over all operations from the carriers or they need to become another land-based air force to ensure adequate support to the Marine commander. The Marines, with their understanding of air power, sea mobility, naval gunfire, and land operations should be leading the way in joint operations—not retreating into a shell. The nation does not need a second department of defense built around the Marines. My tax dollars should provide the most effective total military capability, not buy every combatant commander his personal navy and air force.
If the Marines aren't getting the support they need from the Navy and Air Force, we need to rewrite some doctrine and fire some flag and general officers. It's time to solve the problem of joint operations, not treat the symptoms by endlessly duplicating capabilities.
"Closing the Science-Sailor Gap"
(See J. Colvard, June 2002; P. Hekman, August 2002 Proceedings )
Rear Admiral Rowland G. Freeman III, U.S. Navy (Retired), former Commander, Naval Weapons Center China Lake, former Deputy, Naval Material Command for Procurement —There is no question that the Navy needs in-house technical and scientific competence to ensure the development of future systems. I believe, however, that Dr. Colvard misses several problems that we face when pointing to the disintegration of the bureau system as a major reason for the decline in technical and scientific expertise.
Dr. McLean has been used as an example of the sailor-scientist relationship by the laboratory system in the Navy for many years. He was an inventor, a visionary, and a rebel against bureaucracy, dedicated to solving operational force needs. His like has not been seen since in the laboratory system.
One of the biggest mistakes that the Navy made was dissolving the Naval Material Command (NMC). Officially, this was done to provide more visibility and management guidance for the Navy's major programs. Instead, it removed a major protection for the bureaus and their program managers from constant second guessing by the senior levels of military and civilian management. It has not solved the problems of missed targets of cost, delivery, and performance. Nor has it in any way improved the scientific and technical capabilities of the Navy.
Under the Naval Material Command, the research responsibilities of the Navy were quite divided. The Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) handled basic research. The bureaus funded exploratory development and engineering development, with oversight by the Deputy for Research and Development, Naval Material Command, the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Research and Development, the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research and Development, and at the secretarial level, the Director of Naval Laboratories. All these offices had a hand in the budgeting for the Navy's technical and scientific effort, as did the various committees of Congress, which had their own ideas of the proper approaches. Thus the competition for dollars was great, and the fragmentation of appropriations contributed to the problem. This complex and ponderous system, however, seemed to work, even if it was greatly frustrating to those at the secretarial level who wanted to control and manage programs. Removing the NMC further fragmented and complicated the technical and scientific capabilities.
The Navy laboratory system was developed to serve the operational fleets. Over the years, that focus got lost as the laboratories strove to become more like academic campuses. The program to place young civilian engineers in the fleet to improve the interface between "sailor and science" had an almost fatal flaw in that on their return from their fleet tours they were seldom rewarded, or had the promised jobs waiting for them. In addition, the technical director at the laboratories really reported to the Director of Naval Laboratories, which separated the military head from the direction of technical effort of the lab, and the ferocious competition for dollars between the laboratories downgraded the technical and scientific effort.
In the 1970s, a major effort was made to develop a Navy laboratory-wide strategic plan. The effort failed as each lab fought to protect its funding base.
I do not share the concerns of the author regarding industry consolidation, as we have many small companies of good technical and scientific competence. We have the capabilities of university-managed labs such as MIT, Cal Tech, Johns Hopkins, and others, as well as the National Laboratory and the other military laboratories.
We do not need an organization as much as we need a strategic plan more encompassing than just the Navy. The issue is how to cure the parochialism of the Navy laboratories and repair the apparent lack of trust between the miltary and civilian technical and scientific leadership.
The laboratories are one part of the Navy's technical and scientific support system and any plan must incorprate the other parts noted above.
"'Open the Gates'"
(See B. Greeley, pp. 52-60, June 2002; M. Collins. p12 ,July 2002; P. Dubbar, pp. 20-22. August 2002 Proceedings )
William H. Willoughby, civilian aide to the Secretary of the Army (Ohio-North)— Retired Army Brigadier General Richard Behrenhausen is quoted as criticizing West Point for policies that in his view have caused it to lose its viability and caused poor officer retention. A 1961 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy (USMA), he stated that the Academy now is too academically oriented and has lost track of its mission. He said that USMA admissions has shifted to a quest for the brightest, and that the process now looks for candidates with high ACT/SAT scores, devaluing traditional indications of leadership potential such as athletic team captain, class president, or Eagle Scout.
My anecdotal experience as a 1960 graduate with 23 years as a regional admissions coordinator told me that General Behrenhausen's comments are not supported by facts. Candidates for our service academies are better prepared both academically and physically, and have far more leadership potential than classes of earlier generations (including mine and General Behrenhausen's). A quick file dive revealed the facts.
The data in Table 1 compare the class of 2005 with the class of 1963, which was the oldest class data I could find (except for varsity letter winners).
It is obvious that our cadets are far better prepared and motivated to assume leadership roles than my generation, but they also are far more representative of the populace they will be charged with defending. The class of 2005 includes 98 African Americans, 94 Asian Americans, 70 Hispanics, and 10 Native Americans. Approximately 17% of the Corps of Cadets is female. This diversity compares favorably with the class of 1961, which included two African Americans.
West Point and all of the service academies have problems to solve. As with every public institution, they have a duty to accept criticism and correct those problems as a part of continuous improvement. As we move to resolve such issues as officer retention, we should look in the right places and use facts.
Captain Robert T. Allen, U.S. Naval Reserve (Retired)— I am a product of the V-7 training program for line officers during World War II. Fortunately, I received my midshipman training at the Naval Academy in early 1941. The four or five months spent there gave me an appreciation of naval procedures and tradition that proved invaluable as my career in the Naval Reserve progressed. Based on my experience, I think a 26-week training period at the Naval Academy would benefit both the Navy and ROTC graduates, provided the emphasis is on military subjects, leadership, and naval organization and procedures.
"A Common Support Aircraft Is Possible"
(See M. Prosperi, pp. 52-55, July 2002 Proceedings )
Rear Admiral Richard Brooks, ILS. Navy, Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Force, Atlantic —Commander Prosperi is right on the mark in pointing to the need for a road map for all naval aviation analogous to the tactical aircraft road map. The Director, Air Warfare (N78), developed just that road map as part of Program Objectives Memorandum for Fiscal Year 2004 (POM-04). It plots the transformation path for naval aviation from the force of today to that of the future. It's a solid plan (that will be revised in years to come as circumstances dictate), balancing capability and affordability under the umbrella of the global war on terrorism.
In the opening paragraphs of his article, Commander Prosperi points to decisions made under programmatic constraints as though they were not elements of a coordinated strategy, insights I suspect gleaned from his previous experiences in the Pentagon. He presents reasonable arguments for reviving the sea control community but does so at the expense of a Navy capability providing a core competency that always has been vital and is even more so after the events of 11 September 2001—Multimission Maritime Aircraft (MMA).
The MMA analysis of alternatives (AoA) Commander Prosperi refers to analyzed the requirement for broad area maritime and littoral armed intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. Recently reviewed by a senior team of Navy and Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) representatives, approved by the appropriate authority in the Navy, and endorsed by OSD, the AoA scope was much broader than Commander Prosperi implies. It initially considered P-3 options (i.e., minimal sustainment efforts, a service life extension program, P-3 remanufacture, and a new production P-3); 23 other military and commercial land-- based aircraft derivatives; new design medium and large turbo-fan and turboprop aircraft; planned satellite capabilities; land- and sea-based unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs); combinations of destroyers, helicopters, and submarines; and airships.
Ultimately, the S-3B and the Common Support Aircraft (CSA) were among the final sea-based manned alternatives evaluated. The AoA estimated the ability to do antisubmarine and antisurface warfare (ASW and ASUW), to perform intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, the ability to deliver missions in peacetime (i.e., responsive, sustained presence on station wherever needed) and the wartime ability to mass assets (i.e., numbers of forces on station) in theater quickly. Cost, schedule, and technical risk were evaluated for every alternative.
The AoA results reflect the overall value of each alternative as well as several capability combinations (e.g., sustaining P-3 forces until unmanned combat air vehicle technology can be fielded). The AoA found that manned aircraft are a key element in filling the need expressed in the mission need statement. CSA was specifically eliminated from consideration because of weight, range, and payload limitations—in fact, it was given every benefit of the doubt in performance and availability aboard ship.
Commander Prosperi's cost estimates reflect neither the force structure envisioned for the future nor the lifecycle cost estimated to develop, procure, and operate any of the alternatives, including CSA. It erroneously assumes that one CSA equals one MMA with respect to capability provided, and seriously underestimates the cost and schedule risk associated with developing a new carrier-based aircraft and integrating evolving technology in time to meet the need expressed by combatant commanders. Finally, it assumes the flexibility of operating a carrier-based aircraft from land offsets the cost of development, procurement, and support for a more complex aircraft than needed. I suggest this idea has historically been difficult for both the Air Force and the Navy when developing fighter/attack aircraft (i.e., the Navy's carrier-based requirements often differ from land-based Air Force requirements, pushing performance and cost along different courses). The Joint Strike Fighter program, where the positive aspects of commonality and performance balance the cost of developing three variants, represents a recent change in our approach to aircraft development and procurement.
Commander Prosperi's analysis and conclusions are congruent with current service plans in several respects, but his arguments for CSA ignore the requirement for long-range armed surveillance and reconnaissance (including ASW and ASUW) both in support of battle groups and when no carrier or other powerful expeditionary force is present. Finally, the role of UAVs in the future transformation of naval aviation is largely ignored, and the technical difficulty of performing the ASW time-critical search-to-kill chain using a UAV is not considered. The dull or dangerous surveillance mission where a UAV might excel could also, in the future, obviate the need for additional carrier-based aviation.
In summary, after a detailed study and full consideration of an extensive analysis of all options, the leadership accepted the Navy's integrated plan for transforming the present capability into that required to fight and win in the future. The plan does accept risk in some areas—and requires fine-tuning to address the asymmetric warfare threats of the future—but is a firm basis on which the Navy can forge ahead instead of looking back. Commander Prosperi's article brings up many good points, but, as with most issues, there is more to the story.
"It's the Cartridge, Stupid—Not the Rifle"
(See A. Milavic, pp. 80-81, August 2002 Proceedings )
Colonel Herb Tiede, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired)— Major Milavic pines for the old 7.62-mm/.30-caliber round, be it fired from an M-1, M-14, or some other big rifle. In fact, so do I. But realities of modem cost-conscious defense planners preclude this from happening. But if changes are to be made, the correct problem must be addressed. And the cartridge is not the problem.
Major Milavic cites Project Agile in 1962 that used AR-15 rifles firing .223caliber rounds by South Vietnamese soldiers. The reported results were truly outstanding. But these same results, at some unspecified time and using some unreported weapon, were not reproducible by the Army Wound Ballistics Laboratory. He further cites poor performance of the round in other actions such as the Gulf War, Somalia, and in Afghanistan. Overall, the now-designated 5.56-caliber round appears to be a poor performer. Before anyone makes any judgments, however, please read what William H. Hallahan has to say about this lethality aspect of the round ( Misfire: The History of How America's Small Arms Have Failed Our Military [New York: Scribner, 1994], p. 490):
In May 1963, in Springfield Armory, Ordnance decided to make another major design change in the M-16-in the rifling inside the barrel. Eugene Stoner [inventor and former Marine] had made one twist for every fourteen inches, a major factor in the lethality of the weapon and one of its most celebrated features. The Air Force reported that its tests on the M16 showed that the accuracy of the rifle was impaired in the denser air of Arctic temperatures of 65 below zero. To correct some of the wobble, the Air Force suggested that the twist be once every twelve inches. [Army] Ordnance concurred and ordered Colt to make up several models with the new shorter twist. The tests that followed showed conclusively that the extra twist in effect made the bullet more stable but less lethal on impact—40% less lethal, according to some commentators. The Army argued that without the added twist, the weapon could not meet its all-environments test, which required it to perform from minus 65 below zero to 125 above. So the extra twist was added just in time to send the rifle to the steamy jungles of Southeast Asia with a significant loss in its lethality.
That's not the end of the story. The latest model, the M-16A2, at the Marine Corps' insistence, has an even tighter twist—one in seven inches. The Marine Corps wants long-range accuracy. This is the weapon that is getting the bad press.
The lesson is obvious: with a small round such as the 5.56 caliber you can have lethality at short ranges or accuracy and much less lethality at longer ranges. Stoner built his rifle for short ranges in the jungles and for counter-guerrilla warfare. In fact, he disowned the M-16 with its tighter twist and said, "This is not my rifle."
If you want a long-range weapon with good lethality, you must go to the 7.62 caliber. Try the AR-10 firing a 7.62 round. Stoner designed this one also.
If it were up to me, I would go for a mix of weapons in the Marine fire team: a full automatic M-16A4 carbine of 5.56 caliber with a long lethal twist barrel (1 in 14 inches) for urban short-range operations; an AR-10 7.62-caliber rifle for accurate longer range work; and a fire-team automatic rifle firing 7.62-caliber rounds. Organizationally, each fire team would have an automatic 7.62 machine gun similar to the present-day squad assault weapon, one semiautomatic 7.62 AR-10 rifle for long-range work, and two full automatic M-16A4 5.56 long twist carbines. The grenade launchers would fit on the 7.62 rifles. Regarding the logistics problems that this mix would generate, we must make the logisticians support the operational needs of the fighting troops and not the other way around. Let's keep our focus on the real problem—the combat needs of the troops.
Lawrence C. Schuette, Ph.D., Naval Research Laboratory —Major Milavic states that "the 5.56-mm cartridge was produced from the Remington .223-caliber commercial round that is advertised for use in groundhog and woodchuck hunting." The 5.56-mm round is a stretched version of the commercial .222 Remington round. It was known as the .222 Special and subsequently manufactured as the .223 Remington to differentiate it from a number of other .224-caliber cartridges available in the mid-1950s. It indeed makes a fine chuck or hog cartridge
"JOs Can Help Reduce Unplanned Pregnancies"
(See G. McAllister, pp. 81-82, July 2002 Proceedings )
Lieutenant Colonel James D. Freeman II, U.S. Air Force (Retired )—Most of the issues raised by Ensign McAllister were heatedly debated within the military services, the civilian leadership of the Department of Defense, the Congress, and the executive branch before Ensign McAllister attended elementary school. This is not to say that one shouldn't reevaluate past decisions, but any new review should be based on compelling new evidence and done in a meaningful way.
Take Ensign McAllister's comment about past policies concerning the involuntary discharge of servicewomen for parenthood. Yes, such a policy existed, but it was based on an executive order and not service policy. Furthermore, it wasn't changed as a result of any "abandonment of moral leadership" but because of legal challenges. In 1972, after several court cases, the federal courts ruled the policy a violation of the Fifth Amendment.
Having been a commander and actively involved in the development of military personnel policies at both the service and Office of the Secretary of Defense levels I have some major concerns with Ensign McAllister's entire premise:
- Whose moral compass is going to be used to determine when a servicewoman's pregnancy is planned or unplanned? Is the ensign advocating that he and his fellow junior officers alone know when women under their supervision should get pregnant? And what about female officers or the wives of servicemen? What about the shore-based women or the female civilian employees who work in critical shore positions that affect ship deployments?
- Does Ensign McAllister believe that junior officers should actively involve themselves in the personal lives of their enlisted men and women? Is he a better judge of what enlisted service members should or should not do in their personal lives? I know few officers or noncommissioned officers who would want to start down this slippery slope.
- It also appears that Ensign McAllister has little appreciation of the efforts of a lot of good men and women who over the past 30 years have fought hard to achieve the standards that he and others enjoy today. Perhaps he should reflect on the severe limitations that have been imposed on servicewomen in the past and ask whether this nation truly wants to return to these discriminatory practices.
It is easy to play the blame game instead of rising to the challenges of leadership. Being an effective leader is difficult—the challenges are daunting at times, and one shouldn't underestimate the skills and talents of our enlisted men and women. The enlisted men and women of today's armed forces are some of the smartest and most articulate this country has ever had.
Yes, the U.S. service member can be frustrating at times, but that is what makes this professional so unique and makes the job of leader so much fun. As a young officer, Ensign McAllister should challenge the enlisted men and women he leads to the utmost but at the same time he should take every opportunity to learn from them.
"Marines Looking for Next-Generation Land Systems"
(See E. Walsh. p. 97, July 2002 Proceedings )
Dr. Daniel Goure, Vice President, Lexington Institute —While the Marine Corps should be applauded for seeking "leapfrog" technologies with which to transform its land warfare capabilities, it is important to recognize that the central elements of a transformed Marine Corps land warfare capability already exist. I am speaking of the Advanced Amphibious Armored Vehicle (AAAV) and the V-22 Osprey. Whatever advanced technologies come along, the Marine Corps' ability to remain relevant in the 21st century will depend on its ability to conduct rapid ship-to-objective maneuver. Without the AAAV and V-22, the Marine Corps will lack that maneuver capability.
It is important that the Marine Corps take what is best from the Army's Future Combat System (FCS) program. Even the Marine Corps can get lighter and reduce its requirements for fuel, food, and ammunition. But the FCS is an unknown quantity. The integrating contractors, Boeing and SAIC, have just awarded the first of some 50 contracts to identify and evaluate potential technologies for inclusion in the FCS. Reports regarding the Army's current vision for the FCS speak of some 20 different vehicles both ground and airborne, some manned, others unmanned.
The Marine Corps needs to be careful that the new and innovative do not become the enemy of the good enough. Efforts to develop improved armor, fuel-efficient engines, or advanced crew-served weapons are all to the good. Better still is to devote the time, attention, and resources to ensuring that the AAAV and the V-22 are fielded.
"Counter the Violence with Comfort and Mercy "
(See D. Wright, p. 96, July 2002 Proceedings )
Lieutenant Youssef H. Aboul-Enein, Medical Service Corps, U.S. Navy —The idea of using a hospital ship to win hearts and minds in this war on terrorism merits further discussion. We currently have an amphibious ready group (ARG) at all times in Mediterranean Sea; the Wasp (LHD- I)-class amphibious assault ship is a large-deck platform with a medical capability that can be augmented for a variety of medical missions. Without medical augmentation, an LHD carries a 16-person fleet surgical team and medical assets belonging to the Marine expeditionary units (MEUs) embarked. It would be easy to organize the medical assets on board, bringing pediatric, orthopedic, or women's health providers depending on what is needed for the mission. During the operation off the coast of Afghanistan, the USS Bataan (LHD-5) was augmented with emergency care providers to treat casualties 400 miles inland at Camp Rhino. A hospital ship is a bulky platform and is not cost-effective to deploy for six months. It does not offer the ability to increase or decrease medical care that a large-deck amphibious ship provides. With outpatient care being the primary treatment given in a humanitarian situation, is there a need to keep 1,000 beds and 12 operating rooms off the coast of a nation such as Sierra Leone or Liberia?
A hospital ship also requires security to be present while in a port off the Israeli coast that may be beyond the scope of her current capabilities. The large amphibious ship has a MEU capable of providing that security to medical personnel. The author uses Israel as an example of how a hospital ship can make a difference. Indeed, the curfews imposed by the Israeli Defense Forces on Palestinian towns have degraded the capabilities of the Palestinian medical facilities. I do not argue that the USNS Comfort (T-AH-20) can make a difference in this scenario, but the Palestinian authorities are hungry for any outside intervention that would document abuses by Israeli troops. They could politicize the presence of our hospital ship by asking through Arab media the types of injuries being treated. The Israelis on the other hand have very capable trauma and mass-casualty medical centers. I had the pleasure of visiting and arranging for sailors and Marines to be treated in one of them at the port city of Haifa. Only 45 minutes from the Lebanese border, Rambam Medical Center has probably one of the world's premier surgeons dealing with crushing wounds and trauma that result from Katyusha rocket attacks and suicide bombings. Will our hospital ship add anything to Israel's already capable medical system? Will Navy medicine be forced into documenting injuries and surgeries of wounded Palestinians to be used at the political bargaining table? These are jobs better performed by nongovernmental organizations and the International Committee for the Red Cross.
If we had to deploy our hospital ship, it should be to nations that suffer from natural disasters such hurricanes or earthquakes. The East Asian nation of Bangladesh has tremendous floods almost yearly and our own hemisphere has seen devastating hurricanes in Central and South America that could use the services of such a ship.
"The Fleet needs Rotary-Wing UCAVs"
(See S. Willis, pp. 83-84, August 2002 Proceecings )
Lieutenant Commander Jeffrey B. Barta, U.S. Navy —Lieutenant Commander Wills presents an interesting argument for bringing back updated versions of the 1960s drone antisubmarine helicopters (DASHs). As a light airborne multipurpose (LAMPS) helicopter aviator, I believe that he makes several critical errors.
LAMPS detachments do not have 30 personnel. A two-plane detachment might bring 22 sailors to the fight—six pilots, three enlisted aircrew, one chief petty officer, eight maintenance technicians, one aviation administration man, maybe an airman, and maybe one or two "plus-ups" depending on aircraft weapon system capabilities. I would have killed to have 30 sailors on my detachment. Because of the round-the-clock nature of LAMPS operations, each member of the detachment is critical to meeting operational and maintenance requirements. Cutting manpower by 30% not only affects the amount of work and rest each member receives, but also would have a negative impact on the critical cross-rating training and collateral duty inspector requirements that are necessary for any detachment to function. Even if the detachment could be cut by 30%, 1 presume that the author intends for the manpower savings to be refilled by UCAV personnel. Therefore, his contention that the "significant burden in terms of living quarters, messing, and funding" could be relieved is very questionable.
The "extensive pack-up kit"(PUK) mentioned by the author actually is a pitiful 104-line-item list of the most commonly used parts (reduced from its original size of more than 800). Even with only 104 items, getting a full PUK isn't always a given, and cannibalizing parts is a way of life. "Out of two, come one" is a common adage in LAMPS maintenance. Lose an aircraft to a UCAV and you lose not only the force multiplier of multihelo operations, but also the redundancy needed to support the ship and battle group. With the upcoming demise of the S-3 community and the associated growth and integration of LAMPS detachments into carrier air wings, I can't imagine any ship or battle group commander who would give up this valuable asset.
There are other issues with which to deal. Where would portable control consoles be stored? Any hangar has barely enough room for a single aircraft's PUK and necessary support equipment, let alone a PUK and control console for a UCAV. The author bemoans the burden of a LAMPS detachment on the host ship, and then looks to add more to it.
As for crew rest, who would operate and maintain these aircraft? Even in an unmanned aircraft, the human element comes into play if you plan on flying more than three hours at a time. The same is true for maintenance. You cannot ask one or two sailors to maintain UCAVs in top condition 24 hours a day.
Where would the manning come from to integrate UCAVs into LAMPS squadrons? The LAMPS community does not have enough detachments to meet requirements. Lack of active-duty detachments caused the recent reactivation of the reserve squadron HSL-60.
Finally, although there has been little official response regarding UAV losses over Iraq and Afghanistan, losses are occurring, and there are only so many UAVs to go around. UAV losses will receive all kinds of attention when their mishap rate inevitably starts to climb. Doesn't it make more sense to go with the more capable, proven, and already integrated system than to transform to UCAVs just for the sake of transformation?
"Don't Forget the Antiship Missile"
(See D. Eurom, M. Hughes, pp. 56-59, July 2002 Proceedings )
Commander Siegfried H. Trauzettel, German Military Representative, Naval Sea Systems Command —Lieutenant Commander Eurom and Lieutenant Hughes give a very good description of the main threat that naval surface forces still have to counter. Besides all recent developments regarding littoral warfare and terrorists threats, the antiship cruise missile (ASCM) remains the weapon with the highest lethality that can be delivered over long distances.
Unfortunately, their recommendation falls short of being a valuable solution. Air assets can only be one part of an effective defense against ASCMs. Relying solely on aircraft to prevent the launch of an ASCM will lead to increased vulnerability of naval forces.
We have to keep in mind that ASCMs can be launched from platforms of all types: sea, air, and land. All techniques of masking those ASCM-carrying platforms have to be considered. In addition, more and more possible opponents will introduce submarine-launched ASCMs into their navies. Modern technologies also allow the design of small surface craft with high firepower combined with effective self-defense systems.
The conclusion is that the launch of ASCMs against our surface naval units cannot be prevented in general. We can reduce the number of launch platforms with organic or other air assets but not eliminate them. Thus every carrier battle group, task group, or single unit could face the threat of an incoming ASCM, in blue water as well as in the littoral.
The right answer to counter the ASCM threat is layered defense. Combat air patrols are an integral part of it. Missile systems will provide area defense and force protection. Every unit should be equipped with close-in weapon systems as a measure of individual ship self-defense.
(See J. Byron, p. 56, August 2002 Proceedings )
Master Chief Richard B. Smith, U.S. Navy (Retired)— I must have skipped across the byline too fast to see that this piece came from the sharp quill of Captain John Byron. The further I got into it, the more I realized that I knew most of the sources. And why not, since I know Captain Byron. With that established, I cannot understand why he left out my mantra: "Start early, drink fast, pass out quick, and get a good night's sleep!"
Lieutenant Commander Albert F Musgrove, U.S. Navy —While I enjoyed these rules, I take exception to Rule 28: "There's never been a collision between two ships 10,000 yards apart." Our jobs require captains and officers of the deck who can handle ships in tight situations, whether underway replenishment, anchor detail, amphibious assault, or small-boat transfer. As long as we continue to allow conservative statements and restrictive standing orders to be a substitute for competent ship handling, we will continue to suffer mishaps. I would suggest changing the rule to read: "No one ever learned to maneuver a ship by staying 10,000 yards from the nearest hazard."
Robert L. Jester —This feature brings to mind a statement that my father taught me at a very young age, when I told him that "I can't." It goes as follows:
I can't is sluggard too lazy to work, from duty he shrinks, every task he will shirk, no bread on his board, no meat in his bag, his home is a ruin, his coat is a rag.
John Weller —I was taken aback by this item. I expected one of your gems of humor and wit, with kernels of the author's hard-worn wisdom for the discerning reader. Over the years I've collected and put to good personal and professional use a lot of these small "keepers." But "Life's Rules" landed with a thud. It's not really humor; it's not really serious; and it's pretty empty.
"The New Coast Guard"
Major General David M. Mize, U.S. Marine Corps —When your excellent, annual Coast Guard edition hit Camp Lejeune mail boxes the first weekend of August, we had particular cause to smile.
On 2 August, U.S. Representative Henry Coble of North Carolina's 6th Congressional District, a retired Coast Guard Reserve captain, cut the ribbon at venerable Courthouse Bay to officially open the U.S. Coast Guard Special Missions Training Center. Assisting the congressman were Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thomas H. Collins and Marine Corps Commandant General James L. Jones.
We consider this initiative but the down payment on a useful and robust partnership which is already having a positive impact in the war on terrorism, and which underscores coastal Carolina's historic ties to both our services. Semper Paratus! Semper Fidelis!
(See T. Marfiak, p. 10, July 2002 Proceedings )
Captain Edward L. Beach, U.S. Navy (Retired)— I was frankly delighted to see mention of my 1902 copy of The Bluejacket's Manual . I hope you'll let me add a few details.
I received the book by mail some 20 years ago from one of my old shipmates in the submarine USS Trigger (SS-237). My friend's name was Walter Pye Wilson. He was black, and as strongly devoted to the Navy as any sailor could ever be. During his service days, only the steward's line was open to black men. When I knew him, Wilson was already a Chief Steward, with several gold "hash marks" and Good Conduct Medals to match. He served us in the wardroom as imperturbably and expertly as he did everything else. It wasn't long before we realized that he knew a lot about submarining, and was a born leader besides. In short, we discovered we had a prize on board. We had him standing watches all over the boat, and men followed his lead instinctively because he seemed to know how things should be done.
The moment when Wilson and I really took each other's measure happened during the Trigger's first action with the enemy. Favored by swift wartime promotion, I had attained the exalted eminence of Lieutenant junior grade)—far superior to Wilson, who simply couldn't go any higher than chief, despite his 20 years of service.
It was shortly before dawn. I had the four-to-eight watch on the bridge when one of our lookouts sighted a small, nondescript freighter on the horizon. I sent for the captain, Lieutenant Commander Roy Benson. After a brief consultation, Benson determined on a predawn surface attack and directed me to maneuver the boat accordingly. As I did so, I wondered how long he would let me conn the ship in combat, resolving to give him no excuse to take over until the last possible minute. The growing light, however, made it evident that the usual night surface approach would not be possible. The enemy, sighting us, turned to flee.
"Get right astern of him," said our skipper, "and when we get close enough, shoot right up his kilts." I lined up our speeding submarine directly astern of the laboring little freighter. I had my binoculars right on her, as did Benson-and suddenly saw what a more professional submariner should have seen already. I was looking at the bow of the enemy ship, not her stem, and she was coming at us just as fast as that Japanese skipper could drive her! Instead of having a few minutes before we could shoot, we were already less than a minute away from a collision at a combined speed of 35 knots.
"Right full rudder!" I shouted to the helmsman in the conning tower directly below the open hatch at my feet. "Lookouts below! He's trying to ram!" Pressing the button for the collision alarm, I heard the high-pitched screech resounding through the boat. We were, of course, at battle stations, so I knew that Wilson was supposed to be steering in the conning tower below me. It was reassuring, all the same, to hear his sonorous voice shout back up, "Rudder right full!" A moment later, "Boat's secured for collision! Rudder's right full!"
Our submarine's bow swerved to starboard, but the freighter's skipper had possibly expected something like this, and he put his own rudder full left. The two ships were impossibly close—I could see his bow turn toward us. In a few seconds he would hit us broadside on, unless we could dodge that malevolent blow!
"Left full rudder!" I yelled down the hatch. It was the right thing to do, and just at the right time. If Wilson's muscles had bulged at the first rudder order, they went into big knots at the second, and our rudder angle indicator moved faster than ever before. As the freighter's bow curved toward us, our belly and stern curved away. We made a little circle around the same spot in the ocean, 50 yards apart, and dived as soon as we were clear.
The danger past, Wilson was putting the rudder amidships, as per normal diving procedure. The past few seconds must have driven Wilson beyond anything his previous submarine experience, and his notable steadiness under pressure, had prepared him for. "Mr. Beach, sir," he said, great globules of sweat standing out on his expressive face. "If we're going to have a collision, this ain't no time to go 'right rudder, left rudder.' Can't you at least make up your mind?"
It was then that I realized what must have been our old submariner's view of the emergency, and we embraced on the spot. A number of the crew heard our exchange, and for the next several days I heard wisecracks about making up my mind, but behind them was a sense of approving respect. In the crew of a submarine at war, a great deal is never put into words.