It is the wave of the future. The mating of submarines and surface combatants to traditional amphibious ready groups will result in a new creation, capable of defending itself, landing forces on the beach, and striking targets inland and above and below the sea. The addition of the as-yet-unbuilt LHA replacement, with its Ospreys and Joint Strike Fighters, will make this new concept even more effective.
The Navy's bold vision for the future as expressed by the Chief of Naval Operations in "Sea Power 21" establishes a standard for a more innovative, joint, and flexible Navy in the future. The decisive warfighting capabilities of the Sea Strike, Sea Shield, and Sea Basing concepts are being defined, but the merits of one significant instrument within these concepts, the expeditionary strike group (ESG), have been described only briefly. More than just an augmentation of an amphibious ready group (ARG), the ESG will be an integrated expeditionary warfare force "with dedicated strike-capable surface warships and submarines." 1 With new ships planned or under construction, and employment planning and doctrine only in preliminary stages, the ESG could emerge as "Sea Power 21's" most revolutionary vision.