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National survival is now dependent upon land, sea, air, and space power. Neglect of any one of these concepts will only lead to disaster for those who believe in freedom of choice.
The steady growth of Russian sea- power is following the traditional pattern employed earlier by such navies as the English, Spanish, and American. Such a pattern includes a mix of commerce and military activities. A merchant marine "shows the flag” around the world, and is seen by more people than warships. This commercial activity has to be protected by a strong navy that, for the most part, only seeks to be seen at carefully selected places and times.
The Russians are going further than commerce and preservation of their rights to use of the seas. It has been well documented that they also have a large complex espionage network that covers vast areas of the seas. Further, this mix of military and espionage shipping keeps incessantly probing the allied nations’ activities. This probing is a means to determine, at all times, the degree of resistance that these nations are willing to present to protect themselves.
The United States has tried in the past to match each capability developed by the Communist nations. This has been a policy of patching holes in the dam as they appear and thus a reaction after
the fact. Nobody with national prestige seems ready to point out that this is more expensive than rerouting the river and rebuilding the dam. Congressmen look with alarm at the expenditure rate of our monies, but not just from the budget point of view. There is also an apparent lack of a reasonable return for this spending. The resultant strain on the government’s budget has not enabled such reaction after the fact to keep pace with reality. This indicates that we arc not only losing ground on the economic front, but we also reduce the posture needed to resist armed aggression.
The Next Step— One hears that this nation needs "to change its priorities.” That seems to mean that the monies need to go somewhere else than as presently planned. Unfortunately, this attitude has the right idea but the wrong answer. Changes in our budget concepts are badly needed, but this should not be interpreted as expanding welfare.
The United States has a capability to stop losing ground in the area of self preservation. There is an unused capacity to excel in the space above the seven seas. Such a capacity can be used without economic strains. This nation’s space program takes about l'/2 to 2% of the national budget as compared to over */, of it going only to welfare. A relatively slight adjustment is obviously needed.
Such ideas are currently unpopular, but need to be recognized as necessary without further delay.
This message can be considered a primer on the use of space power to realize a better life on earth, not just for us, but for all nations. Several fundamentals will be presented for consideration to attempt to show how space can be used to far better advantage by the United States and all facets of the public desires.
Space Power: What and How—The first fundamental is to realize that spacecraft and satellites are transportation systems. As such, their sole purpose is to carry equipment, with or without astronauts, that provides man with information and services that he needs to continue to develop and adjust to his universe. Thus, Apollo is a truck that can reach the moon and return with men, scientific data, and specimens to the earth. The space shuttle program is designed to produce a truck that can economically transport men and materials to orbits about the earth and return them when desired.
Space travel is a natural progression in evolution since man started with the invention of the wheel (after learning to walk on land) and went on to establish a rather elaborate collection of machines for land, sea, and air transportation.
These machines were also adapted for economical and physical warfare with his own kind. That is why our vocabulary now includes "scapower,” "air power,” and similar titles for destructive or potentially destructive mechanical and electrical systems which are now better known as weapons systems.
"Space power” will also become a reality with or without our participation. Good use of spacecraft depends upon man’s acceptance that such a thing is useful or inevitable, depending upon your point of view. These things will come about in spite of the average man, if not because of him. It is no surprise that today a group of influential, intelligent men oppose space flight activities. History is an endless saga of such negative beliefs and activities. These include resistance to the use of a crossbow; belief that gunpowder would never be effective; mass production of automobiles is impractical; man was not born with wings and therefore should not try to fly; aircraft can never travel faster than the speed of sound; it is impossible to put a machine in orbit, like a moon, around earth; man and his machines can never survive or do useful work in space. All of these were deep-seated opinions, and it took a great deal of time and effort to overcome the resistance to such achievements. Man can now travel around his planet earth at velocities never before considered achievable by anyone
except for a very few dedicated scientists and engineers. In the 1920 to 1930 era, few people dared to travel by airplane, and some, in fact, were still dedicated to the horse. In 1972, very few people dare (or are allowed) to travel by spacecraft. Guess what will happen in the 1980s.
Another fundamental is that, for the present, one of the best uses of spacecraft is in the conservation of the earth’s resources. This indirectly results in adaptation of such space operations for economic or military strategic gain because that is the basic reaction of man to man. This evolution cannot be avoided because it is a product of man’s basic concepts on how to get along with his own kind. It is not proposed that this is right, only that it is fact.
Today, as never before, man is beginning to realize that his planet lacks infinite resources. The day has come when we can no longer flip a light switch in assurance of response, because "brown-outs” now occur. We arc being warned through the press that our supplies of natural gas, coal, oil, copper, and the like, arc being used at too high a rate to accommodate the needs and desires of our citizens. Our air and water are being filled with our wastes, and threaten our survival. Still we go on with business as usual while our waste is beginning, literally, to cover the world.
Survival now depends on man taking a different approach to these problems.
It means that man now must better regulate himself and his use of the earth’s resources. Both the population of man on earth and his incessant warfare are increasing; so likewise the rate of use of the earth’s resources is increasing. The steady use of resources from the earth, coupled with the pollution from man’s waste, is leading him to self-destruction. This means that if man wants to continue or better his way of life, he will have to start conserving presently available resources while seeking new sources for raw materials and food.
The word conservation, as used here, means the controlled consumption of regenerative items (such as fish and trees) and reduced use of items that arc not regenerative (such as metal ores). New sources for things that man wants to use will eventually have to come from someplace outside the planet earth, but that is a separate subject.
If man is really to start practicing conservation on earth, it will have to eventually become a worldwide activity. This activity includes searching for and identifying problem areas, such as major insect infestation of farm products, and also worldwide surveillance of all of man’s business activities. The latter is a rather bitter pill, but will be needed to enforce compliance to conservation regulations under current international methods of bringing about law and order. The past and present state of
international politics has inevitably led man to warfare with himself. Conservation is impossible under these conditions because there never is a resultant sufficient decrease in the population to make up for the waste of resources and additional pollution. Worldwide conservation will not take place for a long time, but man cannot afford not to start taking action now to assess the extent of the earth’s resources.
Another fundamental of space power is that earth-wide surveillance is now taking place. It presently is as advanced as the predecessor to the Model T Ford, but has the same capacity to develop into an unwieldy machine that man can build but not manage. If we ignore its potential and only accept the temporary advantages, as we have done with the automobile, the results will be the same. It does not take an astrologist or a scientist to see that we can choke on it.
Space power is currently represented by unmanned surveillance satellites and to a lesser degree, spacecraft manned by astronauts. The locales that can be overflown can be pre-selected by adjustment of the orbital plane relative to the earth (moon, planet, and the like). Polar orbits result from due north or south flight paths, and after a sufficient number of revolutions, will provide total surface coverage because the earth will rotate under the spacecraft. Coverage of high population density areas on earth, such as Central Europe, can be achieved by a northeast launch and flight path. The orbital planes can be changed during a space flight if the spacecraft engines and fuel supply can provide the needed energy.
Another fundamental is that the key to effective use of space power is detection. This results from measurements by scientific instruments and visual aids sightings. These are graphically shown in Figure 1. To anyone without training in engineering, physics, or astronomy, this illustration may be too difficult to understand, but it is offered because it shows what some of the satellites (spacecraft) above the earth are presently doing for the country that placed them in orbit. These things are real and not imagination. It is not important that everyone understand how they work, only that it is fact. Detection covers measurement of a wide variety of physi
Professional Notes 109
cal phenomena that includes the energy present in such familiar things as X-ray, ultraviolet, infrared; colors that can be seen by the human eye, radar, radio, TV, and electric power. This means that a wide variety of devices are needed because we do not know how to design one that can handle all the jobs.
Figure 2 provides an illustration of the complexity of detection of a single signal. Emission A, in Figure 2, could
be a ship’s radar or a forest fire that the spacecraft is trying to locate and survey. Attenuation is where this signal loses power or is changed when passing through various materials such as glass, water, or the earth’s atmosphere. One can sec that complete coverage is indeed a complicated problem. There is, however, no basis for believing that it does not exist.
DISCRIMINATIVE WAVE LENGTH SCANNER
EMISSIONS B - CALLED BACKGROUND NOISE" BECAUSE THEY INTERFERE WITH AND C THE DESIRED SIGNAL (EMISSION A).
EMISSION A - ENERGY THAT SCANNER IS SEEKING
(ATTENUATION DUE TO DISTANCE AND ATMOSPHERE!
EMISSION Al - ENERGY THAT SCANNER IS SEEKING BUT MODIFIED,
COMPARED TO A, DUE TO PASSING THROUGH WATER VAPOR
EMISSIONS B - EMISSIONS FROM SPACE THAT ARE REFLECTED BY THE THROUGH B3 EARTH VARY DEPENDING UPON THE REFLECTING BODY (LAND, WATER, MOUNTAINS, ETC ), CLOUD COVER, ETC,
EMISSIONS C - (NOT SHOWN) - GENERATED ON EARTH AND EMITTED INTO SPACE
SPACECRAFT IN 100 N M ORBIT
Man has come far in detection. For
example, he has devices that measure the water vapor and carbon monoxide content of the Mars atmosphere; radar and radio signals to search space within or outside the earth’s atmosphere; and means to detect the elements present in the radiation from the sun, planets, and stars. Active devices (A in Figure 1) include such equipment as radar. The signal is transmitted and then a display is presented of the resultant echoes from this output. Passive devices (B in Figure 1) include such items as measurement of the reflection of the sun from the earth. The best known to the public are visual sightings and pictures (C in Figure 1) that provide information that can be carefully reviewed using the human eye and photographic coverage.
Because present-day capabilities for detection are much further advanced than is generally realized by those who are not in the space program, it is appropriate to list some of those activities currently underway. They include:
(a)Measurement of the temperature of the surface of the sea which allows precise location of the ice flows and sea movement such as the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic Ocean.
(b) Tracing fresh water discharge into salt water.
(c) Surveying land and seas areas seldom seen by man in any one year (some uninhabited locales still exist).
(d) Detecting forest fires.
(e) Detecting any extensive inroads of flight or insect infestation in farm areas.
The potential uses of the devices available are yet to be fully developed. It is significant to note that the ATS Space III satellite, now in a stationary orbit 22,300 nautical miles above Brazil, tracked a beacon on an automobile traveling at 60 miles per hour, with a maximum error of 300 yards.
Parameters Desired Actual
Inclination (degrees relative to the equator) 0 0.47
Longitude for the fixed station (degrees) 285°E 284.2°E
Apogee (furthest distance away in nautical miles) 19,323 19,467
Perigee (closest to earth in nautical miles) 19,323 19,301
An essential fundamental of space power is to understand that the best method of detection includes working in coordination with land, sea, and air
power. This calls for a balance between these capabilities because no one of these four "powers” can operate efficiently without the others. It is an axiom in intelligence efforts that the best results come from piecing together bits of information, like dabs of paint, until the pattern (picture) appears.
Automation has its limits just like anything else produced by man. This has been a big factor in space operations. Manned flights have, over a period of evolution, provided their value. Eminent scientists refused to believe the reports of astronauts in the Mercury and Gemini flights with regard to what they had seen. The astronauts proved, with the help of photography, that their impressions were facts, not fantasy. Thus we have another fundamental that remote-controlled observations can be more useful when combined with what can be seen by man, especially when he is outside the atmosphere of earth.
Control of the satellite is also of fundamental importance. To give an example of what the United States can do in this area, look at the results of an actual launch. The Intelsat IV F-3 unmanned satellite was launched and placed in an orbit above the Atlantic Ocean with the results shown in Table 1.
These figures depict an accuracy that understandably can be appreciated by few observers. However, compare it to the precision that Americans have shown in landing on the proper location on the moon. These landings were accomplished not only without hitting rocks and holes that would cause the lunar module to turn over on its side, but even avoided slopes that would be too steep for a launch. This was a product of man’s work that could not have been realized in an unmanned automatic or remote-controlled space vehicle. This is a capability that needs expansion instead of the current trend to let the space program slow to a stop.
Space Power: Why—Man will continue
to find new facts of life and means to hide his secrets from other men if he can thus gain economic and military advantages. This creates the condition that the basic principle of detection is constant improvement of the methods and capabilities. Thus, space power presents a new means for detection to provide extensive "intelligence;” i.e., a good knowledge of what is taking place on the planet. At this point in time one cannot see an end to this activity. The entire recorded history of man has been an endless series of attack and counterattack against his own kind. It is equally evident that an adequate solution is yet to be offered.
Intelligence falls into two categories. The morally desirable part is watching for any irregularities with regard to outputs from food and material sources such as farms, forests, rain, and blight patterns, along with the spread of pollutants. The other category is less popular but very important. It calls for the recognition of unusual ships, space, army, strategic aircraft, or missile activities because peace on earth has yet to become a reality. In the meantime, any nation that builds a sense of security without extensive intelligence is committing suicide.
This brings us to another fundamental of space power. It must serve as a part of the basic security of a nation, or the earth, if man should become intelligent enough to reach the latter objective. For example; the Soviet Union has about 25,000 vessels on the seas, at this time, in various intelligence-gathering roles. The United States cannot keep track of this activity by just using ships and aircraft. The cost of manpower and materials to do this would force us into bankruptcy. Would it not be easier to have a few satellites in a polar orbit to watch this activity? The answer is yes, if the proper detection systems are used, and the use of various capabilities is well coordinated so that they can complement each other.
The best reason for space power, from an idealistic point of view, is to provide space stations that would feature such capabilities as scientific laboratories, medical facilities, and special manufacturing sites. The latter is based on the fact that the zero "g” environment will allow the production of such items as
Professional Notes 111
near-perfect spheres for bearings and low-density steel that retains its high strength. Zero "g” would also be useful for treatment of burn victims. These are presently difficult because of the pressure resulting from contact between the damaged skin and the bed, because of the earth’s gravitational force. Of immediate use to the public would be space stations to perform, better, functions such as weather forecasting, maintaining a forest land inventory, and operating better and more extensive radio, telephone, and TV relay station networks. These are presently available, but are operating at a much lower level than necessary because of the lack of public and Congressional support.
These are only samples of what is presently achievable and what can be
developed. Senator Lawton Chiles (Dem., Fla.), stated his support of the space shuttle, which is needed to support future space stations:
I feel this program is justified by its success to date and by its promise of broader success in the future. The research we have done in order to put our astronauts in space has been responsible for many new developments which we enjoy today, and it is increasing our knowledge in the areas of medicine, weather forecasting, worldwide communications, education, and many other fields.
The Future—The late K. E. Tsiol- kovskiy, a Russian schoolteacher, envisioned the possibility not only of space stations, but also of a station large enough to surround the earth like one
of the Saturn’s rings. Fantastic? Perhaps not, for he started producing technical papers on interplanetary travel in 1878. He accurately forecast the need for, and described what must be done, to produce earth satellites, the Apollo landings on the moon, and the space shuttle, before man developed the airplane.
This man was, of course, a rare individual. He demonstrated the fact that creative use of the imagination can be put to good use for the benefit of mankind. It is clear that Americans need to apply better their visions for the future. We should stop using the word impossible. For the U. S. Navy, there must be no neglect of this new medium that offers a potential as important as the traditional one of the nuclear submarine and the aircraft carrier.
The sleek Navy Phantom cruised tranquilly in the dazzling sunlight of the upper altitudes, its serenity somehow out of place with the assigned mission of interception and destruction. Minutes before either the pilot or the naval flight officer (NFO) could visually spot their target, the "bogey’s position” was tracked by radar. With precision teamwork the fighter was guided into an ideal attack position. Rolling in on the quarry with armament switches "hot,” two Sidewinder missiles were launched.
Scratch another MiG? Well, hardly. Just another practice run for that possible MiG encounter—repeated on target ranges all over the world almost daily. But who is on the receiving end of all that ordnance? The "bad guy” is none other than the "Firebee” drone.
Recent public disclosures have led to a sudden writer awareness and subsequent publicity concerning the subject of drones. While far from new, the attractive and highly useful targets appear to have kindled the imagination of many writers of Navy information- oriented magazines. The current appli-
cations appear to be lending themselves to wider variations than were envisioned when the Ryan Aircraft Company won a 1948 design competition for a "jet- powered target airframe.” Instead of simply providing a realistic vehicle for gunnery practice as ordered, the "Fire- bee” has evolved, much like a butterfly from its cocoon, to where it is presently serving in a photo reconnaissance role, and its use as a remotely piloted vehicle (RPV) is under funded exploratory studies. Perhaps the Cuban missile crisis demonstrated the need, and initiated, as well as hastened, the transformation of the "Firebee” from the category of target to a recognized and accepted photo reconnaissance vehicle.
Recently, specially-configured BQM- 34As with maneuverability augmentation system for tactical air combat simulation (MASTAC) have successfully engaged in dogfights with the Navy F-4 Phantom aircraft and escaped two types of air- to-air weapons fired during the encounters. The new system enables the drone to execute 6-G turns, with minimum altitude loss, while flying by remote con-
trol. In fact, the roles were reversed in this demonstration for the first time, with the drone reportedly having scored several "simulated” kills on the manned aircraft.
High-altitude models (Firefly 154s) are also flying surveillance missions, and many informed sources contend RPVs offer the only acceptable compromise solution to the requirement to gain needed intelligence data while minimizing costs and eliminating human risks. In one instance, cited by Aviation Week, a drone returned with damage assessment photos of a bridge in Vietnam, accomplishing a task that had earlier claimed two manned aircraft in vain attempts to secure necessary photos.
Production of Firebees on a volume basis began in 1952. Product improvement on the basic design and in production of over some 4,500 units has increased the speed capability from a subsonic to a true supersonic "E” model. Of course, at the same time, the cost of the drone tripled.
Squadrons like the North Island- based Navy Composite Squadron Three
(VC-3) have been providing "Skeet for the Fleet” with Firebees since the 1950s. A milestone was recently reached as both this squadron and the Atlantic Fleet Weapons Range reported launching their 2,000th successful targets (BQM-34AS).
A short time ago, the aging DP-2F Neptune was replaced in VC-3 by the newer DC-130A Hercules aircraft, which has doubled the in-flight launch capabilities of the older aircraft. They can now provide four supersonic targets, and control them from a single aircraft. Yet, after the mission is completed and the operator puts "the bird in the chute,” our recovery methods slip right back into the "dark ages.”
A TV newscaster anchorman once described the Apollo capsule splashdowns as the least-sophisticated part of our complex space program. While splashdowns may be the recognized way to recover astronauts, there is growing evidence that this is not the best method to recover target drones.
Descending underneath an 82-foot parachute, the Firebce heads towards its own unwitnessed splashdown. Shore- based radar operators carefully note the
approximate location on their scopes of this expensive bit of Navy property. On splashdown, if all goes well, the parachute separates through action of a saltwater-activated charge and the drone patiently awaits recovery. Sometime later, perhaps after several other Firebees are also in the water, the search recovery efforts commence. Usually, antiquated Sikorsky H-34 Sea Horse recriprocating- engine helicopters plod out into the recovery area directed by radar. A few areas employ the SH-3 Sea King turbine-powered helicopters, and yet another uses S-2 Tracker fixed-wing aircraft to attempt to locate the floating targets. More often than not, no drone is sighted when the helicopter is directly overhead the spot on the radarscope where the target should be. Expanding- square searches are usually initiated from this reference base, and sometime later the quarry is usually sighted. Many times, low cloud cover, so often present on the West Coast, precludes the use of radar direction to the impact scene, as the helicopter must operate below the overcast to sec the drone. Sometimes, sea currents or weather hamper recovery efforts, but sooner or later most targets do turn up. One recovery area estimates five targets are lost annually, when they are not recovered before nightfall.
Of course, the longer the drone remains in the saltwater environment, the more extensive the corrosive damage may become. Without a locator beacon, and using a single helicopter for multiple recoveries, it is assured that some drones will be in the water longer than the maximum exposure permitted before extensive maintenance must be accomplished.
Often, high winds, which tend to improve visibility, eliminate cloud cover, and increase helicopter lifting ability, can ironically prove a hindrance to drone recovery. For if wind velocity is sufficient, the parachute will not collapse and separate upon water contact. Just as a pilot can be dragged by his parachute if it is not released, the target is dragged through the water. Towing the drone in a nose-low attitude, water is forced into the air pockets until buoyancy is lost and the drone sinks. This writer has observed this situation on at least three occasions during one year of target recoveries.
High winds also generate high seas, creating, on splashdown, an impact force probably well beyond the drones’ designed flight loads. Failure of the auxiliary fuel tanks to separate before water entry drives them into the belly of the drone, causing considerable damage.
An analysis of Army target-recovery information disclosed that overland recoveries arc very desirable, since they eliminate the requirement to treat the drone for saltwater immersion. A short-lived experiment to recover Navy HQMs over mountainous San Clemente Island, however, proved disastrous. The airframe damage sustained in impacting in the rugged terrain quickly exceeded any advantages in reducing maintenance hours.
Recognizing the requirement to recover drones over water, Naval Air Test Center at Patuxent River, Maryland, directed a specially-configured SH-3A helicopter to accomplish the Navy’s first mid-air recovery system (MARS) attempts near El Centro, California, in late 1970. These tests substantiated the capabilities of pilots and aircraft to retrieve airborne packages in mid-air. While these experiments were limited to recovery of the Ryan BQM-34A drone, the additional applications into recovering space and weather data packages, as well as at least four different types of targets is obvious. These tests concluded on an exciting note when the helicopter sponson contacted the recovery parachute during a final mars attempt. This event led to re-examination of basic helicopter configuration requirements and modification recommendations.
If we are not already locked into the SH-3 by some previous commitments, this author contends that a better helicopter exists in our present inventory and should be evaluated for this mission. By coincidence, it is the same helicopter that is being sent to many naval air stations to replace the H-2 for station search and rescue (SAR). With modifications for the MARS mission, the CH-46 Sea Knight could easily accomplish both missions. This would free the other type helicopter for assignment elsewhere, but more important, it would eliminate the logistic problems of' maintaining "bits and pieces” for two different helicopters at the four or five stations where the requirement for in-flight recovery exists.
It is ironic that the CH-46 is not being considered for these multiple missions (See Editor’s Note on page 114).
In addition to the fact that the CH-46 is already at many stations and that both pilots and maintenance personnel arc becoming familiar with this helo, it offers other advantages for both missions. It has a 21% larger cabin area than the CH-3, which would allow the transportation of more passengers or internal cargo with the winch installed in the helicopter. It offers the unusual capability to re-rig a hook on the extension poles in-flight, as well as featuring a rear loading ramp which should expedite installation and removal of the winch assembly.
Regardless of which helicopter is used, incorporating the All American Engineering winch system adds 2,000 pounds to the helicopter’s weight. As objectionable as this may be from a pilot viewpoint, the winch adds a new dimension to cargo delivery. Presently, if a drone suspended beneath the helicopter with a fixed-length pendant should become erratic and endanger the helicopter fuselage, a pilot must jettison the load and destroy the target. With the winch system, he can simply lower the drone safely clear of the helicopter and continue the mission. Putting the target
into a new plane of rotation is often all that is required to stabilize a load. In addition, with this system, drones could be extracted from or lowered into a confined area smaller than the physical size of the helicopter and rotor system.
Tests at El Centro have proven that we possess the capability to implement this mission, and the techniques could be pressed into service, expediting cost savings. In-flight recovery of a drone permits the target to be reflown again that same day. No time or man-hours arc lost in rework efforts. On occasion, sea-recovered targets take as long as seven days to be prepared for reflight. Obviously, our inventory of targets must be substantially larger to support a similar mission. The Air Force estimates that each in-flight recovery’ is valued at $3,000. With an expected 740 drones to be recovered in the Pacific next year, the possible savings are evident.
Experts, writing about "future targets,” contend that those we are now using are like "Model Ts” compared to what is ahead. Can we afford not to practice in-flight recovering of these relatively inexpensive targets we are flying today? Tomorrow, their costs may preclude any other method of recovery.
As with any problem that has such
an obvious solution, all the cards still are not on the table. We are presently procuring large numbers of expensive targets without the provisions for inflight recovery. This is exactly the opposite of the Air Force requirements, which specify that the capability must be installed. It is noted, however, that the targer Specific Operational Requirements (SOR) 47-33 of January 1970, stated that all Navy targets should be air-recoverable.
The only argument voiced for not buying BQM-34ES with air-recovery provisions, is additional costs, estimated to be somewhere between $3,000 to $5,000 per target. These extra costs are not for structural modifications, but provide only for the recovery parachute. It seems feasible that these modifications are within our own Service’s capabilities. But even if they are totally beyond our expertise, what is a $5,000 investment on a $300,000 drone? If the target really is to be recovered for seven times as programed, our investment could result in a $21,000 savings (according to the Air Force estimate of $3,000 per recovery). This is better than a 400% return on the initial investment per target.
The recovery method of Firebee aerial drones is still in the "dark ages, ” the author notes, with helicopters first searching for the drones, and then after finding them, hovering low over the water, like this SH-3 Sea Mug, subjecting the helo to the harmful effects of salt water.
Reluctance to implement this program aggressively, and more important, the failure to procure in-flight recovcr-
able targets of all kinds, commits us to still another year of 1960 recovery technology.
Editor’s Note: The Aviation and Weapons Requirements Branch (0p-)06) of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Air Warfare) provides the following additional commentary concerning the MAKS system:
MARS by helo is far from 100% successful. Tests have proved feasibility, but the problem of having the helo clear of the firing area and yet close enough to
The Minimal Manning Module System
By Lieutenant Richard A. Olsen,
U. S. Navy
find and snatch the drone-in-chute was not addressed. This does, however, present an important operational difficulty. The solution requires an on-board sensor-track system to provide accurate initial vector and recovery initiated with time-of-dcscent range of the helo. This can, and has been done at the Pacific Missile Range, but is not dependably done in other Navy operating areas.
The more promising technique is for the launching DC-130 to have a sensor- track system, a drone control system,
and a proven MARS system to do all jobs. The DC-130 is faster and can find and snatch the dronc-in-chute from much safer distances from the missile shoot.
The Navy is striving for this capability, but must compete for development and procurement funds with many other military programs that also promise cost and operational asset savings. There is little doubt that the DC-130, Integrated Target Control System, MARS system will soon be a reality when the assets can be obtained.
Control of the seas is still the mission of the U. S. Navy, but the traditional, idealistic challenges incurred by confronting hostile forces at sea have slipped in priority and have been replaced by the much more acute administrative challenges demanded by intense political, budgetary, and humanistic pressures of our society. Recent policies established by Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, U. S. Navy, Chief of Naval Operations, evidence the acknowledgment, by top naval leadership, of this realignment.
In the proper order of relative importance, today’s challenges to the Navy are: reduce the operating costs; improve the quality of the Navyman; improve the life of the Navyman; and increase the readiness of the Fleet.
Reduce the Operating Costs—Sophisticated weapons platforms, systems, and support vehicles drive expenditures sharply upward. Salaries of Navymen and civilian employees must be increased, but still the budget must balance, and pressure mounts for a downturn in spending. To reduce the number of men on the payroll and to reduce the number of ships at sea are the painful, obvious, necessary solutions. A significant start in this direction has already been felt.
Improve the Quality of the Navyman— Since cost reduction dictates fewer peo-
pie in the Navy, each man remaining must contribute more to his task area. This is currently done by: (1) increasing technical expertise through better and more responsive schooling; (2) stabilizing operational tours to develop greater familiarity with specific equipment and systems; and (3) developing leadership and management potential in career personnel.
Improve the Life of the Navyman—Top- notch personnel must be convinced that the Navy really is a good place to live and work. Social studies, psychological research, and a thundercloud of Z-grams evidence of flurry of activity to enhance the pay, pride, benefits, and home life of our Serviceman.
Increase Readiness in the Fleet—Cost reductions force both incompetent personnel and obsolescent ships from active service. Development of new hardware systems and of skilled naval professionals ensure a hard-hitting, responsive team of man and machine. Refurnishing both the condition of existing machinery and the image of today’s Navyman restores the professionalism, pride, and reliability of the operating Elect.
The relative importance of these four challenges cannot be changed, and they must function interdepcndently to produce a responsive, economical, modern Navy, but progress is slow. The tradi-
tional methodology is not working, and so a fresh, unbiased concept is urgently needed to successfully attack these problems.
The first challenge is to reduce the operating costs inherent in putting a ship to sea. Other organizations have faced a similar problem. The merchant fleet has, for instance, reduced the crew size of many types of freighters 30 to 45% over the last 25 years. The most significant cost of operating any fleet is generally the payroll of the men embarked.
It is not technology alone which allows merchant ships to operate with small crews. Only essential underway stations are manned, and all personnel stand one-in-thrcc watches. This leaves little time or manpower available for maintenance, and only emergency repairs are undertaken. Logistics and maintenance support are handled on an as-needed basis from port facilities. The system works; failure produces bankruptcy. Such an approach, however, appears to have little applicability to the Navy. Warships must remain at sea for long periods of time, carry out a variety of assignments, and conduct their own repairs.
Consider, however, just the dollar savings involved if a ship could function with, say, 41 to 65% of the normal
complement. For example, suppose an average amphibious support ship which normally carries about 280 officers and men were reduced to only 115. If 60 of those cut were reassigned as a maintenance team for that same ship and remained in the homeport, a net savings of 100 men would still be realized. If the average seagoing Navyman costs about $800 monthly to maintain, this amounts to a savings of $80,000 per month for a single ship. Even with the combatant ships, where the most liberal rationalization would allow only a reduction to 65%, the cost savings is significant. Is such a manpower cut feasible? Several more conservative attempts at cost-saving force reductions have been shotgunned throughout the Armed Services with only limited success. A much more radical program would be doomed to instant failure and ridicule.
Enlisted Levels Boatswain Mates 12
Radarmcn (incl 2 ETs) 8
Food Preparers 10
Engineers (2 separate steaming cngincroom +4 aux maintenance men) 55
E-7 & 8 supervisors
(various rates) 6
Take the minimum number of men absolutely necessary to get a ship underway and form with it a well-integrated team. Do not include the myriad sound-powered phone talkers, status board keepers, plotters, advisors, and the like. Shipboard communications are to be handled using the walkie-talkie radios for the fo’c’s’le and line handlers, and the installed 21MC internally. A typical getting underway team might resemble the following:
JOOD (navigator) Helmsman & Lee
Messenger 2 Radarmcn,
3 man anchor crew Officer (when assigned) -f
3 line handlers
1 man in emergency
3 men forward fircroom 3 men forward
3 men after fircroom
3 men after cngincroom
Officer in charge
Total 6 Officers, 26 men
Will this endanger the safety of the ship? An emphatic no is substantiated on two counts. First, from a command
and control viewpoint, it is a myth that the larger the ship, the larger the crew required for effective conning. Ships of all sizes are equally liable under the Rules of the Road, and all bear the same responsibility for personnel and material safety. All cannot, however, be manned the same, since the smaller ship obviously has fewer people available. Second, merchant ships enter and leave port with even fewer men than recommended here, and they do it with a high degree of safety. They can do it because they arc professionals. Navy ships can also safely operate likewise, if they too, are manned by professionals.
Using the small ship’s getting underway requirements as a departure point, and adding the additional personnel needed to provide minimal hotel and repair services, and to fill out a three- section steaming watch, a building block called the Basic Minimal Manning Module is formed:
Total 6 Officers
Total 85 Enlisted
This basic module presupposes two things: a good degree of cross-training and competent professionals filling all rated and officer billets. Examine the sharpness and performance of a PG crew, and look carefully at the high morale and reenlistment rate of the unglamor- ous ocean minesweeper (MSO). These things are a matter of attitude—each man feels that he has an important job to do and an obligation to do it well. These two ship types approach the con
cept of the minimal manning module, and they do a successful job.
It is necessary, however, for a Navy ship to do more than to get underway and to move through the water. A ship will therefore be assigned an augmenting force in her mission area. Multipurpose ships will, however, from time to time require a variety of teams. According to the current task of a ship, one or more Functional Minimal Manning Modules will be assigned in the mission area to give the ship its required capability. For example, a particular destroyer possesses a modern sonar, antisubmarine rocket (AsRoc), two 5-inch/54 mounts, naval tactical data system (NTDS), and extensive electronic equipment for combat air control (CAP), early warning, or electronic countermeasures (ECM). For the upcoming deployment, this ship’s assignment will be shore bombardment and ECM activities while operating with a task group. Accordingly, two fire control and mount crew Functional Modules arc assigned together with a CIC Functional Module to provide capabilities in all areas. Each module is complete and pre-trained with the necessary division officers and CPOs. No sonar or AsRoc teams are assigned. This ensures that all hands on board this destroyer will play an important role in the ship’s operations and will bear significant responsibility for the success of the mission.
This same destroyer is now required to become a part of a hunter-killer ASW group. The fire control and gun mount modules are replaced by the sonar and AsRoc modules. These ASW modules have not been idle as if they had been on board during the entire deployment, but they have cither just come from another mission assignment or from a training site. They arc ready to deliver peak performance.
A support ship, such as an oiler, which operates continually performing the same mission, retains her functional module in the same manner as she retains her basic module.
The use of functional modules will eliminate the often-heard valid complaint by the trained specialist that he does not get the opportunity to use fully his skill because, for instance, the guns are never fired or sonar is never required. All the functional modules will be ac-
tivcly engaged, either training ashore, operating on board ship, or participating in readiness exercises in a standby status near the deployed area. Because of this 100% use, fewer men will be required using functional modules than would have been necessary to completely man each ship.
Equipment maintenance and technical assistance teams are also organized into modules. They operate in the deployed Fleet with one module type serving several units. In most cases, an engineering casualty or a failure of electronic equipment could be quickly fixed by a dispatched maintenance module, without taxing the ship’s resources. The crew, therefore, does only a very minimum amount of routine repair. At sea, maintenance modules accomplish those items presently done underway by the ship’s force. When a ship returns to port, it is immediately and completely serviced by shore-based maintenance modules. Time-consuming screening and lengthy discussions as to which jobs are to be done and by whom arc virtually eliminated. The upkeep responsibility of the on-board crew would be limited to ensuring satisfactory completion of the work items. Units similar to the Development and Training Center, San Diego, would be organized into functional maintenance modules, and such facilities would be established at all major naval bases.
A central pool of spare parts would become a component of the extensive, well-staffed logistic module, providing increased responsiveness and allowing a more complete inventory at the scene than is presently possible. A drastic reduction in the individual ship’s coordinated ships allowance list (CoSAL) is then made, with a corresponding reduction in the support personnel needed for the on-board supply system. Regularly used items and consumables can be managed individually by the work centers of the ships concerned.
Mobility is a key factor necessary for the successful application of the Minimal Manning Module concept. Since most Navy ships do have a helo transfer
capability, the various modules are able to move freely from ship to ship as needed. This is particularly important for the maintenance and logistics modules.
The career patterns for most enlisted rates would be roughly the same as today except that much more rapid and regular Seavey-Shorvcy rotation occurs. This is recommended because more is demanded of the individual while he is at sea. A typical rotation might be l‘/2 years at sea, one year ashore in mainte- nance/support, and six months in a training/contingency group. Every module would be rotated in the scheme, even for deprived ratings such as boatswain’s mates and boiler technicians. The large numbers of these rates brought ashore would be kept busy by doing topside maintenance and preservation in the case of boatswain’s mates, and boiler and machinery repair in case of the BTs. The advantage of this system is that it allows attainment and exercise of true seagoing professionalism while afloat, and regular, scheduled workdays while ashore. Home ports and duty assignments can be stabilized to provide much more security and organization in the life of the Navyman.
Today’s pressure forces a naval officer to specialize, but frequently he is not used in his functional area. The officer must conn the ship under difficult situations when he has seldom had the years of first-hand shiphandling experience necessary. Career planners demand both a specializer and a shiphandlcr from the individual. They get a good blend of both qualities. With the modular system, however, real professional ship- handlers can return to the Fleet; and a technical expert can ensure that functional modules under his cognizance perform their mission. As the Navy moves more and more toward specialization, it becomes mandatory that a group be identified as specialists in naval shiphandling. The modular system encourages the skilled naval officer to remain within his modular speciality. The current CNO policy upgrading the status of
shore commands and project managers, while soft-pedaling the importance of command-at-sea, is a large-size step towards the manning module concept.
The available operating time of each individual ship will be increased and inport down-time will be curtailed. As soon as a ship arrives in port, maintenance begins by a motivated crew of Navymen who, because of their previous deployment on similar ships, are well aware of the details and peculiarities of the equipment. Better use of assets means that the additional number of inefficient extra ships which have had to be maintained to provide Fleet reliability may now be decommissioned.
A typical operating cycle would see a ship on continuous sea assignments for l'/2 years with limited stand-down periods. At the end of this tour, the ship would receive a two-month overhaul, using at least in part the beefed up work force of Navy facilities. Leave and reassignment of personnel would occur in this period.
The Minimal Manning Module System is not a panacea for the pressing problems of the Navy, it is one solution. It will reduce the operating costs by trimming away 20-30% of the personnel assigned to the active Fleet. It will improve the quality of the Navyman, by giving him the opportunity to work actively in his specialized rating and develop into a true professional. The system will improve the life of the Navyman, by giving job satisfaction at work, security for the future, and a planned home life for the family. It will increase the readiness of the Fleet by staffing ships with sharp professionals.
Progress is indeed being made along the traditional paths of resistance. Is this progress being made fast enough, however, to meet all the challenges on time? Certainly, it is suggested, one effective response would be to strike out in a bold new direction and grasp and implement the concepts of the Minimal Manning Module System. Sound judgment, courage, and a new idea can allow the Navy once again to concentrate on controlling the sea.