“Division of Labor in the Western Alliance”
(See M. E. Geneste, pp. 42-51, November 1978 Proceedings)
“U.S. NATO Policy: The Challenge and the Opportunity”
(See R. L. Beard, pp. 52-61, November 1978 Proceedings)
“Standardization or Bankruptcy for NATO”
(See E. K. Daley, pp. 78-87, November 1978 Proceedings)
Commander Daniel G. Powell, U.S. Navy, Chief Staff Officer, Commander Mobile Mine Assembly Group—I am delighted to see at least token acknowledgment by the Proceedings' publication of several articles addressing various aspects of NATO that the United States is a member of our best-known international defense organization. Having represented the United States at various NATO conferences, attended countless meetings, participated in numerous exercises and otherwise espoused the U. S. view, and listened to the European arguments for the past 20 years, it is refreshing to see some of my thoughts and concerns in print. And it is a boost to my ego to see that some of my perceptions are similar to those of others, but it does nothing whatsoever to allay my apprehensions.
For instance, Colonel Geneste makes the big pitch for different European and U. S. roles in the defense of NATO against the Warsaw Pact. His thinking is, with a few important exceptions, typical of that which I have heard from the French for years. Openly he is saying that the United States should provide the “deterrence of the Soviet strategic forces and mastery of the seas” while the European nations provide for the "tactical defense” of their continent. To do this, he would put a nuclear trigger at each NATO country's finger. One thing that Colonel Geneste apparently realizes, but which seems to escape most Europeans, is that the stage is set now for a good old- fashioned conventional war, in the heartland of Europe, between two extra-continental nations. One important suggestion which he makes, but which has been an anathema to Europeans in the past, is long overdue: give the Germans a greater role and voice in the defense of Europe. But his solution on the whole is not one in which NATO Europe will assume its full responsibility as a “partner” in the Alliance: NATO Europe will defend on its own soil, but there will be no offensive retaliation from it; and, by the way, he says, let’s not pull out the 300,000 American troops. That’s division of labor? Typical of French thinking, can we substitute “Maginot Line” for his “European Wall” along the Iron Curtain?
Congressman Beard has a different perception. But he also recognizes the need for a posture which can provide a credible conventional defense of Europe. He is also on the right path in presenting his own “two-way street.” But there are many one-way signs to overcome before the two-way street can become a reality. For one thing, Congressman Beard greatly overestimates the capability of his legislative branch of government.
Lieutenant Colonel Daley approaches the problem from the economic viewpoint. He asks, rightly enough, “Is there a real desire for standardization?” He then proceeds to present a good argument for a negative answer. The Military Agency for Standardization (which, by the way, is in Brussels, not London) has written literally thousands of standardized agreements (STANAGS). Having had a hand in the drafting of many of them myself, I can state that a STANAG is nothing more than an “agreement” which seeks the lowest common denominator as a basis for compromise. The most serious problem with this approach is that, as Colonel Geneste has so ably argued, the European nations do not desire an offensive punch. Thus, a weapon designed for defense only simply will not provide the capabilities needed for an offensive retaliation.
Although I lament the fact that the real-world situation is as Colonel Geneste sees it and that he has a better grasp of it than the other cited authors, I would argue with Colonel Geneste’s thesis that that’s the way things should be. He argues not for a close-knit defensive fighting alliance, but for a loose union of independent nations, each free and obligated to defend itself. It is sad that political parochialism and petty nationalism make this so. But aside from a few tenuous combat units, forces responsive to NATO commanders are virtually nonexistent. One is reminded of the question Stalin asked concerning the number of divisions commanded by the Pope.
“Air Force Maritime Missions”
(See H. A. Caldwell, pp. 29-36, October 1978; J. T. Westwood, p. 27, December 1978 Proceedings)
Captain P. J. Doerr, U. S. Navy, Assistant Chief of Staff/Plans, Commander Seventh Fleet—In an era of increasing Soviet maritime capabilities and less rapidly increasing U. S. Navy capabilities, Mr. Caldwell’s highlighting of the need for more exploitation of Air Force capabilities is timely and appropriate. His article is all the more important because the existence of the Navy-Air Force agreement of September 1975 is not widely known, and it should be. Naval officers at many levels will no doubt be interested (maybe even surprised) to learn that recent Air Force efforts in the maritime arena have the support of the CNO. Many of these officers will be called upon to make this new agreement produce a significant addition to Navy sea control capabilities.
There are impediments to full exploitation of Air Force maritime capabilities, however, which must be addressed:
►As long as mining, for example, remains a collateral Air Force mission, the Air Force will naturally be reluctant to commit itself to specific tasking in contingencies. In the absence of such a commitment, the Navy must continue to plan on using Navy minelaying platforms.
►Coordination of Navy and Air Force maritime operations will have to overcome the basic differences in command philosophy and planning procedures between the Navy and Air Force. The Navy emphasizes decentralized command execution of plans which themselves emphasize flexibility and adaptability to the details of contingencies which may arise. The Air Force, on the other hand, emphasizes centralized control of the execution of plans which are extraordinarily detailed and rather inflexible. One wonders whether SIOP (single integrated operational plan) planning procedures are adaptable to the unpredictabilities of ocean surveillance.
►While the interservice battles of the late 1940s are behind us, we ought to recognize that service parochialism (like nationalism in international relations) is alive and well today. Overcoming this parochialism and getting on with the job will require concerted efforts at all levels of command in both services.
►The cross-training and cross-pollination which Mr. Caldwell cites at war colleges and large staffs need to be extended to the tactical level, where Navy and Air Force cooperation will actually take place.
►Office of the Secretary of Defense support for Navy and Air Force coordination is fine, as long as it doesn’t take on the complexion of a shotgun wedding with the idea that two can live as cheaply as one.
►Mr. Caldwell’s point about the need for a continued truce in the public affairs war needs to be stressed and restressed. Normal institutional pride and typical public affairs practices can destroy Navy-Air Force cooperation unless they are kept under control.
I differ on one point with Mr. Caldwell. I don’t believe the Navy should encourage the devotion of much of the Air Force’s tactical aircraft assets to maritime missions. The Army needs close air support and lots of it. I would prefer to see Tactical Air Command concentrate in that area, rather than dilute its efforts by working the maritime problem.
“The Pacific Command Divided: The ‘Most Unexplained’ Decision”
(See C. O. Cook, pp. 55-61, September 1978 Proceedings)
James A. Carr—Whatever the merits of Captain Cook’s other criticisms of General of the Army Douglas Mac- Arthur’s conduct during the defense of the Philippines, the captain has overlooked or neglected to explain Mac- Arthur’s reasons for wanting to command the Philippine forces from far away Australia.
According to Louis Morton’s volume The Fall of the Philippines, which Captain Cook consulted at least partially, MacArthur’s retention of the Philippine Command would have limited Major General Jonathan Wain- wright’s authority to those forces on Bataan and Corregidor. This in turn would have enabled American and Filipino forces in the remainder of the archipelago to continue organized resistance following the fall of Corregidor. For example, again according to Morton, on Mindanao, where the Japanese had established only a slight foothold, there was a sizeable American-Filipino force which appeared capable of offering prolonged resistance, thus preventing or at least delaying the official capitulation of the islands. It is unnecessary to elaborate on the psychological effects that this would have had on both sides.
Wainwright apparently saw the potentiality of the Mindanao force when he unsuccessfully attempted to convince the Japanese that he was authorized to surrender Corregidor. Of course, the Japanese knew the true situation since Washington had officially announced the change in command.
Morton also noted that Wain- wright's surrender order caused a near mutiny among the American-Filipino forces on Mindanao. They felt that they were being unfairly handed over to the enemy without having had a chance to defend themselves. All of this would seem to cast a different light on MacArthur’s position in the matter.
As for Franklin D. Roosevelt’s decision to create a divided command in the Pacific, there is reason to doubt that this was solely the result of MacArthur’s attitude. Has Captain Cook forgotten or been unaware of the prevailing interservice rivalry in Washington at that time, or any time for that matter? Not only impartial observers but even his most ardent adherents generally agreed that Roosevelt was seldom, if ever, decisive in settling disputes among his subordinates, military or civil. As Professor John Lukacs has written of FDR, “. . .he was a master of taking the easy way out.”
Undeniably, MacArthur was extremely conceited, to put it mildly, and loathed to admit his errors. Yet it is equally undeniable that he remains the outstanding personality in the nation’s military history. No other American military figure from George Washington to Dwight D. Eisenhower, George Patton, or Chester Nimitz can begin to approach his illustrious record, which, spanned the half century from the Philippine Insurrection to the Korean War. But, his military insight was equaled only by his boldness of execution.
(See C.H. Johnson, pp. 37-43, October 1978 Proceedings)
Lieutenant Commander Jeffrey E. Callahan, U. S. Naval Reserve—Lieutenant Johnson scores some direct hits in his broadside against the condition of tactical development in the Navy. His emphasis on the need for informed decision making, as opposed to automatic adherence to doctrine in real tactical situations, is particularly pertinent.
Several points deserve further discussion. The first is the impact of new hardware on tactics and the apparent lack of thought about this impact during hardware’s development. New systems frequently do not live up to expectations after their introduction in the fleet. One reason is that the fleet users do not know how to exploit the system’s improved capabilities. It often takes years before fleet personnel understand what the new system has to offer and how it might be used to best advantage. By then the “new” system is no longer new, and its successor is being introduced. The combat system capability summaries, suggested by Lieutenant Johnson, are a partial answer to this problem. Closer attention to system employment during development would seem to be an even better solution. There’s no reason why the same studies that are used to justify development of a new system couldn’t be used to develop potential tactical guidelines for its employment in the fleet.
Second, a faster tactics feedback mechanism is certainly needed. But if another mechanism is devised, cancel at least one that already exists. There are too many tactical notes, tactical memos, and lessons learned (are they?) floating around now.
Finally, the men who drive the ships and aircraft have to become more involved in tactical development. They must be made to realize that tactics is their business. Events and policies in recent years have tended to put more emphasis on other matters at the expense of tactical training and development. Reversing this trend may be the most difficult part of revitalizing naval tactics in our Navy, but it is surely the most important. If the fleet doesn’t have time for tactics, there will be no tactics—only impotent doctrine.
“Let’s Get Fair Play into ASW Freeplay”
(See W. L. Marks, p. 92, August 1978; A. G. Linberger, p. 27, October 1978 Proceedings)
Commander A. Van Saun, U.S. Navy—Lieutenant Commander Linberger seems to have missed the main points of Lieutenant Commander Mark’s article: (1) our naval air ASW forces are conducting numerous restricted elementary diesel submarine tracking exercises and labeling them “free play,” and (2) our naval air ASW forces do not have a significant ASW capability against a diesel submarine when the diesel submarine is employed as it would be in wartime.
Lieutenant Commander Linberger’s discussion of the purpose of ASW exercises brings up the very old question, Should we train to kill the submarine or should we train to find the submarine? Obviously, if we can’t find the submarine we can’t kill him; or, if we can’t kill the submarine, is it of benefit to find him?
I suggest that it is of greater benefit to be capable of finding diesel submarines. Once they have been located, whether they are attacked or not, enemy diesel submarines have lost the initiative and must break contact to once again become effective. Therefore, any realistic ASW training conducted by naval air units should be primarily focused on locating the unrestricted diesel submarine. As Lieutenant Commander Marks brings out, no matter how good we are at conducting attacks upon a restricted submarine in peacetime, this ability will be of little value in war when unrestricted diesel submarines will not cooperate with the attacker.
Yet, our naval air ASW community shies away from practicing at the task of finding an evasive unrestricted diesel submarine. The air community, as Lieutenant Commander Linberger states, seems to believe that “The price in terms of time, fuel, sonobuoys, flight hours, and at-sea time for surface and subsurface vessels is too high to pay for such exercises.” What they are saying is that the real ASW problem, to find the diesel submarine, is too hard and too expensive for naval air units.
“What Ship Is That?”
(See E.J. Mathews, pp. 61-73, July 1978; R.F. Sumrall, pp. 93-94, September 1978 Proceedings)
Gene Anderson, naval architect—Commander Mathew’s article brought memories on how I had attempted to pull off an "intelligence scoop.”
During the latter months of World War II, I was assigned to the night drafting section of Joint Intelligence Center Pacific Ocean Areas (JICPOA) at Pearl Harbor. This organization was a part of Admiral Nimitz’s flag of Commander in Chief, Pacific, and Commander in Chief, Pacific Ocean Areas.
Because of my background in naval architecture and shipbuilding, some of my work involved updating recognition drawings of Japanese warships. One evening my supervisor asked me to update the drawings of the Yamato from information supplied by our Guam-based photo interpretation section. I completed my task and set aside my tracing for possible future use. I became fascinated by this monstrous warship, and on my own, I dug up all available intelligence data and photographs from JICPOA's files on this vessel. Photographs were becoming plentiful because of the greater number of “photo recon” missions flown by Navy and Air Forces over the Inland Seas of Japan where this ship attempted to hide in Hiroshima Bay.
From these photographs, I found that the Yamato had a pronounced “S” shape shear. Her main battery turrets were a different shape than originally believed. I found her tower to be more massive than her earlier silhouettes had indicated and her stack had more rake. Behind this stack, I noted a small tripod mast supporting her main mast and spreading signal yards. Later in the war, she carried more turreted antiaircraft guns at her waist. I was particularly interested in a photograph showing one of her shore boats being removed from a hangar which was located under her aft main weather deck. It appeared that she was giving birth to this boat.
After several months of research, I added to my original tracing all the information that I was able to come up with in hopes of making an intelligence scoop with a complete drawing of the Yamato. However, before I was able to complete my task, a wild bunch of sharp-shooting, brown-shoe fly boys from the Fifth Fleet shot down my dream by blowing up this great ship on 7 April 1945 while she was on her kamikaze run to Okinawa.
When I received this news of the destruction of the “world’s greatest battleship,” all my work and some of the best aerial wartime photos of this ship were deep sixed into file 13, the contents of which were later burned.
“Leadership and Nuclear Power”
(See R. E. Chatham, pp. 78-82, July 1978; C. P. Harris, pp. 21-22, September 1978; J. W. Asher and P. W. Sparks, pp. 81-84, October 1978; H. C. Lowe and R. Peet, pp. 113-115, November 1978; A. F. Campbell and T. Blades, pp. 96-98, December 1978 Proceedings)
Commander R. N. Lee, U. S. Navy, Commanding Officer, USS Sunfish (SSN-649)—There is definitely a retention problem in the Navy, and more specifically in nuclear submarines. This problem probably has as many facets as there are nuclear submarines. Lieutenant Chatham expresses the opinion that the reasons for this retention problem are a direct result of the policies of the Admiral (Admiral H. G. Rickover), who is the Director, Division of Naval Reactors (NR), and correspondingly the “nuclear way." The leadership developed under this “nuclear way” is taken to task because Lieutenant Chatham apparently believes that reactor safety, as defined by NR, has created inadequate leaders, and that the type of leadership with which he is familiar, or which he implies would be part of the solution to this retention problem, cannot exist under NR's requirements.
The specific discrepancies Lieutenant Chatham cites have been expressed by many of us in nuclear power at one time or the other. These problems are generally the result of different ships' efforts to get prepared for some nuclear key event or to meet some nuclear plant requirement which has been delineated by the force commanders (ComSubLant or ComSubPac) under existing directives. The Director, Division of Naval Reactors, is assigned the cognizance over nuclear power plants, just as other branches of Naval Sea Systems Command (NavSea) are assigned cognizance over other technical aspects of submarine equipments. NR is by far the most demanding and exacting in demands, requirements, rules, and enforcement. The inspections and requirements relating to “things nuclear” do sometimes receive emphasis far above an equal percentage share of other “things non-nuclear.” However, if diesel engines, main storage batteries, main turbines, or advanced and complex electronic equipments were operated as Lieutenant Chatham suggests (that is without strict adherence to, or by broad interpretation of, the requirements of the designers, builders, or technical representatives), we would soon find we had a couple of major problems (or disasters). But even so, the difficulties that might arise from these non-nuclear problems would not likely expand to effect more than a single ship. The present strict requirements for nuclear power, supported by the submarine’s normal chain of command, were originally based on a total lack of experience with nuclear power and were therefore made as conservative and safe as original designers could imagine. These requirements have since then been proven, reproven, and reemphasized over and over again, and the result of enforcement of these requirements has been demonstrated by the safety, reliability, and performance of nuclear- powered ships. These standards and requirements are being applied more and more to other parts of the Navy as it becomes apparent that the “old” standards, which Lieutenant Chatham implies are better, do not keep ships at sea as well.
Checking people's work does not indicate a lack of trust as Lieutenant Chatham implies. The policy of an officer second-check of a submarine’s rig-for-dive prior to a first dive of the ship, for example, did not originate on nuclear submarines, but has been a proven method of submarine safety and reliability long before Lieutenant Chatham's tour in the USS Barbel (SS- 580). Since serving as a member of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Examining Board, I have found over and over again that you get what you inspect, not what you expect. When checking (inspecting) competent, experienced people’s work I normally find little, if any, significant problems and that they welcome the challenge. When checking not-so-competent or not-so- experienced people’s work I usually find there are a few things they still need to do or do not fully understand. Inspections of the propulsion plants on non-nuclear ships have been initiated in the general format that nuclear inspections were started years ago as an effort to upgrade the reliability and safety of these non-nuclear ships.
The reasoning that nuclear safety and trust are mutually exclusive, that trust is a vital key to good leadership, and that therefore nuclear safe submarines cannot (do not) have good leadership is false. The most successful nuclear officer is the one who understands all of the requirements and applies them in balance with the total requirements of his ship, and not the one who can lay the blame for a problem on someone else. Until the last few years when direct input officers (i.e., those entering the nuclear power program without previous non-nuclear experience) have reached positions of responsibility in command of submarines, the leadership of the submarine force had been made up of officers who had served in both types of ships (and submarines). Their leadership has therefore been a composite of their non-nuclear and nuclear experiences, and they have had the opportunity to draw on this experience and apply it in a totally nuclear environment. But this situation is changing. Many of the leaders in submarines today have spent their entire naval careers in nuclear power, have heard all of criticisms and complaints of “why does it have to be this way?” yet, I believe, better understand the need to balance these questions within the perspective of the whole submarine mission. Yes, there are too many inspections, too many requirements, too many rules, too many checks on rules, and too many reports; yet the challenge is not to change how we’re doing the job, but to do each job as it comes along with reasonable emphasis, coordinated planning, and a minimum of crisis management.
There are too few “attaboys” given, as Lieutenant Chatham states, although submarine personnel as a whole have received more personal awards, based on percentage shares, than any of the other branches of the Navy. The local “well done” or “good job” that an individual should receive on the spot as deserved recognition or that should come from his seniors in a more formal manner is a problem that exists in all parts of the Navy. There is also an unwritten reluctance on the part of nuclear power inspectors to commend an individual, a watch section, or an entire crew for a job well done. This has sometimes led to a feeling that the inspections only stress the negative or the specific deficiencies rather than the total result. We need to improve in this area.
The problem of retention of junior officers on submarines is not from a lack of trust in their abilities, or from a blind adherence to rules, regulations, or rudder orders, or from an emphasis on “things nuclear” to the exclusion of “things non-nuclear.” This retention problem won’t be cured solely with more money. Retention of submariners is a leadership problem requiring a very broad approach to all of its problems—but the competition isn’t fair. Submarine leadership must compete with a civilian industry which pays more, does not go to sea or advertise family separations, and is across the fence where the grass looks a lot greener. When I asked my well- qualified nuclear submariner engineer officer recently why he stayed in the Navy and volunteered for an engineer officer job, he stated: “Because it was the hardest, most challenging job I could find.” When I try to pin down the reasons why I have stayed so long in the nuclear program, I find it’s because I thoroughly enjoy the challenge and the excitement of submarine operations, and it’s seeing the people I work for or that work for me achieve their goals as a result of my efforts. If I didn’t think I could make the system work or that I couldn’t make things better, I wouldn’t have been retained either.
Lieutenant Thomas B. Salzer, U. S. Navy—I agree in part with Chatham on the point that the Division of Naval Reactors (NR) exercises a tremendous amount of power over nuclear-powered ships by intervening in the operational chain of command through its responsibility for reactor safety. NR intrusions into areas outside the limits of its sphere of responsibility are detailed and too numerous to debate point by point in a magazine article. Besides, I do not feel qualified to second-guess NR. I have viewed the nuclear program from a somewhat similar, narrow vantage point as Lieutenant Chatham’s in that my six years in the Navy have been composed of tours in engineering departments on two nuclear-powered cruisers. I do not agree, however, with Lieutenant Chatham’s concept of trust or the phenomenon labeled by him as “tunnel vision.”
Lieutenant Chatham states that trust is overshadowed by supervision on board nuclear ships, and detailed procedures must be followed so explicitly that initiative is stifled. I believe trust is a leadership quality that is not given to individuals but earned by them after they have displayed a high degree of competence and judgment. Dealing with complex procedures, people should back-up or second-check each other. Simplistically this might be called mistrust; in a less neurotic state, it should be viewed as quality assurance, which is a good management tool. There are tasks in nuclear power, just as I’m sure Lieutenant Chatham has encountered in the strategic weapons program, where procedures and checklists are the sane and organized way to go about a complex job, and not an affront to one’s initiative.
I must preface a discussion of “tunnel vision” by stating that my CGNs’ wardrooms were comprised of more senior and experienced officers at each level than wardrooms in submarines. Often the increased experience gives people more confidence in certain situations such as reactor safeguards examinations, so I have not found officers of large nuclear surface ships in the same state of mind as described by Lieutenant Chatham in the following excerpt from his article,
“All the nuclear-trained officers from the CO on down to the junior nuc were walking around like zombies by the time the inspection team arrived. ...”
I contend that NR is not to blame for the tunnel vision symptom. The surface warfare community sends officers directly from prototype to a 16- week, comprehensive basic school. Once on board, although expected to qualify as an engineering officer of the watch, the junior officer may expect to be assigned to any division in the ship. Nuclear-trained officers are expected to qualify either as OODs or as chief engineers during their first sea tour and complete the remaining qualifications on the second tour, thereby giving them ample opportunity to learn and appreciate the workings of the vessel as a complete warship.
If the surface warfare community can train the nuclear-qualified junior officer in an integrated manner, then the submarine force should be able to modify its training program to give the officer initially a better appreciation for the entire submarine. Lieutenant Chatham should ask the nuclear-trained navy to look to itself in finding the answers to the trust and tunnel vision questions, and he should not blame NR for creating the problems or task NR with finding solutions.
“Women in Warships: A Right to Serve”
(See J. F. Kelly, pp. 44-53, October 1978 Proceedings)
Rear Admiral Karl G. Hensel, U. S. Navy (Retired)—A forefather of mine was the only member among my antecedents to ever write for the Proceedings. His name was Chief Engineer Charles H. Baker. He was one of 13 men who launched the Naval Institute in the early 1870s, and Volume I contains an article of his. Now, more than a hundred years later, I offer my comments on an issue which I’m sure that my ancestor never foresaw being discussed in the Proceedings.
It is one thing to have female personnel serve in combatant ships during peacetime. If they are fully integrated into gun crews, ammunition lines, engineering watch standing, and work and repair crews, it would hardly be a tidy thing. More important, really experienced and thoughtful people could hardly be brought to believe that this could produce a better ship or increased combat readiness. But as for wartime, and in battle, may heaven help us! Ships are sometimes sinking infernos of dying and wounded. In a “milder” example, a former officer of the Hancock (CV-14), which had one 1,000 lb. bomb explode on the hangar deck in World War II, recently described and commented on the event in the September 1978 Shipmate magazine as follows:
“. . . 150 men were on duty. There was blood, bits of flesh, bone and feces splattered all over the deck, bulkheads and overhead. In the inferno that followed, men were screaming in agony, knowing that little help was available. There were four doctors for 3500 men in the stinking chamber of horrors that was sick bay, jammed with our naked, burned and bleeding shipmates.”
In the name of equality, would it have been preferable if many of them had been young women? Even if you accept this possibility during the theoretical arguments of peacetime planning, a more dangerous possibility arises—the protective male instinct towards the female—which cannot be legislated or wished away and which might cause a skipper to hesitate to fight his ship with that extra zeal necessary to win the battle.
If it is true that we are running out of eligible men to man the ships, the cause lies in our national policies and national will. The remedy lies in these being changed through tough and courageous leadership. It cannot lie in putting women on board combatant ships, which could give at best only temporary relief while the basic causes of our “manning” problems continue to fester and grow.
Rear Admiral Richard Lane, U.S. Navy (Retired)—There’s a saying in the business world that the old Pennsylvania Railroad paid so much attention to running a railroad that it forgot it was in the transportation business. Of course, the railroad went bankrupt. I am concerned that we may be paying so much attention to running a Navy that we forget the Navy’s business is combat readiness, and as a corollary, combat effectiveness.
Does anyone, including the ladies, seriously believe that combat effectiveness would be improved by having women serve in combat ships? True, by law, everyone may have certain "rights,” but is the exercise of these rights more important than the survival of the United States? In such a vital matter as survival, can we afford to take chances? What would happen to U.S. citizens’ rights if we were defeated in a major war? Anyone not aware of having had suspended some of the normal rights of a citizen when he or she joined the Navy, still has much to learn.
Undoubtedly, some women are the equals and perhaps the superiors of the average man in aggressiveness, tenacity, and emotional and physical stamina. Undoubtedly too, the average woman is better qualified than the average man to perform some shipboard duties. But in general, the many problems involved in mixing sexes in assignments on board combat ships, well brought out by Captain Kelly, are not likely to improve combat effectiveness.
Would the American voting public, if it clearly understood all the issues involved, favor the assignment of women to naval combat ships? Have we in the Navy done everything humanly possible to assure that the American public understands these issues? Granting that the national population of young males may drop as much as 20% in the 1980s, does this mean we won’t have enough young men to man a Navy, voluntarily or otherwise? In my estimate, the answer to all of these questions is no.
“V/STOL Design for Tactical Aircraft”
(See C. A. Lindell, pp. 119-125, September 1978; J. F. Schork, pp. 93-94, December 1978 Proceedings)
Lieutenant Colonel Clifford A. Lindell, U. S. Marine Corps (Retired)—As a former A-6 pilot, I am in general agreement with the comments on the superb characteristics of the A-6 aircraft which have been expressed by Lieutenant Schork of Attack Squadron 128. Recalculating some A-6 missions, the performance efficiency index (PEI) score of the A-6 could be raised from 170, as I assigned it in my original discussion, to as high as the 190 range. However, two points need to be clarified.
First, the mission performance ground rules should be explained in more detail. The NavAir ground rules for a hi-lo-hi mission, taken from the A-6E's standard aircraft characteristics, are as follows:
►Warm up, taxi, and take off: five minutes with normal rated power (static) at sea level
►Climb on course with military power to optimum cruise altitude
►Cruise out at maximum range speed at optimum cruise altitude (drop external fuel tanks when empty)
►Descend to sea level (no fuel used, no distance gained)
►Combat for five minutes at military-rated power; stores on and no distance gained; drop stores after combat
►Climb on course with military power to optimum cruise altitude
►Cruise back at speed for maximum range at optimum cruise altitude
►Reserve: 5% initial fuel plus 20 minutes at maximum endurance at sea level
While NavAir ground rules would not necessarily be used by fleet pilots calculating an actual combat mission profile, they are used consistently by the Navy for evaluating all U. S. naval aircraft, and have been used for the calculation of PEI by the author.
Second, my original Figure 7, reproduced above, recognizes the sensitivity of PEI to mission avionics and other factors. The A-6 is still a good performing machine even though it has two crew members and a heavy avionics suite. The point to be made here is that if we wanted to build a new, two-place, all-weather attack aircraft to do the A-6 mission, the emerging vertical or short takeoff and landing (V/STOL) technology could enable V/STOL designs to compete with or exceed conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) designs in system performance.
As stated in the article, a PEI score of 250 indicates an excellent aircraft design. To date, among U. S. tactical aircraft reported by other readers, only the Air Force's F-I5, equipped with fuselage-mounted fuel tanks, has attained such a score.
“The Violation of the ‘Liberty’ ”
(See R. K. Smith, pp. 62-70, June 1978; S. C. Truver, pp. 91-93, September 1978; N. Polmar, p. 88, October 1978; Y. Nitzan, pp. 111-113, November 1978; V. L. Brownfield and P. E. Tobin, pp. 104-107, December 1978 Proceedings)
Captain William L. McGonagle, U. S. Navy (Retired), Commanding Officer, USS Liberty (AGTR-5), in June 1967—It is my conviction that had not the individual and collective efforts of the officers and men of the USS Liberty (AGTR-5) been of the highest professional caliber throughout our hours of peril, the ship could have sunk with a far greater loss of life. The crew’s efforts were an inspiration to me, and I believe that all share in the award that was accorded to me. The individual decorations and "Presidential Unit Citation” awarded to all who served on board Liberty on 8-9 June 1967 were well and truly earned by those gallent men of the sea.
Alfred Friendly, who won the Pulitzer Prize for foreign reporting for his coverage of the Six-Day War—Dr. Smith argues that the Israeli pilots and seamen must have known that the Liberty was an American ship when they made their sustained and obviously deliberate attacks 14 miles offshore, and within sight of the Egyptian town of El Arish. As a layman, I am in no position to dispute that element of his account.
He goes on to imply—indeed, in effect to assert, and vehemently—that the purpose of the attack was to prevent American and world knowledge of the extent of Israel’s victories as of that moment. He writes:
"A vital part of Israel’s war plan was preventing the rest of the world from knowing about its military victories until they could be presented together as a political fait accompli. After two or three days, this news blackout created great anxieties among the civilian population of Israel, but it was more important to keep foreign powers in the dark. The Israeli leaders feared superpower pressures for a cease-fire before they could seize the territory which they considered necessary for Israel’s future security. Any instrument which sought to penetrate this smoke screen so carefully thrown around the normal 'fog of war’ would have to be frustrated.” In fact, however, as I am able to testify from my presence in Israel throughout the Six-Day War as The Washington Post’s correspondent there during the entire period, the Israeli Defense Department, through its official military spokesman and others, proclaimed its conquests, promptly and in detail, about land occupied, for all the world to hear.
At a press conference attended by scores of foreign and Israeli newsmen as well as by many others who crowded into the room, the spokesman declared at about midnight on 5 June, roughly 18 hours after the war opened early that morning, that the Israelis had occupied El Arish and captured Khan Younis, an important road junction well to the west of it in the Sinai. I reported that as part of a “stupendous air and ground victory” for my paper’s editions of 6 June.
On the evening of 6 June, again on officially released information, I filed a dispatch declaring that Israeli troops that day had advanced midway into the Sinai. By next day, it was clear that the war against Egypt was as good as won and that Israeli troops were on, or close to, the banks of the Suez Canal. The information was in no way secret or concealed from anyone, and rather than there being a "news blackout (that) created great anxieties among the civilian population of Israel,” there were immediate announcements to the nation, by radio and newspapers, of every forward thrust, creating a state of unrestrained jubilation.
By the time of the 8 June attack on the Liberty, at about 1400, the land war in the Sinai had become so “uninteresting” as "news” that I, for one, was no longer writing about it but had begun producing pieces on the diplomatic considerations and speculation about an armistice agreement with Egypt and had, in fact, left Tel Aviv that morning to visit the Syrian front where hostilities had just begun.
That the attack on the Liberty was ordered by the Israeli high command to prevent American and world knowledge of the capture of El Arish, announced with fanfare in Tel Aviv more than two days before, or of further progress of the Israeli forces to or near the Canal, also announced day by day, almost hour by hour, is a thesis that simply does not hold water.
Dr. Smith also remarks that the Israelis agreed to the U.N. Security Council cease-fire resolution “with great reluctance.” In a dispatch I wrote on 7 June, I noted that the Israelis were ready to sign a cease-fire agreement "when there was a similar agreement from the other side,” but that Syria and Egypt had rejected the U.N. Security Council proposal. I believe that report was entirely correct.
“ASW and the Naval Officer Oceanographer”
(See E. W. Shaar, pp. 43-49, February 1978; T. W. Perkins, p. 88, July 1978; M. A. Unhjem, p. 82, August 1978 Proceedings)
Lieutenant Commander R. C. Willems, U. S. Navy, and Lieutenant Commander R. F. Barry, U. S. Navy—The ASV7 subspecialist assimilates and blends a variety of inputs to plan and, subsequently, from the tactical sensor and environmental information, to provide real-time, critical information to the on-scene commander in an ASV? encounter. The spectrum of inputs he uses are all reasonably static with the exception of the environment which is variable and is always dynamic. The environmental subspecialist with a good description of conditions as they exist, coupled with the climatology and acoustic models available with the on-board prediction systems, can produce accurate forecasts which may greatly influence the tactical decisions to be made. Also, the professional environmentalist, armed with new and existing techniques, can accurately and quickly locate anomalies in the sensor and platform media which significantly alter the acoustical properties and may therefore influence the platform modes of operation. The environmental subspecialist provides critical assessments of environmental variables to the ASW subspecialist, who then may provide the on-scene commander with recommendations for optimum force employment.
To say that the ASW subspecialist is an environmental subspecialist is as inaccurate as to say the environmental subspecialist is an ASW subspecialist. The effective utilization and employment of our forces require the fulltime services of the two basic areas. An environmentalist must interface with the activities in his field to have the latest descriptive techniques and acoustic models at his disposal. For operations he should be able to prepare detailed outlooks which serve as a basis for providing detection/counter- detection forecasts, tactical options, and tactical recommendations. His output will be used by the ASW subspecialist to design formations, deploy assets, pre-brief tactics, etc.
Once under way, the environmentalist should update forecasts, provide options, and continually monitor the environment’s dynamic and often rapidly changing conditions. The ASW subspecialist anticipates (or responds to) changes in the tactical situation and reviews the timely assessments by the environmental subspecialist to adjust the force disposition. There is, of course, some overlap with the environmentalist requiring ASW expertise and the ASW subspecialist needing an appreciation of the environment. Overlap does not mean interchangeability. On the contrary, the subspecialties are complementary. The ASW subspecialist does not have, nor was it planned that he have, the capability to conduct detailed environmental analyses or to provide detailed environmental outlooks or forecasts and their updates. The ASW subspecialist is adroit at using the products which only the environmental specialist or subspecialist can satisfactorily produce. It is perceived as clearly evident that effective utilization of both subspecialties can significantly increase force ASW capabilities.
These two areas of complementary expertise—recognized as critical to the force mission—demand the effective use of both the environmentalist and the ASW subspecialist on task group and fleet staffs as well as on board specific ship types. The reduction of one billet because ASW and environmental services are considered competitive rather than complementary is false economy.
“Pearl Harbor Aftermath”
(See W. J. Holmes, pp. 68-75, December 1978 Proceedings)
Lieutenant Commander Durwood G. Rorie, U. S. Navy (Retired)—Captain Jasper Holmes’ account activated many memories dimmed by the passing of time. I was assigned to the Combat Intelligence Unit during the events narrated by Jasper, but some set forth were new to me—in particular, the incident of the Army observation post on Kahala beach. It seems rather obvious the Army hadn’t exercised the two coast-defense guns for some time. No criticism intended; the battery just wasn't programmed to scare off Jap subs.
In a small way I was involved in another incident, and one I recall with pleasure. When the members of the California's band were attached to the unit. Captain J. J. Rochefort charged me with getting the men settled in a billet completely foreign to their training and previous duty. I believe the bandsmen were so teed off at the Japs for ruining their instruments, motivation to “get even” was at the boiling point. Be that as it may, they were individually and collectively a splendid addition to the unit and, as stated by the author, several became outstanding cryptographers.
“We Rode the Covered Wagon”
(See J. R. Tate, pp. 62-69, October 1978; A. B. Bennett, p. 28, December 1978 Proceedings)
Vice Admiral A. M. Pride, U. S. Navy (Retired)—As to the pigeons Jack Tate mentioned, they had been trained at the Navy Yard, Norfolk, while we were fitting out. Pigeons had been carried on all Navy flights during and after the war, and it seemed the thing to do to carry them in the Langley's planes. As long as the pigeons were released a few at a time for exercise, they returned to the ship.
One bright day, however, the whole flock was released while we were at anchor off Tangier Island, and the entire flight promptly headed south. That evening, we received a radio message that our pigeons were roosting on the cranes in the Norfolk Navy Yard. We flew the “pigeon quartermaster” down, and he climbed up, after dark, and caught the pigeons; but the pigeons never went to sea again. It was found that pigeons return to an area, rather than to the loft, wherever it may be. Nevertheless, the plans for the Lexington (CV-2) and Saratoga (CV-3), in their conversions from battle cruisers to carriers, designated a large compartment in each ship for “pigeons.”
“Command Authority and Professionalism”
(See J. F. Kelly, pp. 26-32, August 1978; K. M. Smith, pp. 24-27, October 1978; J. Bussert, pp. 115-119, November 1978; C. H. Gnerlich, p. 95, December 1978 Proceedings)
Lieutenant D. J. Hackett, U.S. Navy—Captain Kelly's article on staff overdirection is superb and has touched on a number of problem areas that I have been thinking about for some time. There is no fact or opinion in Captain Kelly’s writing that I can dispute. Although a LAMPS pilot, I have made three destroyer WestPac cruises and observed all the phenomenon he describes.
I was amazed to read that almost three quarters of Pacific Fleet COs polled by the fleet commander replied that they didn’t feel harassed by upper echelons. I feel harassed, and I’m just a worker-bee.
Staff proliferation has gotten to be incredible. The cruiser-destroyer staff deployed to the Pacific seems to have as many (or more) staff officers as ships to play with. Because work expands to fill the time available, all these high- powered types wind up inventing programs to keep busy and overburden the ship types with even more paperwork. It is my opinion that the level of tactical expertise of the typical surface warfare officer is abysmally low because paperwork has become far more important than his ability to shoot guns or sink submarines.
This lack of tactical ability is further demonstrated through our method of career progression. Command of a ship seems to be just another ticket to be punched rather than a goal in itself. Too many COs I’ve seen are out here on a sojourn from their desks in D.C. to sprinkle a little salt on their shoulders before returning to the "real” wars in the Pentagon.
I love Captain Kelly’s line, “Staffs should do less direct monitoring and more supporting.” Everyone I know wants to do a good job and all we need is occasional assistance. What ever happened to the line, “Tell me what to do, not how to do it?”
Fear of making a mistake is another problem area. COs get to be so afraid to make a decision because of the way it will look to the staff, that they often wind up making one that is poor or ineffective. This lowers the morale of the troops who see this type of indecision as a lack of guts.
Fear also rules my community; don’t make a mistake or you will get court-martialed. This logic has a valid basis as both a previous commanding officer and a squadron department head were tried by military courts in the last year for staff-perceived mistakes. Both were unanimously found not guilty!
Captain Kelly touched on a salient point in the close of his article when he asked the effect of this management and lack of leadership by superiors. I look around and see a surprising number of top-quality, middle-grade officers (senior lieutenants/junior lieutenant commanders) who are seriously questioning the desirability of command. Many are leaving the Navy because their major goal, command at sea, is no longer attractive. Why should I work to be skipper when it doesn’t seem rewarding?
Commander B. V. Tiernan, U.S. Navy—“What we have here is a failure to communicate,” a failure in the chain of command. We fail to communicate the value of our programs when we don’t assign (reassign) resources (men, material, and money) to carry them out. We fail to properly train our commanders for their jobs. We fail to convince our people that we trust them or, for that matter, that they will be held accountable for their actions. We fail to coordinate the requirements placed on our activities and to provide meaningful feedback to the people who create programs.
It is no mystery to the average sailor that any program which does not make available the resources necessary to carry it out is a sham. Why then is it a mystery to anyone else? OPPEs (Operational Propulsion Plant Examinations) can’t raise engineering readiness; more and better qualified sailors can. If the “All Volunteer Force” can’t attract the requisite number of engineers then it is clearly not working.
We spend 16 weeks of senior officer time making good firemen of commanders and above. Given the reputation of OPPE, this may be a wise career move. I submit, however, that a strong legal/diplomatic training program would be a far better professional choice. We cannot expect our leaders to pick this up by OJT (on the job training) because the "T” may not be available (or correct) when the “OJ” is taking place. Further, this training would permit commanders to make the proper decisions on scene without having to coach the off-scene leader with over-detailed accounts of events in order that the remote decision maker can direct the action. This coaching consumes a decision maker’s most valuable resource (time), contributes to a lack of a feeling of accountability, and inculcates passivity. When the going gets rough the commander may not be able to communicate with his boss. He must be ready with a viable plan of action even though it may not be best. He will not be ready if he has no training, and reason to believe that his boss will bail him out.
I appreciate Capt Kelly’s remedies but add some others.
►Train our leaders to make decisions at their own levels rather than at their subordinates’ levels.
►Let each new program cancel one or more old programs.
►Establish a minimum-obligated service for a command tour to stop the drain of our command talent.
“Grading the Fitness Report”
(See F. M. Synder, pp. 48-61, September 1978; J. M. Mazzafro, p. 104, December 1978 Proceedings)
Lieutenant Commander J. L. Cook, U. S. Navy—As a member of a recent selection board, I perceived a major deficiency in the fitness report. After reading several hundred fitness reports, it is clear a change of style if the narrative section of the fitness report is necessary if we are to improve the selection of those officers “best fitted.” Just the facts are needed.
Reporting seniors must make hard decisions and present the information in a clear and concise manner, instead of forcing the selection board to “read between the lines” or to make decisions that the reporting seniors should have made. Additionally, the fitness report narrative must be oriented to the board and not to the reportee. This is not an exclusive either/or situation but a shifting of orientation to the decision maker* while still allowing the fitness report to serve as a counseling device. Re' porting seniors must identify those best suited for command; conversely' reporting seniors must identify the people who should leave the Navy at the earliest opportunity.
The following guidelines will improve the utility of the informationcontained within the fitness report and thus improve the organization decision-making process.
(1) Write the fitness report oriented toward the selection board.
(2) Be specific, state facts, qualifications, and progress toward attaining qualifications, awards, etc.
(3) Spell out the competition; if a contender is in competition with early selectees, say so.
(4) Say where the individual stands overall in his percentile. This is particularly important in the one-of-one report. Comparisons are important.
(5) Use the underline sparingly to highlight key elements.
(6) Identify those who are overweight or who drink heavily.
(7) Reserve the recommendation for accelerated promotion and/or command for front runners. Spell out "head and shoulders above” or "the best.”
(8) Comment on shiphandling, airmanship, financial management, leadership, administrative abilities, and potential in areas outside traditional sea billets—i.e., subspecialty, application, etc.
(1) Write the fitness report oriented toward the reportee.
(3) Damn with faint praise—i.e., “should be considered for” or “has potential for”—because it has less than desirable connotations.
(4) Use small print or multiple pages.
(5) Put everybody in the pack or protect the individual from competition.
(6) Provide fancy prose.
(7) Comment on a spouse’s performance as wives’ club president, etc.
(8) Recommend everybody for augmentation, postgraduate school, command, etc.
The following sample fitness report embodies the above guidelines and presents the facts selection boards need.
The policy of this command is to provide terse fitness reports devoid of glowing cliches.
LTJG Middleman is an excellent officer and has met all my expectations. During this reporting period he has
1. completed EOOW qualification in one-half the normal time.
2. completed 95% of SWO qualification and is on schedule despite the ship being in an extensive yard period.
3. led a division to the equivalent of Excellent on type commanders ORE/ADMAT inspection.
4. expertly motivated his division to exceed first-term re-enlistment norms by 15% and to a 75% advancement rate of those eligible.
5. completed one off-duty graduate course in management.
LTJG Middleman is a promising naval officer and is ready for increased responsibilities. Accordingly, he is recommended for SWO department head course and subsequent assignment as an FF Department Head. He is number three of officers in the 5% column.
Recent experience showed narrative sections of the fitness report contained approximately 300 words. This could be reduced to approximately 150 words by using the guidelines and example presented and still retain the information required. If the information is provided in the manner presented here, selection boards will be able to focus on the real selection portion of the organizational decision process and make better informed decisions which would be beneficial to both the individual and the Navy.