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Antiterrorist Contingency Readiness 100 By Major H. Thomas Hayden,
U. S. Marine Corps
The Need for a Super-FFG: One Solution 103 By Sub-Lieutenant Peter D. Jones,
Royal Australian Navy
Torpedoes: Our Wonder Weapon! (We Wonder If They’ll Work) 94 By Captain Frank A. Andrews,
U. S. Navy (Retired)
Is There a Future for Celestial Navigation in the Navy? 98 By P. K. Seidel mann and Sidney Feldman
Torpedoes: Our Wonder Weapon! (We Wonder If They’ll Work)
Captain Frank A. Andrews, U. S. Navy (Retired), Chief Scientist of General Physics Corporation and Professor of the Acoustic Graduate Program, Catholic University
A lack of in-depth concern about at-sea wartime performance of torpedoes exists today in the U. S. Navy. This human failure is highly understandable, given that torpedoes have not had to be fired at a real enemy for more than 34 years. Stand by for the consequences, Navy, if you continue down this path.
I believe the well-known poor performance of U. S. Navy torpedoes in World War II can be traced to inadequacies in pre-1942 training and tests; that the likelihood of this grim torpedo history repeating itself in the first few months of a future antisubmarine war is high; and that this sad fact is not due so much to a lack of historical knowledge, nor to some valid attempts at fleet testing, nor to a lack of a new torpedo construction program, but instead to three other reasons:
► The inherent complexity of torpedo design and operation, which means that if anything can go wrong it will
► The nature of peacetime priorities regarding fleet firings, which means the number of realistic opportunities for uncovering tactical and technical deficiencies is low and the opportunities themselves are often not well designed nor utilized
► The existence of a division of responsibility between shore-based activities, which are charged with proper torpedo maintenance and readying procedures, and the ship or airborne commanders, who are charged with the accurate placement of the torpedoes.
On 15 September 1942, as an ensign, I stood on board the USS Lansdowne (DD-486) in the South Pacific and witnessed the firing of five of the Lansdowne' s torpedoes at the battle-damaged and flaming aircraft carrier USS Wasp (CV-7). The Wasp had been torpedoed the previous afternoon by a Japanese submarine and could neither be saved by her crew nor towed to a friendly port for repairs. The first torpedo was set to run just below keel depth so that the new, very secret magnetic exploder would detonate right under the ship and break her back. The wake of the torpedo passed directly under the speed-zero Wasp but failed to explode. The second torpedo was set for a 25-foot running depth. It ran hot, straight, and normal, and exploded directly beneath the island structure of the carrier but did no apparent damage. The character of the explosion indicated that it probably had occurred at a depth greater than 25 feet. The third torpedo was set for 20 feet, its wake passed directly under the Wasp, but there was no explosion. The Lansdowne s CO, in desperation, ordered the magnetic exploders removed from the two remaining torpedoes and the torpedoes rigged to explode on contact. The last two torpedoes were set at 15 feet and 12 feet, respectively- Both hit and exploded against the Wasp, which finally sank several hours later.
In early 1944, as a lieutenant serving in submarines, I encountered a repeat non-performance of magnetic exploders and torpedoes that ran deeper than set, in addition to two new problems. The submariners had had a rash of torpedoes that broached or ran erratically, and had been plagued by contact exploders that failed absolutely if the torpedo impacted a target’s side at right angles. Since a 90° intersection of torpedo track and target track was considered optimum, the anger and frustration of the submarine commanding officers could hardly be unexpected.
Fletcher Pratt, in “The Torpedoes That Failed” (Atlantic Monthly, July 1950), blamed the World War II steam torpedo problem on “official lassitude, official reticence, false economy, and inadequate research.” Pratt’s words can,
I think, be translated today into peacetime lack of concern; unwillingness to admit that there is a problem when one exists; not firing enough torpedoes, especially in the open sea, at real targets and under realistic operating conditions like shallow water, rough sea state, and cold temperatures; and not identifying, then aggressively following up on, both tactical and technical deficiencies.
According to Pratt, when wartime deficiencies started to be uncovered, the fleet blamed the Bureau of Ordnance (BuOrd), which in turn blamed the lack of peacetime funds. They both could be blamed for not placing guaranteed weapon performances higher on the peacetime “do list.”
By late 1944, steam torpedo problems had largely been solved; but then the wakeless Mk-18 heavy electric torpedo, and the acoustic-homing, half-sized “cutie,” Mk-27 torpedo began to arrive in the submarine navy. Naturally, a new set of problems was to be discovered—and where else, but out on the firing line. In late January 1945, my own submarine, Sennett (SS- 408), fired a spread of three electric fish at a 5,500-ton Japanese cargo ship, southeast of Bungo Suoido, on the east coast of Japan. We had tracked this target, her two escorts, and her three convoy mates by surface search radar for more than five hours while making a night end-around to get into position. We knew exactly what her speed and base course were when we went in for the attack, but all torpedoes missed aft. When we got back to Guam, we found out that, in cold operating waters, a sizeable correction to the specified torpedo speed must be made because electric torpedo batteries generate less voltage and hence less power in cold temperatures. Two patrols later, the Sennett tried Mk-27s against large ocean-going
Japanese fishing craft which were operating in a barrier line north of Iwo Jima. This line was, in fact, an early warning net posted to visually sight northwest-bound B-29 flights and then to radio alert fighter commands on the Japanese homeland. Our proposed tactic was to maneuver submerged into a position directly under the fisherman, at about a depth of 200 feet, and release one of our swim out acoustic units when the engine- or propeller- radiated noise received from the fishing craft exceeded a certain acoustic threshold. Following the acoustic directions to the letter, we released one Mk-27. We heard it swim out, its buzzing electric motor fade away above us, but no hammer click and explosion. We fired a second and third with no results. Finally, our tenth shot got a direct hit. Whatever happened to the nine units that missed will never be known. Indeed, when I think back to those days and reread the story of how the USS Tang (SS-306) was sunk by one of her own torpedoes,
I say to myself it was great to be young and innocent (or maybe the word is “dumb”). In any case, it would have been far better to have discovered the Mk-18’s and Mk-27’s problems (and made the solutions) in the training operating area rather than where we did.
The powers that be in the Navy today are aware of the torpedo problems of World War II. They have carried out what they think is proper action, given the pressures of serious budgetary constraints. There exists today a Navy-wide torpedo program consisting of fleet firings of the Mk-46 and Mk-48 torpedoes; a good semiannual report of torpedo hits and misses with some reasons for the latter; and a new construction program
for creating an improved capability for both the Mk-46 (NEARTIP—near-term improvement program) and the Mk-48 (ADCAP—advanced capability), and eventually a new air- and surface-launched weapon (ALWT—— advanced lightweight torpedo) which will replace the Mk-46.
Even with all this, it is not enough action, particularly at the fleet level. A good chunk of the hardware money could be used far more effectively in improving the performance of in-fleet weapons, thereby setting the stage for a continuity of readiness while simultaneously providing more sophisticated and more frequent fleet feedback to the technical community. You can buy all the new and clever hardware that smart American industry is so capable of delivering for a fee, but if it achieves only a fraction of its potential in the fleet, you will have made little progress against an ever more capable threat for all the huge sums of dollars which you have invested.
Now, let’s discuss three causes for predicted torpedo failure in a future sea war. First is the complexity of the torpedo and Murphy’s Law. A torpedo is an unmanned, self-directed, minivolume vehicle, filled with moving mechanical and electrical parts, operating under large hydrostatic pressure in the ocean depths, loaded externally by sizeable hydrodynamic forces from high velocity water flow, and subjected to all the corrosion problems of a very hostile material environment. And so far we have described only the torpedo vehicle. The requirement for acoustic search and terminal guidance encounters all the vagaries of underwater sound refraction, volume scattering, and absorption which can cause the acoustic torpedo to chase after the ocean floor or ocean surface instead of the target. The requirement for an effective exploder suffers from all the problems discussed above and an additional one. Full-scale exploder field tests require the destruction, hopefully, of a life- size real target which is rather costly, especially if instrumented properly, and hence are rarely carried out.
Given the large number of ways that a wartime torpedo attack can fail
and that peacetime operations cannot begin to anticipate all the possible counter actions by a future enemy, the probability of a torpedo miss on a single shot is apt to be very high. This is especially so if significant effort has not been made in peacetime to root out as many as possible failure mechanisms, both of a tactical and technical nature. This condition leads to the second cause, peacetime priorities.
There is a good explanation why pre-World War II operators failed to worry enough about weapon performance. It can be described variously as "first things first” or “the squeaky wheel gets the oil.” In the peacetime Navy—and this includes 1979 as well as 1938—the order of priorities is personnel, propulsion plants, sensors, and—at the very tail end—weapons. The ordering element is visibility. Most visible in the peacetime Navy is keeping people happy, both senior and junior; getting under way for the operating area on Monday morning comes next because there is nothing more visible to the commodore than one of his ships alongside when she is supposed to be under way; and radar and sonar performance ranks third because these are items which can be checked out every minute of every hour of every day under way. Weapon performance is a distant last on the list with even an occasional birthday ball or VIP trip getting in ahead of it.
The degree of working-level interest in and activity devoted to weapon performance does vary among the three ASW communities. Submariners tend to know more about torpedoes, usually have better weapon performance, and pay more attention to tactical development. The organization of a fleet operation test and evaluation program (FOTE) and the application of Mk-48 project dollars to support of fleet readiness have aided this attitude considerably over the past several years. Additionally, the history of World War II operations is very much alive in the present U. S. submarine force, particularly in the minds of the senior officers. The fact that a submarine’s target might shoot back also bears on the submariner’s interest in successful
The surface and air communities are about equal in inability to locate money, time, and senior-level interest in markedly improving Mk-46 in-fleet hit performance. This is particularly true for the light airborne multipurpose system (LAMPS) and ASW squadron (VS) aircraft teams, and less so for patrol squadron (VP) aircraft and surface ASW ships. Indeed, in all three communities, with over 30 years of detecting, classifying, tracking, and closing, there have been no attacks on a real-live submarine with a real-live torpedo. This is bound to have a psychological effect on naval officers right up to and including the present corps of admirals.
The actual hit performance values of ASW torpedoes achieved in fleet firings are classified. The numbers would be semi-comforting if they could have been achieved under actual wartime conditions. In fact, they are obtained usually on a closed range, in good weather conditions, in a warm climate, and by rested crews operating against a target which never shoots back nor evades radically. And with all this, the number of fleet firings, per-firing team, per-quarter is so low that feedback to those who miss and who ought to be told what to do differently the next time is not rapid- Such an approach might be similar to learning tennis by playing one stroke per week and only against easy opponents.
The third cause of future torpedo failures is division of responsibility- There was a time in the days of steam torpedoes when the torpedo gang of a submarine, surface ship, or torpedo plane squadron made all readiness and pre-launch checks of torpedoes which were to be fired by their COs or squadron pilots. When weapon failure occurred, everyone knew it. Everyone also knew exactly and personally where the blame was to be placed. Alternately, when a torpedo “hit” a target, those involved in intermediate maintenance, pre-launch checks, and accurate placement were all together; in fact, all were working for the same CO and could share in the feeling of pride associated with success. Signifi'
candy, this situation of immediate feedback of good or bad performance by those mainly responsible for its achievement also applies exactly in the case of propulsion plant and sensor operations in surface ships and submarines, and with some small modification to these latter systems in the VP/VS/LAMPS communities.
The acoustic-homing torpedo cannot, or at least has not, been treated like the steam torpedo. Those responsible for its proper operation are now divided into two groups which may not even know each other. In numerous instances, mainly in the air and surface communities, the team that fires the weapon may have to wait days or even weeks to know whether a hit or miss really occurred, and if a miss, why. The results are divided responsibility and little feeling of joy or sadness over success or failure.
The complexity of the new acoustic torpedoes and the inability to do intermediate checks on board ship or at the squadron level have resulted in the creation of a network of intermediate maintenance activities (IMAs) at various bases and tenders. Here the units are given both modified overhauls inbetween firings and final readiness checks, usually with a witness from the firing ship, submarine, or squadron in attendance. The talent of the personnel in the IMAs can be good or bad; the standards from IMA to IMA are not necessarily uniform; and the spirit of accomplishment of the IMA can or cannot be tied to what happens to the units which it prepares. The communication between the men of the IMA and the men in the planes, ships, and submarines is all rather impersonal and distant.
An acoustic homer leaves no wake and usually is not allowed to impact a submarine target. The analysis of hit versus miss depends, therefore, on a tape recording in the torpedo head that records if, when, and at what depth the torpedo obtains acoustic acquisition, starts its run on the target, and finally shuts down. These data, when put with the target s track, allow an analyst to say the torpedo would have hit or missed, and if the latter, to give reasons. The whole process takes time and will often— particularly for Mk-46 firings—report results weeks later when the firing teams are well into another crisis.
In wartime, the failure of torpedoes prepared by one gang and fired by another will soon get sorted out, because failures now will not be so easily dismissed nor will the firing team have to wait weeks to see how it made out. One may ask, why wait for a war to solve this problem?
At least three constructive thoughts come to mind which could partially offset the three premises upon which I have predicted excessive torpedo failures in a future sea war. A more thorough student of the problem could probably uncover many others.
First, reinstitute the tactic of firing torpedo “spreads” to cover both fire control error and the possibility of failure of one or more units. It is a simple matter to design active acoustic systems which give no acoustic interference to each other. This is done all the time with underwater navigation acoustic transponders. It would be well if material problems and weapon placement errors both were reduced in wartime, but the chances are high that they will go the other way. So at least one should hedge bets partially by designing weapons that can be fired two or more at a time.
Second, bring the IMAs into a closer personal relationship with the firing team. One method could be to establish a series of blue and gold teams at the IMAs which go right along with the torpedoes which they ready for fleet exercise firings. No torpedomen would be allowed out of sight of a unit commander until they and the commander reviewed in detail the analysis of the firing. Associated with this ought to be a more critical evaluation of a unit commander’s proficiency in successful weapon firing at fitness report time.
Third, create a far more ambitious fleet torpedo firing and tactical analysis and evaluation program. This must emphasize firing under all of the hostile conditions so typical of war (night time, pilot and shipboard operator fatigue, targets that are skilled in the use of decoys or countermeasures and that shoot back, cold weather, shallow water, and rough sea states). Only such a program can reduce to a minimum all the likely difficulties to be encountered in a real shooting war.
In some way, the attitude which places weapon performance last on the priority list must change in spite of all the other demands of a peacetime Navy. Weapon performance is, after all, the bottom line.
Is There a Future for Celestial Navigation in the Navy?
By P. K. Seidelmann, Director of the Nautical Almanac Office, U. S. Naval Observatory, and Sidney Feldman, Radiation Division of the Naval Surface Weapons Center .
The last two decades brought forth impressive developments of new systems for navigation. Today the Navy has available, or under development, inertial navigation systems, radio navigation systems, satellite navigation systems, and in most cases more than one implementation of each of the techniques. But what is the status and what are the plans for the age-old system of navigation called celestial navigation? Is there anything new in, or a future for, celestial navigation? Should the navigator learn or practice celestial navigation? Should the Navy support celestial navigation? Is the Navy realistic and logical in its development and plans for navigation in the future?
The essential equipment for celestial navigation, namely the sextant, the chronometer, the Nautical Almanac, and the navigation sight reduction tables, was basically developed prior to and during the 18th century. Improved methods of celestial navigation were developed during the 19th century. Since then the changes in celestial navigation have primarily been a matter of techniques for convenience, rather than fundamental changes of capability and methods. The sextant currently used throughout the Navy was designed during World War II. Navigators are taught the theory of celestial navigation; they practice celestial navigation during their training; and they use it to various degrees on board ships. But celestial navigation requires the navigator to make an observation by calculations using either the Nautical Almanac or sight reduction tables and to calculate his position by hand. Each determination of position requires an expenditure of effort and time on the part of the navigator.
The navigator has’ available, with
some restrictions, various other methods of determining his position. Depending on the equipment on board the ship, this can include a Loran navigation system, when the ship is within the range of a Loran chain, a transit satellite system when a satellite is available, and an inertial navigation system. The Navy is further developing new navigation systems; these include the Omega navigation system and the global positioning satellite system. In these cases, if the navigator can receive and process the signals with the necessary hardware, then it is possible to obtain an immediate readout of his position. It is evident that it is easier and quicker for the navigator to determine his position by means of one of these newer navigational systems than by using celestial navigation. So why should the navigator use celestial navigation? What are the relative merits of the various navigational systems?
To evaluate the various navigational systems available and what they offer, we need a list of the essential and desirable characteristics. The following list was presented by Captain Bress in a paper, “Navigation Requirements in the Navy,” published in the Journal of the Institute of Navigation, summer of 1968.
► Worldwide coverage
► Accuracy compatible with mission of user
► All-weather use
► Day and night usage
► Effective real-time response
► No operational ambiguities
► No electronic radiation by user
► Determination of position upon activation of user equipment
► Size, weight, tactical portability, and durability compatible with user application
► Virtually self-contained
► Common interface for combined operations
► No foreign base rights required
► Easy to maintain and operate with high reliability
► Not line-of-sight limited
► Free of frequency allocation problems
► Denies enemy use
► No environmental propagation limitations
► Jam/spoof/beaconing proof
► Invulnerable to sabotage or destruction
► Optimum cost effectiveness
► Optimum commonality and compatibility with other systems
► Usable by submarines without exposure
► Places no altitude or maneuvering restrictions on aircraft
The new systems are limited to some extent with respect to the essential characteristics, such as Loran not being available worldwide, and certain operational ambiguities can arise in some of the systems. In addition, radio techniques, which are subject to two common problems indicated under desirable characteristics, can be jammed, destroyed, or given false signals by the enemy. Thus, with the exception of inertial navigation systems, the navigator might well find, under adverse conditions, that he has been denied the use of these systems.
In planning for the circumstances of war, the Navy must seriously consider a navigation system which would be available to the navigator under the most adverse conditions imaginable- The conclusion might be reached,
therefore, that an inertial navigation system is the only system the Navy ought to develop. However, we all recognize that an inertial navigation system is subject to drift and must have a means of calibration. Also, the new systems all offer an increased level of sophistication and complexity that is accompanied by an increased probability for failure. Electronic systems do fail and the more complicated the system, the more probable a failure. Power systems also fail on board ship and, all too often, such failures damage electronic systems.
Celestial navigation falls short in several areas of the essential characteristics required for a navigation system. It is not an all-weather system, and there are some limitations with respect to accuracy, although the accuracy available from celestial navigation *s adequate for most purposes and could be improved at moderate cost. However, celestial navigation has some characteristics which are extremely beneficial. It is an inexpensive and simple system which the enemy cannot deny. Therefore, it would be reasonable for the Navy to consider implementing some improvements in the practice of celestial navigation on board Navy ships.
There are some obvious improvements to celestial navigation that can be introduced with very little expense. These include a night vision image intensification telescope that enables the horizon to be seen all night long and which consequently permits celestial observations to be taken not only at twilight, but throughout the night. This, coupled with solar observations, provides day and night capabilities for celestial navigation.
A second improvement would be a digital readout of the sextant altitude observation through the use of electronics, rather than mechanical vernier readout. This would improve the accuracy and speed of reading the measurements from the sextant. A third improvement would be a small-handheld, low cost, sight reduction computer to reduce the observation immediately and provide rapid determination of the ship's position. The small computer, which might contain
data from the Nautical Almanac in its memory, is programmed to solve directly the celestial navigation equations, thus eliminating the need to use the navigational sight reduction tables. This provides not only speed in determining the position of the ship, but also the ability to increase the number of observations and thus increase the accuracy of the determination of the ship’s position.
These improvements bring to mind an amusing, but effective, article entitled ‘‘Don’t Throw Away Your Sextants, Boys, the Stars Will Rise Again” by Lieutenant Commander Lawrence A. White, U.S. Coast Guard, (see pp. 54-61, August 1965 Proceedings). After reviewing the navigation systems from the basic buoys, foghorns, and stars to the various complex, expensive, all-weather navigational systems, Commander White ends with a prophetic paragraph:
“An interesting exercise might be to explore what could be done with a fraction of the money spent on ‘systems’ if it were put into, for example, celestial navigation. So many ‘insoluble’ problems have been solved in the last 40 years, maybe the classic shortcomings of conventional navigational techniques can be overcome. Call it an operator’s dream, but hang on to your sextants, just in case.”
In view of the current austerity program within the Department of Defense, can the Navy afford to support and develop a large number of different navigational systems? Can it be justified that all ships will carry the necessary hardware for a Loran receiver, Omega receiver, inertial system, and a satellite receiver? Can one believe that, in case of war, the enemy will not interfere with any of the navigational systems? There is a possibility that one of these systems will emerge as the sole future navigational system, although this would be unsatisfactory from the redundancy point of view.
It can be argued that there are economic, political, and psychological reasons for not funding improvements in celestial navigation. For example, it is not politically wise, when seeking the extensive funding necessary to implement radio, inertial, or satellite navigation systems, to admit the possibility that these systems may not be 100% reliable, or may have some shortcomings. It is equally difficult to point out that, for a small expenditure of money, the present capabilities of a simple passive navigation system, such as celestial navigation, can be vastly improved. Thus, when preparing budgets, a small expenditure to improve celestial navigation may appear unconvincing when compared with a big expenditure to implement radio, inertial, or satellite navigation systems. Additionally, since there is no big profit evidence in the production of an improved sextant, there is very little interest by contractors to push the system at various levels of government.
In addition to the economic and political considerations, there are psychological questions. Celestial navigation has been practiced for a long time and each navigator has his own preferred instrument, method, and procedure for making and reducing observations. The least disruptive change would be to first attach the night vision image intensification telescope to the present optical-mechanical sextant design. However, the preferable long-term choice would be to develop an optical-electronic design permitting digital readout, which eventually could be fed directly into a specialized computer.
The specialized computer raises problems of its own, such as the form of input and output. Certain data currently published in books must be available for observation reduction. It may not be desirable to require the navigator to look up data in an almanac and then to key them into the computer. Rather, it might be preferable either to have the data already in the computer, or to be able to read them from a paper or magnetic tape, or card. Having the data already in the computer requires a changeable, read-only memory plugged into the computer, which increases its cost. Some people have reservations about the use of a magnetic tape or card, or paper tape, in a small computer at sea. With regard to output, there are several options. Either each celestial observation can be reduced individually to obtain an altitude intercept, or all the observations at a given time can be combined to give a most likely position. The latter alternative has the benefit of automating the whole process. The former has the advantage of permitting the navigator to see exactly what is taking place, to judge the observations himself, and to combine them as he sees fit.
Progress can be made and the operations of the Navy improved by updating the old sciences as well as developing the new. Admiral Thomas H. Moorer, U.S. Navy (Retired), in his succinct foreword to Dutton’s Navigation and Piloting, 12th edition (Naval Institute Press—13th Edition is now available) stated the following when he was Chief of Naval Operations (1969):
“To men who go to sea, either off shore or on soundings, there is no skill more basic or more important than finding the position of the vessel. The ancient art of navigation has not been superseded in the Atomic Age.
"In today’s Navy, there is the natural danger that new, exciting areas of knowledge, such as missilery and nuclear propulsion, will claim an undue share of attention significant as they are—to the detriment of the older sciences. Even a casual reading of this book, however, should convince the seaman that navigation has its own share of the new and the exciting. Yet the book also underlines the fact that neither the sextant nor common sense has been replaced by any black box.”
In summary, it appears that the Navy should develop and outfit ships with a combination of navigation systems which will ensure the availability of a means of navigating even under the most adverse conditions. Based on its simplicity, availability, and independence, celestial navigation should be an integral part of this combination of navigation systems. Therefore, it is advised that the navigator continue to learn celestial navigation and to practice it on board ship in order to gain proficiency, to be a backup, and to be able to check the validity of the ship’s position as determined with the other navigation systems. It would also appear prudent that funding should be appropriated for the development of (1) an improved day and night sextant and (2) a computer capability for celestial navigation.
Antiterrorist Contingency Readiness
By Major H. Thomas Hayden, U. S. Marine Corps, Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2, 4th Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force
American vulnerability to international terrorism has been a subject of recent academic and governmental symposiums. It has become a concern to many that kidnappings, murder, and massacre may become increasingly used methods of challenging economic and political power in the United States.
Potential terrorists are all around us, some are in isolated groups, others are individuals. They usually take violent action for the sake of a brief moment in the spotlight of public attention. The Palestine Liberation Organization, Irish Republican Army, the Japanese Red Brigade, and less- structured radical groups compete for world recognition. And the international news media cover such activities extensively, giving terrorists and their causes the publicity that has become one of their major objectives.
One international guerrilla group stands ready for hire and may turn up in the United States at any moment. The Red Brigade has probably caused more havoc in more countries than any other urban terrorist organization. This group massacred 28 people at Israel’s Lod Airport in 1972, hijacked a jumbo jet in 1973, seized the French Embassy in The Hague in 1974, and occupied the U. S. Embassy in Malaysia in 1975. A year ago, members of this group hijacked a Japan Airlines 747 in Bangladesh, took it on a nation-hopping tour of the Middle East, and demanded and received a $6 million ransom before finally accepting asylum in Algeria.
Civilian law enforcement agencies face a growing problem with the terrorists’ increased accessibility to automatic weapons and high explosives. The continued existence of heavily armed terrorists is increasing the possibility that Navy and Marine Corps personnel will be requested to augment law enforcement agencies during terrorist or urban combat situations.
The encounter between the Sym- bionese Liberation Army (SLA) and the
have happened, and it still can happen!
Court rulings have given many the false impression that U. S. armed forces cannot be used in civil disturbances such as the SLA incident. In a court case resulting from the Wounded Knee confrontation, U. S. v. Jaramillo [380 F. Supp. 1375 (1974)], advice and assistance by U. S. military personnel (making the lawful activities of the FBI “unconstitutional”) permitted acquittal of the defendant. In another case from Wounded Knee, U. S. v. Redfeather [392 F. Supp. 916 (1975)], the court laid down the rule that any participation by U. S. military personnel must be entirely passive.
The debate in both cases centered on the Posse Comitatus Act (18 U. S. Code 1385). This act forbids the use of U. S. military forces “. . . except in cases and under circumstances, expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress. ...” The Constitution and Acts of Congress establish six exceptions to which the Posse Comitatus Act prohibition does not apply. In fact, the President of the United States has the authority to order the use of the militia and federal armed forces. However, in the court cases cited above, no such order was made by the President.
U. S. Navy and Marine Corps resources are part of the national reaction plan and can be employed if the President determines they are needed. Navy and Marine Corps contingency planning can be found in appropriate Department of Defense directives, Secretary of the Navy instructions, and Marine Corps orders, normally under the subject heading of civil disturbances. The Department of the Army Field Manual FM 19-15 Civil Disturbances, 30 October 1975, is an excellent source of information and a must for all naval security officers, Marine Corps commanders, and staff officers.
Training for countering terrorist operations should parallel urban combat training in an environment short of full-scale war. The marines sent to Santo Domingo in 1965 found themselves ill-equipped to handle snipers and armed combatants in a densely
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) on 17 May 1974 can serve as a primer for the study of urban terrorist combat.
The Symbionese Liberation Army surfaced in the Los Angeles area on 16 May 1974 with a shoplifting incident and a shooting at an Inglewood sporting goods store. After firing a large number of rounds of automatic weapon fire into the store front, the SLA members fled the scene. Thereafter, a series of car thefts, a kidnapping, and an FBI-LAPD entry into an SLA hideout on 17 May culminated in the death of six SLA members.
Because of the military revolutionary activities of the SLA, FBI and LAPd special weapons and tactics (SWAT) units were employed. The joint FBI/LAPD operations plan is instructive:
► Establish a command post.
► Seal off the area and establish a perimeter for tactical control.
► Organize the security and assault elements.
► Use “sniffer dogs” to verify the exact location of SLA members.
► Organize necessary equipment.
► Organize an evacuation plan for the surrounding citizens.
► Control perimeter.
► Preposition FBI and LAPD SWAT personnel, in case of resistance.
► Evacuate residents, except in suspected homes.
► Call for suspects to surrender using a public address system.
► Employ tear gas if there is no response, after reasonable time.
► Force entry if required.
The results of the FBI/LAPD activities of 1974 are history. However, what would have been the results had the remaining members of the SLA been in a position to attempt a rescue of those who were surrounded? What would have happened if the SLA members had broken out? What would have happened if other urban terrorist groups had decided to initiate armed actions in support of the SLA? It could
populated, urban environment where their full inventory of weapons could not be employed. Many cases in Vietnam enforced the premise that the Army and the Marine Corps were not equipped to handle isolated pockets of enemy resistance in heavily populated urban environments. In fact, all Fleet Marine Force manuals and Army field manuals concerned with tactics for the combat employment of U. S. military forces are oriented to full-scale conventional war.
With the advent of terrorist groups operating in the United States and the potential employment of naval security forces and/or marines in heavily populated urban environments, military planners of doctrine and tactics must consider the special weapons and tactics concepts originally developed by the LAPD in the late 1960s.
The LAPD and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department have developed exceptional special weapons and tactics capabilities for urban environments with outstanding results. The sheriff’s department special weapons team unit is part of the special enforcement bureau of the department. This bureau, made up of approximately 50 sheriff’s deputies, has seven teams with one on duty at all times. Each team is composed of a sergeant, who is the team leader, and six deputies. Each team is equipped with two M-l6s, six .38 caliber revolvers, one Remington 700 (.308- caliber), and four shotguns, two loaded with double O shot and two with gas attachments.
The contingency readiness program for Fleet Marine Force combat elements provides some civil disturbance orientation. During the progressive training cycle the marines receive only one week of civil disturbance training. The emphasis during this period is on operational task and techniques associated with mob/crowd control. The contingency readiness cycle, which consists of mountain warfare, cold weather training, desert training, combined arms training, amphibious training, and amphibious raid training, should also include a course of instruction in urban combat. Each marine rifle battalion should have one
platoon fully trained as a special reaction force. The individual squads of that platoon would be the special weapons teams or special reaction teams as called for in field manual 19-15 Civil Disturbances.
The special weapons team would try to achieve fire control in dealing with combat activity in urban areas and coordinate a response which can effectively evaluate the situation and react to it in a responsible manner. Its primary mission would be the speedy elimination of snipers with a minimum of weapons' fire. Additionally, in civil disturbance cases, it could assist and protect police and fire units whose effectiveness has been reduced or neutralized by a concentration of sniper firepower.
Members of the team could be used in determining strategic locations where sniper fire is anticipated and in establishing a combat operations center defense. By securing positions where sniper fire is most apt to develop, the team can operate in a preventive manner. Depending on the terrain, the team may also be useful against the terrorist who has barricaded himself in a strategic location and is engaged in sniper activity against either the civilian population or local authorities.
Each team should be composed of a minimum of seven members; the team leader, a scout armed with an M-16 rifle, an anti-sniper marksman armed with a Remington Model 700 sniper rifle, a spotter equipped with binoculars and an M-16 rifle, two men armed with gas attachment shotguns, and a backup man. Each team may be attached to different riot control companies depending on the need. A seven-man team is large enough to defend itself and have balanced fire power, yet it is small enough to achieve effective infiltration.
The team leader is responsible for deployment, and is equipped with radio communications, binoculars, and whatever maps are required. Each team member should have communications equipment such as a Motorola radio, HT 220, with a Lear Siegler Ear-Corn device to permit transmission and reception.
The marksman should be equipped with the .308-caliber Remington 700 sniper rifle with a Redfield Master 6X scope or similar weapon and a sling. The scout and backup man must provide close-range security, and must also remain alert to the possibility of persons attempting to infiltrate or assist the sniper. The shotgun/gas men, under the direction of the team leader, are responsible for launching tear gas as required. Attention must be given to avenues of escape, also. Alternative return routes, if possible, should be set up prior to the mission, and a thorough perusal of the map of a concerned area is imperative. Predetermined rallying points in case of separation must also be considered. Each team member carries all necessary equipment to perform the duties of his ■ position.
Each individual member must have the following essential equipment: protective vests, helmets with face shields, protective masks, individual flashlights, individual radio communications equipment, restraining devices (handcuffs or plastic flexi- cuffs), M-16 rifle or shotgun, and an individual sidearm. (M-I6s, shotguns, grenade launchers, and sniper rifles with scopes must be appropriately divided among the team members.)
Also, teams should have the following equipment: vehicles for transportation of unit members and apprehended suspects; armored vehicles; portable public address system; riot- control-agent munitions and dispensers; smoke munitions; fire extinguishers; tools (axes, crowbars, pinch bars, and power saws); cameras and recording devices; and ropes and grappling hooks.
There should also be medical corpsmen. Additionally, explosive ordnance disposal personnel are necessary for placing charges for forced entry and for bomb disposal.
For most requirements, basic marine rifle squad training, including tactics for cover, concealment, and maneuvering, complemented with special weapons tactics training, will be sufficient. However, for urban terrorist or urban combat situations, platoon and/or company-size special weapons and tactics training may be necessary.
Initial training can be condensed into a two-week concentrated course. The normal high state of unit training of shore patrol, military police, and marine rifle companies would readily permit a specialized course with continual subsequent training and drill.
Some advances in this area have been made in recent years. The Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, has organized and trained a military police special weapons and tactics team. The team’s main missions are: protection °f visiting dignitaries, security of transporting special weapons, and the complementing of the regular military police force with a highly specialized unit in critical situations (i.e. hostage incidents, snipers, and armed suspects
barricaded in built-up areas).
This select group of El Toro military policemen attended two weeks training conducted by the special weapons and tactics inspector/ instructors of the FBI s Los Angeles office. Although two weeks is a very short training period, basic marine and military police training had already laid a firm foundation in preparation for the group's missions. The El Toro special weapons and tactics team members hold daily military police assignments. If needed, the special weapons and tactics military policemen are replaced by off-duty military policemen for routine assignments.
Whether for military police or Fleet Marine Force contingency readiness, the operational tasks and techniques developed must include the following basic primary planning considerations: Command and Control Plan, Crowd/Mob Control Plan for Civil Disturbances, Perimeter (Tactical) Plan, Civilian Evacuation Plan, Deployment Plan, Surrender Announcement Plan for Civil Disturbances, Assault Plan, and Preservation of the Crime Scene Plan for Civil Disturbances.
Terrorist operations are usually quick and dirty. One reason they are often successful is because the forces called to counter them are not prepared. As the population and urban centers grow, so will terrorist threat. The time has come for us to prepare.
While the “design to cost’ (DTC) concept in the FFG-7 program has produced a very efficient and cost- effective weapon platform, the vessel does suffer from a number of restrictions which affect her performance. The manifestation of changes required to overcome these limitations would be a frigate of slightly larger dimensions than the FFG-7, which would allow for a more capable platform. Such a “Super-FFG” would satisfy the needs of the U. S. Navy of the future and other navies such as the Spanish and Australian.
The FFG-7 was the response to the tequirement for a low-cost escort. This frigate was to be compatible with planned and existing escorts in the protection of underway replenishment groups, amphibious forces, and merchant shipping. These escort duties meant that speeds in excess of 28 knots were unnecessary. In addition, three basic restrictions were placed on the design. They were a unit cost of $45.7 million, a tonnage of 3,400 tons, and a complement of 185. As stated by Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr., in September 1970, the Patrol Frigate would be one of the low-mix ships of the high-low concept.
The FFG-7 is primarily an antiair warfare (AAW) ship and has been criticized for her lack of comprehensive antisubmarine (ASW) and surface warfare weaponry. This AAW orientation is a reversal of the ASW predominance of the Knox (FF-1052) class. The ability of the FFG-7 to complement the Knox class in a task force situation was in fact specified in the approved characteristics published for the class in October 1972. One ASW weakness of the FFG-7 is that she lacks the SQS-53 long-range sonar, which was replaced by the smaller SQS-56. This decision saved 66 tons which allowed for the provision of the second helicopter.
In the area of surface warfare and AAW, criticism has been leveled at the Patrol Frigate for having a single 76-mm. gun and for not having the flexibility which a dual Harpoon/ Standard launcher possesses over the single one. While the OTO Melara 76-mm. gun does not have the surface capability of the Mk-45 5-inch, it is a much better all-round weapon system. However, the placement of the weapon can be criticized. The very restricted arcs of fire seriously affect the performance of the gun, especially in the antimissile mode. In addition, all the missile defense systems of the FFG-7 will be placed aft, leaving the large forward section blind.
The U. S. Navy is currently feeling the pressure of replacing its destroyer and escort forces built in the 1940s and 1950s. While extensive new construction programs are being carried out, rising costs and construction delays have seriously affected these undertakings. The U. S. Navy’s present difficulty in fulfilling its missions will lead, in a war situation, to a shortage of escorts and destroyers. The balance of high-low forces will also be difficult to maintain. The result will be that demands will be made of the low-mix units beyond the expectations of their designers. The answer to these problems may be to backtrack from the ab-
tons. An attempt was made to accommodate a twin shaft system, but such an inclusion would add about 400 tons to the displacement. To compensate for the loss of speed as a result of the increased displacement, the LM2500 gas turbines would have to be increased to produce 50,000 s.h.p., which is the same as those in the Lupo-class frigates generate.
Other alterations would include the transposing of the funnel with the after 76-mm. mount and the separate target illuminator radar (STIR) tracker. The bridge deck would no longer remain continuous, but a lower deck would be inserted, partly for top- weight considerations. Two quadruple Harpoon surface-to-surface missile cannister mounts would be fitted to
solute DTC ship, with the emphasis placed on performance in the performance-to-cost trade-off. Such an approach would result in larger numbers of balanced and capable vessels being acquired within economical bounds.
The Super-FFG would be essentially an enlargement of the present FFG-7 design to enable an increase in the weapons and electronic systems. Specifically the Super-FFG would increase the length of the present design by 21 feet. With the increase in displacement resulting from the longer hull and additional systems, the weight coefficient would remain unaltered. The overall increase in the displacement would be 160.6 tons, bringing the ship's total displacement to 3,765 this deck. In part to compensate for this loss of space, the bridge would be lengthened. Over the bridge would not only be the Mk-92 radar but also a second STIR tracker. The data from the latter would be fed into the same central processor. This plan represents an increase in the ship’s AAW capability. Forward of the bridge would be the Standard Mk-13 Mod 4 launcher, mounted on a higher deck than the FFG-7. And forward of this would be another 76-mm. mount, thus eliminating the blind arc of the standard design. In summary, armament of the Super-FFG would be:
► One Mk-13 Mod 4 Standard/ Harpoon launcher
► Eight Harpoon SSMs
► Two LAMPS III
► Two Mk-76 76-mm. guns
► Two U.S./German antiship missile defense system (ASMD) launchers
► Two triple Mk-32 torpedo tubes with Mk-48 torpedoes
The overall aim of the additions to the standard weapons and electronic fit is to provide a greater capability, and thus greater potential in a hostile environment. The Super-FFG fulfills not only the U. S. Navy’s needs, but also those of the Royal Australian Navy (ran) and the Na Armada< These two navies were not seeking a low-mix frigate. The FFG-7s ordered by the RAN are to replace the modified Darling-class destroyers (DD-08, DD-ll, and DD-154). From the outset, the FFG-7 was a compromise. In contrast to a low-mix ship, the RAN sought the FFGs to complement its guided-missile destroyer force and provide support for the River-class escorts and their successors. It is for this reason that, while acknowledging the capabilities of the Patrol Frigate, the acceptance of the standard FFG-7s will be viewed with mixed blessings in some naval circles in Australia. The RAN needs vessels of endurance and good all-round capability, and a ship like the Super-FFG would be desirable.
Just like medium-size navies, the U. S. Navy will find the need for escorts of greater capability than the strict adherence of DTC provides. The Super-FFG is an attempt to provide such an escort.