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Cai . ey to a real return of innovative tactile lln^n£ ^es in exploring new waters in f(ir^re(.lS °f antisurface warfare, strike war- The’ C ectronic warfare, and surveillance. 'netlt ‘t*^ otfler areas of tactical develop- trend V °U^ navai offieer business. The iaiuto Pass tactical development to civil- sho ,n.a.nne(i operation evaluation groups 11(1 he ended.
u'? leaders are calling for a return to the “individ- a adroitness” in tactics that strategist Bernard naval n° *C Sa*^ s^°uld be the ‘‘full time occupation of °Ver the 5ersonne1'' The ‘‘narrow margin” of superiority (CNO) Ad°V-et ^avy that then-Chief of Naval Operations tired), said"1^31 Thomas B- Hayward, U. S. Navy (Re- en°ugh jp cPcnded on our aircraft carriers may not be forces a ,Wc. not plan optimum tactics for U. S. Navy
has ordered^' JameS D‘ Watkins- u- s- Navy, CNO, •hent rece' 1 if* **le tra'n'n8 in tactics and tactical develop- ^efore rpj^VC "‘Sher priority in the U. S. Navy than it had
respOnsibil^f SUC^eSS our NavY *n carry*ng out its global °n, to ugg1 le^ *n defense of the United States depends I'ave thou h °0t^a" analogy, a coach and players who Pied with!-* °Ut *8ame plan” and are not preoccu- • Uurin,, thP PadS and Chin straps. jng and dev2!*338* ^eca<^es> the emphasis on tactical train- n the 198o C °/>rnent ^as decayed. What has caused this? Cal thouehfS’\A/ure ^as ^een a return to emphasis on tacti- • here should that emphasis be placed?
Acquisition and Logistics
Tactics (Unit Tactics)
constrained scenarios to ueieimmc uiw* eS
Such a procedure is a natural outgrowth of adVtvajuable analytic techniques and computers and can be a anj tool. Unfortunately, defense acquisition of weap nalysis
Table 1 Definitions of Tactical Thought
United States Soviet Union Definition
A system of knowledge about the character and laws of armed conflict The preparation of a state for the conduct of war
Methodology for planning and waging war, including the setting of political and military objectives
Methodology for planning and conducting specific military operations The practice of combat by units and formations, including the coordination of such units The internal doctrine of individual units regarding employment of sensors and weapons
growth of the Soviet Navy has restored priority to the t
tics of sea control. kmili-
Contained within the U. S. definition of strategy tary-political theory, or what the Soviets cal . £tt
science.”4 Alfred Thayer Mahan and Sir Julian S. t agree, for example, that a theory of naval war are^ ^ conclude that a successful navy is, by the natu!jetjCS. ocean environment, offensive in its strategy an The U. S. Navy has maintained an offensive^ strategy has drifted into defensively oriented tactics/ y
Tactics are the piecemeal implementation 01 s rcre. Military and naval writers in the Soviet Union hav ^ ated some useful definitions, which are compare definitions based on U. S. practice in Table L “tactics” in the United States encompasses a broa , e, tram of meaning. For clarification, the terms in par ses in Table 1 will be used herein.
The Decay ____
~ "• f nuclei
Political-Military Theory: The existence o ^
weapons and the confrontation with the Soviet un ing the post-World War II era produced a plethora o ian strategists.7 The consolidation of the services ^ the Secretary of Defense in 1948 tended to suppr ^ate, tary and naval thought and give credence to civi ia, j pre- gists, particularly in the case of the Navy, whic ^etary. viously operated under its own cabinet-leve sC^ con- These civilian strategists concentrated on abstra ^ ^ cepts of deterrence based on nuclear terror rather terrence concepts founded on superior warfighting^^ bility. The result was an invalidation of tactical c supporting a warfighting strategy. j^Os,
Defense Acquisition and Logistics: In the ear y g(j then-Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara iF^ an organization on the Department of Defense ^ ^jjtary the succeeding decades resulted in subordinating and naval planning to systems analysis.8 Systems a ^ is an analytic procedure that is aimed towar £ter- employs mathematical models of systems in pa-veness- constrained scenarios to determine their eftec
supporting logistics became driven by systems egy budget decisions and not by a planned nationa e 0„ and tactical objectives. As a result, a strategic -nj0g which to build tactics was diluted; in the services, tj,e officers in systems analysis in order to compete jjca] defense dollar—a diversion from the pursuit o ^ waS thought—was emphasized; and systems procurem driving tactics rather than tactical developmen
systems procurement. Hermit
Strategy: Planning for naval strategy was un a[ia|- by the dominance of nuclear deterrence and syste Qf the ysis strategists. This was confirmed by the decay Navy’s strategic plans organizations: the Genera ^ during World War II, the Strategic Studies Brancn ^ 1950s, and the Long Range Objectives Groap- ctjVeS 1960s. In the early 1970s, the Long Range J
sionUVWaS su^orc**natec* to Systems Analysis Divided'in thTi^f planning for naval strategy effectively
Was estnhr u j°S' A new office for ,ong-range planning dilished on the personal staff of the CNO in 1980.
naval post‘World War II era was a time of unopposed emereef/-reiu^C^ *or S- Navy. The aircraft carrier
it See^ 'n Period as the capital ship of the Navy, and U, s ■ su‘ricient strategy to simply send carriers where throi,otIn,fref,S Were threatened. This strategy continued In h "e Vietnam War-
i The u 7°S’ S°me important changes took place: di(1 in th f d°llar n° longer Purchased as much as it once oil short*2 aCC of European and Japanese competition, and causing 8oS began t0 take a to11 on the U- s- economy, ^°rld w" r *0n and high-cost defense weaponry. Also, the flppt 1 ,htPs were retired, new ships were few, and i The echued dramatically in numbers, by i 2()nS' fleet’ Populated largely with ships propelled been’ b P°Unds per s9uare inch (psi) steam turbines, had ^■etnamew°VerWOrl<ed and undermaintained during the ahundant ^ pr°h^ems in propulsion systems were ^ Th *
mUmVeSS°nS learned *n *he Vietnam War provided mini- y Civactlcal input to command of the sea. ing aV*lan strategNts and systems analysts were promotion of W nava^ strategy that involved only a narrow mis- protecting the sea-lanes to Europe with small,
the sea, and trying to shore up scarce ships whose overworked propulsion plants were proving unreliable. These efforts resulted in the following:
► A scarcity of ships, creating scheduling requirements that prevented cohesive unit training and eroded the operational integrity of the basic units for tactical development ^ An era of overemphasis on propulsion problems rather than a proper balance between issues of tactics and engineering, accompanied by increasing emphasis on specialization and centralization of authority
► A generation of naval officers whose primary tactical training was not oriented toward command of the sea
► A defensive clinging to a strategy based primarily on aircraft carriers in response to civilian attack, although changing technology provided new offensive options through the use of cruise missiles and space-based assets
The impact of these results placed tactical thought in cold storage. Indeed, conditions opposed to a sound chain of naval command and the -development of innovative naval thought ensued.
chean i .
°nP S, ps—a contradiction of all accumulated wisdom Th Va theory and strategy.
nava|6Se pressures produced an inwardly focused U. S. that thSrgy of bureaucratic survival, in spite of the fact (J. o e Soviet Navy was emerging as a credible threat to Were ^ommand of the sea. The efforts of naval leaders defen r SOr*3ed 'n right'ng systems analysis for new ships, lng the Mahanian strategy of flexible command of
Operational Tactics: Operational tactics in the environment described were devoted primarily toward how to properly use carrier task groups and amphibious task groups. Two facts forced thinking toward defensive tactics. First, carrier aircraft could conduct offensive strikes at long range, but ship tactics within the carrier group had to be directed to defend the carrier, the only ship with
In a benign environment of unopposed naval supremacy, as in the 1960s off Vietnam, the aircraft carrier emerged as the capital ship of the Navy. Sufficient strategy, then, was to simply send carriers to where U. S. interests were threatened. The game has changed since then, and so must the strategy and tactics.
offensive striking power. Second, amphibious warfare ships and operations are even more vulnerable to attack than carrier battle groups, reinforcing the pursuit of defensive tactics.
Defensive tactics for the carrier battle group have been polished over the years, leading to today’s composite warfare commander (CWC) doctrine. The CWC doctrine organizes the battle group into a basically defensive posture. It works acceptably well as a defensive tactic, but tends to bind all ships to the carrier aircraft capabilities rather than permitting the formation of separate, offensively oriented task groups. It is also communications intensive and thus works against the modem tactical need to remain silent to avoid detection. Naval tactics should not be bound to CWC doctrine, but should use it only where it is helpful. Additional, more offensively oriented command-and-con- trol schemes are necessary.
Formation Tactics: In the battle lines of World War II and before, the fleet’s manuevers were necessitated by the importance of bringing heavy gunfire on the enemy while reducing his ability to do so. Thus, the classic formation tactic was to “cross the T” so that all ships could concentrate a broadside on the opposing battle line. Cruiser scouting formations and destroyer torpedo attacks were
part of this tight, tactical jockeying for position- surveil- In modem naval warfare, real-time sate! ng.range lance, nuclear and chemical warheads, and ® ^tic- guided weapons have made tight formations a(ej by
able. Ships and submarines must now operate seP nS in large distances, employing their long-range we mutual support. Positive control and coordination ^ma. surface ships and submarines are essential to nav ^oU)d tion tactics. The needs of formation tactics ^ an(j receive the most emphasis are effective com ^ jr0m control over large areas, concentration of fireP° control dispersed formations, carrying out command a ^ anCj in a under conditions of electronic and acoustic sllenCtering n«- hostile electromagnetic environment, and coun - clear and chemical effects. posed
Unit Tactics: During World War II, unit tat'orpedoes- fairly simple questions of how to employ guns, P^jons depth charges, and, later, radar sensors. Comm h_fre- were rudimentary ultra-high-frequency an sjgnals-
quency radio circuits with flag and flashing ig cjass
On a modern Spruance-class destroyer or e ' c0iH' guided missile cruiser, the choices available 0sterns manding officer of how to employ the com a ^^cers suite are many and varied. Yet, training for nav' ^gap0n
tends to focus on the capabilities of indivi u teIps-
systems and the capabilities of Soviet weapon ^cers This cookbook approach to tactics produce uti- who are familiar with weapon characteristics ^ jnte' derstand little about how to select proper optm 0f-
grate ship systems for varying tactical situations- 0t ficers will misinterpret tactics by considering to
tactics to be defined by ship weaponry and y gy. understand the essential linkage of tactics an anders Too often during exercises, task group c0s eh1' become preoccupied with unit training in we
^on^aml11 and fai* t0 develoP the ship’s abilities in forma- the C(v,i,u)pe,rat'0nal tactics. This is another symptom of °kbook approach to tactics.
aid Real’- mi StrateSy; The leadership of President Ron- Sceretary10 ’ ^cretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, and trends in °r • 6 ^avy John Lehman has reversed adverse logistics *th lt'Ca* md‘tary theory, defense acquisitions and egy. fq0e affordability of defense, and national strat- °ver ^ on§er do nuclear deterrence advocates hold sway a ^11 sn COrnrnonsense need for conventional arms across CansysteC rUm Potent'a* conflict situations. No longer ence nf analysts w‘n budget debates outside the influ- A U ^trate8ic-tactical thought, time in th nationa* strategy is more clear now than at any °n stron >C PaSt tWo decades. It is a national strategy based level of8 parity and negotiating strength at the nuclear conflict, maritime superiority with a 600-ship command-of-the-sea strategy employs the new capabilities in power projection to negate shore-based infrastructure that may support enemy sea power. Operational tactics are changing from a defensive to an offensive posture. Formation tactics must become increasingly dispersed without losing the capability to provide mutual support to other ships in the task group and concentrate firepower on the enemy. Unit tactics must increasingly integrate the full capabilities of modem warships.
Continuing Development: After World War II, the Soviet submarine force was considered the primary threat to U. S. command of the sea. Building on World War II experience, antisubmarine carriers and escorting destroyers concentrated on close-in ship and aircraft tactics.
By the 1970s, weapon and sensor ranges had extended, and standoff antisubmarine warfare (ASW) tactics were more in practice. The Soviet submarine force has continued to grow in quantity and quality and presents a significant challenge to U. S. tactical development. The greatest tactical challenges in ASW are in coordinating diverse air, surface, and subsurface forces in open-ocean, offensive
a||j.'8 kJ- S. interests, a continued overseas presenct Ce system, and a lean, maneuver warfare-orien
'ed land"?" >hd f°rce’
P°litical-C°M^manci llle seas 'n support of global interest! achievj m'itafy control of escalation of conflict whil
9n<j *- ^ U, S intprpctc o Ppnlinnp/4 .. n.
"TOasi ’ ready t0 resPond to crisis situations, wit The J tIle Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force. *th*V Nayy bas adopted an offensive, commanc a strategy in support of national strategy. Thi
weaponry, the rivalry between the Navy’s air, and submarine communities over how to best con
surface> trol an'
enemy positions and when they can be employe sively to deny enemy command and control. 1 oB1. important areas to be developed in EW are radar an ^
employing the increasing capabilities of EW to
ASW and in developing passive acoustic and nonacoustic detection tactics.
The Soviet Naval Air Force has grown in strength. The introduction of the naval “Backfire” with long-range antiship missiles has made fleet antiair warfare (AAW) quite different from simply defending against dive-bombers and torpedo planes. Two tactical necessities in AAW for the United States are offensive AAW, including attack on enemy bases with cruise missiles, and coordination of multiplatform defense in depth, with emphasis on the outer air battle.
Exploring New Waters: Opportunity for major innovations in tactical development exists in antisurface warfare (ASUW), strike warfare (against land targets), electronic warfare (EW), and surveillance. These areas have lagged because of:
► Overreliance on the capabilities of attack aircraft against heavily defended warships and land targets
► A general misunderstanding of EW (EW, electronic emission control, deception, and jamming tactics are seldom exercised because they interfere with sexier operations. EW'should be a primary warfare mission.)
► Overreliance on carrier-based aircraft as the only airborne surveillance capability
The primary U. S. ASUW weapon of today, the Harpoon missile, became operational in 1977 without adequate systems or tactics to support targeting to its full range. Though some progress has been made, this capability is still in tactical infancy. The foremost needs in ASUW tactics are developing systems and tactics to target Harpoon, developing the same for the even longer range Tomahawk antiship missile, and developing well-practiced procedures for coordinated missile attacks from air, surface, and subsurface platforms.
Strike warfare, long the exclusive realm of tactical aircraft, will soon become a fleet-wide mission with the introduction of the long-range Tomahawk land-attack missile. The most important tactical needs of strike warfare are developing real-time targeting procedures for strike mission Tomahawk missiles and coordinating a proper mix of Tomahawks and tactical aircraft in striking different kinds of targets, having varying degrees of defense.
The ASUW surface-to-surface missile, right, launched from the USS Charles F. Adams (DDG-2) looks as mean and deadly as it is. But its ultimate effectiveness depends on strong tactics to support targeting to its full range.
Will the real USS Stein (FF-1065), opposite page, please identify herself? Is she on the port or starboard side of the USS Dixie (AD-14)? Deception can be an effective tactic to confuse the enemy—and is a game played by both sides.
The use of the Tomahawk land-attack missile, COIVj^ tional warhead, and the Tomahawk land-attack mlS0f nuclear warhead, needs to be understood in all regifjj ^ strategic-tactical thought. This understanding W1 made difficult by the interface with strategic nu ,S uvci liuw ^ — - ace- employ the new weapon, and the interface wn v ^ based systems (traditionally controlled by the DePa<, ^ of Defense, the intelligence community, and the U.
rorce; required lor eneciive, giuuai, icai n"- .
Electronic warfare and deception may be the mo^ portant new tactical areas, particularly in I transition periods when they are the basis of
munications jamming using more platforms
and confuse the enemy, passive targeting coor ^ce among multiple units, and understanding the i|TIP of electronic and acoustic emission control. warfate Surveillance is more important now in modem (0 than in the days of coal and sail because of the a ^ ^ strike at ranges that equal, and sometimes exce ^ ^ ability to detect. The most important areas of tac 1
sets^ent 'n surveillance are exploiting space-based as- Stnaii t ^r°Vlde re2l-time tactical information and using (helieont met*'um_s>zed surface combatants to base aircraft ticaI QrP ehrs an<J later, vertical takeoff and landing and ver- sP°nsiv S"0rt ta^e°lf and landing aircraft) to provide re- P| e early warning and targeting.
NaVtI"! t*le Navy’s new computer tactical game, havenmV’ makes one wonder why these “new waters” Win read'i n ade9uately explored. Any NAVTAG player katinp * y cord'rm that the most important tactics in de- tronjc °PP°nent are surveillance and detection, elec- of expe^ ac°ustic emission control, deception, the timing devejQ n ln^ an overwhelming weapon launch based on ^Use 'n^ su"’c'cnt targeting information in a cat-and- §arne, and causing the enemy to flinch first.
quisjtio n<^ ^3S'S 'n Political-military theory, defense ac- °f pr0(Ja and logistics, and national strategy for the return leaders[i.ctlve tactical thought exists today. The Navy’s ^PPorte'd u Process of creating a naval strategy
^tical th innovative tactical thought. The return of °fnperat'01^1 'n ^avy must occur in the areas
isre area10nal» formation, and unit tactics across all war- 'var. qqS an(l along the spectrum of conflict from peace to 'he ntlnuing developments are important; however, "'ith ex ,° a real return of innovative tactical thinking lies ^re, str'L°nn^ new waters in the areas of antisurface war- 1hese are Warfare, electronic warfare, and surveillance. ^'ntarilv6^ tactlcal development should be addressed ’actual d ^ °Perational naval officers. The trend to pass kat'°n evel°Prnent to civilian-manned operational eval- ^com ,°UPS should be ended if naval personnel are to
Maj^ actlcalIy adr0it
to the ret SUr^ery on the Navy’s organization is necessary engineec;arnoftactical thought. A proper balance between lining ^ and tactical matters should be restored in S^°uld beand or8anization. In addition, the squadron Cal endeavrCSt°red aS ^as‘c unit f°r tactical and techni- acti°n to Vfhr wct/dpy squadron concept is only a re-
CQlhniand i Pr°k'ern’ not a solution.11 The squadron er should understand his ships in all tactical and
technical areas and work them up as a team, avoiding the current practice of using pick-up teams to put together task groups.
The movement to return tactical thought to the fleet comes none too soon. The days when the Soviet Navy could be deterred or defeated by overwhelming U. S. naval forces disappeared in the 1970s. For the 1980s and beyond, our thin edge of superiority will continue to depend on technical prowess. It will depend equally on the implementation of enlightened tactical thought. U. S. naval officers must remain adroit in the balanced pursuit of technical and tactical thought.
'Edward Mead Earle, ed.. Makers of Modern Strategy (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1943), p. 100.
"B. Mitchell Simpson III, ed., The Development of Naval Thought. Essays by Herbert Rosinski (Newport, Rl: Naval War College Press, 1977), p. VIII.
3 See, for example. The Defense Science Board Task Force on “Strategic Planning and The Maritime Balance: An Experiment,” Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, Washington. D.C., Executive Summary, November 1979.
4 A. A. Grechko, The Armed Forces of The Soviet State (Moscow, 1975), translated and published by the U. S. Government Printing Office, Washington. D.C.
5T. Wood Parker, “Thinking Offensively," Proceedings. April 1982, pp. 26-31. 6See the definitions in Grechko, The Armed Forces of The Soviet State.
7Civilian strategists such as Bernard Brodie. Henry Kissinger, Herman Kahn, to mention a few.
"Robert J. Hanks, “Whither U. S. Naval Strategy,” Strategic Review. Summer 1982, pp. 17-18.
The Maritime Balance Study, The Navy Strategic Planning Experiment.” Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C., 15 April 1979. See Appendix A for a history of strategic planning organizations in the U. S. Navy.
'“Theodore C. Taylor, “A Basis For Tactical Thought," Proceedings. June 1982, pp. 27-33.
This concept is implemented in the Atlantic Fleet. In a dry squadron, the squadron commander deals exclusively with logistic and support problems. In a wet squadron, he deals primarily with tactical matters. Ships rotate from one type squadron to the other.
Captain Powers holds degrees from the Naval Academy, Naval Postgraduate School, George Washington University, and Catholic University. He has served in four destroyers and was CO of the USS Claude V. Ricketts (DDG-5). Tours ashore have included U. S. Naval Forces Vietnam, Naval Ordnance Systems Command, The National War College, the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations (OP-354), military assistant to the Defense Science Board, and special assistant to the Director, RDT&E (OP-098X). Captain Powers now commands Destroyer Squadron 17, San Diego, CA. Of his four essays submitted in the 1983 GPEC, one earned first honorable mention, two were purchased as articles, and one was purchased as a professional note.
S rate8y as an extension of politics is therefore
’°n of wapUPf0rt strategy- Karl von Clausewitz’s defini
worthy of examination.1 In the modern context, the longterm struggle of the United States and the Soviet Union can be considered as a war “ranging along a spectrum from perfect peace and harmony at one end to total war at the other.”2 The political objective that defines U. S. strategy is that of preventing expansion of the Soviet Union and maintaining a global balance of power favorable to the United States and its allies.
Strategy is an authoritative combination of setting objectives, determining the power needed to meet those objectives, and devising a plan to apply power to achieve the desired end effect. The United States has frequently been accused of not having a meaningful national strategy, suffering from the dilemma of democracies in not being able to develop authoritarian objectives amid democratic diversity.3 Lack of a firm national strategy makes establishing a proper naval strategy difficult.
Generally, U. S. naval strategy has followed the Mahan- ian concept of “command of the sea,” meaning not control of the expanses of global seas, but control over any potential enemy fleet that could threaten free use of the sea for U. S. purposes. To this has been added the more modem concept of “power projection,” which has become an important function of sea power in the 20th century as weapons have improved in range, destructiveness, and accuracy. Indeed, during the 1950s and 1960s, the U. S. Navy had no enemy fleet to control and focused on using the aircraft carrier for power projection in various “interventions” intended to contain the Soviet Union. The