Comment and Discussion

It is a little far fetched to connect the bombing mission performed by the two prototype "Emily" seaplanes with a 1941 yarn in the Saturday Evening Post. A case in point is the Imperial Navy's 1941 shipbuilding program, which included a new class of three submarines. This new type, designated Sen-Ho (meaning submarine-replenisher), was a special single-purpose submarine for refueling and reprovisioning large flying boats in the open ocean. One of her noteworthy features was the adoption of triple hulls; the space between the second and third (pressure) hulls was to be used to store about 120,000 gallons of aviation fuel. She also had the capability to reprovision seaplanes with bombs, torpedoes, and cannon and machine gun ammunition, and, if necessary, to recrew them.

The first of the class was completed as the I-351. The second was about to be commissioned when she was bombed and destroyed. The third was never laid down.

On 4 March 1942, the refueling of the two "Emily" seaplanes at French Frigate Shoals was performed by two submarines (I-15 and I-19), not three as David Lowman said. (The I-9 stayed away from the shoals to provide a navigational beacon for the flying boats.) The I-351 was not in commission yet.


"The Offensive Surface Ship"

( See T. J. McKearney, pp. 64-69, December 1983; T. L. Gaillard, p. 87, February 1984 Proceedings)

Commander Frederick J. Glaeser, U. S. Navy— Commander McKearney has provided an interesting view of the current status and possible future roles of our surface forces. The surface ships he portrays are slow, short of sensor range, weak in offensive power, and unable to coordinate activities among themselves. I don't fault his analysis, but I am disappointed by his solutions. About all he can come up with are eight-inch guns, an attack helicopter, and a minimal tactical information exchange system. The missions he finds suitable are power projection, a vague form of maritime interdiction and showing the flag.

Commander McKearney has restricted his vision of what might be, in favor of short-term band-aid solutions. Why must our analyses of weapons always examine units of one type instead of composite forces? For example, air power is vital to success in modem naval warfare, but aircraft carriers are not. Units of the following types could be the core of a formidable fighting force, without the naive label of carrier battle group or surface action group:

  • Heavy cruisers able to sustain a high rate of fire against air, surface (including land), and subsurface targets while absorbing substantial damage from conventional attack
  • An amphibious assault ship with vertical takeoff and landing fighter, attack, and surveillance aircraft and an array of surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles in vertical launchers
  • An amphibious transport dock ship With attack and antisubmarine helicopters on deck, a well-deck housing small hydrofoil and/or aircushion vehicles, and vertical launchers filled with surface-to-surface and antisubmarine weapons
  • Modem diesel-electric submarines integrated into the force rather than acting as independent snipers
  • Remotely piloted vehicles overhead to relay tactical communications
  • A squadron of land-based maritime strike aircraft (of the B-1 or stealth variety) available on call to provide additional force when required.

Such a force could dominate a significant ocean area, operate in open-ocean or in shallow littoral regions, and escort and cover convoys and amphibious forces. Its aircraft could search as widely as any aircraft carrier, with attacks being carried out by long-range missiles, submarines, or hydrofoils—the toughest modem threats for an enemy to defend against.

Nearly two decades as a naval flight officer have made me painfully aware that our aviation proponents have blinders on, instinctively understanding the power of aircraft in fleet operations without being able to separate such capability from one type of expensive and vulnerable ship. Our submariners know little of fleet operations and are equally wedded to only one type of ship. The future of our Navy is in the hands of our surface warfare "generalists," but only if they begin to think in broad, aggressive terms. Commander McKearney has made a start, but it was tepid.


"Under the Cold Gaze of the Victorious"

( See R. B. Carney, pp. 41-50, December 1983; E. W. Card, p. 19, February 1984 Proceedings)

Norman Polmar— Admiral Carney is to be congratulated for having recorded his observations and feelings at the time of the Japanese surrender, and so, too, is the Proceedings for having published his account. Because it provides a candid view, it is significant to students of naval history. Contemporary Navymen should also find the account of value in helping them understand the events that shaped the "culture" of today's Navy.

The "tough looking gentleman from Russia" that Admiral Carney mentioned was General K. A. Derevianko.

One hopes that there are more such on-the-scene accounts, and that the Proceedings will publish them.


Don't Cry Sea Wolf Yet

Jean-Claude Salvinien, Attaché De Presse, Aerospatiale— The Royal Navy's HMS Brilliant, according to a Reuter wire, successfully fired a surface-to-air Sea Wolf missile into an Exocet missile; a manufacturer's representative of the Sea Wolf stated: "As far as I know, this is the first time a missile has been brought down by another missile at low altitude."

Considering the special circumstances of this experimental firing, naval experts now make the following analysis:

  • Since the trial was held in peacetime conditions on the regular Royal Navy range at Aberporth, where stringent safety regulations are in force, there was no chance of the frigate being hit if the Sea Wolf failed.
  • The personnel operating the Sea Wolf were warned of the exact time when the antiship missile was launched and had accurate prior information on the firing parameters, notably the bearing of approach, which is impossible to have in live combat conditions.
  • The antiship missile was preset to fly at its highest altitude step (around eight meters), whereas the prevailing sea state would have made it possible for a sea-skimming flight path (around three meters) to be ordered, as in real-life fighting; because of the high altitude, it was far easier to detect, intercept, and kill the missile.
  • The antiship missile was fired in isolation, since it was out of the question for any salvo firing to be performed; counterattack conditions could not have been more straightforward.
  • The firing from the Brilliant was performed using television tracking, which is the only possible method as the Sea Wolf is unable to radar track a sea-skimming missile; this method demands good visibility, which was the case in this exercise; yet the Sea Wolf cannot be used in all-weather conditions against an all-weather sea-skimming missile, like the Exocet.

The firing was conducted in practice conditions, so caution is in order when seeking to extrapolate the results of the experiment into operational conditions. It should be recalled that the Brilliant, armed with the same Sea Wolf missile, could but watch on, powerless, as two Exocets dove in to disable the Atlantic Conveyor during the Falklands Conflict.

In practice conditions, the same result as with the experiment would have been obtained on the other types of current antiship missiles, whose speeds are also subsonic and even lower than the Exocet's, such as the Harpoon, the Sea Eagle, and the Otomat. But honor to whom honor is due: evidently, the Exocet's success and notoriety were the reasons for its being chosen for this special demonstration.

This trial is an interesting milestone in efforts to try to protect ships from the threat of sea-skimmers. But it has taken ten years for a single Exocet in its original version (MM-38) to be intercepted, and in experimental conditions at that.

Yet the modem AM-39 and MM-40 versions of the Exocet have been considerably improved and can be fired in multi-missile salvoes, with each missile approaching the target simultaneously from all directions in all weather.

Faced with such a saturating and permanent threat, the Sea Wolf can deal with only one enemy missile in clear weather. The attacker has the unchallengeable advantage.


"That Dangerous Polyester Look"

( See D. M. Kennedy, W. R. C. Stewart, pp. 97-98, January 1984 Proceedings)

Lieutenant J. William Cupp, U. S. Navy, USS Antrim (FFG-20) —A Navy uniform advisory issued in December 1983 advised "100 percent polyester uniforms were not intended for wear in the shipboard environment and should be discouraged except for dress or liberty uniform applications."

Why, oh why, do we even have uniforms in the Navy which are not intended for use on board ships? And what of the plight of the hapless junior officer, who, in trying to present his smartest military appearance, discovers that wearing his best-looking uniform is discouraged on board ship, i.e., in the daily work environment while in port?

My most earnest wish is that current Navy uniform policy would be reviewed before the phase-in period for certified Navy twill fabric is completed. Standardized fabric is a good idea. But it would be most sensible to prescribe a dress uniform the use of which we do not have to discourage.


"Political Awareness Training in the U. S. Navy"

(See K. P. Weinberg. pp. 162-166, October 1983; C. H. Schmidt, p. 28, December 1983; T. Bortmes, p. 88, February 1984 Proceedings)

Lieutenant Commander James Stavridis, U. S. Navy— Commander Weinberg's article, although well written and persuasive, has some troubling implications for the military's role in our society. While it is easy to sympathize with the author's concern over the lack of knowledge demonstrated by our citizenry and naval personnel on current events, political traditions, and international affairs, there are some potential dangers in developing the sort of "political awareness training" he advocates.

  • It might violate the tradition of a military separated from political concerns. Clearly, an educated service is a strong service. Yet such instruction should not come from within the service on the ad hoc basis Commander Weinberg advocates. The United States has the best educational system in the world, despite much recent criticism. Like many others, I took courses in civics, government, and politics in high school and college. Many of Commander Weinberg's concerns and criticisms—which are well taken—should be directed at the basic civilian educational system, at the high school and college levels.
  • There is potential for abuse of such a network of "political awareness officers." Commander Weinberg counsels that "partisan politics must be scrupulously avoided," which is easy to say, but difficult to do. How would a "political awareness officer" discuss the distinction between the foreign policy of the Carter and Reagan administrations, for example, without delving into "partisan politics?" Much of U. S. foreign policy of the post-World War II era is the result of partisan politics. Personal views or even implied endorsements of certain candidates or policies might emerge. Imagine such political awareness lectures during the coming election year. How could the dangerous ground of partisan politics be avoided? Much of the debate over foreign policy and international relations is tied to the political views of such partisan candidates as President Ronald Reagan, Senator John Glenn, and former Senator George McGovern.
  • There are few qualified individuals in most units to lead such discussions and be "political awareness officers." It is hard to imagine a busy electrical officer on a destroyer, newly tasked with his "political awareness" job, being given a stack of manuals and pamphlets to distribute and teach. What in his training qualifies him to stand up in front of a division and declaim democracy, Marxism-Leninism, and the situation in Lebanon. Won't his own ignorance, bias, and political tendencies enter into the picture?
  • There is a difference between knowledge of current events and "political awareness." Commander Weinberg begins his article by describing the lack of knowledge of current events and ends it by calling for political awareness. I support his contention that we should work for an informed service. I endorse assuring the distribution of newspapers, encouraging enlisted personnel and officers to keep up with current events, even the posting of plan-of-the-day notes on current events. I am impressed with the efforts of such programs as the U. S. Navy Soviet Seapower Education Program, sponsored by the Fleet Intelligence Training Center, Atlantic. I object to the system Commander Weinberg describes, which goes too far toward making decisions for the indoctrinees and opens the door for abuse.
  • There would be strong (and well-founded) civilian objections to such a program. There has been a long and respected tradition in this country of the military as separate from the political process. In many ways, this tradition is at the heart of our armed forces concept. The development of political awareness training in our military might sound unattractive, even dangerous, to some key segments of our civilian leadership.
  • Who would make the decisions as to what would be taught in such a political awareness program? We can all agree that communism, as practiced by the Soviet Union, is oppressive and imperialistic. Yet how do we categorize the government of socialist France, which is a close ally? How does our ''political awareness officer" describe and pass judgment on the Falklands Conflict, where a Rio Pact ally fought a bloody contest in our hemisphere with our staunch NATO ally? What does our political awareness officer say about the situations in the Philippines or Central America, where large segments of our population have misgivings about U. S. involvement? These difficult and ambiguous questions only begin to touch on the complexity of a highly diverse and politicized world of foreign affairs with which our country deals. Can such issues be boiled down to a few videotapes and personnel qualification standard books for a junior boiler technician? Who will choose what is in this package of "political indoctrination," and what the official view will be?

As a positive alternative to the program Commander Weinberg outlines, I propose that our focus should be on factual descriptions of opposing military organizations, with a minimal political content. The efforts of the Fleet Intelligence Training Center seem appropriate and well designed.

The Navy's job is to defend the nation and fulfill its national interests in combat operations at sea, not to conduct political education for service members. Throughout my career as a naval officer, I have tried to be well informed and make my own decisions. Both are fundamental U. S. rights accruing to those in uniform and in civilian life. While I agree with much of the attractiveness, the efficiency, and the rationale for Commander Weinberg's concept of political awareness, I must ultimately reject it for the most political of reasons—my belief that such "political awareness training" poses a potential threat to fundamental aspects of the U. S. society and our military traditions.


"Arms Control: Upping the Ante"

(See P. G. Johnson, pp. 28-34, August 1983; C. Orchard, p. 147, November 1983; N. Friedman, p. 91, February 1984 Proceedings)

Commander A. W. Grazebrook, Royal Australian Naval Reserve— Lieutenant Johnson's article reaches the conclusion that the Washington Treaty was beneficial in that it ended the naval arms race of the day and reduced tension in the Far East. However, I believe that the treaty had disastrous long-term consequences for the inhabitants of this part of the world.

The Washington Treaty allowed Japan to build up its maritime forces to a point where Japan felt strong enough to invade China in 1937 and to attack the U. S. fleet in 1941. Before the treaty, the U. S. Pacific Fleet was an effective deterrent to Japan. As a result of the treaty, the deterrent was removed.

It is true that the Washington Treaty ended the battleship part of the naval arms race, saving millions of dollars, but it did not end the submarine arms race. The costs of the Pacific-Indian Ocean War and Japan's invasion of China were infinitely greater than the savings made by the Washington Treaty.

The United States had the industrial and technological strength to win the 1920s' arms race with Japan. In 1920, the U. S. shipbuilding industry was still geared up for World War I and had the benefits of practical experience from participating in the latter part of World War I.

By 1941, as a result of building up its fleet under the benefits of the Washington Treaty, Japan had a much larger shipbuilding industry than in 1920 and had whittled away at the U. S. technological lead, removing it altogether in such cases as naval aircraft and torpedoes.

Also, while the United States observed the size and armament limitations of the Washington Treaty, Japan avoided them. For example, the displacement of the cruisers Atago (11,350 tons) and Myoko (10,940 tons) exceeded the treaty limit of 10,000 tons.



(See J. L. Holloway, pp. 28-37, June 1983; M. O. Miller, p. 103, September 1983; M. Adams, p. 122, October 1983; R. V. Buck, p. 24, November 1983; G. H. Miller, p. 88, January 1984; T. W. Glickman, pp. 84-86, February 1984 Proceedings)

Vice Admiral Kent J. Carroll, U. S. Navy (Retired)— Commander Adams stated that he considered Admiral Holloway's article to be a "blatant lobbying effort." I can only assume Commander Adams either did not read the article or did not believe the facts and quotes presented, for he misses the point.

Admiral Holloway's main thrust was to analyze our strategic lift posture in terms of simple arithmetic and let the reader draw his own conclusion. Most of the material that was gathered in the Proceedings piece was verified by the Military Sealift Command.

As a past Director of Logistics (J-4) in the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and more recently as Commander of Military Sealift Command, I thoroughly enjoyed Admiral Holloway's article. It is the most coherent, well-written thesis that has been published on the subject recently and should be disseminated as widely as possible.

Admiral Holloway, Admiral Thomas B. Hayward, and, more recently, Admiral James D. Watkins have stated that the protection of our sea lines of communications is essential to the military strategy of the United States. This is because there are no military plans that involve the deployment of significant U. S. forces overseas that do not include sealift.

To put it simply—sealift in merchant-type ships crewed by civilian mariners will deliver about 95% of all dry cargo and more than 99% of the fuel in any major contingency. So what happens to the U. S.-flag merchant fleet, our largest source of sealift, is a major concern.

The bottom line is that for national defense, we need a larger commercial shipping base than we currently have. I am very concerned about this. The more I see our merchant fleet decline, the more I see a blueprint for chaos, especially if this country deploys combat troops in any significant force—100,000 troops or more.

There are many more aspects to the U. S. Merchant Marine problem that could not be covered in an article as short as Admiral Holloway's. Bravo to him! He did expose the tip of the iceberg.


"Protecting America's Military Technology"

( See R. A. Guida, pp. 34-40, January 1984 Proceedings)

E. M. Macierowski, School of Philosophy, Catholic University of America— Why is the "Soviet sonobuoy" in the photograph on page 37 labeled in the Latin alphabet "USSR" instead of in the Cyrillic alphabet "CCCP?"


"In Other Words…"

(See M. R. Lenci, pp. 147-148, October 1983; J. D. Sullivan, p. 82, January 1984 Proceedings)

Commander John Jiannas, U. S. Navy, Assistant Naval Attaché, American Embassy, Bonn, Federal Republic of Germany— I hope that key decision makers will take action to solve the problem Commander Lenci has highlighted. While I support his proposal to increase language traInIng at the U. S. Naval Academy, I believe that learning a language is a full-time job and should be a separate course of instruction. The Navy must create incentives for officers to learn another language.

First, the Navy must officially recognize that learning a second language is a professional achievement and accord it a status similar to that of attending a junior staff college or a postgraduate course; learning a language must be made "career enhancing."

All potential officers should be required to take the Foreign Language Aptitude Test in order to identify those who could later be candidates for formal language training. After initial sea tours, officers should be "selected" for formal language training at the Defense Language Institute (DLI) or the Foreign Service Institute (FSI). Letters could then be sent encouraging (not forcing) officers to accept the language training and to indicate preferences to detailers. The letter should include an offer for the officer's spouse to attend the full language training course. The language training syllabus should, whenever possible, include a minimum two-month formal language course in the country after completion of training at DLI or FSI.

This training program would provide a pool of officers from which personnel exchange program, attaché, and defense cooperation billets could be more readily filled; enhance the U. S. Navy's image when these officers encounter members of counterpart navies; and provide more insight to operational commanders concerning the mentality of their counterparts when operating with allied navies. The ability to speak the language also makes port calls in foreign countries a lot more fun.

If this proposal is unachievable, a second possible method of enticing officers to learn a second language is to use money as an incentive. If, for example, an officer, on his own initiative, were to learn a second language with a proficiency level of "three," both in speaking and reading, he could be awarded "pro-pay" of, say, $75 per month; a proficiency level of "four" could be worth $100. Retesting at intervals of 18-24 months would be required.

At least 90% of the Belgian, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, and Turkish naval officers I have met speak at least one other language, and many speak two or more other languages; but they prefer to speak their own language whenever possible. They are generally surprised and flattered when an American speaks their language. And I am not talking about "hotel" in Italian, "taxi" in French, or "restaurant" in German. Our officers should be trained to carryon intelligent professional conversations in languages other than English.


"October 1983 Issue"

(See A. L. Conrad, K. W. Brock, p. 14, December 1983; R. A. Desrosiers, p. 20, January 1984 Proceedings)

Cadet Christopher P. Briem, U. S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps —I feel betrayed by the fact that, even though the October 1983 Proceedings dealt entirely with the training and educational programs in the Navy today, it failed to mention the small but growing impact of the myriad of U. S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps training programs conducted on board many of the ships, naval air stations, and naval training centers of the Second and Seventh fleets. Currently, more than 7,000 cadets in more than 180 divisions throughout the United States, Italy, and Puerto Rico participate in the U. S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps program.

Last summer, 1,500 cadets attended a modified, two-week training program at reserve and naval training centers. Some cadets even received two weeks of Seal or underwater demolition team training at Little Creek, Virginia, and Coronado, California, and damage control and firefighting training at Charleston, South Carolina. These programs, coupled with the many lectures and movies provided by the highly dedicated volunteer Sea Cadet officers during weekly drill meetings and correspondence courses, give thousands of America's young men and women a thorough indoctrination into naval life. For many, the Sea Cadet experience provides the necessary motivation to join the Navy.

Unfortunately, the U. S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps has reached the apex of what it can achieve in its current semiofficial status. Today, even with an enlisted corps with thousands of high-spirited young men and women, and hundreds of highly dedicated officers, the majority of whom are retired or reserve officers and enlisteds with many years of Navy experience behind them, the Sea Cadet Corps means no more to the Navy than does the Boy Scouts of America. Administrative command of the Sea Cadet Corps should be under the Chief, Naval Education and Training, thus making it an official part of the Navy. There, the aims of the Sea Cadet Corps, which are primarily to educate America's youth about the Navy, its programs, and maritime history, could be better fulfilled than through the Navy's current program manager for the program, which is currently under the sponsorship of the Navy League. For without increased support from the Navy for the Sea Cadet Corps, the Navy may lose the enthusiasm, dedication, and maybe even the patriotism of America's youth, and, with it, its own future.


"Aircraft Maintenance and the Paper Chase"

(See J. C. Roach, A. H. Genovese, pp. 116-119, December 1983; H. Walker, L. Gerken, p. 16, February 1984 Proceedings)

James M. Evans— For the most part, I concur with Captain Roach's and Commander Genovese's assessment of the "sad state of affairs" of the maintenance material management-automated data processing (3M-ADP) system. However, I have another perspective on this matter.

As an aircraft maintenance analyst employed by a major naval contractor, I am exposed daily to the data outputs generated by the 3M analytical maintenance program analysis support (AMPAS) and naval aviation logistics data analysis (NALDA) computer programs. The outputs are used to substantiate recommended changes to naval aircraft maintenance intervals. The method used to propose changes is called Reliability-Centered Maintenance (RCM) analysis.

Unfortunately, the 3M system data, which are generated directly from maintenance action form (MAF)/support action form (SAF) inputs, cannot be used without further refinement as the data has been found to contain many errors. Decision diagrams and even additional computer software have been developed to aid this "data scrubbing" process. Some of the problems can be attributed to keypunch operator error in transcribing the information from the MAFs/SAFs into the computer. However, most of the problems stem directly from the individual sailor filling out the forms improperly. I assume that squadron and station maintenance control supervisors screen the forms turned in by their maintenance personnel to ensure that the proper blocks are filled in. But, I question whether there is a similar system to make sure that the information in the blocks is valid.

The 3M system data outputs, through the use of the AMPAS and NALDA programs, provide a wealth of information on the fleet's aircraft maintenance. This information is being used more and more by maintenance analysts to locate troublesome preventive areas and, through the use of RCM analytical techniques, will help to correct them.

As it is now collected, the 3M system data does not provide enough documentation for the scope of all of the information needed by maintenance analysts. We need better and more detailed information regarding type, extent, and the precise location of on-aircraft failure of systems, components, and structures.

The Navy is dependent on maintaining a good documentation system to monitor equipment usage and to control costs, especially in light of the government's increased attention to defense allocations. Therefore, more emphasis must be placed on the importance of accurate maintenance documentation.


"The Malvinas Campaign"

(See R. L. Scheina, pp. 98-117, May 1983; G. F. Nafziger, p. 96, September 1983 Proceedings)

Commander Randolfo Luis Agusti, Marine Corps, Argentine Navy, Staff Officer of the Marine Corps Command —I was astonished by Commander Nafziger's superficial though highly injurious statements and aggressions regarding the Malvinas Conflict.

He will hardly justify with political lies a politico-military action such as the Malvinas Conflict. I suggest that U. S. naval officers first get acquainted with the different versions of the conflict and its background, read them conscientiously, and only then should they express their judgment.

Commander Nafziger's analysis of the operation is grotesquely simplistic. The questions he poses can be easily answered: "Why was the Argentine garrison on the islands so small?" or his doubts that "…the entire operation was designed to support an attempt to salvage a few thousand dollars worth of scrap metal…"

To these questions we may reply: (one) that Argentina sent over to South Georgia the landing group normally embarked on board an Antarctic ship; (two) given the British diplomatic aggression in forcing 40 Argentine workers to leave the islands even though they had all the authorization& required by the Foreign Office, a small landing group was sent to provide them with the necessary formal protection; (three) the United States acts likewise when it comes to protect U. S. citizens anywhere in the world, particularly in the case of an unjust aggression. This is even more true in this case, because the aggressor country had deployed a group of 22 marines from the Malvinas to South Georgia on board HMS Endurance.

Regarding his analysis of the Argentine claim over the Malvinas after 150 years in British hands, and his assertion that the British sovereignty of the islands is acknowledged worldwide but for a few exceptions, their insubstantiality shows the author's lack of knowledge about the negotiations between both countries or at the United Nations. An example is the Memorandum of Understanding signed by both countries in August 1968 whereby Great Britain would recognize the Argentine sovereignty over the islands. It points out: "…the islands will be recognized as belonging to Argentina as from a date to be agreed upon as part of a final arrangement…" That memorandum was eventually left aside on 11 December 1968 as a result of pressures exerted by the British Parliament. But it was recognized in the Franks Report of January 1983 as an official agreement.

These dates should show Commander Nafziger that, in spite of the 135 years that passed between the British usurpation and 1968, sovereignty was and still is the subject of a discussion acknowledged worldwide.

I mainly wish to rebut the author's last three paragraphs dealing with professional subjects, when he asks such questions as: How is it that by the end of March the naval task forces were prepared and dispatched to take the Malvinas? How is it that in only four days an amphibious force was embarked and deployed? Commander Nafziger questions that a "Third World" navy can do such things. He contemptuously describes the fact as "phenomenal" since, in his view, this would be a difficult task for many U. S. experts in amphibious forces.

I have some answers to the questions he poses.

  • U. S. military academies give doctrine courses about joint contingency planning and operations, and any country having naval capabilities can apply these concepts to the readiness of its military forces.
  • All countries select and maintain contingency plans in the event of situations stemming from latent conflicts.
  • It would be senseless for the Argentine Navy to have its marine corps with no capacity for amphibious reaction at the marine amphibious unit (MAU) level. The Argentine Navy's amphibious capability can be attested to, for example, by the UNITAS XXII party which took part in the amphibious operation carried out in Argentine territory in August 1981.
  • It should not take more than 24 hours for the U. S. Marine Corps to embark a MAU. This should be possible in "Third World" navies as well.
  • Six days are more than enough to embark minor forces, commandos, and aircraft in a MAU and land them with little opposition on a beach about which there has always been updated information available.
  • The training a lieutenant commander from the Argentine naval aviation or air force has received extends more than eight years, and flight hours are never under 4,000 to 5,000, which is surprising for a "Third World" level.
  • It is true that an operation should not be expected to be jointly carried out in six days , but an amphibious operation at the MAU level should. For that reason, only an army platoon and air force transport aviation took part in the operation.

Perhaps Commander Nafziger should reconsider his views contained in his last paragraphs and change them as follows:

"…if the U. S. Navy can embark an amphibious assault force for a naval contingency plan in 24 hours, should it be at the marine amphibious unit level or at a higher level…"

"…if the unified commandos can be ordered by the U. S. Readiness Command to launch operations 100 times superior in men and means within few hours…"

"…then why the Argentine Navy cannot have its landing battalion in a state of preparedness for an essentially naval contingency plan in 24 hours wherever such a situation may require…"

I wish to thank Commander Nafziger for the opportunity his comment offered to make clear to Proceedings readers some opinions shared by our Argentine Navy members who have acquired much of their professional knowledge from the U. S. Navy.


"Changeable Tactics, Changeless Sea"

(See J. L. Smith, pp. 76-80, December 1983 Proceedings)

John J. Gallagher, Vice President, Lamorte Burns and Co., Inc., Subsidiary of Marine Advisory Group, Inc.— There are a couple of errors worth noting in Lieutenant Smith's otherwise excellent article. First, Lieutenant Smith defines weather gauge as "having the wind abaft the beam." To all of us old salts who sailed with Nelson, of course, weather gauge is having the gauge of or being windward of the enemy.

In the Kearsage-Alabama contest, Lieutenant Smith attributes the success of the Kearsage in sinking the Alabama to "superior marksmanship, which was achieved by previous training." Obviously, marksmanship had much to do with the Kearsage prevailing over the Alabama, but two facts should be considered before attributing the outcome solely to "superior marksmanship."

Early in the engagement, the Alabama had laid an explosive shell into the Kearsage's rudder post. If that shot had not failed to detonate, the undoubtedly different outcome would have been a result of the Alabama's "superior marksmanship." And, prior to the engagement, the Kearsage had flaked anchor chain over her boilers and then concealed the chain by boxing it in with wood. Any of the Alabama's shots to the Kearsage's vitals would therefore have been rendered harmless. Although an objection to this tactic may seem curious in our day, the battle was conducted at a time when chivalry at sea was still in vogue. The Alabama's captain subsequently likened it to that of one participant wearing concealed armor in a duel.


"The Principles of Economic War"

(See J. C. Scharfen, W. R. Ball, pp. 59-63, December 1983 Proceedings)

Captain R. B. Laning, U. S. Navy (Re tired)— There is a poetic justice, after watching the onrush of civilian writers into naval affairs, to see two bright marine colonels attack the broader approach necessary to economic war.

The authors form the principles of economic war. Within the principle of diversity, objectives can vary from political disintegration of the adversary to communication of tension, defensively, from protection of markets through limiting of technology transfer to the stockpiling of strategic materials. The authors discuss the instruments of this form of warfare.

Concerning objectives, the adversaries seem to be thought of as nations, as though that which is to be changed by economic war is the nation. Since each nation is made up of a government and a society, it seems more precise to think in terms of which of these is to be changed. For example, in the Falklands Conflict, the British objective was to change the policy of the Argentine Government, not the condition of the Argentine society. In the end, the government was destroyed and the society left relatively unchanged. In Poland, the example of higher living standards in the West has brought about great change in the aims of society, while the government has remained relatively unchanged.

Governments engage in alliances, not the societies. In dealing with the People's Republic of China, the United States has been most interested in changing the alliance of the Chinese Government with that of the Soviet Union; our approach to the relatively unapproachable Chinese society has been aimed primarily at making this change feasible.

Regarding the instruments of economic war, the authors do not list technological innovation which, from the U. S. point of view, is probably the most powerful instrument for producing effect in both governments and societies just as it is in military interactions. Japanese Government policies have produced in Japanese society technological capabilities profoundly affecting U. S. society in automobile and electronics purchases. Technologies from the United States, such as electric power generation, nuclear power, and communications, have produced the most profound effects in governments and societies throughout the world. These technologies have been part of U. S. development, not necessarily designed to solve problems of other parts of the world.

The teams of talent which developed the B-1 bomber and the Polaris were directed toward a well-formed objective and managed through a system designed to handle the complexities encountered; either could have solved many of the world's most pressing problems such as hunger in the deserts of Africa.

The world is made up of competing pools of talent all too often driven by the intensity of military competition which, unlike most civilian competition, strives for the best within available science rather than for that which is good enough for the moment. Within governments are groups of military officers trained in innovation and motivated to devote their lives to successful prosecution. They are good at forming requirements for governments which control distribution of much innovative effort. Most civilians devoted to innovations of a civilian nature are either in government departments looking inward, or in corporations with narrow, short-term objectives, leaving vast areas of potential innovation—important societal needs—unmet without formulators or sponsors. For example, there are vast areas of arid land adjacent to oceans from which come enormous quantities of water vapor insufficiently concentrated to form rain. A system of capturing this vapor before dilution and transporting it over land to points of condensation would solve many of man's problems.

There are many examples to prove that if economic war were given emphasis equal to that given conventional military competition, powerful leverages on governments and societies could be generated. Multinational corporations should be chartered to accomplish these things.

As we manage increasingly to deter military war through increased weapons effectiveness, I'm convinced that we can solve all physical needs of societies through existing technology. If we do this well enough, the peoples of the world will emulate us. Such a world would be to our liking, and the economic war would have been won.


The U. S. Naval Institute

Lawrence Myers— Ever since I joined the Naval Institute in the fall of 1980, my knowledge and interest in naval affairs have taken a quantum leap. Nowhere in the world can you find the diversity of ideas and opinions that you can in the issues of Proceedings.

I read the Proceedings with great interest and often refer to it when I have a question. I'm also in possession of at least two dozen books published by the U. S. Naval Institute Press. My annual dues are dollars well spent; it's quite a bargain for the price.


"Remember Pearl Harbor"

( See J. E. Costello, pp. 52- 62, September 1983; J. K. Taussig, p. 150, November 1983; R. D. Haslach, pp. 17- 21, December 1983; K. Tolley, p. 84, January 1984 Proceedings)

Charles H. Bogart— Admiral Tolley'scomments concerning the Philippines prompted me to write. The Philippine campaign of 1941-42 has always fascinated me. It has to be the worst military defeat the United States ever suffered, yet it is the only major defeat for which there was never a congressional investigation or a journalistic expose. Even more amazing is the fact that the defeated general, Douglas MacArthur, had his staff collect and put together all the documentation from the U. S. and Japanese sides from which later books were written. If Admiral Husband Kimmel and General Walter Short had been allowed to gather all the material from both sides, I wonder how the story of Pearl Harbor would read, especially if either of the two had been appointed Supreme Commander of Japan for six years after the war was over.


"Selection Board Dynamics"

(See T. A. Sylvester, pp. 123-125, September 1983; S. A. Mohsberg, p. 95, December 1983 Proceedings)

Lieutenant Commander Eugene M. Portner, U. S. Navy (Retired)— Selection board dynamics are usually discussed by officers who were selected—at least to the rank of commander. But I was one of the many who ended up being ground up in the "crunch zone" mill. I hope that my comments do not come across as a case of "sour grapes," because I have personally remained strongly loyal to the Navy from the moment I took the oath as a midshipman in 1944.

A rising career-minded officer never sees himself as one of those who might be passed over for promotion—and yet they have to exist for the system to work. However, I would like to raise a few questions. Is it fair to terminate an officer's career after he fails for promotion to commander? Does the offer of early retirement make it just? Shouldn't an officer who has been passed over be afforded at least a face-to-face interview with the board before he is terminated? Could he, at least, be given an opportunity to respond to items in his record, which, while not derogatory in the formal sense, are fatal in the crunch zone?

I actually believed that my career was in track right up to my first pass over for commander. Enlightened personnel management techniques could have given me signals or warnings (if not counseling) in time for corrective action. After the pass over, I requested a classmate in the Bureau of Personnel (BuPers) to review and summarize my record for me, as he might do for the selection board. He reported back that I had been damned with faint praise in several reports. I was genuinely surprised. In the 1950s and 1960s, there was no mechanism for feedback from BuPers or an officer's own commanding officer. He could be deceived into believing that he was promotable because there was no communication to the contrary.

The Navy survives quite well with the current selection board dynamics, yet many excellent and loyal officers are going to have their careers prematurely terminated in order for the system to identify the outstanding officers who are promoted. I agree that the selection system is good for the Navy because there is a pool of excellent young officers to choose from, but I challenge Captain Sylvester's and Commander Mohsberg's conclusion that it is "the most democratic process" for selecting officers for promotion. There should be some feedback or warning before disaster strikes.

If you have followed me this far, permit me to get very personal. At first, I did a lot of soul searching. I wanted to find that chink in my armor that the selection board seemed to locate. I reviewed my Naval Academy record; I thought about nearly forgotten incidents which might have triggered those "faint praise" fitness reports; and I talked to senior officers to get advice on how to recover and salvage my career—all to no avail. I finally retired as a lieutenant commander and went on with my life. I'll never know why I was not commander material. I realize now that one can never know. But, to this day, when I read about the dynamics of selection boards, I feel a sharp sadness.


"The Submarine and the Falklands War"

(See J. L. Byron, P. 43, December 1982; A. M. Steele, pp. 11-12, April 1983; J. L. Byron, pp. 82- 86, July 1983 Proceedings)

First Lieutenant Willibald Sontag, Volksmarine (Retired), Federal Republic of Germany— Contrary to Commander Byron's opinion, Commander Steele is not wrong in stating that World War II submarines operated 10,000 miles from their home ports. They did, and patrolled even farther. This is verified by the German Type-IX D2 submarine V-859. After leaving Kiel on 4 April 1944, she patrolled 20,000 miles before being torpedoed by HMS Trenchant off Penang on 23 September 1944.

That enormous distance was not an exception—other boats covered it to and from Penang. And the 10,000-mile mark has been exceeded by subs operating from Biscaya bases around the Cape of Good Hope into the Gulf of Aden (V-510), or Arabian Sea (V-181), or the Laccadives (V-196).

These achievements were possible because of a well-designed bunker capacity, often combined with at-sea replenishment, and, last but not least, the highly sophisticated fuel management with straight diesel and/or diesel-electric cruise. Diesels will keep their rank.


"Supporting the Six Hundred"

(See M. B. Edwards, pp. 48-51, August 1983; J. Wicks, p. 33, November 1983 Proceedings)

Captain J.E. Lacouture, U. S. Navy (Re tired) —Commander Edwards points out a serious shortcoming of employing 15 carrier battle groups that is not receiving the attention it deserves in the shipbuilding budgetary process. As he points out, we do not have enough support ships to provide each of the current 13 carrier battle groups either with a multiproduct ship or with one replenishment group per battle group.

Commander Edwards goes on to show that in several scenarios considerably more than one replenishment group per carrier battle group will be required because of the distances involved and because the tempo of operations could dictate greater-than-planned expenditures of fuel and weapons.

His figures for the number of underway replenishment groups (URGs), based on distances and replenishment requirements, are probably in the ball park, but it is beyond me how he can discuss the carrier battle group resupply without discussing the Soviets' threat to our URGs. As in the days of World War II, Vietnam, and Korea when our URGs were not subject to enemy attack except for an occasional submarine, Commander Edwards assigns four destroyers and/or frigates as URG escorts.

Unfortunately, now our URG groups in most operating areas will be subject to air and missile attack from Soviet long-range aircraft ("Backfires," "Blackjacks," and "Fencers") and from long-range missile-firing "Oscar" submarines (each with 24,300-mile SS-N-19 missiles). As a result, our newest Spruance- class destroyers, with no Standard surface-to-air missile (SAM) batteries, and our newest Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates, with only one Standard SAM battery, have little escort capability against the primary Soviet threat in most of the ocean areas in which our forces will be fighting.

As an example, once a war with the Soviets begins either locally over the Persian Gulf oilfields or Iran, or globally, our carriers operating in the northwest Indian Ocean, where both offensive and defensive operations will be at a high tempo, are going to require large amounts of weapons, fuel, and supplies. Initial support will come from the prepositioned Rapid Deployment Force (RDF) equipment ships and Navy logistic ships based at an undefended Diego Garcia 1,500-2,000 miles away from the carriers' operating areas.

A small force of "Backfire" and/or "Badger" aircraft flying from Afghanistan bases and provided with targeting information either from Soviet surveillance satellites or from shadowing Soviet aircraft could easily destroy the vital replenishment force either at its base at Diego Garcia or en route to the carrier forces. One or more "Oscar" submarines could accomplish the same task. A few destroyers and frigates could not protect the URG forces from destruction.

It is time our Navy started identifying and acquiring the forces required to ensure protection of its URG forces while in transit and at their resupply bases. One method of doing this would be to reduce wartime carrier commitments and assign large carriers to escort the URG groups. But this is not feasible with the small number of available large carriers and their numerous priority wartime commitments. The Navy could also base F-14 fighter aircraft, P-3 antisubmarine warfare (ASW) aircraft, and E-2C early warning aircraft at strategic locations such as Diego Garcia, Iceland, and northern Japan. These aircraft could defend the bases and the URG groups in transit from Soviet long-range air and missile-firing submarines until the URG groups were in range of the carrier forces' own aircraft. Properly equipped destroyers would still be required to handle the close-range submarine defenses and any missiles that get through the air defenses.

Our escort ships should all receive the latest version of the Standard II vertical-launch missile systems, and our URG ships should receive either Sea Wolf missile or Phalanx gun installations for their own defense. All ships should also be equipped with the latest electronic and infrared countermeasure devices.

The best solution would be the conversion of some of the new high-speed large tanker and merchant ships into air-capable ships that can operate the requisite numbers of anti-air warfare (F-14), ASW (S-3), and airborne early warning (E-2C) aircraft and which could provide a suitable escort for our URG and other important convoy groups. These ships would not replace the large carriers but would augment and replace the destroyers and frigates now being bought for escort and sea control purposes.

Another priority requirement for new weapons capability that will assist URG survival chances involves weapons that can blind or shoot down Soviet surveillance satellites that are currently capable of tracking Navy ships and of providing targeting information to Soviet naval attack forces.

Commander Edwards's call for the Navy to build more support ships and to come up with the required weapons and tactical concepts to provide the necessary support for the 15 carrier task groups merits strong support.


"Joint Use: Not Cleared for Takeoff"

(See A. C. A. Jampoler, pp. 81-87, November 1983; P. Erbsen, p. 20, January 1984 Proceedings)

Gene Anderson, naval architect— As a retired Air Force Reserve officer, I found Captain Jampoler's article most interesting. Thirty years ago, I flew air defense "scramble missions" out of Hamilton Air Force Base located on the north shore of San Francisco Bay; air space over the bay was considered crowded. This was particularly true with the Moffett and Alameda Navy jet jocks and prop drivers getting proficiency time before embarking on carriers for the Korean War.

On a ceiling and visibility unlimited day during this period, I can recall being involved in a near "midair" with two of these jocks. I was flying over San Jose in an Air Force B-25 when suddenly two F9F Panther jets dove in front of us so close that I could read a small warning I sign, "Do not lift here," stenciled under the wing of the nearest aircraft. Apparently, these jets with dive flaps out were coming out of altitude on a penetration let down and did not see us under them. I joined the Pucker Ten Club that day.

From my Air Defense Command days, I had flown operational missions off airfields shared with what was then called civil aviation, and, from my exposure, this type of aviation just doesn't mixwith military flying. The high performance of military aircraft and their missions aren't compatible with the slower general aviation planes.

A possible solution to the Moffett Field problem could be found in the purchase of the Lockheed airport by the cities of Burbank and Glendale. The cities surrounding Moffett Field or the local county government could purchase this air base from the Navy. This would be a profitable venture for these governments as they would obtain substantial revenue from the airport as well as revenue for leasing the existing naval buildings and facilities to local industry. The expensive National Aeronautics and Space Administration Ames Research Center would remain federal property, however.

After the purchase, the Navy could take this money, along with its large payroll, and possibly reactivate Hamilton Air Force Base as a combination antisubmarine warfare and jet fighter base. Another suggestion would be to use this purchase money and build a jet operational airfield and aviation facility at Fort Ord near Monterey, California, or at Camp Roberts further south and share land and living support facilities with the Army.


"The Fleet Nugget"

(See M. N. Pocalyko, pp. 70-74, July 1983; D. M. Vander Linde, J. R. Ryan, p. 31, October 1983 Proceedings)

Ensign Donald G. Johnson, U. S. Navy —Congratulations to Lieutenant Pocalyko for his prize-winning essay. His guidelines for growing and prospering as a young naval leader are superb for a new fleet ensign, but where does the newly commissioned warrant officer or limited duty officer (LDO) fit in?

In using Lieutenant Pocalyko's guidelines to grade naval leaders, 95% of the newly commissioned warrant officers and LDOs would be an eight-and-one-half to nine on a scale of ten. Why? Because we have already learned to be good leaders and managers while passing through the enlisted ranks. If we didn't, we would not have been selected as a warrant officer or LDO.

We still have room for improvement in leadership, especially in adapting as officers. Since we were enlisted for many years, we have to learn the ropes of the officer community, but that should not keep us from continuing in our roles as good leaders. We are the ones that our junior officers depended on for guidance concerning their division.

Lieutenant Pocalyko states that a senior petty officer has effectively "earned a 'college degree' in naval experience, with a major in his rating." That is true because of the many hard and long hours of effort put forth to be the best in our rating and to become the good leaders that the Navy requires today. The officer community can learn much from us.

Warrant officers and LDOs have much to offer the commands. Why don't they use our leadership talents in teaching our techniques to the fleet nugget through formal or informal wardroom training?


"…and Some Will Have It Cold"

( See G. J. Hill, pp. 125-127, November 1983 Proceedings)

Colonel John C. Scharfen, U. S. Marine Corps (Retired)— Plaudits to Captain Hill on his diagnosis and prescription for the cold weather malaise he identifies in our naval services. He should be happy to learn that the standard issue vapor barrier (VB) boot has been subjected to more critical evaluation than he assumed to be the case. He writes: "But, in the 30 years of the boot's existence, it has apparently never been field-tested for direct comparison against boots worn by other NATO forces." Such a critical evaluation was made in March of 1980, comparing the VB boot with the Norwegian boot system during an exercise conducted north of the Arctic Circle in Norway. The project, which compared the performance of a Norwegian outfitted Marine company with a U. S. standard cold weather issue equipped Marine company, was funded by the Office of Naval Research on behalf of the Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic, as a pilot U. S. Marine Corps tactical development and evaluation project.

The results of the boot portion of this evaluation were mixed. Both the U. S. VB boot and the Norwegian boot system were judged adequate for survival under cold-wet conditions at temperatures of 140 F and above. In extreme cold dry conditions (e.g., -400 C), the U.S. VB boot was considered to be far superior. In terms of individual mobility, the Norwegian boot (being lighter and less bulky) was considered superior. The VB boot was found to be more durable than its Norwegian counterpart. The conclusion reached by the research team was that, given the state of the current technology, there is no single boot that is effective at all weather extremes under all tactical conditions. The researchers concluded that the marine would be best served by two boot systems, one resembling the Norwegian which provided better mobility, and the other resembling the VB which provided more protection in severe cold.


"Sink the Navy"

( See C. C. Pease, pp. 30-36, September 1983; R. Smith, p. 81, January 1984 Proceedings)

Willis G. Frick— Captain Pease did not mention that the idea of a submersible surface ship was not a new one. During and after World War I, the Royal Navy had such ships-the infamous K-boats. A K-boat was a four-stacked pig-boat. A K-boat incorporated all of the bad features of a destroyer and a submarine. As destroyers, they were of little value because their low freeboard severely restricted their operations, while a dive from steam-powered surface operations normally took 30 minutes. As submarines, they were large, slow, and cumbersome; they also had a bad habit of submerging permanently because of problems with the large hull openings needed to support the steam plant.

The K-boats made virtually no contribution to the war effort and were quietly disposed of during peacetime.

I contend that Captain Pease's designs would suffer a great many of the K-boat's problems.



Conferences and Events

View All

From the Press

23 February - Seminar

Sat, 2019-02-23

David F. Winkler

3 March - Lecture

Sun, 2019-03-03

Stephen A. Bourque

Why Become a Member of the U.S. Naval Institute?

As an independent forum for over 140 years, the Naval Institute has been nurturing creative thinkers who responsibly raise their voices on matters relating to national defense.

Become a Member Renew Membership