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Setting Battle Training Goals
Editor’s Note: This is the second of a two-part series examining ways to strengthen shipboard battle training. Part I in the June Proceedings asked, “How Ready is Your Ship to Fight?” provided a checklist of factors affecting a warship's ability to fight, and focused on “How to Organize for Battle Training.”
Chances are that there were quite a few negative checks in responses to Table I, “A Checklist of Factors Affecting a Warship’s Ability to Fight,” in Part I. No capabilities should have been marked positively unless they had been tried under “realistic” conditions. (A good example: shifting from Condition III to Condition I after taking a severe hit at night that disrupts structure and communications and kills or wounds people at many stations.) All capabilities in the table should have been evaluated using the standard of “expert,” not just “satisfactory” or “good” or even “excellent.”
The next step is to decide what skills to emphasize first, and where and how fast to go from there. For this, you need to: have a complete list of all the battle functions your ship is designed to perform; and have a clear definition of each designed battle capability, including performance criteria, so that everyone on board understands it the same way. Using a simple, uniform format, such as a “qualification card” (see Figure 1), for recording the description of each battle capability will: help convey a uniform in desks and file cabinets so that people on station can see what they are supposed to do.
In order to strengthen the crew’s motivation and help plan training to achieve an expert ability to fight, the following actions are recommended:
► Prepare a basic disruption skills quab' fication card as shown in Figure 1 ■ Batt control officers may wish to verify hsts 0 disruption skills or make changes to sin the commanding officer’s criteria f°r expertness.
► Create a full set of mission skill qua‘l
fication cards: ,
1. Secure the official list of the ship s required operational capabilities (ROCs)-
2. Break out the type commander’s hs of prescribed shipboard training exercise* (in one Type Command, it is called t L
This underwater blast that rocked the USS Kauffman (FFG-59) in October 1987 tested her systems’ battle shock survivability. The Kauffman— well prepared—passed. Had the blast come in real combat, would every crew in the fleet have been as ready?
understanding of the meaning of each capability; permit the status of qualifications to be easily updated; and enable everyone to see easily what the team and the ship can and cannot do on any given day. The principle here is similar to that of the planned maintenance system, which uses brief cards to summarize key information from voluminous documents
Ship’s Training and Readiness Exercise Manual). This list will tute the foundation for the ship’s se mission skills. The STAR exercise will fit well with the ship’s list of R~ (
3. Open up (or obtain) your local Training Group’s (FTG’s) most up ^ date package of training readiness inSP tion criteria and exercise grading she
Basic Disruption Skills
Numerical Scores 1 1A I1I-1 III-2 III-3
All assigned personnel are present or accounted for; all are in top physical condition; morale and psychological stamina are high; leaders are qualified; succession to command defined.**
Clear command policies exist with respect to what uniforms shall be worn on and off every station in every readiness condition, familiarity with Area
Team area specified; individual area responsibilities specified; all Personnel familiar with all installed fittings, with nature and contents of all adjacent spaces, and with limits of chemical, biological, radiological envelope, familiarity with Equipment .
All personnel familiar with condition of all team equipment and with operation of specified nearby equipments.
Getting Material Condition
Team able to set material conditions in darkness; thoroughly knowledgeable of locations and condition of all tools, fittings, and checkoff lists.
Manning and Shifting
Clear command policies exist with respect to what stations shall be manned automatically in case of sudden unexpected damage sustained in any readiness condition; team able to shift stations rapidly and efficiently under conditions of severe disruption.
Caring for Own Wounded
All members proficient in first aid; all required first aid materials available including water; all hands qualified to handle stretchers; team knowledgeable of most likely injuries; all hands with dog tags; panoramic dental x-rays on file ashore; all hands clean and with minimal hair, including facial, in order to facilitate care of severe wounds; casualty marking materials available, h'eventing Accidents
All hands aware of local hazards and thoroughly trained in safety precautions applicable to team area.
All hands qualified in telephone talking and familiar with emergency circuits and hand signals; messengers and recorders familiar with special symbols; damage marking materials available; personnel trained to avoid use of MC systems. Performance with Casualties
Team able to perform with reasonable effectiveness with 30% casualties; succession of team leadership firmly established.
Using Backup Procedures
Alternative systems in good working order; emergency procedures firmly established; procedures established to coordinate with other teams nearby, operating in Adverse Environments Team able to function in darkness with and without emergency lighting and under conditions of heat, cold, and storm.
Coping with Violence
Team prepared for operation under conditions of severe physical shock, fire, flooding, radiation, biological agents, or chemical contamination.
^Adjective grades; EV: Evaluator's initials.
^Explanatory material optional
Pair these with corresponding STAR exercises. Some differences between them may call for on-board command decisions. (Up-to-date FTG criteria may be available on board through computer disks.)
4. Other criteria may be added, such as found in inspection check-off lists, technical manuals, naval warfare publications, directives by higher authorities, the Personnel Qualification Standards system, and the commanding officer’s own standards. Be sure to recheck your initial list of criteria against the official list of your ship’s ROCs to make sure no critical functions are omitted. (Your ship or some of its systems may be newer than the latest update of official exercise criteria.)
Figure 2 illustrates a sample “Mission Skills Qualification Card.” These cards (6 inches by 8Y> inches) need only list key words for each skill (shown in boldface type on Figure I) to remind personnel of detailed criteria in official source publications. A well-prepared instructor should then be able to thoroughly explain required procedures, numerical scores, and adjective grades. Some additional details (for instance, explicit criteria applied by FTGs) may be listed on the back of the card for convenient reference.
If time permits, the task of creating qualification cards for all mission skills can be simplified by working closely with sister ships or ships with similar battle systems. Nearly all of the job needs to be done only once for each ship.
► Prepare a visual display of all qualification cards for each combat team. If the members of each team are to have up-to- date knowledge of their progress, such information must be displayed in a highly visible format. A convenient display is also indispensable in planning future training. Figure 3 illustrates two methods of fabricating simple qualification card holders, which are suitable for display on bulkheads in high-traffic areas, such as mess decks or the ship’s library. Figure 4 shows a qualification card display.
► Determine the current status of Condition I battle skills. Using your most recent training status reports to higher commands, rethink your current team training
fission Skills: human capabilities to perform battle lections under “normal” or nondisruptive conditions disruption Skills: human capabilities to cope effectively w>th conditions of severe stress, extreme violence, and/or ^tempted enemy surprise
Battle Skills: mission skills possessed in conjunction ^th disruption skills
Expert Ability to Fight: possessing all battle skills at levels of excellence as defined by commanding officers Drill: an assembly of one or more combat or watch teams for instruction or exercise in order to strengthen a ship’s ability to fight
Leading Combat Team: a combat team (with its team leader) assigned responsibility for planning and supervising drills involving coordinated performance by two or more teams
Underwater Hull Damage
1. Action of investigating party in determining extent and source of flooding (max. 20 pts.)
2. Action of repair party in determining and establishing flooding boundaries (max. 30 pts.)
3. Proper dissemination of information and reports (max. 10 pts.)
4. Action of repair party in controlling flooding and dewatering affected spaces:
a. Ability of damage control personnel to determine the ship’s capability to control flooding (max. 14 pts.)
b. Action of repair party in reducing flooding and dewatering the space (max. 14 pts.)
c. Ability of repair party to use pumps or drainage system (max. 6 pts.)
d. Dissemination of reports and information (max. 6 pts.)
Numerical Scores I IA III-l III-2 III-3
exactly how he will use the time.
Condition I-A for an amphibious
tive conditions (for example people don’t arrive at new stations
munications don’t work, special
► Establish a set of procedures app1
while in Condition II or III, shall Con
tion I stations be manned in the con1
information center without further
qualifications in terms of an expert (not just a “satisfactory”) ability to fight; that is, consider disruption skills in every evaluation. Mark each Condition I Qualification Card to show the team’s current level of qualification as best estimated on the basis of the most recent demonstrated performance (avoid using symbols like “S” for satisfactory, “G” for good, or “O” for outstanding, which have little to do with winning in battle). Instead, use “N” to signify qualification to perform under “normal” conditions, and “E” to signify expert, or the ability to perform under disruptive conditions—the only qualification that will really count in actual combat.
► Establish Condition I battle training goals. Next, your Condition I battle control officers should take their respective qualification cards, select those most urgently needing training, and meet with their officer and senior enlisted combat team leaders. The job of selecting which training qualifications to shoot for, and when, should entail group decision making, preferably involving every member of the ship’s company who must contribute to each qualification. (Note that getting all hands into this act could not be done without the qualification cards, and can be done most easily when the cards are visually displayed, precluding the headache of having to look through stacks of notebooks, manuals, directives, and inspection checkoff lists.) A battle skill that requires coordinated action by more than one team should never be marked higher than the lowest level of any involved team.
► Establish training goals for all high- threat readiness conditions. It is unlikely that anyone has ever decided exactly what skills should be possessed by each battle system in Condition II or III, at sea and in port. It is also unlikely that any orderly way exists to decide what each watch team is qualified to do or what each watch team’s next training goals should be. Remember, some of the worst defeats in recent U. S. naval history (Pearl Harbor, Savo Island, the attack on the USS Stark [FFG-31] in the Persian Gulf) have been suffered by ships’ crews in condition watches. Nothing has changed in more than 40 years with regard to the fleet’s grossly deficient methods of training shipboard watch teams and keeping track of results. The technique of planning battle training by using visually displayed qualification cards offers an ideal procedure to define goals and measure progress.
Planning and Conducting Battle Drills
Recall that “ability to fight” as defined in Part I denotes a crew’s ability to perform all designed battle functions under conditions of severe stress, extreme violence, and/or attempted enemy surprise. A battle skill as defined here consists of a mission skill in combination with applicable disruption skills and is normally designated by an official exercise title. A combat or watch team’s expert ability to fight will depend on its ability to perform all of the designed battle functions that involve the team.
Drills should be designed to make measurable progress, despite personnel turnover and time constraints, which sometimes cause skills to be lost faster than they can be gained or regained. Progress calls for deliberate planning, as opposed to selecting drill topics at random or on impulse, and for measuring results.
Making good use of every opportunity for drill, whether expected or unexpected, is a good beginning. For example, use a high-threat readiness condition on every occasion when you would do so in war, such as when entering or leaver port (instead of setting special sea de tails), and when mooring or unmooring- maneuvering in channels, or replenishing at sea. Further, keep the next drill alway5 planned in advance so that every teaI*j leader always has in mind beforehai^
always use drill time for drilling—'neV^ for activities that could just as well accomplished without assembling whole team or group of teams. . .
When shifting stations, aim for proficiency. A warship is at its weake^ when stations are being manned shifted, even from one watch section ^
another within the same readiness c°n tion and especially at predictable times- The following drill procedures can h<-"
to reduce this vulnerability; _
► Designate for each drill a starting c0,’t dition, a drill condition, and a securuv condition. First man the starting con tion (for example, Section 2 of Condi11® II); then shift to a drill condition (pert111" then lastly to a Securing Condition haps back to Section 3 of Condition U) a final check on stations manned.
► Walk through every shifting process each station and think about how it c°u best be performed under grossly dismt'
when so"* com
is found missing or damaged, or pe°P being relieved are found wounded or - parently dead).
by the commanding officer for shiftiajj stations. (If the ship is hit and damaA.
ders? If not, what will off-watch PL°^n do? In case of a general emergency^ port before the whole liberty section . returned, what stations will be man automatically to take the quickest ad tage of people not in the duty seed
► Whenever the drill call is sounde ^
Condition I, make it standard practice man stations on the run. .. fll)t
► Practice in the dark, with and wit ^ emergency lighting. Simulate disruP s conditions, keep track of what 8 , wrong, learn from these lessons, update the ship’s doctrine according.^
A warship should always drill _ whatever people are available. P* cancel a drill because certain peopw required elsewhere. Let absentees late battle casualties.
Backing Plate Method
y Bolt holes
1 Procure 6" x 9" top-opening vinyl sheet protectors.
2. Cut Hanging bars 3/4" x 7*/4". Drill and slot XA" from each end.
3. Prepare backing plate:
a. Drill 3/$2" bolt holes on lines 6Va" apart, vertical interval 1".
b. Insert W 4/40 panhead bolts from rear and tighten down with regular nuts. Add wingnuts about every sixth bolt to ensure secure mounting, and burr end threads on bolts to prevent loss of wingnuts.
c. Hang backing plate on bulkhead where easily seen.
4. Insert qualification cards into vinyl pockets, hang pockets on backing plate, and tighten wingnuts when cards are not in active use.
AntiShip Missile Defense
AA Gunnery (Firing)
Live AAW Exercise
Fleet Exercise Workup-CIC TM Training
Tactical AAW Combat Air Patrol/Missile Coordination
Close-in Weapon System Firing
Tactical Air Navigation System Certification
Sheet Metal Pocket Method
Cut rectangular sections 15" x 10.5" from sheet metal .025" thick. Mark to bend 9.25" from long edge. Bend each section but do not crease; leave each bend open about Va". Obtain or fabricate .5" U-channels for right and left sides.
Attach sections to side channels by fastening each section with one rivet or sheet metal screw at each side. Space sections vertically 1" apart.
Insert qualification cards (laminated or in 6 x 9" insert sheet protectors) with titles showing.
General quarters on the bridge of the USS Yorktown (CG-48) during a recent CVBG training exercise
ether the equipment available was ^eclUate for fighting. If not, act to rec- ^niend improvements. (For example; Is (ie battle dress prescribed to be worn by v^s team in this readiness condition the ,ivry best conceivable? Is required protec- 9e clothing stowed so as to be readily essible under emergency conditions ?)
. ^lake it a part of every drill to recover prepare rapidly for anything that 'ght happen next: the next target; the .,xt maneuver; the next hit. Only when ^ Preparations have been completed is e ‘action” part of the drill over. ^Before you “secure from drill.” how- (^er. assess any real damage or injuries, en act to get them fixed. Consider
Also, think about whether the spaces and materials used by the team were in good condition and properly prepared for battle. If not, make notes of what needs to be done and pass them to the right people for action. Finally, evaluate what skills were acquired and decide on the objective for the next drill opportunity and on who will plan the next drill.
Motivation to achieve is one of the most powerful human forces on earth. The strongest way to build motivation is to establish definite team goals and then to keep all hands informed of the results achieved. These are among the principal purposes of the qualification cards, the visual displays, and the strengthening of
Efforts that go into building team cohesiveness can also help to strengthen a sense of responsibility among Condition I combat teams for the condition of the equipment and the areas they man in battle (on which their lives depend) and for the condition and proficiency of people who man corresponding stations in other readiness conditions. A strong sense of team commitment means that battle station operators will often take the time and trouble on their own—for instance, during in-port duties—to monitor the condition of their battle stations and to improve their own familiarity with their combat duties. (For more discussion on the roles
of team-level goal setting and feedback in strengthening motivation to achieve, see “Shipboard Training: The Team’s the Thing!” by this author, October 1983 Proceedings.)
In order to strengthen the effectiveness of on-station drills and help build motivation, team leaders should take the following steps:
► Drill on the basic disruption skills until your team has them well learned. Figure 1 shows that true qualification in some of these skills requires that they be demonstrable under conditions specified by other disruption skills (for example, “manning and shifting” should be handled while “operating in adverse environments” and while “performing with casualties”). Team leaders, using their own “subjective” professional judgment, will decide when their respective teams’ skills are “well learned.” At any time, of course, a spot check of team qualifications can be made by the ship’s battle control officers, the executive officer, the commanding officer, or so on. The most important indication of the authenticity of a grade entered on a qualification card is the name or initials of the person making the evaluation.
►Lay out a drill program for the immediate future. Recall that each drill should comprise one element of a systematic program aimed at achieving and sustaining an expert ability to fight. The simplest way to lay out a good program- one with a coherent sense of direction— is to work directly with the visual display. Team leaders should talk with their teams and arrange the qualification cards in a reasonable order. The flexibility of the visual display will make it easy to change the program as it goes along (and there will be plenty of changes). Most important: Put the one qualification card that describes the next planned drill at the top of the display. Do not try to schedule a specific drill several weeks in advance; it never works.
► Achieve the first training goal. Plan
and conduct the drills necessary to achieve the battle capability selected as the team’s first goal.
►Evaluate the first battle skill and update the visual display. Again, the first criterion for a declaration of “ready to proceed” is always the team leader’s professional judgment, guided by that of the team’s battle control officer.
►Continue the program until your team is ready to fight. Keep track of progress and setbacks, setting new goals and attacking them, always keeping all of the team’s members involved in the thinking and planning.
►Plan every drill thoroughly. A drill plan leader (DPL), officer or enlisted, should be named by the team leader after each drill to think through, in advance, the procedures to make the next drill productive and to see to it that all necessary preparations are made beforehand. He will ensure that the drill is effective and that drill time is not wasted on activities that could just as well be accomplished off station. When a drill or exercise requires coordinated action by two or more teams, then the cognizant battle control officers must ensure coordinated planning by DPLs from all teams concerned, guided by a DPL from the leading combat team.
A drill plan need not be a written document in any formal sense. It can be entirely in the DPL’s head or scribbled in rough notes on a piece of scratch paper. In any case, it will comprise a first-class exercise in management and leadership. Following is a shotgun list of items the DPL might take into account:
1. What teams will drill together?
2. Will the drill be on station or at some instruction location?
3. Is the instruction location arranged?
4. What are the drill’s objectives?
5. What skills will be exercised?
6. Who will do the teaching? What will be needed?
7. What is the starting condition? What is the drill condition? What is the secur
8. What drill calls will be used to get people to stations?
9. If the drill condition is to be Genera Quarters or Condition II or III, vv*ult problem will be set up beforehand? Who will set it up? Is that person ready?
10. Who will observe? What materials will they need?
11. What special materials will he needed? (Examples: markerboards, leS son plans, source documents, sm°K bombs, flashlights, area markers, blind
folds, armbands, visual aids, films
projection devices, computer programs' wound moulages, stretchers, st°P watches, clipboards, writing tools.)
12. What homework or other speed preparations should be accomplished ' team members in advance?
13. How will the officer of the deck e
kept informed of the status of the
14. Should the drill be noted m plan of the day? Has this been requests
15. What arrangements are needed
make sure any interruption of ship’s is anticipated by division officers department heads?
Then, following the “secure from drill” order, the DPL should: debriet t team; find out what happened and ^ qualifications were achieved; cons with the team leader, who marks the ual display to show the current state team qualification; and suggest object1 for the next drill.
Captain Appleton is a graduate of the Naval j emy, the Naval Postgraduate School, the A ^ Forces Staff College, and the Naval War Coll'J-^i;t(.. holds a master’s degree in information systems agement and a doctorate in administrative ma ^ ment from the University of California. “<■ ^ served in battleships, cruisers, destroyers, an _ phibious force ships and has held four sea mands. Captain Appleton was the winner °f me ,.|£, cation and Training Minicontest with his a “Shipboard Training: The Team’s the Thing' L„|, lished in October 1983, and of the 1985 A^ „ Burke Essay Contest with his article, “Endg published in April 1985.
Design Doldrums: SWATH & Sea Knife
By Commander K. M. Smith, Jr., U. S. Navy
The Sea Knife triangular waterplane small craft and the small waterplane-area twin hull (SWATH) are two advanced- hull forms with severe limitations.
The key question to be considered when selecting a ship design is whether, in the aggregate, the advantages offset the limitations. High-performance ships have appropriate roles. Unfortunately,
high-performance ships, such as the Sea Knife and SWATH, tend to have narrow bands of optimum performance. Conventional ships tend to be able to adapt to a wider range of capabilities with less compromise when they are operating outside their optimum.
Sea Knife is advertised as a supercritical planing hull. Supercritical refers to
the hull form’s slow pitch resonance high-seaway encounter frequency performance in waves, compared to ventional planing boats, and the tena ’ of its advocates are its chief attrib ( Small prototypes have demonstrated ^ the hull form lives up to its b***'n®a|- pitch response at high speeds. The P ties for this sterling response, howe