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he publication of “. . . From the Sea” has spawned a whirlwind of debate concerning how best to exe- .. ■ cute the shift in emphasis from war at sea to joint Operations conducted from the sea. The primary task 'acing the naval force is the “expansion and capitaliza- ion” of existing expeditionary warfare capabilities. Specif- cally, the Navy and Marine Corps team is tasked with •^providing the nation with naval expeditionary forces:
"' •> Shaped for joint operations s ■ ► Operating forward, from the sea
attoral warfare is not new to the Navy; amphibious forces—here the USS Wasp i(LHD-l) steams with her ready group— lave practiced it for years. What is new is (the requirement to operate jointly, and the tevy has the tools for success at hand.
* In the littoral areas of the world Clearly, to accomplish this mission successfully, we yltiust center on the amphibious forces and the unique ca- s’ pabilities the Navy and Marine Corps team provides. The (fact is that naval forces always have had a littoral mis- bafsion; routinely practiced and executed by amphibious Pr°.forces. Our unequalled expertise in amphibious warfare has been established over decades and tested in combat. .11 It must be viewed as a perishable asset, and any reorganization must be evaluated for its impact on our ability to f’ ^ execute amphibious operations efficiently and effectively. ■)1' Such operations are a complicated synchronization of numerous events and detailed tasks requiring precise coor- c dination and on-demand availability of supporting as-
W b s. navy
sets. In an environment punctuated by jointness, those supporting forces often will cut across component lines.
The fundamental challenge, then, is to adapt the naval force to operate in a joint littoral environment by developing efficient ways for individual commanders to execute their missions in support of an overall campaign. Success in meeting this challenge requires a thorough examination of two basic questions:
> What is required to support the new focus on expeditionary warfare?
► How can the force be best shaped for expeditionary warfare in a joint littoral environment?
A Return to Basics
To structure the naval force to best embody the four required operational capabilities of expeditionary warfare— command, control, and surveillance; battlespace dominance; power projection; and force sustainment—we must focus “on a concept of war fighting consistent with the nature and theory of war and incorporating the realities of the modern battlefield.” This requires a thorough understanding of both the art and science of warfare, together with the technology to operate in and exploit the CJI2 spectrum.
Naval expeditionary forces must be trained, equipped, and organized to focus the application of decisive combat power to defeat an enemy in combat at a particular time and place of choice. They must provide the commander an advantage over his enemy in terms of both concentration of combat power and speed of application. This combination allows the commander to exploit opportunity and enemy vulnerability. FMFM 1 defines the principles of concentration and speed:
Concentration is the convergence of effort in time and space. It is the means by which we develop superiority at the decisive time and place. Concentration does not apply only to combat forces. It applies equally to all available resources: fires, aviation, the intelligence effort, logistics, and all other forms of combat support and combat service support. Similarly, concentration does not apply only to the conduct of war, but also to the preparation for war.
Speed is rapidity of action. Like concentration, speed applies to both time and space. And, like concentration, it is relative speed that matters. Speed over time is tempo—the consistent ability to operate fast. Speed over distance, or space, is velocity—the ability to move fast. Both forms are genuine sources of combat power. In other words, speed is a weapon. Superior speed allows us to seize the initiative and dictate the terms of combat, forcing the enemy to react to us. Speed provides security. It is a prerequisite for maneuver and for surprise. Moreover, speed is necessary in order to concentrate superior strength at the decisive time and place.
Everything in war is simple, but the simplest thing is difficult.
tionary warfare capabilities into the larger joint task force
—Carl von Clausewitz
sions, reduce the effectiveness of joint force multiplier-
In practical terms, the forces that fight in the joint littoral environment must be proficient in maneuver warfare. To apply the concept of maneuver warfare on and from the sea, to minimize risk and win quickly in an environment characterized by “rapid, violent, and unexpected actions,” the war-fighting organization must incorporate unity and simplicity of command. It must be flexible enough to support the joint commander’s requirement to periodically shift
the main effort at any time during the joint campaign. This depends, in turn, on fingertip control, described by Army Lieutenant General John H. Cushman in his Handbook for Joint Commanders as “an acute hands-on sensing of the moving tactical situation as it lies out there on the ground, together with the situation’s risks and opportunities.”
The disparate elements of the joint force must be functionally organized, properly equipped, and thoroughly trained—in both unit tactics and unified procedures—for the joint commander to exercise fingertip control in the direct and decisive execution of multiple missions.
There is no substitute for the intuition and experience of a commander in applying this fine degree of control, but today’s technology provides the capability to pull tactical and other source intelligence and warning information, combining it quickly with a real-time tactical picture, to gain and maintain situational awareness and communicate the commander’s intentions. In today’s joint environment, this translates to super high-frequency capability and the employment of systems such as worldwide military command and control, the joint deployable intelligence support system, and the contingency tactical air control system automated planning system.
Finally, the prospect of joint maneuver warfare does not make deliberate preplanning obsolete. Systematic, methodical mission planning, well before arrival in the area
of responsibility, is critical. In fact, preplanned action- form the foundation that allows an amphibious comman der to conduct rapid response planning successfully in tin execution of numerous special-operations-capable Marin' expeditionary unit missions.
How to Shape the Force: The Joint Approach
In addition to incorporating the basic principles disj cussed earlier, the methods used to shape the naval ex: peditionary force concept must support both the intern^ requirements of the force and the application of the total force package in a joint environment. The end state shoul| reflect a synergy between all naval and Marine forces, i well as the undiluted integration of all the naval exped
The key to achieving this synergy is jointness, and the ke!F J to jointness is componency.
Jointness cannot be realized merely by adding missions reshuffling responsibilities, or creatively modifying inter! nal organizations to execute tasks for which they were no! originally designed. This approach only further complif Su"KH cates an already difficult problem. ar>d t
For example, attempts to tailor the composite warfatffighi commander concept from an organization designed to acnava complish specialized duties—such as antiair, antisurface Tl and antisubmarine warfare—to a command relationship11^ focused on the execution of can1Then, paign-oriented missions in ajoWJ^su environment—such as forcibk I'gf entry and strike warfare—mori°rdi than likely will cause undue conoid plications and confusion. This in e*pe creased complexity will inhibi reqii the execution of supporting miS'^ajc
, ---------------------- ~- r i
and ultimately result in increased risk to the force and tb( °roa mission. Pedi
What is needed is a functional approach to force plan ^0lni ning and mission execution. If properly designed, th>- P°rt functional approach will provide the joint commander $ *!rea objective menu of force capabilities and recognized e*' *°rC| pertise. From this menu, he then can build an organize' tlexi tion through which to direct the operation as a whok ^ ii He must be able to assign missions to individual coiff at|d manders and provide those commanders the requisite sup apP port. Key to this requirement, as stated by General Cuska,r < man, is a command organization that recognizes afl^ S(!Ul accounts for the fact that “no single commander owns d'11,111 that he must employ to accomplish his mission, that ead1 b relies on assets that others direct on his behalf, and tlk! stru' each commander uses his own and his supporting asse1' ^0tl1 to assist his subordinates.” In short, the overall con' ar 1 mand organization and all component parts must clearl' and address the question, “Whom do I support and who is sup etl: porting me?” n 1
To support this functional approach, the naval exped1 „111 tionary force must arrive on the scene complete!) 116 equipped, proficient in the entire range of enabling-ford 11 tasks, and organized to accomplish specific missions seaHr e: lessly in a joint environment. The temptation to achie'1 • ,n this state of readiness through sweeping paradigm shiff> ’n
Proceedings / January
! phous operational staff will
of unity and simplicity will bond the Navy and Marine Corps team into an integrated joint fighting force.
For the amphibious forces, Joint Publication 3-02 provides basic guidelines for integrating into a joint task force. Other existing mechanisms, such as the functional component concept contained in Joint Publication 0-2 and the use of subordinate joint task force commanders as outlined in Joint Publication 5-00.2, offer options for command relationships and support for the functional approach to war-fighting organization. Discussions in joint doctrine addressing key procedural interfaces—such as amphibious operations, air tasking, and air control in a joint combat environment and joint C4I2 requirements—are equally lucid and compelling. A lack of understanding about the utility of these tools can result in multilayered and confusing procedures that violate the principles of unity and simplicity of command and ultimately invite failure.
For example, the naval force continues to plan the execution of air operations under two different systems— the Navy composite warfare commander approach and the methodology detailed in joint doctrine—but believes that the timing and execution of the transition to joint procedures will be seamless. This is not a realistic expectation. Recent Second Fleet battle group exercises using multiday planning cycles, joint message formats, and the air tasking order have shown that establishing standardized procedures that mirror joint air tasking procedures when
operating through a joint
.^result in the capability for ■ j,l< “lighting-quick reaction, co-
ordination, and planning
i- holds true only if the naval
r expeditionary force will be
^required to execute one 11 j<. major mission at a time. If,
. < however, the vision is 1 j,( broader—and the naval ex- 1 peditionary force will be required to support an overall
Committing soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines to battle carries with it an overarching responsibility: to solve the most difficult problems in the simplest manner possible, to ensure maximum survival and ultimate victory.
.joint campaign by simultaneously executing and/or supporting multiple missions, often in widely separated
.areas—then the organization of the naval expeditionary
x * force must be more flexible. The best way to achieve this
e flexibility is to highlight and capitalize on the expertise liZ*1
of individual commanders and staffs—for example, the 0>" landing force and amphibious task force commanders for
amphibious missions, the carrier air group or joint force
^ air component commander for strike, and the destroyer i squadron commander for maritime supremacy and mar-
itime interdiction operations.
5 jjj, Does all of this mean that we must completely re- • structure the roles, missions, and organization of the naval
( component of the joint force? Fortunately, it does not; a
se far better approach exists. The methodology, procedures,
3|1|, and options contained in joint doctrine—if carefully stud- ied and creatively employed—obviate the need to embark on a zero-based restructuring of the naval force. At the jj, same time, they completely support the required focus on the basic requirements discussed earlier. Joint command
and control options, capabilities, and procedures that
"P clearly define the best possible supporting and sup-
ported force relationships, that provide flexibility to the
^ . . .. . ...
e. joint force commander, and that adhere to the principles iw
Proceedings / January 1W4
force air component commander will work.
The problem of transitioning to joint procedures is particularly acute when applied to joint airspace control issues in and around an amphibious operating area or area of responsibility. A separate Navy system based on changing support situations and multiple control agencies doesn’t make sense. The use of joint air tasking formats—including daily use of the air tasking order in place of the traditional air plan— and joint airspace control procedures as detailed in Joint Publications 3-52 and 3-02 should become standard for force planners.
As the Navy and Marine Corps team refines the new direction outlined in “ . . . From the Sea,” Nathan Bedford Forrest’s simple and horrific truth of war—“War means fighting, and fighting means killing”—must not be lost amid the debate and rhetoric. Committing soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines to battle carries with it an overarching responsibility: to solve the most difficult problems in the simplest manner possible, to ensure maximum survival and ultimate victory. The tools necessary to tailor and streamline the naval expeditionary force for joint warfare are at hand. What we need now is a concerted effort to understand and employ them.
Admiral Picotte is Commander, Amphibious Group Two/Amphibious Striking Force. A graduate of the Naval War College senior course, he has commanded the USS Marathon (PG-89), the USS Alamo (LSD-33), the USS Duluth (LPD-6), and the USS Wasp (LHD-1). Admiral Picotte enlisted in the Navy in 1957.