"We Can't Afford Perfection"
(See P. J. Vincent, p. 143, May 1997 Proceedings)
Lieutenant Commander T. J. Moriarty, U.S. Navy—I commend Proceedings for publishing Lieutenant Commander Vincent's article. I am an aviator who shares the feelings that Vincent articulated—and I believe there are many officers out there with similar feelings. I wholeheartedly agree with his assertion that "the most pernicious effect of the Navy's crusade for purity is the demorilization of the officer corps." I hope this article serves as a starting point for frank and honest discussion among our senior leadership regarding this organizational dilemma.
"The Battle of the Lasting Impression"
(See S. Zimmerman, pp. 44-47, May 1997 Proceedings)
John E. Truitt—Refer to the picture on page 47 where then-Lieutenant General Walt Boomer has his arm around The Washington Post correspondent Molly Moore while standing in front of a tent. What kind of "lasting impression" is one to gather from this article, considering the Army's problems with the Aberdeen sexual harassment, the Air Force's problems with Captain Kelly Flinn, the Navy's infamous Tailhook, and so on?
Do we get a "lasting impression" that the editors of Proceedings should not have used this picture and maybe did not do their job for this specific article? Do we get a "lasting impression" that the type of behavior shown is permissible for general officers, but not for other people? Do we get the "lasting impression" that the leadership is still not sensitive to sexual harassment and doesn't recognize what photographs like this convey?
Please use a little more attention to the editorial processes of your articles. We don't need any more visual examples of improper behavior.
Eric C. Olson—I agree with Mr. Zimmerman that a better rapport must be established between the military and the media. We differ in that I believe that the media also must make efforts in that direction.
Over the years, we have been losing the excellent combat correspondents we had during World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. For the most part, the replacements do not measure up. Most media representatives have no military background; unfortunately, most do not feel the need to acquire any such background before filing their stories.
Examples abound in the nightly broadcast news:
- A news reader in Sacramento, reporting on a port call by a Mexican destroyer, referred to the ship as the "Mexican battleship." If it is a ship that does battle, it must be a battleship!
- During the recent militia standoff in West Texas, there was a mention of the "tanks" being brought in by the sheriff—which actually were armored personnel carriers.
These are not major mistakes, but we must look at the whole. I'm sure there are errors more grave than the two mentioned here. Credibility is important, and reporters must be sure of their facts. They must learn military terminology, customs, and history, to be able to understand and report on the military.
"SWOs: Who Are We?"
(See R. K. Morrison, pp. 89-90, April 1997 Proceedings)
Lieutenant Mark Vandroff, U.S. Navy—Lieutenant Morrison seems to be gripped by the same ennui that every so often descends upon the surface warfare community. One wonders how our ships ever manage to deploy, what with the pervasive sense of inferiority and self-doubt Morrison thinks is devouring our fellow ship drivers. The truly incredible part of this article, however, is not that it raises such a non-problem, but that it offers so many non-solutions.
If I understand Lieutenant Morrison's point, he feels that the SWO community has an identity crisis-that we do not know who we are, where we are going, and where we have been. Well, the best and brightest SWOs on shore duty live in OpNav's N86 department figuring out where we will go-i.e., the future size and shape of the surface force. They are not "bankers," but the most gifted middle-grade SWOs our community has. They have to take financial and budgetary constraints into consideration, but that has been true since Congress bought the first six sailing frigates that started our great Navy. It is not news to SWOs that finances affect our future. I am confident that any one of the officers in that shop would be happy to let Lieutenant Morrison know what is up with his future. In fact, considering the amount of press N86 generates in Proceedings, Surface Navy Association, and Surface Warfare, the truth is "out there" already. To see where we have been, I recommend any of the fine books of naval history published by the Naval Institute.
It is the question of "who are we?" that is most bizarre. We are who we are: ship drivers who deploy fighting ships around the world. Lieutenant Morrison worries that SWOs do not identify with their warfare pins, then ponders the possibility of giving the warfare designation out at the end of surface warfare officer school division officer course. This would clearly serve to make the pin less meaningful because it would no longer symbolize what Lieutenant Morrison believes we SWOs do value. He appears to recommend more cross-pollination during leadership training but at the same time makes the point that it is hard to teach prospective division officers leadership because of their lack of experience. Also, he does no favors to the memories of our community's greatest heroes—Burke, Spruance, Metcalf, and Flanagan—by comparing them to an officer who made it marginally easier to do the mountain of paperwork we should be getting rid of anyway. (That is not a criticism of COMPASS, the computer-aided classification and selection of Navy recruits; I use it also.) If we as SWOs start valuing pleasant-looking paperwork as much as warfighting, perhaps we are in as much of a crisis as Lieutenant Morrison predicts.
In the end I agree with Lieutenant Morrison that SWOs have much of which to be proud. We have so much, in fact, that we do not need a team telling us how fun our jobs are, and we do not need Professional Notes worrying about our collective community soul. I have a ship to get ready for deployment; I'll worry about that instead. The SWO community does not need Lieutenant Morrison to invent new things to wring our hands over; we need to go do our jobs.
"U.S. Naval Academy: Stewardship and Direction"
(See I. A. Williams, pp. 67-72, May 1997 Proceedings)
Captain William B. Hayler, U.S. Navy (Retired)—Dr. Williams has written a sweeping critique of the Naval Academy that, one gathers, he hopes is a forecast of the recommendations of the Board of Visitors. His research is impressive, but at the same time a measure of cynicism, frustration, and perhaps resentment is not difficult to detect. His views apply to a greater or less extent to all the military academies.
Dr. Williams is right when he says the military academies do not belong to their current students, faculty, or to the alumni. I agree that they belong to the American people who can make their voices heard as both Dr. Williams and I are doing. Admittedly all of us who have been closely associated with the Academy probably feel, in a sense, that it "belongs" to us. Similarly, anyone worth his salt feels that it is "his ship," "his college," "his agency," or "his company."
Dr. Williams also is correct in stating that the current administration inherited a difficult situation compounded by poor handling of the cheating scandal. Although the midshipmen aspects of this were thoroughly reported, I have read nothing about why safeguards in the academic department had not been in place to prevent this, or who was responsible that they weren't.
Dr. Williams feels that if the Commandant of Midshipmen were also a flag officer the Superintendent might more easily receive frank or freer advice. Yes, the Commandant is typically a captain, but I have never thought a captain was so junior. Four-star flag officers may be the closest thing we have to royalty in this country as the author says, but they have to go to the bathroom like everyone else, and all whom I have met are aware of it. In my plebe English class our professor once impressed on us that we should always remember that we were the social equals of the Secretary of the Navy. In other respects he made it equally clear that we were not! I would be very surprised if comments and suggestions do not flow up the line at the Academy.
Dr. Williams is a little tough on company officer selection. I was unaware that duty as a company officer was not perceived as career enhancing. The market for second-rate naval officers is poor. That is why we have selection boards. The Superintendent, be he four, three, or two stars, will ensure that he is not dealt officers-company or otherwise-from the bottom of the deck.
The author notes that some midshipmen report a high level of cynicism within the Brigade. He's right! As he says, this is not new. He mentions "Form-2 leadership." What is new to me is the 1990s term, "fry-a-thon." This represents a level of gentility not achieved in my era. We called it something quite unprintable! Yes, there are many rules, and the new graduate will find that the situation does not improve when he passes through the Main Gate. But most, if not all, are necessary. It was rare that I got a ship underway without a nagging thought that somewhere, someone might have overlooked something.
As Dr. Williams points out, there is a disparity between the smaller percentage of women at the Naval Academy as opposed to the Coast Guard Academy. There is a reason, and this will change. Billets for women in the Coast Guard were opened up long before they were in the Navy. Now that women may serve in combat vessels, the percentage will increase.
Dr. Williams has written a very thought-provoking article. Officers and civilian professors coming to the Academy should read it. The world is not perfect, and neither is the Naval Academy. But it should be as perfect as we can make it. Public discussion helps to achieve this goal.
Commander Thomas M. Kastner, U.S. Navy (Retired)—While Admiral Larson has assured us that the review commission now at work stems from his desire for a "reality check"-and his claim is not doubted-the makeup and objectives of the commission do seem to have been influenced by other considerations, as perhaps they should be. The commission members should be capable of rendering sound judgment, if not detailed attention to method, and I agree that it is essential that results be presented in full.
As a further consideration, it is suggested that the commission and the Board of Visitors consider how some of the systemic problems now being confronted were allowed to develop. Asking our academies to develop civilian as well as military leaders is probably spreading things too thinly. The requirements are not the same, and it is argued that some of our current military problems result from compromises of this sort. Indeed, I feel that the Naval Academy should be a naval institution in all respects.
The statement that the Naval Academy is particularly indebted to the Marine Corps for its culture is puzzling. My experience with both cultures found them somewhat different, with the Naval Academy biased toward the Navy.
As for ethical development, there is indeed a critical need, given the variance between the current standards of society as a whole and the time-proven needs of a military profession. Fortunately, the midshipmen are adolescent, and thus malleable. A need exists for education, both in theory and application. We can argue about the value and amount required of each, but I suggest that we should lean toward application and example.
I sympathize with Dr. Williams's complaint about an anti-intellectual attitude in the Navy. A bias exists and always has, given the nature of life on board ship. One finds the same tendency in the other services when actively engaged. Given such a tendency with a like history of conservatism, it should come as no surprise that social scientists are viewed with suspicion, particularly if they come into focus groups with counseling forms in hand (whatever that all may mean).
Yes, an anti-media ethos should be avoided and so should a pro-media ethos. A free press is an essential part of our society and we must be capable of dealing with such a press in all its aspects. This is not easily done but should never become a distraction to one's principal tasks.
The civilian faculty must indeed fully support the mission of the Naval Academy as a naval institution. Any leanings otherwise should not be accepted. Faculty members who feel they cannot stay in step should not be retained. This may present a problem to those wishing more freedom of expression than the services afford. This does not mean that legitimate complaints should not be raised. The Navy has proper channels to address criticism. And avoiding constructive criticism should not be tolerated. Admiral Larson has assured me that he has every confidence in his outstanding faculty. Let us hope his trust is well placed.
Finally, as to future leadership, one hopes that the position of superintendent will be filled far more as a matter of capability then rank. This was most certainly the case with the appointment of Admiral Larson, although I do recall some observations that the situation required a full admiral's attention. Are full admirals less prone to suggestions than vice admirals? Perhaps some social scientist would undertake to test this supposition. I suggest a survey of the wives of full admirals. I dare say they would constitute an interesting focus group.
"Russia's Navy Will Remain Strong Beyond 2000"
(See N. Polmar, pp. 64-66, March 1997 Proceedings)
EDITOR'S NOTE—Please note that the editor, and not the author, chose the incorrect title for this article.
"How Smithsonian Sells Us Short"
(See W. S. Dudley, p. 8, February 1997 Proceedings)
Spencer R. Crew, Director, National Museum of American History—Unfortunately, Dr. Dudley has relied on inaccurate information in his article. I would like to discuss these inaccuracies one by one, and take this opportunity to reiterate my commitment to military history in this museum.
Dr. Dudley states that the museum has "encouraged senior curators there to retire through buyouts...." The buyouts being referred to were offered to staff of many agencies by the federal government. Far from encouraging anyone to retire, we were saddened-personally and professionally-by the loss of our colleagues. The museum did not have the authority to encourage or discourage staff from taking these buyouts. We did have authority to ask staff to postpone the dates of their leaving-and this it did with one of the military historians.
Another statement, that "once-promised exhibit space is disappearing, with more space every year being yielded to other divisions," also is inaccurate. The space devoted to military history collections in our museum has not changed since 1985. At that time a new mezzanine gallery was added and new space was devoted to the interpretation of the Gondola Philadelphia. There also have been components of armed forces history added to other exhibits. Exhibits that opened in 1992 and 1994 on information technology (The Information Age) and science (Science in American Life) contain sections showing military accomplishments. The museum has had several temporary exhibitions on military history in our changing galleries. The military history collections are one of the best-represented collections on our floors.
During the 50th anniversary commemoration of World War II, in connection with the U.S. Army Center of Military History, the museum mounted an exhibition on the World War II G.I. The exhibition was curated by National Museum of American History personnel and U.S. Army curators. It is an example of the cooperative exhibits we have successfully undertaken with other government historical organizations. That we did not "deem it necessary to indicate that other services also were active in World War II" is not true. The museum also produced four temporary exhibits on World War II that mentioned other branches and explored experiences on the home front. A brochure invited visitors to explore nine other permanent exhibits that display World War II artifacts.
In response to the note that "academic managers have decided to search for historians to manage the collections, " the museum has, from the beginning, planned to hire a curator with historical background in American military history and technology to supply intellectual leadership, as well as someone with museum experience. The job announcement was open to all sources for more than three months and we have received more than 100 applications.
The loss of staff in the area of military history, and its reorganizations over the years, are the result of staff retirements. It was unfortunate that three curators with expertise in military history chose to retire over the past three years. The museum has lost staff in every area of expertise as the federal government has gone through several years of severe downsizing. In the last several years, we estimate that we have lost approximately 70 of our positions, approximately one fifth of our staff. The museum has dealt with the downsizing mandate by natural attrition, rather than by firing or directed reduction. We also have reorganized in order to make better use of our remaining staff: Other divisions in the museum have been hard hit, and it should be noted that the museum has lost 11 curatorial positions. Now that we are once again financially in a position to rehire, we have chosen a military history curator as the first position to be filled. We recognize the importance of military history and are committed to filling this vacancy.
I hope this serves to reassure readers about the military history hall at our museum. I can only continue to state in the strongest possible language that the National Museum of American History has a commitment to the display of military history and to hiring staff with outstanding expertise in the field to manage and direct the programs for the collections of military history.
Chief Paul H. Sayles, U.S. Naval Reserve—I read Dr. Dudley's comments with great interest. I have a longstanding interest in naval history and I was disappointed with the meager representation of our heritage at the Smithsonian when I last visited there in 1993. I write this letter, not out of anger, but out of sadness and regret tinged with hope.
I would like to take Dr. Dudley's theme a bit further, with a question: Do we really need the Smithsonian Institution to present this country's naval heritage to the public? I think not. The Naval Historical Center at the Washington Navy Yard is fully operational. We don't need to depend on the Smithsonian to carry the message of the country's naval heritage, because we already have the means and facilities-and we can do it better.
The Naval Historical Center concerns itself solely with the themes of naval heritage and history. The Smithsonian, on the other hand, has multiple missions. So rather than see the naval history section continue to be marginalized, why doesn't the Department of the Navy help by reclaiming artifacts currently on display at the Smithsonian and incorporating them into the Naval Historical Center's collection. Judging from Dr. Dudley's portrayal of the Smithsonian, they likely would welcome the space.
Rather than write to legislators to lament the loss of naval heritage at the Smithsonian, we might write to ask that what is left be transferred to the Naval Historical Center for preservation and display. And write not just Congress-but the Smithsonian as well.
"The U.S Coast Guard in Review"
(See H. B. Thorsen, pp. 103-109, May 1997 Proceedings)
Robert M. Morgenthau—The name of a Coast Guard ship was misspelled on page 106. The Morgenthau (WHEC-722) is spelled with an "e" instead of an "a," as was in the article. I note this because the ship was named after my father.
"Who Does Ground War?"
(See T. J. Hirschfeld, pp. 48-50, May 1997 Proceedings)
Colonel Allan R. Millett, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve (Retired), Mason Professor of Military History, The Ohio State University—Thomas J. Hirschfeld's recent article, "Who Does Ground War?" is poor history and even poorer policy analysis.
In the section on the U.S. Marine Corps' roles, mission, and performance, Mr. Hirschfeld betrays his superficial understanding of the development of the Fleet Marine Force. In World War II, the FMF fielded six divisions, two amphibious corps headquarters and corps troops, and four aircraft wings-not "a five-division amphibious force, with each division supported by its parallel aircraft wing."
Senior Marine officers might have preferred this sort of air-ground integration, but it did not occur until the creation of post-1945 Marine Air-Ground Task Forces.
The state of readiness of the Army and Marine Corps in June 1950 also is misrepresented in the article. Because of the importance of NATO, only the 82nd Division (Airborne) and 2d Marine Division approached wartime table of organization and equipment status. The 2d Infantry Division (Ft. Lewis, Washington) followed in combat-deployable readiness. None of the Army's four divisions in Japan was combat-ready; however, they and the 2nd Infantry Division all faced combat in Korea. The 1st Marine Division came to wartime strength in September 1950 through the transfer of part of the 2d Marine Division to Korea and the infusion of reservists-many of them veterans-into its ranks.
The Marine Corps certainly had more than one division of "fight" in 1950 (not less), but it was split between two active duty divisions. When the Korean War ended there were not "almost ten divisions . . . on the line," as reported in the article. There were exactly six (the 2nd, 3rd, 7th, 40th, and 45th Infantry Divisions and the 1st Marine Division) U.S. divisions.
Mr. Hirschfeld goes on to use the crisis data of Blechman and Kaplan's Force Without War to prove that the Army and Marine Corps have shared Cold War expeditionary duty, which is true.
However, the article provides no discussion of the following critical factors:
- What was the likelihood that the deployment would require forcible entry (combat)?
- How much time elapsed between the commitment decision and the arrival of U.S. forces?
- How rapidly did the forces reach the required force levels and readiness indicated by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Commander-in-Chief?
- Which force deployed as an integrated air-ground task force with appropriate prior training?
The Hirschfeld proposal that we divide contingency missions by various levels of violence, force size, or geographic lines and parcel them out either to the Army or the Marine Corps makes no more sense than it did when it was proposed by Generals Eisenhower and Bradley in 1946-47.
Although inter-service interoperability is to be applauded and supported, planners should be sensitive to the fact that the Army and the Marine Corps have complementary capabilities that are based on different and demanding ways of traveling and fighting-and are not mirror image land armies. We should let the Marine Corps get there "fustest" and the Army ensure that we fight with "the mostest."
"Lest We Forget"
(See E. Wertheim, p. 127, March 1997 Proceedings)
Captain T. G. Dennen, U.S. Navy (Retired)—The article on the USS Rinehart (DE-196) contains information on the SS Pierre Victory that apparently is in error. The Pierre Victory was a U.S. Marcomtype VC2-AP3 operated for the then-War Shipping Administration by the United States Lines Co. of New York. It was commanded by Captain Nelson F. Garland, and I was the executive officer.
The vessel loaded out of Port Hueneme, California, in late September 1945 for Wake Island, arriving there in early October. After discharging without incident at Wake Island, the Pierre Victory returned to San Francisco, arriving 29 November 1945.
The vessel then returned to the East Coast and was operated from New York with material and supplies for U.N.R.R.A. for North European ports.
I was detached from the Pierre Victory on 7 March 1946. The vessel was transferred shortly thereafter for operation by Black Diamond Steamship Corp. of New York and continued in North European trading, and was ultimately transferred to Belgian registry and owners sometime in 1948.
I do not know the ultimate end of this vessel, but she has without doubt long since gone to scrapping. However, I do know without a doubt that she did not fetch up on a coral reef at Wake Island, as reported in the article.
"Don't Forget the Spruances"
(See D. Haas, pp. 37-40, February 1997 Proceedings)
Lieutenant Commander John M. Pollin, U.S. Navy, Executive Officer, USS Deyo (DD-989)—While I agree with Lieutenant Hass's argument for engineering, damage control and combat systems upgrades, we must consider some more subtle limitations of the Spruance (DD-963)-class in relation to the capabilities of Aegis warships. Some serious Spruance-class limitations include:
Lack of robust on-board training capabilities. A fundamental of the Aegis combat system always has been the Aegis combat training system (ACTS) and the superb associated ACTS scenarios. Visionary commanding officers quickly create their combat system training teams early in the ship's life. This allows them an efficient way to run preplanned tactical scenarios, and to create scenarios to war-game upcoming missions. Most important, they can maximize training not just for combat information center operators, but for all combat systems technicians and operators.
There is no ashore training command that has stewardship over tactical training for Spruances. There is no dedicated onboard computer-as there is for the Arleigh Burke class-for running scenario tapes. In fact, to put the combat system into a training mode in the Spruance, the combat system training team (CSTT) leaders must selectively sacrifice the use of tactical portions of their combat systems. Spruances are not capable of achieving fully integrated tactical and technical training.
Lack of a dedicated combat system maintenance central (CSMC). Aegis warships are designed to support the combat system with a CSMC that houses a vast technical library, diagnostic computer systems, and internal communications systems linking CSMC to individual weapons systems supervisors throughout the ship. No analogous space or support system exists on the Spruance. In fact, their combat systems operating sequencing system (CSOSS) itself is far more limited-and less supported by the technical community-than the Aegis CSOSS; and there is no dedicated backup CSMC.
Lack of a systems test officer billet. Aegis manning provides for a system test officer (STO), in addition to an electronics material officer (EMO), in the combat systems department. The STO has the capability, knowledge, and authority to schedule and coordinate shipwide integrated testing of weapons and electronic systems. This helps ensure the constant readiness of the combat system.
Lack of a combat systems maintenance manager course. This course is available to senior enlisted combat systems personnel and EMO/STOs in the Aegis community. It is carefully tailored to particular baselines, and offers a detailed technical curriculum, focusing on the integration of the Aegis combat system. A similar course is being explored for the non-Aegis community. It would be a excellent addition to the Navy's schoolhouse.
Casualty response time and reconfiguration potential. The Spruance never was designed with the computer capability to restore from casualties as fast as, or perform the computer reconfiguration as Aegis. Therefore, what may be a relatively minor system flaw to Aegis may equate to driving an entire warfare area suite off-line in the Spruance.
Combat information center (CIC) layout. Perhaps the most important difference between the two ships is this unalterable reality: the Aegis CIC was designed to support integrated operations and warfare commanders. The general layout and positions of watchstanders in both the Aegis destroyer and cruiser adequately support multiwarfare operations and force warfare requirements. This is completely the opposite of the Spruance layout, in which multiwarfare situational awareness is impossible. The ship can not reasonably support an embarked warfare commander, particularly if we expect him to fulfill the developing sea combat coordinator role. Lack of display systems, poorly positioned status boards and external communications handsets, absence of any automated status boards, a limited external communications suite, and antiquated sound-powered and internal-communications circuits guarantee that tacticians in the Spruance CIC are blind anywhere beyond simple single-mission tasking.
The firepower of the Spruance destroyers must be respected. Single-mission tasking, such as undersea warfare or Tomahawk strikes, can be answered by the Spruance comfortably and professionally. But fiscal realities and the understanding of what the ship was originally built to do must not be lost in our enthusiasm to rebuild it.
"Attitude—It Can Make or Break You"
(See C. Headline, pp. 25-27, May 1997 Proceedings)
Chief Petty Officer M. M. Jacobs, U.S. Naval Reserve (Retired)—Bravo Zulu to Electronics Technician Headline for a great letter. It's impressive that this young petty officer has such maturity and the ability to express it so well. I think this offers good advice for anyone, young or old, in the military or out.
Handicaps and life's difficulties notwithstanding, to a great extent, we do make our own beds. The sooner we learn and accept this, the more we can do with our lives. Congratulations, and keep up the good work!
"Time for Real Reform"
(See M. E. Butcher, pp. 54-56, April 1997 Proceedings)
Lieutenant Commander Greg McGiffney, U.S. Naval Reserve—Captain Butcher has struck a nerve on at least one issue-the consolidation of type commands and reinventing the Commander-in-Chief U.S. Fleet. With the Navy consolidating its training commands and reducing its number of ships, there does not appear to be any reason to keep up the physical structure of type commanders on each coast. Furthermore, unifying these commands is a good idea, because it will unify training and give the numbered fleets some commonality that will help alleviate misunderstandings in fleet operations. Having one policy flow from the top also is important, in that it streamlines reporting and also allows for greater access to "Lessons Learned."
Where Captain Butcher misses the mark is in his perception of how and why the Navy is "top heavy" and of areas where naval personnel can be reduced. First, the number of admirals in the fleet (over and above the type-commander setup) is really dictated by Congress—and by extension, the American people. Recently, the Goldwater-Nichols Act, through its stringent requirements, put the onus on the Navy to develop more flag officers to handle these new joint billets.
Furthermore, the amount of accountability and responsibility of each flag officer is probably as high as it has ever been. The Navy has more per capita firepower and dollars per man invested than it ever has before. Weapon systems and warships are more complex and costly than ever. From what I can tell, Congress has deemed it necessary to keep a high level of flag officer accountability overall, and has given an appropriate amount of responsibility to each officer, even though the total number of ships may be far less than it was at the height of World War II. Because of these factors, I would not necessarily deem the number of admirals to be excessive.
Historically, there are other reasons for increasing the number of flag officers. In 1939, the ratio of flag officers to ships was lower than today's, but that level eventually was seen as unacceptable. At that time, much of the senior leadership was in need of a shakeup, and a major overhaul of flag-level leadership eventually ensued. Today, naval forces are deployed in high-visibility areas of the world, at higher levels than 1939 and before. Also, in 1939 there were no joint staffs to speak of.
In addition, Captain Butcher mentions several areas over which he believes the Navy should consider eliminating its control. Outsourcing some of these functions might be cost effective, but the Navy would have a difficult time outsourcing others. If the Navy does not perform these functions, some other federal entity would have to pay, probably at higher personnel costs (as seen in the disparity between military and civilian sector pay), thereby eliminating any possible budgetary savings to which Captain Butcher alludes. A few examples follow:
Medical. Would making this an entirely civilian function eliminate the need for the specific study and discipline of military medicine? Do civilian doctors have the same degree of training in this area as Navy doctors? Which of these civilians would be deployable to a war zone? And are not most of our medical personnel reservists anyway? Recalling the problems in activating reservists successfully during the Gulf War, would conscripting civilian medical personnel be any easier? My opinion is that totally outsourcing this function would dramatically decrease readiness-and we already have an active cost-effective program in the Naval Reserve.
JAG. As any Commanding Officer knows, there are significant differences in the administration of law as it related to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Can we rely on a cadre of civilian lawyers alone to represent the Navy and individual members in this context? When is the last time a civilian lawyer had to deal with Captain's Mast or court-martial proceedings? Totally outsourcing this function would do the Navy a great disservice.
Fleet Support. Many of these functions are already performed by civilians and contractors. Again, we must look at outsourcing this function as a net federal cost savings. With the present disparity between military and civilian pay, would this really create a significant savings in the infrastructure budget?
The final major question that needs to be answered in considering these changes is that if we are to have a deployment-ready force, would use of civilian assets be deemed acceptable in time of conflict in forward-deployed areas?
There probably are some areas in which the Navy should privatize or outsource. But this has to be examined as a total net federal cost savings-more than a Department of Defense issue. We need to use reserve forces to a greater extent to be more cost-effective, and not simply hire more civilians, only to bloat the federal budget in other areas. Just shifting around pots of money will not bring any more deficit relief than we already have attained in the post-Cold War era.
"Waltzing with the Russian Bear"
(See D. L. Pilling and D. Connell, pp. 61-63, March 1997 Proceedings)
Lieutenant Commander Bob Kennedy, U.S. Navy, former Executive Officer of the USS Boone (FFG-28) —Admiral Pilling's recounting of the exchange with Sixth Fleet forces and the Admiral Kuznetsov battle group is not quite complete. As typical with many encounters at sea such as this one, the carrier and cruisers get the fame, yet when the Russians entered the Mediterranean, it was a mighty guided-missile frigate that first factored prominently into the scenario.
The Boone had been operating in the Adriatic with NATO and Sixth Fleet forces since September 1995 as a member of the America (CV-66) battle group. In the first week of 1996, the Boone headed for Tunis for a bilateral naval exercise with the Tunisian navy. En Route the ship was tasked to proceed to the Gulf of Hammamet to provide a ready helicopter flight deck for Admiral Pilling's visit to the Kuznetzov, which he mentions in his article. This was the first Sixth Fleet ship encounter with the Russian group. Upon completion of the exercise the Boone sailed to the east coast of Tunisia to arrange a passing exercise and VIP visit with the Kuznetzov group. During this event, the Boone's captain, operations officer, and air department officer were flown to the Kuznetzov on a Russian Helix helicopter and given an hour-long tour of the ship. Meanwhile, a Russian delegation that included an admiral and four captains visited our ship and received a similar VIP tour from my chief engineer and me.
The visits were followed by a multiship maneuvering exercise whose details had been discussed during the visit by the ship's commanding officer and was closely choreographed by the Russians. This passing exercise served as a dress rehearsal for the subsequent similar exchange with the Monterey (CG-61). The Boone's commanding officer was presented a hand-drawn copy of the maneuvering scheme produced by Russian draftsmen that had been signed by the CO of the Kuznetzov. Upon completion of the maneuvering exercise, tokens of appreciation were exchanged in the Boone wardroom and the Russian delegation departed. Finally, as we headed east to join a Sixth Fleet exercise, the ship was treated with an air show performed by a single Flanker aircraft from the Kuznetzov. The Russian group also headed east to rendezvous with the America and the Monterey. It was a historic exchange between old adversaries and the highlight of the deployment for the Boone.
"A Poor Man's A-Bomb"
(See H. L. Buchanan, pp. 83-86, April 1997 Proceedings)
Captain Larry Seaquist, U.S. Navy (Retired), Chairman and CEO, The Strategy Group—For the sake of the lives of some of our future sailors, let us hope articles of the quality of that by Captain Buchanan soon move into the ranks of "must-read" pieces.
Captain Buchanan provides an unusually clear survey of the biological threat and the technical challenges to dealing with it. The risks of biological warfare are usually couched in such horrific terms that most of us simply refuse to think about it-either dismissing the scenarios of mass death and societal paralysis as overblown, or accepting them as something like a comet strike: impossible to do anything about.
Captain Buchanan's calm, technical walk through the threat and possible defenses bears rereading by everyone going in harm's way these days. In the biological warfare case, that pertains to all of us, everywhere. But as universal as it is, there are still some special risks for sailors.
A couple of points made by Captain Buchanan have some important implication for the deployed fleet. One comes from the ambiguities of biological warfare. Who did it? When? And with what agent?
As the Japanese learned not too long ago, even something as simple as a clumsy chemical agent attack on Tokyo subway passengers leads to enormous uncertainty about who ordered and executed the attack. Unlike being shot with a bullet or a missile, where we normally know who did it and which way to shoot back, it is quite likely that in the case of such an attack, retaliatory attacks never will be launched by a chain of command that cannot be sure who attacked one of our ships. Unable to present a certainty of retaliation, our ability to deter that attack diminished.
Therein lies the political leverage of a biological warfare ambush: high impact, high visibility, low risk.
As Captain Buchanan makes clear, the technicalities of biological agents, detection systems, and protective measures add up to offense dominance. It is much easier to attack than to be attacked. Since we are by morality and law always going to be playing defense only, biological warfare defensive readiness automatically becomes a top fleet priority-or so one would think.
Unfortunately, as every Proceedings reader with recent experience in the fleet knows, our current, day-to-day biological warfare defensive readiness is near zero. In Washington, there is lots of talk on the topic and a fair amount of research-and-development spending, but outside the Beltway readiness is draining away, as schools are cut and command attention is pushed in other directions. One of the side effects of the removal of tactical-nuclear-weapon capabilities from the operating fleet has been the near-cessation of rigorous training in general decontamination and monitoring procedures.
Captain Buchanan has some hopeful news about future detection and protection technologies. But he also warns that the "bugs" race is two-sided. Ever more lethal and confounding agents are coming at us.
For the foreseeable future, the key to countering this serious here-and-now menace lies, as it always does, with the ability of our crews to do the best they can with' what they have.
I urge all those going to sea today to invest some training and inspection time on basic biological warfare readiness. It is a nasty world out there-and we are very, very vulnerable.
"The Silent Service Must Communicate"
(See K. Hart, pp. 75-77, February 1997; S. Kurak, pp. 23-24, May 1997 Proceedings)
Captain Gary J. Graupmann, U.S. Navy, Submarine Communications Program Office—Lieutenant Commander Kurak took on the acquisition establishment with the lament common to all fleet operators: "I don't get my stuff fast enough." As program manager for the Submarine Communications Program in the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, the buck stops with me.
Unfortunately, readers interested in how the industry/government acquisition team is doing in providing solutions to the command and control, combat control, and information management challenges faced by today's submarine force must go much further than anecdotal deficiencies. The common thread of "the fleet thinks up all the solutions, the systems command folks can't deliver," does not do justice to all the things that are going in the right direction, including:
Changes in equipment and concepts of operation mark the silent service as silent no longer, but fully engaged members of the deployed battle force.
Initiatives such as the Joint Maritime Communications System and the Global Command and Control System-Maritime put Navy and submarine communications at the forefront of designing the open and rapidly upgradable systems that will remain at the state of the practice.
Partnerships and integrated teams formed among the CinC staffs, the type commander staffs, the fleet operators, the OpNav sponsors, the Systems Commands (both Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command and the Naval Sea Systems Command), and industry improve feedback and have reduced development and delivery cycle times.
Okay, Graupmann, things are getting better, but what about all the things Kurak said were wrong? As is true with any deckplate complaint, there is an element of truth in what he said. Smart sailors can do just about anything given a challenge. Singular solutions do provide short-term satisfaction, but often do not provide all the baggage that must come with a certified system that I am constrained by law to provide. The spare parts, on-board training, and completed technical and operational testing all need time and money.
Acquisition reforms have removed many impediments in the contracting process, streamlined the time needed to define and validate program requirements, and have removed needless specifications and standards, thereby cutting down on the artificial limits placed on innovative industrial solutions.
But acquisition reform has not been able to defeat two inexorable truths:
Information technology and information management possibilities are changing at such a rate that developing coherent program strategies many times becomes a tail chase. An information technology generation is about 18 months long. By the time you get your Pentium 150 MHz desktop machine tweaked just the way you like it, the 200 MHz Pentium Pro/MMX machine is on the dealers' shelves. Today's delight is tomorrow's deficiency.
When funding is constrained, decisions based on warfighting priorities must be made. In the area of modernization to support needs, it is especially troublesome when improved systems are left unfielded because of higher priority systems. There never will be enough maintenance funds to do everything our Sailors and Marines need.
Careful stewardship of government resources demands strategic planning and thoughtful execution of program sponsor-directed priorities. The program manager, however, must be equally adept at recognizing when a fundamental program strategy shift is required in response to changing needs or available solutions. Today's information control, management, distribution, and exploitation demand a continual review of how, when, why-and why not.
The simple fact is that the acquisition system is still not agile enough to get inside the ever-present technology obsolescence cycle. With limited resources and given different assumptions, points of view, and priorities, I offer that it is inevitable that some operators will not have all their needs met when they expect and instead will solve the problem for themselves. When these singular solutions have promise, they should be incorporated and put on all ships and aircraft.
So what am I going to do about being placed on report by one of my clients? I'm going to thank him for letting me know I'm not getting all of my job done, and I'm going to make sure he knows that he is part of the team as well. He is fully able to write, call, fax, or even pony express me with his newest set of action items. I haven't stopped listening.
Character and Choices
Barbara M. Wolcott—Lieutenant Kelly Flinn is a symbol of the times, but whether she is saint or sinner depends on how respectful one is for other cultures. Cultures like the civilian press and the military function together or clash depending on respect.
Every member of the military has been a civilian, but not every civilian has been in the service, leaving the military to carry the burden of understanding. Civilians need to balance the status quo by increasing their understanding and respect of the military.
In American folklore, only cowboys and the military have remained true to principles. People admire them as honest, upright and constant. That 60 Minutes can admire a woman for choosing love above honor and duty is inconsistent with principled men and women, and ignores military discipline. Responsibility isn't always convenient. The measure of the person often lies in how they resolve problems.
Lieutenant Flinn blamed the Air Force for a lack of equity, but there are no cafeteria choices in responsibility in the military oath. Making bad decisions based on poorly placed trust, and acting on bad advice, do not constitute extenuating circumstance. Lieutenant Flinn said she lied because she thought the truth would destroy her career. The truth did not destroy her career, Lieutenant Flinn did it when she flaunted the Uniform Code of Military Justice, lied about it, and disobeyed an order. Cowboys and the military maintain exalted status because of character. They are a cut above the rest not only because they take their responsibilities seriously, they extend it beyond themselves to the service of others.
Had Lieutenant Flinn advanced to command, she would have been trusted to enforce laws she had defied. She traded character for comfort, discarding years of hard work in ground-breaking opportunities, disillusioning many who looked to her as model and abdicated her honor.
The Seventh Annapolis Seminar
(See R. Seamon, p. 14, June 1997 Proceedings)
Rear Admiral Ned Hogan, U.S. Navy (Retired)—I had tried for a seat on the ethics panel at the Naval Institute's 123rd Annual Meeting and Seventh Annapolis Seminar, but I fear I am classified as what John Allen Williams described (pp. 6772, May 1997 Proceedings) as one of the "messengers of troublesome opinions, however unwelcome the opinions or annoying the messengers, [who] should be encouraged rather than shot." And, while I was not given a seat at the ethics table, I was not shot and was encouraged to attend. I came to get an update on current Navy policies related to the only issue that matters in today's defense debate—what Jim Webb has termed "The War on the Military Culture."
The seminar featured addresses by the Commandant of the Marine Corps and the Chief of Naval Operations and panels that focused on Vietnam 1965-1975: How Could We Lose?; Ethics without Exception; and Covering Today's Navy: Turning Around the Bad News. The theme of the culture war was not featured in these presentations. However, the seminar took place against the ominous backdrop of the Aberdeen sex trials-which have generated belated notice by the mainstream media of the consequences of the egalitarian and feminist victories in the cultural battles and social experiments of the last several decades. Jim Webb has correctly articulated this situation as the "demasculinization of the military." Of particular note was Richard Cohen's commentary ("Duty, Gender, Country") in The Washington Post (24 April 1997): "In some ways, the military has become the most politically correct institution in the country." As a result, the voices from the audience caused the seminar to address, albeit peripherally, the question as posed by the Cohen column: Why are ". . . the brass and the civilian leadership . . . attempting the impossible-a fight not against a few bad men but against a more formidable foe: human nature?"
My issues were given a hearing, but because of time limitations on the number of questions from the floor, the responses were incomplete and troublesome-and a few of my questions went unanswered. Until the following questions are addressed, however, the policies now in place will and should be subject to doubt and pessimism:
To Secretary William Perry: The Clinton administration has taken great pride in and credit for expanding billets available to women volunteers for our armed forces by some 200,000 spaces. Fundamental to this expansion is the assignment of America's mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives to combat roles and placing them in forward-deployed units and in harm's way against any and all potential enemies. What ethical paradigm and associated principles justify such a dramatic and radical shift in the traditional values and mores of American society? As the top-ranking defense official and architect of this policy, why do you personally think the policy you advocated is right for America? Do you believe that American women have the obligation to defend our country, and that all citizens, male and female, should register for the draft?
To Professor Nancy Sherman: The Naval Academy has established an Ethics Chair, of which you are the first occupant, and has implemented a program of character development and ethics reaching across the curriculum. This effort takes the responsibility for the ethical indoctrination and training of the Brigade of Midshipmen away from the uniformed chain of command and charter a civilian political appointee to supervise the process. What ethical paradigm underpins this concept? Whose ethics are being taught-Jim Webb's or Bill Clinton's? Can we expect to see this concept adopted Navy-wide? This program appears to be the culmination of a political and cultural agenda resulting from the Tailhook episode, which was defined by then-Assistant Secretary of the Navy Barbara Pope as "weeding out the white male as norm." How does the concept, which you espouse, of "ethics without exception" view this blatant politicization and demasculinization of the Navy?
A dichotomy of principles between services was also manifest at the seminar. General Chuck Krulak and General Carl Mundy made it very clear that the ethos and heritage of the Marine Corps are sovereign, and that roles and missions are primary when the issue of gender integration is under consideration-no compromise of principle to accommodate affirmative action in response to feminist initiatives. Women Marines can fill a number of roles in humanitarian and peacekeeping missions but will not be integrated into the Marine rifle squads in direct combat operations. On the other hand, the message from Admiral Jay Johnson and Admiral Charles Larson was just the opposite: the Navy will make heroic efforts to integrate women into all combatant roles, including SEALs and submarines. The message was that it can be done and the Navy will do it, no matter what the effect on roles and missions. Common sense be damned; the Navy will send America's mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives into combat against all comers.
The verse in the Marine Corps Hymn, "If the Army or the Navy ever come to Heaven's scene; they will find the streets are guarded by United States Marines" was never more appropriate. The Marines are standing tall in defense of the Military culture and heritage against the onslaught of radical feminism. Hopefully the Navy will join them in placing ethos over expediency.
As a back bencher I have no vote, but as a concerned citizen and naval person I have a responsibility to comment on policies that I believe are wrong. The current Navy leadership continues to insist that we are on course. My questions are what is the destination, what navigational principles are sovereign, and whose compass is giving direction?
Cheryl Bly Chester—Reports are that Secretary of Defense William Cohen is pressuring the Air Force to reverse its findings on the June 1996 truck bombing at U.S. military housing in Saudi Arabia. Last December, when Cohen still sat on the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), the Air Force found that-given the available intelligence-Brigadier General Terryl Schwalier had taken reasonable precautions against potential threats. Apparently, the Secretary now wants a different conclusion.
This reflects a "zero-defect" approach to leadership. It demands perfection in foresight, decisions, and results at all times. In addition to the formulation of warfighting planning and contingencies, military leaders now must deal with the increasing threat of saboteurs and terrorists. In this tempest of scandals, our country has decided that it also is crucial for our military leaders to foresee what will become the "politically correct" standard. All of this must be done within tight funding and mission constraints.
Second-guessing official investigative findings will undermine both the credibility and morale of the Air Force. It is a bad habit that the SASC has developed. Secretary Cohen's actions indicate that he has not made the transition from adversarial watchdog to the advocate of the military that his new role demands.
If the Air Force capitulates to political pressure and crucifies General Schwalier, it will begin a perilous slide down the same slippery slope traveled by the Navy. Introducing political pressures to legal processes inappropriately influences the direction of an investigation. For example, the Navy's findings on Tailhook 91 were not popular with those civilian leaders who had banked on different conclusions. Political pressures forced a reinvestigation that assumed witch-hunt proportions.
General Schwalier's promotion is being delayed pending the results of yet another review of the bombing. Secretary Cohen wants to hold someone responsible. It's obvious who is to blame-terrorists! They parked 20,000 pounds of explosives at the fence and ran. What additional precautions the general should have taken, if any, are highly debatable.
Because he lacks military service, Secretary Cohen was not appointed Secretary of Defense to contribute strategic or tactical wisdom to a President also wanting of military service. Is Cohen qualified to second-guess technical investigations, or is this simply political maneuvering in the name of military decisions? If we take out one of our generals every time an enemy bomb hits its mark, how many bombs will it take to decimate our leadership? I'm sure the terrorists can do the math.
Secretary Cohen was appointed to facilitate bipartisan cooperation in further tightening the military's budget. Do nonmilitary budgeters realize the repercussions of their defense cuts and spending allocations? Budget cutting decreases the flexibility our military leaders have to provide for and protect their personnel. Military leaders are then punished for not doing more with less.
One criticism of the general's actions is that he failed to request "emergency" financing to have housing windows safety coated to reduce shrapnel if shattered. General Schwalier had to choose between safety coating windows and other exigent needs for his people and to carry out the mission.
Defense spending cuts aren't only about money. Funding bears directly on the well-being and combat readiness of people serving in the military, which in turn affects their ability to carry out missions directed by civilian leaders. The reason those windows were not safety coated is because the administration has wound the funding screws so tightly on the military that it takes extraordinary measures to get such things done. Will our civilian leaders be held to the same zero-defect standard? Now that we think safety coating windows might have saved lives, has the SASC freed up emergency funds to have it installed on all windows at military installations-because they are all possible terrorist targets?
General Schwalier did not have the benefit of hindsight, but Secretary Cohen does. If Cohen is willing to destroy an outstanding officer's career over this failure, he and the SASC bear responsibility for applying the lesson learned. Safety coating all those windows costs money. What will he sacrifice in exchange? If another installation is bombed before safety coating is installed, will the Secretary and the SASC resign for failure to implement this recognized safety measure? If they do not select safety coating as an urgently necessary expenditure, how can they possibly General Schwalier at fault for coming to the same conclusion? The SASC has developed a significant undercurrent of contempt for the uniformed military that former Senator and now Secretary Cohen must discard. His new role is not to squelch but to support defense. The Secretary of Defense must be the highest advocate for a confident, combat-ready, highly motivated, and well-supplied military. And if Secretary Cohen expects zero-defect leadership, he will be well challenged to meet that standard himself.
"Does Maritime Patrol Have a Future?"
(See S. Jasper, pp. 74-77, April 1997 Proceedings)
Commander Frank V. Klein, U.S. Navy—Kudos to Commander Jasper! His article makes a very strong case that the requirement for maritime surveillance will not go away, regardless of which platforms are tasked to eventually meet that requirement.
Admiral William Owens's "system of systems" concept has significant implications for the traditional maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) surveillance mission. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) eventually will be capable of performing some surveillance tasks presently done by MPA. Commander Jasper provides an excellent vision of the complementary-not redundant-roles UAVs and MPA can have as parts of the "system of systems" in future warfighting scenarios.
He correctly points out that MPA provide more to the warfighter than just surveillance. In the future conflict scenario he describes, MPA's ability to employ weapons as well as to conduct surveillance and targeting reflect the true contribution aircraft like the P-3 Orion make.
Looking beyond Commander Jasper's scenario shows other areas where a dedicated MPA or MPX follow-on most effectively meets mission requirements:
Forward Presence. Today's 12squadron active duty MPA force structure maintains continual deployment to each of the four non-ConUS theater commanders-in-chief. Whether a carrier battle group is present or not, MPA assets remain in theater meeting the day-to-day mission needs. P-3 aircraft offer a subtle but tangible reminder of U.S. presence and commitment when visiting foreign countries for bilateral maritime exercises, search and rescue efforts, or other purposes. During a recent deployment, a single P-3 squadron had seven of its eight aircraft in seven different countries in a single day-a demonstration of MPA versatility. In crisis response, support to operations as recent as those in Liberia, Zaire, and Albania underscore the rapid redeployment and flexible mission capability of MPA.
Operations Other Than War (OOTW). OOTW have become a major tasking for forward-deployed forces. MPA currently contribute to every one of these operations as a natural result of its longrange, rapid-response, and independent operations capabilities. The need for this capability in such future missions will still exist, if not increase.
Commander Jasper notes the maritime superiority and force protection tasks comprising the maritime patrol mission and MPA/MPX utility to meet these tasks in a resource-constrained environment. Any decision on a future maritime patrol capability also must assess protection needs of operational concepts for mobile offshore bases, joint logistics over the shore, over the horizon amphibious assault, and what resources are available.
This decision must additionally consider exploiting MPA capability to accomplish other missions. For example, MPA's traditional ability to detect and identify submarines might apply to similar challenges in the weapons of mass destruction counter proliferation role. Likewise, if shore-based antiship missile batteries pose a threat, would a theater CinC consider using MPA equipped with standoff optics and the Standoff Land Attack Missile as a quick reaction littoral strike asset? Such a platform would potentially be capable of autonomous standoff detection, classification, attack, and damage assessment.
Commander Jasper poses an important question. What should be done about maritime patrol? The three options he presents deserve careful study. His mission area analysis suggests an MPX follow-on to the P-3 as the most flexible option in a future warfighting scenario. Add to that analysis assessment of the forward presence and operations other than war missions carried out by today's MPA-ones that will not go away in the future-and the MPX option becomes cost effective as well. When capability assessments in sea superiority, littoral warfare, overseas presence, ISR, counter proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and other areas are considered, planners will make the right decision.
"IT21-Moving to the Third Stage"
(See A. Clemins, pp. 51-54, May 1997 Proceedings)
Commander Ronald Hawkins, U.S. Naval Reserve—Admiral Clemins argues that in order to reach the "third stage" of technological development, the Navy "must build a system to industry standards, using commercial off-the-shelf technology, devoid of stovepipes, in a client-server environment that allows the 'pull' of just what information is needed in a way that is seamless to the user in the field." He then makes a number of compelling arguments for building a system with just such attributes. But the implied implementation details of the system, or lack thereof, is where his article falls short.
Admiral Clemins states that under IT21, tactical and non-tactical applications and activities must be merged on a single, personal computer (PC)-based system. While it makes intuitive sense that operations should be more efficient on a single combined platform, the fact is, tactical and non-tactical applications frequently have very different requirements and design considerations leading to fundamental differences in system implementation. Tactical applications typically embody aspects of high availability, real-time computing, where near continuous operation over long periods of time and deterministic response to outside events are basic requirements. Whereas users of non-tactical applications typically can tolerate the occasional glitch, a system lock-up in the midst of a tactical scenario could spell disaster. Tactical applications also often require interfaces to specialized hardware components such as communications and weapons processors and control systems that, by nature, employ real-time, embedded operating systems. While the Defense Department should be (and is) pushing hard for industry standards to construct such interfaces, this is an aspect of application development that is not likely to be solved entirely by corporate computing applications. More thought is required as to how the IT-21 approach accommodates high availability, real-time computing and interfaces to embedded weapons and control systems.
It is also noted that the overall user community for commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) IT products is much larger than DoD. This means that such large vendors such as Microsoft will not tailor product development to the needs of DoD. This means that the Defense Department must accept a least-common-denominator approach to "go COTS," or cultivate a crop of third-party vendors that tailor applications to the DoD vertical market.
The article alludes to the Navy's heterogeneous communications environment that includes terrestrial (wireline and wireless) and space-based communications. Because the average corporate computing environment is much more limited in scope, the current generation of commercial applications have not addressed the use of very efficient communications protocols designed to conserve such scarce communications resources as satellite transponder channels. For example, the ubiquitous file transfer protocol is a hugely inefficient, point-to-point method of transferring files that does not support broadcasting (one-to-all) or multicasting (one-to-many) file transfer, or asymmetrical communications links. As the use of satellite and terrestrial wireless networks in corporate computing has blossomed over the last several years, industry is only just now beginning to address these issues. On the use of e-mail for tactical communications, it is not clear that industry has or is addressing the performance and scalability of commercial e-mail packages in a stressed communications environment. Surely, in a tactical scenario where hundreds, if not thousands, of e-mail communications are flying, the Navy wants to ensure that flash messages, for example, are correctly routed and received within the required timeframe and seen by the operator. The IT-21 approach to accommodating the specialized considerations of the Navy and DoD communications architecture needs greater explanation.
The article states the need for a clientserver environment, but only addresses the client-side as being a "windows-based PC . . . using off-the-shelf software, such as Microsoft Office." The server aspect of the client-server architecture, which presumably will provide the heavy application processing, database support, and other key infrastructure functions of IT-21, arguably is more important and represents a larger capital investment than the client-side. It should be addressed in greater detail in the IT-21 approach. Another incongruous fact is that Microsoft Office, while an outstanding office automation, is not a client-server application. It is a "fat client" set of applications the consume an incredible amount of computer resources. As has been documented in numerous industry studies, the fat client approach results in greater expense on the desktop and higher operations and maintenance costs over the system life cycle. This realization has spawned the trend in "network computing." The network computer (NC) concept employs a less expensive, "thin client" computer and relegates the bulk of application processing to servers which support many NCs. The NC provides a "universal user interface" which is generally being conceptualized as a web browser or some derivation thereof. The suite of World Wide Web standards such as hyper text markup language and hyper text transfer protocol are used as the means of interchanging data and communicating between clients and servers. The beauty of this approach is that it is independent of hardware platforms and operating systems, meaning that DoD need not buy solely from the Microsoft-Intel juggernaut, as implied in the article. This in turn could mean greater flexibility and potential cost savings for DoD agencies. It is interesting to note that vendors are now providing browser-based interfaces for low-level hardware devices such as network routers, evidence of the trend that the web browser is being adopted as a ubiquitous user interface.
I concur that the Navy should be able to fight and run the ship from a single system. However, I would argue that the implementation of this theme is not necessarily the Intel-based PC running one of Microsoft's operating systems. Rather, the single system should provide a consistent, operating system independent, user interface deployed on a single, desktop "appliance." These desktop appliances that will provide the user interface for "fighting and running the ship" should be networked to purpose-specific application servers, which could be PCs, high availability, multiprocessor UNIX systems, or real-time, embedded control systems, depending on the requirements of the tactical or non-tactical applications they are supporting.
While the concepts espoused for the IT-21 strategy make perfect sense for the Navy's IT environment, the implementation approach implied in the article needs another review and further development.
"Goldwater-Nichols: Where Have Ten Years Taken Us?"
(See R. Previdi, pp. 14-16, May 1997 Proceedings)
Lieutenant David L. Teska, U.S. Coast Guard Reserve—Although I found Robert Previdi's commentary thoughtful in the issues it raised, I do have a problem with one of his conclusions. He stated that General Shalikashvili "set a very dangerous precedent in 1994, when he called the media to defend President Bill Clinton. . ."
I don't believe General Shalikashvili went beyond the scope of his position as chairman. First, by accepting the position of chairman, he is honor bound to defend his Commander-in-Chief. Factionalism has no place among our government and military for or against our elected officials. Leave that for the politicians.
Second, Mr. Clinton has been legally elected twice by the American people. No matter what some people think, all of us in uniform must support and defend our President and our Constitution, regardless of our personal political beliefs.
"Battling Battery Boats"
(See W. J. Holland, pp. 30-33, June 1997 Proceedings)
Lieutenant Commander Marion Klingler, U.S. Navy—Rear Admiral Holland's article on the limitations of diesel submarines is one of the most balanced and well-written treatises on the subject I have read in a long time. As he points out, one diesel submarine with a well-trained crew can wreak havoc on opposing forces.
Imagine the impact on the British Falkland Islands invasion fleet if the Argentinian submarine San Luis had not (quite literally) had its wires crossed in its firecontrol system, and had had been able to execute successful torpedo attacks. As it was, British ASW crews were driven to exhaustion in their unsuccessful attempts to find the lone diesel submarine.
As Admiral Holland stresses, well-trained ASW teams are needed to successfully battle a similarly well-trained diesel submarine. With this in mind, perhaps the U.S. Navy would be well served to procure a small number of modern diesel submarines for training purposes. No matter how sophisticated ASW exercises are, a nuclear-powered submarine cannot effectively simulate a diesel boat. Its handling characteristics, sound signature, and active sonar cross-section are vastly different. Officers driving nuclear submarines rely on the advantages of high speed and endurance that nuclear power affords. Their judgments on how to maneuver their ship into an attack position or in evading ASW forces are not tempered by decisions involving battery capacity. During exercises, one can place restraints on things such as evasion speed, but these are true artificialities. Nuclear submariners don't drive their boats like diesel submarines because they are not trained to do so. The bottom line is the only thing that can realistically simulate a diesel submarine is a diesel submarine.
U.S. ASW forces need modern diesel-powered submarines in the hands of well-trained crews to provide effective training. The first "hands-on" experience an ASW operator has with an actual diesel submarine should not be when he or she is forward deployed. There has been a renewed emphasis on anti-diesel ASW, and great strides have been made. This has been done by using every opportunity to practice ASW against the diesel boats of our allies, and using our own nuclear submarines simulating diesels. However, since the late 1980s, the United States has not had diesel boats of its own to practice this craft.
The prospect of procuring diesel submarines has been brought up several times in the past and defeated for budgetary reasons. Nuclear submariners have argued that diesel submarines' limited endurance makes them far less effective than their nuclear counterparts. This remains true as long as we need our Navy to be forward deployed. I propose the United States procure a limited number of diesel-powered submarines for training purposes only. That way, U.S. ASW crews can get realistic training. In this time of limited global threat, the United States should afford nothing less than the realism a diesel submarine provides.