Coastal warfare and harbor defense in U.S. Navy practice have come a long way, evolving from an organization of units tasked with protecting U.S. ports, harbors, and coastlines. Now we have a composite Navy and Coast Guard maritime defense organization capable of conducting coastal warfare and harbor defense as an element of expeditionary littoral warfare, based on operational principles refined through real and exercise operations. Today, the U.S. Naval Coastal Warfare (NCW) program and community are undergoing significant additional evolution that will further improve capabilities.
Although a basic discussion of NCW doctrine can be found in two primary publications—Joint Publication No. 3-10 (Rear Area Operations) and Naval Warfare Publication 3-10 (Naval Coastal Warfare Doctrine)1—NCW operational and tactical procedures have yet to be promulgated in any official medium.2 On the other hand, a number of existing publications do address tactical operations that certainly fall under NCW,3 and a number of NCW component organizations and units have standard operating procedures.4