The budget charts on which we try to plot the future force structure of the surface Navy are all stamped “Dangerous Ground.” We simply do not know what its size will be in the coming years. Regardless of the force structure we have, we must be able to skillfully fight our ships to meet our Title X obligation to be prepared to conduct prompt and sustained combat operations at sea. Indeed, we can expect the demand for naval forces to continue unabated, regardless of that structure, so it is more important than ever that the officers and crews of our ships be the best trained, most tactically proficient in the world. Put another way, the best place to invest is in our people.
Tactical Paradigm Shift
No matter what the future surface force might look like, the Navy first needs to invest in educating its people. The best place to start is a Naval Surface and Expeditionary Warfare Command.
By Vice Admiral Thomas H. Copeman III, U.S. Navy