Small combatants have always existed in America’s Navy; from the gunboats of the Revolutionary War to the patrol craft (PCs) standing watch in the Arabian Gulf, they have allowed larger ships to operate out to sea. Captain Joseph Naman, the commander of Destroyer Squadron 50, stated that the “numbers of DDGs we have out here have declined over the past year. [PCs] are picking up a lot of the missions they were doing.”1 In an earlier essay, I argued for the need for a future small surface combatant.2 By looking back on how the motor torpedo boats (MTBs) were used in the various theaters of operations during World War II, the best missions and methods can be derived for operating a modern counterpart. By specifically focusing on the South China Sea, I will show how missile patrol boats (MPBs) could further the U.S.
Guerrillas of the Sea
A small combatant force should be resurrected for use in the South China Sea.
By Lieutenant John Goff, U.S. Navy