In the aftermath of the bombing of the USS Cole (DDG-67) on 12 October 2000 and the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, the Navy significantly increased its force protection efforts. While positive changes were made, the Navy dramatically modified its approach to force protection, creating several issues which, if not addressed, will leave the Navy unprepared to meet some future potential threats. The Navy approaches force protection with an overemphasis on standardization, which, while necessary, frequently results in operations performed with a bare minimum level of proficiency. Units exercise the same tactics with only minor variations, and this homogeneity makes it easier for terrorists to plan attacks because they only have to worry about a single set of tactics, rather than tactics that vary by ship.
Professional Note - Protect the Fleet
By Lieutenant Joseph Lillie, U.S. Navy