Embrace Afloat Forward Staging
As global turmoil escalates, the United States must increase its ability to respond rapidly to emerging crises. Positioning amphibious warships near areas of instability is a proven solution, but there are not enough of these ships available to meet the demand for persistent, sea-based presence. The amphibious fleet struggles to fill its training and operational requirements, and there is little chance of acquiring additional amphibious warships under current fiscal constraints.
Since limitations on defense spending likely will continue, a cost-effective alternative for helping address amphibious presence shortfalls is the afloat forward-staging base (AFSB). AFSBs can stage, transport, or sustain forces at sea in key locations.