The Navy’s capability to deliver long-range, accurate, naval surface fire support (NSFS) for Marines or conventional naval operations is inadequate. The millions of dollars the Navy has invested in missiles and guided projectiles has not been focused on key operational realities, both on the ground for the Marines, and at sea for the Navy.
The Navy has not provided a cost-effective alternative to expensive weapons such as the Tomahawk land attack missile (TLAM). This lack of alternative was illustrated in 2011 during Operation Odyssey Dawn in Libya when the Navy expended almost $500 million worth of TLAMs against 320 targets within 20 nautical miles (nm) of shore. Although the Navy successfully executed its tasking, it constituted inefficient and costly weapon-to-target pairing. The Navy’s limited ability to provide efficient, effective fire support from the sea is unprecedented in our nation’s history. The Navy may have silver bullets, but a smart and determined enemy will empty the Navy’s magazines quickly.