War is a come-as-you-are business and because of a lack of training focus the U.S. Navy is not ready for a war that involves mines. Mine warfare has a long and tumultuous history in the U.S. Navy. From the early days of the American Revolution, when mines were regarded as “cheap contrivances,” to the modern world when less than one percent of the budget goes to mine warfare, this warfare area has often been neglected.1 This lack of interest has affected everything from technology development to process improvement.
1. Royal Bird Bradford, History of Torpedo Warfare (Newport, R.I.: U.S. Torpedo Station, 1882); Jon Rabiroff, “U.S. Military Enters New Generation of Sea Mine Warfare,” Stars and Stripes, 9 May 2011.
2. Joseph H. Alexander, Fleet Operations in a Mobile War: September 1950–June 1951 (Washington, DC: Naval Historical Center, 2001).
3. Bradford, History of Torpedo Warfare.
4. Tamara Moser Melia, Damn the Torpedoes: A Short History of U.S. Naval Mine Countermeasures, 1777–1991 (Washington, DC: Department of the Navy, Naval Historical Center, 1991).
5. B. Young, “Re: Inquiry for NPS Research Paper: Current Fleet Mine Warfare Training,” 3 August 2018.