Underway in 2022! Who knows what’s in store for the year? Another COVID-19 variant, or three? A Russian invasion of Ukraine? A continued Chinese naval buildup, for sure. A big change coming for Proceedings this year will be a swap of the International Navies issue (normally March) and the annual Naval Review (normally May).
The Naval Review was once its own publication, but it was folded into Proceedings in the 1980s as the May issue. That was long before the launch of USNI News, which now covers Sea Service news and developments as they happen. So, instead of rehashing the previous year five months into the new one, we are going to put the Review in the March issue and include more analysis of the previous year (what it all meant) and less recap of the year’s events.
January is our surface warfare–focused issue, timed with the Surface Navy Association (SNA) symposium. This year’s SNA event will be hybrid—live in Crystal City and also broadcast to a virtual audience, 11–13 January. USNI News and the Proceedings podcast teams will be there in person. One topic that will undoubtedly be discussed is ship maintenance—and there are three outstanding articles on that topic in this issue. The first is “Adjust Shipyard Command and Control Structure to Solve Maintenance Delays,” by Captain Kavon “Hak” Hakimzadeh, U.S. Navy. Hak has taken three ships through extended shipyard availabilities in his career. Coming at the problem from a different perspective are three junior officers, Lieutenant (j.g.) Artem Sherbinin, U.S. Navy, Captain Richard Kuzma, U.S. Army, and Lieutenant Thomas Wester, U.S. Navy. Their “Better, Faster, Cheaper Ship Maintenance Now!” looks at ways to collect ship system data and use technology to better track wear-and-tear and predict necessary maintenance. In “Forward Battle Damage Repair Keeps Ships in the Fight”, Navy Commander Trevor Prouty recounts World War II expeditionary repairs at Ulithi Atoll and argues similar capabilities will be needed in the next great power war. Check out the photo of the World War II destroyer USS Selfridge and imagine what it took to get that ship back into action!
For almost all my time as a Naval Academy midshipman (1983–87), John Lehman was the Secretary of the Navy. If anyone had told Midshipman Hamblet he would someday get to work directly with Secretary Lehman on a project he would have said, “Not likely.” But this month I had the privilege of being Secretary Lehman’s editor for his contribution to the American Sea Power Project. We asked him how the Navy recovered and rebuilt following the Vietnam War to be the dominant Navy in the world. “Getting Back on Top: How to Rebuild the Navy” is his answer, and it contains actionable advice for the Department of the Navy today.
Finally, retired Navy Captain Gerry Roncolato—a surface warfare officer himself—calls on lessons from the First Naval Battle of Guadalcanal in “A Warfighting Imperative: Back to Basics for the Navy” to remind us that “the mission may require a decision to act, even though that action might result in the death of self, crew, and ship or aircraft.” It is a hard-edged, must-read piece.
Until next month, thanks for continuing to read and support Proceedings!