General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. USMC
Commandant of the Marine Corps

Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, USN
Chief of Naval Operations

Admiral Paul F. Zukunft, USCG
Commandant of the Coast Guard

Moderated by:

Admiral James Stavridis, USN (Ret.)
Chair of the Board of Directors, U.S. Naval Institute

America must reform its military doctrine and its force posture. We have drifted away from the kind of war that Americans support and can afford. We have failed to keep pace with change in global political, economic, and military reality. The prospects for the use of nuclear weapons have changed faster than our thinking about them. Uses of non-nuclear military force in the last half-century have taught us some very expensive lessons about the misuse of force. Our past mistakes and the changing nature of nuclear war need to be taken to heart. A domestic dimension of national security threat… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Steve F. Kime in Policy, Strategy | 

Good people can disagree and there are different opinions about the source cause, but our record on the national level of the last few decades has been spotty at best. Tactically, we have no peer. Sure, we often force our way through our mistakes through superior firepower, but that is why it is there. On the Tactical level though, we’re pretty darn good. On the Operational level, considering the adjustments for things done to be in line with Strategic/POLMIL D&G, we have been OK. Feh to meh OK. I say this as a former Operational Planner, our system is clunky… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by CDRSalamander in Foreign Policy, Policy, Strategy | 

The Gaps in our Fleet

October 2015



If you have not yet had the chance to catch up on what will be the Royal Navy’s next surface combatant, the Type 26 frigate, there is no finer place to go than to our friends at ThinkDefence. They have the history of the program and its capabilities well covered. You owe it to yourself to spend some time reading the links. In catching up, there were two things that came to mind about the ship and its program. Both point to two large gaps we have in our fleet that a program such as the Type 26 would have been a… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by CDRSalamander in Navy | 
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SOUTH CHINA SEA (May 11, 2015) The littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) conducts patrols in international waters of the South China Sea near the Spratly Islands as the People's Liberation Army-Navy [PLA(N)] guided-missile frigate Yancheng (FFG 546) transits close behind. (U.S. Navy photo)

The United States has defended the freedom of the sea for decades and has been willing to use force to ensure that freedom of navigation in accordance with international law is not restricted. There is currently an intense debate over what the US Navy should do in response to Chinese land-building in the South China Sea. While China has declared these new islands, built upon reefs and atolls that previously never broke the surface at low tide to be their territory, and have been since “ancient times,” the status of the waters within 12 nautical miles does not qualify as… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by LT James Billings in Foreign Policy, Hard Power, Navy, Soft Power, Strategy | 

Lost at Sea

October 2015



When a cargo ship casts off its lines and sets sail towards distant lands and men of strange speech, it vanishes from society’s collective memory and drifts into our unconscious like a dream. So rarely do we think about ships underway that it seems only headlines like “tragedy at sea” reaffirm their existence.[1] But the ships are out there, beyond the visible horizon delivering our oil, our clothes, our cars, and our phones. Ninety percent of trade is delivered by ships. There are over one hundred thousand ships at sea carrying everything we need to live.[2] And on those ships… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by LT Alex Smith in Merchant Marine, Navy | 

Recommend Low Vis Calls

October 2015



The Chief of Naval Air Forces has been roundly pilloried in the last 24 hours by the military blogging establishment. The conspiracy theories about a recent E-mail he sent to Naval Aviation leadership are at a high warble. You can read about them here and here. OK. The ship is still in Case I, but it’s a little hazy out there. Before we do irreparable damage to our collective reputation, make a call to Tower. Let us say what we mean, and mean what we say. Consider what we know: Air Boss sent a message–a “PFOR”–to leaders in Naval Aviation…. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Roger Misso in Aviation, Navy, Policy | 
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This week gave another example why some concepts should give all navalists pause – things such as “1,000 Ship Navy,” “Cooperative Maritime Partnership,” or the rather curious hope a few years ago that the USN does not need frigates, but if we do, we can simply have our allies supply them. When interesting yet repeatedly debunked theory drift towards policy, you have a problem. Allies are good – yet most look best at peace and on paper. One must, however, be very careful. For every British ally in OIF, and RC(S), there are the Belgians at the Kabul airport, and the 3rd and… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by CDRSalamander in Hard Power, History, Strategy | 
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GULF OF OMAN (Dec. 14, 2013) Capt. Sara Joyner, commander, Carrier Air Wing 3, of Hoopers Island, Md.; and Lt. Cmdr. Eddy DePuy, of Tallahassee, Fla., exit an E-2C Hawkeye, assigned to the ÒSeahawksÓ of Airborne Early Warning Squadron 126, on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). Harry S. Truman, flagship for the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group, is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, supporting theater security cooperation efforts and supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Karl Anderson/Released)

Today, the Aviation Major Command Screen Board (AMCSB) convenes in Millington, Tennessee. It is the annual gathering to determine the future of Naval Aviation’s most promising leaders, and plays a large role in setting the strategic direction of our enterprise. As we alluded to in our August 2015 Proceedings article “On Becoming CAG,” the fates of aspiring leaders were determined years prior to this week. FITREPs, joint jobs, and other career assignments funnel COs into competitive tracks for leadership positions, including Carrier Air Wing Commander, or CAG. However, as the current AMCSB convenes, one troubling trend remains: Naval Aviation has… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by LT Roger Misso, LT Vic Allen, & LT Victoria Marum in Aviation, Navy, Policy, Proceedings, Strategy, Tactics, Training & Education | 
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A Woman of Substance

October 2015



As my father let me know early on in my life, the most important decision a man can make is the woman he marries. It wasn’t until I was much older, and well in to my own marriage, that I realized how true his observation was. While all relationships have their own dynamic, there are some who are a benchmark – a spouse who match the greatness of the man they helped make. They are the scaffold all else was built around. If someone is about to join another on a journey with a spouse that is serving, Sybil Stockdale is… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by CDRSalamander in Aviation, Navy | 
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Please join us at 5pm (Eastern) on 11 Oct 15 for Midrats Episode 301: Confessions of a Major Program Manager, w/ CAPT Mark Vandroff, USN: One man’s chore is another man’s hobby. Another man’s dread, is the other’s fantasy. Such, in a fashion, is Program Management in the Navy. To be a good one, step one is to be self-aware. From his latest article in USNI’s Proceedings, Confessions of a Major Program Manager, Captain Mark Vandroff, USN just lays it out; “Face it: Everyone hates MPMs. For the budget-conscious officials in the Pentagon, our products are never cheap enough. For… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Mark Tempest in Innovation, Navy, Training & Education | 
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