Launch ’em!

December 2008


Greetings and welcome aboard the Naval Institute Blog. Not coincidentally, do we find its launching near the 67th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. That event forced a severe reappraisal of naval forces, both those on hand and in the pipeline, for the fight ahead. Interestingly, that fight would be carried out with a plan, a strategy if you will, drawn up years before as one of several scenarios – a fight against a near peer that some claimed would never come about (sound familiar yet?).

Therefore, my question to you dear reader is this: Quo vadis Navy? Where are we headed? What is our relevancy in the 21st Century? Are we to become a dispersed fleet of small(er) vessels furtively probing the littorals? A dwindling fleet of immensely capable but numerically inferior behemoths – the current state of the Royal Navy writ large?

We have a new(ish) Maritime Strategy – but how does our acquisition match-up? Is there linkage? Is it a strategy for the next few decades or one with a half-life of a few years? Where is the Naval Operations Concept that operationalizes the strategy and presumably adds the force structure argument that many said was lacking in that same strategy? And what of the fleet? Why in the middle of two wars are we dithering around with ethos by committee and expending manpower on uniform surveys when we cannot come up with a viable CONOPS for the next generation cruiser and destroyer? And don’t get me started on the way we are burning up flight hour life on our maritime patrol and strike fighter assets while staring at a coming train wreck in both capabilities.

Lots to discuss and debate here – that is the purpose of this forum. There are some great folks on this panel; some I knew and served with while on active duty, others I have met in person or virtually through milblogs – all bring a unique perspective and viewpoint. Me? Bio’s to the right over there and website’s here if you want to see what makes me tick. Brownshoe that I am (or rather, was), you will find that while some of my posts will focus on naval aviation, on the whole my larger bias is for the maritime services and the issues affecting them.

Over to you now – so cry havoc and let slip the pens of war…


Posted by SteelJaw in Navy, Strategy

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