8

Implications for the Department of the Navy

A CONCEPTUAL REVOLUTION

The future naval forces will have to be transformed into leaner forces (forces that have less redundancy and that depend critically on connections among diverse system elements) having more responsiveness, reach, and capability, while simultaneously sustaining the forces needed to meet ongoing national security needs. The Department of Defense, and the Department of the Navy within it, are exploring many avenues, including resource allocation among force size, readiness, and modernization; prioritization among new system acquisitions; and competitive privatization and outsourcing of services, to make the necessary resources available. It is beyond the scope of this study to evaluate these approaches or to explore new ones. It is appropriate, however, in recognition of the difficulty of the resource issue, to comment on the implications of resource management philosophy for the naval forces' evolution over the next 35 to 40 years, and for their ability to do what will be demanded of them in the security environment described earlier in this report.

The greater demands that will be made of naval forces in the coming decades, together with the relative scarcity of resources, will require a new conceptual basis for the design of the 21st-century naval forces. New technology will open opportunities to provide those forces the capabilities described earlier, but only if the technology is applied according to the new formulation of principles for investment.

It has already been accepted in naval force planning that the forces will have to substitute capital for labor, using instrumentation, automation, and capability-multiplying technology, from computers to complex systems that need fewer



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 101
Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000-2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force 8 Implications for the Department of the Navy A CONCEPTUAL REVOLUTION The future naval forces will have to be transformed into leaner forces (forces that have less redundancy and that depend critically on connections among diverse system elements) having more responsiveness, reach, and capability, while simultaneously sustaining the forces needed to meet ongoing national security needs. The Department of Defense, and the Department of the Navy within it, are exploring many avenues, including resource allocation among force size, readiness, and modernization; prioritization among new system acquisitions; and competitive privatization and outsourcing of services, to make the necessary resources available. It is beyond the scope of this study to evaluate these approaches or to explore new ones. It is appropriate, however, in recognition of the difficulty of the resource issue, to comment on the implications of resource management philosophy for the naval forces' evolution over the next 35 to 40 years, and for their ability to do what will be demanded of them in the security environment described earlier in this report. The greater demands that will be made of naval forces in the coming decades, together with the relative scarcity of resources, will require a new conceptual basis for the design of the 21st-century naval forces. New technology will open opportunities to provide those forces the capabilities described earlier, but only if the technology is applied according to the new formulation of principles for investment. It has already been accepted in naval force planning that the forces will have to substitute capital for labor, using instrumentation, automation, and capability-multiplying technology, from computers to complex systems that need fewer

OCR for page 101
Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000-2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force people for control. In addition, most future force plans accept the need to substitute quick response, reach, and precision for numbers, by using information, speed, range, responsiveness, and weapon guidance to require fewer engagements per target and thereby allow smaller forces to accomplish military missions that have been assigned to large forces in the past. Carried further, this implies substituting efficiency, precision, and effectiveness for brute force in military operations. Information warfare and what the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) “Vision 2010” calls “dominant maneuver” and “focused logistics” will have to be used to bring U.S. naval forces to points of decision to impose their will in crisis or conflict before they can be thwarted by any opposition. Assuming timely decision making by the appropriate government authorities, being at the right place at the right time with the right tools to eliminate the opponent 's ability to fight will be far better than taking on an opponent with massive accumulations of force in areas and circumstances where the opponent has had time to build great strength. Finally, planning resource use to create the forces will require joining value with dollars in thinking about expenditures. The naval forces are already thinking in the direction of designing for smaller crews, systems needing less support, and utilization of commercial services for many functions, to get more value for the dollar. In the future, life-cycle costs rather than acquisition costs will have to govern decisions about expenditures, in recognition that reduction of system support costs will make more resources available for continual force modernization and recapitalization within given budgets. System acquisition costs will have to be viewed as investments in capability with payoff over the long term rather than as purchases of individual platforms or weapons. In this approach, “affordability” must come to mean purchasing needed value for the money the Navy Department is willing and able to spend for a capability within its allocated budget, rather than simply spending the least amount of money in any area, as the term has come to be used in many parts of the Defense Department. PAYOFFS AND VULNERABILITIES The restructured naval forces that would emerge after such changes in thinking about naval force design, and after integration of the new capabilities described in the previous chapter, would be leaner and more powerful than today's forces, and able to do more within a given budget. They would be capable of responding more rapidly to crises, a capability enabled by power projection from farther out at sea to deeper inland by a greater variety of forces. Moreover, they would be capable of accommodating their response to a wider variety of crises that may range from invasion of an ally's territory to containing and reversing the effects of civil disturbance or terrorist action that threatens U.S. interests. The restructured forces would enable a more precise focus on the critical aspects of crises requiring combat or other operations, leading to earlier success in ac-

OCR for page 101
Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000-2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force tion. This would lead, in turn, to fewer naval force and allied casualties, less damage to the forces' major platforms and fewer losses of major equipment, fewer coincidental casualties among local populations, and less collateral damage. The transformation of the forces would bring with it a revised, more flexible cost structure for the naval forces, making continual modernization easier to sustain in the face of the rapidly evolving and spreading world technology base. It is apparent that benefits in these directions would increase as the rate of evolution increases from today's naval forces to those visualized for future decades. The benefits cannot be achieved, however, without incurring some serious vulnerabilities, which will have to be dealt with. The following list describes those that will be the most difficult to deal with, along with some indications of means to mitigate their potential effects: The forces would be heavily dependent on their communications and information structure, much of it commercial. To mitigate the risk of interruption in information flow, the forces will have to practice smart usage: defensive information warfare, many redundant links via commercial as well as military systems, and antijamming and protective electronic warfare where essential. Virtually all electronics (in sensors, communications, weapons, plat forms) will continue to be vulnerable to destruction by the electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that would attend a nuclear burst, or that could be generated as part of a deliberate electronic warfare campaign. The only certain protection is in hardening the electronic circuits, a measure that has been foregone in the past in other than special circumstances because it entails substantial added costs, and that may not be justifiable for military systems or available for commercial systems for that reason. Some advanced microcircuit materials will be inherently resistant to EMP. The extent to which such materials will be used in systems that depend heavily on commercial equipment and devices is problematic. There may be some protection in the fact that commercial communications will likely be shared with opponents who have similar access in the global economy. Information systems will be subject to defeat by concealment, cover, and deception. There will be protection in multisource data input and correlation, multispectral imaging, foliage-penetrating radar, and greater use of human intelligence inputs. It will be vital for our own naval force commanders to learn and understand potential opponents' culture and habits of thinking as part of their own “kit of tools,” to gain insights into the potential directions for surprise and deception that a particular opponent may pose. Unmanned systems operating autonomously to deliver weapons could misidentify targets, causing undesirable consequences or even tragedy. There must be a doctrine and “rules of engagement” governing the operation of autonomous unmanned platforms for weapon delivery, means for monitoring their performance on missions, and intervention to prevent unwanted damage and outcomes.

OCR for page 101
Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000-2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force The “lean” organization of the future naval forces, characterized by a lack of redundancy and the need for actions relying on smooth and accurate transfer of up-to-date information, could be brittle under the fog and friction of war. Decentralized command and control, with more authority and responsibility at lower echelons of the force and more complete situational awareness and secure combat identification, can help guard against this potential fragility. Sturdy communications are the critical element in creating such safeguards. Another key problem posed by lean organizations and operations is the need for fallback positions in case plans go awry and essential force elements are not in place as expected. Nowhere will this be more critical than in the information area supporting the maintenance of situational awareness and targeting for the naval forces if some of the joint assets, such as the Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS), are not available when needed. Review of the potential condition of the naval forces in such a case shows that with the information from space to which the naval forces will have full access, advances in the capability of the E-2C system, reconnaissance pods that can be flown by fighter aircraft, UAVs that the naval forces will have and will operate, and planned communications links, there should be sufficient capability to operate effectively until the full joint system can be brought into place or reconstituted if it is interrupted. The naval forces must, however, take steps to ensure that the forces have the minimal capability needed for fully independent operations. This may require, for example, creating a simplified JSTARS-like capability to locate and identify opposing ground forces and targets, and the ability to locate any targets found with naval force assets in the common GPS grid and universal time. “Lean” forces would be postured for quick victory; an opponent might outlast them. The chief protection against such an outcome lies in the fact that more of the opposition would be engaged by more of our forces at points critical to the opposition's defeat; this should hasten that defeat. Also, in case an opponent's staying power requires rapid expansion of our forces, our forces would be better postured for expansion in appropriate directions than they are now if they embodied the new capabilities described in this report. Residual opposition forces in a conflict to secure an ally's territory might undertake guerrilla or terrorist warfare. It would be the U.S. task to help the ally deal with such an outcome expeditiously; the restructured naval forces would be better able to do that than are today's forces. The naval forces visualized for the future would be attuned to a high-technology opponent, with capabilities based on a level of technology roughly equivalent to our own; a low-technology or no-technology opponent —for example, one who communicates by non-electronic means—could pose problems the future systems would not be designed to handle. To meet this contingency, our forces will have to understand potential opponents by preparing in advance for likely areas of engagement, and appropriately training the lower-level troop com-

OCR for page 101
Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000-2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force manders who will likely be the first to encounter unexpected tactics and techniques. Our expeditionary forces will also be able to arrange for distributed area expertise on call, and to take advantage of coalition partners' knowledge of the opposition. Future naval forces will plan and train extensively with M&S in a “virtual world”; they could eventually lose touch with the real world. The only way to guard against this and still have the M&S support is to undertake continual field exercises intermixed with the simulations, preferably in a joint and combined environment, and to continually test M&S results against real-life situations and history to ensure that they do not unintentionally depart too far from reality. Extensive use of commercial support could lead to reduced military control of key support elements of the forces in time of crisis, consequently interfering with the forces' ability to perform their tasks—for example, by work stoppages or dilution and diversion of resources. This would be a national, not solely a naval force, problem. The problem was faced in World War II and resolved by special acts of Congress. For the future, too, the DOD and Congress must establish and enforce “rules of the game” appropriate to the new designs of the armed forces and their support structure. No military force or national effort using that force can be entirely free of vulnerability to opposition actions. As the notes above suggest, prudent steps can be taken to mitigate the worst effects of the vulnerabilities that would face newly designed naval forces. Such mitigation efforts must be undertaken as the new capabilities are built, as part of the system and force design, and their cost must be considered an integral part of the cost of implementing new naval force capabilities. IMPLICATIONS FOR NAVAL FORCE PLANNING The naval forces are currently shrinking. The decision to expand them will most likely be made when there appears on the horizon a substantially more serious threat to our national security than we perceive today. Judging from past history, such circumstances will not allow the luxury of extensive and time-consuming experimentation with new kinds of systems, forces, and concepts of operation. The expanded naval forces will be built on the foundation of the forces and capability that exist at the time. If modernization before that need appears remains cautious and fractionated in the budget squeeze, there will be low technical risk but a high risk of technical and operational obsolescence vis-à-vis any emerging threat. The naval forces will retain largely the same characteristics as today's forces, and the budget structure could lock in current manpower-intensive systems for a long time. Roughly today's kind of naval forces, with limited improvements and efficiencies, would continue when expansion is needed. These forces may not be well positioned to meet new kinds of threat that are likely to emerge.

OCR for page 101
Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000-2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force If the entering wedges of transformation are pursued aggressively, technical, financial, and operational risk will be higher in many areas, even though the risk could be minimized by incremental and evolutionary approaches to introduction and evaluation of major innovations. However, the new kinds of naval forces that emerge would be far better positioned to adapt and meet new kinds of threats to national security when expansion is needed. To achieve this position, early commitment to many new and challenging concepts would be required, with the risk of cost growth, delay, or failure in some of the new directions that would not be tolerated easily under stringent budget conditions. For this reason, and because such budget conditions increase the likelihood that resources would be lost to the naval forces when resources are shifted from one area of effort to another, a broad base of support is needed for the transformation throughout the Defense Department, the Executive Branch, and the Congress. Difficult and uncertain though the process and the outcome must be, the naval forces ' forward posture and potential for earliest engagement require the Department of the Navy to build that support as part of the process of naval force restructuring. AN EVOLUTIONARY APPROACH TO REVOLUTIONARY CAPABILITY Many explorations of new technical and operational directions are under way in the naval forces—in approaches to using information in warfare, in the emerging Marine Corps Operational Maneuver From the Sea doctrine and concepts of operation, in personnel management, in ships, aircraft, submarines, weapons, and their employment and logistic support, and in joint operations and usage. These new directions, which imply radical change in the future naval forces, have already begun to create the entering wedges of capability upon which future naval forces will be built. The emerging capabilities must be tested operationally in the forces and their ultimate development guided in directions that will ensure their viability. When these directions are determined, the new capabilities must then be joined with existing long-term investments in C4ISR systems, weapon systems, and platforms that will remain useful in any kind of naval force for years and decades to come, in an evolutionary approach to restructured naval forces. One such evolutionary approach is illustrated in Figure 8.1. The figure shows the decades between 2000 and 2040 during which many existing weapon systems and platforms will reach the end of their service life (ESL), and during which replacements embodying the new capabilities could enter the forces. The implementation schedule shown is not a “hard and fast” recommendation, but illustrative. It recognizes that some investments, such as those in major ships like aircraft carriers and a generation of combat aircraft, have very long service lives, and that weapon systems, like the family of attack ballistic missiles des-

OCR for page 101
Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000-2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force FIGURE 8.1 Evolutionary path to restructured naval forces.

OCR for page 101
Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000-2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force cribed previously, will take time to develop with all the technical characteristics that advance them significantly beyond today's weapon systems. Information capabilities are developing much more rapidly than platforms and weapons can be developed. Personnel and financial management that capitalizes on available technology can be changed significantly in relatively short periods of time. Successive advances in these areas can be integrated into the forces at any stage of evolution of the major hardware systems that take longer to create (where the term “hardware” refers to any durable parts of naval force systems). Conversely, the new hardware systems will be able to take advantage of the advances in the information, personnel, and management areas, and they will be designed to do so. Improvements in the logistic system would occupy an intermediate position, since although conceptual changes can be made rapidly, it will take time to implement some of the hardware and the software process changes needed. Similarly, changes in doctrine and concepts of operation will show the way to the hardware developments needed, but will also have to await the hardware availability for full implementation. The illustration demonstrates that over the time period covered by this study revolutionary change in the structure and capability of the naval forces can be achieved by a manageable evolutionary path. The resulting forces will be more capable and more adaptable to the unexpected challenges posed by an uncertain world than are today 's forces, warranting the risks entailed in starting down the pathway to such extensive change. It is difficult to see very far into the future of developing technologies. The study group has been aware that an effort like this one, undertaken at the beginning of the 20th century, would not have predicted two world wars, with one of them using many thousands of aircraft and massed amphibious landings as controlling elements, “in the next 40 years.” Nor would a study at the end of that war have foreseen in 1945 a strategic weapons balance between world powers, based on nuclear-powered submarines loaded with intercontinental-range nuclear missiles, in another third of a century. The last third of the current century has given us computer technology and space systems—both even yet of uncertain but surely large impact in the future. If that future has as many “impossible” advances waiting to appear, it surely seems wise for the Navy and Marine Corps to continue an examination of the technological future every decade or so. The members of this study have enjoyed the current exercise in this spirit.