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Thursday, October 26, 2017

U.S. Navy and Marines: It's Payloads, Not Platforms (Again)

A flat spot on a deck and an ampphibious ship becomes a missile platform capable of supporting operations ashore, as set in this PACOM and Expiditionary Group 3 press release

Anchorage Conducts High Mobility Artillery Rocket System Shoot during DB17 by PO3 Abigail Rader:
U.S. Navy Photo by PO2 Matthew Dickinson
The High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) was fired from the flight deck of the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage (LPD 23) during Dawn Blitz 2017, Oct. 22.

The HIMARS is a weapons system made up of the M142, five-ton chassis vehicle and can carry either a launcher pod of six rockets or one MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS).

It enables Marines to engage targets within minutes after firing and features an advanced targeting system that strikes with an extremely high accuracy rate. The system also features a greater range than traditional artillery, allowing smaller units to cover a larger area.

The demonstration on Anchorage consisted of HIMARS engaging a land-based target with a Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System Unitary (GMLRS-U).

“We had two training objectives for today’s shoot,” said Army Maj. Adam Ropelewski, I Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), lead planner for sea-based expeditionary fires. "The first training objective was demonstrating this capability, and second, we wanted to have good effects on the target. We achieved both objectives. We destroyed the target at 70 kilometers while at sea."

Developing sea-based fires alternatives such as the HIMARS afloat and proving them to be effective provides an opportunity for our Navy and Marine Corps team to evaluate, refine, and improve processes to be ready for the future fight.

“In an environment where we are operating in contested waters, we are finding a way to be able to support the land force with deeper strike capabilities,” said Capt. AJ Kowaleuski, an artillery officer with I MEF.

This ability provides flexibility while the Navy and Marine Corps are supporting each other in combined operations.

This portion of Dawn Blitz validated the commander’s ability to integrate HIMARS with ships to conduct a sea-based strike.

“What we demonstrated not only was its capability, but we further demonstrated capabilities from the blue-green team and Amphibious Force Three,” said Ropelewski. “They performed very well, and were able to come together and work hard to make the mission successful.”

While offered up in a slightly different context, this post from 9 years ago is relevant about getting creative in doing what our Navy is supposed to do or so it seems to me. I've edited it slightly:
Ain't no need for a Navy if it can't do the job.

If you don't have the resources, send a couple of fleet lieutenants and some crusty old
The "Whatever It Takes" Fleet
chiefs on a mission to "kludge" the pirates. (insert "build a strong enough presence force")

Don't send a "clean hands" Lieutenant - send that guy who hates the bureaucracy and his buddy.

The kind of LT who uses cans of coffee to smooth shipyard wheels- if you get my drift. (Here's another hint - if he offers to do a Power Point presentation- he's the wrong guy...)

Send a supply guy along with a check book and a willingness to stretch a few rules. Don't ask too many questions, just tell them to "stop the d*mn pirates!" (insert "payloads, not plaforms")

They''ll find a way.

If they ask, tell the Washington crowd that operational conditions mandate "thinking outside the box." Or, perhaps, tell them you are :
Leveraging the littoral best practices for a paradigm breaking six-sigma best business case in the global commons, rightsizing the core values supporting our mission statement via the 5-vector model.
To steal a phrase.

Deterring lightly armed pirates in small boat (insert "bullies") is not that tough. But you have to quit thinking like a cruiser skipper and start thinking like a pirate. If I were a pirate (insert "bully") I would hate to see lots of armed fast support vessels escorting ships (insert "hanging around/training local forces").

Of course, I reckon duty on "pirate patrol" in the escort  (insert "the micro") fleet I envision probably won't punch the important SWO tickets. It would just get the job done, unlike tying up a half dozen expensive gray hulls watching a captured ship from a safe distance.

And it would help the Navy do its mission of keeping those sea lanes open. You know that mission from the new Maritime Strategy that Charlie Dragonette quoted:
"The creation and maintenance of security at sea is essential to mitigating threats short of war, including piracy."

See also Department of Crazy Ideas: How about a cheap inshore fleet?, Psst.Psst. Wanna Distribute Your Lethality on the Cheap?, A Blast from the Past - Department of The Expendable Ship Division : "How to Make the Navy Bigger, Sooner, Cheaper" Revisited, CHEAPER CORVETTES: COOP AND STUFT LIKE THAT, Micro Force: Small Combatants for the Littorals

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:06 PM

    I was in the early part of the article when I thought that it was finally nice to see somebody doing some "Eagle Speak" thinking, and there you had added an updated version of your post from all those years ago. Thanks