Friday, January 15, 2016

Well, What Do You Know?!

USNI News website has an article reporting on comments made by Adm. Phillip Davidson, Commander Fleet Forces Command.  Here’s a sampling.

“The Navy should prepare its forces for specific geographies and threat environments they may face, rather than for a generic “anti-access/area-denial environment.”

“Adm. Phil Davidson said at the annual Surface Navy Association national symposium that the fleet faces several potential adversaries, each with their own tactics to limit U.S. Navy sea control, and that fleet training and preparation ought to address each specifically.”

Well, I guess that kind of craps all over the generic AirSea Battle concept.  It also, indirectly, faults the generic approach to countering our enemies by countering their technology alone.  That trend was the basis for so much, done so poorly, for so long, by Navy leadership and which has resulted in generic platforms that aren’t anywhere near as useful as they could be (I’m looking at you, F-35 and LCS).

“Davidson said that two-thirds to three-quarters of the platforms in today’s Navy will still be in the fleet 10 years from now. Since new planes and ships won’t be the solution to combating the varying tactics of potential adversaries, Davidson said training would be important. He emphasized the need to boost the complexity of pre-deployment training events …”

Well, what do you know?  What has ComNavOps harped on repeatedly for the last few years?  Training, more training, realistic training, and training – plus training.  And also tactics.  The simplistic, set-piece exercises that have passed for tactical training for years are worse than useless because they instill a sense of competence that combat will show is completely unfounded.  Now, apparently, the Navy has finally woken up to the pathetic state of training and readiness that permeates the fleet.

Welcome aboard Adm. Davidson.  I guess you haven’t been reading this blog, huh?  If you had, you’d have come to this stunning realization that complex, realistic training is vital a long time ago.  Still, better late than never, I guess, to have your “Come to ComNavOps” moment.

Is this movement due to CNO Richardson’s influence?  I’ve been markedly unimpressed with him so far but if this is his doing then I’ll give him full marks.  We’ll have to wait and see.


(1)USNI News, “Fleet Forces: Navy Should Train to Specific Threat Sets, Environments”, Megan Eckstein, January 14, 2016,


  1. Yes, training + ships + aircraft + weapons systems = readiness; however, my limited observation leads me to believe the U.S. Navy has been falling too far behind the power curve for the last 25+ years, but I look forward to improvements if the political climate changes. All the best from new Navy blogger -- -- and retired LT/LDO/JAGC: Robert T. (Tim) Davis. I hope you and your visitors will visit my blog every now then; make sure I stay on course.

  2. The training might also highlight what gaps we have in weapons systems too.

    On top of all that, I'd give up a couple of new 'Burkes or 20 LCS or so to take AEGIS, put it on a hull with VLS, maybe upgrade an old 'Burke. Then do an honest to God live fire exercise with the thing remoted and in automatic mode.

    *that* will let us know how good it is. *that* will let us know what we need to change/improve in shipbuilding.

  3. I don't believe that the US and China will inevitably head to war, nor do I believe that the Chinese even want war (China seems to want natural resources and Taiwan more than anything else right now).

    However, time is not on the US side. I think that China has made some pretty impressive relative gains on the military front.

    The latest is that China has begun landing aircraft on their small islands.

    The other is that they are testing carriers:

    Baby steps sure, but given the rate of progress, I would not say they are going to stay that way. It's a whole different ballgame to operate with a deck of aircraft, but they're getting there.

    The real question to me is the military value of aircraft carriers, as the costs illustrate.

    Finally, there's the economic front. Although China has experienced a economic slowdown as of late due to a speculative crash, I think is more likely to be a blip than anything else.

  4. NAVSEA Admiral :

    We need more subs

    1. Thanks for the link. I take this kind of plea with a lot of doubt. The Navy's answer to everything is a plea for more money. At no time does the Navy ever attempt serious cost containment. I have very little sympathy for the Navy. Further, with all the lying they do to get what they want, I have severe doubts when I read that more subs are required. Are they really? If so, the Navy needs to make the case, not just whine.

      In short, I think the Navy has all the money they need. They're just not spending it wisely. Want more money? Cancel the worthless LCS for starters. I just did a post on what programs the Navy could cancel and how much money they could save.

  5. Looks like misplaced priorities to me.............
    What are the potential game changing naval platforms?
    How effective are the navy's ASW & MIW capabilities ?
    Platforms like the LCS/frigate or the DDG1000 are expensive targets which are test beds.

    looks like ASW should be a priority for our navy.


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