“We’ve spent a lot of time over the past years playing defense,” Rear Adm. Ronald Boxall, director of surface warfare, said at the West 2019 conference here. “Waiting for them to come to you, waiting for the missile to come, for the airplane to come. The best defense is a good offense, and the idea that we will go after the threat — at range — is something that we have to be able to do.”
Welcome to the blog, Adm. Boxall. Of course, you could and should have had this epiphany long ago – all you had to do was be a regular reader of this blog (see, "Offensive Aegis"). Still, better late than never.
The Navy may have also latched onto one of our pet concepts and that is heavy weight torpedoes on surface ships (see, "Surface Ship Torpedoes"). It’s unclear from the statement below whether Adm. Davidson is referencing surface ship torpedo armament or just subs. Either way, torpedo development is a very worthwhile effort.
Indo-Pacific Command chief Adm. Phillip Davidson … added that he is most interested in innovations in heavy-weight torpedo technology which can “provide force-multiplying effects that currently do not exist, including long-range in-port or at-sea attack and shallow water covert mine laying.”
We’ve also harped on the need for more frequent, extensive, and realistic training (see, "Train To Fail") and the Navy may be starting to come around.
The Navy has already instituted new training methods for its submarine commanders to ensure they’re more combat ready, and “we have shifted underway periods to be high-end combat operations. Instead of doing a lot of peacetime, shallow water [maneuvers] and ISR stuff, it’s all about combat.”
Unfortunately, the submarine commanders don’t actually know anything about combat because they’re the ones that have spent their careers “doing a lot of peacetime” stuff because the Navy forgot its reason for being. Still, it’s a step in the right direction.
(1)Breaking Defense website, “No More ‘Playing Defense’ For US Navy; Offensive Weapons Are The Play”, Paul McLeary, 14-Feb-2019,https://breakingdefense.com/2019/02/no-more-playing-defense-for-us-navy-offensive-weapons-are-the-play/