Sea Basing: Persistent Power Projection in the Face of the Naval Mine Threat
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
Pagination or Media Count:
Sea Basing is a viable concept for the projection of joint forces, even in the presence of a naval mine threat. Operation IRAQI FREEDOM shows that the United States will not always be able to rely on host nation support and basing. Sea Basing offers an alternative to basing forces ashore in host nations. A Sea Base is inherently joint, and less vulnerable to attack than land-based forces. Despite the relative security of Sea Basing, area access denial weapons can threaten the Sea Base. Primary among these threats are naval mines. The widespread proliferation and simplicity of mines make them an ideal weapon for a weak coastal state. The U.S. Navy has a checkered past with respect to mine warfare, but ongoing innovations have potential to improve mine countermeasures throughout the fleet. To counter the mine threat, commanders can attempt to prevent mines from being laid, avoid laid mines, clear the mines, or choose to operate in mined waters after assessing the risk. Prevention of minelaying requires permissive ROE, and persistent ISR. Avoiding mines requires persistent ISR. Mine clearance requires a significant amount of time. Naval planners and JFCs should continue to pursue the development of Sea Basing capabilities. By ensuring future expeditionary forces are compatible with Sea Basing, and improving the organic MCM capability of naval forces, commanders and force planners can greatly improve the flexibility of joint power projection.
- Land Mine Warfare