Back to the Future: Staying Power and Operational Protection of the Sea Base
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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Sea Basing is becoming vitally important to the future global projection of US military power. Sea Shield in its current form and as a vision relies on a network of sensors and shooters to protect the Sea Base and becomes a critical vulnerability. While Network Centric Warfare NCW and current platform defense systems are optimized against conventional threats, they do no suitably address the seams associated with asymmetric threats. While planners attempt to develop sufficient counters to every conceivable threat, insufficient resources are devoted to increasing staying power--the ability for a platform to physically withstand a hit. No system will ever be guaranteed 100 effective and the enemy, unable to match United States military force directly, will exploit the political effect of capitalizing on a single successful attack. Such an attack may cause a temporary disruption in offensive power projection mission kill and probably a longer period of degraded operation if the Sea Base were required to move in response to the threat until the seam could be identified and adequately countered. By building into the Sea Base and other power projection ships the ability to withstand a single USS COLE size attack risk of extensive damage can be mitigated and combat power for the Combatant Commander can be preserved even in the event of a successful enemy attack. Staying power adds a foundation of risk tolerance upon which other defensive systems can be built.
- Naval Surface Warfare