Accession Number:



Access: The Wildcard in EMW

Descriptive Note:

Research paper

Corporate Author:


Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



The anti-access threat of sea-based mines must be neutralized if the United States is to conduct Expeditionary Maneuver Warfare EMW. As the overseas bases of the United States continue to close, Naval expeditionary forces carry the burden of providing rapid crisis response to the nation. The ability of the Navy to project power allows other forces time to deploy as the situation dictates. The Marine Corps, as part of the expeditionary force, utilizes the EMW concept to project a strong showing of power. For EMW to be successful, freedom of movement must be present in the sea, in the air, and on land. If access to operate freely in any of these areas is denied to U.S. forces, it will hinder our ability to respond rapidly to any crisis. As the most visible symbol of U.S. presence, naval ships are expected to become primary targets for anti-access strategies. The use of naval mines by an enemy is cheap, deadly, and readily available. In the past, the Navy neglected to pursue and develop countermeasures against mines, but the loss of two ships during the Gulf War prompted action. Currently, the Navy has an established Mine Warfare Command to coordinate mine countermeasure MCM operations. Unfortunately, the success of this command is tempered by the slow reaction speed, use of overt systems, and deliberate nature of MCM operations. Technology has improved several MCM systems that may help to speed up the pace. The Remote Minehunting System RMS, the Airborne Mine Neutralization System AMNS, the Rapid Airborne Mine Clearance System RAMICS, and Unmanned Underwater Vehicles UUVs are all projects designed to improve MCM operations. Future projects must focus on improvements in covert MCM systems. These systems would be designated as assigned MCM assets resident on forward deployed vessels. The preponderance of these systems would be UUVs that would help provide a clear path for Naval forces to follow.

Subject Categories:

  • Submarine Engineering
  • Undersea and Antisubmarine Warfare
  • Countermeasures
  • Underwater Ordnance

Distribution Statement: