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The Maritime Dynamic Targeting Gap -- An Analysis of Current Joint Targeting Processes in the Maritime Domain
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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The wars of the last two decades have adapted the Joint Targeting Cycle to be an air-centric solution to land-centric targets. This has largely bound joint targeting processes to the Joint Air Tasking Cycle, resident at the Joint Air Operations Center, which tasks joint air assets to strike theater targets. However, this model will prove to be a less responsive solution to emergent maritime dynamic targets. A conflict in the maritime domain will present targeting challenges that are in stark contrast to those realized in the last 20 years. A less permissive air environment will make diverting Air Tasking Order assigned strike aircraft to dynamic targeting more risky. The highly mobile nature of maritime targets will cause constant target priority flux across the Joint Operations Area. Robust self-defense capabilities of maritime targets will demand larger and more structured dynamic targeting packages than those enabled by current joint targeting processes. If the Joint Force Maritime Component Commander is to provide a responsive solution to the maritime dynamic targeting gap, he must have the capability to integrate and task all joint force providers to support his objectives. Additionally, he must be able to command and control these assets at the operational and tactical levels of war. This paper will recommend two solutions to the maritime dynamic targeting gap that, if developed, will give the Navy the operational-level voice it needs to affect joint targeting processes in the maritime domain.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE