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Maritime Shipping Protection: A Vital Mission Still Neglected and Underprepared to Execute by the United States
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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Both maritime nations and operational level commanders depend upon the sea for a number of important reasons. Maritime nations rely heavily upon the uninterrupted flow of shipping to ensure economic prosperity and operational-level commanders depend upon it to move and sustain large joint forces within their areas of operations AORs. Regrettably, protection of the nations shipping is not always thoroughly considered by current operational commanders. Historically, maritime trade protection has been neglected, and continues to suffer a similar fate today. Inexcusably, the United States is quick to forget about lessons learned from the past. As a result, operational commanders place too little emphasis on shipping protection and are underprepared to protect and defend it from attack. Todays commanders take access for granted, the current state of Anti-Submarine Warfare ASW and Mine Countermeasures MCM is less than desirable, and current guidance and doctrine on the protection of shipping is weak. For these reasons, change must occur to ensure that the nations shipping stays afloat. Current doctrine should be re-written, operational commanders must be proactive, the U.S. Air Force should be more thoroughly integrated into the maritime domain, adding protective measures to merchant shipping should be considered, the Joint Intelligence Operation Center JIOC should be integrated with the Maritime Domain Awareness MDA aspect of Naval Cooperation and Guidance for Shipping NCAGS, and convoy operations should be practiced.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE