Naval Mine Countermeasures: The Achilles Heel of U.S. Homeland Defense
NAVAL WAR COLLEGE NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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Sea mining is one of the least expensive, easiest to employ, and most highly effective methods for an adversary to deny sea control to a major sea power. It is therefore most alarming, in this era of increasing anti-U.S. terrorist activity, that the current U.S. Navys mine countermeasures MCM posture falls critically short of achieving the necessary peacetime conditions to effectively counter mine threats along its Atlantic seaboard and Gulf coast. Perennial budgetary neglect and a mismanagement of the basic operational art concept of balancing the factors of Space, Time, and Force have combined to expose U.S. Navy MCM capacity as a critical vulnerability to U.S. maritime national security. The challenge of balancing these factors, as they relate to MCM capabilities, will become even more daunting in the immediate future due to nationally mandated budget sequestration. Sequestration will not only restrict legacy MCM asset maintenance and operational tempo, but also further impede already behind-schedule development of future MCM assets. However, by focusing on the direction outlined in national security and defense directives, leveraging existing multinational defense relationships, and continuing Theater Security Cooperation TSC initiatives, there is the potential for Geographic Combatant Commanders GCC to achieve increased efficiency in global MCM response while concurrently fortifying homeland defense MCM capacity.
- Civil Defense
- Undersea and Antisubmarine Warfare
- Unconventional Warfare
- Underwater Ordnance