Thursday, September 27, 2018

Manning the Front Line at Sea

In this article on Congressional support for amphibious shipping construction is this gem of sanity for the Navy:

Clark, who worked on one of the Navy’s recent studies to choose a composition of the future fleet, said the Navy is increasingly using the amphibs and their aircraft in combat roles and keeping the carriers in more blue water environments.

“They are using the amphibs more as front-line capital ships, with the carriers being more of a strategic force that you keep maybe not as close to the enemy shoreline,” he said.

Praise be. I've been hammering the idea that the expensive ships do sink and should not be dangled in front of enemies (that was a specific complaint but it is obviously generally applicable) as a temptation to strike first for virtually the entire existence of The Dignified Rant.

But the Marines need the amphibs for their job and if those ships are dangled in front of the enemy for peacetime missions, they could be sunk by an enemy first strike at sea.

Perhaps the Navy should adapt my AFRICOM Queen suggestion for a modularized auxiliary cruiser as a power projection platform. This would actually go back to the original concept of a platform that could have anti-ship, anti-aircraft, anti-submarines, fire support, and ground forces (in different combinations depending on the mission).

Such a platform could perform the peacetime forward missions without risking a high value Navy asset to destruction if the enemy strikes first.

And if the Navy wants to fully explore using Marine-focused aviation platforms for sea control, perhaps a multi-purpose Ford super carrier should be the platform for both the amphibious and sea control/naval strike missions.