Category Archives: Warfighting Flotilla

Flotilla Sitrep: USMC Transformation, Offensive Mining, Winged Luddites

By Dmitry Filipoff

This month the CIMSEC Warfighting Flotilla will continue the conversation on especially controversial naval force development topics as well as certain offensive concepts for Pacific conflict.

Down below is a look at the invites for our upcoming June discussions. The Flotilla will be holding discussions on Force Design 2030 and Marine stand-in forces, the challenges and opportunities of introducing unmanned systems to naval aviation, and the utility of offensive mine warfare against China. If you haven’t already, sign up through the form below to become a Flotilla member and receive the invites to our upcoming off-the-record June sessions.

Last month the Flotilla held discussions on naval combat in the Russia-Ukraine War, the viability of lightning carrier platforms and concepts of operation, and the usefulness of wargaming as a unit-level combat training method. These conversations helped shed light on ongoing combat operations abroad and force development initiatives under consideration. 

Feel free to visit the Flotilla homepage to learn more about this community, its activities, and what drives it.

Upcoming June Sessions

USMC Transformation and Stand-In Forces vs. A2/AD

Debates continue apace about the merits of Force Design 2030 and whether it can effectively meet modern high-end threats. Can Marine stand-in forces effectively hold their own against A2/AD systems and enable the joint force? What may it take to effectively transition Marine units into combat credible stand-in forces? Join us to discuss these questions and more as we continue the conversation on Force Design 2030.

Read Ahead: “Stand-In Forces: Disrupting Anti-Access Systems,” by Joseph Mozzi
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Naval Aviation and Fielding Unmanned Systems

Highly capable unmanned aviation is on the horizon and threatens to disrupt traditional concepts of naval aviation. What are the merits of carrier-based unmanned aviation and what will it take to field these systems? What sorts of obstacles exist to their introduction, including tactical, political, and cultural? Join us to discuss the disruptive potential of unmanned naval aviation and more.

Read Ahead: “Winged Luddites: Aviators are the Biggest Threat to Carrier Aviation,” by Noah Spataro, Trevor Phillips-Levine, and Andrew Tenbusch
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Offensive Mine Warfare Against China

Mine warfare is a traditionally underappreciated element of naval capability for the U.S. Navy, but could reap significant dividends in a contingency against China. How could offensive mine warfare be employed in western Pacific contingencies, and what capability gaps deserve closer scrutiny? Join us to discuss mine warfare in the Pacific and what opportunities or shortfalls may exist.

Read Ahead: “Disputing Chinese Sea Control Through Offensive Sea Mining,” by Victor Duenow
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Completed May Sessions

Russia-Ukraine War at Sea

The Russia-Ukraine war has featured significant naval combat, even as the conflict has predominantly taken place over land. From the sinking of the Moskva and the Orsk, to amphibious landings and submarine-launched missile strikes, the maritime domain remains active and contested. How do we make sense of the maritime domain and its role thus far in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and what are the lessons learned for force development and force employment? Join us to discuss these questions and more as we consider the maritime dimensions of this ongoing conflict.

Read ahead: “The Russo-Ukraine War at Sea: Retrospect and Prospect,” by B.J. Armstrong

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The Viability and Roles of Lightning Carriers

Flattops ranging from LHDs to allied platform such as the Izumo are offering carrier air wing capabilities, although at smaller proportions. How could these “Lightning” carriers help in conflict and steady-state competition? Are they a viable compliment to modern naval force structure, or do they divert resources from larger-scale carrier capabilities that are much more effective? Join us to debate the effectiveness of lightning carriers and their potential roles.

Read aheads: “Marines Load Record 16 F-35Bs Aboard USS Tripoli Test of ‘Lightning Carrier’ Concept,” by Gidget Fuentes

“Whither the Lightning Carrier in an Asia-Pacific War?” by Ben Ho

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Bringing Wargaming to Wardrooms

Wargaming is a versatile teaching tool, but what value can it have as a training device at the unit-level? Can wargaming be broadly adopted in wardrooms and ready rooms across the fleet to enhance readiness and warfighter understanding? Join us to discuss these questions and more as we consider the merits of wargaming as a training method at the unit level.

Read ahead: “Introduce Wargaming to Wardrooms,” by Commander Thomas T. Dixon

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Dmitry Filipoff is CIMSEC’s Director of Online Content and Community Manager of the Warfighting Flotilla. Contact him at Content@cimsec.org.

Flotilla SITREP: Russia-Ukraine War at Sea, Lightning Carriers, Wardroom Wargaming

By Dmitry Filipoff

This month the CIMSEC Warfighting Flotilla will be discussing recent naval combat of interest and the latest in naval force development.

Down below is a look at the invites for our upcoming May discussions. The Flotilla will be holding discussions on naval combat in the Russia-Ukraine War, the viability of Lightning carrier platforms and concepts of operation, and the usefulness of wargaming as a unit-level combat training method. If you haven’t already, sign up through the form below to become a Flotilla member and receive the invites to our upcoming off-the-record May sessions.

Last month the Flotilla held discussions on the ongoing transformation of the Marine Corps, improving feedback in warfighting culture, and the themes of the Lying to Ourselves report that was recently republished on CIMSEC. These conversations helped advance some of the debates surrounding these issues and engendered stronger understanding of the cultural elements that shape warfighting organizations.

Feel free to visit the Flotilla homepage to learn more about this community, its activities, and what drives it.

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Upcoming May Sessions

Russia-Ukraine War at Sea

The Russia-Ukraine war has featured significant naval combat, even as the conflict has predominantly taken place over land. From the sinking of the Moskva and the Orsk, to amphibious landings and submarine-launched missile strikes, the maritime domain remains active and contested. How do we make sense of the maritime domain and its role thus far in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and what are the lessons learned for force development and force employment? Join us to discuss these questions and more as we consider the maritime dimensions of this ongoing conflict.

Read ahead: “The Russo-Ukraine War at Sea: Retrospect and Prospect,” by B.J. Armstrong

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The Viability and Roles of Lightning Carriers

Flattops ranging from LHDs to allied platform such as the Izumo are offering carrier air wing capabilities, although at smaller proportions. How could these “Lightning” carriers help in conflict and steady-state competition? Are they a viable compliment to modern naval force structure, or do they divert resources from larger-scale carrier capabilities that are much more effective? Join us to debate the effectiveness of lightning carriers and their potential roles.

Read aheads: “Marines Load Record 16 F-35Bs Aboard USS Tripoli Test of ‘Lightning Carrier’ Concept,” by Gidget Fuentes

“Whither the Lightning Carrier in an Asia-Pacific War?” by Ben Ho

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Bringing Wargaming to Wardrooms

Wargaming is a versatile teaching tool, but what value can it have as a training device at the unit-level? Can wargaming be broadly adopted in wardrooms and ready rooms across the fleet to enhance readiness and warfighter understanding? Join us to discuss these questions and more as we consider the merits of wargaming as a training method at the unit level.

Read ahead: “Introduce Wargaming to Wardrooms,” by Commander Thomas T. Dixon

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Completed April Sessions

Stand-In Forces and Transforming the Marine Corps

The Marine Corps is in the midst of a transformation. After decades of focus on low-end conflicts in the Middle East, Marine Corps leadership is looking to transform elements of the force into units that can hold the line against China in forward island chains. But this transformation is not without internal friction and much uncertainty. What are the merits of the concepts of EABO and stand-in forces? How can the Marines better implement these concepts? Join us to discuss these questions and more as we consider the ongoing transformation of the Marine Corps.

Read Ahead: “Stand-in Forces: Adapt or Perish,” by ACMC General Eric Smith, USMC and “Jeopardizing national security: What is happening to our Marine Corps?” by Lt Gen Paul Van Riper, USMC (ret.)
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Developing Feedback Culture for Warfighters

Warfighting culture demands healthy and robust feedback mechanisms to ensure professional growth and pursue tactical excellence. But organizational culture can often stifle feedback and allow issues to fester or go unresolved. How can warfighters give better feedback? How can leaders create an atmosphere where feedback is encouraged and delivered constructively? Join us to discuss how to improve feedback in warfighting culture.

Read Ahead: “Encourage a Feedback Culture,” by LCDR Andrew Poulin
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Lying To Ourselves and Navigating Zero Defect Culture

Overwhelming requirements and zero-defect imperatives can combine to erode culture and norms of trust that are critical for warfighting effectiveness. How can warfighters better navigate these contradictions and dilemmas? How can leaders change the broader conditions that yield these dynamics? How can warfighters interpret the extent of their responsibility and agency in these circumstances? Join us to discuss these questions and more.

Read Ahead: “Lying To Ourselves,” by Dr. Leonard Wong and Dr. Stephen Gerras (Parts One, Two, Three).
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Dmitry Filipoff is CIMSEC’s Director of Online Content and Community Manager of the Warfighting Flotilla. Contact him at Content@cimsec.org.

Flotilla SITREP: Marine Corps Transformation, Warfighting Culture, and Lying to Ourselves

By Dmitry Filipoff

This month the CIMSEC Warfighting Flotilla will be discussing the latest in naval force development and topics concerning warfighting culture and institutional barriers to excellence. 

Down below is a look at the invites for our upcoming April discussions. The Flotilla will be holding discussions on the ongoing transformation of the Marine Corps, improving feedback in warfighting culture, and the themes of the Lying to Ourselves report that was recently republished on CIMSEC. If you haven’t already, sign up through the form below to become a Flotilla member and receive the invites to our upcoming off-the-record April sessions.

Last month the Flotilla held sessions on the Russia-Ukraine war, the Navy’s first F-35C deployment, and the standup of the first Marine Littoral Regiment. These conversations generated robust discussion on current events and naval force development, and helped connect likeminded navalists focused on these issues.

Feel free to visit the Flotilla homepage to learn more about this community, its activities, and what drives it.

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Upcoming Sessions

Stand-In Forces and Transforming the Marine Corps

The Marine Corps is in the midst of a transformation. After decades of focus on low-end conflicts in the Middle East, Marine Corps leadership is looking to transform elements of the force into units that can hold the line against China in forward island chains. But this transformation is not without internal friction and much uncertainty. What are the merits of the concepts of EABO and stand-in forces? How can the Marines better implement these concepts? Join us to discuss these questions and more as we consider the ongoing transformation of the Marine Corps.

Read Ahead: “Stand-in Forces: Adapt or Perish,” by ACMC General Eric Smith, USMC and “Jeopardizing national security: What is happening to our Marine Corps?” by Lt Gen Paul Van Riper, USMC (ret.)
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Developing Feedback Culture for Warfighters

Warfighting culture demands healthy and robust feedback mechanisms to ensure professional growth and pursue tactical excellence. But organizational culture can often stifle feedback and allow issues to fester or go unresolved. How can warfighters give better feedback? How can leaders create an atmosphere where feedback is encouraged and delivered constructively? Join us to discuss how to improve feedback in warfighting culture.

Read Ahead: “Encourage a Feedback Culture,” by LCDR Andrew Poulin
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Lying To Ourselves and Navigating Zero Defect Culture

Overwhelming requirements and zero-defect imperatives can combine to erode culture and norms of trust that are critical for warfighting effectiveness. How can warfighters better navigate these contradictions and dilemmas? How can leaders change the broader conditions that yield these dynamics? How can warfighters interpret the extent of their responsibility and agency in these circumstances? Join us to discuss these questions and more.

Read Ahead: “Lying To Ourselves,” by Dr. Leonard Wong and Dr. Stephen Gerras (Parts One, Two, Three).
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Completed March Sessions

Russia-Ukraine War

Major conflict has broken out between Russia and Ukraine. Russia is receiving broad international condemnation and punishment while embattled Ukraine is earning widespread support. How may this conflict play out over the coming weeks and months? How could NATO respond and reinforce itself? Join us to discuss the many dimensions of this new major European conflict.

Read Ahead: Michael Kofman thread on Russian military effectiveness so far.
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Navy’s First F-35C Deployment

The Navy just completed its first ever deployment of the F-35C onboard the USS Carl Vinson. With this new aircraft comes an opportunity to reform the carrier air wing, including with respect to tactics, composition, and concepts of operation. How can the Navy make the most of the F-35C and adapt the air wing of the future to field this new platform? What challenges may the Navy face in transitioning much of naval aviation to the F-35? Join us to discuss these questions and more as we consider the Navy’s fielding of this fifth-generation aircraft.

Read Aheads: Three takeaways from the US Navy’s first F-35C deployment,” by Megan Eckstein

What it is Like to Fly an F-35: Interviews with Three F-35 Pilots,” by Kris Osborn
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Standing Up the First Marine Littoral Regiment

The Marine Corps is ushering in a wave of reform to make itself more capable in great power competition. Among these reforms is a new formation — the Marine Littoral Regiment. MLRs will be a centerpiece of the new EABO and DMO warfighting concepts, and are intended to employ a variety of novel capabilities and tactics. How could the Marines make full use of the MLRs and fully implement the new formation? What challenges must be managed in transforming Marine units into these new littoral regiments? Join us to discuss these questions and more as we consider the implementation of Marine Littoral Regiments.

Read Ahead: Standup of Marine littoral regiment will usher new gear into Pacific theater,” by Megan Eckstein
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Dmitry Filipoff is CIMSEC’s Director of Online Content and Community Manager of the Warfighting Flotilla. Contact him at Content@cimsec.org.

Flotilla SITREP: Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, First F-35C Deployment and Marine Littoral Regiment

By Dmitry Filipoff

This month the CIMSEC Warfighting Flotilla will be discussing current events, including the Russia-Ukraine conflict, as well as the latest developments in naval force development.

Down below is a look at the invites for our upcoming March discussions. We will be holding sessions on the Russia-Ukraine war, the Navy’s first F-35C deployment, and the standup of the first Marine Littoral Regiment. If you haven’t already, sign up through the form below to become a Flotilla member and receive the invites to our upcoming off-the-record March sessions.

Last month the CIMSEC Warfighting Flotilla held sessions focused on the naval dimensions of the Russia-Ukraine crisis, Navy cyber effectiveness, and balancing short-term demands with overall combat readiness. These forthright conversations addressed critical opportunities and shortfalls, and helped connect like-minded individuals focused on advancing naval force development and warfighting readiness.

Feel free to visit the Flotilla homepage to learn more about this community, its activities, and what drives it.

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Russia-Ukraine War

Major conflict has broken out between Russia and Ukraine. Russia is receiving broad international condemnation and punishment while embattled Ukraine is earning widespread support. How may this conflict play out over the coming weeks and months? How could NATO respond and reinforce itself? Join us to discuss the many dimensions of this new major European conflict.

Read Ahead: Michael Kofman thread on Russian military effectiveness so far.
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Navy’s First F-35C Deployment

The Navy just completed its first ever deployment of the F-35C onboard the USS Carl Vinson. With this new aircraft comes an opportunity to reform the carrier air wing, including with respect to tactics, composition, and concepts of operation. How can the Navy make the most of the F-35C and adapt the air wing of the future to field this new platform? What challenges may the Navy face in transitioning much of naval aviation to the F-35? Join us to discuss these questions and more as we consider the Navy’s fielding of this fifth-generation aircraft.

Read Aheads: Three takeaways from the US Navy’s first F-35C deployment,” by Megan Eckstein

What it is Like to Fly an F-35: Interviews with Three F-35 Pilots,” by Kris Osborn
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Standing Up the First Marine Littoral Regiment

The Marine Corps is ushering in a wave of reform to make itself more capable in great power competition. Among these reforms is a new formation — the Marine Littoral Regiment. MLRs will be a centerpiece of the new EABO and DMO warfighting concepts, and are intended to employ a variety of novel capabilities and tactics. How could the Marines make full use of the MLRs and fully implement the new formation? What challenges must be managed in transforming Marine units into these new littoral regiments? Join us to discuss these questions and more as we consider the implementation of Marine Littoral Regiments.

Read Ahead: Standup of Marine littoral regiment will usher new gear into Pacific theater,” by Megan Eckstein
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Completed February Sessions

Russia’s Black Sea Fleet and The Role of Naval Power in the Russia-Ukraine Crisis

The Russia-Ukraine crisis is brewing with more than 100,000 Russian troops alongside Ukraine’s borders and 140 Russian Navy vessels engaged in exercises. In the event of a significant Russian incursion, how could Russia’s Black Sea Fleet be brought to bear? What operations could be conducted and toward what objectives? Join us to discuss these questions and more as we contemplate the naval dimensions of this major crisis.

Read Ahead: “How Russia’s Black Sea Fleet Could Change the Equation in Ukraine,” by Dr Sidharth Kaushal and Sam Cranny-Evans
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Navy Cryptologic and Cyber Warfare Effectiveness

Cyber warfare has long been heralded by Navy and DoD leaders as a critical force multiplier and major arena of competition. But is the Navy well-structured to seize the opportunity of cyber, or effectively defend itself from threats emanating from this domain? To what extent does the Navy’s cryptologic and cyber communities have the resident expertise, training, and integration to be effective? Join us to discuss these questions and more as we consider the Navy’s cyber effectiveness.

Read Ahead: “Navy Cryptologic Warfare Officers Cannot Do Cyber,” by LCDR Derek Bernsen, USNR
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Going from Short Term “Can-Do” to “Combat Ready”

The Navy has long operated under a “can-do” logic that sought to maximize the availability of the fleet for operational tasking. But after operating under such logic for decades, many fundamentals of combat readiness have atrophied. How can the Navy restore more balance to the relationship between its availability and readiness? What practices have been corroded by can-do culture, and what opportunities could be seized with a culture change? Join us to discuss these questions and more as we consider the effects of “can-do” culture on the Navy’s combat readiness.

Read Ahead: “Change Can-do to Combat Ready,” by LCDR Aaron Marchant, USN
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Dmitry Filipoff is CIMSEC’s Director of Online Content and Community Manager of the Warfighting Flotilla. Contact him at Content@cimsec.org.