Category Archives: Warfighting Flotilla

Flotilla SITREP: Surface Navy Tactical Skill, China’s Aircraft Carriers, and Aerial Drones at Sea

By Dmitry Filipoff

In January the CIMSEC Warfighting Flotilla will discuss the state of tactical excellence in the Surface Navy, China’s growing aircraft carrier capability, and the potential implications of small aerial drones at sea. 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 January discussions. The full listings for these upcoming discussions are featured down below.

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

Upcoming January Sessions
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The State of Tactical Excellence in the Surface Navy

The Surface Navy is looking to improve its tactical skills to meet the demands of high-end warfighting. What is the state of tactical learning today in the Surface Navy and how are things trending? How can the Surface Navy better organize to improve its tactical development and professionally incentivize above average tactical skill? Join us to consider these questions as we consider the state of tactical excellence in the Surface Navy.

Read Aheads:

“The Surface Navy: Still in Search of Tactics,” by Captain Christopher H. Johnson

“What Got Us Here Won’t Get Us There,” by Vice Admiral Roy Kitchener, Rear Admiral Brad Cooper, and Rear Admiral Paul Schlise
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China’s Growing Aircraft Carrier Capability

China has fielded multiple new aircraft carriers within only several years. As a newcomer to carrier operations, China has much to learn in employing this complex capability. What force development challenges may China face in developing its carrier forces? What are the long-term ramifications of China’s carrier capability for Indo-Pacific security? Join us to discuss these questions and more as we consider the implications of China’s new carriers.

Read Ahead: “Lessons from the Changing Geometry of PLA Navy Carrier Ops,” by CDR Michael Dahm, (ret.)
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Warships and Aerial Drone Warfare

Small aerial drones have the potential to dramatically change maritime operations, both in the gray zone and in conflict. What kinds of concepts of operations can small drones enable when deployed from ships? How can drones be used to shape norms below the threshold of war? Join us to discuss these questions and more as we consider the potential of small aerial drones at sea.

Read Ahead: “Responding to Drone Swarms at Sea,” by LCDR Kristopher Thornburg
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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: Fleet-Level Warfare and Autonomous Warships

By Dmitry Filipoff

In November the CIMSEC Warfighting Flotilla will discuss the implications of fleet-level warfare for the U.S. Navy and the viability of autonomous warships. 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 November discussions. The listings for these upcoming discussions are featured down below.

And make sure to check out this week’s special series of Flotilla Tactical Notes to commemorate the 1-year anniversary of our organization!

In October, the Flotilla discussed the state of the Navy’s Information Warfare Community, managing information superiority through TACSIT practices, and revamping professional military education. These candid conversations produced interesting insights on the state and trajectory of the Navy’s force development while promoting connections between the participating navalists and warfighters.

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

Upcoming November Sessions
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Mastering Fleet-Level Warfare

As the Navy transitions toward great power competition, it must consider larger-scale operations in the vein of fleet-level warfare. Service leadership has asserted the Navy must focus on fleet-level operations that go beyond the traditional carrier strike group-centric operations of recent decades. What does fleet-level warfare demand of the Navy’s operations and force development? How can the Navy organize to better develop these proficiencies? Join us to discuss these questions and more as we consider fleet-level operations.

Read Ahead: A Fleet Must be Able to Fight,” by Admiral Scott Swift
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Considering Autonomous Warships

Navies are debating the promises and pitfalls of autonomous warships as they consider incorporating unmanned systems into their force structure. The U.S. Navy has already made considerable investments in unmanned systems, which may play critical roles in distributed operations and bolstering the Navy’s overall capacity. What are the merits and drawbacks of autonomous warships? How can they feature in a future fight, and could they prove to be more of a liability than an asset? Join us as we consider the viability of autonomous warships.

Read Aheads: Feedback Loops and Fundamental Flaws in Autonomous Warships,” by Jonathan Panter and Jonathan Falcone

Every Warfighter Must Understand Autonomy,” by LtCol Jeff McClean, USAF
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Completed October Sessions

Consolidating Navy Information Warfare

The Navy combined its various information-focused communities into the overarching Information Warfare Community more than a decade ago. The extent to which this reorganization has enhanced the effectiveness of Navy information warfare as a whole and the information communities individually remains open to debate. How has this community construct enhanced the information warfare capability of the Navy? Has the IW community come into its own as a more effective institutional player that can advocate for IW needs? Join us to discuss these questions and more as we consider the state of the Navy’s IW community.

Read Ahead: The Navy Information Warfare Communities’ Road to Serfdom,” by Capt. Bill Bray (ret.)
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Managing TACSIT for Information Superiority

Forces must deny information to the adversary while securing it for themselves. For the U.S. Navy, the “tactical situation” or TACSIT framework helps operators understand the scope of their situational awareness and that of the adversary’s. How can naval forces better manage information and signatures to reduce their exposure while still securing similar information about an adversary? How can operating practices and force development improve TACSIT awareness and potential? Join us to discuss these questions and more as we consider methods of information superiority in naval warfighting and operations.

Read Ahead: Living in TACSIT 1,” by CDR Bryan Leese
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Revamping PME

Professional military education serves a critical function in educating warfighters and broadening their understanding. Yet PME must be flexible to meet the demands of changing times, and it must be valued and incentivized by promotion practices. How can the naval services improve PME to enhance the knowledge and understanding of warfighters? How can the services reform PME to be more relevant to great power threats and demands? Join us to discuss these questions as we debate how to improve professional military education.

Read Ahead: Weaponize PME to Improve the Force,” by Capt. Bobby Holmes, USMC
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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: Navy Information Warfare, Managing TACSIT, and Revamping PME

By Dmitry Filipoff

This month the CIMSEC Warfighting Flotilla will discuss the state of the Navy’s Information Warfare Community, managing information superiority through TACSIT practices, and revamping professional military education. 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 October discussions. The listings for these upcoming discussions are featured down below.

Last month the Flotilla discussed SWO warfighting culture, cross-community integration with the submarine force, and the state of mission command. Each of these discussions revealed interesting opportunities and shortfalls in naval force development and operations, while growing connections between the participating navalists and warfighters.

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

Upcoming October Sessions

Consolidating Navy Information Warfare

The Navy combined its various information-focused communities into the overarching Information Warfare Community more than a decade ago. The extent to which this reorganization has enhanced the effectiveness of Navy information warfare as a whole and the information communities individually remains open to debate. How has this community construct enhanced the information warfare capability of the Navy? Has the IW community come into its own as a more effective institutional player that can advocate for IW needs? Join us to discuss these questions and more as we consider the state of the Navy’s IW community.

Read Ahead: The Navy Information Warfare Communities’ Road to Serfdom,” by Capt. Bill Bray (ret.)
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Managing TACSIT for Information Superiority

Forces must deny information to the adversary while securing it for themselves. For the U.S. Navy, the “tactical situation” or TACSIT framework helps operators understand the scope of their situational awareness and that of the adversary’s. How can naval forces better manage information and signatures to reduce their exposure while still securing similar information about an adversary? How can operating practices and force development improve TACSIT awareness and potential? Join us to discuss these questions and more as we consider methods of information superiority in naval warfighting and operations.

Read Ahead: Living in TACSIT 1,” by CDR Bryan Leese
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Revamping PME

Professional military education serves a critical function in educating warfighters and broadening their understanding. Yet PME must be flexible to meet the demands of changing times, and it must be valued and incentivized by promotion practices. How can the naval services improve PME to enhance the knowledge and understanding of warfighters? How can the services reform PME to be more relevant to great power threats and demands? Join us to discuss these questions as we debate how to improve professional military education.

Read Ahead: Weaponize PME to Improve the Force,” by Capt. Bobby Holmes, USMC
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Completed September Sessions

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SWO Warfighter Mentality

The Surface Warfare community is challenged by many factors, including high operational demand, onerous administrative requirements, extensive maintenance obligations, and other issues. Amidst these challenges, the warfighting culture of the Surface Navy has come under greater scrutiny, including from Congress. What is the state of the warfighting culture of the Surface Navy and how is it trending? What habits and mentalities need to be learned and unlearned? How must culture evolve to meet threats posed by great powers? Join us to discuss these questions and more as we consider the warfighting culture of the Surface Navy.

Read Ahead: “The State of the Warfighter Mentality in the SWO Community,” by Lt. Judith Rooney
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Submarine Integration

The submarine force has had its heavily focus affected by the War on Terror like other Navy communities, and with a greater emphasis on independent action. As great power threats grow, the Navy must consider how to more closely integrate the submarine force with other elements of naval power for both peacetime and wartime operations. How can the submarine force better integrate with other navy communities to enhance combined effectiveness? What sorts of measures and efforts can enhance cross-community understanding and force development? Join us for our discussion on how the submarine force can be more closely integrated with other elements of naval power.

Read Ahead: “Independent but Integrated,” by Capt. Dick Corpus (ret.) and Capt. Kevin Eyer (ret.)
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Evolving Mission Command

Mission command is an important principle for launching effective operations and creating flexible command relationships. But while mission command is often touted in doctrinal publications, it may not be well-practiced in reality, with more micromanagerial command relationships often spreading in the information age. What is the state of mission command and the degrees of trust between higher and lower echelons across chains of command? What various states of mission command are better suited to peacetime and wartime operations? Join us to discuss mission command and themes of command relationships in this upcoming discussion.

Read Ahead: “The Atrophy of Mission Command,” by Capt. Rob Peters and Capt. Benjamin Miller, U.S. Navy, and LtCol. Brian Hanrahan, U.S. Army
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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: SWO Warfighter Mentality, Submarine Integration, Mission Command Atrophy

By Dmitry Filipoff

This month the CIMSEC Warfighting Flotilla will discuss SWO warfighting culture, cross-community integration with the submarine force, and the state of mission command. 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 September discussions. The listings for these upcoming discussions are featured down below.

Prior to taking a break in August, in July the Flotilla held discussions on the warfighting skillsets of the naval strike fighter community and the lessons from the 2017 collisions that roiled the surface warfare community. These discussions produced candid exchanges and further insight into force development improvements, while growing networks between the participating navalists and warfighters.

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

Upcoming September Sessions

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SWO Warfighter Mentality

The Surface Warfare community is challenged by many factors, including high operational demand, onerous administrative requirements, extensive maintenance obligations, and other issues. Amidst these challenges, the warfighting culture of the Surface Navy has come under greater scrutiny, including from Congress. What is the state of the warfighting culture of the Surface Navy and how is it trending? What habits and mentalities need to be learned and unlearned? How must culture evolve to meet threats posed by great powers? Join us to discuss these questions and more as we consider the warfighting culture of the Surface Navy.

Read Ahead: “The State of the Warfighter Mentality in the SWO Community,” by Lt. Judith Rooney
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Submarine Integration

The submarine force has had its heavily focus affected by the War on Terror like other Navy communities, and with a greater emphasis on independent action. As great power threats grow, the Navy must consider how to more closely integrate the submarine force with other elements of naval power for both peacetime and wartime operations. How can the submarine force better integrate with other navy communities to enhance combined effectiveness? What sorts of measures and efforts can enhance cross-community understanding and force development? Join us for our discussion on how the submarine force can be more closely integrated with other elements of naval power.

Read Ahead: “Independent but Integrated,” by Capt. Dick Corpus (ret.) and Capt. Kevin Eyer (ret.)
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Evolving Mission Command

Mission command is an important principle for launching effective operations and creating flexible command relationships. But while mission command is often touted in doctrinal publications, it may not be well-practiced in reality, with more micromanagerial command relationships often spreading in the information age. What is the state of mission command and the degrees of trust between higher and lower echelons across chains of command? What various states of mission command are better suited to peacetime and wartime operations? Join us to discuss mission command and themes of command relationships in this upcoming discussion.

Read Ahead: “The Atrophy of Mission Command,” by Capt. Rob Peters and Capt. Benjamin Miller, U.S. Navy, and LtCol. Brian Hanrahan, U.S. Army
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Completed July Sessions

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Learning from Fitz and McCain 5 Years Later

Five years after the fatal collisions involving USS John S. McCain and USS Fitzgerald, what has the Navy learned? Numerous recommendations were put forth by the investigations and reviews. How well have changes been realized? Do deckplate Sailors see a difference, and are operational demands being more carefully managed? Join us to discuss these questions and more as we consider what was learned from these events.

Read Aheads: Five years later: Inside the Navy’s data-driven quest to avert a future Fitzgerald or McCain collision,” by Megan Eckstein

Surface warfare officers cautiously optimistic about changes since Fitz and McCain disasters,” by Geoff Ziezulewicz and Diana Stancy Correll
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Naval Strike Fighter Skillsets

The strike fighter community is spread thin across many skillsets and the global war on terror has heavily shaped the operational experience of naval aviators. As the Navy focuses on great power competition, should the strike fighter community reconfigure its focus? Should strike fighters specialize in certain areas or is a more generalist approach required? Join us to discuss these questions as we examine how the strike fighter community could evolve.

Read Ahead: The Strike Fighter Time Management Problem,” by Stephen Walsh
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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.