Flotilla SITREP: Airborne ASW and Cyber Damage Control, Plus Upcoming Surface Navy Sessions

By Dmitry Filipoff

Happy New Year to all our readers and members! We hope you had a safe and healthy break going into the exciting new year. We have a lot in store for our new naval professional society.

Last month the CIMSEC Warfighting Flotilla held sessions on airborne anti-submarine warfare and cyber damage control. These candid conversations revealed opportunities and shortfalls to be addressed, and helped connect like-minded individuals focused on advancing naval warfighting. 

Down below is a sneak peak at the invites for our January sessions, which will focus on the Surface Navy. Matters of tactical excellence in the surface fleet have always precipitated especially spirited discussion in prior Flotilla sessions, and we anticipate these next sessions to be no different.

If you haven’t already, sign up through the form below to become a Flotilla member and receive invites to our upcoming off-the-record January sessions. Feel free to visit the Flotilla homepage to learn more about this community, its activities, and what drives it.


Upcoming January Sessions

How to Measure Tactical Skill and Experience in the Surface Fleet

The Surface Navy, with the Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC) in the lead, is trialing a new system of measuring tactical experience and skill— the Surface Warfare Combat Training Continuum (SWCTC). What sort of criteria should be used, and what sorts of experience should be tracked? How should this data be used to inform shipboard management and career tracks? Join us to discuss how the surface fleet can better measure tactical skill and harness the data.

Read Ahead: “Surface Navy to Kick Off Program to Track, Assess Sailors Combat Skills,” by Megan Eckstein

New Shipboard Organizations for Surface Warships

The shipboard organization of surface ships has a direct bearing on leaders’ ability to cultivate tactical proficiency. Could new shipboard organizations and delineations of duties allow leaders to focus more deeply on developing warfighting skills? What could such reorganizations look like and how can they be trialed? Join us to discuss these questions and more as we consider the relationship between shipboard organization and tactical focus in the surface fleet.

Read Ahead: “Time for a New Shipboard Organization,” by Lieutenant Colin Barnard

Embracing Failure in Warfighter Culture

Failure is a critical part of learning and development. But within certain cultures and organizations, failure can carry a stigma that inhibits its effective use. How can warfighters better embrace failure as a force of learning and progress? How can aversion to failure mask important shortfalls and sideline opportunities to innovate? What is the role of leaders in setting a constructive tone around the value of failure? Join us to discuss these questions and more as we consider the role of failure in furthering warfighting excellence.

Read Ahead: “Embrace the F-Word,” by Captain Roger G. Herbert Jr., U.S. Navy (Retired)

Previous December 2021 Sessions

Airborne Anti-Submarine Warfare

Airborne ASW witnessed atrophying skillsets and declining platform counts in the immediate post-Cold War era. Now airborne ASW could prove decisive in addressing growing undersea threats posed by great power rivals, and others. How can airborne ASW improve its combat readiness with respect to modern threats? How can airborne ASW work with other communities to enhance the overall ASW readiness of the fleet? Join us to discuss these questions and more as we consider the state of airborne ASW.

Read Ahead: “Rebuild Air ASW,” by CDR Nicholas Woodworth

Cyberspace Damage Control

Cyberspace undergirds much if not most modern naval capability. Cyberattacks are expected to feature predominantly in modern high-end conflict, but are warships prepared to weather the effects? Are shipboard crews and shore-based support organizations effectively trained and organized to handle cyber damage control? Join us to discuss these questions and more as we contemplate damage control with respect to cyber.

Read Ahead: “We Need Cyberspace Damage Control,” by CDR Damien Dodge

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

Sea Control 306 – Covert Logistics with Chris Booth

By Walker Mills

Sea Control talks with Chris Booth about his recent essays on covert maritime logistics in the Second World War, using mules for logistics, and seaplanes, which appeared in War on the Rocks, Small Wars Journal, and USNI Proceedings, respectively.

Download Sea Control 306 – Covert Logistics with Chris Booth


1. “The Modern Shetland Bus: The Lure of Covert Maritime Vessels for Great-Power Competition,” by Chris Booth, War on the Rocks, December 29, 2020.
2. “Mules: Recommitting to Pack Animals Across the Spectrum of Armed Conflict,” by Chris Booth, Small Wars Journal, May 19, 2021.
3. “Unfurl the Banners: Privateers and Commerce Raiding of China’s Merchant Fleet in Developing Markets,” by Chris Booth and Walker Mills, War on the Rocks, February 18, 2021.
4. “Pierre Sprey, Pentagon Analyst Who Battled Brass to Produce A-10 Warplane, Dies at 83,” by Matt Schudel, The Washington Post, August 20, 2021.
5. Sea Control 288: Chinese Civilian Shipping and the Threat to Taiwan with Tom Shugart, CIMSEC, October 28, 2021.
6. “Pack Animals – The German Mountain Infantry Brigade,” NATO, February 18, 2019.
7. “Overcome the Tyranny of Distance,” by Chris Booth, USNI Proceedings (December 2020).
8. “Give Amphibians a Second Look,” by Walker Mills and Dylan Philips-Levine, USNI Proceedings, December 2020.
9. “Bring Back the Seaplane,” by David Alman, War on the Rocks, July 1, 2020.
10. “Cocaine Logistics for the Marine Corps,” by Walker Mills, Dylan Philips-Levine and Collin Fox, War on the Rocks, July 22, 2020.
11. “Modern Sea Monsters: Revisiting Wing in Ground Effect Aircraft for the Next Fight,” by Walker Mills, Joshua Taylor and Dylan Philips-Levine, USNI Proceedings, September 2020.

Walker Mills is Co-Host of the Sea Control podcast. Contact the podcast team at SeaControl@cimsec.org.

This episode was edited and produced by William McQuiston.

Sea Control 305 – No Escape from the Port of LA

By Anna McNeil

Bill Reinsch and Aidan Arasasingham of CSIS join the program to discuss the logistical challenges at the port complex of Los Angeles and Long Beach and lessons for the supply chain ecosystem.

Download Sea Control 305 – No Escape from the Port of LA


1. “Cookie Monster’s Supply Chain Crisis and WTO Update,” Trade Guys Podcast, CSIS, October 21, 2021.
2. “No Escape from LA: Lingering Supply Chain Insecurity at Los Angeles Ports,” by William Alan Reinsch and Aidan Arasasingham, CSIS, November 4, 2021.
3. “CIMSEC Holiday Reading List 2021,” by the CIMSEC Podcast Team, CIMSEC, December 17, 2021.
4. “Beyond Defense: America’s Past & Future Interests at Sea,” by Jimmy Drennan, CIMSEC, October 25, 2021.
5. “Protecting the Maritime Shipping Industry from Cybercrime,” by Nicholas Glavin, CIMSEC, December 20, 2017.
6. “Shipping as a Repository of Strategic Vulnerability,” by Michael Haas, CIMSEC, August 16, 2013.
7. Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act 2021.
8. “The Next Shipping Crisis: A Maritime Labor Shortage,” by Adam Minter, Bloomberg, November 6, 2021.
9. “White House Port Envoy Joins Port of Los Angeles Executive Director to Discuss Supply Chain Solutions,” Port of Los Angeles, October 14, 2021.
10. “U.S. Mariner Mental Health & Wellbeing During COVID 19 and Beyond, by Dr. Marissa G. Baker, PhD, University of Washington School of Public Health, November 2021.

Anna McNiel is Co-Host of the Sea Control podcast. Contact the podcast team at SeaControl@cimsec.org.

Fostering the Discussion on Securing the Seas.