SNA NEWS: Navy Developing Global Maritime Response Plan

By Laura Heckmann

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ARLINGTON, Virginia — The Navy is facing a reality in which its size, shape and capabilities “will not fundamentally change for years to come,” and in a focus to work with what it has, the leader of Fleet Forces Command announced the development of a Global Maritime Response Plan.

Speaking at the Surface Navy Association’s 36th National Symposium Jan. 9, Adm. Daryl Caudle, commander of Fleet Forces Command, said the plan is in development, and “a major effort” by his staff.

The plan is what Caudle described as a “holistic, full-spectrum, all-hands-on-deck plan that identifies the assumptions, permissions, authorities and waivers that activate stakeholders to meet the increased demand” for naval combat power.

It will leverage a “comprehensive decision matrix across all of warfare,” he continued, calling it a “challenging problem. However, our … culture demands we face this head on, resisting a normal inclination to become paralyzed in problem admiration.”

Focused on utilizing what the Navy has now rather than waiting on expensive and distant solutions, Caudle said the plan sidesteps excuses of too much time, money or energy and addresses today’s threat, because “we simply have no choice.”

The Global Maritime Response Plan is being designed to give the Chief of Naval Operations “a way to shift the Navy from peacetime to wartime,” he said.

Caudle said the plan’s development is “well underway,” currently building out the decision support matrixes and response conditions that will be used to control “how the Navy will be put on the required warfighting footing to best support operational commanders.”

“I look forward to eventually being able to test the Global Maritime Response Plan and the associated response conditions during fleet exercise scenarios across all echelons on a routine basis,” he said.

Caudle said many of the Navy’s initiatives necessary for the plan to succeed — including initiatives focused on training and maintenance optimization — can be accomplished without any new authorities, additional lines of funding or shifts in resources.

“Our defense industrial partners know our defense production team will have to think about what triggers place your activities on a warfare footing,” he said. “How do you scale your operations and production? How quickly can you respond?”

Caudle said the Navy needs to think about what it currently does not bring to the fight on day one, “and what we need to change today … to have the most lethal, combat credible forces on the field  on time, on target, ready to defeat any adversary in order to win our nation's war with the Navy we actually have.”

Caudle said many pieces of the Global Maritime Response Plan came out of a wargame on how to sustain the fight long-term. Post-wargame observations revealed, in spite of a number of plans in place, that a document was needed that has a decision support matrix, he said.

“[A decision support matrix] that basically starts running down as we start seeing the indications of warning saying, ‘We can kick off here.’ So, what are the things left of that that I've got to start doing?”

With the plan, the Navy is trying to assemble a body of work that essentially functions as a coaching package, he said. “So that the fleet commanders … have something that we can break open to know how to support the forward command.”

Caudle clarified that the plan is not intended to replace its Fleet Response Plan, but is in addition to it. With about 300 ships in the Navy, Caudle said about 100 can’t be touched and 100 are deployed — the plan is concerned with the remaining 100.

“So, that's what this is about. The [Fleet Response Plan] is going to generate [global force management] and [a] peacetime model. I'm suggesting that in the interim, since I don't get the sustainment period at the end of the deployment that we kind of built the thing around because of maintenance delays, until I get that fixed, while I'm actually generating … major combat operations, … I get that force ready sooner. That's all I'm suggesting.”

Reflecting on his speech at the conference one year ago, Caudle said: “While we've made some gains … I would argue that we have not achieved the level of readiness, production and deliveries required in both capabilities and capacity” for a winning trajectory.

“Make no mistake about it — we face formidable threats on the horizon. And while the nature of war never truly changes, those threats are fundamentally changing the character of how we prepare our Navy to apply it,” he said. “These threats, strategic competitors and peer adversaries must be faced head on with purpose and realistic expectations with respect to the force we will have over the next several years.”


Topics: Maritime Security

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