Wednesday, March 23, 2011

YN2, Byron, Sal and Smashmouth Naval Theory

We've fallen down such an interesting rabbit hole in comments over at my post on USNIBlog that I think I want to bring it over here as a post.

All sorts of geeky fun.

First, YN2; in part,
YN2(SW) H. Lucien Gauthier III Says:
To the 1,000 Ship Navy, look what CNO Mullen had to say about it.

“Membership in this ‘navy’ is purely voluntary and would have no legal or encumbering ties. It would be a free-form, self-organizing network of maritime partners — good neighbors interested in using the power of the sea to unite, rather than to divide. The barriers for entry are low. Respect for sovereignty is high.”

Tell me how that differs from what we’re seeing in SIXTH Fleet right now.
Crusty 'ole yardbird squawks,
Byron Says:

YN2, when the needs of nations and their national interests diverge from those of the United States, well, it’ll be just us. The 1000 ship navy is about the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard coming out of a CNOs mouth. He should know better.
Leaning back in his smoking jacket and shoosh'n away the nubile Scottish lass on his right knee, as he taps his pipe and leans forward,
YN2(SW) H. Lucien Gauthier III Says:

Byron. No it’s not. It’s the application of complexity theory at sea.

The ‘fleet’ forms based upon common objectives, and dissolves away once those objectives are met.

Looking at the myriad of ‘fleets’ deployed fighting piracy right now, such an arrangement is in the spirit of the CAS Navy (I am not calling it the 1,000 ship navy any more, cause that’s horrible branding) (CAS = Complex Adaptive System). So is how things have thus far come together in the Med.

If there are going to be increasing numbers of random events like the ‘Arab Spring’ then the ability to form momentary alliances is a vital need. But, the ability to pull such an arrangement off is with the guys who wear suits, not uniforms. We have the C4ISR that can make such arrangements work (though, not perfectly).

Politically, it might be dumb. But, operationally, it’s not dumb at all.
Though slightly distracted by the nubile Scottish lass as she adjust the gig-line on the back of her stockings while she whispers in the ear of the lithe Walloon undergrad mixing a fresh batch of Gimlets for the menfolk; the yardbird launches -
Byron Says:

Pretty words, YN2…but does not stand up to the reality of nations do things in their self-interest. As the national policy goes, so does their Navy. Yes, there is a semi-official anti-piracy fleet in being that is multi-national in make-up. If nation “X” decides that it’s in their self interest to leave the pirates alone and just flat bribe them yearly (yes, it’s been done before) then kiss those ships good-bye. If nation “Y” decides it’s had enough of of piddling with pirates and starts killing them wholesale (the other end of the spectrum) we will divorce ourselves from them in a New York second. It simply wouldn’t look good on CNN or MSNBC, you know.

The bottom line is that the only Navy you can truly count on, 100% of the time, is the one flying your flag. All the others are there only until it is no longer profitable or necessary to their needs.
Unable to restrain myself - and finally through getting the fire going properly at the end of the library and getting a full light on my Maduro Churchill,
CDR Salamander Says:

The formula for your CAS Navy is a lot more complicated than you think. To simplify what is a very complex DiffyQ – you have two variables; X & Y.

X is your mission capability ratio. Establish as a baseline a Flt IIA Arleigh Burke (X=1).

Y is your caveat ratio. A US Navy warship operating under USA ROE is your baseline (Y=1)

Just for an example, let us say that in your CAS Fleet you have a USA Flt IIA under USA ROE. That gives you (1×1=1) operational unit.

For another example using completely made up ratios, let’s say you have a MEKO from NATO nation Z (X=.5) that is operating under its nation’s ROE with the standard caveats that apply (Y=.2). That gives you (.5x.2=.1) 1/10th of an operational unit for the CAS Fleet Commander.

In your PAO picture, you have two warships steaming together playing Global Task Unit for Good. In reality though, you do not have two warships … scratch that, make it “naval ships” … from the Commander’s perspective he has 1.1 ships.

Theory is nice – but such theories have been around for centuries; and the mathematics of those theories have been as well. Review the difficulties of the ABDA Fleet in the south pacific and the post-Dunkirk Anglo-French naval coordination for examples of how the math can be a challenge and you need to respect the exquisite and delicate nature of the CAS Fleet theory.

Allies are nice garlands to have – but cannot be relied on with an equal basis as national assets – never have, never will.

The closest we ever had were Royal Navy units in WWII and Korea – and even then X=.9 on the best of days, Y=.8 on most. You do the math from there.

No harm; no foul – just reality.
It appears that it may be awhile until we get YN2's attentions again - the nubile Scottish lass is back upon his knee.....

Sigh. Youth.

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