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he U.S. Navy has never been comfortable with theory or doctrine at what
is now known as the operational level of war. The Navy has always pos-
sessed robust ship- and formation-level doctrinetacticsand of course has
embracedthehigh-levelsea-powertheoriesofbothAlfredThayerMahanand
JulianCorbett.Thegapinthemiddleeitherhasnotbeenneededashasbeen
essentiallythecaseformostoftheNavyshistoryexceptforWorldWarIIor
hasbeenfilledbyadaptivepracticeintheformofspecificcampaignoropera-
tionsplans.FortheNavy,theoldframeworkofstrategyandtacticshassufficed
since1945.However,anemergentsetofcircumstancesintheformofChinese
naval development, as well as a new generation
of weapons and sensors, is driving the Navy
into incorporating the operational level into its
culture. Moreover, this development is bringing
the Navy into competition, or perhaps conflict,
with the U.S. Air Force over which should exert
operational control of aviation over the water.
Whereasthistaskwasalwayspresumedtobethe
preserveoftheNavy,theestablishmentinHawaii
of a regional Air Operations Center (AOC) that
in theory controls all air in the theater will chal-
lengeNavyassumptionsandequities.Thetactics
of interservice squabbling aside, the Navy will
need a theory of naval airpower as a foundation
for its arguments to preserve operational control
ofitsaviation.
Robert C. Rubel
Professor Rubel is Dean of Naval Warfare Studies
at the Naval War College. Before retiring from the
U.S. Navy in the grade of captain, he was an aviator,
participating in operations connected with the 1973
Yom Kippur War, the 1980 Iranian hostage crisis,
the TWA Flight 847 crisis, and DESERT SHIELD. He
commanded Strike Fighter Squadron 131 and served
as the inspector general of U.S. Southern Command.
He attended the Spanish Naval War College and the
U.S. Naval War College, in Newport, Rhode Island,
where he served on the faculty and as chairman of
the War Gaming Department, in the Center for Na-
val Warfare Studies, before his present appointment.
He has a BS degree from the University of Illinois;
an MS in management from Salve Regina University,
in Newport, Rhode Island; and an MA in national
security and strategic studies from the Naval War
College (1986).
Naval War College Review, Summer 2014, Vol. 67, No. 3
A THEORY OF NAVAL AI RPOWER
64 NAVAL WAR COLLEGE REVI EW
An operational-level theory of naval airpower must be derived from
practicehowithasbeenusedandwhyithasbeensuccessful.Navalaviationisa
subordinateelementofAmericanseapowerand,assuch,hasestablishednosep-
aratetheoreticalbasisforeitheritsownjustificationoremployment.Whilethis
theory vacuum has kept it from advancing its command-and-control doctrine
thewaytheAirForcehas,ithasproducedaflexiblymindedorganizationthatis
verygoodatadaptingtonoveloperationalcircumstances.Incontrasttoairpower
theory as interpreted by the Air Force, naval aviation has never linked itself to
anapriorimechanismforstrategicvictoryorregardeditselfasanindependent
strategic weapon. Nonetheless, as the Navy transitions to the operational-level
Joint Force Maritime Component Commander / Maritime Operations Center
(JFMCC/MOC)frameworkforitscommandandcontrol(C2),atheoryisneeded
bothtoguidethedevelopmentofC2doctrineandtomakethecaseformaintain-
ingoperationalcontrolofnavalaviationwithinNavylifelines.
Navalaviation,forthepurposeoftheoryanddoctrine,canbedividedintothe
followingcategories:
Carrier air wings:theairframes,bothfixed-androtary-wing,mannedand
unmanned,thatoperatefromthedeckofanaircraftcarrier
Land-based naval aviation:maritimepatrolplanesandelectronic-warfare
aircraft
Organic surface-combatant aircraft:mannedandunmannedhelicoptersand
small,fixed-wingunmannedaircraft
Organic Marine aviation:fixed-androtary-wingaircraftattachedtoem-
barkedMarineunits.
Thesecategoriesomitmuchaircraftfortraining,logistics,testandevaluation,
etc.Suchaviationelementscanbethoughtofasinfrastructuralsupportandare
notdirectlypartsoftheory.
Three kinds of naval operations have relevance to the development of na-
val aviation theory: seizing, maintaining, and exercising command of the sea;
performing sea control; and bombarding targets ashore, to include support of
amphibiousandgroundoperations.IntheearlypartoftheColdWar,nuclear-
warfareoperationswouldhavebeenincludedasadistinctkindofoperationthat
affectedtheoryanddoctrine,butthesedaysthatburdenfallsonthesubmarine
force.
The single most important concept in terms of defining a theory of naval
airpowerthatisdistinctfromland-based-airpowertheoryisthatnavalaircraft
areessentiallyextensionsofshipweaponsandsensors.Twokeycharacteristicsof
aircraftproducetheirutility:theabilitytoseefartherfromaltitudeandtheability
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todeliverordnancebeyondthevisualhorizon.Thewholelogicofnavalaviation
developmentstemsfromthesetwocharacteristics.
Beingfusedtobasicnavaltheory,navalaviationtheoryisinfluencedbythe
three traditional Fleet Rules governing fleet operationsrules that are not,
however,explicitlycodifiedinanyexistingdoctrine:
Fleet Rule 1:Keepthefleetconcentrated(strategically).Ifthereisanoppos-
ingfleet,dispersingyourownfleet(otherthantactically)invitesdefeatin
detail.
1
Fleet Rule 2:Donotbecomedecisivelyengagedwithland-basedforcesun-
lessyouaredecisivelysuperiorinstrength.Generallyspeaking,land-based
forcescangenerateagreaterrateoffireperunittimethannavalforcesof
equalstrengthcan,sothelattermustcompensatebybringinglargerforcesto
bear.Moreover,airbasesonlandareeasierandcheapertoreconstitutethan
sunkorbadlydamagedcarriers.
Fleet Rule 3:Donotcompromisethemobilityofthefleet.Atsea,strikingef-
fectivelyfirstisthekeytovictory.Achievingthismeanseitherhavinglonger-
rangeweaponsthandoestheenemyorbeingabletofindhimfirstandstrike
beforehefindsyou.Sacrificingmobilitybytyingthefleettoageographic
pointincreasestheoddsthatyouwillbefoundandstruckfirst.
Any of these rules may be broken or ignored if conditions allow, but breaking
themwhenthereissignificantoppositionisarecipeforlosingships.Allofthese
ruleshaveappliedtoeverythingfromfightingsailtoaircraftcarriers,butinthe
caseofcarrierstheyresultinaparticularstructureoflogic.Fromtheserules,in
partasmanifestedinthePacificinWorldWarII,wecanidentifyfourlevelsof
at-seaaviationcapability.
Level 1: An Air Fleet
Atacertainlevelofaggregation,navalairpowerbecomesanairfleet.InWorld
WarIIthismeantatleastsixaircraftcarriersoperatingtogether,suchthatthere
wereoverfourhundredaircraftavailable.Aforceofthissizehadtwokeychar-
acteristicsnotsharedbyasmallergrouping:
Itcouldmultitask.Whereasasmallerforcewouldhavetomakeriskymis-
siontrade-offs,acarrierairfleetcouldmountarobustdefenseatthesame
timeitwasconductingrobustoffensivestrikes.Itcouldsearchandhavea
strongstrikepackageatthereadyatthesametime.
Itcouldstandandfightagainststrongland-basedairforces,whereasa
smallergroupwouldbeforcedtoconducthit-and-runraids.
66 NAVAL WAR COLLEGE REVI EW
Thenumberoftodaysaircraftcarriersneededtocreateanavalairfleetisnot
known,butitisliabletobeafunctionoftheoppositionarrayedagainstit.The
UnitedStatesgroupedfourcarriersinthePersianGulfforDESERTSTORM,but
therewasnoopposition,andtheirsortienumbersweredwarfedbythoseofthe
Air Force. The effectiveness of a large grouping of carriers against Iran is one
thing,againstChinaquiteanother.(Itmayevenprovetobethecasethatagainst
a modern anti-access/area-denial [A2/AD] arrayone that includes antiship
ballistic missiles, numerous submarines, and dispersed surface craft packing
three-hundred-nautical-mileantishipmissilestheconceptofanavalairforce
isirrelevant.)
TheairfleetobeysFleetRule1strategic(andoperational)concentration.It
isthisconcentrationthatallowstheairfleettocomplywiththedecisivelysu-
periorprovisionofRule2andthereforebeabletobreakRule3withacceptable
risk,asdidtheU.S.FifthFleetintheMarianasandatOkinawainWorldWarII.
Level 2: Carrier Strike Force
At numbers below those of an air fleet, carriers essentially break Fleet Rule 1,
whichmakesbreakingtheothertworulesrisky,ifnotsuicidal.Thiswasprecisely
thecasefortheJapaneseKidoButaiatMidway.Fourcarrierswerenotenoughto
strikeMidway,searcheffectively,defendtheforce,andbereadytostrikeAmeri-
cancarriersiftheyshowedupunexpectedly,allatthesametime.TheJapanese
brokeRule3,bylinkingthemselvestoMidway,anddisasterresulted.
Thecarrierstrikegroup,consistingofonecarrieranditsescortsoritsvari-
ant the strike force, consisting of two or more carriers and their escortshas
beenthestapleofU.S.NavyoperationssincetheendofWorldWarII.Atheoryof
navalairpoweratthislevelofaggregation(ordispersal)requiresanexamination
ofthemissionrolesthataircraftcarriersperform.
Role 1: Eyes of the Fleet. Intheearlyyearsofnavalaviation,aircraftperformance
was insufficient for carrying meaningful bomb loads for meaningful distances.
However,aircraftcouldspotthefallofroundsfrommajor-calibergunsfarmore
effectively than could sailors high in the upper works of battleships. This role
morphedintoorganicscoutingasthecarriersbecamestrikeplatforms.Thescout-
ingfunctionremainedactivewithrespecttotheescortcarriersthatpopulatedthe
hunter-killer groups covering the mid-Atlantic gap unreachable by land-based
patrolplanesduringtheBattleoftheAtlanticinWorldWarII.Afterthewar,the
scoutingfunctionwassubsumedbytheotherrolesthecarriersperformed.
Itshouldbenotedthatthisrolemightresurfaceforaircraftcarriers.Instead
of going forward into waters covered by A2/AD systems, carriers might sup-
port surface and subsurface operations from the outside by operating long-
range,high-enduranceunmannedaircrafttoconductsearchand,perhapsmore
RUBEL 67
importantly,provideelectronicrelaytosupportline-of-sightcommunicationsif
satellitesaretakendown.
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Role 2: Cavalry at Sea. After the Pearl Harbor attack the United States did not
havethewherewithaltomountaconcentratedattackonJapan.Thathadtowait
forthearrivalofnew-constructionships,whichwouldnotstartarrivinginnum-
bers until 1943. From May to November 1942 the carriers fought cliff-hanger
battles that so depleted both sides that by the end of November the American
andJapanesenavieswereeachreducedtoonefullyoperationalcarrier.Between
theseengagementsthefewavailableU.S.carriersinthePacificwereemployedin
hit-and-runraids.TheDoolittleRaidwasthemostfamousofthese.Theywerein
nopositiontostandandfightagainsttheJapanesenavyorevenislandairbases;
sincetheycouldnotconcentrate,theyhadtoobserveFleetRules2and3scrupu-
lously.InthissensetheywereusedinawaynotunliketheCivilWaroperations
oftheConfederatecavalrygeneralNathanBedfordForrest.
Role 3: Capital Ship. InWorldWarII,carriersfoughtforcommandoftheseaand
therebyreplacedthedreadnoughtasthetruecapitalship.Theyhaveretainedthat
roletotheextentthattheyaredeployedaroundtheperipheryofEurasiatohelp
enforcetheinternationalorder.
3
InthisrolethecarriermustobeythethreeFleet
Rulesifthereisanyoppositionatsea.Theutterabsenceofevenpotentialopposi-
tionsincethefalloftheSovietUnionhasgeneratedtheillusionthatAmerican
carriersareall-powerful.Thedangeristhattheillusioncould becrushinglyshat-
terediftheU.S.Navy,outofhabit,breakstherulesinthefaceof,say,theChinese
navy.Theeffectivenessofthemodernaircraftcarrierasacapitalshipinanageof
nuclearsubmarines,antishipmissiles,space,andcyberhasnotbeentested.This
factshouldberespected.
Role 4: Nuclear-Strike Platform. TheNavyadoptedthismissioninthelate1940s
inresponsetoAirForceassertionsthattheB-36andnuclearbombshadmade
theNavyirrelevantexceptforconvoyescort.Bythemid-1980sthismissionhad
fadedoutfornavalaviationastheballistic-missilesubmarinescameonline,along
withnuclear-tippedcruisemissiles.Meanwhile,asnuclear-strikeplatforms,car-
riers operated outside the framework of the three Fleet Rules. They dared not
concentrate; their sole imperative was to survive long enough to launch their
nuclearstrikes.
Role 5: Airfield at Sea. When the North Korean army invaded South Korea in
1950,theonlyweaponsattheimmediatedisposalofGeneralDouglasMacArthur
wereseveralaircraftcarriers,whichsavedthedaybylaunchinginterdictionsor-
tiesuntiltheArmyandAirForcecouldshowupinstrength.Carriersservedin
thesamewayfirstonstation,readyonarrivalinDESERTSHIELDandthefirst
68 NAVAL WAR COLLEGE REVI EW
Afghanistan campaign. Essentially those carriers functioned as airfields at sea.
BydefinitionthisrolerequiresthebreakingofFleetRules2and3;moreover,be-
causeofthestrategiccircumstancesoftheColdWarandafter,adherencetoRule
1wasunfeasible.Thusifacarrieristofunctionasanairfieldatsea,nothreatcan
betolerated.U.S.carriershavefunctionedinthisrolefrequentlyandwithimpu-
nitysinceWorldWarII.Institutionalcomplacencyaboutthisstateofaffairsled
tothedisregardofwar-at-seacapability,adisregardforwhichtheNavyalmost
paidin1973,whentheYomKippurWarerupted.TheSixthFleetscarriersfound
themselves confronted in the eastern Mediterranean by a numerically superior
Sovietfleetthatpossessedbothantishipmissilesandadoctrineforusingthem.
4

The U.S. carriers had neither suitable weapons nor viable tactics for antiship
engagements.
The dangers of trying to employ carriers as airfields at sea when there is an
appreciablethreatmustbeunderstoodandtakenintoaccount.Whateverroles
theyareperforming,carriersareinherentlycapitalshipsandshouldnotberisked
unlesscommandoftheseaisatstake,whichisalmostneverthecasewhensup-
portforlandoperationsisthemission.
Role 6: Geopolitical Chess Piece. Aircraftcarriershaveagloriousbattlehistory;
theyarebig,powerful,andglamorous.Allofthismakesthemexceptionallyuse-
fulforvariousformsofnavaldiplomacy,bothfriendlyandcoercive.Moreover,
uniquely among U.S. forces, they are ready on arrival to conduct combat op-
erations without the buildup of logistics. American presidents can move them
aroundtheseaslikequeensonagiantchessboard.Withoutgettingintotheef-
fectsofsuchmoves,wecansaythattheacceptableriskprofileismuchthesame
asthatoftheairfield-at-searole.AllthreeFleetRulesusuallymustbeviolated,
butespeciallyRule3,violationofwhichisinherentintherole.Aswiththeair-
field role, the United States has become accustomed to its carriers performing
thisfunctionwithimpunity,somuchsothatithasbecomehabitual,andperhaps
worse,theassumptionofimpunityhasbecomeembeddedintheNavyscorpo-
rateculture.
Level 3: Aviation-Capable Ships
Aviation-capableshipsaregenerallythosewithflightdecksthatrunthelength
oftheship(i.e.,throughdecks),allowingthemtooperateawingofhelicopters
andshort-takeoff/vertical-landingjets.TheU.S.versionsarethelargeamphibi-
ousshipsthatembarkMarineCorpsaviationunits.Thespecializedfunctionof
theseshipsandwingsistosupportMarineexpeditionaryoperations.Thusthese
shipsarebuilttoperformaminiversionoftheairfield-at-searole,andthatroles
acceptable-riskprofileapplies.Othernavieshaveaddedskijumpsforwardtoal-
lowaddedtakeoffweight,andsomehavearrestinggear,toavoidtheperformance
RUBEL 69
penalties of vertical landing. Countries building such ships call them aircraft
carriers,butananalysisoftheircapabilitiesrevealstheyareonlymarginally,ifat
all,capableofperforminganyofthesixcarrier-missionroles.Theirlimitations
are such that they are classed here as aviation-capable ships rather than true
aircraftcarriers.
Having identified the limitations of the ship type, we must nonetheless also
acknowledgeitspotentialstrategicutilityincertaindefinedcircumstances.First,
bycallingtheseshipscarrierscountriescanclaimmembershipamongthenaval
elite,thusservingthecauseofnavalnationalism.Truecarriersornot,theyare
powerfulsourcesofpride,asevidencedbytheChinesepublicsenthusiasmfor
the Peoples Liberation Army Navys Liaoning, a refurbished Russian aviation-
capableship.Moreobjectively,theaviationcapabilityoftheseshipsmakesthem
flexibleandmorebroadlycapablethanasurfacecombatantoramphibiousship
without a through deck. They can provide instrumentality in everything from
disasterrelieftogunboatdiplomacy.Sinceeventheseshipsareveryexpensiveto
buildandoperate,countrieswillonlyhaveoneortwo,makingtheiremployment
beyondtheirhomewatersrareandepisodic.
Included in this category are the recent classes of Japanese destroyers that
havethroughdecks.Thedestroyerdescriptionwasadoptedforpoliticalreasons,
butdoessuggestthattheprimaryfunctionoftheembarkedairwing(helicopters
onlyatthispoint)isantisubmarinewarfare(ASW)andseacontrol.
5
Inthissense
they are first cousins to the old Soviet Kiev class of aircraft-carrying cruisers,
socalledtosidestepthestricturesoftheMontreuxConvention(whichprohibits
the passage of aircraft carriers through the Dardanelles and Bosporus, linking
theBlackSeawiththeAegean).Indeed,sincetheSovietswereunabletobuildan
even modestly capable vertical-takeoff-and-landing jet, the only viable use for
thoseshipswasASW.However,athroughdeck,ski-jumpbowornot,provides
the potential for operating a few tactical jets, if they have the required perfor-
mance.Whateverthebasicutilityofdoingso,however,theseshipsarelimitedby
theirinabilitytooperatefixed-wingearly-warningaircraft,havingtorelyinstead
onhelicoptersequippedfortheroleafarinferiorsolution.
Level 4: Ships with Helicopter Decks
Mostmoderncombatantsfeaturedecksaftfromwhichtheycanoperateanem-
barkedhelicopterortwoorwithwhichtheycanserveaslilypadsforvisiting
helicopters.Eitherway,thisaviationcapabilitygreatlyincreasestheshipsreach,
security,andabilitytostayatsea.Theadventofunmannedaircraftfurtherextends
the aviation potential of surface combatants, in a sense reprising the catapult-
launchedfloatplanesthatwerefoundonbattleshipsandcruisersinWorldWar
II. The small Scan Eagle unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has become almost
70 NAVAL WAR COLLEGE REVI EW
ubiquitous on board U.S. destroyers and has proved extremely useful in scout-
ingandsurveillance.However,thisorganicaviationcapabilityonboardsurface
combatantsdoesnotelevatethoseshipsintothearenaofnavalaviationtheory;
theirflyingmachinessimplymakethemmorecapablesurfacecombatants.Hav-
ingsaidthis,ifaircraftflyingoffsurfacecombatantsweretobenetworkedinto
theoperationsofcarrierairwings,theirrelevancetotheorymightchange.
Land-Based Naval Aviation
Takenasawhole,mostnavalaviationintheworldislandbasedaircraftfunc-
tioningeitherasscoutsorasvirtualextensionsofcoastalartillery.Theirpurpose
istoexertcontrolovertheseasoverwhichtheycanfly.Thiswastheirkeymis-
sionintheBattleoftheAtlanticinWorldWarII.InthePacific,theUnitedStates
usedlong-rangeaircrafttoscouttheseaslookingforJapanesenavalforces,sup-
plementingorreplacingcarrier-basedscouts,dependingonthesituation.Both
theJapaneseandAmericansalsousedland-basedmediumbombersandtactical
fighterstofindanddestroyenemyships.Whileimposingattritionontheenemy
isadesiredgoalattimes,therealeffectofland-basedaviationistocreateno-
gozonesforcapitalships.InthistheyarebehindtherationaleforFleetRule2.
For all the real and potential ability of land-based naval aviation, there has
always been a disconnect between it and embarked naval aviation. Part of the
reason involves tribal differences in culture, and part is in the dichotomy in
missions. However, there have been occasions on which the two aviation arms
shouldhaveworkedincoordination.The1980sMaritimeStrategyprovidedfor
movinganaircraftcarriernorthwardintoVestfjord,inNorway.Itwassupposed
tofindsanctuarytherefromSovietair-launchedantishipmissiles,asthehillsof
thelongseawardpeninsulawoulddisruptradarseekers.However,ifitwastoget
uptoVestfjordwithoutfallingpreytoalurkingSovietsubmarine,therehadto
beanantecedentarea-ASWeffortmountedbypatrolplanesflyingoutofIce-
land.TheSoviets,analyzingtheproblem,assignedthelong-rangeSu-27Flanker
fighter to the campaign as a patrol-plane killer. When the need for providing
fighter protection for the patrol planes was raised in the U.S. Navy, the carrier
fightercommunityrefusedtoentertaintheidea,notwantingeventotalktothe
patrolcommunity.Fortunately,theVestfjordschemeneverhadtobeactivated.
6
THE THEORY OF SCOUT BOMBING
Atfirstglance,scoutbombingseemsanobsoleteconcept,rightoutofWorldWar
II,andoutofplaceinthisdiscussion.However,thiselementoftheoryprovides
importantinsightsintothepotentialdynamicsintheapplicationofnavalaviation
inawar-at-seasituation.Scoutinghasalwaysbeenacriticalfunctioninnavalwar
fighting,fromfrigatesintheageofsailtofloatplanesoperatingfrombattleships
RUBEL 71
in World War II and the Scan Eagles of today. In lieu of an ability to identify
shipsonradarreturnsorfromspace,humaneyesmustbeemployedtobuilda
pictureofsurfacetrafficinaspecifiedsectionofocean.NormalNavypracticehas
beenforland-basedpatrolplanes,embarkedtacticalaircraft,surfacecombatant
helicopters,orUAVstoflyoutandidentifyradarcontacts.Inpeacetimethisisa
benignandroutineprocedure,ifsomewhatinefficient.However,incrisisorin
wartimeitbecomesscouting,andaparticularlogicattendsitspractice.
Inaneraoflong-rangeantishipmissiles,itisimperativethatabattle-group
commander have a complete and accurate picture of surface activity, perhaps
outtothreehundrednauticalmilesormorefromthecarrier.Althoughsatellite-
based information of various kinds can be enormously useful for cueing, it
cannot produce the kind of detailed information that a set of human eyes on
the scene (in person or via UAV sensors) can and that is needed for a positive
identification. Getting positive identifications necessitates dispersal of aircraft
widelyandsingly.Ifahostileorpotentiallyhostilecombatantisdetected,scout-
bombinglogiccomesintoplay.
Letusfirstassumeasituationinwhichhostilitieshavecommencedandthe
rulesofengagementallowpreemptiveattackonenemyunits.Iftheair-wingdoc-
trinerequiresacoordinatedantishipstrikeinvolvingfourtoeightaircraft,word
must be passed from the scout making the identification, a decision to strike
made (perhaps in the context of an ongoing battle group defense), and either
astrikeforce(ofaircraftwaitingondeckonalert)launchedoraircraftalready
airborneassembled.Dependingonthedistancetothetarget,theremaybeupto
ahalf-hoursdelaybeforethestrikearrives.Thisisenoughtimefortheenemy
toreactorprepareinanumberofways.Butwhatifthescoutaircraftcarriedits
ownantishipmissiles?Thesewouldhavetobeshort-rangeandrelativelylight,
sotheycouldbebroughtbackonboardthecarrierwithoutincurringtoogreat
a fuel penalty for the aircraft. By definition, if the scout is still alive to identify
theenemyat,realistically,amaximumofabouteightmiles,itcangetoffashot.
Theshotmaynotsinkordisabletheenemyship,butitmightdoenoughsystem
damagetomakeitlessofathreat.Ofcourse,iftheshiphassurface-to-airmis-
siles,theminutethescoutbreakstheradarhorizonat,say,thirtynauticalmiles
ifatlowaltitudeitbecomesvulnerabletothesesystems.Magnifyingopticalor
infraredsystemsonthescoutmayshortenthisvulnerabilitywindowbyallowing
identificationnotlongafteritbreakstheradarhorizon.Insuchacasetheaircraft
isfunctioningasatrueextensionofshipsensorsandweapons.
A major advantage of this arrangement is that it fuses the sensing, identifi-
cation, and attack functions, so the observe, orient, decide, act loop is very
quick. Second, it meets international-law requirements on two counts: positive
72 NAVAL WAR COLLEGE REVI EW
identificationofthetargetandahuman(amoralagent)tomakethefiringdeci-
sion.Inaddition,suchdelegationreducesthedecision-makingloadonthebattle
groupsCompositeWarfareCommander(CWC),itschieftacticalofficer.
In a crisis in which, however, adversary units have not been generally des-
ignated as hostile, the issue becomes one of control. To what degree can firing
authoritybedelegatedtoaircrews?Ofcourse,thebasicposturewouldbetore-
quirepermissionfromtheCWCtofire,unlesstheenemyunitfiresfirst.There
are many possible variations, and there is always the question of the adequacy
of communication between the scout and CWC. However, risk in this kind of
situationcanbemanagedbyissuingtacticaldoctrinetellingaircrewswhattodo
ifapotentialhostileunitisidentifiedperhapstoretreatimmediatelyoverthe
horizon,shadowtheadversary,andawaitorders.Eveninthiscase,theoptionof
instantstrikeremainsavailable.
A coordinated strike of any kind is predicated on the idea that one aircraft
either cannot get through enemy defenses or cannot carry sufficient firepower
toproducethedesiredeffects.Neitherofthesethingsappliesinthecaseofscout
bombing.Thelogicofcoordinatedstrikeisantitheticaltothelogicoflocalsea
control,wheredispersalforcoverageisthemostimportantfactor.Conversely,in
an age of antiship missiles, achieving a coordinated-time-on-target salvo from
differentdirectionssuggestsdispersionoffiringunits.Thedifficultyofshooting
downmodernantishipcruisemissilesplacesapremiumondisruptingthesalvo
at its source. This again suggests scout bombing, especially in a brink-of-war
situation.Arobustscout-bombingposturemightevenhavedeterrentvalueat
aminimum,theenemyshandwillbetippedifitshootsatascoutbomber.This
logicwasthebasisforSixthFleetbird-dogtacticsusedinthestandoffwiththe
Soviet fleet during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, in which carrier aircraft orbited
aboveSovietunits,watchingformissilelaunchesfromtheirdecks.Interestingly,
theincreasedendurance,stealth,andenhancedelectronicsoftheF-35Lightning
IIsuggestitwouldbegoodinthisrole.Perhapsevenbetterwouldbeaformof
theX-47unmannedcombatairvehicle;itshighenduranceandstealth,coupled
withitscarryingnocrew,mightmakeitanexcellentscoutbomberifequipped
withtherightkindofshort-rangemissile.Ofcourse,thedifficultpartswouldbe
connectivityandanautonomousruleset.
The idea that modern war at sea will be like carrier battles in the Pacific in
WorldWarIImustbediscarded.Americancarrierswillnotbefightingacoun-
terpart fleet of carriers but rather an array of land- and sea-based missile plat-
forms.TheUnitedStateshasnochoicebuttoconcentratenavalairpowerinlarge
nuclear-poweredaircraftcarriers,buttheirairwings,forsea-controlpurposes,
willneedtospreadoutasmuchaspossible.Attemptingtosaturatedefenseswith
aircraftis,giventherelativelysmallnumbersofnavalfightersavailable,precisely
RUBEL 73
thewrongapproach.Eachfightermusthavethecapabilitytodisableordisrupt
onesurfaceunit.
As newer, more capable sensors and weapons enter the fleet, they might
changethewholeequationwithanabilitytogetpositiveidentificationsagainst
noncooperative vessels (perhaps actively trying to look to nonvisual sensors
likemerchantships)atgreaterranges,andatthesametimetocarrylong-range
antishipmissiles.Atthatpointfixed-wingtacticalaircraftmaynotbeneededat
alltoexertseacontrolbutcouldbeusedforotherfunctions,perhapseasingthe
opportunity-cost dilemma that has always attended carrier flight operations at
forceaggregationsbelowthelevelofanairforceatsea.
THE THEORY OF FLEET DEFENSE
IntheColdWar,theNavydevelopedfordefendingcarrierbattlegroupsagainst
Sovietairattacksarobustdoctrinecalledvectorlogic.
7
Itestablishedacircu-
largrid,notnecessarilycenteredonthecarrier,withinwhichfighterscouldbe
movedlikechesspieces.Thepremisesofthisdoctrinewere,first,thattheskyis
bigandfightersarefew,andsecond,thatitisfarmoreeffectivetoshootdown
bombersbeforetheycanlaunchtheirantishipmissilesthantotrytostopthemis-
sileslater.Thedetailsofthisdoctrineneednotbeexaminedtounderstandthat
itwasinherentlytactical.Fleetdefenseisabroadermatterthanjustprotectionof
theaircraftcarrier,butthatelementiscentralifcarriersarepresent.
IfwegobacktotheVestfjordscheme,wecanseehowthematteroffleetde-
fensetakesonoperational-levelovertones.Recallthatpatrolplanesoperatingout
ofIcelandweretosweeptheNorwegianlittoralofSovietsubmarines,allowing
the carrier to move up to its bastion without being torpedoed. But the patrol
planesthemselveswereatriskandneededfightercover.Cascadingrequirements
setthedimensionsofamajornavaloperation,onewhoseeffectswereintended
to be strategic. Ultimately, naval air strikes on the Kola Peninsula would take
downSovietairdefenses,pavingthewayforAirForceB-52s.They,inturn,were
supposedtoforcetheSovietstodivertforcesfromtheiroffensiveintheCentral
Regionthatis,againstWesternEurope.Asfortheearlystepofdefendingthe
patrolaircraftclearingthewayforthecarriersteamingnorthtoitshaven,since
land-based NATO air forces in Norway would presumably be occupied with
otherrequirementsandinanycasenottrainedtoconductprotectionofanair
ASW effort, U.S. Navy carrier fighters would be needed. Thus an operational
conceptwouldhavetobedevelopedthatincludedtheinitialcarrierpositioning
andfighter-stationingschemestosupportthepatrolplanes.Thepointhereisthat
inthiscasefleetdefensewasanoperational-levelmatter,requiringplanningand
oversightbyanoperational-levelstaff.Fleetdefense,beittacticaloroperational,
isalwaysapreludetoandfacilitatorofnavaloffensiveoperations.
74 NAVAL WAR COLLEGE REVI EW
Ofcourse,Aegiscruisersanddestroyersarearrayedaroundacarriertocon-
ducthit-to-killdefense.Theyareverycapable,butmodernantishipmissilesare
gettinghardertointercept,andmagazinesizesarefixed.Tacticalsoftkillinthe
formofchaffandjammingwillplayanimportantrole,butfromanoperational-
levelperspective,thegoalwouldbetoavoidhavingtofightatacticaldefensive
battle in the first place. That means, ideally, keeping the carriers unlocated or
atleastuntargeted.Satellites,cyberspace,cellphones,andover-the-horizonra-
dars,ononehand,andtheneedforthecarrierstrikegrouptoradiatedetectable
emissions in order to fight, on the other, make this goal challenging to say the
least.IntheColdWar,operationaldeceptionviamaneuverwasatacticalmat-
ter;U.S.carriersroutinelyutilizedsuchmethodsassprintanddrifttododge
Sovietsatellitestoshowupunexpectedlysomewhere.Intodaysinterconnected
world, operational deception, especially for a carrier battle group, will require
operational-levelplanningattheregionalandperhapsgloballevels,leveraging
emissioncontrol,deceptiveemissions,andcyber-baseddisinformation.Airop-
erationswillbefedintothisfabric,buttheirrolewillnotbeanythinglikeitwas
inColdWarpractice.
Inthefuture,operational-levelfleetdefensewillbefocusedonpreparingthe
jointoperationsareainsuchawaythatthecarrierisabletoperformthespecific
missionrolerequiredatanacceptablelevelofrisk.Someroleswillrequiremore
extensive preparation than others. The objectives will be to blind and confuse
theenemyand,dependingonthesituationandrulesofengagement,destroyhis
capability to shoot. Carrier fighters may work in conjunction with submarines
andsurfaceflotillaforces(aboutwhichmorebelow)todothis.Inthissense,
operational-level fleet defense can be preemptive and offensive. It should be
emphasizedatthispointthatsuchoperations,likealmostallnavalwar-fighting
operations, will involve the integration of subsurface, surface, and air capabili-
tiesonbothsides.Thischaracteristicdistinguishesnavalwarfarefromitscoun-
terpartoverland.AsintheVestfjordexample,coordinationbetweenland-based
and carrier-based aviation will be necessary, as will coordination of both with
surfaceandunderseaoperations.TheJFMCCwillbetheappropriateauthority
tomakeallofthishappen.
Operational-level fleet defense also involves preparation of potential battle
spacesinpeacetime,whichiswhyelectronic-warfareaircraftpatrolcertainareas.
Itisonethingtogatherinformation,buttheideaofbattle-spacepreparationcan
easily extend to a variety of peacetime operations designed to shape potential-
enemy perceptions and expectations such that the fleet is set up to maneuver
successfullyineithercrisisorwar.
Thelogicofoperational-levelfleetdefenseextendstoamphibiousoperations.
Ifoppositiontoaplannedassaultispossible,itisthemissionofcarrieraircraft
RUBEL 75
topreparetheamphibiousoperationsarea(AOA)inaccordancewiththeprevi-
ouslydiscussedprovisionsofoperational-levelfleetdefense.Akeycharacteristic
ofamphibiousoperationsisthattheybreakFleetRule3bytyingatleastpartof
thefleettoageographicpoint.Verylittleoppositioncanbetoleratedatforcelev-
elsbelowthatoftheairfleet.Thelimitedsortiesavailablefromaviation-capable
amphibiousshipswillbemostlyinvolvedwithsupportoftroopsontheground;
widersecurityanddefenseoftheAOAwillhavetobeprovidedbycarrieraircraft.
Thisgeneralframeworkappliestobothamphibiousoperationsacrossthebeach
andthoseinvolvingdeeperaerialinsertion.Specialoperations,bytheirnature,
cannotaccommodatethesamekindofareapreparation,butattimesrobustair
supportmustbeavailabletocoverextractionifplansgoawry.
ThereisemerginginAmericannavalthoughttheconceptofflotillaopera-
tions,theuseofanarrayofsmallercombatantsalongwithothermannedand
unmannedforcesinalittoralwhereinthethreatlevelprecludesthepresenceof
high-valueunits.Theseforcescannotoperateeffectively,atleastforverylong,
if subjected to enemy air attack. Thus, in a way similar to the Norwegian Sea
airborne-antisubmarine-warfaredilemmaofthe1980sthatwehavediscussed,
flotillaforcesmustbeprovidedsomedegreeofairsupport.Thismayemanate
from carriers or, possibly, from small, movable land-based detachments of
Navy or Marine air. This point recalls the original logic of aircraft carrier op-
erationsto provide air superiority over the fleet and protect forward scouts
thatwerespottingthefallofshotinbattleshipgunnery.Themissionwillbeair
superiorityorperhapsthedisruption/preventionofenemyairsuperiorityat
adistance.
COMMAND AND CONTROL
In the summer of 1990, before Iraq invaded Kuwait, the USS Dwight D. Eisen-
hower(CVN69) battlegroupwassailingplacidlythroughtheMediterranean.Its
commandergotamessagefromSixthFleetrequestingacampaignplanagainst
acertaincountry.Thiswassimplyaprofessionalexercise,anditsscenariowas
supposedtoinvolveonlytwocarrierairwings.Afterseveralweeksofeffort,the
commanding and executive officers of the squadrons in Eisenhowers air wing
producedalogisticallyfeasibleplan.However,intheprocessofplanningagap
wasdiscoveredthatthereexistedwithintheCWCstructurenocommand-and-
control capability that could direct an extended and progressive air campaign.
TheexistingCWCapparatuswasdesignedfordefenseofabattlegroup,notof-
fensiveairoperations.Theairwingcouldplanandexecuteone-timestrikes,but
itcouldnotmonitororassessprogressovertimeorexertreal-timecontrol.This
gapexistedbecausetheNavyhadnotconductedanaircampaignsinceVietnam,
and even in that war air operations had been conducted on the basis of route
76 NAVAL WAR COLLEGE REVI EW
packages,meaningthatnavalstrikeoperationshadbeensimplyaseriesofdis-
cretestrikesdirectedbyhigherauthority.
ThisproblemcamehometoroosttwomonthslaterwhenEisenhowermoved
intotheRedSeainresponsetotheKuwaitinvasion.AstheNavydispatchedad-
ditionalcarrierstothescene,theAirForcestoodupitsAirOperationsCenter
andassertedcontroloverallairoperations.TheNavywasunhappyaboutthisbut
hadnocountervailingC2structureorunderpinningtheoryofnavalairpower.As
theair-warphaseproceeded,Navybattle-groupstaffsinthePersianGulfbecame
frustrated that their target nominations to the AOC, targets chosen to prepare
theway(asamatterofoperational-levelfleetdefense)foraputativeamphibious
assaultinKuwait,werebeingrejected.Theystartedtonominateprimarytargets
theyknewtheAirForcedominatedAOCwouldapprovebutattachedsecondary
targetsthatweretheirrealobjectives.Afterlaunch,Navyaircraftwouldinform
theairbornecontrolcelltheywereswitchingtotheirsecondarytargets.Thisneed
tosubvertthetargetingprocesshighlightstheproblemthenavalaviationstaffs
instinctivelyfocusedonsupportingtheMarines(notknowing,ofcourse,thatthe
landingwasafeint),buttherewasnothinginNavytheoryordoctrinetosupport
anargumentfortheirpriorities.
Today,NavyoperationalC2isshiftingtotheJointForceMaritimeComponent
CommanderwithMaritimeOperationsCenterstructure,thebettertocoordinate
with,butalsocompetewith,theAirForceAOC.Thusfar,theNavyhasfocused
onthemechanicsofMOCoperationsandhasnotyetdevelopedatheoryequiva-
lenttothatgoverningU.S.AirForceairpower.Theissuewillcometoaheadin
thePacific,wheretheAirForcehasatheaterJFACC(JointForceAirComponent
Commander)/AOC.Becauseitstheorystatesthatairpowermustbeundercen-
tralizedcommand,theAirForcehascontendedthatthemaritimedomaindoes
notincludetheairoverthewater.ThematterhasbeensettledintheNavysfavor
fornow,butitislikelytoresurfaceinthefuture.EveniftheNavyestablishesa
theater JFMCC (which it is doing), it is possible that, absent an underpinning
theoryofnavalairpowerexplainingwhynavalaviationshouldbecommanded
bytheJFMCC,theAirForcewillsubsequentlyrevisitandwintheargumentand
getoperationalcontrolofnavalaviation,atleastinthePacifictheater.
What would constitute a theoretical basis for keeping naval aviation under
JFMCCcontrol?Thefirstandperhapsmostcompellingargumentemanatesfrom
thetheorythathasbeenpreviouslydescribedthatnavalaircraftareessentially
extensionsofshipweaponsandsensorsandarethereforetoointegratedwiththe
fleettoberegardedaspartsofthegeneralpoolofairpower.Whileitistruethey
have been fed into the JFACC Air Tasking Order (ATO) for certain over-land
operations,overwatertheJFMCCisthecompetentauthority,and,unlikeground
forces,tacticalaircraftareorganictosurfaceunits.Toappealtoanotherelement
RUBEL 77
ofnavalairpowertheorythathasbeendiscussed,navalembarkedtacticalaircraft
maybecontrolledbytheJFACConlyifthecarriersareoperatingintheroleof
airfieldsatsea.Intheotherroles,controlofcarrieraircraftmustbeheldeither
bytheJFMCCorthebattlegroupcommander.Thisargumentrevealstheutility
oftheory.
The other argument against removing the air dimension from the maritime
domainistheunityofthefight,asmanifestedbytheCompositeWarfareCom-
mander. The threat being composed of subsurface, surface, and air elements,
an integrated tactical C2 structure is essential. This logic of three-dimensional
interdependenceandintegrationscalesuptotheregionallevel,andinthisregard
the JFMCC rests on the same theoretical basis as the CWC. This dimensional
integrationtrumpsairpowertheorythatsaysairpowerisaunity,mustbeused
economically, and therefore must be controlled by a single headquarters, com-
mandedbyanairman.Whilethatclaimistrueoverlandifthereisanopposing
airforce,overwaterthesituationitenvisionsdoesnotexistandthetheorymust
bechallenged.
Certainly,theproliferationofintermediate-rangeballisticmissilesandlong-
range cruise missiles presents the problem of integrated air-missile defense
(IAMD). Defense against missiles is both a regional and local matter. At the
theaterlevel,withregardtotheallocationofscarceballistic-missile-defenseas-
setsandengagementoflonger-rangemissiles,thetheaterAOCisthecompetent
authority.However,IAMDisnotthesamethingasafightfortheaterairsupe-
riority; rather it is more on the order of an artillery duel. Unlike a theater air
campaign,theIAMDfightwillhavelocalmanifestationsthatmustbecontrolled
bylocalcommanders,andinthesecasesIAMDbecomespartoftheintegrated
navalbattle.
Thetheoryofnaval-aviationC2isafunctionoftheintegratednatureofthe
subsurface, surface, and air naval-warfare environment and the doctrinal roles
ofaircraftcarriers.WecanseethattheCWCstructure,whilesufficientforbattle
groupdefenseandlocalseacontrol,lacksthecapabilitytooverseeextendedop-
erationsorcampaignsattheoperationallevel.TheJFMCCistheheadquarters
wherethisfunctionmustreside.Navalengagements,operations,andcampaigns
do not unroll smoothly or progressively over time the way such things tend to
doonandoverland.Therefore,theATOapproachtocontrollingairoperations
is unsuitable for naval operations; it is insufficiently responsive to emergent
conditions. Local conditions will govern how many and what kinds of sorties
individualcarrierscanlaunch.Areal-timeregionalpicturewillallowtheJFMCC
todirectmissionorderstocarrierssuchthatcoordinationwithsubmarinesand
otherelementsoffleetoperationsisachieved.ExternalU.S.AirForceassetsare
besthandledthroughtacticalcontrolbytheJFMCC.
78 NAVAL WAR COLLEGE REVI EW
Tothispointwehaveessentiallydrawnapictureofthetheaterofoperations
inwhichtherearetwoprincipalbubblesofairthatoverland,controlledby
theAirForceJFACC,andthatoverwater,controlledbytheNavyJFMCC.Su-
perimposedonbothisthefunctionalmatterofIAMD,whichinsomeaspectsis
controlled even over water by the JFACC. However, the seam between JFMCC
and JFACC air bubbles deserves some scrutiny. This seam is the littoral. The
DepartmentofDefensedefinesthelittoralascomprisingtwosegmentsofop-
erational environment: 1. Seaward: the area from the open ocean to the shore,
which must be controlled to support operations ashore. 2. Landward: the area
inlandfromtheshorethatcanbesupportedanddefendeddirectlyfromthesea.
8

ThisdefinitionimpliesthatincertaincircumstancestheJFACCcancontrolair-
poweroperatingoverwaterandthat,conversely,incertaincasestheJFMCCcan
controlairpoweroverland.Thisishazyenoughtoimplysomegrounds,atleast,
forU.S.AirForcecontentionsthatbecause,byextension,allnavaloperations
are ultimately intended to support operations ashorethe air domain should
includeallairovertheocean.Here,thetheoryoftheintegratedfightcanhelp,
totheextentthatamphibiousoperationsareinvolved.IftheMarinesareoperat-
ing as a single-service unit and there is no established Army Joint Force Land
ComponentCommandersay,duringdisasterrelief,noncombatantevacuation
operations, etc.then an integrated maritime operation is under way and the
JFMCCshouldhavecontrolofassociatedairsupport.Thiskindofairsupport
cangoverydeepinland indeed,astheinitialU.S.NavyandMarineCorpsopera-
tionsinAfghanistanillustrated.
A final argument against JFACC control of naval aviation is that of compe-
tence to control. Just as Air Force doctrine asserts that an airman must be in
chargeofthetheaterairfight,thesamelogicsuggeststhatasailorbeincommand
ofthenavalfight.ThiswasmanifestedwheninWorldWarIItheNavyformed
the Seventh Fleet under Admiral Thomas C. Kinkaid to fight under General
Douglas MacArthur but kept the fast carriers always under Pacific Fleet com-
mand. The fear was that General MacArthur and his staff would subject them
to inappropriate risk at inappropriate times. A more modern case occurred in
DESERT STORM of 199091. Eisenhower, which had been deployed since early
spring of 1990, was one of the first two carriers on scene in August after Iraq
invadedKuwait.Asmorecarriersshowedupinthetheater,Eisenhowerwassent
back to the United States to refit. Apparently, General Norman Schwarzkopf,
commanderofU.S.CentralCommand,wasunawareofthis,andwhenhelearned
ofitwhenEisenhowerwastwodaysoutofNorfolkheexploded,sayingevery
unitshouldbeinthefightuntiltheend.Thisreflectedalackofunderstanding
aboutthenatureofU.S.navalpowerinthatera.Thecarriercouldnotstayatsea
indefinitely, because of maintenance requirements and personnel tempo. After
RUBEL 79
the war, when the Army and Air Force redeployed to the continental United
States,theNavywouldhavetohavecarriersavailabletoreplacethosethathad
fought the war, as a continued U.S. naval presence in those waters would be
necessary.
There is no independent theory of victory associated with the theory of naval
airpower. It is always a contingent means to a contingent end. The theory of
naval airpower is also necessarily linked to a larger naval theory that involves
commandofthesea,seacontrol,powerprojection,andmaritimesecurity.The
largernavaltheoryisoperativeinbothpeaceandwarandisthereforelinkedto
nationalgrandstrategy.Innavalairpowertheory,therearenoaprioriclaimsof
effectivenessonlyguidelinesformanagingriskandinsightslinkingthenature
oftheoperationalenvironmentwithcommand-and-controlarrangements.Ac-
cordingly,itismorepracticalandflexiblethantraditionalairpowertheoryand
presentsfewerimpedimentstojointcoordination.
Itiswellknownthatnavalofficershaveaculturalaversiontotheoryanddoc-
trine,atleastattheoperationallevel.However,theincreasingrangesofweapons
and sensors have driven the Navy to adopt a regional approach to command
andcontrol,intheformofJFMCC/MOC.Asthisconstructoverlapstheequally
regionalJFACC/AOCconstruct,theoryanddoctrineareneededtoestablishthe
casefornavalwar-fightingimperatives.Ashasbeendemonstratedhere,thisneed
canbemetwithoutrigidrulesoraprioriassertions.Thefundamentalcharacter-
isticofnavalaviationisitsflexibility,soitstheoryanddoctrinemustfollowsuit.
NOTES
ThisistheeleventharticleIhavepublished
intheNaval War College Review,anditis
perhapsfitting,asIendmytenureatthe
NavalWarCollege,thatitdealswithnaval
aviation.IjoinedtheNavytofly,andasIma-
turedprofessionallyovertheyearsIbecame
lessconcernedwithhowtoflyandmore
concernedwithwhytofly.Inasense,this
articleisabitofacapstoneonthatthinking.
Ihavebeenblessedtohavehadtheoppor-
tunitytoservetheNavyandthenationasa
facultymemberoftheCollege;otherwise,I
doubtthatIwouldhavebeenabletopursue
anysuchthoughtprocess.Iammostgrateful
forthearrayofcolleaguesherewhohave
mentoredme,arguedwithme,and,mostgra-
ciouslyandprofessionally,pointedouterrors
inmylogic.Complimentsdonotimprove
onesthinking.SpecialthanksgotoDr.Cary
Lordandhispredecessorssince1995(the
yearofmyfirstarticleinthesepages)and
Mr.PelBoyerfortheirunfailingpatienceand
supportasIattemptedtocollect,organize,
andarticulatemythoughts.
1.Thisisperhapsanoverlysimplisticarticula-
tionofanavalwarfaredynamicthatisinfact
complex.AlfredThayerMahanadvocated
strategicconcentrationoftheU.S.fleet.Sir
JulianCorbettspentconsiderablespacein
his1911Some Principles of Maritime Strategy
specifyingcaveatsregardingwhenandwhere
concentrationwouldbeappropriateandex-
plainingthatnavalconcentrationincluded
infact,demandedacertainamountof
dispersal.ProfessorWayneHughesatthe
80 NAVAL WAR COLLEGE REVI EW
U.S.NavalPostgraduateSchoolsuggests
thatthebestwaytocharacterizetheruleis
tofindthebestwaytofightinmutualsup-
port.Ifthereisanopposingfleet,thisfleetis
yourobjectiveandacoordinatedlongrange
strikeisthemeans;WayneP.Hughes,Jr.,
Fleet Tactics and Coastal Combat(Annapolis,
Md.:NavalInstitutePress,2000),chap.4,
esp.pp.9495.Hughesdiscussesthematter
ingenerallytacticalterms(whichcanhave
strategicimplicationswhencapitalshipsare
involved),butthereareadditionalpermuta-
tionsattheoperationalandstrategiclevels.
Thisisallgristforaseparatearticleorbook.
Forthepurposesofthisdiscussion,the
authorhaselectedtogowiththesimplistic
characterization.
2.SeemyTheFutureofAircraftCarriers,
Naval War CollegeReview64,no.4(Autumn
2011),pp.1327.
3.Inthissensethecarriersexercisecommand
ofthesea.Foranexplanationandanalysisof
thisconceptseeGeorgeModelskiandWil-
liamThompson, Seapower in Global Politics
14941993(Seattle:Univ.ofWashington
Press,1988),pp.1617.
4.ForagooddiscussionofthiseventseeLyle
GoldsteinandYuriZhukov,ATaleofTwo
Fleets:ARussianPerspectiveonthe1973
NavalStandoffintheMediterranean,Naval
War College Review 57,no.2(Spring2004),
pp.2763.
5.ForaJapaneseview,arguingthatsuchships
arenotaircraftcarriers,seeYojiKoda,A
NewCarrierRace?Strategy,ForcePlanning,
andJSHyuga,Naval War College Review64,
no.3(Summer2011),pp.3160.
6.Thissectionisbasedondiscussionsbythe
authorwithRussiannavalofficersandon
personalexperienceduringhistoursas
executiveandcommandingofficerofStrike
FighterSquadron131.
7.Foragooddescriptionofthecontextand
logicofvectorlogic,seeMarkN.Clemente,
WhosGottheGreasePencil?!:WhatCyber
SecurityCanLearnfromtheOuterAir
Battle(papersubmittedtothe15thInterna-
tionalCommandandControlResearchand
TechnologySymposium,June2010),available
atwww.dodccrp.org/.
8.U.S.DefenseDept.,DOD Dictionary of
Military and Associated Terms, JointPublica-
tion1-02(Washington,D.C.:JointStaff,
asamendedthrough15December2013),
availableatwww.dtic.mil/,citingU.S.Defense
Dept.,Joint Tactics, Techniques, and Proce-
dures for Joint Intelligence Preparation of the
Battlespace, JointPublication2-01.3(Wash-
ington,D.C.:JointStaff,24May2000).