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Navy Irregular Warfare and Counterterrorism Operations: Background and Issues for Congress

CRS Report for Congress
Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress
Navy Irregular Warfare and
Counterterrorism Operations:
Background and Issues for Congress
Ronald O'Rourke
Specialist in Naval Affairs
March 15, 2013
Congressional Research Service
7-5700
www.crs.gov
RS22373
Navy Role in Irregular Warfare and Counterterrorism
Congressional Research Service
Summary
The Navy for several years has carried out a variety of irregular warfare (IW) and
counterterrorism (CT) activities. Among the most readily visible of the Navy’s recent IW
operations have been those carried out by Navy sailors serving ashore in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Many of the Navy’s contributions to IW operations around the world are made by Navy
individual augmentees (IAs)—individual Navy sailors assigned to various DOD operations.
The May 1-2, 2011, U.S. military operation in Abbottabad, Pakistan, that killed Osama bin Laden
reportedly was carried out by a team of 23 Navy special operations forces, known as SEALs (an
acronym standing for Sea, Air, and Land). The SEALs reportedly belonged to an elite unit known
unofficially as Seal Team 6 and officially as the Naval Special Warfare Development Group
(DEVGRU).
The Navy established the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) informally in October
2005 and formally in January 2006. NECC consolidated and facilitated the expansion of a
number of Navy organizations that have a role in IW operations. The Navy established the Navy
Irregular Warfare Office in July 2008, published a vision statement for irregular warfare in
January 2010, and established “a community of interest” to develop and advance ideas,
collaboration, and advocacy related to IW in December 2010.
The Navy’s riverine force is intended to supplement the riverine capabilities of the Navy’s SEALs
and relieve Marines who had been conducting maritime security operations in ports and
waterways in Iraq.
The Global Maritime Partnership is a U.S. Navy initiative to achieve an enhanced degree of
cooperation between the U.S. Navy and foreign navies, coast guards, and maritime police forces,
for the purpose of ensuring global maritime security against common threats.
The Southern Partnership Station (SPS) and the Africa Partnership Station (APS) are Navy ships,
such as amphibious ships or high-speed sealift ships, that have deployed to the Caribbean and to
waters off Africa, respectively, to support U.S. Navy engagement with countries in those regions,
particularly for purposes of building security partnerships with those countries and for increasing
the capabilities of those countries for performing maritime-security operations.
The Navy’s IW and CT activities pose a number of potential oversight issues for Congress,
including the definition of Navy IW activities and how much emphasis to place on IW and CT
activities in future Navy budgets.
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Contents
Introduction ...................................................................................................................................... 1
Background ...................................................................................................................................... 1
Navy Irregular Warfare (IW) Operations ................................................................................... 1
Shift in Terminology from IW to Confronting Irregular Challenges (CIC) ........................ 1
Navy IW Operations in Afghanistan and Iraq ..................................................................... 1
Navy IW Operations Elsewhere .......................................................................................... 2
Navy Individual Augmentees (IAs) ..................................................................................... 3
November 2011 Navy Testimony ........................................................................................ 3
2012 RAND Corporation Report ........................................................................................ 3
Navy Counterterrorism (CT) Operations ................................................................................... 3
In General ............................................................................................................................ 3
May 1-2, 2011, U.S. Military Operation That Killed Osama Bin Laden ............................ 5
Detention of Terrorist Suspects on Navy Ships ................................................................... 6
Navy Initiatives to Improve Its IW and CT Capabilities ........................................................... 9
Navy Irregular Warfare Office ............................................................................................ 9
2010 Navy Vision Statement for Countering Irregular Challenges ..................................... 9
Navy Community of Interest for Countering Irregular Challenges ................................... 10
Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) ............................................................. 10
Global Maritime Partnership ............................................................................................. 11
Partnership Stations ........................................................................................................... 12
Coastal Riverine Force ...................................................................................................... 12
Other Organizational Initiatives ........................................................................................ 15
FY2013 Funding ...................................................................................................................... 15
Afloat Forward Staging Base (AFSB) ............................................................................... 15
Funding in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) Account ........................................ 15
Potential Oversight Issues for Congress ........................................................................................ 16
Degree of Emphasis on IW and CT in Future Navy Budgets .................................................. 16
Additional Oversight Questions .............................................................................................. 16
Legislative Activity for FY2013 .................................................................................................... 17
FY2013 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 4310/P.L. 112-239) ................................ 17
House ................................................................................................................................. 17
Senate ................................................................................................................................ 19
Conference ........................................................................................................................ 20
Department of Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Full-Year
Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013 (H.R. 933 of 113th Congress) ................................... 22
House ................................................................................................................................. 22
FY2013 DOD Appropriations Act (H.R. 5856 of 112th Congress) .......................................... 22
House ................................................................................................................................. 22
Senate ................................................................................................................................ 23
Conference ........................................................................................................................ 23
Appendixes
Appendix A. November 2011 Navy Testimony on Navy IW Activities ........................................ 24
Navy Role in Irregular Warfare and Counterterrorism
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Appendix B. 2012 RAND Corporation Report Findings and Recommendations ......................... 28
Appendix C. 2010 Navy Irregular Warfare Vision Statement........................................................ 30
Contacts
Author Contact Information........................................................................................................... 38
Navy Role in Irregular Warfare and Counterterrorism
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Introduction
This report provides background information and potential issues for Congress on the Navy’s
irregular warfare (IW) and counterterrorism (CT) operations. The Navy’s IW and CT activities
pose a number of potential oversight issues for Congress, including the definition of Navy IW
activities and how much emphasis to place on IW and CT activities in future Navy budgets.
Congress’s decisions regarding Navy IW and CT operations can affect Navy operations and
funding requirements, and the implementation of the nation’s overall IW and CT strategies.
Background1
Navy Irregular Warfare (IW) Operations
Shift in Terminology from IW to Confronting Irregular Challenges (CIC)
Use of the term irregular warfare has declined within DOD since 2010. DOD’s report on the 2010
Quadrennial Defense Review, for example, avoids the term and instead uses the phrase
counterinsurgency, stability, and counterterrorism operations. Consistent with DOD’s declining
use of the term irregular warfare, the Navy increasingly is using the phrase confronting irregular
challenges (CIC) instead of the term irregular warfare. For purposes of convenience, this report
continues to use the term irregular warfare and the abbreviation IW.
Navy IW Operations in Afghanistan and Iraq
Among the most readily visible of the Navy’s IW operations in recent years have been those
carried out by Navy sailors serving ashore in Afghanistan and (until recently) Iraq. The Navy
states that
Navy and Marine Forces were removed from Iraq upon completion of operational
commitments there. [The proposed] FY 2013 [budget] continues supporting Navy and
Marine Corps operations in Afghanistan. Today the Marine Corps has a robust presence of
over 19,000 Marines in the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) with 18,000 in
Afghanistan....
Beyond the 19,000 Marines participating in counterinsurgency, security cooperation, and
civil-military operations in Afghanistan and throughout CENTCOM, on any given day there
are approximately 10,000 Sailors ashore and another 12,000 afloat throughout U.S. Central
Command (CENTCOM). These Sailors are conducting, maritime infrastructure protection,
explosive ordnance disposal/(Counter-IED), combat construction engineering, cargo
handling, combat logistics, maritime security, customs inspections, detainee operations, civil
affairs, base operations and other forward presence activities. In collaboration with the U.S.
Coast Guard, the Navy also conducts critical port operations and maritime interception
operations....
1 Unless otherwise indicated, information in this section is taken from a Navy briefing to CRS on July 31, 2009, on
Navy IW activities and capabilities.
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Our Sailors and Marines are fully engaged on the ground, in the air, and at sea in support of
operations in Afghanistan. Navy Commanders are leading seven of the thirteen U.S.-lead
Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Afghanistan. A significant portion of the combat air
missions over Afghanistan are flown by naval air forces. Our elite teams of Navy SEALs are
heavily engaged in combat operations and Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal platoons are
defusing improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and landmines. Our SEABEE construction
battalions are rebuilding schools and restoring critical infrastructure. Navy sealift will return
heavy war equipment from CENTCOM as the drawdown progresses, while Navy logisticians
are ensuring materiel arrives on time. Our Navy doctors, nurses, and corpsmen are providing
medical assistance in the field and at forward operating bases.... On the water, Navy forces
are intercepting smugglers and insurgents and protecting our interests since global security
and prosperity are increasingly dependent of the free flow of goods. We know the sea lanes
must remain open for the transit of oil and our ships and Sailors are making that happen.2
Navy IW Operations Elsewhere
In addition to participating in U.S. military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Navy states
that its IW operations also include the following:
• security force assistance operations, in which forward-deployed Navy ships
exercise and work with foreign navies, coast guards, and maritime police forces,
so as to improve their abilities to conduct maritime security operations;
• civic assistance operations, in which forward-deployed Navy units, including
Navy hospital ships, expeditionary medical teams, fleet surgical teams, and naval
construction units provide medical and construction services in foreign countries
as a complement to other U.S. diplomatic and development activities in those
countries;
• disaster relief operations, of which Navy forces have performed several in
recent years; and
• counter-piracy operations.3
2 Department of the Navy, Highlights of the Department of the Navy FY 2013 Budget, February 2012, pp. 2-2 and 2-4.
The Navy also states that
Having completed operations in Iraq, the Department has maintained over 23,000 Marines and
Sailors in Afghanistan, largely associated with Regional Command-Southwest based in Helmand
province. This force provides security and seeks to build the self defense capacity of our Afghan
partners. Currently the Navy has deployed just over 8,000 Sailors on the ground, 2,920 of whom
are Reservists, across the Central Command supporting joint and coalition efforts. Another 10,000
Sailors are in the Arabian Gulf and the Indian Ocean supporting combat operations from
destroyers, submarines, supply vessels and aircraft carriers, which launch around 30 percent of the
aircraft conducting combat air patrols over Afghanistan.
(Statement of The Honorable Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy, Before the House Armed Services
Committee [Hearing] on [FY2013 Department of Navy Posture], February 16, 2012, p. 16.)
3 For more on counter-piracy operations, see CRS Report R40528, Piracy off the Horn of Africa, by Lauren Ploch
Blanchard et al..
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Navy Individual Augmentees (IAs)
Many of the Navy’s contributions to IW operations around the world are made by Navy
individual augmentees (IAs)—individual Navy sailors assigned to various DOD operations. The
Department of the Navy (DON) states that:
Navy IAs are providing combat support and combat service support for Army and Marine
Corps personnel in Afghanistan. As IAs they are fulfilling vital roles by serving in traditional
Navy roles such as USMC support, maritime and port security, cargo handling, airlift
support, Seabee units, and as a member of joint task force/Combatant Commanders staffs.
Non-traditional roles include detainee operations, custom inspections teams, civil affairs, and
provincial reconstruction teams.4
November 2011 Navy Testimony
The Navy outlined its IW activities in its prepared statement for a November 3, 2011, hearing on
the services’ IW activities before the Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the
House Armed Services Committee. For the text of the Navy’s prepared statement, see Appendix
A.
2012 RAND Corporation Report
A 2012 report on maritime irregular warfare from RAND Corporation, a research firm, provides
additional background information on U.S. maritime irregular warfare operations, both recent and
historical.5 The report also made a series of findings and recommendations relating to U.S.
maritime irregular warfare; for a summary of these findings and recommendations, see Appendix
B.
Navy Counterterrorism (CT) Operations
In General
Navy CT operations include the following:
• Operations by Navy special operations forces, known as SEALs (an acronym
standing for Sea, Air, and Land), that are directed against terrorists;6
• Tomahawk cruise missile attacks on suspected terrorist training camps and
facilities, such as those reportedly conducted in Somalia on March 3 and May 1,
2008,7 and those conducted in 1998 in response to the 1998 terrorist bombings of
U.S. embassies in East Africa;8
4 Department of the Navy, Highlights of the Department of the Navy FY 2013 Budget, February 2012, p. 2-4.
5 Molly Dunigan, et al, Characterizing and Exploring the Implications of Maritime Irregular Warfare, RAND
Corporation, Santa Monica (CA), 2012, 111 p.
6 For an account of a series of missions reportedly conducted by SEALS over a six-week period in November and
December 2003 to plant cameras in Somalia for the purpose of conducting surveillance on terrorists, see Sean D.
Naylor, “Hunting Down Terrorists,” Army Times, November 7, 2011: 22.
7 Edmund Sanders, “U.S. Missile Strike in Somalia Kills 6,” Los Angeles Times, March 4, 2008; Stephanie
(continued...)
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• surveillance by Navy ships and aircraft of suspected terrorists overseas;
• maritime intercept operations (MIO) aimed at identifying and intercepting
terrorists or weapons of mass destruction at sea, or potentially threatening ships
or aircraft that are in or approaching U.S. territorial waters—an activity that
includes Navy participation in the multilateral Proliferation Security Initiative
(PSI);9
• protection of forward-deployed Navy ships, an activity that was intensified
following the terrorist attack on the Navy Aegis destroyer Cole (DDG-67) in
October 2000 in the port of Aden, Yemen;10
• protection of domestic and overseas Navy bases and facilities;
• working with the Coast Guard to build maritime domain awareness (or MDA,
meaning a real-time understanding of activities on the world’s oceans), and
engaging with the U.S. Coast Guard to use the National Strategy for Maritime
Security to more rapidly develop capabilities for Homeland Security, particularly
in the area of MDA;
• assisting the Coast Guard in port-security operations;11
• developing Global Maritime Intelligence Integration (GMII) as part of Joint
Force Maritime Component Command (JFMCC) and Maritime Domain
Awareness (MDA); and
• operations by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), for which
combating terrorism is a core mission area.12
(...continued)
McCrummen and Karen DeYoung, “U.S. Airstrike Kills Somali Accused of Links to Al-Qaeda,” Washington Post,
May 2, 2008: A12; Eric Schmitt and Jeffrey Gettleman, “Qaeda Leader Reported Killed In Somalia,” New York Times,
May 2, 2008.
8 For a recent article on the 1998 strikes, see Pamela Hess, “Report: 1998 Strike Built bin Laden-Taliban Tie,”
NavyTimes.com (Associated Press), August 22, 2008.
9 For more on the PSI, see CRS Report RL34327, Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), by Mary Beth Nikitin.
10 For a discussion of the attack on the Cole, see CRS Report RS20721, Terrorist Attack on USS Cole: Background and
Issues for Congress, by Raphael F. Perl and Ronald O'Rourke.
11 See, for example, Emelie Rutherford, “Navy’s Maritime Domain Awareness System ‘Up And Running’,” Defense
Daily, September 4, 2008; and Dan Taylor, “New Network Allows Navy To Track Thousands of Ships Worldwide,”
Inside the Navy, September 8, 2008. For more on the Coast Guard and port security, see CRS Report RL33383,
Terminal Operators and Their Role in U.S. Port and Maritime Security, by John Frittelli and Jennifer E. Lake, and
CRS Report RL33787, Maritime Security: Potential Terrorist Attacks and Protection Priorities, by Paul W. Parfomak
and John Frittelli.
12 NCIS states on its website that “the NCIS mission is to investigate and defeat criminal, foreign, and terrorist
intelligence threats to the United States Navy and Marine Corps, wherever they operate: ashore, afloat, or in
cyberspace,” and that combating terrorism is a core mission area for NCIS. Regarding this mission, the website states
that
Protecting the naval forces from violent extremist organizations and individuals is one of NCIS’
highest priorities. As the primary law enforcement and counterintelligence component for the naval
services, NCIS is focused on countering threats to the physical security of Sailors, Marines, and
Department of the Navy (DON) civilian personnel and on preventing terrorist attacks against
installations and ships.
NCIS is responsible for detecting, deterring, and disrupting terrorism worldwide through a wide
array of offensive and defensive capabilities. Offensive operations aim at identifying and
(continued...)
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The Navy states that
Maintaining security in the world involves putting constant pressure on terrorist
organizations. The Navy will continue global efforts to reduce terrorism by disrupting,
dismantling, and defeating terrorist organizations through a variety of techniques, including
irregular warfare. We will increase sea-based support of our special forces and maintain
persistent intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance programs. As efforts in Afghanistan
continue to drawdown, our global efforts will become more widely distributed.13
May 1-2, 2011, U.S. Military Operation That Killed Osama Bin Laden
The May 1-2, 2011, U.S. military operation in Abbottabad, Pakistan, that killed Osama bin
Laden—reportedly called Operation Neptune’s Spear—reportedly was carried out by a team of 23
Navy special operations forces, known as SEALs (an acronym standing for Sea, Air, and Land).
The SEALs reportedly belonged to an elite unit known unofficially as Seal Team 6 and officially
as the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU). The SEALs reportedly were
flown to and from Abbottabad by Army special operations helicopters. Bin Laden’s body
reportedly was flown by a U.S. military helicopter from Abbottabad to a base in Afghanistan, and
from there by a Marine Corps V-22 tilt-rotor aircraft to the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson (CVN-70),
which was operating at the time in the Northern Arabian Sea. A few hours later, bin Laden’s body
reportedly was buried at sea from the ship. Differing accounts have been published regarding
certain details of the operation.14
Press reports in July 2010 stated that U.S. forces in Afghanistan included at that time a special
unit called Task Force 373, composed of Navy SEALs and Army Delta Force personnel, whose
mission is “the deactivation of top Taliban and terrorists by either killing or capturing them.”15
(...continued)
interdicting terrorist activities. In defensive operations, NCIS supports key DON leaders with
protective services and performs physical security assessments of military installations and related
facilities—including ports, airfields, and exercise areas to which naval expeditionary forces deploy.
(Source: http://www.ncis.navy.mil/CoreMissions/CT/Pages/default.aspx, accessed on November
29, 2011.)
13 Department of the Navy, Highlights of the Department of the Navy FY 2013 Budget, February 2012, p. 1-4.
14 For one account, see Nicholas Schmidle, “Getting Bin Laden,” The New Yorker, August 8, 2011, accessed online
August 10, 2011 at http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/08/08/110808fa_fact_schmidle. For a press report
commenting on Schmidle’s sources for the article, see Paul Farhi, “Journalist Details Raid On Bin Laden Camp,”
Washington Post, August 3, 2011: C1. For another account, see Peter Bergen, “The Last Days Of Osama Bin Laden,”
Time, May 7, 2012. For another account, see Mark Bowden, “The Hunt For ‘Geronimo,’” Vanity Fair, November
2012: 144. For a very different account, see Chuck Pfarrer, SEAL Target Geronimo: The Inside Story of the Mission to
Kill Osama bin Laden (St. Martin’s Press, 2011), 240 pp. For news reports based on this book, see Susannah Cahalan,
“Real Story Of Team 6’s Charge,” New York Post, November 6, 2011: 18; Christina Lamb, “Bitter Seals Tell of Killing
‘Bert’ Laden,” The Australian (www.theaustralian.com.au), November 6, 2011. See also Chris Carroll, “Pentagon Says
New Bin Laden Raid Book Gets Details Wrong,” Stripes.com, November 7, 2011; and Associated Press, “Spec-Ops
Command: SEAL Raid Book ‘A Lie,’” NYTimes.com, November 15, 2011. For another, and also different, account, see
Mark Owen (pseudonym) and Kevin Maurer, No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama
Bin Laden (Dutton Adult, 2012), 336 pp. For an article regarding details reported in this book, see Barbara Starr,
“Pentagon Double Checked Actions Of Seals During Bin Laden Raid,” CNN.com, September 7, 2012. See also Eric
Schmitt, “Book On Bin Laden Killing Contradicts U.S. Account,” New York Times, August 30, 2012; Joby Warrick,
“For Bin Laden, A Passive End,” Washington Post, August 30, 2012: 1; Cynthia R. Fagen, “‘The Night I Killed
Obama,’” New York Post, September 2, 2012: 18.
15 Matthias, et al, “US Elite Unit Could Create Political Fallout For Berlin,” Spiegel (Germany), July 26, 2010. See also
(continued...)
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Another CRS report provides additional background information on the SEALs,16 and another
provides further discussion of the operation that killed Osama bin Laden.17
Detention of Terrorist Suspects on Navy Ships
On July 6, 2011, it was reported that
The U.S. military captured a Somali terrorism suspect [named Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame]
in the Gulf of Aden in April and interrogated him for more than two months aboard a U.S.
Navy ship before flying him this week to New York, where he has been indicted on federal
charges....
Other U.S. officials, interviewed separately, said Warsame and another individual were
apprehended aboard a boat traveling from Yemen to Somalia by the U.S. military’s Joint
Operations Command. The vessel was targeted because the United States had acquired
intelligence that potentially significant operatives were on board, the officials said. Court
documents said the capture took place April 19.
One of the senior administration officials who briefed reporters said that the other suspect
was released “after a very short period of time” after the military “determined that Warsame
was an individual that we were very much interested in for further interrogation.”
According to court documents, Warsame was interrogated on “all but a daily basis” by
military and civilian intelligence interrogators. During that time, officials in Washington held
a number of meetings to discuss the intelligence being gleaned, Warsame’s status and what
to do with him.
The options, one official said, were to release him, transfer him to a third country, keep him
prisoner aboard the ship, subject him to trial by a military commission or allow a federal
court to try him. The decision to seek a federal indictment, this official said, was unanimous.
Administration officials have argued that military commission jurisdiction is too narrow for
some terrorism cases - particularly for a charge of material support for terrorist groups - and
the Warsame case appeared to provide an opportunity to try to prove the point.
But some human rights and international law experts criticized what they saw as at least a
partial return to the discredited “black site” prisons the CIA maintained during the Bush
administration....
Warsame was questioned aboard the ship because interrogators “believed that moving him to
another facility would interrupt the process and risk ending the intelligence flow,” one senior
administration official said.
(...continued)
C. J. Chivers, et al, “Inside the Fog Of War: Reports From The Ground In Afghanistan,” New York Times, July 26,
2010: 1.
16 CRS Report RS21048, U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF): Background and Issues for Congress, by Andrew
Feickert.
17 CRS Report R41809, Osama bin Laden’s Death: Implications and Considerations, coordinated by John Rollins.
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The official said Warsame “at all times was treated in a manner consistent with all
Department of Defense policies” - following the Army Field Manual - and the Geneva
Conventions.
Warsame was not provided access to an attorney during the initial two months of
questioning, officials said. But “thereafter, there was a substantial break from any
questioning of the defendant of four days,” court documents said. “After this break, the
defendant was advised of his Miranda rights” - including his right to legal representation –
“and, after waiving those rights, spoke to law enforcement agents.”
The four-day break and separate questioning were designed to avoid tainting the court case
with information gleaned through un-Mirandized intelligence interrogation, an overlap that
has posed a problem in previous cases. The questioning continued for seven days, “and the
defendant waived his Miranda rights at the start of each day,” the documents said....
U.S. Navy Vice Adm. William H. McRaven alluded to the captures in testimony before a
Senate committee last week in which he lamented the lack of clear plans and legal approvals
for the handling of terrorism suspects seized beyond the war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan.
At one point in the hearing, Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), the chairman of the Senate Armed
Services Committee, referred to “the question of the detention of people” and noted that
McRaven had “made reference to a couple, I think, that are on a ship.”
McRaven replied affirmatively, saying, “It depends on the individual case, and I'd be more
than happy to discuss the cases that we've dealt with.”18
Another press report on July 6, 2011, stated:
In a telephone briefing with reporters, senior administration officials said Mr. Warsame and
another person were captured by American forces somewhere “in the Gulf region” on April
19. Another official separately said the two were picked up on a fishing trawler in
international waters between Yemen and Somalia. That other person was released.
Mr. Warsame was taken to a naval vessel, where he was questioned for the next two months
by military interrogators, the officials said. They said his detention was justified by the laws
of war, but declined to say whether their theory was that the Shabab are covered by
Congress’s authorization to use military force against the perpetrators of the Sept. 11, 2001,
attacks; whether the detention was justified by his interactions with Al Qaeda’s Yemen
branch; or something else.
The officials also said interrogators used only techniques in the Army Field Manual, which
complies with the Geneva Conventions. But they did not deliver a Miranda warning because
they were seeking to gather intelligence, not court evidence. One official called those
sessions “very, very productive,” but declined to say whether his information contributed to
a drone attack in Somalia last month.
After about two months, Mr. Warsame was given a break for several days. Then a separate
group of law enforcement interrogators came in. They delivered a Miranda warning, but he
waived his rights to remain silent and have a lawyer present and continued to cooperate, the
officials said, meaning that his subsequent statements would likely be admissible in court.
18 Karen DeYoung, Greg Miller,and Greg Jaffe, “Terror Suspect Detained On Ship,” Washington Post, July 6, 2011: 6.
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Throughout that period, administration officials were engaged in deliberations about what to
do with Mr. Warsame’s case. Eventually, they “unanimously” decided to prosecute him in
civilian court. If he is convicted of all the charges against him, he would face life in prison.
Last week, Vice Adm. William H. McRaven, who was until recently in charge of the
military’s Joint Special Operations Command, told a Senate hearing that detainees are
sometimes kept on Navy ships until the Justice Department can build a case against them, or
they are transferred to other countries for detention.
Another senior administration official said Tuesday that such detentions are extremely rare,
and that no other detainees are now being held on a Navy ship.19
A July 7, 2011, press report stated:
In interrogating a Somali man for months aboard a Navy ship before taking him to New
York this week for a civilian trial on terrorism charges, the Obama administration is trying
out a new approach for dealing with foreign terrorism suspects.
The administration, which was seeking to avoid sending a new prisoner to Guantánamo Bay,
Cuba, drew praise and criticism on Wednesday [July 6] for its decisions involving the
Somali suspect, Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame, accused of aiding Al Qaeda’s branch in
Yemen and the Shabab, the Somali militant group.20
A July 6, 2011, entry in a blog that reports on naval-related events stated that the U.S. Navy ship
to which Warsame was taken was the amphibious assault ship Boxer (LHD-4).21
An October 24, 2012, press report stated:
Over the past two years, the Obama administration has been secretly developing a new
blueprint for pursuing terrorists, a next-generation targeting list called the “disposition
matrix.”
The matrix contains the names of terrorism suspects arrayed against an accounting of the
resources being marshaled to track them down, including sealed indictments and clandestine
operations. U.S. officials said the database is designed to go beyond existing kill lists,
mapping plans for the “disposition” of suspects beyond the reach of American drones.
Although the matrix is a work in progress, the effort to create it reflects a reality setting in
among the nation’s counterterrorism ranks: The United States’ conventional wars are
winding down, but the government expects to continue adding names to kill or capture lists
for years....
The database is meant to map out contingencies, creating an operational menu that spells out
each agency’s role in case a suspect surfaces in an unexpected spot. “If he’s in Saudi Arabia,
19 Charlie Savage and Eric Schmitt, “U.S. To Prosecute A Somali Suspect In Civilian Court,” New York Times, July 6,
2011: 1.
20 Charlie Savage, “U.S. Tests New APproach To Terrorism Cases On Somali Suspect,” New York Times, July 7, 2011:
10. See also Dave Boyer, “Interrogation At Sea Skirts Obama Pledge,” Washington Times, July 7, 2011: 1.
21 See “The STRATCOM [Strategic Communications] Opportunity of Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame,” Information
Dissemination (www.informationdissemination.net), July 6, 2011, accessed online July 6, 2011, at
http://www.informationdissemination.net/2011/07/stratcom-opportunity-of-ahmed.html.
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pick up with the Saudis,” the former official said. “If traveling overseas to al-Shabaab [in
Somalia] we can pick him up by ship. If in Yemen, kill or have the Yemenis pick him up.”
Officials declined to disclose the identities of suspects on the matrix. They pointed, however,
to the capture last year of alleged al-Qaeda operative Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame off the
coast of Yemen. Warsame was held for two months aboard a U.S. ship before being
transferred to the custody of the Justice Department and charged in federal court in New
York.
“Warsame was a classic case of ‘What are we going to do with him?’” the former
counterterrorism official said. In such cases, the matrix lays out plans, including which U.S.
naval vessels are in the vicinity and which charges the Justice Department should prepare.22
Navy Initiatives to Improve Its IW and CT Capabilities
The Navy in recent years has implemented a number of organizational and program initiatives
intended to improve its IW and CT capabilities and activities, including those discussed below.
Navy Irregular Warfare Office
The Navy in July 2008 established the Navy Irregular Warfare Office, which is intended, in the
Navy’s words, to “institutionalize current ad hoc efforts in IW missions of counterterrorism and
counterinsurgency and the supporting missions of information operations, intelligence operations,
foreign internal defense and unconventional warfare as they apply to [CT] and
[counterinsurgency].” The office works closely with U.S. Special Operations Command, and
reports to the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for information, plans, and strategy.23
2010 Navy Vision Statement for Countering Irregular Challenges
The Navy in January 2010 published a vision statement for countering irregular challenges, which
states in part:
The U.S. Navy will meet irregular challenges through a flexible, agile, and broad array of
multi-mission capabilities. We will emphasize Cooperative Security as part of a
comprehensive government approach to mitigate the causes of insecurity and instability. We
will operate in and from the maritime domain with joint and international partners to enhance
regional security and stability, and to dissuade, deter, and when necessary, defeat irregular
forces.24
The full text of the vision statement is reproduced in the Appendix C.
22 Greg Miller, “The Permanent War, U.S. Set To Keep Kill Likes For Years,” Washington Post, October 24, 2012: 1.
Bracketed material as in original.
23 Zachary M. Peterson, “New Navy Irregular Warfare Office Works to Address ISR Shortfall,” Inside the Navy,
September 1, 2008.
24 Department of the Navy, Chief of Naval Operations, The U.S. Navy’s Vision for Confronting Irregular Challenges,
January 2010, p. 3.
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Navy Community of Interest for Countering Irregular Challenges
The Navy in December 2010 established “a community of interest to develop and advance ideas,
collaboration and advocacy related to confronting irregular challenges (CIC).” The community,
which includes a number of Navy organizations, is to be the Navy’s “standing authority to
facilitate: implementation of the U.S. Navy Vision for Confronting Irregular Challenges (Vision);
promotion of increased understanding of confronting irregular challenges; and synchronization of
CIC-related initiatives within the navy and with its external partners.”25
Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC)
The Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC), headquartered at Naval Amphibious Base,
Little Creek, VA, was established informally in October 2005 and formally on January 13, 2006.
NECC consolidated and facilitated the expansion of a number of Navy organizations that have a
role in IW operations. Navy functions supported by NECC include the following:
• riverine warfare;
• maritime civil affairs;
• expeditionary training;
• explosive ordnance disposal (EOD);
• expeditionary intelligence;
• naval construction (i.e., the naval construction brigades, aka CBs or “Seabee”);
• maritime expeditionary security;
• expeditionary diving;
• combat camera;
• expeditionary logistics;
• guard battalion; and
• expeditionary combat readiness.
DON states that:
Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) is a global force provider of expeditionary
combat service support and force protection capabilities to joint warfighting commanders,
centrally managing the current and future readiness, resources, manning, training, and
equipping of a scalable, self-sustaining and integrated expeditionary force of active and
reserve sailors. Expeditionary sailors are deployed from around the globe in support of “A
Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower.” NECC forces and capabilities are integral
to executing the maritime strategy which is based on expanded core capabilities of maritime
power: forward presence, deterrence, sea control, power projection, maritime security,
25 Source: Memorandum dated December 22, 2010, from S. M. Harris, Director, Navy Irregular Warfare Office, on the
subject, “Confronting Irregular Challenges Community of Interest (COI) Charter.” A copy of the memorandum was
posted at InsideDefense.com (subscription required). For an article discussing the Navy’s establishment of this
community of interest, see Christopher J. Castelli, “Navy Taps Other Services, Elite Forces For Irregular Warfare
Advice,” Inside the Navy, January 17, 2011.
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humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. To enable these, NECC provides a full spectrum
of operations, including effective waterborne and ashore anti-terrorism force protection;
theater security cooperation and engagement; and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
NECC is also a key element of the Navy’s operational Irregular Warfare (IW) efforts in the
area of operational support to the Navy forces in OEF.
As we begin to reshape our forces to ensure that our military is agile, flexible, and ready for
the full range of contingences, we have determined that our current Navy expeditionary force
structure can be realigned and ultimately reduced throughout the FYDP. Beginning in
FY2013, one Seabee Battalion is converting from a Reserve to an Active unit. In addition,
the merger of Riverine and Mobile Expeditionary Security Force Squadrons results in an
increase of one Active unit and a reduction of three Reserve units.
NECC is not a standalone or combat force, but rather a force protection and combat service
force of rapidly deployable mission specialists that fill the gaps in the joint battle space and
compliment joint and coalition capabilities....
The Reserve Component expeditionary forces are integrated with the Active Component
forces to provide a continuum of capabilities unique to the maritime environment within the
NECC. Blending the AC and RC brings strength to the force and is an important part of the
Navy’s ability to carry out the Naval Maritime Strategy from blue water into green and
brown water and in direct support of the Joint Force. The Navy Reserve trains and equips
over half of the Sailors supporting NECC missions, including naval construction and
explosive ordnance disposal in the CENTCOM region, as well as maritime expeditionary
security, expeditionary logistics (cargo handling battalions), maritime civil affairs,
expeditionary intelligence, and other mission capabilities seamlessly integrated with
operational forces around the world.26
On October 1, 2012, the Navy established NECC Pacific (NECC PAC) “to provide administrative
control for Navy expeditionary forces assigned to the Pacific theater.” The new organization, the
Navy says, “formalizes a direct administrative relationship between NECC and Commander, U.S.
Pacific Fleet—a linkage that hasn't existed since NECC’s establishment in 2006.”27
Global Maritime Partnership
The Global Maritime Partnership is a U.S. Navy initiative to achieve an enhanced degree of
cooperation between the U.S. Navy and foreign navies, coast guards, and maritime police forces,
for the purpose of ensuring global maritime security against common threats. The Navy states
that “Building partnerships elsewhere is also important to protect freedom of access throughout
the global commons. Through partnerships with a growing number of nations, including those in
Africa and Latin America, we will strive for a common vision of freedom, stability, and
prosperity.”28 The Navy also states that
26 Department of the Navy, Highlights of the Department of the Navy FY 2013 Budget, February 2012, pp. 4-16, 4-17,
and 4-26.
27 Navy Expeditionary Combat Command Public Affairs, “#Warfighting: Navy Expeditionary Combat Command
Pacific Established,” Navy News Service, October 3, 2012, accessed October 18, 2012, at http://www.navy.mil/submit/
display.asp?story_id=69947.
28 Department of the Navy, Highlights of the Department of the Navy FY 2013 Budget, February 2012, p. 2-1. For more
on the Navy’s contribution to multinational antipiracy operations near the Horn of Africa, see CRS Report R40528,
Piracy off the Horn of Africa, by Lauren Ploch Blanchard et al..
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While today DDGs [guided missile destroyers] and amphibious ships conduct security
cooperation operations with partners in Latin America and Africa, our FY2013 budget
submission funds procurement of JHSV [a Joint High Speed Vessel], AFSB [an Afloat
Forward Staging Base], MLP [Mobile Landing Platform Ships], and LCS [Littoral Combat
Ships] and sustainment of PC [patrol craft] and T-AH [hospital ships] to take on these
missions in the future. To support an expanding range of partnership missions, they will
increasingly carry tailored force packages of U.S. Marines to conduct security cooperation
activities with partner armies and marines.29
Partnership Stations
The Southern Partnership Station (SPS) and the Africa Partnership Station (APS) are Navy ships,
such as amphibious ships or high-speed sealift ships, that have deployed to the Caribbean and to
waters off Africa, respectively, to support U.S. Navy engagement with countries in those regions,
particularly for purposes of building security partnerships with those countries, and for increasing
the capabilities of those countries for performing maritime-security operations. The SPS and APS
can be viewed as specific measures for promoting the above-discussed global maritime
partnership. A July 2010 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report discusses the APS.30
Coastal Riverine Force
The Navy in May 2006 reestablished its riverine force by standing up Riverine Group 1 at Naval
Amphibious Base, Little Creek, VA (now part of Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort
Story, or JEBLC-FS). Riverine Group 1 included three active-duty riverine squadrons of 12 boats
each that were established in 2006-2007. Operations of the squadrons from 2006 to 2011 included
multiple deployments to Iraq for the purpose, among other things, of relieving Marines who until
2006 had been conducting maritime security operations in Iraqi ports and waterways.
On June 1, 2012, the Navy merged the riverine force and the Maritime Expeditionary Security
Force (MESF) to create Coastal Riverine Force (CORIVFOR). The Navy states that CORIVFOR
“performs core maritime expeditionary security missions in the green and brown waters, bridging
the gap between traditional Navy blue water operations and land-based forces, providing port and
harbor security for vital waterways and protection of high value assets and maritime
infrastructure.”31 The Navy states that CORIVFOR is scheduled to reach initial operating
capability (IOC) in October 2012 and full operational capability (FOC) in October 2014, and that
“all current and scheduled routine deployments will continue as normal.”32
29 Statement of Admiral Jonathan Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations, Before the House Armed Services Committee
[Hearing] on FY 2013 Department of Navy Posture, February 16, 2012, pp. 20-21.
30 Government Accountability Office, Defense Management[:]Improved Planning, Training, and Interagency
Collaboration Could Strengthen DOD’s Efforts in Africa, GAO-10-794, July 2010, 63 pp.
31 Kay Savarese, “NECC Establishes Coast Riverine Force,” Navy News Service, June 1, 2012, accessed June 27, 2012,
at http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=67545. See also Corinne Reilly, “New Navy Command To
Incorporate Riverines,” Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, May 16, 2012; Megan Eckstein, “Coastal Riverine Force Expanding
Its Reach Following June 1 Merger,” Inside the Navy, June 11, 2012; and Christopher P. Cavas, “U.S. Navy
Reorganizes Post-War Riverine Forces,” Defense News, May 7, 2012: 4.
32 Naval Expeditionary Combat Command Public Affairs, “NECC Announces Formation of Coastal Riverine Force,”
Navy News Service, May 14, 2012, accessed May 15, 2012, at http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=
67167.
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CORIVFOR consists of about 2,500 active-duty sailors and 2,000 reserve sailors, and includes
Coastal Riverine Groups (CORIVGRUs) 1 and 2. CORIVGRU 1 is homeported at Imperial
Beach, CA, with squadrons located at the Naval Amphibious Base in San Diego. CORIVGRU 2
is homeported at Portsmouth, VA, with active-duty squadrons located at Norfolk Naval Shipyard
at Portsmouth, VA, JEBLC-FS, and a forward-deployed detachment in Bahrain, and with reserve
squadrons located at Newport, RI, and Jacksonville, FL.33 The Navy states that under its proposed
FY2013 budget, “the merger of Riverine and Mobile Expeditionary Security Force Squadrons
results in an increase of one Active unit and a reduction of three Reserve units.”34 On August 1,
2012, the Navy established Coastal Riverine Squadron (CORIVRON) 4, merging Riverine
Squadron (RIVRON) 1 and Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadron (MSRON) 4.
CORIVRON 1 is the first squadron to merge since the establishment of CORIVFOR.35
A November 1, 2012, press report stated:
In Iraq, Riverine forces became a quick reaction force — capable of search-and-seizure,
insertion or extraction — on swift, agile boats with heavy-caliber weaponry. Between March
2007 and October 2011, the Riverines carried out more than 2,000 missions, trained Iraqi
River Police, screened detainees and discovered weapons caches while flying 667 unmanned
aerial vehicle hours.
Army and Navy river units were dismantled after the Vietnam War ended in 1975 and the
Riverines's future was in limbo when the Iraq war wound down last year. The Navy,
however, has decided it has an enduring need for these quick and lethal small boat fighters....
The Navy has decided to merge the more offensive Riverine Group 1 and the more defensive
Maritime Expeditionary Security Force to form the Coastal Riverine Force. The hybrid
command is designed to operate in rivers, coastal waterways and possibly even in open
ocean, bridging the gap between land-based forces and the Navy ships that operate off the
coast.
The 5,000-strong force should be up and running initially this month, a Navy statement said,
although it is not expected to be fully merged and operational for two years.
It will be broken up into two groups. Coastal Riverine Group 1 will be based at Imperial
Beach, Calif., with a squadron at the Naval Amphibious Base in San Diego. Coastal Riverine
Group 2 will have its headquarters in Portsmouth, Va., with additional squadrons in Bahrain,
Rhode Island and Florida.
Each squadron will feature a headquarters element and four distinct companies, three of
which will handle security operations, to include protecting ships and shore facilities,
carrying out search-and seizure-operations and providing security for aircraft.
The fourth, Delta company, will specialize in traditional Riverine duties, such as insertions
and extractions, boardings on rivers and other inland waters, intelligence collection and more
33 Kay Savarese, “NECC Establishes Coast Riverine Force,” Navy News Service, June 1, 2012, accessed June 27, 2012,
at http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=67545.
34 Department of the Navy, Highlights of the Department of the Navy FY 2013 Budget, February 2012, p. 4-2. The same
statement occurs on p. 4-17.
35 Steven C. Hoskins, “Coastal Riverine Force Establishes Squadron,” Navy News Service, August 2, 2012, accessed
October 18, 2012, at http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=68790.
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offensive combat operations, said Capt. James Hamblet, Coastal Riverine Group 2’s
commander.
The new force will focus primarily in the Navy’s 5th Fleet area of operations, which includes
the Persian Gulf and waterways, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command skipper Rear Adm.
Michael Tillotson said at the establishment ceremony for Coastal Riverine Group 2 in June.
But, he expects that focus to shift to the Pacific over time.
“We will work with partners along the areas known as Oceana, which includes Indonesia,
Papua New Guinea and Malaysia; we'll work in the areas and help build relationships with
those countries in order to provide security in those areas,” Tillotson said. “The challenges
are out there.”
The force features a mix of maritime expeditionary security and Riverine gear and apparatus,
with plans to obtain more advanced craft in the future. The Coastal Riverines now operate
113 boats, ranging from rubber combat raiding crafts to 53-foot command boats that can
carry up to 26 personnel. The force has 2,657 active and 2,507 Reserve personnel, Navy
Expeditionary Combat Command spokeswoman Barbara Wilcox wrote to Stars and Stripes.
The force’s future is the MK-VI patrol boat, which will allow Coastal Riverine sailors the
ability to operate farther off the coast and will improve boarding capabilities as it is brought
into service, Hamblet said. The 78-foot boat is capable of speeds in excess 30 knots with
twin diesel engines and water jets. It has a range of 600 nautical miles.36
A January 18, 2013, Navy news report stated:
Sailors, former Riverines, and family members attended a disestablishment ceremony for
Naval Expeditionary Combat Command's Riverine Squadron (RIVRON) 3 at Naval
Weapons Station Yorktown, Jan. 17.
The disestablishment marks the merger of offensive Riverine forces with defensive Maritime
Expeditionary Security Forces to form the Coastal Riverine Force (CORIVFOR), formally
established June 1[, 2012]....
CORIVFOR’s primary mission is to conduct maritime security operations across all phases
of military operations by defending high value assets, critical maritime infrastructure, ports
and harbors, both inland and on coastal waterways, and when commanded, conduct offensive
combat operations.
The budget-initiated merger moved portions of the force to San Diego as part of the National
Defense Strategy's rebalance to the Pacific, which will bring Riverine capability to the West
coast for the first time since 1974, according to Capt. Eric B. Moss, commander of Coastal
Riverine Group 1, formerly Maritime Expeditionary Security Group 1.
“The Riverine forces will do what they’ve always done, which is continuing to hone their
skills and work in brown water and green water areas,” said Moss. “There is no abatement of
requirements. We continue to get missions and are sourced to meet those requirements.
We’re doing the same with less.”
36 Matthew M. Burke, “Reviving the Roverines,” Stars and Stripes, November 1, 2012: 1.
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The merge cuts the former seven active Maritime Expeditionary Security Force (MESF)
squadrons and three active RIVRONs down to three active Coastal Riverine squadrons and
four reserve squadrons.
“This is a reduction in capacity, but not in capability,” said Moss. “I would say this is a very
affordable force. We are light, expeditionary, and bring a lot capability in small packages.
We are familiar with disaggregated operations, so immediately we give the combatant
commander a tailor-able and scalable force.”...
Commissioned July 6, 2007, RIVRON 3 served two deployments in Iraq, fulfilling a total of
502 combat missions, 268 water security operations and countless U.S./Iraq tactical convoy
operations.37
Other Organizational Initiatives
Other Navy initiatives in recent years for supporting IW and CT operations include establishing a
reserve civil affairs battalion, a Navy Foreign Area Officer (FAO) community consisting of
officers with specialized knowledge of foreign countries and regions, a maritime interception
operation (MIO) intelligence exploitation pilot program, and an intelligence data-mining
capability at the National Maritime Intelligence Center (NMIC).
FY2013 Funding
Afloat Forward Staging Base (AFSB)
The Navy states that
Navy [as part of its FY2013 budget submission] is proposing to procure a fourth Mobile
Landing Platform (MLP) [ship] in fiscal year 2014, configured to serve as an Afloat Forward
Staging Base (AFSB). This AFSB will fulfill an urgent Combatant Commander request for
sea-based support for mine warfare, Special Operations Forces (SOF), Intelligence,
Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), and other operations. To speed this capability into
the fleet, and to ultimately provide for continuous AFSB support anywhere in the world, we
also intend to request Congressional approval to convert the FY12 MLP into the AFSB
configuration, resulting in a final force of two MLPs and two AFSBs. This mix will alleviate
the demands on an already stressed surface combatant and amphibious fleet while reducing
our reliance on shore-based infrastructure.38
Funding in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) Account
The Navy states that
The [Navy’s FY2013 budget] request for Overseas Contingency Operations] continues
support for the fighting force in Afghanistan and the refurbishment costs associated with
equipment returning from theater. Operational realities have maintained the demand signal
37 Shannon M. Smith, “RIVRON 3 Disestablishes at Naval Weapon Station Yorktown,” Navy News Service, January
18, 2013.
38 Statement of The Honorable Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy, Before the House Armed Services Committee
[Hearing] on [FY2013 Department of Navy Posture], February 16, 2012, p. 8.
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for Departmental assets in theater for irregular capabilities as well as outside of the more
traditional boots-on-the-ground support. ISR [intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance],
airborne electronic attack, combat support missions flown from carrier decks with long
transit times, and expanded counter-piracy missions are all areas that have shown persistent
high demand signals from CENTCOM.39
Potential Oversight Issues for Congress
Degree of Emphasis on IW and CT in Future Navy Budgets
One potential oversight issue for Congress is how much emphasis to place on IW and CT
activities in future Navy budgets.
Supporters of placing increased emphasis on IW and CT activities in future Navy budgets could
argue that the experience of recent years, including U.S. operations in Afghanistan and Iraq,
suggests that the United States in coming years will likely need to be able to conduct IW and CT
operations, that the Navy has certain specialized or unique IW and CT capabilities that need to be
supported as part of an effective overall U.S. IW or CT effort, and that there are programs relating
to Navy IW and CT activities that could be funded at higher levels, if additional funding were
made available.
Opponents of placing an increased emphasis on IW and CT activities in future Navy budgets
could argue that these activities already receive adequate emphasis on Navy budgets, and that
placing an increased emphasis on these activities could reduce the amount of funding available to
the Navy for programs that support the Navy’s role in acting, along with the Air Force, as a
strategic reserve for the United States in countering improved Chinese maritime military forces
and otherwise deterring, and, if necessary, fighting in potential conventional interstate conflicts.
Potential oversight questions for Congress include the following:
• To what degree can or should Navy IW and CT activities be used to reduce the
burden on other services for conducting such activities?
• Is the Navy striking an appropriate balance between IW and CT activities and
other Navy concerns, such as preparing for a potential future challenge from
improved Chinese maritime military forces?40
Additional Oversight Questions
In addition to the issues discussed above, the Navy’s IW and CT activities pose some additional
potential oversight issues for Congress, including the following:
39 Department of the Navy, Highlights of the Department of the Navy FY 2013 Budget, February 2012, pp. 4-16, 4-17,
and 2-8.
40 For additional discussion of this issue, see CRS Report RL33153, China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S.
Navy Capabilities—Background and Issues for Congress, by Ronald O'Rourke.
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• How many Navy personnel globally are involved in IW and CT activities, and
where are they located? How much funding is the Navy expending each year on
such activities?
• What are estimated costs of the Navy’s proposed Afloat Forward Staging Bases
(AFSBs)? How will the AFSBs be used? From an acquisition policy perspective,
does the AFSB program amount to a new start, and if so, what are the
implications for review and oversight of the program?
• Is the Navy adequately managing its individual augmentee (IA) program?41
• Is the Navy devoting sufficient attention and resources to riverine warfare?42
• Is the Navy adequately coordinating its IW and CT activities and initiatives with
other organizations, such as the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and the
Coast Guard?
• Are the Navy’s recent IW and CT organizational changes appropriate? What
other Navy organizational changes might be needed?
Legislative Activity for FY2013
FY2013 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 4310/P.L. 112-239)
House
Section 1040 of the FY2013 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 4310 of the 112th
Congress) as reported by the House Armed Services Committee (H.Rept. 112-479 of May 11,
2012) states:
SEC. 1040. NOTICE AND REPORT ON USE OF NAVAL VESSELS FOR DETENTION
OF INDIVIDUALS CAPTURED OUTSIDE AFGHANISTAN PURSUANT TO THE
AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF MILITARY FORCE.
(a) Notice to Congress- Not later than 5 days after first detaining an individual who is
captured pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force on a naval vessel outside
the United States, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the Committees on Armed
Services of the Senate and House of Representatives notice of the detention.
(b) Report-
(1) IN GENERAL- Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the
Secretary of Defense shall submit to the Committees on Armed Services of the Senate and
House of Representatives a report on the use of naval vessels for the detention outside the
United States of any individual who is captured pursuant to the Authorization for Use of
Military Force (P.L. 107-40; 50 U.S.C. 1541 note). Such report shall include—
41 For a discussion of the Navy’s management of the IA program, see Andrew Scutro, “Fleet Forces Takes Charge of
IA Program,” NavyTimes.com, July 7, 2008.
42 For an article that discusses this question from a critical perspective, see Daniel A. Hancock, “The Navy’s Not
Serious About Riverine Warfare,” U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, January 2008: 14-19.
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(A) procedures and any limitations on detaining such individuals at sea on board United
States naval vessels;
(B) an assessment of any force protection issues associated with detaining such individuals
on such vessels;
(C) an assessment of the likely effect of such detentions on the original mission of the naval
vessel; and
(D) any restrictions on long-term detention of individuals on United States naval vessels.
(2) FORM OF REPORT- The report required under paragraph (1) shall be submitted in
unclassified form but may contain a classified annex.
H.Rept. 112-479 states:
Critical Gaps in Undersea Mobility Capabilities
The budget request [for Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation, Defense-Wide]
contained $26.4 million in Program Element (PE)1160483BB for Special Operations Forces
Underwater Systems.
The committee is aware that U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has realigned
the Undersea Mobility Program to comply with the additional oversight requirements
pursuant to Section 144 of the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2012
(Public Law 112–81). The committee is also aware that the proposed program structure for
fiscal year 2013 includes scaled-down requirements for dry combat submersibles to operate
via host surface ship only with moderate capacity and varying endurance. The committee is
concerned that frequent program and strategy changes to the Undersea Mobility Program and
a lack of funding priority in critical research, development, testing and evaluation, have
delayed the introduction of advanced capabilities for both wet combat submersible
replacement and dry combat submersible development.
The committee is concerned that the current program schedule for dry combat submersibles,
in particular, will not field an operational evaluation platform until early 2015 with extended
integrated testing not taking place until 2016. Given current dry combat submersible
capability gaps and a potential shift in strategic emphasis to the Asia-Pacific and other
regions that present anti-access and area-denial challenges, the committee is concerned that
USSOCOM’s Undersea Mobility Program will be unable to meet potential geographic
combatant command requirements to operate in denied maritime areas from strategic
distances. Additionally, the committee is concerned that the highly perishable and technical
skill sets required to operate wet and dry combat submersibles resident within the Naval
Special Warfare community have not been fully exercised and utilized in recent years,
thereby increasing capability gaps and risks to the overall program.
The committee has previously expressed concern with these current capability gaps and
recognized the operational importance of the Undersea Mobility Program to provide
technologically-advanced undersea mobility platforms for U.S. Naval Special Warfare
Command and USSOCOM. The committee therefore encourages the Commander of U.S.
Special Operations Command to review the current Undersea Mobility Program to mitigate
risk, potentially accelerate the fielding of safe, efficient, and financially sound operational
wet and dry systems, and to continually communicate with the congressional defense
committees to ensure programmatic success and prevent previous program shortfalls.
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The committee recommends $61.4 million, an increase of $35 million, Special Operations
Forces Underwater Systems. (Pages 85-86)
Senate
Section 153 of the FY2013 National Defense Authorization Act (S. 3254 of the 112th Congress) as
reported by the Senate Armed Services Committee (S.Rept. 112-173 of June 4, 2012) states:
SEC. 153. SHALLOW WATER COMBAT SUBMERSIBLE PROGRAM.
(a) Initial Report- Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the
Commander of the United States Special Operations Command shall submit to the
congressional defense committees a report setting forth the following:
(1) A description of the efforts of the contractor under the Shallow Water Combat
Submersible (SWCS) program and the United States Special Operations Command to
improve the accuracy of the tracking of the schedule and costs of the program.
(2) The revised timeline for the initial and full operational capability of the Shallow Water
Combat Submersible.
(3) A current estimate of the cost to meet the basis of issue requirement under the program.
(b) Subsequent Reports-
(1) QUARTERLY REPORTS REQUIRED- The Commander of the United States Special
Operations Command shall submit to the congressional defense committees on a quarterly
basis updates on the metrics from the earned value management system with which the
Command is tracking the schedule and cost performance of the contractor of the Shallow
Water Combat Submersible program.
(2) SUNSET- The requirement in paragraph (1) shall cease on the date the Shallow Water
Combat Submersible has completed operational testing and has been found to be
operationally effective and operationally suitable.
Regarding Section 153, S.Rept. 112-173 states:
Shallow Water Combat Submersible Program (sec. 153)
On November 9, 2010, U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) provided the
committee with a notification that the Command had awarded a sole source contract for the
Shallow Water Combat Submersible (SWCS) program and stated “the contract provides only
for firm-fixed-price task orders which are established in the contract.” USSOCOM has
requested a modification to its fiscal year 2013 budget request that would transfer $8.0
million from Procurement, Defense-wide, to Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation,
Defense-wide, to pay for cost growth in the engineering and manufacturing development
phase of the SWCS program. According to U.S. USSOCOM, “extreme schedule variations
from the baseline resulted in the inability to accurately track progress and cost.” In response
to an inquiry from committee staff following notification of SWCS cost and schedule
variations, USSOCOM indicated “the contract has a combination of cost contract line items
and firm fixed price contract line items.”
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The committee is concerned by the inaccurate and misleading contract notification described
above and that it only learned of the projected SWCS schedule and cost overruns following
the release of the fiscal year 2013 budget. The committee expects full and accurate
notification of contract awards and reiterates its expectation that USSOCOM will keep it
adequately informed of such acquisition program deviations at the time they are identified.
The committee recommends a provision [Section 153] that would require the Commander of
USSOCOM, not later than 90 days after enactment of this Act, to provide the congressional
defense committees with a report describing: efforts by the contractor and USSOCOM to
more accurately track schedule and cost; the revised timeline for SWCS initial and full
operational capability; and the projected cost to meet the basis of issue requirement. The
provision would also require that the Commander submit quarterly updates on the metrics
from the earned value management system with which the Command is tracking cost and
scheduled performance of the contractor. That requirement shall lapse once the SWCS has
completed operational testing and has been found to be operationally effective and
operationally suitable. (Page 21)
The report also states:
Shallow Water Combat Submersible Program
The budget request [for Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation, Defense-Wide]
includes $8.9 million in PE 1160483BB for the continued development of the Shallow Water
Combat Submersible. The committee understands that the contractor’s failure to meet
systems engineering requirements will result in an overall program delay of several months
and require at least an additional $8.0 million to complete research and development
activities. According to U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), “extreme schedule
variations from the baseline resulted in the inability to accurately track progress and cost.” At
the request of USSOCOM, the committee recommends a transfer of $8.0 million from
Procurement, Defense-wide, to Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation, Defense-wide,
for cost growth in the engineering and manufacturing development phase of the program.
(Page 56)
The report also states:
Dry Combat Submersible
The committee notes that U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has deferred
plans for the foreseeable future to procure Dry Combat Submersible-Light and associated
Future Dry Deck Shelter Extension Modifications in light of higher priority requirements and
budget constraints. The committee also notes USSOCOM intends to continue forward with
modified plans to field a single Dry Combat Submersible variant. The committee expects,
consistent with the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (Public Law
112–81), that the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics
will make a determination, prior to a milestone B decision, on whether to treat the Dry
Combat Submersible program as a Major Defense Acquisition Program. (Page 70)
Conference
Section 156 of the conference report (H.Rept. 112-705 of December 18, 2012) on H.R. 4310/P.L.
112-239 of January 2, 2013, states:
SEC. 156. SHALLOW WATER COMBAT SUBMERSIBLE PROGRAM.
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(a) INITIAL REPORT.—Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act,
the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict, in
coordination with the Commander of the United States Special Operations Command, shall
submit to the congressional defense committees a report setting forth the following:
(1) A description of all efforts under the Shallow Water Combat Submersible program and
the United States Special Operations Command to improve the accuracy of the tracking of
the schedule and costs of the program.
(2) The revised timeline for the initial and full operational capability of the Shallow Water
Combat Submersible, including details outlining and justifying the revised baseline to the
program.
(3) Current cost estimates to meet the basis of issue requirement under the program.
(4) An assessment of existing program risk through the completion of operational testing.
(b) SUBSEQUENT REPORTS.—
(1) QUARTERLY REPORTS REQUIRED.—The Assistant Secretary, in coordination with
the Commander of the United States Special Operations Command, shall submit to the
congressional defense committees on a quarterly basis updates on the schedule and cost
performance of the contractor of the Shallow Water Combat Submersible program, including
metrics from the earned value management system.
(2) SUNSET.—The requirement in paragraph (1) shall cease on the date the Shallow Water
Combat Submersible has completed operational testing and has been found to be
operationally effective and operationally suitable.
Section 1024 states:
SEC. 1024. NOTICE AND REPORT ON USE OF NAVAL VESSELS FOR DETENTION
OF INDIVIDUALS CAPTURED OUTSIDE AFGHANISTAN PURSUANT TO THE
AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF MILITARY FORCE.
(a) NOTICE TO CONGRESS.—Not later than 30 days after first detaining an individual
pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107–40; 50
U.S.C. 1541 note) on a naval vessel outside the United States, the Secretary of Defense shall
submit to the Committees on Armed Services of the Senate and House of Representatives
notice of the detention. In the case of such an individual who is transferred or released before
the submittal of the notice of the individual’s detention, the Secretary shall also submit to
such Committees notice of the transfer or release.
(b) REPORT.—
(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the
Secretary of Defense shall submit to the Committees on Armed Services of the Senate and
House of Representatives a report on the use of naval vessels for the detention outside the
United States of any individual who is detained pursuant to the Authorization for Use of
Military Force (Public Law 107–40; 50 U.S.C. 1541 note). Such report shall include—
(A) procedures and any limitations on detaining such individuals at sea on board United
States naval vessels;
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(B) an assessment of any force protection issues associated with detaining such individuals
on such vessels;
(C) an assessment of the likely effect of such detentions on the original mission of such naval
vessels; and
(D) any restrictions on long-term detention of individuals on United States naval vessels.
(2) FORM OF REPORT.—The report required under paragraph (1) may be submitted in
classified form.
Department of Defense, Military Construction and Veterans
Affairs, and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013 (H.R.
933 of 113th Congress)
House
H.R. 933 of the 113th Congress as passed by the House on March 6, 2013, includes the FY2013
DOD appropriations act as Division A. The explanatory statement for H.R. 933 states that
Division A of the bill reduces by $16.6 million DOD’s FY2013 funding request in the defensewide
procurement account for underwater systems for the Special Operations Command, with the
reduction consisting of a $4.6 million reduction for “Program rebaselining excess to need,” and a
Special Operations Command-requested transfer of $12.0 million from that line item to the
Special Operations Forces Underwater Systems program element in the defense-wide research
and development account.43
FY2013 DOD Appropriations Act (H.R. 5856 of 112th Congress)
House
The House Appropriations Committee, in its report (H.Rept. 112-493 of May 25, 2012) on H.R.
5856 of the 112th Congress, states:
SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND UNDERSEA MOBILITY PROGRAM
The Committee is concerned that frequent program and strategy changes to the Undersea
Mobility Program have delayed the introduction of advanced capabilities for both wet
combat submersible replacement and dry combat submersible development. The current
program schedule for dry combat submersibles will not field an operational evaluation
platform until early 2015 with extended integrated testing not taking place until 2016. Given
current dry combat submersible capability gaps and a potential shift in strategic emphasis to
the Asia-Pacific and other regions that present anti-access and area-denial challenges, the
43 Explanatory statement for H.R. 933, pdf pages 194 (line 64) and 255 (line 272) of 394. The explanatory statement
shows the amount transferred out of the line item in the defense-wide procurement account for underwater systems for
the Special Operations Command (line 64) as $12 million. The explanatory statement shows the amount transferred
into the receiving line item in the defense-wide research and development account for Special Operations Forces
Underwater Systems (line 272) as $14 million.
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Committee believes successful development and fielding of undersea mobility capabilities
are critical to meeting combatant commanders’ needs. Additionally, the Committee is
concerned that the highly perishable and technical operational expertise for wet and dry
combat submersibles resident within the Naval Special Warfare community have not been
fully exercised and utilized in recent years, thereby increasing capability gaps and risks to the
overall program. The Committee recommends $35,000,000 [in Research, Development, Test
and Evaluation, Defense-Wide] above the request for the Undersea Mobility Program for the
dry combat submersible program to enable the program to undertake risk reduction activities,
thereby increasing the likelihood of delivery of a technically satisfactory system that meets
the warfighter’s requirements. (Pages 254-255)
Senate
The Senate Appropriations Committee, in its report (S.Rept. 112-196 of August 2, 2012) on H.R.
5856 of the 112th Congress, recommends reducing by $16.6 million DOD’s FY2013 funding
request in the defense-wide procurement account for underwater systems for the Special
Operations Command, with the reduction consisting of an $8.6 million reduction for “Excess to
need due to reviews slipping and program rebaselining in development,” and a Special Operations
Command-requested transfer of $8.0 million from that line item to the Special Operations Forces
Underwater Systems program element in the defense-wide research and development account.
(Page 161, line 64, and page 218, line 272)
Conference
For further action on the FY2013 DOD appropriations act, see H.R. 933 of the 113th Congress
above.
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Appendix A. November 2011 Navy Testimony on
Navy IW Activities
Below is the text of the Navy’s prepared statement for a November 3, 2011, hearing before the
Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee on the
IW activities of the military services. The text of the statement, by Rear Admiral Sinclair Harris,
Director, Navy Irregular Warfare Office, is as follows:
Chairman Thornberry, Congressman Langevin, and distinguished members of the House
Armed Services Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee, it is an honor for me to
be here with you today to address the U.S. Navy’s efforts to institutionalize and develop
proficiency in irregular warfare mission areas. These efforts are vital to our national interests
and, as part of a comprehensive approach for meeting complex global challenges, remain
relevant in a time of uncertainty and constant change. To meet these challenges Admiral
Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations, recently provided his Sailing Directions to our Navy
emphasizing the mission to deter aggression and, if deterrence fails, to win our Nation’s
wars. Today, the Navy is engaged around the world conducting preventive activities that
stabilize, strengthen, and secure our partners and allies providing regional deterrence against
state and non-state actors, while at the same time fighting, and winning, our Nation’s wars.
We expect the demand for these activities to increase in the future security environment as a
capacity constrained Navy seeks to maintain access and presence. Emphasis on increased
training and education will enable our continued readiness to effectively meet global
demand.
As demand for our Navy continues to grow, we continue to leverage our Maritime Strategy
with our partners, the Marine Corps and Coast Guard. The maritime domain supports 90% of
the world’s trade and provides offshore options to help friends in need, and to confront and
defeat aggression far from our shores as part of a defense in depth approach to secure our
homeland. CNO’s Sailing Directions, coupled with an enduring Maritime Strategy,
underscore the Navy’s focus on multi-mission platforms and highly trained Sailors that
conduct activities across the operational spectrum. Key tenets of the force are readiness to
fight and win today while building the ability to win tomorrow; to provide offshore options
to deter, influence, and win; and to harness the teamwork, talent and imagination of our
diverse force. While the Maritime Strategy spans the spectrum of warfare, the Navy’s Vision
for Confronting Irregular Challenges (CIC), released in January 2010, addresses mission
areas of irregular warfare as well as maritime activities to prevent, limit, and interdict
irregular threats and their influence on regional stability through, insurgency, crime, and
violent extremism.
The CIC Vision is derived from our Maritime Strategy with the intention to implement steps
towards increasing the Navy’s proficiency in supporting direct and indirect approaches that
dissuade and defeat irregular actors who exploit uncontrolled or ungoverned spaces in order
to employ informational, economic, technological, and kinetic means against civilian
populations to achieve their objectives. The CIC Vision is guiding the alignment of
organizations, investments, innovation, procedures, doctrine, and training needed to
mainstream CIC capabilities within the Fleet. These efforts are focused on outcomes of
increased effectiveness in stabilizing and strengthening regions, enhancing regional
awareness, increasing regional maritime partner capacity, and expanding coordination and
interoperability with joint, interagency, and international partners. These outcomes support
promoting regional security and stability and advancing the rule of law allowing good
governance and promoting prosperity by helping partners better protect their people and
resources. In addition to preventive activities, the Vision guides efforts to inhibit the spread
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of violent extremism and illicit, terrorist, and insurgent activities. To achieve these outcomes,
the Navy is actively reorienting doctrine and operational approaches, rebalancing
investments and developmental efforts, and refining operations and partnerships to better
support a comprehensive approach to U.S. efforts. These efforts will provide a Navy capable
of confronting irregular challenges through a broad array of multi-mission capabilities and a
force proficient in the CIC missions of security force assistance, maritime security, stability
operations, information dominance, and force application necessary to support
counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, and foreign internal defense missions.
In line with its strategy for confronting irregular challenges the Navy has leveraged key force
providers, such as the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, and established Maritime
Partnership Stations, and Maritime Headquarters with Maritime Operations Centers to meet
the demands and missions consistent with its strategy and vision. The evolution of
intelligence and strike capabilities has enabled the Navy to meet urgent Combatant
Commander requirements for counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations and
highlighted further opportunities for the Navy as an important joint partner. While these
operational organizations and activities deliver Navy capabilities in theater, the Navy
Irregular Warfare Office, established by the CNO in July 2008, has guided the
implementation and institutionalization of the CIC Vision. The Navy Irregular Warfare
Office, working closely with USSOCOM, other Combatant Commanders, Services,
interagency and international partners, has rapidly identified and deployed Navy capabilities
to today’s fight, and is institutionalizing confronting irregular challenges concepts in the
Navy’s planning, investment, and capability development.
The Navy Irregular Warfare Office operates under three primary imperatives consistent with
the Maritime Strategy, CNO’s Sailing Directions, and the Navy’s Vision for Confronting
Irregular Challenges. They provide integration and institutionalization in CIC mission areas
and are; (1) improve the level of understanding concerning the maritime contribution to the
joint force; (2) increase proficiency of the whole of Navy to confront irregular challenges;
and (3) drive maritime and special operations forces to seamless integration in addressing
irregular challenges. These three imperatives focus the Navy’s implementation efforts and
mainstream the concept that preventing wars is as important as winning them. Our Navy
must be ready to transition seamlessly between operational environments, with the capability
and training inherent in the Fleet.
Department of Defense Directive 3000.07 directs the services to “improve DoD proficiency
for irregular warfare, which also enhances its conduct of stability operations” and directs
reporting to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff annually. Navy efforts to
institutionalize and provide proficiency in confronting irregular challenges, includes
proficiency in irregular warfare missions along with missions of maritime security operations
and information dominance, a key enabler for CIC. Currently, the Navy leverages its access
and persistent presence to both better understand and respond to irregular challenges and is
actively evolving its proficiency to prevent and counter irregular threats while maintaining
its ability to conduct the full spectrum of naval warfare. Its access, presence, and emphasis
on maritime partnerships enable broader government efforts to address underlying conditions
of instability that enhance regional security. Through its mix of multi-mission capabilities,
the Navy provides political leaders with a range of offshore options for limiting regional
conflict through assurance, deterrence, escalation and de-escalation, gaining and maintaining
access, and rapid crisis response. In addition to its inherent ability to protect the maritime
commons, its effectiveness in building maritime partner capability and capacity contributes
to achieving partner security and economic objectives. Operating in and from the maritime
domain with joint and international partners, the Navy is enhancing regional security while
dissuading, deterring, and when necessary, defeating irregular threats.
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The Navy acknowledges the complexity of the future security environment and continues to
explore balanced approaches. Following are the Navy’s current focus areas:
Fleet-SOF Integration: Navy’s afloat basing support to special operations forces has
extended their reach into denied or semi-permissive areas enabling highly successful
counterterrorism missions. Navy provides inherent combat capabilities, multi-mission ships
and submarines collecting mission critical information, approval for 1052 support billets for
Naval Special Warfare, two dedicated HCS squadrons, and shipboard controlled UAV orbits
supporting counterterrorism operations. The Navy is aligned to improve this integration
through pre-deployment training, mission rehearsals, improvements to fleet bandwidth
allocation, shipboard C4I enhancements, and C2 relationships needed to prosecute time
sensitive targets.
Maritime Partnerships: Establishing enduring maritime partnerships is a long-term strategy
for securing the maritime commons. Legal, jurisdictional, and diplomatic considerations
often complicate efforts to secure the maritime commons, especially from exploitation by
highly adaptive irregular actors. In recognition of these considerations, the Navy is
emphasizing partnership engagements with U.S. and international maritime forces to
strengthen regional security.
Information Sharing Initiatives: In an information dominated environment, initiatives that
link joint warfighters, the technology community, and academia are crucial to rapidly
fielding solutions to emerging irregular challenges. These initiatives are the basis for longerterm
efforts to adapt and improve proficiency of Navy platforms to address irregular
challenges.
Doctrine: Development of Tri-Service (Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard) Maritime
Stability Operations doctrine that will enable a more effective response to instability in the
littorals.
Organization: Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, which continues to provide indemand
capabilities such as Maritime Civil Affairs Teams, Riverine Forces, Maritime
Security Forces, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Teams, and Expeditionary Intelligence
Teams.
Today, the Navy continues to meet planned global operational commitments and respond to
crises as they emerge. Overseas Contingency Operations continue with more than 12,000
active and reserve Sailors serving around the globe and another 15,000 at sea in Central
Command. Navy’s Carrier Strike Groups provide 30 percent of the close air support for
troops on the ground in Afghanistan and our Navy and Marine Corps pilots fly almost 60%
of electronic attack missions. Yet, as our national interests extend beyond Iraq and
Afghanistan, so do the operations of our Navy. Over the last year, more than 50 percent of
our Navy has been underway daily; globally present, and persistently engaged. Last year, our
Navy conducted counter-piracy operations in the Indian Ocean and North Arabian Sea with a
coalition of several nations, trained local forces in maritime security as part of our Global
Maritime Partnership initiatives in Europe, South America, Africa and the Pacific and forces
in the Sixth Fleet supported NATO in complex operations in Libya. Navy responded with
humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to the earthquake in Haiti, the flooding in
Pakistan, and the earthquake and tsunami in Japan; and, conducted the world’s largest
maritime exercise, Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), which brought together 14 nations and
more than 20,000 military personnel, to improve coordination and trust in multi-national
operations in the Pacific. Our Sailors continue to deploy forward throughout the world,
projecting US influence, responding to contingencies, and building international
relationships that enable the safe, secure, and free flow of commerce that underpins our
economic prosperity and advances the mission areas that address irregular challenges.
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The future vision of the Navy in meeting the uncertain challenges around the globe remains a
force forward, present, and persistent in areas critical to the national interests of the United
States. CNO, in previous testimony,44 stated: Our Navy continues to conduct a high tempo of
global operations, which we expect to continue even as forces draw down in Afghanistan.
Global trends in economics, demographics, resources, and climate change portend an
increased demand for maritime presence, power, and influence. America’s prosperity
depends on the seas… and as disruption and disorder persist in our security environment,
maritime activity will evolve and expand. Seapower allows our nation to maintain U.S.
presence and influence globally and, when necessary, project power without a costly,
sizeable, or permanent footprint ashore. We will continue to maintain a forward-deployed
presence around the world to prevent conflict, increase interoperability with our allies,
enhance the maritime security and capacity of our traditional and emerging partners,
confront irregular challenges, and respond to crises. To continue as a global force in the
preventive and responsive mission areas that confront irregular challenges, including those of
irregular warfare, the Navy will be faced with increasing demand in a fiscally induced
capacity constrained environment. Constrained capacity requires a prioritization of areas
requiring persistent presence, to include those regions of current or forecast instability. Also
required is an understanding of the risk incurred to mission, and to force, if we do not get
that priority correct. We must ensure our Navy remains the finest, best trained, and most
ready in the world to sustain key mission areas that support confronting irregular challenges,
and has the ability to face a highly capable adversary. The Navy looks forward to working
with Congress to address our future challenges and thank you for your support of the Navy’s
mission and personnel at this critical crossroads in U.S. history.45
44 At this point, the statement includes a footnote citing the prepared statement of Admiral Jonathan Greenert before the
House Armed Services Committee on July 26, 2011. Greenert became the Chief of Naval Operations on September 23,
2011.
45 Statement of Rear Admiral (Lower Half) Sinclair Harris, Director, Navy Irregular Warfare Office, before the House
Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, November 3, 2011. Italics as in
original.
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Appendix B. 2012 RAND Corporation Report
Findings and Recommendations
This appendix presents findings and recommendations from a 2012 report on maritime regular
warfare by RAND Corporation, a research firm.
Findings
The report made the following findings, among others:
The study’s main findings span the strategic, operational, and tactical levels. Several are
specific to MIW, while others have implications both for MIW [maritime irregular warfare]
and for IW operations more broadly.
First, the maritime force is generally considered to play a supportive role to ground forces in
IW and therefore has the potential to be underutilized even in IW operations conducted in a
predominantly maritime environment....
Second, countries that have a prevalent maritime dimension associated with an insurgency
could potentially benefit from the enhancement of civil-military operations (CMOs) in the
maritime arena....
Third, maritime operations in IW can allow the United States to scale its ground involvement
in useful ways....
Fourth, if one assumes that future MIW engagements that entail building a partner’s capacity
will resemble OEF-P [Operation Enduring Freedom—Philippines], it is important to manage
strategic expectations based on realistic assessments of the partner’s capabilities....
Fifth, when building partner capacity, either in MIW or land-based IW, the United States
should make efforts to provide equipment and technology that the partner will be able to
maintain and operate without difficulty....
Sixth, with regard to operational methods, coastal maritime interdiction can play an
instrumental role in setting the conditions for success in IW by cutting the supply lines that
sustain an insurgency....
Seventh, as the [1980s] Nicaragua case illustrates, U.S. partners in MIW may only have to
influence and monitor the sensibilities of a local population, but the legitimacy of U.S.
involvement may be tested in worldwide public opinion....
Finally, international cooperation in confronting MIW adversaries is often necessary, and
the U.S. Navy should make an effort to ensure that it is tactically and operationally
interoperable with partner navies in order to facilitate coordination....46
46 Molly Dunigan, et al, Characterizing and Exploring the Implications of Maritime Irregular Warfare, RAND
Corporation, Santa Monica (CA), 2012, pp. xv-xviii (italics as in original).
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Recommendations
The report made the following recommendations, among others:
The findings presented here have several direct implications for the U.S. conventional Navy
and Naval Special Warfare Command (NSW). First, U.S. naval forces should continue to
provide U.S. partners with suitable equipment that they will be able to operate and maintain
and should continually strive to increase their interoperability with partner forces. Second,
U.S. naval forces may have to continue or expand training of partner forces to confront
future MIW threats. Third, when conducting MIW, operating from a sea base offers
advantages to NSW. However, due to the costs of such a practice, both NSW and the
conventional Navy must also recognize that decisions regarding when and where to support
sea basing of this sort need to be made carefully. Fourth, in support of future MIW
operations, NSW is likely to have ongoing requirements for maritime interdiction and
containment. Fifth, the United States could benefit from maintaining operational and tactical
capabilities with which to assist its partners in surveillance, particularly against small
submarines and mining threats. Sixth, NSW should consider increasing its capacity to
conduct maritime-based CMOs.
Conventional U.S. naval forces should similarly consider their role in supporting significant
irregular ground operations launched from the sea, as well as their role in interdiction and
containment campaigns. In contrast to those of NSW, conventional U.S. Navy capabilities to
support IW might entail CMOs and related activities to a greater extent than direct action. 47
47 Molly Dunigan, et al, Characterizing and Exploring the Implications of Maritime Irregular Warfare, RAND
Corporation, Santa Monica (CA), 2012, pp. xix-xx.
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Appendix C. 2010 Navy Irregular Warfare Vision
Statement
This appendix reproduces the Navy’s January 2010 vision statement for irregular warfare.48
48 Department of the Navy, Chief of Naval Operations, The U.S. Navy’s Vision for Confronting Irregular Challenges,
January 2010, 7 pp. (including the cover page).
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