Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert set the Navy’s course for the next four years with the release of the CNO’s Navigation Plan 2015- 2019. The Navigation Plan adheres to the admiral’s Sailing Directions to describe how the Navy’s budget submission for fiscal years 2015 to 2019 invests in the Navy’s ability to achieve access in any domain to prevail today and be ready to win tomorrow.
The plan highlights the investments the Navy will undertake that will support the missions outlined in the, Sustaining U.S. Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense, and 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) viewed through the lens of the CNO’s three tenets: Warfighting First, Operate Forward and Be Ready.
The Navigation Plan defines the course and speed, the Navy will follow to organize, train and
equip over the next several years.
Citing a wide range of competing priorities, CNO focused first on building appropriate capability, then delivering it at a capacity the Navy could afford balancing current readiness with the need to build a highly capable future fleet. Despite likely sequestration in FY 2016, the priority is to operate forward where it matters, when it matters, and be ready to address a wide range of threats and contingencies.
Six programmatic priorities guided the Navy’s budget submission, CNO wrote: (1) maintain a credible, modern and survivable sea-based strategic deterrent, (2) sustain forward presence, distributed globally in places that count, (3) preserve the means to win decisively in one multi-phase contingency operation and deny the objectives of another aggressor in a second region, (4) focus on critical afloat and ashore readiness to ensure our Navy is adequately funded and ready, (5) enhance the Navy’s asymmetric capabilities in the physical domains as well as in cyberspace and the electromagnetic spectrum, and (6) sustain a relevant industrial base, particularly in shipbuilding.
Once again, the CNO underscores the importance of Information Dominance and its pillars – Assured C2, Battlespace Awareness and Integrated Fires, along with Intelligence, Cyber Warfare, Command and Control, Electronic Warfare, Battle Management, Oceanography and Meteorology capabilities.
The CNO plans to enhance the Navy’s ability to maneuver freely in the electromagnetic spectrum by equipping ships with more capability to intercept signals and conduct information warfare, and by adding jamming and deception capabilities to counter advanced anti-ship missiles. The budget request also supports the Next Generation Jammer, providing the EA-18G Growler with enhanced Airborne Electronic Attack capabilities starting in 2021.
CNO directs the strengthening of the Navy’s cyber posture by developing systems to deter, detect, and mitigate insider threats and safeguard classified national security information. Navy networks will be aligned with a more defensible DoD Joint Information Environment through installations of Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services (CANES) on combatants and at Maritime Operation Centers; the implementation of the Next Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN) [contract] ashore; and consolidated data centers. In addition, the Navy is establishing a single “CYBERSAFE” authority to manage cyber security of Navywide networks, platforms, and systems “cradle to grave.”
The Navy will continue to expand exploitation capabilities and offensive payloads. The Navy is also proceeding to recruit, train, and hire almost 1,000 cyber operators, and are on track to form 40 cyber mission teams by the end of 2016, CNO wrote.
Information Dominance will continue to evolve as a mainstream warfighting discipline by establishing a dedicated Type Commander — the Navy Information Dominance Forces Command — responsible for the readiness of intelligence, oceanography and meteorology, information warfare, networks, and space capabilities, CNO wrote.
Adm. Greenert will continue the Asia-Pacific rebalance, increasing presence from approximately 50 ships in 2014 to about 65 in 2019. The Navy’s most capable platforms will operate in the Western Pacific, including the newest DDGs, JHSV, both LCS variants, P-8A, EA-18G, upgraded F/A-18E/F, E-2D, and F-35C. An additional attack submarine will join three others in Guam in 2015 and MQ-4C Triton high endurance unmanned aerial vehicles (also an Information Dominance capability/program) will start operating from Guam by 2018.
The Navy will increase presence in the Middle East from around 30 ships today to around 40 in 2019. Ten patrol crafts serve as Forward Deployed Naval Forces operating out of Bahrain this year and four LCS will join them by the end of 2019. USNS Lewis B. Puller, the first MLP/AFSB, will relieve USS Ponce in 2016 to support Special Operations Forces, and provide intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, along with mine countermeasure capability.
Evolving capabilities in Europe will meet European Phased Adaptive Approach requirements with Aegis ashore sites in Romania and Poland to protect against potential Iranian missile threats. Also, by the end of 2015 a total of four DDGs will be forward stationed in Rota, Spain to augment Naval Forces Europe’s Ballistic Missile Defense capability, CNO wrote.
Beginning in 2015, the Navy will provide an innovative, low-cost and small footprint presence in Africa and South America with the deployment of one hospital ship (T-AH) each year, and in 2016, on average one patrol coastal (PC) ship to South America each year. JHSV, AFSB, and other ships and aircraft will provide periodic presence in these regions as mission needs dictate.
Adm. Greenert will take a “fix” on where the Navy stands with these priorities later this year in a “Position Report.”