In early November MO noted the Naval Expeditionary Combat Command, a centralized command for the Navy’s various land forces and a move to tweak organizations for the asymmetrical wars that we keep finding ourselves in. The Honolulu Advertiser has a great article on more restructuring and re-prioritization within the Navy, including
Adm. Michael G. Mullen, who took over as chief of naval operations in July, envisions a U.S. Navy that will operate as a “brown water” and “green water” force in rivers and along coasts in addition to its traditional big-ship, blue-water role.
“A lot of that is closer to shore, whether it’s in the rivers of certain countries that we would be involved to assist in, or whether it’s in the shallows near land,” said Mullen, who spoke to reporters after making an “all hands” visit last week with sailors at Pearl Harbor.
“We’re in a long war. It’s a global war on terror, (and) the Navy is incredibly relevant in that,” he said. “We’re changing mission sets for the future to get at that.”
“We cannot sit out in the deep blue, waiting for the enemy to come to us. He will not. We must go to him,” Mullen said in August.
The search-and-seizure teams are tapped to board suspicious vessels that may be trafficking drugs or harboring terrorists. Big-deck ships, such as aircraft carriers, have Marines and specialized boarding capability.
The search-and-seizure course began in Chesapeake, Va., and is also offered at the Centers for Anti-Terrorism and Navy Security Forces at Ford Island, in Mayport, Fla., and in San Diego.
“It’s a huge focus, a huge shift and a manpower-intense requirement,” said Brown, the senior enlisted adviser at the center. “We’re taking ship personnel for this, not added personnel, and we’re taking them off the ships two to three months for the schools.”
While it’s good to see that the Navy isn’t just lazing around while the boots on the ground do all the hard work right now, I hope that they don’t over-compensate and get too focused on these sorts of things. It doesn’t look like they are.