In the Global War Games
In 1980 the Naval War College at Newport, RI, began hosting an annual research-oriented “War Game” with the world as a battlefield. For the past two years COHSUBDFVRON TWELVE has attended this three-week, mid-summer event which brings upwards of 300 participants to the war college. GLOBAL ‘as marked tbe start of the second five-year set of games and was based on a scenario set in the 1990s.
Far more military, industrial, strategic and tactical issues dropped out of GLOBAL ‘as than can be discussed here, but o~ particular interest are two which could significantly impact on the U.S. ability to conduct submarine war~are if not adequately addressed.
One of these issues is the use of mines to attrite submarines. The specific threat of concern is the use of mines in the defensive sense to deny mission success to U.S. submarines or to significantly increase the cost of executing their assigned missions. The mining threat is particularly insidious, since many of the obvious solutions tor countering a specific mine threat either reduce the effectiveness of submarine sensors or impose a stiff penalty in reduced covertness of operations.
The second issue is that of the future role of countermeasures in ASW. It might seem irrational to reduce covertness with the use of energy-emitting devices. But there is logic to using what is necessary ~ an enemy is known to have detected your submarine. Countermeasures are “post-counter detection devices” which then take precedence over the minimizing of energy emissions. Their use becomes one of denying an enemy momentary locating information or classification confirmation. Without proceeding into specifics. there is probably no other area where “things”, either dispensed from, or organic to the submarine itself — which serve to mask, confuse, or seduce “other things” with a less than friendly intent — lag so far behind the state of the art.
These two issues — separate but also somewhat related — will undoubtedly be resolved by a “least imperfect” set of technological and tactical answers. SUBDEVRON TWELVE has made an in-house commitment to this task. and welcomes the counsel of others.