PRISM Volume 6, No 2

Implementing the Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority in Europe and Africa

By James G. Foggo III and Eric Thompson PRISM Volume 6, Number 2

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Vice Admiral James G. Foggo III is Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet; Commander, Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO; Deputy Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe; Deputy Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Africa; and Joint Force Maritime Component Commander Europe. Dr. Eric Thompson is the Vice President and Director of Strategic Studies at the Center for Naval Analyses.

America’s security interests have always extended beyond its own shores—and the U.S. Navy has always defended that security at home and abroad. From the earliest days of the Republic, the waters of Europe and Africa have been critical to U.S. security. In 1775, John Paul Jones sailed into harm’s way with one of our first frigates—USS Bonhomme Richard—to defeat the British warship HMS Serapis. That pitched battle ended with the sinking of the Bonhomme Richard but also with the capture of the Serapis as an American prize. Later, in the early 1800s, Lieutenant Stephen Decatur fought numerous naval battles off North Africa against the Barbary pirates, most notably in Tripoli, Libya. Throughout the next century, the U.S. Navy played a key role in the defeat of Germany in World War I and World War II. During the Cold War, the Navy was on the front lines, meeting the challenges of the Soviet Union, and thus playing a key role in its ultimate defeat and dissolution.

The waters of Europe and Africa are still critical to U.S. national security. The illegal annexation of Crimea, Ukraine, in 2014 is one of the most obvious changes in the security environment, but that is only one of many. The vicious border war between Georgia and Russia in 2008 caused significant setbacks to the Georgian economy, military, and infrastructure. When Russia illegally took Crimea and occupied the main Ukrainian port of Sevastopol, it confiscated over 50 percent of Ukraine’s navy. In addition to its actions in the Black Sea, the reinvigorated Russian Federation is actively destabilizing the Arctic and Baltic seas. Russian aggression in the Caucasus, Georgia, and Crimea illustrates how Russia is adopting hybrid warfare to destabilize the current world order.1 A resurgent Russian navy is a key element of this aggression. For example, Russian submarine patrols have increased 50 percent since 20132, and Russian surface vessels very publicly strike targets in Syria to demonstrate Russia’s newfound naval strength.3 Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter has noted with alarm that Russia is now the greatest global threat to the United States and the only nation that is a potential existential threat to our way of life.4

Russia continues to invest in its submarine force, especially the new Kilo class, which is quieter and more capable than its other submarines. This investment includes the alarming plans to homeport six new Russian Kilo-class submarines in the Black Sea (two of which have already arrived), which could destabilize the region. Russian submarines are also operating farther from their homeport of Severomorsk into the North Atlantic and expanding operations into the Arctic. Growing access to natural resources has led to increased competition and tensions. New oil and gas deposits discovered in the eastern Mediterranean have also increased the number of exploration, drilling, and oil rig support platforms in that region.

At the same time, a growing ring of instability is slowly encircling Europe and Africa. Recent terrorist attacks in Paris, Brussels, Ankara, and elsewhere have grabbed the world’s attention. Not only has the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant directly attacked North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member nations, it has also established a foothold on the doorstep of Europe with its territorial gains in Iraq and Syria. Likewise, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, al Shabaab in eastern Africa, and Boko Haram in western Africa have thrown formerly peaceful areas into turmoil. Terrorists and violent extremists who exploit and perpetuate political instability are responsible for the worst migrant crisis Europe has faced since World War II.

While maritime actions alone will not prevent this grave human tragedy, in February 2016, NATO started a maritime migration mission in the Aegean Sea. Saving lives is the obvious goal, but the follow-on actions are complicated and depend upon the nationality of the refugees, where the refugees were rescued, the flag of the ship that saved them, and the patchwork of bilateral agreements in place.

The United States is committed to working with our partners and allies to combat the root cause of the issue—terrorism in the Middle East and Africa—but it is not a simple task. The multiple factions in Syria are difficult to understand, making it challenging to influence them effectively. And by definition, an international crisis is not contained to specific geographic borders; actions in one place may cause unintended consequences in a completely different geographical area.

On the African continent, geography and the tyranny of distance are also obstacles to regional security. Criminals engaged in piracy, illegal fishing, and illicit trafficking operate in vast spaces that are difficult to monitor. Criminals are adept at slipping through the cracks in communication and information sharing, even when countries are willing to work together to enforce the rule of law.

A common military saying is that “the enemy gets a vote,” but we must remember that our partners and allies also get a vote. The 28 NATO nations are bound by Article 5 to defend each other, but each nation has its own economic, political, and military priorities. Only a few NATO nations currently contribute 2 percent of their gross domestic product to their respective militaries, and even those that heavily invest in their militaries make choices based on their own national interests. Partners and allies then decide together how they employ those forces in any given situation.

The U.S. Navy faces these historic challenges, as well as new and diverse ones, as we defend the nation not only in the maritime domain, but across all domains. Today, we can be attacked from the sea or under the sea, and from the air, space, and cyberspace. The threats in each of these domains are exceedingly dangerous, and we must remain vigilant. Similarly, the growing complexity and pervasiveness of, and accessibility to, the global information system now empower more people, businesses, communities, families, machines, governments, nongovernmental organizations—and, yes, criminals, terrorists, and other malign actors—than ever before. Rapid technological changes release the creative energy of and bring new opportunities to a large population, but they also usher in new threats and challenges.

With all of these challenges, how does the United States plan to protect the American people? In 2015, the United States laid out its plan for employing naval power in the Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower: Forward, Engaged, and Ready (CS21R).5 Simply put, CS21R is the core policy the leaders of the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard have endorsed. It established the essential functions for the U.S. Navy: to defend the homeland, deter conflict, respond to crises, defeat aggression, protect the maritime commons, strengthen partnerships, and provide humanitarian assistance and disaster response, when needed. As an overarching strategy document for the three sea services, CS21R provided general guidance and let each Service decide how it will go about fulfilling its functions and accomplishing its missions.

In early 2016, Admiral John Richardson, the U.S. Navy’s 31st Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), did exactly that with the publication of the Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority.6 A “design” is broader and more open-ended than a traditional “campaign plan.” Its focus is on long-term outcomes rather than on accomplishing a sequence of specific military objectives. The Design offers a method for framing strategic problems in a way that can help Navy leaders recognize important trends, accommodate complexity, and acknowledge and address uncertainty. With this understanding, Navy leaders can use the Design to formulate a purposeful and integrated way ahead to meet the challenges of the future. It encourages leaders at all levels to evaluate and assess their actions within the context of the environment in which they operate, while providing guideposts for behaviors, actions, and investments.

The Design also encourages the Navy to look beyond traditional notions of the threat. Naval officers often focus on specific adversaries and near-term threats, but the Design encourages them to think about macro trends. The Design recognizes that the character of the competitive environment is influenced by three interrelated, powerful global trends: increasing exploitation of the maritime domain, the rise of the global information system, and the increasing rate of technological creation and adoption. By promoting deliberate decisionmaking, the Navy plans to use these three trends better and more effectively than our adversaries. In so doing, the United States will maintain its edge and its maritime superiority.

Today, the CNO’s Design is the touchstone that guides how the Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet (CNE-CNA/C6F) meets the rapidly emerging challenges in the region. We are applying the four main lines of effort that lie at the heart of the Design: strengthen naval power at and from the sea, achieve high-velocity learning at every level, strengthen our Navy team for the future, and expand and strengthen our network of partners. We will examine each of these in turn.

Strengthen Naval Power At and From the Sea

Maintain a fleet that is trained and ready to operate and fight decisively—from the deep ocean to the littorals, from the sea floor to space, and in the information domain. Align our organization to best support generating operational excellence.7

There are several paths to strengthening naval power. Among these are increasing capacity (force structure), getting more out of current capabilities, seeking force multipliers at sea and ashore, and leveraging the full battlespace from the sea floor to space. U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa (NAVEUR/NAVAF)/U.S. 6th Fleet has recently grown significantly in capacity in order to address emerging challenges in the European and African theaters. For example, in the last two years, the number of ships permanently assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF/U.S. 6th Fleet has increased 400 percent. In early 2014, the one permanently assigned U.S. Navy ship in theater was USS Mount Whitney, U.S. 6th Fleet’s command ship. The remaining naval presence was provided by vessels deploying from the east coast of the United States on six month deployments or vessels transiting to and from the Arabian Gulf through the Suez Canal. Now, there are four permanently stationed forward deployed guided missile destroyers (DDGs) in U.S. 6th Fleet.8

These vessels were forward deployed to Rota, Spain, as part of the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA). EPAA is the U.S. contribution to the NATO ballistic missile defense (BMD) mission and defends Europe against Iran’s short- and medium-range ballistic missiles. Even in light of the recent Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear agreement, Iran still continues to build a lethal arsenal of long-range missiles that can reach the capitals of Europe. Thus, EPAA provides Europeans with a hedging strategy against Iran in the event of abrogation using capabilities ashore and at sea. Ashore, the U.S. Navy recently completed installation of an Aegis Ashore Missile Defense System (AAMDS) in Deveselu, Romania. A sister site is scheduled to be built in Redzikowo, Poland, which will further expand the EPAA system. Together with the four DDGs, which are mobile BMD platforms, the AAMDS help protect our NATO allies.

In addition to being BMD capable, DDGs are capable of conducting multiple missions, including air and missile defense; strike, surface, and anti-submarine warfare; maritime interdiction; counterpiracy; presence operations; and search and rescue. This means they provide a tremendous return on our investment by being forward deployed. These ships constantly support real-world operations, participate in multinational exercises, and conduct a variety of other training with allies and partners, spending almost half of their time underway.

Forward deploying the DDGs to Rota provides NAVEUR-NAVAF/U.S. 6th Fleet with two key advantages over transiting ships. The ships do not need to cross the Atlantic Ocean, so they can respond more quickly when operations or emergencies arise, and are able to participate in more training events with our partners and allies. These routine interactions—operating, training, and engaging—help forge relationships that should not be underestimated.

On any given day, NAVEUR-NAVAF/U.S. 6th Fleet may have a submarine in the Arctic, the command ship USS Mount Whitney participating in a Baltic exercise, an oiler refueling an allied vessel in the Aegean Sea, a destroyer conducting a port visit in the Black Sea, Seabees working on construction sites in three African countries, Aegis Ashore facilities in Romania exercising their ability to intercept Iranian missiles, and an expeditionary fast transport ship conducting multi-national law enforcement operations off the western coast of Africa. NAVEUR-NAVAF/U.S. 6th Fleet is an extremely capable force dedicated to peace and stability in Europe and Africa.

Achieve High-Velocity Learning at Every Level

Apply the best concepts, techniques, and technologies to accelerate learning as individuals, teams, and organizations. Clearly know the objective and the theoretical limits of performance—set aspirational goals. Begin problem definition by studying history—do not relearn old lessons. Start by seeing what you can accomplish without additional resources. During execution, conduct routine and rigorous self-assessment. Adapt processes to be inherently receptive to innovation and creativity.9

One of the most powerful components of the Design is the line of effort that focuses on high-velocity learning. This process is not just about doing things “faster,” nor is it limited to classroom learning. Instead, it seeks to improve an organization through questioning that drives innovation and improvements. Having a “learning engine” where ideas and concepts are iteratively posited, tested, assessed, refined, re-posited, re-tested, and so on, means the organization can rapidly adapt the lessons learned.

In the past, the U.S. military dominated the three domains of warfare: maritime, land, and air. Today, warfare has become increasingly complex and added two new contested domains: space and cyberspace. We must now leverage the Navy’s intellectual enterprise to think and develop new ways of warfare in all five domains. Because traditional or historical approaches are no longer valid, it is critical that we make use of new technologies, new concepts, and new processes, such as online gaming and simulation, to develop the Navy of the 21st century.

NAVEUR-NAVAF/U.S. 6th Fleet is doing just that with its approach to naval operations in Europe and Africa and our dedication to training as we fight. Asymmetric warfare, the proliferation of smart mines, anti-ship cruise missiles, and high-end diesel electric submarines, as well as anti-access/area denial strategies in places such as the Arctic, Baltic, and Black seas all present mounting challenges in our area of operations. To overcome these problems, we are developing new concepts and tactics, which we include in every exercise that we organize in this theater.

We have also formed an innovation team that mirrors the CNO Rapid Innovation Cell and the Secretary of the Navy’s Task Force Innovation. With no shortage of volunteers, many of whom are junior officers with big ideas and a keen understanding of new technologies, we are at the forefront of the changing nature of naval warfare. For example, one innovation that we are implementing this year will put aerostats and parasails on the decks of our ships to extend the reach of our intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR). This will greatly complement our unmanned aerial vehicle ISR at a reduced cost. Furthermore, because it went from idea to implementation in under a year, it may provide the model for future rapid innovation programs.

We have begun using consortiums with our partners and allies whose defense budgets are stagnant or in decline. These allow us and our allies to develop combined assets at a fraction of the cost to each nation. Some recent examples include the C-17 Globemaster aircraft consortium in Papa, Hungary, and the NATO airborne warning and control system consortiums in Geilenkirchen, the Netherlands, and Trapani, Sicily. One of the most impressive examples of a successful consortium was our participation in the Maritime Theater Missile Defense Forum’s At Sea Demonstration 2015 (ASD-15). During a complex BMD scenario, a U.S. BMD-capable DDG engaged a BMD threat in space while allied and partner ships simultaneously defended against incoming anti-ship cruise missiles. Meanwhile, several destroyers and frigates from the nine participating nations passed cueing and targeting data amongst themselves, to the “shooter,” and to shore sites—an important first for those nations. This was also the first live demonstration of the Standard Missile-3 in the European theater. It was a highly successful shoot-down event—all four targets (one ballistic missile and three anti-ship cruise missiles) were destroyed. ASD-15’s success verified the concept that pooling resources and investment in high-end BMD capabilities is both possible and prudent.

These consortium efforts demonstrate not only what we can accomplish when we work together toward shared and innovative goals, but also a road ahead. Perhaps consortiums for developing and fielding marine patrol and reconnaissance aircraft, missiles, and/or Aegis radar technology are just around the corner.

Strengthen Our Navy Team for the Future

We are one Navy Team comprised of a diverse mix of active duty and reserve Sailors, Navy Civilians, and our families— with a history of service, sacrifice, and success. We will build on this history to create a climate of operational excellence that will keep us ready to prevail in all future challenges.10

This aspect of the Design is intended to develop a different kind of software—our people. This is, frankly, the greatest advantage we have over our adversaries. If you work at NAVEUR-NAVAF/U.S. 6th Fleet, whether you are Active or Reserve Component or a civilian, you are our “Shipmate.” Ships and plans are useless without a team to operate and direct them. Across the dual theaters of Europe and Africa, NAVEUR-NAVAF/U.S. 6th Fleet Shipmates stand ready to conduct decisive combat operations if called upon.

Approximately 20 percent of our headquarters staff are civilians, and they bring a different perspective than those of us who serve in uniform. We nurture this dynamic through a variety of processes and forums. Within the last year, we created the Civilian Advisory Board to give civilian staff members a consolidated voice, wherein approximately 20 GS-14/15 level leaders meet monthly to discuss issues and best practices. We have also formulated a Civilian Command Sponsored Fitness Program, a more robust meritorious awards program, and a reinvigorated on-site training program that brings subject matter experts from the United States to Europe to train large numbers of our workforce at a fraction of the cost of sending everyone to training in the United States. This last effort is intended to “train the trainer” and to allow us to form our own cadre of subject matter experts for future generations of shipmates.

In addition, we held the first three day Senior Civilian Leadership Seminar sponsored by Fleet Forces Command to improve knowledge about civilian development programs within the Department of the Navy (DON). Finally, we are exploring options within the current hiring system to maximize leadership’s flexibility in retaining—and attracting—critical talent. By creating exchange opportunities with our stateside partners, NAVEUR-NAVAF/U.S. 6th Fleet benefits from their skills in theater and they gain an overseas perspective, thus transforming the way DON “thinks” about its strategic partners. This critical insight, honed and sharpened in an overseas environment, provides an invaluable advantage to our forces moving forward. These deliberate efforts help ensure NAVEUR-NAVAF/U.S. 6th Fleet is a place where motivated and innovative people will take ownership, assume appropriate risk, and seize opportunities to make our naval forces more efficient and effective.

Expand and Strengthen Our Network of Partners

Deepen operational relationships with other services, agencies, industry, allies, and partners who operate with the Navy to support our shared interests.11

The ability to build and maintain meaningful, mutually advantageous, and enduring partnerships distinguishes us from our adversaries. Partnerships are critical to maintaining the peace, and—if it comes down to it—assuring our warfighting edge. By placing partnerships at the center of our thinking, planning, training, and operating, we actively seek to benefit from the academic and intellectual potential that industry, interagency, and naval partners around the world can provide. Every aspect of the NAVEUR-NAVAF/U.S. 6th Fleet mission, including operations, exercises, intelligence sharing, and training, is conducted with our ever-expanding network of allies and partners in mind.

By living and working with our host nations, the 10,000 to 11,000 Sailors in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations strengthen our relationships. The NAVEUR-NAVAF/U.S. 6th Fleet headquarters is in Naples, Italy, with the command ship about an hour away in Gaeta, Italy. In 2015, Mount Whitney and her crew spent several months in a Croatian shipyard to extend her service life through 2039. Spain warmly welcomed four DDGs to Rota, which added 2,500 Sailors and family members to the area. In October 2014, the U.S. Navy established its first new base since 1987 when Naval Support Facility Deveselu was dedicated in Romania. Another base establishment ceremony is scheduled for the fall of 2016 in Poland to support the second Aegis Ashore Missile Defense System. Simply sharing food, space, and cultural experiences enhances our mutual understanding.

Conducting exercises with our partners also increases our professional relationships. One of the largest maritime exercises in Europe, Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2015, involved 49 ships, 60 aircraft, and 5,000 air, ground, and maritime forces from 17 participating nations. Each year, BALTOPS has grown in size and complexity, demonstrating our commitment to operate together. For example, in BALTOPS 2015, we spent many hours solving difficult interoperability and communications problems. Practicing now ensures we build the skills required to be proficient in a real-world environment. But the key aspect of BALTOPS 2015 was that, for the first time in its 43-year history, it was led by NATO, specifically the Commander of Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO). By leveraging the dual-hatted nature of U.S. 6th Fleet and STRIKFORNATO, we executed the largest BALTOPS ever and, more importantly, showed clearly the solidarity of the NATO alliance.

BALTOPS also demonstrated the importance of exercising together, especially as diverse national forces evolve and acquire new technology. Only with practice will we be able to incorporate all new capabilities effectively. In that vein, BALTOPS offered an opportunity for partners such as Sweden and Finland to lead an amphibious assault alongside NATO forces. In 2016, STRIKEFORNATO will again command BALTOPS, and we will execute more complex amphibious landings, work across larger distances, and challenge ourselves at every level.

Exercise Joint Warrior, held in the spring and fall, is another opportunity to focus on interoperability. The coastline at the United Kingdom training range, with its lochs and islands, provides a training environment that challenges sailors in all warfare areas. Joint Warrior is designed to ensure U.S. ships can operate with our NATO allies and international partners using NATO tactics and procedures.

Training and relationship building are also U.S. goals in the Black Sea region. The United States has maintained its support for Ukraine, especially in the maritime domain, since Russia illegally annexed Crimea. NAVEUR-NAVAF/U.S. 6th Fleet is currently in the detailed planning phase for the next multinational Sea Breeze exercise, hosted by Ukraine and involving other NATO and Black Sea nations in 2016.

To support our efforts in the Black Sea region, NAVEUR-NAVAF/U.S. 6th Fleet recently hosted five of the six Black Sea nations in Naples, Italy, for the first-ever Black Sea Forum. This event was focused on maritime security in the Black Sea, especially the growing threats from terrorism, massive migration flows, and asymmetric threats from the Russian military build-up. The willingness of our allies and partners to engage in meaningful discussions at the Black Sea Forum speaks volumes about their desire for increased security cooperation in this rapidly changing environment.

NAVEUR-NAVAF/U.S. 6th Fleet is also building upon our relationships throughout Africa. We conduct three “Express” series exercises annually: Obangame/Saharan Express in West Africa and the Gulf of Guinea; Phoenix Express in the Mediterranean Sea; and Cutlass Express in East Africa. These exercises help build the capabilities of African maritime forces and provide opportunities for the American, European, and African partners to operate together. No one nation can combat piracy, counter illegal fishing, or stop illicit trafficking alone. Regional information sharing has also helped nations effectively police their own waters, which is essential for regional security.

A recent success in Africa, the rescue of the pirated fuel vessel M/T Maximus, shows the practical benefits of the Express exercises. In February 2016, Ghanaians and Americans were patrolling together in Ghanaian waters aboard USNS Spearhead as part of an Africa Maritime Law Enforcement Partnership Operation when they received a real-world tasking to locate a suspected pirated vessel. The Ghanaian-American team found the hijacked ship M/T Maximus and relayed the location to the maritime operations center in Ghana. Over the next two weeks, eight nations helped track the suspect vessel as it transited southwest through the Gulf of Guinea. When the hijacked ship entered the waters of Sao Tome/Principe, they coordinated with the Nigerian navy, which conducted the first ever opposed boarding by a West African navy. The Nigerian navy recaptured the vessel and rescued the hostages, killing one pirate and taking the remaining ones into custody. A simple joint exercise morphed into a successful multinational, real-world counterpiracy mission.

These are just a few of the ways that working together across cultural lines and defending the sea lanes lead to overall maritime security. NAVEUR-NAVAF/U.S. 6th Fleet will continue to take every opportunity to work with our partners and allies.

Preparing for the Future

As we prepare for the future at NAVEUR-NAVAF/U.S. 6th Fleet, we will rely on the Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority as our bellwether. The Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower is an effective strategy for aligning ends, ways, and means and defining the core functions of the naval services, but it is the Design that allows us to envision how to successfully implement our strategy and adapt to the future. The Design provides us with a way ahead to inculcate a culture of adaptation, assessment, and learning, and such a culture is critical to help us understand and meet the challenges of the world today and tomorrow.

NAVEUR-NAVAF/U.S. 6th Fleet protects the peace and provides stability through strength at sea. It builds relationships among our NATO allies and partners. But it is not only these goals that define us. It is how we approach those goals and how we shift our actions and behavior to meet obstacles and challenges that are our key advantage. The Design enables us to do this by showing us the importance of constantly learning and adapting.

By inculcating high-velocity learning into our day-to-day thinking about naval warfare, we are constantly involved in assessing our environment, identifying the threats that exist and that may exist in the future, and developing appropriate solutions. But the solutions of today may not be the most appropriate solutions for tomorrow. The NAVEUR-NAVAF/U.S. 6th Fleet staff understands the importance of assessing, innovating, problem solving, and then reassessing. In this way we are constantly learning, relearning, and meeting the challenges of today and tomorrow. Only a few years ago, Russia was considered a partner and the Mediterranean was at peace. Today, Russia confronts us across Europe, and the threat of terrorism in the Mediterranean has steadily grown. We are meeting these challenges and will continue to do so. But we are also assessing and identifying what may come in the future. This is the essence of the Design, and the real goal of the U.S. Navy in Europe and Africa. PRISM

Notes

1 Steve Covington, “The Meaning of Russia’s Campaign in Syria,” Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center, December 2015, <http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/files/Russia%20in%20Syria%20-%20web.pdf>.

2 According to the Sputnik International news service, as cited by Sam Lagrone, “Russian Navy Chief: Submarine Patrols Up 50 Percent Over Last Year,” U.S. Naval Institute News, March 19, 2015, <http://news.usni.org/2015/03/19/russian-navy-chief-submarine-patrols-up-50-percent-over-last-year>.

3 Nicholas de Larrinaga, “Russian Submarine Fires Cruise Missiles into Syria,” HIS Jane’s Defense Weekly, December 9, 2015, <www.janes.com/article/56544/russian-submarine-fires-cruise-missiles-into-syria>.

4 Press briefing with Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, August 20, 2015, <www.defense.gov/News/News-Transcripts/Transcript-View/Article/614330/department-of-defense-press-briefing-with-secretary-carter-in-the-pentagon-pres>.

5 Chief of Naval Operations, “A Cooperative Strategy for 21st-Century Seapower: Forward, Engaged, Ready,” March 2015, <www.navy.mil/local/maritime/150227-CS21R-Final.pdf>.

6 Chief of Naval Operations, “A Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority,” Version 1.0, January 2016, <www.navy.mil/cno/docs/cno_stg.pdf>.

7 Ibid.

8 Unlike during the Cold War era, there are no permanently assigned carrier strike groups or amphibious readiness groups in the Mediterranean—only those temporarily assigned during “transit presence.”

9 Chief of Naval Operations, “A Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority.”

10 Ibid.

11 Ibid.