07 April 2011

Bold Alligator 2012 Reading Program – Progress Report

Below is the chart I am using to keep track of my progress as I work through the Bold Alligator 2012 reading program I put together and sent out last month. I think I’ve gotten off to a good start and hope you’ve been able to do the same. I’m very interested in your thoughts as you finish any of these books, so please be sure to leave me your comments below.
I intend to update this chart as I complete each book, so if you want to keep track of how I’m doing, and keep pace with me, you can follow the “BA’12 Reading Program” link in the right margin under my “Commander’s Links.”
You can download a copy of "Eagles and Alligators" here.
All the best, JCHjr

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The readings prompt the hypothetical of “How would the US conduct the Falklands campaign today, given our present capabilities and an adversary with modern anti-access/area denial capabilities?” The Falklands is arguably a unique geographic challenge, but there is benefit from thinking through this stressing scenario.

I think the maritime command and control would be an interesting nut to crack. Given our current “inventory” of Naval operational/tactical command elements, I think we are in the same situation as the Brits. The two UK amphibious commanders in the Falklands (MajGen Thompson and Commodore Clapp) thought that there should have been an on-scene common commander over the Amphibious Task Force, the Landing Force, and the Carrier Group. On the other hand, Admiral Woodward, the Carrier Group commander, assumed he was at least “first among equals” if not in overall tactical command. In our case, either the common commander is still a distant HQs (NAVSOUTH in Mayport?), or we have to place an embarked Strike Group Commander and staff over top of possibly multiple Carrier Groups and a large Amphibious Force (or maybe a MEF command element?). This is something beyond the standard “Expeditionary Strike Force” of a single Carrier Group and a three ship ARG/MEU. As the focus of the operation is amphibious, it would seem to make sense that if the Fleet commander isn’t the common commander, it should be command element well-versed in amphibious operations.

The other point the Falklands books brought out was logistics. The UK was operating at the end of a long logistics line with no nearby ports or airfields. Initial decisions of what to bring and what would be needed, made weeks in advance of really knowing the CONOPs, affected the conduct of operations. I’m not sure we have thought about carrying on extended operations where we weren’t near enough some friendly/neutral port to put into to effect basic repairs or get necessary parts. Ordnance reload is another factor we’d have to consider.
I was also struck at how Admiral Woodward had, in effect, a countdown chart of when the combination of maintenance issues and weather would severely restrict naval operations. We would undertake this operation with assets at hand, or whatever we could deploy quickly—whether its immediate maintenance is complete or not. Especially if it’s a “hurry up, deploy, and wait” scenario, we might be as hard pressed to sustain a considerable force at sea for extended periods of time.

Semper Fi,
Col. Phil Ridderhof USMC