US Navy Surface Forces Urged To Become More Aggressive: “The time is now. The future of war fighting is up to us.” With those declarations, Vice Adm. Thomas Rowden, commander of US Naval Surface Forces, on Tuesday opened the 29th annual national symposium of the Surface Navy Association, a gathering of officers and sailors from around the fleet who man cruisers, destroyers, littoral combat ships, mine ships and amphibious ships.
Rowden’s hallmark after two and half years as the Navy’s “SWO Boss” — Surface Warfare Officer Boss — is distributed lethality, an effort to install more powerful weapons on ships while expanding command and control of those weapons, and reinstate a sense of war fighting in the surface Navy. He’s directed, for example, that each ship fire at least one weapon each day at sea.
He debuted a stirring video depicting the striking power of the US Navy’s surface forces and appeared on camera at the end, declaring: “We, the US Navy, are back in the sea control game, in a big way.”
A return to the themes of sea control, once a mantra of the Cold War-era US Navy, is a major facet of Rowden’s new Surface Force Strategy. As defined in the strategy, sea control “is the capability and capacity to impose localized control of the sea when and where it is required.”
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