WASHINGTON, Oct. 21 -- The Naval Postgraduate School issued the following news:
Students at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) recently participated in a warfare innovation workshop designed to challenge students to analyze a series of scenarios wherein U.S. forces are drawn into a conflict in the South China Sea.
The university's warfare innovation workshops, led by the Consortium for Robotics and Unmanned Systems Education and Research (CRUSER), explore advanced problems as directed by naval commands and researchers at NPS. The most recent workshop directly supported the efforts of the Navy Warfare Development Command and the Office of Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV) as these organizations strive to envision future conflicts and the Navy's response to them in support of U.S. national security.
"The warfare innovation workshop is actually a series of workshops that occur about once every six months, allowing our faculty and sponsors to leverage the operational experience of our students," said NPS Department of Operations Research Professor of Practice, retired Navy Capt. Jeff Kline.
Workshop attendees sought to answer questions posed in recent years by Navy leadership regarding the manner in which the sea service should respond to emerging technologies that may potentially limit the abilities of naval forces to either communicate or navigate.
Also sought was the answer to questions about the Navy's ability to mitigate the targeting risk posed by large vessels like aircraft carriers that, due to their size and capabilities, are high-value enemy targets. Students explored small flotillas of manned and unmanned systems that can operate in a manner, and with the capabilities associated with, larger fleets or air wings under a concept known as the Distributed Air Wing and Surface Capabilities.
"We challenged our students to explore advanced concepts that will allow the U.S. and its allies to operate under the Anti-Access Area Denial (A2AD) umbrella on and over the sea, in an emission-controlled environment, by using the distributed air wing capabilities concept and flotillas with small missile-equipped ships," said Kline.
A student team participating in the Naval Postgraduate School's Warfare Innovation Workshop explores the distributed air wing and surface capabilities concept where small flotillas of manned and unmanned systems are designed to present similar operational force and capability while minimizing vulnerabilities.
"The concepts are a response to robust A2AD development efforts underway in countries like China and Iran who have developed asymmetric responses to counter our ability to operate freely throughout the world's oceans," continued Kline. "These nations are using small boat swarms, missile boats, and mini-submarines. We are thinking about how we can augment our capabilities to counter these tactics."
The scenario in which students explored these counter tactics involved a notional escalation of force between the navies of the People's Republic of China (PRC), Indonesia, the Philippines and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. In the scenario, Chinese attempts to lay claim to resources beneath the South China Sea led to increasing international tensions and finally to all out warfare between Western governments allied with Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam against the PRC.