Littoral Operations – A Shared Effort
More than 70% of the world is covered by water, 50% of the world’s population lives within 16 miles of the coast and between 80 and 90% of the world’s trade is moved via the ocean. The littorals provide homes to over three-quarters of the world's population, locations for over 80 percent of the world's capital cities, and nearly all of the marketplaces for international trade.
These days it is also a fact that a significant number of non-state actors like Al-Qaeda or associated groups use the littoral environment as lines of communication. This is the primary reason why NATO maritime forces for three years now, have executed the NATO Article V Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR in The Mediterranean Sea, with the purpose of building and maintaining a Recognized Maritime Picture (RMP) in the area, and thereby make it harder for terrorist driven illegal trade to take place. Another example is the piracy taking place in The Malacca Strait and of the Horn of Africa – piracy where the ties to the economic foundation of Al-Qaeda and other terrorist related organizations can be very hard to neglect. These terrorist actions will use asymmetric methods, best exploited in the littoral environment, where it is easier and quicker to hide prior to and after an attack. Therefore we must expect the littorals to be the place where most of the world's illegal business and terrorist activity is likely to occur in the future. It is furthermore the easiest place from where such groups can exchange things such as illegal or stolen goods quickly enough, simply because of the easy follow-on access to transfer points on the coast. This provides us with every indication that the ability to maintain maritime security around the world, including in the littorals, will remain important. In that environment, piracy, drug smuggling, human smuggling and slavery, Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) resource exploitation, trade disruption, illegal weapons movement/proliferation, organized crime, environmental attack, political & religious extremism and terrorism, constitute the most common items – all areas, the international community must have the ability to counter.
In the USN, one of the primary maritime means to counter the threats related to the littorals is the expansive Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) building program. The purpose is to build a littoral warfare capability which has the ability to support the other services in a joint effort in projecting power ashore from the littorals. The operational theory behind the vision is that Sea Power 21 uses Operational Maneuver from the Sea (OMFTS) as its primary method of projecting power. OMFTS treats the littorals as a single environment in which the cooperation of units on land, at sea, and in the air is based on a shared vision of what must be done (see figure). This article will argue that to fulfill its part in the littoral region, the US NAVY (USN) has to focus on several additional items in addition to the construction of the LCS, in order to make this happen. The new strategic environment, in which all navies need to operate in order to counter the littoral threats, greatly increases the requirement to actively engage among navies by sharing experience and knowledge. It is in all nations’ interests to participate protecting the freedom of the maritime domain.  When reading this article, you might find some of my statements rather critical towards USN. It is, however vital for me to underline that the only purpose of the article, is to share experience and knowledge for the benefit of the overall cause.
Characteristics of Littoral Operations
As with all other things, there is a requirement to know the environment in which you are operating – in this case, to obtain what I would call “A Littoral Awareness”. The Littoral Battle Space is characterized by interdependent joint operations being conducted in a conjoined land and maritime area with limited, if any, shorelines on the open ocean. Inside the littorals, the waters are narrow and shallow; the oceanographic and environmental conditions impact sensors much more than in blue water and you constantly have to consider the threat constituted from weapons ashore. These factors create a stressful condition, where knowledge about oceanographic and environmental conditions and their impact and exploitation, becomes extremely vital – often much more essential than when operating offshore. The physical environment remains the defining variable of close combat and even though this expression has a strong flavor of army wording, then it also cover the littoral battle space very well. It is altogether possible that the enemy has a greater understanding of the physical environment. Because it is his “backyard”, it will allow him to fade away and thereby suffer fewer casualties. Therefore you have to be able to react very rapidly and sometimes make quick decisions based on your best judgment, rather than a time consuming analytical decision making process. This implies a large amount of “Ready to Use” littoral situational awareness, which again requires intensive training within that area. The skills related to littoral navigation, close quarter maneuvering and close anti-collision are some of the things required, just to be able to put your ship into the littorals. Those factors cannot be neglected and such skills can only be trained by operating and training in the littoral environment.
Future Littoral Hardware for the USN
In short, the LCS is supposed to develop capabilities to operate in the littorals. It will be smaller than other US combat ships, be less expensive and it will require less manpower. The LCS is intended to be one of the primary transformers of USN naval operations in the littorals. The theory behind it is that the littoral battle space requires focused capabilities in greater numbers to assure access against asymmetrical threats. The LCS is planned to be a networked, agile, stealthy surface combatant capable of defeating anti-access and asymmetric threats in the littorals. This relatively small, high-speed combatant will complement the existing USN fleet by operating in environments where it is less desirable to employ larger, multi-mission ships. The platform will support mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface boat modules. Because it will heavily rely on unmanned vehicles the theory is that it thereby, to a certain degree, will overcome the increased danger about physically being in the littorals (see figure). Maneuvering the LCS inside the environment, can however not be neglected in many situations, and the LCS’ speed, agility, and shallow draft will provide it with the inherent capability to do that.
Adaptation to the Operational Level
In order to identify the areas which have to be addressed further, it is interesting to compare the most typical tasks inside the littoral environment with the theory behind OMFTS and the future hardware in form of the LCS, and analyze where there exists a difference between ends and means. These must represent the areas needed to be addressed further in order to streamline and operationalize future littoral operations as much as possible. Before doing this, it is relevant to look a bit closer at some of the most prevalent characteristics and the typical tasks related to the coastal environment. The first littoral uniqueness is high tempo, where the time and distance factor quickly can become critical and where the entire operational situation may change dramatically inside a planning cycle. Because the littoral area is the seam, where land, air and water meet, jointness is a built-in concept. A target detected by a sensor of one service can often be of “interest” to a second and best be “serviced” by a weapon from a third or in a combination of weapons from more than one service. Due to the character of the mutually reinforcing action between units from all the participating services in the littorals, it is imperative that all forces are under Operational Control (OPCON) of ONE commander, which again requires a capable and inter service Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I) system. The time factor also requires more near real time Joint Direction and Prioritization, a pro-active and responsive Joint Operational Execution cycle with emphasis on initiative, decisiveness and concentration of effort. Additionally, there is a requirement for shorter “Sensor-to-Shooter” reaction time across traditional / formal relations and service / formation boundaries.
The primary missions in the littoral environment are those that ensure and enhance friendly force access. Even though maritime operations nowadays are much more diverse than previously, ranging from Humanitarian Assistance to ship-on-ship engagements, it is still valid to maintain the traditional warfare related skills. Traditional warfare skills will, in many situations, not be sufficient for the more non-traditional maritime operations encountered in littoral operations. Therefore, we will have a closer look at the following tasks, as they represent the traditional warfare skills in a littoral environment:
· Littoral Anti-surface Warfare (ASuW);
· Mine Counter Measure Operations (MCM) ;
· Littoral Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW);
· Littoral Anti-Air Warfare (AAW) and
· Littoral Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR).
The biggest difference between littoral and blue water ASuW is related to picture compilation, especially when up against hostile small boats. It requires a great effort to build and maintain a Recognized Maritime Picture (RMP), primarily because the shipping density is much greater than in the open ocean. This becomes even more complicated, when operating in times of tension and where hostilities have not been declared, because civilian traffic will continue to use the area. The same issue applies for small boats and pleasure craft in the areas, which we might need to control for military operations. An example is in the Strait of Gibraltar, where escort operations have been ongoing for some years as part of NATO’s Operation Active Endeavor Strait of Gibraltar (OAE STROG). Driven by intelligence, these escorts are often conducted in a high readiness posture. It is a fact that a lot of civilian traffic, ranging from fishing vessels to high-speed pleasure craft to large container ships, are operating in the area at the same time. Many of these ships do not know that such high readiness escorts are being conducted and they can therefore very often, purely by mistake, appear to present a hostile posture and constitute a target of interest. If you are not familiar with littoral navigation and close-aboard ship handling, then it will be impossible to react as quickly as required and potential dangerous situations might very easily occur. Navigating through such waters in a “ring of steel” posture with a large warning and engagement zone is impossible and a short decision cycle is absolutely a must, because the answer might well be high speed navigation and close quarter maneuvering in order to clear a target. As indicated, the primary problem for navies not used to this type of operations will be the lack of so-called “Littoral Awareness”. As indicated, such awareness cannot be replaced by hardware and unmanned vehicles, but must be developed through intensive focused littoral training and experience. Such experience exists in many navies around the world, and it is recommended to exploit it to utmost extent, before engaging in littoral operations. The changes to the operational environment, created by the new series of threats and enhanced tactical capabilities, are significant ones. We are in many cases up against an enemy, which has adapted a strategy of “Letting the situation do the organizing”. Such an adaptive strategy is very effective in the littorals – especially if you are up against a superior force. Our current enemy faces this exact situation and will therefore exploit this adaptive strategy and the littoral characteristics to his advantage. He will fight during periods of reduced visibility, in complex navigational areas, in congested waters with an increased risk of collateral damage, etc. We must expect an enemy which will use stealthy tactics such as ambushes, swarm attacks and other asymmetric methods. “Chaos in the littorals” and the ability to apply the new technologies in combination with “Littoral awareness” will have a profound effect on the ability to meet the requirement in joint warfare. It is absolutely necessary to know where to fight, whom to fight, and not least, how to fight. Because this is a transformational process, it will require considerable alterations in the education of leaders, the organization and equipment of units, and the selection and training of navies. In the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) such experience is available and is being exploited continuously. NATO has two Standing NATO Response Force Maritime Task Groups (SNMG1 and 2), each consisting of 6-8 FFG/DDG, an attached tanker and other capabilities (including coastal submarines) on opportunity basis. Currently (April 2006), the USN is participating with an active USN Reserve unit – the USS SIMPSON (Oliver Hazard Perry class frigate). These task groups annually participate in many maritime exercises in the littorals. Because of that, they also are being considered as NATO’s “Maritime Floating Doctrinal Laboratory”. The littoral experience within these task groups is enormous and it is available for the USN. I contend, however that this is not exploited as much as it can and as much as is required to meet the future desire to conquer the challenge in the littorals. Without the mental understanding, then it will be very hard to exploit the new littoral-focused hardware. Seen in combination with the USN desire to obtain a littoral capability, it might be worthwhile to consider prioritizing participation in these task groups more. Most often the US contribution is units from the reserve forces, with only very limited knowledge about NATO doctrine and NATO operations in general, and often with a low and sometimes insufficient training standard. The danger of not focusing enough is that the captain and crew are not littoral acclimatized and therefore they will not be able to exploit all the hardware related capabilities within the maritime force. The worst thing that can happen is to lack grasp of the situation and create minor mistakes, which nowadays most often will have a huge strategic impact. Even though the LCS is much smaller with a relatively small crew, it will still make a huge strategic impact if it is attacked or, even worse, if a friendly unit is attacked by mistake. If such incidents can be traced back to lack of understanding about the environment then the public support very easily can be negatively affected.
Mine Counter Measure operations
Experts on the subject contend that there are implicit intra-service distinctions within the USN which provide an extensive fine-structured, hierarchical “pecking” order from top to bottom. At the pinnacle of this structure is carrier-based fighter aviation. At, or very near, the bottom is mine warfare. This is a quote from one specific book by one specific author, and therefore it might not represent the truth and the whole truth. The interesting thing is however that this statement, to a large degree, has been confirmed by many US colleagues, during classroom discussions at the Naval War College. This creates a problem when operating in the littorals, where exactly the ability to understand the art of mine warfare is most interesting. The USN possesses only a limited Mine Counter Measure (MCM) capability and has traditionally relied on, primarily British, but also other allied MCM capabilities. As late as during the recent Iraq invasion, USN relied heavily on British MCM capabilities. This problem is well known and it is being addressed in the LCS project. It is as mentioned, designed to support MCM operations based on a modular concept. However, in order to do this to a satisfactory level, the USN has to promote the MCM community more and try to make it more interesting and career-enhancing to choose Mine Warfare as specialty. It would be naive to think that all specialty competition can be ruled out. On the other hand it is also necessary to focus more on Mine Warfare, as one of the most decisive capabilities to assure shore access in the littorals. Because the issue is related to tradition, it will require some drastic steps to change it. These range from just promoting the area more on military installations, commercials etc. to, in fact, giving MCM personnel better allowances or/and show the USN that it is worthwhile to concentrate on MCM by promotion such personnel quicker than other specialties. If this happens, then it will over time generate a sufficient MCM knowledge, which can support future USN MCM operations on a satisfactory level. Many NATO countries have a long MCM tradition and very capable MCM units. Many of these countries are on a rotational basis formed into two standing NATO Response Force MCM task groups (Standing NRF MCM Group One and Standing NATO MCM Group Two). Only very rarely, has US NAVY been represented in the staffs or participated with substantial unit contribution in these task groups. Exploiting such a possibility will certainly help in building a better MCM understanding within the USN – an understanding and experience which is absolutely necessary, when the MCM modules and autonomous modules from the LCS is used. Even though NATO studies also suggest use of autonomous vehicles for MCM, such systems also raise other areas of question like, for instance, a legal issue: Should these systems be treated under international law like their manned counterparts – airplanes and submarines? For example, do the regimes of innocent passage, straits-transit passage, and archipelagic sea lanes passage apply to them? Are they required to comply with the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collision at Sea? Do they enjoy sovereign immunity? What is the legal framework for attacking an unmanned system? Many of these questions can be answered by fairly intuitive answers and just the scope of these questions justify that unmanned systems might not necessarily always be the answer to all questions within the littoral environment. At least it is considered valid to claim that it is necessary to understand the specialty and the environment from the basis, in order to exploit military hardware, not least unmanned hardware, to the best possible extent.
Littoral ASW is especially a very demanding task. This is because the most challenging ASW environmental conditions normally prevail in this region. The conditions, such as water depth, salinity, bottom conditions, hydro acoustic conditions, current etc., vary constantly. As mentioned before (during littoral ASuW), the experts on this field can be found in SNMG1 and 2. Many times these TGs have Coastal Submarines allocated in support, which obviously provide the best possible training asset within this field. Acknowledging that US will use its technological experience also in the Littoral ASW field by using unmanned vehicles, it is necessary to understand that in the littoral environment it is very often “Mk. 1 Eye Ball” which makes the difference. This is valid, because the littoral conditions also impact the opponent’s ability to exploit his submerged assets. It will force him to get target data by visual means, which again will create exposure of sensors. Adding to this the requirement to be acquainted with operating in a littoral environment, further supports the notion that littoral operations is not primarily a matter of technology, but rather a matter of experience and knowledge about the environmental conditions. The USN is aware of the requirement and an example of this, is leasing a Swedish diesel submarine for service today. This will certainly provide some of the knowledge and training capability, but this is far from enough. One could also ask, why the USN use a Non-NATO asset, probably augmented with Swedish Liaison to help run the boat, when NATO countries in addition to similar submarines also, for free, can provide the doctrinal piece of the area, just by focusing more on participation in SNMG 1 and 2.
When it comes to littoral AAW, the one nation to learn most from is the United Kingdom (UK). The experience gathered from the Falklands Conflict can not be replaced by any peace time exercises and training. The area in which this conflict took place is characterized by being as close to the exact littoral environment as possible. The mountainous conditions resulted in very short reaction time and allowed the attacking aircraft to use terrain cover to the utmost. In addition the AAW battle was conducted by using traditional and low tech weapons such as iron bombs, which to a large degree is expected to be the case in future littoral AAW operations. Today we are facing a threat consisting of slow speed propeller driven aircraft (the so-called Low-Slow-Flyers); as such planes constitute a potential terror threat in the littoral environment. Even though the Falkland crisis is more than 20 years old, the way the AAW was conducted, and the similarity with today’s AAW threats in the littorals, makes the lessons learned very valid. The potential adversaries in the littorals are expected to use older low tech technologies in unique ways, as the Chechens did by buying commercial scanners and radios to intercept Russian communications. The asymmetry derives from one force deploying new capabilities that the opposing force does not perceive or understand. Not even doctrinal development can substitute the gains from exercising AAW together with UK warships. On the operational and tactical level, the UK focuses on participation in the many NATO navy exercises taking place in the littoral environment around Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Additionally, UK focuses to a large degree on participation in SNMG1 and 2 which, for the other participating nations, has a very good educational effect. In a littoral environment you have to take into account non-traditional land-based weapon types such as handheld land-based rockets as well as fire from howitzers. The detection by a sensor of one service (e.g. the army) can be of great interest for the navies if that specific weapon system is located close to a coastal supply point. Because the time factor is so extremely relevant in littoral AAW, then it is imperative that forces have a high degree of experience and understanding about the environment. This must be obtained by focusing on participating in exercises where you are required to operate in a littoral environment. Seen from a nation that is used to operating in the littorals, it seems like the USN has not been focusing enough on this for the last several years. In order to exploit the USN capacity within this field, then experience must be gained prior to the introduction of the LCS, because it will help the ships’ crews, their Commanding Officers and, not least, the directing staffs in understanding and exploiting the sensor and weapon suite as much as possible to littoral operations. Many other countries have a great amount of littoral experience and nations such as Denmark and Norway have Maritime Task Groups Staffs, where valuable experience can be accumulated by allocating either liaison officers or actual staff members. By extending the personnel exchange program to include this area, it will also be possible to gain valuable experience from these sources.
Littoral Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR)
Much has been written about the advent of the information age causing a technology “gap” between the globally focused US and the more regionally focused allied nations. To reduce the gap, NATO has adapted the Defense Capabilities Initiative (DCI) which, among other things, seeks to enhance allied capabilities in command, control and information systems. This gap is most visible within the ISR capabilities, because of the very high costs for many of the related systems. Whatever your feelings about future allied operations, a degree of multi-national interoperability remains a demanding prerequisite for success at the operational level of war and not least when it comes to littoral operations. C4ISR interoperability is a pre-condition for cooperation. Even though a focus area for NATO’s maritime strategy, it is for many nations however simply impossible to keep pace with the US. As discussed previously, it is not necessarily an advanced technological level, which gives the biggest advantage in the littorals. It is, to a very large degree, the knowledge about the environment that makes the difference. The characteristics within the littoral environment make it very challenging to gain the necessary information from stand off space sensors, because the area is confined and congested by many tracks. Such information must often be accumulated by actually positioning units inside the area to gather it by means of ships sensors. Given the allied inability to maintain the technological pace, it might be worthwhile for the USN to consider decreasing the pace by which it develops technology, and thereby allow more nations to get up to a satisfactory level. Continuing current trends, will only create even greater disparities, resulting in the inability of allies to integrate and contribute, purely due to technological mismatch. For many years the issue of standardization has been a top priority in NATO, and it will continue to be so also in the future. Current trends developed by the US might very well turn out to be counter-productive in the long run. Standardization issues are not new phenomena, but it is vital that the area not interfere with the US’s reliance on allies during times of crisis. It is worth to remember that there was a time in American history, when the opposite situation was the case – a time where Americans fielded the inexperienced, poorly equipped force and had to rely on the superior capabilities of the European allies. The part related to information sharing of ISR is also very relevant. Information sharing, is however, not as easy as it may sound. Seen from a coalition standpoint, there are two aspects of information sharing that cause concern: technology and policy. Technology presents two challenges in itself. First is the US focus on building complex command and control systems to bring about its concept of FORCE net (depicted visually in the figure). Complex link systems and Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) are examples of systems that the US has come to rely on, yet fewer and fewer countries can afford to purchase and install in their ships. Second, in an environment that is now dominated by secure communications, even USN coalition partners have difficulties talking to US ships and even bigger problems when it is required to talk to US forces ashore. It is obvious to most that the greatest prerequisite is the ability to talk to each other, especially in a rapid changing environment as the littorals, where quick intelligence dissemination is required. Most countries are simply not able to support the hardware or have access to the codes used by the US. Over the last century the intelligence community’s culture has been one of protecting information sources. The Cold War galvanized this culture with many cases of espionage. We simply need to change this culture. While sources should still be protected, the information must be shared more openly. The US has made progress in this area, but must continue working to make information access, and more kinds of it, available. Due to the complexity of the inshore environment and the speed by which things develop there, information sharing is an absolute must.
In addition to intelligence information, coalition partners need to have access to US tactics, techniques and procedures. When operating together with, In The Spirit of Partnership for Peace Nations (ISO PFP) nations, the Experimental Tactics (EXTAC) 1000 series forms the doctrinal background. These tactics are derived from NATO doctrine and released to ISO PFP nations. Having this doctrinal foundation is absolutely a must for being able to operate together. As it is now, this relatively simple doctrinal sharing makes it possible to execute even very complicated exercises in broad coalitions. Examples of such are during the annual exercise Baltic Operations (BALTOPS – former US BALTOPS), where US Strike Group / Carrier Battle Group Commanders, on a rotational basis, plan and execute a major combined joint exercise inside the Baltic. In the last three years, the exercise level has evolved radically, and relatively sophisticated operations such as Combined Joint Non-Combatant Evacuation operations (NEO) have been exercised. Without the EXTAC 1000 series, this would be absolutely impossible. The exercise however; has also shown that there is a requirement to continue to support and expand these and other operational and tactical procedures in line with the change in complexity of the exercises and the ability of the participating forces. The issue about common doctrine and procedures are a two-sided coin. The US also needs to focus on the procedures used by its allies with littoral niche knowledge like, for instance, NATO partners. For the USN, this process is a huge mental change, because the major part of maritime activity for a long time has been focused on Carrier Battle Group operations in the open ocean. The challenge related to single units or smaller groups of ships operating on a more independently driven posture in a littoral environment has not been exercised to a large degree. This will however be the kind of operations in which the LCS can have an advantage, and most likely be the way this platform can provide support in coalition operations.
Based on the previous discussions, it is clear that building the LCS is only the beginning for developing American capability in the littoral. The biggest challenge is to develop littoral awareness. In all operations within the littoral environment this is a requirement. The USN needs to increase the priority of gaining such understanding by committing more resources and forces to the NATO standing naval task groups, be it SNMG1 and 2 and SNMCMG1 and 2. When such units return to the US, their crews should be tasked to spread the experience in an organized matter. It will be too late to think about this, when all the littoral hardware arrives in the near future. Obtaining and sharing littoral expertise is relevant to wider international efforts to combat terrorism and, in particular, the proliferation and smuggling of weapons of mass destruction, which is in everyone’s interest. The USN is furthermore recommended to proactively fight against the hierarchical “pecking” order and make it more interesting to concentrate on mine warfare. Parallel to focusing more on the NATO standing maritime forces, the USN could gain littoral expertise in focusing more on participating in the many littoral focused exercises taking place in the littoral environment around for instance Norway, Sweden and Denmark. This will also allow USN to get acquainted with the maritime staffs available in these countries, where a littoral niche exists and has been developed for centuries. By increasing emphasis on the personnel exchange program with such nations, the USN can develop a littoral awareness and gain knowledge about available allied littoral capabilities. It is also imperative that the US look very closely into some areas, primarily related to communications and information exchange, where it might be worthwhile to temporarily halt the technological pace in order to allow more nations to transform up to a satisfactory level. This subject is specifically interesting when we are talking about littoral intelligence dissemination and the C4ISR capabilities related to this. Finally, the discussion above has shown us that it is necessary to continue to fight for a common doctrinal foundation across the worlds countries. Coalition partners need to have access to USN tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP), and the US have to get more acquainted with the doctrinal foundation used by their allies which already have a littoral niche.
In today’s world order we are, to a very large degree, confronted with risks from terrorists and nations fusing such activity, and there are no indications that these risks will be less applicable in the future. On a daily basis, we are confronted with horrible incidents proving this. These days, most nations see suppression and elimination of terrorist related activity as being the ultimate end-state. Much of such activity is linked to the coastal area and must therefore also be addressed there. A part of the USN technological answer to this problem, in form of the LCS project, is underway and will be introduced shortly. The USN has however; found it difficult to script a fully convincing story about precisely how the littoral part of their naval strategy relates to the operational level of warfare. This article has outlined some areas, where the USN can improve its maritime capability in the littoral environment, and thereby provide a better background for being able to address this issue. The primary focus right now must be to create the best possible foundation for a paradigm shift from the blue water to the littorals. This will, first and foremost, require a solid educational foundation about the environment, in which you want to operate. The danger, if not focusing on this, is that the USN may be unable to develop a workable operational concept for putting its littoral strategy into effect, and transform it to an operational concept; simply because of lack of littoral awareness and too much focus on technology.
 Navy 3-1 paper 12 April page 41.
 Ike Skelton, Whispers of warriors, P. 123.
 Ike Skelton, Whispers Of warriors, p. 124.
 These two forces are named Standing NATO Response Force Maritime Group 1 and Standing NATO Response Force Maritime Group 2 (SNMG1 and 2).
 Carl H. Builder, The Masks of war p. 25.
 Future Navies – Present Issue, Jane G. Dalton, Naval War College Review Winter 2006, Volume 59, Number 1.
 Ike Skelton, Whispers of Warriors, p. 122 and 125.
 Ike Skelton, Whispers of Warriors, p. 104
FORCEnet is the overarching C4ISR system intended to align & integrate warriors, networks, sensors and weapons to implement Network Centric Warfare (see figure).
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