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The Role of Experimentation in Building Future Naval Forces
particularly for capabilities heavily dependent on information technologies, such as command and control, communications, and networks.
Given the leadership responsibility of the Navy Network Warfare Command in network-centric operations and its emerging role in experimentation efforts related to this mission, the committee believes that spiral development should be intrinsically coupled with experimentation to accelerate network-centric capabilities into operations. There are also naval infrastructure capabilities that could support such exploration—namely, the Navy’s Distributed Engineering Plant and the Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity at Camp Pendleton, California.
ENHANCE THE NAVAL EXPERIMENTATION PROGRAMS
Certain important areas are not yet adequately explored in the naval experimentation programs, although some of these areas are gaining definition.8 For the Navy, these omissions are due in part to its approach to experimentation, which in the past has not been founded on sufficiently robust experimentation campaigns but on an over-reliance on many individual events such as FBEs. Such singular events cannot provide the depth of knowledge required to explore potential concepts and capabilities sufficiently. Not only has the breadth of these programs been limited, but the number of concepts explored has been small, the concepts have not covered a sufficiently broad range, and they have not been systematically chosen and developed. As a result, the experimentation programs have lacked the cohesion and comprehensiveness needed to address the challenges of Sea Power 21 or to deal conclusively with questions about capabilities that will be delivered by the programs of record.
Areas that need further investigation include over-the-horizon, time-critical strike; use of extended-range guided munitions for long-distance, high-volume, rapid fire support; expanded applications of network-centric capability to deployable undersea sensor arrays; mine/countermine warfare; and the use of unmanned aerial vehicles to locate and identify targets. The Navy’s experimental work to date has brought out overarching issues such as the need to achieve a satisfactory common operating picture; deconfliction; and bandwidth size and
In January 2003, the CNO requested that the CFFC—as part of its lead role for Sea Trial in support of Sea Power 21—“[d]raft and implement a comprehensive roadmap (by May 2003) that integrates studies, wargames, experimentation, and exercises with evaluation metrics and an execution timeline.” See Chief of Naval Operations, 2003, CNO Guidance for 2003, Department of the Navy, Washington, D.C., January 3. Available online at <http://www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/cno/clark-guidance2003.html>. Accessed November 9, 2003.