SWDG Pulls Together for Supporting Arms

Story Number: NNS021209-11Release Date: 12/9/2002 10:46:00 PM
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By Lt. j.g. Kelley Anderson, CNSL Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- A Surface Warfare Development Group (SWDG) representative rode along with USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) during amphibious warfare exercises in November to observe the newest tactics for supporting arms as they are played out.

This will aid SWDG in writing a new publication on supporting arms, which should be ready for use in less than a year.

Specifically, supporting arms is fire support that directly coordinates or indirectly supports the maneuver of troops ashore. This could include air, ground or surface support. Other key ideas to be included in this publication are communications and the targeting process.

With several existing publications on this subject, the project is going to require a coordinated review of all current doctrine, which, according to Capt. Joseph Natale, commanding officer of SWDG, is not so current.

"What we have is seven years old," said Natale. "With the changing environments, it is simply necessary to update and pull together all the right ideas into one pub."

Dick Enderly of Northrop Grumman Information Technology was contracted to write the publication, which he said would be finished by July of next year. Funding for this project is provided by the Navy Warfare Development Command in Newport, R.I.

"A lot of the written doctrine is ambiguous, redundant or just wrong because it's outdated," said Enderly. "Not that we can't conduct supporting arms coordination now. It all gets done, and done well. The idea of this project is to capture the best procedures and put them into one publication."

The effort is reducing redundancies between the publications, removing obsolete references, and adding new tactics, techniques and procedures to keep the doctrine up-to-date.

To do this, the Navy and Marine Corps will be reviewing the current doctrine, as well as the new publication as it is being written. This will allow for almost instant feedback to Enderly.

Lt. Craig Ham, military project officer at SWDG, was able to observe many of the new tactics that will be written about while aboard Iwo Jima.

Although Iwo Jima is not the only ship to be observed for this project, it is these exercises that will allow the writer to see the equipment and procedures he is writing about, Ham said.

"This is a long and tedious process," said Ham. "We have to make sure that what is written doesn't contradict any other amphibious warfare doctrine, and we got the best guy for the job."

SWDG's mission is to develop, improve, and evaluate fleet tactics in surface, air, strike, undersea, electronic, and expeditionary warfare.

For related news, visit the Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/surflant.

USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7)
Official U.S. Navy file photo of USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7). A Surface Warfare Development Group (SWDG) representative was aboard Iwo Jima recently to observe the newest tactics for supporting arms. This will aid SWDG in writing a new publication on supporting arms.
May 22, 2002
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