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The objective of our Navy's forward-deployed strategy is to ensure that we possess credible combat capability on scene to promote regional stability, to deter aggression throughout the world, and to ensure access of joint forces should deterrence fail. Ensuring that this objective is met, and that emerging naval warfare concepts for the 21st century are supported, is a complex, ongoing process that requires priorities be examined rigorously. The Chief of Naval Operations' top five priorities, which today guide our key decisions, are:Photo of aircrewman

Photo of a Navy quartermaster using a sextant to determine the ships motion at sea
Fleet Battle Experiments

The Navy's Fleet Battle Experiments (FBEs) examine innovative warfighting concepts and emerging technologies. They are true operational experiments where failure is an option; there is important value in learning concepts that do not work, as well as those that show promise for the future. The Service has conducted eight FBEs through the fall 2000.

Fleet Battle Experiment Alfa (FBE-A), conducted in March 1997, used a sea-based Special Marine Air-Ground Task Force employing advanced technology and conducting dispersed operations on a distributed, non-contiguous battlefield. Some of the warfighting concepts included: sea-based command and control of operational maneuver, C4ISR capabilities for the Joint Task Force commander, advanced naval surface fire support, and theater ballistic missile defense.

Fleet Battle Experiment Bravo (FBE-B), conducted in September 1997, focused on the joint fires coordination process known as "Ring of Fire" and the Joint Task Force targeting process for Global Positioning System-guided munitions, including a supporting command-and-control architecture known as "Silent Fury."

Fleet Battle Experiment Charlie (FBE-C) was conducted in April-May 1998 during the USS Eisenhower (CVN-69) CVBG Joint Task Force Exercise, and addressed the Area Air Defense Commander and "Ring of Fire" concepts, in addition to the development of a Single Integrated Air Picture and air-missile engagements across a large area of operations. Fleet Battle Experiment Delta (FBE-D), conducted in October and November 1998 in conjunction with Foal Eagle '98, an annual exercise sponsored by Combined Forces Command Korea, focused on four warfighting priorities: joint counter fire, joint counter special operations, joint theater and air missile defense, and amphibious operations.

Fleet Battle Experiment Echo (FBE-E), conducted in March 1999, employed both real and simulated forces and future concepts for command, coordination, communications, fires and sensors to address innovative operational concepts for defeating asymmetric threats, precision engagement, network-centric submarine warfare, information superiority, and casualty management.

Fleet Battle Experiment Foxtrot (FBE-F), a joint and combined exercise in the Arabian Gulf conducted in November-December 1999, examined the concept of assured joint maritime access in protecting air and sea lines of communication. The FBE addressed parallel operations using a Joint Fires Element to coordinate protection for in-stride anti-submarine warfare and mine countermeasures efforts to open a choke-point. A Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Warfare cell assisted the Joint Task Force commander to respond operationally to a WMD threat.

Fleet Battle Experiment Golf (FBE-G), conducted April 2000, assessed emerging technologies in a network-centric, joint and combined forces environment to support theater ballistic missile defense and time-critical targeting in the Mediterranean theater.

Fleet Battle Experiment Hotel (FBE-H), conducted in August and September 2000, focused on the application of network-centric operations in gaining and sustaining access in support of follow-on joint operations. This FBE employed anti-submarine warfare, mine countermeasures, theater air and missile defense, information operations, and supporting strike and joint fires in an integrated operation targeted at sea-denial forces.

The annual Navy Strategic Planning Guidance (NSPG) and the prioritized Strategic Planning Objectives provide the links between strategy and the CNO's Program Analysis Memorandum (CPAM) and the Integrated Warfare Architecture (IWAR) assessment process, which is the Navy's primary program-planning tool. Associated with this is the Battle Force Capability Assessment and Programming Process (BCAPP), which places decisions within a capability-focused context. An important element in addressing new naval warfare concepts-such as the Maritime Concept —and the technologies, systems, and platforms needed to carry out future roles, missions, and tasks, is the work of Navy Warfare Development Command and the Strategic Studies Group at the Naval War College. The Navy's Fleet Battle Experiments, begun in 1997, have proven to be excellent vehicles for innovation and change that ultimately help to shape program decisions. These Service documents and processes are developed in conjunction with the Secretary of Defense's Defense Planning Guidance and, internal to the Department of the Navy, with the Secretary of the Navy's Planning Guidance. Implemented in the fall 2000, a new organizational alignment for the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV) is helping to ensure that the readiness and warfighting needs of our operating forces are met in the most efficient and effective manner possible.

Navy Strategic Planning Guidance

The Navy Strategic Planning Guidance provides a prioritized set of capabilities to the Navy Planning, Programming, and Budgeting System (PPBS) with direct linkage to the Maritime Concept and the Service's top priorities. The NSPG describes in detail the organizing principles by which naval forces will exploit new concepts and capabilities to assure U.S. access forward and to influence events ashore. The NSPG expands on these principles and provides the conduit to translate the strategic guidance outlined in Chapter One into specific required strategic capabilities that will build the foundation upon which the OPNAV planning process will be based. The NSPG expands on many of the concepts described in Chapter One and in the Navy's Maritime Concept. The NSPG then addresses the planning process by defining the IWAR domains and their planning implications for the Naval Service. Operational concepts are outlined and used to "operationalize" the concepts of forward presence and knowledge superiority, as well as battlespace control, battlespace attack, and battlespace sustainment. The NSPG establishes the bridge from strategy to resource decisions by providing a series of Strategic Planning Objectives in the form of prioritized, strategy-based capabilities that are used to guide the IWAR assessment and the CPAM development. The NSPG will be released on an annual basis in the spring, thereby providing IWAR teams an updated focus on capability priorities, which will maximize stability throughout the ongoing planning process.

Navy Program Planning and Assessment

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Innovation has characterized the Navy's program-planning process. In 1998, the Service put in place a far-reaching reorientation of the planning phase of Navy PPBS. This change was designed to improve overall Navy program planning by establishing a direct linkage from strategy to programmatic decisions through a single organization responsible for analysis of warfare capabilities. The Navy Strategic Planning Guidance and the Strategic Planning Objectives provide the framework in establishing the capability roadmaps developed by the Integrated Warfare Architectures and the Battle Force Capability Assessment and Programming Process. This new planning process is helping to ensure program synchronization, balance, and integration across all naval warfare areas, while remaining within fiscal constraints. The resulting determination of requirements, allocation of resources, and responsive decision-making enables more flexible and timely responses in support of warfighting commanders-in-chief, the Naval Service's input to the Defense Department's Program Objective Memorandum (POM), and ultimately the President's budget submission to Congress. A new element in this process was the implementation of the OPNAV Alignment Plan, begun in October 2000.

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