Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Fire on the Water

Naval Institute Press 9781612517957 Hardcover & eBook 288 Pages September 2014

This timely book is a look at potential war plans for China in the Indo-Pacific region. With the rise in Chinese naval power and the continual decline of the US Navy's fleet, just what could happen must be examined.

Author Haddick cites as example if the Forward Strategy of Cold War era CNO Thomas Hayward and adopted by then Secretary of the Navy John F Lehman. However the timeline of how this came about is in error; Hayward's plan was first articulated to the public by US Naval Intelligence Analyst and former USNI author and Editorial Board member AD (Dave) Baker III in the Pages of Proceedings. Having read Baker's article and in subsequent meetings, Lehman appointed Baker his special assistant to implement the strategy.

The text brings up the major shortfall in US carrier aviation yet again, the lack of range of the aircraft. This has been a problem since going to the all Hornet force which has been exacerbated by the retirement of dedicated refueling aircraft. This state of affairs will not be any different when the F-35C is introduced to fleet service with carriers still having to operate close enough to hostile shores that would put them in range of Chinese ballistic missiles.

The author advocates for new missiles to replace now outdated Tomahawk and Harpoon variants with longer range supersonic missiles which minimize risk to aircraft carrier battle groups.

Well done Mr Haddick for bringing forward this matter that requires serious study.

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