A study of naval defense posture against surprise nuclear attack.
Hill, Jackson D.
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Present defense posture of the naval establishment,, particularly the defense posture of ships in port, reveals some inadequacies when evaluated in the environment of an attack without warning. Now that a potential enemy of the United States has intercontinental ballistic missiles and Mach 2-plus bombers which could reduce the warning to 30 - 90 minutes, some new methods of defense should be instituted in order that naval ships and bases could better withstand a surprise nuclear attack. Various alternatives which could be adopted to improve this defense posture are examined qualitatively. Some of the alternatives are staggered in-port periods, equal distribution of ships in home ports, even distribution of home ports, hardening bases , keeping ships at sea more, and having an all-submersible fleet. It is recommended that at least the measure of staggered in-port periods be adopted, and that serious consideration be given to equal distribution of ships in home ports. For ships at sea, the dispersed disposition remains the best choice for the immediate future. Dispersal and hardening of bases and facilities (including control centers) should be accomplished as time and funds permit. The ideas expressed in this thesis are intended to lead to future detailed and quantitative study of the alternatives, resulting in concrete recommendations for increasing the chances of survival of U.S. Navy ships and bases.
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