Preserving logistical support for deployed battle groups in an Anti-Access, Area Denial (A2AD) environment
Colburn, Brian D.
Craparo, Emily M.
Carlyle, W. Matthew
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The U.S. Navy’s at sea replenishment system is a mobile supply line designed to support the deployed Carrier Task Force (CTF)/Cruiser/Destroyer (CRUDES) Surface Action Group (SAG) and forward deployed units while at sea. In the 7th Fleet area of responsibility the main component of the mobile supply line, the Combat Logistics Force (CLF) ship, has become a possible target with the development of the anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM). With the ability to target and disable a CLF with an ASBM, an enemy can now disable a deployed CTF/CRUDES fleet by eliminating its required replenished resources, rendering it combat ineffective and more vulnerable to attack. With the goal of preserving the CLF’s capabilities to perform its mission while not subjecting it to an ASBM threat, we consider the possibility of utilizing a mini-CLF to shuttle fuel between CLFs operating in a safe environment and warships operating in a threat zone. The alternatives this thesis examines are: (1) analyze the feasibility of using Littoral Combat Ship/Joint High-Speed Vessel, reconfigured as shuttles to transport underway replenishment requirements from the CLFs to the CTF/CRUDES fleet while deployed in the Western Pacific, and (2) analyze requirements for development of a new class of ships to support the CTF/CRUDES SAG while deployed in the Western Pacific.
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