Wednesday, April 17, 2013

US, Australian UK Naval Interoperability for the Next War

Greetings from the Australian National University in Canberra, where Steven Paget is speaking on "The Special Relationship at Sea: Naval Gunfire Support Interoperability during the Korean, Vietnam and Iraq Warsnot only to the nations navies require compatibility with each other, but with other forces of their own and each other countries. Not all ships in warfare are operated by the navy. There are ships operated by coastguards, the army, reserves, the army and civilian contractors. In previous times these ships were not considered combatants and were assumed to be kept safely in the rear. But just as a front line is less clear in modern land warfare it will be less clear in future naval warfare. Also navies will need to cooperate with forces they do not entirely trust. In the case of Australia,  the RAAF are purchasing US aircraft with minimal customization, providing good interoperability. However, the RAN is purchasing Spanish ships with a mix of European and US weapons systems, which will make interoperability more complex. Also the two new RAN two Canberra Class Landing Helicopter Dock ships (LHDs) will create complex issues. These ships are purpose designed for amphibious assault in the littoral zone, transporting, supporting the Australian Army and acting as the flag ships for support vessels. 

One of hallmarks of modern naval operations – from the 1991 Gulf War to ongoing anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden – is the formation of multi-national task forces to pursue common interests. In particular, the navies of Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom have a long history of operating together which continues to this day. This trend is set to continue given the reduction in fleet sizes worldwide, which may see allied nations seeking to build complimentary force elements that can produce combined capabilities.
In this public lecture, Steven Paget will explore the cooperation between the Royal Australian Navy, the United States Navy and the Royal Navy in the provision of naval gunfire support to operations ashore in the conflicts in Korea, Vietnam and Iraq. These historical case studies will open a window on the broader issue of interoperability between the three navies and assess the effectiveness of their efforts to work together, and what lessons can be learned for future operations.
Steven Paget is a graduate of St Andrews University and a doctoral student in the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at ANU. In 2012 he was awarded the Royal United Services Institute of Australia’s Leo Mahony Scholarship to support the research on which this lecture is based.

No comments: