US Navy unveils new naval operations concept


The US Navy has published a new Naval Operations Concept that will support the US military’s Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), as well as the sea service’s 30-year shipbuilding plan and its three-year-old maritime strategy.

The Naval Operations Concept 2010 (NOC) explains “how, where and when we would exercise our core competencies” as outlined by the Navy’s 2007 maritime strategy, Admiral David Woods, director of strategy and policy for the Navy and an author of the document told the navapres service. Woods was also instrumental in building the service’s goals into the recent QDR.

The 2010 NOC is the first since 2006 and the first also signed by the Coast Guard. The introduction says the document “does not prescribe Naval Service tactics, nor is it doctrine. Rather, it serves as a precursor to the development of both.”

The NOC is not “aspirational,” according to Woods. “It does not describe things we would like to have that are not already in development or in our plan. It does describe what we believe maritime strategy will deliver to the nation.”

Four years ago, the NOC was 33 pages long. This year it is a 115-page treatise with the thesis: Sea as Maneuver Space. “Naval forces continuously operate forward — and surge additional forces when necessary—to influence adversaries and project power.”

Despite Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ recent harsh critique of the Navy’s requirements process, Woods says he believes the NOC 2010 “fits in very well” with a more streamlined Defense Department, the naval press service adds. “[Gates] asked us to take a look at the assumptions of what we own or buy and their relevancy,” Woods says. “This isn’t a requirements document … it talks about how we will execute [our goals].” The ships or aircraft with which the Navy will execute those goals is “something else,” he says.

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Pic: The Littoral combat ship USS Independence