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Structuring a Flexible, Affordable Naval Force to Meet Strategic Demand in the 21st Century

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“While defending our homeland and defeating adversaries in war remain the indisputable ends of seapower, it must be applied more broadly if it is to serve the national interest.” This concept from A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower (Conway et al. 2007), stresses the importance of protecting the interests of the United States while promoting security, stability, and trust. This paper explains the challenges faced by the naval enterprise, methods for improving our force planning and acquisition processes, and the need for naval capabilities to be transformed through the co‐evolution of technology and organizational cultures. A force structure framework that provides a flexible, adaptive, and affordable force without regard to the future state of the world is a critical requirement in the “Next Navy” and the “Navy after Next.” The agility, scalability, and flexibility of an adaptive force provide commanders a range of options when responding to a crisis situation. This paper will identify characteristics and capabilities required to address the range of threats that exist today as well as threats expected in future environments.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2009

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  • The Naval Engineers Journal is the peer-reviewed journal of the American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE). ASNE is the leading professional engineering society for engineers, scientists and allied professionals who conceive, design, develop, test, construct, outfit, operate and maintain complex naval and maritime ships, submarines and aircraft and their associated systems and subsystems.
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