Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC) recently led the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Tactical Action Working Group (TAWG) 3.0, marking the completion of the LCS Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTP) Manual.
The LCS TAWG was the foundation for the development and refinement of LCS TTP, closing the gaps between existing TTP and the expected LCS missions in support of fleet commanders worldwide.
“The manual is a new approach to TTP development,” said Cmdr. Michael Brasseur, SMWDC Sea Combat Division Plans and Policy branch head. “From the outset, it combined technical and tactical knowledge from across the Navy’s community of experts with the front-line perspective of Sailors who will actually use these tactics at sea. This manual is the one-stop shop for LCS warfighters, and it would not have been possible without the hard work of the TAWG syndicates – teams that paired engineering know-how with tactical expertise under the leadership of LCS waterfront leaders.”
SMWDC led TAWG 3.0 with leadership from all SMWDC divisions and with the support of a range of stakeholders from the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations; Commander, Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet; the Naval Surface Warfare Center enterprise; Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 3, Helicopter Sea Combat Weapons School Pacific (HSCWSP); LCS Squadrons (LCSRON) 1 and 2; as well as representatives from the technical and naval special warfare communities, and LCS crews. LCS TAWGs convene quarterly. The first TAWG concluded October 2017 in San Diego, and TAWG 2.0 concluded January 2018 in Mayport, Florida.
“Too often, people that don’t know or have never been a part of the LCS program say these ships bring insufficient capability to the maritime fight; that’s just not true,” said Capt. Matthew McGonigle, commodore, Littoral Combat Squadron (COMLCSRON) 1. “In LCS, warfighting is, and always has been, our focus. Today more than ever, we need these platforms, their current/future capabilities, and their adaptability against evolving threats.”
Littoral combat ships have been involved in a range of successful operations and exercises since 2010, including three Indo-Pacific deployments and multiple counter-illicit trafficking operations. There are currently 11 commissioned LCSs, 18 are under construction or in pre-production, and 3 are in the programming phase. By 2030, LCS and frigates will represent half of the U.S. Navy’s deployed surface combatants, and will be the second largest class of surface ships behind the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.
“First, let me say that the foundation the anti-submarine warfare team is laying with regards to TTPs will pay huge dividends for all future LCS,” said Cmdr. Jose Roman, commanding officer, USS Freedom (LCS 1). “By defining our theoretical limits, we enable the LCS Fleet to quickly adapt to meet new threats and missions, while simultaneously achieving and maintaining high standards.”
The LCS TTP Manual was designed to arm warfighters by expertly balancing the highly technical aspects of these ships, with readability and understandability that supports prompt and effective actions by minimally-manned crews. This provides the flexibility these optimally manned ships demand. The contents were created and will be continually refined by LCS subject matter experts. The doctrine is grounded in on-hull experience, and maximizes LCS’s tactical flexibility and innovation within independent and/or multi-ship operations in both littoral and open-ocean environments. The next step will be at-sea validation of the TTPs through advanced tactical training, independent deployment certification exercises, deployments, and Fleet Exercises. The process will culminate in complete and validated doctrine.
SMWDC is a subordinate command of Commander, Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet, and exists to increase the lethality and tactical proficiency of the surface force across all domains. SMWDC is headquartered at Naval Base San Diego with four divisions in Virginia and California focused on Sea Combat, Integrated Air and Missile Defense, Amphibious Warfare, and Mine Warfare.