The Navy, and every military, for that matter, professes to,
Train like you fight, fight like you train.
That’s just common sense. Anticipate the type of fighting you’re going to be called on to do and train for it. Simple and wise.
So, what’s the Navy training for? Well, nothing relevant, as we’ve discussed repeatedly but let’s set that aside.
The training the Navy is doing involves precision guided weapons. Guided by what? GPS, of course, and also mid-course guidance signals generated from radar data.
The training the Navy is doing involves battlespace awareness. Awareness from what? Radar, mainly.
The training the Navy is doing involves cooperative engagement whereby separate platforms share data and weapons control. Data obtained how? Network transmissions.
The training the Navy is doing involves tightly integrated command and control procedures. Integrated how? Various radio and other broad area communications transmissions.
The training the Navy is doing involves ship handling and navigation. Navigation via what? GPS coordinates. The days of the sextant or even radar fixes are gone.
Now that we’ve established what the Navy is training for, let’s consider what the actual fight will be like against a peer. Our satellites will be destroyed or severely degraded. We’ll face constant electronic countermeasures, jamming, signal disruption, and electronic warfare. Our networks will be subject to constant cyber attacks. We’ll revert to EMCON due to enemy electronic locating efforts. Our radars will be degraded due to various electronic countermeasures. In short, the actual fight will be nothing like what we’re training for. This leads to the blindingly obvious question, why are we training for a fight that won’t occur and why aren’t we training for the fight that will occur?
Our current approach is,
Train like you'll never fight, fight like you’ve never trained.
We need to acknowledge the reality of combat and begin training for it instead of the completely unrealistic set piece training we do now. To be fair, the Army has begun to acknowledge the reality of electronic warfare and train for it but the Navy hasn't even acknowledged the reality let alone train for it. We desperately need to relearn EMCON and reevaluate how we'll conduct surveillance, communications, and data transfer and figure out how we'll fight in an electromagnetically challenged environment.