US Revised Maritime Strategy: ‘All Domain Access’

The Navy’s current budget submission will provide for more than 300 ships in

Issue 59 - March 2015

 The sea services released a new maritime strategy, March 13, a plan that describes how the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard will design, organize, and employ naval forces in support of national security interests and homeland security objectives.

The new strategy titled, A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower: Forward, Engaged, Ready, accounts for changes in the global security environment, new strategic guidance, and a changed fiscal environment. 

The essential functions of the maritime strategy released in 2007 were adjusted to include a new function called “all domain access” which underscores the challenges forces face in accessing and operating in contested environments. 

The new strategy emphasizes operating forward and engaging partners across the globe, especially in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. 

The strategy calls for increasing the Navy’s forward presence to 120 ships by 2020, up from 97 ships in 2014. This includes forward-basing four Ballistic-Missile-Defence destroyers in Spain and stationing another attack submarine in Guam by the end of 2015.

By 2020, approximately 60 percent of Navy ships and aircraft will be based in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. The Navy will maintain a Carrier Strike Group, Carrier Airwing, and Amphibious Ready Group in Japan; add an attack submarine to those already in Guam; and implement cost-effective approaches such as increasing to four the number of Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) forward-stationed in Singapore to provide an enduring regional presence. The Navy will also provide its most advanced warfighting platforms to the region, including multi-mission ballistic missile defense–capable ships; submarines; and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft. The Zumwalt-class destroyer—our most technologically sophisticated surface combatant—will deploy to the area, as will the F-35C Lightning II, MV-22 Osprey squadrons and the MQ-4C Triton High-Endurance, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

The Navy is scheduled to increase presence in Middle East from 30 ships today to 40 by 2020.

The strategy reinforces the continued need to strengthen partnerships and alliances by stressing the importance of operating in NATO maritime groups and participating in international training exercises. 

Additionally, the strategy outlines plans to maintain readiness by implementing the Navy’s Optimized Fleet Response Plan which improves readiness and leads to a predictable cycle for maintaining, training and deploying carrier strike groups and amphibious ships.