The CMV-22b Thread to Enhancing the Fleet’s Capability to Operate in Contested Operations

By Robbin Laird

The U.S. Navy is facing a very signifiant challenge in transitioning from support to the U.S. joint force and to allies in the land wars to operating in a contested battlespace with peer competitors. There are many aspects of change associated with that strategic shift and I have dealt with the broad transition in my book with Ed Timperlake, A Maritime Kill Web Force in the Making: Deterrence and Warfighting in the XXIst Century.  

But as the fleet looks to enhance its lethality and survivability in a distributed battlespace, no aspect of prevailing in that battlespace is more important than logistics support in the contested battlespace. This is how Rear Admiral Meyer put it with regard to how the Navy was reworking carrier operations in a way that highlighted this key logistics requirement:

“The fact that our carrier strike groups can move 700-plus miles in a 24-hour period, the increasing range and lethality of our ever-advancing air wing and the weapons that those aircraft carry can hold huge areas of the surface at risk. Over the course of a three-day period, it would mean just a staggering volume of a real estate, roughly the entire Pacific AOR over a 72-hour period. But it is that logistics support train that is really a key part that makes that happen.”

But how will the Navy ensure this happens and in a financial and strategic environment whereby building out such capability in the near to mid term is critical but difficult to do do?

One answer is to leverage the transition from the C-2 to the CMV-22B, to ramp up the buy while the production line remains “hot,” and to leverage the arrival of this new air capability to reimagine fleet support as well.

This report brings together some initial articles which will form a series looking at a the coming of the CMV-22B to the fleet and how it can provide a thread of logistics innovation to re-imagine how to deliver logistics support to the carrier in a contested environment as well as to provide foi wider fleet support in such conditions.

For a PDF version of the report, see below:

CMV-22b Thread

For an e-book version of the report, see below: