SAN DIEGO(NNS) – Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC) led the inaugural Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Tactical Action Working Group (TAWG) at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, Oct. 25-26.
The event was the result of months of collaborative effort between SMWDC’s Sea Combat Division and Littoral Combat Ship Squadron ONE, bringing together more than 100 key Navy stakeholders.
The two-day event allowed key stakeholders in the LCS program to begin the process of developing new tactics, techniques and procedures that will ultimately deliver fleet commanders increased capability.
“The TAWG is an example of why the warfare development centers like SMWDC were introduced in the Navy. We are taking the lead on defining tactical employment of LCS with key leaders not only from the Surface Warfare community, but also from the Information Warfare, Aviation, Special Warfare, and the Expeditionary Warfare communities,” said Rear Adm. John Wade, commander, Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center. “We have yet to discover the full capacity of these warships, and we anticipate the results of the TAWG will allow warfare commanders, commanding officers and watch teams to tactically employ LCS in the short-term and long-term.”
With ten ships of the class already in the Navy inventory, another 12 under construction, and four in the pre-production phase, LCS are quickly becoming a large proportion of the fleet, operating in roles previously held by larger surface combatants.
“LCS is already being deployed and is in high demand by fleet commanders,” said Cmdr. Michael Brasseur, the director of tactics and doctrine at SMWDC’s Sea Combat Division. “LCSs are currently being tested and outfitted with new weapons systems, as well as unmanned systems. This TAWG gives us an opportunity to develop tactics based on lessons learned from recent deployments and explore what will be possible with systems just now coming on line.”
LCS has successfully completed missions in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, including operating with 16 partner nations, participating in 11 multilateral and bilateral exercises, humanitarian assistance and disaster response during typhoon Haiyan relief operations in the Philippines, searching for Air Asia Flight 8501 in the Java Sea, counter piracy operations in the Sulu Sea, and Maritime Interdiction Operations in the South China Sea, Philippine Sea, Andaman Sea, and the Strait of Malacca and Singapore.
“As LCS employment forward continues to expand, it is critical that tactics used in their employment evolve with the constantly changing operational environment,” said Capt. Jordy Harrison, commodore of Littoral Combat Ship Squadron ONE. “The modular nature of the Littoral Combat Ship makes them ideally suited to rapidly field new, cutting edge technology that spans the warfighting spectrum. The TAWG will not only develop and refine the tactics used in the employment of the LCS today, but will inform the future evolution of the platform.”
This was the first of several tactical working groups that will develop the future employment of LCS throughout the Navy. The next LCS working group is scheduled for January at Naval Station Mayport, Florida.
SMWDC Headquarters is located at Naval Base San Diego with four divisions in Virginia and California. SMWDC is one of the Navy’s five Warfighting Development Centers (WDC) and fills and integral role in the Surface Force Strategy. Its mission is to increase the lethality and tactical proficiency of the Surface Force across all domains.