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Publication Date

1-1-2017

Abstract

A United States naval officer heading to serve on the staff of a numbered fleet or task force forward-deployed might be shocked by the recent frequency with which United States Navy vessels are “handed over” to other nation’s commanders for command and control. Recent headlines are filled with “historical firsts” of this kind. This “unprecedented” ceding of control may cause U.S. Navy operational planners some discomfort. Yet, the concept taught throughout the courses offered by Operational Level Programs at the U.S. Naval War College of building the command and control structure and authorities to accomplish the force’s objective has a strong and relevant lesson of providing tactical control of U.S. Navy vessels to allied commanders reaching back over 75 years.

This article illustrates some of this history and shows how this precedent should be a foundation upon which future operational planners frame their deliberations for command and control.

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