Amphibious vessels, cruisers, even a carrier were easy pickings. The military was shocked, which is itself shocking in light of recent lessons about what an asymmetrical, suicidal enemy can accomplish. If Paul Yingling’s looking for a new topic to write about, he’s found it.
In the simulation, General Van Riper sent wave after wave of relatively inexpensive speedboats to charge at the costlier, more advanced fleet approaching the Persian Gulf. His force of small boats attacked with machine guns and rockets, reinforced with missiles launched from land and air. Some of the small boats were loaded with explosives to detonate alongside American warships in suicide attacks. That core tactic of swarming played out in real life last weekend, though on a much more limited scale and without any shots fired…
In the war game, scores of adversary speedboats and larger naval vessels had been shadowing and hectoring the Blue Team fleet for days. The Blue Team defenses also faced cruise missiles fired simultaneously from land and from warplanes, as well as the swarm of speedboats firing heavy machine guns and rockets — and pulling alongside to detonate explosives on board.
In fact there was a shot fired last weekend, although only as a warning. Here’s the Only Man Who Can Save America From Martin Luther King offering his own thoughts at the debate this week about why the U.S. Navy has nothing to fear from small, suspicious craft.