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BULLHORN #57   4 January 2010




Subject: Wings of Gold Article on Carrier Survivability 

The current issue of ANA’s Wings of Gold contains an in-depth analysis of aircraft carrier survivability. 

The January 2010 issue of the Naval Institute Proceedings also contains an article on carrier vulnerability, but it is superficial, inaccurate and can best be described as a piece of potentially damaging anti-carrier propaganda.  In no way can it be considered as a thoughtful, well researched professional commentary for which the Proceedings, according to its publisher, the Naval Institute, purports to be its editorial policy.  This lack of journalistic integrity is further aggravated by the Proceedings editors printing on the front cover of the magazine a prominently displayed statement to catch the reader’s eye (“CARRIERS COULD BE SUNK”).

The Proceedings article itself says nothing new, simply reiterating the arguments on carrier vulnerability that have been repeated ad nauseam and always, yes always, been refuted by the facts.  It is particularly disturbing that the author (a retired Surface Warfare commander whose resume gives no hint of any expertise in the area of naval warfare or carrier operations) perpetuates the myth of the anti-carrier ballistic missile (ACBM) in spite of the evidence published in the quarterly review of the U.S. Naval War College, that the ACBM is not today an operational weapon, and in spite of the Chinese R&D efforts on the behalf of the ACBM, will not become operable in the foreseeable future.  Also, the author dreams up the most unlikely scenarios for sinking a large deck carrier, suggesting that it could be boarded at night, cruising on the high seas, by a pirate type attack by small craft carrying hostile special forces troops who could climb aboard over an inadvertently lowered deck edge elevator. 

One positive aspect of this ridiculous piece, based on “tooth fairy” logic and minimum research, is that it invites attention to the Wings of Gold article on carrier survivability in the winter 2009 edition.  Of very special interest in the Wings of Gold article is the careful and well documented appraisal of the status of the ACBM (which is that it does not now exist as a threat to our carriers).  It also provides a practical examination of the threat to the aircraft carrier presented by “swarming” speed boats (only marginal and not difficult to neutralize). 

We ask our membership to review this article in the current Wings of Gold on an urgent basis and use the logic and facts contained therein to write letters to the Naval Institute and to the members of Congress on the Armed Services Committee and from the members’ own districts.   

We will keep our ANA membership informed as the plot unfolds.




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