Defense Science Board Task Force Report on Sea Basing

August 2003, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics. An unclassified report, which begins:

The geography of the United States, as an island power with the need to project military power across two great oceans, has made amphibious warfare a core competence in the American way of war – one that will continue to be critical in protecting U.S. national interests.

Future warfighting concepts of operations call for light, rapidly deployable, maneuver forces supported by remote fires. These forces will rely on intermediate staging bases in or near the theater of operations to support troops, logistics, and combat fire support. Yet, in the future, access to such bases is likely to be more problematic, as recent events in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq have underscored. Basing forces, logistics, and support at sea offers a reliable, flexible environment from which to operate when secure, fixed bases are not available and exploits the strategic maneuver space inherent in sea basing operations.

This Task Force was asked to assess how basing expeditionary forces at sea can best serve the nation’s defense needs through at least the first half of the 21st Century.

Read the full report – PDF.


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