Leadership: May 16, 2001

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Every time a war breaks out, it is discovered, once again, that the army, navy and air force have a hard time communicating with each other and working together. The reason is simple. The services don't run many joint exercises with each other. And when they do, they don't do all the things they would do in wartime. The problem is particularly acute with the U.S. Navy. In addition to it's ships, the navy has it's own air force (one of the largest in the world) and army (the marines.) So the navy has little incentive to work with the army and air force. This has long irked Congress, who are on the receiving end of complaints every time fighting breaks out and the inability to cooperate surfaces once more. Now the politicians have ordered the navy to work more closely with the other services. By order of Congress, a Joint Forces Command has been set up. The mission of this new organization (formerly the Atlantic Command, a navy headquarters) is to work out ways for the services to be ready to work closely and efficiently in wartime. Surprisingly, there was little resistance from the navy. It turns out that many naval commanders were keen to build such cooperation. But tradition is strong among the sailors and it took an act of Congress to get everyone doing what they should have been doing, and wanted to do anyway.

 


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