Wayne P. Hughes, Jr. Interview (MORS, WP Hughes Jr

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Military operations Research Society (MORS) Oral History Interview
2016-21-02 Wayne P. Hughes, Jr. Interview (MORS)
Hughes, Wayne P., Jr. http://hdl.handle.net/10945/49240 Downloaded from NPS Archive: Calhoun
INTRODUCTION O ral histories represent the recollections and opinions of the person interviewed, and not the official position of MORS. Omissions and errors in fact are corrected when possible, but every effort is made to present the interviewee's own words. Captain Wayne P. Hughes, US Navy (retired), FS, was President of MORS from 1985 to 1986. In 1989 he was elected a Fellow of the Society (one of the first five Fellows elected in MORS) and in 1989 he also received the Vance R. Wanner award. Wayne received the Institute for operations research and Management Science/Military Application Society (INFORMS/MAS) J. Steinhardt Prize in 2009. Wayne's original MORS oral history consisted of three interviews and was published in Military Operations Research in 2004, (volume 9, number 4). Given Wayne's continued contributions to military operations research, a follow-up interview was initiated in 2014. The interview was conducted on October 10, 2014, with Wayne Hughes and Jerry Brown in Monterey, California, and Mike Garrambone and Bob Sheldon on the telephone. MORS ORAL HISTORY Interview with Mr. Wayne P. Hughes, FS; Dr. Jerry Brown, Mr. Mike Garrambone, and Dr. Bob Sheldon, FS, Interviewers. Jerry Brown: We're at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) along with Captain Wayne Hughes, Professor of Practice in the Operations Research Department, for a continuation of his MORS oral history interview, a follow-up. You mentioned earlier that having data on hand is important. Do you consider that still a great idea that the data be out there and readily available to start a study? Wayne Hughes: You don't start with easy questions. The answer is sometimes and sometimes not. The salvo equations are very successful in enlightening modern missile combat parametrically and you really need to do parametric analysis, because combat is going to depend a great deal on the specific circumstances--how many ships you've got in the battle, how many enemies you've got, what their capabilities are, and if you're trying to design a fleet or
design a new tactic to go with a new technology, all of these things are unknowable. On the other hand, everybody should have a data bank to draw from. And one of the things I think we did reasonably well was, as the old saying goes, when there's a war on, study the war. Study the war, don't build simulations. I think we did that fairly well, although the Army folks have come back expressing a mixed bag about the extent to which the data is trustworthy-- everybody knows that data gathered in wartime is dirty data. That's Clayton Thomas's famous saying, but data is probably cleaner now than it has been in the past, and it all depends on what you want to do--how your data bank will be used. I would distinguish what they do in Washington to get hypothetical data or real data that goes into big combat simulations from the combat data that goes into wargames such as we used at the Naval War College in the 1920s and 1930s, and then again with more mechanized systems in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. And I would distinguish those from tactical analysis, which has got to be pretty strong parametrically, and therefore the model that you choose must be appropriate and very strong, and finally, in wartime, we need to have the analyst in the field embedded with decision makers the way we first discovered the use of operations research in Britain with the Battle of Britain and in the Atlantic with Morse and Kimball's work in World War II. Bob Sheldon: Since it was 11 years ago that we did your original oral history, are there any topics we addressed then that merit revisiting? Wayne Hughes: Yes, but I think the place to start is what happened since 2003 when you interviewed me. That was in the early days of my being the Dean of the Graduate School of Operation Information Sciences (GSOIS), and there's new background there for me career-wise, 14 more years of analysis and 14 more years of administration. As the dean, I had the best four departments in terms of leadership, faculty, the body of students that were involved, and we did not have a student enrollment problem. Student quota fills have become a problem here at NPS, but not for GSOIS. For example, the Defense Analysis Department went from an annual input of about 15 students before the attack on the Twin Towers,
Military Operations Research Society (MORS) Oral History Project Interview of Captain Wayne P. Hughes, USN (Retired), FS Dr. Gerald G. ``Jerry'' Brown Naval Postgraduate School [email protected] Mr. Michael W. Garrambone InfoSciTex Corporation: A DCS Company [email protected] af.mil Dr. Bob Sheldon, FS Group W, Inc. [email protected] MILITARY OPS RESEARCH HERITAGE ARTICLE
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to an input of about 75 students per year after that, and my other departments, for example, Computer science have no problem with students. The Information Sciences Department has no problem with students, and of course Operations Research is still strong, admired, and is doing well with students, and that continued during my four and a half years as the dean, and since then. And my chairmen have been very strong, too. I always thought I could try any crazy notion out on them, and if it wasn't going to fly, they'd say, ``Wayne, we did that before and it failed,'' or, ``Wayne, that's the dumbest thing we ever heard of.'' That gave me the freedom to try things, and invent things, and some of them are pretty good. We inspired risk-taking in my graduate school. The second thing that happened after I was the dean that I would emphasize was downshifting. I've said that every officer or every professor should find two officers or professors who are smarter than they are and nurture their careers, and I've successfully done that now. I lost Captain Starr King, because he died in a motorcycle accident, but Jeff Kline has virtually taken over the campaign analysis course, which is a key course in our curriculum, and he teaches it better than I did--he gives them tougher problems, because we've got the technology now to do pretty complicated studies at the campaign level in about three weeks' time. The second guy I claim as my replacement is Dr. Timothy Chung, who teaches, mentors, and advises theses in the area of unmanned vehicles. He's a wiz, and I wish there were three like him on campus. But in any event, I persuaded Tim that he was underappreciated in the Operations Research Department, which in some ways is focused on specific tools, and slotted him into a place where he can shine, and he certainly does shine in the Systems Engineering Department, and has now earned worldwide respect. So I claim my replacements, and I'm phasing down, but I'm not out. I just signed on a new thesis student a week ago. Bob Sheldon: MORS has evolved over the years due to changed ethical rulings and constrained travel budgets, et cetera. How do you feel about how MORS has adapted? Wayne Hughes: I'm proud of how well we have tried in really difficult times. I have never
seen so much effort to cut back on costs in all the wrong places. Travel has crippled us badly; it's reduced the number of people who can attend symposia, and virtually forced us to be in the Washington area, and those necessities are dreadful. We will be healthy when professors and businessmen and industry people can travel to places like the Naval Postgraduate School or West Point, which was the last place we tried to go and couldn't. Our leadership has been superb, steering MORS through difficult times, but I don't want to downplay the need for us to get back up on the step, make sure our sponsors appreciate us, and get our MORS symposia back to what they used to be. Mike Garrambone: It's been a while, but please confirm your earlier thoughts on the importance that operations Researchers need to be strong students of history and military tactics. Wayne Hughes: I will, indeed. The complete operations analyst is not just a civilian. He's a line officer. He has fleet experience. In the best of worlds, he has had command. For example, I had command as a lieutenant, and it was very important in my growth when I learned to be an operations analyst. So he's a line officer with fleet experience. He studied naval combat in the past, and the reason for that is so he understands what the lessons of history are. There are trends going on, that is to say, things that are changing. There are constants that don't change like leadership, and then there are the variables of the individual battles that you cannot predict. Those are the things that you gain by studying history. It's not a repeat of the past. It is learning how not to repeat the past, especially the mistakes. So first, the perfect Navy operations analyst has the knowledge of a line officer. Second, he knows history. Third, he is educated to admire objectivity. By that I mean he practices doing the best he can to not insert personal bias, and he also is suspicious of every analyst until he's convinced that that analyst's product is not representative of a personal bias of the analyst or the analyst team that did the work for him. When I mean he's being objective, he's using quantitative skills in what we call operations analysis now. Yeah, those are the qualities I would emphasize.
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I have known and admired many civilian analysts. I've known and admired many of our analysts at the Naval Postgraduate School who do research as part of their profession. I think the best analysts are those who have broad experience, however, and if they're civilian analysts, that means they have experience on a fleet staff, like the OEG (Operations Evaluation Group) analysts, or in one of the key staffs in the Pentagon like the Office of Net Assessment, OSD CAPE (Office of the Secretary of Defense Cost Assessment and program evaluation), or CAA (Center for Army Analysis). Jerry Brown: An aside, I just finished reading James Kilpatrick's Night Battles in the Solomons, which was a gift from Captain Hughes to Captain Kline. I'm looking forward to being able to dive there for 15 days in two weeks, and one of my bucket list events is Iron Bottom Sound, so here we go. That story is remarkable. Bloody lessons. Few people know that we lost more Navy personnel than the Marines lost on Guadalcanal while trying to protect the Marines. Wayne Hughes: In that vein, Terry McKearney, Past President of MORS and present editor of Phalanx, wrote his thesis for me on the battles in the Solomon Islands. I went back and looked at theses I've sponsored, and there have been 120 of them, and his was one of the best. Terry showed that when there was a pause after the night battles of Guadalcanal, CDR Arleigh Burke came out there in January 1943, and there were Admirals Tip Merrill and Pug Ainsworth, and they changed the tactics. Inspired by Arleigh Burke, they figured out ways to exploit radar, using torpedoes as the decisive weapon, and by the end of 1943 we were winning some very decisive battles. But it took us six months to figure out why our daytime gun-based tactics weren't working in night battles. Terry McKearney wrote a superb thesis, which is a good supplement to Kilpatrick. Studying the battles in the Solomon campaign, and the interaction between land, sea, and air is the finest way to bring yourself up to date on how littoral operations are conducted. As an aside, I would point out that the PT boats were there, and they were so frightening that the US PT boats were told to stay in port
whenever the US destroyers went up the slot, and then they unleashed the PT boats to attack the Japanese as wild men on their own. Surprise, and sneakiness--PT boats were good at that. Mike Garrambone: You first published your book Fleet Tactics: Theory and Practice in 1986 and then you wrote a revised version called Fleet Tactics and Coastal Combat in 1999. Is there anything new you're writing in the area of tactics? Wayne Hughes: I'll do a reprise. Yes, in January 2015 there will be a tactics anthology coming out, published by the Naval Institute Press. It shows that fleet tactics are just one element--a paramount element, but not all of naval tactics. For example, I talk about single ship actions starting with the frigates in the War of 1812, and illustrated by William B. Cushing's sinking the Confederate CSS Albemarle in coastal waters--in riverine waters; and my hero, Thomas Cochrane sinking ships--tearing up the Spanish coast and then going to South America and serving as a model for both C.S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower and Jack Aubrey--the hero of Patrick O'Brian in the series that starts with Master and Commander. Secondly, I included in the anthology Admiral Jim Stavridis' lovely article in the Proceedings he wrote when he was a lieutenant commander. He asserted the US ASW (antisubmarine warfare) strategy had become stultified and described how to add flexibility to our campaign plans. We needed to relax our rigidity and be adaptable to changes the Soviets would almost certainly inflict on us. Point being, ASW tactics are different from fleet battle tactics. It's a campaignlevel kind of operation. The new anthology has a lot of different aspects than Fleet Tactics, which is about the winning of battles. Fleet Tactics does cover projection of power, but there is also some of that and so on and so forth. I should mention strategic deterrence. There's a nifty closing essay written by me called ``Missile Chess'' on the significance of missile warfare, starting with the strategic deterrence. Let's see--I was also going to mention that I've been considering a new edition of Fleet Tactics and Coastal Combat, even though I think that the old edition has held up very well, including the chapter on the Battle of the Aegean, which is
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set in 1998, but is still highly relevant in understanding operations in restricted waters such as the Eastern Mediterranean or the China Seas. The aim is not to destroy or totally defeat an enemy, but to contain an enemy and prevent the outbreak of a huge and major war. It's interesting to see the potential roles of the ships in that. However, I'm contemplating it and I'm under pressure from the Naval Institute to start a third edition. I did think I should put more on cyber operations, which are certainly prominent now. In 1979, I forecast the coming robotics age. Well, the robotics age is upon us now, and we came to the missile age about 1970, but now we must pay more attention, not to our own development of autonomous vehicles, but how the enemy's capabilities with autonomous vehicles will change the nature of the fleet and the nature of how we analyze battles. That's a quick summary of two developments. I've had a number of other publications, but for book length, that's where I am now. Mike Garrambone: Some time ago, you directed me to a paper called A Concise Theory of Combat. Can you tell us more about the background of this work, and its general contents? Wayne Hughes: A Concise Theory of Combat was done by Wayne Hughes, Ted Dubois, and Larry Low when we were all members of the Military Conflict Institute. The Military Conflict Institute had been trying to fuse operational analysis at the campaign, strategy, and tactics levels, not so much the new technology side, with the lessons learned in real combat with a great deal of emphasis on Vietnam and why Vietnam was a mess. We met frequently and discussed the thing, but in the end we decided if there was actually going to be a product that was useful, it should start with the tactical side. So the three of us got together, all being on the West Coast here, and produced the book. What did it say? A couple of examples. The reason that combat models fail is because they have trouble capturing anything but the physical properties of the battle--how many casualties, how much territory was exchanged. But the real phenomena of combat, we asserted, was a matter of the physical, the mental, and spiritual activities that were going on: what made a man keep fighting, and how were decisions made and how all those affected the battle.
So we said that you shouldn't try too hard to capture all the details of the battle in its physical nature, because some of the dominant features of them are moral and mental. We also defined the different activities of battle and that led to saying that what you send to a theater such as Guadalcanal is combat potential. You do not have combat power except latently in the forces you send to a theater. Combat power is a dynamic thing that is exercised when you actually shoot at somebody or maneuver on somebody. So that led to a description of the creation of combat power as being an originating element, which does something like shoot or move. That originating element takes an action. The originating element may have in mind a result of that action, which is kill the enemy; but the effect on the actual enemy, who is the third part of the activity, gets to vote, too, because he may duck, so he survives and is not killed. On the other hand, there is a powerful effect because he can't shoot back because he's so busy ducking. So the definition of a combat activity was another feature that we emphasized. An activity is an element taking an action on a receiving element. Let me think about this for just a second. So one more thing to illustrate. The power of prediction, therefore, of a combat model is muted, because the enemy gets a vote and your intention may be to kill him, but the effect may be to suppress him, and a lot of battles are won on the ground and sometimes in the air by curtailing the enemy's action--getting him to run away, getting him to hide--as opposed to actually killing him. But be that as it may, we emphasized the limitations as well as the strength of quantitative analysis, and much more in A Concise Theory of Combat. There's a more recent publication, which has a bigger ambition. I'm not sure if it is a bigger success, but you can go to the Military Conflict Institute website (www.militaryconflict. org) and find A Philosophy of War. Imagine what is in that, and imagine how relevant it is today when we're dealing with terrorists as one aspect of conflict and war. A Philosophy of War is really a philosophy of conflict, but it's not called that. Mike Garrambone: Your book was included in the MORS collection with a recommended reading online, and we thank you for that.
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Wayne Hughes: Certainly A Concise Theory of Combat belongs in the list, and get in touch with me if you want to include A Philosophy of War, too. Mike Garrambone: Have you supported the use of wargames as an analytical or insightful tool either as a game designer, a game conductor, consultant, or a game participant? Wayne Hughes: I have a reputation as being suspicious of or hostile toward wargames, and that is wrong. I love wargames, but I don't love them as an exclusive mode of analysis. In fact, I think the best results occur when wargames are used in one of two ways, and I use the Naval War College as a place where I have participated in games as the example. When wargames were in their heyday and most successful, it was in the period after World War I, but by then they were well shaken down. The skill of naval wargames started about 1885. By the 1920s we were using gaming to understand the war in the Pacific most specifically, and it was highly successful, but we did a hell of a lot of wargames in order to learn things that Hector C. Bywater, author of The Great Pacific War, captured in one book. It was not a very efficient tool for developing the tactics and the strategy and the campaign plan for the Pacific War. So one of the modern tools of wargaming is now to get the human factors in and figure out what you want to study more carefully and in more detail. Then you don't go to another wargame. You go to a campaign simulation or Mathematical Analysis, and in some instances, you go to sea and do a fleet exercise to verify what you think you learned in the wargame. The opposite is also an effective use of wargames, which is to do a campaign study, probably short, sweet, swift, and incomplete, and then expand on it by doing it again in more detail using a wargame. I'd also, in closing, make one more comment. Wargames are remarkably broad in their variety. Seminar games are vastly different from the kind of wargame that I was talking about done by the Naval War College. Each type of game has its own advantages and disadvantages, but they all have a human participant--an active participant who plays a role--and human participants are both a strength and a weakness.
The strength is when you get human decision making involved, you see what influences people or think will influence people when the actual situation arises. The other side of the coin is of course you are a victim of the perception of the actual players and there's no such thing as a generic wargame player unless you turn the wargame into a simulation and let the simulation make some of the decisions. Mike Garrambone: You're famous for your various and numerous Book Reviews. Have you reviewed anything recently you'd like to comment on? Wayne Hughes: No, I've sort of withdrawn and in fact the most recent review was at the request of one of our greats, Saul Gass. I reviewed his book in 2012, and it did appear in my column. Almost all the book reviews--a few have been in the Naval War College, but almost all of them have been in Phalanx out of loyalty to the organization. The title of the column was ``Worth Reading,'' and I made it a point never to review a book I did not like. I only reviewed books that I wanted to endorse and encourage people to read. I picked the best books and I was worried when I got Saul Gass's book. I worried that I wouldn't want to review the thing if I didn't approve of it. But happily, it's very well done, because it contains profiles of the pioneers and innovators in operations research. It's a big book, and it cost $99.00 at the time, but that's the last book I've reviewed. I've always had a couple more in mind, but I haven't gotten around to writing them up for Phalanx. If Terry McKearney bugs me, I might have to do something. Mike Garrambone: My dad served in the Pacific on the battleship USS Missouri (BB-63) in World War II. What might be different from his perspective, parenthetically travel time, weapons, allies, et cetera, that we have learned about this region? Wayne Hughes: Now that's a very big question, but it's a very pertinent question, and let me see if I can say the essentials and if anybody wants to ask me follow-up questions, feel free. Missouri was built as a capital ship. Capital ships go out and meet up with other capital ships and gain control of the seas. By the time it was actually commissioned, the capital ship role had been replaced by aircraft carriers.
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Battleships turned out to be very useful, but not as capital ships winning battles at sea, but in the projection of power role both in the Atlantic theater and in the Pacific theater as naval gunfire support ships. They could reach up to 20 miles, so that would mean they were shooting 10 to 15 miles inland, and they made a very big bang with 14-inch and 16-inch guns. So they were useful, but not for the purpose they were built. The same phenomenon is now happening with aircraft carriers. They are so big and expensive that they can't go out and fight for command of the sea. Aircraft carriers can't even go into the very dangerous waters of the most dangerous countries, but their very successful role in the time of the Soviet Union was to scare the bejesus out of the Soviet Union by threatening to make attacks on the mainland, and after the collapse of the Soviet Union, by achieving a long series of attacks unhindered by the defenders because we were strong enough, or the enemy thought we were, that we could pound him in the projection of power mission. They were essential in all the wars and other incidents that we've been in. For example, Afghanistan phase one and phase two, and Iraq in Desert Storm and in Operation Iraqi Freedom. But the carrier like the battleship has shifted its role from being a capital ship to win command of the sea to a projection of power capability. The issue of maintaining command of the sea is one that everybody is struggling with now, and happily, we can concentrate pretty much on littoral waters and so far have not had to worry about competition for command that might lead to the sea battles as in World War I and World War II. Mike Garrambone: What about the area of the Pacific as being a major concern, principally where my dad served. He talked a great deal about being in the Pacific and island hopping, so he knew more about the important things that took place there, but I suspect the area has changed significantly. Wayne Hughes: The Pacific is where the action is shifting now. We're struggling to think about how to maintain a viable presence and a commitment in the other waters--I'm thinking of the Baltic and the Norwegian Sea, and in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean,
and in the Persian Gulf as we struggle to put proper emphasis on the Pacific as the theater of greatest interest. And yes, of course, I'd never say a battleship was irrelevant, because even now people talk about bringing them back as a naval gunfire warship, because they were so sturdy and they could take punishment. I should mention one incident in the spirit of the shift to the Pacific, but it is an important incident because it's the last one I know in which battleships were fighting, and that was in Operation Desert Shield getting ready for Desert Storm, and the battleship Missouri was doing shore bombardment off Kuwait, and we were getting ready or at least staging for an amphibious landing in Kuwait, and we had to soften up the landing site and were doing that with the 16-inch guns from the battleship. We upset the Iraqis sufficiently that they fired two old fashioned high-flying, large slow--that is to say, Mach 1 missiles at her, and we shot down one, but the US Navy didn't do it. HMS Gloucester shot it down, and it was kind of an embarrassment, because the Missouri was firing from 18 miles at sea, and yet we managed not to get any shots off from American SAM (surface-to-air missile) ships and the Gloucester actually fired an over-the-shoulder shot when it was past CPA (closest point of approach). That's a big deal to me. I think we must understand that when you're on the defensive, you're always subject to surprise attack, and I want to create some strategies where the enemy is on the defensive. For example, in Chinese waters, we can threaten attack with our missile ships and our submarines. Jerry Brown: On a side note here, I have up on the screen February 5, 1991. It was the USS Missouri, and she lobbed 2,000 700-pound shells against the Iraqi command bunkers near the Kuwaiti coastline. Wayne Hughes: You've got to capture that. I think the story of the Missouri is vital to our understanding of the development of modern tactics and operations at sea. Mike Garrambone: How do you see sequestration and the austerity it brings affecting operations research education? Wayne Hughes: Of course there's an effect, but from where I sit, at the Naval Postgraduate
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School, the Operations Research Department here is healthy, and with some negligible problems, important to us, but in the bigger picture, small stuff like hiring new faculty--new, young faculty to replace our old faculty. We're healthy in terms of students, we are healthy in terms of leadership, we're healthy in terms of faculty, and we're healthy in terms of the research going on. School-wise, sequestration is causing problems that you're aware of MORS-wide and educationwide in military education. For example, we are losing some of our best, young computer science faculty. They're going off to Silicon Valley and getting paid more. They're willing to stay here as long as they can do their research, as long as they can travel, as long as they can enjoy the benefits of the academic world, but when those benefits are being curtailed, then they say, ``I'm going to go make money instead of doing things the academic way.'' And there are other requirements, which I think are also suffering. We are being subject to a possible drawdown in the whole faculty at the Postgraduate School, one of the dumbest things I've ever heard of. This is part of the larger problem I see, which is a Department of Defense and a Navy Department that is getting frozen into place and not adaptable enough, and modernizable enough for a time when flexibility, adaptability, and modernizability are all crucial to the future of our Department of Defense. I think we are breeding a leadership that is trying to be perfect, and the only way to make no mistakes is to never make a decision. I'd like to see a few bad decisions if they are in a stream of good decisions that foster change. Mike Garrambone: How about a follow-up question? I know that you have been reading a book by Air Chief Marshall Lord Hugh Dowding as a MORS book review and recently you commented about this individual's persistence in developing a methodology or tactics, if you will, applied within the Battle of Britain. Was there anything you might comment on about such a commander that high up in the food chain? Wayne Hughes: That's a great question. In a lesser respect, the singular Battle of Britain, of which Air Marshall Dowding was my hero, and I think your hero as well, the lesser question
was whether Lanchester laws, that is to say the advantage of massing force, would work in the air, and Dowding, whether he knew it or not, assumed the opposite. He assumed that getting the right forces in the right position, and then engaging in small groups where the British forces had the advantage was far more important than trying to mass large formations of fighters against large formations of bombers. He was absolutely right. For example, GoЁ ring started out thinking that he could bomb Britain into submission, because ``the bombers will always get through.'' Yet in the end, the German formations were often sending three fighters for every bomber simply because the British defense, as you know, much aided by radar early warning, and operations analysis, was destroying the bombers in great numbers. Dowding was a hero in another way. He was very much involved in the period 1933 to 1936 in the development of the Spitfire and the Hurricane, and it was not easy to design the aircraft to be efficient. If the question is, ``Is Dowding a hero of mine?'' The answer is, ``Yes, totally.'' Mike Garrambone: It seems strange that he got relieved shortly after the end of the battle. It seems somewhat unusual to be called the victor of the battle and then lose your job. Wayne Hughes: Well, during the war, he had to step on toes, and there was an instance when he said something unforgiveable to Churchill, and Churchill never forgot it, and there were other people who were more diplomatic, but less willing to tell it like it is. They poo-pooed Dowding and bad-mouthed him. So too early in the war, he was relieved and sent home, and that was a shame, but we can still remember him fondly and honor him. This happened in November 1940 just after he won the Battle of Britain, and I guess before a lot of the night bombing campaigns when the Germans started spraying bombs on cities as opposed to the targeted bombings that the Germans intended. Jerry Brown: I have a question sent by Marine Captain Bethany Kauffman: ``In the first interview, Captain Hughes talked about being interdisciplinary, having one foot in the analytic community, and the other in the Navy. He also mentioned being drawn to both the hard and
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soft sciences. How do you reconcile these worlds as an officer analyst? Are there any specific times in your career where you feel you were best able to bring these together as unique skillsets?'' Wayne Hughes: I think I've answered the first part--the skillsets I think are the most important. Thinking on the question, what specific times in my career did I feel that I was best able to bring together these skills, the answer is every time after I graduated from the Naval Postgraduate School. In my day, there was no notion of a specialization. We got into career specialization later. Operations research was one of the curricula that was specifically designed for line officers who were going to sea because of a philosophy--I think I remember this correctly--that using quantitative methods, and the desire to be objective, and to help a decision maker make decisions applied in everything you did, whether it was at sea, on a staff, or in Washington, and the notion that you only contributed when you were filling a P-coded OR billet never entered my mind. In fact, I thought that as Commanding Officer, I was even advising myself using quantitative methods and I do believe that for me every tour was a payback tour. There were some duty stations, of course, where the results were more visible, like participating as a plank owner in OP-96, our new Systems Analysis Division, in a major influential study called ``The Major Fleet Escort Study.'' Another was my time as the Assistant Chief of Staff for Analysis at ASWFORLANT (Anti-Submarine Warfare Force, Atlantic), when I designed and we did sea exercises in complicated and tricky ways. But we always analyzed results and strived to give objective answers, and I learned to admire this work because I was in ASW--the work of the Submarine Development Group in New London and the whole SOSUS (Sound Surveillance System) community. Again and again, all of these experiences interacted and if I had my way, every officer with an operations research degree or a systems engineering analysis degree or a degree for our Special Forces from the Defense Analysis Department, would keep one foot in the operating world and one foot in the research and analytical world.
Jerry Brown: SeaPower magazine is printing a short paper called ``A business strategy for Shipbuilders'' emphasizing affordability, which I believe is an open door for you to talk about small ships. Wayne Hughes: Yes. Thank you, Jerry, for that lead in. Everybody knows I'm a champion of a more distributable fleet. That pretty quickly morphs into ships and aircraft not trying to do too many things. The problem with the new LCS (littoral combat ship) is that the more it tried to do a variety of things, the more expensive it got, and the more expensive it got, the more burdens we put on it. So our Navy really needs to be broken into two kinds of ships--one for blue water and one for in-shore water. And the in-shore ship that is assigned to counter swarms and counter submarines and counter mines would be better performed in single-purpose ships. When you lose a ship performing one mission, you lose it for performing all missions, so in that sense it's putting too many eggs in one basket, even for a small ship the size of an LCS with its three different tactical modules. The SeaPower article also gives a rundown of what has changed that influenced the design of the modern fleet, and how the results of that lead to conclusions about what we should be doing like re-emphasizing submarines and undersea capabilities for forward operations, and build our sea-based air capability in other ways than on CVNs (nuclear aircraft carriers) because a ship that is very large can only be in one place in one time, and it can't go places where it can be subject to attack. So we need two kinds of ships, and we can crib from other navies of the world so shipbuilders won't have to invest too much into new technology or anything else if we just see what the rest of the world is doing and build ships like the Swedish Visby and Chinese Houbeis. The smaller combatants like our old PHMs (patrol hydrofoil missiles) are a good model if you take off their hydrofoil and make them less expensive and not so fast. All of those things, our shipbuilders might do to get ready. Why do we need to get ready? Because the distributable power of modern technology with modern detection tracking and targeting systems has made it possible for
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very long and medium range missiles to threaten big ships and keep them from going in harm's way. I'd like to have ships that can go in and mix it up like the PT boats of World War II did in the Mediterranean, and the Solomons, and in the Philippines Campaigns. All of the advantages are demonstrable in a variety of analytical ways. I named one, which is to show mathematically the cost disadvantage of having a ship put out of action if it's a multipurpose ship versus the cost of the cheaper ship being put out of action if it's a single-purpose ship. The salvo equations also show that numbers are the most valuable thing you can have, and there are other ways of demonstrating in a world where we can be attacked at sea a more distributed capability is the wave of the future. That's true now in the missile age, and it's going to get worse when we get into the age of autonomous systems and robotic warfare. Jerry Brown: As a follow-up, displaying on my screen here is an article by Marine General Paxton last week who was on record as saying that the LCS and the joint high-speed vessel are both of marginal value to the Marines for Marine operations. Wayne Hughes: I think he's looking ahead, and it's a little bit of a marketing ploy. I don't know whether he's trying to sustain the Marine Corps amphibious fleet as we know it, which is a very bad thing to do, and unaffordable besides, or whether he's trying to lean us away from LCS as transports of Marines. There's definitely a role for smaller combatants in many places around the world and smaller offensive Marine detachments. There's a role for LCS, and we're going to have 32 of them for accompanying JHSVs (joint high-speed vessels), which are essentially small, high-speed transports, and there's definitely a role for ground forces being delivered to critical areas at high speed when there are very imminent threats. LCS and JHSVs can be where the action is going to be. They can't come from the US, but they can be in Singapore, they can be in Subic, they can be in Sasebo, or Yokosuka, and they can be in or near the Persian Gulf and of course they can be in our shrinking number of bases in the Mediterranean. I have no quarrel with him saying that LCS is marginal for Marine Corps functions,
but it was never designed to support the Marine Corps. Jerry Brown: I'd like to ask a follow-up question. One of the unexpected side effects of LCS is we're using the rest of the US Navy as a schoolhouse to produce experienced petty officers that can staff the LCS in small numbers. Is this an unexpected result of these smaller ships that you favor? Wayne Hughes: On campus here we have a new Littoral Operations Center. That center has fostered LCS alumni. There are three or four of them on campus now that have served in the early LCSs and they want to fix it. They don't want to eliminate it; they want to fix the weaknesses they observed first hand. All of their criticisms are of the kind Jerry was talking about rather than the absurd criticisms that you read in the blog sites. One is that the technology makes it very hard for a crew of 98 to be up on the step for all different missions. They have a solution. I don't need to talk about it here. They're now going to be talking about how to make it more effective offensively. They have also pointed out that the commissioning crews, our best and brightest people, the petty officers are high quality and the officers are interested in small combatants. Some of them want to make careers of LCS-sized ships and they are some of our future leaders. But they're already stretched in trying to make LCS do everything that it's going to do. It's an unexpected consequence of putting too much technology on the ship. What they are foreseeing is that as we go to 32 ships, we will run out of quality people to man all those ships, and the Navy will suffer as we drain it of some of our best officers, or the ships will suffer because they're manned with less than first-rate officers and petty officers. That's a big deal. MTP (manpower, training, and personnel) is very much a part of the future of a successful LCS or other small combatant program. Bob Sheldon: We thank you for having set us up with Admiral Mullen for the oral history interview we did of him, and I assume you had a chance to read the first draft. After Admiral Mullen left your tutelage at NPS and went out into the big Navy, any comments about how he exercised his skills using his analytic training he got from you?
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Wayne Hughes: Probably the most important thing to say is blessedly he didn't become an operations research specialist. He knew why he was here. He was here to learn how to use quantitative methods to make better decisions the way I described the virtues that I felt when I was a graduate of operations research. Except for being an aide and CNO (Chief of Naval Operations), I don't think he did payback tours that were directly related to using quantitative methods. But yes, I read his interview and I thought he accurately described the ways and means of future top-level Navy leaders profiting from their graduate school. I've got to say, the poor guy like Mike Mullen did coming through here as a commander had to struggle, and I'm sure he picked me because he thought I'd be a soft touch as his thesis advisor and in a sense I was, but when I went back and read his thesis, I was more impressed than I was when he was writing it, at the quality, ingenuity, creativity, and mathematical prowess that was imbedded in that thesis. Jerry Brown: I can add a side note. I was in Washington with Mike last week when he was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering. He and Deb had flown a red eye from San Francisco to make the meeting after he had eulogized Robin Williams at Robin Williams' funeral, because Robin Williams had been so generous with his time with the USO and with Wounded Warriors, but that's typical of Mike Mullen. Mike Garrambone: I think an idea that might be tough here is the concept of using smart OR guys to figure out how to make a smaller Navy. Wayne Hughes: I don't want to have a smaller Navy. I want it to be a bigger Navy of smaller ships. [Laughs] And (CDR) Harrison Schramm is in a better position to answer that question than I am, but I think the evidence is there, and it would take a long time to go through it all, but
if you look back at Hughes' recent articles in the Naval War College Review and the Naval Institute Proceedings, you will find a litany of examples going back all the way to ``22 Questions for Street Fighter'' written in the early 1990s. Admiral Art Cebrowski was a disciple of mine when he was a lieutenant. Then I became a guy who helped him, and he wanted to use quantitative methods, so he wrote a paper and I became the coauthor of it. I decided it was too vague, so I wrote a follow-up to it on the use of Street Fighters, and we started the first effort to design a Street Fighter-like ship. Then it grew into an LCS-like ship, and that was a pity. We designed in the year 2000 a ship for him of 500 tons that was very lethal and could do the kinds of things that he wanted, The salvo equations show how effective it is in a combat situation. Most of the hurdles to be overcome are things like ``Are all different submarines more important, and regional logistics?'' And they get complicated in a hurry because the scenes of action, including the difference between the East and South China Sea and the Sea of Japan and Persian Gulf and Baltic. The different locations each have different specific answers to the questions of logistics and sustainment, but I think we're on the fringe of learning that if we develop new tactics to go with the new technology of small combatants, that we will convince ourselves that a portion of the Navy should be smaller so we can have more ships with fewer sailors at sea, and be ready for missile warfare, and ready for autonomous warfare. I have a closing comment regarding Admiral Mullen's oral history. The interview was so candid that you could say I used it as a model of candor in telling you what I think as opposed to what would be discreet or polite or an attempt to say nothing perfectly.
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WP Hughes Jr

File: wayne-p-hughes-jr-interview-mors.pdf
Title: Wayne P. Hughes, Jr. Interview (MORS)
Author: WP Hughes Jr
Author: Hughes, Wayne P., Jr.
Keywords: MORS, Military Operations Research Society, NPS, Naval Postgraduate School, Operations Research, Systems AnalysisMORS, Military Operations Research Society, NPS, Naval Postgraduate School, Operations Research, Systems Analysis
Published: Sat Sep 2 00:00:00 2017
Pages: 11
File size: 0.56 Mb


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