Baltic Mine Warfare Challenges And Opportunities: A US Perspective

At the request of Dr. Henrik Breitenbauch, Director of the Centre for Military Studies (CMS), University of Copenhagen, Dr. Scott Truver was invited to address the Baltic Sea Strategy Forum 2018.

Dr Truver’s remarks focused on “Baltic Mine Warfare Challenges and Opportunities: A US Perspective.” Specifically, he discussed the sea mine/mine warfare (MIW) domain – mines and mining as well as mine countermeasures (MCM) – in the Baltic Sea and the challenges and opportunities within the MIW perspective. He also addressed the following three questions:

  • Where are we with regard to dealing with specific common threats and challenges?
  • What trend lines if any can be discerned?
  • Are there any cross-sectoral lessons to be learned?

His conclusions:

  • The Baltic navies know well the dimensions of the Russian mine threat, even if at times their governments do not share their passion. Mines are the quintessential asymmetric weapons that directly attack strategies as well as forces. This threat will grow exponentially as more adversaries gain access to unmanned system-delivery technologies amplifying the MCM problem.
  • Without effective MCM enabling freedom of maneuver during crisis or conflict, the other defense sectors could be hamstrung in their abilities to carry out missions and tasks.
  • There is a need for even greater collaboration among the Baltic states to deal with the common threat.
  • And we need to make sure that our mines are up to the tasks at hand. We should make our adversaries worry about our mines more than we worry about theirs.

Rear Admiral John Gumbleton, USN, Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategy, Resources, and Plans, US Naval Forces Europe/Africa/US Sixth Fleet, delivered keynote remarks on great power competition and implications for the Baltic Sea Region. Another 11 moderators and panelists addressed naval/maritime concerns, challenges, and opportunities for the Baltic States (excluding Russia).

The Centre for Military Studies is a research center at the Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. CMS undertakes research on security and defense issues as well as military strategy. This research constitutes the foundation for the policy research services that the Centre provides for the Danish Ministry of Defence and the political parties to the Danish Defence Agreement. CMS is one of the co-hosts of the annual Baltic Sea Strategy Forum together with Åbo Akademi University, Swedish Defence University, and Institute for Security Policy, Kiel University.

The 2018 Forum was held at the Frederiksberg Palace 27 September. Built in 1699-1735 as the summer residence of the royal family, in 1869 the Royal Danish Army Officers Academy moved in and stayed.

Complete presentation with talking points –

Dr. Truver serves on the board of directors of the Mine Warfare Association, is a senior advisor at the Center for Naval Analyses, and he manages Gryphon Technologies’ national security programs. A political scientist, he has “worked” mine warfare strategies, policies, plans, requirements, programs, technologies/systems/platforms, and operations since 1979.


You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *