The biological warfare (BW) threat to U.S. Naval Surface Forces (NSF) is real but not well understood. Greater awareness about the threat is essential for U.S. NSF to establish key competencies to counter its effects. Commanding Officers (COs) and Officers in Tactical Command (OTCs) will be placed in positions where they must combat challenges from adversaries who will seek to use BW. This thesis identifies what can be done to enhance NSF capabilities to counter BW. Having neglected the BW threat, the U.S. Navy seeks to improve its preparedness by exploiting the development of key bio-defense systems. While some of these systems including Joint Portal Shield and the Joint Biological Point Detection System will soon be deployed, the Navy still lacks the doctrine, organizational modifications, training, education, and leadership to take advantage of these new technological systems. This thesis suggests that Local Unit Practices (LPs) prescribed by COs and OTCs should be established to match each unit's capability and sustainability to the threat. To do so, U.S. NSF require an institutional revolution that maximizes doctrine and Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTPs) which tie directly into LPs to provide the means for BW defense and protection.
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