James Henry Doyle, Jr. was born in Medford, Massachusetts. He graduated from the Naval Academy in 1946. From 1950 to 1953, he attended George Washington University Law School and graduated as Juris Doctor with distinction under the Navy postgraduate program.
As a junior officer, he served in cruisers and destroyers, and then commanded three minesweepers and a destroyer. Following instruction in nuclear propulsion, he commanded the nuclear powered, guided missile cruiser, USS Bainbridge (CGN-25), for four years, including three deployments during the Vietnam War, and the ship’s first refueling.
As a flag officer, Admiral Doyle was Chief, International Negotiations Division, Joint Chiefs of Staff, involved in SALT 1 and Incidents at Sea negotiations with the Soviet Union, and represented the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the U. S. Delegation to the Law of the Sea Conference. He then commanded Cruiser-Destroyer Group TWELVE and deployed to the Sixth Fleet as Commander Attack Carrier Striking Group TWO embarked in USS Forrestal (CV 59). His last sea assignment was Commander Third Fleet from 1974 to 1975.
From 1975 to 1980, he was Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, Surface Warfare, OP-03, with responsibility for the Navy’s shipbuilding and surface warfare programs, including surface warfare education and training. Specifically, he sponsored the development, construction and introduction of the Aegis fleet of cruisers and destroyers (CG-47 class and DDG-51 class) and their associated combat systems. His responsibility also included a number of ongoing surface warfare programs-TOMAHAWK, Vertical Launch System, HARPOON, LAMPS, SQR-19 Towed Array, SQS-23 Sonar, MK-46 Torpedo, AEGIS Weapon System, New Threat Upgrade, STANDARD Missile, CIWS, RAM, NATO SEASPARROW, SLQ-32, Battle Group AAW, and Gas Turbine propulsion.
Admiral Doyle was twice awarded the Distinguished Service Medal first in international negotiations and then in surface warfare. He also holds two Legions of Merit and the Bronze Star.
After retiring in 1980, he served as Vice Chairman of the Strike and Air Defense Division of the National Defense Industrial Association until 2007. He has been an adviser to the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, the Naval War College, and the Center for Oceans Law and Policy, University of Virginia. From 1982 to 1989, he taught International Law of the Sea at the National Law Center, George Washington University. He is currently a senior adviser to the Surface Warfare Capabilities Study.
Events Relating to the Birth and Introduction of Aegis Cruisers and Destroyers Involving VADM James H. Doyle, Jr., USN (Ret.), Deputy CNO for Surface Warfare, 1975-1980:
Operational experience in AAW as CO nuclear powered Terrier cruiser, Battle Group Commander in 2 aircraft carriers and conducting multi-warfare battle group exercises as Commander Third Fleet.
Issued Third Fleet TACNOTE that established the Combined Warfare Commander (CWC) doctrine and directed that the Anti-Air Warfare Commander (AAWC) be moved from the aircraft carrier to a surface-to-air missile ship.
Participated in establishing the command qualifications for surface warfare officers that later applied to commanders of Aegis ships.
Dealt with the adverse results of Total Package Procurement and fixed price contracts in DD 963s and LHAs involving schedule and cost growth, large claims, INSURV mission degrading discrepancies, acceptance waivers, rearming efforts and Congressional dissatisfaction. Particularly damaging was the practice of delivering combat system equipment to the ship in the building yard without prior check-out and testing, and expecting that a dockside installation would be satisfactory. It never was.
Dealt with adverse results of design to price, single mission FFG 7 class frigates involving acceptances waivers, cost growth and inoperable systems. Took action to terminate the FFG 7 program in order to build multi-mission Aegis ships.
Efforts to get Aegis programmed in strike cruisers and then CGN 42 class were unsuccessful in that both programs were terminated by OSD and not supported by SECNAV.
Efforts to resolve standoff between the HASC Seapower Subcommittee, who wanted Aegis only in nuclear powered ships in accordance with Title VIII/Rickover, and SASC, who supported Aegis in a gas turbine DD 963, were unsuccessful, resulting in no Aegis ship in the 1976 budget. No support for nuclear power in new surface warships in OSD.
Action in personally opposing Rickover and persuading HASC to reverse position on Title VIII married to Aegis resulted in first Aegis ship, USS TICONDEROGA, being authorized/appropriated in 1977. (Ironic since he later testified in favor of CVN 71 and against the SECNAV proposal to build 3 conventional aircraft carriers vice 2 nuclear powered carriers.)
Repeated intervention with ADM Michaelis (CNM) and VADM Bryan (COMNAVSEA) to assist RADM Meyer in combining PM-16, PMS-389 and PMS-403 into PMS-400 since design of CG 47 (initially designated DDG 47) put him on dead center because of the separate management of the ship and weapon system.
Based on his nuclear power experience and prestige, got approval from the VCNO (nuclear trained) for the Aegis combat system crew of CG 47 to be ordered into the building yard early similar to nuclear powered surface ship crew phasing so that ship’s force, not the builder/contractor, would operate the combat system in checkout, tests and trials. This proved to be an important factor in USS TICONDEROGA completing Post Shakedown Availability, being ready for war and deployed nine months after commissioning.
In conjunction with the establishment of PMS-400, centralized sponsor responsibility for CG 47 and the Aegis combat system in OP-355, who was also designated PMS-400Z, participating in all OP-03/PMS-400 decisions and meetings.
Supported RADM Meyer, PMS-400, in actions to transform surface warship shipbuilding and combat system development and engineering in the Navy, the laboratories and industry, including the establishment of the necessary infrastructure—Aegis Production Test Center, Aegis Computer Center, Aegis Education Center and Aegis Combat System Center.
Supported RADM Meyer in his relentless drive to upgrade Standard Missile in both the extended and medium range versions that culminated in the extraordinarily successful firings in USS MAHAN during OPEVAL in 1979. This was a significant step in buying back the range that had been limited to 50 miles by OSD decree, and the decommissioning of the TALOS Fleet.
Teamed with RADM Meyer to brief the CEO of RCA at his New York headquarters on the importance of the Aegis program and the critical need for Aegis in the fleet, thus reversing corporate non-support and bolstering the RCA Project Manager in Moorestown. Part of this brief explained and stressed the importance of the operational cornerstones of the Aegis Weapon System—reaction time, firepower, coverage, environmental immunity, and availability—and the basic concept of detect, control and engage. Defense in depth was also explained.
Successfully overcame the attempts of the Chief of Navy Education and Training to treat Aegis education and training as “routine.” Instead, it was patterned after the submarine and nuclear programs.
Took actions to support the Tomahawk Program Manager (RADM Locke) in getting Tomahawk to sea in Aegis ships in the middle of the construction program for a new offensive capability. Pressed for early installation of the Vertical Launching System in Aegis ships after testing in USS NORTON SOUND and programmed armored box launchers in DD-963s for Tomahawk.
Unsuccessfully lobbied the CNO and OP-05 to install the SPY-1 radar in CVN 71 to be more compatible with future Aegis ships. (Recently also unsuccessful thus far in a personal plea to CNO to install the SPY-1D radar in CVN 77 vice the SPS-48.)
Based on his operational experience in AAW and observing AAW events at CSEDS, participated with PMS-400 in establishing the layout of CG 47’s CIC, including the location of the 4 large screen displays that could be seen by both the CO and Unit Commander seated side by side. This measure shifted their traditional battle stations from the bridge to designated command consoles in CIC. Thus, CIC was uniquely set up for an AAWC (ALFA WHISKEY) to perform air battle control using the 4 large screen displays and inputs from the Aegis Display Group and Aegis Combat System instrumentation. On first deployment USS TICONDEROGA revolutionized air battle control in the battle group in that the SPY-1 phased array radar provided a continuous and precise coherent air picture of fire control quality for the battle group. For example, combat air patrol requirements were markedly reduced and air targets were quickly sorted out.
Got CNO Holloway in 1978 to task OP-03 to undertake a study to define the characteristics of a new battle group capable destroyer. PMS-400 people participated in this year-long study.
In the study various candidate AAW systems were analyzed, played in war games and compared in all aspects. In addition, Tomahawk was employed in a scenario to attack air defense in order to reduce aircraft attrition (which it did). This simulated employment of Tomahawk provided the ammunition to rebut the position of OSD(PA&E) that Aegis cruisers and destroyers only needed the short range Harpoon missile against targets at sea.
Presented new CNO Hayward in 1979 the study results that called for a new class of multi-mission destroyers (DDX, later DDG 51) with a long range surface-to-surface missile system, hull mounted sonar and facilities for helicopter operations, and an AAW system based on Aegis. The CNO rejected the Aegis system as too costly and the ship as too large in size and displacement. Later investigation by Admirals Salzer and Beecher confirmed that the Aegis system was the right AAW system for DDX.
Despite the CNO rejection which was supported by ASN(R&D) Mann and great pressure to revisit the study, pressed ahead with plans for Aegis in DDX. Developed a surface ship force level plan that allocated 27 CG 47s (2 for each of the 12 carrier battle groups and 1 for each of 3 surface action groups) and 58 Aegis DDXs (DDG 51s) distributed among the 12 carrier battle groups, 3 surface action groups, 4 amphibious ready groups and the mobile logistic forces. This was the first time that surface action groups, robust in AAW, Strike and ASW, were formally introduced in a surface warfare force level plan. The plan also pointed out the evolution of cruisers and destroyers in the Navy and the historic and contemporary differences between cruisers and destroyers in roles, missions and armament. This was important in justifying building Aegis cruisers and destroyers in the same plan. The companion year-by-year shipbuilding plan was also presented. Both plans enthusiastically approved by VCNO (later CNO) Watkins. Thus, the three-decade plan for Aegis shipbuilding was ready for execution when the Reagan build-up occurred.
Established the Surface Ship Survivability Panel with Norm Augustine, VP, Martin Marietta, as chairman. Panel did a number of studies (stealth, radar cross-section) and successfully countered efforts to characterize carriers and Aegis warships as too vulnerable to perform their mission and defend themselves. After an educational “walk in the woods,” enlisted the support of Dr. Fubini, Chairman of the Defense Science Board, in the work of the Panel.
Took actions to prevent ASN(R&D) Mann from derailing Aegis in DDX on the basis of a flawed missile study and erroneous declarations that there was off-the-shelf equipment better than Aegis. This included a personal intervention to ASD(R&D) Perry in the presence of Dr. Mann.
In addition to the Aegis Weapon System, sponsored, planned, programmed and budgeted all the armament that comprised the Aegis Combat System (SPS-55 & 49 search radars, SQS-23 sonar, SQR-19 towed array, 2 hangared Lamps III helicopters, data links, HARPOON, MK 26 launchers in CG 47-51, VLS in CG 52 and following, TOMAHAWK, 5”54 guns, Standard Missile, ASROC, Phalanx, SATCOM, SLQ-25, SLQ-32, torpedoes), the upgraded gas turbine propulsion and the supporting systems. Much of the same systems were installed in the DDG 51 class. The only exception was the 8” major caliber lightweight gun and companion 8’ guided projectile that were planned for the DDG 51 class. Despite successful tests of the prototype gun in USS HULL and strong support of the CNO and CMC, SECDEF cancelled the gun based on the flawed analysis, inaccurate data and misleading conclusions by COMOPTEVFOR (RADM Monroe), joined by OSD(PA&E), who viewed that guns were obsolete for shore fire support. ASN(R&D) Mann then cancelled both the Navy’s 8” and 5” guided projectile program.
In addition to the duties of OP-03 from 1975-80, carried out the responsibilities of developing the Navy’s shipbuilding plan for all type ships, fitting it into the budget and POM, and testifying before the 4 Congressional Committees on why the Navy needed the ships and how they were going to be employed. In presenting the budget for all the ships was able to show how the various types complemented each other in mission and capability.
Chaired a study, post 1980, at JHU/APL that recommended that TACINTEL be installed in USS TICONDEROGA during PSA and prior to deployment, which it was.
The following were key factors in facilitating his duties as OP-03 and in enabling him to contribute to the successful birth and introduction of Aegis cruisers and destroyers:
- The tenure and continuity of 5 years as OP-03. Persistent plugging away over time and responding to the roadblocks and unanticipated events was necessary in order to succeed.
- A dedicated staff that always worked the problems and shared the same vision in concepts and requirements.
- The 3 star rank that was essential in dealing with other 3 stars in OPNAV and key officials in the Secretariat, OSD and the Congress.
- An OPNAV organization that was flat, single layered, enabled direct access to the CNO/VCNO and positioned him on a level playing field with key leaders.
- Importance of close and continuing working relations with the Program Manager (RADM Meyer) during all phases of the acquisition process, particularly since implementation of requirements is a continuing interactive process and operational decisions are imbedded in computer programs. Importance of understanding and supporting the basic philosophy of “build a little, test a little, learn a lot.”
- Importance of the Program Manager setting boundary conditions for the responsibilities of the laboratories and industry, and following the precept of “Navy leads, industry follows.”
- Close working relations with the key leaders of the Aegis team at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, Dahlgren Naval Weapons Center, RCA Moorestown, Raytheon, General Dynamics Pomona, Ingalls Pascagoula and Bath Iron Works.
- Importance of a Chief of Navy Material to set policy and arbitrate among the systems commands. Key to success was executing through the systems commands, particularly NAVSEA.
- Importance of having the blue-suit Navy in the acquisition chain of command for accountability and corporate knowledge.
- Importance of terminating the Total Package Procurement acquisition process with fixed price contracts and arbitrary share lines, and using cost plus award fee contracts with emphasis on technical performance.
- Criticality of transforming the acquisition and fleet introduction system for building Navy ships as exemplified by the historic changes in organization, fleet introduction, shore based training and infrastructure, land based prototypes, engineering, manning and billet structure, and new concepts of ship integration and system engineering in building Aegis cruisers and destroyers.
- Importance of the laboratories functioning as honest brokers and keepers of the technical safety net.
- The extraordinary technical and leadership prowess, vision and brilliance of RADM Meyer, Program Manager and “Father of Aegis,” and the closely established working relationships.