CTCRM and Dartmouth Centre for Seapower and Strategy (DCSS) will host on the 15th of March 2016 a First Sea Lord Fellowship (1SLF)/DCSS conference on hybrid warfare. Whilst the primary aim of this event is to examine the challenges and opportunities that hybrid warfare presents to the Naval Service, it will also contribute to the 1SLF aim of enhancing ‘the Conceptual Component of British Maritime Power by identifying, nurturing and exploiting the intellectual talent available within the Naval Service and our wider academic networks’.

The purpose of this conference is to assess the challenges and opportunities that hybrid warfare presents to the Naval Service. Whilst the focus is on the Naval Service and the development, or optimisation of Naval Service capabilities and structures, it is recognised that addressing the issue will require engagement with sister Services, Government agencies and allies in evolving a comprehensive response to hybrid actors

Allocation of individuals to the themed workshop will be organised prior to the conference. Individuals will be informed of their nominated workshop prior to attending. Key points are:

a. Vehicles. All cars are to be parked in the visitor car park opposite CTCRM main gate. Attendees will need to pick up a car pass at the Main Gate. CTCRM MT does have a POL point.

b. Photo Identification. Photo identification will be required to enter CTCRM.

c. Registration. Conference registration will take place at the Falkands Hall between 08.30-09.30.

d. Lunch/Dinner. Lunch for workshop attendees will be at their own expense within the officers mess at a cost of approximately £2.75. There will be a free buffet dinner available at 17.00.

Conference output. The desired outcomes of the conference are:

e. A better understanding of hybrid warfare and its potential impact on the Naval Service. The findings of the Conference can be used to inform subsequent recommendations as to how the Naval Service could both be optimised to deal with hybrid threats effectively and adopt hybrid tactics to pursue operational objectives within a wider strategy.

f. A short academic paper outlining key conference findings. The intention is for this paper to be published on DCSS’s website and within an appropriate academic journal. The proposed article will be submitted to ACNS (Pol) for approval before being submitted for publishing. No organisation or individual will be referenced in the paper. A more detailed internal ‘official’ report may be produced for Navy/MoD distribution.

Security Classification. The conference will be attended by a wide range of academics and civilian experts who will not have military security clearance. Therefore, the presentations and workshop presentations will be at an official level. The conference will operate under the Chatham house rule that ‘when a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed’. The only on the record element of this meeting will be the report produced and endorsed by ACNS (Pol). No attribution of views to individuals or institutions will be produced in any written summary. If a more detailed service report (MoD distribution only) is produced individuals will be asked if they are willing to be attributed as required.

Hybrid Warfare and the Naval Service. Hybrid Warfare is not new concept and there are several definitions; however, the most prominent articulation of the concept is that ‘Hybrid Wars incorporate a range of different modes of warfare, including conventional capabilities, irregular tactics and formations; terrorist acts including indiscriminate violence and coercion, and criminal disorder’. The renewed interest in the concept is largely due to its application in recent conflicts and predictions that the Future Operating Environment (FOE) is likely to be increasingly urban, global, inter-connected, complex, ambiguous and with a wide range of potential threats. SDSR 2015 also makes several references to hybrid threats. Of particular note to the Naval Service is the rise of large littoral urban environments, which may lead to an increase in a range of hybrid threats that may in turn require a hybrid response. Furthermore, the increasingly congested and contested character of the global commons; may lead to an increase in the Naval Service having to deal with hybrid threats such as state sponsored piracy. However, the definition, and how the concept of hybrid warfare relates to the Naval Service, will be explored during the conference. Key academic and doctrinal publications will be distributed to all attendees prior to the conference.

Follow on Workstrands. As stated on completion of the conference, Lt Cdr Rob Baillie and Dr Fotios Moustakis will collate and produce a short paper on the key findings and recommendations. If approved by ACNS (Pol), elements of this paper may be adapted into a paper to be published. If required Lt Cdr Rob Baillie will produce a brief for distribution exclusively within the Naval Service. Attendees will receive a copy of the final report. Where an idea is deemed to have further utility a project team may be established to examine further.

Organisation. Lt Cdr Rob Baillie (RM Corps Tutor 1) would be the CTCRM/1SL Fellow lead for organising the conference. Dr Fotios Moustakis and Mr Steph Moran (former RM Bde RSM and currently a Plymouth University Associate Lecturer) will support organising the conference.


08.00-09.00 Arrival
08.30-09.30 Conference registration
09.30-09.40 Opening remarks

09.40-10.10 Brigadier Ben Barry (Rtd) – presentation: Hybrid Warfare.
10.10-10.40 H.H. Prince Abdul Al Saud – presentation: Countering ISIL.

10.40-10.55 Comfort break

10.55-11.25 Brigadier Mathew Porter (Rtd RM) – presentation: Meeting the Hybrid Challenge.
11.25-11.50 Mr Mark Grove – presentation: Hybrid Warfare within the South China Seas.
11.50-12.15 Professor Graeme Herd – Lecture: Russian Hybrid Warfare (TBC) /Dr Michael Stenton ‘Ukraine’

12.15-12.30 Questions and Discussion

12.30-12.45 Make way to Officer mess

12.45-13.00 Workshop brief
13.00-13.30 Working Lunch – buffet available to take to nominated workgroup working area

13.30-15.00 Workshop 1 – Intelligence
Workshop 2 – Interagency approach
Workshop 3 – Organisational Culture/Ethos
Workshop 4 – Concepts and Doctrine
Workshop 5 – Education/Training
Workshop 6 – Operational Planning/Campaign design
Workshop 7 – Information Operations
Workshop 8 – Hybrid capabilities and counter capabilities

15.00-15.10 Collate presentations and secretary notes/Coffee break and gather in Officer’s mess ante room
15.10-15.25 Workshop 1 – Intelligence back brief
15.25-15.40 Workshop 2 – Interagency approach back brief
15.40-15.55 Workshop 3 – Organisational Culture/Ethos back brief
15.55-16.10 Workshop 4 – Concepts and Doctrine back brief

15.55-16.10 Coffee/Comfort break

16.10-16.25 Workshop 5 – Education/Training back brief
16.25-16.40 Workshop 6 – Operational Planning/Campaign design back brief
16.40-16.55 Workshop 7 – Information Operations back brief
16.55-17.10 Workshop 8 – Hybrid capabilities and counter capabilities back brief

17.10-17.30 Concluding remarks
17.30-18.30 Buffet and Bar open



1. Overarching Question. As stated in annex A for their particular theme, workshop groups are primarily to consider:

a. The hybrid warfare threat to the Naval Service.

b. The hybrid warfare opportunity to the Naval Service.

c. Changes, or recommendations, the Naval Service should consider.

2. Themes. For each of the themes, some initial guiding questions have been posed in order to start a debate. However, groups may choose to dismiss the guiding questions and focus on what they believe to be the key issues relating to that theme. Furthermore, it is noted that there may be issues relating to hybrid warfare and the Naval Service that do not sit neatly within in one of these themes. Groups are encouraged where possible to highlight such issues. Each workshop will examine one of the following themes:

a. Intelligence. Are the Naval Service’s intelligence process and structures appropriate to face ‘Hybrid Threats’. Are we set to fuse intelligence quickly, accurately at the point of need (i.e. onboard)/ do we need to? Are we developing people with the right skills and mindset? What changes, or recommendations, should the Naval Service consider?

b. Interagency Approach. How do we ensure that the Naval Services operates effectively with other agencies? Do we exercise with them regularly? Do we need more exchanges? What changes, or recommendations, should the Naval Service consider?

c. Organisational Culture/Ethos. Does the Naval Service have a culture/ethos that enables it deal with hybrid threats, or cease the opportunity of deploying hybrid forces where required? What challenges does hybrid warfare pose for commanders? Is the challenge different for Royal Navy as opposed to Royal Marine? Are we focussed too heavily on kinetic operations rather than softer solutions? What changes, or recommendations, should the Naval Service consider?

d. Doctrine. Do we need specific doctrine relating to hybrid warfare? How can we counter state led hybrid warfare? How do we counter non-state led hybrid warfare? Does it matter if it is state or non-state? What is our doctrine for conducting warfare in a hybrid manner? What changes, or recommendations, should the Naval Service consider?

e. Education and Training. How do we educate and train our personnel to deal with uncertainty and complexity? Are we currently doing this effectively? How do we ensure that developments in psychology and human behavioural sciences are incorporated into education and training (in particular in areas such as learning, mental resilience, adaptability, leadership etc..)? What changes, or recommendations, should the Naval Service consider?

f. Operational Planning/Campaign Design. Are current planning process and tools adaptive enough for hybrid threats? How do we ensure that developments in psychology and human behavioural sciences are incorporated into education and training (i.e. operational design, decision making, biases, heuristics, analytics etc..)? What changes, or recommendations, should the Naval Service consider?

g. Information Operations/Media Operations (Duelling Narratives). Do we develop/select individuals with the right skills/attitude/knowledge for these roles? How do we balance the need for rapid response through decentralised information/media activity to the risk of strategic error through lack of central coordination? Are ships optimised to support this capability? (i.e. satellite broadcast studio, printing press etc..). How do we ensure that developments in psychology and human behavioural sciences are incorporated into education and training for these roles (in particular ability to influence etc.). What changes, or recommendations, should the Naval Service consider?

h. Counter and Hybrid Warfare Capabilities. What other capabilities should we be considering developing? Is the Royal Navy’s cyber warfare strategy adequate for the threat? How should hybrid warfare affect platform design? What changes, or recommendations, should the Naval Service consider?

For more information on Hybrid Warfare see the following article links:



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