On May 21, 1881, the American Red Cross is established by Clara Barton and her acquaintances. Barton was known as the “Angel of the Battlefield” for her work with the wounded in the Civil War. Barton later worked with the International Red Cross during the Franco-Prussian War which lead her to help found the American Chapter.
It’s that time again: National defense authorization act season. (Just loosen your tie and take a deep breath, nervous defense wonk, Intercepts is mildly confident your program is going to survive. Probably.)
Following long-held custom, the House Armed Services Committee kicks things off this week with a series of subcommittee mark ups as the panel begins building its 2014 Pentagon policy bill.
The subcommittees should give defense wonks a look at their initial bills as soon as today (Tuesday), before each issue-specific subpanel makes changes on Wednesday or Thursday. As we reported May 6 in our defense authorization preview, armed drones, base closures and what to do about sequestration will be top-shelf issues.
Though not specifically the purview of Defense News readers, add to the top-issue list the sexual assault epidemic that’s plaguing the military. Full subcommittee-by-subcommittee schedule, after the jump. More
In case you haven’t seen the incredible visual of a jet breaking the sound barrier, as the pressure waves produce a visible halo around the aircraft, this is your chance. Pictured is an F/A 18 in all it’s glory.
Who needs short-takeoff when you can just rise straight up into the sky?
The latest development with the F-35B short-takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) version of the Joint Strike Fighter took place May 10 when BF-01 performed the first-ever vertical takeoff by one of the test and evaluation aircraft.
The flight took place at the U.S. Navy’ s naval air test station in Patuxent River, Maryland.
The Marine Corps doesn’t intend for the aircraft to regularly takeoff vertically on operational missions. According to a Lockheed Martin press release, “VTOs are required for repositioning of the STOVL in environments where a jet could not perform a short takeoff. In these cases, the jet, with a limited amount of fuel, would execute a VTO to travel a short distance.”
On May 20, 1956, the first U.S. test of a hydrogen bomb drops from a B-52 bomber over Bikini Atoll in the Pacific. The bomb is released at an altitude of more than 50,000 feet and explodes around 15,000 feet during Operation Redwing.
First MLP Delivered
The first mobile landing platform ship, USNS Montford Point (MLP 1), was delivered to the U.S. Navy May 14 in San Diego, not quite two years since construction was ordered from the General Dynamics-National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO).
The enormous, 83,000-ton, 785-foot-long ship however, is not yet complete. It will move up the west coast to Portland, Ore., where Vigor Marine will install the core capabilities set, a series of fittings and modules that will enable it to load and unload vehicles, moor small ships alongside, and transfer gear between other large ships.
A second ship, the John Glenn (MLP 2), is under construction at NASSCO.
Pending Congressional approval, the Navy plans to have the Lewis B. Puller, initially ordered as the third MLP, completed as an afloat forward staging base, a major modification which would include a large flight deck, hangar, and accommodations for several hundred troops.
The MLPs will be operated by the Military Sealift Command. More
And what’s with the German battleship?
Sunday mornings reading Parade magazine has been a favorite pastime of mine for more years than I care to mention. Even though Walter Scott is long gone, I still keep the habit of ripping open the newspaper’s Sunday supplement package and going straight to Parade.
This morning’s May 19 issue doesn’t feature a hot actress or a feature on what people earn. Refreshingly, it features a senior chief petty officer of the United States Navy, Derrick Davenport — named Chef of the Year by the Pentagon — and uses him to highlight the impressive renaissance of turning military chow into something that legitimately aspires to be called cuisine.
But the headline, “How Do You Feed An Army?” didn’t reference senior chief culinary specialist (SS)’s naval service. And when I turned to the story beginning on page 7, there was a nice headline, “Top Gun Chef,” surrounded by cool graphics of naval things and kitchen implements. More
Tourism Trumps Terror in the Gulf of Aqaba, Where Israel and Jordan Vie for Visits from US Warships
By BARBARA OPALL-ROME
EILAT, Israel — Old Glory waves alongside Harrier jump jets on the aft deck of the USS Kearsarge docked just a short distance below my rooftop apartment in the Red Sea port town of Eilat. On the other side of this flagship of the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group, hosting the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit on an 8-month deployment in the region, the zoom on my Iphone can make out a squadron of MV-22 Ospreys and a few other rotary wing aircraft.
I tried to get a closer look by driving down to the dock, but security guards quickly waved me away. Turns out my rooftop vantage offers one of the best views not only of the first visit of a U.S. warship here in 14 years, but of the dynamics at play in the Gulf of Aqaba between Israel and Jordan, its precarious peace partner of nearly 19 years.
Across these inviting aquamarine waters, Israel and its Hashemite neighbor strive on multiple fronts to shield bilateral relations from the spillover of escalating regional tensions. Here, in the Gulf of Aqaba, tourism and commerce trumps the war on terror as the two nations vie for revenue from merchant vessels, travel agencies and the right to host the U.S. 5th Fleet for rest, relaxation, maintenance and repair services. More