The new amphibious assault ship AMERICA (LHA 6) took to the sea for the first time Nov. 5, carrying out five days of builder’s sea trials in the Gulf of Mexico.
Built by Huntington Ingalls Industries at their Ingalls shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss., the AMERICA was put through more than 200 test events. Engineers checked the operation of the gas turbine/electric-powered propulsion system, along with anchor handling, flight operations, and combat systems’ evaluations. The ship was operated by Ingalls employees assisted by members of the ship’s Navy crew. More
The Pentagon’s top generals continue sending mixed messages about the impacts of pending military spending cuts.
The latest instance of the service chiefs’ uneven talking points came during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing last Thursday. The chiefs at times said changing the schedule of the cuts would make them mostly manageable. At other times, they warned more cuts will automatically lead to more dead and injured American troops.
The seeming disconnect, however, went unnoticed by members of the so-called oversight committee sitting just a few feet away. More
The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) quickly has become a top Washington national security think tank. And on Monday morning, it offered the latest glimpse why.
The organization announced it is adding a handful of heavy hitters to its board of directors, including former Marine Corps Gen. John Allen, outgoing BAE Systems CEO Linda Hudson and former Sen. Joseph Lieberman.
The moves give the relatively young think tank further inroads to the Obama administration. Its two board co-chairs are former Obama administration officials, and Allen ran the Afghanistan war under President Barack Obama. Lieberman was more ally than irritant to the White House before he left the Senate, and Hudson worked closely with senior Pentagon leaders as head of BAE.
A new and larger version of the Northrop Grumman Fire Scout flew for the first time Oct. 31, making two flights at Naval Base Ventura County at Point Mugu, Calif.
The MQ-8C Fire Scout uses an entirely different air frame than the MQ-8B model that has been used on a developmental bases by the US Navy. Developed to meet higher payload and range requirements, the 8C is based on the Bell 407 manned helicopter. The 8C uses virtually the same mission and control systems as the 8B.
The 8B, based on a small Schweizer Aircraft commercial manned helicopter, has been successfully deployed on several frigates, and has operated in Afghanistan.
The Fire Scout is a key component of Littoral Combat Ship mission packages, and is intended to operate from a number of Navy ship types. More
If you deal with defense spending, you’ve probably had someone tell you that the budgets of the military services are roughly split evenly. Well it’s not true.
Todd Harrison, an analyst with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, busted that often repeated myth Thursday when presenting his latest report called: “Chaos and Uncertainty: The FY 14 Defense Budget and Beyond.”
“The services have never gotten equal shares of the budget,” Harrison said. “Never! It’s the myth! Never happened!” More
Later today, former Army Capt. William Swenson will head over to the White House where president Obama will drape the Medal of Honor around his neck.
Swenson earned the nation’s highest military honor for actions undertaken during a bloody and controversial 7-hour gunfight between about 60 Taliban fighters and a group of Afghan soldiers and Border Police, who were backed up by a handful of US Army and Marine Corps advisers in the Ganjgal Valley in eastern Afghanistan on Sept. 8, 2009.
Five Americans and at least ten Afghan troops were killed, with dozens more wounded. More
Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos has his own F-35. Well, kind of.
My buddy Gabe Starosta, who is the managing editor of Inside the Air Force (the same publication your blogger ran for several years), snapped this photo of a Marine Corps F-35B short take-off vertical landing jet while visiting Eglin Air Force Base on the Florida Panhandle in June. More
Back in the bloody Iraqi spring of 2006, a group of retired Army and Marine Corps generals including former Central Command chief Gen. Anthony Zinni and several two-star generals who had left the service after commanding troops in Iraq in 2004 and 2005, created a huge stir when they publicly demanded the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
Dubbed the “Revolt of the Generals,” the episode sparked furious debate over the long-held tradition of former officers declining to publicly criticize their former civilian bosses—especially during wartime.
This morning, highly respected retired US Army Maj. Gen. Bob Scales wrote a sharp opinion piece in the Washington Post that exposes similar explosive issues within the Pentagon with regard to the possible war with Syria. More
Now that it looks like any potential US / French strike against the Syrian regime will be postponed until after Congress has its say the week of Sept. 9, the already crowded sea lanes in the eastern Mediterranean are likely to stay that way for awhile.
There are already five US guided missile destroyers and the USS San Antonio, an amphibious ship with several hundred U.S. Marines aboard plying the waters off the Syrian coast, as well as three American nuclear submarines. France has also deployed two destroyers and a nuclear-powered submarine, and the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier is ready for service after being refit in Toulon.
Reports in recent days have also claimed that Russia has two ships coming on station in the eastern Med., a deployment which Russian officials have characterized as being part of a routine rotation of forces in the region.
That’s at least ten warships transiting the sea lanes in a small area, each watching the other, watching the news, and watching each other watch each other. More