Breedlove Takes Command

Breedlove Takes Command

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USAF Gen Philip Breedlove assumed command of EUCOM from retiring Adm James Stavridis on May, 10.

USAF Gen Philip Breedlove assumed command of EUCOM from retiring Adm James Stavridis on May, 10.

U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove has officially taken the helm as Commander U.S. forces in Europe; as Commander, European Command; and as NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander in a Friday ceremony in Stuttgart, Germany.

Breedlove was previously commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Africa. He is a 1977 graduate of Georgia Tech, a command pilot with 3,500 hours primarily in F-16s and was previously Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force. Read More

Somerset LPD will Commission in Philadelphia

Somerset LPD will Commission in Philadelphia

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Somerset (LPD 25) is launched from the Huntington Ingalls Industries Avondale Shipyard in Louisiana on April, 14 2012. US Navy Photo

Somerset (LPD 25) is launched from the Huntington Ingalls Industries Avondale Shipyard in Louisiana on April, 14 2012. US Navy Photo

The Navy will commission the third San Antonio-class (LPD-17) amphibious warship — Somerset (LPD-25) — named after a Sept. 11, 2001 attack site in Philadelphia, Pa., according to a Thursday releases from Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.).

Somerset County in Pennsylvania was where the hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 crashed on Sept. 11. Passengers and crew attempted to seize control of the plane from terrorists and the plane ultimately crashed before reaching its target. Read More

Three Marines Relieved Over March Mortar Accident

Three Marines Relieved Over March Mortar Accident

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Lt. Col. Andrew J. McNulty speaks to 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment service members during a memorial ceremony March 21, 2013. McNulty was relieved of command on Wednesday. US Marine Corps Photo

Lt. Col. Andrew J. McNulty speaks to 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment service members during a memorial ceremony March 21, 2013. McNulty was relieved of command on Wednesday. US Marine Corps Photo

Three Marine officers were relieved of command Wednesday in the aftermath of a March mortar accident that killed seven Camp Lejeune, N.C. Marines, 2nd Marine Division officials told USNI News.

Lt. Col. Andrew McNulty, commander of 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, the battalion’s Alpha Company commander Capt. Kelby Breivogel and the battalion’s infantry weapons officer Chief Warrant Officer 3 Douglas Derring were relieved of their duties with the 9th Marines, 1st Lt. Peter Koerner with 2nd Marines told USNI News on Thursday and first reported by Marine Corps Times. Read More

Navy: Ohio Replacement Negotiations 'Have Not Progressed'

Navy: Ohio Replacement Negotiations ‘Have Not Progressed’

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An undated artist's rendering of the Ohio Replacement. Naval Sea Systems Command

An undated artist’s rendering of the Ohio Replacement. Naval Sea Systems Command

The Navy’s top acquisition official told the Senate Armed Services Committee Seapower Subcommittee that talks with the Defense Department “have not progressed” in putting the Ohio-class ballistic-missile replacement program into a special National Capital Ships Account.

Testifying on 8 May, Sean Stackley said the long-range impact of keeping the 12 Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarines in the Navy’s shipbuilding account means “we will not be able to hit the numbers” to build other ships. Read More

The Future Chinese Carrier Force

The Future Chinese Carrier Force

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A naval honor guard at the in 2012 on board the Liaoning. Xinhua News Agency Photo

A naval honor guard at the in 2012 on board the Liaoning. Xinhua News Agency Photo

China’s acquisition of its first operational aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, has generated headlines of late. Those reports have included questions about how many additional carriers Beijing intends acquiring.
Air power is crucial to naval power, and Chinese officers have long expressed interest in acquiring aircraft carriers. Many reports of People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) carrier construction were published during the final quarter of the last century; President Jiang Zemin may have given the Navy permission to begin carrier design in the mid-1990s. Read More

Mabus Defends LCS on the Hill

Mabus Defends LCS on the Hill

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Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Adm. Jonathan Greenert estify before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense on Tuesday. US Navy Photo

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Adm. Jonathan Greenert estify before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense on Tuesday. US Navy Photo

With the USS Freedom (LCS-1) due to arrive in Singapore this week, the Littoral Combat Ship program’s cost received close scrutiny—as well as some sharp questions about the vessel’s survivability—during a House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee hearing on 7 May.

Despite New Jersey Republican Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen’s opening statement that the LCS and many others in the shipbuilding plan “to our way of thinking are support ships” rather than “classic combatants” such as large cruisers or submarines, and Virginia Democrat Jim Moran’s comments near the end of the two-and-a-half-hour session that “no other ship requires contractors throughout the deployment,” Navy Secretary Ray Mabus defended the LCS as “one of our best performing programs.” Read More

Navy Plans to Launch Carrier UAV Next Tuesday

Navy Plans to Launch Carrier UAV Next Tuesday

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Northrop Grumman's X-47B is loaded Monday onboard the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) for a planned May, 14 2013 catapult launch. US Navy Photo

Northrop Grumman’s X-47B is loaded Monday onboard the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) for a planned May, 14 2013 catapult launch. US Navy Photo

Next week the Navy will launch its experimental fixed winged unmanned aerial vehicle on its first flight from an aircraft carrier, Naval Air System Command officials told USNI News on Tuesday.

Northrop Grumman’s X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Aircraft Carrier Demonstration (UCAS-D) is planned to be launched from the deck of the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) on May, 14, several sources told USNI News. Read More

Private Jets Fill Air Show Void Left by Pentagon Cuts

Private Jets Fill Air Show Void Left by Pentagon Cuts

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Former US Marine Lt. Col. Art Nall with his restored Sea Harrier. Since military teams have canceled air shows dates due to budget cuts, Nall has seen increased demand for struggling air shows.

Former US Marine Lt. Col. Art Nalls with his restored Sea Harrier. Since military teams have canceled air shows dates due to budget cuts, Nalls has seen increased demand from air shows.

Art Nalls—air show performer and the owner/operator of what maybe the only working civilian Harrier jump jet in the country—may be one of the few people benefitting from recent military budget cuts.

Those spending reductions have bumped the Pentagon’s professional aeronautics teams—the Navy’s Blue Angels and the Air Force’s Thunderbirds—off the air show circuit for the rest of the year, creating a demand for Nalls’ stubby-winged Sea Harrier to visit air shows: $35,000 for a 15-to-20 minute show.

“We’re turning away business,” the retired Marine aviator based in Washington, D.C. told USNI News on Monday.
“We shoot for six air shows. We got ten.” Read More

Work and Roughead Talk Fleet Protection

Work and Roughead Talk Fleet Protection

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Ships from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower from Carrier Strike Group. US Navy Photo

Ships from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower from Carrier Strike Group in 2012. US Navy Photo

Electromagnetic rail guns, lasers and anti-torpedo torpedoes may be the key technologies necessary to ensure the continued viability of the U.S. Navy’s carrier strike groups when operating against an anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) environment, top former service officials told USNI News.

In the past few years the Pentagon has placed an emphasis on countering the challenges of A2/AD—a concept broadly defined as denying an assaulting force access to a battle space. In the maritime context, the traditional A2/AD tools have been mines and submarines. With the development of increasingly advanced and inexpensive antiship missiles, the calculus of an assaulting force has placed an emphasis having enough weapon capacity to counter threats. Read More

USS Anchorage Commissioned into Navy

USS Anchorage Commissioned into Navy

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USS Anchorage during its May, 4 2013 commissioning ceremony. US Navy Photo

USS Anchorage during its May, 4 2013 commissioning ceremony. US Navy Photo

The Navy commissioned the seventh San Antonio-class amphibious war ship into the Fleet in a snowy Saturday ceremony in Alaska.

The 26,000 ton USS Anchorage (LPD-23) is the latest in the line of dock landing platform ships to enter the Fleet and one of 11 planned warships designed to ferry 720 Marines and their aircraft and landing craft around the world. Read More