Interview: Randy Forbes on Sequestration, the Navy and China

Interview: Randy Forbes on Sequestration, the Navy and China

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Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus speaks with Randy Forbes in Forbes' office on June 13, 2013. US Navy Photos

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus speaks with Randy Forbes in Forbes’ office on June 13, 2013. US Navy Photo

Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) — chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittee — sat down with USNI News on Sept. 18 to talk about the challenges of sequestration, how he feels about the Littoral Combat Ship program, China, what the Navy is doing right and—more important—what the Navy is doing wrong. Read More

Opinion: The Danger of Neutral Warships Entering a Combat Zone

Opinion: The Danger of Neutral Warships Entering a Combat Zone

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Sailors assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG-52) perform small boat operations alongside the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Gravely (DDG-107). US Navy Photo

Sailors assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG-52) perform small boat operations alongside the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Gravely (DDG-107). US Navy Photo

The eastern Mediterranean, off the Syrian coast, presently is saturated with U.S. and Russian warships. The United States has deployed the destroyers USS Stout, Mahan, Ramage, Barry and Gravely, each armed with large numbers of Tomahawk land-attack missiles. The Russian navy announced that it has seven warships in the eastern Mediterranean and that it is sending three more warships—the cruiser Moskva, the destroyer Smetlivy, and the assault ship Nikolai Filchenkov. All of those warships are sailing relatively close to the Syrian civil war’s combat zone. Read More

Report: LCS Manning Could Permanently Increase by 2015

Report: LCS Manning Could Permanently Increase by 2015

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 Cmdr. Pat Thien, left, Commanding Officer of the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS-1) on Aug. 13, 2013.

Cmdr. Pat Thien, left, Commanding Officer of the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS-1) on Aug. 13, 2013.

The Navy is considering increasing the crew sizes for both variants of the Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) by 2015, according to a July report obtained by USNI News based on the early data from the current deployment of USS Freedom (LCS-1) and tests aboard USS Independence (LCS-2).

The report — prepared on the Office of Chief of Operations (OPNAV) surface warfare office — recommends the Navy add accommodations to berth 98 crewmembers ahead of a 2014 study that could increase the crew’s size. Read More

Document: Littoral Combat Ship Manning Concepts

Document: Littoral Combat Ship Manning Concepts

From the July 2013 Office of Chief of Operations (OPNAV) report — Littoral Combat Ship Manning Concepts:

Based on current analysis and lessons learned from FREEDOM’s deployment, LCS will be configured to support up to 98 total personnel, to include core crew, Mission Package detachment, and aviation detachment. Projected costs to modify ships to accommodate this manning level are $600,000 for LCS-3 and $700,000 for LCS-4. Projected design and engineering costs for future ships are estimated at $6 million for both LCS variants. The costs to modified follow on ships will be addressed in future budgets.

Manpower and workload analyses of FREEDOM’s eight-month deployment to the Western Pacific will continue through her deployment. Finally,Navy Manpower Analysis Center will conduct a study aboard FREEDOM in early 2014 to support the development of the LCS Ship’s Manpower Document (SMD) which will further codify manpower requirements and policies and validate crew size, crew rotation construct, and associated shore manpower required to operate and support the LCS class. Read More

A Brief History of Naval Wargames

A Brief History of Naval Wargames

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navalwargamesFor more than 100 years, the U.S. Navy has simulated naval warfare with simulations, or games. As far back as the 19th century the Navy recognized that gaming and simulations are an inexpensive and bloodless way to learn lessons that typically are imparted only during wartime.

The use of games traditionally has had multiple purposes. The foremost is to train for war. Simulating warfare gives those involved the closest possible experience they can have to actual warfare, thus giving them a modicum of experience under fire. It is an inexpensive way to train without the expense of taking ships and aircraft to sea, particularly in periods of austerity. Read More

Game Review: 'Command' is A Worthy Successor to Harpoon

Game Review: ‘Command’ is A Worthy Successor to Harpoon

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Command: Air/Naval Operations

Command: Modern Air/Naval Operations

Given the nature of the personal computer game market, it’s rare for a commercial game to have the potential to act as an informal training tool. Games tend to trend toward the exaggeration of reality—if not totally fantastic in their premise. An exception to that trend is “Command: Modern Air/Naval Operations,” a “hard” simulation that models all aspects of modern air and sea warfare in painstaking detail. A worthy heir to the Harpoon series of games, “Command” will find a following not only among civilian gamers but might have value among military, government, and policy circles as a simulator of modern warfare. Read More