Countering Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea

Countering Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea

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A crew member prepares to board a tanker that was hijacked by pirates in Benin on 24 July 2011. UN Photo

A crew member prepares to board a tanker that was hijacked by pirates in Benin on 24 July 2011. UN Photo

The winds of global piracy have shifted, as attacks by pirates off West Africa now exceed those of their Somali counterparts. The Nigeria-based pirates may not yet inspire Hollywood films, but they have prompted regional governments to take collective action. A June 24–25 summit in Yaounde, Cameroon, brought representatives from the Economic Community of West African States, the Economic Community of Central African States, and the Gulf of Guinea Commission together to draft a code of conduct concerning the prevention of piracy, armed robbery against ships, and illicit maritime activity. It has been signed by 22 states. Read More

Navy to Decommission 7 Frigates, MCM and SSN.

Navy to Decommission 7 Frigates, MCM and SSN.

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USS Thach (FFG 43) returns to San Diego after completing a six-month deployment in the U.S. 4th Fleet area of responsibility in April, 2013. US Navy Photo

USS Thach (FFG 43) returns to San Diego after completing a six-month deployment in the U.S. 4th Fleet area of responsibility in April, 2013. US Navy Photo

Seven Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates are up for Foreign Military Sale (FMS), according to a list of ships the Navy plans to decommission by the end of 2014.

The list, issued on Wednesday, included a Los Angeles-class nuclear attack boat USS Dallas (SSN-700), minesweeper USS Avenger (MCM-1), an amphibious warship and two Military Sealift Command ships. Read More

Pentagon's Sequestration Plan

Pentagon’s Sequestration Plan

The following is the July 10, 2013 Pentagon response to Sen. Carl Levin’s (D-Mich.) request to the Department of Defense to provide the Senate Armed Services Committee with a plan for sequestration.

The Pentagon’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget proposal ignored the 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA) which instituted across-the-board cuts to the defense budget cuts. Read More

New Age in Carrier Aviation Takes Off With X-47B Landing

New Age in Carrier Aviation Takes Off With X-47B Landing

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Northrop Grumman's X-47B just before landing on the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) on July, 10 2013. US Navy Photo

Northrop Grumman’s X-47B just before landing on the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) on July, 10 2013. US Navy Photo

The Navy has entered a new age in carrier aviation with the successful landing of the unmanned Northrop Grumman X-47B on the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77), the service announced at 1:45 p.m. EST on Wednesday.

Call sign Salty Dog 502 left Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. shortly after 12:00 p.m. EST and flew to the Bush controlled through a complex series of algorithms and navigational sensors and landed on the deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier guided not with a joystick and throttle controls but by an operator with a mouse and a keyboard.


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Document: Coast Guard Cutter Procurement

Document: Coast Guard Cutter Procurement

The following is from the July, 3 2013 Congressional Research Service report, Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress.

This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Coast Guard’s programs for procuring 8 National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs). These 91 planned cutters are intended as replacements for 90 aging Coast Guard cutters and patrol craft. The Coast Guard began procuring NSCs and FRCs a few years ago, and the first few NSCs and FRCs are now in service. Read More

Opinion: Military Pay and Benefits Unsustainable

Opinion: Military Pay and Benefits Unsustainable

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Sailors assigned to Naval Branch Health Clinic at Naval Support Activity, Bahrain, wait for a uniform inspection on June, 17 2013. US Navy Photo

Sailors assigned to Naval Branch Health Clinic at Naval Support Activity, Bahrain, wait for a uniform inspection on June, 17 2013. US Navy Photo

Study after study show that the U.S. military’s pay and compensation system is unsustainable. Defense experts from all across the Washington Beltway forecast a steep decline in readiness and capability due to escalating personnel costs and overall declining defense budgets. There is an urgent need for a frank discussion on pay and compensation reform throughout the ranks.

Whereas the think tanks and defense experts have offered up all manner of fiscal programs, processes and policies to the chopping block of change or disposal, the fact is military pay, compensation and benefits have received particular attention—and with good cause. The money we make, the money we are promised in retirement, the money that maintains our health care—and that of our families—is eroding our ability to do our jobs. Read More

NAVAIR: P-8A Poseidon Ready for Deployment

NAVAIR: P-8A Poseidon Ready for Deployment

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P-8A Poseidon, operated by Patrol Squadron (VP-16) in February, 2013. US Navy Photo

P-8A Poseidon, operated by Patrol Squadron (VP-16) in February, 2013. US Navy Photo

The Navy’s next-generation manned maritime information, surveillance and reconnaissance has been certified to enter regular service, according to a Naval Air Systems Command statement issued late Monday.

The P-8A Poseidon passed an Initial Operational Test and Evaluation that found the aircraft, “operationally effective, operationally suitable and ready for fleet introduction.” Read More

Retired Admiral and Biofuel Fan Nominated to be Navy Energy Chief

Retired Admiral and Biofuel Fan Nominated to be Navy Energy Chief

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Retired Vice Adm. Dennis V. McGinn speaks at the Earth Day Rally in Washington, DC, April 22, 2012. Earth Day Network Photo

Retired Vice Adm. Dennis V. McGinn speaks at the Earth Day Rally in Washington, DC, April 22, 2012. Earth Day Network Photo

The Obama administration has selected a renewable energy advocate and retired admiral to be the Navy’s new energy chief, according to an announcement from the White House.

Retired Vice Adm. Dennis V. McGinn — former president and chief executive of the American Council of Renewable Energy — has been nominated to be the Navy’s assistant secretary for energy, installations, and environment. Read More

Lawmakers Want to Suspend Egyptian Military Aid

Lawmakers Want to Suspend Egyptian Military Aid

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An undated photo of the ENS S. Ezzat, an Egyptian Fast Missile Craft. VT Halter Marine Photo

An undated photo of the ENS S. Ezzat, an Egyptian Fast Missile Craft. VT Halter Marine Photo

In the wake of the public uprising that deposed former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) — senior members on the Senate Armed Services Committee — have called on the Obama administration to suspend $1.5 billion in military aid to Egypt.

“We ought to suspend aid until the new government shows that it is willing to — and in fact does — schedule elections and put in place a process to come up with a new constitution,” Levin said Monday. Read More

Navy Awards Raytheon $276 million Next Generation Jammer Contract

Navy Awards Raytheon $276 million Next Generation Jammer Contract

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EA-18G Growler from Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 129 during night flight operations aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) in February 2013.

EA-18G Growler from Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 129 to launch during night flight operations aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) in February 2013.

Raytheon has won a $276 million contract to develop the Navy’s Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) for the service’s electronic attack air fleet, according to a contract released late Monday.

Raytheon beat out Northrop Grumman and a teaming effort between ITT Exelis and BAE Systems for the 22-month contract to develop the replacement to the ALQ-99 jammer — first introduced in the 1970s — currently in use by the Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps. Read More