NAVAL AIR STATION NORTH ISLAND, Calif. – The Navy is making the first major changes to the carrier air wing in a generation. The service just wrapped up the first carrier deployment of the F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters – the first new fighter jet on a carrier in 20 years – and is a few years away from introducing the first unmanned aircraft into the air wing. Read More
This post has been updated with additional information from the Navy. The service has one aircraft carrier able to deploy with F-35C Lighting II Joint Strike Fighters, USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72).
Currently, the Navy only has one aircraft carrier — either Ford-class or Nimitz-class — that can support the service’s most advanced fighters for a full deployment, service officials told USNI News on Thursday. Read More
HAMPTON, VA. — New commander of Naval Sea Systems Command Vice Adm. Tom Moore said shipyards are nearing an opportunity to “reset” after struggling in recent years to get aircraft carriers and submarines out of availabilities on time, and he hopes the yards can take measures now to keep the next wave of availabilities on track. Read More
Last month the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) returned home from a seven-month deployment to the Western Pacific – the first time in several years a carrier from the continental United States had deployed specifically to that region rather than simply passing through on the way to and from the Middle East.
In addition to highlighting a shift in focus to the Pacific, the deployment featured an opportunity to practice high-end warfighting skills with another U.S. carrier strike group, several exercises with allies and partners in the region, and persistent but professional contact with Chinese ships sent to shadow Stennis.
Stennis Commanding Officer Capt. Greg Huffman detailed the highlights of the deployment in an interview with USNI News. Read More
ABOARD USS AMERICA — The new amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA-6) has raised more than a few questions in its short life, with sailors and Marines alike wondering what it will mean to have an amphibious ship without a well deck and therefore without the ability to deploy landing craft to move heavy tanks and equipment ashore.
America’s recent participation in the Rim of the Pacific 2016 international exercise may have allayed some concerns – the resounding feedback from those involved in the ship’s operations is that, if the Marines are willing to tweak the composition of the deploying Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), America can move them faster, more agilely and more safely. Read More
POHAKULOA TRAINING AREA, ISLAND OF HAWAII – Flying into the Pohakuloa Training Area, more than 6,000 feet above sea level and nestled between two volcanoes on the Big Island, the ground below looks nothing like a tropical Hawaiian paradise. The day starts out cold, and as soon as the sun warms up the mountainside, fog and rain are ushered up the mountain that cool down the area again.
Among the lava rocks grow scraggly trees and brown grasses, and aside from wild goats and nenes there are few signs of life.
Where better for Marines and soldiers to bring out their big guns? Read More
ABOARD USS GEORGE WASHINGTON, OFF THE COAST OF VIRGINIA – The Navy has completed testing of its MAGIC CARPET technology that simplifies the process of landing a fighter on an aircraft carrier – with data suggesting that pilots may make single-digit flight path corrections on final approach instead of hundreds and land “significantly” closer to their target on the flight deck, according to those involved in the testing. Read More
It has been nearly three years since the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) captured Mosul and advanced rapidly through a number of major population centers in northern Iraq, triggering a major U.S.-led internationalization of the conflict between the jihadist group and the myriad opponents to its attempt to establish territorial supremacy in Iraq and Syria. Read More
There has been a lively debate in recent years over whether the appurtenance of American military might—the supercarrier—will be rendered irrelevant, even obsolescent, by the burgeoning anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) systems of the likes of China and Russia should war ever break out between them and Washington. This state of affairs is not helped by a glaring capability shortfall the U.S. Navy faces currently and in the foreseeable future: the lack of a carrier-based deep-strike aircraft due to the relatively short “legs” of its mainstay Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet attack fighter as well as the upcoming Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). Read More
ABOARD GUIDED MISSILE DESTROYER ZUMWALT – One of the most conspicuous ships in the Navy is among the least understood. Read More