Category Archives: Military Personnel

1,150 U.S. Marines to Australia by 2014

1,150 U.S. Marines to Australia by 2014

Marines with 1st Platoon, Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force - Darwin, sprint to their first station wearing full gear during a squad competition on May, 23 2013. US Marine Corps Photo

Marines with 1st Platoon, Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force – Darwin, sprint to their first station wearing full gear during a squad competition on May, 23 2013. US Marine Corps Photo

The Australian Government and the U.S. have agreed to allow a contingent of 1,150 Marines to train near Darwin, Australia in 2014, according to Aussie Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

The Marines will be part of a six-month rotation of troops that will be based at Robertson Barracks near Darwin that also include a 130 Marine aviation detachment with four helicopters based at Royal Australian Air Force Base Darwin, according to a Friday statement from Gillard’s office. Read More

Arming Syrian Rebels Will Do Little

Arming Syrian Rebels Will Do Little

fsa_dec12After years of debate and increased involvement in the training and logistical support of Syrian rebel forces, the U.S. government authorized the CIA to begin directly arming opponents of the Bashar al Assad regime. Casualties from Syria’s civil war already number at least 93,000 according to some sources, and millions of Syrians are now refugees or internally displaced.

Meanwhile, the United States now confirms that Syria used chemical weapons in a number of instances, at a small scale that many fear may escalate. Chemical-weapons use provided rhetorical justification to this policy decision, but is not the entire reality of the matter. Internal pressure and Free Syrian Army leadership’s refusal to participate in a new round of negotiations at Geneva without U.S. weapons played a major role. Unfortunately for the United States and the administration, neither the known particulars of the U.S. plan, nor the concept of providing arms to rebel forces generally, appears likely to turn the war’s tide or secure lasting U.S. influence in Syria. Read More

Document: Pentagon Sequestration Impacts In Detail

Document: Pentagon Sequestration Impacts In Detail

From the introduction from the June Department of Defense Report on the Joint Committee Sequestration for Fiscal Year 2013: This report summarizes the financial impact on the Department of Defense discretionary budget authority in Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 as a result of the Joint Committee Sequestration directed in the Presidential Order of March 1, 2013. Read More

The Future of the Marine Corps

The Future of the Marine Corps

US Marines from Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV) Platoon, Battalion Landing Team 3/2, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), drive their AAVs on April 20, 2013. US Marine Corps Photo.

US Marines from Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV) Platoon, Battalion Landing Team 3/2, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), drive their AAVs on April 20, 2013. US Marine Corps Photo.

After ten years of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. Marine Corps is retooling and repositioning itself back into its traditional role as a medium-weight maritime force that can operate with agility from the sea. Instead of training almost exclusively to fight insurgents deep inland, the Marines will focus on roles ranging from conventional warfighting, to conducting humanitarian missions, and to training the armed forces of partner nations. In essence, it will be a case of back to the future for the Marine Corps as it shifts back into its traditional role as the nation’s 911 quick-reaction force, former officials and analysts told USNI News. Read More

Opinion: Sequestration is Here

Opinion: Sequestration is Here

 USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) pulls out of Naval Air Station North Island, Calif. on June, 4 2013. US Navy Photo

USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) pulls out of Naval Air Station North Island, Calif. on June, 4 2013. US Navy Photo

The dirty word spreading across the U.S. Navy and the larger defense establishment this year is “sequestration.” It was never supposed to happen, yet today it is the law of the land. Worse still, there appears to be no interest in Congress to repeal this legislation. That’s significant, since the longer this process goes on, the greater will be the cumulative damage on the long-term health and readiness of the U.S. Navy, as well as all of America’s military.

Sequestration was born out of the Budget Control Act of 2011, which stipulated that more than $900 billion in defense cuts over 10 years would begin automatically in 2013 unless Congress passed a long-term deficit reduction plan. This provision was considered so draconian that all agreed at the time that it would never be implemented. Think again. Read More

Document: U.S. Military Relations with China

Document: U.S. Military Relations with China

China has accepted an invitation from the U.S. to join the 2014 Rim of the Pacific naval exercises off of Hawaii.
However, members of Congress have raised questions if the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s inclusion as part of RIMPAC will violate provisions of a 2000 U.S. defense bill that restricts the level of military to military contact the Pentagon can have with its Chinese counterparts.
The following is an April Congressional Research Service report that broadly outlines the history of the defense law and the U.S. military relationship with China.
Read More

Second JHSV Delivers, Third Launches

Second JHSV Delivers, Third Launches

Third Joint High Speed Vessel Millinocket launches from Austal USA's mobile shipyard on Wednesday. Austal USA Photo

Third Joint High Speed Vessel Millinocket launches from Austal USA’s mobile shipyard on Wednesday. Austal USA Photo

Austal USA delivered its second Joint High Speed Vessel on Thursday — USNS Choctaw County (JHSV-2) — to Military Sealift Command and has launched the third JHSV from its Mobile, Ala. shipyard.

Choctaw County follows closely behind the lead ship, USNS Spearhead (JHSV-1), which delivered in December. Read More

Think Tanks Call For Massive Pentagon Personnel Cuts Under BCA

Think Tanks Call For Massive Pentagon Personnel Cuts Under BCA

Four D.C. think tanks took a crack at cutting the Pentagon's budget under sequestration. CSBA Image

Four D.C. think tanks took a crack at cutting the Pentagon’s budget under sequestration. CSBA Image

Four D.C. think tanks took a crack at balancing the Department of Defense’s budget if the Pentagon has to weather ten years of ten percent across-the-board sequestration budget cuts sequestration on Wednesday.

The consensus of the four (American Enterprise Institute, Center for a New American Security, Center for Strategic and International Studies and Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment) was unanimous.

First, cut the Department of Defense’s civilian employees – including shipyard and depot workers. Then reduce the services’ end strength – particularly the Army’s. Read More

Amos: F-35B IOC in 2015, ACV Design Award Next Year

Amos: F-35B IOC in 2015, ACV Design Award Next Year

Gen. James Amos talks to reporters in 2011 following a demonstration of the F-35B. US Marine Corps Photo

Gen. James Amos talks to reporters in 2011 following a demonstration of the F-35B. US Marine Corps Photo

The commandant of the Marine Corps said the service’s short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter will reach initial operating capability sometime in the later half of 2015.

Gen. James Amos said that means 10 of the 16 planes assigned to a squadron would be in place with aircrews and maintainers fully trained and shipboard qualified, he said Wednesday at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. Read More

Document: HASC Readiness Committee Calls For LCS Sustainment Plan

Document: HASC Readiness Committee Calls For LCS Sustainment Plan

From the May, 23 2013 House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee mark:
The committee notes the critical nature of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)
program and the importance of the initial deployment of the USS Freedom to the
Republic of Singapore to test and refine operational support and sustainment
concepts. The LCS class takes a unique approach to maintenance which relies
heavily on contractor-provided maintenance in contrast to other Navy ship classes,
which typically use the Navy’s organic capabilities and U.S. shipyards to provide
maintenance. Read More