US Heavy Ice Breaker Polar Star (WAGB-10). US Coast Guard Photo
The U.S. Coast Guard’s decades-old heavy icebreaker is currently undergoing sea trials off the coast of Alaska, according to a Friday report from Alaska Public Radio Network.
USCSC Polar Star (WAGB-10) left Friday for ice trials to put the ship and its crew through a training regime focused on Arctic planned to last several weeks. Read More
Free Syrian Army fighters. Reuters Photo
As the United States begins providing arms to Syrian rebels , it enters an increasingly complex arena of arms-trafficking and proxy warfare. The highly factionalized Syrian rebellion and the combined third-party actors supporting it—often with competing aims—mean U.S. attempts to shape the Syrian conflict through military support will depend not simply on American resources and intentions, but the dynamics of the civil war and the network of actors that facilitates its logistics. With the U.S. role in Syrian arms-trafficking shifting from one of restraint to one of support, the difficulties encountered in producing viable political outcomes in Syria are likely to persist. Read More
On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down provisions in the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The restrictions in the act prevented federal employees in same sex marriages from receiving federal benefits. The Pentagon and the rest of the government will now sort through the ruling and the changes to federal law.
“The Department of Defense welcomes the Supreme Court’s decision today on the Defense of Marriage Act,” Secratary of Defense Chuck Hagel said in a Wednesday statement.
“The department will immediately begin the process of implementing the Supreme Court’s decision in consultation with the Department of Justice and other executive branch agencies. The Department of Defense intends to make the same benefits available to all military spouses — regardless of sexual orientation — as soon as possible. That is now the law and it is the right thing to do.” Read More
An undated file photo of the 24th Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Frank B. Kelso II. US Navy Photo
On Sunday former Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Frank Kelso, died in his home state in Tennessee, “following a fall this week that resulted in a severe head injury,” according to a report from al.com.
The following is an excerpt of 2009’s preface to Kelso’s U.S. Naval Institute oral history.
The early 1990s were a time of substantial-even tumultuous-change in the United States Navy. Adm. Frank Kelso presided over the service during that era as the Chief of Naval Operations and faced a host of daunting challenges. Read More
The following is from the May 22, 2013 U.S. Pacific Fleet investigation findings from the Jan. 17, 2013 grounding of the minesweeper USS Guardian (MCM-5). The report was released by the Navy on June 20.
Causation: This tragic mishap was wholly preventable and was the product of poor voyage planning, poor execution, and unfortunate circumstances. This investigation uncovers no single point of failure; instead, there were numerous links in the error chain leading up to the grounding. Had any one of which been appropriately addressed, the grounding would have been prevented. USS GUARDIAN leadership and watch teams failed to adhere to prudent, safe, and sound navigation principles which would have alerted them to approaching dangers with sufficient time to take mitigating action. Read More
People’s Liberation Army Navy Rear Adm. Kan Li Kui drinks a sample of purified water at a disaster site in Biang, Brunei Darussalam June 19, as part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief and Military Medicine Exercise. US Marine Corps Photo.
Last week Brunei hosted an important but little-noticed exercise in its portion of the island of Borneo. The multinational event sponsored by and held in conjunction with the second meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Defense Ministers Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) and was the first of its kind. The group focused on boosting interoperability among the participants’ medical and disaster response capabilities. But as important was the mix of participants included countries better known for tense maritime stand-offs than working together. Read More
The Navy’s experimental Countermeasure Anti-Torpedo launches from the fantail of USS George HW Bush (CVN-77) in May, 2013. US Navy Photo
The Navy has taken its first steps to develop a weapon designed to intercept and destroy guided enemy torpedoes immune to U.S. countermeasures, Naval Sea Systems Command officials told USNI News on Wednesday.
The Surface Ship Torpedo Defense (SSTD) program under development to protect high dollar surface warships — like the Navy’s Nimitz-class (CVN-68) nuclear aircraft carriers — from Soviet developed torpedoes specifically designed to attack large ships like aircraft carriers and large civilian oil tankers. Read More
Navy Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen during a 2009 exercise. US Navy Photo
The Navy will issue a report to the Pentagon by July on the service’s plan to allow women to serve in Costal Riverine Units — one of the few remaining Navy specialties closed to women, according to a report a May 2 implementation report released Tuesday. If approved, female officers and enlisted could serve be assigned to the units as early as October.
The riverine unit integration is the first of five so-called “decision points” in response to the January removal of the ground combat exclusion rule that prevents women from serving in frontline combat units. Read More
From the May, 2 2013 Navy Women in Service Implementation Plan:
Navy is fully committed to equal professional opportunities for all uniformed personnel. Currently, over 88 percent of all Navy billets are open to females. This is the result of Navy’s deliberate and steady review and expansion of opportunities at sea for females that began with the first assignment of females onboard ships in 1994. We fully intend to continue our expansion of opportunity in a thoughtful and deliberate manner; our goal is to continue to ensure all Navy men and women have the opportunity to succeed and are set up for success with viable career paths while preserving our warfighting capability. Read More
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