Category Archives: Surface Forces

NAVSEA: LCS Missile Competition Could Start Next Year

NAVSEA: LCS Missile Competition Could Start Next Year

The Griffin Missile, Raytheon Photo

The Griffin Missile, Raytheon Photo

The U.S. Navy could start its investigation into its new surface-to-surface missile for its Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program as early as next year, Naval Sea System Command officials told USNI News on Monday.

Currently, NAVSEA is testing the Raytheon Griffin IIB as part of the Surface Warfare (SuW) mission package, only, “as an interim capability,” according to a statement provided to USNI News. Read More

Polar Star Leaves for Sea Trials

Polar Star Leaves for Sea Trials

US Heavy Ice Breaker Polar Star (WAGB-10). US Coast Guard Photo

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

Military Sealift Command Will Keep WestPac Until 2014

Military Sealift Command Will Keep WestPac Until 2014

Westpac Express High Speed Vessel pulls away from the pier at Naha Military Port, Okinawa. US Navy Photo

Westpac Express High Speed Vessel pulls away from the pier at Naha Military Port, Okinawa. US Navy Photo

U.S. Military Sealift Command (MSC) is exercising a contract option on a high-speed aluminum catamaran used to transport U.S. Marines by six-months, MSC officials told USNI News on Monday.

WestPac Express, in use by MSC since 2001 years, has been retained until February of 2014 by MSC, according to a release by the Australian vessel owner, Austal. Read More

Philippines Exploring Allowing U.S. and Japan More Use of Bases

Philippines Exploring Allowing U.S. and Japan More Use of Bases

USS Enterprise (CVN-65) at Subic Bay in 1993. US Navy Photo

USS Enterprise (CVN-65) at Subic Bay in 1993. US Navy Photo

The Philippines plan to give greater access to U.S. and Japanese allies to military bases including the former U.S. Naval Station Subic Bay, Philippine defense officials said Thursday in a report in Reuters.

The report comes in tandem with reports, the military is preparing a proposal to expand leftover U.S. bases after the Pentagons removed its forces in 1992.

According to the report, Philippine naval leaders are preparing a $230 million plan to base development bases as hedges against increased Chinese expansion into the South China Sea. Read More

Document: Guardian Grounding 'Wholly Preventable'

Document: Guardian Grounding ‘Wholly Preventable’

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

Navy Develops Torpedo Killing Torpedo

Navy Develops Torpedo Killing Torpedo

The Navy's experimental Countermeasure Anti-Torpedo launches from the fantail of USS George HW Bush in May. US Navy Photo

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

China Carrier Starts Second Round of Jet Tests

China Carrier Starts Second Round of Jet Tests

The PLAN's J-15 fighter jet takes off from Liaoning in this undated 2012 photo. Xinhua News Agency Photo

The PLAN’s J-15 fighter jet takes off from Liaoning in this undated 2012 photo. Xinhua News Agency Photo

The People’s Liberation Army Navy has conducted a second round of jet tests aboard its aircraft carrier with its J-15 carrier-based fighter on Wednesday, according to a report from the Xinhua news agency.

Wednesday’s test of the J-15 aboard Liaoning, follow a November round of flights of the J-15 in which the aircraft successfully landed and launched from the 50,000 ton former Soviet carrier. Read More

Women Could Serve in Navy Riverine Units by October, SEALs by 2016

Women Could Serve in Navy Riverine Units by October, SEALs by 2016

Navy Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen in a 2009 exercise. US Navy Photo

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

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