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
U.S. Coast Guard issued a $76.8 million contract option to Huntington Ingalls Industries for long lead items for the seventh National Security Cutter, according to the service. Read More
The military bested small business and the police to top the list of U.S. institutions in which Americans have the most confidence, according to a June Gallup poll released on Thursday.
The military topped the list with 76 percent of responses indicating there was “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the institution. Small business came in second with 65 percent, followed by police with 57 percent. Read More
BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16). Philippine Embassy Photo
The former U.S. Coast Guard cutter Dallas is en route to Manila as the newest ship in the Philippine Navy, according a Philippine Embassy statement.
The re-christened BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16) underwent a 13-month refit in Charleston, S.C. before it departed Monday with its crew on a two-month voyage to the Philippines. Read More
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
The following is from the May, 24 2013 Congressional Research Service report: Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization.
The Coast Guard’s FY2013 budget initiated a new project for the design and construction of a new polar icebreaker. The Coast Guard’s proposed FY2013 budget requested $8 million in FY2013 acquisition funding to initiate survey and design activities for the ship, and projected an additional $852 million in FY2013-FY2017 for acquiring the ship. The Coast Guard’s FY2013 budget anticipated awarding a construction contract for the ship “within the next five years” and taking delivery on the ship “within a decade.”
Coast Guard polar icebreakers perform a variety of missions supporting U.S. interests in polar regions. The Coast Guard’s two existing heavy polar icebreakers—Polar Star and Polar Sea— have exceeded their originally intended 30-year service lives. Polar Star was placed in caretaker status on July 1, 2006. Congress in FY2009 and FY2010 provided funding to repair it and return it to service for an additional 7 to 10 years of service; the repair work was completed and the ship was reactivated on December 14, 2012. Read More
US National Security Adviser Tom Donilon with General Fan Changlong, vice chairman of China’s Central Military Commission in Beijing, on May, 28 2013. Voice of America Photo
The commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and a senior leader of China’s People’s Liberation Army vowed to increase naval cooperation, during a Tuesday meeting in Beijing.
Lt. Gen. Qi Jianguo, PLA’s deputy chief of the general staff, vowed to establish military ties based on “equality, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation,” with a meeting with Adm. Cecil Haney, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, reported Xinhua news service. Read More
Russian Border Guard vessel Vorovsky during a visit to Seattle, Wash. in 2009. US Coast Guard Photo
Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has plans to build four military ships for Arctic duty by 2020, deputy head of the Border Service of the FSB Col. Gen. Nikolai Rybalkin told reporters on Monday. Read More
Coast Guard Commandant, Adm. Robert Papp, in front of a map of Barrow, Alaska during a recent trip. US Coast Guard Photo
The U.S. Coast Guard has unveiled its new strategy for the Arctic outlines a ten-year roadmap for patrolling the last great maritime frontier, in a Tuesday presentation by Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert Papp in Washington, D.C.
“The Arctic Ocean is rapidly changing from a solid expanse of inaccessible ice fields into a growing navigable sea, attracting increased human activity and unlocking access to vast economic potential and energy resources,” Papp said in a speech in conjunction with the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Read More
From the executive summary of the United States Coast Guard’s Arctic Strategy released on May, 21 2013: As arctic ice recedes and maritime activity increases, the Coast Guard must be prepared to administer and inform national objectives over the long-term. The United States is an arctic nation, and the Coast Guard supports numerous experienced and capable partners in the region. The aim of this strategy is to ensure safe, secure, and environmentally responsible maritime activity in the arctic. This strategy establishes objectives to meet this aim and support national policy. framed with a planning horizon of 10 years, it delineates the ends, ways, and means for achieving strategic objectives while articulating factors that contribute to long-term success. Read More