Tag Archives: Congress

Truman Carrier Strike Group Will Deploy Monday to Med, Middle East

Truman Carrier Strike Group Will Deploy Monday to Med, Middle East

USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) during a live-fire exercise in April. US Navy Photo

USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) during a live-fire exercise in April. US Navy Photo

The Navy plans to deploy USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) on Monday from Naval Station Norfolk, Va. to the Middle East and the Mediterranean, Navy officials told USNI News on Thursday.

Truman — along with Arleigh Burke-class destroyers USS Bulkeley (DDG-84), USS Mason (DDG-87) and Ticonderoga-class cruisers USS Gettysburg (CG-64), USS San Jacinto (CG-56) — will relieve the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group (CSG), which is currently in the Navy’s Middle East-based 5th Fleet area of operations. Read More

Ronald O'Rourke on Coast Guard Acquisition

Ronald O’Rourke on Coast Guard Acquisition

The following is from Congressional Research Service’s Ronald O’Rourke June 26, 2013 testimony before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Coast Guard Acquisition.

The Coast Guard’s FY2014 Five Year (FY2014-FY2018) CIP includes a total of about $5.1 billion in acquisition funding, which is about $2.5 billion, or about 33%, less than the total of about $7.6 billion that was included in the Coast Guard’s FY2013 Five Year (FY2013-FY2017) CIP. (In the four common years of the two plans—FY2014-FY2017—the reduction in funding from the FY2013 CIP to the FY2014 CIP is about $2.3 billion, or about 37%.) This is one of the largest percentage reductions in funding that I have seen a five-year acquisition account experience from one year to the next in many years.

About twenty years ago, in the early 1990s, Department of Defense (DOD) five-year procurement plans were reduced sharply in response to the end of the Cold War—a large-scale change in the strategic environment that led to a significant reduction in estimated future missions for U.S. military forces. In contrast to that situation, there has been no change in the Coast Guard’s strategic environment since last year that would suggest a significant reduction in estimated future missions for the Coast Guard. Read More

Opinion: Build New Ships Based on San Antonio Hull

Opinion: Build New Ships Based on San Antonio Hull

USS San Antonio (LPD 17), part of the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready group, underway on June 16, 2013. US Navy Photo

USS San Antonio (LPD 17), part of the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready group, underway on June 16, 2013. US Navy Photo

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert said last year: “We need to move from ‘luxury car’ platforms — with their built-in capabilities — toward dependable ‘trucks’ that can handle a changing payload selection.” There is one platform that can fulfill that requirement: the San Antonio-class landing platform dock (LPD). Read More

Opinion: Military Pay and Benefits Unsustainable

Opinion: Military Pay and Benefits Unsustainable

Sailors assigned to Naval Branch Health Clinic at Naval Support Activity, Bahrain, wait for a uniform inspection on June, 17 2013. US Navy Photo

Sailors assigned to Naval Branch Health Clinic at Naval Support Activity, Bahrain, wait for a uniform inspection on June, 17 2013. US Navy Photo

Study after study show that the U.S. military’s pay and compensation system is unsustainable. Defense experts from all across the Washington Beltway forecast a steep decline in readiness and capability due to escalating personnel costs and overall declining defense budgets. There is an urgent need for a frank discussion on pay and compensation reform throughout the ranks.

Whereas the think tanks and defense experts have offered up all manner of fiscal programs, processes and policies to the chopping block of change or disposal, the fact is military pay, compensation and benefits have received particular attention—and with good cause. The money we make, the money we are promised in retirement, the money that maintains our health care—and that of our families—is eroding our ability to do our jobs. Read More

Lawmakers Want to Suspend Egyptian Military Aid

Lawmakers Want to Suspend Egyptian Military Aid

An undated photo of the ENS S. Ezzat, an Egyptian Fast Missile Craft. VT Halter Marine Photo

An undated photo of the ENS S. Ezzat, an Egyptian Fast Missile Craft. VT Halter Marine Photo

In the wake of the public uprising that deposed former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) — senior members on the Senate Armed Services Committee — have called on the Obama administration to suspend $1.5 billion in military aid to Egypt.

“We ought to suspend aid until the new government shows that it is willing to — and in fact does — schedule elections and put in place a process to come up with a new constitution,” Levin said Monday. Read More

Document: Syria's Chemical Weapons

Document: Syria’s Chemical Weapons

From the July, 1 2013 Congressional Research Service report: Syria’s Chemical Weapons:
Issues for Congress:

The use or loss of control of chemical weapons stocks in Syria could have unpredictable consequences for the Syrian population and neighboring countries as well as U.S. allies and forces in the region. Congress may wish to assess the Administration’s plans to respond to possible scenarios involving the use, change of hands, or loss of control of Syrian chemical weapons. Read More

Document: Pentagon's Aviation Plan

Document: Pentagon’s Aviation Plan

An F/A-18F Super Hornet flies from USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). US Navy Photo.

An F/A-18F Super Hornet flies from USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). US Navy Photo.

The following is the Pentagon’s aviation plan, dated May 2013.
From the report:

Summary of the Annual Plan and Certification

This plan was developed based on the FY14 President’s Budget submission and does not include the effects of sequestration / Budget Control Act funding decreases. The Department is in the process of a Strategic Choices and Management Review (SCMR) to resolve these impacts.

As such, changes to this plan are probable in next year’s report. Moreover, sequestration is already having an adverse effect on readiness across multiple mission areas, including aviation.

Changes in technology and organizational structure make categorizing aircraft into bins of like capability increasingly difficult.

However, this aviation force structure plan provides the diverse mix of aircraft needed to carry out the eleven missions identified above. The capabilities provided by aircraft identified in this plan reflect five principal investment objectives identified Read More

Updated: History of U.S. Policy and Law on Gays in the Military

Updated: History of U.S. Policy and Law on Gays in the Military

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

UCLASS By the Numbers

UCLASS By the Numbers

The Navy has outlined the specifications for the Unmanned Carrier Launched Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) in a requirements document obtained by USNI News.

Persistence:

Proposed operational ranges of UCLASS. US Naval Institute Illustration

Proposed operational ranges of UCLASS. US Naval Institute Illustration

A UCLASS system should be able to conduct two orbits at 600 nautical
miles or one orbit at 1,200 nautical miles. The system should also be
able to conduct a strike mission at 2,000 nautical miles. Read More

U.S. Military Ranks Highest in New Gallup Poll

U.S. Military Ranks Highest in New Gallup Poll

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