USNI News polled its writers, naval analysts, and service members on what they consider the most important military and maritime stories in 2013.
The beating heart of both variants of the littoral combat ship (LCS) is the series of three mission packages the Navy is developing to handle some of the service’s most dire needs in the littorals.
The modular ship is a marked departure from the past in the way the Navy develops capability for its surface fleet. Sailors often liken the LCS to a video game system—with the mission packages being the actual games. But instead of “Halo” or “Call of Duty,” sailors will try their hands at mine countermeasures (MCM), surface warfare (SuW) and anti-submarine warfare (ASW).
The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) has found four pieces of ordnance dropped by two U.S. AV-8B Harrier, according to a Friday statement from the Australian Defense Ministry. Read More
The Navy’s 7th Fleet is taking the lead in the recovery of four bombs U.S. Marine fighters dropped near the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Navy officials told USNI on Friday. Read More
A mine hunting ship will be deployed to find four bombs dropped by two U.S. Marine AV-8B Harriers last week in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in Australia, according to local press reports published on Tuesday.
The vessel would either come from U.S. 7th Fleet’s homeport in Japan or Australia’s Fleet Base East in Sydney, according to the report. Read More
Ahead of a busy week for Littoral Combat Ship policy makers, the Navy has released the executive summary of the Office of Chief of Operations Report (OPNAV) Review of the Littoral Combat Ship led by Rear Adm. Samuel Perez, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Plans, Programs, and Operations in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs and former commander of Carrier Strike Group 1.
In January of 2012, Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mark Ferguson directed Perez to evaluate, “ the Navy’s readiness to receive deploy, employ and deploy the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) vessel,” according to the review’s executive summary. 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
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