USNI News polled its writers, naval analysts and service members on what they consider the most important military and maritime stories in 2017.
The following is part of a series. Please also see Top Stories: International Acquisition, Navy Operations, Marine Corps Operations, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Acquisition, International Operations and New Administration.
2017 began with the promise of planning for a larger fleet: at the end of 2016, the Navy announced a 355-ship requirement, and the incoming Trump Administration expressed its support for a larger military and a heftier Navy. Few concrete steps were taken this year, though, to begin a buildup – though many programs that will be pivotal to the 355-ship fleet of the future reached significant programmatic milestones in 2017.
USS Little Rock (LCS-9) commissioning ceremony in Buffalo, N.Y. on Dec. 16, 2017. US Navy Photo
A commissioning ceremony was held in Buffalo, N.Y. today for USS Little Rock (LCS-9), the latest Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ship. Read More
It’s been a year since the Navy declared it needed a 355-ship Navy to meet its global requirements going forward – outlining a potential future fleet with nearly 40 percent more attack submarines, 30 percent more small surface combatants, nearly 20 percent more large surface combatants and an additional aircraft carrier. Read More
A NTSB Rendering of the sunken El Faro merchant ship.
The deadly 2015 sinking of cargo ship El Faro was caused by a combination of factors, including outdated equipment and poor seamanship, according to recent findings of federal investigators.
The following is the Dec. 4, 2017 Congressional Research Service report, Navy Ford (CVN-78) Class Aircraft Carrier Program: Background and Issues for Congress. Read More
Adm. Phil Davidson, right, commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command, asks Sailors questions about steering control console procedures in the pilothouse of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG 52). Barry is forward deployed to Yokosuka Japan, supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific. Davidson toured fleet concentration areas around the world while leading a 60-day comprehensive review of the surface forces. US Navy Photo
NAVAL STATION NORFOLK, VA – While the Navy will spend months and years dealing with the aftermath of two fatal surface ship collisions this year and the subsequent Comprehensive Review of Recent Surface Force Incidents, U.S. Fleet Forces Command is beginning to implement some changes that will affect individual sailors and units in the near-term. Read More
The following is the Oct. 4, 2017 Congressional Research Service report, Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress. Read More
Littoral combat ship Little Rock (LCS 9) is underway during a high-speed run in Lake Michigan during acceptance trials. Lockheed Martin Photo
The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of the latest Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ship, USS Little Rock (LCS-9), on Monday. Read More
Minecounter Measure Knifefish UUV artist’s concept. US Navy Image
With unmanned vehicles integral to the future of the Littoral Combat Ship, the Future Surface Combatant and the next-generation SSN(X) attack submarine, the Unmanned Maritime Systems Program Office is testing as many unmanned vehicles – both programs of record and prototypes alike – as fast as it can to learn lessons and field systems to the fleet. Read More
The following is the Sept 14, 2017 Congressional Research Service report, Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress. Read More