Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said the Pentagon has to choose between a small high tech force or a larger one with antiquated equipment if the services are forced to live in a budgetary world dictated by the mandatory budget cuts known as sequestration, he told reporters in a Pentagon briefing on Wednesday. Read More
The Marine Corps intends to build up a female cadre of officers and noncommissioned officers to help women as more military occupations and units become open to females, the deputy commandant for manpower and reserve affairs told the House Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee on Thursday. Read More
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
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
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
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
When the Senate Appropriations Committee meets, the subject is usually money — say the $13 billion that the administration is seeking for cyber warfare in the Fiscal Year 2014 — but how the National Security Agency, U.S. Cyber Command, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Commerce and the FBI planned to spend that money was swept away by repeated questions over just what the federal government was doing in collecting so much data on U.S. citizens.
There is an inherent tension between security and privacy and citizens want to know what the government is doing with the data it is collecting from phone calls to Google searches to credit card purchases, said committee chair Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.). Read More
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel told a Senate panel on Tuesday the ongoing specter of sequestration could prevent the U.S. Navy from adding an additional ship to a $6.1 billion deal that forms the backbone of the service’s surface fleet.
Last week, the Navy entered into a multi-year contract with Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) and General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (BIW) for nine Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers (DDG-51), extending the Navy’s commitment to the high-end surface combatant into 2017. Read More
The Senate Armed Services readiness subcommittee has voted to deny the Pentagon’s request to start a new Base Realignment and Closure commission to shutter what the Department of Defense calls excess facilitates.
As part of the Pentagon’s $526.6 billion budget request, the DoD requested permission to close additional bases in a cost savings measure. The Pentagon asked for $2.4 billion to be spent over five years to begin a new round of BRAC. 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