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Navy's Unmanned Carrier Aircraft Performs First Touch and Go

Navy’s Unmanned Carrier Aircraft Performs First Touch and Go

An X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator conducts a touch and go landing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77). US Navy Photo

An X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator conducts a touch and go landing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77). US Navy Photo

Less than a week after its historic launch off the deck of the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77), the Navy’s X-47B demonstration aircraft performed a so-called “touch and go,” landing off the carrier on Friday, Navy officials told USNI News.

The 44,567 pound X-47B hit Bush’s deck and then powered off the end of the carrier. The operation at sea is one step closer for the ultimate goal of the Unmanned Combat Air System Aircraft Carrier Demonstration (UCAS-D) — landing on a moving carrier. Read More

SEAL Killed in Training Accident

SEAL Killed in Training Accident

SEALs train at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in 2012. US Navy Photo

SEALs train at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in 2012. US Navy Photo

A SEAL from the Naval Special Warfare Group Two at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story was killed Wednesday in a training accident at Army installation Ft. Knox, according to several press reports. Five other sailors were injured in the accident. Read More

Bob Work's Advice for the Pentagon

Bob Work’s Advice for the Pentagon

Former under secretary of the Navy Bob Work. US Navy Photo

Former under secretary of the Navy Bob Work. US Navy Photo

Bob Work — the chief executive officer of Center for a New American Security and former under secretary of the Navy— gave Pentagon leaders advice on how the services should innovate in a time of austerity in Thursday remarks at the EAST: Joint Warfighting 2013 symposium in Virginia Beach, Va.

Work said the greatest threat to U.S. security would be not taking advantage of the current drawdown in resources to create a force structure that makes sense for security threats. The second greatest threat was the current climate of political indecision in Washington. Read More

GAO: Cost of COCOM Staffs Doubled in Five Years

GAO: Cost of COCOM Staffs Doubled in Five Years

cocom_mapThe following is an excert from the executive summary of a May Government Accountability Office report on support personnel to the Department of Defense’s Unified Combatant Commands:

GAO’s analysis of resources devoted to the Department of Defense’s (DOD) geographic combatant commands shows that authorized military and civilian positions and mission and headquarters-support costs have grown considerably over the last decade due to the addition of two new commands and increases in authorized positions at theater special operations commands. Data provided by the commands shows that authorized military and civilian positions increased by about 50 percent from fiscal years 2001 through 2012, to about 10,100 authorized positions. In addition, mission and headquarters support-costs at the combatant commands more than doubled from fiscal years 2007 through 2012, to about $1.1 billion. Read More

MDA Destroys Missile in Successful BMD Test

MDA Destroys Missile in Successful BMD Test

USS Lake Erie fires a SM-3 interceptor in February. MDA Photo

USS Lake Erie fires a SM-3 interceptor in February. MDA Photo

The Missile Defense Agency and the U.S. Navy intercepted a simulated ballistic missile in the third successful test of the Navy’s next generation Aegis ballistic missile defense system, MDA officials told USNI News on Thursday.

The target missile – fired from a test range in Hawaii at 5:25 p.m. local time on Wednesday – was detected by the SPY-1 radar aboard USS Lake Erie (CG-70). The ship launched a SM-3 Block IB equipped with a BMD kill vehicle that successfully destroyed the simulated threat missile in low Earth orbit. Read More

Admiral: China Will Likely Learn Carrier Ropes Faster than U.S.

Admiral: China Will Likely Learn Carrier Ropes Faster than U.S.

Rear Adm. Ted Branch, commander of Naval Air Force, Atlantic, speaks to Sailors aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) in 2012. US Navy Photo

Rear Adm. Ted Branch, commander of Naval Air Force, Atlantic, speaks to Sailors aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) in 2012. US Navy Photo

A previous version of this story cited an incorrect figure for the number of lost aircrew in the Navy and Marine Corps from 1949 to 1988. That actual number of was not 5,000, but 8,500. USNI News regrets the error. 

It will take less time for China to learn how to effectively operate aircraft carriers than it took the U.S., the commander of the U.S. Navy’s Atlantic air arm, Rear Adm. Ted Branch said Wednesday. Read More

East: U.S. Army Needs Focus on Human Dimension

East: U.S. Army Needs Focus on Human Dimension

Gen. Robert Cone, TRADOC commander in 2011. US Army Photo

Gen. Robert Cone, TRADOC commander in 2011. US Army Photo

The hard learned lesson of how important the human dimension and human domain is in warfare could be lost when budgets gets tight, the Army’s top training officer told attendees at the EAST: Joint Warfighting 2013 symposium in Virginia Beach, Va. on Wednesday.

“We need to prepare the land force [Army, Special Operating Force and Marine Corps] for a sophisticated understanding of the human dimension and human domain,” and invest in it, Gen. Robert Cone, commanding general of U.S. Army’s Training and Doctrine Command, said. Read More

East: Pentagon Acquisition Chief Sees Tough Year Ahead

East: Pentagon Acquisition Chief Sees Tough Year Ahead

rank Kendall, the under secretary of defense, Acquisition, Technology and Logistics in 2012.

rank Kendall, the under secretary of defense, Acquisition, Technology and Logistics in 2012.

The Pentagon’s top acquisition official apologized he “didn’t have better news” in discussing the Department of Defense’s fiscal outlook during his keynote address on Tuesday at the EAST: Joint Warfighting 2013 symposium in Virginia Beach, Va.

Frank Kendall, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics warned the Department of Defense might have to again operate under a Continuing Resolution rather than a budget for Fiscal Year 2014.

“It’s starting to make me nervous,” he said. Read More

Navy Makes History With Unmanned Carrier Launch

Navy Makes History With Unmanned Carrier Launch

The U.S. Navy ushered in a new era in aviation with Tuesday’s launch of the first autonomous jet from an aircraft carrier.

The angular X-47B flew from deck of USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) launched from the same steam catapult that’s pushed manned fighters into the sky for decades — but without a cockpit or a pilot. Read More