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Women Could Serve in Navy Riverine Units by October, SEALs by 2016

Women Could Serve in Navy Riverine Units by October, SEALs by 2016

Navy Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen in a 2009 exercise. US Navy Photo

Navy Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen during a 2009 exercise. US Navy Photo

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

Navy's Plan for Placing Women in Restricted Jobs

Navy’s Plan for Placing Women in Restricted Jobs

From the May, 2 2013 Navy Women in Service Implementation Plan:

Navy is fully committed to equal professional opportunities for all uniformed personnel. Currently, over 88 percent of all Navy billets are open to females. This is the result of Navy’s deliberate and steady review and expansion of opportunities at sea for females that began with the first assignment of females onboard ships in 1994. We fully intend to continue our expansion of opportunity in a thoughtful and deliberate manner; our goal is to continue to ensure all Navy men and women have the opportunity to succeed and are set up for success with viable career paths while preserving our warfighting capability. Read More

Document: Navy Ship Naming Conventions

Document: Navy Ship Naming Conventions

From June, 12 2013 Congressional Research Service report: Navy Ship Names

For ship types now being procured for the Navy, or recently procured for the Navy, naming rules can be summarized as follows: Read More

NAVAIR Issues UCLASS RFP

NAVAIR Issues UCLASS RFP

Northrop Grumman's X-47B flies over USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) on May 14, 2013. US Naval Institute Photo

Northrop Grumman’s X-47B flies over USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) on May 14, 2013. US Naval Institute Photo

The Navy is taking its next steps in creating unmanned and autonomous vehicle to provide surveillance and strike capabilities from aircraft carriers, Naval Air Systems Command told USNI News on Monday.

NAVAIR released a request for proposal to four companies on June 10 for further design studies on the Navy’s planned Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike system. Read More

1,150 U.S. Marines to Australia by 2014

1,150 U.S. Marines to Australia by 2014

Marines with 1st Platoon, Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force - Darwin, sprint to their first station wearing full gear during a squad competition on May, 23 2013. US Marine Corps Photo

Marines with 1st Platoon, Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force – Darwin, sprint to their first station wearing full gear during a squad competition on May, 23 2013. US Marine Corps Photo

The Australian Government and the U.S. have agreed to allow a contingent of 1,150 Marines to train near Darwin, Australia in 2014, according to Aussie Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

The Marines will be part of a six-month rotation of troops that will be based at Robertson Barracks near Darwin that also include a 130 Marine aviation detachment with four helicopters based at Royal Australian Air Force Base Darwin, according to a Friday statement from Gillard’s office. Read More

Arming Syrian Rebels Will Do Little

Arming Syrian Rebels Will Do Little

fsa_dec12After years of debate and increased involvement in the training and logistical support of Syrian rebel forces, the U.S. government authorized the CIA to begin directly arming opponents of the Bashar al Assad regime. Casualties from Syria’s civil war already number at least 93,000 according to some sources, and millions of Syrians are now refugees or internally displaced.

Meanwhile, the United States now confirms that Syria used chemical weapons in a number of instances, at a small scale that many fear may escalate. Chemical-weapons use provided rhetorical justification to this policy decision, but is not the entire reality of the matter. Internal pressure and Free Syrian Army leadership’s refusal to participate in a new round of negotiations at Geneva without U.S. weapons played a major role. Unfortunately for the United States and the administration, neither the known particulars of the U.S. plan, nor the concept of providing arms to rebel forces generally, appears likely to turn the war’s tide or secure lasting U.S. influence in Syria. Read More

The Future of the Marine Corps

The Future of the Marine Corps

US Marines from Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV) Platoon, Battalion Landing Team 3/2, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), drive their AAVs on April 20, 2013. US Marine Corps Photo.

US Marines from Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV) Platoon, Battalion Landing Team 3/2, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), drive their AAVs on April 20, 2013. US Marine Corps Photo.

After ten years of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. Marine Corps is retooling and repositioning itself back into its traditional role as a medium-weight maritime force that can operate with agility from the sea. Instead of training almost exclusively to fight insurgents deep inland, the Marines will focus on roles ranging from conventional warfighting, to conducting humanitarian missions, and to training the armed forces of partner nations. In essence, it will be a case of back to the future for the Marine Corps as it shifts back into its traditional role as the nation’s 911 quick-reaction force, former officials and analysts told USNI News. Read More

Former Cutter to Help Philippine Claims in South China Sea

Former Cutter to Help Philippine Claims in South China Sea

BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16). Philippine Embassy Photo

BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16). Philippine Embassy Photo

The former U.S. Coast Guard cutter Dallas is en route to Manila as the newest ship in the Philippine Navy, according a Philippine Embassy statement.

The re-christened BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16) underwent a 13-month refit in Charleston, S.C. before it departed Monday with its crew on a two-month voyage to the Philippines. Read More

Second V-22 Multi-Year Buys 99 Ospreys

Second V-22 Multi-Year Buys 99 Ospreys

MV-22 Osprey assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 161 as it launches from the flight deck of the Amphibious Transport Dock Ship USS Anchorage (LPD-23) on April 23, 2013.

MV-22 Osprey assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 161 as it launches from the flight deck of the Amphibious Transport Dock Ship USS Anchorage (LPD-23) on April 23, 2013.

The Department of the Navy has kicked off its second multi-year buy for 99 V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft with option for 22 more, a NAVAIR official told USNI News on Thursday.

The Pentagon issued a $4.89 billion contract for the Ospreys on Wednesday with Textron’s Bell Helicopter division and Boeing. Read More

NSA Leaks Dominate Cyber Hearing

NSA Leaks Dominate Cyber Hearing

alexanderWhen 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