In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the U.S. Navy had no formal procedure for naming ships. It wasn’t until 1819 that Congress passed an act stating “all of the ships, of the Navy of the United States, now building, or hereafter to be built, shall be named by the Secretary of the Navy.” The secretary has fulfilled this role ever since, even though the passage expressly assigning authority for designating ship names was omitted when the U.S. Code was revised in 1925.
In addition to recommendations from Congress and the president, the secretary traditionally has been guided by a rather loose set of naming conventions—cruisers were to be named for battles, attack submarines for U.S. cities, destroyers for Navy and Marine heroes, and so forth. Controversy has erupted whenever the choice of a name strayed too far from those conventions, was seemingly swayed by politics, or deemed inappropriate for various reasons. Read More
The 1977 flight test of an early Trident missile. US Air Force Photo
When the U.S. Navy’s new SSBN (X) conducts its first patrol in 2031 it will be an entirely new vessel, but the boat will initially rely on life-extended 1990s vintage Trident II D5 submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) to perform its nuclear deterrence mission. The Navy currently expects to keep the D5 in service into the 2040s, after which it may replace the long-serving weapon with a new missile. Read More
Marine with Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force 12.2. US Marine Corps Photo
Marines are building on decades of experience in fielding responsive Marine Expeditionary Units (MEUs)—embarked on board Navy Amphibious Ready Groups, (ARGs)—to deliver an even faster first punch.
The new Marine Air Ground Task Force-Crisis Response (MAGTF-CR), will operate in the Mediterranean to give the United States quicker response times to trouble in Africa and the Middle East. Instead of a ship-deployed force, the unit will be based around a company of infantry Marines, six MV-22 Ospreys, and two KC-130J Hercules fixed-wing aircraft. This is a surprising move for a Marine Corps that wants to return to amphibious roots. Read More
Huntington Ingalls Industries proposed Flight II LPD-17 ship class. Huntington Ingalls Industries Photo
Congress included $240 million for a 12th San Antonio-class amphibious warship (LPD-17), as part of the last minute, late March budget deal that funded the Pentagon for Fiscal Year 2013.
However the Navy didn’t ask for the money for what would be LPD-28, leaving open questions for the future of a class that was supposed to stop at 11 ships. Read More
Syrian protestors asking for a no-fly zone in 2011. European Pressphoto Agency
With the human toll mounting, the United States getting more involved in training, aid, and arms transfers, and continued calls for intervention, U.S. policymakers are grappling with the administration’s relatively non-interventionist stance on Syria. U.S. concerns about the increasing power of jihadist groups within rebel ranks, the possibility of loose chemical weapons, and the overarching desire to shorten the conflict remain. How has the course of events changed the logic of a no-fly zone, or intervention to secure chemical weapons? Read More
Remains of a pressure cooker bomb used in Monday’s attack on the Boston Marathon. FBI Photo
Though the motives of Boston bombing suspects—brothers Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev—remain unclear, their “methodologies are identical” to terrorism attacks in Chechnya, a U.S. counterterrorism and North Caucasus expert told USNI News on Friday. Read More
US Army MH-60 from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment taking off from USS Gunston Hall (LSD-44) during a training mission in 2011. US Naval Institute Photo
By June, the U.S. Army will open positions to women in its most elite Special Operations helicopter unit as part of a Pentagon push to include more than 6,000 women in previously closed jobs in the Army and U.S. Marine Corps, according to documents obtained by USNI News. Read More
A B-25 taking off from flight deck of USS Hornet (CV-8) which is carrying a load of Army planes for raid on Tokyo as seen from USS Enterprise (CV-6). 18 April, 1942. US Naval Institute Photo
On April, 18 1942 16 B-25 bombers flew from the USS Hornet on a mission to strike at the Japanese home islands following the Dec. 7, 1941 attack at Pearl Harbor by the Japanese Imperial Navy. Read More
USS Freedom arrives in Singapore on April, 18 2013. US Navy Photo
The first Littoral Combat Ship has arrived in Singapore kicking off an eight-month deployment to put the LCS concept through its most comprehensive test since the advent of the program, the U.S. Navy announced Thursday. Read More
The following is the April, 17 2013 written testimony of Vice Adm. Robin Braun, Chief of Naval Reserve to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense. Read More