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UPDATED: Pentagon Preparing Navy Hospital Ships Mercy, Comfort for Coronavirus Response

UPDATED: Pentagon Preparing Navy Hospital Ships Mercy, Comfort for Coronavirus Response

Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH-19) departs Naval Base San Diego in support of Pacific Partnership 2018 (PP18) on Feb. 23, 2018. US Navy Photo

This post has been updated with statements from Secretary of Defense Mark Esper.

The Pentagon is starting the process of activating Navy hospital ships USNS Mercy (T-AH-19) and USNS Comfort (T-AH-20) as part of the Defense Department’s domestic response to the spreading COVID-19 virus, USNI News has learned. Read More

Pentagon, Navy Issue Sweeping ‘Stop Movement’ Order to Limit Coronavirus Spread

Pentagon, Navy Issue Sweeping ‘Stop Movement’ Order to Limit Coronavirus Spread

Two U.S. Army Soldiers and a Republic of Korea Army Soldier spray a COVID-19 infected area with a solution of disinfectant in Daegu, Republic of Korea, March 13, 2020. US Army Photo

Pentagon leadership issued unprecedented travel restrictions to servicemembers, their dependents and military civilians and in an attempt to limit the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus across the services. Read More

Marines Ditch MUX Ship-Based Drone to Pursue Large Land-Based UAS, Smaller Shipboard Vehicle

Marines Ditch MUX Ship-Based Drone to Pursue Large Land-Based UAS, Smaller Shipboard Vehicle

The Office of Naval Research and DARPA are collaborating on the Tern project to give forward-deployed small ships the ability to serve as mobile launch and recovery sites for medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial systems that would provide ISR and other capabilities. DARPA rendering.

The Marines have ditched their plan to field a very large drone on amphibious ships, instead breaking the four-year-old MUX program into a family of systems that will include a very large land-based unmanned aerial vehicle and a medium-sized one for shipboard operations. Read More

Sonar Equipped Drone Fleets Could be Key to Future Submarine Warfare

Sonar Equipped Drone Fleets Could be Key to Future Submarine Warfare

A NATO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE) Ocean Explorer autonomous unmanned vehicle operates in the foreground with NATO Research Vessel NRV Alliance in the background. NATO CMRE photo.

CATANIA, Sicily – The future of anti-submarine warfare for countries who can’t afford to invest in top-of-the-line submarines and maritime patrol aircraft could be a netted fleet of unmanned platforms that can create “passive acoustic barriers” at chokepoints or drag towed arrays through a country’s territorial waters. Read More

UPDATED: Sailor in Italy, Marine in Virginia Test Positive for Coronavirus

UPDATED: Sailor in Italy, Marine in Virginia Test Positive for Coronavirus

Bay of Napoli. US Navy Photo

This post has been updated to include the first reported COVID-19 infection of a U.S. Marine.

A sailor in Naples, Italy and a Marine in Virginia have both tested positive for the COVID-19 strain of coronavirus. This marks the first time the virus has been discovered in the Navy and Marine Corps, according to a Saturday statement from U.S. European Command and the Marines. Read More

CNO, Commandant Asking for Fleet Wholeness Amid Pause in Future Force Structure Planning

CNO, Commandant Asking for Fleet Wholeness Amid Pause in Future Force Structure Planning

USS America (LHA-6) sails in the Gulf of Thailand in support of Exercise Cobra Gold 2020 on March 1, 2020. US Navy Photo

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The Navy and Marine Corps are caught in a battle with Pentagon leadership over the right force size to aim for and how quickly to try to get there, but the top officers in the sea services insist that everyone is on the same page about maintaining wholeness and readiness as the service grows. Read More

NATO's Mediterranean Maritime Group Mission More Than Tracking Russian Subs

NATO’s Mediterranean Maritime Group Mission More Than Tracking Russian Subs

Italian frigate ITS Carabiniere (F 593), flagship of Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2), prepares to push into the Mediterranean Sea during Exercise Dynamic Manta 2020. NATO Photo

ABOARD ITS CARABINIERE, IN THE IONIAN SEA – The Mediterranean Sea has a host of security challenges: Russian submarine activity in the Eastern Med, instability in Syria and Libya, as well as the flow of migrants and illicit traffic throughout the region. Read More