Colin Clark

Posts by Colin Clark

F-35B on USS Wasp May 26

WASHINGTON: As I watched the seemingly endless string of F-35Bs take off from the deck of the USS Wasp earlier this week, I was struck by how routine it all seemed. During eight days of flying, the F-35Bs flew 108 sorties, racking up 85.5 hours, deputy Marine Commandant for aviation, Lt. Gen. Jon Davis, told us on… Keep reading →

An F-35B Joint Strike Fighter comes in to land on the USS Wasp. May 2015

ABOARD USS WASP: When you start getting bored during an operational test after watching the seventh or eighth F-35B float down the carrier deck and slip up into the air, you know the Marines and Navy are doing something right — or being very lucky. The six pilots have put their planes into the air close to… Keep reading →

Elon Musk

WASHINGTON: While few doubted it would happen, the news that Elon Musk’s scrappy, pushy and — yes — disruptive launch company SpaceX won certification from Space and Missile Systems Center carries enormous import for the international launch industry, for the Pentagon, the Air Force and the Intelligence Community. It’s not that Musk’s SpaceX is going… Keep reading →

ULA CEO Tory Bruno Unveils Vulcan

WASHINGTON: The still-newish CEO of the United Launch Alliance, Tory Bruno, faces tough questions from his board of directors. He faces tough questions from the House and the Senate about his use of Russian-built RD-180 rocket engines. But his biggest short-term problem — being allowed to use enough RD-180 engines to get his company from here to… Keep reading →

101119-N-2232G

UPDATE: Exclusive McCain Comment; Senate Staffer Chides White House For Inaction WASHINGTON: In a dramatic example of the increasing friction in the Spratly Islands between China, the United States and most of China’s neighbors, the US Navy today released a video of a P-8 surveillance plane crew as the PLA Navy challenges it while the plane… Keep reading →

A sailor aboard the USS Wasp (LHD-1) signals to the pilot of an F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter to land as it arrives for the first phase of operational testing, May 18, 2015.  The short take-off, vertical landing capabilities of the F-35B are crucial to the mission of the Marine Corps and necessary for operation aboard a Navy amphibious ship. The aircraft are stationed with Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501, Marine Aircraft Group 31, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, Beaufort, South Carolina and Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, Marine Aircraft Group 13, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Yuma, Arizona. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Remington Hall/Released)

WASHINGTON: As the Marines started doing operational testing of the F-35B aboard the USS Wasp, the head of Marine Aviation is visibly and demonstrably confident the aircraft will meet the date for the plane’s Initial Operational Capabiility. “To me the F-35 program is right on track where it should be,” Lt. Gen. Jon Davis, the head… Keep reading →

Chinese artificial island landing strip

UPDATE: CSIS’ Mira Rapp-Hooper Praises Move CAPITOL HILL: The Pentagon wants to help our friends in the Pacific. It’s a core mission given America’s pivot back to the Pacific. But it’s hard to do. You can help their forces train with Foreign Military Financing, but it takes two years or so to get something going, and who gets what is really decided by the State… Keep reading →

Lesser prairie chicken and House NDAA 2016

WASHINGTON: Since everyone is exhausted after the final passage of the House version of the annual defense policy bill, let us offer a note of whimsy, nay, even humor, to help lift everyone’s spirits after the unusually depressing saga of watching Democrats and Republicans largely just stand on the floor and bash each other. Let us… Keep reading →

John McCain

WASHINGTON: The Navy won and the Air Force lost in the markup of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Sens. John McCain and Jack Reed presided over the SASC markup of the defense policy bill, cutting $860 million from three Air Force programs — including the two of the service’s top three priorities — and moving the money… Keep reading →

Sen. John McCain and Sen. Jack Reed SASC hearing

CAPITOL HILL: In a bold attempt to fix the Pentagon’s creaking system to develop and buy weapons, the Senate Armed Services Committee today introduced broad changes to who controls weapons programs and tried to encourage Silicon Valley and other non-defense industries to help maintain the country’s global technological and military dominance. This is the beginning of… Keep reading →

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