Gen. Mark Milley

AUSA: The Association of the US Army’s annual meeting is a massive gathering of the US Army faithful. But in his first address to AUSA as the service’s Chief of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley made sure to avoid preaching only to the choir. After the obligatory thank-yous and jokes, Milley’s first substantive statements were in… Keep reading →

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. photo

AUSA: If Congress can’t pass proper spending bills for 2016, it will hurt more than 400 Army programs and damage combat readiness, two senior officials said here today. “I have a binder yea-thick of impacts,” Heidi Shyu, the Army’s senior acquisition official, told reporters today, holding her fingers several inches apart. “Over 400 programs are impacted if… Keep reading →

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

AUSA: As John McHugh wraps up seven years as Army Secretary, one of his greatest frustrations is that he’s still making the same basic arguments for why a large land force matters. Even Russian aggression in Ukraine hasn’t shifted the debate. “The thing that is most frustrating for me…if the last 18 to 20 months… Keep reading →

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. photo

AUSA: “There’s never been that much power on a vehicle this small,” said Jeff Wood, showing off Northrop Grumman’s new Hellhound scout car. In fact, he told reporters, standing amidst the buzzing chaos of the exhibit space at Washington’s biggest defense conference, “I can power this entire hall with this vehicle.” In a disaster scenario, he… Keep reading →

Helicopter lands in brownout - Army photo

AUSA: The Army is groping for solutions to the worst threat helicopter pilots face in Afghanistan,  Iraq and other sandy places – brownout and other forms of Degraded Visual Environment (DVE), which from 2002 to 2015 caused nearly 400 aircraft losses in combat operations at a cost of 152 lives and roughly $1 billion. “Of… Keep reading →

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. photo

WASHINGTON: The defense bill now on President Obama’s desk would restore long-lost procurement powers to the top officers of the armed services. That’s great, the new Chief of Staff of the Army said last night, but it’s just a start. “Cut us loose, and see what happens,” Gen. Milley said last night at the Council… Keep reading →

Senate side of the capitol

WASHINGTON: The House couldn’t do it, but the Senate passed a veto-proof vote today for the annual defense policy bill. The final Senate vote, 70-27, included two no votes from GOP Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, both of whom are trying to run for president. The House voted 270-156, with 37 Democrats joining Republicans… Keep reading →


WASHINGTON: The American military isn’t ready “at all” for an “era of radical transparency…. where every single thing a US soldier or Marine does on the ground is recorded and tweeted,” Paul Scharre says. In the past, I’ve mostly talked to Scharre about drones. He’s a technophile who thinks mini-robots, exoskeletons, and precision-guided rifles could revolutionize… Keep reading →

A target truck disabled by Lockheed's ATHENA laser

CRYSTAL CITY: The world’s largest defense company is taking a big step towards battlefield laser weapons. In a few weeks, Lockheed Martin will start production of high-efficiency fiber-optic modules that can be wired together into a wide variety of different weapons. Production will start with a prototype 60-kilowatt rocket-killer for the Army, they said, but… Keep reading →

Courtesy David Knapp & NGAUS

WASHINGTON: The powerful National Guard Association of the US spent a year and a half battling the last Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Ray Odierno, over everything from Apache gunships to readiness. NGAUS president Gus Hargett has a very different take on Gen. Mark Milley, who replaced Odierno August 14. “I found him to be… Keep reading →

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