Pacific

Atlantic Ocean (Dec. 13, 2003) -- A Dummy Mine explodes after service members assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 6 attached 20 pounds of explosives to the device during a mine counter measures exercise. EODMU-6 is embarked aboard USS George Washington (CVN 73) in the Atlantic Ocean conducting Composite Training Unit Exercises (COMPTUEX) in preparation for their upcoming deployment. U.S. Navy photo by Photographers Mate 1st Class Brien Aho. (RELEASED)

This is the first of three stories on the crucial but neglected question of sea mines and how well — or not — the United States manages this very real global threat. Since World War II, mines have sunk or crippled 15 US Navy ships, more than all other weapons put together. Like roadside bombs on land,… Keep reading →

A US Navy attack submarine enters Apra Harbor in Guam.

THE FUTURE: Imagine you’re a Chinese high commander, taking stock at the outbreak of the next great war. All your aides and computer displays tell you the same thing: For hundreds of miles out into the Western Pacific, the sea and sky are yours. They are covered by the overlapping threat zones of your long-range land-based missiles, your… Keep reading →

US soldiers exercising in Japan as part of "Pacific Pathways"

PENTAGON: From hunting jungle animals to communicating across the ocean, US Army soldiers learned much in the first Pacific Pathways wargames that Iraq and Afghanistan never taught them. Those exercises are part of the service’s effort to reinvent itself as it shrinks, heading from a wartime peak of 570,000 to 450,000 or below. Instead of prolonged, large-scale… Keep reading →

People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers

WASHINGTON: “We have found that the PLA suffers from potentially serious weaknesses.” That is the simple and powerful declaration of a new study of China’s military by the RAND Corp., done at the behest of the congressionally-mandated U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. What are those Chinese weaknesses? The report, again, is admirably clear. “The first is… Keep reading →

US Army photo

PENTAGON: As the US Army deploys more troops to the Pacific, it’s running into the limits of its long-range communications systems. The shortfall in comms capacity is not only becoming an issue as the service ramps up its “Pacific Pathways” exercises with Asian partners: It is also raisibng concerns about the network’s resiliency against a… Keep reading →

USS Fort Worth, Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) 3.

The Littoral Combat Ship Fort Worth joined the search for the remains of Air Asia Flight QZ8501. This grim mission marked more than a real-world test of a new and controversial class of ship. It also shows why the Navy needs something like LCS at all. The Fort Worth started working this weekend with the… Keep reading →

140224-M-EV637-410

[UPDATED with Congressional comment] Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel reassured the Army today that its role is not “eroding” or “diminishing,” despite shrinking budgets, the rebalance to the watery Pacific theater, and the Obama administration’s commitment to “no boots on the ground” against self-proclaimed Islamic State. Instead, echoing comments by the Army’s own leaders, Hagel said… Keep reading →

An Air Force test of anti-small-boat weapon.

WASHINGTON: China has an arsenal of long-range ship-killing missiles, based on land but able to hit US warships hundreds of miles offshore. Now the chairman of the House seapower subcommittee suggests we give them a taste of their own “anti-access/area denial” medicine. Why shouldn’t the US Army develop its own land-based anti-ship missile force? Rep.… Keep reading →

Adm Locklear @ Pentagon 140729-D-ZZ999-612

PENTAGON: Even as the latest Mideast war sucks in more US attention and resources — as well as wannabe jihadis from around the world — the outgoing chief of Pacific Command emphasized the much-derided “rebalance to the Asia-Pacific” is still going strong. Despite sequestration budget cuts the US is still strong enough to handle both theaters at… Keep reading →

Bio Photo

WASHINGTON: We’ve got bus-sized satellites that can probably see any blemishes on Chairman Mao’s badly rebuilt face from space (didn’t know about that, did you?). We’ve got U-2s with their superb sensors watching the Chinese coast (for now). We’ve got P-8s scanning the seas for Chinese submarines and testing their radar. Our subs — hopefully — cruise… Keep reading →

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