PENTAGON: If there were ever any doubts about the strength of the American commitment to the Philippines, they can be laid to rest by the substantial and growing military rescue forces heading into that beleaguered island state. “The Philippines is a treaty ally and the United States stands by its friends and allies in time… Keep reading →
THE PENTAGON: The Marines say the V-22 tilt rotor aircraft has deployed and flown “with properly trained and equipped combat ready Marines and mission capable aircraft” over the last six years. That statement stands in stark contrast to the findings of a classified Pentagon Inspector General’s report released late Friday afternoon. In an unclassified summary, the… Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: The Pentagon and F-35 maker Lockheed Martin have agreed on the terms of a deal for the Defense Department to buy two lots of F-35s for $7 billion. The big question now is the average price per plane for each tranche (LRIP 6 and 7). While we’ve confirmed with two sources that the deal… Keep reading →
Marines Will Sacrifice Everything But ACV & Readiness To Sequester; Marine Personnel Carrier Dropped: Gen. AmosBy Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.
WASHINGTON: Fewer F-35B Joint Strike Fighters, MV-22 Ospreys, AH-1 Cobras, and UH-1 Hueys. No Marine Personnel Carrier. Maybe no Joint Light Tactical Vehicle to replace the Humvee. 8,000 fewer Marines on active duty. The Marine Commandant has put all that on the table as part of his proposal to the Defense Secretary’s Strategic Choices and… Keep reading →
PARIS AIR SHOW: Flight hour costs have dropped while readiness rates have improved for the V-22, a rare feat indeed for a modern combat aircraft. Critics have pointed to the V-22′s readiness rates and costs as yet another reason to curtail the program, but when I asked Marine Col. Greg Masiello, manager of the Joint… Keep reading →
America’s defense industry is deep in economic pessimism but the rest of the world isn’t defined by sequestration and the Afghan drawdown, and that will be very clear at next week’s Paris Air Show. This year’s show will probably be defined by commercial aviation, especially the twin aisle jet market. Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner will return… Keep reading →
PENTAGON: The Navy would get the largest budget share among the three military services in the 2014 budget submitted Wednesday, but would still see a drop in total funding from what Congress provided for this year in the final version of the continuing resolution.
The $155.8 billion requested for the Navy Department in the president’s proposed defense budget of $526.6 billion is level with the president’s 2013 request but is $11.4 billion above the request for the Air Force and $26.1 billion larger than that for the Army. Keep reading →
We attended the christening last week of the newest US Navy ship, an 80,000 ton (fully laden) vessel that is not an aircraft carrier.
Instead, the USNS Montford Point is the first of a new class of Navy ships, a Mobile Landing Platform, in essence a deployed port at sea. The ship, built at General Dynamics’s NASSCO shipyard in San Diego, adds to the ongoing revolution in what is called “seabasing,” the idea of supplying and sustaining military operations directly from ships at sea without requiring ports or staging bases on the land, a revolution which is being made possible by new ships, new aircraft, and new ways to use existing capabilities as part of the evolving seabase Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: As the government hurtles towards the latest fiscal cliff, March 1st, the Marine Corps‘ deputy commandant for resources outlined a host of painful potential consequences, from reduced rifle training to cancelled deployments to grounded fighter squadrons. Lt. Gen. John Wissler appealed to Congress for so-called reprogramming authority that would at least let the Marines move around the money they do have to mitigate the worst effects.
[Click here to read about the readiness problems for the Army, Air Force, and Navy]
“Our money’s just in the wrong places in some instances,” Wissler told reporters after his speech this morning to the Navy League. But they can’t move it without explicit permission from Congress, he explained: “What we would need is to move things between appropriations, and they would need to help us there.” Keep reading →