Adm. Jonathan Greenert

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[UPDATED April 8 with more rail gun & laser detail from Rear Adm. Klunder] NATIONAL HARBOUR: 23 pounds ain’t heavy. But it sure hurts when it hits you going at seven times the speed of sound. That’s what a prototype Navy weapon called a “rail gun” can do, and it does it without a single… Keep reading →

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The House Appropriations defense subcommittee pressed the leaders of the Navy and Marine Corps today about how they could meet the national security challenges with shrinking budgets, questioning the survivability of the Littoral Combat Ships, the status of the costly and controversial Joint Strike Fighter and the Navy’s plan to take seven cruisers and possibly… Keep reading →

USS Coronado Littoral Combat Ship LCS sea trials

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has told the Navy in no uncertain terms that he wants a second opinion on the controversial Littoral Combat Ship. Perhaps that’s why the newly formed “Small Surface Combatant Task Force” won’t be led by a sailor or even a Navy civilian. Instead, the “SSCTF” chairman will be Marine Corps Systems… Keep reading →

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CAPITOL HILL: “I think this is a papering-over of their dismantling of the Navy,” House Armed Services seapower subcommittee chairman Randy Forbes told me this afternoon. “They aren’t having the courage or the straightforwardness or transparency to call it what it is.” Between the Pentagon’s proposed reduction in warships currently in the water and its… Keep reading →

The US hospital ship Mercy gets resupplied at sea.

Quantity has a quality all its own. The Navy announced this afternoon that it has changed the arcane rules by which it counts ships, adding 10 coastal patrol craft, two hospital ships, and a high-speed transport to what it calls the “battle force.” The new rules would also keep 11 cruisers the Navy plans to not-quite-mothball… Keep reading →

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PENTAGON: “Sydney, I don’t know how to squeeze it much thinner than we have,” the Chief of Naval Operations said. Adm. Jonathan Greenert was talking about the aircraft carrier fleet, but he could have meant almost any aspect of the Navy’s 2015 budget . “It’s a confusing budget,” the admiral admitted within minutes of sitting… Keep reading →

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WASHINGTON: It looks like the scum of scandals that’s afflicted the Air Force nuclear program has spread to the Navy — although top admirals took pains today to emphasize how different the two problems are. In both cases, military personnel cheated on exams to requalify so they could continue to work with nuclear materials. The… Keep reading →

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CAPITOL HILL: Sometimes it can seem as if one lives on several different planets at the same time while living here in Washington. This afternoon saw three top GOP lawmakers decrying China after it apparently tested (we don’t know if the test was successful) a hypersonic vehicle. This evening, the Navy announced it is beefing… Keep reading →

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The Navy, is, hands down, the service in the best shape for 2014. Every act of belligerent idiocy from Beijing – and there’ve been a lot of them lately – makes the Navy budget an easier sell. In stark contrast to the Army, the Navy has the central role in the new Pacific-focused strategy, a high-tech threat… Keep reading →

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CAPITOL HILL: The House Armed Services Committee will hold an extraordinary classified briefing Thursday, open to all House members, on the state of readiness in the US military. Rep. Randy Forbes and other HASC members who pushed for the briefing hope it will help convince Speaker John Boehner and other key GOP leaders that the combined effects… Keep reading →

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