allies

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 →

CSBA graphic

WASHINGTON: The Senate Armed Services Committee has joined the push to give the Army a much larger role in the Pacific. The hard part, ironically, may be getting the Army to go along. Why should soldiers do more in the Pacific, a theater traditionally dominated by pilots, Marines, and, above all, sailors? The Pacific, obviously, is… 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 →

Map of Djibouti and surrounding area

WASHINGTON: China is pushing hard for either special port access or basing rights in the former French colony of Djibouti, a key center where US and French special operations forces operate from against terrorism in both Africa and the Middle East. I confirmed with a senior allied official today that China is seriously pursuing a favored… Keep reading →

lockheed boeing long range strike bomber

The bomber has a long and distinguished history in the Air Force and its predecessor, the Army Air Corps. When the B-17 Flying Fortress was born, it was a controversial aircraft, but proved its worth when Nazi Germany controlled a continent and only the B-17 fleet could deliver strikes inside Nazi-controlled territory, thanks to the bomber’s range… Keep reading →

Missile Defense Agency photo

WASHINGTON: North Korea can’t nuke the US, not yet. But boy dictator Kim Jong-un already has about a thousand ballistic missiles capable of reaching South Korea and, in some cases, Japan. Most are Scud-like weapons with conventional explosives but a few might be nuclear-tipped. Against a large-scale launch, former Pentagon strategist Van Jackson said this morning, the missile… Keep reading →

Paris Air Show 2015

WASHINGTON: Frank Kendall, the head of Pentagon acquisition, will not visit the Paris Air Show next month. In contrast to the flurry of senior American leaders who made it to the Farnborough Air Show last year when the F-35 was expected to make its first public appearance overseas, the Paris show looks to be a considerably… Keep reading →

Styrker-armored vehicles, from 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, arrive at Smardan Training Area, Romania, March 24, 2015. Saber Junction 15 includes 5,000 troops from 17 NATO allied and partner nations. http://www.army.mil/article/145053/Army_Europe_expands_Operation_Atlantic_Resolve_training_to_Romania__Bulgaria/

Amidst rising anxieties over Russia, one of the last US combat units still based in Europe, the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, has asked for bigger guns. The House Armed Services Committee is already setting aside money for the urgent upgrade, which the Army staff officially approved yesterday in a memo obtained by Breaking Defense: In brief,… Keep reading →

Lt. Gen. Raymond 14th Air Force

COLORADO SPRINGS: We’ve known for some time that China conducted an anti-satellite test July 23 last year, but we learned today that that test was “successful” even if it didn’t destroy anything. China has successfully placed low earth orbit satellites at risk, Air Force Lt. Gen. Jay Raymond told an overflow audience at the annual… Keep reading →

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