USS Guardian lies crippled on UNESCO World Heritage Tubbataha Reef in the Philippines

WASHINGTON: The January grounding of the minesweeper USS GuardianĀ in a Philippine coral reef was caused in large part by a National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) map that was, quite simply, wrong by eight nautical miles, Breaking Defense has learned. “It really was just a terrible fluke that caused the error,” NGA spokeswoman Christine Phillips said… Keep reading →

CORRECTED: Fixes Number of Minesweepers in US Ports 9:35 am 10/1/2012
Officially, despite rising tensions with Tehran, the enemy in in the international naval wargames that kicked off in the Gulf this week is not, repeat not, Iran: It’s radical environmentalists. Very, very well-armed environmentalists.

Against this fictional Greenpeace gone rogue are set the ships, aircraft, and divers from more than 20 nations, including an unprecedented concentration of Navy minesweepers, eight of which are now in the Gulf — a surge the Navy told Breaking Defense it cannot sustain long into 2013. Keep reading →

WASHINGTON: Iran’s threat to strangle oil tanker traffic through the Straits of Hormuz has the Navy scrambling to redress its decades-old neglect of mine warfare. Admirals from the Chief of Naval Operations on down have publicly admitted the service is not where it needs to be.

“What I find amazing is the amount of interest that’s being afforded mine warfare by the senior navy leadership,” said Scott Truver, a naval analyst and author. “It’s all due to the Iranian threat to close — if indeed it is possible to close — the Hormuz Straits.” Keep reading →