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/

WASHINGTON: The annual defense bill authorizes $411 million to upgun the Army’s Stryker vehicles. The compromise goes with the Senate’s higher funding levels: $314 million for modification work and $97 million for R&D. That’s a heady increase from the $0.00 the president’s budget included for the initiative, which emerged mid-year as a response to Russian aggression… Keep reading →

Presdient Obama calls Vladimir Putin

WASHINGTON: One day after House and Senate conferees finally came to agreement on the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, President Obama appeared ready to make good on half a decade of threats to veto the annual defense policy bill. Hours after that bad news hit, Congress cleared a Continuing Resolution this evening, allowing everyone to breath for a… Keep reading →

A Navy F-35C conducts its first-ever arrested landing aboard the carrier USS Nimitz

WASHINGTON: The conference version of the defense policy bill for 2016 puts the Navy on notice in multiple high-priority programs. In three areas — carriers, the UCLASS drone, and LCS — Sen. John McCain‘s tough positions prevailed over the House, albeit with some compromises around the edges. In a fourth — Ticonderoga-class cruisers — it was a House leader,… Keep reading →


CAPITOL HILL: The balance of power between the Office of Secretary of Defense and the four service chiefs shifted to the uniformed leaders today as details began to seep out about the annual defense policy bill. The House-Senate conference on the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act largely enshrined what Sen. John McCain wanted as part of… Keep reading →

Eric Fanning

WASHINGTON: On purpose or otherwise, the administration is building a truly interesting team at the top of the Army. Call them Mister Pentagon, Mister Hill, and General Trenches: Mr. Pentagon is Eric Fanning, not yet formally nominated for Army Secretary but the nigh-certain candidate. Fanning served as acting Air Force Secretary, Deputy Undersecretary of the… Keep reading →

Rep. Randy Forbes

WASHINGTON: What’s the strategy for coping with what everyone on Capitol Hill and inside the Obama administration agrees is an increasingly assertive China? The White House can’t answer, Rep. Randy Forbes says, “because they don’t have it.” So, it’s fair to ask: what is Forbes’s strategy, then? The House seapower chairman’s outline for a “winning strategy” boils down… Keep reading →

Deborah Lee James

WASHINGTON: Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James warned Congress today that its effort to stop the retirement of the A-10 Warthog and other aircraft could hurt the service’s modernization plans. In a speech before the National Aeronautic Association, James noted the service wants “to transfer and divest some older aircraft in order to free up… Keep reading →

Sen. John McCain at US Capitol

CAPITOL HILL: Chairmen of the House and Senate Armed Services committees take pride in the fact their panels have gotten 53 annual defense bills in a row through the often tortuous negotiations required to clear Congress. And Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has often made known his view that the… Keep reading →

Robert Hale

Robert Hale, former budget god (comptroller) at the Pentagon, is good with numbers, especially defense budget numbers. And he speaks about them in clear, simply structured and well expressed English. Here he tackles one of the two or three thorniest issues facing the leadership of the US military: how to rein in the enormous growth… Keep reading →

Army photo

WASHINGTON: Army officers and officials hit Capitol Hill this afternoon to brief congressional staff on the coming round of personnel cuts. We’ve known for over a year that the Army would cut 40,000 active-duty soldiers — going down from 490,000 troops to 450,000 — but now the service is finally saying which units get cut. Further,… Keep reading →

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