Military Leaders Testify On Future Of U.S. Armed Services

CAPITOL HILL: Despair, distrust, and sequestration dominated yesterday’s House Armed Services Committee hearing on the Pentagon’s 2015 budget request. Almost everyone on HASC hates the automatic budget cuts, and the president has proposed a way to bypass them, but comments from committee leaders and backbenchers alike showed how political gridlock makes any solution look far… Keep reading →

Rep Doug Lamborn Colorado

What’s $348 million between friends? That’s how much Israel would like Congress to add to the president’s 2015 budget request for aid to assorted Israeli missile defense programs, according to documents provided to Breaking Defense by Rep. Doug Lamborn, co-chairman of both the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus and the Missile Defense Caucus. “I have communicated… Keep reading →

HASC Seapower chairman Randy Forbes (R-VA), one of the chief architects of the meeting.

WASHINGTON: Rep. Randy Forbes will, for now, deny that he is positioning himself for the coming battle for chairman of the biggest committee in Congress, House Armed Services, fondly known as the HASC. But Forbes, one of three committee members regularly mentioned as having a good shot at the job, is clearly beginning to position… Keep reading →

Anniston Army depot - AMC_Overview_400_from_crane_-_Copy

AUSA WINTER, HUNTSVILLE, ALA.: Fear is in the air. “The commercial base will disappear,” Boeing executive James Moran believes. It’s not just sequestration, the retired brigadier general said this morning at the Association of the US Army’s winter conference. There is real anxiety among defense contractors that as budgets tighten, the Army will starve private… Keep reading →

An Air Force Special Operations tanker refuels a helicopter searching for survivors of 2005's Hurricane Rita.

WASHINGTON: The Defense Department is the largest single consumer of energy in the United States. It consumes 1 percent of America’s massive demand, burning billions of gallons of fuel a year. Indeed, as Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said in a recent speech, DoD is “the largest single consumer of fossil fuels on the face of the earth.” … Keep reading →

[UPDATED and CORRECTED Jan. 31 at 3:45 pm Shipbuilders' Council Says Job Loss Numbers Are Estimates And Not Official Council Numbers]

WASHINGTON: For anyone who believed those who have claimed that defense cuts don’t affect “real” jobs or the economy, today appears to be a sobering day. Keep reading →

CAPITOL HILL: It has now been over a year since the Air Force and Navy signed a memorandum of understanding for implementing the AirSea Battle (ASB) limited operational concept. Six months ago I wrote that this effort – one that I strongly support – will be critical to maintaining our security commitments in the Asia-Pacific region and will only be successful if Congress and the Pentagon are able to forge a strong partnership.

Where does this process stand today? Two areas that deserve further consideration are the influence of the AirSea Battle Office in implementing the concept and the office’s broader strategic communications plan. Keep reading →

WASHINGTON: The House Armed Services Committee will authorize — though not require — the Navy to buy 10 Virginia-class attack submarines and 10 Arleigh Burke-class Aegis destroyers over five years, instead of the nine of each type requested in the President’s budget. While the Navy was open to buying 10 DDGs, the HASC language constitutes a rejection of the administration’s plan, already unpopular on the Hill, to save money by delaying sub purchases.

The committee is also working on legislative language that would prohibit the fleet from having fewer than 12 ballistic-missile submarines in service, which would require the service either to keep its current Ohio-class SSBNs in service longer than planned or accelerate the development of an extremely expensive replacement, which the current budget proposal had delayed as an economy measure, much to key legislators’ displeasure. Keep reading →