HASC

Rep. Randy Forbes

CAPITOL HILL: As predicted, House Seapower subcommittee chairman Randy Forbes was swift to slam the Navy’s 2017 budget request. I asked him about the Navy’s proposals to deactivate a carrier air wing, sideline seven Ticonderoga-class cruisers, and replace the UCLASS drone program with a drone fuel tanker with “limited strike” capabilities, CBARS. Here’s what the fiery… Keep reading →

The experimental X-47B drone lands on the USS Roosevelt.

PENTAGON: Of the four armed services’ budget plans for 2017, the one most likely to make Congress apoplectic is the Navy’s. On top of reintroducing a cruiser modernization plan repeatedly rejected by the Hill, the Navy proposes deactivating a carrier air wing — which tangles with the touchy issue of how many carriers the US… Keep reading →

Rep. Mac Thornberry

CAPITOL HILL: Nunn-McCurdy notifications to Congress of gross cost growth in a weapons system’s costs strike fear in the hearts of top Pentagon acquisition officials, and something like them may become law for a new set of costs — operations and support. “They should be the next frontier for acquisition reform,” former DoD Comptroller Bob… Keep reading →

SD spoke at the Economic Club of Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON: None of us knows many details about what’s in the last of the Obama defense budgets, but House Republicans are criticizing the sketchy outlines of the 2017 budget offered by Defense Secretary Ash Carter today. In particular, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry is raising concerns that the Pentagon is not asking Congress… Keep reading →

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee

[UPDATED with experts’ analysis; “innocent passage” confirmed] WASHINGTON: Just two days after the head of US Pacific Command, Adm. Harry Harris, pledged to push harder on Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea, the destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur sailed within the 12 nautical mile limit around Triton Island. Situated in the Paracels, which are claimed… Keep reading →

An Ohio-class nuclear ballistic missile submarine

WASHINGTON: Paying for the Navy’s new nuclear missile subs through a special fund with special authorities “could potentially save several hundred million dollars per submarine,” according to a recent Congressional Budget Office study. House Armed Services seapower subcommittee chairman Randy Forbes, father of the National Sea-Based Deterrence Fund, is unsurprisingly touting this little noticed conclusion… Keep reading →

Todd Harrison (CSIS)

WASHINGTON: The budget deal setting spending levels for 2016 and 2017 is less than a month old, but pro-defense legislators already want to revisit. A top aide to Sen. John McCain said the Senate Armed Services Committee chairman and his allies will “absolutely” try to revise the 2017 Pentagon topline upward. But our sources —… Keep reading →

Rep. Mac Thornberry

UPDATED 4:40 pm with Bob Work comments WASHINGTON: The budget deal saved the day for defense. Now let’s never do that again. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 bought two precious years of stability, House Armed Services chairman Mac Thornberry and Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work said today at the Defense One summit, but it hurt like… Keep reading →

JSTARS

As a member of the House Armed Services Committee and a proponent of the JSTARS radar plane since arriving in Congress, I am alarmed by the undercurrent of discussion within Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) considering delaying the Next Generation JSTARS acquisition program. This is in stark contrast to the support for JSTARS… Keep reading →

Rep. Randy Forbes

UPDATED Deal passed, Forbes voted “no” WASHINGTON: With hours to go before the House vote on the budget deal — assuming it doesn’t get derailed — the Republican caucus is deeply divided. A central selling point is the deal ups the defense budget, but one leading legislator on national security issues, House seapower subcommittee chairman Rep.… Keep reading →

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