Rep. Randy Forbes

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 →

A Navy electronic warfare technician.

WASHINGTON: In the brutal naval battles of the future, the first clash of arms will be a clash of electrons. If you don’t win the invisible battle of the airwaves, you can’t win the visible battle of missiles. Before warships can concentrate their fire on the enemy, they first must communicate with each other. Before they… Keep reading →

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CAPITOL HILL: The Navy’s 2017 budget will include a new authority similar to the Air Force’s Rapid Capability Office to improve the speed with which it can deploy new capabilities, especially classified ones, the head of Navy acquisition told the House Armed Services Committee today. “There will be something that closely mirrors the Air Force… Keep reading →

Navy photo

[UPDATED with Rep. Forbes & Robert Martinage comments] WASHINGTON: Presence? What’s “presence”?” Once a primary measure of naval power and a driving factor in shipbuilding decisions, the word “presence” appears not once in the new Chief of Naval Operations’ strategic vision, out today. Instead, Adm. John Richardson‘s eight-page “Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority” mentions “war,”… Keep reading →

An Ohio-class nuclear ballistic missile submarine

The Navy’s nuclear ballistic submarine replacement is coming online in next year’s budget and the bill will be huge. It is so big, in fact, that Congress has already established a special account outside the normal shipbuilding budget to help ease financial pressure and not disrupt almost every other ship coming under construction. While the… Keep reading →

The two Littoral Combat Ship variants, LCS-1 Freedom (far) and LCS-2 Independence (near).

UPDATED: Adds SecDef Carter Memo, Rep. Forbes Questioning Carter Decision, Navy Statement WASHINGTON: The Navy is not yielding to Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s memo cutting the Navy’s much-maligned Littoral Combat Ship program from 52 of the small ships to 40 and dumping one of the two shipyards building them. Carter plans to use the savings for other… 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 →

Navy photo

CAPITOL HILL: The Navy and Marines are deploying at a pace they can’t sustain, says a report released today.And no feasible defense budget can build a big enough force to solve the problem, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments says. Even the Navy’s famously optimistic 30-year shipbuilding plan — denounced by House seapower chairman Randy… 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 →


WASHINGTON: Are we giving Beijing mixed messages? On the one hand, the US Navy is getting ready — maybe — to challenge Chinese claims around their artificial islets in the South China Sea. On the other hand, the Navy’s also preparing to welcome three Chinese warships at Naval Station Mayport in Florida two weeks from… Keep reading →

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