sequestration

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 →

nuclear-bomb-3-1311017067

WASHINGTON: Nuclear weapons are expensive. So are the bombers, missiles, and submarines used to deliver them. But in the context of total defense spending, budget guru Todd Harrison argues, they’re a relatively affordable — and strategically critical — part of our armed forces. Even a package of radical cuts to nuclear forces — reducing submarines… Keep reading →

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

CAPITOL HILL: UPDATE BEGINS The administration’s nominee for Marine Corps Commandant, Lt. Gen. Bob Neller, set off a firestorm from Sen. John McCain this morning. After two hours of an otherwise congenial confirmation hearing, the Senate Armed Services Committee chairman erupted over Neller’s description of the current administration strategy against the Islamic State. That strategy relies on airpower and advisors… Keep reading →

Army photo

UPDATED: Russia is No. 1 threat, Milley tells Senate; give “defensive” arms to Ukraine CAPITOL HILL: The world has changed, and not for the better. That’s the message Gen. Mark Milley brings to the Senate this morning. The current Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Raymond Odierno, has often said the Army cannot execute the national… Keep reading →

Army cuts by installation

WASHINGTON: This afternoon, the Army announced the painful details of long-awaited cuts. The service must shed 40,000 active-duty troops between now and October 2017, with almost half of them coming from 26 installations across the country. The hardest hit: Fort Benning, Ga.; Fort Hood, Texas; and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska — all of which… 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 →

John McCain

UPDATED with Thornberry response CAPITOL HILL: The $612 billion National Defense Authorization Act for 2016 passed the Senate by a vote of 71 to 25 today. The final version could emerge from a House-Senate conference in “early July,” Senate Armed Services chairman Jon McCain said boldly at a press conference this afternoon. That would be… Keep reading →

Navy photo

The geostrategic sky isn’t falling because the US won’t have an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf region for a period this fall. Land-based aircraft will do an excellent job of striking ISIL, analysts say, while smaller ships are better suited to combat Iran in the tight confines of the Gulf. “This is not an example of American… Keep reading →

Kai Boyce makes a repair in the APU compartment on the aft right side of an F/A-18 hornet at Cecil Commerce Center.

CAPITOL HILL: Marines pride themselves on being ready for anything. But as of today, 19 percent of their air fleet is out of action “long-term” awaiting repairs and spares, the deputy commandant for aviation said today. “It’s 158 — actually, today, 159 aircraft — that the taxpayer paid $8.4 billion dollars for,” said Lt. Gen.… Keep reading →

Arati Prabhakar (left) and Wes Bush (right)

WASHINGTON: With the Pentagon opening an outreach office in Silicon Valley, traditional defense firms may be feeling left behind. But the much-maligned prime contractors play a vital role in innovation, said Northrop Grumman CEO Wes Bush this morning. In fact, he argued, the Defense Department often needs the traditional firms to act as a “translator,”… Keep reading →

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