sequestration

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 →

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter responds to questions while testifying before the Senate Appropriations Committee's defense subcommittee, in Washington, D.C., May 6, 2015. DoD Photo by Glenn Fawcett (Released)

WASHINGTON: The Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee has been identified as Congress’ soft underbelly in the Pentagon’s battle to win a real solution to the Budget Control Act similar to the compromise secured two years ago. That became clear at the Wednesday hearing of the subcommittee, when Carter went way out of his way to praise SAC-D… Keep reading →

aegis

Tight budgets have a way of encouraging critical thinking and forcing a willingness to make painful but well-grounded tradeoffs. The Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Jonathan Greenert, and the Army Chief of Staff, General Raymond Odierno, wrote a November letter about the weaknesses of our current missile defense approach to then-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. This letter, recently leaked… Keep reading →

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