Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. photo

WASHINGTON: Running weapons programs is a grueling job. Running Army programs, with their history of spectacular failures and cancellations, can be worse. That means Heidi Shyu‘s first achievement is endurance: in one senior position or another, the outgoing Army acquisition chief lasted five years amidst steeply declining budgets. Perhaps her biggest achievement was to keep her sense… Keep reading →

  WASHINGTON: The US Army is deploying extra stocks of heavy weapons to Europe to deter Russia’s increasingly naked aggression. These are the most advanced ground weapons America can field — but the tanks and other heavy fighting vehicles in this buildup are the same ones we had the last time the Russians were a danger, back… Keep reading →

General Dynamics Flyer-72

You are reading the first of three in-depth stories on the future of US land forces and their new combat vehicles.  In this first piece, Sydney details what the Army wants in its new air-droppable vehicles for the oft-outgunned light forces who are first to the fight. The next two stories will explore the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV),… Keep reading →

Army Secretary John McHugh

WASHINGTON: The top question on defense lawmakers’ minds right now is: “Can we trust you with the people’s money?” And no large military organization has a worse record in that respect than the US Army, with its unhappy track record of canceled programs and wasted billions dating to before 9/11. It’s such a sensitive and high-stakes question that, when I started to ask Army… Keep reading →

Mideast Syria Airstrikes

WASHINGTON: The most surprising thing about a Central Command list of 3,222 ISIL targets struck during the air campaign is the number of tanks, Humvees, MRAPs and Armored Personnel Carriers.   Yes, the MRAPs and Humvees are American-made military equipment seized by ISIL as it swept the Iraqi Army aside on its way from Syria… Keep reading →

CAPITOL HILL: After you count up all the cuts and additions in the House Armed Services Committee’s mark-up of the Pentagon budget, the bill appears to authorize $554 billion for national defense (budget function 050).

At a time when the Pentagon faces the prospect of mandatory spending cuts of another $53 billion if sequestration happens right after the Jan.1 hangover, that’s $4 billion more than the president’s request of $550 billion and eight billion more than the maximum permitted by the Budget Control Act, $546 billion. Keep reading →