Army photo

WASHINGTON: 35,000 NATO and partner-nation troops. 140 aircraft. 60 naval vessels. 30 nations. But who are they fighting? When planning began two years ago for NATO’s largest wargames since 2002, the imaginary adversary wasn’t Russia. Officially, it still isn’t. But since the seizure of Crimea, the alliance’s chief of “transformation” told reporters today, planners have… Keep reading →

EC-130 Compass Call electronic warfare aircraft, used for an experimental cyber attack

NATIONAL HARBOR: Matthew Broderick in his basement, playing Wargames over a landline, is still the pop culture archetype of a hacker. But as wireless networks became the norm, new-age cyber warfare and traditional electronic warfare are starting to merge. Hackers can move out of the basement to the sky. In a series of experiments, the… Keep reading →

Chinese J-31 stealth fighter

AFA CONFERENCE: China’s increasing assertiveness and modernizing military are “concerning,” even “disconcerting,” the head of the US Air Force in the Pacific said today. But there are still strong prospects for military-to-military ties, Gen. Lori Robinson told the Air Force Association conference here this morning. Increased Russian patrols complicates US strategy more, Gen. Robinson told me… Keep reading →

Flanker drone. For Sunday PostScript story on drones.

Most of what was learned at this year’s Black Dart counter-drone exercise will remain classified, but it proved that one of the oldest and deadliest weapons in the U.S. arsenal works against the 21st Century threat of drones, too. “The Marine sniper shot from a UH-1Y Huey,” Lt. Cdr. Ryan Leary, a Black Dart project… Keep reading →

DoD photo

HUNTSVILLE, ALA.: US missile defenses can hit a bullet with a bullet, shooting supersonic weapons right out of the sky — when they can see them. But as the Russians are showing in their invasion of Ukraine, radar can be jammed. That’s why the US Army conducted an unprecedented wargame this spring to test its new… Keep reading →

US soldiers exercising in Japan as part of "Pacific Pathways"

PENTAGON: From hunting jungle animals to communicating across the ocean, US Army soldiers learned much in the first Pacific Pathways wargames that Iraq and Afghanistan never taught them. Those exercises are part of the service’s effort to reinvent itself as it shrinks, heading from a wartime peak of 570,000 to 450,000 or below. Instead of prolonged, large-scale… Keep reading →

US Army photo

PENTAGON: As the US Army deploys more troops to the Pacific, it’s running into the limits of its long-range communications systems. The shortfall in comms capacity is not only becoming an issue as the service ramps up its “Pacific Pathways” exercises with Asian partners: It is also raising concerns about the network’s resiliency against a… Keep reading →

An M1 Abrams tank.

ARLINGTON: The US Army is trying to reinvent itself, much as it did during the Great Depression. Even if the steep cuts called sequestration return in 2016 — as is current law — the Army would rather get smaller than shortchange innovation, Chief of Staff Ray Odierno said today. The service will hold annual wargames on… Keep reading →

UCLASS General Atomics

PENTAGON:  For decades the tech gurus of Silicon Valley have pretty much left Pentagon business alone, letting the military stumble along and try to buy their wares within five years of their coming out. Take the story of former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. James “Hoss” Cartwright, hungry for an iPad that could handle classified information. Couldn’t be… Keep reading →

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

ABOARD THE USS ARLINGTON: 17 warships and two submarines. Thousands of personnel from 19 countries. Billions of dollars of high-tech hardware. Months of planning. But sometimes you still have to improvise. When US and Dutch warships and marines united in an international task force for the 2014 Bold Alligator wargames off Virginia, the two countries could… Keep reading →

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