When Air Force Senior Airman Zachary Allen, an aircrew flight equipment technician assigned to the Montana Air National Guard’s 120th Airlift Wing, arrived here for Northern Strike 2016, he discovered he didn’t have an office from which to work. [...]
USNI News asked its readers, “Who was the greatest woman in military history?” With more than 2,400 votes, the readers have responded. The answers spanned both time and geography, but when the results were tallied, the favorite was clear:
1. Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc depicted on horseback in an illustration from a 1505 manuscript. via Wikipedia
St. Jeanne d’Arc led the poll by an overwhelming margin. By the time of her birth in 1412, France had been decimated first by the Black Plague and then by an English invasion during the Hundred Years’ War. Defeated at Agincourt in 1415, the kingdom of France was held in the balance, and all depended on the city of Orleans. It was there that Joan of Arc made her mark. Believing she was instructed by God to take charge of the army of France and lead it to victory, her arrival led to the breaking of the siege nine days after her arrival. The stunning success led to her ennobling by Charles the Victorious and her appointment as a military adviser. Under he leadership, the French army captured Reims and Troyes. She was later captured by the English at Compiegne, tried for heresey and executed. Her legacy lived on though, and she was eventually canonized by the Catholic Church in 1920.
2. Queen Boadicea
Boadicea Haranguing the Britons by William Sharp published in 1793.
The second most popular response was Queen Boadicea (Boudicca), a fearsome warrior of the Celtic Iceni tribe of East Anglia who led a rebellion against the Roman Empire [...]
A screen shot of an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy patrol boat from a video taken by the crew of USS Nitze. US Navy Image
The guided-missile destroyer USS Nitze (DDG-94) was followed and harassed by four Iranian patrol boats on Tuesday in the Persian Gulf, defense officials confirmed to USNI News.
The destroyer was in the vicinity of the Strait of Hormuz when four Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy high-speed patrol boats came at the ship without responding to hails or warning flares fired from Nitze, according to a video of the incident provided to USNI News.
“This is USS Nitze reporting from the Southern Arabian Gulf,” said a voice on the video reporting the ship’s location and speed.
“We have visual contact with four Iranian… WPBs… Bridge to bridge COMMS were conducted but no response. Weapons uncovered… appears to be unsafe, unprofessional.”
While the voice is making the radio report, the four patrol boats speed in a serpentine formation toward Nitze with their deck weapons uncovered. Flares from the destroyer attempt to warn away the patrol boats as they close in on the ship.
Nitze’s crew attempted to hail the boats a dozen times, fired ten warning flares at the patrol boats and blasted the ship’s whistle to sound a maritime danger signal to no apparent effect, a defense official confirmed to USNI News late Wednesday.
Two of the patrol boats came within 300 yards of the destroyer before slowing and breaking off their chase.
“The Nitze a [...]
Sailors land an MV-22 Osprey assigned to the Flying Tigers of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 262 on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6). Bonhomme Richard, flagship of the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group, is operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Diana Quinlan (Released) 160824-N-WF272-385 [...]
An F/A-18C Hornet assigned to the Wildcats of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 131 launches from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight. D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). The carrier and its carrier strike group are deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Casey J. Hopkins (Released) 160824-N-EO381-509 [...]
The Naval War College, the Naval Post Graduate School and Task Force 73 hosted a maritime operations training symposium in Singapore. Dental Corps celebrates its 104th birthday. SECNAV Ray Mabus visited Seoul, Republic of Korea. [...]
Aerographer’s Mate 2nd Class Robert Carlson, left, and Aerographer’s Mate 1st Class Melvin Lankford, assigned to Commander, Task Group 56.1, deploy a MK 18 MOD 2 Swordfish to survey the ocean floor during the International Mine Countermeasure Exercise (IMCMEX) in the Gulf of Oman on November 4, 2014. US Navy photo.
The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps should advance the way they use unmanned systems, favoring greater autonomy over remotely-controlled missions and developing multi-vehicle systems such as swarms and cascaded operations, according to a recently released report by the Defense Science Board.
The DSB report, requested by the Pentagon’s acquisition chief in November 2014, notes a variety of Pentagon-wide challenges in developing, testing, fielding and operating autonomous systems, such as operator trust, cyber security and developing a test and evaluation plan for learning systems.
Specific to the Navy, the board recommends adding greater autonomy to Navy counter-mine unmanned underwater systems as a way to save time and keep personnel even farther from potential dangers.
“Currently deployed counter-mine applications use UUVs for persistence and protecting humans from danger, but rely on human operators at a command center to process data for target classification. This is followed by a separate mission to neutralize any mines detected,” according to the report.
“Autonomy can reduce both the time to neutralize the threat and the danger to the personnel assigne [...]
Sailors assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) participate in nighttime firefighting drills on the flight deck. Nimitz is currently undergoing an extended planned incremental maintenance availability at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility where the ship is receiving scheduled maintenance and upgrades. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Recruit Cody M. Deccio (Released) 160823-N-MH057-105 [...]
The new Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command breast insignia. Image courtesy MARSOC Facebook page.
Marine Corps special operations officers and critical skills operators now have their own pin to wear that acknowledges their intensive training and commemorates Marine special forces history.
Marines that complete the five-phase Individual Training Course, the first training event before joining Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC) forces, will be awarded the new “Marine Special Operator Insignia.” MARSOC posted the announcement of the new breast insignia on its Facebook page and wrote that the device will first be issued to the next ITC graduating class of critical skills operators. Critical skills operators and special operations officers already in the field will receive their pins soon afterwards, according to the Facebook post.
“The individual MARSOC operator must be trained and educated to think critically and function in an increasingly complex operating environment – to understand and interact in dynamic, dangerous and politically-sensitive battlefields,” Maj. Gen. Carl Mundy III, MARSOC commander, said in a statement.
“Our rigorous training pipeline ensures that a newly minted critical skills operator has developed the skills required for full spectrum special operations. This badge serves as a visual certification that they have trained and prepared to accept their new responsibilities.”
Marine Raiders with Marine Special Op [...]
Southern Partnership Station 2016 Navy medical personnel partnered with the Honduran health workers of Operation Blessing to combat the Zika virus in Honduras. The 15th Annual Seoutheast Asia Cooperation and Training Exercise kicked off. Exercise Resolute Response 16 wrapped up. [...]
Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Equipment) Airman Malik Robinson conducts maintenance on a bow catapult on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). The ship and its Carrier Strike Group are deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nathan T. Beard (Released) 160822-N-QI061-087 [...]
The crew of the Virginia-class fast attack submarine USS Hawaii (SSN 776) man the rails aboard WWII museum ship USS Bowfin (SS 287) to shoot a spirit spot for Fox Sports to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. FOX Sports is returning to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam to telecast four college basketball games live on Dec. 6 and Dec. 7. Participants include the University of Hawai'i, University of California, Princeton University, and Seton Hall University. U.S. Navy photo by Cmdr. Corey Barker (Released) 160822-N-IC288-005 [...]
After several uncertain months, the littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) is steaming to its San Diego, Calif. homeport after the ship’s propulsion system was damaged in Singapore, the service announced on Monday.
Industry and service sources told USNI News that not only was damage from the Jan. 12 engine casualty that sidelined the Freedom-class LCS wasn’t as extensive as initially thought but also the repair was an unexpected successful test of the forward deployed maintenance model set up to repair the ships that can deploy forward for up to a year-and-a-half at a time.
“There are a lot of people who worked very hard to get Fort Worth repaired and back out to sea,” said Capt. H.B. Le, commodore, Destroyer Squadron 7, said in a statement.
“Their efforts were rewarded today as the ship got underway, fully operational, and ready for her transit across the Pacific.”
During the Jan. 12 incident, bearings in the ship’s combining gears — the complex gearing that links the output of the ships’ Rolls Royce MT30 gas turbine engines with its Colt-Pielstick diesel engines and then to the ship’s shafts that drive the water jets.
“Damage to the ship’s combining gears was less extensive than initial investigations suggested,” read a Monday statement from the service.
“A full assessment revealed that only three bearings needed to be replaced, and the repairs took less time and cost less than originally expected.”
In April, the [...]
PCU Zumwalt put its crew to the test during the completion of sea trials. [...]
Regional Security Education Program (RSEP) instructors from the Naval Postgraduate School raised the collective cultural and security awareness of Boxer servicemembers during an RSEP engagement Feb. 12—19 aboard amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4). [...]
An AV-8B Harrier, from the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), takes off from the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1). The 22nd MEU, embarked on Wasp, is conducting precision air strikes in support of the Libyan Government of National Accord-aligned forces against Daesh targets in Sirte, Libya, as part of Operation Odyssey Lightning. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Zhiwei Tan (Released) 160818-N-LG762-012 [...]
Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 3rd Class Juan Cumpston directs an F-35C Lightning II carrier variant, assigned to the Salty Dogs of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23, to the catapult on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). VX-23 is conducting its third and final developmental test (DT-III) phase aboard George Washington in the Atlantic Ocean. The F-35C is expected to be Fleet operational in 2018. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kris R. Lindstrom (Released) 160818-N-GN619-047 [...]
Three crew members and one former department head of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (Ike) and two pilots from Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3 were named winners of the 2015 Navy and Marine Association (NMA) Leadership Award Aug. 16. [...]
Aviation Machinist’s Mate Airman Danielle Weakley, assigned to the Golden Eagles of Patrol Squadron (VP) 9, inspects engine three from a P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft as part of the squadron’s advanced readiness program on June 10, 2015. US Navy photo.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Navy’s aviation budget is out of balance for rebuilding readiness among non-deployed units, with more flight hours funded than can be executed due to logistics shortfalls that prevent the service from having enough ready-to-fly airplanes, the Navy’s Air Boss said today.
Though the most visible challenge to aviation readiness is a backlog of legacy F/A-18 Hornets at depots awaiting service life extension work, Commander of Naval Air Forces Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker said some pilots could be flying more if smaller “enabler accounts” – such as those that allow squadrons to buy spare parts ahead of need and pay for contract logistics support – were sufficiently funded.
“We obviously pay attention to the flight hours accounts because that directly translates to readiness,” he said of the budget during a talk at the Center for Strategic and International Studies co-hosted by the U.S. Naval Institute.
“But what we’ve seen since we’ve come through the heavy-use period and recovering from sequestration, we’ve seen that we’re not able to fully execute those accounts because we don’t have sufficient up airplanes on the flight lines to fly.”
He noted one enabler accoun [...]
X-47B Salty Dog 501 flies over USS Theodore Roosevelt on Aug. 17, 2014. US Naval Institute Photo
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Striking the balance between a tanker and a surveillance aircraft is an area of concern for Navy aviation planners and industry as they craft what will be the service’s first operational, carrier unmanned aerial vehicle, commander of Naval Air Forces said on Thursday.
Once tasked with being primarily an information, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft native to the carrier strike group, the Navy’s first push into unmanned fixed wing aviation – MQ-25A Stingray — will now fulfill a badly needed tanker role for the air wing in addition to the ISR mission, said Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker during a presentation at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and co-hosted by the U.S. Naval Institute.
The Navy has recently collected the results from a draft request for proposal for the Stingray program and is currently mulling the results from competitors Boeing, General Atomics, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. Based on the responses, the Navy is refining the requirements for the full RfP expected next year. Affordability will be a key requirement to the program, USNI News understands.
The problem that industry and the service are dealing with is the ISR and the tanking mission inherently requires two very different types of aircraft shapes or planforms, Shoemaker said.
A primarily ISR UAV would be a high-endurance platform “probably [...]
MV-22B landing on the deck of USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70). Gidget Fuentes Photo Used with Permission
Using the MV-22 Osprey as the basis for the Navy’s new Carrier On-Board Delivery (COD) is poised to add significant operational flexibility and reduce flight deck manpower requirements, the Navy’s Air Boss said today.
Commander of Naval Air Forces Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker said a recent Fleet Battle Experiment to begin integrating the V-22 tiltrotor into fixed wing cyclic operations on an aircraft carrier went very well.
In January 2015 the Navy chose to replace its decades-old C-2 Greyhound with a version of the Osprey dubbed the CMV-22B – which will be the Marine Corps’ Osprey, plus an extended range fuel tank, long-range communications and a public address system for passengers in the back. The decision raised several concerns about the cargo-carrying capacity of the Osprey, the range and altitude at which the tiltrotor could fly, and how a vertical-landing aircraft replacing a fixed-wing plane would affect flight deck operations.
Shoemaker, speaking at an event cohosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the U.S. Naval Institute, said there is no reason for concern.
By the end of the experiment, the crew of USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) had figured out how to land and unload the Osprey in about 20 minutes for passenger delivery missions and about 30 minutes for cargo delivery missions. That fits within the flight deck’s natural cycle, in which the p [...]
The amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) conducts flight operations while underway to Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2016. US Navy photo.
ABOARD USS AMERICA — The new amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA-6) has raised more than a few questions in its short life, with sailors and Marines alike wondering what it will mean to have an amphibious ship without a well deck and therefore without the ability to deploy landing craft to move heavy tanks and equipment ashore.
America’s recent participation in the Rim of the Pacific 2016 international exercise may have allayed some concerns – the resounding feedback from those involved in the ship’s operations is that, if the Marines are willing to tweak the composition of the deploying Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), America can move them faster, more agilely and more safely.
“The idea is rapid mobility air assault. So the thinking with me and my Marines right now is, lighter companies, people that can move quickly via the (MV-22) Osprey and the (CH-53Es),” ship commanding officer Capt. Michael Baze told USNI News from his shipboard office last month.
The plus side to that concept is increased speed and safety for both the Marines and the ship’s crew, he said.
“I’m not looking to build a mountain of supply on the beach like the D-Day invasion, I’m looking to go straight to my objective from a great distance,” Baze explained.
“In terms of operations of the ship, I don’t have to worry about force prot [...]
Aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), front, offloads ammunition to aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), middle, and Dry Cargo and Ammunition Ship USNS Robert E. Peary (T-AKE 5). Truman is currently underway conducting an ammunition offload. U.S. Navy photo by Naval Aircrewman (Helicopter) 2nd Class Brett Warren (Released) 160816-N-FV405-061 [...]
An F-35C Lightning II carrier variant, assigned to the Salty Dogs of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23, prepares to land on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). VX-23 is conducting its third and final developmental test (DT-III) phase aboard George Washington in the Atlantic Ocean. The F-35C is expected to be Fleet operational in 2018. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Wyatt L. Anthony (Released) 160815-N-VH385-204 [...]
USS John C. Stennis returned to Bremerton, Washington after a seven-month deployment. Navy's E-Sailor initiative has piloted this last year at Recruit Training Command. Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Mikahailpietro Orena Drilon was recognized for saving the life of an injured construction worker. [...]
The following is the Aug 4, 2016 Government Accountability Office report, Delaying Procurement of DDG 51 Flight III Ships Would Allow Time to Increase Design Knowledge. [...]
A Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile (NSM) is launched from the littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) during missile testing operations off the coast of Southern California in September 2014. US Navy photo.
LOUISVILLE, KY. – Raytheon is set to build launchers for the Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile at its facility where it constructs the SeaRAM and Phalanx close-in weapon systems, company officials told USNI News on Tuesday.
The NSM is one of three expected weapons to compete for the over the horizon missile program for the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and follow-on frigate program as well as the Navy’s Offensive Anti-Surface Warfare (OASuW) Increment 2.
The Navy test fired a NSM from Independence-class LCS USS Coronado (LCS-4) in 2014.
Lockheed Martin’s Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) and a modified Boeing Harpoon anti-ship missile are also likely competitors for the OTH program.
An undated photo of a Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile in flight. Kongsberg Photo
Then Navy director of surface warfare Rear Adm. Peter Fanta told USNI News the service aimed to field the missile by the end of the year as part of the Navy’s distributed lethality push.
“I’m looking at a number of missiles – not just the Norwegian missile, I’m also looking at Harpoon and several other missiles. What bolts on, and what can I put on a console that has feeds from the combat system? … I’m trying to do that, again, if I can get enough engineering done to allow me to do this, I’m [...]
An F-35C Lightning II carrier variant, assigned to the Salty Dogs of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23, taxis on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). VX-23 is conducting its third and final developmental test (DT-III) phase aboard George Washington in the Atlantic Ocean. The F-35C is expected to be Fleet operational in 2018. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alora R. Blosch (Released) 160814-N-KC543-157 [...]
Gen. Robert B. Neller steps out of a UH-1 Huey to talk with Marines Nov. 23, 2015 at the Camp Hansen Theater, Camp Hansen, Okinawa. US Marine Corps Photo
Gen. Neller is speaking today at the Center for Strategic and International Studies as part of the U.S. Naval Institute – CSIS Maritime Security Dialogue.
THE PENTAGON – Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert Neller said the service has a lot to be proud of today: amid flat funding levels, the Marines are building back readiness, deploying forces at as high a tempo as any time in recent memory, and replacing nearly all its types of aircraft and some ground vehicles with newer and more capable platforms.
And yet, sitting in his Pentagon office, Neller said he couldn’t let that be good enough.
“The time for an organization to really ratchet it up and go to the next level is when they think they’re on top – because if you ever start thinking you’ve got it all figured out and you’re really the best you can be, that’s when you get passed,” Neller told USNI News.
“And that’s not going to happen to us.”
Rather, Neller said he’s looking for evolution and improvement in everything the Marines do, from the technology it pursues to the way it organizes a Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) to the people it recruits.
“The only thing we’re not going to do is stay the same,” he said.
Today’s Readiness and Force Structure
U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Chance Seckenger rides in a Combat R [...]