US Military News, Reports, Data, etc.


Tyrant King
No they haven't. If a PRC flagged warship wants to traverse the gulf or waters around Hawaii that's there right. We might be a little worried about it but it's leagle. Ramming another ship is not free navigation it's hostile Action.

bd popeye

The Last Jedi
VIP Professional
OMG , USA are under attack at...the Black and the South China seas...You seem too shocked but, do they protect any US territory over there or something? Just saying
It's called Freedom of Navigation. Vessels on the high seas have the right to transit open waters freely without provocation or hostile action.. many days have YOU ever spent at sea on a warship? I spent six years of my USN career actually at sea...just sayin...


Senior Member
U.S. foreign policy has been bed rocked on freedom of navigation though international waters since 1812.
There is a very fine line between what is considered "freedom" and what would be considered purposeful denial to another country, to grow. China with SCS Islands, is no different to what America has done in the Pacific Ocean with Samoa, Marianas, Guam, Midway and Hawaii. By all counts, NONE of these territories have any geographical heritage to the contagious American mainland. Yet American hegemony extends over the entire Pacific Ocean, the largest Ocean on this planet.

Oh and by the way, the so called "freedom of navigation" card would fly well, when freedom of exercizing free trade is also practiced. Slapping economic sanctions left, right and center. Choking another country's ability to do trade, just because middle America's jobs were exported to China, so that Corporate America becomes filthy rich. Just sounds disingenuous, hypocritical and emblematic of American duplicity and exceptionalism.

Freedom of Navigation and Free Trade are two hemispheres of the same Globe. You can't talk about exercizing your right to navigate, while you are mutilating Free Trade like a mindless savage.

bd popeye

The Last Jedi
VIP Professional
Freedom of Navigation and Free Trade are two hemispheres of the same Globe. You can't talk about exercizing your right to navigate, while you are mutilating Free Trade like a mindless savage.
Who is "you" in your statement? Do you mean the US Federal Government, the American people..just who is who? Thank you.

The mission of the US Navy. I remember this from Boot Camp;

“The mission of the Navy is to maintain, train and equip combat-ready Naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression and maintaining freedom of the seas.”

As far as freedom of navigation is concerned the UN article 87 states;

Article 87

Freedom of the high seas

1. The high seas are open to all States, whether coastal or land-locked. Freedom of the high seas is exercised under the conditions laid down by this Convention and by other rules of international law. It comprises, inter alia, both for coastal and land-locked States:

(a) freedom of navigation;

(b) freedom of overflight;

(c) freedom to lay submarine cables and pipelines, subject to Part VI;

(d) freedom to construct artificial islands and other installations permitted under international law, subject to Part VI;

(e) freedom of fishing, subject to the conditions laid down in section 2;

(f) freedom of scientific research, subject to Parts VI and XIII.

2. These freedoms shall be exercised by all States with due regard for the interests of other States in their exercise of the freedom of the high seas, and also with due regard for the rights under this Convention with respect to activities in the Area.

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Oct 26, 2018
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Trump campaigned on more money for the Pentagon, but his budget director appears to have won the fight for sweeping, across the board cuts to all federal agencies, including the Pentagon.
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and, understandably,
US defense industry pushes back on White House’s proposed $33B budget cut
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The American defense industry is
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that defense cuts proposed by the Trump administration could undermine the Pentagon’s efforts to modernize the military and address threats from Russia, China, Iran, North Korea and transnational terrorism.

The Aerospace Industries Association, with the weight of the country’s large and small defense firms behind it, issued a statement Thursday warning President Donald Trump and Congress “to provide steady and stable growth in defense spending in the fiscal year 2020 budget request and beyond” if they want to be able to meet those threats.

The message comes as
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— expected to prioritize domestic spending and
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record defense increases — won the House
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, and after White House budget director Mick Mulvaney
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the Pentagon to prepare for a $700 billion national defense budget proposal for fiscal 2020. (For comparison’s sake, the Pentagon is also continuing to prep the $733 billion budget it was expecting.)

AIA argued in its statement that the last two years of budget growth have helped the Department of Defense and industry turn things around after years of war and budget instability, but not entirely.

“As a result, military readiness is improving, and our industry is responding with more innovation and advanced capabilities,” the statement reads. “But the shortfalls of the last decade cannot be erased in the space of two years, and now the Administration has announced potential reductions in defense investment that could undermine the improvements that are just now materializing.”

Last year, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis
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that the Pentagon needed 3 to 5 percent annual growth above inflation through 2023 to stay ahead of near-peer adversaries Russia and China. Congress responded with a $700 billion national defense budget for 2018 and $716 billion for 2019 — but also a $1 trillion tax cut that’s grown the national deficit.

National security adviser John Bolton
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, days before Tuesday’s election, that the national debt is “an existential threat to society” and that Pentagon spending will have to “flatten out” in the near term.

Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan had signaled in recent weeks that modernization programs like hypersonic weapons systems would take a hit if the budget falls. “It comes down to a judgment call, how fast do we modernize? And that’s probably the biggest knob that we have to turn,” he said.

Along similar lines, AIA argued that to achieve the Pentagon’s National Defense Strategy — which "requires armed forces that are large and capable enough to meet multiple threats in multiple environments” — “we must continue to invest in the most effective technology and weapons we can provide.”

“America’s competitors and adversaries have made huge strides in their offensive and defensive capabilities, from submarines to cyberspace, and continue to develop advanced technology and sophisticated operational concepts,” the statement warns.

Though it’s unclear how sensitive the administration will be to this call, it has been vocal about its focus on the defense-industrial base in concert with Trump’s emphasis on the American economy. A Trump-ordered study
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roughly 300 gaps and vulnerabilities across America’s network of defense suppliers; Pentagon officials are hopeful a third of those issues will be addressed in the next year.

Whatever the administration does with its budget submission, it will be up to the new Congress to tweak it. Following the midterm elections, analysts have
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lawmakers in next year’s divided government will overcome gridlock to reach a budget deal that maintains flat defense spending.
posted Jul 29, 2018
100b-range projects are cool to watch
Columbia-class Program Upping Oversight of Vendors, Components to Stave Off Further Delays
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The Navy has no wiggle room when it comes to a planned October 2020 start of construction on the first new ballistic missile submarine, so the Columbia-class program office has cranked up its interaction with and oversight of vendors big and small within the program.

To stay on top of the major milestones – start of construction, delivery of the first boat, maiden deployment, all of which have no margin left for error or delays – the program office is tracking 101 components and 329 critical vendors and keeping a watchful eye on those, so any issues are caught early and at a lower level before they put at risk the submarine program as a whole, Columbia-class Program Manager Capt. Jon Rucker said this week at the Naval Submarine League annual conference.

“We are in full swing” on the program, already manufacturing some early parts and buying materials ahead of the October 2020 official start of construction. But the first component being built – the missile tubes – has already
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. Rucker said that particular component had about 23 months of margin built into its schedule – fabrication of the tubes started early and is being paced to be cost-effective, rather than delivering right on time to be added into the hulls – but deficient welding in the tubes ate up about 10 months of that margin, Rucker said.

The missile tube quality issue sparked the Navy to crack down on vendor oversight. Rucker told reporters after his panel presentation on Wednesday that previously the Navy relied on paperwork reviews of the vendors’ training records, welding records and other documents to classify how much risk was involved. This less-rigorous oversight approach began in the 1990s as the Navy ramped down its submarine procurement, and Rucker said that in that lower-paced steady state it served the Navy well. But in this case, the vendor BWX Technologies’ history of quality welding didn’t apply to the new Columbia-class SSBNs missile tubes, which require much thicker and longer welds than anything the company has been asked to do before. So trusting that their history of good work meant they weren’t a risk to the Columbia program, in hindsight, was a mistake, Rucker said.

“We have to go back to that more proactive approach,” he said, adding the program office would take a “trust, but verify” approach when it comes to shipbuilders General Dynamics Electric Boat and Newport News Shipbuilding and their entire supply chain.

Several changes have occurred since the missile tube welding deficiencies were discovered, Rucker told reporters.

On the 101 components, each have a timeline from design to construction to delivery, and a certain window in that timeline keeps them in the “green” category of being on track. A delay of a certain size would trigger them to move into the “yellow” category, and at that point the component – no matter how small – is brought to Rucker himself as the program manager.

“If it hits that yellow, it’s immediately brought to my attention. No one is allowed to change that schedule margin that goes into that yellow without my permission. And so we do component-level reviews – so if you ask me, there’s 101 components on that; I can tell you today we have about eight of them in that yellow.”

Rucker couldn’t say which items were “yellow,” but he said he personally has visited vendors to look at their challenges and help identify ways to get back to green. He said this is the first time the Navy has taken such a proactive management approach to the component level of a program.

As for the vendors themselves, starting in the second week of September the Navy began stepped-up “intrusive inspections” for the nine total vendors involved in the missile tubes. Those nine will wrap up by the end of the year – three are completed, and two are ongoing this week – and then the Navy will work through a prioritized list of the 329 critical vendors.

Under these new intrusive inspections, the Navy sends a team of 10 to 12 people that represent all communities – engineering, supplier quality, program management, purchasing and more – and pull from the program office, the Defense Contract Management Agency, the Supervisor of Shipbuilding and the two prime contractors. This team will watch employee training and performance, inspect material samples and other hands-on work that wasn’t previously done.

“It’s a team sport as we go out and get the industrial base back to where they’re more proficient and doing it on a repeatable high-volume basis,” Rucker said.
“If you don’t assess that risk right up front correctly, then you don’t put the right processes in place. That’s what we missed with this particular missile tube, but we did not have that intrusive recheck as much as we are doing now. And frankly that will be something we continue in perpetuity because we can’t, obviously, we can’t afford to have another issue.”

Elsewhere in the program, the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program (Naval Reactors) is also taking steps to de-risk the Columbia program. Naval Reactors director Adm. Frank Caldwell said Wednesday at the Sub League event that the Columbia nuclear reactor would use components from the Virginia-class reactor when possible and would begin buying heavy components for the reactor plant two years ahead of the start of construction.

The program has designed a prototype refueling core with several Columbia-class elements, and that prototype will be loaded into one of the reactors at the Kenneth A. Kesselring Site in West Milton, N.Y. which serves as a training facility for naval nuclear operators and as a test site for new technologies.

“What that means is that we prove that we can manufacture this core,” Caldwell said.
“And that core that I talked about for the Kesselring prototype is nearing completion and will be loaded into the prototype in the year 2020.”
I don't mean to be cynical but I haven't heard of him until now when
Pentagon Chief Management Officer officially resigns, after weeks of speculation
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about one month (?) ago I heard though Trump might fire Mad Dog