US Military News, Reports, Data, etc.


Tyrant King
Navy and Marine Corps are dropping some money on barrier-penetrating 5.56 mm ammo
instead of shooting a bigger caliber LOL
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Bigger caliber doesnt automatically mean better penitration. It does mean less ammo, heavier weights more recoil and having to justify the cost to Congress.

Still the Army is in the start of adopting your bigger caliber. The thing about this though it we are not just talking a barrier penitrator but a armor piercer that gets more expensive as it demands more specialized materials. A steel cored round will generally not pierce level III or Level IV body armor. That demands a core of tungsten carbide steel. That costs a pretty penny.
Aug 25, 2018
Yesterday at 8:55 PM
Back to the future with 2nd Fleet
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Commander of 2nd Fleet latest to sound alarm over Russian subs
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The head of the Navy’s newly resurrected
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warned Wednesday of Russian submarine activity in the Atlantic Ocean, the latest senior military leader to sound the alarm in recent months.

“Let’s be frank, the Russian undersea threat is real,” Vice Adm. Andrew “Woody” Lewis said at a maritime security event hosted by the
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in Washington. “They are very competent.”

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to oversee the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans was the Navy’s first step in reasserting itself in waters long-traveled by the Navy during the Cold War.

As a Cold War with Russia grew cooler in early 1950, the Navy created the 2nd Fleet to check Moscow’s designs on the Atlantic Rim, especially Europe.

The Navy
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and folded most of its personnel, warships and responsibilities into Fleet Forces Command, part of a Pentagon shift in focus toward counter-terrorism efforts in the Middle East and Afghanistan and a pivot to the western Pacific as China’s military power rose.

Lewis said his revived 2nd Fleet will reach full operational capability next year.

While Navy leaders like Lewis have mainly pointed at Russia’s subs prowling the Atlantic and Arctic, Lewis said Wednesday that China is “aspirationally in the Arctic,” as well.

“There’s no question the logical sequence of events with China is they will be there militarily, as well,” he said.

Operating in colder northern waters will represent a stark change to what rank-and-file sailors are used to, said Lewis, a career aviator. He pointed to the recent NATO exercise Trident Juncture, which featured maritime maneuvers that often strayed above the Arctic Circle.

“Blowing gales, decks moving around, ships getting beat up and people getting beat up,” Lewis said. “They adapt really quickly, but not without repeat effort.”

One of the casualties was the amphibious dock landing ship
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, which left Iceland’s capital of Reykjavik on Nov. 5 after undergoing repairs for damage caused by heavy seas shortly before Trident Juncture kicked off.

Overall, Lewis said the Navy did “pretty well” at Trident Juncture, “but we could do better.”

Learning to do better is a key part of his new job, Lewis said. Since the Navy relaunched 2nd Fleet, he’s had to learn about his service’s blind spots in the region. It’s why he and his leadership team have been talking to the U.S. Coast Guard, the Canadians, Norwegians and other allies to better understand the Arctic, he added.

Lewis said 2nd Fleet will count about 80 staff members by early next year. He plans on keeping his team “lean and agile” as it spearheads what other flag officers have dubbed “
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Lewis said that his team is weighted toward intelligence, operations, planning, training and logistics experts, while letting U.S. Fleet Forces Command oversee “higher headquarters housekeeping functions."

Several staffers will operate forward from a ship or at an austere location, Lewis said, and he plans to pepper the team with military members from allied nations to supply special knowledge on his area of responsibility.

The re-establishment of 2nd Fleet occurred shortly after NATO launched a new
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which Lewis also helms.

Lewis foresees a fusion of operations and intelligence analysis similar to the
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but conceded "we’ve got a lot of work to do” when it comes to
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That’s a term often used by strategists to describe how information is gathered, analyzed and shared so that maritime forces can prepare for and respond to everything from natural disasters and protecting the free flow of commerce to countering piracy, rescuing mariners and waging war at sea.

“There’s an element of tapping into artificial intelligence and machine learning, in which we are starting to make some inroads in there, but it’s not going as quickly as we need it to go,” Lewis said.

Noting that Navy intelligence operations have focused for nearly two decades on countering terrorism, Lewis said that his 2nd Fleet will aim to rebalance their efforts.

“Capacity is lacking a little bit. We’re trying to build that capacity," he said.
Lockheed Martin to start integration and production of Legion Pods for F-15C
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Lockheed Martin was given two contracts from Boeing to produce and integrate 19 Legion Pods onto the US Air Force’s Boeing F-15C fleet.

The two contracts include a 28-month engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) contract and a low-rate initial production contract to produce the systems, which include infrared search and track (IRST) sensors.

The first EMD units will be available in early 2019, says Lockheed Martin. The first production and spares deliveries will begin in 2020. The Legion Pod was selected in 2017 as the IRST system for the USAF F-15C fleet and the service plans to procure 130 units in total.

IRST is an alternative in areas where enemy electronic warfare may jam an aircraft’s radar. Lockheed Martin claims that its IRST21 system, which is included in the Legion Pod, has better multiple target resolution compared to radar, providing a greater ability to distinguish the number and types of threatening aircraft at greater ranges. The company says the system has weapon-quality accuracy, allowing for a "see first, strike first" capability. This gives pilots quicker reaction time, improving chances of survival in combat.

Lockheed Martin says the Legion Pod also has its own advanced networking and data processing capabilities, as well as room to integrate other sensors, though the manufacturer hasn’t disclosed any other systems inside the pod. The pod is slung below the F-15C’s centerline and is moveable between different aircraft. The company plans in the future to integrate the system onto the F-16, as well as unnamed unmanned air vehicles.
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As defense budgets tighten, a new engine is critical to US Army aviation’s future
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The Trump administration’s two-year defense budget for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 provided some $200 billion in higher funding. This increase came at a critical moment for the U.S. military, in general,
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. Of all the armed services, the Army was most in need of an infusion of resources to improve readiness,
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and support the shift from a focus on counterinsurgency operations to preparations for great power competition.

Unfortunately, the future may not be as bright. President Donald Trump has suggested that he isn’t well-disposed to further defense budget hikes. In fact, he may even propose a flat defense budget, which would be a reduction in terms of real spending power. Further complicating the defense budget picture going forward are the midterm election results. The potential for a collision between the administration and the democratically controlled House over discretionary spending could result in a reimposition of budget caps and the threat of sequestration.

The budgetary uncertainties going forward are particularly problematic for the Army. It has planned to devote the next several years to improving readiness and acquiring upgrades of existing capabilities while preparing to transition to the acquisition of a new generation of platforms and weapons in the mid-2020s. Flat or declining defense budgets beginning in the next few years would catch the Army in the midst of its modernization effort.

One area that would be particularly hard-hit if budgets tighten is Army aviation. The Army currently operates some 2,000 Black Hawk and Apache helicopters, both which are in the midst of major upgrade programs. The Army also is developing new aerial platforms through the Future Vertical Lift, or FVL, program. It hopes to acquire both a next-generation armed Scout helicopter, and a replacement for the Black Hawks and Apaches.

Even if the Army successfully develops its next-generation aircraft, it will be operating Black Hawks and Apaches for decades to come. The key to the continuing effectiveness of existing aerial platforms is a new engine. Since they were first introduced, both the Apache and Black Hawk have been gaining weight as new sensors, weapons and defensive capabilities are added. The result has been enormous strain on the engine and a reduction in mission capabilities.

In 2006, the Army began an effort with the aerospace industry to design and develop a new engine, the Improved Turbine Engine Program, to power both existing helicopters and the vehicles developed as part of the FVL program. An award is expected shortly to one of two companies vying for this program: General Electric and the Advanced Turbine Engine Company, or ATEC, a joint venture of Honeywell and Pratt & Whitney.

The former is offering an improved version of the long-serving, single-spool engine, with only one turbine-compressor; the latter is proposing an innovative approach based on a dual-spool engine, with a two turbine-compressor system, each of which can be optimized for best performance.

The outcome of the competition may very well determine the fate of Army aviation. Without a new engine, the future of the Black Hawk and Apache will be increasingly constrained. This would be a challenge under any circumstances but particularly if defense spending declines, posing a threat to the FVL program. The Army needs to be cognizant of possible budgetary setbacks as it plans for the future of its aviation fleets.

The current Black Hawk/Apache engine, the T700, is a single-spool engine, which means it has one turbine-compressor core. So, the single-spool replacement proposed by GE is the familiar option. However, this technology has reached the point of diminishing returns with respect to the ability to adapt to new technologies.

The dual-spool approach proposed by ATEC provides both near- and farther-term advantages. A dual-spool system has two independent turbine-compressor assemblies, each of which can be separately “tuned.” In the near-term, it can achieve greater efficiencies than the single-spool design. The engine’s modular design allows for ease of maintenance and a reduced logistics footprint. Although this would be the first time such an engine was used in an Army helicopter, the ATEC partners have long incorporated the component technologies in jet aircraft engines and even the Army’s Abrams main battle tank.

Over the longer term, the dual-spool approach has greater growth potential. But because of its greater efficiency, there is no need to introduce new materials and components prematurely, allowing for a less risky approach to the long-term improvement of the engine.

The choice of a contractor to build the improved turbine engine will be made based on which competitor offers the best value. The challenge facing the Army is to acquire a new engine that will remain relevant, whatever security and fiscal situation confronts the country in the decades to come.
Oct 24, 2018
Thursday at 7:57 PM
US House bill would close door on Saudi arms sales
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and I wonder what the reality will turn out to be
Saudi Arabia, US take a significant step toward closing $15 billion deal for Lockheed Martin's THAAD missile defense system
  • Saudi Arabia has signed a letter of offer and acceptance with the United States for Lockheed Martin's THAAD missile system.
  • It's a significant step forward in the $15 billion deal, a State Department spokesperson confirmed to CNBC.
  • Saudi officials, alongside their U.S. counterparts, signed the crucial government-to-government agreement earlier this week, paving the way for the massive sale of 44 THAAD launchers, missiles and related equipment.
Updated 18 Hours Ago
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Saudi Arabia has signed a letter of offer and acceptance with the United States for
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's THAAD missile system, a significant step forward in the $15 billion deal, a State Department spokesperson confirmed to CNBC.

Saudi officials, alongside their U.S. counterparts, signed the crucial government-to-government agreement earlier this week, paving the way for the massive sale of 44 THAAD launchers, missiles and related equipment.

Manufactured by Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon's top weapons supplier, THAAD, or terminal high altitude area defense, is regarded as America's crown jewel in missile defense systems.

The Saudi Embassy did not respond immediately to CNBC's request for comment.

The development comes as Saudi Arabia is under fire over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as well as its role in the war in Yemen. President Donald Trump, meanwhile, has cited the importance of defense deals in defending his decision to stick with the kingdom in the aftermath of the slaying. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has denied knowledge of the attack, although
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Saudi Arabia and the U.S. entered formal discussions for THAAD in December 2016.

"After completing required congressional notifications in 2017, followed by many months of negotiation, signing letters of offer and acceptance marks a step toward protecting the United States and its regional partners from Iranian-origin missiles," said the State Department spokesperson, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

"The sale of the THAAD missile defense system benefits U.S. national security by supporting the long-term security of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region in the face of the growing ballistic missile threat from the Iranian regime and Iran-backed extremist groups," the spokesperson added.

Thomas Karako, director of the Missile Defense Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, echoed those notions.

"It's a big step forward to strengthening missile defense capabilities in the Gulf, in a couple of ways," he said. "Besides probably being the largest missile defense sale to date, it also represents an important political commitment by both the U.S. and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to counter Iranian ballistic missiles by every means possible."

Saudi Arabia's oil-rich monarchy is one of America's most crucial strategic partners and a significant patron of U.S. defense companies. The Saudis are the top buyers of U.S.-made arms, a title that has safeguarded the kingdom from retaliatory sanctions over the killing of Khashoggi and the war in Yemen.

In an extraordinary statement last week, Trump affirmed that the U.S. would continue to stand with Saudi Arabia, linking the countries' relationship to his "America first" platform. Trump also has commented on the potential impact to defense suppliers if the U.S. were to sanction the Saudis over the Khashoggi killing.

"I tell you what I don't want to do," Trump said to CBS' "60 Minutes" last month, when he was asked about possibly blocking arms sales to Riyadh. "Boeing, Lockheed, Raytheon, all these [companies]. I don't want to hurt jobs. I don't want to lose an order like that. There are other ways of punishing, to use a word that's a pretty harsh word, but it's true."
First Heliborne AOEW Pod for Navy Expected in Late 2019
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Lockheed Martin expects to produce the first engineering development model (EDM) of a heliborne electronic warfare pod by late 2019, a company official said.

Orders for materials for the ALQ-218 Advanced Offboard Electronic Warfare (AOEW) pods began last month, Joe Ottaviano, director of electronic warfare programs at Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems, told reporters Nov. 28 at the Association of Old Crows convention.

The AOEW pod is designed to be taken aloft by an MH-60R or MH-60S Seahawk helicopter and serve as an offboard electronic attack system to counter anti-ship cruise missiles. The helicopter provides power and mobility for the pod, but the pod’s operation is independent of the helicopter crew and linked to the SLQ-32(V)6/7 shipboard electronic warfare system.

“It’s bringing capability that hasn’t been brought before,” Ottaviano said, who noted that testing will be a challenge because of the novelty of the capability. “It is designed to be autonomous or [alternatively] work with the fleet.”

He said Lockheed Martin expects to roll out the first AOEW EDM in late 2019. The system completed its critical design review in June. The company has been awarded a contract for six EDMs. Initial operational capability is planned for the 2020. Additional pods are expected to be ordered in a low-rate initial production order in the 2021-2022 time frame.

The pod has successfully completed a fit check on the MH-60 helicopter and can be attached to either side of the helicopter.

“How to get all of this capability in a very small pod was a challenge,” Ottaviano said, noting that the pod “generates a lot of heat” and has no supplementary cooling system.
Yesterday at 7:32 AM
Aug 25, 2018
Commander of 2nd Fleet latest to sound alarm over Russian subs
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U.S. 2nd Fleet Racing Toward a 2019 Operational Capability
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The new model will have the reestablished 2nd Fleet operate both as the Atlantic operational naval arm of U.S. Northern Command – for training and operations like disaster relief – and work along with U.S. 6th Fleet as the operational arm for U.S. European Command.

In the new construct, the command will focus on operations in the North Atlantic and the Arctic in an effort to renew a dormant capability for the U.S. Navy to operate in the High North, Lewis said. However, Lewis said that Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson’s intent for the command was less about geographical boundaries and more about providing reliable command and control to naval forces in the European and Atlantic theaters.

“The imperative that standing up 2nd Fleet and doing things differently in that regard by CNO has been that we have to erase those seams that aren’t natural geographic seams, otherwise seams are where adversaries can take advantage. Where we have seams is where we have vulnerabilities,” he told USNI News following the event.
“We’ve drawn lines in the ocean that don’t exist. Last I looked there are no fences out there.”

Lewis painted a hypothetical situation where the three-star 6th Fleet commander would have command and control of a force in the Baltic responding to an unspecified threat, while 2nd Fleet would command a force in response to a separate threat in the Mediterranean. Both would report to the four-star U.S. Naval Forces Europe/Africa commander.

The construct is similar to the Pacific “
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” idea that was established by now-retired commander Adm. Scott Swift in which the San Diego-based U.S. 3rd Fleet could command and control a naval force providing general presence in the Pacific while the Western Pacific-based 7th Fleet was handling a specific threat – all under the command of the U.S. Pacific Fleet commander.

“Conceptually, it’s the exact same thing,” Lewis said.

While the geographic boundaries of the command are fluid, a major focus for 2nd Fleet is a line of command and control from Norfolk, past the Greenland-Iceland-U.K. gap and into the Arctic and Barents Seas to support a theater anti-submarine warfare mission, Rear Adm. Doug Perry,
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“The Russian undersea threat is real, and they’re very competent and operationally capable,” Lewis said.

In addition to the undersea threat, Lewis acknowledged Moscow’s skill in so-called gray zone and hybrid warfare operations that impose a cost on adversaries but don’t rise to the level of a declared conflict.

“They operate in that space pretty well,” Lewis said. “Heretofore, we’ve been pretty reactive rather than proactive. What we’re doing and what the National Defense Strategy is really driving us toward is developing a way of operating in which we can be operationally unpredictable to our competitors while being strategically predictable to ourselves and our allies.”

Lewis cited the experimental deployment of the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group to the North Atlantic as an example of how the Navy was trying to keep Russian planners on their toes.

“Operationally, the Russians didn’t know where they were going so as to impose cost,” he said.

The Truman CSG deployment and participation in the Trident Juncture 2018 exercise were also an opportunity to get the Navy used to operating in an environment more challenging than the Middle East: north of the Arctic Circle.

“We haven’t been operating up there in a long, long time. We were operating in the Persian Gulf where it’s like a lake and it’s really hot,” he said.
“Now we’re operating up off the coast of Norway where it’s blowing a gale, the decks are moving around, the ships were getting beat up and the people are getting beat up. We’re not used to being out on the flight deck for long periods of time when it’s really cold. Overall, we did pretty well, but we could do to better.”
Today at 9:42 AM
Yesterday at 7:32 AM
U.S. 2nd Fleet Racing Toward a 2019 Operational Capability
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The Arctic will become increasingly crowded in the coming years, and the US navy;'s Second Fleet is making it a priority to get up there more often.
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The head of the Navy’s
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outlined a broad writ for the command on Wednesday, describing a small and flexible force heavy on intelligence assets and “ready to fight across multiple domains” from the Arctic to the Mediterranean. And he made no bones about the reason for the fleet having been called back from the dead. Russia.

The comments by Vice Adm. Woody Lewis offered the most detailed glimpse yet of the new Atlantic-focused command, an area neglected by Pentagon planners since the end of the Cold War, but which has seen a
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in recent years.

“This is with an eye toward Russia. Let’s be frank,” he told an audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “The Russian undersea threat is real, and they are competent.”

American and European military commanders have revealed over the past year that Russian submarine activity has been up sharply recently, as the Russian navy has rebuilt itself and its ships and submarines can venture further out to sea more confidently.

The Second Fleet isn’t strictly a sub-hunting outfit. Lewis compared it to the Third Fleet, which is INDO-PACOM’s maneuver arm in the Western Pacific. But Lewis’ ships will also respond to humanitarian crises and potential flare-ups across a more diverse area, which stretches from the icy Arctic to the warm Mediterranean and the increasingly contested Black Sea.

Much of that space has seen relatively little US presence over the past two decades as US forces fought in the Middle East and shifted naval assets to the Pacific, but Lewis said his job is to “erase those seams where adversaries can take advantage of where we have vulnerabilities.”

One area of intense focus will be the far north, where Russia has built military outposts and China is increasingly interested in new sea routes and exploiting untapped natural resources as climate change opens seaways.

Speaking with reporters after his speech at CSIS, Lewis was asked if the Chinese are pushing ahead of the US in the Arctic, given the slew of icebreakers it has put to sea in recent years.

“The Chinese, aspirationally, are in the Arctic,” he said. “And there’s no question that the logical sequence of events with the Chinese will be they will be there militarily” at some point, as they are in the South China Sea. The United States needs to move more quickly in the far north, but “we haven’t ceded anything to the Chinese or anybody else. We’ve put ourselves at a disadvantage that we now have to work to gain the advantage.”

At the moment however, “we’re comfortable where we are operationally,” in the far north. “We’re comfortable with where the Russians are; we’re watching them pretty closely. And we’re comfortable with where the Chinese are aspirationally.”

As for the structure of the Second Fleet, Lewis described a tight organization that he wants to keep small.

The admiral has named his intelligence officer as deputy commander, and described a command that is “heavy in intelligence, operations, plans, training, logistics — and light in higher headquarters housekeeping functions.” He plans to rely on Fleet Forces Command to do the jobs are aren’t operationally-focused.

Taking advantage of the modern navies and intelligence-gathering capabilities of European allies, Lewis also pledged to stand up “austere” outposts and use command ships in the region to forward deploy his staff, who will sit side-by-side with NATO and European partners.

“We are building a fleet from scratch and we have the unique chance to make it different, to make it right and fit for its purpose,” he said.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has stressed the idea of US forces becoming more unpredictable as to where and when they operate in order to frustrate Chinese and Russian military planners. Lewis said the recent deployment of the USS Harry S. Truman strike group earlier this year fit exactly in that box. And it’s deployment is a way of operating he plans to emulate at Second Fleet.

The Truman originally came back to Norfolk after several months in the Mediterranean and North Atlantic, while the destroyers it deployed with dispersed, and continued to operate from Norway to the Persian Gulf. The Truman quickly put back out to sea, running dual-carrier operations with the Nimitz-class carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and the Royal Canadian Navy before heading back to the North Atlantic to participate in the Trident Juncture exercise, which Lewis said caused “consternation” in Moscow.

Russian forces tried to
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, which took place in and around Norway earlier this month, but it is unclear how much success they enjoyed. Both Norway and Finland
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that Russia attempted to jam their communications during the exercise,
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confirmed to Breaking Defense. Lewis said electronic warfare concerns are real, and establishing secure command and control of his ships and aircraft is his top priority heading into operational drills next February before the command fully stands up.
Nov 2, 2018
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Here’s when all of America’s new nuclear warhead designs will be active — and how much they’ll cost

big bucks
US lawmakers tangle over nuclear arsenal, Russia treaties
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W76-2 etc. etc. inside

bd popeye

The Last Jedi
VIP Professional
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Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson says Vice Adm. Scott Stearney was found dead Saturday.

Richardson says the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Bahraini Ministry of Interior are investigating the death, but foul play is not suspected.

Rear Adm. Paul Schlise, the deputy commander of the Fifth Fleet, has taken over Stearney's duties.

Richardson described Stearney as a decorated naval warrior, a devoted husband and father, and a good friend.

The Fifth Fleet includes the Arabian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman, the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea.