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and in the meantime
US Navy document paints a bleak picture of fleet’s future if hit with 2020 budget cuts
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Cuts to new ships, aircraft,
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and much-needed
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are on deck if Congress can’t come to an agreement to avert across-the-board cuts to the defense budget by January of 2020, according to a document submitted to lawmakers Dec. 12.

The document, used by
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at a recent Senate Armed Services readiness subcommittee hearing, shows the potential impact of cuts on various states and congressional districts. And while most of the line items are vague about specific cuts, there are some troubling indications about where the Navy could be looking to take risks, and it’s familiar story.

Renovations to naval shipyards could be deferred, part of the
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to modernize the public shipyards, the document reads. Furthermore, the Navy is eyeing cuts to ship maintenance availabilities, a move that tends to have a cascading effect, creating delays and degrading the material condition of ships on the waterfront for years into the future.

The Navy is also threatening furloughs and hiring freezes at the public yards, which likewise creates delays and impacts for the maintenance and general readiness of the fleet, which under ideal conditions is challenged to maintain because of the breakneck pace of operations and difficulty keeping maintenance schedules.

At the hearing, Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Bill Moran acknowledged that not just one but three of the Navy’s attack submarines has been decertified for dives while awaiting needed maintenance, which prompted a testy exchange with South Dakota Republican Sen. Mike Rounds over how forthright the Navy has been about its needs and how it’s using its increasing resources.

The delays are caused by the Navy’s prioritizing maintenance and modernization of the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines, and have been exacerbated by furloughs and work stoppages due to cuts, retirements of aging skilled workers, degraded infrastructure at the public shipyards where nuclear maintenance is conducted, according to previous public statements by Navy leaders.

The document also cited cuts to shipbuilding, weapons and aircraft procurement were all in the cards for a 2020 sequester cut, but was short on specifics. It also mentions
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flight demonstration team.

Moran and Spencer both said that a return to sequester would do damage that would take at least another five years to recover from.

“If we were to go back to those levels again, even though we would probably start to recover, you're talking five years, if you just use the recent last five years as an example,” Moran said.

“The component of time is time you can't get back,” Moran said. “So we lose proficiency, we lose expertise, and we have to recover that by skipping generations of people who miss the opportunity during the time when we didn't have the resources available.”

The Navy would not comment directly on any individual cuts planned for 2020 in case of automatic cuts, which Spencer said would be about a $26 billion cut across the Department of the Navy.

“[Program Objective Memorandum-20] POM-20 is currently in progress and we will not comment on pre-decisional budgetary matters," said Navy spokesperson Lt. Lauren Chatmas. "What I can tell you is that anything you may have seen about POM-20 are just options as we strive to find the best balance to support the defense strategy while also being responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars. This is what the POM process is for — to review all accounts in determining the best balance of investments.”

But indications that the Navy would go after maintenance and shipyard modernization are ominous omens for a fleet that has already seen a healthy amount of neglect in the face of mounting tasking. Because even though the sequestration cuts are across-the-board (even overseas contingency operations funding is affected by the cuts), in 2013 when DoD was hit with sequester Congress gave the services the ability to make decisions about where it was going to take the most risk, said Todd Harrison, a budget analyst with the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“In 2013, they made the cut but then went back and gave the military huge reprogramming authorities,” Harrison said.

That means that even if the Navy must take a major cut, it’s likely that congress would then hand them the scalpel to do the surgery themselves, if history holds true.

Still, Harrison isn’t betting that the sequester cuts happen. Congress will likely cruise into 2020 under a continuing resolution that holds the budget at 2019 levels and then cut a deal at the last minute, he said.

“It will be close, it will look like we won’t get a deal; and then, at the last moment, Congress will make a deal,” Harrison said.
 
...: the Me-262. As a kid I thought it looked great. As an adult, I realized the engines only lasted a couple hours before they had to be swapped. A technical triumph for sure but a waste of resources which only sunk R&D and production resources into something which was only good on paper.
...
sorry (I'm not going to respond):

"... in an incredibly high-tech attack, an unknown bomber-version of German jet-powered Me-262 at 1740 hours of May 6, 1945 hit "with surgical precision" (this term unknown 70 years ago, heck) the Prague building of the Czech Radio (the objective was to shut down the broadcasting ASAP) with a 500 kg bomb ... they were careful not to cause collateral damage because they were attacking in the area (which is downtown Prague!)
(a picture from the Czech Radio Archives:
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;
for the background you may visit
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)"

it's from
What the Heck?! Thread (Closed)
Jan 3, 2015
https://www.sinodefenceforum.com/what-the-heck-thread-closed.t6588/page-40#post-321366
 
inside
CNO Richardson Expects that New Acquisition Models Will Field Ships, Advanced Weapons ‘ASAP’
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:


"Richardson’s document outlines many new acquisition programs in a short period of time – four surface ship classes by 2023, unmanned underwater vehicles as well as laser and hypersonic weapons by 2025 – but he said that the timelines are aggressive but well thought-out and analyzed.

“These aren’t just sort of random dates thought up on a late night. It was pretty carefully coordinated; each of these has been assessed and said, okay, well that’s aggressive but we can get there,” Richardson said."

I'll be watching, Admiral, Sir
 
Jun 1, 2018
I know I posted about it already May 24, 2018
now FlightGlobal:
Dual air-launched LRASMs hit moving ship for second time
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related:
Lockheed Martin's Long Range Anti-Ship Missile Reaches Early Operational Capability (EOC) Status on U.S. Air Force B-1B
Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) has delivered the first
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(LRASM) to U.S. Air Force operational units, achieving Early Operational Capability (EOC) status ahead of schedule.

After successfully completing the required integration, flight testing and modeling and simulation, warfighters accepted the first of many tactical production units, meeting key criteria for the EOC declaration milestone.

"This event is the culmination of successful partnerships with the U.S. Air Force, Navy and DARPA," said David Helsel, LRASM director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "This milestone serves as a great example of collaboration to bring critical capabilities to the warfighter at accelerated acquisition timelines."

LRASM is designed to detect and destroy specific targets within groups of ships by employing advanced technologies that reduce dependence on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms, network links and GPS navigation in contested environments. LRASM will play a significant role in ensuring military access to operate in open ocean/blue waters, owing to its enhanced ability to discriminate and conduct tactical engagements from extended ranges.

LRASM is a precision-guided, anti-ship standoff missile based on the successful
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. It is designed to meet the needs of U.S. Navy and Air Force warfighters in contested environments. The air-launched variant, integrated onboard the U.S. Air Force's B-1B, provides an early operational capability meeting the offensive anti-surface warfare Increment I requirement. LRASM is on schedule to achieve EOC on the U.S. Navy's F/A-18E/F Super Hornet in 2019.

...
... etc., it's
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Today at 7:42 AM
Jun 1, 2018
related:
Lockheed Martin's Long Range Anti-Ship Missile Reaches Early Operational Capability (EOC) Status on U.S. Air Force B-1B
... etc., it's
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also this:
First LRASM anti-ship missiles delivered for Air Force’s B-1B bombers
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US defense contractor Lockheed Martin announced it has delivered the first Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASM) to the US Air Force, achieving early operational capability (EOC) status ahead of schedule.

The air-launched LRASM variant, integrated onboard the B-1B bombers, provides an early operational capability meeting the offensive anti-surface warfare Increment I requirement.

After successfully completing the required integration, flight testing and modeling and simulation, warfighters accepted the first of many tactical production units, meeting key criteria for the EOC declaration milestone.

“This event is the culmination of successful partnerships with the US Air Force, Navy and DARPA,” said David Helsel, LRASM director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “This milestone serves as a great example of collaboration to bring critical capabilities to the warfighter at accelerated acquisition timelines.”

LRASM is designed to detect and destroy specific targets within groups of ships by employing advanced technologies that reduce dependence on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms, network links and GPS navigation in contested environments.

LRASM is a precision-guided, anti-ship standoff missile based on the successful Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile – Extended Range. It is designed to meet the needs of US Navy and Air Force warfighters in contested environments. LRASM is on schedule to achieve EOC on the US Navy’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet in 2019.
 
...

Current out of Syria no ...
...
Troops may immediately withdraw from Syria as Trump declares victory over ISIS

1 hour ago
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The Trump administration is reportedly planning an immediate and total withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria.

The move comes as Turkish leaders are threatening an invasion of Syria that could pit U.S. advisers and U.S.-backed local forces against Turkey, a NATO ally.

Multiple news outlets are reporting variations of how definitive a U.S. withdrawal is at this point.

The Wall Street Journal
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the news that the withdrawal is already being prepared. CNN
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that planning is underway for a full and rapid departure of U.S. troops. Reuters is
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that the decision is still being considered.

President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday morning that the U.S. has defeated the Islamic State in Syria, “my only reason for being there.”

Reports of Trump’s call for a withdrawal runs counter to many statements from other military and national security leaders.

The Pentagon issued a statement Wednesday morning that made no mention of any withdrawal.

“At this time we continue to work by, with and through our partners in the region," said Col. Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman.

Last week, Trump administration officials appeared to brush aside the idea of a withdrawal.

“The military mission is the enduring defeat of ISIS,” Brett McGurk, Trump’s special presidential envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, told reporters at a Dec. 11 press conference. “We have obviously learned a lot of lessons in the past, so we know that once the physical space is defeated, we can’t just pick up and leave.

“So we’re prepared to make sure that we do all we can to ensure this is enduring … Nobody is saying that (ISIS is) going to disappear. Nobody is that naive. So we want to stay on the ground and make sure that stability can be maintained in these areas.”

Officials estimate there are about 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria, but the precise number is not disclosed publicly. Those U.S. forces are spread across the region in a network of forward operating bases and small units of combat advisers embedded with local allies, mainly Syrian Kurds.

Ten bases, including two with air strips, where U.S. troops have previously operated in northern Syria were identified in July 2017 on a map
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by Turkey’s state-run news agency. The Pentagon expressed operational security concerns with Turkey over the identification of those outposts, and they may have shifted since then.

U.S.-backed local forces have eliminated ISIS' last major holdout in the Hajin pocket, near the Syria-Iraq border. However, ISIS still has several thousand fighters in the Middle Euphrates River Valley.

ISIS has also shown an ability to launch major counter-offensives whenever U.S. air power is not in the area, such as an October incident when
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due to a sandstorm.

Responding to reports of a possible withdrawal, Pentagon officials issued a statement saying: “At this time, we continue to work by, with and through our partners in the region.”

U.S. troops work alongside a mix of Arab and Kurdish local militias that combine to form the Syrian Democratic Forces.

Turkey has long been angered by U.S. support for Kurdish fighters, which Turkey says are members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, an ethnically Kurdish terror group that has waged an insurgency in southeast Turkey for decades.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said
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that U.S. President Donald Trump had “responded positively” to Erodgan’s demands to remove Kurdish militias from Manbij, a region where U.S. troops are posted in northern Syria.

On Monday, though, U.S. Ambassador on Syrian Affairs Jim Jeffrey appeared to contradict Erdogan.

“We think that any offensive into northeast Syria by anyone is a bad idea, and that was a position that I conveyed when I was in Ankara, that everybody from the president on down has conveyed,” Jeffrey said,
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to Voice of America.

Pentagon leaders have also repeatedly stated that the U.S. must maintain a presence to ensure a lasting defeat of ISIS, as well as prevent the movement of
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.

Trump’s national security advisor, John Bolton, backed that school of thought this fall.

“We’re not going to leave as long as Iranian troops are outside Iranian borders, and that includes Iranian proxies and militias,” Bolton said in September.

Another dynamic in the whole situation is the tensions between U.S. and Russian forces in Syria. Americans and Russian mercenaries have reportedly exchanged gunfire on more than one occasion in the country.

“There have been various engagements, some involving exchange of fire, some not,” U.S. Ambassador James Jeffrey
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in late November. “Again, we are continuing our mission there and we are continuing to exercise our right of self-defense.”
 

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