US Military News, Reports, Data, etc.


Apr 12, 2019
didn't know
Trump picks next chief of naval operations
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“Sailor 2025”
Next Chief of Naval Operations Will Lead a Navy Facing Readiness, Personnel, Technology Challenges
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and I pick just what's the most important which I think is

If confirmed, Moran will inherit a Navy that has had a long struggle with readiness as it strained to meet the demands of a support role in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and other commitments like ballistic missile defense in the Western Pacific. Those commitments drained readiness even ahead of the Navy trying to re-orient to a high-end fight and expand the force.

Described by Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer as a “readiness hole,” the service has waged a campaign during the Trump Administration to catch up on ship maintenance it deferred while meeting the demands of the geographical combatant commanders.

“The cumulative effects of well-meaning decisions designed to achieve short-term operational effectiveness and efficiencies have often produced unintended negative consequences which, in turn, degraded necessary long-term operational capability,”
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following the fatal collisions in the Western Pacific.
“Simultaneously, Navy leaders accumulated greater and greater risk in order to accomplish the missions at hand, which unintentionally altered the Navy’s culture and, at levels above the Navy, distorted perceptions of the readiness of the fleet.”

Navy leaders have testified to Congress that the service is now slowly improving on both ship and aviation maintenance, with more ships getting serviced in dry docks

Earlier this month, the Navy said it has seen improvements to its tactical aviation readiness, seeing mission capable rates for its fleet of Super Hornets between 63 to 75 percent, up from a rate of about 50 percent in 2016. The Navy and Air Force have been on a drive to improve readiness for fighters after then-Secretary of Defense James Mattis ordered the services to reach an 80-percent mission capable rate.

The picture has been less rosy for the surface force, carriers and submarines. In 2014, the Navy announced it would organize around a readiness scheme called the Optimized Fleet Response Plan championed by then-Fleet Forces commanders Adm. Bill Gortney and Adm. Phil Davidson that was supposed to balance the training, maintenance and deployment cycle of a carrier strike group over a 36-month period. Since the implementation of OFRP, the Navy hasn’t been able to meet its 36-month goal yet due to maintenance delays.

On the East Coast, the service has suffered a series of delays in carrier maintenance. Both USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) and USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-79) added months of maintenance that have likely thrown wrenches into future deployment schedules.

Attack submarines too have suffered maintenance delays in the public shipyards that have prompted the service to seek repair help from private shipyards. The Navy is also struggling to find the parts it needs to
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. To that end, the Navy has laid out a $21-billion plan to improve its facilities to keep up with the growth in required maintenance work.

“Sustaining the 355-ship fleet will require changes to both public and private industrial capability and capacity. Current infrastructure will require update and refurbishment to support modern classes of ships and repair,”
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. “This includes investments in updating facilities and capital equipment, and as well as providing that workforce training that is both modern and relevant and compensation commensurate with the skill required to repair Navy ships.”

Jeff Head

Staff member
Super Moderator
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Navy Recognition said:
The South Korean MoD on Tuesday, April 30, approved plans to build three Aegis-equipped destroyers worth 3.9 trillion won ($US 3.3 billion). The plan also includes upgrading submarines to enhance the military's operational capabilities, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said to local media.

The Defense Project Promotion Committee passed the plans to construct the second batch of three destroyers, called Gwanggaeto the Great Ⅲ, by 2028with a budget of around 3.9 trillion won (US$3.3 billion), Yohhap news said quoting DAPA.

The new destroyers are to be equipped with an upgraded US Aegis defence system which will allow them to intercept ballistic missiles. The Block 10 version of the Lockheed Martin’s Aegis system heralds a new era in detection and tracking as it can simultaneously track and defend against missiles, aircraft and enemy ships.

The Defence Projects Promotions Committee also approved a plan to build the next-generation indigenous submarine, the Jangbogo Ⅲ. The Jangbogo Ⅲ project refers to building three 3,450-ton submarines by 2028 that will be equipped with ballistic missile launchers, under a budget of 3.4 billion won, according to the DAPA.
Three more Se Jong the Great AEGIS destroyers which are really cruisers, with 144 VLS cells. And new subs with ballistic missile launch capability...not to mention adding another Dokdo Carrier and having them both loaded up with F-35Bs!

Now South Korea and Japan will both have two carrier, each with 20-24 F-35Bs and plenty of excellent escorts to defend them.

Not to mention the US LHA/:HDs able to operate in an escort carrier role with up to 20 or 24 F-35Bs, which the US used last week when the USS Wasp. LHD-1 cruised, with its AEGIS Burke escorts through the south china Sea with 12 F-35Bs on its decks.


...and the Japanese Izumo class with F-35Bs. They are going to add a ski-jump to each as shown in the second picture.


and then the Korean Dokdo doing the same:


See the following two Videos:

Japanese two carrier group Carrier Strike Group:

US LHD-7, USS Iwo Jima outfitted as a carrier.

The US has already deployed three of its LHD/LHA on missions with larger numbers of F-35Bs than what they used to deploy with Harrier IIs.

1. The USS Wasp is forward deployed in Japan with up to 24 F-35Bs. It recently sailed through the South China Sea with 12 of them aboard as shown above.

2. The USS Essex, LHD-2 was sent on its latest Mission to the Persion Gulf with 12 F-35Bs.

3. The USS America ahs been deployed recently for several months training F-35Bs in opwerations off of her decks with up to 20 F-35Bs.

That's, in essence, three more carriers the US is deploying by simply doing what it started practicing during Desert Storm whe it outfitted three Wasp class LPDs with 22 Harriers each.

The US is seriously working up and training operationally to operate seveal LHD/LHAs as escort carriers with 20-24 F-35Bs...even while they continue to build the new Ford class nuclear carriers. And, Trump recently decided not to decommission the USS Truman nuclear carrier as it approaches its mid-life maintenance as numbers of Democratic congressmen desired to save money for socakl programs.


and in the meantime
The Air Force is spinning toward a $4 billion financial disaster
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will begin lapsing Wednesday due to a lack of funds,
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and deferring more than 120 projects planned to begin after May 1.
If the Air Force doesn’t get that funding, it will be forced to ground combat aircraft, defer at least 61 facility repair projects at various bases and halt certain aircraft maintenance actions. Key weapons programs — like hypersonic weapons development — would be slowed down and become more costly, and non-deploying squadrons may have their flying hours stripped away, warned Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson in a March 6 memo obtained by Defense News.

“We need
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to avoid significant negative impacts on the readiness of the force to fight,” Wilson wrote. “These FY 2019 budget impacts, left unmitigated, will drive negative impacts to the Air Force readiness and lethality.”

The money the service needs in FY19 falls into three categories:
  • It needs $1.2 billion in additional funding for hurricane and flood recovery at Tyndall AFB, Fla., and Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., according to service.
  • It needs to transfer $366 million from other accounts so that it can achieve the 80 percent mission capable mandate for the F-35, F-22 and F-16, the memo states.
  • It needs permission to shift more than $3 billion in its existing budget so that it can continue funding the development of tech priorities like hypersonics and new missile warning satellites, according to the memo.
During an April 30 roundtable with reporters, John Henderson, assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and energy, said that the lack of funding will keep the service from starting a total of 121 projects at Tyndall.

But that’s just the
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, which have resulted in a shortfall of more than $4 billion in fiscal 2019.

“These are repair projects for facilities,” he said. “It’s doing initial repairs on roofs, doing mold remediation, completing the demolition on buildings that are partially demolished and have standing [water]. We had 29,000 acres of trees. Seventy-five percent of those trees are knocked over and they’re drying up and becoming a risk — a fire risk.”

Until those projects receive funding, “those facilities will essentially just continue to decay,” he said. “It will leave facilities that are partially destroyed in that state. So in other words when the wind comes up, we still have debris blowing off those buildings until we get them demolished.”

And although Tyndall leadership still plan on moving forward with an Industry Day on May 2, other planning efforts for the long-term reconstruction of the base will also go on hold, Henderson said.

Lawmakers in both the House and Senate have proposed legislation that would boost funding for hurricane and flood recovery efforts, but those bills have stagnated over how much disaster aid to provide Puerto Rico.

The powerful chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., pledged to rebuild Tyndall once the impasse is resolved, but it was unclear when that might be. “I’m hopeful, but I was hopeful it would happen two, three weeks ago and it didn’t. It will happen in some form, the sooner the better,” he said.

Meanwhile, Democrats and Republicans are pointing fingers at each other, with the politics surrounding President Donald Trump’s policies at the U.S.-Mexico border entangling the Air Force’s financial reprieve.

Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the need at Tyndall and Offutt — as well as the Marine Corps’ requirement for hurricane relief at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina — "underscores the wrong priorities of the administration" after it reprogrammed roughly $1 billion in excess Army funds toward barriers on the U.S.-Mexico border.

"They could have easily moved some of that to Tyndall and Camp Lejeune and kept some of the construction projects going," Reed said. "Why are we taking $1 billion out of reprogramming and putting it at a project where the NORTHCOM commander said there's no military threat at the border? Yet we're ignoring serious storm damage at Tyndall, Offutt and Lejeune."

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., accused Senate Democrats of “playing politics with disaster funding” at the expense of “real people and communities in Florida.”

“It has been nearly seven months since Hurricane Michael struck Florida’s Panhandle, and we are up against a very real deadline to deliver much-needed resources,” he said. “Tyndall Air Force Base recently served as the
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and employed thousands in the Panhandle. Now, it faces a May 1 funding deadline to continue repairs. The time for political games and rhetoric is over. It’s time to act.”

Days after visiting Tyndall, Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., blamed Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for impeding the needed spending bill. Scott serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“We want our military to be ready and trained, but we don’t give them the resources to do it—and that’s exactly what this Congress is doing,” Scott said. “If [Schumer] cared about Puerto Rico, if he cared about Florida, he would get the bill on the floor that the president said he would sign and let it pass.”

Henderson told reporters that the Air Force has been working with Congress for six months on a supplemental for hurricane relief for Tyndall.

“We’ve done our part,” he said. “We’ve cash flowed initial recovery and response efforts from our operations and maintenance funds that were originally budgeted for other critical needs on the assurance that we could replenish those funds through supplemental funding later in the year.”

... size limit reached; the article goes on below, to a disinterest of this thread:


The budget shortfall

Henderson warned that, without a supplemental, the Air Force could be unable to meet former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ mandate to
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up to an 80 percent mission capable rate by the end of the fiscal year.

“We’re trying to preserve that,” he said. But “as we start to talk about not doing routine depot maintenance and not executing our flying hours, at some point it could potentially impact flying readiness.”

Wilson’s memo spells out a long list of effects that could occur by September 30, should the Air Force not receive additional money or permission to reroute funds across its accounts. The Air Force did not respond by press time on whether all of the effects listed in the memo could still materialize.

What is certain is that the Air Force has already deferred 61 projects worth a total of $272.4 million across 18 bases in the United States and five overseas installations. On March 23, it announced that it would be forced to ground five bombers across its fleet of B-52, B-1 and B-2 aircraft this fall, and a long-term backlog for E-3 early warning aircraft maintenance would develop.

However, Wilson’s memo lays out slightly different consequences. The account for weapon system sustainment would be cut by $600 million in order to pay for disaster relief, and up to 17 aircraft could be grounded.

The service would stop full-scale fatigue testing for the B-1, which could prevent currently grounded B-1s from being returned to the flight line. The service would pause C-130J engine inductions, “drawing down our engine reserves and potentially creating readiness concerns in FY2020,” the memo states.

The cut to sustainment would also impact software updates for military satellites, delaying nine mission releases and eight information assurance releases, according to the memo.

Wilson’s memo predicted a shortfall of at least $600 million for FY19 to its Facilities, Sustainment, Restoration and Modernization account, which would result in the deferment of as many as 170 projects. However, Henderson on Tuesday said that the service could not find that many efforts to delay, raising questions about how that money will eventually be found.

The memo projected a $820 million cut to its flying hour program, which would result in fewer training hours for all but the most important warfighting squadrons.

“This may lead to grounding non-deploying squadrons, reducing flying to basic mission capable rates, curtailing non-readiness flying, and cancelling exercises and theater security package events in accordance with National Defense Strategy priorities,” Wilson wrote. “We would also reduce non-OCO refueling missions and stand down one class of our Weapons Instructor Course.”

Separate from the disaster relief problem, the Air Force is still working on getting permission to shift existing funding so that it can speed up weapons programs.

The Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared program, or Next-Gen OPIR, needs $623 million or else the launch of the first three missile warning satellites constellation could be delayed by two years, officials have warned. Wilson’s memo also stipulates that would add $300 million in cost to the program.

“Additionally, the inability to address $283 million in requirements to several other programs, including hypersonics, counter-small unmanned aerial systems, and Massive Ordnance Penetrator will delay the Air Force’s ability to deliver critical technology maturation and operational test,” she wrote.
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now Shanahan: Super Hornet on track to meet readiness goals, but F-16s and F-22s still struggling
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is set to meet the
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by the end of the year, the Pentagon’s top civilian said Wednesday, but it remains unclear whether the F-35,
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and F-16 will be able to meet the mark.

Last fall, former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis gave the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps until the end of fiscal year 2019 to bring their F-35s, F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, F-22 Raptors and F-16s
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— a key metric to determine the health of a flying squadron’s aircraft.

Of those, the “real emphasis was on the F-35 and F/A-18,” acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan said May 1 during a House Appropriations Committee panel, and the Super Hornet has made a “tremendous” amount of headway over the past year.

“The Navy has made significant progress with the F/A-18s. I think they’re on track to meet the goal in September,” he told lawmakers.

However, Shanahan suggested that the F-22 and F-16 are unlikely to hit the 80 percent goal, adding that the F-22 “has struggled” and the F-16 “is a bit of a high bar” to clear.

Shanahan was unclear on whether the F-35 — which is available in three different variants used by the Air Force, Marine Corp and Navy — will be able to meet the mandate this year.

“The F-35s, being brand new aircraft, that [80 percent] should be the baseline where we start,” he said. “The F-35 will come home. We’re going to drive that home.”

The Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps didn’t not provide information about the F-35’s progress by press time, but the most recent statistics do not seem promising.

The services have stopped publishing mission capable rate statistics last year, citing operational sensitivities, but a March report by the Government Accountability Office found that all variants of the F-35 operated at a mission capable rate of about 50 percent from a period of May to November 2018.

However, Mattis’ mandate specifies that only the F-35s used by operational squadrons must meet the readiness marker. Because there are only a small number of operational F-35 squadrons, and those units typically have newer and more reliable aircraft, the services may stand a better chance of getting to the 80 percent rate.

Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek concurred with Shanahan’s assessment of the F-16 and F-22, saying that damage from Hurricane Michael to Tyndall Air Force Base’s F-22s and ongoing difficulties with maintaining the F-22’s low observable coating were likely to prevent the Raptor from achieving an 80 percent mission capability rate this year.

However, the service is still “optimistic” that it will be able to get its F-16s over the finish line by the end of FY19, she said.

Given the low availability of tactical aircraft in recent years, it would be a massive accomplishment to get any of the fighter jets to meet the 80 percent goal.

In August, Navy Secretary Richard Spencer told reporters that half of the service’s Super Hornet aircraft were mission capable — a huge increase from 2017
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In 2017, the last year the Air Force put out data, F-22s held a 49 percent mission capable rate and the F-16 hovered around 65 to 70 percent, depending on the model.

Despite the services’ difficulties meeting the aviation readiness goal, Shanahan maintained that pushing toward an 80 percent mission capable rate for those platforms was a worthy endeavor.

“It’s a lot of iron to keep on the ground, and given all the training missions and the productivity we can generate, I think holding that standard is smart for now,” he said.


here comes
Large Surface Combatant
part of
SECNAV, CNO Update Congress on Columbia SSBNs, New Large Surface Combatant
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Richardson and Spencer also fielded questions on Wednesday from Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who quizzed the pair on the Navy’s plan to move to a new hull design for the next large surface combatant by 2025 to supersede the Arleigh Burke-class (DDG-51) Flight III design.

“The Navy has moved ahead with those plans since last year, with procurement of a lead ship now scheduled for Fiscal Year 2025, which is just a couple of years after the end of the current multi-year procurement contract for the DDG-51 Flight IIIs,” she said.
“Many of us in Congress expected that we would see a subsequent multi-year contract for the Flight IIIs.”

Until recently, the Navy had planned to continue building a Flight III variant past the 10 hulls already under contract as
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between HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding in Mississippi and General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Collins’ home state of Maine.

Instead, the service wants to develop a new large surface combatant that would use new kinds of sensors and weapons. Pentagon officials fear signals the service’s existing AN/SPY-1 and emerging AN/SPY-6 air search radars make them a target for long-range anti-ship ballistic missiles and want to develop a family of manned and unmanned ships that will take information from a variety of inputs. The lessons from the rapid acquisition program of the new guided-missile frigate and the MQ-25A Stingray unmanned aerial vehicle will help inform the program, Navy leaders have said.

“One of the things we’re doing differently is bringing in industry into a discussion of the requirements, so we don’t come up with something that’s impossible to invent and then build,” Richardson said on Wednesday. “The virtue of doing that with the frigate and the unmanned tanker has proven itself that we have much more confidence in cost and schedule, even on the lead ship.”


Nov 23, 2018
tragicomic they don't ever mention actual combat value ("value") of some vessels being procured for example 35 LCSs Sep 18, 2018
, just aggregate number in ...
... Report to Congress on Navy Shipbuilding, Force Structure
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From the report
The current and planned size and composition of the Navy, the rate of Navy ship procurement, and the prospective affordability of the Navy’s shipbuilding plans have been oversight matters for the congressional defense committees for many years.

On December 15, 2016, the Navy released a force-structure goal that calls for achieving and maintaining a fleet of 355 ships of certain types and numbers.The 355-ship force-level goal is the result of a Force Structure Assessment (FSA) conducted by the Navy in 2016. The Navy states that a new FSA is now underway as the successor to the 2016 FSA. This new FSA, Navy officials state, is to be completed by the end of 2019. Navy officials have suggested in their public remarks that this new FSA could change the 355-ship figure, the planned mix of ships, or both.

The Navy’s proposed FY2020 budget requests funding for the procurement of 12 new ships, including one Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) class aircraft carrier, three Virginia-class attack submarines, three DDG-51 class Aegis destroyers, one FFG(X) frigate, two John Lewis (TAO-205) class oilers, and twoTATS towing, salvage, and rescue ships. The Navy’s FY2020 five-year (FY2020-FY2024) shipbuilding plan includes 55 new ships, or an average of 11 new ships per year. The Navy’s FY2020 30-year (FY2020-FY2049) shipbuilding plan includes 304 ships, or an average of about 10 per year.

If the FY2020 30-year shipbuilding plan is implemented, the Navy projects that it will achieve a total of 355 ships by FY2034. This is about 20 years sooner than projected under the Navy’s FY2019 30-year shipbuilding plan — an acceleration primarily due to a decision announced by the Navy in April 2018, after the FY2019 plan was submitted, to increase the service lives of all DDG-51 destroyers to 45 years. Although the Navy projects that the fleet will reach a total of 355 ships in FY2034, the Navy in that year and subsequent years will not match the composition called for in the FY2016 FSA.

One issue for Congress is whether the new FSA that the Navy is conducting will change the 355-ship force-level objective established by the 2016 FSA and,if so, in what ways. Another oversight issue for Congress concerns the prospective affordability of the Navy’s 30-year shipbuilding plan. Decisions that Congress makes regarding Navy force structure and shipbuilding planscan substantially affect Navy capabilities and funding requirements and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base.


Mar 16, 2019
There are mounting signs of military planning for Venezuela
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... and
US Still Pondering Military Options in Venezuela
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The Trump administration ended a week of pointed but vague threats of a military response to the Venezuelan political crisis with a meeting at the Pentagon to consider its options, though there was still no sign any action was on the horizon.

Shortly after Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and other senior officials reviewed options in light of a failed effort earlier this week by Venezuelan opposition leaders to fuel an uprising, President Donald Trump said he discussed the situation with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Trump, whose administration is seeking the ouster of President Nicolas Maduro and has recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as president, said he and Putin share the goal of a peaceful end to the crisis.

"He is not looking at all to get involved in Venezuela, other than he'd like to see something positive happen for Venezuela," Trump said. "And I feel the same way. We want to get some humanitarian aid. Right now people are starving."

Trump's reference to a hands-off Russian approach stands in contrast to assertions by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Russia is part of the problem in Caracas. Pompeo said earlier this week that Maduro was set to flee Venezuela until Russia persuaded him to stay.

In its description of the Trump-Putin conversation, the Kremlin said Putin stressed the need to respect Venezuelans' right to determine their own future. He told Trump that outside interference in internal affairs and attempts at forceful regime change in Caracas undermine the prospects for a political settlement of the crisis.

The Pentagon has no direct role in Venezuela but has been consulting with the White House on ways it can support U.S. diplomacy and prepare for contingencies that could arise, including a crisis that endangers Americans in Venezuela.

In an interview with a small group of reporters Friday, Shanahan said Navy Adm. Craig Faller, commander of U.S. Southern Command, flew to Washington to meet with him and other senior officials, including Pompeo and John Bolton, Trump's national security adviser.

The session highlighted the administration's effort to suggest the possibility of military action, perhaps as a way of increasing public pressure on Maduro, although there appears to be little likelihood of direct U.S. military intervention.

They reviewed and refined military planning and options for responding to the crisis, Shanahan said. He declined to provide details and gave no indication they made decisions to take any military action.

"We have a comprehensive set of options tailored to certain conditions, and I'm just going to leave it at that," he said. Pressed to say whether the options include direct military intervention, he said, "I'll leave that to your imagination. All options are on the table."

Faller's area of responsibility includes Venezuela, and U.S. air and naval forces in the region are capable of conducting surveillance that could support intelligence collection inside Venezuela. The Trump administration's emphasis has been on diplomatic and economic pressure to try to compel Maduro to step aside.

Asked whether Venezuela poses a national security threat to the United States that would justify using U.S. military force, Shanahan said Russia, China and Iran are involved in Venezuela, and then added, "Right now it's about Maduro and his illegitimate regime, and Guaidó and making sure that the people of Venezuela have the environment and the conditions to correct for all these humanitarian shortcomings."

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, wrote on Twitter, "Where is our aircraft carrier?" Asked to comment on that suggestion, Shanahan told reporters, "All (options) would include all."

Shanahan said he wanted an update on the situation in light of this week's developments in which Guaidó called for a military uprising two days earlier. The attempted uprising failed to push Venezuela's military into rebellion but was followed by deadly clashes between protesters and police in cities across the country.

"This was really a true review, and then making sure we're all in alignment" within the administration, he said.

Asked whether the failed attempt to spark an uprising to oust Maduro suggests faulty U.S. intelligence, Shanahan said, "I feel very confident in the quality and the accuracy of the information that we're getting." He added, "I don't feel like we have an intelligence gap."

Pompeo told Fox News on Thursday evening that he remained hopeful that Venezuelans will rise up.

"The military didn't fracture in the way that we would hope, but it's just a matter of time," he said. "It's the case that Maduro may rule for a little while longer, but he's not going to govern. Structurally, there's no way he stays in power. It's time for him to leave, and we need the Cubans and the Russians to follow him out the door."

Also attending the Faller briefing were Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, and Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Shanahan canceled a trip to Europe this week to remain in Washington for meetings on Venezuela.