US Military News, Reports, Data, etc.

I've been following here what I called 'CSG Lite' Mar 4, 2018
as I said, it's going to be interesting to watch this development, 'CSG Lite'

centered on an LHD with F-35Bs

"For example, while the upgunned ESG won’t have an equivalent of a CSG’s E-2 Hawkeye airborne early warning radar aircraft, the F-35’s onboard sensors could expand the targeting ability of the three-ship SAG." (the sentence from the USNI News posted Nov 25, 2016)

paired with Aegis of AB destroyer(s) etc.

hope it's obvious CSG Lite is my classification LOL!
; the latest is
USS Wasp Expected to Join Foal Eagle Exercise
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Amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD-1) is expected to participate in the annual Foal Eagle joint exercise with the Republic of Korea early next month.

The Foal Eagle is an annual joint exercise involving combined ground, air, naval, and special operations forces. The purpose,
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is purely defensive, to protect South Korea and the region from a North Korean strike. Last year, for instance, for the first time the U.S. Army’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) ballistic missile defense system was part of the exercise.

In March 2017,
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joined roughly 300,000 South Korean and U.S. military personnel in Foal Eagle 2017. Navy spokespersons would not say whether other Navy ships, such as aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), currently operating in the Indian Ocean, was expected to participate in Foal Eagle 2018.

The Wasp Amphibious Ready Group, including Wasp, USS Ashland (LSD-48) and USS Green Bay (LPD-20),
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, according to the USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker. A U.S. Navy Pacific Command spokesperson would not comment on the Navy’s participation in this year’s exercise, but an
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reported Wasp and a squadron of F-35B Lighting II Joint Strike Fighters are expected to participate in the exercise.

It is not known whether the resumption of Foal Eagle will change the planning for a proposed late April summit between Moon Jae-in, president of South Korea, and Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s leader. Also, a meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong-un is in the works.

North Korean officials view the annual exercises as a provocation, often claiming the joint actions are practice runs for an invasion of the north. Following last year’s exercise, North Korean officials sent a letter to the United Nationals Security Council complaining about their perceived purpose of Foal Eagle. Typically North Korean leaders display their displeasure through public shows of force. During the time of last year’s Foal Eagle,
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, according to the Pentagon.

“These launches, which coincide with the start of our annual defensive exercise, Foal Eagle, with the Republic of Korea’s military, are consistent with North Korea’s long history of provocative behavior, often timed to military exercises that we do with our ally,” said Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis last year when discussing the missile launches.

At the request of South Korean’s leadership, the combined exercises Foal Eagle and Key Resolve were
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because of the Winter Olympic Games held in PyeongChang, South Korea. The exercise is now expected to start on April 1, and be similar in size to previous years, according to a
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It would ne neat to see the USS Wasp coduct joint manuevers with South Korea's Dokdo...and REALLY neat to see at least one F-35B land on the Dokdo.
my personal guess had been

(based on Mar 20, 2018
Saturday at 6:48 PM and Wasp ESG, 31st MEU sails from Okinawa for Indo-Pacific patrol
Posted March 19, 2018
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they would sail down to the equator (I mean "Indo" part of the above headline), which is not exactly where they're going LOL
Boeing to stand up new divisions, shake up weapons management
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In an email sent to company employees Thursday morning, Boeing CEO Leanne Caret announced the company will stand up two new divisions next week.

Boeing is establishing a Commercial Derivative Aircraft division and a Missile and Weapon Systems division. The Commercial Derivative unit will be based in Seattle and take over responsibility for the KC-46 tanker, which has suffered
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The unit will also handle the
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. Tim Peters, a former Boeing KC-46 program manager, will head the unit.

The reorganization was first reported by
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and was confirmed to Defense News by a Boeing spokesman.

The Missile and Weapon Systems unit in Huntsville, Alabama, will monitor work on the new
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, the Ground-based Midcourse Defense missile interceptors, the
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and other weapons. This unit will be led by Norm Tew, former head of the company’s missile defense program.

“Commercial derivatives and missile and weapon systems are being stood up as their own divisions because those market areas are priorities within our long-term strategy,” Boeing spokesman Todd Blecher said.

According to Blecher, the migration of these programs has been in the works ever since Boeing began its development organization strategy, with each change occurring according to when programs reached certain milestones. “[W]hen Development Vice President Pat Goggin told Leanne Caret of his intention to retire, she decided the time was right to make the next step in her ongoing evolution of how we operate,” he said.

The company will also be disbanding its
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, which was created in 2015 to improve the “affordability and schedule performance” of new products.

This is Boeing’s
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, as it moves to consolidate locations and cut costs.
Marine Corps, Air Force Service Chiefs Hold First Meeting Since 2011; Plan to Coordinate on F-35, Air Defense Threats
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The Marine Corps and Air Force service chiefs met this week in the first top-level meeting between the services since 2011, in the first step towards developing a closer bond between the services perhaps least likely to work together.

The Marine Corps connects three-star leadership to the Army through a reinvigorated Army-Marine Corps Board, with a similar three-star Naval Board and other mechanisms to ensure interoperability with its sister service under the same Department of the Navy umbrella. But there are fewer avenues to coordinate with the Air Force – and in many cases, less need to do so.

However, Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert Neller said today that “the meeting we had yesterday with the Air Force was the first time we’ve met since 2011. So one of the first things we decided is we’re not going to wait seven more years to do this again. In fact, we’re probably going to come up with some sort of staff-level board quarterly where we’ll meet and talk about some of the common things that we discussed yesterday,” he said of his meeting with Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein.

“Obviously the F-35 is one thing where we have a common focus on the price point of that airplane, the sustainability of that airplane, the logistics of that airplane, and we kind of went from there. So we talked everything from space to cyber to close air support to command and control to security of bases and stations. And so it was a really good day,” Neller said.
“I think a lot of times you sit down with somebody that, you might think we don’t have a lot in common with the Air Force, but we filled the time and we could have spent more time there. So we’re going to get together on a more regular basis to try to address some of these things.”

The commandant added that one specific topic of interest to the two services might be how to defend against a growing unmanned aerial vehicle threat, and air defense in general.

Neller said earlier in the event, hosted by the Atlantic Council that the Marines haven’t had to think much about air defense in recent fights, particularly in Afghanistan, but “I think the real future of enemy air attack is going to be swarming drones.”

“They’re very inexpensive, and their autonomy and their ability to fly a planned route, and if they start to be weaponized I think that they’re something we’re going to have to deal with,” the commandant added.
Jan 28, 2018
Thursday at 8:09 PM
Air Force Searching for New Company to Re-Wing A-10s
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updating 'retirement of the Warthog' LOL! with U.S. Air Force To Kick Off Competition For New A-10 Wings

Mar 27, 2018
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President Donald Trump’s signature on the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill last week gave the U.S. Air Force the green light to move forward with re-winging the A-10 Warthog so the venerable attack aircraft can fly into the 2030s.

The fiscal 2018 appropriations act includes $103 million for the Air Force to restart production of A-10 wings—a necessary step to keep the aging fleet flying for at least the next decade. Out of a fleet of about 280 A-10s that need new wings,
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has re-winged about 170, but the remaining 109 aircraft are still flying with their original wings from the 1970s.

But Boeing may not get to build new wings for the rest of the fleet. The Air Force plans to launch a new competition for the re-winging work, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson told the House Armed Services Committee during a March 20 hearing. The service has already issued a draft request for proposals (RFP) and hopes to release a final solicitation by April 3, according to the draft RFP posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website.

The omnibus includes enough funding to restart the production line and build four additional sets of wings, Wilson said. The service’s fiscal 2019 budget request includes $80 million for A-10 re-winging, which Wilson expects to yield between eight and 12 more wing sets that year.

But time is of the essence. The Air Force will be forced to ground a portion of the fleet if the re-winging is not completed soon.

Replacing the A-10 wings is all the more urgent as the aircraft continues to be pivotal to operations around the world: Warthog pilots are currently fighting Islamic State terrorists in Iraq and Syria, standing guard south of the DMZ, and most recently were sent back to Afghanistan to fight the Taliban in January.

To avoid grounding aircraft, the Air Force is accelerating procurement of new wings as much as possible, according to the draft RFP. If all goes according to plan, proposals will be due by June 5, with a downselect and award expected by March 25, 2019.

The service can commit to maintaining wings for six of its nine A-10 combat squadrons through roughly 2030, officials have said. The number of wing sets the Air Force ultimately can buy depends on the contract’s outcome, spokeswoman Laura McAndrews said.

“The majority of the A-10 fleet will fly and fight for the foreseeable future,” she said.

Another factor is the outcome of an upcoming fly-off between the A-10 and
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, which was originally touted as a replacement for the Warthog. Congress has mandated that no divestments of the A-10 will occur until the fly-off, which the Air Force is officially calling a “comparative evaluation,” is conducted.

This evaluation could come before September. Even before the F-35 is officially scheduled to begin its final testing period, initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E), the Pentagon’s top weapons tester is planning two “pre-IOT&E increments,” one of which will be focused on the close-air support (CAS) and reconnaissance missions. Readiness assessments for this phase will start in April, F-35 Program Executive Officer Vice Adm. Mat Winter told reporters during a recent roundtable. So the test itself will likely take place sometime this summer.

The CAS and reconnaissance increment will predominantly take place at Edwards AFB, California, and the test ranges in the western U.S., Winter said. These tests will include some limited weapons delivery as part of the CAS evaluation.

While it will be interesting to see the results of the fly-off, this test holds less significance now that the Air Force has decided to keep the A-10 for the foreseeable future, rather than retiring the venerable Warthog and replacing it with the F-35.

Winter would not confirm that the fly-off would take place during the second pre-IOT&E increment. He said it could take place during that phase or during formal IOT&E.
Today at 8:14 AM
Boeing to stand up new divisions, shake up weapons management
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now FlightGlobal:
Boeing Defense reorganizes by adding two new divisions and eliminating another
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Boeing plans to launch two new divisions within its Defense, Space & Security business starting next week – a Commercial Derivative Aircraft division, and a Missile and Weapon Systems division – as part of an ongoing reorganization effort by the business unit’s chief executive, Leanne Caret.

The company also plans to eliminate its Development division, which had managed programmes for the KC-46 aerial refueling tanker, Air Force One, Ground Based Strategic Deterrent, and the CST-100 Starliner Commercial Crew spacecraft capsule for NASA. Those programmes will be repositioned within the new divisions and the company’s Space division, which is being renamed the Space and Launch division.

The Commercial Derivative Aircraft division will be based in Seattle. It will include the P-8 Poseidon, KC-46 aerial tanker and Air Force One programme. Tim Peters, currently head of Boeing’s flight test activities and a former KC-46 programme manager, will lead the division.

The Missile and Weapon Systems division will be based in Huntsville, Alabama. It will include Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent and Ground-Based Midcourse Defense programmes, as well as Joint Direct Attack Munition and other weapons that are produced by the company outside St. Louis, Missouri. Norm Tew, currently head of engineering for what today is called the Space and Missile Systems division, will lead the division. Tew was previously the company’s Ground-Based Midcourse Defense programme manager.

As of 2 April, Boeing Defense, Space & Security business divisions will include: Commercial Derivative Aircraft; Missile and Weapon Systems; Space and Launch; Autonomous Systems; Vertical Lift, Strike, Surveillance and Mobility; and Phantom Works. It will also maintain a Global Operations division based in London to manage operations in the UK, India, the Middle East, and Australia.

Since being named Boeing Defense, Space & Security president and chief executive in February 2016, Caret has worked to reorganise and streamline the business unit. In December 2016, the unit moved its headquarters from St. Louis to Northern Virginia to be closer to customers within the Pentagon. Last July, the unit eliminated 50 executive positions.
now noticed the tweet
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is critical to
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. The
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USS Nebraska, an Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine assigned to
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, tests two unarmed Trident D5 missiles. These were the 166th and 167th successful test flights since 1989.
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Mar 13, 2018
US Air Force orders freeze on public outreach
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Goldfein Says Media Chill Because OPSEC Muscles Have Atrophied
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Two weeks after the Air Force announced a six-month hiatus in media engagements to allow time for airmen at all levels to undergo refresher training in how to talk to the press, Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein explained it’s because operational security has “atrophied” in the post-Cold War era, and is necessary again now that the US is engaged in a “great power competition.”

Meeting with defense reporters in Washington Thursday, Goldfein said that as a junior officer during the 1980s, he had received extensive training in how not to discuss or allude to things that could be useful to America’s military adversaries.

“That was the world that we were in. There were things we talked about and things we didn’t talk about,” he said.

Now, “We’re coming out of 17 years of conflict where we haven’t been in the great power competition game, so therefore we’ve been a little looser in the things we talk about,” he said.

Recently, there were “three or four incidents in a row” where press reports “skirted the edge” of giving away sensitive operational details, Goldfein claimed, and “the Secretary [Heather Wilson] and I were uncomfortable.” While the information was “not inappropriate for the world we were living in when violent extremism was the primary threat,” the stories were “inappropriate when we’re in a great power competition.” Adversaries pay close attention to “what we write, … say, … do.”

Goldfein said the right amount to say is “always a balancing act. … We have an obligation to speak to the American people and tell them what’s going on, … and speak to you,” he said. “We take that obligation seriously.” Goldfein expressed his hope that “what you’ll report back to me is that there will be no difference.”

Major command chiefs and progressively lower-ranking officials have received “significant training” already, Goldfein said, saying the process is meant to give airmen “the tools they need.” He promised to convene reporters for a status check in two or three months on whether USAF is living up to its obligations to “tell … our stories.”


New Wings for A-10 May Keep it Flying Past 2030: Air Force Secretary....


"Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said Friday that new wings for the workhorse A-10 Thunderbolt will keep the close-air support aircraft in the inventory for another dozen years or more.

Last week, Wilson told the House Armed Services Committee that funding for the re-winging of the A-10s in the fiscal year 2018 budget would keep the "Warthogs" flying at least to 2030."

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