Archive for the ‘American’ Category

Naval Takeaways from 2018 Defense Budget

November 9, 2017

The combined House and Senate Armed Services Committees have vetted the administration’s defense budget request. Naval highlights include:

“Authorizes multiyear contract authority and advance procurement for up to 13 Virginia-class submarines.

 Authorizes multiyear contract authority and advance procurement for up to 15 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers.

Authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security to procure the first polar-class heavy icebreaker and includes a review of Navy capabilities in the Arctic region.

Codifies at least a 355-ship Navy with the optimal mix of ships as U.S. policy.

Authorizes limited aspects of the Department’s proposal to recapitalize the Ready Reserve Force.

Expands the National Sea-Based Deterrence Fund to include multiyear procurement of critical components.

Directs reports of maritime intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and targeting; defense of combat logistics and strategic mobility forces; the acquisition strategy to recapitalize undersea fixed surveillance systems; Los Angeles-class submarine service life extensions; and mine warfare readiness.” (Committees highlights report, 5) 

Page 4 presents a breakdown of what authorizations are included for shipbuilding, among them “… $30 million for preliminary design of a smaller aircraft carrier….”

Defense News has an analysis of this approval.

 

 

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U.S. Coast Guard’s Need for New Cutters

September 27, 2017

That the Coast Guard has an aging fleet is not to be denied; a unique needs cutter built in 1944 was taken out of service in 2011. A history of the procurement of cutters, funding, and Congressional options are all explained in this recent CRS report – Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress. And this at a time when the Coast Guard, for the second year in a row, has interdicted a record amount of cocaine.

 

What Are the Causes for the Recent U.S. Navy Collisions?

August 30, 2017

Maybe this article from the Navy Times has the answer – Maybe today’s Navy is just not good at driving ships. This is further supported by a series of three articles published in Proceedings Today: Collisions: Part I – What Are the Root Causes?; Collisions: Part II – Operational Pause; and Collisions: Part III – Maintenance.

Required reading is the oft-cited 2010 Report of the Fleet Review Panel on Surface Force Readiness as chaired by retired Vice Admiral Philip Balisle.

Another important document is this 2010 GAO report – Navy Needs to Reassess Its Metrics and Assumptions for Ship Crewing Requirements and Training as is this 2017 report – Navy Readiness: Actions Needed to Maintain Viable Surge Sealift and Combat Logistics Fleets. Other GAO investigations on the Navy can be found here.

Numerous Congressional hearings on fleet readiness are also available online.

One should peruse this 2017 CRS report – Defining Readiness: Background and Issues for Congress.

Histories of the U.S. Marine Corps

August 30, 2017

This site contains numerous online publications ranging from general histories to unit histories to bibliographies, and finding aids. Whole sections are devoted to either individual conflicts or time periods. The occasional primary source, such as journals, do make an appearance.

“[U.S.] Marines in the Frigate Navy”

August 23, 2017

This series of fourteen 4-color prints show the life of the Marine Corps from 1798 to 1835. Each poster comes with a page explaining the historical significance of the event. Compare this to The Marines in the Revolution: A Pictorial History.

U.S. Naval Strategies in the Late 1900s

August 16, 2017

Here are some relevant documents from the Newport Papers series:  U.S. Naval Strategy in the 1970s: Selected Documents; U.S. Naval Strategy in the 1980s: Selected Documents; and U.S. Naval Strategy in the 1990s: Selected Documents.

USS Constitution Refloated in Boston Harbor

July 24, 2017

After two years of re-furbishment, the USS Constitution is once again afloat. Various videos are available. Primary sources on this, the world’s oldest commissioned warship, can be found in The Naval War of 1812: A Documentary History (3 vols., 1985-2002) and Naval Documents related to the United States Wars with the Barbary Powers (6 vols., 1939-44).

 

 

CRS Reports of Naval Interest

May 31, 2017

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) is essentially a think tank located within the Library of Congress that generates reports for Congresspeople and their staff. (More info here.) Since the interests of Congress are wide-ranging, CRS produces a veritable blizzard of reports on a plethora of subjects. One area of interest for Congress is naval affairs. Here is a listing of recent “products”: Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)/Frigate Program: Background and Issues for Congress; Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program: Background and Issues for Congress; Navy Lasers, Railgun, and Hypervelocity Projectile: Background and Issues for Congress; Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress; Navy Ford (CVN-78) Class Aircraft Carrier Program: Background and Issues for Congress; Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress; and Navy DDG-51 and DDG-1000 Destroyer Programs: Background and Issues for Congress.

New York’s Fleet Week Starts Today

May 24, 2017

For those in the area, please visit here for additional information. I’ve been going for over two decades; I’ll be there again this year as well.

Holiday Menus From USN Ships

March 20, 2017

There are various sites that offer menus from hotels and the like; this site offers holiday menus from USN ships. Peruse menus from 1905 through the 1950s. As the introduction to this feature states: “Holiday dinners are important memories and experiences for past and present Sailors, with many remembering these special times away from home and with their fellow shipmates. Even in wartime, traditional holiday dinners, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, are served to our nation’s Sailors deployed off foreign shores or in combat theaters. “