Log on the Web
By Kirsten Ashbaugh
Department of Defense Declares U.S. On Schedule to Leave Iraq in Summer 2011 as Vice President Biden Travels to Iraq
“The United States in on track or ahead of schedule to end its combat mission in Iraq this summer, and the lack of a permanent government there will not serve as a deterrent to that plan, senior administration officials traveling with Vice President Joe Biden said today….” Read more.
Northrop Grumman Delivers First F-35 Training Systems Courseware
“‘Training systems courseware provides the fundamental framework for teaching pilots and aircraft maintainers how to prepare for the F-35 mission or maintenance scenarios they’re most likely to encounter,’ explains Mark Tucker, vice president of tactical systems and F-35 program manager for Northrop Grumman’s Aerospace Systems sector. ‘The goal is for every pilot and every maintainer to reach the same level of knowledge about the jet, regardless of where they started….'” Read more.
Marine Doctor Says the Corps Must Shed Weight from MAGTF
“The new Marine Corps Operating Concepts calls for the service to emphasize its small wars legacy and return to its naval infantry roots and serve as the bridging force between ships afloat and operations ashore. Before it can do that, however, the Corps must shed some serious weight….” Read more.
US MSC Contracts to Operate Eleven Prepositioning Ships
“The USA’s Maritime Prepositioning Ships serve as vast, floating stocks of equipment, ammunition, and supplies that can be sailed into friendly ports to meet up with flown-in Marines. This critical but often-unrecognized force includes a combination of U.S. government-owned ships and chartered U.S.-flagged ships, and can also include ships activated from the Maritime Administration’s Ready Reserve Force….” Read more.
MH-60S Airborne Mine Counter-Measures Continue to Develop
“The US Navy currently uses large CH-53/MH-53 helicopters and towed sleds to help with mine clearance work, but they hope to replace those old systems with something smaller and newer. In an era where the threat of mines is arguably rising, new minehunter ship classes like the Ospreys are being retired by the US Navy and sold. That makes AMCM a doubly-critical program….” Read more.
Funds to Boeing and NGC to Advance In-air UAV Refueling
“Remaining awake, active, and effective in a manned fighter aircraft for 72 hours straight is simply not within the realm of possibility. On the other hand, a UAV with that endurance level, flown by pilots on the ground or at sea who can hand the aircraft off to a colleague while they depart for a coffee, bathroom break, or sleep, could easily remain aloft that long. All it needs is an appropriate level of mechanical reliability – and, of course, the ability to take on fuel from an aerial tanker aircraft….” Read more.
Balisle Report: Radar Systems on US Navy Cruisers and Destroyers Draw Questions Concerning Reliability
“The advanced radar systems aboard U.S. cruisers and destroyers are in their worst shape ever, according to an independent probe into U.S. Navy readiness, raising questions about the surface fleet’s ability to take on its high-profile new mission next year defending Europe from ballistic missiles.
“Poor training, impenetrable bureaucracy and cultural resignation have caused a spike in the number of technical problems and a dip in the operational performance of the Aegis system, considered the crown jewel of the U.S. surface force, the investigation found….” Read more.
Move to Replace KC-135 Tankers Points to Larger Issues
“The tanker contest has become so politicized that it is easy to lose sight of what is at stake. When the Air Force began its efforts to replace aging KC-135 tankers a decade ago, the planes — which make up four-fifths of the aerial refueling fleet — already averaged 40 years of age. Now they average 50 years. There is an urgent need to begin replacing them, because no one knows for sure how long they will be safe to fly, and it will take decades to buy all the new planes needed.
“But that is no longer the most important concern surrounding the competition, because as the tanker drama has played out over the last ten years, the U.S. economy has undergone a steady decline due in no small part to its waning trade competitiveness….” Read more.