– RealClearDefense – In Jan. 2015, The Namibian reported the existence of a “confidential letter from Namibia’s ambassador to China, Ringo Abed, to Namibia’s foreign minister stat[ing] that ‘a [Chinese] delegation will visit Namibia … for discussions … on the way forward regarding plans for the proposed naval base in Walvis Bay’.”
– USNI News – Six Russian and three Chinese naval ships will meet in the Mediterranean next month to conduct a series of surface exercises to include live fire drills.
– BBC – About 100 US marines, two helicopters and four Ospreys capable of vertical take-off are now in Kathmandu.
– USNI News – Ships on the high seas can largely be split between two major caregories, merchant ships that connect countries through commerce and national navies formed to ensure that trade continues to flow. However, in the margins between those two broad groups are fleets that have sought to influence international policy and politics independent of a national flag — non-state navies.
– USNI News – The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG-78) arrived in Spain on Thursday to being its ballistic missile defense mission. Porter will join USS Donald Cook (DDG-75) and USS Ross (DDG-71) in the forward-deployed naval force at Naval Station Rota to carry out the European Phased Adaptive Approach to BMD. USS Carney (DDG-64) will arrive later this year.
– BBC – As Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe travels to the US for a state visit, one Japanese island is pushing back against a new American military base.
– BBC – Defence officials have said that US Navy ships will accompany US-flagged commercial vessels through the Strait of Hormuz, to make sure they are not interfered with by Iran.
– New Yorker – When pirates captured a cargo ship, its crew faced one desperate choice after another.
– Foxtrot Alpha – Submarines are a lot like Batman, they are covered in rubber and are great fighters, but they are gadget toting stealth detectives at their core. Of the Navy’s sub force, there is no boat more capable at sleuthing under the high seas than the heavily modified Seawolf Class submarine, the USS Jimmy Carter SSN-23.
– Reuters – The Finnish military fired on Tuesday handheld underwater depth charges as a warning against a suspected submarine in waters near Helsinki, an incident that comes amid growing military tensions with neighboring Russia.
– Reuters – Iranian patrol boats intercepted a cargo ship in the Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday and forced it into Iranian territorial waters by firing shots across its bow, prompting the U.S. Navy to send a destroyer and reconnaissance plane to monitor the situation.
– National Review – If the Navy wants to address its budget crisis, its falling ship count, its atrophying strategic position, and the problem of its now-marginal combat effectiveness — and reassert its traditional dominance of the seas — it should embrace technological innovation and increase its efficiency. In short: It needs to stop building aircraft carriers.
– Center for a New American Security – An examination of the value of directed energy weapons and a series of recommendations for how the U.S. can invest in a cost-effective and time-efficient manner to further mature this important technology.
– The Scotsman – HMS Bulwark set sail for Libya yesterday to join efforts to ease the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean.
– Medium – A watershed moment in the history of modern warfare.
– Military.com – The Navy is considering extending production of its F/A-18 Super Hornet beyond 2017 because of delays in production of the Navy’s carrier-launched F-35C and increased demands on the Hornet fleet.
– USNI News – The U.S. Navy will begin a permanent presence of two Littoral Combat Ships in Singapore next year with four planned to be forward deployed and based at the Changi Naval Base by 2017
– USNI News – Rapid growth in the capability and quality of guided missiles — mostly Chinese in origin — is causing the U.S. Navy to rethink the number of surface ships it needs to effectively fight a high-end war.
– Aviation Week – China may be able to take out an American aircraft carrier with its feared DF-21 antiship ballistic missile (ASBM) without even taking a shot. Now some powerful people in DC are looking to reduce the fleet by a carrier or two in the belief that the DF-21 will make it too dangerous for the ships even to get close to Chinese territorial waters.
– USNI News – The Navy successfully tested autonomous aerial refueling for the first time with its Northrop Grumman X-47B test unmanned aerial vehicle on Wednesday, marking the end of the Navy’s Unmanned Carrier Air Vehicle demonstrator (UCAS-D) program.
– The Guardian – Fake news stories. Doctored photographs. Staged TV clips. Armies of paid trolls. Has Putin’s Russia developed a new kind of information warfare – fought in the ‘psychosphere’ rather than on the battlefield? Or is it all just a giant bluff?
– USNI News – The build up of U.S. naval presence in the vicinity of Yemen is the result of the deteriorating security situation inside the country and to “preserve options” to maintain maritime security in the region.
– USNI News – Post-delivery testing on USS America (LHA-6) went far more smoothly than on previous big-decks, and the Navy and Ingalls Shipbuilding are trying to leverage this success as they move forward with the next two amphibious assault ships.
– USNI News – French carrier Charles de Gaulle (R91) has left the Persian Gulf after about two months of strike operations against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL) militants.
– New York Times Magazine – More British Muslims have joint Islamic militant groups than serve in the country’s armed forces. How to understand the pull of jihad.