– FoxtrotAlpha – Japan is looking to further militarize Ishigaki-Jima with both surface-to-air and anti-ship missiles. Ishigaki Island is just 100 miles east of Taiwan and about 100 miles south of the highly disputed Senkaku Islands, putting it in a volatile yet strategic geographic position.
– BBC – EU foreign and defence ministers are expected to approve a mission to destroy the boats used by people-smugglers operating in war-torn Libya.
– Reuters – The Pentagon said on Tuesday that two Iranian warships have “linked up” with a cargo ship that Iran has said is carrying humanitarian aid to Yemen, as activists on board the vessel said it was due to arrive at the Yemeni port of Hodaida on Thursday.
USNI Blog – “Never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” – Rahm Emanuel
– USNI News – Targeted investments in improving weapons and decoys could propel the U.S. submarine fleet to be the underwater answer to anti-access and area-denial (A2/AD) threats.
– BBC – A Royal Navy submariner has defended his criticism of safety procedures around the Trident nuclear submarines and revealed he will hand himself over to the authorities within days.
– USNI News – For China, the broader Mediterranean region is of real interest in terms of both energy security and trade.
– BBC – In the North Sea, off the coast of Norway, Nato has been conducting its largest ever anti-submarine warfare exercise.
– Reuters – The U.S. Marine Corps is bringing together foreign commanders from amphibious forces deployed mostly in the Asia-Pacific for a conference aimed at taking steps to integrate operations, with China excluded from the event.
– New York Times Magazine – Carlotta Gall, who reported from Pakistan for the New York Times for the last decade, on Seymour Hersh’s recent Bin Laden story.
– Reuters – Iranian naval vessels fired shots at a Singapore-flagged tanker in the Gulf on Thursday, in what appeared to be Iran’s latest attempt to settle a legal dispute by force with passing commercial vessels.
– USNI News – Had Labour emerged with the most seats in the House of Commons, its hopes of forming a viable government would have required the support of the fiercely anti-nuclear Scottish National Party. This was a worrisome prospect for advocates of strategic nuclear deterrence, who feared that a weak Labour leadership would inevitably cave in to SNP demands and scrap plans to renew the U.K.’s submarine-based Trident ballistic missile force.
– USNI News – Iran’s recent seizure and release of the Marshall Islands flagged M/V Maersk Tigris could be what Iran claims it is, a reaction to a decade-long dispute over shipping containers that were diverted to the UAE and never delivered to Iran. More likely however, it is a thinly veiled attempt at brinkmanship to remind the United States of the kind of trouble that Iran can stir up in the Strait of Hormuz. – See more at: http://news.usni.org/2015/05/11/analysis-irans-latest-round-of-maritime-brinksmanship#sthash.Ladh4PjJ.dpuf
– Reuters – The Pentagon is considering sending U.S. military aircraft and ships to assert freedom of navigation around rapidly growing Chinese-made artificial islands in the disputed South China Sea.
– Reuters – Iranian warships will accompany a cargo ship bound for the Yemeni port of Hodaida, which is held by Iran-allied Houthi fighters. The Iran-flagged Iran Shahed cargo ship set sail on Monday and could be intercepted by Saudi-led coalition forces.
– London Review of Books – Seymour Hersh has a different tale behind the killen of Osama bin Laden.
– USNI News – The three-ship Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) will deploy today from Naval Station San Diego, Calif. for a deployment to the Western Pacific and the Middle East.
– USNI News – Congress has received notification of a potential $3 billon sale of 17 Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft and support equipment to Japan.
– Real Clear Defense – It’s tough to winnow the U.S. Navy’s priorities list down to five weapon systems. However, I applied a secret method to come up with the definitive, incontrovertible list of the Top 5 Weapons the U.S. Navy Needs Now. The list employs such metrics as a system’s national-level importance, its capacity to multiply the fleet’s offensive and defensive fighting power, and its ability to exploit enduring enemy weaknesses at manageable cost to the United States.
– USNI News – Is Russia interested in buying frigates from China?
– BBC – North Korea says it has successfully tested a submarine-launched missile, which if confirmed would be a significant boost in its arsenal.
– BBC – The US says that China has expanded its programme of land reclamation in the South China Sea.
– US Department of Defense – Department of Defense’s annual report to Congress, Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2015
– War on the Rocks – Aviation history was made last week: an unmanned aircraft — the X-47B — successfully completed an air-to-air refueling demonstration, taking 4,000 pounds of fuel from a KC-707 tanker aircraft. This historic achievement followed last year’s equally revolutionary series of carrier launch and recovery operations by the X-47B. You would think that the Navy, cognizant of the need to take advantage of the promise of robotics would be aggressively pushing to do further testing, to make unmanned carrier-based surveillance and strike aircraft real, and thus extend the reach and power of the aircraft carrier — the crown jewel of America’s conventional power projection forces. Instead, the Navy wants to decommission the two X-47Bs (named Salty Dog 501 and Salty Dog 502) and put them in museums, even though they have 80% of their approved flight hours left. Such an action flies in the face of the imperative to counter the most strategically troubling elements of the emerging set of anti-access/area-denial threats that Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and his team are aiming to offset.
– Reuters – The U.S. Navy has stopped accompanying commercial ships through the Strait of Hormuz, a mission it began last week in the wake of Iran’s seizure of a cargo ship.