- Daily Telegraph – Spending on the successor to Britain’s Trident nuclear deterrent will take up to a third of the defence budget within the next decade, defence experts are warning.
- US Naval Institute Proceedings – While naval strike capacity has grown since the Cold War, it’s come at a cost to the amphibious capabilities vital to U.S. power projection.
- US Naval Institute Proceedings – An interview with Sean J. Stackley – The Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development & Acquisition.
- Aviation Week – You would have to cast a net far, wide and deep to find anyone of U.S. Navy rank who doubts sequestration will happen. Instead of dealing with “what-if” scenarios, the brass is talking more about “this will happen when … “ And the first big thing that will happen is that the Navy will find itself in quite a quandary.
- Washington Times – The Navy plans to shut down four of its active aircraft carriers in one of the worst-case scenarios presented to Congress by the service since the debate on budget cuts heated up this winter.
- Xinhua – The 14th naval squad, sent by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy, departed Saturday from China to the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters for escort missions. The fleet comprises three ships — the missile destroyer Harbin, the frigate Mianyang and the supply ship Weishanhu — carrying two helicopters and a 730-strong troop.
- The Guardian – Undeclared arms race among European defence contractors to re-equip Libya’s armed forces causes concern among locals.
- Wall Street Journal – Many troops have lost a close friend in combat. Travis Williams lost them all. Marine Lance Cpl. Williams is the sole survivor of his 12-man squad. His comrades were wiped out by a roadside bomb in Iraq, leaving him physically unharmed but with psychological wounds that remain unhealed seven years later…Cases like that of Lance Cpl. Williams might constitute a different kind of mental injury from war, some clinicians are concluding, one that falls into less-understood categories of “traumatic loss” and “moral injury.”
- Washington Post – Bitter maritime disputes between China and its neighbors have recently sent fighter jets scrambling, ignited violent protests, and seen angry fishermen thrown in jail. But beneath all the bellicose rhetoric and threatening posture, China also has been waging a quiet campaign, using ancient documents, academic research, maps and technical data to bolster its territorial claims.
- San Diego Union Tribune – While the Pentagon complains about massive budget cuts, the U.S. Coast Guard — the smallest and sometimes overlooked arm of the armed forces — has been faring fairly well, moneywise.
- Wired – The Navy is dealing with the military’s impending budget fiasco by putting its premier hardware — aircraft carriers — on the firing line. It’s unexpected, but it might actually be a smart move — if Congress cancels the deepest budget cuts. But if Congress keeps the cuts, then the Navy’s readiness to handle the security threats of the next several years will seriously decline — in many ways because of how the Navy buys stuff.
- Aviation Week – U.S. Navy Undersecretary Robert Work created some waves with the recent posting of his draft U.S. Naval War College white paper, “The Littoral Combat Ship: How We Got Here, and Why.”
The archive for all of 2012 is now available at 2012 Archive
World Naval Operational News Highlights
The ten most significant naval news stories / themes this year included:
- The drawdown of troops from Afghanistan. What exactly was accomplished by the surge?
- The continued tensions over Iran’s nuclear program and the US Navy presence in the Persian Gulf. What will Israel do?
- The increasing Chinese sabre rattling and belligerency over the Spratley Islands with the Philippines and the Senkaku Islands with Japan. Will this lead to open conflict? Will it lead to stronger alliances with the US?
- The first flight operations on the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning. When will we see it go on an operational cruise?
- The possibility of Scotland declaring independence. If this happens – thus depriving the Royal Navy’s ballistic missile submarines of their home port – will this effectively lead to the nuclear disarmament of the United Kingdom?
- The decrease in the size of the US fleet coupled with no change in operational commitments leading to decreasing morale and increasing deferred maintainence. How long until the force becomes hollow?
- The quiet continued development of Unmanned Maritime Vehicles (UMVs) / Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs) / Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs). When will we see them reach operational use?
- The US Navy’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicle program continues to move forward at a glacial pace. When will we see this program get off the ground?
- The continuing soap operatic saga of the Littoral Combat Ship. How can a program so old still be adrift in so many ways?
- The decreasing rate of piracy world-wide. How can we still not know what to do with captured pirates?
In 2012, there were news stories linked to on 364 / 365 days – that is on 99% of the days.
In 2012, NOSI linked to 400 news stories.
In 2012, 170 of these stories (43%) were related to the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, or U.S. Military Sealift Command.
In 2012, 83 of these stories (21%) were background stories.
The remaining 145 news stories (36%) covered the operational activities of 19 nation’s navies, coast guards, and marine corps:
Australia, China, Denmark, France, India, Iran, Israel, Japan, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Phillipines, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, United Kingdom, and Vietnam
In 2012, 146,514 pages read (page hits) from 103,142 users (visitors). There were 280 followers of the RSS feed. There were 29,536 unique users (reach) and 389 fans (members) on the NOSI Facebook page.
- San Diego Union Tribune – The U.S. military spent the last decade fighting entrenched insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan. What will the next war be like? Will it involve desert, mountains or jungle? An enemy who speaks Farsi or Korean? A national army fighting with tanks, or guerillas planting homemade bombs? It is impossible to know. While future wars remain unseen over the horizon and budget woes squeeze the military budget, the Marine Corps is resetting its combat training to get back to the basics and play to its strengths.
- Time – If Chinese warships escalate from locking-on radars to actually pulling the trigger in the East China Sea, they’ll have lots to shoot at – and it won’t be just the Japanese.
- Aviation Week – Bill Sweetman critiques a study from the American Enterprise Institute.
- National Defense – Few Navy ships have been as doggedly assailed by naysayers as the Littoral Combat Ship, laments Navy Undersecretary Robert O. Work…Work, who has for years been one of the Navy’s most ardent defenders of LCS, contends in a new white paper that although critics are entitled to their opinions, they continue to miss the point about LCS.
- Military Times – The past year has been a banner one for the U.S. Navy in at least one unhappy category — major mishaps. The number of major mishaps involving aircraft carriers, ships and submarines was higher than in recent years, and the unbudgeted repair bill is just one more factor squeezing fleet maintenance accounts in the middle of the service’s fiscal crisis.
- BBC – Japan says it may release evidence to prove a Chinese naval frigate locked its fire-control radar onto a Japanese ship near disputed islands.
- Virginian Pilot – With less than 48 hours to spare, defense officials decided Wednesday to axe the cruise of the USS Harry S. Truman – the first in an expected wave of defense cuts tied to a federal budget squeeze.
- Virginian Pilot – The Pentagon halted the upcoming deployment of a Norfolk-based aircraft carrier Wednesday two days before it was set to ship out – the strongest indication yet that looming budget cuts are forcing the military to change the way it operates. The Harry S. Truman had cleared all its training and certifications and was gearing up for deployment Friday. But the Navy, faced with a budget crisis that could mean more than $8 billion in cuts this year alone, asked Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to cancel a requirement that the United States keep two carriers in the Persian Gulf, Pentagon officials said. Panetta acquiesced and, in a sharp turnaround for a ship the size of a small city, about 5,000 sailors learned Wednesday afternoon that the deployment had been cancelled.
- Washington Times – The U.S. Navy, operating with too few carriers, now has a forward-deployment dilemma. Keeping two carriers deployed to the Middle East with only nine deployable strike carriers is not sustainable, even with their deployment time increasing by 50 percent. This is having debilitating consequences for fleet readiness. An immediate relaxation from the two-carrier commitment would provide much-needed forward deployment flexibility. This can be accomplished by utilizing operational alternatives, including modified U.S. Air Force Air Expeditionary Forces, along with U.S. Marine Corps Air Wing, to provide the required close air support mission in Afghanistan.
- RIA Novosti – Two amphibious assault ships bought for the Russian Navy from France in a 1.2 billion euro deal will not be able to operate in temperatures below seven degrees centigrade, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin admitted on Saturday, in critical comments about the contract.
- BBC – A Chinese vessel has locked its weapon-targeting radar on a Japanese ship, Tokyo says, amid mounting tensions over a territorial row.