NAVSEA: Advanced Arresting Gear Design Flaw Delayed Testing Schedule Two Years, Adds Risk to On Time Ford Carrier Delivery

- USNI News – A design flaw in the system the Navy plans to help safely recover aircraft onboard its next generation Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) aircraft carrier has set testing for the program back two years and risks extending the delivery of the ship past its March 31, 2016 deadline.

Battle Over How to Count Navy Ships is Confusing, But Not New

- USNI News – Lawmakers and Navy leadership spent the past year going back and forth over how to count the number of ships in the Battle Force fleet. The Navy made some changes last spring that immediately increased the size of the fleet and complicated the ship-counting effort: certain ships would count only if they were forward deployed but not if they returned home to the United States. Congress pushed back, passing into law what was essentially a compromise counting rule – and the third methodology to be used in a one-year span. As a result of the back-and-forth, the Navy’s most recent ship-count projection it submitted to Congress contains two sets of figures: one with the Navy’s preferred method, and one following Congress’s rule. The dueling methods have led to confusing charts and tables earlier this year, but the conflict over how to count Navy ships is not new – the Carter and Reagan administrations both created their own sets of rules for counting ships.

CNO Greenert Warns Congress of Fighter Shortfall, Boeing Super Hornet Line to Close in 2017 Absent New Orders

- USNI News – The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) warned Congress of an upcoming Navy fighter shortfall just as Boeing is trying to determine whether to keep its Super Hornet and Growler production line open, setting the stage for intense talks between the service and company in the coming months about whether the Navy should and can afford to invest in additional legacy fighters.

Marines May Merge ACV Increments as Industry Chases Higher Requirements

- USNI News – On Tuesday, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Joseph Dunford told the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) that, because the Marines couldn’t achieve a vehicle that performed adequately on land, could self-deploy from the well deck of an amphibious ship and met budget constraints, the Marine Corps instead agreed on a three-phase approach. Increment 1.1 was meant to have the ground protection Marines needed and would go ashore via surface connectors. Increment 1.2 would have a self-deploying capability at least equal to the 40-year-old Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAVs) used today. And the third increment, if ever exercised, would add the high water speed capability that would allow it to plane over the top of the water instead of swimming through it.

U.S. Should Consider Establishing a South China Sea International Operations Center in Indonesia

- USNI News – The incoming U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) commander, Adm. Harry B. Harris, testified before Congress late last year that “China’s rise as a regional military and global economic power, and in particular, its rapid military modernization and assertive behavior toward regional neighbors present opportunities and challenges that must be managed effectively. This is our most enduring challenge.” To meet that challenge, the U.S. Navy should explore establishing an International Maritime Operations Center (IMOC) headquartered in Indonesia to showcase the Navy’s commitment to the Asia-Pacific, monitor maritime developments in the South China Sea and Indian Ocean and serve as a new mechanism to meet China’s rise.

Navy Wants To Shutter Its Only Two Special Operations Chopper Squadrons

- Foxtrot Alpha – Even some military aficionados would be surprised to know that the Navy has dedicated special operations helicopters squadrons. The Air Force’s Pave Hawk and Osprey communities and the Army’s notorious Night Stalkers take up much of the limelight. But now, the Navy’s two reclusive squadrons are set to stand down due to a budget crunch.

China’s maritime rise offers risks, rewards for U.S. sailors

- Navy Times – As part of the U.S. military’s shift to the Asia-Pacific region, the Navy is dispatching more ships and sailors for exercises with partner nations. There are also opportunities to work alongside the Chinese military in training and humanitarian operations. But make no mistake — China is at the heart of the new strategy, and the Middle Kingdom is pushing back. There have been high-level run-ins between the U.S. Navy and the Chinese military in recent years and experts believe these are likely to continue as the 1.3-billion strong nation builds its maritime might.

China’s Naval Modernization: The Implications of Seapower

- World Politics Review – After years of invitations that Beijing did not accept, coupled with last year’s cancellation of the event due to sequestration, the head of China’s navy, Adm. Wu Shengli, led a nine-officer delegation to this year’s International Seapower Symposium. Participants in the plenary and regional breakout sessions no doubt wondered who exactly Wu is, what mandate he has, what sort of navy he leads, where it is heading and how it will be interacting with the U.S. Navy. This article addresses these timely questions.

Marines Considering New Platforms to Extend Africa Reach, Including the Gulf of Guinea

- USNI News – The Marines are looking to employ new types of ships to extend the reach of special crisis response units into Africa. Shortly after becoming commandant late last year, Gen. Joseph Dunford directed his staff to study putting forward deployed Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response (SPMAGTF-CR) forces — currently land based — on platforms other than the traditional amphibious warships that comprise the Navy and the Marine Corps Amphibious Ready Group and Marine Expeditionary Units (ARG/MEU).