Japanese Amphibious Soldiers Hit the Beach in the Philippines with U.S. Marines, 7th Fleet

USNI News – It was no ordinary beach assault when troops took off on amphibious assault vehicles from a U.S. Navy ship and raced ashore in a training exercise with U.S. Marines. That’s because the landing onto a Philippine beach by Japanese soldiers from their AAV-P7/A1 amtracs marked a significant step in bolstering Japan’s capabilities of its nascent Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade.

Will the ‘Bulava’ Submarine-Launched Missile ‘Save Russia’?

National Interest – A return to the days of “duck and cover” in U.S.-Russia relations reflects widespread ignorance of the inherent costs and extraordinary dangers of arms racing in the nuclear age.

Robot War in the South China Sea?

National Interest – The December 2016 drone incident could well be a harbinger of coming attractions.

South China Sea Showdown: What Happens If a U.S. Navy and Chinese Vessel Collide?

National Interest – It might not end peacefully.

South Korea to buy ship-based interceptors to counter ballistic missile threats

Defense News – The South Korean military has decided to buy ship-based SM-3 interceptors to thwart potential ballistic missile attacks from North Korea.

Preliminary F-35C Feedback is Positive, As Formal Operational Testing Begins This Fall

USNI News – The Navy is beginning the formal operational testing of its first stealth aircraft to determine how well the F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter performs against stated goals and requirements.

‘You’re on your own’: US sealift can’t count on Navy escorts in the next big war

Defense News – In the event of a major war with China or Russia, the U.S. Navy, almost half the size it was during the height of the Cold War, is going to be busy with combat operations. It may be too busy, in fact, to always escort the massive sealift effort it would take to transport what the Navy estimates will be roughly 90 percent of the Marine Corps and Army gear the force would need to sustain a major conflict.

Fastidious Flattop: Japanese helicopter carrier wages daily war on dirt and grime

Reuters – Japan’s Kaga helicopter carrier is not the biggest, fastest or most powerful warship to sail the seas, but its 500 crew wage a daily war on dirt and grime to keep it the cleanest.

President Trump is helping Beijing win in the South China Sea

Washington Post – Robert D. Kaplan says that there is a direct contradiction between Trump’s aggressive economic nationalism and his administration’s commitment to defend the South China Sea. The South China Sea is not the United States’ home waters; it is China’s. Geography still matters. And because the United States is so far away, its only hope is to offer an uplifting regional vision that anchors its military one.

The Navy’s Terrible Accident Record Is Now Hidden From Public View

The Atlantic – The latest incidence of a government agency quietly removing data from its website demonstrates the dangers of an ever-changing internet.

U.S., NATO Naval Forces Pushing Back Against Russian Harassment

USNI News – U.S. and NATO ships are focused on conducting freedom of navigation operations in Europe to push back against a Russia that is increasingly harassing commercial shipping and introducing new anti-access weapons into the theater.

Drones in Africa: A Leap Ahead for Maritime Security

CIMSEC – The leap-ahead capabilities that unmanned surveillance aircraft could provide to coastal security around Africa are clearly evident. African navies with adequate resources should make acquisition of unmanned air systems a priority. Likewise, western foreign military assistance programs should focus on providing contracted or organic unmanned aircraft capabilities.

Japan’s women sailors serve on frontline of gender equality

Reuters – Women serving on Japan’s biggest warship, the Kaga, are a tight-knit group on the frontline of a push to transform the Japanese navy into a mixed-gender fighting force, where men outnumber them more than 10 to one.

How the Fleet Forgot to Fight, Part 4: Technical Standards

CIMSEC – Combat systems are rapidly evolving in the Information Age and are frequently upgraded through new software updates. This adds to the challenging of maintaining current skills and can require a force to regularly retrain its people. However, warfighting culture characterized by scripted training can mask a decline in technical competence. Such a decline can be seen in how standards fell for some of the most important tools that help the Navy guard against tactical surprise.

The US Army is preparing to fight in Europe, but can it even get there?

Defense News – With Russia’s reemergence as a menace in Europe, the U.S. Army has been laying the foundations to fight once again on the continent it defended through most of the 20th century. But if war were to break out tomorrow, the U.S. military could be hard-pressed to move the number of tanks, heavy guns and equipment needed to face off with Russian forces. And even if the Army could get there in numbers, then the real problems would start: how would the U.S. sustain them?

Readiness Of Navy And Marine Aircraft And Crews Is Improving, But It’s Still Pretty Dismal

War Zone – After enduring years of sequester and dubious funding priorities, Navy and USMC flying communities are slowly digging out of a deep, dark hole.

Train For Maritime Cyber Warfare

USNI News – Continual improvements in computer technology, specifically decryption (“hacking”) software, has invoked a new threat that requires the Coast Guard to add maritime cyber security to its mission set considering 90 percent of the goods used by Americans are transported by sea.

The New York Naval Militia in Operation Sandy

CIMSEC – New York is unique in continuously maintaining its federally recognized Naval Militia. Title 10 USC does not include the Naval Militia as a reserve component but does authorize the Secretary of the Navy to set standards that the Naval Militia must meet, including the requirement that 95 percent of unit members be U.S. Navy (USN) or U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) reservists, to qualify for federal material support.

This Is China’s Way of Warmaking

National Interest – Beijing’s military wants to sow paralysis in an enemy system-of-systems for long enough to accomplish its goals—that way it will not need to bother trying to annihilate its adversary.

US Navy proposing major show of force to warn China

CNN – The US Navy’s Pacific Fleet has drawn up a classified proposal to carry out a global show of force as a warning to China and to demonstrate the US is prepared to deter and counter their military actions.

It Takes More Than Sex Appeal to Beat China in a War

National Interest – Mariners must disentangle the passions they feel toward their platforms from cool calculation if they hope to design fleets fit to execute strategy.

Aussies At Impasse With France Over New Sub; Japan May Win

Breaking Defense – France and Australia must resolve major differences over the Aussie’ new submarine program before a new Australian government is elected next year, and the most obvious alternative is Japan.

Adm. Foggo Warns of Russian Submarines Challenging U.S. Defenses

USNI News – The head of naval forces in Europe warned that Russia is preparing an underwater battlespace in the Northern Atlantic and that U.S. naval presence is more important now than any time since the fall of the Soviet Union.

Geopolitical Gerrymandering and the Importance of Key Maritime Terrain

War on the Rocks – Projections of naval power must overlay what has been termed “key maritime terrain,” an extension of the traditional maritime concept of chokepoints, to be successful. Key maritime terrain is any maritime area whose seizure, retention, or control enables influence over the traffic, flow, or maneuver of military, commercial, illicit, and civilian vessels, communication networks, and resources.

Marine Warbot Companies Are a Right of Boom Solutions for a Left of Boom World

War on the Rocks – The Warbots concept is certainly creative, but it is a right of boom solution for a left of boom world, and consequently risks ceding strategic ground.