Crafting the US Marine Corps Mystique: A Conversation With Heather Venable

CIMSEC – Professor Heather Venable discusses her new book, How the Few Became the Proud: Crafting the Marine Corps Mystique, 1874-1918. It is a fascinating look at how the U.S. Marine Corps, struggling to define its role as a small fighting force in the earlier days of the republic, crafted a reputation and truly — a mystique — to ensure the service’s survival.

Dragon Against the Sun: Chinese Views of Japanese Seapower

CSBA – Over the past decade, the Chinese navy overtook Japan’s maritime service in critical measures of power, including fleet size, aggregate tonnage, and firepower. China eclipsing Japan in naval power could introduce unwelcome strategic trends. It may well fuel an even more intense competition between Tokyo and Beijing, two seafaring rivals that already regard each other with deep suspicion. Japan’s displacement at sea could increase the probability of deterrence failure in the next crisis. It threatens to undercut U.S. confidence in Japan’s capacity to fulfill its allied responsibilities, sowing acrimony within the security partnership.

Has China’s Navy Caught Up (and Surpassed) Japan?

National Interest – While the world focuses on the Coronavirus crisis, a new report lays out the rise of Chinese seapower and how it could impact Japan and the entire Indo-Pacific region.

The Russian Navy Is Bringing Serious Firepower to the Baltic

National Interest – The head of the Russian Navy announced that the Baltic Fleet will be bolstered by the addition of six new warships, which will be armed with Kaliber cruise missiles.

The Amphibious Warship USS Portland Has Shot Down A Drone With Its New High-Power Laser

War Zone – The successful test of the powerful laser is a major step forward for the Navy’s directed energy weapons ambitions.

How the U.S. Can Better Suppress Illegal Drug Trafficking in the Caribbean

CIMSEC – The United States has the largest and most advanced navy in the world, and is an important actor in the Caribbean region and the Western Hemisphere as a whole. Increased maritime enforcement is vital, especially to combat drug trafficking in the region. However, aiming to control drug trafficking will not make these criminal groups disappear. They will take alternate routes and capitalize on trading other illicit goods. In order to establish a sustainable and peaceful approach to the region’s maritime security challenges, the U.S. must take a holistic approach to maritime security threats and empower local organizations to solve regional security challenges at their source.

Navy Releases RFP for Medium Unmanned Underwater Vehicle

USNI News – The Navy this week released a request for proposals for a Medium Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (MUUV) that is meant to streamline two existing unmanned systems into a single open architecture UUV.

Northrop Grumman Reveals New Mini Torpedo Aimed At Arming And Defending Navy Submarines

War Zone – The mini-torpedoes could be a game-changer and are set to be fielded on Virginia class submarines in the next few years.

B-1 Bomber May Become the New Face of US Military Power in the Pacific

Military.com – The Air Force’s B-1B Lancer bomber is about to move front and center in the U.S. military’s power-projection mission in the Pacific.

USS Theodore Roosevelt Back Underway 2 Months After COVID Outbreak

USNI News – USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) is underway for the first time since its deployment was interrupted for 55 days to battle a COVID-19 outbreak that infected almost a quarter of the crew.

US Navy issues new distance guidelines for vessels after close encounters with Iranian ships

Navy Times – The U.S. Navy warned Tuesday it will take “lawful defensive measures” against vessels in the Mideast that come within 100 meters (yards) of its warships, offering specific guidelines after a recent close encounter with Iranian vessels in the Persian Gulf.

At the Commissioning of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Aircraft Carrier Baekdusan

CIMSEC – Bringing a new light carrier into service would be an impressive feat for any naval enterprise, let alone the Korean People’s Navy….a new FICINT story…

Harvesting vegetables with ‘sand-to-earth’ tech on S. China Sea island beach

Global Times – Chinese navy garrisoned on an island in the Xisha Islands of the South China Sea recently harvested 750 kilogram of vegetables on sandy beaches for the first time, using technology which experts said could support communities on islands.

Small Crews, Technical Complexity Makes Operating Modern Warships in Pandemic Tough

USNI News – The increased technical complexity of systems and reduced manning make U.S. warships less able to operate if a disease breaks out on a ship than the previous ships that weathered the 1918 influenza outbreak, a panel of experts said last week.

Turkey’s New Assault Carrier Will Transform Navy

Forbes – The Turkish Navy’s first light aircraft carrier, TCG Anadolu, will be the flagship of a more powerful fleet. Her large helicopter and UCAV (uncrewed combat air vehicle) air wing, as well as amphibious capabilities, will provide new capabilities to NATO’s second largest military.

(Thanks to Alain)

Russia’s Baltic Fleet To Get Six Karakurt-Class Corvettes, Four With Pantsir-M

Naval News – The Russian Navy’s Baltic fleet will receive a series of six Karakurt-class corvettes of project 22800.

China Marine Corps on Show in the South China Sea

Radio Free Asia – On May 5, the PLANMC undertook an anti-piracy exercise near the Paracel Islands that showed off its capabilities to China’s neighbors at a time of rising tensions in the region. The exercise simulated covert, amphibious assaults by the PLANMC with fast-moving speedboats and naval aviation aircraft, integrating the corps’ operations with the People’s Liberation Army Navy.

Future Philippine Navy Frigate BRP ‘Jose Rizal’ Sails Home For Commissioning

Naval News – The Philippine Navy’s first-ever guided-missile frigate, BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150), set sails from the Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) shipyard in South Korea today, to join her homeland for the first time.

Learning in the South China Sea: The US Response to the West Capella Standoff

War on the Rocks – Malaysian oil exploration in a contested area of the South China Sea sparked a “five-nation face off” in April, with Malaysian, Vietnamese, Chinese, U.S., and Australian maritime forces sailing within relatively close proximity. When the responding U.S. Navy Expeditionary Strike Group departed after spending only a few days in the area, some observers panned the U.S. response as uninvited, insufficient, and having emboldened China. The passage of a few weeks has shown these accusations to be premature, but also highlighted a recurring weakness in the U.S. approach to maritime security in the Indo-Pacific. While the U.S. strike group may have departed, U.S. forces sortied from both forward deployed locations and the U.S. homeland to maintain a persistent presence over the South China Sea with platforms ranging from small surface combatants to strategic bombers. China’s presence has remained largely static. Overall, the United States shows progress in its approach but also an inexplicable missed opportunity to reach out to its Southeast Asian partners.