– USNI News – Under cover of darkness, U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG-71) slipped through the Bosporus Strait and into the Black Sea on Friday. The next day USS Carney (DDG-64) joined Ross. The ships are operating are part of an unspecified regional “proactive” presence mission in the sea bordered by Russia, according to the Navy.
– BBC – A wave of pioneers is poised to scoop up treasure from the deep sea.
– Army Times – Poland and Canada have agreed to join a coalition of NATO countries seeking to jointly buy a fleet of maritime surveillance aircraft.
– Daily Telegraph – The Ministry of Defence has sold the Royal Navy flagship, HMS Ocean, to Brazil for around £84m, in a bid to plug a major funding black hole in its accounts.
– The Economist – War is still a contest of wills, but technology and geopolitical competition are changing its character.
– USNI News – Five ship designs will compete in the Navy’s bid for 20 next-generation guided-missile frigates (FFG(X)) that will follow the Littoral Combat Ship, the service announced on Friday.
– USNI News – The Marine Corps intends for the next Expeditionary Sea Base ship, the future USNS Hershel “Woody” Williams (T-ESB-4), to operate in the Mediterranean Sea on its maiden deployment.
– War on the Rocks – It seems that we are in the middle of a base race across the Indian Ocean. The latest move, reported on Tuesday, involves an agreement to give India access to naval facilities in Oman, close to the Strait of Hormuz. This may be the first step towards a greater Indian naval presence in the Persian Gulf.
– Breaking Defense – If the Commandant of the Marine Corps had one more dollar to spend — and he probably will with the recent budget deal — he’d use it to upgrade Navy ships’ electronics to take full advantage of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
– Defense News – The Navy has a new vision for what its enormous high-tech destroyers will do: Killing enemy warships at extended ranges.
– USNI News – The Navy intends to support a near-term increase in ship inventory and deployed forces by forward-deploying some ships with rotational crews, tackling often-overlooked manpower costs and reestablishing the readiness squadron concept. However, many questions still remain about the feasibility of the buildup in force structure and operations at sea.
– USNI News – Following its inaugural deployment to the Asia-Pacific, the U.S Navy’s P-8A Poseidon Patrol Squadron 16 has been playing a key role not only in regard to operations in the region but also in cooperation and engagement activities with U.S partner nations.
– Breaking Defense – Faced with erratic funding from Congress, the Navy has pursued cost-efficiency so rigorously that it has cut corners and compromised peacetime safety and, very possibly, wartime performance. Crews are shorthanded and spare parts stockpiles are low.
– War on the Rocks – The Navy has done well to acknowledge its shortcomings, but it is a long road ahead to get healthy. The recent budget deal is a positive step toward one aspect of giving the service dollars to jump start advance procurement of future ships. While long-term, stable funding is needed to refocus the military toward high-intensity warfare and the modernization of the nuclear triad, raising the spending caps alone is insufficient to address the Navy’s systemic woes.
– War Zone – Amid news of the partnership and the Navy’s questionable budget plan for the program, we talked to General Atomics and got their take.
– USNI News – The Marine Corps is beginning to implement changes to the infantry battalion a year into the service’s Sea Dragon 2025 experimentation effort, with recommendations that include fielding small unmanned aerial systems (UAS), adding advanced training opportunities, restructuring the rifle squad and drawing up new tactics and procedures for a high-end battlefield.
– USNI News – The Eastern Mediterranean is becoming “one of the most kinetic areas in the world,” as the U.S., NATO, Russia and China operate more and more in the crowded region, the Navy’s top officer in Europe said on Tuesday.
– Defense News – The Navy will grow by more than 40 ships over the next five years, the Navy’s Budget director said Monday. But while the fleet will grow rapidly in the near term, the gains will sputter out shortly thereafter.
– War Zone – The service long neglected land-based anti-ship weapons, but its rushing to fill the gap as threats emerge, especially in the Pacific.
– USNI News – The Navy’s MQ-25A Stingray unmanned aerial tanker project, previously described as a rapid acquisition program for the department, is now not set to be integrated into the air wing until 2026.
– Defense News – The U.S. Navy is getting larger and adding an extra ship to its fleet in 2019, over its 2018 request, but the total shipbuilding budget request seems to make little headway toward a 355-ship fleet called for in a review last year.
– Breaking Defense – It takes a million dollars and at least 50 technical experts just to get a carrier strike group’s networks working right before a deployment.
– USNI Proceedings – Naval technology and systems complexity have exploded over the past 50 years, while our surface warfare officer (SWO) assignment policies have not changed since World War II—i.e., any surface warfare officer can go into any billet on any ship type. Unlike their submarine and aviation counterparts, the leaders of the surface warfare community have embraced the generalist philosophy to the point of destruction.
– The Drive – The Polar Star is the only ship the United States has to cut paths through the toughest Arctic and Antarctic ice.
– Defense News – Vice Adm. Alexandru Mirsu, the chief of the Romanian Naval Forces, said the country requires an additional three submarines to ensure Romania’s operational capacities in the Black Sea, as the one Kilo-class submarine does not meet that need.