AC208B-Cessna-Caravan-AGM114-Hellfire-01-e1467998582695

As I started the week with a Hendrix Renaissance Festival over at the homeblog, I’ve since read a few things that hit back on a core concept of “Influence Squadrons,” and I thought it was time to bring the topic back up over here. For those who need a brush-up on “Influence Squadrons,” take a moment to go back to the start in 2009, and then the 5-yr anniversary nudge from 2014. Much of the discussion of the economy of “good” vs. the exquisite vapor of the “perfect” involved our surface force. There is more to global engagement than just coming from… Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by CDRSalamander in Foreign Policy, Policy, Strategy | 
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ulleungdo-surrender

Navalists from Norfolk to Yokosuka have spent the last few months since the election pondering the what, how, and when of the 355-ship navy that the incoming Trump Administration is using as a planning goal. I’ve enjoyed the conversation and seeing the arguments about different constructs to get there, but as shiny and attractive the topic is, there is a background stage-whisper that keeps getting louder. We all know it is there, but like makeup on a growing skin lesion, you can only mask it and pretend to ignore it so long. There is something that is even more important than… Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by CDRSalamander in Navy | 
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Cavanaugh_Matt

Please join us at 5pm EST on 8 Jan 2017 for Midrats Episode 366: Is it Time for a General Staff?. The 1980s might be getting some of its foreign policy back – but why is our entire defense framework in the second-half of the second decade of the 21st Century based around ideas forged when the Chrysler K-car was still a young platform? Is our present system creating the conditions for our uniformed senior leadership to forge the best path for our military to support national security requirements? Our guest for the full hour is returning to Midrats to… Read the rest of this entry »


Cockpit view of an Australian EA-18G Growler off the West Coast of California, Pacific Ocean, August, 2016. Courtesy FLTLT Todd "Woody" Woodford.

Delivering the EA-18G to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) will be a highly celebrated event, and rightfully so. This December, RAAF Six Squadron began their transition from the F/A-18F to the EA-18G. In January of 2017, the RAAF will take custody of their EA-18Gs and begin flight operations at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. In February of 2017, the RAAF EA-18Gs will fly-in to the Avalon Air Show, Melbourne Australia – a capstone event for the U.S.-Australian team orchestrating the foreign military sale (FMS). Unfortunately, media announcements and fanfare may not adequately capture or commemorate the storied relationships, close… Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by CDR Michael Lisa, USN in Foreign Policy, Navy | 
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flyingreactor_drawing

There are some things that should stop everyone in their tracks. At the top of that list should be an apparent lack of risk awareness concerning nuclear weapons. This line from Patrick Tucker’s article in last month’s The Atlantic stopped me cold; Future nuclear missiles may be siloed but, unlike their predecessors, they’ll exhibit “some level of connectivity to the rest of the warfighting system,” according to Werner J.A. Dahm, the chair of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board. That opens up new potential for nuclear mishaps that, until now, have never been a part of Pentagon planning. In 2017,… Read the rest of this entry »


413IDUTnaWL._SX355_

As we work our nogg’n’s to find a reasonable path to a realistic and sustainable fleet of 350 ships – do we need to look at the challenge a bit differently than our habit of throwing bags of IOU’s in our children’s name at it? Matt Cavanaugh over at MWI has a fun bit about of all things, men’s shaving kit and what it can tell us about Russia vs. the USA – and how we buy the ability to force our will on others. A sample. Stick with it; In America, the most commonly used instrument is a plastic-handled,… Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by CDRSalamander in Policy, Strategy | 
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21st

Ratings Return

December 2016

By

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Life comes at you fast. Take a moment to click here to see where we were just a couple of months ago; Mabus, sources said, was determined to put ratings reform in motion — and on the record — before he leaves office. … Mabus declined to speak with Navy Times. He and other top Navy officials, including Richardson and Burke, have said that the change, while a nod to gender neutrality, will facilitate sailors’ professional development and career advancement by freeing them to cross train and attain broader skills spanning multiple specialties. That should make them more marketable when… Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by CDRSalamander in Navy | 
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images

Please join us at 5pm EST on 18 Dec 2016 for Midrats Episode 363: The South African Border War and its Lessons, with LT Jack McCain If you define the Cold War as lasting 44 years from 1947 to 1991, then for over half the Cold War there was a simmering proxy war in southern Africa that involved, to one extent or another, the present day nations of Angola, Namibia, Zambia, and South Africa. Over the course of time, it would involve nations from other hemispheres such as Cuba, and brought in to conflict two political philosophies of the 20th… Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by Mark Tempest in Foreign Policy, History, Podcasts, Soft Power, Strategy | 
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CBARS

Last week we saw the 75th Pearl Harbor Day pass us by. There are libraries full of books about how it should not have been a surprise. Some of the examples given as to why it was not an “unknown” threat can be attributed from the Japanese history of surprise attacks from the sea, to the example of the British attack on the Italian Fleet 13 months earlier in Taranto. Even before then – if you were looking (and many were) – the direction towards the aircraft carrier being used to negate power ashore was already set. On a summer… Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by CDRSalamander in Aviation, Innovation, Navy | 
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U.S. ships from the Boxer and Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Groups sail with the Dokdo Amphibious Ready Group from the Republic of Korea during Ssang Yong 2016, at sea, March 8, 2016.

Please join us at 5pm EST at 11 Dec 2016 for Midrats Episode 362: Towards a 350 Ship Navy, with Jerry Hendrix: Even before the election, President-elect Trump mentioned he wanted to get to a 350 ship Navy. The outgoing Secretary of the Navy has put us on a path to 308, and in his waning months is fighting a holding action on the shipbuilding budget giving as good of a turnover in this area to his relief. What are the viable paths to 350 we could see in the opening years of a Trump Presidency? How long could it… Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by Mark Tempest in Hard Power, Marine Corps, Navy, Podcasts, Soft Power | 
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