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US Marines to get new PERMS


US Marines to get new PERMS
By Allison Barrie

Last February in Afghanistan, Marines used an Excalibur round to kill a Taliban insurgent team in a record-setting artillery strike. This week the United States Marine Corps announced an update to this guided munition: a new, highly lethal round to support combat operations.

The Precision Extended Range Munition -- or PERM, like the hairstyle but far more lethal -- will be blasted from towers against adversaries in the field.

This week the U.S. Marine Corps signed a contract with Raytheon to build this weapon, which strikes distant targets that cannot be seen from the aiming position. Such “precision indirect fire” allows the Marine Corps to remain unseen or concealed from the enemy while still effectively striking targets.

Improved precision also importantly translates into reduced collateral damage as well.

unhappycamper comment: Great. The 155mm Exclaibur round costs $89 grand. I wonder how much the 120mm round will cost?
Posted by unhappycamper | Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:56 AM (10 replies)

CNO Starts Budget Chicken Game


CNO Starts Budget Chicken Game
By Ward Carroll Friday, January 25th, 2013 2:59 pm

Yesterday the CNO ordered his flags and SES-types to begin taking steps to cut the Navy’s budget. Some specific actions outlined in an official memorandum include the following (as reported by a Virginian Pilot article posted at Military​.com):



Virginia faces $1.4B loss under planned Navy cuts
By Bill Bartel
The Virginian-Pilot
© January 26, 2013

Among the cuts being considered in Virginia are:

- Canceling about $270 million in maintenance work on eight destroyers, an amphibious assault ship and the carrier Eisenhower that had been planned between April and September.

- Cutting 1,121 temporary civilian workers and freezing civilian hires to save $100 million.

- Reducing ship operations and flying hours to save $670 million.

unhappycamper comment: I highly recommend you read the DoDBuzz article to see the comments.
Posted by unhappycamper | Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:44 AM (0 replies)

Article U.S. Navy Seeks Alternate Deckhouse For DDG-1002


Artist's rendition of this $5~7 billion dollar wonder of the MIC world

U.S. Navy Seeks Alternate Deckhouse For DDG-1002
By Michael Fabey
January 25, 2013

The U.S. Navy is looking at building an alternative deckhouse for DDG-1002, the final proposed Zumwalt-class destroyer.

The current Zumwalt deckhouse is uniquely designed and constructed of composite materials at a special facility owned and operated by Ingalls Shipbuilding, a Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) unit.

Indeed, the special deckhouse has been one of the main selling points for the Zumwalt, with its specially designed composite construction that the Navy has touted as cutting down on weight and bolstering the ship’s stealth.


But in a Jan. 3 solicitation, Naval Sea Systems Command (Navsea) says it “has a potential requirement for design and construction of a steel deckhouse and hangar superstructure, and aft peripheral vertical launching system (PVLS) modules for DDG-1002. This requirement will be solicited without full and open competition … from the only two sources in the Navy’s destroyer shipbuilding industrial base: Bath Iron Works (BIW) … and Ingalls Shipbuilding.”

unhappycamper comment: The DDG-1030 series of stealth destroyers has entered the Design-As-We-Go treadmill, much as has Lockheed's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
Posted by unhappycamper | Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:24 AM (0 replies)

Iraqi lawmakers pass law to block Maliki from third term


Iraqi lawmakers pass law to block Maliki from third term
Sat Jan 26, 2013 10:11am EST

(Reuters) - Iraq's parliament passed a law on Saturday intended to block Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki from a third term, as the Shi'ite premier faced growing pressure from mass Sunni street protests.

Lawmakers from Sunni, Kurdish and Shi'ite parties voted for the law, but the legislation still needs the president's approval and will face challenges in federal court after Maliki's supporters rejected it as illegal.

The law, restricting the posts of prime minister, parliament speaker and president to two four-year terms, was approved as the Shi'ite premier tried to end weeks of protests by Sunni demonstrators against his government.

"Parliament succeeded today in passing an important law to limit the terms of three posts, including the prime minister's," said Khalid Shwani, head of the legal panel of parliament.
Posted by unhappycamper | Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:04 AM (0 replies)

(USS) Gerald R. Ford Reaches Key Milestone


(Jan. 26, 2013) Huntington Ingalls Industries celebrated significant progress today as the 555-metric ton island was lowered onto the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) at the company’s Newport News Shipbuilding division. The 60-foot long, 30-foot wide island was the 452nd lift of the nearly 500 total lifts needed to complete the aircraft carrier.

Gerald R. Ford Reaches Key Milestone
By Rear Adm. Tom Moore, Program Executive Officer for Aircraft Carriers

Today we celebrate a milestone in the construction of the Navy’s next generation aircraft carrier, the Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78). The island is among the last of 160 total superlifts, and as it is landed on the flight deck, the ship will really take shape. I’m joined today by folks from the Navy, Huntington Ingalls Industries, and the ship’s sponsor, Mrs. Susan Ford Bales, who spoke at the keel-laying ceremony in 2009, and will christen the ship later this year.

Island landing is a shipbuilding construction milestone largely unique to aircraft carriers, and is similar to the stepping of the masts aboard sailing ships or the topping out of a skyscraper. It marks a symbolic end to structural work, and the start of the equally challenging work of bringing the ship to life, turning steel and cable into a living ship and crew.

The Gerald R. Ford is the first of the Ford class of nuclear powered aircraft carriers that will be the centerpiece of American naval combat power and projection for most of the 21st century! This mighty warship is a technological marvel that includes many new technologies such as the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launching System (EMALS) that will launch aircraft such as the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, the F-35C Joint Strike Fighter, and a new generation of unmanned vehicles. Other enhancements include improved weapons handling systems, and flight deck changes. The design and construction of these ships is a testament to the innovation and technological expertise of our Navy and shipbuilding partners.

The new shape and location of the island, compared to previous aircraft carriers, will immediately identify Gerald R. Ford to everyone who sees her as a new design with new capabilities. The island will house the new Dual Band Radar, the most advanced radar in the Navy, capable of providing full surveillance, weapons targeting, and air traffic control for the carrier and her strike group. The smaller island and its new location, farther aft than on any other carrier, enables her to launch and recover more aircraft per day, and generate sorties more rapidly than any other previous aircraft carrier.

My personal experience as an engineer in the Navy’s nuclear power program, and my many years working on the Navy’s aircraft carrier programs, make today a truly memorable event for me. I’d like to thank all who have sacrificed to provide our nation with the most impressive ship in the world, which will make our Navy stronger than it has ever been before.

Gerald R. Ford will serve our country well into the 2060s, far beyond my career, or that of anyone present at this ceremony. Thanks to the foresight of the Navy and shipbuilder team, the CVN 78 will be more than capable of meeting any challenges that come her way.

unhappycamper comment: And the best part? The USS Gerald R Ford will cost only $16.5 to $40 billion dollars when delivered, sans people and aircraft. Note - The last Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, the USS G.H.W. Bush cost $6.8 billion dollars, sans people and aircraft.

You also view pics of the construction. Google: uss gerald r ford construction progress
Posted by unhappycamper | Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:49 AM (0 replies)

Health answers sought about burned-off war garbage


Health answers sought about burned-off war garbage
By KEVIN FREKING, Associated Press – 23 hours ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — J.D. Williams didn't think much about the smoke cloud that often shrouded his air base in Iraq. Not when it covered everything he owned with black soot or when his wheezing and coughing made it difficult to sleep at night.


He returned home from that second stint in Iraq in 2006 and subsequently was diagnosed with an irreversible lung disease that his doctor suspects could be related to smoke from one of the hundreds of burn pits that dotted Iraq and Afghanistan during the course of the two wars. The pits were used to burn off the garbage that accumulates at military bases, everything from Styrofoam and metal to paints, solvents, human waste and medical waste.


Military personnel who were stationed near an open burn pit can sign up. Researchers will use the database to monitor health trends in participants, and the VA will alert them to major problems detected.

Over the long term, the findings could make it easier for veterans who served near burn pits to obtain disability payments.
Posted by unhappycamper | Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:26 AM (0 replies)

Defense Department urged to stop ignoring ‘full' cost of personnel


Defense Department urged to stop ignoring ‘full' cost of personnel
TOM PHILPOTT; Contributing Writer
Published: Jan. 26, 2013 at 12:05 a.m. PST

This time last year, the Air Force unveiled a plan to cut Air National Guard strength by 5,100 members along with more than 200 Guard aircraft, touting this as a reasonable efficiency, in part because Guard squadrons cost more to operate than active duty squadrons.


The board’s report, online at ra.defense. gov/rfpb/reports/ argues that, unlike defense contractors bidding to build ships or new combat vehicles, Defense policy makers don’t have to account for “fully-burdened and life-cycle costs” of personnel, even though military personnel costs have reached $250 billion a year or about half the entire defense budget.

The report claims the “fully-burdened per capita” cost to the government of an active duty member is $108,307 in pay and benefits, a figure 20 percent higher usually calculated because it includes their health care, dependent education, housing and commissaries. The equivalent per capita cost of reserve component members is $34,272, with 30 percent of that linked health care improvements under Tricare Reserve Select.

Total Defense Department per capita costs triple, to $330,342 for active duty and to $100,380 for reserve component members, when noncompensation items such as training, military construction and base support costs are calculated. They climb by another 15 to 20 percent when military personnel costs covered by other federal departments, including Veterans Affairs, Treasury, Labor and Education, are calculated. These non-DoD costs for personnel include the GI Bill, VA disability benefits, job training for vets, and a portion of retirement and Medicare obligations paid by Treasury.
Posted by unhappycamper | Sun Jan 27, 2013, 07:55 AM (1 replies)

How much military is enough?


How much military is enough?
by Jill Lepore
January 28, 2013

Sixty-two legislators sit on the House Armed Services Committee, the largest committee in Congress. Since January, 2011, when Republicans took control of the House, the committee has been chaired by Howard P. McKeon, who goes by Buck. He has never served in the military, but this month he begins his third decade representing California’s Twenty-fifth Congressional District, the home of a naval weapons station, an Army fort, an Air Force base, and, for the Marines, a place to train for mountain warfare. McKeon believes that it’s his job to protect the Pentagon from budget cuts. On New Year’s Day, after a thirteenth-hour deal was sealed with spit in the Senate, McKeon issued a press statement lamenting that the compromise had failed to “shield a wartime military from further reductions.”

The debate about taxes is over, which is one of the few good things that can be said for it. The debate about spending, which has already proved narrow and grubby, is pending.

The United States spends more on defense than all the other nations of the world combined. Between 1998 and 2011, military spending doubled, reaching more than seven hundred billion dollars a year—more, in adjusted dollars, than at any time since the Allies were fighting the Axis. The 2011 Budget Control Act, which raised the debt ceiling and created both the fiscal cliff and a Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, which was supposed to find a way to steer clear of it, required four hundred and eighty-seven billion dollars in cuts to military spending, spread over the next ten years. The cliff-fall mandates an additional defense-budget reduction of fifty-five billion dollars annually. None of these cuts have gone into effect. McKeon has been maneuvering to hold the line.


Either the United States rules the world or Americans are no longer Americans? Happily, that’s not the choice the 113th Congress faces. The decision at hand concerns limits, not some kind of national, existential apocalypse. Force requires bounds. Between militarism and pacifism lie diplomacy, accountability, and restraint. Dempsey’s won’t be the last word.
Posted by unhappycamper | Sun Jan 27, 2013, 07:13 AM (8 replies)

CIA torture advocate gets 30 months in prison for naming covert agent


CIA torture advocate gets 30 months in prison for naming covert agent
By Stephen C. Webster
Friday, January 25, 2013 15:09 EST

A former CIA agent who pleaded guilty in October to revealing the identity of a covert agent was sentenced to 30 months in prison on Friday, a sentence secured by a plea deal, and much lighter than the 20 years he could have faced.

John Kiriakou, 48, worked for the CIA for 14 years, from 1990 through 2004, and led the team that captured alleged terrorist Abu Zubida in 2002. He later confessed to ABC News in 2007 that he witnessed U.S. personnel repeatedly subject Zubaida to a torture technique known as waterboarding, where the victim is made to feel they are drowning.

It was in follow-up emails with reporters regarding the topic of Zubida that he included the name of a former colleague who allegedly participated in his torture — an act that violated a federal law that nobody has been prosecuted under 27 years. However, since he was not charged until 2012, that gave him time to leverage his big revelations into some consulting work for ABC, according to the BBC.

While most torture whistleblowers come forward because they feel the need to expose government wrongdoing, Kiriakou’s emergence was unique in that he was actually advocating for the technique, saying that one of the 83 times Zubida was allegedly waterboarded, it worked and convinced him to cooperate.
Posted by unhappycamper | Sat Jan 26, 2013, 06:23 AM (0 replies)

From Paint To Littoral Combat Ships, Navy Scrambles To Save Dough


The $640 million dollar USS Freedom that is not-ready-for-prime-time.

From Paint To Littoral Combat Ships, Navy Scrambles To Save Dough
By Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.
Published: January 22, 2013

CRYSTAL CITY: From standardizing paint schemes to buying fewer types of valves, the Navy is going all-out to save money as budgets tighten. This new emphasis on affordability goes beyond the usual mundane economies to a sea change in how the service develops new vessels and technologies, with the much-criticized Littoral Combat Ship as the high-stakes pilot project.

"You can't just do some really effective system anymore; it's got to be effective and highly affordable," declared Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder, who heads the Office of Naval Research. ONR is normally associated not with cost-cutting but with high-tech, high-cost innovations such as railguns. But at last week's Surface Navy Association conference in Crystal City, just south of the Pentagon, Klunder framed even the case for railguns in economic terms, arguing they would let the Navy shoot down incoming threats much more cheaply than firing interceptor missiles.

If defense companies or entrepreneurs have ideas that can buy more capability for less money, that cost our enemies more to counter than they cost us to develop, "I've got a whole pocket full of business cards. I'm willing to take time for that discussion," Klunder told the conferees, many of them defense executives. If your idea buys more capability for more money, he went on, you'll have to wait.


The module part of the program is hardly trouble-free. "We are behind schedule on the delivery of what we originally thought the mission modules would be," acknowledged Adm. Copeman at the conference. LCS-1 Freedom will sail to Singapore this year with a stripped-down version of its surface warfare module that includes extra guns, an armed helicopter, and fast boats to carry boarding crews, but not the anti-ship missile originally planned. Mine warfare and anti-submarine modules lag further behind.

unhappycamper comment: To sum it up, our LCS target barges are:

a) waaaay more expensive than the $200 million originally estimated in the Navy's Deepwater program and
b) need more hands on deck but they don't have a place to put them and
c) are loaded with aluminum hull cracks and corrosion and
d) without mission models and
e) may not be survivable in a combat situation.

Congress, in its infinite wisdom, when the first two ships of this class came in at over 300% over budget did the only thing they could. Order more of them.
Posted by unhappycamper | Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:03 AM (1 replies)
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