When graduates of West Point’s Class of 2016 go into their years of service as officers of the Army, they will be wearing something no other cadets have worn before — class rings that include steel from the World Trade Center. It hasn’t received mention in the press. But it was movingly noted Friday in the introduction of the commandant of cadets, Brig. Gen. John Thomson III, at the military academy’s annual ring memorial ceremony. What a cure for the cynicism of a cynical age. It’s at the ring ceremony that seniors — known as “firsties” — get their rings, which become a physical link between future officers and the West Point graduates who went before. The ceremony takes place at one of the most beautiful places in America — Trophy Point. The trophies, which are cannons captured in 1812 and other wars, look out over a slope giving north into the Hudson River.
Source: Why there’s Ground Zero steel in West Point class rings | New York Post
Read the whole thing. The “ring melt” ceremony is seriously interesting. The Army traditionally doesn’t have as much pomp and circumstance as the Marines, or even the Navy. And most of what we do have is centered on West Point. But when the Army, particularly West Point, does get around to pomp and circumstance, they do it quite right.
Five Chinese navy ships are currently operating in the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska, Pentagon officials said Wednesday, marking the first time the U.S. military has seen them in the area. The officials have been tracking the movements in recent days of three Chinese combat ships, a replenishment vessel and an amphibious landing ship after observing them moving toward the Aleutian Islands, which are split between U.S. and Russian control. “This would be a first in the vicinity of the Aleutian Islands,” one defense official said of the Chinese ships, which have been operating in international waters. “I don’t think we’d characterize anything they’re doing as threatening,” the official said.
Source: Five Chinese Navy Ships Are Operating in Bering Sea off Alaska – WSJ
Like I said on the podcast, 20 years ago, the Chinese navy was a joke, but today, it’s a respectable, capable blue water fleet. Jason also noted that we need to pay attention to how much they invest in fleet logistics ships, such as the one above.
There’s nothing particularly sinister about these operations, but China is also quite clearly sending a message, timing the deployment to coincide with Obama’s visit to Alaska.
It will be interesting to see how long they remain on station.
Just as email-gate looked to be winding down, RadarOnline.com has exclusively learned a person claiming to be a computer specialist has come forward with the stunning news that 32,000 emails from Hillary Clinton‘s private email account are up for sale. The price tag — a whopping $500,000!
Source: Hillary Clinton Hacked Emails For Sale | Radar Online
Was there ever any doubt that the whole system was compromised? Not sure how much faith I place in this source, but it’s certainly plausible.
h/t : Think Defense.
WASHINGTON — The two designs competing to be the US Air Force’s next generation bomber have undergone extensive testing by the service and are far more mature than previously known, to a level nearly unheard of in the Pentagon before a contract award, Defense News has learned. The designs also feature significantly improved stealth capabilities when compared to the B-2 and still feature plans for future certification of nuclear weaponry and the ability to be optionally manned. Considered one of the US Air Force’s three top acquisition priorities, the Long Range Strike-Bomber (LRS-B) program has been kept primarily in the dark as the service weighs two competing proposals, one from Northrop Grumman, and the other from a team of Boeing and Lockheed Martin. A contract award is expected soon, with indications it could come before the end of September.
Source: LRS-B Details Emerge: Major Testing, Risk Reduction Complete
Some interesting details on the Air Force’s planned replacement for the B-2A Spirit bomber. This article paints the program in a fairly good light, highlighting the risk reduction and maturity of the design so far. Contrast that with this post from the same site, however.
There are almost infinite ways to count how much a program costs. Still, a variance of about $25 billion is a bit much.
Join Spill and me with out special guest Matt Hipple, President of the Center for International Maritime Security. We’re talking about Chinese Maritime Strategy, Distributed Lethality, and social media in the military. You can listen to us on Youtube, or via the mp3 player below, or download at the archive link below.
The Navy is managing a program called MUOS, Mobile User Objective System, which is essentially a satellite version of worldwide cellphone service.
We love a good rocket launch. And in this case, the early morning atmospherics lead to a very unusual plume.
What started out as a post about Mexeflote’s in 2011 has turned into a 95,000 word Think Defence project on the subject of Ship to Shore Logistics.
Mexeflote Haiti 04
This is the reason the post rate has dropped recently, sorry about that, but it is now complete. The Ship to Shore Logistics Project picks up from the multi post series of the same name but this is a refresh and significant expansion, table of contents below.
Source: Ship to Shore Logistics – PROJECT COMPLETE – Think Defence
TD gets juuuuuuust a tad obsessive on some topics.
No, I haven’t sat down and read the whole thing, but I’ve read a goodly part of it over the years.
STS Logistics is a key capability for any expeditionary force, be it the US Marine Corps, or the US Army, or even our Air Force and Navy.
The ability to sustain a military force will always involve surface shipping, and eventually that sustainment has to come ashore. Ideally, it will do so through an established port. But very rarely do our military interventions work out ideally. And so the capability to work in austere environments, or even Logistics over the shore (LOTS) are needed.