LSDs in 2013. The law also prohibits
the Navy from inactivating ballistic-missile submarines (SSBNs) to a
force level below 12 SSBNs.
Congress is keeping its finger on
the pulse of the Littoral Combat
Ship program, directing in the law
that the Navy report on the design
of the ships, the operational support and sustainment strategy for
the ships, and a status report on
their mission packages.
Congress also advised the Navy
to consider its investment priorities in the next generation of large
amphibious assault ship, including
survivability features and commonality of hull design.
The NDAA directs the Navy by
June to establish initial operational
capability (IOC) dates for the F-
35B and F-35C Lightning II strike
fighters. As the aircraft have experienced developmental delays, the
services have been reluctant to set
definitive IOC dates.
The Marine Corps is directed to
study and report to the Congress
on its future electronic warfare
capabilities, including a detailed
disposition plan for its EA-6B
The NDAA authorizes end-strength force levels for the Navy
and Marine Corps for Sept. 20 of
322,700 Sailors and 197,300
Marines. The law also directs the
Marine Corps to develop and
implement a plan to increase
Marine security guards for U.S.
embassies and consulates.
“I think that should be a major point of focus and concern. If
we’re going to remain a superpower, we have to be able to
reach out and touch people, and the way that you do that is
with the U.S. Navy.”
U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif.
Member of the House Armed Services Committee
Outlining one of his goals for the year ahead, which is maintaining U.S. fleet strength.
Politico, Jan. 1
“The basic ballistic submarine gets underway and then it
disappears. It’s not always 5 knots to nowhere, but no one
knows where it is, not even our own government. That’s a big
piece of its survivability. It’s a phenomenal capability.”
Rear Adm. Barry L. Bruner
Director of submarine warfare
On one of the enduring strengths of U.S. ballistic-missile submarine force.
Aviation Week, Jan. 10
In a December statement, Forbes
said he wants to grow the Navy’s
fleet and enhance its readiness,
while also strengthening its air component to better posture it to meet
future threats. For the Marine
Corps, he wants to grow the
amphibious fleet, while providing
the service the “essential equipment
to be a premier expeditionary force.”
Virginia’s Forbes Heads
Republican Rep. J. Randy Forbes of
Virginia is the new chairman of the
House Armed Services seapower
and projection forces subcommittee, with jurisdiction over Navy
and Marine Corps research, development and acquisition programs.
Forbes takes over the panel from
former Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., who
lost his bid for a Senate seat.
DoD’s Struggle With
Cost Overruns Continues
DoD efforts to improve its acquisition process to control cost overruns
the past three decades has been
largely unsuccessful, according to a
recent Congressional Research Service (CRS) report.
“Despite the numerous studies
(more than 100 since the end of
World War II), congressional hear-
ings, and DoD reports that have
often echoed the same themes and
highlighted the same weaknesses in
the acquisition process, acquisition
reform efforts pursued over the last
30 years have been unable to rein in
cost and schedule growth,” said the
report, “Defense Acquisitions: How
DoD acquires Weapon Systems and
Recent Efforts to Reform,” penned
by Moshe Schwartz, CRS specialist
in defense acquisition.
Reporting by Seapower Correspondent
Megan Scully. Managing Editor Richard
R. Burgess, Associate Editor John C.
Marcario and Special Correspondent
Otto Kreisher contributed to this report.