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Guess What Branch Just Dropped $1 Billion On New Beach-Landing Boats?
To replace its aging fleet of Vietnam-era Mike Boats, the U.S. Army awarded a massive contract — nearly $1 billion — to Oregon-based shipbuilder Vigor Works on Sept. 28, Defense News reports.
The contract is for the faster and larger Maneuver Support Vessel (Light), a 100-foot long beach landing boat capable of hauling one M1A2 Abrams tank, a pair of Stryker armored transports, or four Joint Light Tactical Vehicles, and their trailers.
The new boats boast a top speed of 18 knots and will replace the slower 74-foot long Landing Craft Mechanized 8, which tops out at eight knots — and has been in service since the 1950’s. With an estimated completion date of 2027, the fixed-price contract for the MSV (light) comes out to $979,794,011, reports Defense News.
The news that the Army will be dropping a dime (give or take 9.8 billion) on new landing craft is likely to catch some folks off guard — especially current and former members of the smallest branch of the armed forces, the Marines, a scrappy service routinely wracked with insecurity over its place in the Defense Department hierarchy.
The service with beach landing & amphibious op expertise—US Army—was awarded a $1 billion contract for landing craft https://t.co/WygU1strUG
— Paul Szoldra (@PaulSzoldra) September 29, 2017
As much as the news is sure to stir up some old Corps rabble-rousers, it’s important to remember that for the Army, amphibious warfare and beach landings are nothing new — after all, it was the Corps’ bigger land-dwelling brother that led the charge at Normandy on D-Day, one of the largest amphibious landings in history.
That said, the new landing craft is likely to serve as a taxi for troops, arms, and equipment in an uncontested environment, rather than a combat ferry surfing onto a hostile beach to pour out its cargo of up-armored vehicles and heavily armed ground-pounders.
But, the news that the Army is eyeing a domain that the Marine Corps covets — at a time of increasing budget cuts, and finite resources — has faint echoes of a rivalry between the two services that dates back to World War II.
oh i know that. just wondering if this is them trying to inch on the Corps post-WWII turf
— Paul Szoldra (@PaulSzoldra) September 29, 2017
This could be good news for the Corps; after all, the Army has a history of passing along its hand-me-downs to Marines. So maybe they’ll get some “newish” Mike Boats to go with those M320 grenade launchers they just got.
Hat tip to Paul Szoldra for flagging this news on Twitter.
A U.S.S. Manchester, CL-83, hat firmly tucked on his head, John Ronney, pierced the collar of his granddaughter, Jennifer Rooney's new rank during a special pinning ceremony at Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune on Sept. 25.
By Rooney's side was his son and Jennifer's father Robert, a Navy veteran. Together, three Navy veterans brought together for military tradition.
"They are the two people who taught me everything I needed to know about the Navy," said Jennifer.
CAMP PENDLETON — The military prosecution of a Coast Guardsman accused of murder began Wednesday with a preliminary hearing at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.
Seaman Ethan W. Tucker, 21, was arrested August 28 after a seven-month Coast Guard investigation into the January death of Seaman Ethan Kelch, 19, who served on the same ship as Tucker— the Kodiak, Alaska-based high endurance cutter Douglas Munro.
ANKARA (Reuters) - President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday Turkey would press on with its offensive into northeastern Syria and "crush the heads of terrorists" if a deal with Washington on the withdrawal of Kurdish fighters from the area were not fully implemented.
Erdogan agreed on Thursday in talks with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence a five-day pause in the offensive to allow time for the Kurdish fighters to withdraw from a "safe zone" Turkey aims to establish in northeast Syria near the Turkish border.
President Trump stoked confusion Friday by declaring the U.S. has "secured the Oil" in the Middle East amid continued fallout from the Turkish invasion of northern Syria that he enabled by pulling American troops out of the region.
It wasn't immediately clear what the president was talking about, as there were no publicly known developments in Syria or elsewhere in the Middle East relating to oil. White House aides did not return requests for comment.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. State Department investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state has found no evidence of deliberate mishandling of classified information by department employees.
The investigation, the results of which were released on Friday by Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley's office, centered on whether Clinton, who served as the top U.S. diplomat from 2009 to 2013, jeopardized classified information by using a private email server rather than a government one.