The U.S. Army Reserve's LCM-8596, a landing craft mechanized, or "Mike" boat, powers along the James River toward Utah Beach during Operation Dragon Wave at Fort Eustis, Va., July 24, 2012.
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jason J. Brown
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
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
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.
Photo: US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
A former sailor who was busted buying firearms with his military discount and then reselling some of them to criminals is proving to be a wealth of information for federal investigators.
Julio Pino used his iPhone to record most, if not all, of his sales, court documents said. He even went so far as to review the buyers' driver's license on camera.
It is unclear how many of Pino's customer's now face criminal charges of their own. Federal indictments generally don't provide that level of detail and Assistant U.S. Attorney William B. Jackson declined to comment.
Carson Thomas, a healthy and fit 20-year-old infantryman who had joined the Army after a brief stint in college, figured he should tell the medics about the pain in his groin he had been feeling. It was Feb. 12, 2012, and the senior medic looked him over and decided to send him to sick call at the base hospital.
It seemed almost routine, something the Army doctors would be able to diagnose and fix so he could get back to being a grunt.
Now looking back on what happened some seven years later, it was anything but routine.
U.S. Army Cpt. Katrina Hopkins and Chief Warrant Officer 2 James Rogers, assigned to Task Force Warhorse, pilot a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter during a medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) operation at Camp Taji, Iraq, Dec. 18, 2018. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Javion Siders)
U.S. forces must now ask the Iraqi military for permission to fly in Iraqi airspace before coming to the aid of U.S. troops under fire, a top military spokesman said.
However, the mandatory approval process is not expected to slow down the time it takes the U.S. military to launch close air support and casualty evacuation missions for troops in the middle of a fight, said Army Col. James Rawlinson, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.
The soldier who was arrested for taking an armored personnel carrier on a slow-speed police chase through Virginia has been found not guilty by reason of insanity on two charges, according to The Richmond-Times Dispatch.
Joshua Phillip Yabut, 30, entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle — in this case, a 12-ton APC taken from Fort Pickett in June 2018 — and violating the terms of his bond, which stemmed from a trip to Iraq he took in March 2019 (which was not a military deployment).