Lawmakers are giving the U.S. Navy three more littoral combat ships than the service actually wants or needs, because of course they would.
Although the Navy set a requirement of 32 LCS', lawmakers offered up funding for three more while cutting funding for modules that would make the current ships more useful, such as an anti-submarine warfare package and a variable-depth sonar.
The annual cutting spree has created a baffling cycle of inanity wherein Congress, unhappy with the development of the modules falling behind schedule, will cut funding and cause development to fall further behind schedule, according to a source familiar with the details of the impact of the cuts who spoke on background. All this while Congress continues to pump money into building ships without any of the mission packages having achieved what’s known as initial operating capability, meaning the equipment is ready to deploy in some capacity.
(The surface warfare version has IOC-ed some initial capabilities but is adding a Longbow Hellfire missile system that will be delayed with cuts, the source said.)
The Navy isn't the only service to deal with this kind of weirdness. The Army, for example, repeatedly and emphatically told Congress, please, for the love of all that's holy, do not give us money for any more tanks, before lawmakers authorized a truckload of cash for the service to buy more or upgrade its existing tanks.
Then, of course, there is the issue of the LCS itself, which has been unofficially dubbed the "Little Crappy Ship" due its host of problems, from insane cost overruns to lack of survivability. Or its absence in the deployment schedule, despite nearly a dozen ships being deemed ready.
Still, funding more of a terrible ship rather than improving the existing ones is pretty much par for the course in the defense contracting world. With LCS numbers 33, 34, and 35, we're just seeing the most recent examples.
Army and Air Force Exchange Service officials are warning soldiers and military families to be aware of scammers using the Exchange's logo.
In a news release Wednesday, Exchange officials said scammers using the name "Exchange Inc." have "fooled" soldiers and airmen to broker the sale of used cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats and boat engines.
KABUL (Reuters) - The Islamic State (IS) militant group claimed responsibility on Sunday for a suicide blast at a wedding reception in Afghanistan that killed 63 people, underlining the dangers the country faces even if the Taliban agrees a pact with the United States.
The Saturday night attack came as the Taliban and the United States try to negotiate an agreement on the withdrawal of U.S. forces in exchange for a Taliban commitment on security and peace talks with Afghanistan's U.S.-backed government.
Islamic State fighters, who first appeared in Afghanistan in 2014 and have since made inroads in the east and north, are not involved in the talks. They are battling government and U.S.-led international forces and the Taliban.
The group, in a statement on the messaging website Telegram, claimed responsibility for the attack at a west Kabul wedding hall in a minority Shi'ite neighborhood, saying its bomber had been able to infiltrate the reception and detonate his explosives in the crowd of "infidels".
Calling aviation geeks in New York City: The British are coming.
In their first visit to the United States since 2008, the Royal Air Force "Red Arrows" will perform an aerial demonstration next week over the Hudson River, according to an Air Force news release. F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, the Air Force Thunderbirds and Navy Blue Angels demonstration teams will also be part of the show.