SecDef Slashes Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship Program

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Navy photo by Dennis Griggs

Defense Secretary Ash Carter has called for the reduction of the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship program in a memo dated Dec. 14, The Daily Beast reported.


Originally, the Navy was set to acquire 52 of the swift, near-shore ships, but that number will now be reduced to 40.

Instead, Carter directed Navy Secretary Ray Mabus to take part of the roughly $5 billion that would have been spent on the combat ships, and redistribute it to fighter jets, missiles, and drones.

The Navy is not pleased with the decision. The addition of the Littoral Combat Ships was part of the service’s plan to bring up the number of warships from 282 to upward of 300 by 2019.

While some are unhappy with the ruling, others are glad to see the reduction of the program, which has been controversial since the concept was introduced in the 1990s.

Between initial cost troubles, technical shortcomings, and other failings, the Littoral Combat Ship is seen as unreliable.

Military.com reported that Carter’s memo said, “Earlier this year the Department of Defense gave guidance to correct and reverse this trend of prioritizing quantity over lethality; however, counter to that guidance, the Department of the Navy's latest program submission fails to do so.”

Six ships are currently in use, but have only just two deployments over seven years. Among other Navy warships of other classes, a fleet of six would be expected to complete at least 12 deployments over that many years.

As recently as Dec. 11, the newest ship — the USS Milwaukee — broke down between Lockheed Martin’s Wisconsin factory and Florida. A tugboat had to drag the ship for weeks of repairs at a base in Virginia.

A Coast Guard lieutenant arrested this week planned to "murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country," according to a court filing requesting he be detained until his trial.

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(From left to right) Chris Osman, Chris McKinley, Kent Kroeker, and Talon Burton

At least four American veterans were among a group of eight men arrested by police in Haiti earlier this week for driving without license plates and possessing an arsenal of weaponry and tactical gear.

Police in Port-au-Prince arrested five Americans, two Serbians, and one Haitian man at a police checkpoint on Sunday, according to The Miami-Herald. The men told police they were on a "government mission" but did not specify for which government, according to The Herald.

They also told police that "their boss was going to call their boss," implying that someone high in Haiti's government would vouch for them and secure their release, Herald reporter Jacqueline Charles told NPR.

What they were actually doing or who they were potentially working for remains unclear. A State Department spokesperson told Task & Purpose they were aware that Haitian police arrested a "group of individuals, including some U.S. citizens," but declined to answer whether the men were employed by or operating under contract with the U.S. government.

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The State Department announced Wednesday that notorious ISIS bride Hoda Muthana, a U.S.-born woman who left Alabama to join ISIS but began begging to return to the U.S. after recently deserting the terror group, is not a U.S. citizen and will not be allowed to return home.

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Have you ever wondered what would happen if the employee behind a firearm company's Facebook page decided to goaded a bunch of Marines into destroying their brand new firearms? Now you know.

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A top Senate Republican and fierce ally of President Donald Trump reportedly exploded at Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan recently about the U.S. military's plans to withdraw all troops from Syria by the end of April.

"That's the dumbest f******g idea I've ever heard," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) reportedly replied when Shanahan confirmed the Trump administration still plans to complete the Syria withdrawal by April 30.

Later, Graham told Shanahan, "I am now your adversary, not your friend."

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