Archive for the ‘US Marine Corps’ Category

US Military Cyber Defense

January 19, 2011

The US military is preparing for 21st Century electronic warfare and cyber terrorism. A joint US Cyber Command and four service cyber commands have been set up.

Their mission is to defend American military networks and civilian American infrastructure from cyber terrorism and from foreign government hackers.

More info at http://www.teamultimedia.com/cyber-defense.html

First Woman Commands Special Operations Squadron

March 3, 2009

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An Airman from the 4th Special Operations Squadron became the first female flying squadron commander in Air Force Special Operations Command during a ceremony at Hurlburt Field, Florida on Feb. 20.

Lt. Col. Brenda Cartier assumed command of the 4th SOS, which employs the AC-130U Spooky gunship, from Lt. Col. Jim Rodriguez in a hangar packed with family, friends and colleagues.

“It’s a historic moment for us in AFSOC,” said Col. Dennis Pannell, 1st Special Operations Group commander, who officiated the ceremony.

Colonel Cartier is a fire control officer on the gunship with more than 4,000 flying hours, and previously served as the squadron’s operations officer under Colonel Rodriguez.

“She’s well prepared and well trained to take on this task, and we really look forward to her ability to lead this squadron in combat,” Colonel Pannell said.

Women at the front lines are no longer rare. For the story of some realy tough ladies, readThe Few. The Proud.: Women Marines in Harm’s Way

Colonel Rodriguez called the new commander his friend and confidant.

“She has tremendous patience, intellect and unending energy,” he said. “She will take this squadron on to new and greater things.”

Colonel Rodriguez served as commander for 22 months, during which time the squadron was constantly deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, added four operational aircraft and was named best flying squadron in AFSOC for 2007.

“Your leadership is clearly evident,” Colonel Pannell said. “While there is tremendous talent in the 4th [SOS], it takes steady and mature leadership to develop it. You’ve laid the foundation for many leaders of Spooky lineage.”

Colonel Rodriguez’s family members traveled from as far as Honduras to witness the ceremony. He received the Meritorious Service Medal for his tenure as squadron commander and operations officer.

Colonel Cartier said she was “very blessed” to take command of a squadron with such a rich history and such a relevant mission.

“When I arrived 12 years ago, the gunships were the newest weapons system, unproven in combat, but ready for action,” she said. “Today we are the longest continuously deployed AFSOC weapons system, and one of the most combat-experienced squadrons in Air Commando history.”

The 4th SOS has been deployed in support of Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom since Sept. 11, 2001, logging more than 1,800 accident-free combat sorties.

“We will continue to be challenged and called upon to support our nation’s efforts,” Colonel Cartier said. “I assure you I will give you the full measure of my commitment to ensure the 4th SOS remains the most feared and revered weapons system platform on the battlefield.”

Lauren Johnson

Iraqi guerrillas store their weapons in piles of dung

January 4, 2009

Our military Aviation Calendar 2009 features 13 images of US and allied military aircraft in action. Buy the Aviation Calendar 2009 exclusively at the PatriArt Gallery for only $ 19.99. Worldwide delivery available.

On Moustache Island, on the Tigris River, close to the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, American soldiers slowly worked their way through the groves and orchards, map grid by map grid, pulling apart piles of fallen branches and palm fronds, digging through dung piles used for fertilizer and checking large holes or mounds of dirt in a recent operation.

They were hunting hidden caches of weapons essential for guerrillas. Read the full upi article.

$40 billion needed to expand Army

December 23, 2008
Naval Calendar 2009

Naval Calendar 2009

Our Naval Calendar 2009 features 13 images of US Navy and allied naval forces in action. Buy the Naval Calendar 2009 exclusively at the PatriArt Gallery for only $ 19.99. Worldwide delivery available.

The Army projects it will need $40 billion annually above current spending levels once a planned 74,200 troops are added, according to a draft service report for the Obama transition team.

The report says the planned force of 1.1 million soldiers would require a budget of “$170 billion to $180 billion per year to sustain,” well above the 2009 budget of about $140 billion.

A draft copy of the 43-page document, labeled “predecisional” and dated November 2008, was obtained by Defense News, a sister publication of Army Times.

JSF STOVL Lift Fan Tests Begin in April 2009

December 18, 2008

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The Joint Strike Fighter program will wait until April to start transitioning the short-take-off, vertical-landing (STOVL) variant of the aircraft in vertical lift mode during tests, when the aircraft will have a fully qualified motor, the program’s deputy executive officer told Inside Defense.

Read the full report at www.insidedefense.com (paid subscription required)

USS Boxer Tests New Naval Communication Balloon

December 14, 2008
Naval Calendar 2009

Naval Calendar 2009

Our Naval Calendar 2009 features 13 images of US Navy and allied naval forces in action. Buy the Naval Calendar 2009 exclusively at the PatriArt Gallery for only $ 19.99. Worldwide delivery available.

Members of the Arizona Air National Guard embarked aboard USS Boxer (LHD 4) demonstrated an advanced communication platform, the Combat SkySat balloon Dec. 5.

The most modern communication balloon platform available, the Combat SkySat is larger than a weather balloon, and has the potential to provide communications between ship and helicopter, ship to shore, and between those on shore.

“There are some places between leaving ships and during insertions or raids where communication can be problematic,” said Arizona Air National Guard Master Sgt. Kris Errett.

“Attached to the SkySat balloon is a communications payload containing global positioning systems, radios, and a hanging antenna. There are separate radios, one to control the payload and another, a communications repeater, for personnel to communicate with each other.”

Boxer is the first ship in the fleet to have the new communication balloon platform aboard. It has been developed over the past three years, and this is the first operational underway test to determine future utility for embarked Marine Expeditionary Units (MEU).

With a suspended ballast system, the latex balloon can be controlled to maintain an altitude between 60,000 – 85,000 feet above sea level. On its way up, the instrument cluster gathers information on wind direction and speed.

“Helium or hydrogen can be used to enable the balloon to fly” said Tech. Sgt. Craig Armstrong, Arizona Air National Guard. “We use helium due to its stability and accessibility.”

In the base of the balloon is a venting system to release gas in order to reach a lower altitude. Hanging below the antennae is a five-pound box of sand, and by releasing sand the balloon climbs to a higher altitude.

“Once we’re done with the mission we release the payload from the balloon,” said Errett. “The payload has a parachute attached that opens after being released from the balloon. The balloon then climbs up to 120,000 feet, freezes, and bursts into many tiny pieces”

The Boxer Expeditionary Strike Group (BOXESG) is currently underway in support of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s Certification Exercise to prepare for an upcoming deployment.

BOXESG is comprised of Amphibious Squadron 5, the 13th MEU, Boxer, USS New Orleans (LPD 18), USS Comstock (LSD 45), USS Chung Hoon (DDG 93), USCGC Boutwell (WHEC 719), USS Milius (DDG 69), USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), Naval Beach Group 1, Assault Craft Unit 5, Assault Craft Unit 1, Beach Master Unit 1, Fleet Surgical Team 5, Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 163 (Rein), Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 21, Combat Logistics Battalion 13, Battalion Landing Team 1/1, and Fixed Wing Marine Attack Squadron 214.

Daniel Barker (NNS)

Heinz: Joint Strike Fighter Program ‘Aggressive,’ but Balanced

December 14, 2008

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Despite a recent report that warns of burgeoning costs in the Joint Strike Fighter program over the next six years, the program’s deputy executive officer argues that the aircraft’s development is supposed to be more aggressive than legacy aircraft and called it a “fundamental fallacy” to rigidly compare the JSF to F/A-18 and F/A-22 aircraft, reports Inside Defense.

Read the full report at www.insidedefense.com (paid subscription required)

Navy Plans to Reprogram $43 Million For F-35 Carrier Variant

December 13, 2008

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Due to funding cuts, the Navy will ask Congress for permission to reprogram $43 million to the Joint Strike Fighter program to avoid a delay of up to six months in the initial operational capability of the sea service’s carrier variant aircraft, according to Marine Brig. Gen. David Heinz, JSF deputy program executive officer, reports Inside Defense.

Read the full report at www.insidedefense.com (paid subscription required)

F-35 Lightning II Avionics Tested

December 13, 2008

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Lockheed Martin’s Cooperative Avionics Test Bed, or “CATBird,” has begun in-flight integration and verification of the F-35 Lightning II mission systems suite, launching another stage of risk reduction for the world’s newest fighter.

The CATBird, a highly modified 737 airliner, will test the avionics suite thoroughly for several months before the complete system begins flying in an F-35 aircraft. The entire F-35 avionics system is slated for airborne testing in the CATBird in 2009.

“The F-35 mission systems suite is the most sophisticated and powerful avionics package of any fighter in the world,” said Dan Crowley, Lockheed Martin executive vice president and F-35 program general manager. “The CATBird is a shared industry and government investment that continues our risk-reduction work as we prove that the F-35’s advanced avionics work as advertised, three years before the first F-35 goes operational. This is the start of what will no doubt be an exciting period of validation and confidence building regarding the capabilities of this 5th generation, multi-role, multi-service aircraft.”

The F-35’s avionics include on-board sensors that will enable pilots to strike fixed or moving ground targets in high-threat environments, day or night, in any weather, while simultaneously targeting and eliminating advanced airborne threats.

The CATBird’s 40th flight, on Tuesday, Nov. 25, was its first configured as a complete classified mission systems laboratory. All test objectives were met in the 2.4 hour sortie.

“We were able to transmit using the radar for 23 minutes and selected six different TACAN (tactical control and navigation) stations, with data displayed on the F-35 cockpit that resides in the CATBird,” said Eric Branyan, Lockheed Martin vice president of F-35 Air System Development. “The results matched our predictions.”

The first Lightning II aircraft to fly with the full avionics package will be a short takeoff/vertical landing F-35B, called BF-4. All previous F-35 test aircraft are “flight sciences” aircraft, designed to validate the fighter’s aerodynamic performance. BF-4 is the first F-35 “mission systems” aircraft and is scheduled to make its first flight in mid-2009.

The F-35 is a supersonic, multi-role, 5th generation stealth fighter. Three F-35 variants derived from a common design, developed together and using the same sustainment infrastructure worldwide will replace at least 13 types of aircraft for 11 nations initially, making the Lightning II the most cost-effective fighter program in history.

Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems. Two separate, interchangeable F-35 engines are under development: the Pratt & Whitney F135 and the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team F136.

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program Underfunded

December 13, 2008

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Outgoing Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England has directed the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps to all but disregard a recent assessment by a highly esteemed team of military cost estimators that concludes the Joint Strike Fighter program requires two additional years of testing and development — and a staggering $15 billion more than is currently programmed over the next six years, reports Inside Defense.

Read the full story at www.insidedefense.com (paid subscription required)