Posts Tagged ‘War’

Robot Aircraft Refuel in the Air

February 20, 2009

The Air Force Research Lab has awarded a Boeing-led industry team a four-year, $49 million contract to continue work on the technology that will enable unmanned aerial vehicles to rendezvous autonomously with tanker aircraft and refuel, the company announced Feb. 5. These activities are Phase II of AFRL’s automated aerial refueling program. During Phase I, a Boeing-led team demonstrated that a single UAV could safely maneuver behind a tanker aircraft in refueling positions and conduct a breakaway maneuver. Under Phase II, the consortium, formally named the AAR integrator team, will coordinate flight tests that will include autonomous multi-ship operations and the actual delivery of fuel to a manned surrogate UAV. Boeing’s team includes Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, plus General Electric Aviation, Rockwell Collins, and Sierra Nevada Corp. Phase II will be divided into two parts to mature components to allow boom and receptacle and potentially probe and drogue refuelings.
Read more about robots at war:Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century

$ 70 Billion Needed For Next 6 Months of War

January 13, 2009

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has outlined a $69.7 billion estimate of funds needed for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan from the spring through September, a sum he calls a “personal assessment” that includes $23 billion for new weapons but does not account for costs associated with a likely increase of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

In a Dec. 31 letter to the leaders of the four congressional defense committees, Gates said the estimate — which would bring total fiscal year 2009 war costs to $135.6 billion — “would fund operations through the remainder of the fiscal year; replace combat losses, worn-out or stressed equipment; and replenish supplies.”

Gates characterized the figure as a “personal estimate” and not the position of the Bush administration or the incoming Obama administration. “As such, I fully expect that the new administration will conduct a fresh review of these matters and provide an updated and more authoritative proposal” once in place, he writes.
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Gates Pledges “Active” Role as Obama Defense Secretary

December 13, 2008

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Tuesday that he had no intention of being a “caretaker” at the Pentagon and that he agreed with what he termed President-elect Barack Obama’s “responsible drawdown” plan for American combat troops from Iraq.

The defense secretary did not explicitly endorse Mr. Obama’s campaign pledge to withdraw all combat troops within 16 months.

Instead, Mr. Gates said he supported the broad outlines of Mr. Obama’s Iraq strategy and gave indications that he and the president-elect could reach common ground on troop withdrawals over the next year.

Read the full article at NYT

Pentagon Re-Visits 2006 Israel-Hezbollah Conflict

December 12, 2008
Aviation Calendar 2009

Aviation Calendar 2009

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The 2006 conflict between Israel and Hezbollah is receiving renewed attention from defense planners and thinkers who see it as an important example of what the U.S. military might face in the future, reports Inside Defense.

The attention goes all the way to the top: Defense Secretary Robert Gates discusses the increasing capabilities of non-state actors in the latest issue of Foreign Affairs.

In his essay, titled “A Balanced Strategy: Reprogramming the Pentagon for a New Age,” Gates writes, “militias, insurgent groups, other nonstate actors, and developing-world militaries are increasingly acquiring more technology, lethality, and sophistication — as illustrated by the losses and propaganda victory that Hezbollah was able to inflict on Israel in 2006.”

Full report at Inside Defense (paid subscription required)

Afghanistan war tougher than Iraq

November 24, 2008

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The vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs warned last week that U.S. troops and their families should not expect to relax if operations in Iraq wrap up soon.

Marine Gen. James Cartwright, speaking 17 Nov. in Arlington, Va., before a symposium sponsored by the Military Officers Association of America, predicted the situation in Afghanistan won’t be resolved as easily or quickly as was the case with creating a semblance of political stability in Iraq.

And even if Afghanistan is stabilized, the future is going to be one of military challenges, he said.

“The belief of the Joint Chiefs is, we are entering an era of persistent conflict,” Cartwright said, warning of hot spots “broadly spread across the planet” that are “difficult to solve and move on.”

Cartwright’s comments came during a professional symposium focusing on the difficulty facing the Defense Department in balancing its growing military personnel costs and the need to modernize Read the compete article at Army Times

“Operation Greeting Card”

November 13, 2008
Naval Calendar 2009

Naval Calendar 2009

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This holiday season, Americans can send soldiers and wounded troops greeting cards — even if they don’t know their names.

An American Red Cross program is allowing the public to send holiday greeting cards that aren’t addressed to a particular soldier. The cards will be screened, sorted and distributed to military hospitals and bases nationally and overseas in time for the holidays.

“The eyes of the soldiers really light up” when they see greeting cards sent from the American public, said Lt. Col. David Oclander. Oclander was in Iraq around the time of last year’s program and remembers seeing soldiers, even those in the most remote locations, carrying cards around.

Some put the cards “in their vehicles when they go out on patrol,” he said. “It really helps brighten their days, especially when they’re enduring some long separations.”

Read the full article at Army Times and find out how you can make a deployed servicemember’s holiday happier.

The Green Path to Victory in Iraq

October 17, 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.

Amid rampant attacks from insurgents in 2004, some US commanders in Iraq began to shift strategy to include fixing environmental problems like clogged sewer lines, growing trash piles, and polluted drinking water.

That green-warrior approach to winning “hearts and minds” seemed to help. Attacks fell dramatically in Baghdad neighborhoods when troops restored clean water. “Fence sitters” in the conflict sided with US forces.

Read the full article at CSM

Russia Prepares to Fight NATO

October 12, 2008
Aviation Calendar 2009

Aviation Calendar 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.

The Stability-2008 strategic maneuvers of the Russian armed forces are gaining momentum.

On Monday, Tupolev Tu-95MS Bear-H and Tupolev Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bombers began training flights with full combat payloads and the live firing of cruise missiles at practice targets.

The Stability-2008 strategic exercise, which began Sept. 21 in Russian and Belarusian territory and at sea, is the largest since the Soviet era. Within the next month the armed forces will be practicing a wide variety of tasks, including containing armed conflicts and strategic deterrence.

In total, the drill will feature tens of thousands of servicemen, thousands of vehicles, air and naval forces, space troops and strategic nuclear forces. The exercise is remarkable not only for its scale but also its character.

The Russian and Belarusian armed forces practice operations both in simulated local conflict and in full-scale warfare, involving aggressive fighting for air superiority, missile defense, naval warfare and strategic strikes.

The potential adversary is not directly specified, but, judging from the drill’s scale and the tasks, it could be fairly stated that it is considering the U.S.-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization and its allies.

Read the full artlce at upi

Gates, Active Duty Officers Square Off Over “Next-War-Itis”

July 22, 2008
A month after the firing of Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne and USA Chief of Staff General Mike Moseley, more active duty officers are coming forward criticizing Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ pooh-poohing military preparedness for major wars against peer adversaries, reports the LA Times.

Air Force Maj. Gen. Charles J. Dunlap and others are pushing back. They believe that the Iraq war is beginning to wind down and that the United States, chastened by its experience there, is unlikely to ever again become embroiled in a long-term ground conflict where adversaries rely on irregular, “asymmetric” fighting methods.

“We need the bulk of the Army prepared to go toe-to-toe with the heaviest combat formations our adversaries can field,” Dunlap said. “For what it is worth, I predict the next big war will be conventional, or I should say symmetrical. In my judgment, we are not going to get into the business of occupying a hostile country of millions of people.”

He is not alone. In military journals, midlevel officers’ conferences and gatherings around the Pentagon, a growing number have expressed concern that the Defense Department’s planning and resources are being trained disproportionately on small guerrilla wars.

At the same time, they fear that important military skills — storming beaches, fighting tank battles, using air and land power in unison to attack enemy lines — are beginning to atrophy. Read the full article

National War Powers Commission Wants to Reign In Presidential War Authority

July 13, 2008

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The president should be required to consult with Congress before taking the nation to war, according to a bipartisan panel led by two former secretaries of state. Congress, in turn, should vote on any military action.

The National War Powers Commission, led by former Secretaries of State James Baker and Warren Christopher, seeks to scrap the War Powers Act of 1973, which it called impractical and ineffective. In a report released Tuesday, the commission proposes replacing the act with legislation that fosters cooperation between the White House and Congress and lays out a procedure the president must follow before sending troops into battle.