A US Marine is nothing if not an amphibian (it's intrinsic to the very name of the branch itself). The ship-to-shore component of America's armed forces exists to fight battles on the edge of land and the edge of the sea. Getting from ship to shore, and being able to fight the moment they arrive, are key parts of the United States Marine Corps mission and identity, if not necessarily skills they've spent a lot of time honing in the past 15 years of the "War on Terror." In order to fight future wars, includings ones with a lot more coastal water, the Marine Corps yesterday announced which companies would get to build prototypes of its new Amphibious Combat Vehicle.
More than half of us living today weren't born yet when the last B-52 Stratofortress bomber was delivered to the United States Air Force in 1962. The venerable bomber, in service for 53 years and counting, has fought in every major American war from Vietnam to the War on Terror. Now, a new cruise missile from defense giant Lockheed Martin means the ancient warbird has a new tool for the next stage of its life.
“We're not still in these wars because we haven't figured out the right tactical formation,” Marine veteran and writer Elliot Ackerman told an audience on Thursday. Ackerman was visiting the Atlantic Council, an international affairs think tank, along with writer Maxwell Neely Cohen, Linda Spoonster Schwartz of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and journalist Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, to talk about the aftermath of future war. The panel focused not on winning battles, but on figuring out how to make sure we take care of the people who fight them afterwards.
Silicon Valley and the Pentagon may not yet be especially close, but yesterday they symbolically got at least one little step closer. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, is the sponsor for the new USS Massachusetts, a Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarine, whose construction is set to begin in 2018.
Eventually, America's beloved rugged close-air support warbird A-10 "Thunderbolt" will have to retire. But not today: in fact, the A-10 likely got a life extension when the commander in charge of the Air Force's combat deployments suggested retirement might be pushed back a few years.