Chuck Hagel News

24 Nov 2014

Hagel Resigns as Defense Secretary

Chuck Hagel

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel resigned on Monday, the first major change to President Barack Obama's Cabinet since his Democrats were routed in midterm elections three weeks ago. Obama announced the resignation at a White House event with Hagel at his side. Hagel will remain in the job until a successor is in place. Hagel was appointed less than two years ago as Obama pushed his signature program of winding up wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, a process that is being upended this year with U.S. re-engagement in Iraq and greater military cooperation with Kabul.

16 Nov 2014

U.S. Navy Expect Decision on LCS Warship

The trimaran USS Independence

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is expected to make a decision soon on how to make a new class of smaller warships more lethal and survivable, the Navy's top admiral said on Saturday. Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert expected a quick decision based on a recommendation submitted by the Navy, but gave no details. "The Secretary is very close to a decision," Greenert told Reuters in an interview at a defense conference at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. He expected the decision to be announced in the near future, along with a description of the new plan.

25 Jun 2014

US Navy Ship En Route to Receive Syrian Chemical Weapons

MV Cape Ray (Official U.S. Navy file photo)

U.S. motor vessel Cape Ray departed Rota, Spain, this morning en route to the port of Gioia Tauro, Italy, where the ship will receive declared Syrian chemical weapons transferred from the Danish vessel Ark Futura, the U.S. Navy announced today in a press release. In a statement announcing the departure, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said the transit to Italy is expected to take several days. After the transfer is complete, the Cape Ray will depart Gioia Tauro…

31 Jul 2014

Admiral on U.S. Navy & Asia Pacific Re-balancing Act

Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III: Photo USN

The commander of U.S. Pacific Command has briefed Pentagon reporters, discussing the U.S. rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region, successful engagement with partners there and conditions for continued stability and security, according to DoD News, Defense Media Activity, as excerpted here. Navy Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III described some of Pacom's most important activities so far this year, including a visit to Hawaii by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who in April hosted the first informal meeting on U.S. soil of defense ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN.

18 Aug 2014

'MV Cape Ray' Crew: Chemical Weapons Destruction Applauded

MV Cape Ray: Photo Wiki CCL

The Maritime Administration (MARAD) says it is proud to support the international effort to destroy Syrian chemical weapons and agents by providing the M/V CAPE RAY and its all-volunteer U.S. Merchant Marine crew to support this critical mission. One of MARAD’s 46 Ready Reserve Force (RRF) ships that stand ready to provide rapid movement of equipment and supplies during times of national and humanitarian emergencies, this vessel and its crew illustrate the important contribution our RRF ships and mariners make in supporting U.S. national and economic security. Since 1775, the U.S.

29 Aug 2014

East and South China Sea Disputes Need Creative Diplomacy

China and the United States appear headed for a damaging confrontation over the extent of China's territorial claims in the South and East China Seas. Now that China has become the world's largest importer of oil, and energy more generally, the country's need to develop more indigenous energy supplies has become urgent. Expecting China to put the South and East China Seas off limits to exploration and production until disputes over sovereignty can be resolved through some undefined legal or diplomatic process is unrealistic. Part of the problem is that western analysts and policymakers still fail to appreciate the strategic importance of these areas.

22 May 2014

Lockheed, Austal Respond to U.S. Navy Query on Small Warship Ideas

Lockheed Martin Corp and Australia's Austal on Thursday submitted their best ideas for the U.S. Navy's next small warship, as a Navy task force continues to reassess the future of its $34 billion Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program. The Navy last month asked U.S. and foreign weapons makers to submit cost and technical data on ship designs and weapons to inform the work of a task force that is due to report on various options by July 31, in time to help shape the Navy's fiscal 2016 budget request.

25 May 2014

US Naval Academy Class of 2014 Graduation

ADM Greenert at march-past: Photo USN

The Naval Academy says that an estimated 30,000 people filled the Navy-Marine Corps Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland, to witness the swearing in of the U.S. military's newest officers. The Naval Academy Class of 2014 graduated 1,068 men and women, including 784 Navy ensigns and 265 Marine Corps second lieutenants. Graduating first in the class is Marine 2nd Lt. David F. Williams, of Roanoke, Virginia, a political science and economics major who will serve as a Marine ground officer after finishing a master's degree in Latin American studies at the University of Cambridge, England.

05 Jun 2014

U.S. Beefing up Black Sea Presence

The United States will strengthen its presence in the Black Sea region using part of a $1 billion fund promised to NATO allies on Russia's borders, and will continue to send warships to the area, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in Romania on Thursday. Hagel is the latest high-ranking American official to visit Europe since Russia's annexation of Crimea, as Washington looks to reassure allies jittery about Moscow's intentions in its former Cold War backyard. The tour coincides with a visit by President Barack Obama to Poland this week, when he promised to increase military support for eastern European NATO members, including a $1 billion fund to support and train the armed forces of NATO states.

06 Jun 2014

China's Nine Dash Line and the Law of the Sea: Kemp

Territorial disputes over tiny islands and reefs in the South China Sea are poisoning relations between China and its neighbours in Southeast Asia. "In recent months, China has undertaken destabilising, unilateral actions asserting its claims in the South China Sea," U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told an audience in Singapore last month. "(China) has restricted access to Scarborough Reef, put pressure on the long-standing Philippine presence at the Second Thomas Shoal, begun land reclamation activities at multiple locations, and moved an oil rig into disputed waters near the Paracel Islands," Hagel complained at the Shangri-La Dialogue.

17 Jun 2014

SECNAV Orders Amphibious Transport Dock Ship to Gulf

USS Mesa Verde: Photo USN

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel today ordered the amphibious transport dock ship 'USS Mesa Verde' into the Arabian Gulf, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said. The ship has completed its transit through the Strait of Hormuz, the admiral said in a statement. "Its presence in the Gulf adds to that of other U.S. naval ships already there - including the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush - and provides the commander in chief additional options to protect American citizens and interests in Iraq, should he choose to use them," Kirby said.

10 Apr 2014

Philippine, Vietnamese Navies To Unite Against China

Philippine navy will soon return to a South China Sea island it lost to Vietnam 40 years ago to drink beer and play volleyball with Vietnamese sailors, symbolising how once-suspicious neighbours are cooperating in the face of China's assertiveness in disputed waters. Diplomats and experts describe the nascent partnership as part of a web of evolving relationships across Asia that are being driven by fear of China as well as doubts among some, especially in Japan, over the U.S. commitment to the region. When U.S. President Barack Obama visits Asia this month he will see signs that once-disparate nations are strategising for the future, even though he will likely seek to shore-up faith in America's "pivot" back to the region.

17 Apr 2014

NATO to bolster defence of E.European Allies

NATO is sending part of its naval rapid reaction force to the Baltic Sea as part of a drive to step up the defence of eastern European allies in response to the crisis in Ukraine, the military alliance said on Thursday. Separately, Canada said it had offered six CF-18 fighter planes as its contribution to NATO efforts to beef up its presence in eastern Europe and reassure nervous allies there that NATO would protect them in the event of any Russian aggression. The Pentagon said it would extend its own deployment of F-16 fighter jets to Poland through the end of the year, and encouraged other NATO allies to contribute to the detachment.

30 Apr 2014

US Navy Seeks Data on Small Warship Options

U.S. Navy photo by Keith DeVinney

The U.S. Navy on Wednesday asked U.S. and foreign weapons makers for technical and cost data on the design and weapons for a new possible small warship to succeed the Navy's current Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) by 2019. Companies will have 21 days to respond to two separate requests for information on both ship designs and the radars and other weapons that would go on board, said John Burrow, executive director of the Marine Corps' Systems Command and head of a task force studying alternatives for a so-called small surface combatant.

28 Nov 2013

DoD's Increased Arctic Attention Welcomed by AAPC Co-Chairs

US warship in ice: Photo courtesy of USN

Alaska Arctic Policy Commission Co-Chairs Senator Lesil McGuire and Representative Bob Herron have approved of a recent DoD report, introduced by United States Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, but pointed out that the overarching language is short on details and lacks a plan for implementation. Chuck Hagel, announced the release of his agency's 14-page “Arctic Strategy”, touting it as a plan to ensure security, support safety and promote defense cooperation in the region. Hagel chose the International Security Forum at Halifax…

16 Dec 2013

China, A-P Maritime Security, Discussed at US/Singapore Talks

Hagel, Ng in Singapore: Photo credit US Govt.

The United States-Singapore relationship takes on particular importance in light of the Defense Department’s strategic rebalance to the Asia-Pacific, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said during a joint press conference with Singapore Defense Minister Dr. Ng Eng Hen. Singapore is making important contributions to U.S. counter piracy efforts in the Gulf of Aden, in addition to being a significant partner in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel added. During their meeting, Hagel and Ng also discussed new ways to increase bilateral collaboration in cyber and maritime security.

26 Dec 2013

The Navy’s Battlewagon of the 21st Century

(Photo credit: GD-BIW, M. Nutter)

It is the newest and most transformational warship ever built, and yet it has also had the longest gestation period. Whether you call it new or old, you have to call it different. The pedigree for DDG 1000 is not from the Spruance or Arleigh Burke class of guided missile destroyers, but rather it comes from the SC-21 (Surface Combatant for the 21st century) concept from 1994. Like DDG 1000, SC-21 was not about anti-air warfare. It was all about strike. SC-21, along with the Maritime Fire Support Demonstrator (MFSD) “arsenal ship” concept…

02 Jan 2014

ZUMWALT: Maritime Reporter's 'Great Ship' of 2013

It is the newest and most transformational warship ever built, and yet it has also had the longest gestation period. Whether you call it new or old, you have to call it different. The pedigree for DDG 1000 is not from the Spruance or Arleigh Burke class of guided missile destroyers, but rather it comes from the SC-21 (Surface Combatant for the 21st century) concept from 1994. Like DDG 1000, SC-21 was not about anti-air warfare. It was all about strike. SC-21, along with the Maritime Fire Support Demonstrator (MFSD) “arsenal ship” concept…

14 Feb 2014

Chemical Weapons Destruction Ship Arrives Spain

MV Cape Ray: Photo CCL

The 'MV Cape Ray' has arrived at Rota, Spain, for a port visit while en route to aid in removal of Syrian chemical materials, Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren informs the American Forces Press Service. The vessel -- part of the Transportation Department Maritime Administration's Ready Reserve Force program -- left Portsmouth, Va., Jan. 27, 2014. Hundreds of government and contract personnel worked for several months to prepare the vessel to neutralize Syrian chemical materials and precursors using hydrolysis technology.

25 Feb 2014

Quest for More Lethal U.S. Warship Could Raise Cost

The littoral combat ship USS Independence (LCS 2). U.S. Navy photo by Doug Sayers

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's decision to stop building the current class of coastal warships after 32 vessels and focus on ships with more firepower and protection will result in higher costs, U.S. defense officials said on Monday. Hagel said that given the new threats, he had "considerable reservations" about building all 52 coastal warships as planned, which would account for one-sixth of the future 300-ship Navy. "I recognize the importance of presence, which is tied to the number of ships.

11 Mar 2014

U.S. Navy awards contracts to Lockheed, Austal for 4 more ships

File Photo: LCS hulls 4 & 6 alongside the pier at Austal Shipyard..

The U.S. Navy has awarded contracts worth nearly $1.4 billion to buy four more Littoral Combat Ships from Lockheed Martin Corp and Australia's Austal Ltd, the U.S. Defense Department said on Monday. Lockheed won a contract valued at $699 million to build two more of its steel monohull-design ships, while Austal won a contract worth $684 million to build two more of its aluminum trimaran design, the Pentagon said in its daily digest of major weapons contracts. Lockheed welcomed the contract…

10 Apr 2014

Philippine, Vietnamese Navies Unite Against China: With Beers And Volleyball

The Philippine navy will soon return to a South China Sea island it lost to Vietnam 40 years ago to drink beer and play volleyball with Vietnamese sailors, symbolizing how once-suspicious neighbors are cooperating in the face of China's assertiveness in disputed waters. Diplomats and experts describe the nascent partnership as part of a web of evolving relationships across Asia that are being driven by fear of China as well as doubts among some, especially in Japan, over the U.S. commitment to the region. When U.S. President Barack Obama visits Asia this month he will see signs that once-disparate nations are strategizing for the future, even though he will likely seek to shore-up faith in America's "pivot" back to the region.

10 Apr 2014

Navy Cuts One Littoral Combat Ship in 2015

U.S. WASHINGTON, April 10 (Reuters) - The U.S. Navy hopes to smooth out the impact on Lockheed Martin Corp and Australia's Austal of a budget-driven decision to order three Littoral Combat Ships instead of four in fiscal year 2015, the Navy's top weapons buyer said on Thursday. The Navy had planned to buy two of each of the different small warships built by Lockheed and Austal in fiscal 2015 and 2016, but it scaled back those orders to three ships a year as a result of budget cuts mandated by Congress. Assistant Navy Secretary Sean Stackley told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee's seapower subcommittee that Navy officials would now meet with both companies…

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