In the News

Nov. 9, 2020

Anticipating the Human Costs of Great Power Conflict

As bipartisan calls to “end endless war” intensify, the U.S. military has already turned to its next challenge: great power conflict. Over the last few years, U.S. defense policy has undergone a formal reorientation away from counterinsurgency and counterterrorism and toward great power competition with countries like China and Russia. The Obama administration’s 2015 National Military Strategy focused on deterring, denying, and defeating State adversaries, while the Trump administration’s 2018 National Defense Strategy identifies China and Russia as the main priorities for the Department of Defense (DOD) because of the “magnitude of the threats they pose to U.S. security and prosperity today, and the potential for those threats to increase in the future.” This pivot has already resulted in concrete changes to DOD planning, training, budget requests, and overall strategic philosophy, with even more significant changes anticipated as each branch of the military continues to refine their warfighting concepts with an eye towards great power conflict. The 2017 update to Army Field Manual 3-0 (FM 3-0), for example, focuses almost entirely on deterring and defeating a major adversary, predicting a war “more chaotic, intense, and highly destructive than those the Army has experienced in the past several decades.”

Nov. 2, 2020

Department of Defense reaches out to industry to synchronize C-sUAS solutions

The sky is getting congested. Rapid increases in the number and type of drones in the air is leading to new challenges when it comes to determining friend or foe, both at home and abroad. With uses ranging from benign recreation, to far more alarming applications like gathering intelligence or wreaking havoc on a battlefield, these readily available and inexpensive small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) are easily operated and growing in popularity.

Oct. 23, 2020

DOD Posts Webpage to Aid in Reporting Civilian Casualties

The U.S. military goes to extraordinary lengths to protect civilians on the battlefield, but sometimes casualties occur. The department has now created a website so people can report information on civilian casualties.

Oct. 20, 2020

Report on Navy Laser, Railgun and Gun-Launched Guided Projectiles

The following is the Oct. 15, 2020, Congressional Research Service report, Navy Lasers, Railgun, and Gun-Launched Guided Projectile: Background and Issues for Congress. From the report Three new ship-based weapons being developed by the Navy—solid state lasers (SSLs), the electromagnetic railgun (EMRG), and the gun-launched guided projectile (GLGP), also known as the hypervelocity projectile (HVP)—could substantially improve the ability of Navy surface ships to defend themselves against surface craft, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and eventually anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCMs).

Oct. 13, 2020

Uptick in Spending Seen for Directed Energy Weapons

Armed forces around the world are expected to boost investment in directed energy weapons such as lasers and high-powered microwaves over the next decade as the technology matures, a new study forecasts. The U.S. military more than doubled its spending on this capability between fiscal years 2017 and 2019, from $535 million to $1.1 billion. Other nations, such as China and Russia, are also investing in these types of systems, said a recent report from market analysis firm GlobalData titled, “Directed Energy Weapons (Defense) — Thematic Research.”

Oct. 2, 2020

The Defense Department Just Published a Summary Of The National Defense Strategy's Irregular Warfare Annex. Here's Why It's So Significant.

This week, the Defense Department released an unclassified summary of the Irregular Warfare (IW) Annex to the National Defense Strategy. It declares that, with respect to IW, the department will maintain “sufficient, enduring capabilities to advance national security objectives across the spectrum of competition and conflict.” Renewed focus on great power competition suggests a shift away from counterterrorism and counterinsurgency missions, but no one should interpret this shift to imply the wholesale abandonment of the relevant toolsets and expertise of IW.

Oct. 1, 2020

MSCoE Sends: Celebrating 21 years of MSCoE

Each year, the three regiments that call Fort Leonard Wood home spend a very special time with their Soldiers, leaders, families and veterans celebrating their history and heritage. The birthdates of the regiments are: June 16, 1776, for Engineers; June 28, 1918, for Chemical; and Sept. 26, 1941, for Military Police. Although the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence is not a regiment, a branch or a school, it is the organization that proudly executes critical missions for the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, the Army and the Department of Defense. On Oct. 1, we celebrate MSCoE’s 21st anniversary.

Sept. 24, 2020

NSWC Dahlgren Software Team Recognized with Award for Impact on Laser Systems

Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) leaders honored a team of computer scientists and engineers in a virtual awards ceremony for developing software to safely enable the operation of multiple lasers. NSWCDD Commanding Officer Capt. Casey Plew and NSWCDD Technical Director John Fiore recognized the command’s Government Furnished Equipment (GFE) Agnostic Software team with the Award of Merit for Group Achievement in a video presentation released to the workforce on July 27. U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman joined Plew and Fiore in the video broadcast to congratulate individual and group awardees, including the GFE Agnostic Software team for their work to deliver quality software products for use in laser weapon systems.

Sept. 15, 2020

Partnerships strengthen security forces capabilities

Through an innovative acquisition model developed by the Air Force Installation Contracting Center, the Air Force Security Forces Center is now able to procure gear and resources for security forces Airmen much faster.

Sept. 13, 2020

114th Security Forces Squadron conducts Domestic Operations and Civil Disturbance training

Members of the 114th Security Forces Squadron conducted Domestic Operations and Civil Disturbance training to maintain mission readiness Sept. 12, 2020 at Joe Foss Field, South Dakota. Personnel were trained on how to use Domestic Operations equipment and Less than Lethal Weaponry.

Sept. 9, 2020

Army rapid prototyping office unveils headquarters

The Army officially opened the new headquarters of the Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office at Redstone Arsenal on Sept. 2 with a ribbon cutting and rededication ceremony. The move consolidates the RCCTO’s headquarters at Redstone, marking a new chapter for the organization that is responsible for executing rapid experimental prototypes and delivering residual combat capabilities to Soldiers in the areas of hypersonics, directed energy, Counter-small Unmanned Aircraft Systems and other disruptive technologies.

Aug. 25, 2020

PEO Ships Maturing Systems Ahead of Large Surface Combatant Design Effort

The Program Executive Officer for Ships wants any future ship class to maximize the use of mature technologies and to establish land-based testing sites for any new and unproven systems, to buy down risk and allow for “credible” fielding timelines. Rear Adm. Tom Anderson said today that, coming into an era of flat budgets and a new force design that will likely call for several new ship classes to meet future needs, he had several concerns about how to approach ship acquisition in the near future.

Aug. 19, 2020

Infantry receive Civil Response Training

Soldiers from the 1st Battalion 149th Infantry, participated in Civil Disturbance Response Training as part of their unit’s annual training at Harold L. Disney Training Center July 25- 28. The 1/149th was overseen by Soldiers from the 223rd, the 617th, and the 1103rd Military Police Companies.

Aug. 11, 2020

DOD Officials Discuss Framework for Advancing Directed Energy Weapons

The Defense Department is developing directed energy weapons — high-powered lasers and microwaves — in concert with industry in a way designed to achieve optimal outcomes.

Aug. 10, 2020

Army gets closer to fielding new air defense systems

Further evaluation of new air defense capabilities is currently underway, including the Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System and directed energy weapons, as the Army aims to empower units against near-peer threats.

Aug. 6, 2020

The Case for Change

Meeting the principal challenges facing the Corps The United States Marine Corps I lead in 2020 finds itself, like the rest of the U.S. defense establishment, at a crossroads. The passing of our Nation's "unipolar moment" and the emergence of revisionist great power competitors in China and Russia, coinciding with a sea change in the character of warfare driven by social and technological change, demands that we move rapidly to adapt to the circumstances of a new era.

Aug. 4, 2020

Air Force Research Laboratory breaks ground on new Directed Energy facility

The Air Force Research Laboratory broke ground Monday, on a new 10,000 sq. ft. facility addition, to study and advance Directed Energy capabilities for the U.S. Warfighter. Dr. Kelly Hammett, Director of AFRL’s Directed Energy Directorate, joined other leaders for the ceremonial first dig.

July 21, 2020

SECDEF Esper: U.S. Will ‘Keep Up the Pace’ of South China Sea Freedom of Navigation Operations

The U.S. will continue to keep up the pace of freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea, which hit an all-time high in 2019, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said on Tuesday. Esper, speaking at an online event hosted by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said the U.S. policy has always been backed up by its actions like FONOps and other presence operations. Last year marked “the greatest number of freedom of navigations operations in the South China Sea in the 40-year history of the FONOps program, and we will keep up the pace this year.”

July 21, 2020

Report to Congress on Emerging Military Technologies

Members of Congress and Pentagon officials are increasingly focused on developing emerging military technologies to enhance U.S. national security and keep pace with U.S. competitors. The U.S. military has long relied upon technological superiority to ensure its dominance in conflict and to underwrite U.S. national security. In recent years, however, technology has both rapidly evolved and rapidly proliferated—largely as a result of advances in the commercial sector. As former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has observed, this development has threatened to erode the United States’ traditional sources of military advantage.1 The Department of Defense (DOD) has undertaken a number of initiatives in recent years in an effort to arrest this trend. For example, in 2014, DOD announced the Third Offset Strategy, an effort to exploit emerging technologies for military and security purposes as well as associated strategies, tactics, and concepts of operation.2 In support of this strategy, DOD established a number of organizations focused on defense innovation, including the Defense Innovation Unit and the Defense Wargaming Alignment Group.

July 20, 2020

Navy’s Only Directed Energy Lab on a Sea Test Range Breaks Ground at NBVC Point Mugu

Demonstrating that Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) remains open for business despite the pandemic, Navy leaders and private contractors have broken ground at Naval Base Ventura County’s Point Mugu for what will become the fleet’s only dedicated facility to test, fire and evaluate complete laser weapon systems in a maritime environment, the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division (NSWC PHD) said in a release.