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The United States has made significant progress toward regaining its preeminence in the single most important technology that underpins American life today: semiconductors.
The CHIPS and Science Act will eventually reshore some of the semiconductor production capacity that now sits abroad, and sweeping sanctions imposed by the United States in October will slow China’s ambitions to develop leading-edge chips. Yet when it comes to ensuring the U.S. military has uninterrupted access to a wide spectrum of chips that power virtually every offensive and defensive system, there are near- and long-term challenges to address.
Pandemic-induced supply chain disruptions have been a catalyst for our nation’s renewed focus on semiconductor access, but the challenges we face are 60 years in the making.
The U.S. government bought almost all the early integrated circuits made in the 1960s, but now accounts for just a small fraction of global semiconductor sales. The Defense Department was once the driving force behind semiconductor research and development and production, but its requirements now take a backseat to larger customers. As Chris Miller notes in his book Chip War, “as a buyer of chips, Apple CEO Tim Cook has more influence on the industry than any Pentagon official today.”
Yet the Defense Department’s reliance on state-of-the-art and commodity chips continues to grow. Electronic content on military platforms is doubling with each hardware generation, the amount of data collected and processed by sensors and systems is growing exponentially and our military doctrine is increasingly predicated on integrated command and control of a secure, connected battlespace. In other words, as Miller observes, “the future of war will be defined by computing power.”
The geopolitical environment the United States faces today is unquestionably more challenging than any of us have seen in our lifetimes.
Between the threat Russia poses to Ukraine and, more broadly, Europe, and the tightening technological race with China, the ability to rapidly produce superior military hardware is paramount. But U.S. industry today remains hamstrung by supply chain disruptions for many critical components.
Though the availability of consumer-grade chips has recently swung toward an oversupply, the high-end semiconductors used in platforms like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the Patriot missile system remain severely delayed. Historical lead times of 10 to 12 weeks have ballooned to an astronomical 36 to 99 weeks, with no relief in sight.
Further, we have ceded much of the low-end semiconductor market to China, and we face obsolescence issues as defense systems are upgraded too slowly and older chips phase out of production.
This environment presents multiple challenges across industry and time horizons, none of which can be solved overnight. But our national security hinges on implementing a holistic strategy that further domesticates more of the semiconductor supply chain, ensures defense applications have prioritized access to chips, accelerates defense modernization and expands the skilled workforce needed to produce, package and integrate these key components. The White House, Congress and the Defense Department should work together to find solutions in several key focus areas.
First, the United States must bolster semiconductor access for the aerospace and defense industry. Through policy, executive order or legislation, the Defense Department should gain early access to existing high-end semiconductor capacity.
As the U.S. government allocates capital to the semiconductor industry through CHIPS Act funding, it should ensure key industries like defense, automotive and aviation are prioritized. And while the CHIPS Act is primarily focused on production, the opportunity should not be missed to invest in secure domestic back-end packaging capabilities, a critical part of the supply chain almost entirely based in Asia.
For nearly seven decades, the tax code supported American innovation by allowing companies to fully deduct R&D expenses in the year they occurred. Since last year, those expenses have been required to be amortized over a period of years, chilling U.S. commercial investment. Congress should correct this misstep.
Second, we must significantly accelerate defense production and modernization and move the U.S. defense industrial base from a “just enough, just in time” model to one that matches the scale of the threat we face. We need more hot production lines, operating at capacities far beyond what we’ve deemed acceptable through the peace dividend era.
We need flexible contracting approaches that embrace multi-year contracts and priority ratings. And we need faster, less cumbersome technology insertion programs that take advantage of open standards and leading-edge commercial technologies.
Finally, we must address the gaps in our defense industrial base workforce by focusing on specialized labor and engineering talent development. Defense manufacturing struggles with a limited pool of workers with the needed knowledge and skills.
While automation has helped, a skilled workforce remains the lifeblood of our industry, and the necessary experience is built up over years. We need to attract more smart, hard-working Americans to national security career fields and bring in more talent from abroad, as the international labor pipeline was further disrupted by the pandemic.
The exact contours of the conflicts we may face in the next era are unknown, but the United States must be prepared to win. It must take these steps to ensure our military readiness and technological dominance.
Mark Aslett is chief executive of Mercury Systems, a U.S. technology company that supplies components and subsystems to aerospace and defense platforms.
By Chang Ling-ling 張玲玲
Having served as a military officer for 30 years, I would like to respond to the article “Military training and phone security” published on page 8 of the Taipei Times yesterday.
The author of the article begins with how the Ukrainian military was able to use the cellphone signals of Russian soldiers to pinpoint their location and launch missiles to kill them, and then moves on to discuss issues such as the exact leak of sex videos filmed by a couple in the military, the need for soldiers to learn about cyberattacks, cognitive warfare and fifth-generation warfare, and the US-China tensions resulting from the Chinese surveillance balloon controversy.
The author continues, saying that military officers need to train soldiers in a modern way and broaden their world views, and concludes that providing instruction on cellphone use to protect military intelligence and maintaining discipline to avoid damaging the military’s reputation are but two minor examples.
However, the devil is in the details. In theory and in practice, officers are the backbone of the military, and non-commissioned officers and soldiers receive orders from them to complete preparation duties and exercises. Therefore, officers are leaders and commanders.
Before I was discharged from the military, I taught a course on constitutional government and national defense at the National Defense University’s War College. I would use the early research of US political scientist Samuel P. Huntington, on the nationalization of the military and the concept of military professionalism from his book The Soldier and the State.
Huntington wrote that the modern military officer is a professional, as they need to have special military knowledge and expertise, a sense of social responsibility and strictly adhere to group consciousness, or “corporateness.”
In times of war, an officer is expected to display specialized knowledge in the management of violence, and their responsibilities include organizing, equipping and training troops, as well as planning military operations and directing the course of battle.
The professionalization of the officer is built upon a military education, and every cadet requires a resolve that they have what it takes to become a military professional. The officers who lead these cadets also need to assess whether they possess the criteria and discipline that a military professional requires, and if any of these qualities are deemed lacking, they must reinforce them, or their trainees will be unable to educate and lead later generations.
In addition, military officers must make every effort to serve as an example for non-commissioned officers and soldiers. If they are involved in leaks, espionage, corruption or inappropriate relations with another member of the military, however minor, non-commissioned officers and soldiers would still question the officer’s professionalism, and the hierarchical structure of command would be affected. If the media manipulated this conduct, it would also mean that the public would begin to doubt whether the nation’s armed forces are fit for purpose.
The Chinese communists jump on any negative news concerning the Republic of China (ROC) military, and would use it as propaganda for their own forces, giving the People’s Liberation Army a reason to deride the ROC armed forces.
Irrespective of whether certain issues are born of individual failings or moral defects, the influence of poor conduct on the military’s capabilities is considerable. The level of damage is comparable to a lack of military professionalism, and should be regarded with the same degree of seriousness.
Chang Ling-ling is a colonel in the armed forces reserves.
Translated by Paul Cooper
Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.
The Biden administration has given its Ukrainian counterparts another reason for not sending them much-wanted long-range missiles: The U.S. is concerned it wouldn’t have enough for itself.
In exact meetings at the Pentagon, U.S. officials told Kyiv’s representatives that it doesn’t have any Army Tactical Missile Systems to spare, according to four people with knowledge of the talks. Transferring ATACMS to the battlefield in eastern Europe would dwindle America’s stockpiles and harm the U.S. military’s readiness for a future fight, the people said.
That worry, along with the administration’s existing concern that Ukraine would use the 190-mile range missiles to attack deep inside Russian territory and cross what the Kremlin has said is a red line, is why the U.S. isn’t shipping ATACMS to the frontlines any time soon.
The Pentagon’s assessment of its stockpiles is informed in part by how many weapons and munitions planners think they might need to confront an enemy. Those plans have not been significantly revised since the start of the war in Ukraine, and have not recalibrated what the stockpiles the U.S. might need in reserve to face a weakened Russia, or account for the fact that Ukraine is essentially fighting that war right now.
One of the reasons the military is hesitant to send the ATACMS is due to a desire to maintain a certain level of munitions in U.S. stockpiles, said one U.S. official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive military calculations.
“With any package, we always consider our readiness and our own stocks while providing Ukraine what it needs on the battlefield,” said a senior DoD official. “There are other ways of providing Ukraine with the capabilities it needs to strike the targets.”
Laura Cooper, the Pentagon’s top policy official for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia issues, said in a exact interview that “with every single capability that we provide, whether you’re talking, you know, HIMARS or you’re talking a particular kind of missile or ammunition, we’re always looking at the availability of our stocks, we’re looking at production considerations, and so that’s true of every capability, and we make decisions accordingly.”
Lockheed Martin has produced about 4,000 ATACMS in various configurations over the past two decades. Some of those missiles have been sold to allied nations, which bought the missile for their own multiple rocket launcher systems. Around 600 were fired by U.S. forces in combat during the Persian Gulf War and the Iraq War.
One workaround being considered by Kyiv is to ask for Washington’s approval to buy ATACMS from an allied country that operates the weapon, using military financing from the United States, according to one of the people familiar with the discussions. The list of ATACMS users includes South Korea, Poland, Romania, Greece, Turkey, Qatar and Bahrain.
The other issue over sending ATACMS — that it’s too aggressive a move by Biden’s team — remains. But Ukrainian officials have heard such arguments about other weapons before, only for the Biden administration to reverse course and send artillery, missile defenses and tanks.
Despite Washington’s reservations, Ukraine continues to push for more advanced weapons, with ATACMS typically at the top of the list.
“Ukraine needs long-range missiles,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a January video address to the Ukrainian people, “to deprive the occupier of the opportunity to place its missile launchers somewhere far from the front line and destroy Ukrainian cities.”
On Tuesday, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs Chair Gen. Mark Milley will be in Brussels to host the ninth meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, a monthly gathering of 50 nations that will discuss what new military support they can provide Ukraine. Kyiv is planning a spring and summer offensive to counter Russia’s assaults in the Donbas and Moscow’s drone and missile campaign against civilian targets.
One person close to the Ukrainian government said that Kyiv doesn’t anticipate any new weapons in the assistance package Austin will announce this week. The drawdowns from existing stocks and contracts for new weapons won’t include ATACMS or F-16 warplanes, but will focus on ammunition, munitions, air defense and spare parts.
Whatever the U.S. package — and other pledges by partner nations — Ukraine is looking for more secrecy when those governments announce that assistance.
Officials in Kyiv are growing concerned that some of the more detailed lists coming out of Washington and elsewhere could risk providing too much information to their Russian foes, who can prepare defenses or countermeasures if they know what they’ll be facing, according to one of the people.
Zelenskyy alluded to those growing concerns on Thursday in Brussels when he met with European Union leaders to talk about what he needs this year and beyond.
Fresh off a successful trip to London where he met with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who pledged to help train Ukrainian pilots to fly NATO fighter jets, Zelenskyy said “we have moved towards the solutions concerning the long-range missiles and the training of our pilots… Also there are certain agreements which are not public but are positive. When these items will happen, our state will know this, but I don’t want to prepare the Russian Federation.”
The U.S. and allies have long maintained some element of mystery over some capabilities sent to Ukraine, cloaking some military aid under vague catchall categories such as rocket artillery or drones that could mean any number of things.
But the U.S. has also done more than most countries to announce the amount and nature of its donations and defense contracts proposed with Ukraine, as the Biden administration tries to show its commitment to Kyiv.
Others, such as Finland, Sweden, Spain and Canada, are more vague, and generally decline to list most of the specific equipment, weapons and munitions they provide.
The desire for more secrecy can be seen as a difficult request for some countries that are eager to show how deep their support for Ukraine goes, especially when that support can also mean American military financing to replace stocks in later years. At Thursday’s EU summit, Zelenskyy formally asked Slovakian Prime Minister Eduard Heger to transfer some of his country’s MiG-29 fighter planes to Ukraine.
On Friday, Heger said he was ready to start talks on the potential transfer. “The Ukrainian president asked me to deliver the MiGs. Now, because this official request has come, the process of negotiations can be started,” Heger said.
Devonport dockyard operator Babcock International Group Plc has been awarded a £400m government contract to run a military satellite system. The six-year deal will sustain 400 jobs in the South West, the company said.
The contract, which starts in March, will see Babcock manage and operate Skynet, the UK’s defence satellite communications system. It has an initial value of more than £400m and forms part of the MoD’s £6bn Skynet 6 programme.
Skynet Service Delivery Wrap (Skynet SDW) will encompass the operation of the UK’s constellation of military satellites and ground stations, including the integration of terminals into the MoD network, ensuring they are integrated and supported. Babcock will partner with SES, GovSat and Intelsat on Skynet SDW.
David Lockwood, chief executive of Babcock, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen to support this world-leading technological safeguard. Skynet enables vital communications to the UK Armed Forces wherever they are, helping to keep them safe.
“Babcock is a world leader in secure communications for the military. Together with our partners, we will provide a high-tech solution which combines the availability, affordability and capability that the UK needs.”
The Skynet constellation has been in service since the 1960s, with the first sixth generation Skynet satellite, Skynet 6A, set to be launched in 2025. The contract includes the services necessary to support the current Skynet infrastructure, as well as the successful transition and continuous delivery of service for future Skynet operations.
Babcock said the company and its partners bring the stability, knowledge, and pedigree of a proven service provider with the leading commercial and military satellite operators to utilise the best-in-class solutions the industry has to offer. Backed by its collective international experience across defence and satcom operations, the partnership will provide a low risk, uninterrupted service.
Alex Chalk, defence procurement minister, said: “Space is increasingly important for maintaining battlefield advantage. The UK’s next generation military satellite communications system will keep us at the forefront of this critical domain and the work under this contract will bolster our resilience for years to come.”
In 2022 it was revealed that Plymouth-based Babcock has pumped £1.1bn into the South West economy and supports 19,400 jobs. Independent research by Oxford Economics revealed it employs 10,400 people directly and supports a further 8,900 jobs across its supply chain.
The report, focusing on jobs and investment between March 2021 and March 2022, said the defence and engineering giant paid more than £140m to suppliers, and £460m to workers, in the region. It has 60 sites in the South West, including Devonport, the largest naval base in Western Europe.
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A month after the Defense Department canceled the requirement that service members are vaccinated against COVID-19, the Pentagon’s personnel and readiness office has yet to complete the requested paperwork to make the change a reality for thousands of unvaccinated troops in limbo.
The long delay has prompted lawmakers to reach out to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin with their concerns.
Defense Under Secretary Gil Cisneros, DoD’s personnel chief, told Military Times on Jan. 11 that his office was looking into specific policies on religious considerations and combatant command regulations with respect to traveling to countries with vaccine mandates.
“There are still things that we need to kind of tie up,” he said.
But that process is still ongoing, a Pentagon spokeswoman told Military Times Thursday, though lawmakers first asked for an implementation plan on Dec. 23.
“The Department is working to leverage existing policies and procedures, where appropriate, to manage post-repeal issue sets and is examining whether additional guidance is necessary,” Cmdr. Nicole Schwegman said.
In a Feb. 8 letter sent to the Pentagon, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and the chairman of its subcommittee on military personnel pressed Austin for answers on the new guidance, saying that a Jan. 26 letter from his office on their progress was only four sentences long and “failed to include any implementation plan.”
“While we acknowledge and appreciate your rescission memorandum writ large, many questions remain and have gone unanswered regarding the implementation of the rescission,” Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., and Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., wrote in the letter.
The representatives included a list of 14 questions for DoD, including data on involuntary separations for vaccine refusal, service members required to pay back bonuses and confirmation that any academy graduates denied their commissions for refusing the vaccine were still able to earn their college degrees.
The letter also asks whether DoD intends to offer reinstatement for any troops discharged because of the mandate.
Though Republican lawmakers have pushed for that provision since last summer, it was not part of the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, the law that compelled Austin to rescind the mandate.
Since the new Congress came into session, Republican members have reopened that discussion with bills introduced in both the Senate and House of Representatives.
“I’m glad that we were able to remove the COVID-19 vaccine mandate last Congress, but there is more work to do,” said Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in a statement. “[This bill] would correct the wrongs done to unvaccinated service members who were discharged for exercising their conscience.”
The bill would allow reinstatement of any separated troops, as well as restore rank and back pay for any troops who faced discipline before their discharges. It would also upgrade any general discharges.
Previously, separated troops’ reasons for discharge were noted in their paperwork, allowing them to come back into service if they got vaccinated.
Now, under Austin’s rescission memo, they can apply for a records correction with their service’s board, and ostensibly re-enlist or re-commission if they choose.
What the Pentagon is not considering, however, is offering restitution for vaccine refusal.
“We are not pursuing, as a matter of policy, backpay for those who refused the vaccine,” Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters in January. “At the time that those orders were refused, it was a lawful order.”
Rogers and Banks requested a response from DoD by Feb. 22.
Meghann Myers is the Pentagon bureau chief at Military Times. She covers operations, policy, personnel, leadership and other issues affecting service members.
The MarketWatch News Department was not involved in the creation of this content.
Feb 13, 2023 (Heraldkeepers) -- United States, New Jersey- Global Military Drone Jamming Systems Market Report 2023 contains a thorough analysis of the industry through Introspective Market Research, including development factors, patterns, flows, and sizes. In order to anticipate possible market management during the forecast period of 2023-2030, the report also calculates current and historical market values. There was substantial use of both primary and secondary data sources in this Military Drone Jamming Systems Market research study. This involves researching a number of factors that have an impact on the Military Drone Jamming Systems market, such as government policy, the market environment, the competitive landscape, historical data, current market trends, technological innovation, emerging technologies, and technical advancement in adjacent industries.
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This Military Drone Jamming Systems market research goes into further detail on the market overview. In the study, industrial applications and chain architectures are defined and categorized in several ways. It focuses on current trends, provides a financial overview of the sector, and analyses historical data utilizing in-depth knowledge of the subject matter and market dynamics. Company profiles are carefully examined based on the size, revenue, and market share of the global market. This market report on Military Drone Jamming Systems offers a complete understanding of the market’s market shares and growth potential. The report explores some of the most significant features of the worldwide Military Drone Jamming Systems market and demonstrates how factors like pricing, competition, market dynamics, geographical growth, gross margin, and consumption will impact the market’s performance. The study includes a comprehensive competitive analysis as well as in-depth company profiles of the leading participants in the Military Drone Jamming Systems Market. The Global Military Drone Jamming Systems Market investigation report contains Segmentation & all logical and factual briefs about the Military Drone Jamming Systems Market 2023 Overview, CAGR, Production Volume, Sales, and Revenue with the regional analysis enveloping North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America, Middle East Africa & The Prime Players & Others.
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The study examines the Military Drone Jamming Systems market’s competitive landscape and includes data on important suppliers, including Avnon Group, Raytheon, DroneShield, SRC, Inc, Blighter Surveillance, Dedrone, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), Mctech Technology, Stratign,& Others
Report Overview: The Worldwide Military Drone Jamming Systems market size is estimated to be worth USD million in 2022 and is forecast to a readjusted size of USD million by 2030 with a Healthy CAGR during the review period.
Military Drone Jamming Systems Market Segmentation & Coverage:
Military Drone Jamming Systems Market segment by Type:
Military Drone Jamming Systems Market segment by Application:
The years examined in this study are the following to estimate the Military Drone Jamming Systems market size:
Study Period: 2018 to 2030
Base Year: 2022
Estimate Year: 2023
Forecast Year: 2023 to 2030
Historical Period: 2018 to 2021
According to our Research latest report, the Global Military Drone Jamming Systems Market was growing over worldwide and is a future prediction to size, trends, share, and economic analysis of Military Drone Jamming Systems Market up to 2030 during the review period, Ask for demo Report.
Cumulative Impact of COVID-19 on the Market:
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is anticipated to have a moderate influence on the demand for Military Drone Jamming Systems. Lockdown regulations have harmed short-term growth by limiting the availability of labor and upsetting supply chains. However, throughout the pandemic, Military Drone Jamming Systems s prospective uses have gathered momentum, creating growth prospects that are likely to last for the rest of the decade. For prospects for long-term growth, the major players in the Military Drone Jamming Systems market are concentrating their efforts on production and regional expansion in addition to investing in strategic alliances for distribution and production.
The Porter’s Five Forces analysis is included in the study report to provide a detailed analysis of each Military Drone Jamming Systems market segment, including the product segmentation, end user/application segment analysis, and analysis of the major key players.
The Americas (U.S., Canada, Mexico)
Europe (Germany, U.K., France, Italy, Russia, Spain, Rest of Europe)
South America and Asia-Pacific (China, India, Japan, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, and the rest of APAC) (Brazil, Argentina, Rest of SA)
Europe, Asia, and Africa (Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran, UAE, Africa, Rest of MEA)
The goal in purchasing this Report:
1. A market analysis prediction of Military Drone Jamming Systems market’s representation, supply and demand, capacity, in-depth investigations, etc.
2. Both the report and the international series conduct a thorough investigation of the laws, regulations, and current policy.
3. Additional factors are also mentioned, including imports, the setting of Military Drone Jamming Systems market commodity prices, the supply and demand for industry products, and significant manufacturers.
4. The report begins with Military Drone Jamming Systems market statistics before moving on to crucial points and classifying dependent markets by market trend and application.
5. Military Drone Jamming Systems Market applications can also be evaluated based on how well they perform.
6. Additional Military Drone Jamming Systems market characteristics, such as potential, restrictions, and expansion across all departments.
CLICK HERE TO GET Report Summary With Full INDEX of Military Drone Jamming Systems Market Report 2023-2030 @
Table of Contents:
Chapter 2. Executive Summary
Chapter 3. Industry Outlook
3.1. Military Drone Jamming Systems Global Market segmentation
3.2. Military Drone Jamming Systems Global Market size and growth prospects, 2015 – 2026
3.3. Military Drone Jamming Systems Global Market Value Chain Analysis
3.3.1. Vendor landscape
3.4. Regulatory Framework
3.5. Market Dynamics
3.5.1. Market Driver Analysis
3.5.2. Market Restraint Analysis
3.6. Porter's Analysis
3.6.1. Threat of New Entrants
3.6.2. Bargaining Power of Buyers
3.6.3. Bargaining Power of Buyers
3.6.4. Threat of Substitutes
3.6.5. Internal Rivalry
3.7. PESTEL Analysis
Chapter 4. Military Drone Jamming Systems Global Market Product Outlook
Chapter 5. Military Drone Jamming Systems Global Market Application Outlook
Chapter 6. Military Drone Jamming Systems Global Market Geography Outlook
6.1. Military Drone Jamming Systems Industry Share, by Geography, 2023 & 2030
6.2. North America
6.2.1. Military Drone Jamming Systems Market 2023 -2030 estimates and forecast, by product
6.2.2. Military Drone Jamming Systems Market 2023 -2030, estimates and forecast, by application
6.2.3. The U.S.
6.3.4. the UK
Chapter 7. Competitive Landscape
Chapter 8. Appendix
1. What is the level of competition, and how will consolidation and fragmentation operate?
2. What impact have monetary and financial policies had on Military Drone Jamming Systems market entry barriers?
3. What are some examples of the financial and economic conditions in various regions that supported the development of emerging markets?
4. Which regions are anticipated to lose their luster as a result of political and economic obstacles?
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More than a year has passed since Congress adopted reforms that promised to overhaul the U.S. military justice system. Lawmakers stripped military commanders of their authority to prosecute certain serious cases but allowed them to maintain control over other alleged crimes.
However, the reforms, which will not go into effect until the end of this year, may have created additional challenges, military experts said.
Commanders, who oversee service members but are not trained lawyers, still have control over various aspects of the system, including whether to confine soldiers ahead of trial for alleged crimes, ProPublica and The Texas Tribune found.
We spoke to two military legal experts, Geoffrey S. Corn and Rachel E. VanLandingham, about the reforms and what they mean for the future of the military justice system. Corn is a retired Army lieutenant colonel who is now a professor and directs Texas Tech University’s Center for Military Law and Policy. VanLandingham is a professor at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles and a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel. They are both former judge advocate generals, or military lawyers. Here are takeaways from those conversations.
The military justice system was initially formed as a way to discipline soldiers during times of war, giving commanders unfettered authority to mete out discipline and punishment. That included determining who should be prosecuted and for what crime.
VanLandingham was largely unfamiliar with that system when she enlisted at the Air Force Academy at age 18. She remembers being sexually assaulted and harassed while at the academy but said she never reported anything for fear of being ostracized or retaliated against.
She was a senior at the academy when dozens of women reported being sexually assaulted or harassed during a three-day 1991 convention of Navy and Marine Corps aviators in Las Vegas.
The incident, which became known as Tailhook after the association that put on the event, was among the first times there had ever been focus on sexual misconduct in the military or how the military treated women in the armed services. The secretary of the Navy eventually resigned in the wake of the scandal and several admirals were censured or relieved of duty. The Navy also adopted a “zero tolerance” policy to sexual harassment.
“Tailhook was the first time that I recall that it hit me that ‘Oh, there might be a bigger problem here than just this little academy world,’” VanLandingham said. “‘That was my first time thinking, ‘Huh, is the military going to take care of me?’ But at that point, I couldn’t think about it too much because I had a five-year commitment.”
Similar scandals unfolded over the next three decades, prompting additional public scrutiny of military culture and commanders’ attitudes toward sexual assault. Congress turned up the pressure in 2013 as lawmakers like Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York began to push the idea that commanders should not oversee the justice system.
But large-scale reform wouldn’t happen until 2021, one year after the disappearance and murder of Army Spc. Vanessa Guillén at Fort Hood in Central Texas. Her death, along with the deaths of several other soldiers at the post, spurred louder calls for change. Guillén was sexually harassed by a supervisor months before she was allegedly killed by another soldier. That year, an independent review committee appointed by the Secretary of the Army published a report that found evidence soldiers had underreported sexual assault and harassment at the post for fear of “ostracism, shunning and shaming, harsh treatment, and indelible damage to their career.”
“That commission actually found that there was an environment that was permissive of sexual harassment and assault, which was the first time any kind of military-related formal document actually pointed a finger at the commanders and said, ‘You allowed an environment that was conducive to this stuff,’” VanLandginham said.
In 2021, Congress made sexual harassment a separate offense in military courts, easing the path for charging soldiers. Previously, ambiguity in the law made it so that soldiers often would be charged with sexual harassment only in conjunction with other misconduct. Lawmakers also mandated that military judges, not jurors, sentence service members for all non-death penalty offenses and ordered the creation of recommended sentencing guidelines.
But the most significant change was lawmakers’ creation of a new office of military attorneys, called the Office of the Special Trial Counsel. Instead of leaving it up to military commanders to decide whether to prosecute cases related to serious offenses that include sexual assault and domestic assault, murder and involuntary manslaughter, attorneys within the new office will do that.
VanLandingham, who supports taking legal authority from commanders, believes that the new system does not go far enough because it leaves some cases in the hands of military commanders. For example, commanders continue to decide whether to prosecute offenses such as robbery, assault and distribution of controlled substances.
That disparity “makes no sense,” VanLandingham said. “It’s a product of politics versus a product of doing the right thing.”
By comparison, Corn supports maintaining commanders’ ability to decide cases in which service members are accused of crimes. He said commanders “are in those positions because they have had a career of exercising careful, thoughtful and decisive judgment.” But he said if Congress was going to take away that authority, it should have done so across the board and not only in certain cases.
“I struggle with the idea that Congress has said a nonlawyer commanding general is not competent to make decisions on whether or not an individual should be brought to trial for sexual harassment, but he is competent to make decisions on whether another defendant can be brought to trial on some other offense,” Corn said. “If I’m that other defendant, I’m saying, ‘Wait a minute, that’s fundamentally unfair.’”
Congress passed additional changes in December that VanLandingham said helped address some of what had been left unfinished in 2021.
Lawmakers moved three additional charges under the purview of military attorneys. Those are sexual harassment, causing the “death or injury of an unborn child” and “mailing obscene matter,” which means wrongfully sending explicitly sexual materials like a nude photo of a child.
The new law also requires the U.S. president to remove such powers as the ability to grant immunity to witnesses and hire witness experts from commanders in cases that the new trial counsel office is handling.
Congress also passed a measure requiring the Secretary of Defense to annually report on the outcomes of cases handled by the new Special Trial Counsel office beginning no later than 2025.
All service members will also for the first time have the ability to seek judicial review of their convictions. Previously, only service members who were sentenced to several months of confinement or received a punitive discharge were eligible to ask for such a review.
Congress directed that an existing advisory committee examine what information about a case should be shared with lawyers representing victims of crimes allegedly committed by military personnel. Victims have historically had trouble accessing evidence connected to their cases.
Corn believes the change will bring more transparency for alleged victims. “If I’m a victim’s counsel, and the prosecutor is saying, ‘We have decided not to prosecute this case,’ and my client is distraught and doesn’t understand it, my ability to have access to the file to show the victim what the problems are in the case helps me do my job,” Corn said.
VanLandingham said one of the most significant changes in December was Congress’ decision to require that courts-martial jurors — known as panel members — be selected at random, like a civilian jury. Currently, military commanders select the panel members. Those rules are not expected to go into effect until the end of 2024.
The change is “huge, at least appearance-wise,” VanLandingham said. “It’s just one more step to show that, yes, all these things that have been done for hundreds of years in the civilian sector really do and can be done” in the military.
The 2021 overhaul, which included the creation of the Office of the Special Trial Counsel, won’t go into effect until the end of this year at the earliest. That’s too long, VanLandingham said: “We can invade a country in far shorter of a time frame.”
She expects Congress and the Department of Defense to want time to see how the new system works before considering other large-scale reforms.
VanLandingham said she believes the only solution is to transfer prosecutorial authority of all felony-level offenses in the military to the Justice Department, “whose prosecutors do nothing but prosecute.” Short of that, she said, commanders should be taken out of the military justice equation entirely instead of having the two-pronged system Congress created.
“You’ve created a Frankenstein system that is doubly inefficient and, I think, still leaves in place things like gross racial disparities, gross rank disparities in the administration of military injustice. It’s hard for me to even call it military justice when you have twice as many African Americans still court-martialed to this day,” VanLandingham said.
She said commanders should not be in the business of practicing law.
Corn said future reforms should focus on creating more uniform and effective training for commanders “on the ethical guideposts that prosecutors, good prosecutors, use to decide whether or not to send the case to trial.”
Still, he expects that prosecution of almost all criminal offenses will one day fall to the special trial counsel office.
“So 10 years from now, when the captain at Fort Hood who is a brigade or division commander, if you said to him, ‘Hey, did you know that 15 years ago, if you were in this job, you would decide what cases go to trial?’” Corn said. “He’d probably say, ‘That’s crazy.’”
The Congressional Budget Office found that newer Super Hornets aren't aging as well as predecessor legacy Hornets.
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A new report raises concerning questions about the Navy's Super Hornet fighter jets.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the newer "E" and "F" variants of F/A-18 Super Hornets aren't aging as well as their predecessors.
The report studied the percentage of time that Super Hornets were capable of being flown for training or missions after ten years of service.
Then, the CBO compared those numbers with how the earlier F/A-18 "C" and "D" Hornets did after ten years.
The conclusion? Super Hornets had roughly a 41% availability rate, compared to the 59% availability of legacy Hornets of the same age. That's a difference of 18 percentage points.
"The experiences of the oldest Super Hornets suggest that their availability is likely to continue to decline as the fleet ages," the report states.
However, on an up note, the report adds: "The Navy could take actions that might increase or stabilize the aircraft’s availability rate, such as increasing funding for maintenance."
Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach is the Navy's East Coast Master Jet Base, and it is home to 16 deployable F/A-18 Super Hornet Squadrons.
Babcock has been awarded the contract to manage and operate Skynet, the UK Ministry of Defence's (MOD) military satellite communications system.
The six-year contract, with an initial value of more than £400 million, forms part of the MOD's £6 billion Skynet 6 programme, sustaining more than 400 jobs in the South-West of the UK.
Skynet Service Delivery Wrap (SDW) will encompass the operation of the UK's constellation of military satellites and ground stations, including the integration of terminals into the MOD network, ensuring they are integrated and supported.
Babcock has a number of bases in Gloucestershire including one at Gloucestershire Airport, and employs around 450 people across the county.
The firm will partner with SES, GovSat and Intelsat on Skynet SDW.
David Lockwood, CEO for Babcock, said: "We are delighted to have been chosen to support this world-leading technological safeguard. Skynet enables vital communications to the UK Armed Forces wherever they are, helping to keep them safe.
"Babcock is a world leader in secure communications for the military. Together with our partners, we will provide a high-tech solution which combines the availability, affordability and capability that the UK needs."
Cheltenham MP Alex Chalk, Defence Procurement Minister, said: "Space is increasingly important for maintaining battlefield advantage. The UK's next generation military satellite communications system will keep us at the forefront of this critical domain and the work under this contract will bolster our resilience for years to come."
Skynet has been in service since the 1960s - with the first satellite of the sixth Skynet generation satellite, Skynet 6A, set to be launched in 2025.
The contract includes the services necessary to support the current Skynet infrastructure, as well as the successful transition and continuous delivery of service for future Skynet operations.
Babcock and its partners bring the stability, knowledge, and pedigree of a proven service provider with the leading commercial and military satellite operators to utilise the best-in-class solutions the industry has to offer.
Backed by its unique, collective international experience across defence and satcom operations, the partnership will provide a low risk, uninterrupted service which brings an assured end-to-end approach for the MOD.
Its one-team ethos integrates the customer, partners, and supply chain to deliver an adaptable, agile and supportable service delivery solution.
Copyright 2023 Moose Partnership Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any content is strictly forbidden without prior permission.
President Zelensky is visiting the UK, and it is reported that he will be offered UK training for combat pilots, enabling Ukraine to operate NATO-standard aircraft sometime in the future. This comes hard on the heels of the tank training already in motion, and could set the foundation for the potential transfer of combat aircraft in the future – hopefully a very near one. While not offering genuine aircraft, it could be a vital step in that process and maintain the momentum of western military aid. Moreover, the knowledge transfer would be invaluable in its own right.
Despite the much reported delays in the UK military flying training system, there are some relatively quick and simple ways to train pilots on the systems and weapons that NATO employs without further impact or delay. Although each aircraft type is different, the system and weapon basics are approximately 80 per cent common, so read-across is relatively straightforward. London’s offer could encompass postgraduate type training. The UK has facilities that do this routinely and provides some of the best, if not the best, weapons instructor training in the world. So not only would this be of the highest quality and value, it would not have any impact on UK capability or training.
This could be done largely through simulation that either replicates specific types of jet, or emulates the most common displays, symbology and mechanics of weapon employment in what are known as part task trainers. While there could well be a longer term offer for actual, and more basic, flying training, the priority now should be to train experienced or recently qualified pilots on the newer systems and modern tactics that NATO employs, in preparation for a future aircraft transfer.
To be crystal clear this is not a portent that UK aircraft types will follow; the training provided would be easily transferable to any modern type. I still hold the view that F16s offer the most complete solution for Ukraine because of their availability, multi role capability and the large number of potential donor nations. The UK training could easily emulate that aircraft and the tactics and weapons it might use. Many commentators have said that the time it takes to train on such a platform is a limiting factor and a reason to argue against it. This offer de-risks that significantly by starting the process of training as early as possible.
Many in the gaming community already enjoy their evenings in the cockpit of an F16 in the comfort of their own home, and in these terms this offer may not differ that much from the relatively sophisticated set ups now achievable commercially. Instead, the real value could be some of the best training and air combat knowledge in the world. The RAF isn’t just the oldest independent air force; person for person it remains one of the very best, and its postgraduate warfare training, which doesn’t make the news, is world renowned. With this offer, Ukraine could have its very own virtual “Top Gun” school – and we know how that story turns out.
Greg Bagwell CB CBE is a retired Air Marshal and combat pilot. He was the UK’s Air Commander for four years and is current President of the Air and Space Power Association
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