U.S., Australia, Japan Drill with the Philippines in South China Sea; China Flies Military Drone Near Taiwan

HMAS Canberra (L02) with JS Izumo (DDH-183) on Aug. 24, 2023. JMSDF Photo

The U.S., Australia, Japan and the Philippines carried out a joint exercise in the waters off Manila on Thursday involving the Australian and Japanese large-deck ships on deployment in the region. Meanwhile, Chinese bombers flew near Japan while a Chinese unmanned air vehicle conducted a flight off Taiwan’s east coast, according to Japan Ministry of Defense press releases.

A Friday release by the Japan Maritime Self Defense...


Acting Commanders Set to Take Charge of Naval Academy, Naval Air Forces and NAVSEA

(l to r) Rear Adm. Fred Kacher, Rear Adm. George Wikoff and Rear Adm. Tom Anderson

Temporary leaders for the Naval Academy, Naval Air Forces and Naval Sea Systems Command are set to step into acting roles between now and Sept. 7, as an ongoing hold on confirming senior military nominations continues, USNI News has learned.

Rear Adm. Fred Kacher will start next week as the superintendent of the Naval Academy after Vice Adm. Sean Buck prepares to retire, a USNA official confirmed to USNI News....


Ukrainian Forces Plant Flag in Crimea Following Raid

Satellite image of the Crimean Peninsula. NASA Image

Ukrainian forces landed on Crimean shores Thursday, according to local press reports.

The forces, assisted by the Ukrainian Navy, planted a flag in Crimea before engaging in combat, the Kyiv Independent reported. Ukrainian forces landed near the village of Maiak, on the Crimean coast.

Ukrainian Defense Intelligence told CNN that Ukrainian and Russian forces clashed, resulting in casualties for the Russians.

CNN also reported that the attack...


Japan-based Destroyer CO Removed from Command

USS Howard (DDG-83) transits the Philippine Sea during Pacific Vanguard 23, July 4, 2023. US Navy Photo

The commander of Japan-based guided-missile destroyer USS Howard (DDG-83) was removed from command Saturday, Navy officials told USNI News.

U.S. 7th Fleet Commander Vice Adm. Karl Thomas removed Cmdr. Kenji Igawa from command, “due to loss of confidence in his ability to command,” according to a service statement provided to USNI News.

Cmdr. Kenji Igawa on Dec. 1, 2022. US Navy Photo



New Leaders Take Command of I MEF, Naval Surface Forces

U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Bradford Gering, the incoming commanding general for I Marine Expeditionary Force, gives his remarks during the I Marine Expeditionary Force succession of command ceremony on Camp Pendleton, California, Aug. 18, 2023. US Marine Corps Photo

Two major three-star commands changed leaders in separate southern California ceremonies on Friday.

At Camp Pendleton, Calif., Lt. Gen. George Smith relinquished his command of I Marine Expeditionary Force to Maj. Gen. Bradford...


U.S. Flight III Destroyer Multiyear Deal Grows to 10 Ships, 3 Hulls Awarded in FY 2023

The future Flight III Arleigh Burke USS Ted Steves (DDG-128) launches at Ingalls Shipbuilding in August. HII Photo

The Navy is set to buy 10 Flight III Arleigh Burke guided-missile destroyers over the next five years after the service elected to award an extra Fiscal Year 2023 option ship to Ingalls Shipbuilding, USNI News has learned.

This month Naval Sea Systems Command awarded three detailed design and construction contracts for destroyers as part of a five-year deal to build the ships – two...


USS Zumwalt Now in the Caribbean After Panama Canal Transit

USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) transiting the Panama Canal on Aug. 14, 2023. Webcam photo via warshipcam

The guided-missile destroyer USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) passed through the Panama Canal on its way to upgrade its weapon systems at a Mississippi shipyard, USNI News has learned.

Zumwalt passed north through the Pedro Miguel Locks on Monday, according to photos from ship spotters. A Navy official confirmed that the destroyer had left the canal on Tuesday.

“USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) … will shift its homeport...


Bollinger Cuts First Steel on Polar Security Cutter

The first steel is cut for the future USCGC Polar Sentinel (PSC-1). Bollinger Photo

A Mississippi shipyard has started fabricating on what will be the first components for a new fleet of heavy U.S. icebreakers, the company announced on Wednesday.

Bollinger Shipyards cut steel of the first of eight modules that will become part of the first Polar Security Cutter – the future USCGC Polar Sentinel (PSC-1). The prototype modules are being built as a proof-of-concept for the cutter but if approved...


Amphibious Warship ‘Strategic Pause’ Ongoing Despite Small Business Solicitation

Amphibious warship Richard M. McCool, Jr., (LPD-29) on Aug. 4, 2022. USNI News Photo

Construction of new U.S. amphibious warships is still on pause despite a small business solicitation indicating the Navy was preparing to enter a multi-year deal for San Antonio-class ships, USNI News has learned.

Last week, contract portal SAM.gov posted a long lead contract that indicated the Navy was moving ahead with a multi-year contract with HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding to build three Flight II San Antonios.



GAO: Polar Security Cutter Design Won’t Complete Until 2024, Delivery of First Hull Estimated in 2028

Artist’s Rendering of Coast Guard Polar Security Cutter

The design for the U.S. Coast Guard’s long-gestating heavy ice breaker won’t be ready until next year and the first hull likely won’t deliver until 2028 – three years later than the original estimate – according to a new Government Accountability Office report reviewed by USNI News.

According to the estimate from GAO, which cites Coast Guard and Navy officials, as well as shipbuilders – the final design for the 23,0000-ton ice breaker won’t...


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