Navy Not Sure What USS Connecticut Struck in the South China Sea, Beijing Accuses U.S. of Cover-Up

USS Connecticut (SSN-22) arrives at Fleet Activities Yokosuka for a scheduled port visit, July 31, 2021. US Navy Photo

The U.S. Navy still isn’t positive what one of its most powerful attack submarines hit in the South China Sea, as repair assessments continue in Guam, four sources familiar with the results of the preliminary investigations told USNI News this week.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the undersea object that damaged the forward section of USS Connecticut (SSN-22) had not been definitively...

https://news.usni.org/2021/10/27/navy-not-sure-what-uss-connecticut-struck-in-the-south-china-sea-beijing-accuses-u-s-of-cover-up

Mystery Shrouds Chinese Defense Spending

China’s Type-001A Carrier following its launching ceremony on April 26, 2017. Ministry of National Defense Photo

While China’s known military spending has remained consistent as a percentage of its gross domestic product for decades, but this provides only a rough measure of what Beijing has actually committed to a broad range of obscured or classified expenditures, two experts on defense spending said Tuesday.

Peter Robinson, dean of the University of Western Australia’s Business School, said...

https://news.usni.org/2021/10/26/mystery-shrouds-chinese-defense-spending

Strike Group Commander: USS Gerald R. Ford Set For First Deployment in 2022

USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) departed Naval Station Norfolk to transit to Newport News Shipbuilding in support of her Planned Incremental Availability (PIA), a six-month period of modernization, maintenance, and repairs, Aug. 20, 2021. US Navy Photo

The Navy is set to deploy USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) for the first time in 2022, four years later than the original maiden deployment date of 2018.

After facing a series of delays and working out reliability problems with multiple new technologies,...

https://news.usni.org/2021/10/25/strike-group-commander-uss-gerald-r-ford-set-for-first-deployment-in-2022

Russia, China Wrap Up Drills Off Japan, Pledge More Joint Exercises

Russian and Chinese ships on Oct. 23 off the coast of Japan. JMSDF Image

KUALA LUMPUR – A combined Russian Navy and People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) fleet concluded a sail in international waters east of Japan’s main island of Honshu and split off to their home ports on Saturday, all while being monitored by Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ships and aircraft during the voyage.

The Chinese ships were Type 055 destroyer Nanchang (101), Type 052D destroyer Kuming (172), Type 054 frigates Binzou

https://news.usni.org/2021/10/25/russia-china-wrap-up-drills-off-japan-pledge-more-joint-exercises

Ecuadorian Navy Sailing Ship Interdicts Drug Smugglers in the Pacific

BAE Guayas and low-profile vessel on Oct. 22, 2021. Ecuadorian Navy Photo

A three-masted training ship interdicted a drug-laden high-speed smuggling vessel off the coast of Colombia on Friday, the Ecuadorian Navy announced.

Sailing ship BAE Guayas caught the low-profile vessel within the 200-nautical miles of the Colombian exclusive economic zone, the service announced.

“The Guayas School Ship, carrying out its International Instruction Cruise, was able to interdict this vessel for its subsequent...

https://news.usni.org/2021/10/23/ecuadorian-navy-sailing-ship-interdicts-drug-smugglers-in-the-pacific

New Marine Corps Robot Will Provide ‘Eyes in the Water’ for Explosive Device Removal Technicians

Staff Sgt. Seth Barnes, an explosive ordnance disposal technician from Littoral Explosive Ordnance Neutralization Platoon, 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, releases the Remotely Operated Vehicle into the water during a demonstration in San Diego, Calif., on Oct. 6, 2021. US Marine Corps Photo

The Marine Corps is expanding its mission set to include operating robots in shallow waters, a first for the service that comes as it prepares to operate on islands in the...

https://news.usni.org/2021/10/22/new-marine-corps-robot-will-provide-eyes-in-the-water-for-explosive-device-removal-technicians

Navy Board Set to Improve Fire Safety After Report Finds Sailors ‘Unprepared to Fight Blazes in Port

U.S. Navy Sailors transit the hangar bay towards a simulated fire during an in-port emergency drill aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) in Norfolk, Virginia, Oct. 24, 2020. US Navy Photo

After losing an amphibious warship to a fire, the Navy will elevate the head of service safety to a two-star billet and create a new oversight board meant to improve fire safety throughout the fleet.

In response to findings from a Navy investigation into the fire aboard the former USS Bonhomme...

https://news.usni.org/2021/10/21/navy-board-set-to-improve-fire-safety-after-report-finds-sailors-unprepared-to-fight-blazes-in-port

Navy Approaching ‘Weak’ Rating in New U.S. Military Strength Survey

Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) transits the South China Sea with Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Tulsa (LCS-16) on Sept. 7, 2021. US Navy Photo

The Navy’s ability to defend the nation’s vital security interests is “marginal,” – with the caveat that its score is trending to “weak” in capability and readiness – while the Marine Corps’ ability is graded as “strong,” according to a think tank’s latest survey of United States military power.

The Heritage...

https://news.usni.org/2021/10/21/navy-approaching-weak-rating-in-new-u-s-military-strength-survey

Annapolis Couple Pleads Not Guilty to Selling Sub Secrets; FBI Can’t Find $100K in Payments

Virginia-class submarine Washington (SSN-787) under construction in 2016 at Newport News Shipbuilding, Va. HII Photo

An Annapolis couple charged with stealing submarine secrets in an effort to pass them to another country pleaded not guilty in federal court on Tuesday.

Jonathan Toebbe and Diana Toebbe are both facing a charge of conspiracy to communicate restricted data and two counts of communicating restricted data. They appeared in the District Court of Northern West Virginia Wednesday for an...

https://news.usni.org/2021/10/20/annapolis-couple-pleads-not-guilty-to-selling-sub-secrets-fbi-cant-find-100k-in-payments

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