July 1, 2015
By Adm. James Stavridis, USN (Ret.)

China is flexing its muscles and expanding its reach, particularly in the maritime domain. As the United States tries to consolidate the so-called pivot to Asia by bringing 60 percent of the U.S. fleet to bear, leaders need to be thinking through all their other options to deal with the growing ambition of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

June 1, 2015
By Adm. James Stavridis, USN (Ret.)

Every day in the South China Sea, the Chinese are slowly adding to what Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. Harry Harris, USN, has called the Great Wall of sand. This is a series of artificial islands and floating platforms, some of them large enough to have big airfields and significant numbers of troops. The Chinese are doing this to stretch their operational reach and, above all, to buttress their claims of sovereignty out to the far reaches of the so-called “nine-dash line.”

The idea of using floating bases to create operational and legal advantages has been around for centuries, but it has strengthened as technology has provided the ability to build significant platforms at sea.

May 27, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
Sentinel-1 satellite

The Copernicus Masters competition, launched by the European Space Agency (ESA) and Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen (AZO), seeks participants to submit ideas, applications and business concepts using Earth observation data that could lead to significant changes to the status quo in many fields. The international competition, with a deadline of July 13, offers cash prizes and support valued at more than 300,000 euros.

June 1, 2015
By James C. Bussert
A new Chinese littoral combat ship, or C-LCS, bears a striking resemblance to the U.S. Navy’s USS Independence, LCS-2, shown in the next photo. China has introduced new classes of catamarans and trimarans for coastal operations./ Photo courtesy

China is introducing designs for catamarans—and even trimarans—that seem destined to serve as the country’s littoral combat ships. Some of the trimarans closely resemble their U.S. counterparts, although differences—some quite interesting—do exist.

May 4, 2015
By George I. Seffers

NATO today initiated Dynamic Mongoose, this year’s biggest antisubmarine warfare exercises in the North Sea, with a focus on detecting and defending against submarines. Eleven nations, more than a dozen surface vessels and four submarines are participating in the annual Dynamic Mongoose exercise. 

The event, which is expected to last two weeks, will allow ships under NATO command to conduct a variety of antisubmarine warfare operations. The submarines will take turns trying to approach and target the ships undetected, simulating an attack.

May 1, 2015
By George I. Seffers

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews announced today he will lead a delegation of 20 American companies on a Cybersecurity Trade Mission to Bucharest, Romania, and Warsaw, Poland, May 11-15. Assistant Secretary for Industry and Analysis Marcus Jadotte also will participate in the mission.

The trade mission is designed to help U.S. companies launch or increase their business operations in Central and Southeast Europe, specifically connecting them with businesses and government leaders in Romania and Poland. It also will introduce or expand the market presence of U.S. cybersecurity companies.

April 1, 2015
By Capt. James H. Mills, USN, and Capt. Danelle Barrett, USN

The time is now for the United States, NATO and their partner nations to invest resources collectively for truly revolutionary and shared global defense. Partnerships are vital to preempt adversaries and achieve global economic vitality and political stability. This courage to share will enable new levels of success in global security and attainment of national strategic objectives. However, if these nations fail to muster this courage, they will cede advantage and opportunity to adversaries and should not be surprised when those adversaries creatively exploit this to their own benefit.

November 1, 2012
By George I. Seffers

A U.S. Air Force research 
directorate connects scientists
 and engineers from many countries.

Cutting-edge warfighter technologies, ranging from nanoscience products to micro air vehicles, are advancing through the combined efforts of multinational top researchers within the Asia-Pacific region. This technical collaboration is driven in part by a U.S. Air Force research and development office in Tokyo, which is building international relationships while optimizing the intellectual talent within one of the world’s most active arenas for scientific breakthroughs.

February 26, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
NASA's Nanosatellite Launch Adapter System was developed to increase access to space while simplifying the integration process of miniature satellites, called nanosats or cubesats, onto launch vehicles.

Nations plan to launch more than 500 small satellites over the next five years, an increase of two-thirds in the number of space-bound platforms when compared with launches over the past decade, according to an international space firm report.

With a decrease in satellite needs by the commercial sector, Euroconsult reports it predicts 75 percent of the 510 small satellites scheduled for launch, which includes nanosats, cubesats, microsats and minisats, will serve government civil and defense agencies, meaning the demand for satellites by governments is expected to outpace the needs of private companies, according to a summary of the report.

February 12, 2015
By Robert K. Ackerman

The future of peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region may be determined by the actions or inactions of China and North Korea. China is flexing its muscles and projecting power far beyond its traditional realm, but North Korea poses a bigger threat by nature of its irrational leadership.

February 12, 2015
By Robert K. Ackerman

Humanitarian assistance/disaster relief (HA/DR) has become so important a part of U.S. operations in the Asia-Pacific region that experts now are viewing it as a military doctrine and striving to improve it. In an area that constitutes half the world’s surface and contains most of its people, natural disasters that damage a nation severely occur yearly. The U.S. response to these annual crises of nature defines much of the military’s operations in that vast region.

February 12, 2015
By Robert K. Ackerman

India, a nonaligned nation long reluctant to involve itself in the geopolitics of the Asia-Pacific region, has begun to increase its involvement with the United States and other nations of the dynamic region. This development comes at a time when India’s decisions on critical foreign policy issues will have an increasing degree of importance, according to members of a panel on the Indo-Asia Pacific region at West 2015, being held in San Diego, February 10-12.

February 12, 2015
By Robert K. Ackerman

Viewed as an indispensable force for peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region, the United States risks losing the support it enjoys from nearly every nation in that hemisphere if it is ambiguous and not willing to take a stand during crises, said defense experts. A panel on the Indo-Asia Pacific region comprising former military flag officers and moderated by a China expert explored the developments taking place in the region and the importance of U.S. forces to peace and prosperity there.

February 1, 2015
By Adm. James G. Stavridis, USN (Ret.)

People often ask me about what keeps me awake at night after a long career in the military. What is the country that worries me the most? Russia? China? Iran? Pakistan? All are good candidates; but the most dangerous and unpredictable is North Korea.

First and foremost, the so-called “young leader,” Kim Jong Un, is dangerous in his own right—a wolf in a clown suit whose portly figure, short stature and slightly dazed look belie a cunning and deadly actor trained in the harsh court of his father’s shark tank. He is mercurial, unstable, medically challenged and utterly ruthless.

December 9, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The 3-D printer recently installed on the International Space Station has printed a replacement part for itself, proving the process works in space and potentially paving the way for long-term space expeditions. 

January 12, 2015

Six3 Intelligence Solutions Incorporated, McLean, Virginia, was awarded a $12,783,597 firm-fixed-price multi-year contract for intelligence support services in Afghanistan with an estimated completion date of July 9, 2016. One bid was solicited with one received. Fiscal 2015 operations and maintenance (Army) funds in the amount of $9,587,697 are being obligated at the time of the award. The Army Contracting Command, Rock Island, Illinois, is the contracting activity (W560MY-15-C-0004).

January 12, 2015

Science Applications International Corporation, McLean, Virginia, was awarded a $7,179,527 modification (003748) to multi-year foreign military sales contract W31P4Q-05-A-0031 (Afghanistan, Australia, Bahrain, Central African Republic, Chad, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Egypt, France, Georgia, Germany) for systems and computer resources support. Fiscal 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 research, development, testing and evaluation, operations and maintenance (Army), and other procurement funds in the amount of $7,179,527 were obligated at the time of the award. Estimated completion date is February 20, 2017. Work will be performed at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.

January 7, 2015

Technical Communications Solutions Corporation, Swampscott, Massachusetts, was awarded a $8,622,068 firm-fixed-price, foreign military sales (Jordan) contract for the installation of fiber optic cable that will satisfy the Jordanian Armed Forces (JAF) fiber optic-last mile (FO-LM) and fiber optic-long haul (FO-LH) requirements, and shall include the installation, testing and sustainment activities required for the JAF FO-LM and the FO-LH cable links. Work will be performed in Jordan, with an estimated completion date of January 6, 2016. One bid was solicited with one received. Fiscal 2015 other procurement funds in the amount of $8,622,068 are being obligated at the time of the award.

December 29, 2014

The Boeing Co., Huntington Beach, California, is being awarded $39,540,071 cost-plus-fixed-fee, cost-plus-incentive-fee contract to provide the U.S. and U.K. Trident II (D5) maintenance, repair, and rebuilding and technical services in support of the navigation subsystem. This contract contains options, which, if exercised, would bring the contract to a maximum dollar value of $80,164,349. Work will be performed in Huntington Beach, California (75 percent), and Heath, Ohio (25 percent), and work is expected to be completed Sept.

December 17, 2014

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., San Diego, has been awarded a $657,400,000 hybrid contract including firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-incentive-fee and cost-plus-fixed-fee undefinitized contract action for aircraft for the Republic of Korea. Contractor will provide four RQ-4B Block 30 Global Hawk unmanned air vehicles, two spare engines and the applicable Ground Control Environment elements. Each will contain an Enhanced Integrated Sensor Suite. Work will be performed at San Diego, and is expected to be complete by June 28, 2019. This contract involves foreign military sales. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition.