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One vehicle with three missions. Or three “mission packages.” That’s the concept behind the Navy’s newest combat ship. One ship with three different missions modules.
Life Member and retired RADM John Costas and I spent five hours at Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth, Texas, plant to get the F-35 story, and quite a story it is.
When the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) issues you a challenge, you reply “Aye, aye, sir!” and get to work. The Virginia Class Program Office did just that in September 2005 when the then—CNO and current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Michael Mullen, told the Submarine Force that the Navy would build two Virginias in Fiscal Year 2012 (FY12) if it could reduce its acquisition costs by 18 percent.
We must balance our presence requirements with the missions and threats we are likely to face in a given region. Worldwide presence is necessary for maritime security, which is one of the arguments in favor of developing the Littoral Combat Ship, a platform that will add new capabilities and complement our current and evolving fleet of surface combatants.
The Department of Defense and the military services have stated that the level of Reserve Component contributions to the total force will continue at the same pace for many years. Currently, over 677,000 Guard and Reserve members have been mobilized for GWOT and contingency operations.