From the monthly archives:

March 2011

In praise of heavy weather and breaking stuff

by Craig Hooper on March 25, 2011

One of the underestimated pieces of infrastructure in the American warfighter’s toolkit is, well, their meteorologists. It’s neat to be able to have an up-to-the-minute global read on the weather, so ships and aircraft can know–at a very, very high level of detail, where to go to avoid tough sea conditions or bad weather. The […]

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In Press: Making the case for Amphibs on NHPR

by Craig Hooper on March 25, 2011

One of the things that sometimes frustrates me about the quality of strategic debate in this country is that it sometimes becomes something of an discount viagra echo chamber–where the converted tend to spend an enormous time preaching to themselves. Public outreach and education sometimes gets a little shortchanged. But given the challenges we face […]


More LCS-1 Troubles: 6-inch Hull Crack, Leak…

by Craig Hooper on March 18, 2011

Bloomberg’s Tony Capaccio discovered something that is not supposed to happen to a new ship–particularly a new ship that has buoyancy issues: During a heavy-weather ocean trial on the USS Freedom in mid-February, he said, sailors discovered a six-inch horizontal hull crack below the waterline that leaked five gallons an hour. Inside the hull the […]


In Press: Talking a balanced Fleet at The Atlantic

by Craig Hooper on March 15, 2011

In my second piece over at The Atlantic, I argue for the under-appreciated do-anything amphibs. You can read it here. But as the budget gets grimmer and grimmer, I fear that some in the Navy are looking to cut amphibious platforms or restrain/downsize the JHSV, LCS or other experimental platforms that may change the way […]


The Philippines: When renting a relic makes sense:

by Craig Hooper on March 8, 2011

With the impending release of a Hamilton-class high-endurance cutter to the Philippines, the U.S. is doing what it can to help provide the Philippines something–anything–that it can use to show the flag in the increasingly tough waters of the South China Sea. But does the gifting of the Hamilton Class mean that the U.S. is […]


For almost ten years, the Marine Corps–the Third Marine Expeditionary Force–and the Military Sealift Command have leased the Austal-built Westpac Express, a 331-foot long aluminum high-speed ferry. But with the emergence of the “Green Fleet” concept, and with the Navy and Marine Corps eager to highlight “green” initiatives, this puny vessel (a gas-guzzler in itself, […]

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Are LPD-17s Modern-Day Mitschers?

by Craig Hooper on March 1, 2011

It is always easy to point at the latest shipbuilding “disaster” and claim that it is the “greatest” fiasco ever. It’s true that smaller-scale shipbuilding SNAFUS are a fact of life. But these days, to some observers, mistakes are a distinguishing characteristic of naval shipbuilding. The big “disaster” of my era is the LPD-17. But […]


So the Navy has issued an RFI for a new Amphibious Combat Vehicle (Solicitation Number M6785411IO213). I’ve written about the EFV before (here and here), and, though I liked the EFV, I am glad to see that we are taking another look at the whole “amphibious tractor” concept. Regarding the RFI, there really is nothing […]