In The News
In the 2014 sci-fi action movie Edge of Tomorrow (also known as Live. Die. Repeat), Tom Cruise plays William Cage, a public relations officer with no combat experience, who somehow gets stuck in a Groundhog Day-style time loop. Forced to participate in a battle against a seemingly unbeatable foe, the initially hopeless Cage becomes increasingly effective by reliving the day of the attack over and over. Each time he dies, Cage wakes up on the day preceding the attack takes place.
Being able to train in this way is a luxury that’s not afforded to today’s combat troops. As many drills as you run, as much strategic briefing takes place, the reality is that nothing can prepare you for being in a real combat zone. Suddenly things become a whole lot more unpredictable — and unpredictability is difficult to train for. Especially when one mistake could lead to serious injury or worse.
The U.S. Army is embarking on several new missile development programs while ramping up and accelerating other ongoing programs to deliver more fire power to the force at greater ranges, according to the service’s justification books for its fiscal 2020 budget request.
The service’s No. 1 modernization priority is Long-Range Precision Fires, or LRPF, because the Army believes it is central to future operations in environments where access to terrain may be difficult or entirely denied, or where soldiers lack the territorial advantage to counter threats.
And the LRPF capability plays an important role the service’s emerging doctrine — Multidomain Operations — where the Army and its sister services will work more in concert across sea, land, air, space and cyber domains to overtake the enemy.
The Army is about a third of the way toward its goal to acquire an upgraded fleet of nearly 700 tracked, mobile artillery cannons but will nearly double its inventory over the next five years if a recent budget request is approved.
More than six years ago, the Army began a program to improve the M109A6 Paladin self-propelled 155 mm artillery cannon, which was fielded in 1994.
Since the improvement program began then, they’ve been able to put more than 200 of the weapons into their arsenal and more than 200 more are on the way over the next five years, with an ultimate goal of having 689 Paladins in stock over the next decade, according to recently released Army budget request documents.
When the program started, initial goals were for 580 upgraded Paladins. Strategic concerns about Russian and Chinese fires modernization has pushed that number up by more than 100 in recent years.
Those improvements and procurement will keep the currently quarter-century-old mobile cannon blasting away until 2050.
A former U.S. Army officer accused of spying for China has pleaded guilty.
Ron Rockwell Hansen, 58, admitted to transferring sensitive defense data to Chinese intelligence agents in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to a Department of Justice press release on Friday.
“Hansen pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to gather or deliver national defense information to aid a foreign government. The plea agreement calls for an agreed-upon sentence of 15 years,” the DOJ release said.
Hansen, a Utah resident, previously served as a Warrant Officer in the U.S. Army from 2000 to 2006. He had a background involving signals intelligence and human intelligence, and learned fluency in Mandarin Chinese and Russian.