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ESPIRITU SANTO, Vanuatu (May 2, 2011) - Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Cassandra Townsend shows ni-Vanuatu students a music video on her cell phone at Matevulu College during the Vanuatu phase of Pacific Partnership 2011.  Pacific Partnership is a five-month humanitarian assistance initiative that will make port visits to Tonga, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste and the Federated States of Micronesia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Tony Tolley)

The Navy has green lighted a plan that allows sailors to stop carrying their work and personal phones.

Navy leaders authorized mobile software for Defense Department-issued phones that will separate a user’s official calls, messages and images from their personal ones.

Newly issued devices, starting with Apple’s iPhone 5S and 6 models running IOS 8, will utilize systems developed by Good Technology that segregate official business uses of the phone and securing it with enhanced encryption and passwords, according to the Navy’s April 21 announcement. [Continue reading…]

Northrop Grumman's X-47BThe Navy issued video Thursday afternoon showing the first ever refuel of the X-47B, a carrier drone prototype.

Built by Northrop Grumman, the X-47B has taken part in a host of tests as the Navy sees what’s possible for a future carrier drone fleet. (Video after the jump) [Continue reading…]

Northrop Grumman X-47B refuels for the first time. (Navy photo)The Navy conducted its first ever aerial refueling of its X-47B carrier based drone demonstrator aircraft Wednesday at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md.

The X-47B, built by Northrop Grumman, was refueled by an Omega Air Refueling Tanker, Navy and Northrop Grumman officials confirmed.

The carrier based drone made history when it flew from a carrier in May and November of 2013 and is now working on streamlining carrier deck operations and maneuvers with manned aircraft.

The Navy launched and landed the X-47B in rapid succession with an F/A-18 fighter jet as part of a series of joint manned and unmanned flight tests aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt in August of last year off the coast of Norfolk, Va., service officials said. [Continue reading…]

2SuperHornetThe Navy is considering extending procurement of its F/A-18 Super Hornet beyond 2017 because of delays in production of the Navy’s carrier-launched F-35C and increased demands on the Hornet fleet, service leaders said.

Navy leaders had planned to halt production of the F/A-18 Super Hornet at Boeing’s St. Louis plant in 2017 as the service prepared to replace legacy Hornets with Joint Strike Fighters.

In order to reduce operational risk, Navy aviation leaders have said the service needs two to three additional squadrons of Super Hornets as older F/A-18As, Bs, Cs and Ds reach the end of their useful service life.

“We have looked at the F-18 inventory as part of our overall inventory management. The CNO (Chief of Naval Operations) has testified that looking at our inventory from now into the mid-2020s and 2030s — we need about two to three squadrons of Super Hornets to really reduce risk going forward as we procure F-35Cs,” Rear Adm. Michael Manazir, airector of air warfare, told Military​.com in an interview. [Continue reading…]

GSSAP_launch

The head of Air Force Space Command praised the performance of a new military satellite system designed in part to scour space for potential threats.

The service last year launched a pair of satellites as part of the Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program (GSSAP). The spacecraft were built by Orbital Sciences Corp. to track other objects in geosynchronous orbit — a prized belt more than 22,000 miles above the equator where hundreds of military and commercial satellites operate. [Continue reading…]