Magazine article National Defense

Editor's Corner

Magazine article National Defense

Editor's Corner

Article excerpt

The U.S. Special Operations Command had seen its modernization funds drop considerably in recent years, but the budgetary outlook is much brighter now. During the next five years, the command will receive an extra $3.4 billion that had not been planned before September 11. The money will be used mostly for aircraft modernization and other programs. However, there are still concerns about shortfalls in the science and technology accounts assigned for the special operations forces. More details on this topic can be found on page 40.

Meanwhile, Pentagon officials are sorting out their priorities in the research and development arena, which also has seen an influx of new funding. The Defense Department research, development, test and evaluation budgets saw a 10 percent hike--$5.5 billion--in fiscal 2003. The reshaped priorities include winning the war on terrorism, improving joint war fighting capabilities and various initiatives aimed toward the "transformation" of the armed services. You can read more about this on page 18.

Our cover story this month takes us to the waters off the coast of North Carolina, where representatives from the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Army tested an Australian catamaran, called the Joint Venture. The services are considering this ship as an alternative to current transport vessels. Originally designed as a car ferry, the catamaran can operate in only 12 feet of water, so it can get close to the shore. It could operate both in deep seas and coastal waters. …

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