The Navy is about to “go back to the future” by establishing a Navy Expeditionary Combat Command that will oversee units tailored to operate in rivers and coastal environments such as the Swift Boat fleet of the Vietnam War. Otto Kreisher of Copley News Service reports that the new command will have some 40,000 sailors who can conduct close-in combat of the type prevalent in the Global War on Terror. (One might say the Navy is taking a line from USAF’s air expeditionary approach, but Air Force officials have acknowledged they looked at early Navy models when setting up the AEF concept.) The Navy plans to combine present-day Seabees, explosive ordinance disposal teams, and other elements such as dive and salvage units and coastal warfare and logistics forces.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.