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Navy Decommissions USS Ponce Afloat Forward Staging Base

The U.S. Navy has decommissioned its afloat forward staging base USS Ponce after more than 46 years of naval service. The military branch said Saturday it commissioned USS Ponce in 1971 as the final amphibious transport dock ship of the Austin class and refurbished the vessel into an AFSB platform in 2012 to support various …

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Report: 2017 NDAA to Boost Laser Weapon Procurement Budget

The Defense Department will receive a 51 percent increase in funds to procure and develop laser weapons under the fiscal 2017 defense policy bill that President Obama signed into law last week, Military Times reported Wednesday. Shawn Snow writes the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act authorizes roughly $328 million for the development of directed-energy …

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ONR’s Matthew Klunder: Shipboard Laser Weapon Completes Operational Tests

The Office of Naval Research has concluded a three-month operational demonstration in the Persian Gulf of a shipboard laser weapon system that was integrated with the existing defense systems of the U.S. Navy‘s USS Ponce. David Smalley reports Wednesday that LaWS destroyed moving at-sea and airborne targets, including a small boat and an unmanned aerial vehicle, during …

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Navy Deploys Ship-Based Prototype Laser Weapon in Persian Gulf

A U.S. Navy amphibious transport ship that patrols the Persian Gulf has been carrying a prototype laser weapon that works to counter drones, small vessels and other enemy targets since its August deployment to the region, Bloomberg reported Saturday. Tony Capaccio writes that the Laser Weapon System on USS Ponce was deployed as part of …

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Chuck Hagel: US On Board With Middle East Partners

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel sought to reassure Persian Gulf region allies during his recent Bahrain visit that the U.S. is committed to security in the Middle East, Reuters reported Friday. David Alexander writes Middle East leaders have expressed concern about U.S. response to the civil war in Syria and the …

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