Source: Defense One

Expect to hear Adm. John Richardson, the chief of naval operations, foot stop that a time or two throughout the Sea-Air-Space convention. Writing in Defense One, Richardson stressed the importance of international partnerships for the Navy. “As we face this new reality, we must recognize that the Navy is a node in many networks — from our sister services to industry, academia and research facilities, and of course, our international allies and partners. Our Navy will be stronger if we recognize these interconnections and work with both new and established partners to support our mutual interests.” More here.

Five possible futures for the Navy. Mark Hagerott, a retired Navy captain who is now a non-resident cyber fellow at New America, writes in Defense One: “With the rise of ever more intelligent machines, and the ability for fleets to act at increasing distances, the relationship between the human operator and technology is in a state of rapid change. Cumulative advances in artificial intelligence could produce a qualitatively new level of reliance on autonomous machines that challenges fundamental theories of war as a human and machine endeavor.” More here.

Russia and China are reshaping naval strategy. Robert Farley in Defense One: “Fundamentally… the purpose of the U.S. Navy is to ensure the ability of America, its allies, and its trading partners to enjoy use of the oceans.” More here.

NATO needs sub-hunting planes. The alliance should pool its resources to buy aircraft to track Russia’s increasingly active submarine force, the Atlantic Council’s Magnus Nordenman writes in Defense One. Nordenman likened the effort to the Strategic Airlift Capability—12-NATO members, plus Sweden and Finland, which have pooled resources to buy and fly C-17 cargo planes. More here.

There’s still a broken Littoral Combat Ship in Singapore. It’s been sitting there since January. And it took the Navy four months to figure out how it would fix the USS Fort Worth. Naval expert Chris Cavas’ take: “Just Make a Decision.” In a commentary piece for Defense News, Cavas writes, “it’s clear that when the Fort Worth was hurt Jan. 12 the Navy’s decision-making apparatus was unprepared and unable to come to a quick and clear consensus.

LCS lessons from Larry Korb. The senior fellow at the Center for American Progress analyzes the events of the past 15 years reveals at least four reasons for the current mess. More here.

Defense News’ Cavas has a interview with Mike Petters, the president and CEO of Huntington Ingalls Industries, the Navy’s largest shipbuilder. More here.

ISIS complex attack hits Taji gas plant. The group brought at least two waves of bombings: a car bomb first to breach the entrance at a state-owned natural gas plant north of Baghdad in Taji on Sunday—followed immediately by as many as eight suicide bombers who entered the facility and fought with Iraqi troops before detonating and killing at least a dozen people and wounding another 24 after managing to set ablaze three gas storage tanks, The Wall Street Journal reported. CNN has a more modest summary (fewer suicide bombers credited, for example), here.

In northern Syria, Turkey and the U.S.-led coalition brought artillery, rockets and airstrikes on ISIS positions north of Aleppo, killing more than two dozen militants. “Five fortified defense posts and two gun posts were destroyed, while 27 fighters were killed in areas less than 10 km (6.2 miles) from Turkey’s Syria border,” Reuters reports this morning of the town of Kilis, which lies just across the frontier from Islamic State-controlled territory in Syria.

And in a reflection of the tensions facing Turkey as it escalates its war next door, a “homemade device” detonated in Istanbul, wounding four overnight, AP reports.

Ankara also struck Kurdish PKK positions near the border with Iran in the Turkish city of Yüksekova, killing 16 fighters, Turkey’s military told Reuters.

Here’s a window into Turkey’s somewhat cautious escalation in and around the Syrian battlespace—via the Journal’s Dion Nissembaum, reporting from Istanbul. “As the next generation of Turkish military officers has moved to rebuild, it has established strong ties with the U.S. and NATO, which are working closely with Turkey in the fight against Islamic State,” Nissembaum writes of Turkey’s military, “which has forced four civilian governments from power since 1960.”

The main man: “U.S. military and diplomatic officials credit Turkey’s top general, Hulusi Akar, with boosting the military’s influence. Mr. Akar, chief of the general staff, speaks English and served in various NATO posts where he established close ties with his military counterparts. Mr. Akar, who took the post in August, also has a strong relationship with Mr. Erdogan, and served this past weekend as an official witness when a defense-industry scion married one of the president’s daughters.” Read the rest, here. More on the ISIS fight below the fold.