Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Carter's second term ...

Like I said - the military will get cut worstest and firstest. Via DailyCaller,
... the White House plans to eliminate over a trillion defense dollars in the next ten years. Details of those proposed cuts were laid out by Rep. Barney Frank’s (D-MA) Sustainable Defense Task Force in a 56 page report titled: Debt, Deficits, & Defense – A Way Forward. None of the service arms are spared.

The Navy will be reduced to eight aircraft carriers (from twelve planned) and seven air wings. Eight ballistic missile submarines will be cut from the planned force of 14, leaving just six. Building of nuclear attack submarines will be cut in half, leaving a force of 40 by 2020. The four active guided missile submarines would be cut, too. Destroyer building would be frozen and the new DDG-1000 destroyer program cancelled. Among other huge cuts, the fleet is to be reduced to 230 combat ships, eliminating 57 vessels from a current force level of 287.
... and people thought I was being alarmist when I said 220 after the election. The details are worse.

It gets better ...
The Air Force must retire six fighter air wings equivalents, and at the same time build 301 fewer F-35 fighters. The nuclear bomber force will be completely eliminated in the name of unilateral disarmament—the B-1 and B-2 and B-52 and other bombers will still be able to drop bombs, but their nuclear weapon wiring and controls will simply be removed. Procurement of the new refueling tanker and the C-17 cargo aircraft will be cancelled. Directed energy beam research and other advanced missile and space warfare defense projects will also be eliminated or curtailed.

Active duty Army personnel will be slashed from 562,400 to 360,000. That includes elimination of about five active-component brigade combat teams (the report is not exactly). The Army will also suffer a myriad of other cuts, including closure of overseas bases.

The Marine Corps would be cut by 30%, from 202,000 to 145,000, and the other funding cuts planned for the Corps mean the United States will not be able to mount a major amphibious landing on any hostile shore. Marine Corps programs to be killed include the V-22 Osprey tilt rotor aircraft and the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle.
Elections mean things. We have one in NOV. If you want to take power away from Barney Frank (D-MA) - then vote in NOV.

Cuts will need to be made - but they need to be made in a way that does not take away our nation's ability to project power.

Funny - when you read this report you almost thing that is the Democrat's aim ... but they don't call it that. Oh, no. This is even funnier - they show a little ankle here - in the document they call it, “Strategy of Restraint.”

That has a great track record - especially for a nation at war. We are at war, you do know that - right?

Petraeus sets his board ...

From Spencer Ackerman over at Wired. You can play the theme to A-team if you'd like. Nice.
It’ll be another few days before the Senate formally votes to confirm General David Petraeus as the new top commander of the Afghanistan war. But it looks like he’s sparing no time assembling his posse. Danger Room has learned that Brigadier General H.R. McMaster is headed to Afghanistan to become Petraeus’ new “Deputy J5,” a top officer in charge of plans.
I'd like to work for that guy.

Petraeus is all in - as you would expect. He's got a year. Everyone get out of his way.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The wages of D1 football ....

Again, tell me why a military academy needs to mimic all the sleeze of a major university? Seriously?

How many years have we warned about the integrity destroying, corrosive nature of a mindless focus on D1 football - a place where a Service Academy has no reason being?

Well; behold.

From our buds over at NavyTimes (again!)
Andrew and Phil,
The IG’s probe found that a fund set up by the academy’s business services division to cover many entertainment expenses was “an unauthorized, off-the-books account that is improper on its face. Its existence is a sham, and it was used much as in the business definition of a ‘slush fund,’ i.e., to pay for things from a pool of money with little accountability required,” IG concluded.

The fund was created in April 2007, using about $95,000 of corporate sponsorship money that the academy received for participation in the 2006 Meineke Car Care Bowl football game, the IG report said.
The wages of slush ...
A sprawling financial scandal at the Naval Academy — involving extravagant parties and a “slush fund” — was an embarrassment that helped lead to an early exit for the school’s superintendent, Navy Times has learned.

Vice Adm. Jeffrey Fowler faced “administrative action” in April as a result of a year-long Naval Inspector General’s investigation, said Rear Adm. Denny Moynihan, the Navy’s top spokesman.
...
Navy Times received a copy of the investigation report Monday afternoon after a longstanding Freedom of Information Act request. Moynihan spoke later Monday afternoon in response to queries about the report.

The IG investigation found that Naval Academy officials working under Fowler had created a “sham” bank account that helped fund things like a $10,000 party for the academy’s golf association and $1,000 worth of wine for a dinner party at the superintendent’s house.
...
• Annual spending of $400,000 or more for academy-sponsored tailgate events at football bowl games over the past six years.

• Spending $157,000 to purchase an 18-wheel tractor trailer truck for the academy’s football team.

• Spending $325,000 to purchase an antique airplane model that hangs in the front entrance to Dahlgren Hall.

• Spending $3,715,187 on video production services to create recruiting videos.

• Spending several million dollars to renovate the dining facilities of the Naval Academy Club and the Club at Greenbury Point.

Also as a result of the investigation, Robert Parsons, the academy’s deputy for finance, was given a five-day suspension without pay, Moynihan said.

A third official, whose name was not released, was also reprimanded, Moynihan said.
Some of the above is debatable on either side - but where is the alumni association or foundation? At most major universities, that is where those gifts come from - but; did you see that? I fell into the trap as well.

The United States Naval Academy is NOT a major university. It is a Service Academy where you happen to get a Bachelor's degree from.

It needs to focus on its core mission - building leaders. All else is vanity. If you want D1 football and fancy alumni facilities - then do what I did; go NROTC at a major university.

While the CNO collects vanity Diversity awards ....

We warned you years ago. From the same report we blogg'd on last week - this is what is happening in the Fleet.
The advanced radar systems aboard U.S. cruisers and destroyers are in their worst shape ever, according to an independent probe into U.S. Navy readiness, raising questions about the surface fleet's ability to take on its high-profile new mission next year defending Europe from ballistic missiles.

Poor training, impenetrable bureaucracy and cultural resignation have caused a spike in the number of technical problems and a dip in the operational performance of the Aegis system, considered the crown jewel of the U.S. surface force, the investigation found.

And if that's the situation with Aegis - which includes warships' iconic, hexagonal SPY 1 radar arrays - the panel wondered what that could mean for other, lower-profile equipment.

"The SPY radar has historically been the best supported system in the surface Navy, and coincidentally supports one of the most critical Navy missions today: ballistic missile defense. Yet SPY manpower, parts, training and performance are in decline."

If that's the case, the report said, "it can be assumed that less important systems could well be in worse material condition."
...
Although sailors and other observers have said before that cuts in crew sizes hurt readiness, Balisle's report is the first to detail so many problems with Aegis, widely considered the world's finest seagoing radar and combat system. It is so powerful and adaptable, in fact, the Obama administration is counting on it becoming a permanent ballistic missile defense shield for Europe next year, taking the place of ground-based sensors and weapons as U.S. warships make standing patrols in the Mediterranean.

But Aegis, like the rest of the fleet, has become a victim of personnel cuts and the Navy's labyrinthine internal organization, the report said. Casualty reports are up 41 percent from fiscal year 2004, and those requiring technical assistance are up 45 percent.

Over the same period, SPY radar performance, as observed by the Board of Inspection and Survey, has steadily worsened for cruisers and destroyers.
Everyone buy Phil Ewing a beer - he is doing incredibly important work, and another beer for Admiral Harvey because he is encouraging hard questions and open discussion.
What's causing it? The panel found many reasons, including:

■ There aren't enough qualified people in the right jobs.

Sailors aren't fully trained on maintaining the radars.

■ It's too much work navigating the Navy bureaucracy to order replacement parts, and as such, crews have grown to accept "degradation," Balisle's panel found.

For example, ships are not ordering replacement voltage regulators, the report said, which SPY radars need to help manage their prodigious consumption of ship's power. Crews aren't ordering them because technicians can't get the money to buy spares, so commanders are knowingly taking a risk in operating their Aegis systems without replacements.

"The technicians can't get the money to buy spare parts," the report said. "They haven't been trained to the requirement. They can't go to their supervisor because, in the case of the DDGs, they likely are the supervisor. They can't repair the radar through no fault of their own, but over time, the non-responsiveness of the Navy system, the acceptance of the SPY degradation by the Navy system and their seniors, officers and chiefs alike, will breed (if not already) a culture that tolerates poor system performance. The fact that requests for technical assistance are up Navy-wide suggests there is a diminished self-sufficiency in the surface force. Sailors are losing their sense of ownership of their equipment and are more apt to want others to fix it."

Naval expert A.D. Baker III, a retired Office of Naval Intelligence analyst and longtime editor of "Combat Fleets of the World," called the Balisle findings "utterly damning."

"The Aegis readiness shortfall is just one of a vast number of problems related to pushing people too far and not giving them the training or funding resources to carry out their duties properly," Baker said.

He said the report's findings showed the Defense Department's priorities for European ballistic missile defense had been misplaced.

"This will significantly affect our putative BMD capability. The [Pentagon's] money is going to missile development and procurement, not to maintenance of the detection and tracking system - without which the best missiles in the world won't be of much use."
Priorities.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Consitutional canary lives ...

Really though, all of the Bill of Rights and each Amendment to the Constitution are canaries in the freedom coal mine .... and some of them - such as the 10th - are already on the bottom of the cage twitching; but there are two Amendments that the enemies of individual liberty are always trying to kill, the 1st and the 2nd.

Well - this has been a very strong year for the 2nd. From The Examiner.
In the landmark case of McDonald v. Chicago, 08-1521, the Supreme Court has ruled that the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms applies against state and local governments. This lawsuit was brought by Otis McDonald, a Chicago resident who had suffered multiple burglaries and wished to have a handgun for self defense against criminals.

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court today held that an individual right to keep and bear arms was among the fundamental guarantees protected against state and local infringement. This is an expansion of the right to keep and bear arms that the Court recognized as applying against only the Federal Government in the D.C. v. Heller case, in which the Washington, D.C. handgun ban was struck down.

Writing for the Court, Justice Alito stated that “A provision in the Bill of Rights that protects a right that is fundamental from an American perspective applies equally to the federal government and the states," Although the 5 justices in the majority differ as to whether it is the Due Process clause or the Privileges or Immunities Clause which causes the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms to apply against state and local governments, they are in agreement that it does in fact apply.
Good links, gulp, at the NYT, and pathetic spin at SeeBS.

I highly encourage you to read Justice Thomas's concurring opinion here, but let's go to the actual opinion written by Justice Alito. This is just a taste at the goodie that is there.

Congress, however, ultimately deemed these legislative remedies insufficient. Southern resistance, Presidential vetoes, and this Court's pre-Civil-War precedent persuaded Congress that a constitutional amendment was necessary to provide full protection for the rights of blacks.[ 24 ] Today, it is generally accepted that the Fourteenth Amendment was understood to provide a constitutional basis for protecting the rights set out in the Civil Rights Act of 1866. See General Building Contractors Assn., Inc. v. Pennsylvania, 458 U. S. 375, 389 (1982); see also Amar, Bill of Rights 187; Calabresi, Two Cheers for Professor Balkin's Originalism, 103 Nw. U. L. Rev. 663, 669-670 (2009).

In debating the Fourteenth Amendment, the 39th Congress referred to the right to keep and bear arms as a fundamental right deserving of protection. Senator Samuel Pomeroy described three "indispensable" "safeguards of liberty under our form of Government." 39th Cong. Globe 1182. One of these, he said, was the right to keep and bear arms:

"Every man . . . should have the right to bear arms for the defense of himself and family and his homestead. And if the cabin door of the freedman is broken open and the intruder enters for purposes as vile as were known to slavery, then should a well-loaded musket be in the hand of the occupant to send the polluted wretch to another world, where his wretchedness will forever remain complete." Ibid.
Even those who thought the Fourteenth Amendment unnecessary believed that blacks, as citizens, "have equal right to protection, and to keep and bear arms for selfdefense." Id., at 1073 (Sen. James Nye); see also Foner 258-259.f
That, my friends, is from the top rope.

One note of caution here though - be happy but also understand that this was 5-4. 4 Justices do not see the Constitution as what it is - a protector of individual liberty.

Know their minds to bolster yours; read the dissenting opinions by Stevens here and the other three; Breyer, Ginsburg, and Sotomajor here.

Rejoice - but keep your powder dry. The Statist does not sleep; neither should you.

Need more personnel savings?

Here you go.

As you know - the thing our Navy needs right now is another acronym laden pet project of someone's that is a redundant TAD/BSC vampire of a time suck.
R 241849Z JUN 10
FM CNO WASHINGTON DC//N1//
TO NAVADMIN
INFO CNO WASHINGTON DC//N1//
NAVADMIN 207/10
BT
UNCLAS//N01500//
MSGID/GENADMIN/CNO WASHINGTON DC/N1/JUN//
SUBJ/COALITION OF SAILORS AGAINST DESTRUCTIVE DECISIONS//
REF/A/DOC/OPNAVINST 1500.80/18JUN2010//
AMPN/REF A OUTLINES THE POLICY AND GUIDANCE OF THE COALITION OF SAILORS AGAINST DESTRUCTIVE DECISIONS (CSADD) PROGRAM//
RMKS/1. THIS NAVADMIN ANNOUNCES THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE PEER MENTORING PROGRAM: COALITION OF SAILORS AGAINST DESTRUCTIVE DECISIONS (CSADD). THE DEVELOPMENT OF THIS PROGRAM AND ITS CONSTRUCT IS DESIGNED AS A RESOURCE AND TOOL FOR OUR SAILORS, RESERVE OFFICER TRAINING CORPS (ROTC)CANDIDATES AND JUNIOR RESERVE OFFICER TRAINING CORPS (JROTC) PROGRAMS TO PROMOTE GOOD DECISION MAKING PROCESSES, ENABLING LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT AND INFLUENCE AMONGST PEERS AT THE MOST JUNIOR LEVELS.
2. PROGRAM APPLICATION. THIS PROGRAM APPLIES TO ALL ACTIVE AND RESERVE NAVAL COMPONENTS WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY (DON). ROTC UNITS AND JROTC ARE ALSO ENCOURAGED TO UTILIZE THIS PROGRAM AS A TOOL TO PROMOTE GOOD DECISION MAKING AMONG PEERS.
3. CSADD CONCEPT. THIS PEER INFLUENCE SOCIAL GROUP IS DESIGNED FOR YOUNG LEADERS 18 TO 25 YEARS OF AGE. CSADD IS DESIGNED TO BE LED BY OUR YOUNG SAILORS PROVIDING THEM THE OPPORTUNITY TO CREATE SOCIAL NETWORKING, COMMUNICATION TOOLS, AND VISUAL AIDS FOR THEIR PEER GROUP TO ENABLE GOOD DECISION MAKING. THIS PROGRAM PROVIDES GREAT POTENTIAL FOR SOCIAL INTERACTION AS WELL AS ENHANCING AND DEVELOPING LEADERSHIP
SKILLS IN OUR MOST JUNIOR SAILORS.
4. CSADD SUPPORT STRUCTURE. THE ORGANIZATIONAL ARCHITECTURE DESIGNED TO SUPPORT THE CSADD PROGRAM IS COMPRISED OF THREE MAIN BODIES:
A. COALITION OF LEADERS ENABLING THE SUCCESS OF SAILORS BOARD OF ADVISORS (COLESS BOA). THIS BOARD PROVIDES RESOURCE TOPICS AND INFORMATION FOR DISTRIBUTION TO ALL CHAPTERS. THE BOA MEMBERS ARE COMPOSED OF: COMMANDER, NAVAL INSTALLATION COMMAND (CNIC), NAVAL SAFETY CENTER (NSC), AND OPNAV, PERSONAL READINESS AND COMMUNITY SUPPORT BRANCH N135.
B. REGIONAL MAIN CHAPTERS - ESTABLISHED AT EACH REGION WITHIN CNIC.
C. COMMAND SUB CHAPTERS - ESTABLISHED AT INDIVIDUAL COMMANDS AND LED BY THE JUNIOR SAILORS 18-25 YEARS OF AGE WITH COMMAND GUIDANCE AND SPONSORSHIP PROVIDED BY THE COMMAND MASTER CHIEF/SENIOR ENLISTED LEADER. REF A OUTLINES THE ROLES, POLICY, AND GUIDANCE OF THESE ORGANIZATIONS FOR MAINTAINING AND SUPPORTING THE CSADD INITIATIVE.
5. CSADD MONTHLY TRAINING TOPICS. EACH MONTH WE WILL HAVE AN ASSIGNED TRAINING TOPIC, AS LISTED BELOW. THESE TOPICS WILL BE USED AS A READY REFERENCE FOR THE CSADD CHAPTERS IN DEVELOPING THEIR MESSAGE TO THEIR SHIPMATES. THE CSADD FACEBOOK PAGE WILL BE MANAGED FROM THE OFFICE OF THE NAVY'S TOTAL FORCE FLEET MASTER CHIEF. REFERENCE INFORMATION AND LINKS WILL BE POSTED ON THE CSADD FACEBOOK PAGE. IN ADDITION, CHAPTERS CAN POST INFORMATION ON THE BEST PRACTICES THEY ARE USING TO SUPPORT THEIR CHAPTER VIA THE DISCUSSION TAB ON THE CSADD FACEBOOK PAGE. FOR EXISTING FACEBOOK SUBSCRIBERS, ACCESS TO THE CSADD FAN PAGE CAN BE GAINED BY TYPING COALITION OF SAILORS AGAINST DESTRUCTIVE DECISIONS IN THE SEARCH ENGINE. ONCE ON THE PAGE, CLICK THE BOX ENTITLED "BECOME A FAN" AND YOU WILL RECEIVE PAGE UPDATES AND POSTS ON A REGULAR BASIS. THE MONTHLY TOPIC AREAS LISTED BELOW ARE DESIGNED AS KEY FOCAL POINTS FOR EACH MONTH FOR THE REMAINDER OF 2010. THERE WILL BE TWO KEY FOCUS AREAS EACH MONTH. THE DESIGNATED TOPICS ARE AS FOLLOWS:
A. JUL - FINANCIAL FREEDOM/FIRE SAFETY AND AT-HOME SAFETY
B. AUG - MEDICINE ABUSE AWARENESS/HURRICANE TYPHOON AWARENESS
C. SEP - NATIONAL SOBRIETY CHECKPOINT/SUICIDE PREVENTION
D. OCT - DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PREVENTION/ROAD SAFETY
E. NOV - GREAT AMERICAN SMOKE OUT/FINANCIAL ALTERNATIVES
F. DEC - DRUNK AND DRUGGED DRIVING/ROAD HAZARDS (SNOW/ICE/SLEEP DEPRIVATION) 6. THESE KEY FOCAL TRAINING TOPICS ARE DESIGNED TO PROVOKE THOUGHT AND INSPIRE YOUNG LEADERS WITHIN OUR NAVY COMMUNITY TO DISCUSS THESE ISSUES AMONGST THEIR PEER GROUP AND CREATE AWARENESS THROUGH A VARIETY OF SOCIAL NETWORKS AND ACTIVITIES, ALL OF WHICH
SHOULD BE DEVELOPED AND EXECUTED AT THE MOST JUNIOR LEVEL. CSADD ENCOURAGES POSITIVE INFLUENCE AND BEHAVIOR WHILE AT THE SAME TIME BRINGING TOGETHER ON-LINE SOCIAL NETWORKING WITH PEER INTERACTION, AND IN PERSON NETWORKING, REINFORCING THE MESSAGE OF SHIPMATES HELPING SHIPMATES. ALL COMMANDS ARE HIGHLY ENCOURAGED TO ENERGIZE THIS GROUP OF LEADERS IN GROWING SUCCESS WITHIN THEIR COMMANDS AND THROUGHOUT OUR NAVY.
7. POINT OF CONTACT: YN1(AW) MONICA xxxx, CNO (N1) ASSISTANT TO THE FLEET MASTER CHIEF FOR NAVY'S TOTAL FORCE, (703) 697-xxxx OR VIA E-MAIL: MONICA.xxxx(AT)NAVY.MIL.
8. RELEASED BY VADM MARK FERGUSON, N1.//
BT
#0000
NNNN
Here is what this tells me.

CNO N1 has determined that the following entities in the United States Navy are failures, do not do their job, and must be replaced.
- Commanding Officer.
- Executive Officer.
- Chief's Mess.
- Wardroom.
- Leading Petty Officers.
- Chaplain Corps.
- NR&R.
- GMT.

Good googly moogly this reaks of some non-warfare qualified and/or paid consultant's self-justification project. Let's put the entire Navy under a PhD in Social Work, why don't we? Just step back and ponder the amount of work that would have to be invested in this program if it was taken seriously and executed Fleet-wide.

Sounds nice? Sure? Something that needs to be slathered on top of everything else we have - at least a half-dozen which already have it in their charter to do? No.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Episode 27: Merchant Marine and the USMC Mid-Year Update


UPDATE: The host had a personal emergency that prevented the show from going live. My apologies. I am working with our guests for a reschedule. Single point of failure and all ...
Join
EagleOne and me this Sunday, 5pm EST as we discuss the state of the United States Merchant Marine with Fred Fry of FredFryInternational for the first half-hour. We'll discuss everything from where we get our Merchant Mariners, the state of our merchant fleet, to the now infamous Jones Act.

For the second half of the show we will have returning guest Mark Stanovich, LtCol, USMCR. We'll pivot and discuss the latest run on the USMC's core mission and plans for a dramatic reduction in the Corps, the creation of Regional Command Southwest in Afghanistan, and some other tasty tidbits along the way.

Join us live if you can and pile in with the usual suspects in the chat room during the show where you can offer your own questions and observations to our guests. If you miss the show or want to catch up on the shows you missed - you can always reach the archives at blogtalkradio - or set yourself to get the podcast on iTunes.

Listen to Midrats on Blog Talk Radio

Fullbore Friday

She was a Sumner Class DD. Eight Battle Stars over three wars ... but let's go back to the Korean War ... and remind ourselves of what is still out there ... waiting ... and what a well made ship, a well led crew, and a little luck can get you.
About 1230I on the 30th, an urgent dispatch directed the MANSFIELD and SWENSON to proceed at best speed possible to Lat 38°45'N, Long 128°15'E to assist a B-26 aircraft reported down at that point. The distance was about 60 miles north of the MANSFIELD. At 1445I the ship went to General Quarters and set Material Condition Able, executing this routine exercise with more thatn usual vigor upon hearing from the SAR plane on the scene that small arms fire had been received from the beach. At 1450I the ship reported on the scene and commenced searching. At 1500I, with the L.K. SWENSON lying to outside the 50 fathom curve, to cover our approach, the entry to Choson Ko begun. The approach was made at slow speed, heading so that the reported position of the plane wreckage would be on the starboard bow. A second plane was now on the scene, a B-178 with a rescue boat. The SAR plane, when requested to make another pass over the wreckage it had reported approximately 500 yards east of Toi To Island, again drew machine gun fire which could clearly be heard on the ship.

The ship had stopped engines at 1535I, and at 1536I both engines were backed to bring the way off, at a point 2,200 yards from the reported wreckage, in 12 fathoms of water. Some objects were now visible in the cove near the beach; a raft of logs about 3,000 yards to port, some net buoys about 3,000 yards ahead. At 1539I a sonar contact was identified as shoal, Chu Rai.

No sign of the suspected wreckage was seen by the many lookouts and officers on the bridge of the
MANSFIELD. Neither was anything seen in the water near the ship. The mine lookout, recently stationed in the eyes of the ship with rifle and binoculars, reporting nothing.

After backing clear to the vicinity of the L.K. SWENSON, a distance of four miles, engines were stopped and an account made of the casualties and damage. Radio reports were sent to cognizant commanders. Early analysis of the damage accurately established the water tight bulkhead forward at frame 48. This bulkhead was shored while wounded were carried to the battle dressing station in the wardroom. the Commanding Officer called repeatedly for an estimate of casualties particularly dead and missing. Finally an all hands muster on abandon ship parade confirmed the previous on-battle-station muster of NONE missing or dead. After this cheerful report was passed to all hands, the work of treating the twenty-eight wounded, of building shores, and of pumping tanks proceeded with greater expedition. Three weeks after the explosion the fact that not a man was lost of even crippled remains a miracle.
Please, read more at the links.

Check out this Fullbore timeline. Littoral warfare and fighting hurt; yea, we've got that.
CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER OF EVENTS
30 SEPTEMBER 1950

1227 Departed area of Point "Easy", Lat 37°56'N, Long 128°54'E, in company with USS LYMAN K. SWENSON DD729 proceeding at 25 knots to a point Lat 38°45'N, Long 128°15;E, to investigate a report of a downed American B-26 in accordance CTG 95.2 instructions.
1239 Established radio communications with SAR plane.
1445 Small arms fire reported on the beach. Manned General Quarters Stations.
1450 Commenced approach to Chosen Ko. USS SWENSON standing by to seaward.
MANSFIELD on course 286°T, speed 10 knots.
1500 Commenced entry, on course 205°T.
1504 Slowed to 5 knots.
1508 Increased to 10 knots.
1509 Plane reported possible wreckage 1/4 to 1/2 mile east of small island (Toi To).
1513 Slowed to 5 knots.
1533 SAR plane reported directly over wreckage.
1534 SAR plane reported objects at mouth of inner bay, appeared to be a life preserver and box.
1536 Objects, apparently logs, sighted on port beam 3000 yards.
1538 All engines stopped. Lying to.
1539 Sonar reported contact on port bow, 1200 to 1300 yards. Identified as 4 3/4 fathom shoal (Chu Rai).
1547 Explosion port side forward. All engines back full. Backed clear of minefield, lying to outside 50 fathom curve in vicinity L.K. SWENSON.
1737 All engines ahead 1/3 (3 knots).
1850 Changed speed to 8 knots.
2108 Stopped for transfer of wounded to USS HELENA.
2245 Underway at speed 8 knots as guide of formation.
2346 Changed speed to 10 knots.
Now let's talk about the ship for a bit.

Of course, she is a Bath Iron Works ship - that should tell you a lot - but let's look at the stats.
Class and type: Allen M. Sumner class destroyer
Displacement: 2,200 tons
Length: 376 ft 6 in
Beam: 40 ft
Draft: 15 ft 8 in
Propulsion: 60,000 shp (45 MW); 2 propellers
Speed: 34 knots
Range: 6500 nmi. @ 15 kt
Complement: 336
Armament: 6 × 5 in./38 guns (12 cm),
12 × 40mm AA guns,
11 × 20mm AA guns,
10 × 21 in. torpedo tubes,
6 × depth charge projectors,
2 × depth charge tracks
... and yes, I'm going there.

Now the
Little Crappy Ship.
Class and type: Littoral Combat Ship
Displacement: 3,000 metric tons
Length: 378 ft
Beam: 57.4 ft (17.5 m)
Draft: 12.8 ft (3.9 m)
Propulsion: 2 Rolls-Royce MT30 36 MW gas turbines, 2 Colt-Pielstick diesel engines, 4 Rolls-Royce waterjets
Speed: 47 knots
Range: 3,500 nm at 18 knots
Complement: 75-100

Armament:
1x BAE Systems Mk 110 57 mm gun,
2x .50-cal machine guns
21x RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile Surface-to-Air Missiles
45 NLOS missiles
Yes, LCS is larger than a WWII-Vietnam era destroyer. Of course, NLOS is vapor-ware. The Army has CANX it. Still not proven on land or at sea.

I am glad that the LCS is fast - because it better run away fast from the cutting edge of 1940-60s technology. That's ok though. It will run out of fuel fast enough that in our time-warp sea battle - the dash would find her and the DD could stand off at a respectful distance and plunk away with its six 5"/38s. It will only take a hit or two.

Oh, we'll even give the LCS a helo. Good luck getting close to MANSFIELD. Those 5"/38s have quite a track record against sub-200 knots targets. That one 57mm might break or jam after awhile - and it can't shoot aft ... that would be bad.

Here is a fun fact; the widdle LCS's 57mm has a
max range of 9 mn - about 1,000 yds more than the standard load for the 5"/38. At that range - it takes a round about a minute to reach the target. Both ships are very maneuverable. On top of that - LCS cannot fire from the stern and would have to turn and close the MANSFIELD. Optically guided, ahem, or even if it was fully online - you will not get hits at max range.

In a gun battle - numbers matter. The number of turrets you have gives you redundency in case of mechanical failure or battle damage. It also gives you some wiggle room on your fire control solution as two ships move a lot. It is easier to kill a rabbit with a shotgun than a rifle when it is running.

The closer you get, the more accurate your fire as the round spends less time in the air. You also need a large magazine and multiple magazines. Inaccurate fire means you need to put a lot down range in hope you get a hit. Magazines can have failures just like turrets can.

When you get closer - odds are you will get hit too - multiple times. You need to fight when hurt. You need enough crew for DC, and fighting the ship. How many hits could the MANSFIELD take? Yea ... I think we know that.

How many hits from a 5"/38 HE rounds could LCS take? I vote one.

OK shipmate - you can ride the 1971 version of the USS MANSFIELD or you can ride the 2010 version of the LCS. You are 20,000 yards apart and both of you want that nuclear weapon floating adrift on a tramp steamer off of San Diego. ,,,, Wait ... I am changing the rules here for a second. Don't get upset; just pray I don't change them again.

MANSFIELD has a DASH. LCS has a FIRESCOUT - after all - Firescout is so much more transformational than a silly manned helo with those pesky and expensive Sailors on them. I would give LCS something to fight with besides NLOS - but it doesn't exist. Sorry - you're stuck with your 57/30/12.7mm; but at least you're wearing NWU.

OK, pick your ship. Just give me a second to get my long sleeve wash khaki uniform from the attic. Heck ... liberty was better in 1971 anyway.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

URR will be conducting uniform inspections today ..

And every Marine lives for things like this ... the cover .... the hair ... the fit of the jacket ....

Behold the new COMISAF until Gen. Petraeus comes online; Lt. Gen. Sir Nicholas Parker, KCB, CBE, British Army.


Now that we have had fun - here is a serious fact. He knows this war as a leader and as a father; almost a year ago;
The son of one of Britain's most senior army officers has been severely injured in a roadside bomb blast in Afghanistan, it was reported today.

Captain Harry Parker, 26, is reported to have lost a leg in the blast and surgeons believe he may lose the other one. He has been flown back to Britain where he is being treated at Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham and is understood to be very seriously ill.

His father, Sir Nick Parker, the Army's third most senior officer, returned from holiday after learning of his son's injuries.

A military source said: “General Sir Nick, his wife and the whole family are understandably devastated by what has happened to Harry. The general understands the risk more than most but it is still an appalling thing for any parent to go through.”

Gen Parker will become the most senior British officer in Afghanistan in September when he takes over as deputy commander of Nato forces.

His son was leading a foot patrol of the 4th Battalion The Rifles when he is believed to have trodden on a pressure pad which set off an improvised explosive device on Saturday morning in the Nad Ali area of Helmand in southern Afghanistan.
All is well.

Hat tip Daniel Foster NRO.

Lean Manning goes Salamander

BZ to Phil Ewing, he has been hounding the Lean Manning FOD for a long time - just as we have here. Let's count this as another Team Salamander WIN!

I expect reports on water being wet any day now. From the 28 JUN NavyTimes and other places;
An independent probe into the state of the U.S. Navy's surface force has found widespread, systemic dysfunction in its manning, readiness and training, and repudiates much of the service's high-level decision-making in the last decade.

The report - commissioned by Adm. John Harvey, the Fleet Forces commander, and produced by a seven-member panel led by retired Vice Adm. Phillip Balisle that included two serving rear admirals - warns that unless the Navy mends its ways, it will continue to see surface ships condemned in inspections and sail unready to fight.

Although sailors and Navy observers have pointed before to many of the problems and trends that Balisle's "fleet review panel" uncovered, the report provides the clearest, most detailed look yet at how a preoccupation with saving money drove the surface Navy to a low point.

"It appears the effort to derive efficiencies has overtaken our culture of effectiveness," the Balisle report says. "The material readiness of the surface force is well below acceptable levels to support reliable, sustained operations at sea and preserve ships to their full service life expectancy. Moreover, the present readiness trends are down."

How did it happen? Driven by top-level pressure to be as efficient as possible, Navy leaders in the early 2000s made a series of interrelated decisions to cut sailors, reform training, "streamline" fleet maintenance and take other steps in keeping with the philosophy then en vogue of "running the Navy like a business."

The fleet organized itself into layers of "enterprises," which thickened already legendary layers of military bureaucracy and made command relationships difficult to understand, the panel found.
Good googly moogly. All the Navy needed to do is pay for Skippy-san and myself to lock ourselves away in a conference room in Singapore for a weekend and we would have told them the same thing years ago for 1/10th the price. Or they could have read our blogs.

In summary; give the COs what they need to take care of their ships. Cut the bloated shore bureaucracy. Stop the happy talk, that is how you got here. Exhibit 1.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead said that the move to "optimal manning" made practical sense earlier this decade, but "changes to the structure ashore, changes in some of the oversight functions" have come to hurt ships' ability to train, do maintenance and fight."
That is not clear and direct talk. That ignores facts. Why not just say that we made a mistake? It never made sense. Never at the pier. Never in the wardroom. Clark, Mullen, Roughead - this is your baby; name it and claim it.
Between 1994 and 1999, about 3.5 percent of ships failed inspections by the Board of Inspection and Survey, Balisle's commission found. From 2005 to 2009, almost 14 percent of ships failed. Not only does this hurt the fleet of today, it means the Navy can't keep around the ships it says are vital to building its hoped-for fleet of at least 313.

"Independent reports indicate that if the surface force stays on the course that it is presently on, DDGs will achieve 25-27 years of service life instead of the 30 years planned and 40 years of extended service life desired," the report says.

Even the highest-profile and most vital system aboard the Navy's front-line warships - Aegis - fails much more often than panel members expected; technical problems with cruisers' and destroyers' SPY-1 radars have gone up by 45 percent since 2004, the report said. But because of smaller crews, poor training and the complicated bureaucracy of getting repairs or replacement parts, many ships sail while "consciously accepting degradation."
See that years of service? The Terrible 20s just got worse.

Where is accountability?

For half a decade, there have been outstanding officers, SWO and EDO who have been telling me their tale of woe. If this is a shock to the CNO in 2010 then it is his fault. I am just a garden variety, work-a-day retired CDR. On active duty, I was just the guy stage right on CNO calls - and I knew this. Why did I know this? I watched, listened, and asked.
But Mueller would not comment on specific recommendations in Balisle's report, including precise numbers for how many sailors the panel thinks the Navy needs: 4,496 new sea billets and 2,028 shore and maintenance billets, for a total of 6,524 new billets. Those numbers are based on an overall recommendation that surface ships be automatically manned at 110 percent over their base level, to account for the roughly 8 percent effective loss of crew the committee discovered across the board.
Once again - I can help you find those billets to shift from shore to sea - you just have to be willing to accept some high-freq squealing. Sailors belong on ships; ships belong at sea.

The USMC in the last few years did a scrub of those Marines who had not deployed in the last few years. We should do the same. Examine the billets and designators that they come from. That can help justify what needs to be done. And yes, because it is THU - start by
cutting 66.66% of these billets and related ones throughout the Fleet. You'll save a bundle of money on TAD as well - enough to send more Sailors to schools to do things like teach you fix radars and repair pumps.

What 4-star comes out of this looking good? Admiral Harvey - he is the one that charged Balisle with assessing fleet readiness last September. Methinks he knew this was a problem for years. This is the only way to get the word out without being crushed. We all have our place in the Navy ecosystem. BZ to him as well.

Diversity Thursday

Behold the benign acts of the official bigot. Behold how sectarianism has become so - well - accepted.
Public Affairs
Sent: Wednesday, June 16, 2010 XX:1XX
To: ALL_NAVYRESERVE@WWW.LISTSERV.NAVY.MIL
Subject: CNRFC: National LATINA Symposium "Distinguished Service" Award Criteria

National LATINA Symposium "Distinguished Service" Award Criteria (Navy instructions)

LATINA Style Magazine has become an influential publication reaching the contemporary Hispanic woman. LATINA Style broke new ground in 1994 by launching the first national magazine dedicated to the needs and concerns of the contemporary Latina professional workingwoman and the Latina business owner in the United States. With a national circulation of 150,000 and a readership of nearly 600,000, LATINA Style is unique in its ability to reach both the seasoned professional and the young Latina entering the workforce for the first time. The period of performance for this award is from September 2008 through August 2010.
Nominees are expected to attend recognition events in September 2010 in Washington, D.C. The recipient's unit is responsible for paying related per diem and travel costs.

Eligible Award Categories
- Distinguished Service Award

Application Requirements
- A typewritten, single-spaced narrative in Microsoft Word (not to exceed one page) describing the nominee's accomplishments that
support the LATINA Style award criteria
- Embodies the qualities that are at the core of the Navy's mission
- Respected by superiors and peers as leaders and upstanding service members
- Display exceptional character and represent their respective community with dignity and pride
- One page (single spaced) citation in Microsoft Word (not to exceed 18 lines of narrative, 12-pitch font, with 1 inch left and right margins) summarizing nominee's accomplishments for publication in a program brochure
- A black and white or color,
high resolution digital (jpg file) head and shoulders photo of the nominee
- Nomination cover sheet
- One page, single-spaced biography in Microsoft Word format
- Cover memo

Nomination Submission
- Electronic submissions only
- Email all documents and high res photo to enjoli.xxxxxx@navy.mil

Deadline
- 19 July 2010

Award Presentation/Conference Info
- Fifth Annual National LATINA Symposium
- 9 September 2010
- Washington, DC

Additional Information
- http://www.latinastyle.com/
- www.npc.navy.mil/CommandSupport/Diversity/

LATINA Style Nomination Cover Sheet

I. Nominee Information
Name of Nominee:
Position/Title:
Paygrade:
Command:
Department:
Mailing Address:
Work Phone:
Email Address:

II. Nominating Official's Information
Name:
Position/Title:
Paygrade:
Command:
Department:
Mailing Address:
Work Phone:
Email Address:
Here is a fun leadership drill or two. Have a Molly O'Mally or Erika Svenberg ... or better yet Rose Liebowitz want to send in an application. They tell them they won't win. "Why? " They will ask. You respond, "Because you don't have the right ethnic background." They have them respond, "So, that Navy is supporting an organization with TAD money that discriminates on the basis of race, creed, color and/or national origin?" Then you say, "Yes." Then give her a the hotline number. Not that she will find a willing ear at the IG's office - but it will be a fun drill.

Another fun drill. Have your "Admin O" run the numbers on the TAD costs - especially you Hawaii, C5F AOR and Japanese units. Run that by what schools you cannot send Sailors to because of funding shortfalls. Bring that up at the next CNO call - ask him what the priority is.

Be prepared to throw up a little in your mouth.


As for the message; let me play N1.
- When did we stop using colons introducing a bullet list?
- When did we stop using periods in bulleted lists?

The funny part is the artificial construct that is "Latino/a." About as accurate and rational as the Aryan German.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

McChrystal fired; Petraeus demoted

Do a news search on McChrystal being replaced by Petraeus (I'm doing this from my iPhone).

Read a few articles then come back.

Here is the problem. Gen. Petraeus is COMCENTCOM - the Strategic Level Commander. The Commander in AFG reports to COMCENTCOM.

This sends all sorts of wrong signals. Are there really no other Generals qualified to be the in-theater Operational Commander?

It smells of political expediency with a whiff of panic, and interrupts work at the Strategic Level as we look for Petraeus' new boss.

Of course Petraeus can do the job - but most COs would make great CHENGs should their present one be fired for cause - that doesn't mean the Commodore should make a CO the CHENG and then find a sister ship's XO to be the new CO.

I don't like this - but if is to be, then everyone get out of the way of Petraeus, pray, and help him push.

Fallon, Mullen, McChrystal

Bad things come in threes ... and so do lessons.

I expand on that thought over at
USNIBlog.

URR's Roman name is ....

Sesquiculus.

What is yours?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A CINC painted in a corner

A build off of the previous post on the rolling train wreck that is the Rolling Stone McChrystal story.

You can read the whole article
here - but here are the pull quotes that makes you understand why General McChrystal is in full “on his back, exposing his belly to the alpha dog.” I thought that this might be a bit of an exaggerated story - but let’s assume it is what McChrystal’s signals are sending - it is 85%+ accurate.

Behold,

Last fall, during the question-and-answer session following a speech he gave in London, McChrystal dismissed the counterterrorism strategy being advocated by Vice President Joe Biden as "shortsighted," saying it would lead to a state of "Chaos-istan." The remarks earned him a smackdown from the president himself, who summoned the general to a terse private meeting aboard Air Force One. The message to McChrystal seemed clear: Shut the fuck up, and keep a lower profile

Now, flipping through printout cards of his speech in Paris, McChrystal wonders aloud what Biden question he might get today, and how he should respond. "I never know what's going to pop out until I'm up there, that's the problem," he says. Then, unable to help themselves, he and his staff imagine the general dismissing the vice president with a good one-liner.

"Are you asking about Vice President Biden?" McChrystal says with a laugh. "Who's that?"

"Biden?" suggests a top adviser. "Did you say: Bite Me?"
...
Even though he had voted for Obama, McChrystal and his new commander in chief failed from the outset to connect. The general first encountered Obama a week after he took office, when the president met with a dozen senior military officials in a room at the Pentagon known as the Tank. According to sources familiar with the meeting, McChrystal thought Obama looked "uncomfortable and intimidated" by the roomful of military brass. Their first one-on-one meeting took place in the Oval Office four months later, after McChrystal got the Afghanistan job, and it didn't go much better. "It was a 10-minute photo op," says an adviser to McChrystal. "Obama clearly didn't know anything about him, who he was. Here's the guy who's going to run his fucking war, but he didn't seem very engaged. The Boss was pretty disappointed."
...
Part of the problem is structural: The Defense Department budget exceeds $600 billion a year, while the State Department receives only $50 billion. But part of the problem is personal: In private, Team McChrystal likes to talk shit about many of Obama's top people on the diplomatic side. One aide calls Jim Jones, a retired four-star general and veteran of the Cold War, a "clown" who remains "stuck in 1985." Politicians like McCain and Kerry, says another aide, "turn up, have a meeting with Karzai, criticize him at the airport press conference, then get back for the Sunday talk shows. Frankly, it's not very helpful." Only Hillary Clinton receives good reviews from McChrystal's inner circle. "Hillary had Stan's back during the strategic review," says an adviser. "She said, 'If Stan wants it, give him what he needs.' 
McChrystal reserves special skepticism for Holbrooke, the official in charge of reintegrating the Taliban. "The Boss says he's like a wounded animal," says a member of the general's team. "Holbrooke keeps hearing rumors that he's going to get fired, so that makes him dangerous. He's a brilliant guy, but he just comes in, pulls on a lever, whatever he can grasp onto. But this is COIN, and you can't just have someone yanking on shit."

McChrystal reserves special skepticism for Holbrooke, the official in charge of reintegrating the Taliban. "The Boss says he's like a wounded animal," says a member of the general's team. "Holbrooke keeps hearing rumors that he's going to get fired, so that makes him dangerous. He's a brilliant guy, but he just comes in, pulls on a lever, whatever he can grasp onto. But this is COIN, and you can't just have someone yanking on shit."
...
McChrystal and his team were blindsided by the cable. "I like Karl, I've known him for years, but they'd never said anything like that to us before," says McChrystal, who adds that he felt "betrayed" by the leak. "Here's one that covers his flank for the history books. Now if we fail, they can say, 'I told you so.' "

First, look at Lincoln vs. McClellan. Then Truman vs. MacArthur. Then look at Bush vs. Fallon. Then Obama vs. McKiernan.

President Obama only has two choices here - neither of which is good for the nation he leads.

COA 1: Fire the S.O.B. Recommended:
- This is the action fully in line with precedence and is what must be done. A four-star general who does not have the good sense to have a staff that understands what a reporter is - and what his place is in a Representative Republic is - must be brought down, and brought down hard. I have no beef with McChrystal and I know that this will significantly hurt our STRATCOM in the short term; but this needs to be done quickly and publicly.
---- Pros: In line with other Presidents’ actions. Firmly establishes the COC and the proper civilian-military relationship; Move on. Story will move off the front page earlier.
---- Cons: Another Commander will need to do the Hill kabuki dance, but the domestic political opposition will not get in the way or make much political hay out of it; new Commander too soon, in the middle of fighting season.

COA 2: Keep him closer. Not recommended.
If there is no appetite for COA 1, then this is the only other COA ; there is nothing in between.
---- Pros: Avoids the domestic problem of another General having to testify on the Hill. Keeps continuity of Command during fighting season and avoids another turnover of the in-theater Operational Commander.
---- Cons: Both the CINC and McChrystal will have lost face in a public manner and will be looked at as weaker; McChrystal will have more enemies in the Administration’s National Security Structure; McChrystal has shown support for your only significant Democrat rival, SECSTATE Clinton. Worst part again is the CINC will also lose face to much of the world - especially with our enemies. In most of their cultures, a General Officer saying such things would be shot or have an unfortunate helicopter accident. They will not view keeping McChrystal on as a signal that President Obama is a firm leader.

Both are bad options - but being CINC is often picking the least worst of two bad options. The CINC will be attacked for what ever choice he makes. My advice - look to what is best for the nation in the long run. Keeping the military in its box is critical (see Founder‘s opinion on a standing Army for a reference).

So, in summary from a guy who has supported Gen. McChrystal in the past - if even half the stuff in the RS article is accurate, there is only one option: Fire McChrystal.

Airships for AFG!


At last - the Army goes Salamander!
The US Army has asked Northrop Grumman to design three hybrid airships that are capable of providing American soldiers with persistent ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) capabilities in Afghanistan.

The airships - which have been dubbed Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV) systems - will be deployed in just 18 months.

"It is critical [for] our warfighters [to be] equipped with more enabling integrated ISR capability to tackle today's and tomorrow's conflicts," explained Northrop spokesperson Alan Metzger.

"[So], we have designed a system with plug-and-play capability to readily integrate into the Army's existing common ground station command centers and ground troops in forward operating bases."

According to Metzger, the LEMVs are expected to be capable of sustaining altitudes of 20,000 feet for a three-week period.
We've been asking for this for years. Hybrid airships are perfect for persistant ISR - better in many cases than Global Hawk/BAMS. I have a bias towards manned systems - but for ISR we could go UAS if we must.

Next step is to get some manned
cargo/transport versions that are ready to be built and can go places with more stuff than any C-17 to C-130 can.

As for this ISR one from LMT - a little more the Army's Solicitation.
The LEMV will be utilized to provide persistent Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) support in multiple environments, including combat areas. Technical objectives for the LEMV include the following performance parameters: a. Unmanned air vehicle capable of being controlled through existing DOD ground station; b. 3 week flight endurance; c. 2500 pound sensor payload; d. 20,000 foot operating altitude; e. Multi-INT capable; f. 16Kw power for payload; g. capable of station keep; h. recoverable and reusable.
The advantages of a manned cargo variant - especially for an expeditionary force that may or may not (see Haiti) have access to airfields that can take large aircraft - are legion. One of the most lame excuses I hear against using modern hybrid airships is the old, "It will be too hard to build a proper career path and to get the right Flag sponsorship .... " etc.

Really? Really? We quit that soon for such a lazy reason? Sure, it is part of the environment ... but more often than not it is an excuse for the lazy mind.

Career path? Harumph. Then give them to the CWO/LDO professionals - they won't spend all their time tracking the career paths of others in their select group. Better yet, give it to the Reserves and Guard. Goodness knows that we have excess capacity in the USNR compared to the USAFR, USAR, and ANG.

What would I give up - you budget geeks ask (correctly). Simple. Four LCS. I like the bang for the buck of ~$3.5 billion in ISR and Transport hybrid airships any day. Make the cargo force 1/3 active duty with 50% CWO/LDO pilots (AWs need honest work now days anyway) and 2/3 USNR so we can recapture some of the money we spent on pilot training when the 1310s leave active duty. Another option - save more personnel costs by making the ISR hybrid airships part of the BAMS squadrons (large overlap in skill sets WRT mission systems).

In just 5 minutes, did I give you enough COAs to start with?

You're welcome.

Oh BTW - the Army is beating you; this time in something that actually matters - and come on, this is a no-brainer. It already comes in Navy Gray for goodness sakes.

From Binghamton to Annapolis

For those who have not quite yet understood what kind of cancer D1 football is to the integrity to Annapolis - I would offer that you don't understand what it has done to other universities over the last century.

To help you out - I highly recommend a book that has nothing to do with the Naval Acadamy - but everything to do with the corrupting effect of an unhealty pursuit of football and other top-shelf sports at institutions who should be focused on education.

First, you should go over to John J. Miller's Between the Covers over at NRO (or iTunes) and listen to his interview with author Mark Yost about his new book Varsity Green: A Behind the Scenes Look at Culture and Corruption in College Athletics.

Someone in the Annapolis underground may want to slip a copy to the new 'Supe, RADM Michael H. Miller, USN. Just an idea.


WTF, over?

Anything by Rolling Stone needs to be looked at with a skeptical eye - especially pre-publication - but this makes my teeth set.
McChrystal himself is described by an aide as "disappointed" in his first Oval Office meeting with an unprepared President Barack Obama. The article says that although McChrystal voted for Obama, the two failed to connect from the start. Obama called McChrystal on the carpet last fall for speaking too bluntly about his desire for more troops.
Why is an active duty General Officer advertising who he does or does not support politically? And yes, I would think the same thing if he stated he voted for McCain.

Is this healthy? I don't think so.
UPDATE: Eeek. McChrystal thinks he's stepped in it.
"I extend my sincerest apology for this profile," McChrystal said in a statement issued Tuesday morning. "It was a mistake reflecting poor judgment and it should have never happened."
I hate to say it, but if you use the "Admiral Fallon Standard," then don't be shocked if McChrystal is gone this summer.
UPDATE II - Electric Boogaloo: Go get the fork.
The top commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, has been summoned to the White House to explain biting and unflattering remarks he made to a freelance writer about President Barack Obama and others in the Obama administration.

The face-to-face comes as pundits are already calling for McChrystal to resign on grounds of obvious insubordination.

McChrystal has been instructed to fly from Kabul to Washington today to attend Obama’s regular monthly security team meeting tomorrow at the White House.
Ya'll know I am a McKiernan guy ... so ... I'll say it.

That is what you get for firing McKiernan; can we bring him back please?

Live by politics, die by politics - I guess. What a mess.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Blasphemy!

Ungh, again, this time from the LATimes.
But the Marines have not stormed a hostile beach since Inchon during the Korean War. And influential military thinkers — including, most notably, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates — have begun to question whether the Marines will ever do it again.

In a speech last month, Gates said rogue nations and nonstate movements such as Hezbollah now possessed sophisticated guided missiles that could destroy naval ships, forcing them to stay well away from shore and making any sort of beach landing by Marines extremely dangerous.

Countries including China and Iran have guided missiles and other defenses to deter a beach landing, said Andrew Krepinevich, president of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, who has written skeptically of traditional amphibious landings. Minor powers, meanwhile, could hardly resist the kind of landing the Marines practiced in Dawn Blitz, he said.

"Where are we going to use this? Can the effect justify the rather high cost we are paying for this?" Krepinevich said.
It is a conversation worth having. No question - when money gets tight, a whole new generation needs to be educated to think beyond the next POM.

That being said, here is this side boiled down. A maritime power (which we are) has to be able to project power ashore in a non-permissive environment. If you do not have that power, you limit your options and put your forces at tremendous Operational Risk, and effectively eliminate the CINC's options which puts your nation in Strategic Risk.

We have seen this before - the Brits almost "smart powered" themselves out of an ability to do anything in the Falklands.

Even in non-combat areas, you can find yourself in a non-permissive environment; again think Haiti and Indonesia. Amphibious power holds the key to do this through the full spectrum of non-permissive environments. Full stop.

The area for discussion and examination should be in what platforms we spend the taxpayer's money in. We are in tremendous Operational Risk right now with the trend towards more Marines and equipment in fewer ships and transport vehicles. Penny wise and body count foolish.

Do we need to have Marines with the capability to come ashore? Yes, just like we need an air superiority fighter. To throw that away is to effectively throw away our ability to be a global power. If you don't want to be a global power, than by all means remove that capability.

Michael Yon caught in the open

If you recall, back in April over at USNIBlog, I put up a post as a heads-up to Michael Yon that it might be time to step back and take some time off. Other milblogs have weighed in as well in their own fashion.

Michael Yon has responded by attacking and changing the subject. Sad. He has responded to calling milblogs "milkooks" and "clowns" and "liars." Well, listen for yourself. Via the G. Gordon Liddy Show, listen to
Michael Yon himself, with a cameo from Uncle Jimbo and Mr. Wolf.

Oh, and Michael - some of us in the Milblog world have been to AFG, multiple times. IRQ too - and a few other garden spots. We are not the issue; your behavior is. For many of us, it started out of concern for you. It has progressed from pity to disgust for some. Anger for others.

Me? Well, I just wish Yon would listen to those friends of his that he has not alienated or is now ignoring.

CO's recommended reading list

On yesterday's Midrats we talked about Command at Sea with CDR E. A. Westfall, CDR, USCG, Commanding Officer of the USCGC ESCANABA (WMEC 907). CDR James H. Ware, Commanding Officer, VAQ-135, and CDR Michael Junge, USN, former Commanding Officer of the USS WHIDBEY ISLAND (LSD 41).

EagleOne asked each of them what books they would recommend for someone on the track to Command, or wanted to hone their mind for positions of authority.

A very interesting and eclectic mix. Ponder.




Of course, if you want to know who recommended what - you'll have to listen to Midrats.


Listen to internet radio with Midrats on Blog Talk Radio

An American response to the World Cup

... should be to educate the world on North American Football (a nod to my Canadian friends - you're close) ..

First of all, it has 11 players. Here, let's count them off as they pass by,
Egypt allowed at least one Israeli and 11 American warships to pass through the Suez Canal as an Iranian flotilla approaches Gaza. Egypt closed the canal to protect the ships with thousands of soldiers, according to the British-based Arabic language newspaper Al Quds al-Arabi.

One day prior to the report on Saturday, Voice of Israel government radio reported that the Egyptian government denied an Israeli request not to allow the Iranian flotilla to use the Suez Canal to reach Gaza, in violation of the Israeli sea embargo on the Hamas-controlled area.

International agreements require Egypt to keep the Suez open even for warships, but the armada, led by the USS Truman with 5,000 sailors and marines, was the largest in years. Egypt closed the canal to fishing and other boats as the armada moved through the strategic passageway that connects the Red and Mediterranean Seas.
I guess the Israeli ship makes it Canadian football after all.

... and hey, no Jewish Sports Legends jokes - Jews play football too - even the CFL.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The youn'uns have all grow'd up 'n such

Lookie there who has joined us as a co-blogger over at USNI.

All fall down ...

Very interesting and enlightening video from Left wing firedoglake ... but not interesting for the reasons they think.

Alan Simpson is about as old guard as you get. Sure, I could be snarky and say, "You were in the Senate when this lie was kept going - you were part of the problem ... " but I won't do that. I actually increased my respect in the old Senator. He is telling the truth.

But here is what I find most interesting. When you listen to Simpson - all he says is exactly right. When you listen to the guy behind the camera, you have a view into the mind of the economicaly ignorant that we will be fighting with for the next few decades who just will not get the fact that it was all a house of cards.

All of it. Watch the video.


Now read Laffer's latest;
On or about Jan. 1, 2011, federal, state and local tax rates are scheduled to rise quite sharply. President George W. Bush's tax cuts expire on that date, meaning that the highest federal personal income tax rate will go 39.6% from 35%, the highest federal dividend tax rate pops up to 39.6% from 15%, the capital gains tax rate to 20% from 15%, and the estate tax rate to 55% from zero. Lots and lots of other changes will also occur as a result of the sunset provision in the Bush tax cuts.

Tax rates have been and will be raised on income earned from off-shore investments. Payroll taxes are already scheduled to rise in 2013 and the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) will be digging deeper and deeper into middle-income taxpayers. And there's always the celebrated tax increase on Cadillac health care plans. State and local tax rates are also going up in 2011 as they did in 2010. Tax rate increases next year are everywhere.

Now, if people know tax rates will be higher next year than they are this year, what will those people do this year? They will shift production and income out of next year into this year to the extent possible. As a result, income this year has already been inflated above where it otherwise should be and next year, 2011, income will be lower than it otherwise should be.

Also, the prospect of rising prices, higher interest rates and more regulations next year will further entice demand and supply to be shifted from 2011 into 2010. In my view, this shift of income and demand is a major reason that the economy in 2010 has appeared as strong as it has. When we pass the tax boundary of Jan. 1, 2011, my best guess is that the train goes off the tracks and we get our worst nightmare of a severe "double dip" recession.
...
In 2010, without any prepayment penalties, people can cash in their Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), Keough deferred income accounts and 401(k) deferred income accounts. After paying their taxes, these deferred income accounts can be rolled into Roth IRAs that provide after-tax income to their owners into the future. Given what's going to happen to tax rates, this conversion seems like a no-brainer.

The result will be a crash in tax receipts once the surge is past. If you thought deficits and unemployment have been bad lately, you ain't seen nothing yet.
Joy.

Ignore economics at your own peril.

Like the job the CINC is doing in AFG?

Why? For what reason? Where?

Are you being fair? Whose fault, if any, is it? Who gets the praise?

Well - I have a long post on the subject over at USNIBlog.
Head on over and give your $.02.