Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dude, sir - I drank my uniform

Oh, good googly moogly. Just count the manhours this seabag inspection will take. Make sure and check for skid marks too.

BTW - every Chief, Senior Chief, and Master Chief should feel as if someone wiped their nose on your best set of khakis ... because that is exactly the amount of respect for your professionalism that comes from this message to my ears. Take it personally; I would.

I guess it must be true - the MCPON let this message go. Wait ... did someone just email me to say I can't expect the MCPON to be in the loop on this message? Really? Really? If so, the problem is much worse.


BEHOLD!
UNCLASSIFIED//
ROUTINE
R 270135Z AUG 10
BT
UNCLAS
PASS TO ALL OFFICE CODES:
FM CNO WASHINGTON DC//N1//
TO NAVADMIN
INFO CNO WASHINGTON DC//N1//
UNCLAS
NAVADMIN 287/10
MSGID/GENADMIN/CNO WASHINGTON DC/N1/AUG//
SUBJ/NAVY UNIFORM UPDATE - NAVY WORKING UNIFORM (NWU)//
REF/A/MSG/CNO WASHINGTON DC/021922Z DEC 08//
REF/B/MSG/CNO WASHINGTON DC/262243Z JUN 09//
REF/C/DOC/NAVPERS 15665I/01JAN03//
NARR/REF A IS NAVADMIN 343/08, UNIFORM UPDATE. REF B IS NAVY UNIFORM UPDATE. REF C IS US NAVY UNIFORM REGULATIONS.

RMKS/1. THE NAVY WORKING UNIFORM (NWU) FACILITATES NAVY LEADERSHIP'S INTENT TO STANDARDIZE THE PROFESSIONAL APPEARANCE OF SAILORS WHEN WEARING A WORKING UNIFORM ASHORE. THIS NAVADMIN PROVIDES UPDATED GUIDANCE ON THE MANDATORY WEAR DATES OF THE NWU, AS ANNOUNCED IN REF A. FLEET-WIDE AVAILABILITY OF THE NWU HAS BEEN SUCCESSFULLY ACHIEVED SIX MONTHS IN ADVANCE OF THE ORIGINALLY ESTABLISHED MANDATORY WEAR DATE, AND THE NWU WILL NOW BE WORN AS THE WORKING UNIFORM ASHORE BY 31 DECEMBER 2010.

2. CURRENT NWU COMPONENT INVENTORY INDICATES THAT
SAILORS HAVE PURCHASED AN AVERAGE OF 1.3 UNIFORMS, WELL BELOW THE FOUR UNIFORMS PER SEA BAG WHICH MOST SAILORS HAVE BEEN PAID TO PROCURE. SEABAG CONTENT AND QUANTITY REQUIREMENTS ARE ESTABLISHED TO ENSURE DEPLOYMENT AND MISSION READINESS.

3. THOSE SAILORS THAT COMPLETED RECRUIT TRAINING DURING FISCAL YEAR 2008, AND PRIOR TO 27 APRIL 2009, RECEIVED A REDUCED CLOTHING REPLACEMENT ALLOWANCE (CRA) AMOUNT DUE TO DOD FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT REGULATION (DODFMR) GUIDELINES THAT LIMIT THE PERCENTAGE OF CRA ENTITLEMENT BASED ON TIME OF ACTIVE SERVICE. THESE SAILORS WILL BE REQUIRED TO MEET THE FOUR UNIFORM STANDARD BY 31 DECEMBER 2012.

4. OTHER THAN THIS GROUP, ALL OTHER SAILORS HAVE RECEIVED ALLOWANCES FOR THE FOUR SETS OF UNIFORMS. SAILORS WHO COMPLETED RECRUIT TRAINING ON AND AFTER 27 APRIL 2009 WERE ISSUED A COMPLETE COMPLEMENT OF REQUIRED NWU COMPONENTS, AND ARE REQUIRED TO MEET THE FOUR UNIFORM STANDARD BY 31 DECEMBER 2010.

5. PREVIOUSLY, WE PROVIDED GUIDANCE TO OUR SAILORS TO SAVE THESE ANNUAL UNIFORM ALLOWANCE INCREASES FOR THE PURCHASE OF NWU SEABAG REQUIREMENTS, IN ORDER TO AVOID ADVERSE IMPACT ON PERSONAL FINANCES AS THE MANDATORY WEAR DATE APPROACHES. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT LEADERSHIP CONTINUE TO EDUCATE OUR SAILORS TO COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF PROCURING NWU ITEMS WITH THE FUNDS THEY HAVE ALREADY BEEN PROVIDED.

6.
BY 31 DECEMBER 2010, COMMANDERS AND COMMANDING OFFICERS SHOULD HAVE VERIFIED THAT ALL SAILORS UNDER THEIR COMMAND HAVE THE REQUIRED UNIFORM COMPONENTS IN THEIR SEA BAG, APPROPRIATE TO THE LEVEL OF UNIFORM ALLOWANCE THAT EACH SAILOR HAS RECEIVED. ACTIVE DUTY ENLISTED THAT ENTERED AND COMPLETED RECRUIT TRAINING DURING FISCAL YEAR 2008, AND PRIOR TO 27 APRIL 2009, SHOULD HAVE TWO COMPLETE SETS OF THE NWU. ANNUAL CRA FOR THESE SAILORS WILL PROVIDE FOR REPLACEMENT OF ONE SET OF NWUS PER YEAR AND PROCUREMENT OF NWU FOOTWEAR AND OUTERWEAR BASED ON THEIR APPLICABLE WEAR LIFE, ALLOWING THEM TO HAVE FOUR COMPLETE SETS BY 31 DECEMBER 2012. FOR ALL OTHER SAILORS, FULL NWU COMPONENT REQUIREMENTS ARE AS FOLLOWS:
A. FOUR NWU BLOUSES AND TROUSERS
B. ONE PAIR OF NWU BOOTS
C. TWO-EIGHT POINT UTILITY CAPS
D. FIVE 100% BLUE COTTON T-SHIRTS
E. FIVE PAIRS OF BOOT SOCKS
F. ONE MOCK TURTLE NECK SWEATER
G. ONE FLEECE LINER
H. ONE GORTEX PARKA

7. NWU COMPONENTS ARE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE VIA NAVY EXCHANGE UNIFORM CENTERS. NAVY EXCHANGE UNIFORM SALES ASSOCIATES ARE AVAILABLE TO ENSURE PROPER FIT AND SIZING OF NWU COMPONENTS.

8. REF C ESTABLISHES UNIFORM QUANTITY REQUIREMENTS FOR SAILORS IN PAYGRADE E1-E9. E7-E9 HAVE RECEIVED THE 2008/2009 UNIFORM ALLOWANCE INCREASE TO SUPPORT PURCHASING OF THE ITEMS LISTED IN PARA 5 ABOVE. PER ARTICLE 3101.1 OFFICERS AND CHIEF PETTY OFFICERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR BUYING AND MAINTAINING UNIFORMS APPROPRIATE TO THEIR ASSIGNED DUTIES AND AS REQUIRED BY THEIR PRESCRIBING AUTHORITY. THERE IS NO MINIMUM NUMBER OF UNIFORMS REQUIRED TO BE IN THEIR POSSESSION. SUFFICIENT QUANTITIES OF UNIFORM ITEMS SHALL BE PROCURED AND MAINTAINED TO ENSURE HIGH STANDARDS OF PERSONAL HYGIENE AND APPEARANCE.

9. THE NWU OCCASION FOR WEAR, AS DETAILED IN REF B, REMAINS IN EFFECT.

10. YOUR LEADERSHIP AND SUPPORT IN THIS EFFORT IS GREATLY APPRECIATED TO ENSURE UNIFORM STANDARDIZATION, MISSION READINESS, AND REDUCTION OF EXCESS INVENTORY WHICH COULD IMPEDE FUTURE UNIFORM INITIATIVES.

11. POINTS OF CONTACT:
- MR. ROBERT B. [redacted], HEAD, NAVY UNIFORM MATTERS OFFICE, AT ROBERT.B.[redacted](AT)NAVY.MIL.
- CMDCM(AW) JERRY [redacted], DEPUTY HEAD, NAVY UNIFORM MATTERS, AT JERRY.[redacted](AT)NAVY.MIL.
- NEXCOM UNIFORM CENTER: MR. GENE [redacted], (757) 631-[redacted] OR EMAIL AT [redacted](AT)NEXWEB.ORG.

12. RELEASED BY VADM MARK FERGUSON, N1.//

BT
#0001
NNNN


Wait, it gets better. Did you ever think we would reach the point where we have to issue talking points about a uniform issue? Well - we have. Here it is. No, I don't make this stuff up.
Talking Points
Navy Working Uniform Requirement Reminder

Top line messages:
  • The fleet-wide availability of the Navy Working Uniform (NWU) has been successfully completed six months in advance of the originally established mandatory wear date.
  • All Sailors should be properly outfitted with the correct number of NWU components by the Dec. 31 mandatory wear date.
  • Active duty enlisted that entered and completed recruit training 1 Oct 2007 to 27 April 2009 did not receive the full complement of NWUs. These Sailors should have two complete sets of the NWU by the mandatory wear date and will be required to meet the four uniform standard by 31 Dec 2012.
  • It is important that leadership engage with their Sailors to ensure they comply with the requirements and obtain all NWU items needed for their sea bag.
  • Commanding officers should verify all Sailors under their command have the required uniform components in their sea bag prior to the mandatory wear date.
What is the requirement?
  • The majority of Sailors are required to own four sets of the NWU by Dec. 31, 2010.
  • Sailors that entered and completed recruit training 1 Oct 2007 to 27 April 2009 did not receive the full complement of NWUs. These Sailors should have two complete sets of the NWU by the mandatory wear date and meet the four uniform standard by December 31, 2012.
Each Sailor must own the following:
  • Four NWU blouses and trousers
  • One pair of NWU boots
  • Two eight-point utility caps
  • Five pairs of blue, 100 percent cotton T-shirts
  • Five pairs of boot socks
  • One mock turtleneck sweater
  • One fleece liner
  • One Gore-Tex parka
How is the sale of NWUs going so far?
  • Based on Navy Exchange sales and inventory on hand, the Navy calculates that on average, each Sailor currently owns 1.3 sets of the NWU.
How much will each Sailor have to spend to meet this requirement?
  • Most Sailors who joined the Navy after the NWU was introduced were issued sufficient uniform items at boot camp to meet the requirement, plus an annual uniform maintenance allowance. Those who joined the Navy before the NWU was introduced received a special allowance to offset the cost of buying new uniforms.
  • Sailors who are buying the NWU now can expect to spend about $90 for each set, including the blouse, trousers, name and U.S. Navy tapes, and rank and warfare devices, but not including boots, caps, T-shirts, the fleece and parka, or alterations.
  • Standard NWU boots cost $73 per pair. Optional suede boots, approved for wear ashore, cost $125 per pair.
  • The NWU cap costs $6.50, plus $1.45 for the rank device. T-shirts for the NWU cost $3.35 each.
  • The NWU fleece costs $57.45 and the NWU parka costs $173, including rank devices but not including alterations.
Will this cause a hardship for Sailors? What if a Sailor can’t afford to fill out his sea bag now?
  • No. The vast majority of the fleet has received initial and maintenance clothing allowances for the NWU. With the exception of those Sailors who completed recruit training between 1 October 2007 and 27 April 2009, all new Sailors enter the fleet with a full complement.
What if a local Navy Exchange doesn’t have NWUs available or if a Sailor is not stationed near an exchange?
  • With the NWU rollout complete six months early, exchanges should have ample supplies of the NWU to meet the demand.
  • If a local exchange does not have a particular item, or a Sailor is not stationed near an exchange, a Sailor can order it by calling the Uniform Support Center’s toll-free number, 1-800-368-4088, or going to https://www.navy-nex.com/command/about_us/p-uniformsupport.html.
... and of course - for a Navy at War, we have good people spending an exorbitant amount of time cleaning up the mess made by others.
-----Original Message-----
From: [redacted], Kelvin ITCM (C[redacted]F)
Sent: Friday, August 27, 2010 4:41 PM
To: #C[redacted]F Officers Less COS & Admiral
Cc: [redacted], Wayne A. ITCM (L[redacted])
Subject: FW: Revised Navy Working Uniform Update NAVADMIN

ALCON,

VR,

ITCM(SW/AW) Kelvin [redacted]
Senior Enlisted Advisor
N[redacted] LCPO
Fleet [redacted] Manager
Fleet [redacted] Inspector
DSN: 315.243.[redacted]
U/W: 315.453.[redacted]
BlackBerry: 080.[redacted]


Admirals, MCPON,

This week, I provided an advanced copy of the Draft Navy Working Uniform Update NAVADMIN encouraging the purchase of Navy Working Uniforms (NWUs). Since that transmission, an additional issue warranting a revision to the original document has been brought to our attention. The issue regards differences in Clothing Replacement Allowances (CRAs), depending on date of Sailors' entry into the Navy, specifically for a group of Sailors that entered the Navy beginning in FY 2008 until 27 April 2009. Accordingly, we have modified their date to achieve full NWU compliance to match our projected uniform replacement funding.

In addition, I wanted you to have the relevant talking points and the newly revised NAVADMIN to support NWU discussions with your Sailors. Appreciate your support and continued feedback.
Don't blame the Master Chief - he didn't order this dog's breakfast. ... and don't blame the Sailors either.

We fire CDR and CAPT in seagoing commands like it is a monthly requirement - but we refuse to hold our senior leadership responsible for basic, sound, personnel administration nightmares.

TFU FAIL; leadership facepalm. Our Sailors deserve so much more. The fact that a message this long, this hard to map, on a subject so simple need an additional set of talking points and amplifying email should tell you volumes.

Monday, August 30, 2010

That thar fell'a talks funnie ....

Back to a subject I first covered on the second post of this blog back in JUL 04; the shameful lack of true diversity in out military. You know, the kind of diversity it is designed to have. Via John Renehanin the WaPo;
... today Army ROTC programs are concentrated in the South and the Midwest at the expense of more populous and diverse metropolitan areas. As of 2004, according to an analysis of military data from the nonpartisan Population Reference Bureau, those two regions produced 59 percent of new Army officers.

A clear example of this shift is New York City. For the past 19 years, the city of 8 million people has been served by only two Army ROTC programs within its five boroughs, at Fordham University in the Bronx and St. John's University in Queens, which together receive roughly the same resources as the ROTC program at Texas A&M. Though the St. John's and Fordham student populations combined are just under 23,000 to Texas A&M's 38,000, those programs serve what's known as the entire "catchment" area of New York. That is the largest university student population in the country -- 605,000, according to the Census Bureau -- but in 2006, the New York City programs graduated only 34 new Army officers. The Army also offers ROTC programs at Seton Hall and Rutgers universities, in New Jersey, and at Hofstra University, in Long Island, to serve the New York area, but the lengthy commute time makes them unrealistic for many students in the city.

Alabama, with 4.7 million residents, has 10 Army ROTC programs -- the same number it had before the wave of closures began in 1989. Next door, Mississippi, with a population of 2.9 million, has five ROTC programs and has lost only one since '89. Utah and South Dakota both are home to three ROTC programs.
As a Southerner, it makes me culturally happy. Like I have said before - I have much more in common with a black person from Mississippi and a child of Cuban immigrants from Miami than I have with a dude names Erik from Minnesota. That being said, it doesn't mean that it is healthy for the military or the nation that a predominance of those in the military come from the skin-cancer belt. I don't think we need a quota system - that whole concept gives me the willies - but we should make sure we equal effort and opportunity to the taxpayers who make it all possible.

BRAC made it worse. Gutting the Bay Area Navy - even though the politicians there were horrible to the Navy - and the slow death of the New England Bases from Northern Maine to Massachusetts, has simply created more decision makers who interact little to any with the military. Not in their district, not in their scan.

Here is the core of the problem. For the same reason industry has moved South and West,
Privately, however, officers in charge of recruiting have said that it is cheaper to recruit cadets in places such as Texas and Alabama. The costs of expanding ROTC in places such as New York are excessive, they have said, and universities there have insufficient space or are not very welcoming.
That last part is BS, except for the hostility part (that is ligit). They have plenty of room for Gender Studies junk and all the FOD that comes with it. ROTC just isn't a priority - and they are not held accountable by the State of Federal authorities for their lack of support.

From the military POV, it just isn't worth the fight at Moonbat U in Yonkers, New York when Podunk A&M outside Dogpatch, Kentucky is begging for a ROTC unit. People are people, and it is hard to talk a guy from San Antonio to do a recruiting job in Long Island of all places.

That is part of it, I think. Just trying. There is also the fact that there has to be an effort and a mindset. Here is a little something URR would nod his Yankee bald head at.
But we learned in New York that it is not merely a matter of raw resources. After attending more than 75 career fairs at colleges in the area and seeing that regular Army recruiters failed to show up to most of them, Trynosky set up his own officer-recruiting table at a public service career fair at Columbia University. He was deluged. Armed only with homemade flyers and an officer's uniform, in a single day he identified three students who ultimately enlisted for the Army's grueling Officer Candidate School. By contrast, the Army's self-imposed target for officer-training programs in the New York City region is roughly 30 new officers per year.

Trynosky says Army ROTC officials have told him that they've tried and failed to expand in places like New York -- that the Army's resource allocation matches the market. But, having seen the genuine interest from students in the city, it seems to me as though the Army has been influenced by the same dismissive attitude that universities are so often accused of having toward the military. Why are our huge and diverse cities -- especially New York, with a still-gaping wound in the Earth -- allocated paltry recruiting resources? Shouldn't the armed services, which need the best talent from across the country, do more to reach beyond what they see as tried-and-true recruiting grounds?

The Marine Corps, apparently, would answer in the affirmative. According to their recruiters, the Marines aggressively target would-be officers in New York and other major metropolitan areas and get a diverse reward for their efforts. (Says one young recruiter based in the Northeast: "We kill it in the cities!")
It would be interesting to see if the Navy has some stats WRT officer demographics vs. national demographics by Congressional District.

Now THAT is a profiling system and tracking program for recruiting I would fully support. Forget DNA - try to represent the nation like we elect our politicians, the rest will come out in the wash.

Just as an aside, I worked with a small group unexpectedly doing big things during Operation DESERT FOX in the '90s. For weeks, they were all I saw except for the inside of my eyelids. All were Southerners ... except for one guy from Vermont. We all looked at him like he was from Mars and made much merriment at his expense (I made him eat a Moon Pie, methinks). It shouldn't be that way, but in many cases, it is in the military.

One thing I learned in a couple of decades of service and many years living outside the South - including New England. It is a cultural fact that the South has a more martial tradition and is more supportive, on average, than the North when it comes to the military. The Mountain West is very similar in that respect to the South. Texas is a world unto itself, of course. The rural Mid-west somewhere in the middle leaning Southern in its military opinion. That has been true for most of our nation's history.

The War of 1812 almost resulted in New England leaving the USA. The Mexican American War found more support in the South. In the War of Northern Aggression (
OK, War Between the States if you insist. A "Civil War" it was not - except in Missouri), the Southern armies killed a much larger number of Northern forces - though they lost in the end by simple attrition.

A strange cultural tendency, explained a wee-bit by Webb
and Fischer, that I think has been made worse in the last 30 years for a variety of reasons. First would be the political culture of the Northeast, second the bean counters wanting to get more for less, and lastly a predominately Southern and Western military that simply does not want to live in or try to convince Northerners to do what they don't want to do. After all, they should want to out of a sense of duty, right?

Enough of the kidding of my Yankee friends - let me leave with this point. What is the primary focus of a recruiter when you talk to them about needing to have a diverse military? Well, of course, they are going to take out the
Sherwin Williams Color Visualizer the Diversity Bullies gave them. They will quote from the multi-million dollar Diversity consultants they paid money for - consultants who only see race like former Sen. Byrd in the 1950s. You need to change that dynamic first.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Pakistan at the hub, and the rise of China; on Midrats

Where is the world's most interesting neighborhood? From northeast to southwest Asia. That is where we are going to focus on the next Episode of Midrats.

This Sunday, 29 AUG at 5pm EST, join EagleOne from EagleSpeak and me as we weight in with experts on the subjects. For the first half hour we will have as our guest Seth Cropsey, Senior Fellow from The Hudson Institute to discuss the rise of China and her growing influence throughout Asia and globally.

For the second half of the hour we will have guest Bill Roggio from Long Wars Journal to discuss the central role of Pakistan in this decade and next's global conflict.

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 Rad

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fullbore Friday


I just finished with Xenophon's
Anabasis on audio.

Wow ... just wow. Almost 2,400 years old and its lessons on leadership are timeless. There is really nothing new under the sun.

This book is a perfect example of the critical importance of a classical education. We wouldn't have to learn the hardway if we realized the truth that has been there from the dawn of history ... not to mention the lessons of 20 years ago ... move the decimal place two spots over.

Here is just one bit.
Rely upon this then, all you who are here assembled, now is your great opportunity. The soldiers outside have their eyes fixed upon you; if they think that you are faint-hearted, they will turn cowards; but if you show them that you are making your own preparations to attack the enemy, and setting an example to the rest--follow you, be assured, they will: imitate you they will. May be, it is but right and fair that you should somewhat excel them, for you are generals, you are commanders of brigades or regiments; and if, while it was peace, you had the advantage in wealth and position, so now, when it is war, you are expected to rise superior to the common herd--to think for them, to toil for them, whenever there be need.

"At this very moment you would confer a great boon on the army, if you made it your business to appoint generals and officers to fill the places of those that are lost. For without leaders nothing good or noble, to put it concisely, was ever wrought anywhere; and in military matters this is absolutely true; for if discipline is held to be of saving virtue, the want of it has been the ruin of many ere now.
Well, then! when you have appointed all the commanders necessary, it would only be opportune, I take it, if you were to summon the rest of the soldiers and speak some words of encouragement. Even now, I daresay you noticed yourselves the crestfallen air with which they came into camp, the despondency with which they fell to picket duty, so that, unless there is a change for the better, I do not know for what service they will be fit; whether by night, if need were, or even by day.
The thing is to get them to turn their thoughts to what they mean to do, instead of to what they are likely to suffer. Do that, and their spirits will soon revive wonderfully. You know, I need hardly remind you, it is not numbers or strength that gives victory in war; but, heaven helping them, to one or other of two combatants it is 42 given to dash with stouter hearts to meet the foe, and such onset, in nine cases out of ten, those others refuse to meet.
This observation, also, I have laid to heart, that they, who in matters of war seek in all ways to save their lives, are just they who, as a rule, die dishonourably; whereas they who, recognising that death is the common lot and destiny of all men, strive hard to die nobly: these more frequently, as I observe, do after all attain to old age, or, at any rate, while life lasts, they spend their days more happily.
This lesson let all lay to heart this day, for we are just at such a crisis of our fate. Now is the season to be brave ourselves, and to stimulate the rest by our example."
The March of the 10,000, or if you wish - Anabasis: The March Up Country. Nothing but hardcore. If you don't know the story - buy the book or read it online here.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Diversity Thursday II - Electric Boogaloo: CNO insults entire generation of Sailors

Not only is the CNO's state of suzerainty to the Diversity Industry wrong headed - it is expensive and destructive to unit cohesion. I don't know what Navy he serves in - but it isn't the one that I saw from the deckplates for over two decades.

Case in point, at the end of JUL, the
CNO spoke to the 32nd Annual Black Data Processors Association (BDPA) Conference.

In it he stated,

In past years I’ll be perfectly honest, we have not reached out to all the people who could help. When I sit in a meeting with senior officers and senior government civilians on a daily basis, I value their perspectives but I can also look around the table and look around the room and I can see that some perspectives are absent, and I know that because of that absence good ideas are going unheard as a result.

Over the course of my career, I’ve learned first hand the value there is in having people of different backgrounds, different experiences working toward a common goal. And I see it as an absolute requirement if we are to take the Navy where it needs to go into the future.
Speak for yourself. This isn't about you, and as our Fleet disappears in front of us due to a lost decade of poor leadership a the top, you are using your tax-payer funded position to subsidize your personal therapy apology tour. You are not describing the 21st Century Navy. In any event, for last two decades reaching out is all we have done. Maybe when you were a pup they didn't - but in the last two decades it has been regular practice.

What a huge insult to everyone who has ever served in a recruiting billet in the last few decades.

If you are concerned about people not being reached out to - how about those who you are actively rejecting? Drop me an email so I can put you in touch with a retired CAPT whose son was told to his face, in summary, "We already have enough white males. Sorry, we're not interested." He is just one of thousands.

And as for your last paragraph; when you visited the group of Sailors I was with in AFG, we were almost a majority minority group - but there you were eight feet from me preaching to us about how important Diversity was when you walked in with an all Caucasian personal staff. We are there. We don't care. Leave us alone.

Speaking of narcissistic myopia; chew on this for a bit.

For those of you who are in the information world, this year it’s been my great personal pleasure for me as I welcomed into the ranks of our Navy admirals, a former shipmate, a great African American officer by the name of [Rear Admiral] Will Metts. He was selected for admiral this year. He was a close and personal friend, a consummate professional, who served with me in the Pacific Fleet, who later commanded the Navy Information Operations Center in Hawaii in a delightful little part of Oahu called Wahiawa. And in his first assignment as an admiral he will be the Director of Intelligence at the new U.S. Cyber Command.
Note the bold.

Besides the cringe-worthy tone-deafness of "some of my best friends are black" part of it, I bet that everyone who was competing with Will loved that feeling of objectivity. Zero sum game and all.


No, that doesn't meet the defintion of fraternization - but it sounds bad, doesn't it?

Do we need to even go over the costs of the CNO doing this trip and others like it - costs on top of the millions already being spent?

I can't wait until the CNO speaks at the Left-Handed Lithuanian-American Lesbian Laser Calibrators of Louisiana convention. Talk about a group of people the Navy hasn't reached out to.

Diversity Thursday

Yes, like all government organizations - even the FAA is under the sway of the Diversity Bullies and their Diversity Industry masters.

They just can't help themselves. They try so hard to hide the fact that there is only one thing they really believe in - the external physical characteristics that helps them show their little Potempkin world. Read the whole thing.



I hope you read that thinly veiled threat. As a former guv'munt middle manager - that came through loud and clear.

Also, did you catch that little internal tell? The story:
Whenever possible, our communications activities should underscore senior management support for diversity within the FAA because diversity of thought, viewpoint, background and experience improves the quality of the ATO's work; and while progress has been made, the ATO still has more work to do.
The reality:
Managers, team leaders, speakers and all employees whose work may affect our diversity outreach are responsible for supporting these efforts to incorporate individual differences (such as. race, sex, disability, age, weight, height, occupation, or discipline) in various media forms.
Yes - even weight.

Like their Communist and Fascist co-intellectuals, they love them visuals!
All business units and offices must ensure that their communications activities, both internal and external, reflect the FAA's strong commitment to diversity and inclusion by including, but are not limited to the following: advertisements; booth and exhibit displays; fact sheets; news articles; photographs; presentations and speeches; publications; reports; videos; and online offerings.

Photographs and videos offer tremendous opportunities to illustrate the diversity and inclusiveness of the FAA's workforce. News articles, brochures, PowerPoint presentations, web pages, videos, audio narrations and other forms of media present additional avenues for reinforcing the FAA's appreciation of and commitment to diversity, as do speaking engagements
and recruiting outreach appearances.
Diversity; fake it till you make it.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Gen. Conway Fulfilling His Duty

Over at BigPeace, I have a post up about Gen. Conway's latest statement,
“We know the president was talking to several audiences at the same time when he made his comments on July 2011,” Gen. James Conway told reporters on Tuesday. “In some ways, we think right now it’s probably giving our enemy sustenance… In fact, we’ve intercepted communications that say, ‘Hey, you know, we only have to hold out for so long.’”
There is a lot more along with historical context at the full post.

Head on over to BigPeace and give it a read.

A job for HISTCOM

How did I miss this 19 months ago? Well the Naval History and Heritage Command needs to deploy their QRF to CJCS Admiral Mullen pronto. Let's review the historical facts that seem to have fallen through the ladder well of the Potomac Flotilla's SOPA. With all due respect and genuflection ...
The nation's top military officer says it's too easy to hand off foreign policy problems to the well-organized, well-funded Pentagon, but that diplomacy is sometimes best left to diplomats.

"We should be more willing to break this cycle, and say when armed forces may not always be the best choice to take the lead," Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, said Monday.

Mullen said civilian agencies including the State Department deserve more money and support, because they can often do a better job of projecting American policy and ideas. It's tempting to turn first to the can-do military when problems arise, but Mullen said that the experience of the Vietnam War gives him "an acute understanding of the finite application of force abroad, as well as its impact at home."
Ahem. The original sin of Vietnam was when the senior military and civilian "best & brightest" ignored LtGen Krulak's report and recommendations in the early-to-mid-60s.

By the time General Abrams picked up the ball at the end of the decade, it was too late. That lesson from Vietnam was forgotten by many senior leaders today who opposed the surge in Iraq this decade. Good thing we had Bush and not Johnson, and victory managed to go around the obstructionists.

Hmmmm....my Potomac Flotilla tuning fork is picking sump'n else ...
"When called, our military has served the role of ambassador extremely well," Mullen told a Nixon Center audience.

"But our most effective ambassadors of peace in the future will not be those who wear uniforms, or bear arms. They will be our civilians."
Interesting timing. Funny how it seems roughly aligned with Michèle.

Is it just me - or do you roll your eyes a bit? I mean, really, you are part CJCS ... not Part of the civilian administration. Hmmmmmm.
Mullen is the top military adviser to the president. For now he works for President George W. Bush but next week he will work for President-elect Barack Obama.

He'll be the only member of Obama's inner circle of national security advisers not hand-picked by the incoming president, but Mullen seemed to endorse some of Obama's campaign rhetoric about remaking the American image overseas.

"Today, in my travels abroad, I hear one message that rings clear: Most of the world wants a stronger relationship, and a deeper mutual understanding, with the United States," Mullen said. Mullen, acknowledging an award from the policy and study group created by former President Richard M. Nixon, said he also hears an eagerness for public service and engagement from Americans.

"We have a great opportunity right now to seize this moment in history, by enabling all aspects of our power and influence, as a force for peace," Mullen said.

Mullen, perhaps displaying a deft diplomatic touch himself, avoided direct mention of either his current boss or his next one.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Army wins!!!


As much as it shames me to say - the Army is smarter than the Navy by
an order of magnitude on this.

From USAToday,
The Army this month began issuing new uniforms printed with a camouflage pattern called MultiCam, which is designed to blend in better with the varied landscapes of the country's mountainous terrain.

"MultiCam was selected as being the best pattern suited to Afghanistan," says Lt. Col. Mike Sloane, product manager for soldier clothing and individual equipment for Army's Program Executive Office Soldier.

The first to get the clothing is the 2nd Brigade 34th Infantry division, an Iowa National Guard unit preparing to deploy overseas from Camp Shelby, Miss. Brigades will get the uniforms as they deploy. Those that have already deployed will begin turning in their uniforms for new ones in December.

The current camouflage has been in use for six years and consists of hundreds of tiny squares bearing shades of tan, green and gray.

The MultiCam uniforms (as well as backpacks and other gear) are a patchwork of seven shades, including greens, tan and brown interspersed with dark brown splotches.

One significant difference between the two patterns is that MultiCam is designed not only to blend with the environment but also to reflect some surrounding colors, taking on an overall green appearance under a forest canopy and a tan look in the open desert, according to Crye Precision, the Brooklyn company that created the pattern.

The pattern also benefits U.S. troops who fight mostly under the cover of darkness. It is less reflective of infrared and near-infrared colors, "so at night you'll blend into the background a little bit" when seen through night-vision goggles, Sloane says.
I first put out my preference in Spring of '08 for multicam - and I liked it even earlier than that.

It didn't take a chrystal ball to figure that out, I wasn't alone in seeing it was the right answer either. As the Navy's NWU I, II, III train-wreck roll-out continues and Navy stuffs sea bags with cheesy, hard to supply, expensive, and duplicative uniforms .... there is still time to do the right thing and say, "We screwed the pooch on this. We will do what the Army does WRT camo."

That is the solution. We can do it now and save the Navy and its Sailors money, time, and supply troubles. As stated before - it will hide paint just fine if you insist that is the reason you want CAMO on ships (though most would prefer coveralls that I talk to when underway if given the choice between that and NWU). It also works fine ashore. It could replace three uniforms (more if you include DCU for non-NSW).

We won't do that though - only because of mens' tender egos. That is sad; Sailors will be poorer and overburdened because grown men who call themselves leaders act like poorly raised 8-yr old girls.

Guilty on 3 of 10 charges

I'll let you guess which three.
More than half the women quizzed (54%) said failure to put the seat down was their man's most irritating trait.

Leaving wet towels on the bed was the second most frustrating habit (23%), followed by a propensity to leave dirty laundry on the floor (15%).

Other annoyances cited included snoring, doing a bad job at a household chore for the fear of being asked to do it again, not replacing toilet roll, leaving toenail clippings and loose change around the home, drinking straight from the milk bottle and refusing to ask for directions when lost.

Monday, August 23, 2010

An economist looks at Defense Spending graphs

CSBA has been looking at the 2011 Defense budget ... let's join them.

Our spending on national defense is "unsustainable" and "our of control?" Really? Really?

No, it just isn't a priority for some. It is that simple. Just a simple graph answers all your questions. All else is political spin and posturing.


Oh, and the economist in me says, "With lower-highs and lower-lows - you are heading to about 2.2% GDP on National Defense by 2022-24."

I call them the "Terrible 20s" for a reason.

Block 'em; block 'em all


Sure, you can
sue ... but we have other tools to fight back.
Borrowing a page from patent trolls, the CEO of fledgling Las Vegas-based Righthaven has begun buying out the copyrights to newspaper content for the sole purpose of suing blogs and websites that re-post those articles without permission. And he says he’s making money.

“We believe it’s the best solution out there,” Gibson says. “Media companies’ assets are very much their copyrights. These companies need to understand and appreciate that those assets have value more than merely the present advertising revenues.”
B5 is right - what a Jackwagon.

Glen posts to
Clayton Cramer's excellent idea.
Stephens Group has a lot of different newspapers. While the list of these organizations has been floating around for a couple of weeks, someone pointed out this useful Firefox add-on.
Go to his place for instructions.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Pride & Prejudice, ... and Salamanders

Once again, I proudly state that one of my favorite movies is Pride & Prejudice .... the Keira Knightley version, of course.

One reason is this outstanding quote.
Elizabeth Bennet: Are you too proud Mr. Darcy? And would you consider pride a fault or a virtue?
Mr. Darcy: That I couldn't say.
Elizabeth Bennet: Because we're doing our best to find a fault in you.
Mr. Darcy: Maybe it's that I find it hard to forgive the follies and vices of others, or their offenses against me. My good opinion, once lost, is lost forever.

Midrats - Episode 33: The Other Side of Counter Insurgency and the fading of DADT

Thank you for your patience loyal readers. In spite of our technical problems earlier - we have back two guests you have been looking forward to hearing from.

After a decade of conflict - is the impact and influence of Counter Insurgency (COIN) doctrine creating an imbalance in how we equip and train our armed forces?

As we invest our intellectual efforts in the Middle East and Central Asia - how has the situation in the East and Northeast Asia changed?

Join my co-host EagleOne from EagleSpeak and me this Sunday, August 22th at 5pm EST, as we bring on two guests to discuss.

For the first half of the hour will be Douglas A. Macgregor Col. USA, (Ret), the author of USNI Press's Warrior's Rage: The Great Tank Battle of 73 Easting, and Transformation Under Fire: Revolutionizing How America Fights.

A little pre-view of Col. McGregor.


For the second half of the hour, we are going to update a subject we last covered back in Episode 7 in February. As our guest we will have retired Navy Reserve Commander Zoe Dunning, Board Co-Chair of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network on to discuss the lobbying efforts on behalf of repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell" and a status report on where the debate stands.

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 Rad

Friday, August 20, 2010

Thursday, August 19, 2010

About IRQ ...

I declared victory ~ 21 months ago ... but with the last BCT going home, a lot has been out there as of late about it.

James Jay Carafano over at
TheCorner is very close to where I am. A little bit from his larger post.
Here is what we know for sure. 1) Given the state of Iraq in 2006, the country is in a much better place today that any reasonable observer then dared hope. 2) Iraq is better off than it was in the age of Saddam. Now the country has a future, and it rests in the hands of its people. Bonus: The world is rid one of its most dangerous and bloodthirsty thugs. Yes, it was a heavy price. Freedom rarely comes cheap. 3) The surge worked. The surge never promised a land of “milk and honey.” It just promised to break the cycle of continuous, unrelenting violence, to give the new Iraqi political process a chance, and to allow the Iraqis time to build the capacity for their own security. It did that. 4) Things didn’t turn out the way Bush planned. But the vision — a free Iraq without Saddam — was achieved. Remember, things didn’t turn out the way FDR planned either. He said all the troops would be out of Europe in two years.

Isn't it grand what we are doing for Pakistan?

There is a fair bit of preening going on about what the USN-USMC team is doing to help the victims of the Pakistani flooding. That is nice and all - but before everyone gets so excited they flop on the floor and foam - I think we need to think clearly and openly about what is actually going on.

Perhaps we should also think about the opportunity cost. To see in detail what I think, head on over to USNIBlog and read my post there.

Diversity Thursday

I do not have to parody the machinations of the Diversity Bullies. A little bit of needy narcissism, insecurity, and lack of real work to do will always supply plenty of raw material.

See if you can spot the intellectual autoeroticazation.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Al Qaeda oil war?

Some may have missed this.
The Japanese oil tanker damaged in a bomb attack July 28 in the Strait of Hormuz has left a port in the United Arab Emirates after repairs, state-run Emirates News Agency reported, citing an unidentified Coast Guard source.

The M. Star, which had docked about 14 miles (22 kilometers) offshore in the anchorage area at the Port of Fujairah, was the target of a terrorist attack, the news agency, known as WAM, said today.
No question it was an attack. Check out the damage.


The damage report in full, you can download here. This about tells you what you need to know.
Looking at the external damage caused to the vessel post attack (see photographs above) it appears that this occurred mainly above the waterline, although the exact displacement of the ship at the time of the attack is not known. There is a blackening of the immediate damage area which is consistent with a chemical explosion. If there had been a collision, either with a submarine or other vessel, then scraping and gouging should be evident, including paint having been removed to reveal bare steel. Wave damage, either rogue or caused by an earthquake (tsunami), would tend to be manifested as a wall of water or several waves impacting the vessel, which would cause more severe and widespread damage over the ship’s structure.
...
The Al Qaeda leadership has previously called for attacks on oil-related targets as a sure way of affecting US and other Western economies. There have also been frequent threat statements, although these have been primarily related to the GOA. Al Qaeda, who seems the likely mentor and supporter of this attack, is the group with an established pedigree to carry out an attack of this nature, and whose doctrine would advocate any attempt to affect global economies and infrastructure through violent means.
Sal's take: excellent mission planning, poor weaponeering.

They are a learning institution, al Qaeda.

Under SECNAV Bob Work gets an A-

In response a solid post over at SmallWarsJournal by Robert Haddick, Under Secretary of the Navy - and reader of CDRSalamander - Robert Work responded in an exemplary manner in comments.
...The Marine Corps will continue to focus, as it has since the end of World War II, on sea-based forward engagement and crisis response, and supporting joint campaigns of both short and long duration. The primary adversaries in the future will be "hybrid" in nature, with access to the full range of guided weapons--referred to as G-RAMM, Guided Rockets, Artillery, Mortars, and Missiles.

There is widespread agreement that there may be times in the future where access may be hard to come by, and we may have to fight to get it. This comes out strongly in Secretary Gates’ call to improve our ability to defeat anti-access/area denial threats.

In light of these circumstances, Secretary Gates has asked whether or not we should retain an amphibious assault capability--the ability to inject intact, ready-to-fight combat forces ashore from the sea--and if so, for what mission and how much capacity. We have been studying this question for the past year. We will be arguing our case this Fall.

We believe, and will argue, that the joint force should retain a modest amphibious assault capability, focused on the theater entry mission. As Phil Ridderhof explains, the USMC's WWII experience was conducting seizures of defended islands for the purpose of seizing an advanced naval base. We believe that a future amphibious assault, if conducted, would look more like US Army theater entry missions conducted in the ETO, which are designed to facilitate a follow-on joint land campaign. Since these types of missions will be relatively low probability, we think the ability to land 2 MEBs is the minimum capacity necessary, provided there is a rapid reinforcement capability. The inclusion of Army Airborne, MPF squadrons with new Mobile Landing Platforms, and JLOTS capabilities in our thinking will therefore be critical. And any theater entry will be a joint endeavor, relying on Air Force space and air support.

In an anti-access environment where the enemy has a capable battle network capable of firing salvos of guided weapons, the initial phase of any theater entry operation will require achieving air, sea, undersea, and overall battle network superiority. This will mean this type of operation will be deliberate and take some time to develop. This does not mean "damn the G-RAMM, full speed ahead." It means, "take your time, roll the G-RAMM threat back, and then land at a time and place of your own choosing." No 10-day landings in this environment.

Once ashore, the primary threat to the lodgment will come from G-RAMM "counter-attacks" and hybrid warriors who most likely will hide amongst the people. This will require the Marines to concentrate on establishing an inner G-RAMM perimeter designed to keep guided rockets, mortars, and artillery suppressed/out of range. The joint force, especially the defending Navy battle network, will concentrate on defeating the longer range-G-RAMM threat.

Let's posit that if we needed to, and we dedicated the assets to do so, we might be able to inject 2 ready-to-fight airborne BCTs into a joint lodgment over a 2-3 day period. We are recommending we retain a capability to inject just 2 MEBs. In other words, we are recommending we retain the ability to inject just four ready-to-fight BCTS out of a planned force of 86 BCTs equivalents (73 Army BCTs, 12 Marine RCTs, 1 Ranger Regt). The remaining 82 would have to be assembled in theater, once their equipment (generally delivered by sea) and people (generally delivered by air) arrive. Improving the rapid reinforcement/rapid assembly capability will obviously be critical.

We don't think this is a big force, and are not recommending a major increase in amphibious landing forces. However, we think retaining the capability to conduct a modest theater entry mission supported by sea-based forces is critical. We hope OSD and the Joint Staff will agree.

Best, Bob Work
I could nit-pic, but I won't. That is a solid concept to work with. He would have received an A+ if he hadn't used the phrase "hybrid warriors."

If he wasn't nice to me he would have been knocked down a full letter grade ... but today I am feeling happy with life and will be petty and play favorites.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Why we have yardarms ...

Lawfare ... oh good grief.
A federal judge today threw out the piracy charge against six Somalis accused of attacking the Little Creek-based Ashland, dealing a blow to the government’s attempt to revive a piracy statute that had not been used in nearly 200 years.

The Somalis still face seven other charges in the April 10 attack on the Ashland off the coast of Africa, but the piracy charge carried the harshest penalty – life in prison. They remain accused of firing on the Navy ship.

“The court finds that the government has failed to establish that any unauthorized acts of violence or aggression committed on the high seas constitutes piracy,” U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson says in his ruling.
I guess they were just skeet shooting.

Some day I must visit that curious world some of our Judges live in. In this case, a Clinton Appointee.

What do you gain by cutting USN & USAF?


Via our buddy Phil - the NYT is playing ... well ... the contrary logic that can be the NYT when it comes to Strategic thinking.
Once the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down, the administration must look at trimming troop strength, beginning with the Navy and the Air Force.
OK, let's look closer at that idea.

If you are the NYT - then you want to get American ground forces home once we are through with the two present wars (me too). I would go a step further and take all but perhaps the
173rd out of Europe and about half the USMC in Japan and 2/3 of the forced in South Korea ... but I won't hijack my own post, today. As a (r) republican, the only thing I can't stand more than Titles and Hereditary Monarchy is Empire ... but back to the point.

If you wish to maintain the ability to project power globally with minimal risk of entanglement and loss of American lives - the best way to do that is via air and sea forces.

If you are a maritime nation surrounded by friendly land borders (relatively) and large oceans, if you have a land-centric force without the ability to have air and maritime supremacy - then you cannot move them anywhere without unacceptable risk.

There is a lot more here to argue than the simple fact that it takes less time to grow a new Army or USMC Division than in does a Carrier Strike Group of Fighter WIng, no - there is something much for basic going on.

If you have a small land-centric force and a small air and sea component - then you are no longer a global power. You are a regional power - like Brazil.

You no longer have an ability to be a global force for anything. Others will step in, and with them will come their cultural norms for the conduct of international business and relations.

Ah, ha; you say. See that?

I've been reading
The Nation since high school. Starving the beast is not a new concept.

That funny 2011 ....

I think you can put this down to preemptive 4th order effects to the growing critical mass that is the JUL 2011 Strategic Confusion.

In an interview with
Fred Kaplan at Foreign Policy:
Gates, who turns 67 in September, says he wants to leave the job and retire, this time for good, sometime in 2011. "I think that it would be a mistake to wait until January 2012," he said. It might be hard to find a good person to take the job so late, with just one year to go in the president's current term. And, he added, "This is not the kind of job you want to fill in the spring of an election year."
Will the President's decision to cut-n-run on a timetable like his political advisers will push vs. follow the advice of his military wing to finish what we started have something to do with his decision?

We'll have to wait and see. The troubling mention of 2011 though worries me. A very interesting 10 months.

Oh, one last thing from the interview. A little love for the 'ole USN.
He is the secretary of defense; he has to pick his fights. At one point in our interview, he noted that he's not proposing to cut the number of aircraft carriers. When I asked why not, he replied, "I may be bold, but I'm not crazy."
OK, maybe not a heart-felt love - maybe closer to fear; but I'll take it.

Monday, August 16, 2010

What price SVTOL?


With wars still going on - those looking over the horizon to what they think will be the land of peace that nations have been looking for but have never found - are already going after the Marines.

They have f
ought this battle before - and their external enemies and challenges they will have to fight and overcome. In that battle - one over the next couple of decades that will be well seasoned with budgetary challenges unheard of in living memory for those leading the DOD - how much are they going to be weakened by decisions made over the last decade and more?

Over at ArmedForcesJournal, LCDR Perry Soloman looks at what has come to define Marine Air - SVTOL.
The Marine Corps has embarked upon a comprehensive overhaul of its aviation force that is scheduled to culminate in 15 years with the replacement of every airframe currently in service.

To reduce the compounding costs associated with operating multiple varieties of fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, the Marine Corps will transition from 13 to six types or models of manned aircraft over the next 10 years. In doing so, Marine Corps aviation will attain a goal 40 years in the making: the fielding of an entire light attack force capable of short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) operations.
There is the set-up.

What is the good?
The doctrinal concept of Operational Maneuver from the Sea (OMFTS) recognizes the challenges faced by Marine logisticians as they phase combat power ashore. Gen. Charles C. Krulak envisioned that “with sea-based logistics, fire support, medical facilities, and command and control assets, [the] force maximizes its protection by limiting its footprint — and hence its vulnerability — ashore.” For the low-intensity littoral conflicts of the future, OMFTS will be the touchstone doctrine. Ship to Objective Maneuver (STOM) is the tactical application of OMFTS. With the publication of the STOM concept of operations, the Marine Corps paid recognition to the sometimes unnecessary and untenable requirements of amphibious lodgment and the inherent attrition-based strategy that accompanies securing an actively contested beachhead. With OMFTS and STOM, aviation units are not phased ashore. Therefore, STOVL attack aircraft capable of sustained operations from sea are a critical requirement for the successful execution of OMFTS.

Marines deploying from the deck of an amphibious assault ship and operating independently of a larger carrier strike group need fixed-wing tactical aircraft organic to the amphibious ready group that will support their movement ashore. The idea of a fifth-generation STOVL stealth fighter based near the front that will bring “unprecedented responsiveness to the fight” is a red herring that continues to propagate from the highest levels of the Marine Corps.
But the challenges ...
Marine Corps aviation is in an unnecessarily precarious position. As the price of the F-35 continues to climb, budgetary restrictions will force the Corps to make cuts in other programs or purchase fewer STOVL stealth fighters. Without argument, the F-35B is crucial to the future of Marine Corps tactical fixed-wing aviation. Without the F-35B to replace the aging Harrier fleet, Operational Maneuver from the Sea is a hollow shell of a concept. Marine Corps leadership is making an existential gamble on an untested and unproven weapons system. To guarantee that future amphibious assaults have organic fixed-wing assets in direct support, the Marine Corps must at least acknowledge a second course of action that involves a more diversified air arm.

The Department of the Navy should reduce the number of F-35Bs procured for the Marine Corps and buy only the number of aircraft required to fill Marine air wings dedicated to deploying with amphibious assets. This will cause the per-unit cost to rise even more, but the increased cost can be offset by transitioning F/A-18D squadrons to the much cheaper F/A-18F. The Marine Corps can buy three F/A-18Fs for the cost of a single F-35B.
Towards the end of the article he expands on the discussion of the FA-18F option; something I think we will hear a lot more of down the road.

The great thing about the USMC has always been that when you call them - they show up with all the tools they need to do their job, with a little help from their Navy sibling. A critical part of that is Marine Air. The bean counters have never understood that and for decades they have been trying to kill it. Once again, it seems, the battle is joined.

Turn to.