Friday, September 22, 2017

USAF jumps on the urban combat bandwagon...

via Breaking Defense.
Two decades after the Marines predicted most warfare would be in urban areas, the Air Force is coming to the same conclusions. Simply put, the great majority of humans live in cities these days, and Air Force Chief of Staff David Goldfein has added urban warfare to his list of top focus areas.

Part of the reason for increasing the emphasis on urban conflict, which isn’t something you might traditionally think of about the service that brings us fighters, bombers and satellites, is that the Air Force may not be well equipped to handle it.

“How do we design an Air Force for this kind of conflict?” Golden asked during his speech here. “Today, I think we are more designed for working in open spaces.”
Story here. 

Why does urban combat tempt these people?

I truly believe they've learned the wrong lessons from Fallujah, Khe Sanh, Stalingrad and Berlin.

Have you noticed something about this concept?  The writing on it is thin and appears that it was pulled out of the ass of some SOCOM bubba.

I have yet to hear a REAL justification of why fighting in a major city will be necessary.  I have yet to hear a REAL explanation of how it will be done without causing massive damage or starting an insurgency from hell.

I'm more than willing to give them the benefit of the doubt but they owe us a rationale for their belief that this is necessary.

Modern Day Marine News....

If you didn't know it Modern Day Marine is going on at Quantico.  News has been flowing out and I've been monitoring it, but decided to do a wrap up instead of covering it on a daily basis.

Here are some articles of interest....

via Marine Corps Times.
Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert B. Neller told a standing-room only crowd Wednesday at the annual Modern Day Marine military expo at Quantico, Virginia, that the current sea-to-shore connectors — air cushion, landing craft or other systems — are a serious shortfall.

“That’s the area that we’re going to pay close attention to,” Neller said, adding that developments will involve a variety of machines and methods.

Improving on current crafts is crucial for moving forces, but also for avoiding attacks.

“Those connectors that allow us to sustain that force ashore and not have to build a huge pile of logistics ashore that makes it targetable, but use the sea to move in and out of the maneuver area as we need to,” Neller said.

The Amphibious Assault Vehicle, a tracked landing vehicle, has been chugging along in that mission for nearly four decades and is due for a replacement.

The new rendition, an Amphibious Combat Vehicle, is being developed by BAE Systems and SAIC, who both are vying to be selected for the contract. The ACV will be wheeled, not tracked.
Story here. 

via Marine Corps Times.
In the next war, Marines will have to “fight to get to the fight” for the first time since World War II, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller said.

“Our adversaries are not going to let us just go to the fight uncontested,” Neller said on Wednesday. “We’re going to have to fight our way across the ocean or under the ocean or in the air.”

That’s why the Marine Corps has developed a new concept called “Littoral Operations in a Contested Environment,” which looks at how the Corps can best get Marines ashore, Neller said.

One major challenge is that large ships pose “lucrative targets” to modern defenses, which have ranges of hundreds of miles, the concept says. Moreover, each ship in carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups is so important that the loss of one ship would seriously hinder a task force’s ability to accomplish the mission.

“It is therefore imprudent to task those ships with inshore operations in complex archipelagos or confined and shallow waters, where geography and battlespace geometry allow an adversary to concentrate diverse weapons systems to maximum advantage,” the concept says.

However, the Marine Corps does not plan to “land directly into the teeth of an enemy defense,” Neller said. Instead, the Corps will find gaps in an enemy’s defenses to put Marines ashore.
Story here. 

I can't explain it but none of this stuff even begins to excite.  I get the feeling they're saying what I want to hear but keeping the same weird plans in place.

Apparently the Russian General was telling the truth...something bad happened in Syria....

I did a blog post yesterday that I considered alarming.  It's no secret that I've been advocating for the US and Russia to shake hands, let bygones be bygones and get to work killing ISIS instead of dicking around.

Well apparently Russian MP's were surrounded and the Russians conducted a max effort operation to defend their people.

The alarming part was a few blurbs from a Macedonian website claiming that US Special Ops personnel were leading terrorists and were killed in the clash...correction fled the scene.

I still don't know what happened.  Neither do you.  You weren't there.  Even people that were can only see pieces of the big fight.

But something bad did happen!  Check this out from DoDBuzz.
U.S. and Russian ground commanders met this week to make sure “we don’t fire upon one another” in the fight against ISIS in the eastern border area of Syria, a U.S. military spokesman said Thursday.

The face-to-face meeting at an undisclosed location in the Mideast is believed to be a first for U.S. and Russian ground forces, the spokesman said, and followed attacks by Russian warplanes last weekend on positions of the U.S.-partnered Syrian Democratic Forces in the region.

The bottom line is, “We need to know where they are, and they need to know where we are” in the fighting in the oil-rich eastern province of Deir al-Zour, said Army Col. Ryan Dillon, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.
Story here.

Why am I sure something really bad happened?

Face to face meetings?

The statement from the US side that we need to know where they are and they need to know where we are so we don't shoot each other?

That indicates to me either someone got hit or someone got real close to being hit and they want to deconflict the area as soon as possible.

Additionally this is a DRASTIC sea change in attitude.   Earlier this year you had Neo-Cons like McCain and Graham stating that we should setup zones and fire on Russians/Syrians if they cross into them.

Yeah.  This definitely was bad.  I'd give body parts to know exactly what happened.

Forward Presence Battlegroup Latvia @ Operation REASSURANCE....pic by Cpl Jordan Lobb, Canadian Forces Combat Camera

Open Comment Post. Sep 22, 2017

Solo travel in a dangerous world. Stupid tax waiting to be paid...

Check out this story of a female Brit from the Miami Herald...
Emma Kelty received a dire warning as she kayaked solo down the Amazon River.

“I will have my boat stolen and I will be killed too,” Kelty wrote Sept. 10 on Facebook about an upcoming part of her journey. “Nice.”

It’s not clear from the post who issued the warning, but Kelty, determined to complete her journey down the Amazon to the Atlantic Ocean, continued downriver.
Story here. 

Wow.  This is a truly sad story.  I cannot wrap my head around the idea of a female (or even a group of women) traveling the world and heading into some of the scenic yet dangerous places on the planet.

It's stupid tax waiting to be paid.

I'm sorry this lady lost her life but where were her loved ones?  I know it's "old" fashioned but shouldn't some guy in her life had the common sense to tell her how dangerous and batshit crazy it is to even consider going down the Amazon river solo?

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Outrageous! Over 100 A-10's face groundings while HUNDREDS of F-35's might never be able to fight!

via The Drive.
U.S. Air Force is warning that it may have to ground more than 100 A-10 Warthog ground attack aircraft as early as next year, even if Congress does decide to add billions to its budget for critical replacement wings. At the same time, the service, along with the U.S. Marine Corps and Navy, are considering halting upgrade work on possibly dozens of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, the Warthog’s ostensible replacement, which would leave them unable to fight.

The two revelations came separately over the course of the Air Force Association’s (AFA) 2017 Air, Space, and Cyber Conference, which began on Sept. 18, the Air Force’s birthday, and ends on Sept. 20, 2017. The annual event offers senior leaders an opportunity to speak on the state of the service, their priorities, and their concerns.
Story here. 

Once again the USAF wins the award for interservice Blue Falcon excellence. JSTARS first and now the A-10?  The ground forces of the United States of America better wrap their brains around the stunning reality.  More than likely a peer threat WILL BE ABLE to deny air superiority and US forces will be bombed for the first time in decades and even if they don't the USAF and USMC fast jets just aren't interested in the mission!

Thank God for Navy Super Hornet drivers that seem to enjoy moving mud and of course the rotary guys that like getting dirty!

But back on task.  I present to USAF leadership (to include their SecAF) the Blue Falcon Badge.   Wear it with pride!

MMC Ship futuristic designs.

Thanks to Galvars for the link!

Website is here.

Looks like the Absalon has a competitor when it comes to the Logistics Support Vessel or Amphibious Assault Support Ship (my renaming of the class).

If that wasn't good enough MMC Ship Design also has a pretty cool looking frigate and corvette....

Blast from the past. Fleet Air Defense Perfection...F-14 with 6 Phoenix & 2 AIM-9 Anti-Air Missiles.

What is the max anti-air loadout for the F-35C?

Turkey launches military operation against Kurds...

via Kurdistan 24
- Turkish authorities imposed a round-the-clock curfew in 46 villages in the major Kurdish province of Diyarbakir as the army launched a vast operation on Thursday against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in the area.

Diyarbakir's Ankara-appointed governor's office in a press release on its website said the mountainous region and forests around the districts of Kulp, Lice, Hazro, and Silvan where the villages are located served as a bastion for the Kurdish fighters.

The governorate statement read that the operation's objective was "to neutralize high-ranking terrorists, capture their accomplices, and destroy their shelters, anti-aircraft positions, and arms depots."
Story here. 

A few things....

*  Interesting that the Turks are referring to anti-aircraft positions.  It's also a warning for the Corps.  Depend on air power and your enemy will adapt.  Remember we're talking about what the Turks call a terror organization yet it has a NATO member's airpower held in check.

*  I don't think this will be successful.  The PKK is the Turkish version of the can't stop them as long as they can run across the border into Syria or Iraq.

*  The battlefield in Syria and Iraq continues to become even more crowded. This is what happens when you don't act to win a war but only to continue military operations.  This thing has been going on too long.  It defies all reason.  It's beyond obvious that killing terrorists is not the objective (spare me your theories...I've heard them all).

It's a terrible thing when you have a NATO member going against a supposed terror group and you don't know who to cheer for.

Blast from the past. A pair of Royal Air Force Harrier GR3 hunting in the Norwegian wilderness!

Pics via FireInTheHorizon Tumblr Page from Aviation Hub HQ Twitter Page.

Blast from the past. CIA declassifies Soviet Navy estimates...

Thanks to Galvars for the link!!!!

Document here.

Soviet Naval Infantry on the cover?  You know I'm skipping ahead to that portion of this estimate!  Wonder how the analysts feel in hindsight.  How much did they get right and wrong.