Tuesday, September 26, 2017

What has happened to Marine Infantry Officers? Now they're begging for a drone & think information warfare will win the day!

via War on the Rocks.
Let’s take the Clausewitzian imagery of two wrestlers further. Imagine that one has been fighting blind. Fighting without sight is possible, when thorough training negates the expectation to rely on sight. The other senses compensate: Kinesthetic awareness is heightened, a premium is placed on sound, smell matters, and the taste of fear pervades. Now imagine the blind fighter is provided sight in the midst of the skirmish. The sensory overload would be disorienting. But once the senses recalibrate, the fighter could find untapped potential. The Marine Corps is currently the scrappy, blind fighter eager to open its eyes. The forthcoming integration of organic medium altitude long endurance (MALE) unmanned aircraft systems, or, what, for the purposes of this article, we shall call “GuardianAngeldrones, will soon enable the service to transform into a substantively more capable 21st century Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF). What will this future look like?

The Vision

In addition to its emphasis on embracing “Guardian Angeldrones, the Marine Corps Operating Concept underscores that the service needs to continuously strive to be at once naval, expeditionary, agile, and lethal. All four characteristics are essential, particularly in the context of the 21st century. With unprecedented advances in drone capabilities, the Corps is at a defining moment for MAGTF and naval force integration. This transformation is essential to achieving the Marine Corps Operating Concept’s envisioned 21st century MAGTF:

The 21st century MAGTF conducts maneuver warfare in the physical and cognitive dimensions of conflict to generate and exploit psychological, technological, temporal, and spatial advantages over the adversary. The 21st century MAGTF executes maneuver warfare through a combined arms approach that embraces information warfare as indispensable for achieving complementary effects across five domains – air, land, sea, space, and cyberspace…The 21st century MAGTF operates and fights at sea, from the sea, and ashore as an integrated part of the Naval force and the larger Combined/Joint force.

To achieve the vision though, the current MAGTF design must be reoriented with eyes open to a better and different future. A recent congressional hearing on “Amphibious Warfare in a Contested Environment” highlighted the military potential of unmanned systems for the Marine Corps: Rep. Colleen Hanabusa succinctly noted, “policy is set by acquisition.” And the opportunity to create the desired 21st century MAGTF comes with this policy change. Simply put, the 21st century MAGTF will be realized when “Guardian Angeldrones are structurally integrated into it and the naval force is able to leverage the remote sensing, communications, and fires that payload capacity with persistent presence brings.
Story here. 

Read the whole thing for yourself.  Personally I felt ill less than 1/4 thru the thing.

Since when did Marine Corps Officers speak "Pentagon-ese"?  Since when did they bath in "Think Tank Wording" to explain concepts they were pushing?

It's quite obvious that the stink of Amos and Davis still lingers.  That's the danger of letting the wrong people into important positions.  They develop acolytes that will continue to infect the organization.

This "Guardian Angel" is just the tilt rotor drone they're pushing for.

Let me hit you with something.  What happens if this concept is followed and the bad guys simply shoot them down, target them for precision jamming or does something else that renders them moot?

How will the new, technologically advanced, networked Marine Corps perform on the battlefield if this node is removed?

We're building a force where intense enemy focus on disrupting this information network will in essence put all of our units on their own personal Guadalcanal on the battlefield.  Cut off, no help coming and facing an enemy that is able to mass/destroy them in place at the time of their choosing.

Single points of failure are being designed into our force at every level.  The F-35/F-22/B-21/B-2 all focus on stealth to win the fight.  What happens if that stealth is suddenly not valid?  The same single point is being brought to the Marine Corps by people that should know better.

I am not impressed but I'd bet my last dollar those Infantry Officers are on the promotions list because of this idiocy.

Russians construct heavy bridge in Syria...forget Zapad 17, they're getting real world combat experience!

via TASS
Russian road service military experts have erected a bridge across the Euphrates River, a few kilometers away from Deir ez-Zor in northeastern Syria. It will be used to deploy military equipment and troops to the eastern river bank.

The MARM small motorway panel bridge was erected in less than two days under continuous shelling, Head of the Russian Defense Ministry’s Road Service Vladimir Burovtsev told reporters.
"Unmanned aerial vehicles were used. Explosive substances and grenades were falling on us from the air during the installation work. However, we have no losses. No injured or affected. Everything was erected in the set terms," he specified.
Story here. 

Forget Zapad 17.  That was a controversial exercise only because the media and the Western military decided to make it so.

That exercise was a sideshow.  At best it could be called the Russian "Reforger" but a prelude to an invasion?  Someone was smoking crack.

This however, should concern you.

Russian Combat Engineers are getting real world combat experience in a demanding environment against terrorist forces that are equipped with nation state weaponry.

They're getting the job done too.

Want to know how difficult bridging operations can be?  Do a quick study of the Marine Corps assault into Iraq in Gulf War 2.  As far as land forces are concerned an opposed river crossing ranks near the top of complex military operations.

Zapad 17 was a joke.  This is serious and they're getting hard, they're getting fast and they're getting even more capable.

Questions asked about relief efforts in Puerto Rico...just as predicted...

via Defense News.
Two U.S. Navy ships, National Guard, Air National Guard, Reserve troops and Army helicopters are providing aid to Puerto Rico. But questions are mounting over whether the U.S. is doing enough for its territory and people, who are American citizens.

To date, the amphibious assault ship Kearsarge and dock landing ship Oak Hill have “conducted eight medical evacuations, 148 airlifts and delivered 44,177 [pounds] of relief supplies and cargo to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands,” U.S. Northern Command said in a statement.

U.S. forces have also restored a mobile communications tower at St. Thomas International Airport to enable the airport to receive additional aircraft to evacuate residents.

The amphibious assault ship Wasp has been conducting similar rescues in Dominica, but that ship will be departing the region to head to the Pacific, where it will eventually relieve the Bonhomme Richard, a Navy official said.

Approximately 2,600 U.S. military personnel and National Guard members are currently involved in Hurricane Maria relief efforts, the Pentagon said.
Story here.

Predictable as hell.  I told you that the Marine Corps was pushing its "aviation centric" concept in this disaster relief effort and I told you that it would come up short.

Consider this exhibit number one.

Additionally it must be pointed out that I stated that the NorthCom Commander was in over her head.

Consider this exhibit number two.

Long short?

The efforts in Texas and Florida was bolstered by citizens stepping up.  In Puerto Rico?  Not so much. The other factors involved here can't be overlooked either.  That govt is a basket case of corruption, undisciplined spending and financial chaos in general all mixed with crushing poverty.

That will be the talking point that is used to excuse the poor reaction by our military to this emergency.

But make no mistake about it.  NorthCom failed.  The Marine Corps concept failed.  It's past time to make some course corrections.  In the case of NorthCom just fire the lady.  She had one job and she screwed it up.

In the case of the Marine Corps?  Dump this aviation centric nonsense and return to a balanced force.  Even in the relatively benign realm of disaster response the limited manning and focus on aviation has shown itself to be wanting...or you can stay the course and see the military continue to fail.

Chinese Naval Infantry on Djibouti conducting live fire (video)

Wow.  These bastards are getting real deal expeditionary. I originally thought that this was just a rifle company running a drill.  Seems like I was more than wrong.  They had armored vehicles out and about.

And they're just miles away from OUR base.

Just awesome.

Royal Fleet Auxiliary Ship RFA Tiderace

pics via Naval News Instagram Page.

The pic caption.
Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship RFA Tiderace has reached UK waters after getting underway almost two months ago from Okpo, South Korea, where she was built by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering.

The second of four Tide-class ships started her voyage on August 3 and arrived in Falmouth in the morning of September 25.

Now that she is in the UK, the 39,000-tonne RFA Tiderace will begin a program of customization which will see her receive armor, self-defense weaponry and communications systems.

RFA Tiderace is expected to undergo around four months of customization before beginning a round of final sea trials before entering service next year.

Meanwhile, lead ship in the class RFA Tidespring is expected to finish final sea trials in the coming weeks and enter service before the end of this year.

The 39,000-tonne Tide-class ships can carry up to 19,000 cubic meters of fuel and 1,400 cubic meters of fresh water in support of Royal Navy operations all over the world.

They have been designed to support the new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers, the first of which, HMS Queen Elizabeth, arrived in Portsmouth last month.

Chinese getting busy at their new base on the Horn of Africa...

via Sputnik
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLA) fired live rounds of ammunition at its newly opened overseas military base in the Horn of Africa last Friday, the South China Morning Post reported Monday.
The Chinese base operated by the People’s Liberation Army-Navy opened August 1 as the first foreign base under Beijing’s command, Sputnik reported.

"The live-fire training will help explore a new training model for the overseas garrison," base commander Liang Yang said in a Chinese military report cited by SCMP.  Humidity and high temperatures require the troops to adjust how they complete a variety of basic tasks, as well as how they use their weapons, SCMP said.

“This is the first time our soldiers stationed in Djibouti have left the camp to conduct combat training,” Liang said.
Story here. 

Chinese Naval Infantry in Djibouti getting in work.


The challenge is real.

The goal obvious.

They aren't going asymmetric, they're coming straight at us with a smile on their face and K-Bar Fighting Knife (a clone of course) in their hands.

We better get better faster or we will lose before it starts. We must get hard now.  As things currently stand we are NOT ready.

Marine Air is NOT safe.

via AOL Breaking Defense.
 If you know a young person who dreams of flying for their country over land and sea, tell them they’re a lot safer in the Navy than in the Marines. The MV-22 tilt-rotor that crashed in August, killing three, and the KC-130T transport that crashed in July, killing 16, are just the tip of a very ugly iceberg. According to data obtained by Breaking Defense, aircraft accidents have killed 62 Marines in the last six years, compared to just 10 personnel from the much larger Navy.
Story here. 

Yeah.  Marine Air is in a good place.  Marine Air has had good stewardship over the past few years (looking at you General Davis).  Marine Air is ready to take the load to transform the Marine Corps into an "Air Enabled" force (ya like that SLDInfo...that is your bullshit meme right?).


Marine Air is broken.

How do they cover it?  They blame the pilots for mishaps when the system itself is the cause of the accidents.

Too many missions, too few resources and concepts that aren't funded properly is literally killing Marines.

Too bad no one cares, and no one is willing to call bullshit on the idiocy. What will they do instead?  They'll huddle in a corner, say that they're on the right track and should stay the course...and someone's little boy and girl will die in a fiery crash.  When that happens and Marines die, there will be a beautiful sunset ceremony and everyone will pause and remember...and then they'll get up the next day and do the same damn thing.

BPC Tonnerre doing work off the coast of St. Martin

You love the American Flag and Constitution but this triggers you?

You say you love the American Flag and Constitution and everything they represent but quiet dissent....not violence in the streets but quiet dissents triggers you?


No safe space here.

AH-1Z striking low and fast @ Chocolate Mountain...pics by Lance Cpl. Brennon A. Taylor