Sunday, March 26, 2017

Hacksaw Ridge

US and Romanian Marines train together at Exercise Spring Storm in Capu by Sgt. Matthew Callahan

Note:  Never knew Romania had a Marine Corps!  

So this is what had the House Intel Chief running to the White House.

A House intelligence committee investigation took a dramatic shift this week after newly disclosed intelligence reports suggested the Obama administration improperly gathered and disseminated secret electronic communications from President Trump and his transition team prior to inauguration.
Rep. Devin Nunes (R., Calif.), the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, indicated that the administration used its foreign intelligence gathering authority to spy on the discussions of Trump and his transition team by improperly unmasking the identity of Americans who were swept up in foreign electronic spying.
"What I've read seems to be some level of surveillance activity, perhaps legal, but I don't know that it's right and I don't know if the American people would be comfortable with what I've read," said Nunes, who uncovered the reports.
Nunes announced the committee would seek to determine who knew about the classified reports, why they were not disclosed to Congress, and who requested and authorized the disclosure of the Americans' identities in the reports.
Why did I include Bill Gertz's name at the beginning of this post?  Because he's one of the best defense journalist roaming the planet at this time.  His stuff is almost always well sourced and correct.

He plays it straight.  If he's the one reporting that we're looking at improperly gathered communications against Trump's transition team then you better check it out again.

I can't wait to see how this plays out.

Blast from the past. Experimental M-113 based Landing Vehicle Tracked Personnel (LVTP)

The Marine Corps does a pretty good job and the YATS-YAS boys are almost fanatical about how they trace the history (its one of the one few "mafias" inside the Marine Corps that maintains a link between its past, present and future) of its Amphibious Combat Vehicles.

One thing they have dropped the ball on are some of the experimental Landing Vehicle Tracked Personnel (LVTP) that have come down the line.  The Experimental M-113 based model is one of them.  Check out the pics below.

I call it a M-113 based model but I think it might pre-date that vehicle and might be based on an even earlier Army vehicle.  I do know that the concept was refined and we saw this proposed (pics below).

It irks me that additional information on these vehicles isn't available.  I've gone to the wayback machine on the web and tried to see if the FMC site had any info and it's a no-go.  I've checked out my collection of Hunnicut books to see if they had any, hell I've even checked out various old editions of JANES to see if they had any info and it's all NEGATIVE!

Last chance is to see if Foss knows anything and of course you guys.

If you have real deal info then hook me up.  I don't need guesses, speculation or theory.  I want REAL information on this rig!

Open Comment Post. March 26, 2017

Saturday, March 25, 2017

It's time to replace the other amphibious vehicle...time to replace the LARC!

It's past time to replace the other amphibious vehicle in the Navy/USMC arsenal.  It's time to replace the LARC.  This underappreciated hero of the fleet is used by SeaBees to perform many tasks.  Additionally it's used to transport men/materiel ashore, act as a rescue boat and a general workhorse.

There really are only two off the shelf candidates and they'd have to be modified to fill the role if we don't want to contract out for new build, but improved versions of what we have now.  The first is the Gibbs Humdinga below.

The advantage is obvious.  High water speed due to the water jets and retractable wheels.  The issues are obvious too.  We'd need alot of them or we'd need to modify the design and make it bigger.  I personally prefer that we buy alot (maybe 4 to do the job of the legacy LARC?) but that's for the bean counters.

The other option?  Some will think I'm crazy (ok, let's be fair...crazier than they think I already am but let's go easy on that talk) but check out the pic below.

I can't find the pic but I saw Marines conducting exercises with allies and they were landed ashore in the above vehicle.  What's it's name?  The PTS4 Tracked Amphibious Vehicle.  The advantage?  Obvious.  It's got a ton of lift! The disadvantage?  It's freaking huge!

Pick your solution.  New build and improved LARCs.  Buy Gibbs Humdinga as is or design a larger model.  Go with the PTS4 and purchase it from the Ukrainians or Poles (I think they use it).  Either way the Gator Navy needs a new or new version of the LARC.

The Marine pic scandal is about one thing. Integrating boot camp.

I've been following the story on the Marine pic scandal with much interest.  The more I read the more I'm convinced that this is another setup.  That issue with the "Task and Purpose" blog was too smooth.  The distribution of the story too perfect.

This was a planned ambush on the Corps.

Even worse?

The aim of it is simple.  They want the Marine Corps boot camp to go co-ed.  This is the final aim of USNI Blog, Task and Purpose and War on the rocks blogs.  This is all part of the women in combat meme and its designed to break the Marine Corps.

All you guys that said nothing yet call yourselves Marines deserve every ounce of future pain.  I don't feel sorry for you at all.  As far as the Commandant is concerned?  The bastard could face enemy fire but cowers in front of a female senator that is talking to him like a dawg?  He makes me want to puke!

We once had greats that stood for what's right.  It seems like those days are over.  Remember Colonel Ripley?  USNI Blog doesn't.  Check out this blast from the past.
COLONEL RIPLEY: I, too, would like to begin with prepared remarks.

Ladies and gentlemen of the Commission, I’ll start with my background. Very briefly, my association with combat. I served my first combat tour as a young Marine captain company commander of a rifle company for a year in Vietnam, along the DMZ; from Khe Sanh, virtually all of the fire bases, over to the Tonkin Gulf, Con-Tien, Rockpile, Khe Sanh and the jungles in between.

My next tour was with the Vietnamese Marines four years later, where I served in virtually the same area. At the time, Khe Sanh was abandoned, and I had the distinction of being the last American there, having been shot down there twice on two consecutive days.
I also served a tour with the British Royal Marines, where I commanded a rifle company in 4/5 Commando, deployed with them to the Arctic for two years—correction, two winters—and during that same tour, I deployed to Malaya, where I served with the 1st of the 2nd Gurka Rifles and 40 Commando on a post-and-station tour that, to my surprise, in the jungles of northern Malaya, also included combat. I wasn’t supposed to know that.

I had been trained exceedingly well by the Marine Corps. I am one of two Marines who have completed all four schools preparatory to reconnaissance training; airborne, scuba, jump, trained with the Navy SEALs at the time they were not SEALs, they were UDT, and, finally, the British Royal Marine Commando Course. There are only two present active-duty Marines so designated.

I give you this information simply to acquaint you with my background and also to say that I feel I have some degree of expertise in this subject, although I personally do not like the term “expert.”

During my tenure as a company commander in Vietnam, my company was lost three times over. At the time, my rifle company weighed out at about 210 Marines; 212 perhaps. When you added your attachments, your engineers, scout dogs, and others that joined that company, it could be perhaps another 25, 30 Marines in addition.

I lost my company 300 percent in that 11 months, killed and wounded: 13 lieutenants killed, all my corpsmen, three senior corpsmen and an additional 15 corpsmen, killed and wounded.
(5:34 p.m.)

COLONEL RIPLEY (Continuing): I feel I have a basis upon which to comment, and I would like to read this statement: First of all, this subject should not be argued from the standpoint of gender differences. It should not be argued from the standpoint of female rights or even desires.

As important as these issues are, I think they pale in the light of the protection of femininity, motherhood, and what we have come to appreciate in Western culture as the graceful conduct of women.

We simply do not want our women to fight. We simply do not want them to be subjected to the indescribable, unless you have been there, the horrors of the battlefield.

The oft-intoned surveys that we have heard have yet to show you even a reasonable minority of women who feel that they belong in combat units. Survey after survey and question after question, ad nauseam, is answered with the overwhelming majority, around 97 percent, with “No, I do not want to be in a combat unit. There is no purpose for me being there,” and the only purpose which has been stated, as we know, is for that pathetically few who strive to gain higher command and feel that they must have served in a combat unit to achieve command, or perhaps higher rank.

The issue then becomes, “I want to be in a combat unit or to serve in that unit, to serve in combat, to qualify myself for promotion,” and this, I must tell you, is the worst possible reason, because it is self-serving. It is self-aggrandizing. The only purpose is to further the interest of the individual, as opposed to improving the unit.

Now, combat Marines will tell you that any leader, junior or senior, who focuses on himself, as opposed to the good of the unit, is completely worthless as a leader and he will never be followed willingly, and he will never gain the respect of his Marines.
Combat Marines will also tell you that they distrust any leader who puts his own wellbeing and his own ambition ahead of the mission of the unit, or the good of the unit. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is precisely what is happening here. These extraordinarily few would-be generals are saying, “It is more important for me to be in a combat unit, so that, I may profit from that and become promoted than it is for the unit to be combat effective, combat ready, and successful in combat.” And that is precisely what they are saying. That’s exactly what this issue is. (It comes down to, “My ambition, my personal needs, are greater than the effectiveness of the unit or the wellbeing and the welfare of my Marines.”)

I think that is the issue to be decided. You must ask yourself, then, “Should we permit this aberration of good sense, of logic and the good of the unit? Must we permit that in order to permit an extraordinarily few to become generals and admirals, as they would wish to be?”

I cannot comment to you accurately, or even with experience, on whether a woman would be an effective pilot in combat, never having been a pilot myself. I will tell you at the same time, having been shot down in a helicopter at Khe Sanh on two consecutive days, different aircraft, that no woman could have sustained the crash of the aircraft or the physical effort necessary after the crash to evacuate myself and another 16 dead and wounded in order to remove myself from this combat necessity. No woman could have done that.

No woman remaining alive after such an event would have had the physical power to extract those killed and wounded men; the pilots and the crew, absolutely no one. To see them effectively out of this enemy sanctuary, with no friendlies around me, while I remained behind, I don’t think any of them would have done that, would have been physically able to do that, and if in fact they had chosen to do that.
Read the whole thing here.  Are we living in a fantasy land?  Do people really believe the movies where a 105 pound female kicks the dogshit out of a male attacker?

America is setting up its daughters for much pain and misery...and that's before they get to combat.

USMC advertising to minorities and women is wrong! We've done it right in the past!

Every service on the planet except the USMC is going hardcore.  They're showing warriors doing warrior shit.  Even the freaking US Army commercials has Soldiers doing helocasts and then taking a zodiac to the beach.

That shit stirs the soul.

That shit makes your dick or ovaries hard (hmm do ovaries get hard?)...forget the science and I don't care about the science YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN!!!

But have you seen the latest USMC advertisement?

What do I see?  Old people (nothing wrong with that....its coming my way), families, urban centers...NOTHING THAT WILL STIR THE SOUL OF YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN THAT WILL DO VIOLENCE ON BEHALF OF THEIR COUNTRY!

I understand the outreach to minorities.  You want more minorities in the Corps?  Ok, but how about you ask the Marines that are serving or have served what attracted them to the Marines.  You want more women in the Corps?  Ok, but how about you ask the female Marines that are serving or have served what attracted them to the Marines.

Filling ads with more brothers than I saw in any Battalion that I've ever been to is not reality and is not important anyway.  Same with females, hispanics, asians...pick your poison!

The Marine Corps is and SHOULD REMAIN a place to test your mettle.  An institution that you need more than it needs you.

This current advertising scheme is a sin and disgrace.  Want to do it better? Want to appeal to minorities while keeping the culture/ethos/warrior spirit intact?  Ask me.  Even better?  Take a look at what you've done in the past!

OH! They shot him. Oooh shot him again! Warning! Graphic war footage!

Safeguard Transporters...

Hmm.  One of the truck routes is near me.  Not too surprising considering Barksdale is up the road a piece.

So how do I clock a Safeguard Transporter?  Look for a big rig being followed by a large 4x4 vehicle with a bull bumper, blacked out windows and carrying a bunch of guys looking for an excuse to get a bit of trigger time!

The sad thing?  Sooner or later (if it hasn't already happened and was deemed a state secret) someone is gonna make a run at one of these trucks.

Open Comment Post. March 25, 2017

Do you have true power?