Thursday, April 27, 2017

Military Preparations underway to deal with N. Korea?

via The DC Caller.
A senior administration official said military preparations are underway in the chance that they become necessary regarding North Korea.

All 100 senators were invited to attend a rare, closed-door briefing by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis at the White House Wednesday so the administration could communicate “the seriousness of the threat posed by North Korea.” An official who briefed reporters next door while it was underway said North Korea is a “brutal, unpredictable and capable regime that possesses an increasing possibility of destruction.”

“What you’ve seen is a really integrated effort to prioritize diplomatic and informational aspects of national power, but also what you will see soon is using the economic dimension of national power, as well as the military preparations that are underway,” the official said.

The official said there is a new level of threat posed by the “unacceptable and erratic and unlawful behavior of the Kim Jong Un regime.”
I find this interesting...a few points...

1.  Everyone is talking about the Senators that left the meeting saying it was a nothing burger.  But I heard on MSNBC a Senator claim that it was a sober and eye opening explanation of the issues at hand.

2.  Japan has suddenly warned its citizens that they have 10 minutes to seek shelter after being notified of an incoming missile strike.

3.  The US military posture in the region HAS NOT been relaxed.  Additionally we know that a couple of subs, a carrier battlegroup, Navy SEALs and other forces not identified are still in the region.

4.  The N. Koreans just conducted a massive artillery exercise.

5.  The PACOM commander testified before Congress yesterday.

All this points to the N. Koreans being almost convinced that something is brewing.  Same applies to the Japanese.  Your instant response is why aren't the S. Koreans responding then?  I have no answer.

Understand I'm just using open source to try and piece together what's going on.  I could easily be wrong.

Open Comment Post. April 27, 2017.

CH-53K cost too much? In step Congress Critters to pressure Israel into a purchase...

WASHINGTON D.C. (WTNH) — A group of Connecticut and New England lawmakers are trying to persuade Israel to buy Stratford-based Sikorsky helicopters as they work to modernize their military.

U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Susan Collins (R-ME) along with Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Jim Himes (D-CT), John Larson (D-CT), and Elizabeth Esty (D-CT) sent a letter to the Israeli Minister of Defense Wednesday, encouraging the country to consider buying CH-53K King Stallion helicopters.

“As the most powerful U.S. helicopter, the U.S. Marine Corps will rely on the CH-53K to complete an array of missions on land and at sea for decades to come, as they have done successfully with CH-53 predecessors for over half a century,” the lawmakers wrote. “The strong track record of CH-53 predecessor aircraft for both our countries make us confident that the CH-53K will meet Israel’s rotary requirements for rescue operations, transport missions, and tactical troop lifts. As our strongest ally in an unpredictable region, Israel stands to strengthen our strategic partnership with the continued use of common airframes. We thank you for your consideration of this premier aircraft and look forward to continuing to ensure that Israel remains a secure and stable state with the support of the finest defense systems available.”
This is so nasty and disgusting that I can't see straight!  Democrat Congress Critters (and I apologize to decent wild animals for calling them that) pen a letter to the Israeli Minister of Defense?  To sell an overpriced helicopter? Do you think they have a clue about the IDF's defense needs?  Do you think they care?

Disgusting, amazing and totally expected.

What I'm NOW looking for in a flashlight...

used for example purposes only....I have no opinion on this light....

On an earlier blog post I asked the question...what makes a flashlight tactical?  The responses were all over the map and in the end I guess it really doesn't matter.  What does matter?  How I plan on using it.  I want something small and lightweight that I can have at my side during times of darkness.  Do I need a crenelated bezel?  I'm not a kubaton dude.  I've never tried to learn that stuff so no, I don't think I'll be using my light to try and do strikes (if I did then I'd simply by an old 3 D-cell Maglite).  Basically my use will be classified as "everyday" carry.

Even better though is that we have people in our tribe here at SNAFU! that are still in the business of putting bad guys down...both here in the states and overseas.

Tony made the following statement that needs to be highlighted...

I don't know about definitions, but I can explain what a low light course taught me.

1. Have a flashlight that uses non rechargeable batteries. No electronics in the battery to mess up and have it die for no reason. I'm sure this is based on the least common denominator on people who will spend $200 on a light and bitch about paying 30 instead of 20 for a good battery. Kinda like the idiots open carrying a $1k pistol with a $20 Uncle mikes holster.

2. To blind someone's vision at night you need over 80 lumens. They can't see past the light or to their side. Note most lights produce high output for 1 or 2 min then start dropping depending on their discharge rate. Surefire is actually pretty bad about this to advertise higher output.

3. The electronics of the flashlight need to be durable. This is why Surefire has a good rep. It was made to be a gun light first so it can take a beating. Also why they don't use rechargeables or if so single unit batteries not multi packs.

4. Loud clickers suck. Even if someone doesn't see the light yet they may hear the clicker.

5. Strobe settings are worthless because they are not random enough. You brain picks up on the pattern very fast.

6. Crenelated bezels look cool, but throw one in your pocket for a few hrs and it's not comfortable. Oh and for those that say man up a few weeks later your pocket is tore up and useless.
I'll be taking this advice to heart.  I'm scouring the Battery Junction website to find my new pocket carry flashlight.

Exercise RUGGED BEAR at the Canadian Manoeuvre Training by Master Corporal Malcolm Byers

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Soviet threat art...

Pics via BMASHINA Tumblr Page.

Editor's note:  The CIA during the late 70's, and 80's put out annual "Soviet Threat" pamphlets (not sure if that's the right name) that listed estimates of new weapon systems that they were producing.  Being an Army brat you could see these lying all over the place...barbershops, doctors offices and even a few found their way to base schools.  Interesting times.  Say what you will but the old Soviet Union was a good enemy, and good enemies make you better (I'm saying that tongue in politically correct people save your rage for something worth getting pissed about!).

China launches its 2nd carrier....

Thanks to S300v4 for the pics!

Around 2025.

That's when the Chinese will be ready to go toe-to-toe with us.  I hope the Marines and Army Dawgs are training hard.  This will be a fair fight and that means it won't be a good fight.

Battle of Kapyong

Pic and caption via WARDOLL Instagram Page...
Today marks the end of the Battle of Kapyong // 700 Canadian soldiers defeated 5,000 enemy troops in the battle of Kapyong. The badly outnumbered Canadians prevented the communists from ultimately capturing Seoul, the present-day capital of South Korea.
Interesting no?  Check this out via Wikipedia...
 The Battle of Kapyong (Korean: 가평전투, 22–25 April 1951), also known as the Battle of Jiaping (Chinese: 加平战斗; pinyin: Jiā Píng Zhàn Dòu), was fought during the Korean War between United Nations (UN) forces—primarily Australian and Canadian—and the Chinese communist People's Volunteer Army. The fighting occurred during the Chinese Spring Offensive and saw the 27th British Commonwealth Brigade establish blocking positions in the Kapyong Valley, on a key route south to the capital, Seoul. The two forward battalions—3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (3 RAR) and 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (2 PPCLI)—occupied positions astride the valley and hastily developed defences. As thousands of South Korean soldiers began to withdraw through the valley, the Chinese infiltrated the brigade position under the cover of darkness, and assaulted the Australians on Hill 504 during the evening and into the following day.

Although heavily outnumbered, the 27th Brigade held their positions into the afternoon before the Australians were finally withdrawn to positions in the rear of the brigade, with both sides having suffered heavy casualties. The Chinese then turned their attention to the Canadians on Hill 677, but during a fierce night battle they were unable to dislodge them. The fighting helped blunt the Chinese offensive and the actions of the Australians and Canadians at Kapyong were important in assisting to prevent a breakthrough on the United Nations Command central front, and ultimately the capture of Seoul. The two battalions bore the brunt of the assault and stopped an entire Chinese division during the hard fought defensive battle. The next day the Chinese withdrew back up the valley, in order to regroup. Today, the battle is regarded as one of the most famous actions fought by the Australian and Canadian armies in Korea.
So much military history to learn, so little time. How these famous battles aren't shouted from the rooftops by every Canadian and Australian reader I have is beyond me, but I'm glad WarDoll posted it.

A plant move and labor cost made the CH-53K explode in price?

via Defense News.
But those figures don’t tell the whole story, Vanderborght said.

Two factors outside of the government’s control have driven the cost growth on the program: the increasing costs of labor and Sikorsky’s move of the helicopter’s final assembly line from Florida to Connecticut, he said. Under the Marine Corps’ current cost-type contract agreement with the company, the government is left footing the bill for those added expenses. 

As the CH-53K moves from its research and development phase to procurement, Vanderborght believes he will have more opportunities to hold Sikorsky responsible for cost growth. The service intends to switch to a fixed-price contract during production, which will offload some risk onto its contractors. 
Story here.

I'm calling bullshit!

I'm calling massive bullshit!  If I didn't know better I'd suspect the USMC is subsidizing LM by allowing the price of the CH-53K to rise to ridiculous levels. I can't prove it but a SERIOUS audit needs to be conducted.

But let's take this at face value.

A contractor can give their employees a pay raise AND move an assembly plant and the US government is left footing the bill?


Lockheed Martin cuts earnings outlook....the F-35 cuts are coming!

 Defence contractor Lockheed Martin reported its first-quarter earnings on Tuesday ahead of the bell on Wall Street, seeing increased revenue in its aeronautical business, which includes the F35 program much maligned by President Donald Trump.
The company lowered its full-year earnings outlook however, sending the shares lower in early trading in New York.
Net sales rose 7% to $11.06bn in the first three months of the year, aided by an 8% boost in revenue at its aeronautics business, which includes sales of its F35 fighter jet. US President Donald Trump had criticised federal overspending on programs such as the F35. Lockheed's aeronautics operations makes up around 37% of its business.

This is all guessing on my part but I'm betting that earning boost from its aeroautics division came from the extravagantely expensive CH-53K and not from the F-35 like the writer implies.

Additionally with the earning outlook being lowered for the year I'm betting that F-35 cuts are already being factored in.  Something is happening behind the scenes.

Have you noticed that we got no word and NO DEFENSE REPORTER has asked about the study of the Super Hornet vs F-35 for the Navy that Mattis requested?  Have you noticed that we got no word and NO DEFENSE REPORTER has asked about proposals from the USAF for upgraded F-15s, F-16s and even Arsenal Planes?

This turkey is slowly but surely being seen for what it is by policy makers.  Trump might be calling it a great plane so he doesn't spook our allies but the US military (except for the USMC) is already looking at plan B's.

War drums still beating in N. Korea and you don't even notice it...

via Reuters.
Top Trump administration officials will hold a rare briefing on Wednesday at the White House for the entire U.S. Senate on the situation in North Korea.

All 100 senators have been asked to the White House for the briefing by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said White House spokesman Sean Spicer on Monday.

While administration officials routinely travel to Capitol Hill to address members of Congress on foreign policy matters, it is unusual for the entire Senate to go to the White House, and for all four of those officials to be involved.

Wednesday's briefing was originally scheduled for a secure room at the Capitol, but President Donald Trump suggested a shift to the White House, congressional aides said.

Washington has expressed mounting concern over North Korea's nuclear and missile tests, and its threats to attack the United States and its Asian allies.

Trump, who called the leaders of China and Japan during the weekend, told U.N. Security Council ambassadors on Monday that "the status quo" is not acceptable, and said the council must be ready to impose new sanctions.

Congressional aides suggested the briefing was being held at the White House to underscore the message to North Korea that Washington is serious about wanting a shift in policy.

A senior Trump administration official said the flurry of activity around North Korea was "not a part of something choreographed" and cautioned against over-interpretation.
I've been accused of wearing a tinfoil hat and this might be another instance where my critics are right, but to call the entire Senate to the White House for a freaking briefing?

To have the SecDef, SecState, CJCS and DNI all brief?

This sounds like the opening act of some type of military action.  I'm paying attention.  I hope you are too.  If this isn't on your radar then its time to reassess your thinking.  I get the sense that SOMETHING is brewing. 

Open Comment Post. April 26, 2017