Friday, July 21, 2017

Minneapolis police chief says Justine Damond 'didn't have to die'

via UPI
Minneapolis' chief of police on Thursday said the fatal police shooting of unarmed Australian woman Justine Damond was unnecessary -- her first remarks on the growing scandal.

"Based on the publicly released information from the [Bureau of Criminal Apprehension], this should not have happened," Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau said during a news conference. "On our squad cars, you will find the words, 'To protect with courage and serve with compassion.' This did not happen."

"I believe the actions in question go against who we are as a department, how we train and the expectations we have for our officers," she added. "These were the actions and judgments of one individual."
Story here.

I've been watching this one with great interest.

No voicing of support from the usual "police are always right" crowd.

No voicing of condemnation from the usual "police are always wrong" crowd.

Just silence from all parties.

This has been very instructive so far.  It's almost like no one wants to see what's happening here.  Don't get me wrong.  I believe that EVERYONE has an "oh shit" moment.  We're human that's allowed.  But just because you had a massive brain fart does not excuse the action.  You still have to pay the piper.


This case is telling us something about American society and we should all be ashamed.

Upgunned Expeditionary Strike Group. What happened to "disaggregated MEU"?

Thanks to Ogden for the link!

via Shepard Media.
The upgunned ESG was a ‘concept in development by the US Navy’, said USN Rear Adm Marc Dalton, commander of the Amphibious Force Seventh Fleet, addressing a question from Shephard aboard USS Bonhomme Richard.

The initiative will take the existing three-ship Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) with embarked Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and add three cruisers, destroyers or frigates.

These additions from the Pacific Command’s Surface Action Group will protect the amphibious ships and add new capabilities.

The full upgunned ESG will make use of USS Wasp (LHD 1) when it deploys later this year from Japan with a squadron of F-35B fighters embarked for the first time.

‘We’ve used this [Talisman Saber] exercise to work concept development, especially for the cruiser/frigate/destroyer integration into the force as we build towards adding the F-35B. Wasp will deploy with the F-35B in early 2018 for the first time. That will be our first opportunity to operate the complete package as we see the upgunned ESG,' Dalton explained,.

‘We’ve got a tremendous amount of insights into how we can take full advantage of that integration between amphibious capabilities and surface combatants, and all the capabilities with the aircraft and helicopters that the task force brings, so that, as we add the F-35B, it will be just another step and we will be proficient much more quickly in bringing these capabilities together.’
Story here. 

Sounds good don't it?  Sounds like a real smart thing to do don't it?  If the F-35 ever delivers as promised then it will take a dedicated task force to challenge our Expeditionary Strike Groups don't it?

But wait!  What about the freaking "disaggregated MEU concept"!!!!

via Marine Times.
Operating in multiple theaters and under separate chains of command likely will become a more common experience for troops deployed with Marine expeditionary units.

It's known as being disaggregated and split. The latter means ships within an amphibious ready group are more than 200 miles apart, the range of a helicopter. The former refers to those same ships operating in differing combatant commands.

Splitting an ARG is fairly routine, said Marine Col. L.M. Landon, branch head of plans, policies and operations. But disaggregating an MEU was much less common not long ago, he said.

"Historically, they generally stay together," Landon said. "Usually, you would have all three ships within a couple of hundred miles."

But that has changed over the years. The recently returned 22nd MEU, for example, undertook simultaneous operations in the Mediterranean Sea, the Middle East and Africa during its deployment.

"I don't know how much more complicated you can get," said Navy Capt. Neil Karnes, ARG commander, during a briefing before policy experts at a Virginia-based think tank earlier this month.

There are several reasons driving the shift, said Landon, the primary one being the lack of standalone ARGs in the Mediterranean as well as in Central Command.

"You could ask most military guys: We'd rather have an [ARG] in the Mediterranean and another one in CentCom, but right now we can't get there," Landon said. "Disaggregate has become more common way now of operating."
So on one hand we're increasing the combat power of an MEU and on the other splitting it up?

I don't get it.

I don't understand how these competing ideas can be allowed under the same roof.  Additionally if the F-35 is the key to leveraging all this capability then the LPD and LSD are just around for shits and giggles.

Maybe the real answer is just to cancel the LX(R) stop work on the LPD class and just sail LHA/LHD.  They certainly can carry enough Marines (the air company and then the wing can act as SOCOMs bitch), so we would economically have a one ship MEU with an upgunned escort.

That's the only way this actually makes sense.

Blast from the past. The LSD: Description and Employment 1944 US Navy Training Film; Landing Ship, Dock; WWII

Armored BURAN. Hunter for the Tiger

Thanks to Costas TT for the linK!

Ok Russian readers...what are they saying in the vid?

Is the US empire collapsing? Some policy makers seem to think so!

Recently the US Army War College published a report titled, At Our Own Peril: DoD Risk Assessment in a Post-Primacy World. The report, which was written by high level officials from the Pentagon and multiple think tanks, essentially spells out where the American empire is going. In fact, it tacitly admits that the US government is indeed an empire.
The order and its constituent parts, first emerged from the World War II, were transformed to a unipolar system with the collapse of the Soviet Union, and have by-and-large been dominated by the United States and its major Western and Asian allies since. Status quo forces collectively are comfortable with their dominant role in dictating the terms of international security outcome and resist the emergence of rival centers of power and authority.
The report goes on to admit what almost everyone in the alternative media has been saying for over a decade. This empire is rapidly crumbling. But this report goes a step further, by suggesting that the nation state model of governance is falling apart across the board, and not just in America.
In brief, the sta­tus quo that was hatched and nurtured by U.S. strategists after World War II and has for decades been the principal ‘beat’ for DoD is not merely fraying but may, in fact, be collapsing…
…All states and traditional political authority structures are under increasing pressure from endogenous and exogenous forces… The fracturing of the post-Cold War global system is accompanied by the in­ternal fraying in the political, social, and economic fabric of practically all states.
Story here! 

I've called globalization a scheme on these pages because the very foundations of it seem to be built on sand.

The very tenets of the global economic, social and military order makes absolutely no sense!

It appears that some in govt are finally waking up to the facts that the "tinfoil" hat crowd have been crowing about for years.  War is coming between major powers not because we want it, but because the global order almost demands it.

We either get ready for the fight, accept that we're gonna get bloodied bad (God save the Marines, Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen that will be sacrificed in the effort) and steel ourselves to the fact that instead of a war of choice the next one could be a war of national survival.

Open Comment Post. July 21, 2017

Magpul D-60.  Saw it online for about 100 bucks...time to get one or two now before the Marine Corps climbs onboard and the price skyrockets!

2nd Tanks @ Iron Wolf by Cpl. Jonathan Sosner

I wondered where the Assault Breacher Vehicles went!  Assumed that they were all placed in storage or given to the Army but looks like at least a few are still around.

Iron Wolf 17 Combined Arms Exercise...2nd Tanks comes out to play!

Marine Air leadership went off the rails...I'm not the only one that noticed...

Thanks to Jeff for the link!

via War is Boring.
This clarity of Marine Aviation’s “primary mission” is gone today. It has been replaced with something else.

If this situation weren’t troubling enough, in a six-page May 2017 Marine Corps Gazette article about Marine aviation, the deputy commandant for aviation emphasized not once, but twice, “The F-35B has proven that we have a war-winning capability in our hands” — without even once mentioning anything to do with supporting marines on the ground.  Nowhere in the article can one even find the words “ground combat element,” “infantry,” “grunt,” “combat engineer,” “armor,” “artillery,” or “Marine on the ground.”  Perhaps this ahistorical belief in a jet’s “war-winning” capability, combined with a loss of primary focus on the ground combat element, has led aviation leadership to wrongly overlook the Guardian Angel.

If this trend continues, one can’t help but wonder if future “Marine Aviators of the Year” will be awarded in honor of the airpower advocates such as Giulio Douhet, Billy Mitchell, and John Warden instead of Alfred Cunningham.

Given such foundation-shaking thinking coming from the top of Marine Aviation, perhaps it is no surprise that ground combat element marines don’t have the support they need, nor are they slated to anytime soon, despite the Marine Corps Operating Concept’s specific guidance to provide it.  Regardless, this tragic reality must be addressed head-on.  The reasons to do so are many, including, as Rep. Niki Tsongas recently highlighted when expressing her concerns about Marine Corps budgeting priorities, “the Marine Corps’ mission to be the premiere force-in-readiness and the historical reliance that the nation has placed on the Marine Corps’ role in ground combat.”  This reliance today includes the Marine Corps providing almost one-third of the United States’ total active-duty ground combat capability.
Story is here, and its a must read. 

I never heard of this writer, Steve Cuomo, but he's spot on.  Marine Air Leadership went off the rails in their support of the F-35.  Maybe it was the focus on accomplishing the mission of getting the plane in service, but in the end it really doesn't matter.

Marine Air Leadership is talking about doing everything EXCEPT providing support for Marines on the ground.

Even worse?

Marine Ground, especially in the Infantry Community is all about it.  When you hear Infantry Battalion Commanders talking about "integrating with Marine Air" instead of what Marine Air can do to support their forces then you know you have an institution that has lost its way.

Happily I'm not the only one that's noticed this.  Steve seems to think that the answer lies with UAVs.

He's wrong.

Davis before he left (and I'm working on a podcast that will take his parting letter to taks) talked about a V/TOL UAV that would again, do everything except provide support to Marines on the ground. Missions like radar picket for the fleet, escort for MV-22s and even air to air combat was discussed but Close Air Support?

If he mentioned it, it was in passing.

Unfortunately the answer will require a bit of spilled blood.  Not in combat, but in budget terms.  Marine Air needs to be handcuffed monetarily.  Too much money is programmed currently and into the future for self discipline to be realized.

Stop feeding the beast and you can get him back in the cage.

Marine Air needs to be stuffed back in its cage.  It's terrorized the Marine Corps landscape for too long.

Side note:  WHY is everyone so freaking jazzed about fighting in Mega Cities? I cringe at the notion that when its tried I'll be saying I told ya so, but these writers, Think Tanks and Generals are pushing the idea hard.  We will see body bags filled and Lost Battalions gobbled up in slums outside these cities just mark my words.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Gunner Wade has accessorized his M4 to the max...

via Soldier Systems Daily.
The weapon he is currently using features a M4A1 SOPMOD RIS II URG, Trigger: Geissele. Bolt group: Fail Zero. Suppressor: Gemtech TREK-T. He also plans to employ an HK416 14.5" URG with a Geissele rail system. So far, the optics he is working with are the Trijicon VCOG 1-6×24 and a 1-8×28 AccuPower. However, he quickly realized that he had set up the optic mount bridging both the upper receiver and rail in order to get proper eye relief with the mount he had. 
Story here. 

Wow.  So dude is running a Geissele trigger, Fail Zero bolt group, is currently sporting a Daniel Defense RIS (will follow up with a test of the Geissele system) and of course the Gemtech.  Awesome!

What do I love about all this?

All these upgrades can be performed by the individual Marine.  Additionally just the trigger alone should improve accuracy and rate of fire for a standard M4.

The one thing he's not investigating but wish that he would is the collapsible buttstock.  What's on the market worth consideration by the Marine Corps?  I have my own favorite (Magpul ACS) but many swear that the only real "combat capable" (meaning that you can smash faces with it and not worry about it breaking) is the ACE M4 SOCOM.

Regardless, follow the link to SSD and make sure you follow Gunner Wade on his facebook page.

Side note:  This is the most effective social media project I've seen produced by the military.  I'm biased but this focus on warfighting that Wade is pushing contradicts what we see on other sites.  He's keeping it simple and focused. That's why he's winning.

Open Comment Post. July 20, 2017

CWO's....making Officers cool since 1775

Taylor and Denise love've seen it before but if you don't get misty you have no heart!

Full story here.

I don't know about you but I'm not ashamed to say this got me a bit misty....