Wednesday, October 18, 2017

I'm not ashamed to say this makes me feel...we need a new strategy and more answers!

What you see above is the video of Sgt La David Johnson being brought home after being killed in combat.

I'll ignore the idiocy (AGAIN!!!!!!) about whether Trump said that "he knew what he signed up for" when he talked to his widow this morning, as a Congresswoman is accusing him of (Trump says he has proof that he did not).  That Congress Critter making the accusation is as loony as a cat overdosing on catnip.

I want to circle back to the mission in Niger that these Special Forces troops were on.

We need answers and an explanation AND a better strategy!  Almost 20 years of playing whack a mole isn't cutting it.

V-280 Valor Helicopter Rotors Ground Run & 100% Rotor RPM Testing (Vid)

Open Comment Post. Oct 18, 2017

5 Combat Engineer Regiment @ Exercise SAPEUR INTRÉ by Sgt Marc-André Gaudreault

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

One flight deck incident damages 3 Harriers...the hits keep coming for Marine Air...

While the pilot was given a clean bill of health and no other personnel were hurt, the explosion and fire caused damage to two other Harriers on the deck and one $3.6 million LITENING advanced targeting pod, according to the investigation.

Other Harriers that had already launched from the aircraft were diverted to Bahrain after the fire and ordered to jettison their bombs at sea in a designated “drop box.”

While the investigation cleared the pilot of any culpability in the incident, it left questions unanswered as to what caused the engine failure, described by the investigating officer as “catastrophic.”

The aircraft was found to be properly maintained and within guidelines for operation. Multiple witnesses and the pilot suggested the damage was caused by a problem with a compressor blade.

“The investigating officer was unable to determine what exactly caused aircraft BuNo 165003 to suffer an unexpected and catastrophic engine failure on 8 March 2016,” the investigation states. “An Engineering Investigation is warranted and should be conducted by the AV-BB Fleet Support Team (FST) upon the USS Kearsarge’s return to the United States.”
Story here.

Read the whole story and be impressed.  That RAF pilot done good.  Don't know him but his nation should be proud of the airmanship demonstrated.

As far as Marine Air is concerned the hits keep coming.  What I would like to know and they obviously didn't release is how bad was the damage to the other 2 planes.

Are they considered writeoffs too?

Regardless Marine Air seems snakebit.  It beyond obvious that there is something seriously wrong in that house and Davis put wallpaper over cracks. It's past time Neller reassessed its thinking.

Aviation Centric Marine Corps?

They can't handle that much stress.

Proper leadership?

Obviously not. Davis spent his time promoting the F-35 and MV-22 instead of looking after the health of the Wing as it was during his tenure. He violated the old maxim of command.  Leave it better than when you found it.  In other words Marine Air is in a much worse place after Davis than it was before he took charge.

The new Deputy Commandant for Aviation and the Commandant need a come to Jesus moment. 

They need to get serious about fixing things before even more Marines (and exchange personnel) die on training flights.

British MPs upset about F-35B price, vertical landing and LM public relations campaign!

The defence committee grilled bosses from Lockheed Martin over the firm’s lacklustre response to claims the new jets would bust budgets and be too heavy to land vertically, safely, on the Royal Navy’s two new aircraft carriers. It comes after claims made by The Times earlier this year, which prompted the committee’s hearing. Responding, top leaders of the company from the UK and US said the jets were capable of landing on Britain’s new supercarrier and they were confident the price would drop as production continues. Justifying its inaction over claims by The Times, Peter Ruddock, Lockheed Martin’s UK chief executive, said the company did not respond to every one of its critics as it was ‘counter-productive’. He added the fears raised by the newspaper ‘weren’t an issue’. But this outraged MP Ruth Smeeth, who lambasted the firm for its public relations blunder and not issuing a ‘one-line’ response. ‘If we’re at a point where the general public believe that these new aircraft can’t land on the aircraft carrier, then something has gone very, very wrong with your communications plan,’ she said. Responding, Jeff Babione, executive vice-president and general manager of the F-35 programme, said a letter had gone into the paper. But he said: ‘We probably could have done a better job.’
Story here. 


So it seems that the British Govt is well aware of the debate that is going on with the F-35 and they're pissed that Lockheed Martin doesn't have a better PR campaign to battle the basement dwellers!

Freaking awesome!

Time to reassess.

I've been told several times that bloggers and bad press doesn't matter one bit with the F-35.  I believed it to be true.  I was wrong!

British MPs can't be losing their lunch over this little issue.  Something has to be brewing in the background that is making them mighty nervous.

They talked about two issues.  Landing on an aircraft carrier and price.  Lockheed only responded to the price coming down in the future with increased production.  What is going on with the F-35B's vertical landing? Are we missing something huge?  As far as price that's yet to be determined they won't build as many as they have programmed so we'll see what that ends up being but on that alone we're looking at a death spiral...especially with the program continuing to slip.

This F-35 fight ain't over by a long shot!

Kuwait seeking to buy 218 M1A1 tank hulls...

via UPI
The U.S. State Department approved Kuwait's possible purchase of hundreds of M1A1 Abrams tanks from the United States.

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which manages the Foreign Military Sales program, said the proposed deal for 218 tank hulls with 120mm guns and AGT-1500 engines carries an estimated value of $29 million.

The Kuwaiti purchase would support the gulf country's M1A2 tank recapitalization.

"This potential sale is associated with Congressional Notification 16-66 which was notified to Congress on December 12, 2016, regarding recapitalization of 218 Kuwait M1A2 tanks," the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in its notification to Congress on Monday. "Subsequent to the notification, Kuwait requested 218 M1A1 tank hulls from U.S. inventory be provided and upgraded ... using Kuwait's current fleet of tanks due to its interest in maintaining operational readiness."
Kuwait has an interesting mix of US and Russian vehicles (with a smattering of Chinese artillery). 

One day these Arab Armies are gonna click onto the idea of standardizing their systems and they'll neck down to a certain type.

F-35 news. It's not about first production's about the combat capable lie!

via Daily Beast.
The U.S. military has signaled that it might cancel essential upgrades for more than 100 early model F-35 stealth fighters flown by the Air Force, rendering the radar-evading jets incompatible with many of the latest weapons.
In that case, some 6 percent of the flying branch’s planned 1,700-strong F-35 fleet would be unfit for combat, sticking U.S. taxpayers with a $20 billion tab for fighters... that can’t fight.
Experts say the military never should have bought the planes the first place, as they rolled out of Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth factory before the F-35’s design was complete and thoroughly tested—a deliberate strategy called “concurrency” that the military hoped would speed up the program’s progress.
“The risk that the services would be stuck with less-than-capable aircraft is one that the Pentagon knowingly took when leaders decided to overlap the development and testing of the program with the production,” wrote Dan Grazier, an analyst with the Project on Government Oversight in Washington, D.C.
Story here. 

We covered this a week or so ago but it appears that the mainstream media is just catching up to the story thanks to the Think Tank pushing it.


But its also apparent that the talking points have been rolled out and passed along to the trolls to tamp down the outrage.

What are we hearing?

6% or something like that of the F-22 weren't upgraded.  They say the same applies to every fighter that has ever been produced.

I don't know.

What I do know is that this is the first time we've put a plane into production before testing has been completed.

But even that misses the point.

What is the point then?

The USAF and USMC declared these planes combat capable.  Now the program office is stating that they might not upgrade almost 200 planes to MAKE them combat capable because it would be too expensive.

That means someone lied.

That is the freaking story!

There is no need to get into the weeds on this.  A bird's eye view tells you everything you need to know.  This isn't about numbers or costs (even though the costs are mind blowing).  This is about trust.  Military leadership is trusted.  If they lie about procurement then they'll certainly lie about operations, combat deaths/injuries and even about how well a fight/war is going.

It's just that simple.

Philippine Marines and Soldiers celebrate victory...4th Light Reaction Company Sniper Team kill terrorist leaders (pics)

via Semper Annoying Tumblr Page.

Soldiers and Marines of the Philippine armed forces in Marawi City celebrate and are all smiles after hearing the good news.
“Finally after more than 6 months, 160 soldiers KIA and 1000 enemy kills. Justice is served to the top honchos of the Maute Daesh ISIS group.
Clean kills from 4th Light Reaction Company sniper team and rangers from the 3rd Scout Ranger ‘Excelior’ Battalion got the privilege of delivering the final blow to Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute.”

Nicely done.

Politics Talk. Why The AR-15 Cannot Be Banned

I will never understand why guys run their flashlights so far up. Hope they like buying new lights every 300 rounds!

It is simple math: the military does not buy enough rifles to keep the factories open, yet those factories are a matter of national security.  In World War II, various nations came to the United States for weapons because they were unable to manufacture their own.  In response, congress passed the Lend Lease Act.  It was through our great factories that the Allies were able to defeat the Axis powers.

With one or even two factories, we would not be able to produce enough AR-15s, M16s, or M4s to protect ourselves, much less help our allies.

World leaders know the United States can supply her allies with unlimited small arms.  Who makes sure factories remain open during times of peace?

While other nations depend on government contracts to keep their small arms factories open, it is the civilian consumer that allows the United States to maintain a constant state of readiness during times of peace.

Unlike World War II, we would not have to retool factories to make small arms.  Those factories are already in place and are supported by the civilian market.
Story here. 


I don't know about this.  I do know that the civilian market has led to much of the innovation that you see in firearms.  I know that the civilian market IS supporting advances in the shooting science.

But would a lack of a civilian market shut down the US gun industry?