Monday, April 23, 2012

24th MEU BLT Assault Rehersal? We don't need no stinking rehersal!

Marines of 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, Battalion Landing Team, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit assault an objective during a rehearsal of the final exercise at Exercise Africa Lion 2012, April 16. AL-12 is a U.S. African Command-sponsored, Marine Forces Africa-led exercise involving various types of training including command post, live-fire and maneuvering, peace keeping operations, an intelligence capacity building seminar, aerial refueling/low-level flight training, as well as medical and dental assistance projects. The annual exercise is designed to improve interoperability and mutual understanding of each nation's military tactics, techniques and procedures.
(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Tyler Main)

Mythical Fleet. LSD Replacement? HNLMS Rotterdam

Continuing with my mythical fleet we come to an LSD replacement.

My choice would be the HNLMS Rotterdam class.  Stats via Wikipedia...
General characteristics
Type: Landing platform dock
Displacement: 12,750t (Rotterdam), 16,800t (Johan de Witt)
Length: 166m (Rotterdam), 176.35m (Johan de Witt)
Beam: 25.0 m
Draft: 5.8 m
Propulsion: Diesel-electric system
  • 4 x Stork Wärtsilä 12SW28 diesel generators at 14.6 MW
  • 4 x Holec electric motor (two in tandem per shaft) at 12 MW
  • 2 shafts
  • bow thruster
Speed: 19 knots (35 km/h)
Range: 6,000 nautical miles (11,000 km) at 12-knot (22 km/h)
Endurance: 6 weeks
Boats and landing
craft carried:
6 x LCU or 4 x LCVP (HNLMS Johan de Witt can accommodate 2 LCACs)
Capacity: 170 armoured personnel carriers or 33 main battle tanks
Troops: 611 marines
Crew: 128
Sensors and
processing systems:
DA08 air / surface search
Electronic warfare
and decoys:
4 x Sippican Hycor SRBOC MK36 launcher
1 x AN/SLQ-25 Nixie torpedo decoy
Armament: 2 x Goalkeeper CIWS guns
4 x Oerlikon Contraves 20 mm machine guns
Aviation facilities: Hangar for 6 x AgustaWestland Lynx or NH-90 helicopter and stern helicopter flight deck

By US Navy standards this ship is light, simple and mass production shouldn't be an issue.  In my scheme of things this ship could even be specialized to act as mothership in roles in which the LCS would be too small.

Imagine switching out its normal compliment of landing craft for small boats and instead of NH-90's you replace them with AH-1Z's or MH-60S for sea control and attack missions.

You'd have a formidable ship with a battalion of Marines or Special Ops ready to act against pirates.  Drugs become a problem (well they already are but if a President ever gets serious about killing the importation of the poison) then you could replace them with Riverines and Master at Arms types and have a Joint Task Force 6 at sea.

My whole point (no insult to our allies that operate these ships...its a selling point) is that these ships are relatively modular, have great load capacity/troop berthing and should be cheap enough to build in large enough number to make a difference.

In my plan LHD's and LPD's would form the capital ships of our amphib forces with these LSD replacements acting as a jack of all trades to be ridden hard.

I like it.

CH-53E on the deck...Another Joe Copalman special...

Gents...If you're not subscribed to Joe Copalman's FLICKR stream then you're missing out.  He has to be one of the best aviation photographers her in the states.

This is just another one of his great photos.

Do me a favor though.  DO NOT COPY OR DISTRIBUTE this photo without his permission.  Like someone continuously says, but never seems to get done...It the right thing to do.

CV-90 upgrade for the Norwegian Army...

Massive hat tip to Bjørnar for the article.
The government submits an investment proposition to the Storting on new acquisition and renovation of tanks to the Army. - This investment will provide Armor Battalion and the Telemark battalion increased capacities and strengthening the army substantially the material side, says Defense Minister Espen Barth Eide.
The Government will this investment provide the Armoured Battalion and the Telemark battalion increased capacities and cover up for deficiencies in the structure of medium-weight armored vehicles. The bill will now be submitted to Parliament for further consideration
- The military has recently been modernized its equipment, especially on the waterfront. As many know, we have now proposed a procurement of new combat aircraft for the Air Force. I am therefore proud that we are now in line with our renovation plans looking to invest in just under 10 billion to provide the army 146 rebuilt / new armored vehicles of the type CV-90, says defense minister.
The new and redesigned vehicles will give the Army a significant boost in the form of improved combat power and increased protection for the crews that operate them. New capabilities will be such increased my protection, network integration, better self-protection in the form of remotely controlled weapon station and rubber belts for increased accessibility.

The Army currently has 103 pieces. CV-90 armored personnel carriers all of which will be built on. The project will deliver a total of 146 remanufactured / new CV-90-carts. The cars were acquired from the mid-1990s, and has been a reliable and dependable vehicle for the Army. The cars are based on a combination of new CV-90 hull, upgraded and redesigned CV-90 hull (ie the 103 pieces. Existing) and upgraded turret. Plans are also obtained including unmanned ground and aerial vehicles, various sensors and ground communications.

I continue to be amazed at the speed at which these "smaller" countries are able to procure defense items.

Regardless, the Norwegian Army is about to recieve a quick upgrade in capabilities and will find that they have an IFV that is at the very least the equal of any armored fighting vehicle currently in service.

Don't believe the survey!

via Marine Times.
Under Defense Department guidance, women are banned from serving in specialties whose primary function is to close with and destroy the enemy. But that could change. In a historic first, the Marine Corps is now planning to send women to the Infantry Officers School as part of a comprehensive research program that looks at whether opening more fields to women is a possibility. Enlisted women could get a shot, too, at one of the Infantry Training Battalions. Also part of the possible plan are gender-neutral physical fitness standards that would apply to men and women and a Corps-wide survey so you can sound off on the matter.

Another survey.

Don't you believe the findings.

The current leadership of the Marine Corps is not to be trusted to give real information on the outcome of this and any other survey.  The reason why?  Because the powers that be have determined a course of action and they will do any and everything to reach the desired outcome.

Don't you find it interesting that in the same year that Gays in the military was suddenly and forcifully passed into law we now face the issue of women in combat?

Don't you find it interesting that Marine Corps heroes like Colonel Ripley and General Barrow gave guidance that is at odds with current leadership?

Isn't it strange that not one retired Marine Corps General has come out in favor of these intitiatives?

But that's ok.  They'll get their desired end state.  Women from middle and lower class families will see their daughters legs snapping like twigs....see their bodies destroyed from carrying heavy packs...and they will learn to hate the Marine Corps.

All so that a few Generals and DoD officials can be wined and dined at DC and New York parties.  All so that a few feminist with delusions of grandeur can subject someone else's daughter to dangers that they would never subject themselves or their daughters to.

It would be funny if it wasn't actually happening.

F-35C Formation Flight