Sunday, September 23, 2018

ARG/MEU operations revolutionized by a modern "scout" airplane?

Okay.  Gotta set this one up for you.  Dan Goure over at National Interest wrote another glowing article on the F-35 disguised as a push for amphibious forces "leading the way" to US dominance in the 21st century.

You can read the love fest here.

What has me spinning?  The attributes that he gives the F-35 that makes it a "game changer".  Check this out from the article.
For the first time, the Marine aviation unit deployed on the Essex amphibious assault ship are operating the F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing variant of the Joint Strike Fighter. The F-35B’s sensors and targeting systems will provide the MEU/ARG with the means to transform operations on land and at sea.
What does that sound like to you?  Let me give you a hint from Wikipedia under their "naval scout" entry...
 Quite possibly the most illustrious use of scout planes were with the sister battleships Yamato and Musashi. Their extremely long range meant that they could fire over the horizon, and scout planes were needed to spot enemy ships. 
What was that?  The article is talking about pushing inland, not attacking enemy ships?  Got you covered.  From the same entry.
 While the "traditional" role of scout planes was to spot enemy fleets, during World War II scout planes were essential for battleships and other surface warships during bombardment of land targets, as it was difficult to see an enemy position, even with binoculars. 
You need more sauce for the goose that the F-35 is being promoted as a modern day scout?  More from Goure's article!
 With the ability of the F-35B to provide long-range targeting information, surface warfare assets can be brought to bear against hostile land and sea forces.
So what does this mean?

It means that the Marine Corps has struggled long and hard, wrecked its budget and in the end bought itself a modern day Kingfisher.

What's the reason behind this mini-rant?

Proponents of the F-35...especially in Marine Corps use...are no longer talking about how it will support Marines on the ground.  They don't talk about how it will defend Marines against enemy air attack or protect the fleet.

What are they talking about?

It being a sensor node so that other fires can be directed at a target.

That might be the new hotness but we need something a little more kinetic to protect our Marines and our force.  Stop telling me how it will direct fires and show it fully loaded ready to bring hate and anger to our enemies.  Show air to ground setups and give me a firepower demonstration.  Do the same for a max air to air/fleet defense setup.

Tell me something, anything, but this tired diatribe of it being a sensor node.  If we just needed a damn sensor then we should be filling the decks with stealthy UAVs and calling it a day.

We're past the point of baffling the public with bullshit.  We need real shit now.

REVA FAV (Fast Attack Vehicle)

via IHS Janes.
Deep penetration and long-range reconnaissance based on mobility, speed and firepower are attributes of the new REVA FAV (Fast Attack Vehicle) being displayed on Stand CP-110 on its first foray into the Middle East by Integrated Convoy Protection (ICP), the South Africa-based manufacturer of REVA armoured vehicles.

ICP has already sold a variety of its vehicles in the Middle East and is using IDEX as a springboard for additional contracts.

Armament of the FAV would depend on the end user’s specific operational requirements but would typically be a .50 M2 HB machine gun (MG) on top, and a 7.62mm MG alongside the driver.

In addition to the driver and commander of the vehicle, provision is made for up to five dismounts.

According to ICP, the critical parts of its FAV are armoured and the front-mounted powerpack consists of a Cummins diesel engine coupled to an Allison automatic transmission and an Atlas transfer case.

The company is quoting a maximum range of 840km for the FAV. Power steering is provided as standard, as is a manually operated central tyre inflation system.

A font-mounted winch is fitted for self-recovery operations and a replacement wheel is carried on either side of the FAV at the rear.

ICP is well known for its REVA (Reliable, Effective, Versatile and Affordable) series of mine resistance ambush protected (MRAP) type vehicles. More than 600 of these have been built for the export market; customers have included Iraq, Thailand and Yemen. The latest version, the REVA V, is a 4x4 vehicle that features independent suspension for increased cross-country mobility and an improved ride for the crew.

The REVA V has a crew of two plus two gunners and 10 dismounts, who are provided with blast attenuating seats in the rear troop compartment.
I continue to marvel at the most unsung military vehicle of all time ... the humble jeep.  Don't know about you but when I look at the REVA all I see is the son of jeep.  Might be wrong but the lines are damn near unmistakable.

Looks good though.  Plus I like the "keep it simple" approach.

I'm still not sold on the fast attack meme being pushed by damn near everybody simply for the fact that it doesn't make any sense (IMO).  Why are ordinary APC/IFVs tipping the scales at over 30 tons, yet at the same time you're pushing the idea that these light vehicles are not only necessary but survivable?

Open Comment Post. 23 Sept 18.

Yakovlev Yak-130 zooming...

pic via Ladies & Gentlemen Tumblr Page.

Olifant night fire!

pic via Ladies & Gentlemen Tumblr Page.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

The funeral service of Pfc. Roger Gonzales, who served with Company F, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, during the Chosin Reservoir Campaign of the Korean War.

Today we honor the family, friends and service members, waiting for the funeral service of Pfc. Roger Gonzales, who served with Company F, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, during the Chosin Reservoir Campaign of the Korean War. Gonzales was killed in action on November 29, 1950, from Enemy sniper fire while attempting to find a lost comrade on Fox Hill, he was buried there shortly after. After the war, his remains were disinterred and returned to the US. On April 4, 2018 they were identified as Green Hills Cemetary, Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., Sept. 21, 2018 as its final resting place. (US Marine Corps photos by Sgt Miguel Rosales)
You want to understand the "last stand of Fox Company" and the hell they went thru to hold open that road?

Check out this article.

Want a full accounting of the fight?  Check out this book.

Prefer Amazon to the Marine Corps Association?  Click here.

Don't want to buy the book or read the article?  Want the cliff notes instead?

1st MarDiv was made up of about 10,000 Marines.  They were facing off...surrounded by 100, 000 Crack Communist Troops.  Fox Company was tasked with holding a narrow pass.  233 Marines started the fight.  Less than 80 finished it.

Fox Company was so spent by the end of the fighting that it took a dash from 1/7 to relieve the beleaguered company and to keep the pass open for the Division.

I'm just an arm chair history guy but to my eye it looks like the Marine Corps came scary close to losing a division during that fight.

You want to know where my fear of the Company Landing Team concept comes from?  It comes from this fight.  This was extremely localized and supporting units were relatively close, but even with that the enemy was able to isolate and punish this Marine Corps Infantry Company.

Afghanistan/Iraq is most recent.  WW2 is more celebrated.  Vietnam is more enshrined in the psyche of current leaders.

But Korea is perhaps the most instructive.

Want to know what to expect when you fight China?

Study the Korean War.

More on those 8th & I Marines rushing to aid the elderly in the fire...

Once again.

Well done Marines!  Well fucking done!

Armee2Terre @ The National Training Center for Urban Actions (CENZUB)

The National Training Center for Urban Actions (CENZUB) is reserved for joint operational training and allows our soldiers to train in local combat 🏘. 
From 9 to 21 September, the@7ebca, supported by the 2nd Foreign Engineer Regiment, rotated to CENZUB. 
Exchanges of shots and progress of the armor took place under the watchful eye of the instructors.