Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Hurricane Irma News. In rides the 101st Airborne (Air Assault)...

via Miami Herald.
Meantime, on the amphibious assault transport dock the USS New York — which was forged in part from steel salvaged from the World Trade Center — sailors took time out to commemorate the 16th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks near Florida while awaiting their assignment in post-Irma humanitarian relief efforts.

Separately, air assault soldiers with the 101st Airborne Division on Monday were moving about 370 troops, 40 vehicles and 35 aircraft to Alabama to be in position to provide search and rescue, medical evacuation and other services to Florida.

The aircraft included Black Hawk helicopters, some equipped to evacuate patients, others set up to move people and equipment, and Chinook, heavy-lift helicopters, Army Lt. Col. Martin L. O’Donnell said of the 101st at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

Other U.S. military forces Northcom said were on standby for service — if Scott’s office asks FEMA to ask the Pentagon to provide it — included 76 fuel trucks from the Defense Logistics Agency at the Robins Air Force Base in Georgia and about 400 soldiers from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, with 100 high water vehicles that can be used to locate and rescue people who may be trapped in flooding.
Story here. 

Let me get this out the way.  I'm happy to see the affected region get the help it needs.

Having said this, it was so fucking predictable.  The USMC after being burned so badly with the response to Hurricane Harvey AGAIN miscalculated and instead of being on the frontlines of the response find themselves in the backwater of the Virgin Islands.

YES!  I KNOW!  Chaos has broken out and all kinds of idiocy is happening on those islands (I worry that will be another black eye...haven't seen much news about Marines putting forces ashore to stabilize the situation and restore security...maybe leaving the FREAKING BATTALION LANDING TEAM BEHIND WASN'T SUCH A GOOD FUCKING IDEA HUH????) but the mainshow will always be what happens on the continental US.

Think about it like this.

An aircraft carrier is a force multiplier and NORTHCOM (really starting to have a visceral hatred for that Commanding Officer...she seems so lost) could easily source forces from the many bases located in the Southern US if she wanted to handle this in the most efficient way possible.

But no.

Instead of requesting and getting a full MEU to go to the VI, and sending a Carrier to augment that force, we're seeing interservice politics at play (and yeah I'm bitching because I sense that the Marine Corps is losing badly) and the carrier is off the coast of Florida and now the Army is pushing thru one of its "storied" units to assist.

We're losing the visibility war in this crisis.

I only hope the people in the region are getting the help they need in a timely manner.

Note:  It happened with Harvey and it's happening with Irma.  The chest thumping and the bragging about the response is happening before the crisis is over.  

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