Friday, April 06, 2018

Alligator Dagger canceled...this was gonna be a prom dance for new concepts...

via SacBee
The U.S. military on Thursday canceled the remainder of a training exercise in the Horn of Africa, and the government of Djibouti called a halt to U.S. military air operations in its country, following two U.S. Marine aircraft accidents this week in Djibouti.

Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie told reporters at the Pentagon that the decision to cancel the remainder of an exercise called Alligator Dagger, billed by the U.S. as a combat rehearsal, was "a reasonable precaution" in light of the aviation accidents, which happened separately but within a few hours of each other on Tuesday.
Story here. 

This is a bit stunning.  Don't get me wrong I agree with it but it's still a take a deep breath sit back moment.

A little background.

Before many exercises such as Alligator Dagger, the Pentagon puts out a notice to Journalists. 

This one was kinda over the top (my opinion).

They called it one of the biggest in the region, called it a battle dress rehearsal and then we can't forget where it's being held.

This was gonna be a shot across the bow of the Chinese in Africa, a warning to Iran and a demonstration to all (including terrorists in Yemen and as far away as Syria) that the US military was in the area and we're ready to play.

Additionally the type of warships involved kinda made it the Bold Alligator of the Middle East/Africa.  Big, bold and in your face.

What was on deck?

The French sent their BPC (LHD type ship) with US Marines aboard, the renamed Mobile Landing Platform was set to participate too.  Of course we'd also see aviation conducting raids deeper into fictional enemy territory than ever before.

This was gonna be a highlight of aviation, US forces aboard foreign warships...the whole shebang.

But aircraft fell out of the sky, good men were killed/and or injured and the whole thing called off.

Stunning move but one I can cheer.

I don't have to agree with a Marine Corps centric focus, but by God if they're bound and determined then take a beat and get it right.  Our loss rate is outrageous, unsustainable and at this time eating men/equipment.

We've got to do better and if the ending of an exercise gets us closer to that goal then I'm all for it.

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