Archive for 9, June 2012

Bizzaro

Posted in politcs, rankers with tags , , , , , , on 9, June 2012 by chockblock

We elect politicians, presidents, congress, governors and state legislators on down to city councils. They in turn pass budgets and set policy, under the watchful eye of the judicial branch. Every graduate of the American Public educational system should know this. The Secretary of Defense is a civilian, the Commander in Chief of all armed forces is the President. Generals and Admirals (all the way down to Majors and Lieutenant Commanders) have to be confirmed by the senate. Civilian control. Civilians plan and sign off on military ops. Period.

In the left’s version of reality, somehow corporations and the military really run things. All the time we hear about the “military industrial complex.” They bitch about the influence of corporations and how the (Bush) Whitehouse is somehow making endless war. All planned for and lining the pockets of the Fortune 500 no doubt.

“MSNBC’s Chris Hayes proclaimed on Memorial Day that he was uncomfortable labeling fallen troops as heroes as he felt the term is used as an excuse to engage in “Unjust Wars”.

But those who died, those who literally gave everything, who will never see their families, who will never hold their children, who will never again know their partner’s embrace – these people are heroes.

They paid a price Mr. Hayes would never be willing to pay for this country. I’m sure he’d have a dozen great-sounding reasons why he wouldn’t serve as well: he doesn’t trust the leadership, he’s more valuable somewhere else, he won’t engage in unjust wars, blah, blah, blah. And he will surely have an army of followers supporting him, as they are all over the blogosphere right now, agreeing with his statements. As we speak, they are writing comments citing “facts” that are patently false about our intelligence, our income levels, and our education. They are developing arguments for why Hayes is right, why we are wrong, why anyone who serves isn’t worthwhile or has no other options. If you don’t believe me, please go look at the comments section under any Hayes article regarding this topic on a non-military blog.”

Douche of the Week: Chris “The Real Hero” Hayes from MSNBC Nick at Rinoden.rangerup.com


“Tuesday night, watching the election returns from Wisconsin was an object lesson in a few areas. On both CNN and MSNBC, the pundits and hosts proved they cannot divide. Flashed on their screens were comparisons of total spending on the governor’s race that showed $45 million in total for Scott Walker, and but $9 million for the poor beleaguered forces of Tom Barrett, the candidate of “the people” (the unions). Of course, the unions’ direct or in-kind spending throughout the recall effort, variously estimated at $20 million on the governor’s race alone, was excluded from the comparison. In any case, the geniuses of the left, Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O’Donnell, and Ed Schultz among them, all bemoaned this 7-to-1 or 8-to-1 spending disparity, all a result of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. One would think that 45 divided by 9 is not a tough calculation.

The left is unwilling to accept that a majority of American voters might not be with them, and that ordinary Americans (not just the ultra-rich) might contribute to Republicans. The start of the general election cycle is providing evidence that 2012 will not be a replay of 2008.”
Citizens United Becomes the Left’s All-Purpose Excuse: Richard A. Baehr, American Thinker

The left’s culture, their ‘Weltanschauung’ (world view) is one where they are somehow privy to the truth[tm]. A terrible world where evil Megacorporations control everything, the government is out to get them and only they can save us! The truth is that they are as power hungry as the corporations they despise. The “Military–industrial complex“? Ike was trying to warn the country about Kennedy. JFK was the best friend the Pentagon ever had. His Vice President, LBJ gave us Vietnam along with the “Great Society” welfare state we still have today.

It’s not corporations, it’s not the military. JFK expanded the Pentagon because he vowed to get tough on the USSR. He sent advisers to Vietnam. Congress votes to spend money on DoD programs because they produce jobs in their districts and some actually care about America’s security. It’s politicians that control everything and voters in turn control them. Young people join the military for jobs, college money and patriotism. During the war recruiting numbers fell. They shot up when the economy turned sour. To the left it’s a “poverty draft”. In realty people like jobs and have money, especially those with families. Oh and health care too. The military provides those, along with good olde fashioned patriotism and values. People vote for politicians based on issues or the economy. No slick corporate ad campaign and save your ass when the voters are out of work or wages are stagnant.

The left lives in their own world. One where the people are sheep. Vote for the party of free stuff and socialism. Oh and you college students can stick it to the man![tm]

The truth is that the left goes fucking nuts when things don’t go their way. The whole anti-war movement was really anti-Bush. With a democrat in the Whitehouse the “peace” movement evaporated. But the mask shows through. Some MSNBC douche can’t comprehend that soldiers are not toys or puppets of the government (a popular lefty way of thinking) but real people. They wine and complain about the milbong putting a boot up Chris Hayes ass. I have never seen ANY leftist come to the aid of the troops they said they wanted home. Never seen them offer to help military families pay bills, or offer to help with PTSD. They love stories of “war crimes” but real flesh and blood American soldiers are props.

The people of Wisconsin voted for Gov. Walker because he says he has a plan. Walker has to deliver or he’s out of office. The left’s plan was to raise taxes and keep paying their union buddies. “Union-Political complex”? You bet your ass. With welfare, food stamps and taxes they have been buy votes with our money. And it’s more costly than anything the DoD and it’s contractors could dream up.

Mission Creep

Posted in ADA, army life, politcs, tech pron, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , on 9, June 2012 by chockblock

Mission creep is the expansion of a project or mission beyond its original goals, often after initial successes.[1] Mission creep is usually considered undesirable due to the dangerous path of each success breeding more ambitious attempts, only stopping when a final, often catastrophic, failure occurs.
— Wikipeida

“The U.S. Army doesn’t want it, but the Department of Defense is saying: Yes, you do. The Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) would be scuttled if Army commanders had their way, saying the missile defense program is too costly to develop, with a price tag of $19 billion. However, Pentagon officials and others in the Obama administration want MEADS, which is being developed in partnership with Germany and Italy, because killing the program could upset relations with the two European allies.”
Army vs. Lockheed Martin in Battle to Cancel Missile Defense System

Future Combat Systems (FCS) was the United States Army’s principal modernization program from 2003 to early 2009.[1] Formally launched in 2003, FCS was envisioned to create new brigades equipped with new manned and unmanned vehicles linked by an unprecedented fast and flexible battlefield network. In April and May 2009, Pentagon and Army officials announced that the FCS vehicle-development effort would be cancelled. The rest of the FCS effort would be swept into a new, pan-Army program called the Army Brigade Combat Team Modernization Program.[2]“
— Wikipeida

“January 11, 2011: The U.S. Army has finally, after over a decade of development, and no orders, cancelled its SLAMRAAM antiaircraft missile system. The U.S. defense budget is being cut, and those items lower on the “must have” list are being eliminated. Some $3 billion has been spent on SLAMRAAM so far, and it would cost another $12 billion to put it into production.”
SLAMRAAM Dies From Loneliness


“But the replacement program for the OH-58 was supposed to be the ARH-70, and it should have been generally a low risk program. Take the existing Bell 407 airframe, itself an evolution of the Bell 206 that gave us the Kiowa, and add sensors and weapons. Easy peasy. How that program fell to pieces is beyond me. I’m not an engineer or an aviator. I know there are always challenges, but the collapse of that program was a big surprise to me.”

Brad On why the Army is still flying Vietnam War-era choppers.

“found it surprising as well. From what I could determine the downfall of the program was the bane of so many programs in the military these days, refusing to freeze the specs. They allow a continuing larding of the program and change orders are expensive. Successful acquisition programs freeze the design and build more capability into the follow on models. The Army didn’t force a freeze, so costs ran away from them, and instead of getting a good first effort, they got nothing instead. Great, huh?”

Quartermaster nails it.

When defense contracts go beyond paper specs and RFP’s we’re talking about real money. And jobs. And promotions for those involved in the program. THAAD and the F-22 have parts made in almost all the 50 states. Military bases employ thousands all around the country. Of course Big Army and Congress also think about the men and women who’ll be fighting and fixing these systems. Of course.

The problem is that, like the Navy, Big Army wants cool and shiny. New computers? Sure why not. New radios and a new network? Okay. MEADS had three radars as opposed to the Patriot systems one. A maintenance headache that became a nightmare since the new radars have new parts. Add to the fact that our Warrant Officers and Soldiers under them would all have to be retrained. Adding to the costs of trying to field a new system.

The FCS tried too much at once. New network, new computers and sensors, new weapons AND new vehicles all under one roof. Almost all were canceled. After Iraq, the 50 ton FCS vehicles were dumped for the 70+ ton monsters. IED’s are a threat, but the infantry would ride in a vehicle with a weight approaching Hitler’s Maus. The only Ground the “Ground Combat Vehicle” may end up fighting on is a reinforced concrete runway.

SLAMRAAM died because the Army has to pay for the the FCS GCV and other shooty projects. Short range air defense? Who needs it with the Air Force and it’s F-22’s and F-35’s running the skies. Um..wait a minute…

We need reform, but most of the “reform” the pundits have in mind is to cancel everything. The left wants to stick it’s fingers in it’s ears and pretend that our ships and air craft don’t age. That our enemies are getting smarter and more deadly. The deficit hawks on the right only care about defense cuts when they threaten jobs in their districts. Otherwise they’ll cut and cut in the name of “savings.”

When contracts are fixed, cutting the number of widgets built skyrockets the price. In the 80’s the Dod let the contracts write in the costs of items. Nowadays we have “single source”, “no bid” and fixed price contracts coupled with design specs that waste more money than they save.

We can do better. We need to do better.

Mighty Mites: Zumwalt, “high tech” and China

Posted in guns, tech pron, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 9, June 2012 by chockblock

Zumwalt reshaped the Navy’s effort to replace large numbers of aging World War II-era vessels, a plan called “High-Low.” Instituted over the resistance of Admiral Hyman Rickover and others, High-Low sought to balance the purchase of high-end, nuclear-powered vessels with low-end, cheaper ones —- such as the Sea Control Ship — that could be bought in greater numbers. Rickover, the Father of the Nuclear Navy, preferred buying a few major ships to buying many ordinary ones. Zumwalt proposed four kinds of warships to fit the plan; in the end, only the Pegasus class of missile patrol boats and the Oliver Hazard Perry (FFG 7) class of guided missile frigates became reality, and only six out of the planned 100+ Pegasus class hydrofoils were built. But the Perrys stood as the most populous class of U.S. warships since World War II until the advent of the Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) destroyers.”

Wikipedia

USS Oliver Hazard Perry

USS Oliver Hazard Perry

Brad wrote about the Houbei missile boats. Small, fast, with stealth tech and anti-ship missile launchers.
At 36 knots, its just 12 knots shy of the Pegasus’s 48. But that’s still fast for a patrol ship. And it’s cheap.

Houbei class missile boat

Fear my l33t missile skillz!

Admiral Zumwalt wanted to expand the Navy as the USSR was building up. The Sea Control Ship was a mini-carrier, with VTOL aircraft. That fighter was supposed to be the XFV-12but the Navy had to settle for the British designed AV-8 when Rockwell couldn’t deliver.

Artist conception

Between the SCS, the Perry class frigates and the hydrofoils, Zumwalt wanted to expand the Navy quickly. He didn’t see the ships as a replacement for the big ships but as a way to meet the Reds. Those three ships could hold the line until the big carriers and cruisers could be brought to bear. They’d protect the carriers and add firepower to the cruisers. The SCS would chase the subs away from the strike groups as its aircraft added to the big carrier’s wing. The Pegasus and Perry’s would missile spam the Soviets. With all their powers combined, the Soviet Navy would wilt under Navy firepower.

Pegasus-class hydrofoils

Pegasus-class hydrofoils

It was called the “High-Low” mix. For every big ship, dozens of smaller ships could be bought along side it.

The Soviets had their Kiev class. It was a mini-carrier and a missile cruiser in one. They liked’em so much that they went full carrier.  One sailed, the Cold War ended before the second one could be built. Guess where the second carrier is? (Hint: CHINA!)

In the end the “Nuclear Navy” won out. Like the “Sea Shadow“, most of the ship Zumwalt wanted had fewer crew. Less people for officers to boss around. Rickover wanted his subs and the carrier skippers wanted their big decks. The Pegasus class was limited to a few ships, all withdrawn after 1993. The SCS was seen as an outright threat to the big carriers and the Marines had the “Gator Navy” so the SCS never left the drawing board when Zumwalt retired. The Perry class served for many years. However they are limited, worn out and the navy wants to withdraw them from service. Their replacement is the Littoral Combat ship.

$$$

Next War-itis cast in steel

How did the Navy honor Zumwalt? Two of the most expensive and trouble plagued ship building programs in American history.

“Lawmakers and others have questioned whether the Zumwalt class costs too much and whether it provides the capabilities the U.S. military needs. In 2005 the Congressional Budget Office estimated the acquisition cost of a DD(X) at $3.8–4.0bn in 2007 dollars, $1.1bn more than the Navy’s estimate.[52]

Specific issues have been raised about the design:”

4.1 Ballistic missile/air defense capability
4.2 Missile capacity
4.3 Naval fire support role
4.4 Structural problems
4.5 Tumblehome design stability

Zumwalt Class Destroyers, #Controversy


“On 23 August 2010, The US Navy announced a delay in awarding the contract for 10 ships until sometime near the end of the year.[58] A meeting of the Defense Acquisition Board scheduled for 29 October 2010 has been delayed and The Navy has indicated that no decision on the contract can be made until this meeting is held.[26]

The GAO found that deploying the first two ships will delay the overall program because these two ships were not available for testing and development so changes may have to be made in the second pair of ships during their construction instead of being planned for before construction started.[59] The U.S. Navy responded that “Early deployment brought LCS operational issues to the forefront much sooner than under the original schedule, some of which would not have been learnt until two years on.””
Littoral combat ship

In other words, a massive “fuck you” to the man who cared so much about the US Navy. Two large costly ships that may not be able to fight, one of the ship classes even has his name.

I bet Wired Magazine and the New York Times still think it's a casino.

Ex-Varyag under two.

China hasn’t been standing still. Most of their Cold War era ships were scrapped or are now floating theme parks. They are studying the carrier they bought cheap and have large missile to take ours out.

Between that carrier (and it’s follow on), the DF-21 missile and that fast missile boat, the waters around China could get nasty real quick. With the small Houbei zipping around, the PLA can harass Taiwan and put a dent in our operations. Their carriers are nowhere near the size, firepower or punch of one 90,000 ton US carrier. They don’t need to be. With the newer missiles, cruisers, frigates and destroyers, they can get protection. With the Houbei’s they can add that to their sting. With the DF-21 hitting our carriers (and its sister missiles hitting our airfields in the pacific), GAME OVER.

Sound familiar?

It’s a damn shame that the Navy Brass is hung up on the NEXT BING THING[tm].  The LCS doesn’t have a single mission module that works right. But the modules are it’s firepower, with out them it’s just got a wimpy deck gun. The Zumwalt class has delay after delay. Of the planned 32, only 3 will be built. T-H-R-E-E. The both LCS versions been shown underway covered in rust.

China, like Russia, sells to who ever has the money. That some of the potential buyers for the fast missile boats and new frigates hate our guts is a bonus. It’s sad The Navy just might have it’s head handed to it by a high-low mix. The same idea they spurned so long ago.

4) Small ships can only damage a well-equipped Navy if many of them attack at once. A number of explosive-laden suicide craft in a tight waterway such as the Straight of Hormuz could be remarkably effective

5 Reasons the U.S. Navy’s Scared (and What They’re Doing About It)

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