Archive for war

And the “racist military” smear continues.

Posted in HOOAH!, politcs, rankers with tags , , , , , , , , , on 19, April 2014 by chockblock

All thorough out Hollywood and the media’s depiction of the military, we’re shown a bunch of mooks beacuse the military is teh evilz!

Part of this meme is that the US military is/has/trains/recruits rabid racists. They become “veterans” who are planning to/training to/stocking up guns for/working for INSERTSINISTERPLANSHERE.

Jackasses like Timothy McVeigh get branded about every so often (a SF washout and marginal soldier who was demoted from E-5 to E-1).

“Frazier Glenn Cross, also known as Frazier Glenn Miller, is accused of killing three people outside a Jewish community center and Jewish retirement community on April 13, according to media reports. The Fayetteville Observer reported that Miller is a former Ku Klux Klan leader as well as a retired master sergeant who served in Army Special Forces. He was forced to retire in 1979 for distributing racist materials.
Veterans slam New York Times piece linking vets to hate groups,

Yep, another “veteran”. And here is the MSM stock narrative:

“The number of Vietnam veterans in that movement was small — a tiny proportion of those who served — but Vietnam veterans forged the first links between Klansmen and Nazis since World War II. They were central in leading Klan and neo-Nazi groups past the anti-civil rights backlash of the 1960s and toward paramilitary violence. The white power movement they forged had strongholds not only in the South, but also in the Pacific Northwest, Colorado, California and Pennsylvania. Its members carried weapons like those they had used in Vietnam, and used boot-camp rhetoric to frame their pursuit of domestic enemies. They condoned violence against innocent people and, eventually, the state itself.”
Veterans and White Supremacy, By KATHLEEN BELEW,

Plenty of “weasle words” there, I’ve highlighted them. She goes on to say:

Mr. Miller obviously represents an extreme, both in his politics and in his violence. A vast majority of veterans are neither violent nor mentally ill. When they turn violent, they often harm themselves, by committing suicide.

And here is the epic smack down:

“Make no mistake—if there were extremists in the ranks, commanders would be quick to give them the boot; the Army’s regulations give them plenty of latitude to do so. In fact, that actually happened in the case of Frazier Miller,

Finally, understand that Mr. Miller represents just one of over 20 million veterans in America—roughly the entire population of the state of New York. One person does not make a trend.”

Racists in the ranks? Not in this Army., Crispin J. Burke,

As both XBradTC, the Military Times and the Department Of Defense are quick to point out, being a racist nutjob gets a soldier back on the street with a quickness.

Tattoos are inspected, background checks are done. Sure there are some idiots who fall through the cracks. But contrary to what liberals, progressives and places like the Southern “Poverty” Law Center think, there is no mass movement of racist “vets”.

Extremist groups try, they send pamphlets, use the internets and attempt to use social media. And the IG, the DoD’s special law enforcement agencies and the FBI are quick to find them.

I suspect that this “meme” is more battlespace prep for 2014 and backlash over the fail of progressive causes. Expect to see Tea Party rallies peppered with “racist milita” and veterans running for office smeared with this.

The left hates the military and this is one way they have to swipe at recruitment and the treatment of vets.

“Turning and turning in the widening gyre”

Posted in army life, army training, guns, HOOAH!, politcs, rankers, tech pron, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 5, December 2012 by chockblock

The Second Coming

“Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity”

–“The Second Coming“, William Butler Yeats

“The missile tests popping up all over Asia should be seen in this light. Everyone’s arming up, starting with Russia. As we speak, Moscow is rearming missile units with Russia’s most advanced ICBM, the Yars missile, which was first tested in 2007. The Topol-M missile, tested in 2004, is already deployed.”
–“Missiles, missiles everywhere” December 4, 2012 by J.E. Dyer,

Mr. Dyer goes on to list missile developments in Asia, including the Nork’s upcoming missile test. Oh, and “Nork” is not racist, btw.

US Army Patriot missile units are in the middle east, defending our allies in the Arabian Gulf. Egypt’s “moderate” president flees the presidential palace because Egyptians don’t like a dictator. India and China are flexing their muscles.

The left, when not plugging their fingers in their ears (that “norks is racist comment is based on a tweet by a leftie with the IQ of a tree stump), they spit on our country:

But will a film like Kathryn Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty,” about a specific, recent event — the killing of Osama bin Laden — resonate in the same way that her previous, fictional movie about the Iraq war, “The Hurt Locker,” did with its fearless main character channeling our deepest fears about the price of that misbegotten war?

Oddly, my deepest fears about the war were that (a) the rules of engagement prevented victory, and (b) any gains made would be lost to politics. Both of those fears have been realized.
–“Yet more fear and loathing of American culture (and history) at the LA Times“,by Joel Engel (giving a “reason you suck speech” to the LAT’s Reed Johnson)

The left wants to pretend that the world loves and shares their Marxist worldview. The world is have vs. have not’s and not the real world of hate and power hungry haters.

Either we recognize that there is a bear in the woods or we let the bear attack.

“And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?”

We’ll find out soon enough.

Do we spend to much on defense? One liberal opines …

Posted in politcs, rankers with tags , , , , , on 18, July 2012 by chockblock

Behold the epic takedown:

“The United States is building Submarines and Carriers at a fairly constant rate over the same period”

Sub building rate is barely enough to maintain a minimum sized attack boat fleet, the LA boats are retiring faster than Seawolf is being built.

“while the military has had so many Ohio Class submarines that they had to give them dozens of cruse missiles to justify their continued use.”

The Ohio boats are reaching their end of life, a sub hull can make only a finite number of dives safely. The CGN’s were a way of utilizing boats that were rapidly reaching the age that they would no longer be fit for the boomer role.”
–CT in in the comments section of this article.: We Spend Too Much On Defense, By Gordon Adams, AOL Defense.

Yet another liberal chimes in with “millions for defense” bullshit. CT slaps him down nicely. Ever since the Clinton-era, the DoD has been starving. The Bush era brought an orgry of spending on Iraq, but that was a band-aid on a chest wound. I suspect that may libs WANT the US to fail.

Reforming Defense: Lockheed makes a “jeep”

Posted in ADA, army life, army training, guns, HOOAH!, politcs, rankers, tech pron, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 25, June 2012 by chockblock

“Lockheed Martin would like you to know that just because it’s an aerospace titan that moonlights as a shipbuilder, that doesn’t mean it can’t also build a new fleet of ground vehicles for the Army and Marine Corps.”
High stakes in the JLTV competition: By Philip Ewing, DoD

There are companies building the replacement for the HMMWv, the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV). It’s a new jeep for the military.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, the Humvee was too light. It was a soft skinned taxi for soldiers and a whip for commanders. There were “up armored” versions, but they are rollover queens. I used to drive a command post variant. After upgrades, our M1113 was 500 lbs away from both axles snapping and was top heavy. The JLTV is designed from the ground up to be an armored anything: taxi, truck, command post, ambulance or gun truck.

Now Lockheed has some issues with building things for the military. There was the scandals over foreign military sales. Yet this same company built the SR-71 and F-117.

Lockheed's new whip

JLTV three variants during the Technology Development phase

Judging from the comments in the DOD Buzz article, some just don’t have faith that Lock-Mart won’t screw the truck up:

tee June 22nd, 2012 at 7:35 pm

With LM’s current recorder as a benchmark if they get it, it will be way over budget and years behind schedule.

And that’s the tamest one.

I for one welcome out of the box thinking. I do have doubts however. Boeing decided to get into the lucrative jetfoil business, the Future Combat Systems and the KC-767 lease. They ended well, in that jetfoils are forgotten, the FCS was canceled and the KC-767 lease sent an Air Force official to prison.

What’s needed is out of the box thinking, but not so out of the box people lose their minds. I hope Lockheed Martin delivers the goods. If they are making junk, they deserve to lose. It’s not the 80’s anymore, political connections, pork barrel politics or lobbying shouldn’t decide who builds what. Make stuff that works.

Reforming Defense: Tempting Fate

Posted in army training, guns, HOOAH!, politcs, rankers, tech pron, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 23, June 2012 by chockblock

Some words of wisdom in this time of crisis:

  • “No good decision was ever made in a swivel chair.”
  • “An Army is a team; lives, sleeps, eats, fights as a team. This individual heroic stuff is a lot of crap.”
  • “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.”
  • “Wars might be fought with weapons, but they are won by men. It is the spirit of the men who leads that gains the victory.”


“In his book, Fast Tanks and Heavy Bombers, David Johnson (who just took over Army CHief of Staff Odierno’s Strategic Studies Group) asks why nothing remotely like “Blitzkrieg” tactics and innovations emerged inside the U.S. Army. What Johnson discovered is worth remembering. A combination of factors ensured the Army was the wrong force for war in 1942. Of these, the most significant was not a lack of funding. First, there was almost total ignorance in Congress about what was really happening inside the Army. And, second, it was the intellectual — not the fiscal — deficit that obstructed useful change in the Army. As for those who argued after World War II that if the Army had been better resourced a different army would have emerged, Johnson discovered it was not true. Had more money been available, Johnson concluded, the Army’s generals would have simply done more of the same. The American people don’t need more of the same and the American Taxpayer cannot afford to repeat the mistakes of the past. Military institutions, grounded as they are in the past, are not particularly adept at dealing with the future. This is especially true for the Army. Congress can and must ask the tough questions and demand real answers, not platitudes before increasingly scarce funds are lost on yet another wrongheaded Army program, yet another false start.”
–“Congress: Don’t Let Army Botch GCV, The Bradley Replacement“:By Doug Macgregor, AOL defense.

Brad brings us the tale of woe concerning the Army’s quest to field a new APC.

The first try was the FCS. It was so awesome it was canceled for being over budget. Before that there was this:

Back to the present. The Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) prototypes wound up at 70+ tons. About as much as an Abrams. The C-17 can lift one, the C-5 only 2 Abrams or 1 M-1 and two M-2 Bradleys. So much for the mobile Army. Now before you think I’m picking on the treadheads, the Marines had their Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) and ADA had Medium Extended Air Defense System(MEADS). In each case, specs were changed, then changed again. Since they were new programs, they needed new systems and new software. That means training, contractors and new parts. That means mucho dinero. Big Army is trying hard to keep costs down by looking at existing designs this time.

But I fear this is just re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Are there 80-90 ton tanks and APC’s rolling off Russian and Chinese factories? No. In fact “smart” anti-armor weapons are getting cheaper. Every tango, technical and two bit militaman will have missiles, IED’s and perhaps UAV’s. No layer of armor will be sufficient. No network will save you if the radios don’t work and your computer crashes. And contractors just add more money to any program they touch.

The FCS and EFV failed due to rising costs. The FCS had software problems, just like the Joint Tactical Radio. MEADS died because of costs and complexity. A MEADS battery has 3 radars to Patriot’s one.

What is needed are review boards. In college, experiments with human or animal subjects had a review board of about 3-5 members. At least one board member was from a department that didn’t use animals (i.e. the Physics Dept). So if the biology department wanted to cut up mice or frogs, the prof or grad student had to have a good explanation. And a budget, and safeguards. This oversight keep all experiments above board.

I know, Uncle Sam’s children in uniform tend to not get along, but we can’t afford more of the same. No more field grades sitting in an air-conditioned office, ducking deployments yet designing the gear and systems for those downrange.

I propose the following:

    Each new weapons program should undergo a review by a review board with:

  • 10 senior members and five junior enlisted members.
  • They will be nominated by the Chief of Staff for each service, selected by the President and confirmed by Congress.
  • The ten voting members are current, retired or former Field Grade officers (0-4 and up) and senior NCOs (E-6 and up)
  • The five junior enlisted members are junior enlisted chosen on a rotational basis. They are Soldier/Sailor/Marine/Airmen of the year picked from posts assigned to a major command. All must have at least 15 months combat/overseas experience. At least two should be married.
  • The senior board members will not have any ties to a contractor or current unit.
  • All proceedings will be public, the press will be invited.
  • The board will report to Congress.
  • Special Operations and “black” projects are exempt. This is for line units only.
  • Military aid to other countries is also exempt, there is Congressional oversight for that.

Why junior enlisted? Those of us E-4 and below turn the wrenches. We’re the ones stuck with the “good ideas” of the E-ring. If the program office or defense contractor can’t explain why their reasons to a private, what business to they have selling to the DoD? By making the process transparent and concurrent with the development, we can avoid the mistakes of the past.

It’s a start at least. What do you guys think?

Basic Training at Fort Bliss circa 1985

Posted in army life, army training, HOOAH!, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , on 7, June 2012 by chockblock

Back in the day, Fort Bliss was a basic training post. Many soldiers did their basic “up on the mountain” known as Logan Heights. Today that complex is all housing. Basic ended in 1990, AIT went to Fort Sill in 2009.

But back in the day, the Sun City was the start of many an army career:

Can’t get to the choppa…

Posted in tech pron, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 20, April 2012 by chockblock

So it seems that the Air Force is trying to replace it’s old UH-1 Huey’s.

USAF Still Deciding What it Wants in New Choppers
By John Reed Tuesday, April 5th, 2011 12:04 pm
Posted in Air, Policy

Air Force officials are still making up their minds as to whether the service will move to buy an existing chopper or a new one to replace the service’s ageing UH-1N Huey utility helicopters and HH-60 Pave Hawk combat search and rescue choppers.

The Air Force has a problem with picking new aircraft. The plan to replace their KC-135 was such a goat rope it sent an official to prison. They killed the C-27J program the Army wanted.

And now the sordid tale of the UH-1 replacement. Hueys are associated with the Vietnam war. The distinctive “wap-wap” of the rotors, “Fortunate Son” playing in the background…

The Chair Force uses the choppers to help secure the vast fields of ICBM’s and ferry VIPs around DC. Being made in America back when men wore hats to work, the Beatles were playing concerts and Detroit still made cars (and not shitty rappers), the UH-1’s are long in the tooth. So a plan was hatched to get some UH-60’s from the Army. The Blackhawk was made to replace the Vietnam war era chopper and the taxpayer already paid for it.

Cue outrage by industry and professional government spending gadflys.

Industry wants to sell new aircraft. Budget watches were angry about the spending shenanigans (no-bid contracts) of the Bush Administration.

“Buying the UH-60 comes with a fixed, known cost, and can be done now. But buying any other aircraft, or even just running a competition, even if the Blackhawk wins, introduces both delays into the program, and price uncertainties. Further, does anyone think that if there was an open competition for the CVLSP, the Air Force wouldn’t succumb to the temptation to load the requirements up with goodies that should really be in the “nice, but not needed” category?

Xbradtc, showing more common sense than many in on Capital Hill
(except Gen. Norton Schwartz )

The bad economy almost forced the USAF to take the Marines hand-me downs. Thus they inherit choppers at the end of their life cycle that need major work, to replace choppers at the end of their life cycle that need major work. Instead there will be a competition :

“For [the Huey replacement], we’re anticipating a summer 2011 draft request for proposal release and the final RFP early fall,” said Maj. Gen. Randal D. Fullhart, a top service aircraft-buyer. “We’re proceeding toward an initial operating capability for common vertical lift support platform program in 2015.”
AF lays out helo-buying strategy, By Philip Ewing

Let’s see how that worked out for the Army:

“The Army, however, is still the Army. There’s a danger it could just go from one extreme to another and become so gun shy about new programs that it forces itself to take baby steps when it could make strides, but won’t for fear of stumbling again. And at very least, as you’ve read here, all this testing and evaluation isn’t free. Service officials have to take care that the NIE and the rest of the new evaluation infrastructure doesn’t get so expensive that the Army risks the progress it has been hoping for.“–
The Army’s new golden age of testing,By Philip Ewing

Clearly, if you want a successful program, keep Philip Ewing and XbradTC the hell away from your office…

Seriously, this is wrong on so many levels. A simple program becomes mired in proposals and PowerPoint slides. Requirements creep and seep until we can’t afford it. Hell the proposed Ground Combat Vehicle is now at 70+ tons and it’s a troop carrier!

Something needs to be done before the DoD gets 80’s era spending in a 70’s economy. We can’t afford boondoggles and cuts. Someone has to take charge, ’cause the current leadership aint..

Dear New York Times

Posted in politcs, rankers, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , on 30, September 2011 by chockblock

Go take a long walk off a short pier.

We, those of us who served in the military, defended your 1st Amendment rights. Some of us even bought your paper. And how do you thanks us?

Much of that is necessary to recruit and retain a high-quality, all-volunteer military. The men and women who risk their lives to keep us secure deserve decent pay while they serve and ample benefits once they retire. But current military pay, pension systems and retiree health care benefits are unsustainable and ripe for reform.
The Pentagon Budget and the Deficit New York Times, September 26, 2011

Strange, for such a “bold” idea, no one at the paper attaches their name to it. Oh, and the version in print has the slap in the face title: “The Pentagon Budget and the Deficit: Containing spiraling personnel costs has to be part of the solution.”

Hey asshats, personnel costs spiral because it’s not the 1950’s anymore. Many service members have families. An all volunteer force was promised benefits and a pension in exchange for the best years of our lives.

No one wants to go back to the 70’s and early 80’s. Service members on food stamps. Leadership leaving due to the bad climate. Rampant drug abuse and legal problems due to the draft era soldiers wrecking the military.

A draft will not save the DOD.

Hilarious story in the current issue of Combat Aircraft. In the 1990s and early 2000s, the Hungarian air force was in bad shape. It had inherited a huge fleet of aging airplanes from its former Soviet ally, as well as personnel that were mostly poorly-trained conscripts.

ordered to de-ice them before flying operations in wintertime. It is recalled that, since no jet fuel was available for jet heaters, these soldiers used brooms to remove the ice, a process which resulted in the MiGs’ honeycomb structures such as elevators, flaps, rudders and ailerons being seriously damaged.

Several of the MiGs never flew again. Not coincidentally, Hungary ended the draft in 2005.

If we want a “the post-Vietnam Carter era of the late 1970s” then we should listen to the NYT. In liberal logicland, the military is a game of just numbers and the people are furniture.

In the real world, we need to keep the pay and bennies that will attract the best people. It’s not numbers but knowledge, experience and courage. You can’t draft it, buy it or rent it. The world can’t wait for us to fix our fiscal mess, the bad guys are moving now.

We have to fix the military we have, not gut it.

The zombie meme

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on 16, September 2011 by chockblock

The left’s big reason to ban guns (you know they want to) is the claim that only “trained professionals should have guns.” They want all guns banned (and yes that includes rifles).

FRAMINGHAM — Officer Paul Duncan was trained to have his M4 rifle in safety mode unless he was ready to fire. But the SWAT team member wasn’t necessarily wrong to have the safety off when he went to search Eurie Stamps Sr. for weapons during an early-morning drug raid, an expert has found.
In his review of the Jan. 5 fatality released yesterday, Steve Ijames found that Duncan and the rest of the SWAT team may have been operating under conflicting rifle-handling guidelines.
Independent review finds Framingham SWAT team not in error, By Danielle Ameden/Daily News staff, The MetroWest Daily News

Many, many “no knock” raids and lax firearms practices and police-caused deaths have come under criticism on the web:

Seldom is a police officer held accountable (or a better way to say it is that s/he will always get the benefit of the doubt no matter how significant the doubt it), and this goes double for SWAT teams. If it offends our sensibilities for the Phoenix Tucson police department to have forcefully entered Jose Guerena’s home and shot him to death without due process, then that is true in the superlative for this poor man, Mr. Stamps, an innocent man, lying on the floor at the time he was shot to death.
The Moral Case Against SWAT Raids
BY Herschel Smith, Captain’s Journal

Nothing excuses an ND, ever. Proper target identification, trigger discipline, and use of the safety is exactly what distinguishes a well trained operator from a tacticool Call of Duty wannabe. That being said, there are times when entering a hostile situation with the safety off can be advantageous. During my first deployment to Iraq (2005-2006) we would routinely clear houses in and around Fallujah without safeties. Seconds matter in a gunfight. Our threat-assessment matrix was more ad hoc (people inside? Safety off) than SWAT’s, and we relied on training and good judgement to ensure good shoots and force protection. Even though it is nearly unthinkable for civilians or even regular LE officers to rock around with the safety off, I would say that the decision to use safeties or not in a tactical situation should be threat based, as Ijames seems to suggest in his report.
— “John”, in a comment on the above post.

Arms and The Law points out a SWAT raid in AZ that killed a Marine veteran. The “Call of Duty Wannabes” are everywhere. After 9/11, Congress gave away funds for every Police Dept. to get a SWAT team. If they have them, they will have to justify using them.

So much for “trained.” Yes, you are only as good as your training. Soldiers make mistakes, every basic training cycle, their are soldiers who get a negligent discharge (50 cent words for shooting when you’re not supposed too). I’ve seen a .50 cal machine gun with a round left in it. It was discovered in a motor pool full of tired soldiers. I knew someone who’s ND missed a fellow soldier’s head by 1-2 inches.

There is no magical training with cops and soldiers. There is the morals and the maturity they are supposed to have. Just like drivers. And cars kill more people than guns. Not to mention the number of crooked cops. And the believe among the left that soldiers are some how crazed when we come back from overseas. Which they hide when they trot out this zombie meme. Again and again, they use the argument that only police should have guns. So they smear and they try to appeal to your emotions.


And this is a police officer, don't try this at home...

I’m sure the police departments bellying up to the federal trough made convincing arguments as to why they needed SWAT teams. Those “trained professionals” wander around in military uniforms and equipment. Wearing scrubs doesn’t make you a doctor, graduating any course doesn’t substitute for the use of brains.

Nor do the actions of a few mean no rights for all.

That makes no difference to the left. They run on emotions (mostly fear). This argument refuses to die, no matter how much reality comes in. The “trained professionals” zombie is right up there with the “suicide zombie” and the “murder at the drop of a hat” zombie.

Make no mistake, the left doesn’t know what it’s talking about when it talks about anything.

Godspeed Lex

Posted in army training, guns, HOOAH!, politcs, rankers, tech pron, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 19, August 2011 by chockblock

The US military has many contractors and civilian employees. A good number of them are retired. You see, after 20 years of active duty you can retire with a full pension and medical benefits.

I had an instructor who was a former 11B (infantry) then became a 14J (early warning). He had two plastic hips, a metal knee, was a cancer survivor yet still did the 9-5 grind teaching us knuckleheads about early warning and army communications.

Why do they do it? Getting a salary and a pension (double dipping is legal for federal retirees). But it’s more than that. Seeing us graduate, some joining the units he served in. Serving his country, making future soldiers. That money can’t buy.

Readiness, technical and tactual proficiency can’t be bought. It can’t come from reading a book. We train. It helps when our trainers know something about the military.

Godspeed Lex. And be careful flying that old heap.