Our condolences to his family and loved ones.
We're deeply fearful of the thought of another Obama appointment to the court, and urge Senator McConnell to defer any confirmation until after the election.
An Army laboratory has figured out how to make ready-to-eat pizza that lasts for three years, and perhaps most surprisingly, it actually tastes good.
"It's a fully assembled and baked piece of pizza in one package," said Lauren Oleksyk, a food technologist at the US Army's Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center, a lab that helps create the military's meals-ready-to-eat (MRE) rations.
MRE pizza has been the holy grail of Natick since the early 1990s. And as the article notes, it's a very, very tough challenge. We sometimes take for granted the miracles that processed food provide.
Now, as noted in the main article, it's not particularly good pizza. It's likened to a school cafeteria.
But I have very fond memories of the grease bomb pizza served at my school.
For the edification of millennial Marines: A “map” is defined as a paper representation of terrain that some say newly minted second lieutenants use to get their troops lost.
While Marines now have high-tech gadgets to help them figure out where they are, future adversaries can jam such devices, said Commandant Gen. Robert Neller.
“Think of all the stuff that we do that requires space-based, satellite-based communications: GPS, munitions, precision,” Neller said. “If you were to lose that, what would that do to the way you thought you were going to fight?”
A healthy "back to basics" approach. First you master the old ways, paper and protractor.
Maps don't break.
A heroic effort on the part of our esteemed blog host to get the archives "swang" over and get up and running on Typepad! (Roamy, stop snickering that I called XBRAD "esteemed"!)
So I figgered I would throw something onto the new place to get back into the swing of bloggin'. Nothing particularly sentient, but some things that make you go "hmmmmm". Like this:
I don't think you will see Mister Bundy in any candid photographs like this one, either.
Another of those facebook memes that made me chuckle.
Notice, also, how little coverage there has been about the muhammedan perpetrator of the brutal machete attack in Ohio. Had that been a non-muslim white male, you would see it 24/7, along with the speculation about Tea Party affiliation, Ted Cruz links, and the racist outlook which was the reason for his unprovoked savagery. And we would hear about the victims, and hate crimes, and collective guilt of white people. With the aforementioned Sharpton yelling the loudest, if a "person of color" had been injured. But it was just Christians. Nothing to see here, folks.
Oh, and something else to make you go "hmmmmm". ("His home country in Kenya"?)
Well, there you go. Much more later.
I’ve guest posted there a few times. Usually I concentrate on content here, though. But today’s post might be of interest to you guys as well.
Nearly one-fifth of the 4,000 Regular Army captains screened by retention boards that met in September are being put on notice they will be involuntarily separated or retired later this year.
The 740 affected officers, all captains of the Army Competitive Category, Nurse Corps and Medical Service Corps, will be notified between now and Feb. 25 of their pending release by a general officer or other senior leader in their chain of command.
Separations and retirements will occur not later than Dec. 1, and will contribute to the end-strength reductions slated for fiscal 2016 and 2017.
Look, I understand that service, particularly commissioned service, is not a guaranteed lifetime employment.
But I am afraid we're going to find ourselves short of Majors, and consequently Lieutenant Colonels in a few years.
And while this board theoretically screens the bottom 20%, it also usually has the effect of creaming off a good portion of the top 10%.
Sharp guys with options look at the way the Army treats people, and subsequently vote with their feet.
Well, I presume that’s why he’s coming to Palm Springs tomorrow.
And before the President arrives anywhere, the USAF sends a C-17A ahead with support for the Secret Service and others.
Did I mention I live right under the approach to KPSP? I always look up when I hear planes. Particularly when they sound unusual.
That’s Reach 132T Heavy. After about 90 minutes on the ground, they fired it up to fly to NAS North Island.
I might get up early enough to listen to LiveATC.net and see if I can hear Marine One talking to SoCal/KPSP Tower.
Every time there is a snowstorm or rain or something in DC everyone sends up pictures of the guards at the Tomb of the Unknowns still out there walking. And it chokes me up too. But the Tomb Guards aren’t the only ones to work their asses off over there at Arlington.
Most of you have friends that live there now. I do certainly. SSG Robert Burton. CPT Lawrence Yacubian (who’s birthday would have been last week.) My two best friends have their fathers buried there, and I just went there for my own personal hero, Colonel Henry Cook, a special forces legend from Vietnam. And it’s not the guard guys who take them to their resting place, it’s the Caisson guys, and their equine battle buddies.
Ordinary Infantrymen (11Bs) join the platoon, learn the skills, and have the honor to escort American heroes to their final resting place.
Here’s the important part- TSO has set out to provide challenge coins to the current and future members of this fine unit. He’s looking at a cost of $3000. You have an option here. You can donate $5, or $10 or whatever. But if you donate $50, you’ll have a chance to win some pretty impressive swag. Go and read the whole thing.
Say it with me, “fire a burst of six to nine.”
I was fortunate that I only got tapped to serve as a machine gunner a couple of times. Unlike the USMC where Machine Gunner is a specific MOS, in the Army, every 11B is a potential gunner (or, worse job, the Assistant Gunner, who gets to carry the spare barrel and the tripod).
For those who have fond memories of the M60 machine gun, the fact is, it wasn’t a very good gun. The rate of fire was just a bit low. Worse, it was very easy to reassemble the gas system incorrectly, and end up with a single shot weapon. And worst, it had a very unfortunate tendency for the trigger assembly leaf spring to fall off, which would inevitably lead to the pistol grip trigger assembly falling off. I’ve spent more than a couple hours searching the woods for a trigger that some unfortunate gunner didn’t notice had dropped away. The M60’s replacement, the M240B, might weigh a skosh more, but it is a far more reliable weapon.
Still, it was pretty fun to shoot. And for all the hoopla about 1ooom sniper shots, hitting a man sized target at 1100m with the M60 was not very hard at all with a burst of six to nine.
And it goes about as you’d expect.
Now, I’m not going to mock these guys for their performance. The thing about the military is, it’s hard to explain in words. In fact, I’d love to see more people given a chance to do just this sort of thing. It is relatively quick and cheap to do, and while not representative of the totality of military life, it is representative of a basic combat skill. Simply moving on the battlefield is a tough, grinding marathon.
The Russian Ground Forces has completed the reactivation of the 1st Guards Tank Army in Russia's Western Military District (WMD) and is to form two new armoured divisions, the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced.
A session of the Defence Ministry Board, chaired by Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, discussed the reactivation as part of the development of Russia's quick reaction force. The session also revealed that Russia will form two new armoured divisions near the cities of Voronezh (in the WMD) and Chelyabinsk (in the Central Military District: CMD) in 2016.
That's a bit of a hash of reorg.
Russian ground forces were, for a very long time, based on a regimental/divisional model. And unlike most Western forces, they skip the corps as an echelon above division, and use field army headquarters to control subordinate divisions and supporting arms. In recent years, Russia had been making a move to a separate brigade model (much like our own US Army Brigade Combat Teams). So a Russian force would chain would go from a field army skipping two echelons all the way down to the brigade level.
Combined arms at the regimental/brigade level makes a lot of sense, and the Russians have done that for a long time. The US Army effectively did that with the "divisional slice" model throughout the 1960s to the early years of the 21st Century. It wasn't until the BCT model, however, that it became organic.
The problem with a Russian brigade based force is span of control. A field army directly controlling a field army's worth or brigades has to control anywhere from 6 to 9 brigades. And that's simply too many subordinate commands for any commander to effectively control, all while trying to synchronize the support of other combat multipliers. The US Army, during the Pentomic Division era, found that even a "battle group" with five companies was too much for one commander to wrangle. And so, the US went back to no more than three or four maneuver commands in an organization for a given level.
But if you only have three or four brigades, a field army headquarters is too much staff for too little combat power. We'll have to keep an eye on further changes in the Soviet, err... Russian order of battle.
The fleet is losing one of its 10 carrier air wings this fall, and with it thousands of personnel and dozens of aircraft will be scattered to plus-up the rest of the fleet.
If the 2017 budget plan is approved, the carrier air wing will begin its shutdown in October, Navy spokesman Lt. j.g. Kara Yingling told Navy Times.
The one to go is Carrier Air Wing 14, based out of Naval Air Station Lemoore, California, which hasn't deployed since 2011 or been fully staffed since 2013.
The downside is, it's going to reduce the time between deployments for the rest of the carrier air wings.
But there is an upside. The personnel in the wing and its associated squadrons will be spread around the remaining 9 air wings.
The question is, would you rather have 10 partially staffed wings (and squadrons) or 9 fully (or nearly so) manned wings?
Of course, the risk is that this is the beginning of a trajectory. Once force levels start shrinking, it's hard to stop that. I remember a time when 15 air wings with about 86 aircraft each was considered the bare minimum to support the mission. And that was at a time when we weren't fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, and the Chinese PLAN fleet was 1950s era Soviet junk.
So, we had an issue with Wordpress. I’m not going to go into the details. But it was time to part ways. Mind you, I’d still recommend them to anyone wanting to start a blog.
Right now, we’ve got the domain name mapped to the new blog (hosted at Typepad) and we’re working on getting the archives back up. However, it looks like we’ve lost the media library. Ouch.
Hopefully we’ll have the archives up tonight or tomorrow. If not, we’ll find another way to get them online.
Bye the way, all of this has not been cheap, so in the near future, we’ll be running a fundraiser.