Archive for the 'Department of Defense' Category



The U.S. Army Still Wants A Gun That Does Everything

BY Herschel Smith
5 months, 1 week ago

Military.com:

“The NGSAR will address operational needs identified in various capability-based assessments and numerous after action reports,” according to the PON solicitation document.

“It will combine the firepower and range of a machine gun with the precision and ergonomics of a rifle, yielding capability improvements in accuracy, range, and lethality,” the document continues. “The weapon will be lightweight and fire lightweight ammunition, improving soldier mobility, survivability, and firing accuracy.”

It will also be able to go to the latrine for you, take you to the dance, find your car keys, and most important, can sprinkle magic pixie dust from unicorn farts as they fly over the moon.

Then there’s this.

“They have some pretty aggressive goals with respect to lethality and weight and size and some other performance characteristics,” he said. “All of those things individually may be relatively easy but, when you start stacking them all together, that is really where it becomes complex and you need a new design.”

“There is not an easy button here …”

Well, you’d better try, because it’s what necessary for the brass to tell the demons, gargoyles and pit vipers in the Senate that women can actually do what God didn’t design their bodies to do, i.e., go to war and engage in combat.

My former Marine strongly believes that we’re going to have to lose another war in order to be recalibrated.  This next one will be bloody, and girls will come home in caskets while their parents were told this would be easy and clinical because of all the unicorn pixie dust rainbow farts.

M4 Mid-Length Gas System Better And More Reliable Than Carbine-Length Gas System

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 2 weeks ago

Military Times:

Using a mid-length gas system on an M4A1 carbine extends the life of the weapon system and increases the weapon’s performance over a carbine-length gas system, according to a detailed study by Naval Surface Warfare Center — Crane, obtained by Military Times through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The Navy’s Crane center is responsible for testing, evaluating, procuring and managing the life-cycle of U.S. special operations forces’ weapon systems. So, naturally, they tested the mid-length gas system on M4A1 carbines at the behest of Army Special Operations Command.

This study may not come as a complete shock to civilian shooting aficionados and U.S. special operations forces who customize their M4 variants, but it does offer data to back up what those communities have believed for some time.

For the uninitiated, the crux of the issue comes down to when the M4 carbine first replaced the M16 rifle.

In developing the M4, the M16’s gas system was redesigned, according to Crane. The M16 uses a 20-inch barrel and gas system, but the M4 designs were crunched down to fit a 14.5-inch barrel.

Because of the shorter barrel, the gas port was moved down and the dwell distance — the delay between where the bullet passes the gas tube hole to the point where the bullet exits the barrel — decreased.

That decrease in distance from bolt face to gas port on the M4 resulted in an increased port pressure compared to the M16 of the past.

The M4’s port pressure measured at 17,000 psi, while the M16’s was at 10,000 psi.

Many civilian clones of the M4 utilize longer barrels, but also place mid-length gas systems on their custom-built designs. This customization increases the distance from bolt face to gas port than what would be normal on a standard issue M4.

Crane — located in rural Indiana — switched the carbine length gas system on the M4’s 14.5-inch barrel and upper receiver group with the mid-length gas system. Then the study cohort shot 12,600 rounds of M855A1 5.56mm through both designs for comparison testing.

The mid-length gas systems experienced a total of 30 malfunctions, while the carbine-length gas systems experienced more than double that at 65 malfunctions. Additionally, the carbine-length gas system suffered 13 unserviceable parts, while the mid-length gas system only suffered 9 unserviceable parts.

[Download the full Mid-Length vs. Carbine-Length Gas System report]

The study also found that the mid-length gas system experienced a decrease in bolt speed and a decreased cyclic rate of automatic fire.

The money quote is this: ” … but the M4 designs were crunched down to fit a 14.5-inch barrel.”  And yet it didn’t have to be that way.  My guns are all mid-length gas systems, and yours probably are as well.

As I’ve said, when you modify Stoner’s design you’d better be careful.  He was a good engineer.  Before modifying his design you need to be just as good an engineer as he was.

And it’s stated in the article and almost goes without saying that none of this is a shock to most of the gun community today.  Once again the civilian gun community leads the way and shows the military what to do.

DOD Briefing On The Ambush In Niger In October 2017

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 2 weeks ago

Following up this lengthy discussion in the article and also in comments, this video is quite instructive and informative.

Assessment Of SOF Ambush In Niger, The Gun, And Major General Bob Scales

BY Herschel Smith
7 months, 1 week ago

Whether it’s worth it to the reader notwithstanding, I’m going to give some initial thoughts on the Islamic ambush on the SOF (Green Berets) in Niger in 2017, and then conclude with a few thoughts on guns and generals.  I expect pushback, just as I got with A Marine Corps View Of Tactics In Operation Red Wings, a very well visited post, and also a very controversial one.  With this former post, not very many commenters understood what I and my son were saying concerning the boundary conditions for the fight, i.e., we were questioning not just the weapons and staffing of the operation, but why it was conceived the way it was to begin with.  I expect SF and SOF to disagree with elements of my assessment here too.

First of all, let’s dispense with the preliminary necessities of acknowledging that the operation had a very sad ending, in spite of the heroic efforts of some brave men.  Let’s also stipulate that it was very sad that men had to sustain this sacrifice for an army is Islamists created by George Soros and the CIA (along with DynCorp, the CGI, the deep state and others appurtenant parties).  Now that the preliminaries are out of the way, we need to learn from the operation in a clinical manner.

First of all, read this CNN article, and then read this Military Times article (which is better) for background.  For a redacted DoD assessment, read this document (PDF).  I’ll embed a video later, but for the time being, this is necessary reading in order to understand the context.  Now for my assessment.

[1] There is absolutely no question that they “continued to engage the enemy” throughout the event.  That is stated a number of times in the formal report, and the report is correct and honest about that.

[2] The SOF soldiers had M4 carbines with EOTech holographic sights, not scopes with magnification.

[3] A larger caliber weapon would have been irrelevant without long distance sighting capability.

[4] The M4s they deployed with were sufficient to the task given the distances they were shooting.

[5] A small caliber weapon (5.56mm) was the best choice for the engagement anyway given that they were having to lay down very quick fires and needed rapid recovery of sight picture.

[6] The entire operation was poorly conceived and poorly planned.

[7] It isn’t clear to me why they chose to engage the enemy when they did via dismounted operations rather than evasion, egress and escape more quickly.  The vehicle they were using was driving very slowly, leaving them exposed with no cover or concealment.

[8] When they were laying down the only suppressive fires they could, with M4s, there was no coordination of fires.  One soldier was shooting while another was waving for the driver to hurry, and vice versa.  I understand conservation of ammunition, but this was a high intensity rather than a protracted fire fight.

[9] There was no combined arms fires because there were no combined arms to deploy.

[10] They needed a suppressive weapon and didn’t bring one.

[11] The presence of an M249, while perhaps not changing the outcome, would have made it much more difficult for the enemy.

[12] None of the soldiers in the video had an M203, which has a long range of somewhere around 400 yards and an effective range of somewhere around 150-200 yards.

[13] The presence of an M79 would have made it much more difficult on the enemy.  I understand that M79s are still in use.  It has an effective range of somewhere around 400 yards, which I estimate to be within range of the cover and concealment used by the enemy.

[14] Sadly, they were vastly outnumbered.  Furthermore, the enemy had combined arms.  More specifically, they had a crew served truck mounted machine gun.  This was likely determinative for the engagement.

[15] Finally, the M4s didn’t jam.  They functioned well, they were able to shoot within the range of the cover and concealment used by the enemy, and given the rapid sight picture recovery of the weapon, they were probably the best choice if all you had was a rifle.  This was a high intensity engagement.  There was no time for designated marksmen or snipers.  They needed to break contact more quickly, evade, find concealment, and ensconce with a suppression weapon (which they didn’t have).

In my opinion, the video you are about to watch, combined with the reports I cited, bear out much of what I’m saying.  This video was from a helmet camera, confiscated by an Islamic fighter, and now on YouTube.  I don’t vouch for it’s presence on the internet for any specific length of time.  I cannot say how long it will be available.

Again, this is all so very sad that these men perished the way they did.  It should serve as a warning to American politicians on the dangers of open borders for our own country, but it won’t.

And in spite of all of this, Major General Bob Scales indicated this.

He pointed to lives lost due to small arms and other infantry equipment holes from Vietnam to Afghanistan to last year’s deaths of special operations soldiers in Niger.

If you’d listened to me three years ago, those soldiers in Niger would have had this rifle in their hands,” Scales said. “So, take that to bed tonight.”

He is specifically saying that having a rifle of his own choosing would have changed the outcome of the engagement in Niger.

He is an awful man.  Not only is he an idiot and ass-clown, he’s cravenly using the deaths of soldiers in an operation-gone-wrong (because it was conceived wrong) to push his own agenda.  He’s blood dancing on the graves of those soldiers to get his way.

Bob … Scales … has … no … shame.  He is incapable of shame and has no scruples.

Prior: Wait, Defense Secretary Mattis Put Bob Scales In Charge Of WHAT?

Trump To Send National Guard To Border

BY Herschel Smith
8 months, 2 weeks ago

Trump:

“The situation at the border has now reached a point of crisis,” Trump said in the memorandum. “The lawlessness that continues at our southern border is fundamentally incompatible with the safety, security, and sovereignty of the American people. My administration has no choice but to act.”

The president said that the nation’s security was under threat from “drastic illegal activity,” including drug smuggling. He also cited the threat of gangs, included MS-13. “The anticipated rapid rise in illegal crossings as we head into the spring and summer months threatens to overwhelm our Nation’s law enforcement capacities,” Trump wrote.

The memorandum did not say how many National Guard troops would be sent to the border or for how long. Trump said he was directing Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, in coordination with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, to come up with “an action plan” within 30 days.

Uh huh.  This has been done before.

Unfortunately, I must report that “Armed does not always mean “armed” as most Americans would understand. There are various states of being “armed.” These are called “Arming Orders (AO)” which define where the weapon “is,” where the magazine “is,” where the bullets “are” and where the bayonet “is.” They start at Arming Order One which could best be described as a “show of force” or “window dressing” in the worse case.

After considerable searching, I was able to find a complete copy of the Memorundum of Understanding/Rules of Engagement pertaining to the National Guard Deployment (“Operation Jump Start”), which I could then review.

After reviewing the MOU/ROE, I contacted several senior “in the loop” National Guard Officers that I have previously served with, to determine how many soldiers would be “armed” and their Arming Order number. After confirming The El Paso Times article that “very few soldiers there would carry weapons,” I was advised that during the next 90 days, amongst the few soldiers that have weapons, no soldier will have an Arming Order greater than AO-1, which means that an M-16 will be on the shoulder, there will be no magazine in the weapon (thats where the bullets come from), and the magazines stored inside the “ammunition pouch” will in most cases have no ammunition, they will be empty.

It was also conveyed to myself that in the unlikely event that a soldier is ever harmed on the border, the Arming Order will not be raised. Every individual I spoke to envisions no circumstance where there will ever be soldiers at AO-3/4, where a magazine with ammunition would be immediately available. Instead the soldiers will simply be kept farther away from the border if needed. They will be deliberately kept out of harms way.

I know you are thinking (maybe screaming), “but Why?” The easy public relations answer is that a soldier could kill someone. The National Guard is going to ensure that there is not a repeat of the incident in which Esequiel Hernández was killed by a US Marine along the Border.

There are also numerous regulations pertaining to weapons. There is a requirement that a soldier must qualify with his weapon on an annual basis. Reasonably, you must be “qualified” with your weapon before you may carry a weapon. However, ranges for weapons qualification are extremely limited. National Guard soldiers normally perform their once a year required qualification when they go to Annual Training at Ft. Stewart, Ft. McCoy…… This year they are going to “the border” and unless there is a “regulation M-16 qualification range” down the road, they will not be able to get qualified. There is also the question of weapon storage and how do you prevent theft.

In order to deploy to the border as a military force under the current legal constraints, the following must be done: [a] the troops must be trained, [b] the military lawyers must craft and publish RUF/ROE (rules for the use of force, rules of engagement), [c] the troops must be trained on that RUF/ROE, [d] the troops must go through rifle qualifications while NCO and above also go through pistol qualifications again, and finally and most important, [e] arming orders will have to be issued.

It’s not going to happen.  They will sit at the border and push meaningless paperwork like they did the last time NG troops deployed to the border.

Military Changing Body Armor To Accommodate Women’s Hair Styles

BY Herschel Smith
8 months, 3 weeks ago

Military.com:

As women enter ground combat fields in larger numbers, the military services are working harder to make gender-specific accommodations for their gear — even down to tweaking protective equipment to fit around longer hair.

According to presentations prepared by the Army and the Marine Corps for the Pentagon’s Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services, both services are making independent changes to ensure gear fits correctly for women with hair buns.

I don’t know about you, but as we make sure we’re prepared for war against near-peer actors, it makes me feel safer to know that women can have hair buns along with their body armor.

U.S. Special Forces Wants Russian Machine Guns

BY Herschel Smith
1 year ago

National Interest:

Why would U.S. special forces want to manufacture Russian machine guns?

Just watch any video of a conflict such as Iraq and Syria, and the answer becomes clear. Many of the combatants are using Russian or Soviet weapons, or local copies thereof, from rifles to rocket launchers to heavy machine guns mounted on pickups. Which means that when U.S. special forces provide some of these groups with weapons, they have to scrounge through the global arms market to buy Russian hardware as well as spare parts.

So U.S. Special Forces Command, which oversees America’s various commando units, has an idea: instead of buying Russian weapons, why not build their own? That’s why USSOCOM is asking U.S. companies to come up with a plan to manufacture Russian and other foreign weapons.

The goal is to “develop an innovative domestic capability to produce fully functioning facsimiles of foreign-made weapons that are equal to or better than what is currently being produced internationally,” according to the USSOCOM Small Business Innovation Research proposal.

More specifically, USSOCOM wants American companies to explore whether it is feasible to “reverse engineer or reengineer and domestically produce the following foreign-like weapons: 7.62×54R belt fed light machine gun that resembles a PKM (Pulemyot Kalashnikova Modernizirovany), and a 12.7×108mm heavy machine gun that resembles a Russian-designed NSV (Nikitin, Sokolov, Volkov).”

Applicants for the research project must produce “five fully functional prototypes, to include firing of live ammunition, of a foreign-like weapon that resembles the form, fit, and function of a Russian-designed NSV 12.7×108mm heavy machine gun.”

However, USSOCOM won’t make the process easy by providing assistance such as technical drawings. Interested companies will have to make their own drawings of foreign weapons, acquire the appropriate parts and raw materials, and create a manufacturing capability.

Companies will also have to “address the manufacture of spare parts to support fielded weapons.” In addition, they must be prepared to start up and shut down production as needed, as well as provide varying quantities of weapons.

USSOCOM also emphasizes that foreign weapons must be strictly made in America. Manufacturers “will employ only domestic labor, acquire domestically produced material and parts, and ensure weapon manufacture and assembly in domestic facilities.”

Though USSOCOM is starting with a pair of Russian machine guns, the research proposal speaks of foreign-made weapons in general. “Developing a domestic production capability for foreign-like weapons addresses these issues while being cost effective as well as strengthens the nation’s military-industrial complex, ensures a reliable and secure supply chain, and reduces acquisition lead times.”

Of course, one unstated solution to this problem is for the problem not to exist at all, which would mean minding our own damn business and not arming everyone on earth with weapons.  America has become Imperialists, meddlers, bilkers of armaments, precious metals, money, children and oil.  Basically, anything worth something on the open market interests Washington, most of all the deep state (including Senators, the FBI and the CIA).

The second thing that should be pointed out is that the world would prefer American weapons if we made them better.  The Stoner system of arms (in particular today that means mostly the AR-15) is ubiquitous, but for machine guns, both light and heavy, or basically anything that needs to operate open bolt rather than closed bolt for heat dissipation, the rest of the world leads the way, including with the M249 SAW (not so for the M2, which as best as I know, is still the best heavy machine gun in the world).

Without the NFA and gun control act, civilians would be able to manufacture and innovate in order to field the very best armaments on the planet.  We have the best engineers, the best machinists, the best gunsmiths and the best mechanics on the planet, so there isn’t any reason we can’t field the best armaments on the planet.

But machines are vetted on the open civilian market, not within the closed circles of the military industrial apparatus.  We will always lag behind, as we should, because the rulers want to rule, and they fear the American public.

Too bad.  Suck it up, American military.  You get machines built by the lowest cost bidder, and innovation isn’t in the game plan.  The government is out of money, and civilians have been excluded from the process.  We are doing our own thing.

Trump Bans Transgenders In Military

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 4 months ago

NYT:

President Trump announced on Wednesday that the United States will not “accept or allow” transgender people in the United States military, saying American forces “must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory” and could not afford to accommodate them.

Mr. Trump made the surprise declaration in a series of posts on Twitter, saying he had come to the decision after talking to generals and military experts, whom he did not name.

“After consultation with my generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. military,” Mr. Trump wrote. “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”

The sweeping policy decision reverses the gradual transformation of the military under President Barack Obama, whose administration announced last year that transgender people could serve openly in the military. Mr. Obama’s defense secretary, Ashton B. Carter, also opened all combat roles to women and appointed the first openly gay Army secretary.

Note how he has couched this – very smartly, in my opinion.  We cannot afford to accommodate them.

That’s how the Marine Corps sees everything.  If you come into the Marines left-eye dominate, they put a patch over your left eye (for a while) and reprogram you to be right-eye dominate.  I know this because my son did this to his “boots” who were left eye-dominate.

They don’t even accept left handed shooting.  They value sameness and likeness above everything.  Everything.  If you don’t like that, then go find your warfighting capabilities somewhere else.  There’s a right way to do this, and the Marine Corps has found it.

The Overuse Of Special Operations

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 7 months ago

I tried to warn everyone, but just like America has a cop-worshipping problem, it also has a special operator worshipping problem.  Abolish SOCOM, I said.  Distribute direction action capabilities among the units, get out of countries where we don’t belong, and whet our appetite for war-making.

No one listens to me.

The breakneck pace at which the United States deploys its special operations forces to conflict zones is taking a toll, their top commander told Congress on Thursday.

Army Gen. Raymond Thomas, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, called the rate at which special operations forces are being deployed “unsustainable” and said the growing reliance of the U.S. military on its elite troops could produce a dangerous strain.

“We are not a panacea,” he told the Senate Armed Services Committee. “We are not the ultimate solution to every problem, and you will not hear that coming from us.”

About 8,000 U.S. special forces are currently deployed in more than 80 countries, Thomas said. Many are at the forefront of advising missions in Syria and Iraq as well as counterterrorism missions in Afghanistan. There are about 500 special operators in Syria.

Senators said they were worried about the military’s overreliance on special forces, who are increasingly being called on for missions outside their usual range.

“Our combatant commanders around the world have developed a seemingly insatiable demand for the unique capabilities of our special operators,” said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who chairs the Armed Services Committee.

The operational tempo is also wearing on the commanders, who in recent months have been called on to take the lead in anti-terrorism efforts and in monitoring the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., said it was a “growing myth” that the U.S. “can use special forces and nothing else to achieve goals.”

Special forces are involved in operations against terrorist groups across the world, including the Islamic State and al Qaida in the Middle East and al Shabab in Somalia. On top of that, they are being assigned to a wide range of other conflicts, from “countering Russian aggression to preparing for contingencies in Korea,” Thomas said.

Thomas said special operators had engaged in “continuous combat over the past 15 and half years.”

U.S. special forces were deployed to 138 nations last year. Around 55.3 percent of Special Operations forces deployed overseas in 2016 were sent to the Middle East, a 35 percent drop since 2006, according to Special Operations Command. In the same decade, deployments to Africa rose steeply, by more than 1,600 percent, from just 1 percent in 2006 to 17.3 percent last year. Roughly 12.7 percent of special operators served in Europe, 9.2 percent in the Pacific Command region and almost 5 percent in Latin America.

The origins of this problem are actually quite simple.  First of all, allow meddlesome rulers control over the military.  Second, create military leadership who agrees with all this meddling.  Next, fling the borders wide-ass open and allow anyone to come here for any reason under the sun.  The resultant witch’s brew of toxicity requires you to control everyone, everywhere, all of the time in order to try to ensure that the country doesn’t completely collapse.

Further, invite gays, transgenders, women and weaklings into the military.  The only way to accomplish warfare then is to rely on the only remaining bastion of capability, SOCOM and the U.S. Marine Corps.  The general purpose forces have become a jobs program, and it’s doubtful whether “big army” will ever be capable of fighting another major war.

Perhaps one good side effect of this is that we leave those 138 counties where we deployed last year and mind our own business.

Mattis’ Misjudgment

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 9 months ago

James Mattis is a good man, a legend, and a true warrior monk.  But that doesn’t make him perfect.  He had nominated Ann Patterson for Undersecretary of Defense for Policy.  But this is highly problematic.

Back during the months leading to the June 30, 2013 revolution, Patterson — the “Brotherhood’s Stooge” as she was called by all, from news analysts to the Egyptian street — was arguably one of the most hated individuals by the millions of Egyptians who took to the streets against Morsi and the Brotherhood.

Not only did her face regularly appear next to Obama’s in placards; it sometimes appeared alone, indicating just how closely she was seen as supporting the Brotherhood.

[ … ]

In the days leading to the revolution, Patterson called on Egyptians not to protest. She even met with the Coptic pope and asked him specifically to urge the nation’s Christian minority not to oppose the Brotherhood — even though Christians were naturally going to suffer the most under Morsi, especially in the context of accusations of “blasphemy.”

That’s enough.  She’s an author of the so-called “Arab Spring,” and an instigator of Christian sufferings.  That’s all you need to know.  You can read the rest of it for yourself, but suffice it to say, she is a supporter of Islamic oppression, ignores the sufferings inflicted because of it, and stateside she is a SJW of legendary proportions, as much of a legend as Mattis is a warrior.

Just why Mattis would have done something like this is puzzling, but it points to flaws in his character, deformities in his judgment.  It’s a good thing the Senate shut this down.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has withdrawn retired senior diplomat Anne W. Patterson as his choice for undersecretary for policy after the White House indicated unwillingness to fight what it said would be a battle for Senate confirmation.

U.S. officials said that two members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), were strongly opposed to Patterson’s nomination because she served as U.S. ambassador to Egypt from 2011 to 2013, a time when the Obama administration supported an elected government with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood that was ultimately overthrown by the Egyptian military.

Good for senators Cruz and Cotton.  But this isn’t all we learn from the article.

Although he reportedly insisted that he be able to select his own team when he accepted Trump’s offer to head the Defense Department, Mattis has skirmished repeatedly with the White House over appointments. His initial choice for deputy secretary, Michèle Flournoy, withdrew from consideration after meetings with White House officials. Flournoy served as the department’s undersecretary in the Obama administration.

Good grief.  Flournoy founded the progressive CNAS, Center for a New American Security, where Phillip Carter and like-minded progressives give lectures and write papers.  As I said, this all points to a fundamental flaw in Mattis, and he is a good man and legend, but not perfect.

It’ll be interesting to see where he takes the U.S. military.


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