Archive for the 'Department of Defense' Category



Trump To Send National Guard To Border

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 6 days 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
1 month 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
4 months, 3 weeks 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
9 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
11 months, 3 weeks 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, 1 month 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.

Open Letter To Soldiers, Marines, Sailors And Airmen

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 1 month ago

I would like to pose a very simple question, or more correctly a set of questions, and they’re not rhetorical.  I would really like to see my military readers weigh in on this, but first, the setup.

In January, Lt. Col. Khallid Shabazz received the call every Army chaplain dreams of, the call that validates years of intense study and hard work toward keeping the U.S. military in good spiritual health.

He was offered the job of chaplain for an entire division, an honor for anyone in his field but a milestone in his case. After a ceremony this summer, Shabazz will become the first Muslim division-level chaplain in the history of the U.S. military – a Muslim spiritual leader for more than 14,000 mostly Christian soldiers.

Shabazz, who’s dedicated his life to working across religious lines, found it hard to keep calm as he received the news at his desk on Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Washington.

“I’m on the phone saying, ‘Thank you, I appreciate it. I’ll serve honorably,’ and then I hang up the phone and I’m jumping all around like a little kid,” Shabazz, 48, recalled in interviews in February. “I was running around the office saying, al hamdulillah, al hamdulillah, praise be to God!”

From reader Mack there is also this.

Several posters that had been on display for at least six years were removed from a wall at Langley Air Force Base after the National Organization for Women and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation complained that they were sexist, according to the Air Force.

The foundation at first filed a complaint by itself about two of the posters with the Air Force on behalf of 16 clients, including Air Force enlisted personnel, officers and civilians, that initially focused on language from a 1955 Air Force manual that repeatedly referenced “faith.”

“Men cannot live without faith except for brief moments of anarchy or despair,” one poster read. “Faith leads to conviction – and convictions lead to actions. It is only a man of deep convictions, a man of deep faith, who will make the sacrifices needed to save his manhood. … It is obvious that our enemy will attack us at our weakest spot. The hole in our armor is our lack of faith. We need to revive a fighting faith by which we can live, and for which we would be willing even to die.”

The Air Force dismissed that complaint because “the display does not endorse, disapprove of, or extend preferential treatment for any faith, belief, or absence of belief,” Air Combat Command said in a statement.

But soon after the Air Force dismissed the complaint, the National Organization for Women joined the foundation by writing to Air Combat Command on Feb. 9 calling for the posters’ removal.

“What message does that send to young women who currently serve, or want to serve, in the military?” NOW President Terry O’Neill wrote. “What do you say to the women in your command who make the same sacrifices to protect their country as do men? General, there is simply no compromise when it comes to fighting the bigotry of sexism nor the prejudice of religious triumphalism. Women are just as patriotic, just as dedicated and just as worthy of our nation’s trust as their male counterparts.”

Air Combat Command spokeswoman Maj. Malinda Singleton said in an email: “With additional time to review all seven posters outside the narrower, primarily religious context of the original complaint about two of them, we concluded the gendered language used in the display interfered with intended messages about personal integrity.

“We’ve chosen to update the display with something that reflects the diverse and inclusive force we are today,” Singleton wrote.

Now, you know that “FBIAnon,” who answered questions at Reddit, has told us that fully one third of the upper echelons of government are affected by “pedogate.”  You also know that former SpecOps boys, in combination with the CIA, the Muslim Brotherhood, the State Department, and The Clinton Global Initiative, have toppled much of North Africa for the oil, human trafficking, human organ market, money and weapons.

So we have complete corruption in the upper echelons of the U.S. government, a Muslim appointed to head the religious health of an entire division, and political correctness causing removal of posters that fifty years ago would have been considered good (because they were).  I’m sure you could add to the list yourself with what you know.

So here are the question(s).  Why are you fighting?  Or if you aren’t actively fighting and only training to right now, why are you training to fight?  What is it for?  For whom do you risk your lives?  For what?

Former “Red Team Planner” On Considerations For You To Ponder

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 2 months ago

David Codrea gives us the background, and then embeds a video.  I won’t bother to embed the same video since you can go to Oath Keepers or WRSA to get it.

For the record, I don’t know if the voice you hear is the legitimate author of this discussion or not.  It might be someone reading the entry at Reddit.

If you want to see the full transcript, here it is.  I have a lot of thoughts on this, but for this time, I think it’s better to leave this open for commenters to hash out what this means and fill in the blanks.

The Donald And The F-35

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 4 months ago

Popular Mechanics:

This morning, President-Elect Donald Trump suggested he will attempt to significantly curb military spending by slashing the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.

It’s no secret that the F-35 program has run into cost overrun after cost overrun, tied to multiple technical and design flaws including engine fires, software failures, and airframe cracks since the plane’s first flight a decade ago. But even though the F-35 has become a grossly bloated project, hacking away at the fifth-generation fighter would open up some significant holes to fill. President-elect Trump’s tweet alone initially dropped Lockheed Martin’s market share by $4 billion, though it recovered some shortly after.

Full-scale production of the F-35 was originally scheduled to begin eight years ago, but this proved to be an overly-optimistic estimate by 11 years—and that’s assuming full-scale production does, in fact, begin in 2019 as projected now. The F-35 will be the most expensive weapons system in history by a significant margin, exceeding $1 trillion in projected lifetime costs. Trump has targeted the program as an area to save money, along with the new Boeing 747s intended to serve as the new Air Force One jets.

That’s funny.  The article says that the F-35 is tied to “multiple technical and design flaws.”  I would have said it differently.

I would have said that the F-35 is a piece of shit, good for nothing at all except the ridiculous imaginations of fifth generation warfare advocates, failing at everything it does, a complete bomb at dogfighting, capable of carrying very little ordnance, incapable of defending itself, and an expensive waste of taxpayer money – where the U.S. would be better served with the F-22, refurbishment of the existing fleet of fighters, new Harriers for the USMC, and A-10s in the role of infantry support.

But that’s just me.

James Mattis For Secretary Of Defense

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 4 months ago

Military.com:

Mattis, now a distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution in California, has questioned whether women are suited for what he called the “intimate killing” of close combat, and whether male commanders would balk at sending women into such situations.

Mattis also said he was concerned about “Eros” in the trenches when young men and women live in close quarters in the “atavistic” atmosphere of combat. “I don’t care if you go anywhere in history where you would find that this has worked,” he said of putting “healthy young men and women together and we expect them to act like little saints.”

In periodic speeches to the Marines’ Memorial Club in San Francisco, Mattis said that the U.S. military is a “national treasure,” and it is inevitable that women would want to serve in every MOS.

“The problem is that in the atavistic primate world” of close-quarters combat, “the idea of putting women in there is not setting them up for success,” Mattis said. He stressed that he was not talking about whether women could perform the required amounts of pushups, pullups and other physical requirements — “that’s not the point.”

Commanders must consider “what makes us most combat effective when you jump into that room and you’re doing what we call intimate killing,” he said. “It would only be someone who never crossed the line of departure into close encounters fighting that would ever even promote such an idea” as putting women into close combat.

If nominated, Mattis would almost certainly be challenged on women in combat in confirmation hearings before the Senate Armed Services Committee, which has six women on the panel.

One of them is Sen. Joni Ernst, an Iowa Republican who retired as a lieutenant colonel after 23 years in the Army Reserves and Iowa National Guard. Ernst, who served a deployment in Operation Iraqi Freedom and is the first female veteran in the Senate, has applauded the opportunity for women who meet the standards to serve in the combat arms.

Joni Ernst isn’t qualified to shine shoes for Mattis.  And Ernst never engaged in combat, so I don’t give a shit what she has to say about anything on this issue.

But there are progressives in the GOP just like the Democratic party.  Women, if I have any reading this column – and I hope I do have female readers for all of my columns – always remember this.  Never forget.  Progressives want to see women perish in combat and have a deleterious effect on combat effectiveness of the unit because of physical differences between men and women.  They want to see you die, and they want more men to die because of you.

Progressives don’t care about the military, and they don’t care about women either.  But everyone already knows that.


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