Archive for the 'Department of Defense' Category



‘Mentally Incompetent’ Americans Would Have Access to Guns Under New Bill

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

Yeah. That’s the headline. This is the source.

A deal made by congressional leaders to avert a partial shutdown of the U.S. government includes an attempt to ease some veterans’ access to gun ownership, even when they are deemed “mentally incompetent” to handle their own finances.

The $436 billion funding package agreed on by congressional lawmakers Wednesday extended the deadline for the expiration of funding for government agencies—including the military and Department of Veteran Affairs—from March 1 to March 8. It was the fourth extension painstakingly agreed on by a divided Congress during this fiscal year, but it spelled optimism that a deal for the long-term budget plan could be reached later this year.

Among the victories touted by Republicans in this deal is a bill that would eliminate the decades-old ban on gun ownership for veterans deemed unfit to possess a firearm—a measure gun-rights advocates have long protested.

Gun Owners of America, a nonprofit lobbying organization that promotes gun rights, wrote about the elimination of the ban on X, formerly Twitter.

“Congressional deal cuts funding to the ATF,” the organization said, referring to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, “and eliminates a 20+ year old gun ban for veterans. It also temporarily reauthorizes the archaic Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988.”

By law, the Department of Veterans Affairs can report the names of veterans deemed mentally incompetent to handle their VA funds to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System—which is used for criminal background checks during the purchase of firearms—without a judge’s order.

According to this database, a veteran found mentally incompetent under VA regulations and assigned a fiduciary to take care of their finances can be banned from buying a gun, as the veteran is considered a danger to themselves or others.

You know who gets swept up in this net? Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines, who have assigned financial responsibility to their mother, father or spouse, for the time they are deployed. They do this for the simple reason that they are in no position to do the books, challenge false charges, and all the things that go with having fiduciary responsibilities.

That’s right. Innocent servicemen get swept into this net of “danger to themselves or others” because they had an “fiduciary to take care of their finances.”

If you were a serviceman, the FedGov hates you. I know that’s hard to hear, but it’s the truth. They would sooner see you disarmed than anyone else on the planet. Again, I’m sorry, but this is truth-telling at its most raw.

Don’t trust them. Never talk about assigning someone over your finances. Never talk to them about PTSD or emotional problems stemming from anything, including combat.

Never trust the FedGov.

And for the second time in two days, good for the GOA for taking a principled stand.

Sympathizing With Piracy

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 1 week ago

The only explanation for allowing this sort of thing to continue is having sympathy for these actions.  Piracy isn’t some sort of movie – it’s reckless endangerment, kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon, and thievery.  The Biblical punishments for these actions is death.  Cutting the heads off of pirates and running them up the flag pole might put an end to piracy right quickly.

However, in spite of the wishes of the founders, we have a standing army for purposes of foreign misadventures, and another standing army (police of all sorts) for purposes of violation of foundational constitutional rights at home. The one thing the federal government is tasked with, i.e., protection of the border, it routinely ignores and even laughs at.

And the one reason for a standing army for foreign wars was piracy.  Jefferson commissioned the U.S. Marines for such things, but rather than sending a couple of MEUs to handle this problems, we would rather send MEUs out on humanitarian missions across the globe.

Black is white, up is down, and darkness is light.

Sweet Employees You’ve Got There, Department of Defense

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 2 weeks ago

Source.

A senior member of the Pentagon’s communications staff is among two Anne Arundel County men charged with promoting and furthering an illegal dog fighting operation, according to a federal criminal complaint unsealed Thursday.

Frederick Douglass Moorefield Jr., 62, of Arnold, and Mario Damon Flythe, 49, of Glen Burnie, and their associates used encrypted messaging “to discuss how to train the dogs for illegal dogfighting, exchanged videos about dogfighting, and arranged and coordinated dogfights,” Department of Justice officials said in a news release Monday. Moorefield operated under the name “Geehad Kennels,” and Flythe under the name “Razor Sharp Kennels” to describe their respective dogfighting operations, the complaint states.

The complaint, announced by U.S. Attorney Erek Barron, also alleges that Moorefield and Flythe used the encrypted messaging application to discuss betting on fights, dogs that died as a result of fighting, and how to conceal their operation from police. They also shared media reports about dogfighters caught by law enforcement, authorities say.

The news release identified Moorefield as a deputy chief information officer for command, control and communications for the Office of the Secretary of Defense; he and Flythe were released pending trial. If convicted, each faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison for possessing, training or transporting animals for an animal fighting operation.

Law enforcement officers who executed search warrants Sept. 6 at the homes of Moorefield and Flythe recovered 12 dogs. Also found in that search were veterinary steroids, training schedules, carpet with apparent bloodstains, a weighted dog vest with a patch that read “Geehad Kennels,” and a makeshift electrical device typically used to kill dogs that lose fights, according to the affidavit filed in support of the complaint.

The only reason a man does something like this is because he is a wicked sociopath.  It isn’t because of the money involved.  Enjoy your time in prison, jerk.

U.S. Military in Shambles

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 3 weeks ago

Marine Corps Times.

Leaders of Marine units can let their service members wear nonstandard uniform items amid a long-term shortage of the regular camouflage uniform.

The Marine Corps says it won’t have a full stock of the woodland-pattern camouflage combat utility uniform ― the everyday outfit for most Marines ― until summer or fall 2024. The shortage has prompted the top Marine leader to authorize unit commanders to allow the desert-colored camouflage combat utility uniform or the flame-resistant organizational gear, known as FROGs.

Ridiculous.  This is because of lack of planning, lack of logistics, lack of vision, lack of foresight, and lack of funding, along with worrying about the wrong things like gender and race studies.

U.S. Army from Glenn Reynolds.

NEGLECTING THE TROOPS: Congress blasts Pentagon for ‘dreadful’ barracks conditions. “In a scathing letter addressed to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, lawmakers accused the Pentagon of failing to ‘provide the most basic oversight and care’ of barracks at 10 installations cited in a recent report and called it a ‘failure of leadership’ by Austin ‘that cannot be ignored.’”

I have a nephew in the Army and have heard a number of stories along these lines — no food, no toilet paper, filthy barracks, etc.

If living quarters – whether barracks or tent – aren’t squared away, that’s the fault of leadership.  If the troops are filthy or live in filthy conditions, there is a lack of discipline.

Either way, there is a general lacking that deeply affects the U.S. military.

And it’s all by design, you understand?

What do you want to bet this lack of discipline doesn’t affect the Mexican cartels or the army of Communist China?

Why Would Anyone With Any Sense Enlist In The U.S. Military Today?

BY Herschel Smith
8 months, 4 weeks ago

From the clownish behavior of the generals simping for the Woke crowd, to the obscene pullout of Afghanistan, to the lower PT standards of all branches of the military, to the recycling of female candidates for Ranger school, to Marine Corps officer candidates who have to use GPS to pass the land navigation course, to the rusting ships, to the crashing ships at sea, and on it goes.  How could it get any worse?

She, along with a ten other Marines, a Soldier and a Sailor, was killed by the enemy doing exactly what you see in this picture – helping the innocent.

She was 23; she was 2-years old when the attacks of 911 started the path down to where she found herself that day in service to her nation.

All that makes the following unbearable.

Nicole Gee, 23, was one of 13 service members who died in a suicide blast at Kabul Airport in 2021 alongside 170 desperate Afghans seeking to leave the beleaguered country.

Gee’s body was first flown to her hometown of Roseville, California for a ceremony.

But her family was told they would be responsible for taking her body to her final resting place at Arlington National Cemetery, Florida Representative Mills claimed.

Honoring Our Fallen, a nonprofit which helps the families of fallen American service members, paid for the family to move Gee’s remains to Virginia using a private jet.

Mills’ office said the option for the defense department to decline to pay for the transportation of her body was allowed by a change to last year’s National Defense Authorization Act.

It states the secretary of Defense may provide a fallen service member’s family ‘a commercial air travel use waiver for the transportation of deceased remains of [a] military member who dies inside a theater of combat operations.’

Republican politician Mills said the Defense Department should pay for transporting the bodies of those who have died serving their countries and not their families.

‘Typically, our fallen heroes are flown back home for a solemn service and then laid to a final rest at Arlington Cemetery with the utmost respect and honor,’ he told Fox News.

‘It is an egregious injustice that grieving families were burdened to shoulder the financial strain of honoring their loved ones.

So now in the middle of the obscene surrender and pullout, a woman (who shouldn’t have been in combat anyway) died, and the family has to sustain the burial cost if they want her buried at Arlington.

Who with any sense would enlist in or seek a commission in the U.S. military today?

Department of Defense Acquisition of Firearms to Further Public Safety Practices!?!

BY Herschel Smith
9 months, 4 weeks ago

What?

If that sounds weird, it is.  To be completely fair, as you watch the video, it doesn’t say exactly what he says it says, at least not in direct terms.  There is nothing about modern sporting rifles in the executive order, but you have to know that the DoD isn’t going to be purchasing Beretta 694s or Marlin lever action rifles.  The exact wording is found in the order he links.

  • Use the Department of Defense’s acquisition of firearms to further firearm and public safety practices. The Department of Defense buys a large number of firearms and other weapons to protect and serve our country. The President is directing the Secretary of Defense to develop and implement principles to further firearm and public safety practices through Department of Defense acquisition of firearms, consistent with applicable law.

The controllers think it’s safer for you if the DoD buys all the guns rather than you.  So that’s where your tax money will be going.  Getting DoD contracts will involve the stipulation that the company doesn’t sell to civilians, I’m sure.  Frankly, Colt serves as the poster child for that experiment.  I would expect a company like Knight’s Armament to continue to focus on military contracts as they do now.  If you think that a company like Ruger, Daniel Defense, BCM, Aeroprecision, Rock River Arms, etc., are going to destroy their future by inking a 2-year contract (who knows what will happen to this after the election), that would likely be a huge error.  My assessment: I don’t expect to see much come of this.

The Marines are hiring specialists to root out workplace gender bias

BY Herschel Smith
11 months, 1 week ago

Source.

When the Defense Department surveyed troops in 2021 on their experiences in the workplace regarding gender, the findings revealed significant room for improvement ― particularly in the Marine Corps.

Now, the Corps is bringing on new staff members in the latest effort to address this cultural trend. The service revealed its plans in a briefing presented to the Pentagon’s Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services in March.

Because nothing says “America’s Strike Force” like spending resources and time on ensuring that equal numbers of men and women fight in war.

Honestly, the cancer has gone so deep at this point I highly doubt it can be excised, even by the best surgeon.

NC units deploying to the US southwest border to provide support for DHS, US Northern Command says

BY Herschel Smith
11 months, 2 weeks ago

Source.  To secure the Southern border from invasion?  No such thing.

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (WNCN) — Two North Carolina battalion-sized units are deploying to the U.S. southwest border in the coming days, the U.S. Northern Command said.

On Friday, the command announced that 1,500 active duty military service members under their command and control will deploy to the border at the request of the Department of Homeland Security with approval from the Secretary of Defense.

The mission includes the following battalion-sized units:

  • 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
  • Combat Logistics Battalion 2, 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
  • 93rd Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade, Fort Bliss, Texas

The U.S. Northern Command said the majority of active duty personnel will come from the U.S. Army and U.S. Marines, along with a small number from U.S. Air Force.

While there, the command said the units will provide support to the DHS with duties including data entry, warehousing support and additional detection and monitoring support efforts.

“This military support increases the availability of Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) law enforcement personnel to conduct law enforcement specific duties,” the U.S. Northern Command explained in a news release.

U.S. troops are heading to the border — again.  So they can be clerks, maids, janitors, and in-processing specialists filling out paperwork.

That’s how much your betters care about you, your food and medical bills, and the invasion of the Southern border.

And they wonder why they can’t meet recruiting goals!

The Destruction of the U.S. Military is Almost Complete

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 1 month ago

In sad news concerning the U.S. Marine Corps, those in charge have decided to rid themselves of one of their greatest assets.

The Marine Corps is getting rid of one of its most elite and storied jobs — the scout sniper.

Official message traffic leaked to social media last week described a switch from scout sniper platoons to what will only be known only as “scout platoons.”

[ … ]

The Marine Corps’ commandant, Gen. David Berger, has been vocal about wanting infantry Marines to become well-versed in multiple weapons systems — less specialized and more “commando-like.”

That’s a joke.  I’ve told them before what it would take to bring them up to par with SOCOM, or thereabouts, so they don’t get hand-me-down weapons and last place in the money pecking order.  It’s basically everything they’re not doing.

In unfortunately related news, the greatest close air support aircraft ever invented is finally being phased out because AF pilots want to fly sexy fighter jets, I guess.

  • After years of debate, Congress has approved a US Air Force plan to begin retiring A-10 Thunderbolts.
  • The A-10 is the only US military aircraft purpose-built to provide close air support to ground forces.
  • But training documents raise questions about the Air Force’s focus on that mission going forward.

After repeatedly blocking the US Air Force’s attempts to retire the A-10 Thunderbolt II, Congress late last year approved a plan to decommission 21 of the venerable ground-attack aircraft, which is the only US military aircraft purpose-built for close air support.

Those retirements would shrink the Air Force’s A-10 fleet to 260 aircraft, and Air Force leaders plan to continue decommissioning A-10s in the years ahead.

Air Force officials have said they want to replace the A-10, affectionately known as the Warthog, with the F-35 as the service’s primary close-air-support aircraft.

That last statement is as much of a joke as the MC statement I called out above.

The gutting of the U.S. military is almost complete.  The perfumed princes have been in charge for too long now to recover it.  Is it any wonder they aren’t meeting recruitment goals and won’t in the future?

 

 

Lessons from the 600-Ship Navy

BY PGF
1 year, 5 months ago

Source:

The U.S. Navy of the 1980s provides a reminder what serious peer competition in the naval sphere looks like and the resources and human willpower that it requires. E. B. Potter describes the 1980s buildup to counter the Soviet Union as the “most expensive peacetime military buildup in the nation’s history, to cost $1.5 trillion in five years . . . the Navy would be built up from 456 to 600 ships, including 15 carrier-centered battle groups.”1

The 1980s maritime strategy and naval buildup was advocated by senior officers in uniform, approved by civilian leadership, and then laboriously implemented across all levels. Growing pains were worked out, and complex exercises in frigid environments executed. The renaissance of naval strategic thought in the late 1970s and subsequent buildup of the 1980s should provide a source of strength and inspiration to today’s sailors and civilian defense officials. Lessons in strategy, fleet exercises, and force structure remain directly relevant.

[…]

A clearly defined naval strategy with concrete operations and tactics guided the 1980s naval expansion. John Lehman, Secretary of the Navy from 1981 to 1987, notes that President Ronald Reagan “approved the Navy recommendation to begin at once pursuing a forward strategy of aggressive exercising around the vulnerable coasts of Russia,” and “this demonstrated to the Soviets that we could defeat the combined Warsaw Pact Navies and use the seas to strike and destroy their vital strategic assets with carrier-based air power.”4 Active-duty naval officers such as Admiral James Holloway, Admiral Thomas Hayward, and Admiral James Lyons had long been advocating for such a strategy. These officers, as well as many others, rejected the consensus view of the previous Carter administration on the role of the Navy in a war with the Soviet Union:

We’ll get back to that. We have questions about the differences between then and now. The real threat to America is from the south. The border is wide open. Russia and China’s vested interests are in letting the US continue its long, slow, ugly decline into the wastebin of history, although America seems bent upon hastening that demise. Who is going to man, oops, person this Navy; Nigerians, Nicaraguans?

The primary lesson is that when it’s not your money, who cares what it costs? That 1980s Navy never got paid for.

Carter subscribed to the NATO strategy that called for employing most of America’s military resources to support the Allied front in Germany. The Navy’s primary role would be defense of the Atlantic SLOC [sea lines of communication], a task that would not require many large deck carriers. Carter’s SLOC strategy prompted Admiral Holloway and a number of naval analysts to warn that if the Navy implemented this policy, it would be unable to perform other vital wartime tasks . . . the strategy essentially ceded the Pacific theater to the Soviets.5

It takes years or a decade to develop warfare systems technologies. We’re no fan of Carter, but one thing he never gets any credit for is signing the bills that enabled a massive technology uplift to all branches of the Department of Defense. The foundation for many technologies that would be used in Desert Storm was started in the 70s and early 80s.

I joined the Navy in the 1980s. The training was excellent. There was a no-nonsense business approach to all phases of operations. The enlisted men were trusted and respected (if they worked). There was no radical transformation at the time using the military as a testbed for the integration of the perverse.

Lehman (SecDef in the 80s) describes how the Navy visibly drilled around clearly defined operations and tactics that flowed from the 1980s global maritime strategy:

Nine months after the President’s inauguration, three U.S. and two Royal Navy carriers    executed offensive exercises in the Norwegian Sea and Baltic. In this and subsequent massive exercises there and in the northwest Pacific carried out every year, carrier aircraft proved that they could operate effectively in ice and fog, penetrate the best   defenses, and strike all of the bases and nodes of the Soviet strategic nuclear fleet.10

[…]

In a 1986 defense of the maritime strategy in Proceedings, Lehman described the scale of the naval exercises of the 1980s and how strategy guided this training:

Title 10 of the U. S. Code charges the Secretary of the Navy with ensuring the highest level of training appropriate to the responsibilities placed upon both the Marine Corps and the Navy. That is what strategy provides to us—a framework within which to train. For example, U. S. naval forces recently conducted a major training exercise, “Ocean Safari 85,” with our NATO allies and the U.S. Coast Guard and Air Force. The “Safari” assembled off the East Coast of the United States and fought its way across the Atlantic, moved north of England and east of Iceland, and ended up in the Norwegian Sea. Approximately 155 ships and 280 fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters operated for four weeks in this environment, against 19 real Soviet ships and submarines and 96 Soviet aircraft sorties.11

Taking “great-power competition” as more than just a buzzword requires robust naval exercises so that the Navy can practice like it would fight when confronting a peer adversary. Exercises of such magnitude require depth in the force structure.

Penetrating deep into areas where Soviets had significant assets required electronic deception and emissions control. Admiral Lyons explained how central these concepts were to his fleet exercises in the Norwegian Sea and High North:

The first thing I did after taking command was to tear up the old canned Ocean Venture OPORD [operation order] . . . They were still using World War II carrier formations . . . such a formation was easily tracked by Soviet satellites. What we did was plot out Soviet satellite area footprints and time of exposure. We then went to dispersed dispositions. We used a number of cover and deception decoys and tactics.12

Lehman describes one exercise where Lyons endeavored to make “his entire strike group disappear” through emissions control and foul weather, then reappearing in the Norwegian Sea to the Soviets’ surprise.13 Utilizing military deception and emissions control effectively is a skill that requires practice and risk management but is necessary when operating within a peer adversary’s weapon’s release range.14

[…]

The 600-Ship Navy occurred without hollowing the force or falling behind in technological advancements. The 1980s buildup centered on proven platforms while at the same time making critical investments in precision-guided munitions, electronic warfare, and standoff jamming.18 Admiral Hayward (1980s Admiral who would climb to Chief of Naval Operations, the top naval man over all ships and units able to put to sea) made very clear that naval expansion must be made without a decline in readiness:

. . . units which are incapable of meeting the threat are, in a sense, worse than none, because they give some a false sense of our total capabilities vis-à-vis the Soviets. This means that quality cannot generally be traded off for quantity. At the same time, quantity does matter and there is clearly an absolute minimum in numbers of combatant units below which we cannot safely go.19

It’s almost laughable to think that the US could do this now. Maybe the Navy should focus on hiring MBAs in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion from Wharton Business School. This seems like the equitable thing to do.

Some defense planners today advocate wagering the future on unmanned systems, artificial intelligence, and cyber at the expense of traditional platforms to counter China.21 While these disruptive technologies undeniably require investment, using them to justify broad cuts in traditional platforms at a time when the Navy needs to grow would take on a dangerous level of risk. Indeed, the Ford, Zumwalt, and littoral combat ship highlight the pitfalls of betting that new technology can revolutionize naval warfare and offset a reduction in hulls. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Jim Inhofe (R-OK) recently called for a more prudent approach to force structure, imploring “the return to an Aegis-type development model in which critical subsystems are matured before the Navy procures the lead ship of a new class.”22 Admiral Holloway wrote an entire Naval Warfare Publication to assist force-structure planning and emphasized the centrality of risk assessment:

Naval force structure is derived from consideration of strategy, threat, and risk. If proper strategy is projected, the threat correctly assessed, and risks accurately identified, uncertainty can be minimized and naval requirements can be established.23

All of our lives, we’ve been told that Reagan’s military buildup is what collapsed the Soviet Union. But, we ended up expending those munitions and fleet capabilities to destroy Iraq, a fourth-rate power.


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