Archive for the 'Department of Defense' Category



Behold What Your Military Industrial Complex Has Done For You!

BY Herschel Smith
3 days, 11 hours ago

Daily Beast:

Here’s something the public didn’t know until today: If one of the U.S. military’s new F-35 stealth fighters has to climb at a steep angle in order to dodge an enemy attack, design flaws mean the plane might suddenly tumble out of control and crash.

Also, some versions of the F-35 can’t accelerate to supersonic speed without melting their own tails or shedding the expensive coating that helps to give the planes their radar-evading qualities.

The Pentagon’s $400-billion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, one of the biggest and most expensive weapons programs in history, has come under fire, so to speak, over more than a decade for delays, rising costs, design problems and technical glitches.

But startling reports by trade publication Defense News on Wednesday revealed flaws that previously only builder Lockheed Martin, the military, and the plane’s foreign buyers knew about.

The newly-exposed problems underscore the potential fragility of American air power as the armed services work to replace more and more old fighters with as many as 2,300 F-35s while also reconfiguring to confront the increasingly deadly Chinese and Russian air forces.

The problems might also help to explain why acting defense secretary Patrick Shanahan reportedly described the F-35 program as “fucked up.”

Defense News obtained military documents detailing a wide range of serious problems with two of the three versions of the F-35. The Air Force’s F-35A appears to be exempt from the latest flaws, but the Marine Corps’ vertical-landing F-35B and the Navy’s carrier-compatible F-35C both suffer what the services call “category 1” deficiencies. (In military parlance, a category 1 flaw in a plane can prevent a pilot from accomplishing their mission.)

[ … ]

One problem cropped up during test flights in 2011, Defense News reported, citing the trove of military documents. In the 2011 tests, at least one F-35B and F-35C both flew at speeds of Mach 1.3 and Mach 1.4. A post-flight inspection in November 2011 revealed the F-35B sustained “bubbling [and] blistering” of its stealth coating.

Further supersonic tests in December 2011 revealed structural damage on an F-35C resulting from the extreme heat coming from the plane’s single Pratt & Whitney engine, one of the most powerful fighter engines ever made.

To avoid similar damage, the military has limited F-35B and F-35C pilots to flying at supersonic speed for less than a minute at a time.

But that could make it impossible for aviators to keep up with, or avoid, Russian and Chinese fighters flying faster than the speed of sound without any restrictions. “It is infeasible for the Navy or Marine Corps to operate the F-35 against a near-peer threat under such restrictions,” Defense News paraphrased the documents as saying.

But MIC isn’t done with the insults and malfeasance.  Not by a long shot.

A Chinese-owned company is making circuit boards for the top-secret next generation F-35 warplanes flown by Britain and the United States, Sky News can reveal.

Exception PCB, a printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturer in Gloucestershire, south west England, produces circuit boards that “control many of the F-35’s core capabilities”, according to publicity material produced by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD).

This includes “its engines, lighting, fuel and navigation systems”, it said.

If the FedGov had actually made an assignment to the DoD to do it’s dead level best to spend the most money on the worst possible outcome, I don’t think they could have done any better than they did.

Fifth generation warfare.  Sounds nice.  How do you feel about your dollars spent?

Comment Of The Week

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

Sanders:

“Some of the best men I’ve ever known, I met in the military.

Some of the biggest scumsucking dirtbag pieces of crap I’ve ever known, I met in the military.

If someone throws out “I was in the military” and expects me to take that as some kind of bonafides, they are assuming wrong.”

Hundreds More Active-Duty Troops May Be Sent To U.S.-Mexico Border

BY Herschel Smith
5 months, 1 week ago

Military Times:

U.S. officials say the Pentagon is finalizing plans that would send hundreds of additional active-duty troops to the U.S.-Mexico border for several more months to support the Department of Homeland Security.

The troops would install another 160 miles of concertina wire in Arizona and California.

Details are being worked out, but the plan likely would extend the military’s border mission though the end of September.

The mission is separate from President Donald Trump’s campaign to build a border wall but is designed to bolster security.

Officials said Friday the installation of the wire barrier is not expected to take long, so troops doing that would be finished long before September.

There currently are 2,350 active-duty troops assigned to the border mission, which was slated to end Jan. 31.

None of this makes a hill of beans of difference.  They won’t be under arming orders.  They will have no mission except to perform administrative and assistance duties.

I believe that virtually the only constitutional imperative of the U.S. military is to protect and defend the country against invasion and protect the borders (with the exception of the Navy and Marines who protect and defend Americans abroad and trade on the high seas).  Therefore, I support an armed mission in which invaders are shot.

However, the lawyers, the Congress, the Senate, the military, the judiciary, and just about everyone in power, interprets Posse Comitatus as preventing the use of the military this way, even though their actions wouldn’t be taken against U.S. citizens.

So they will arm the FBI, BLM, ATF and most other federal agencies like an army and allow them to perpetrate armed actions against U.S. citizens, while preventing the military from stopping invasion.

Light is called darkness, and darkness is called light.  But until the country has the stomach to force this action, it won’t happen.  The military lawyers won’t even bother to bind the hands of Soldiers and Marines at the border by issuing ROE/RUF.  They just won’t arm them at all.

The Diminishing Of The Western Militaries

BY Herschel Smith
5 months, 2 weeks ago

Beginning with the UK:

… last year it launched its ‘Belonging’ recruitment campaign, which assured would-be soldiers that the army is an emotionally correct outfit that provides psychological validation to its recruits. One ad showed a tearful soldier in a jungle opening a letter from a loved one, while his comrades offered him a cup of tea.

[ … ]

And yet instead of learning from the failures of the ‘Belonging’ campaign, the army has decided to go even further down the road of presenting itself as a cuddly, non-challenging, soppy institution. Its new PR campaign features posters and TV ads calling on ‘snowflakes’, ‘selfie addicts’, ‘class clowns’, ‘phone zombies’ and ‘me me me millennials’ to sign up. One poster says: ‘Snowflakes – your army needs YOU and your compassion.’

Moving on to the U.S. Marine Corps:

The Corps is the only branch of service that has not fully integrated male and females together at recruit training. Could that be about to change?

ABC News first reported Friday that a female platoon will integrate with male platoons aboard the recruit depot at Parris Island, South Carolina.

“On January 5, 2019, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island will start their training cycle with one female platoon and five male platoons,” the Marine Corps said in a statement.

Then let’s cover two members of Army Green Berets:

A former 7th Special Forces Group soldier and a West Virginia National Guard Special Forces soldier pleaded guilty Dec. 21 and Dec. 17, respectively, to two federal charges each of conspiracy to traffic cocaine, according to court documents and a release from the Justice Department.

Former Master Sgt. Daniel Gould, 36, and Sgt. 1st Class Henry Royer, 35, had planned to smuggle 90 pounds of cocaine ― about $1 million worth ― on a military transport plane from Colombia to Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, according to federal court documents.

“Suspicion was aroused at the United States Embassy when packages were x-rayed, revealing cocaine within gutted out punching bags,” the DoJ release said.

The communist agenda is nearly complete.

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

BY Herschel Smith
11 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
1 year 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
1 year 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
1 year, 1 month 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
1 year, 2 months 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 year, 2 months 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.


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