Thursday, December 08, 2016

Colonel John Glenn passed away...Gunny Walgreen's speech is the best tribute I can think of....

Colonel John Glenn passed away and the best tribute given to the man was by Gunny Walgreen in Iraq before a major operation.  Turn up the volume (be warned its infantry...profanity filled ) and think about the man and motivation.

Above is the original.  Below is a slightly cleaned up, more artsy version by Charles Mabry.

Iraqi Forces retreat after ISIS counterattack on seized hospital.

via Reuters
Iraqi troops who seized a hospital deep inside Mosul believed to be used as an Islamic State military base have retreated after a fierce counter-attack, giving up some of their biggest gains in a hard-fought seven-week campaign to recapture the city.
The soldiers seized Salam hospital, less than a mile (1.5 km) from the Tigris river running through central Mosul, on Tuesday but pulled back the next day after they were hit by six suicide car bombs and "heavy enemy fire", according to a statement by the U.S.-led coalition supporting Iraqi forces.
Coalition warplanes, at Iraq's request, also struck a building inside the hospital complex from which the militants were firing machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades, it said.
Tuesday's rapid advance into the Wahda neighborhood where the hospital is located marked a change of tactics after a month of grueling fighting in east Mosul, in which the army has sought to capture and clear neighborhoods block by block.
And this.
Soldiers from the army's Ninth Armored division were left exposed on Tuesday after punching into the Wahda neighborhood.
"When we advanced first into Wahda, Daesh (Islamic State) showed little resistance and we thought they had fled," an officer briefed on the operation told Reuters by telephone. "But once we took over the hospital, the gates of hell opened wide".
"They started to appear and attack from every corner, every street and every house near the hospital," said the officer who declined to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media. He said insurgents may also have used a tunnel network reaching into the hospital complex itself.
Iraqi military spokesmen have said little about the fighting around the hospital, stressing instead gains they said were being made in other parts of east Mosul, including the Ilam neighborhood a few districts northeast.
Brigadier-General Yahya Rasoul, a spokesman for Iraq's joint operations command, said on Wednesday "operations are continuing" around Wahda. He could not immediately be contacted on Thursday.
The statement by the coalition said Iraqi troops "fought off several counter-attacks and six VBIEDs (car bombs) ... before retrograding a short distance, under heavy enemy fire".
The Iraqi officer said that when the troops were inside the hospital complex, fighting off the militants, they came under attack from suicide bombers who he said either infiltrated through tunnels or had been hiding in the hospital grounds.
"We don't know, they were like ghosts," he said.
Iraq does not give casualty figures or report on its equipment losses, but the officer said 20 soldiers were killed and around 20 armored vehicles were destroyed or damaged.

This sounds bad.

ISIS is giving much better in Mosul than they are in Aleppo.  I wonder why?  Regardless it appears that ISIS have them by the balls, are hugged in tight and have figured out a way to nullify coalition air power.

Want a terrible prediction?

Russia/Iran/Syria will defeat ISIS in Syria before Iraq/Coalition get the job done in Iraq.  We don't have a lack of expertise, fighting spirit or equipment.  We have a lack of strategic planning (I guess to an extent tactical planning too).

Open Comment Post. Dec 8, 2016.

SecNav Mabus tries to find his balls...

The Navy is digging in its heels and rejecting billions in cuts from its 2018 budget as infighting has hit a boiling point at the Pentagon. 
The Navy has refused to submit a budget that incorporates $17 billion in cuts over the next five years that Defense Secretary Ash Carter ordered. It's a standoff that has been brewing for months since Carter told the Navy to begin cutting major shipbuilding programs and invest in weapons systems and aircraft, according to half a dozen defense officials who spoke to Navy Times.   At issue is Navy Secretary Ray Mabus's insistence that budget cuts not be directed at the shipbuilding program, which he has long fought to shield from cuts as he attempts to rebuild the fleet to his goal of 308 ships. Mabus argues that cutting ships is the "least reversible" thing to cut from the budget because of the long timeline for shipbuilding programs and the damage to the industrial base. The Navy had been developing budgets with the $17 billion in cuts that preserved shipbuilding, but the savings came overwhelmingly from operations and maintenance money needed to deploy ships and fix them when they get back — Navy leaders deemed those cuts intolerable. 
Too little too late Mabus.  You're still a slimy bastard and you're still going to go down as the worst SecNav in the history of the Navy.

Marine officer who was dismissed while trying to protect Marines wins law suit.

Thanks to James for the link!

via Stars and Stripes.
A federal judge has tossed out a Marine Corps decision to remove an officer from the service after he sent classified information through an unclassified email server while warning colleagues in Afghanistan about the security threat posed by a police chief whose teenage servant later killed three Marines.
U.S. District Judge Joseph F. Bianco ruled Tuesday that the decision against Maj. Jason Brezler will be vacated because the Department of the Navy, which oversees the Marine Corps, "violated its own discovery rule" by failing to provide Brezler with all documents relevant to his case before an administrative hearing.
Bianco's ruling, first reported Tuesday evening by the independent Marine Corps Times, took no position on whether Brezler, whose case became a cause celebre among some members of Congress, generals and veterans, faced retaliation from the Navy Department after his story first appeared in the media in August 2013. Instead, the judge found that the Navy's mistakes "clearly prevented Major Brezler from fully and fairly litigating his retaliation claims," while also potentially depriving senior military officials reviewing his case from "critical information."
I remember this story.  I also remember hearing about his winning yesterday but it took James to give the kick in the ass to write about it.

Consider this.

At one time in the Marine Corps this "infraction" would have resulted in a chewing out and a pat on the back from Brezler's senior.


Today some stupid bastard that calls himself a Marine demanded that this man be "crushed".

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Lockheed Martin T-50A is soaring over Greenville, South Carolina

Commandant talks expanding the force but touches on lack of ground based air defense.

via National Defense.
These new billets would include: information operations, intelligence analysis, electronic warfare, cyber, communications, air defense, engineering and areas where there are shortfalls such as maintenance, he said. Even if the Marines don’t receive this boost in personnel, it will still be adding these capabilities, he said. They will just have to be taken out of other units, he added.
And then this.
“We have to change our training and our mindset to almost where it was in the 80s,” he said. Marines will have to learn to maneuver with uncertainty as to what the enemy is going to do. They will have to mask their signatures, expect to receive accurate indirect fires and expect that the adversary will have aviation, battlefield sensors and robust electronic warfare capabilities, he said.
“They are going to fly their planes over you. And we’re going to have to create that training environment so the soldier, sailor, airmen, Marine sees that and they know what it is … It’s an airplane and its not yours and he’s coming here to bomb you.”
Just plain fucking wow.

Could HQMC be starting to see the future fight the way that I've been screaming about on these pages?  It means that we're gonna need to increase the number of ACVs that are being least if we intend to keep our "amphibious nature" intact.  It means that a family of vehicles will be needed.  An anti-air, electronic warfare and maybe even a command post variant.

Of course I'm assuming that he's talking about ground based maneuver.  If the idea is still to stuff everything into the back of MV-22's and fly 1000 miles from ship and engage enemy armored formations then the Marine Corps thinkers are still smoking illegal shit.

Bird person’s big day at Blood Ridge on Glapflap’s third moon against the Gromflomites

via joelkilpatrick Tumblr Page

I absolutely Love Rick and Morty, and ever since Rick mentioned Bird Person’s big day on Blood Ridge I haven’t been able to stop thinking about what the scene would be like. So I had to finally paint it something.
I really liked the idea of a younger Rick, Bird Person and Squanchy fighting in a battle together.
“The road your father and I walked together is soaked deeply with the blood of both friends and enemies”
“The war in which we fought is far from over..”

There has to be some type of internet rule that says that any nonsensical cartoon will be made into something dark and serious.  I always took that little scene as filler in the Rick and Morty series and then this guy does this to it.

I don't know whether to look at that cartoon in a new light or kick myself for not getting how freaking serious it is while I'm laughing my ass off.

5.11 Master Race.

via Soldier Systems
A member of the Reddit’s Law Enforce community noticed that the tread of his new 5.11 Speed 3.0 5″ boots left a rather distinctive tread marking. There’s absolutely no reason to believe this was intentional, but I’m sure it will fuel many a conspiracy theory.
Story here. 

Wow.  I think 5.11 better fix this quick.  On the other hand they should be best sellers for Stormfront and others like them.

Polish Cav...past and present!

UAE parades new Nimr vehicles

Thanks to Jonathan for the link!

via Janes
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Armed Forces displayed its new Nimr N35 armoured vehicles for the first time during a parade to mark the country's 45th National Day on 5 December.

The vehicles seen in the parade were all 4x4 N35-4 rather than 6x6 N35-6 versions and fitted with Dynamit Noble FeWaS remote weapon stations, a type that has previously been seen on Oshkosh M-ATV armoured vehicles in service with the Emirati military.

The N35 was originally developed by BAE Systems Land Systems South Africa (now part of Denel Vehicle Systems) as the RG35 before it was sold to Nimr Automotive.

Denel announced in November 2015 that it had signed a ZAR900 million (then worth around USD63 million) contract with Nimr to produce N35 vehicles. The Denel Group annual report for 2015/2016 said the deal is estimated to be worth ZAR1.2 billion in total.

IHS Jane's was told at the time of the announcement that the contract covers initial low-rate production of N35 vehicles in South Africa, the transfer of the manufacturing process to the UAE, and further development of the N35-4 and N35-6 variants.

Nimr announced in June that the N35 was being built at its plant in Abu Dhabi's Tawazun Industrial Park.

Two open-top versions of Nimr's Ajban family of 4x4 vehicles were also seen during the parade.
Wow.  Everyone is hot and heavy over Special Ops type patrol vehicles.  What I don't understand is why the big specialized versions of these things are so popular.

Has anyone in the Light Infantry/Special Ops Community actually done a study on the utility of these vehicles in a real live shooting war?

Additionally with UAE building the RG35, it seems that making MRAPS into combat vehicles is continuing.  Past a certain size it seems to be a losing proposition.  Democratic nations will not allow endless participation in counter insurgency....and that seems to be the sweet spot for these type vehicles.  Well old skool counter insurgency.  If Iraq/Syria and Ukraine point to the future then even in that type warfare you're gonna need full on combat vehicles if you want to survive.

Dogfights of the Future. So much right, wrong and a lot of hope.

Do you remember this series?  If not then I HIGHLY recommend it.  The historic accounts of man and machine in aerial combat is without comparison but the one episode that I found absolutely compelling was the "Dogfight of the Future".

They got so much right, so much wrong and it was dashed with a lot of hope.  If you have a bit of time then give it a watch and tell me what your takeaways are.