Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Ayyub Faleh al-Rubaie, the Iraqi "Angel of Death" ambushed and killed?

This popped up on my news alerts and I can't find confirmation anywhere.  Supposedly ISIS snuck into his home, ambushed him and his men and he was killed in the fighting.  Reportedly 14 ISIS fighters died along with 6 of his guys (sounds like one helluva fight...I'd like to know how many assaulters ISIS brought with them).

More to come I'm sure.  One thing I don't get.  The social media/facebook side of the fight is really starting to grate.  Why would any serious fighter want to publicize himself this way?  Why make yourself a bigger target than you already are when you pick up a gun?

Weekend Warriors: Birth of the B-52 Why could they do it then but we can't today?

Ok, I'm sure Boeing embellished this story a bit .... but if they didn't wow!  The USAF stated that they wanted a jet engine, long range bomber (just out of curiosity wasn't the B-47 the first long range bomber?) and over the course of a weekend engineers from Boeing had a proposal ready to go?

We need to get the sense of urgency, the get it done attitude and the skill back into our defense design/procurement.

Why could they do it then but we can't today?

The Marine Corps and Close Air Support (1956)

A Marine Officer is kicked out for trying to protect fellow Marines...how did we get to this point?

via Washington Post.
A senior Navy Department official decided Monday to force a Marine Corps officer out of the service for his handling of classified information, three years after he was first investigated after sending a warning to deployed colleagues about an Afghan police chief whose servant later killed three Marines.
Maj. Jason Brezler will be separated from the Marine Corps following a decision by Assistant Navy Secretary Juan M. Garcia, said Michael Bowe, Brezler’s attorney. The case grabbed attention in Congress and among highly decorated senior officers in the military, some of whom advocated on Brezler’s behalf to let him stay in the Marines. Other service officials maintained that retired Gen. James F. Amos, the Marine Corps’ top officer when the investigation began, and other generals involved handled the case well.
“We will now proceed to a real court and prove that Commandant Amos and his generals illegally retaliated against Major Brezler because they were more concerned with politics and their careers than the lives of their Marines and the service of a good Marine who did the right thing,” Bowe said in an e-mailed statement. “I look forward to their cross-examination.”
Wow.  The Amos legacy is still kicking the Marine Corps in the head and Dunford was Commandant for too little time to dig into this...but Neller should have used his influence to fix this.

This is another sign that the Marine Corps has become infected with the idiocy that exists at the highest levels of the DoD.

Politics is more important than honor.  Good men will suffer to protect fools.  Major Brezler deserves better.  He was attempting to protect his fellow Marines and instead of medals he gets kicked out.

How could this happen in the United States Marine Corps?  Why would any leader allow this type of misjustice? 

Russia is feeling our pain now...

Russian honor guards carry the coffin of Russian Lt. Col. Oleg Peshkov at a ceremony at a military airport outside Moscow on Nov. 30. Peshkov was killed when the warplane he was piloting was downed by a Turkish fighter jet.
LtCol Peshkov finally made his way home.

For better or worse, Russia is about to feel the USA's pain.  I hope they're ready...they're hip deep into the Middle East now...and the Middle East doesn't like to let go.

STKinetics amphibious combat vehicle entry becomes the new Terrex 2.

This is beyond interesting.

Before the Marine Corps changed the Marine Personnel Carrier into the Amphibious Combat Vehicle, we were basically looking at inland waterway "amphibiosity".  With the revamping of the contest to the ACV, swimming from ship to shore was now desirable...not necessary, but indeed desirable and manufacturers wouldn't be penalized for exceeding requirements.

Meanwhile STKinetics entered the "old" Terrex 2.  It was a product improved version of the Terrex 1.  Better suspension, horsepower....extremely impressive electronics and "adequate" swim.  It could cross rivers but taking it from ship to shore was out of the question.

But then STKinetics did what I thought was a bold move.  They reskinned the vehicle to improve its hydrodynamic performance and rechristened it the "new" Terrex 2.

How good was the vehicle?  Good enough to knock Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics out of the running...and putting them in a face to face with BAE/Iveco with their SuperAV.

Do I think they'll win? No.  BAE/Iveco will NOT be undersold...from reading between the lines I think they've labeled this a must win contest and while STKinetics has the support of the Singapore govt (along with BAE/Iveco they're the only company to have actually swam their vehicle from ship to shore from amphibious assault ships or so I've been told) so will BAE/Iveco (sources tell me that the Italian govt is extremely interested in this contest).

So if I still think that the SuperAV is the right vehicle for the Marine ACV contest, why am I so excited about the Terrex 2?  Easy!  This is a positive move toward having real integration among allied Marine Corps in the Pacific.  I think the Terrex 2 will win sales.  I think it will be bought by Marine Corps across the world (and they'll probably be competing against the SuperAV) and with its future sales we'll see real integration.

Flying off each others warships isn't integration that really counts.  What counts is being able to maneuver from ship to shore and then onto the objective without pause....to be able to get a Marine onto a piece of land and have him hold ground (or continue).

This could be a turning point for allied Marine Corps.  Instead of being naval infantry that gets off their landing craft at the beach and then marching inland, they'll be fully mechanized and can keep up with the USMC.  That will be different.  That will be real transformation in partnerships.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Slowdown in weapon modernization expected. Is the F-35 on the list?

via National Defense.
As it finalizes its budget request for the next fiscal year, the Pentagon has to find a way to close the approximately $15 billion gap between the amount of topline funding it hoped to receive and the level that was agreed upon in the recently passed Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, Comptroller Mike McCord said during remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington, D.C. think tank.
“There will probably be some slowdowns in some modernization programs,” he said.
The changes can be expected in “a few places,” but he declined to specify whether the F-35 joint strike fighter or other high profile programs would fall victim.
They're being cheeky.

The F-35 MUST be on that list because there is no other low hanging fruit left, every other project has already been delayed beyond reason and troop levels/benefits have been sliced to the bone.

So the real question becomes...why not state the obvious and say that the F-35 is going to be slowed down?

Easy.  They don't want to spook partner nations.  They don't want to feed "the trolls" (I'm probably included in that category).  In short they don't need the bad publicity.

The program office has climbed out on a limb, called the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs a liar in his testimony to the Senate, stated that high ranking USAF officers didn't know what they were talking about when they said that the Air Force was looking at buying F-15/16/18s so they're in a hurt locker.

I've noticed all this and soon so will the mainstream media.  Ultimately this means that the program, which once touted itself as being the most transparent in history is anything but.

Death spiral?  Nope.  Flat spin headed out to sea?  Yep.  We've just taken a step closer to the inevitable.  The F-35 is about to suffer the same fate of the F-22, and B-2.  Its about to have a severely truncated production run. 

Terrorists Acknowledge Heavy Losses in Aleppo

via Almanar
The Syrian army air force destroyed the ISIL terrorist organization’s headquarters and machinegun-equipped vehicles in the villages of Akolah, Rasm al-Abed, Hemeima big and Hemeima small, 40 km east of Aleppo city, the military source said.
Meanwhile, the Takfiri terrorist organizations acknowledged on their social media websites the killing of a number of their members, among them what it called “storming leader of special forces in Bab Amre battalion” Ali al-Daloub al-Fa’ouri and Amer al- Omar of the so-called Jaish al-Sunna, Jumaa al-Omar of the so-called Islamic Union ofAjnad al-Sham, and commander of al-Sham legion nicknamed al-Zaher Baibars al- Salmouni.
The Army’s air force carried out sorties against ISIL terrorist organizations’ dens in Hazazeh village and Deir Hafer 52 kilometers to the east of Aleppo.
The Air strikes destroyed vehicles and headquarters of terrorists with all arms and munitions inside.
Interesting.  It seems that the complaint that the Russians are only focusing on "moderate" rebels is not true.

We're seeing an offensive in progress along all fronts in the Syrian conflict.  The location of maximum effort changes but the overall plan is clear.  They're pushing in all directions simultaneously.

Obama Admin prepares to blame the military for ISIS failure and Turkey is dragging Nato into its dispute with Russia...

Be advised.  The Hill is an "insider" blog covering the political side of Washington DC.  It is my personal experience that stories are often placed in it for political impact and its used as a sounding board for talking points with the hope of "guiding the discussion" for the upcoming week.

With that in mind check out these passages and make sure to read the entire article...
President Obama is finding himself dragged into a tense standoff between Russia and Turkey even as he struggles to keep the U.S. military focused on the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
Yeah.  You read that right.  The President is "struggling" to keep the US military focused?  Are you freaking kidding me?

I'm trying to stay calm on this one but WHAT THE FUCK!  If you've been a reader of my blog then you know that I slam military leadership on a regular basis.  But the thought that they need to be focused on ISIS and that its a struggle to do so is nothing but politics at its worst.

But hold on.  If you think the Obama Admin is saying maddening things then check out this statement from Turkey...
Istanbul said in a statement that the two SU-24 Russian aircraft were warned 10 times by radar over five minutes but that both jets proceeded to violate Turkish airspace for 17 seconds. One aircraft left, but the other one was shot down by Turkish F-16s conducting air patrols.
"The violated airspace is also NATO airspace," Turkey's statement said.
That statement is enough to have me punching walls.  The Turks do something idiotic and then attempt to hide behind NATO?  We really need to get them out of the alliance and rethink our dealings with them.

We're reaching an interesting stage in the war against ISIS/Syria.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

What happens if the US lose the Kurds in the fight against ISIS?

Thanks to Leroy for the link!

via Al Jazeera
Moscow's retaliation is not just about severing economic and diplomatic ties. It is pursuing a policy that could tie Turkey's hands in Syria.
Ankara never received international backing for a safe zone across its border, but Russia has now ruled that out.
The deployment of S-400 anti-air missiles means Russia has effectively imposed a no-fly zone over Syria.
And now, Moscow seems to be moving closer to a group that has been the US-led coalition's main ground force in Syria - a group which Turkey, itself a member of that coalition, calls "terrorists".
The Syrian Kurdish forces (YPG) is a US-backed Kurdish group that has pushed the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) back from areas along the border with Turkey.
In an attempt to change the solely "Kurdish face" of anti-ISIL ground troops, it aligned with some Arab brigades to form "the Syria Democratic Forces" (SDF).
No doubt a further strengthened YPG will anger Turkey, which has long feared that Kurdish autonomy in northern Syria would stir up similar sentiments among its own Kurdish population.
Then this.
The rules may now have changed. The YPG has still not pushed west of the Euphrates, but along with its allies, and with the help of Russian strikes, the SDF are threatening Turkey-backed opposition groups in another key border crossing, Kilis, west of Jarablous.

Losing control of the northern countryside of Aleppo would be a setback for the opposition. Turkey, too, would lose influence.
But Russian President Vladim Putin seems to be eyeing an even bigger victory. He called on the Assad government and the political wing of the YPG to unite. This has still not happened - at least not officially.
But Syrian Kurdish officials have said they are ready to work with anyone fighting ISIL, and anyone who works for a united, secular and democratic Syria.
Such an alliance would change the battlefield and the balance of power on the ground.
Even I saw this coming.  The Kurds have been jerked around by the US for decades now.  We turn a blind eye to Turkish atrocities committed against them and promise the moon while basically delivering nothing.

Yet time after time they've demonstrated that they're the best fighters against ISIS (in my opinion) and now it appears that Russia is about to try to get them into their camp.

Could you blame them for going for it?  Russia will supply them with weapons and aid them to get that slice of Syria and Iraq that they so desperately want.

The bonus?  It will scare the shit outta Turkey.  The extra juicy bonus?  It will be a finger in the face of Obama, the State Dept and Pentagon.  The orgasmic part?  This one simple move will have the US losing the Kurds, and also the war against Assad.

If the Russians can bring the Kurds into its sphere then it takes an effective group of fighters off the board when it comes to toppling Assad.

The Russians are outsmarting our guys again.  The pathetic thing is that even a small time blogger could see this coming.

Most effective unarmed combat type civilian/uniformed? In my opinion Muay Thai Kickboxing.

Leroy and I got into a discussion about boxing and the defeat of Rhonda Rousey in MMA.

It evolved (in my mind) to a comparison of wrestling, grappling, Karate, Aikido, Systema and even Krav Maga.  I've seen demonstrations of them all and besides being useful only to those in peak condition, they also require some type of acrobatics/years of training to be effective.

But back to why I think Muay Thai is so effective.  Think about a fight in a relatively confined space.  Consider being encumbered by gear (if you're uniformed personnel) and think about the fight.

The last place you want to be is on the ground.  The last thing you want to do is to have to put hands on someone....you have them, they in essence have you.

Quick strikes.  Feet and hands.  Strike hard, get it over with, and no high flying acrobatics to get the deed done.  Most kicks in Thai Kickboxing are low, punches are fast and when it does require kicks at waist level or above, I contend that knee strikes would be a better option.

So why am I talking about it here?  Just shits and giggles.  Marine Corps Martial Arts has (or had...don't know if it still does) elements of Muay Thai in it.  Additionally its designed for combat, so worse case scenarios like ground fighting have to be built in.  But for the street cop or civilian?  If the fight ends up on the ground then you're in deep doo.  Either someone got really lucky or you're fighting someone really skilled.  Its past time for you to  up it to lethal force (hopefully you've been protecting your gun).  That's just my two cents...and like I said.  This is just mudballing and for giggles.  I'll probably take this post down.

Geez! Stop with the navigation errors!

via Brietbart
After accidentally crossing the border into Mexico with guns in his vehicle, a highly decorated former Marine was detained with his children and later released. He had accidentally crossed the border with hunting rifles after taking a wrong turn in Texas.
Retired Marine First Sergeant Jeromie Slaughter, 38, decided to take his 14-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter on a hunting trip to a deer lease located near Rocksprings, Texas,according to Click2Houston.com. His family said he had not been to the lease before and made a wrong turn.
Rocksprings is located approximately 70 miles from the Texas/Mexico border at Del Rio.
Slaughter’s family said he ended up on a road that led to Ciudad Acuna, Mexico. “He knew they were lost and when he seen the sign that said ‘no guns,’ you know, no weapons, he knew that he had gone too far,” Slaughter’s mother Beverly McKinney, told the Houston TV station.
He apparently ended up on a bridge leading to Mexico and realized he had nowhere to go. Upon arriving at the Mexican border crossing checkpoint, Slaughter asked for permission to turn around and return to the U.S. The Mexican authorities said no and detained him and his children after they discovered the three rifles and several dozen rounds of ammunition he was carrying.
Ya know.  This is getting tiresome.  What is it with Marines and the border with Mexico.  I get the gun part.  I don't get the idea of making a navigation error that has you riding into Mexico.  If I had to get on the side of the road cross the median and then risk getting ticketed by Texas law enforcement that would be preferable to dealing with Mexican police.  Even if I drew the attention of Border Patrol or INS agents it would still be better than crossing the border.

The only good news?  They were able to get this wrapped up quickly.  

To my fellow Marines I'd simply ask this.  Check your freaking maps and stop acting like boot LTs on their first field exercise.  I hope this doesn't happen again but if it does...please God let it be an Airman.