Saturday, October 25, 2014

PLA's Mobile Landing Dock...

Chinese Defense Blog's pic of the PLA's new Mobile Landing Dock.
Feel free to correct me but this again appears to be a bit of Chinese mimicry.  This time it looks like they've decided to copy the Navy's JLOTS (Joint Logistics Over The Shore) System.  You can see pics of that below for comparison.

Why is this interesting?  Because the Chinese have made a choice.  They've chosen JLOTS over Sea Basing.

The Chinese haven't appeared to be cost conscious when it comes to defense spending.  From stealth aircraft, to a modern jet transport, modern armor, advanced destroyers to state of the art amphibious ships...the Chinese haven't been penny pinching.

Which begs the question.  They've copied everything else, so why not the sea base.  Do they see the same issues with it that I do?

The movie "Lebanon"...Israel's "Fury"...

Consider this the Israeli version of "Fury" but with EVEN MORE moralizing about the rights and wrongs of war along with huge doses of "the enemy are monsters but we are too kinda thing".

It got tons of awards (probably because it showed in my opinion, Israeli Soldiers in a negative light) but I still think its worth a look-see.

Friday, October 24, 2014

F-35 loading procedures...

Hat tip to Postassi for the link.


You're going to do this on a pitching deck on a carrier in the Pacific while being pounded by sea spray while the ship is doing 30 knots to put wind over the bow, not to mention rain, snow and ice?  I won't even talk about the beating that the airplanes stealth surface will take (have you seen F/A-18's after deployment??? they look like dogshit) just concentrating on the poor saps that have to crawl underneath all that to shove missiles and bombs onto the internal racks!

This MIGHT be the plane for the USAF but for naval service, I'm beyond having doubts...its just plain wrong.

"We have two companies of Marines running rampant all over the northern half of this island..."

We have two companies of Marines running rampant all over the northern half of this island, and three Army regiments pinned down in the southwestern corner, doing nothing.  What the hell is going on?  [Gen. John W. Vessey Jr., USA, Chairman of the the Joint Chiefs of Staff; during the assault on Grenada, 1983]

On 25Oct83 the invasion of Grenada began.  A couple of points...

1.  Regan told Thatcher that the invasion wasn't going to happen.  During a phone call she insisted that it not take place and Reagan is quoted as saying "I didn't have the heart to tell her that it had already begun!"
2.  The above quote is quick summation of Army soul searching after the operation.  The 82nd's 325th Infantry had its airport seizure mission ripped from them and Rangers did the job.  Additionally planning had an extremely limited USMC role.  That role expanded when Army units became bogged down by Grenadian and Cuban forces.
3.  The 22nd MEU (SOC) would sail onto history and be involved in several other "historic" operations.  During this time period if you weren't at Lejeune you just weren't cool...that was the land of the real Marine Corps.
4.  The Air Wing took a tremendous beating during this op and a couple of helicopters were lost.  I consider this another example of history being forgotten and current leadership forgetting the vulnerability of aircraft when your battlespace is compact.
5.  Read the official Marine Corps history below or if you want a quick and dirty then check out the Wikipedia entry here.

Spanish Marines amphibious assault exercise Noble Justification 2014 via Defense Media.

Interesting.  If the "current" plan goes forward the USMC will look more like the Spanish Marine Corps (Italians too) than anything I've seen so far.  They use a mix of AAV and 8 wheeled Piranha APC (Italy of course uses the Iveco SuperAV) for transport.  Its also noteworthy to see that they use M109's in the artillery role and 105 howitzers.  Who would have thought it.  The USMC is following the lead of the Spanish and Italian Marine Corps.

Happy Birthday Royal Marines...

Happy 350th birthday Royal Marines.

Sidenote:  The above pic comes from a "storyify" posting that has people posting pics wishing the RM's well.  I chose it because that's the iconic RM look.  An all weather smock, FAL and beret.  They've kept that same "look" since WW2...only the weapons and webbing has changed.  Can the same be said for any other organizations "go to war" uniform?

I thought hard and couldn't think of one.

Imitation is the greatest form of flattery and I really believe that an olive drab or coyote brown smock would be a welcome addition to a Marine's kit bag.

Navy Recognition's coverage of Catamaran 2014...

Check it out here.