Thursday, February 04, 2010

CNO says 33 is enough...

I can't wait to read what the Navy bloggers say about this...

The reality of the situation is ---As long as the USMC depends on the Navy for transportation, support and even to a certain extent funding, all the talk about making the Dept of the Navy- the Dept of the Navy and Marine Corps is self serving bullshit that should be discarded for the sake of tradition.  And reality.

This is via the Marine Corps Times.  Just a snippet, read the whole thing at their site.

CNO: 33 amphibs will meet Corps’ demands

By Gidget Fuentes - Staff writer
Posted : Thursday Feb 4, 2010 20:34:19 EST
SAN DIEGO — The Navy’s top officer said he’s “pleased” with the service’s shipbuilding plan, which includes additional submarines, electronic warfare aircraft, joint high-speed vessels and a large-deck amphibious ship for the Marines.
The Quadrennial Defense Review released Monday by the Pentagon calls for an amphibious fleet sized at 29 to 33 ships. Navy officials are holding the line on what they see as the naval requirement of 33, but Marine Corps officials have pressed for additional ships, as many as 38.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead said he has regularly discussed the issue with Marine Commandant Gen. James Conway but maintains that the current fleet levels would still meet the Corps’ needs.
“I don’t dispute the Marine Corps’ right of saying 38,” Roughead said, speaking with reporters after his address Thursday at “West 2010,” a four-day conference sponsored by U.S. Naval Institute and Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association. “It’s all about priorities. We believe we can structure the force with what the Marine Corps needs with 33.”

Uh just as a side note...You do realize that the CNO has just said that approx 5000 Marines will be left ashore and can't participate in the assault echelon with this statement don't you? 

Bless Romania...

I hope we don't end up screwing them.  This is from Reuters...

Romania backs U.S. plan to host anti-missile shield

The announcement came unexpectedly and Basescu gave few details on the project. But it appeared to be part of the revamped approach taken by U.S. President Barack Obama since he scrapped a Bush-era plan for a radar site and interceptor rockets in the Czech Republic and Poland.
The missile shield has angered eastern Europe's former Cold War master Russia, who sees it as a threat to its own nuclear arsenal and has bristled at what it says is Washington's meddling in its sphere of influence.
A Kremlin spokesman declined to comment and said the foreign ministry would issue a statement on the matter on Friday.
Basescu said the Supreme Defense Council -- Romania's top military and security authority -- had approved a U.S. proposal to include Romania in a system against "potential attacks with ballistic missiles or medium-range rockets."
The U.S. offer was brought to Bucharest by Ellen Taucher, Under-Secretary of State for Arms Control who leads a team of American experts in Romania, Basescu said.
"Terrestrial interceptors will be located inside the national territory," he said.
He said the U.S. facilities were expected to become operational in 2015 but the plan's specifics, now under discussion with U.S. partners, would need parliamentary approval in order to come into force.
In past years, parliament has solidly backed participation in U.S. and NATO-led military ventures, including Romanian troop deployments to hotspots like Iraq and Afghanistan. Follow the link for the rest.

USS America Class vs. Nimitz Class Carriers...

Hey for all those that doubt the firepower possible within the Gator Navy of the future check out this. .
via global security.org
The notional ACE of the future as of 2008 was:
 *6-F-35B STOVL aircraft
*12-MV-22B Tilt rotor aircraft
*4-CH-53K Heavy-lift aircraft
*4-AH-1Z Attack helicopters
*3-UH-1Y Utility Helicopters
or as a JSF platform
*22- F-35B STOVL aircraft
The implication is clear.  If the USS America is outfitted as  a pure F-35B carrier then its power starts to approach that of a big deck carrier.  Yes, a Nimitz class can carry twice as many aircraft but as Sec Gates said, we must start to focus on aircraft effectiveness.  Just as Marine Divisions have gotten smaller over the years because of their effectiveness then so can we expect airwings to become smaller because the aircraft are more effective.

If the F-35B performs as I expect then we can almost call it a two for one advantage for the airplane versus its F/A-18 counterpart.  That would indicate a parity in firepower.  The US Navy should consider this fact before they jump off the F-35 bandwagon.

Depressing if true...

Military.com has a depressing story.  If this is true then we have a breakdown not only in the promotion system but also in the moral fiber of some of our leadership.  Sad.

Sgt. Major Charged with Raping Subordinate

HEIDELBERG, Germany -- One of U.S. Army Europe's top enlisted soldiers has been charged with raping a young soldier in his command who was too meek and cowed by his rank to deflect his advances, military prosecutors said at an Article 32 hearing this week.
Sgt. Maj. Garry Tull is also charged with abusing his rank and authority, committing adultery and disobeying Army regulations on a trip to Naples, Italy, last May, according to the official Army charge sheet.
At the time of the alleged incident, Tull was command sergeant major of the U.S. Army NATO brigade at the time, on a trip to help select the unit Soldier of the Year.
He is now performing duties "commensurate with his experience," Army officials said. 

More proof that the Stryker isn't getting the job done...

The US Army is at the cutting edge of ground combat vehicle development.  Where it leads other nations follow.  This is evident with the rush toward wheeled infantry fighting vehicles following the introduction of the Stryker into the Army's inventory.  Germany, Spain, Taiwan, Singapore etc...followed this trend and introduced their own versions of the wheeled IFV into service.

Next came Afghanistan and Iraq --- the US Army learned a painful lesson and the interim vehicle is being maintained but the turn toward its replacement has begun in earnest.  This is from DOD Buzz...

Army’s Pouring $7B Into GCV

The Army plans to spend at least $7 billion over the next five years to develop its new Ground Combat Vehicle and is determined to get a jump on the project, with $934 million slotted for work in 2011 and nearly $2 billion the next year in what is clearly an accelerated development. The GCV will replace the FCS manned ground vehicles, cancelled last year, as the base model for future combat vehicles; the Army has said the initial vehicle will be an infantry carrier.
At a briefing to reporters on Monday, Army budget chief Lt. Gen. Edgar Stanton, said the new combat vehicle’s ultimate design is still very much up in the air. Army budget documents released this week also say the new vehicle’s requirements are still being defined.
So where will the GCV money go in 2011? The Army wants builders to begin work on the GCV’s subsystems and modular components, such as the engine, drive train, suspension, armor, turret, weapons, active protection system and what it calls a “Mission Module Structure” to carry an infantry squad. Prototypes of the various subsystems are to be ready for testing in early 2102.
To get the process moving, the Army plans to award two competitive contracts in the fourth quarter FY2010. The Army expects builders to use mostly mature technologies in an “evolutionary acquisition approach,” that allows for the “maximum affordable competition” documents say. A subsystem preliminary design review is scheduled for fourth quarter FY2011.  Follow the link for the rest.

Do you notice how quickly this program is getting off the ground?  Contract award is expected by the end of this fiscal year is super quick---at least by government standards.  SLA Marshal's lessons are being learned again, just in a modern way.  High tech doesn't protect like good ole' fashion armor does.  Net-centric warfare doesn't beat good ole' fashion mobility.

Gates Declares War...on everyone...


Sec of Defense Gates is taking no prisoners. Just after firing the Program Manager for the F-35, we now have this from DefenseNews.com...

U.S. Would Proceed on Tanker Without EADS: Gates

WASHINGTON - The Pentagon will go ahead with plans for a new tanker aircraft even if Airbus parent EADS withdraws from the competition for the lucrative contract, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Feb. 3.The Defense Department hoped that EADS and its partner Northrop Grumman would not follow through on its threat to pull out of the bidding, but "we will move forward," Gates said. "We have to have new tankers.

AAV's in Okinawa...

via MarinesTV...
video

MPF(F) Mobile Landing Platform (6-4)