Saturday, June 05, 2010

Tracking down these photos.

Ok.  Here's the deal.  These photos went up on Military and went down just as quickly.  I don't know why, I don't know if these are spoofs, I just don't know.  I went here, the website whose name is scrawled over the pics but can't find them anywhere on the site.

My question to anyone is this...are these real?  If so why haven't the Israeli's released them?
D.E. Reddick sent this link

Interesting.  The quote an EX-Marine who is making all kinds of silly statements.  This plot thickens.
Locheed Martin Press Release...

"This year is the 50th anniversary of the first CC-130 Hercules aircraft accepted by Canada," said the Honourable Peter MacKay, the Canadian Minister of National Defence. "I am proud to mark this milestone by welcoming the J-model Hercules into our fleet – on budget and on schedule – ensuring the Canadian Forces have the equipment it needs to be a modern, multi-role force able to take on the challenges of the 21st century."
Modern "thinkers" have been so focused on moving vehicles from point A to point B that they've failed to realize one important fact.

90% of the cargo moved by air isn't the large bulky type that everyone talks about.  As a matter of fact if you're conducting an air assault landing and using it to move vehicles into a combat zone as your primary force (think Stryker Brigade), then you've lost before the plane takes off.

For the movement of ISO Containers and pallet type loads, the C-130 is more than adequate. 

This explains why its modern version continues to sell well.

The days where we need an all C-17 or A400 force isn't here yet and probably won't be for the next 30 to 40 years.

Iraq to get new F-16's.

from Reuters via Alert5.
"We're still working our way through that, but I think they will be new ones" rather than refurbished F-16s, another option that has been under review, Army General Ray Odierno told reporters at the Pentagon on Friday.
The U.S. Air Force has been quiet for months on the status of an assessment it carried out last year on Iraq's air defense needs and whether it would recommend the F-16 sale.
Under the U.S. government-to-government Foreign Military Sales program, a transfer of such weapons is subject to approvals by the departments of defense and state as well as by Congress.
Odierno said the United States would not meet Iraq's request before the scheduled completion of a phased U.S. troop withdrawal at the end of next year.
"This will be an evolving process over the next several years," said Odierno, a four-star general who commands all U.S. forces in Iraq.
The F-16 is a powerful symbol of political and military cooperation with the United States and a potential key to fostering post-withdrawal U.S. and Iraqi security ties
Kind of disappointing that the F/A-18 Super Hornet wasn't even considered.  I wonder what block and how much tech will be included in it.  Iraq might be an "ally" but I don't believe they will be a reliable one.

US Marines in Romania.

BABADAG TRAINING AREA, Romania-Sgt. Shane Cell, a squad leader with scout platoon, Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Tank Battalion, demonstrates muscular gouging to a during a Marine Corps Martial Arts Program training exercise with Macedonian soldiers at Babadag Training Area, Romania, June 1. Since arriving at BTA, the Marines and Macedonian soldiers have also covered the fundamentals of peacekeeping, rules of engagement, fundamentals of combat marksmanship and night vision training., Cpl. R. Logan Kyle, 6/1/2010 4:40 AM
Macedonian forces begin training alongside U.S. Marines 6/2/2010 By Cpl. R. Logan Kyle , Black Sea Rotational Force BABADAG TRAINING AREA, Romania — Macedonian soldiers kicked off two weeks of training alongside U.S. Marines at Romania’s Babadag Training Area, May 31. This is the second of four peacekeeping operations courses for partner nations scheduled to be supported by the Marines and Sailors of Black Sea Rotational Force 2010, the first Security Cooperation Marine Air-Ground Task Force to deploy to the Balkan, Caucasus and Black Sea regions. The Marines wrapped up their initial training phase with Romania, May 28, and have training with additional Romanian forces, as well as Ukrainian and Bulgarian forces, slated over the coming weeks. 1st Lt. Marc Tucker, the commander for scout platoon, Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Tank Battalion, said he is excited to continue to work with different partner nations and help build their operational capabilities with U.S. and Coalition forces. Scout platoon serves as part of the ground combat element for the Security Cooperation MAGTF currently deployed to Eastern Europe. “Each experience is going to be unique,” said Tucker, a native of Silver Spring, Md. “They all bring different experiences, different skill sets, and we look forward to the exchange.” Since arriving at BTA, the Marines and Macedonian soldiers have covered the fundamentals of peacekeeping, rules of engagement, fundamentals of combat marksmanship, night vision training and an introduction to the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program. Macedonian troops said they believe the skills and techniques that they are fine-tuning will help them on their upcoming deployment to Afghanistan. “We will deploy to Afghanistan in July for six months, and I think this training will help us while we are there,” said Sgt. Sait Saiti, a Macedonian soldier with Scorpion Co., 1st Bn., 1st Brigade. “I’ve been in the military for nearly five years, and this is my first experience outside Macedonia.” The Marines are working in the Black Sea, Balkan and Caucasus regions to promote regional stability, build enduring partnerships and build the capabilities of partner nations’ military forces. The Security Cooperation MAGTF is Marine Corps Forces Europe’s commitment to a rotating presence of Marines in Eastern Europe to meet U.S. European Command’s theater security objectives. “This is going to be really interesting, and I hope we will be able to use this training in other areas of the world in the future,” Saiti said.
Missions like this were once the exclusive domain of Special Operations.  I wonder if SOCOM is aware that since they've gone to all raids and nothing but raids...and since conventional forces are now doing internal security, training for host nations etc...that when the fighting is over they'll have less work.

Either SOCOM will do a massive mission grab and start performing these missions again OR they'll fall victim to the personnel cuts that the conventional forces are facing.

My prediction is that SOCOM is looking at some pretty massive budget cuts.  There forces are older, get paid more, have proven to be support intensive etc...they're going to get whacked in the upcoming budget battles. My prediction is that Marine Special Ops will be scaled way back as will the SEALs, Army Special Forces and USAF Special Ops.

The only force that I see remaining relatively unscathed is the US Army Rangers.  They haven't experienced the weird and wild growth that the other SOCOM members have and their operating principals are fiscally sound.  Whenever possible they have used standard Army gear (the SCAR is an outlier...don't expect it to see widespread service..just my opinion).

SOCOM might be able to avoid cuts in the future but it will depend on their success in the Horn of Africa (where you have more and more conventional US Marines operating) and in Yemen.  If they can contain the threat then it might be sunny skies.  If they need assistance to win the war (think Afghanistan before the build up) then cuts -be- a coming.

MH-60R. The Propaganda Vid.

A couple of things stood out in this video.  First it stated that 'with 8 hellfire missiles'...I've never seen a Navy SeaHawk with that type load out.  Second they talked about its operations with the Australian Navy.  Maybe the NH-90 is in more trouble in that competition than I thought.

More JHSV's.

               Austal USA, Mobile, Ala., is being awarded a $99,557,548 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-08-C-2217) for long lead time material (LLTM) for ships four and five of the Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) program.  This contract provides LLTM for main propulsion engines, aluminum, waterjets, reduction gears, generators and other components to support construction of JHSV ships four and five, commencing in fall 2010.  Work will be performed in Detroit, Mich. (38 percent); Chesapeake, Va. (18 percent); Henderson, Australia (13 percent); Gulfport, Miss. (10 percent); Ravenswood, W.Va. (9 percent); Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (4 percent); Mobile, Ala. (3 percent); Auburn, Ind. (2.6 percent); Winter Haven, Fla. (1 percent); Gardena, Calif. (1 percent); and Davenport, Iowa (0.4 percent), and is expected to be completed by December 2011.  Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity
Isn't it amazing how widely separated the work is?  From Detroit to Australia?  Everyone is getting a piece of this pie.  No wonder these ships are so popular.