Monday, March 05, 2012

Norway buying 50 F-35's....

via Reuters....

By Andrea Shalal-Esa
March 5 (Reuters) - Norway's No. 2 defense official said he was more upbeat about the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program than in a long time after visiting a test site in California last week and meeting with the eight other partners on the program.
Defense State Secretary Roger Ingebrigsten said on Monday that Norway was finalizing its plans to buy "approximately 50 fighters," but did not expect any significant cost increases to its order.
Another win.

Love ya ARES but you got to start reporting this stuff.  The silence from your shop is deafening (silent when it comes to reporting good news about the F-35...you're quite loud when it comes to perceived shortcomings)!

SEALs go to dinner...

via the Washington Examiner...
D.C.'s see-and-be-seen restaurant Cafe Milano shut its doors to the public Thursday night for an event that honored both the Navy SEALs and former Defense Secretary Robert Gates -- though the premise was problematic. First, the SEALs are a stealthy group, and grew bashful when asked to stand for applause. (They did, and were given plenty of it). Second, Gates couldn't make the intimate dinner, leaving former National Security Advisor Jim Jones to do the heavy lifting. Jones gladly accepted Gates' Courage and Compassion Award, being given to him by the Light of Healing Hope Foundation and the Navy SEAL Foundation. "Bob Gates is not someone I've known for a long time, but someone I've known of for a long time and I'm admired him at a distance," Jones said. "I know if he couldn't be here there's a very good reason because this would have meant a lot to him," Jones added.
Emcee Fox News Channel's Bret Baier revealed that he was emailing with Gates' senior adviser throughout the program, passing along more regrets. "He really wanted to be here," Baier said. Among the attendees were Fox's Ed Henry, Jeweler Ann Hand and CNN's Wolf Blitzer, who was totally cool with a competitor being a bigger man of the hour. "Bret is a good friend of mine and he's a very decent guy and an excellent journalist," Blitzer said.
Wow.

First click on this sentence for the link to Cafe Milano...

Second.

Can anyone really call these guys bashful or secretive anymore?  If you think that then you're just a homer and have hero worshiping tendencies.

I have never seen the type of publicity seeking from a Special Ops outfit like I'm seeing from the US Navy SEALs.

Its disgraceful.

Uncalled for.

Embarrassing.

Why someone hasn't called them on it from inside SOCOM is beyond me, but these guys need to get jerked back with a quickness.

31st MEU air element joins USS Essex for AIT, CERTEX

Boat Company Training...31st MEU...


By MC2 Eric Crosby

Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit recover after a night exercise in combat rubber raiding craft to the stern gate of the forward-deployed amphibious dock landing ship USS Tortuga (LSD 46).

31st MEU's AV-8Bs coming in...



By Cpl. Garry J. Welch

AV-8B Harriers of Marine Attack Squadron 311, part of the Air Combat Element of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, land aboard the flight deck of USS Essex (LHD 2), March 5. The squadron joined the 31st MEU to support it during the upcoming Amphibious Integration Training and Certification Exercise. The 31st MEU is the only continuously forward-deployed MEU and remains the nation's force in readiness in the Asia-Pacific region.

Monday's Modest Proposal: Bring back the High Speed Troop Transport...



This is an idea that the "New Wars" blog pushed real hard and about two years later, I'm finally jumping on his band wagon.

The JHSV's should be considered for High Speed Troop Transports for operations short of war.

*Raids
*Disaster Relief "first responder"
*Embassy Reinforcement
*Embassy Evacuation
*Anti-piracy ops

The missions should be many and varied.  Mainly missions that require speed over firepower.  That's why the JHSV should be considered.  But perhaps more important is the fact that the JHSV is capable of carrying a Battalion of Marines.

The idea of using a Marine Company as a unit of action is sheer lunacy.  The Marine Corps would be making the same mistake that others have.  Not recognizing that the smaller the unit the greater the need for external support across the spectrum.

And until the Marine Corps starts issuing Rolex watches as standard gear, we shouldn't play the games that other do.

But instead of heading off on a tangent, let me get back on task.

We just had a perfect opportunity to experiment with both the Company Landing Team and what I would call a Special Purpose MAGTF built around two Marine Infantry Companies, LAV-25 detachment and a detachment from the air wing consisting of two MV-22, and two UH-1Y's (we would take advantage of the weapons these aircraft can carry optimizing them in a multi-role fashion).

You would have one company trained as your boat unit, practicing that skill during work ups and the other as your air company, rappelling, fast roping and getting HRST certified.

Both would train to be your mechanized raid team and it probably wouldn't hurt to have a Combined Anti-Armor Team or even revise the Mobile Action Platoons of Iraq War fame built around a number of humvees (preferably rebuilt to a new standard but I'm not holding my breath).

The JHSV is the ship that we have available now but I'd really like to see another vessel used if this role is adopted. 

No. 

Not the LCS.  It should be busy doing other missions and it SHOULD be jammed packed with so many weaponized modules that there won't be room for connex boxes designed to berth around 300 plus Marines.

The ship that I'd like to see modified to perform this work is the Sea Fighter.


To be honest I've wondered what exactly is this ship for!  Now it could have a mission and according to one reader over at New Wars blog, its not only fast but it has blistering speed.  He made claims of over 70 knots.

Because Marines are Marines, they're used to living in austere conditions and if properly outfitted as living spaces, connex boxes can be bolted down to the decks below and shelters can be arranged above decks for aircraft.

But perhaps more importantly these Marines would only embark during times of emergency or need and would steam ahead of a full strength MEU to points of crisis/need.

Along with the SPMAGTF, we would also revive the near dead Air Contingency MAGTF.  Marines ready to go and shape the field before OTHER Marines arrive.

If it must be done then Marines should be doing it.  Not scuba divers with big watches, little guns and huge egos.