If you spend any time over at This Ain't Hell (and I do), you have seen comments from Doc Bailey. They are usually quite good, reasoned, and interesting. If you didn't already know, he has his own blog, and this post is a good introduction to the Madness of the Combat Medic. Well considered, well reasoned, and well worth reading.
...If we all continue to do our part – reach out – help connect individuals with the tremendous outpouring of support services and resources available to them we can help heal wounds, enable opportunity, and ultimately achieve a stronger, more capable Army for the future...
Pfc. Shawn Williams of the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, based in Fort Wainwright, Alaska, gives the thumbs-up to members of his unit as he is evacuated after being injured by a roadside bomb in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan, June 17.
June 17, 2011 - Photo by U.S. Navy Lt. j.g. Haraz N. Ghanbari
U.S. Marines conduct insertion from a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter in the Arabian Sea, Jan. 19, 2012. The Marines are assigned to the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which is embarked aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island. The ship is supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Alan Gragg.
Joe Biden's spineless drivel aside, most SEALs that I have spoken to (Active Duty and Reservists) are NOT HAPPY that the details of the raid to capture or kill bin Laden were divulged and now we know what unit rescued the hostages in Somalia. Identifying the unit after direct action was something that no one has done before to such a level of disregard for the safety of the men of that unit and their families.
...A week after the bin Laden raid, then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates expressed dismay about Washington's loose lips, telling a town hall meeting of U.S. Marines at Camp Lejeune: "Frankly, a week ago Sunday, in the Situation Room, we all agreed that we would not release any operational details from the effort to take out bin Laden. That all fell apart on Monday—the next day."
Do the president and his top political advisers understand what's at stake for the special-operations forces who carry out these dangerous operations, or the long-term strategic consequences of divulging information about our most highly classified military assets and intelligence capabilities?...
Sadly, I highly doubt that they understand what's at stake (and worry more about politics than honor) and what these efforts mean to the men and the families who do the hard work while they make the "gutsy calls".
One of the things that policy makers seem to inevitably do is repeat history. And repeating history, when talking national defense, usually isn’t a good thing. It usually ends up costing us both blood and treasure.
RAdm John Stufflebeem (USN, Ret), a former 6th Fleet commander and a carrier pilot, lays out an argument for not repeating it in the context he knows best, the carrier battle group and its future. This is transferable to other arms and services as well. Stufflebeem concentrates on the fact that weapons systems have to evolve with strategy, and, that we have a tendency to be short sighted in both areas. He discusses the future role of the carrier battle group in general and why the F-35, specifically, is vital to that future roll.
The bottom line is it’s not enough to keep the 11 carriers we now have. They also have to be equipped to survive and thrive in the future should they be called upon to do so:
A modern U.S. nuclear powered aircraft carrier (CVN) with a life expectancy of at least fifty years is only as good as the power it projects whether in combat or deterrence through its weapon system—the carrier Airwing and the men, women and aircraft that make it up. However, the Airwing of the future is under attack witness - the current call in some quarters to scrap the F-35C Lightning II Carrier Variant (CV). This type of clarion call is traditional following periods of war such as World War I and II, Korea, Vietnam and again as we are witnessing today. But it also follows a flawed and shortsighted strategy to achieve short-term economic gains or cater to parochial interests that, based on history, will have to be made up later at higher costs and possibly lives while depriving our Navy men and women of the best military technology available.
Why does Stufflebeem so heavily tout the F-35?
But many fail to realize that the F-35C, with its data exchange and interoperability capabilities, will make the entire Carrier Strike Group (CSG) more capable, effective and lethal. Using similar methods in exercises like Red Flag, the F-22 Raptor made both air and ground units more effective by providing enhanced situational awareness of the battlespace; so will the F-35 provide better maritime awareness to the CSG including both Airwing assets as well as surface forces. The F-35C will make the CSG a better, more capable fighting centerpiece of American military power and force for good around the globe.
In fact, instead of being a consumer of intelligence, situational awareness (produced by other means) and communication, it will be a provider and enhancer of each in addition to its kinetic role. It will create a synergy that really doesn’t exist right now to, as Stufflebeem points out, “make the CSG a better, more capable fighting centerpiece of American military power and force for good around the globe.”
Of course our potential adversaries are building 5th generation fighters as we speak. And we’re all familiar with China’s reported “carrier killer” missile. Everyone is upping the ante. Common sense says, given those facts, we can’t afford yesterday’s technology to be the technology we send forward into the 21st century.
Stufflebeem provides both a good history lesson - discussing why we must avoid the sort of mistakes of the past we and other countries have made – as well as looking toward the future and its requirements. It’s a good read.
Crazy Uncle Joe said no to whacking OBL. First of all is anyone surprised by his lack of judgment? Second look at the type of advisers Obama has surrounded himself with.
When the president asked his top advisers for their final opinion on the mission, all of them were hesitant, except for the former CIA director, now Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Biden said.
“Every single person in that room hedged their bet except Leon Panetta. Leon said go. Everyone else said, 49, 51,” Biden said, as he offered the unsolicited details of the decision-making process.
Being the gutsiest guy in a room full of spineless losers, Leon Panetta excepted, is not too tough. John Weisman said in his book Kill bin Laden, and confirmed to me personally, that Obama had a poll taken on the potential fall out if the public found he didn't pull the trigger, and that this delayed the raid while he waited on the answer. Still glad bin Laden took a round to the eye, but spare me all the political grandstanding.
A member of the coalition special operations forces begins to recover pallets of supplies in the snow during an airdrop in the Shah Joy district in Afghanistan's Zabul province, Jan. 25, 2012. The coalition is part of the International Security Assistance Force. U.S. Navy Petty Officer Petty Officer 2nd Class Jon Rasmussen
Former Paratrooper and Army Officer, "Blackfive" started this blog upon learning of the valorous sacrifice of a friend that was not reported by the journalist whose life he saved. Email: blackfive AT gmail DOT com
Retired Special Operations Master Sergeant, Jim Hanson ("Uncle Jimbo") is now focused on writing about the military, politics, intelligence operations and foreign policy. Email: jimbo AT unclejimbo DOT com
Writer, photographer, and raconteur C. Blake Powers is the Laughing Wolf. He is independent in politics and covers topics including journalism, military, weapons, preparedness, space, science, cooking, food and wine, product and book reviews, and even spirituality. Email: wolf1 AT laughingwolf DOT net Laughing Wolf's Amazon Wish List
Bill Paisley, otherwise known as Pinch, is a 22 year (ongoing) active and
reserve naval aviator. He blogs over at www.instapinch.com on a veritable
cornucopia of various and sundry items and will bring a tactical naval
aviator's perspective to Blackfive. Readers be warned: any comments of or
about the F-14 Tomcat will be reverential and spoken in low, hushed tones.
Email: wpaisley AT comcast DOT net
Mr. Wolf has over 26 years in the Army, Army NG, and USAR. He’s Airborne with 5 years as an NCO, before becoming an officer. Mr. Wolf has had 4 company commands. Signal Corp is his basic branch, and Public Affairs is his functional area. He recently served 22 straight months in Kuwait and Iraq, in Intel, PA, and senior staff of MNF-I. Mr. Wolf is now an IT executive. He is currently working on a book on media and the Iraq war. Functional gearhead.
In Iraq, he received the moniker of Mr. Wolf after the Harvey Kietel character in Pulp Fiction, when "challenges" arose, they called on Mr. Wolf...
Email: TheDOTMrDOTWolfAT gmail DOT com
Deebow is a Staff Sergeant and a Military Police Squad Leader in the Army National Guard. In a previous life, he served in the US Navy. He has over 19 years of experience in both the Maritime and Land Warfare; including deployments to Southwest Asia, Thailand, the South Pacific, South America and Egypt. He has served as a Military Police Team Leader and Protective Services Team Leader and he has served on assignments with the US State Department, US Air Force Security Police, US Army Criminal Investigation Division, and the US Drug Enforcement Administration. He recently spent time in Afghanistan working with, training and fighting alongside Afghan Soldiers and is now focused on putting his 4 year Political Science degree to work by writing about foreign policy, military security policy and politics.
McQ has 28 years active and reserve service. Retired. Infantry officer. Airborne and Ranger. Consider my 3 years with the 82nd as the most fun I ever had with my clothes on. Interests include military issues and policy and veteran's affairs.
Email: mcq51 -at - bellsouth -dot- net
Tantor is a former USAF navigator/weapon system officer (WSO) in F-4E Phantoms who served in the US, Asia, and Europe. He is now a curmudgeonly computer geek in Washington, DC, picking the taxpayers pocket. His avocations are current events, aviation, history, and conservative politics.
Twenty-three years of Active and Reserve service in the US Army in SF (18B), Infantry and SOF Signal jobs with operational deployments to Bosnia and Africa. Since retiring he's worked as Senior Defense Analyst on SOF and Irregular Warfare projects and currently ensconced in the emerging world of Cyberspace.
Major Pain --
A Marine who began his blog in Iraq and reflects back on what he learned there and in Afghanistan. To the point opinions, ideas and thoughts on military, political and the media from One Marine’s View. Email: onemarinesview AT yahoo DOT com
Uber Pig was an Infantryman from late 1991 until early 1996, serving with Second Ranger Battalion, I Corps, and then 25th Infantry Division. At the time, the Army discriminated against enlisted soldiers who wanted use the "Green to Gold" program to become officers, so he left to attend Stanford University. There, he became expert in detecting, avoiding, and surviving L-shaped ambushes, before dropping out to be as entrepreneurial as he could be. He is now the founder of a software startup serving the insurance and construction industries, and splits time between Lake Tahoe, Boonville, and San Francisco, CA.
Uber Pig writes for Blackfive a) because he's the proud brother of an enlisted Civil Affairs Reservist who currently serves in Iraq, b) because he looks unkindly on people who make it harder for the military in general, and for his brother in particular, to succeed at their missions and come home in victory, and c) because the Blackfive readers and commenters help keep him sane.
COB6 spent 24 years in the active duty Army that included 5 combat tours with service in the 1st Ranger Battalion and 1st Special Forces Group . COB6 was enlisted (E-7) and took the OCS route to a commission. COB6 retired a few years back as a field grade Infantry officer.
Currently COB6 has a son in the 82nd Airborne that just returned from his third tour and has a newly commissioned daughter in the 4th Infantry Division.