Saturday, August 01, 2015

AUG 45 and the "now what?"

For those in striking distance of DC on the 6th and are a WWII buff - you need to clean your schedule for the August 6th.

At the U.S. Navy Memorial, they will be having an all day symposium with the subject; “Endgame: August 1945 in Asia and the Pacific”

Regulars here and Midrats will recognize most of the names.

This is an all-day event that will include presentations from Richard B. Frank, author of Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire; prolific naval analyst Norman Friedman; D. M. Giangreco, author of Hell to Pay; David Glantz, author of The Soviet Strategic Offensive in Manchuria, 1945; John T. Kuehn, author of A Military History of Japan; and Richard C. Thornton, author of China: A Political History.

Date and Time: Thursday, 6 August 2015, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Location: Burke Theater, U.S. Navy Memorial, 701 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20004

Get the full details here. Registration is free, but RSVP to
thornton(at)strategyandpolitics.org

Friday, July 31, 2015

Fullbore Friday

I look at what some men did so young, and I look at pity at what little I have done, and am perplexed about all the complaining from others.

That photograph on the right? That is Horace Greasley looking down at Himler. As Peter outlines,
He admitted to not know how the man was, only that he was a high ranking Nazi. He is shirtless because he was showing Himmler how skinny he was and was requesting more rations for the prisoner. Because that is what you do when you are carrying on a secret love affair with a Jewish girl that could get you killed, you stand up to the head of the SS and the guy most responsible for the Holocaust.
He was maybe 25 when that was happened. What else did he do?

Via TheTelegraph;
The reason for the frequency with which Greasley put his life in danger, he admitted with engaging good humour and frankness, was simple: he had embarked on a romance with a local German girl. Rosa Rauchbach was, if anything, running even greater risks than Greasley.

A translator at the camp where he was imprisoned, she had concealed her Jewish roots from the Nazis. Discovery of their affair would almost certainly have meant doom for them both.

Greasley recounted the almost incredible details of his wartime romance in the book Do The Birds Still Sing In Hell? (2008), which he had been "thinking about and threatening to write" for almost 70 years. But while the book is described as an "autobiographical novel", the story was largely confirmed at his debriefing by MI9 intelligence officers shortly after the war.
...
He was 20 and working as a young hairdresser when Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia,
...
But his war proved a short one. After seven weeks' training with the 2nd/5th Battalion Leicestershire Regiment, he landed in France at the end of the "Phoney War" as one of the British Expeditionary Force; on May 25 1940, during the retreat to Dunkirk, he was taken prisoner at Carvin, south of Lille.

There followed a 10-week forced march across France and Belgium to Holland and a three-day train journey to prison camps in Polish Silesia, then annexed as part of Germany. Many died on the way, and Greasley reckoned himself lucky to have survived.
In the second PoW camp to which he was assigned, near Lamsdorf, he encountered the 17-year-old daughter of the director of the marble quarry to which the camp was attached.

She was working as an interpreter for the Germans, and, emaciated as he was, there was, Greasley said, an undeniable and instant mutual attraction.

Within a few weeks Greasley and Rosa were conducting their affair in broad daylight and virtually under the noses of the German guards – snatching meetings for trysts in the camp workshops and wherever else they could find. But at the end of a year, just as he was realising how much he cared for Rosa, Greasley was transferred to Freiwaldau, an annex of Auschwitz, some 40 miles away.

The only way to carry on the love affair was to break out of his camp.
...
Sometimes, Greasley reckoned, he made the return journey three or more times a week, depending on whether Rosa's duties among various camps brought her to his vicinity. His persistence in their love affair was not the only testimony to his daring. A wartime photograph shows Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS, inspecting a prison camp and a shirtless skinny PoW close to the fence confronting him.
...
Rosa repaid his attentions, he said, by providing small food parcels and pieces of equipment for him to take back into the camp, eventually including radio parts which enabled 3,000 prisoners to keep up with the news by listening to the BBC.

Greasley was held prisoner, working for the Germans in quarries and factories, for five years less one day, and was finally liberated on May 24 1945. He still received letters from Rosa after the war's end, and was able to vouch for her when she applied to work as an interpreter for the Americans.

Not long after Greasley got back to Britain, however, he received news that Rosa had died in childbirth, with the infant perishing too. Horace Greasley said he never knew for certain whether or not the child was his.

After demobilisation he returned to Leicestershire, swearing that he would never take orders from anyone again. He ran a hairdressers', a taxi firm and a haulage company in Coalville, where he met his wife, Brenda, at a fancy dress party in 1970. They married in 1975, retiring to the Costa Blanca in Spain in 1988.

Greasley was delighted with the publication of his book and was to have undertaken a return visit to Silesia for a television company this spring, having, he said, been promised the company of "a very attractive 21-year-old female nurse for the entire journey". He died in his sleep before the offer could be made good.

Horace Greasley is survived by his wife and by their son and daughter.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

LCS Update - come on ... you know you want one ...

Remember, LCS-1 was commissioned in 2008 and it still cannot do anything but presence missions - more expensively and less effectively than a Coast Guard Cutter.

How are all those great mission modules going?

Via our buddy Megan;
The Littoral Combat Ship’s mine countermeasures (MCM) mission package will not reach initial operational capability (IOC) by the end of September as planned, after reliability issues forced the program to stretch out the test period and delay Pentagon-level initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E).

USS Independence (LCS-2) has been off the coast of Florida conducting a technical evaluation since April, and that test event was supposed to have wrapped up by early June to allow for IOT&E this month and a final IOC declaration by the end of the fiscal year, Sept. 30.

But LCS Mission Modules Program Manager Capt. Casey Moton said Thursday at a Mine Warfare Association lunch that across-the-board reliability problems in the two start-to-finish mine clearance runs in the technical evaluation led the program to extend the evaluation for several months rather than move prematurely to IOT&E.
With enough money and time, we'll get it fixed. Well, we better.

And ASW?
The Littoral Combat Ship’s anti-submarine warfare mission package needs to shed some weight before it can deploy on a ship, and the Navy awarded three contracts to help find weight-reduction ideas.

The mission package includes two mature and fielded sonar systems, plus the hardware needed to integrate the systems with the ship. LCS Mission Module Program Manager Capt. Casey Moton said Thursday at a Mine Warfare Association lunch that each of his three mission modules is given 105 metric tons of weight on the LCS, but the ASW as it stands today surpasses that limit.

The mission package includes a Variable-Depth Sonar – the Navy chose the Thales UK Sonar 2087, the same VDS used on the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigate – as well as the Multi-Function Towed Array used on the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers (DDG-51) and eventually the Zumwalt-class destroyers (DDG-1000). The Navy cannot overhaul either mature system, so it has hired Advanced Acoustic Concepts, L-3 Communications and Raytheon to find more creative ways to reduce weight.
Sigh. All the wasted time, money, and credibility.

When it is all said and done - this sub-optimal solution to a real world requirement will be ~20% of our fleet.

That is the largest crime, right after our decision to throw good money after bad and not looking back. 

Solution? We're past that. We can only hope we get DDG(X) right - and we will only do that if we are honest about the mistakes we made with LCS, DDG-1000, and LPD-17. We're stuck with the Little Crappy Ship and it's upgraded spawn Frick-n-Frack for the small warship for a few decades.

Need to Catch Up on the Iran Deal?

This is the most important thing you will watch this week. Via the Hoover Institute, former Ambassador Charles Hill and General James Mattis, USMC (Ret) discuss the Iran deal and the state of the world with Hoover fellow Peter Robinson.


Also, if you want to see why everyone is looking at the freshman Senator from AK, Tom Cotton - I offer this;


Diversity Thursday

If you get the feeling that there is a dedicated effort to strip away a focus on the serious to the unserious - to burden critical institutions with political theory - you are not alone. Heck ... it isn't feeling, it is fact;
You have to wonder how seriously America’s enemies take us when our commander in chief tells our military that climate change is a top threat to national security, and CIA Director John Brennan makes diversity training and inclusion top priorities for intelligence services.

Russia and China are expanding their spheres of influence in Eastern Europe and the South China Sea, respectively, while our spy agency is scrambling to remake its senior staff to be properly diversified by race, gender, sexual orientation and other demographic characteristics. Iran’s mullahs will chuckle about the Obama administration’s obsession with diversity all the way to their first nuclear-weapon test.
Wait, it is worse. This obsession with race and ethnicity has a long track record in human civilization; every nation that has pushed sectarianism has been destroyed by it. This isn't just bad social theory - it is governmental malpractice.

Those who have studied the history and foundation of the modern diversity movement know that it is based on this foundation - that the USA as founded was and is now is tainted by its racist, sexist, homophobic etc founders who designed a white male power structure that must be torn down and destroyed so this nation can be fundamentally transformed in to ... well ... something else than the hated entity it presently is. 

There are well meaning useful idiots who empower what is at its base a socio-political movement based on hate flavored with no small measure of self-loathing. The fact our institutions participate in this willingly or not is to our great shame. Those who hold those billets are as well the zampolit of a hateful and sectarian political movement. I don't think think we are there yet, but close, but I look forward to good people (hopefully a mixed race female of unknown sexual orientation) to start asking them, "Why do you hate heterosexual white males? You seem to celebrate everyone but them."
For one thing, “all leaders, managers, and supervisors” in the CIA should be subject to “mandatory stand-alone diversity and inclusion training.” This must include such “well-established tools” as “unconscious bias training” so that all CIA officers can “learn how societal forces and their own experiences mold their daily decisions and perceptions.” If done with sufficient thoroughness, such training could inculcate the conviction in CIA managers and supervisors that developing a diverse workforce is a “core job function.”

The trouble is, however, that training alone may not suffice to rewire brains prone to “unconscious bias.” Additional steps are therefore necessary. Managers and supervisors, the panel says, “must be consistently evaluated on their success and failure” in fostering inclusivity. The CIA should introduce an agency-wide performance-measuring tool, which “must be utilized on a 360-degree basis”—that is, imposed on everyone without exception—“to drive and institutionalize accountability for inclusive behaviors.”
...
At a time when global terrorism is resurgent, when the Middle East is burning, when Russian boots are marching, when China is ramping up its military and Iran is on the verge of going nuclear, is it really a good idea to ask the CIA to concentrate on achieving a 30% minority quota in the agency’s leadership ranks?

Mr. Brennan evidently thinks so. In his statement accompanying the study’s release, the CIA director said he has ordered that beginning Oct. 1 every member of his senior leadership team will be required “to attend diversity and inclusion training.” As of that date, these top CIA officials will also be “evaluated on their actions to create, maintain, and sustain a diverse and inclusive environment.”
We all know what that means. The best will not rise to the top. Meritocracy will not bring the best results. There will be nepotism, fraud, and the best will never join or will leave when they realize the game is rigged against them. 

The best want to be part of a meritocracy - not some corrupt system based on racial and ethnic cronyism.

Hat tip M2.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A Casualty of Institutional Self-Contradiction

What happens when a leader strives to hold her female Marines to a standard in line with her male Shipmates - and makes a few waves in the process?

I'm pondering the story of LtCol Kate Germano, USMC over at USNIBlog. Stop by and give it a read.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Reserves Make the Call: Armed Sailors to the Watchbill

This is, in a fashion, better than nothing - an adequate fast-reaction, low-risk option for the burearcracy ... perhaps a little high-risk slow-as-Christmas for everyone else; but we'll take it. Right people for the job as well if done correctly with other measures;
----Original Message-----
From: Commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command [mailto:[redacted]@public.govdelivery.com]
Sent: Tuesday, July 28, 2015 [redacted]
To: [redacted]
Subject: Master-at-Arms (MA) VOLUNTEERS NEEDED IMMEDIATELY!

CNRFC is soliciting MA volunteers (E5/6) to provide 45 days (ADT) of armed sentry watchstander duty at 53 [redacted] commencing [redacted]. CNRFC is seeking MA volunteers (E5/6) for 1 year (ADSW) of armed sentry watchstander duty, commencing [redacted], at 70 [redacted]. CNRFC is seeking MA volunteers (E6/7) for 1 year (ADSW) of armed security oversight duty at the [redacted] and CNRFC HQ. There is a strong likelihood that your duty can be performed at your local NOSC if your NOSC is not located on a base/installation. Volunteers must be either MA "A" school graduates or have completed the Security Reaction Force - Basic (SRFB) course, have a current 9mm semi-annual weapons qualification, and have a current OC spray qualification.

CNRFC is also seeking volunteers (any rate) who hold the 0812 NEC and can perform the function of armorers for the same time periods above.

To volunteer, send an email to LCDR Steve [redacted] (CNRFC N33) at steven.[redacted]@navy.mil, indicating whether you are volunteering for 45 days of ADT commencing [redacted], or 1 year of ADSW commencing [redacted], or both. Due date is [redacted]. LCDR [redacted] phone number is 757-322-[redacted] if you have questions.

We need volunteers!
This is a slow, peace time reaction. For those USNR who can read the unredacted portions, you will see what I mean.

"Sense of urgency" is not what I read here - but it is such that it is - but I am sure there are bridging operations in place to cover the gap.

A few other practical notes; force protections support that MAs have been providing elsewhere will suffer, from Central America to the SFRC FP component protecting youknowwhat unless personnel and money is found elsewhere. I am sure smart money is running that down.

You also have the issue that that there is not unlimited ADT/ADSW monies. ADT was significantly cut the last two FYs, and unless there is some moving around of dollars, I doubt that will chance in the near future.

If you could actually get 2 MAs per what was outlined in the email, that would require ADT funding for 106 personnel for 45 days. That rounds out to 4,770 potential man-days of ADT for the remainder of the FY. ADSW is easier money to come by, however, we don't know how big the bucket of money will be for FY16. I've been told there were issues already this year with money ... so ... N1/4 dudes; make it happen.

Hat tip; my many USNR friends ... who all seemed to want to send this to me. Consider it a post by popular acclaim.