Friday, July 03, 2015

Fullbore Friday

What are you willing to do for an idea? What do you owe for the gifts provided to you from those who you did not even know?
Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died.

Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured.

Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.

They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. What kind of men were they?
Read it all and get a flavor for what this is actually about.



Thursday, July 02, 2015

Diversity Thursday

I can't understand why they didn't have people clawing over each other to join.

Now, get your Venn diagrams ready so you know who they don't care about.

EEO? Sure.

-----Original Message-----
From: All Hands Messages
Sent: Wednesday, June 10, 2015 11:42 AM


This is the last week to apply.....

This is a great opportunity to get involved and make a difference. We're looking for individuals interested in learning about each other and discussing and developing new and better ways to address work topics such as recruitment, retention and development and to eliminate barriers that impact all of us at WD and NAVAIR.

Join a team that you know nothing about and expand your horizons or continue on a team where you're making a difference - we all have the ability to make an impact, and we look forward to having you on a team!

If you have any questions, contact WD's Special Emphasis Program Manager (SEPM), Lisa [redacted], at (805) 989-[redacted] or elizabeth.[redacted]

Thank you,

Dana [redacted]
Deputy EEO Officer
Department of Navy
Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division
(760) 939-[redacted] DSN (437)
Fax (760) 939-[redacted] (DSN 437)

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Thursday, May 28, 2015 12:24 PM
Subject: Apply to join NAVAIR's diversity advisory teams by 12 June

NAVAIR civilian and military employees,

Please consider applying to become a member of one of NAVAIR's diversity advisory teams that support NAVAIR's Executive Diversity Council and are led by flag officer and SES champions:

--African-American Pipelines Advisory Team
--Asian-American Pacific Islander Team
--Hispanic Engagement Action Team
--Individuals with Disabilities Action Team
--Women's Advisory Group

To apply, visit Applications are due by Friday, 12 June.

The diversity advisory teams provide an open forum to discuss and work topics such as recruitment, retention and development and eliminate barriers that impact full participation of these groups in the NAVAIR workforce. All teams address the need to develop an inclusive culture within NAVAIR that values diversity to continue to enable all employees to work effectively and enjoy satisfying and rewarding careers.

Membership requirements:
--Commit to spending approximately 3-5 hours per month --Attend a meeting once a month with the team via video teleconference to all sites --Participate on core teams and in NAVAIR's mentoring program --Be a civilian or military employee of any grade or rank and at any site

Participation on these teams is a collateral duty. No chargeable object will be provided to members when working on team assignments. Applicants are encouraged to talk to their supervisor to obtain approval to participate on the team. Applicants will be asked to verify their supervisor supports their participation on the team and understands the requirements for participation.

If you have any questions, contact Colleen [redacted] at 301-342-[redacted] or colleen.m.[redacted] For more information on the teams, visit

Thank you,
Total Force Strategy & Management Department

OK STEM folks, here is your chance for a little math. Take all the salaries and overhead costs for the resident grievance-pimps in the EEO shop. Now, take all their self-licking ice cream cones identified about and multiply by the "3-5 hours per month."

Now stretch that out DOD wide.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Flournoy, Fontaine and the Path Not Followed

There is something to be said for the "go big or go home" school of defense policy. A nation's reputation is a fragile thing, not to be trifled with. Decades and centuries of accrued national capital can be wasted in an amazingly short period of time.

Though sometimes lost through the superior efforts of a stronger external force, most great powers throw away the hard work of their predecessors from internal weakness and bad decisions.

Great nations can impose their will on a global scale without firing a shot, simply based on economic power, superior military force, or just a reputation based on past use of both.

With action there is risk, and every action must be fully evaluated with risk in mind. A firm understanding of history must reinforce that in the field of arms, things are rarely as simple, cheap, or fast as can be briefed by those who are selling their bright, shiny idea. 

Once can bring too much force to a problem, but the only downside to that is the accountants "what if'n" you to death. Bring too little to do the job? People will be "what if'n" you for centuries over graves, changed borders, and strange imperial capitals without empires.

Going big can mean tank divisions, but it doesn't have to. It can just mean going big with a certain concept, and you go to win.

In a very important piece over at WaPo, Michèle Flournoy and Richard Fontaine firmly set a marker back to a very successful and traditional bi-partisan consensus point in the diplomacy and national security arena. 

Set opposite the discredited war-is-new theories of the interventionist right and left; nation building and responsibility-to-protect, they provide a way forward that could garner support from both parties, even with the acknowledged constraints and restraints we have to realistically consider;
The announcement this month that 450 additional U.S. trainers and support troops will deploy to Iraq represents a modest step forward in the fight against the Islamic State. But the move by itself will not turn the tide in a faltering effort. To succeed in the president’s ambition of ultimately destroying the Islamic State — or even to contain its gains or roll them back — a broader and more intensive effort is needed.
Iraq is the locus of the current U.S. military effort against the Islamic State, and the administration’s strategy of working with and through Iraqi forces is the right one to achieve gains that are sustainable over the long term. But the execution of this strategy has lacked the urgency and resources necessary for success. A re-energized and more forward-leaning approach should combine the following elements:
- Establish an integrated political-military plan for Iraq. ...
- Provide arms directly to Sunni tribes and the Kurdish peshmerga. ...
- Embed Special Operations forces at the battalion level and allow them to provide advice during operations. ...
- Intensify the coalition air campaign and deploy forward air controllers to call in close air support during combat. ...
- More meaningfully aid the Syrian opposition. ...
- Intensify the global campaign against the Islamic State. ...
Together, these steps would mark a significant intensification in the campaign against the Islamic State, especially in Iraq. Yes, they would involve putting a small number of U.S. “boots on the ground” and would expose our troops to greater risk. Yet the risks of inaction are greater still. If we have learned anything since 9/11, it should be the need to deny sanctuary to a terrorist group that wreaks unspeakable violence and brutality against all except those who share its tortured worldview.
I have been critical of the steps we have taken from Libya to Afghanistan over the last few years - mostly because we never seemed in it to win it, with half-measures and timidity that only encourages our enemies and frustrates our friends.

F2's plan? In it I see a broad bi-partisan consensus point that a plurality could gel around, but to do that, it would take executive leadership. Leadership that simply is not there to do the above.

So. We wait - but as we wait, the world and the Islamic State will keep moving. Where will it find us in early 2017? Who knows, but whoever is waiting for the 3am call will not have an easy job to do.


Monday, June 29, 2015

Kaiser Vladimir I

In a nice companion piece to our interview Sunday with Dr. Dmirty Gorenburg on Midrats, believe it or not, I'm going to point you over to Vox where Max Fisher has an interesting take of Red Worst Case COA. If nothing else, it has the best Putin photoshop of the week.

It is well worth a read in the unlikely event you are feeling Miss Mary Sunshine-ish;
This means that should the US or other Western countries become sufficiently involved in Ukraine that Russia cannot maintain control of the conflict, then Russia may feel this puts it at such existential threat that it has no choice but to escalate in response. Even at the risk of war.

Russia knows it would lose a full-blown war with NATO, of course, but it has other options. An official with the Russian Defense Ministry's public advisory board told the Moscow Times that should Western countries arm Ukraine's military, it would respond by escalating in Ukraine itself as well as "asymmetrically against Washington or its allies on other fronts."

Russian asymmetrical acts — cyberattacks, propaganda operations meant to create panic, military flights, even little green men — are all effective precisely because they introduce uncertainty and risk.

If that sounds dangerous, it is. American and NATO red lines for what acts of "asymmetry" would and would not trigger war are unclear and poorly defined.

Russia could easily cross such a line without meaning to, or could create enough confusion that the US believes it or its allies are under a severe enough threat to demand retaliation.

"You don't get to walk this back," Matthew Rojansky, the director of the Kennan Institute, warned in comments to the New York Times about what could happen if the US armed Ukraine's military, as Congress is pushing Obama to do.

"Once we have done this we become a belligerent party in a proxy war with Russia, the only country on Earth that can destroy the United States," Rojansky said. "That’s why this is a big deal."

Remember: With LCS, Every BB is Golden

In eratic spasms of alternating manic celebration followed by depressive confession, LCS continues to struggle up crest towards mediocracy - consuming vast stores of Sailors' careers, money, credibility, and opportunity along its course.

Why keep bringing this up? Simple; the next generation of program managers and leaders need to see over and over again what they need to avoid. What not to do. The LCS program has all those lessons in two different hull types. The LCS debacle has always been a failure of the mind and leadership, not the worker and Sailor.

Halfway through 2015, I think everyone accepts now that LCS is a warship, but a warship-in-being only.

Like a fleet-in-being, it is useful mostly in peace and to fix opposition forces during war.

Long gone is the concept that a ship needs to fight hurt. One that has redundant systems and multiple batteries to bring fire on the enemy and project national will ashore. Ships like the USS Samuel B. Roberts (DE-413) - of 1,370 tons, 306 ft length, and 6,000NM range that could,
"We're making a torpedo run. The outcome is doubtful, but we will do our duty." With smoke as cover, Roberts steamed to within 2.5 nmi (4.6 km; 2.9 mi) of Chōkai, coming under fire from the cruiser's forward 8 in (203.2 mm) guns.

Roberts had moved so close that the enemy guns could not depress enough to hit her and the shells simply passed overhead. Many hit the carrier Gambier Bay. Once within torpedo range, she launched her three Mark 15 torpedoes. One blew off Chōkai‍ '​s stern. The American sailors cheered "that a way Whitey, we hit 'em" as if it were a ballgame, as shells were still incoming. Roberts then fought with the Japanese ships for a further hour, firing more than six hundred 5 in (127.0 mm) shells, and while maneuvering at very close range, mauling Chōkai‍ '​s superstructure with her 40 mm and 20 mm anti-aircraft guns.[citation needed] At 08:51, the Japanese landed two hits, the second of which damaged the aft 5 inch gun. This damaged gun suffered a breech explosion shortly thereafter which killed and wounded several crew members. With her remaining 5 in (127.0 mm) gun, Roberts set the bridge of the heavy cruiser Chikuma on fire and destroyed the "Number Three" gun turret, before being hit by three 14 in (355.6 mm) shells from the battleship Kongō. The shells tore a hole 40 ft (12.2 m) long and 10 ft (3.0 m) wide in the port side of her aft engine room.

Gunner's Mate Third Class Paul H. Carr was in charge of the aft 5 in (127.0 mm) gun mount, which had fired nearly all of its 325 stored rounds in 35 minutes before a breech explosion.
Instead, we have the USS Fort Worth (LCS-3), a ship of 3,900 tons, 387 ft length, and 3,500nm range that can ... do ... well, over to gCaptain;
Weeks before one of the U.S. Navy’s new Littoral Combat Ships departed for Asia, tests had exposed its vulnerability to a potential enemy attack, according to the Pentagon’s testing office.

A “total ship survivability test” of the USS Fort Worth conducted off of Southern California in October “highlighted the existence of significant vulnerabilities” in the design of vessels built by Lockheed Martin Corp., according to Michael Gilmore, the Pentagon’s director of combat testing.

“Much of the ship’s mission capability was lost because of damage caused” by the simulated effects of a weapons attack and a hypothetical fire that followed, Gilmore said in an assessment for Congress obtained by Bloomberg News.
Come now ... we've all been wrong here. We have advanced so much, things like range, armament and survivability was of a different age. War in new! ELEVENTY!
Kent, the Navy spokeswoman, said the test on the Fort Worth “was a successful event that allowed the Navy to demonstrate that the inherent ship design features and applied LCS tactics, techniques and procedures provided the crew with the ability to contain damage, restore capability and care for personal casualties given the expected damage.”

Post-test analysis “identified potential system, equipment and procedural improvements which could further enhance ship and crew survivability,” she said.

But Gilmore’s unclassified summary said damage during the simulated October test “happened before the crew could respond and the ship does not have sufficient redundancy to recover the lost capability.”

“Some of the systems could be redesigned or reconfigured to make the ship less vulnerable” and faster to recover from damage “without requiring major structural modifications,” he wrote.
Well, at least we're quick on the uptake. LCS-1 was only commissioned seven years ago.

Please, I hope beyond hope we never have to ask our Sailors to go to war in this Frankenstein of a concept playing warship.

Shipmate will do his best to get his Sailors ready though;
Commander Rich Jarrett, the Fort Worth’s commanding officer, said in an interview Monday from the ship moored at Palawan that he’s also sailed on the first vessel of the class, the USS Freedom, since 2008. From that ship “to Fort Worth, we’ve made a number of substantial improvements,” he said. “A lot of improvements to the machinery system.”

The first ship “went from cocktail napkin to commissioned warship in five years, which is unbelievably fast in terms of producing a new machine of this complexity,” Jarrett said. “So there were a number of improvements that should have been made, just because it was built so fast,” he said.
That last bit just cracks me up. At last, my Navy has gone complete Salamander on LCS. We told them this a decade ago ... but ... what the h311; welcome to the front porch, there's a chair over there between to Sid and Byron;
A draft of a revised Navy concept of operations “indicates the Navy’s original vision of a nimble, mission-focused ship has been overcome by the realities of the multi-mission nature of naval warfare” in high-intensity conflicts, Gilmore wrote Defense Secretary Ashton Carter in a summary memo, also on April 29.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

A Restless Russia and its Near Abroad with Dr. Dmitry Gorenburg - on Midrats

It is time to catch up with Putin's Russia, her domestic developments, involvement in Ukraine, and the changes she is forcing border nations and the near abroad.

To discuss this and more, this Sunday from 5-6pm Eastern we will have returning guest Dr. Dmitry Gorenburg, Senior Analyst, CNA Strategic Studies, an Associate at Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, an author, and host of the Russian Military Reform blog.

Dr. Gorenburg focuses his research on security issues in the former Soviet Union, Russian military reform, Russian foreign policy, ethnic politics and identity, and Russian regional politics. He is also the editor of the journals Problems of Post-Communism and Russian Politics and Law and a Fellow of the Truman National Security Project. From 2005 through 2010, he was the Executive Director of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies.

Join us live if you can with the usual suspects in the chat room and offer up your questions for our guest, but if you miss the show you can always listen to the archive at blogtalkradio

If you use iTunes, you can add Midrats to your podcast list simply by clicking the iTunes button at the main showpage - or you can just click here.

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