Recently in Military Category

Totally unnecessary but the feckless idiots from the deep-state are pushing us that way.
From American Military News:

Japan warns US a ‘Pearl Harbor’ style attack from China and Russia could happen
On Wednesday, Japan’s number two defense official said China and Russia are showing increased signs of military cooperation and their activities in the Pacific could show signs they plan to launch a Pearl Harbor-style attack on the U.S., similitar to how Japan did on Dec. 7, 1941, propelling the U.S. into World War II.

Speaking at a Hudson Institute event, Japanese State Defense Minister Yasuhide Nakayama said, “Seventy years ago, we attacked Pearl Harbor, but now the U.S. and Japan [are] very good allies, one of the best allies all over the world.” Nakayama went on to say now Russian naval forces “are really exercising just right in front of the western part of Honolulu, and so I don’t want to remind the 70 years ago, but we have to be careful of the exercising of the Russians.”

The link goes to a transcript of his talk - sobering.

True words from a great President

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Crap - Indonesian submarine

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It had been overdue for a few days and has now been discovered.  From gCaptain:

Submarine Hull Cracked, 53 Crew Found Dead
A missing Indonesian submarine has been found, broken into at least three parts, deep in the Bali Sea, army and navy officials said on Sunday, as the president sent condolences to relatives of the 53 crew.

Rescuers found new objects, including a life vest, that they believe belong to those aboard the 44-year old KRI Nanggala-402, which lost contact on Wednesday as it prepared to conduct a torpedo drill.

“Based on the evidence, it can be stated that the KRI Nanggala has sunk and all of its crew have died,” military chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto told reporters.

Navy chief of staff Yudo Margono said the crew were not to blame for the accident.

“The KRI Nanggala is divided into three parts, the hull of the ship, the stern of the ship, and the main parts are all separated, with the main part found cracked,” he said.

President Joko Widodo earlier confirmed the discovery in the Bali Sea and sent the families of the victims his condolences.

“All of us Indonesians express our deep sorrow over this tragedy, especially to the families of the submarine crew.”

At least their deaths would have been very quick. A moment for a What The to cross their minds and then silence.

Now that didn't take long - Syria

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Got to feed the war machine - can't have peace break out.  Not good for the ordnance bidness...
From Syria's English-language Syrian Arab News Agency:

45 US occupation trucks loaded with military equipment enter Hasaka coming from Iraq
A new convoy of US occupation trucks loaded with logistic materials have entered Hasaka countryside via the illegal border crossings with northern Iraq to support the occupation’s bases in Hasaka countryside.

Local sources in al-Khazna village told SANA reporter that a convoy, that includes 45 trucks loaded with boxes, military vehicles and fuel tankers, entered via al-Walid illegal border crossing with northern Iraq.

The convoy crossed the M4 highway, heading for Deir Ezzor and Hasaka, where number of the occupation’s bases spread.

In a flagrant violation of the international law, the US occupation troops work to enhance their illegal presence in al-Jazeera region, as they have established several bases to protect and train armed groups and terrorist organizations operating under their command to achieve their hostile schemes.

And yes, they have photos.  No provenance on when and where they were taken but we will know soon enough.
And it is not like this has not happened before (01/21/2021) - and (gasp) they lied about it to President Trump.

An interesting look at China

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From Strategy Page:

China: Submit Or Suffer
Two things are impeding Chinese efforts to achieve superpower status; economic stability and a network of powerful and reliable allies. The problems with economic stability are linked to the more serious problems with establishing stable relationships with other countries.

Chinese tradition prevents both of these because China traditionally recognizes only enemies and subordinate foreigners. China does not do allies in the traditional way. Current Chinese “allies” include Russia, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Turkey, Pakistan and Iran. These are not what most countries would consider reliable and useful allies. Turkey and Iran are not reliable or particularly dependable and useful. The other allies, including Russia, are more dependents than traditional allies.

Russia was, until 1991, a superpower and clearly superior militarily and economically to China. Since the 1990s Russia has become economically dependent on China, especially during the last decade because of low oil prices and post-2014 Ukraine related economic sanctions. Russia and China often cooperate when dealing with their mutual enemies, which currently includes just about every other country on the planet. Yet Russia and China are unnatural allies because Russia has taken much from China in the past and China never abandoned it claims on those lost territories. This is not just about territorial disputes in the Russian Far East, but also past Russian wrongs done to China. One of the most prominent of these was how the 1950-53 Korean War included China because Russia (Josef Stalin) insisted. In 1950 Russia was an essential military, economic and political ally of China. Despite many misgivings, China complied, sending over two million troops to North Korea over the next three years. About a third of these soldiers were casualties. Some ten percent of the Chinese troops were killed and other 20 percent were wounded or disabled by disease, accidents or exposure. Exposure (to extreme cold) and disease was a problem, especially during the first year. Russia provided over 70,000 military specialists and technical advisors as well large quantities of material support. But only about one percent of the Russians involved were casualties.

Much more at the site - a very very good "long view" of China and why we need to distance ourselves from them.
This is stuff that Gen. Mattis probably knows full well and he is still working for them.
Never forget - China is asshoe

President Trump at work

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He is doing so much good for this nation all the while the media are spinning fake news.  Here is one such example from his twitter account:

President Biden (ugghhhh) would have had some buffoon like John Kerry try to negotiate for their release. It would have cost taxpayers millions of dollars in monies which would then be spent on terrorist activities. President Trump went in and got the guy out.

If I were 18 years old again

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Sign me up - the first recruitment video for the United States Space Force:

Good news - prescient

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Looks like President Trump is building ice breakers - ships rated for sailing through pack ice in the arctic.
From Defense News:

The US Navy returns to an increasingly militarized Arctic
The U.S. Navy’s Barents Sea patrol is the latest sojourn into an increasingly militarized Arctic, where questions of international law are proliferating.

For the first time since the end of the Cold War, the U.S. Navy is making regular trips to the Arctic Circle, with the four-ship patrol sailing in the Barents Sea. Three of the four ships, which sailed alongside the British Royal Navy frigate Kent, were destroyers based in Rota, Spain, as part of an operation spearheaded by the U.S. Navy’s 6th Fleet.

The trip into Russia’s backyard was the latest in what the U.S. Navy has made clear will become a habit in the frigid waters of the Arctic. And that it was carried out by Europe-based destroyers could herald even more operations in the High North as the service plans to grow to six destroyers forward-deployed there from today’s four.

The patrol in the Barents Sea, much of which is part of Russia exclusive economic zone, follows high-profile patrols by the American aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman in 2018 and a surface action group patrol in 2019. And while a Naval Forces Europe news release made clear Russia was given advance notice of the patrol to avoid confusion, the message is still pointed: The U.S. Navy is back in the Arctic Circle after being gone for 30 years.

A lot of mineral and oil wealth up there and no clear "owners".

Also, maritime activities will be impacted by the climate either way - I am seeing a coming cold period of 50-300 years duration. These have happened before. Our sun is at a very low output - lowest since 1913. 1913 was when the Modern Warm Period started. The 1960's through the 1980's were a time of major solar activity and are the times when our climate warmed the most. Now, things are cooling off again. Either way and for whatever reason, we need to maintain an enhanced presense up there and it looks like our President is laying the groundwork for just that.

Memorial Day

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Remembering all that have given their ultimate. I am of the age of the Vietnam war (draft lottery number was 348) and know several people who did not make it back.

President Trump at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier today:

Oopsie - Iran Navy

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Looks like they are not as elite as they thought. From gCaptain:

At Least 19 Killed in Iranian Missile Training Accident in Gulf of Oman
One Iranian warship accidentally struck another with a missile during an exercise, killing 19 sailors and wounding 15 others, Iran’s navy said on Monday.

The incident took place during training in the Gulf of Oman, a sensitive waterway that connects to the Strait of Hormuz through which about a fifth of the world’s oil passes. Iran regularly conducts exercises in the area.

The frigate Jamaran fired at a training target released by a support ship, the Konarak. However, the support ship stayed too close to the target and was hit, state broadcaster IRIB said.

“The incident took place in the perimeter of Iran’s southern Bandar-e Jask port on the Gulf of Oman during Iranian Navy drills on Sunday afternoon, in which 19 sailors were killed and 15 others were injured,” state TV said, quoting the navy.

Heh - all President Trump has to do is the following:

Trump says he's instructed Navy to 'destroy' any Iranian gunboats harassing US ships

And of course, Iran had to rattle their sabers in response:

Guards chief: U.S. warships will be destroyed if they threaten Iran in Gulf

And now? They take care of the problem themselves.

An interesting story - Venezuela

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No second source of corroboration but still, it sounds quite plausible. From Connecting Vets:

Ex-Green Berets tried to recruit this vet for a failed coup. Now he's speaking out.
"Did you watch the Jack Ryan show last night? Like what are we doing here?" asked a veteran of the war in Afghanistan when several ex-Green Berets attempted to recruit him to help launch a coup in Venezuela.

It was the summer of 2019, and three Army buddies working for a Florida based security company were making preparations in Jamaica. The story of the coup attempt was first reported by the Associated Press.

The Afghanistan veteran, who spoke to Connecting Vets on the condition of anonymity, received phone calls from a friend. Down in Jamaica, Special Forces veteran Jordan Goudreau, CEO of Silvercorp USA, had already brought on board two other ex-Green Berets and former teammates, Airan Berry and Luke Denman. Together, the three had all served together in 10th Special Forces Group's Crisis Response Force (CRF) known as C-1-10.

Much more at the site - looks like they were trying to take Maduro down but the whole operation sounds like a gigantic fustercluck of epic proportions to me. I am sure that more will trickle out over the next six months or so. This is not the way to run a revolution.

Sometimes, things are just a coincidence

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And sometimes, they are not.

Wuhan, China is where the coronavirus originated starting in December of 2019. From InfoGalactic:

Timeline of the 2019–20 Wuhan coronavirus outbreak
This article documents the chronology and epidemiology of the Novel coronavirus responsible for the 2019–20 outbreak in Wuhan, China, and may not include all contemporary major responses and measures. Furthermore some developments may become known or fully understood only in retrospect.

On 8 December 2019, the first patient was recorded by Chinese authorities to start showing symptoms. A later Chinese report finds an earlier case on 1 December, pointing to an even earlier origin. Apart from this early case, between December 8 and December 18 seven cases are documented, two of them are linked with the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market of Wuhan, five are not.

Also from InfoGalactic:

Military World Games
The Military World Games is a multi-sport event for military sportspeople, organized by the International Military Sports Council (CISM). The Games have been held since 1995, although championships for separate sports had been held for some years.

And from the website for this organization (CISM):

The 7th CISM World Games 2019 are launched
The 7th CISM World Games – the 7th PEACE GAMES – will be held in Wuhan City from 15 to 30 October 2019 with 23 CISM Disciplines and one Demonstration sport, Tennis! CISM is also very pleased to confirm jointly with the Organizing Committee that at least Track and Field and Archery will be organized for para athletes. For the first time in the CISM World Games history, Boxing competitions will be opened to female military boxers!

And the attendance:

All participants were blessed to be the guests of honor of a ceremony marking the commencement of the construction of the athletes’ village in Wuhan. That village will be ready to accommodate 12.000 athletes and officials as well as organizing staff in 2019. It is designed in a spirit of eco-sustainability and conviviality for all participants.

Emphasis mine - talk about dodging the bullet. We could have had key military people from all over the world exposed to this debilitating virus and then they would return to their homes. Of course, there would be celebrations and banquets for the returning participants - chance to spread the airborne virus even further especially since it can be contagious for 14 days before the symptoms manifest (and there are reports of 21 days).

If China were looking at wiping out the worlds military strength, I could not think of a better way to do it.

Reported by writer and futurist Bruce Sterling writing at Wired:

Web Semantics: Chinese Futurist Military Jargon
Pretty standard futurist military stuff for 2020, just in ideograms. Also it’s probably meant for offshored unsinkable terraformed aircraft carriers in the South China Sea, which is something not everybody has or does.

“biological dominance” (制生权)
biological interdisciplinary (生物交叉)
brain control (脑控)
“brain-machine fusion” (脑机融合)
Cognitive Science Basic Research Team (认知科学基础研究团队)
“combat brain” (作战大脑)
domain of consciousness (意识域)
frontier/cutting-edge interdisciplinary (前沿交叉)
“hybrid intelligence” (混合智能)
human-machine coordination (人机协同)

Many more at the site - you can tell what direction the state is going by the jargon they start using. These terms do not guarantee their sucess (after all, we are dealing with a large, centralized socialist government regieme), but it shows what they are thinking.

From September 2019 - CNBC:

Russia conducts massive military drills with China, sending a message to the West
Russia is carrying out a series of large-scale military exercises with China, India and Pakistan in what experts believe is Moscow trying to send a powerful message to the West.

The military drills take place annually but Russia has upped the ante this year by inviting forces from China, India and Pakistan (as well as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) to take part in the drills.

The exercises will involve 128,000 military personnel, more than 20,000 weapons and military equipment, about 600 aircraft and up to 15 ships and support vessels, according to the Russian defense ministry. The drills are designed to test the combat-readiness of the military command and troops within the central military district in Russia (hence being called “Tsentr-2019”) and will also see the country test its military capabilities in the Arctic.

The season of Tsentr exercises actually started in June but this week is seen as the culmination of those in the most important “strategic command post exercise,” known as the “hot phase” by experts.

This drill is done every year but the one in 2019 was a lot larger and involved more nations than usual. Hmmmm???

Excellent news from Zero Hedge:

Round Two: US Drone Airstrikes Kill Six Pro-Iran Militia Commanders
Whether he is eating ice cream or not, Trump appears to be on a rampage to recreate the end of The Godfather.

Less than 24 hours after a US drone shockingly killed the top Iranian military leader, Qasem Soleimani, resulting in equity markets groaning around the globe in fear over Iranian reprisals (and potentially, World War III), the US has gone for round two with Reuters and various other social media sources reporting that US air strikes targeting Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units umbrella grouping of Iran-backed Shi’ite militias near camp Taji north of Baghdad, have killed six people and critically wounded three, an Iraqi army source said late on Friday.

Something to keep in mind. He is not starting World War Three, he is ending it before it ever gets off the ground.

Leadership - a perfect example

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From our President - from American Military News:

Report: Trump held private, enlisted-only Afghanistan war meetings – ‘No generals or officers, only enlisted guys that have been there’
Since taking office, President Donald Trump has been meeting with enlisted troops to get a better understanding of how they feel the war in Afghanistan has been progressing.

Trump did not want to meet with higher ranking officers, instead choosing to meet with enlisted troops to get a more candid assessment of the America’s longest-running war, Business Insider reported.

“I want to sit down with some enlisted guys that have been there,” Trump reportedly told advisers, according to Peter Bergen, author of “Trump and His Generals: The Cost of Chaos.”

“I don’t want any generals in here. I don’t want any officers,” he added.

I love it - he is talking to the people who have actually been there doing the hard work of keeping peace. Not talking with the REMF's

Seems that China does not like our new branch of the military - from the London Daily Mail:

China attacks the newly formed U.S. Space Force as a 'direct threat to outer space peace and security'
Rising space power China today attacked the newly created U.S. Space Force, labeling it a 'direct threat to outer space peace and security'.

Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters that China is 'deeply concerned about it and resolutely opposed to it'.

'The relevant U.S. actions are a serious violation of the international consensus on the peaceful use of outer space, undermine global strategic balance and stability, and pose a direct threat to outer space peace and security,' Geng said at a regular briefing.

What do they have to complain about? Are they plotting something?

Key thing here is that our day-to-day lives depend on the satellites in orbit. They are incredibly delicate and would be very easy for someone to destroy.

Saving the Parade

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Great post from Don Surber:

Trump will lead the NYC parade he saved
In August 1995, organizers for the annual Veterans Day Parade in New York City looked at how much money they had three months before the big day.


The New York Times reported, "A request to airlines to donate blankets for aging veterans was turned down because logos might not be visible on television."


The Times reported, "Then Donald Trump, a non-veteran, agreed to throw in $200,000 as well as raise money from his friends, in exchange for being named grand marshal."

In short order, they had $2.4 million, saving the parade and the city's honor.

On Veterans Day 1995, United Press International reported, "More than 500,000 people jammed the sidewalks of Manhattan's Fifth Avenue Saturday to watch three generations of veterans march in the Nation's Parade. The crowd cheered as 25,000 veterans marched in one of the last national events marking the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II. The mood of the parade was festive despite the blustery weather, with marching veterans smiling and onlookers shouting 'Thank you.'"

Segue to today:

24 years later, hounded by politicians and high taxes, President Trump has moved to Mar-a-Lago.

But he'll be back on Monday in the city he saved to lead the parade he saved.

The Military Times reported, "President Donald Trump will mark Veterans Day this year with a speech at the start of the New York City Veterans Day Parade, which would be the first time a sitting president has attended the event.

The words: "Thank You" come to mind. Never uttered by anyone from New York City for the last couple of years...

From President Trump's Twitter account:

President Trump's statement:

And major kudos to the people who went in against unknown forces and took this heinous shitstain out of the gene pool. Details to follow in the next week or so. Looks like we had help from several nations.

That was then, this is now

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Two Presidents and their dealings with Libya. First CNN from June 20th, 2018

Seven years after Obama's 'worst mistake,' Libya killing is rampant
Years after then President Barack Obama made what he has described as his worst mistake by not adequately planning for the fall of Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, Libya remains in chaos. In the past seven years, four nations have conducted air strikes in Libya and hundreds of civilians have died in those strikes.

As the protests of the Arab Spring swept through Libya, Gadhafi mounted a war of attrition against his own people describing those who were protesting his rule as "rats."

The Obama administration helped steer a UN resolution to take military action to protect Libyan civilians, which resulted in a US-led NATO intervention in Libya. Gadhafi was eventually killed by rebels.

So President Obama basically took out Gadhafi and did not think far enough ahead to understand the consequences of his actions. Typical feckless moron. Gadhafi may not have been a real friend of America and he was a dictator but he was good to his people and ran a capitalist economy. He was not an idiot. Arabs respect power and when a strong leader is deposed without someone to take over, Katie bar the door.

President Trump? From CBS News:

Trump sends $50 million in emergency financial assistance to Syria
Donald Trump announced Saturday night that the U.S. will send $50 million in stabilization assistance to Syria. The money, according to the Office of the Press Secretary, is to "protect persecuted ethnic and religious minorities and advance human rights."

"This funding will provide emergency financial assistance to Syrian human rights defenders, civil society organizations and reconciliation efforts directly supporting ethnic and religious minority victims of the conflict," the statement reads.

"We hope regional and international partners will continue their contributions as well," the statement continues. "Ensuring the freedom and safety of ethnic and religious minorities remains a top priority for this Administration."

Classic Art of the Deal negotiation. Here is a nice juicy carrot. We still have our stick and will use it if we do not like what we see but in the meantime, here is another nice juicy carrot. And $50 million is chump change compared to the cost of our military involvement. From Forbes, March 28th, 2011:

The Real Cost Of U.S. In Libya? Two Billion Dollars Per Day.
The one thing most experts seem to agree on about the current coalition air campaign in Libya is that it won't cost much. A leading think tank estimated the price-tag for patrolling Libyan air space at $30-100 million per week, while the Navy's top budget official described Libyan air operations as falling within the "normal operating cycle" of his department. Rear Admiral Joseph Mulloy told trade publication Inside the Navy on March 21, "The incremental cost of use of the Navy and Marine Corps is low, because we're already funded and we are trained and worked up." He went on, "We don't have to pay extra to be there." As a result of such fiscal reassurances, Congress has focused mainly on the goals of the operation and what precedents military action might create, rather than the cost.

The Two Billion Dollars Per Day in the title refers to the sunk cost of the infrastructure used over there.

No pleasing people - from Townhall:

Critics Aghast As Trump Keeps Word About No More Wars
Donald Trump came into office promising to not start any new wars and to get us out of the old ones our feckless elite had dragged us into, and now that he’s doing it in Syria the usual suspects are outraged. How dare he actually deliver on his promise not to have anymore of our precious warriors shipped home in boxes after getting killed on battlefields we can’t even pronounce, while refereeing conflicts that began long before America was a thing, in campaigns without any kind of coherent objective?

Conservatives like me still think of ourselves as hawks, but after hard experience we have learned to be hawkish only where America’s interests are directly at stake. We’re not doves. We’re just not going to spill our troops’ blood when we do not absolutely have to. The elite may not like our attitude, but then it’s generally not the elite that ends up having to bury its sons, daughters, husbands and wives. We do.

I generally like the Kurds. I generally dislike the Turks. But they’ve been killing each other for a long time and no one has yet offered a sufficient reason why America should stick its troops in the crossfire between them. We hear words like “betrayal” tossed around, often by people whose track record re: honor is (charitably) lacking, but that assumes America had a say in this latest round ramping up. If the Turks are intent on invading, a firm “No” from the Oval office is not going to stop a battalion of Leopard tanks. If you want to stop them, you have to be prepared to stop them. That means war, and the president – along with millions of us – say “No thanks.”

Yeah - I am siding with President Trump on this one. Afghanistan has chewed up every single nation that tried to intervene. Some groups of people have been perpetually at war with one another and no outside show of force will change this fact.

This harkens back to our entry into the Vietnam war which we took over after the French retreated.

Now this is interesting - rattling sabers

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Iran rattled theirs. Now we rattle ours. From gCaptain:

U.S. Orders Large-Scale Turbo Activation Exercise of Ready Reserve Force Ships
The U.S. Department of Defense has ordered a large-scale turbo activation of ships in the U.S. Maritime Administration’s (MARAD) Ready Reserve Force fleet.

The turbo activation is part of a large-scale activation exercise ordered by the U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) on September 16. The activation calls for a total of 28 RRF fleet vessels to transition from reduced operating status to fully crewed and full operating status within 5-days. Activations are commonly followed by immediate sea trials.

Interesting times...

Oil tanker explosion - Iran update

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From Reuters:

Unexploded device spotted on one of attacked oil tankers -U.S. source
An unexploded device, believed to be a limpet mine, was spotted on the side of one of two oil tankers attacked on Thursday in the Gulf of Oman, a U.S. official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

If confirmed, then the method of attack would be the same as the one that the United States believes was used last month when four other tankers were struck off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. The United States believes Iran was likely responsible for those attacks, a charge Tehran denies.

It will be interesting to see who made the mine. Great that it did not explode - this will yield a wealth of information.

A reminder - D Day

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Saw this on the web - really makes the point:


From ship builder Huntington Ingalls Industries (I love their motto: Hard Stuff Done Right):

Video Release--Huntington Ingalls Industries’ First Cut of Steel Kicks Off Advance Construction For Columbia-Class Submarine Program
Huntington Ingalls Industries hosted a ceremonial first-cut-of-steel event today at its Newport News Shipbuilding division to mark the start of advance construction for the Columbia-class submarine program.

With the press of a button, a plasma-burning machine cut the first steel plate that will be used to build Columbia (SSBN 826), the lead ballistic missile submarine. As Newport News continues its digital transformation, the event also marked the first class of submarines that will be built using fully digital blueprints.

“Today is a historic day,” said Jason Ward, Newport News’ vice president for Columbia-class construction. “It has been a half century since Newport News Shipbuilding has constructed a ballistic submarine. Today, we celebrate the decade-plus effort spent working with Electric Boat on the design of this new class of submarine as we formally transition from design to material procurement and now to construction execution.”

Newport News is a major contractor and shipbuilding partner in the Columbia-class program and is performing advance construction activities under a contract the shipyard received from General Dynamics Electric Boat. The Columbia-class boats will replace the fleet of Ohio-class nuclear ballistic submarines. Newport News is starting its work three weeks ahead of schedule to support its advance construction efforts.

Good news. Our Military was neglected during the last couple of administrations - time to build back our strength.

Talk about a CLM

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CLM? From Acronym Finder: Career Limiting Move
From the Air Force Times:

FE Warren nuke maintainers caught drinking alcohol at missile alert facility
Two maintainers from the 90th Missile Maintenance Squadron at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming were found to have consumed alcohol at a missile alert facility earlier this month, the base confirmed Friday.

Security forces at the facility on May 14 found alcoholic beverages belonging to the nuclear missile maintainers, a staff sergeant and a senior airmen, said Joseph Coslett, spokesman for the 90th Missile Wing, in an email. An investigation, which included an admission by the airmen, was conducted, and found the airmen had consumed the alcohol while off-duty, Coslett said.

Whoops - they were not on duty but they were on base and the regulations are pretty specific:

However, Coslett said, Air Force Global Strike Command regulations prohibit “processing or consuming alcoholic beverages … within the confines of any missile alert facility … while en route to or from duty in the missile complex.”

Kiss that career path goodbye...

Memorial Day

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Something to consider:


Devotion and Duty

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Amazing set of tweets from our Department of Defense:

Just wonderful - Russia

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Interesting bit of news from NORAD:

NORAD intercepts Russian bombers and fighters entering Air Defense Identification Zone
Two pairs of F-22s and an E-3 Airborne Early Warning and Control System from North American Aerospace Defense Command positively identified and intercepted a total of four Tupolev Tu-95 bombers and two Su-35 fighters entering the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) on May 20.

Specifically, two of the Russian bombers were intercepted by two F-22s, and a second group of bombers with Su-35 fighters was intercepted later by two additional F-22s, while the E-3 provided overall surveillance. The Russian bombers and fighters remained in international airspace and at no time did the aircraft enter United States or Canadian sovereign airspace.

“NORAD’s top priority is defending Canada and the United States. Our ability to deter and defeat threats to our citizens, vital infrastructure, and national institutions starts with successfully detecting, tracking, and positively identifying aircraft of interest approaching U.S. and Canadian airspace,” said General Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, the NORAD Commander. “NORAD is on alert 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.”

Unusual behaviour - why were they probing?

Yikes - F-35

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Sure hope that we get to it first - from Business Insider:

Japan lost an F-35 in the Pacific, and the US is in trouble if Russia or China find it first
Japan's military reported on Tuesday that it lost contact with an F-35 stealth jet some 84 miles off the east coast of Aomori prefecture, Japan, in the Pacific and that the hunt was on for the pilot and the downed plane.

But if Russia or China — which both maintain a heavy naval presence in the region — find the plane first, the future of US airpower could be over before it started.

"Bottom line is that it would not be good" for the future of US airpower if Japan or the US don't quickly recover the jet, retired US Air Force Lt. Gen. David Deptula told Business Insider.

"There is no price too high in this world for China and Russia to pay to get Japan's missing F-35, if they can. Big deal," Tom Moore, an expert on Russia and weapons proliferation, tweeted.

Talk about high-stakes. The jet has had some serious problems in the past but they seem to be working the bugs out.

From Popular Mechanics:

Report: Russia Engaging in Widespread Satellite Navigation Spoofing
A new report claims that Russian security forces have engaged in extensive spoofing of satellite-based navigation systems, often to protect President Vladimir Putin or Russian armed forces. A report by the nonprofit think tank C4ADS has logged nearly 10,000 instances of spoofing of GPS-type navigation systems,

The report highlights interference operations in the Global Navigation Satellite System, or GNSS. These satellites relay position, navigation and timing signals to cell phones, car navigation systems, and ships at sea 24/7 across the globe, providing location and navigation detail with unparalleled accuracy. Commonly known as GPS in the United States, Russia operates a similar system named GLONASS, Europe’s system is called Galileo, China’s is Beidou, and Japan’s QZSS.

C4ADS is the Center for Advanced Defense Studies and is an independent Military think-tank in D.C. Their website is here C4ADS and the 66 page report can be downloaded from here: Above Us Only Stars

Just skimmed it for a bit but sobering reading. So much of our lives are tied into the GPS system. A lot of the technologies have nothing to do with personal navigation - Enhanced 911 emergency services, all sorts of search and rescue, ambulance, police and fire services. GPS also provides highly accurate timing services to many agencies (including me). Links between telescopes are coordinated with GPS timing. Cell phone and ham radio use GPS timing services. The list is long and the idea that this signal can be distorted or warped gives me a case of the blue-blind paralytic willies...

Just what everyone needs - tactical spork

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Good Lord but the word "Tactical" is getting waaay overused these days - everything is tactical this / tactical that.

From Amazon comes the Ka-Bar Tactical Spork:


On sale for $5.27 with free shipping so it might be worth getting two or three for the vehicle emergency kits.
But Tactical? Come on and gimme a break...

Well crap - RIP W.E.B. Griffin

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Good writer of military fiction - always lilked his stuff. From Publisher's Weekly:

W.E.B. Griffin, Military Man and Writer, Dies at 89
W.E.B. Griffin, the prolific author of nearly 250 books, nearly 160 of which were military fiction, died on February 12, his publisher, Putnam, confirmed. He was 89.

Griffin, né William E. Butterworth III, entered the U.S. Army in 1946, was assigned to the Army of Occupation in Germany, and later recalled to active duty in the Korean War, in 1951. Griffin was the recipient of the 1991 Brigadier General Robert L. Dening Memorial Distinguished Service Award of the U.S. Marine Corps and the 1999 Veterans of Foreign Wars News Media Award, and was a vested member of the Order of St. George of the U.S. Armor Association and the Order of St. Andrew of the U.S. Army Aviation Association.

Butterworth, a bestselling author many times over under a handful of pseudonyms, has more than 50 million copies of books under the Griffin name in print in more than 10 languages, including, his publisher said, Hebrew, Chinese, Japanese, and Hungarian. As Griffin, he was the author of 61 novels in seven series. Under different pseudonyms, Butterworth wrote a number of other books for both adults and children, including 12 of the 13 M*A*S*H novels.

"Known for his historical accuracy, richly drawn characters, thrilling adventure, crackling wit, and astute aptitude for the heart and mind of a military hero, Griffin delighted readers for decades with his electrifying novels about the military, police, spies, and counterspies," the publisher wrote in its tribute to the author. "We at Putnam are saddened to share the news of W.E.B. Griffin’s passing," a representative of the publisher added, calling the author "a decades-long bestselling author, decorated military man, and one of the bedrocks of G.P. Putnam’s Sons."

Quite the life. He will be missed.

Well crap - Jim Mattis

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From the Beeb:

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis resigns
US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis will be retiring "with distinction" at the end of February, President Donald Trump announced on Thursday.

Mr Trump tweeted that General Mattis "was a great help to me in getting allies and other countries to pay their share of military obligations".

It comes a day after the president's controversial announcement that all US troops would be withdrawn from Syria.

Trump's move on Syria is going to set us up for problems down the road with Iran and Israel. Giving Iran a staging ground from which to Kill the Jews.

77 years ago today

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A day which shall live in infamy - or, as the Japanese ruling class found out:


Yikes - Russia and the Ukraine

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From Sky News:

Russia 'fires at Ukraine ships and captures three vessels' amid rising tensions off Crimea
Ukraine says Russia has opened fire on its ships in the Black Sea and captured three vessels.

Two sailors have been wounded after two artillery boats were hit in the strikes, the Ukrainian navy said.

Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko has called an emergency session of his war cabinet after a day of rising tensions off the coast of Crimea.

A statement from Ukraine's ambassador to the UK said Russian special forces had captured three ships in an "act of aggression".

Ukraine is a very rich nation compared to Russia - Russia wants (needs) the industrial base. From InfoGalactic:

Natural resources
Significant natural resources in Ukraine include: iron ore, coal, manganese, natural gas, oil, salt, sulfur, graphite, titanium, magnesium, kaolin, nickel, mercury, timber, and arable land.

From the CIA World Factbook:

After Russia, the Ukrainian Republic was the most important economic component of the former Soviet Union, producing about four times the output of the next-ranking republic. Its fertile black soil accounted for more than one-fourth of Soviet agricultural output, and its farms provided substantial quantities of meat, milk, grain, and vegetables to other republics. Likewise, its diversified heavy industry supplied unique equipment such as large diameter pipes and vertical drilling apparatus, and raw materials to industrial and mining sites in other regions of the former USSR.

And, reading this next paragraph, it looks like the deep state was firmly entrenched there too. The elites did not want to give up their power or their corruption:

Shortly after independence in August 1991, the Ukrainian Government liberalized most prices and erected a legal framework for privatization, but widespread resistance to reform within the government and the legislature soon stalled reform efforts and led to some backtracking. Output by 1999 had fallen to less than 40% of the 1991 level. Outside institutions - particularly the IMF encouraged Ukraine to quicken the pace and scope of reforms to foster economic growth. Ukrainian Government officials eliminated most tax and customs privileges in a March 2005 budget law, bringing more economic activity out of Ukraine's large shadow economy. From 2000 until mid-2008, Ukraine's economy was buoyant despite political turmoil between the prime minister and president. The economy contracted nearly 15% in 2009, among the worst economic performances in the world. In April 2010, Ukraine negotiated a price discount on Russian gas imports in exchange for extending Russia's lease on its naval base in Crimea.

Screw the little people, I want MINE! But they seem to be turning themselves around quite nicely:

Ukraine’s oligarch-dominated economy grew slowly from 2010 to 2013, but remained behind peers in the region and among Europe’s poorest. After former President YANUKOVYCH fled the country during the Revolution of Dignity, Ukraine’s economy fell into crisis because of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, military conflict in the eastern part of the country, and a trade war with Russia, resulting in a 17% decline in GDP, inflation at nearly 60%, and dwindling foreign currency reserves. The international community began efforts to stabilize the Ukrainian economy, including a March 2014 IMF assistance package of $17.5 billion, of which Ukraine has received four disbursements, most recently in April 2017, bringing the total disbursed as of that date to approximately $8.4 billion. Ukraine has made significant progress on reforms designed to make the country prosperous, democratic, and transparent, including creation of a national anti-corruption agency, overhaul of the banking sector, establishment of a transparent VAT refund system, and increased transparency in government procurement. But more improvements are needed, including fighting corruption, developing capital markets, improving the business environment to attract foreign investment, privatizing state-owned enterprises, and land reform. The fifth tranche of the IMF program, valued at $1.9 billion, was delayed in mid-2017 due to lack of progress on outstanding reforms, including adjustment of gas tariffs to import parity levels and adoption of legislation establishing an independent anti-corruption court.

There is a large population of Ukranians near where my farm is - it will be interesting to hear what they have to say about these events.

Defending the border

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Looks like we are not blinking - from Military Times:

White House approves use of force, some law enforcement roles for border troops
The White House late Tuesday signed a memo allowing troops stationed at the border to engage in some law enforcement roles and use lethal force, if necessary — a move that legal experts have cautioned may run afoul of the Posse Comitatus Act.

The new “Cabinet order” was signed by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, not President Donald Trump. It allows “Department of Defense military personnel” to “perform those military protective activities that the Secretary of Defense determines are reasonably necessary” to protect border agents, including “a show or use of force (including lethal force, where necessary), crowd control, temporary detention. and cursory search.”

Good - if we do not do a show of force, these people will continue to come and come and come. It is not just this one convoy, I am sure that there are a lot more being planned and funded at this time. Time to let them know that we welcome legal immigration but will not countenance an illegal crossing of the border.

Looks like President Trump is doing excellent management as usual - got to see what we are dealing with before we can make decisions.
From Yahoo/Reuters:

Pentagon fails its first ever audit, official says
The Pentagon has failed what is being called its first-ever comprehensive audit, a senior official said on Thursday, finding U.S. Defense Department accounting discrepancies that could take years to resolve.

Results of the inspection - conducted by some 1,200 auditors and examining financial accounting on a wide range of spending including on weapons systems, military personnel and property - were expected to be completed later in the day.

"We failed the audit, but we never expected to pass it," Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan told reporters.

A bit more:

A 1990 federal law mandated that U.S. government agencies be audited, but the Pentagon had not faced a comprehensive audit until this one was launched in December.

That President would be George "Read my lips" H. W. Bush - a great one for ideas but zero balls to get them implemented. Glad that we finally have a President who will get things done.

Great headline from gCaptain:

World’s Biggest Dry Dock Sinks Holding Russia’s Only Aircraft Carrier
Russia’s only aircraft carrier was damaged while undergoing repairs in the north of the country after the floating dock holding it sank in the early hours of Tuesday and a crane crashed onto its deck, tearing a gash up to 5 meters wide.

The Admiral Kuznetsov has seen action in Russia’s military campaign in Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad with its planes carrying out air strikes against rebel forces.

It was being overhauled on one of the world’s biggest floating docks in the icy waters of the Kola Bay near Murmansk close to where Russia’s Northern Fleet is based and was due to go back into service in 2021.

Maria Kovtun, Murmansk’s governor, said in a statement that a rescue operation had been launched and 71 people evacuated after the floating dock holding the ship had begun to sink.

Oops - sorry about your nice sensors. From the South China Morning Post:

Canada installs Chinese underwater monitoring devices next to US nuclear submarine base
While the eyes of the world have been on the strategic tussle between Beijing and Washington in the South China Sea, Chinese scientists, with the help of the Canadian authorities, have succeeded in positioning four monitoring devices in waters just 300km (186 miles) off the United States’ Pacific coast.

Right offshore from Kitsap Naval Base - the West Coast home for our submarine fleet. In international waters but still - that is chutzpah. Betting that one of our small submarines will be paying them a visit sometime soon...

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