The boss wants a better U.S. Army, interesting theory #military

Since I don’t have the time, you will just have to assume I went though this with a red pen.

The U.S. Army is what it is. The U.S. Army is doing well considering all of the poor leadership decisions from the top. The article talks about a lot of things but what we need are real generals. We need generals that put policy down that tell the chain of command to stop micro-managing. Let leaders that are at the point of contact make decisions.

Promoting too early? That happens in war.

Quality of the force? Well, it was senior leaders that decided to lower the enterence standards. One shouldn’t be allowed into the U.S. military unless they can read and write.

We waste money on all kinds of useless defence toys throughout all the services yet the Army is underfunded? I would say to that, I can find a few billion per year from other services that they are wasting to give to the Army. That and the fact that we have two land Armies to pay for; figure that out.

When we have real war colleges that grow real generals, maybe we can have the Army that the boss wants. But not until then.

I find point 21 offensive. It is already “America’s Army”. How dare someone say otherwise. Elite? Well, we had this idiot of a general not so log ago that gave everyone a beret. How stupid is that? Yes you need special units inside the Army, but the institution is more than that. Put a proper general/colonel/ in command of any unit in the Army and it can be “elite” through proper leadership and mentoring. The big question is; where will America find better generals?

Finally, you will get better results from the public when America decides to actually fight foreign wars that are valid and defend the nation. Currently; we don’t have that.

Don’t send your daughters to Defence #auspol

Don’t send your daughters to Defence. Smith refuses to fire commanders (to set the example). Without this useful tool, anything else proposed (displaying displeasure with flag ranks, launching investigations etc) won’t have any effect.

Until senior leadership can fire top flag ranks for cause, until flag ranks can fire top commanders for cause, until top commanders can fire top NCOs for cause–to set the example–don’t expect a fix for much of this except more cover-up.

The solution doesn’t require some touchy-feely department for women’s rights or some such bother. What it requires is for top commanders and top NCO’s to do their job. If they are not capable of performing this core leadership skill in their job, they need to be removed; pour encourager les autres.

Missed leadership opportunity #military #auspol

So will Defence Minister Smith fire the head of the Navy?

Most likely; no.

This is a missed opportunity in leadership. An occasional firing for cause when there are this many screw-ups helps get the message across. It is also the head of the Navy that is ultimately responsible for the gross lapse in discipline shown in the service as of late.

The U.S. Navy’s plan to fail–LCS equals RICO

The purpose of the U.S. Navy is to use seapower in all its definitions to defend the United States and its interests.

We the taxpayer give them money to draw up requirements of what they need so we can hand over more money to build what they say they need.

This is not being done. What we are getting are the fielding of large giga-dollar aircraft carriers that have obsolete-to-the-threat air wings. We get wasteful dreadnoughts that will end up like the Prince of Wales. We get poor leadership. And we get a fraudulent attempts at “warships” in the name of the Littoral Combat Ship.

“One thing you will hear discussed on a regular basis will be the cost per unit in this announcement. This is what gets me twitchy the most as that is a stripped down LCS with no mission modules. Just the baseline model. It is like buying a baseline car with no radio, no AC, etc. You cannot compare per unit or per ton cost of LCS with FFG and DD/DDG that already are configured for full multi-mission operation, vice the uni-mission LCS. Remember, the quote does not represent the per unit cost even close. Even if it did – the tactical utility of the whole class is still snake bit.

Inside DC, there is a love of programatics and number games where costs are fudged and victory is seen as getting a check in the block with money attached – that is their battlefield. That is not why you have shipbuilding programs though. The goal of shipbuilding is to produce the best tradeoff between cost and capability and to give to the Sailors at sea the best ability to operate, fight, win, and survive in war at sea and power projection ashore.

That is the measure. By that measure, LCS continues to be a rolling disgrace.”

Anywhere else, this would be the RICO statue.

USAF in Afghanistan-an F-16 unit shows great courage, leadership and commitment to the mission

The USAF has a high percentage of people that are extremely good leaders and followers. That is a fact. They do the work of the USAF everyday and do a great job of getting the mission done in-spite of all of the politics that surrounds the organisation and in spite of a serious leadership deficit in USAF HQ.

I want to point out this article from Combat Aircraft Monthy magazine; November 2010. It still might be on news stands. You need to find it and read the article, “Final Ramifications” on page 75 by Gary Wetzel.

In the article it has all the good parts that make up the USAF. It is a story of close-air-support, the F-16, and a great team with a great leader.

The 34th fighter squadron; from Hill AFB, Utah took 12 F-16s into theater. Here is a look at one of the missions. It was a worst case scenario troops-in-contact (TIG) where the pilot had to swoop down at night–including additional poor visibility factors–and perform a gun pass within 100 meters of friendlies. Think of this when (if) an F-35C shows up for CAS and just happens not to have its gun pod on that day. In spite of all the technology; strafing is a valuable tool to pull out of the bag. It won’t be going away.

“It was simply one of the most miserable scenarios you could find yourself in. Even other pilots in the squadron who watched the cockpit tapes afterwards found themselves getting stressed with sweat coming on.

‘Cheech’ elaborated: It was our doomsday CAS sceario that we had trained for as best we could. We had friendly forces separated and unsure of where everybody was, along with an enemy force no one could pinpoint exactly. They were taking continuous fire and you have the teenager on the radio, who is not a JTAC, trying to direct and call in the air strike. They immediately asked us to strafe a tree line but that was as specific as it got. Below us we counted 30 to 40 tree lines. We are getting radio calls indicating the friendlies were running very short on ammo and were beginning to pool what was left. We were finally able to identify where we wanted to strafe and I made a single pass, fired just over 200 rounds, hit where I intended to hit and over the radio, from their response, you could tell it scared them just as much as the enemy.”

We had a couple of instances, three or four times , where Army soldiers we saved were able to make their way back to Bagram and seek out those of us that helped them out. They would tell us, ‘you guys saved my life out there and I will never forget that.’

Other issues were that the jets had to respond to calls half-way on the other side of the country. When time is life, you need to have some fast jets like F-15s, F-16s and B-1 bombers on-call.

The maintenance people (as always) did extremely well. This included one of their 20 year old F-16s being ready for 40 consecutive missions. A typical loadout for the aircraft would be 2x GBU-12’s, 2x GBU-38, 2x AMRAAM, 2x wing tanks and of course the built in gun.

Also of interest, is the kind of work they were doing shows the need of having an aircraft with 2 aircrew. It helps.

In what was to be something I have seen before, when the deployment returned to Hill, their squadron was disbanded-with promises of the F-35 to someday unfurl the squadron colors.

We still have large portions of the USAF that are really good. Given the direction we are headed; I don’t know if we can say that in another 5 years unless some serious air power leaders occupy the front office. This is the kind of risk America does not need.

The F-16 supported by a strong team. Why are some so eager to destroy this?

Alaska C-17 mishap pilot named-flew jet outside of safe limits-chain of command failed oversight-#military

The pilot that was in control of the mishap C-17 in Alaska has been named.

There are a lot of faults mentioned but it boils down to poor airmanship and poor oversight by leadership in the chain of command.

The aircraft commander flew the C-17 outside of established safe limits. His foolishness took 3 other people with him. This mishap was totally avoidable.

Tony Kern, a former Air Force pilot who is now an aviation safety consultant with Convergent Performance, studied the Fairchild accident and read the Elmendorf accident report.

“We’ve learned this lesson before,” Kern said. “It’s unfortunate we have to learn this again.”

This is just another kind of “Darker Shades of Blue”. One would have hoped the USAF used the Fairchild B-52 mishap to save lives. But they did not. And the Alaska C-17 mishap is the result.

Darker shades of Blue #military

It has been years since I have read this. An awful story. However, it is a must-read for anyone that studies military leadership. Darker shades of blue.

“What’s the deal with this guy?” Captain Bill Kramer asked, indicating a car conspicuously parked in the center of the red-curbed “No Parking” zone adjacent to the wing headquarters building. It was a short walk from the HQ building, commonly referred to as The White House, to the parking lot where they had left their own vehicles while attending the briefing on the upcoming airshow. As they passed the illegally-parked car and then the various “reserved” spaces for the wing and operations group commanders, Lt Col Winslow turned to Captain Kramer, and replied, “That’s Bud’s car. He always parks there.” After a few more steps the Captain inquired, “How does he get away with that?” The Lieutenant Colonel reflected for a moment and responded, “I don’t know–he just does.”

When wild predictions by F-35 program managers go wrong #military #auspol #ozcot #cndpoli

Good enough for a re-run; I posted this back in May.

Predictions–The General Davis Legacy

Just a little over two years ago, the F-35 DOD boss thought we would have 3100 flight hours by the end of 2010 (CY). That, and 24 jets flying; (snort, guffaw).

This is the quality of the decision-makers in the whole of the program; bad.

Why can’t daddy program manage?

USAF focuses on the wrong generation #military

The USAF, the same people that can’t procure needed tankers or a rescue helicopters want to field a “6th generation” fighter in the coming years.

What should Congress do? They should reject this fantasy.

The USAF has an air domination fighter that has tremendous growth room in its design for years to come including follow-on designs (FB-22) and upgrades. As one small example, the F-22 has space in it for the original right and left looking AESA radar arrays and other sensors. This airframe is a solid growth path for B,C,D,E etc. models which can carry U.S. air power deterrence decades into the future.

The USAF does not need a new generation fighter. The USAF needs is a new generation of senior leadership. This is obvious from the path of destruction left by faulty decisions since the end of the Cold War. Until the USAF stops promoting officers way beyond their ability, it will continue to make dumb decisions like falling over and letting DOD create poor air power concepts; or–also in the case of the current senior leadership–act like sycophants.

The USAF is on a rapid path to becoming the Army-Air Corps. It is the youngest military branch. Unless it changes its senior leadership style, it won’t last a hundred years.