commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

The Marine ‘DI’….. Actor R. Lee Ermey wants the Navy to change it’s name…..

The Marines want some respect……..

The actor who played the drill sergeant in “Full Metal Jacket” is coming to Washington, D.C., next week to lobby Congress to pass a long-stalled bill.

R. Lee Ermey is the national spokesman for a growing grassroots effort behind legislation sponsored by Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) and Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) that would rename the Department of the Navy as the Department of the Navy and Marine Corps.

Ermey, who was in the Marine Corps for 11 years, has been in over 100 movies, including “Apocalypse Now,” “Dead Man Walking” and “Leaving Las Vegas,” according to imdb.com.

Over the past decade, Jones has repeatedly pushed his colleagues to pass his bill. Jones’s bill has 367 co-sponsors. Roberts (R-Kan.), a Marine Corps veteran, introduced companion legislation last year.

The Marine Corps League, which is orchestrating the grassroots effort with Ermey, has started a petition-writing campaign and is bringing supporters of Jones’s legislation to Capitol Hill on Thursday.

“Marines have fought and died with their Navy brothers and sisters for more than 200 years,” said Michael Blum, Marine Corps League executive director in a statement. “It’s finally time to give the Marine Corps the recognition the branch has long deserved.”

Although the Marine Corps has been a separate service since the National Security Act of 1947, it does not get equal billing with the Navy, Air Force and Army, each of which has a Pentagon department named after it. Since the Marine Corps’s earliest days, it has operated under the Department of the Navy.

The origins of the Marines date back to Nov. 10, 1775 when the Continental Congress called for the creation of two battalions to serve as landing forces with the fleet during the Revolutionary War. It was not until July 11, 1798 that Congress officially passed an act to establish the Marine Corps. On June 30, 1834, Congress passed another act placing the Marines under the umbrella of the Navy.

The Corps functions in war and peacetime as a separate branch in nearly every way. It has its own military command structure.

The running joke has been that the Marines constitute the “men’s department” of the Navy. Yet the issue of receiving recognition is no laughing matter to many who serve in the Marine Corps. The families of those who die in combat and are awarded service commendations receive letters from the secretary of the Navy, with no mention of the Marine Corps on the letterhead.

Families of those dying in combat also receive the condolence letters on Navy letterhead with no explicit mention of the Marine Corps anywhere in the letter, according to a sample of a letter posted by the Marine Corps League.

Supporters of changing the name are quick to note that the effort does not signal that the Marine Corps wants to break away from the Navy, nor would the change cost more than the immediate change in stationary sent to families. The name change also would not alter the responsibilities of the Navy secretary or how resources between the Navy and Marine Corps are allocated, the supporters argue.

The bill is backed by FedEx founder Fred Smith, a former Marine and former secretary of the Navy Lawrence Garrett.

Ah, check the link for this..the comments are interesting……

Note:….If the Marines and the Navy got seperated in 1947…how come they’re still togther?

February 6, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Government, Media, Men, Military, Politics, Updates, Women | , , , , , | 5 Comments

IED hunters….who are they?… and can they be replicated?

The Army and The Marines have found out a little secret…..they have among their ranks male and female solders that have a very good ability in finding IED’s (mines or roadside bombs) in combat area’s…..

The military becoming aware of the fact did a study on the phonomenone…The three-year study, done by the Army Research Institute, the Air Force Research Lab, and the Army Research Lab, is finished. But the results are on close hold.

While they don’t want the bad guys knowing the results and the media publishing them…information from the study could be sent out to the troops in war zones and used by local law enforcement in the states and agencies like the Secret Service and State Department protective people in doing their jobs…..

If the skills are teachable…. it could be a major breakthrough in cutting casualties ( IED casualties since 2001  2,451 dead, 23,650 wounded, in Iraq and Afghanistan as of Dec. 5) resulting from the IED’s…..

December 29, 2009 Posted by | Education, Government, Health, Men, Military, Women | , , , | Leave a comment

The Army is getting screwed…..

First they took away the C-27J…the Army attempt to take the load off its heavy lift Chinook Helicopters…..and gave the program to the Air Force…who will, I’m sure deep-six it, for some fast movers (fighters)…..

Now There is a problem with the E-8, J oint Stars battle surveillance aircraft…The converted B-707 can paint an area, and let field commanders see what going on in greater detail than the ‘eyes in the sky ‘ satellites or unmanned Predators or Global Hawks…..

But now the Air Force has forgotten to put the money in for the Joint-Star’s aircraft to have engine upgrades, therefore cutting down on time the five or six aircraft fleet can operate….

I do not understand why the Army has to rely on the Air Force which has a romance with speed burners….(when was the last time they got’ into it’ with a hostale air force?…the Army fights every day, 24/7, in two theaters)

It is time for Congress to send the Army to the Marine school of  ‘taking care of your own’, and give them back the C-27J short-haul mission, and let them get their own intel aircraft like the G-550 housed EL/M-2075 that the Israeli’s, Indian and Chilians have or the British ASTOR’s…both aircraft are proven…off the shelf, originate in the United States, and should be used solely by the Army for its troops….

Next thing you know the Air Force will want to glam the Army’s Emars aircraft too!

It is about time that  they stop robbing the Army, to make the Air Force happy……

That stinks…….

And the soldiers and the commanders in the field get screwed…..

November 27, 2009 Posted by | Government, Men, Military, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

THe USS New York comes home to the City to be christened……the ship has WTC steel in it……

The ship, the USS New York, the US Navy’s newest, is a amphibous transport, that carries Marines and their equipment, and was built by Northrop Grunman Ship Systems in Avondale, La…….the ship has 7.5 tons of steel in its bow,  that came from the New York and New Jersey’s Port Authority’s World Trade Center after 9-11……

The ship will be commissioned in New York  this week……

November 2, 2009 Posted by | Breaking News, Military, Politics, September 11 | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A replacement Marine One helicopter is still on the table…….

Over at Politics One the guys know how I feel about replacing the current fleet of Marine One helicopters….But I’ll repeat my argument because I am overjoyed that the  House has held on, and kept money in the budget to go on with replacing the current aging helicopters…….

The Current Marine One helicopter fleet is made up of several aircraft, of which only two types of choppers actually carry the president. The primary one is the Sikorsky VH-3D, that was put into service starting in 1962 thru 1978……The newer choppers are  Sikorsky VH-60, acquired beginning in 1989…….As you can see these airframes have been in service for almost 30 years!

While the helicopter’s that carry the Commander – in – Chief are kept in pristine condition…the fact remains that the airframes are old, labor intensive and tired……no other aircraft with the service life of these helo’s would be allowed to transport the President of the United States……The President’s plane, Air Force One is  almost 19 years old…and plans are being made to replace those two VC-25\’s which are Boeing 747-200B type aircraft, in the future ( they will be replaced with the new B-747-800 series aircraft).

About two years ago the Marines had a competition for a new Helo between the Sikorsky S-92 and the Lockheed/Augusta-Westland AW101……the L/AW101 won the competition walking away…..With three engines instead of the S-92’s two…..The AW101, a bigger, and roomer air craft,  flew farther and faster , and has an added safety factor of an additional engine. In addition, while the S-92 was a completely new program…the AW Merlin, the English version, had a good number of air hours under its belt when it was picked…….

From the start Sikorsky reverted to a’ buy american’ rational to try to derail the winning choice…..Even while the United States was pushing the American made F-35 against other foreign fighter jets around the world  to countries looking to buy new generation fighters…….

The bad guys in this was the White House Military Office..the place that controls anything military that transports the president, and the Secret Service. Both developed  ‘mission creep’ on the Marine One airframe…..The new Helo , which would only be used to transport the CIC no more than 15 minutes anywhere, was asked to have an executive wash room, an Air Force One comparable communications suite, and other amenities. Of course,  this stuff adds weight to the aircraft…..and weight means a sturdier airframe, which means more weight…bigger rotor blades, stronger engine, etc…all of this stuff means more money…..I will repeat, that these add on’s came from the White House Military Office, and the Secret Service…..not the manufacture (this scenario has been confirmed by the Navy)……so the cost of the contract balloons to $400 million a helo!……

Well, the buy american people now scream that there is a cost over run…….

People…… I like Sec Gates…And I like the President…but on this one they are wrong……..

To cancel this program is asinine…..and clearly wrong…..

The CIC is riding around in a chopper that is almost as old as he is……The Lockheed helo’s are clearly superior to the Sikorsky model’s…..and the government already owns six choppers right now…..the choppers are received in Upstate NY form Europe, and then American workers outfit the AW101’s which have been renamed, the VH-71 Kestrel, by the Marines, and the Navy…

Finally…the Navy will rebid the WHOLE CONTRACT soon because guess what?……The president needs new helicopters!

The last straw is some knuckleheads think that the new bids will be cheaper than keeping the six choppers…….. They already have …….And adding six more to complete the fleet!

Am I missing something here?????

Or is this a round about way of saying we’re going to give the president the loser and the clearly inferior chopper because it’s built by Sikorsky (hint, hint)……

If the President and Sec of Defense veto this …they are doing the American taxpayer, and themselves, a great disservice……..

Note:……for a more in-depth analysis of the situation I have described please check this link to Rotor and Wing……I don’t think I missed the boat, er helicopter here at all…something simply doesn’t make sense on this….

October 16, 2009 Posted by | Military, Politics, Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

More troops are going to Aftghanistan already…….

It seems that the President in ordering 21,000 combat troops for Afghanistan this spring, set in motion the movement of another 13,000+ support troops into the country…..

Whenever the United States military, be it Army, Air Force, Navy or Marines move into an area…they bring along support troops……whether it’s cooks, quartermasters, drivers,  mechanics, or weathermen they go wherever the combat troops go …..but as Iraq has shown, while they are stationed in the rear, out of the action zone…sometimes the non-action zone, doesn’t exist……support troops for all of the services, not just the Marines are being given more basic training, to defend themselves, since the incidents in the beginning of the Iraq war showed that, any soldier (male or Female) may find themselves in a firefight, anywhere in-country…..

The tallying of these extra troops was not announced, but the President,  as the Commander in Chief , was aware of the whole number, before signing off on the request……indeed, General McChrystal’s new request for troops will likely include more support troops also…….which brings up the time table of deploying McChrystal’s new increase of troops, which is straning the Army and Marines to uncomfortable levels……

There are a lot of combat and support soldiers moving into the Afghan campaign …and there will be more……..

From Iraq to Afghanistan…..the war continues moving…….

October 13, 2009 Posted by | Military, Politics | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wall Street Journal presents a leaked outline of the war request by Gen McChrystal…….

The Wall Street Journal has printed a pretty detailed piece today describing the basic points of General McChrystal request and recommendations to the Commander in Chief…….

Among the most interesting information is the fact that there is a request for three different levels of troops…….

A) 40,000

B) 60,000

C) None

McChrystal is reported to want to go with choice A, 40,000 troops……but there is a BIG BUT here….according to a review of the General’s plans ……the Army, and Marines would have significant problems in getting that many troops in-country, as soon as the General has reported they are needed for a ‘surge’……..In, addition, McChrytal’s aim would be to deny  al Qaeda, and the Taliban access to Afghanistan…..the White House may be content with just keeping al Qaeda out of the country, and finding a middle ground with the Taliban……

While McCrystal is a warrior, concerned with his troops, and objective…the CIC has to deal with the political component of the campaign…And since he has publicly said he won’t leave, and he won’t cut the number of troops …he really doesn’t have many options left………McCrystal is emphatic that the current troop level will not hold ground…Units are being overrun in the boonies, and are being cut back …….

Also…while Obama is holding his sessions …Hillary  Clinton, the Secretary of State, is holding hers…Seeking to identify the role for the State Department and civilians…Unlike during the Condi Rice period, in which State Department actions in Iraq consisted of sending staff home, leaving Sec of Defense Gates to fill those spots in with badly needed military assets……..

In the end the Army and the Marines would be able to move between 11,000 to 15,000 troops in country by the end of the year and another 20,000 by next July….…Finally, the movement of troops into the country is accompanied by a serious deficiency in helicopters, and contrary to this piece, a problem with Iraq ‘dialed in’ vehicles that are useless in Afghanistan’s terrible roads…….

October 9, 2009 Posted by | Military, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Somalia……….2009….the war on al-Qaeda……..

US  Special Forces troops transported in helicopter ‘s have hunted down a wanted al-Qaeda operative Saleh Ali Nabhan in southern Somalia……..the United States military has been watching the area in hopes of getting  a chance to take out known, and wanted terrorist operatives…….this is a example of how the United States war on terror is indeed global……….

Nabhan is believed to have been involved in a resort bombing in Mombassa,  Kenya and attack son the United States embassies in Kenya nd Tanzania…….

September 14, 2009 Posted by | Military, Politics, September 11 | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment