TX NG soldier attacked by Mexican National, shots fired

A soldier of the Texas National Guard was attacked by a Mexican national who had illegally crossed the US border. The infantryman shot him. A US (supposedly) Representative had this to say:

Governor Greg Abbott’s reckless and political decision to place our National Guard service members in situations where they have no specialized training and for which they rarely – if ever – have jurisdiction makes an already challenging situation potentially dangerous,”

Sounds to me that the National Guard, who is supposed to protect the state from foreign invasion is perfectly trained and suited to this mission.

Back Pay

So now the military wants to reinstate those who were kicked out for refusing the vax, complete with back pay. So what happens to those who were kicked out, but whose normal EOAS date has since passed? Do they still get their checks? Or is it only the ones who agree to be reinstated?

But who says that any of them want to serve under the freak show that is their chain of command?

Sixty One Percent

The Pentagon was audited and couldn’t account for 61% of its assets. If a company did this, the executives would be in jail. How can Congress demand to review President Trump’s tax returns, when they can’t even keep track of their own funds?

Even as this happened, there is some PFC somewhere getting smoked because he didn’t tie a dummy cord to his NODs or some sailor is getting accused of gundecking because he used a 4 inch screwdriver when the MRC said it was supposed to be a 6 inch.

Veteran’s Day

It bothers my wife that I don’t take Veteran’s discounts. I don’t stand when they ask veterans to stand and be recognized. I don’t want anything for my years of service. I served because I loved the country I was serving. I do want to recognize the people I know who are veterans:

  • Dad
  • Stewart, soldier, paramedic, leader.
  • Shane, a good soldier and caring paramedic who proudly served his country and community well. His demons finally got the best of him and he became one of the 22 that day.
  • Big Country
  • Peter Grant
  • Jeff D.
  • My FIL
  • Joe, my Mexican connection. Even though you became a lifer chief and a Cowboys fan.
  • Most of my firefighter friends.
  • The friends of my youth, who served with me: Jeff, Joe, Mike, Dave, Ed, Rich, Rick the Mayor. John. Hernan
  • Chef John.

The veterans who came before me: my uncle, father, and others who wore the uniform. It was your love of country that taught me to love it as well.

So many people in my life who served with me. We wore the uniform with me: we cried together, got drunk together, and laughed together. Most of all, we served our country together. If only we had known what a gift our youth was and how soon it would disappear, followed soon afterwards by the death of the nation that we served.

Those I came to know after I served: some police, many firefighters. It is no surprise to me that those who would die to defend their country would also risk their lives to save their fellow countrymen.

I salute all of you. Each of you knows what duty, honor, and sacrifice means- something that is sadly in short supply. May we all retain that moral compass to guide us through the difficult days to come. If I missed anyone, it was not intentional. There are so many.

Boomers and Strategy

Why would you place a boomer in the Med? Why is doing so a provocation and not part of a defense strategy?

Normally, a submarine equipped with SLBMs will loft them in a ballistic arc: the missiles go high, then free fall back to earth, like a cannon firing shells over the heads of the enemy. A submarine being used in a deterrent role can then hide anywhere within the missile’s maximum range to its target, making it an effective deterrent as a second strike weapon. The older Tridents were well suited to this because they did not have the accuracy needed to strike hardened targets. This made submarines into a counter-value platform, aimed at areas where accuracy wasn’t critical- things like bomber bases and cities.

A missile that is fired on a depressed trajectory can travel in a much flatter arc, giving it much less range and less accuracy than one fired in a ballistic arc. A submarine firing its missiles in a depressed trajectory thus gives up range and has a much smaller area in which to hide. This lowers its survivability in the event that hostilities begin. The advantage here is that the missiles’ flight time is much shorter, giving a country less time to react to the launch. Now that the US has developed more accurate (D5) version that is accurate enough to hit small, “hard kill” targets like missile silos and C3 bunkers, it is conceivable that an SLBM fired in a first strike could “take out” the command and control of an enemy before they could react, thus making a boomer into a first strike weapon. This is also why hypersonic missiles are so scary. They can be on you and detonating before you even are aware that they were launched.

To make this more difficult for the Russians to do, the US placed all of its SAC alert facilities far from the coast, so there would be sufficient warning to get the ground alert bombers away before they could be destroyed. The Russians played the same game by putting a lot of their stuff on the south side of the country. A sub in the med and the Arabian gulf changes all of those calculations. Missiles now have longer range, more accuracy, and higher speeds. Stealthy aircraft are right there on Russia’s border. This makes a first strike from stealthy platforms like SSBNs and the F35 more than a possibility.

The Med is a relatively small sea, but it is quite deep. The average depth of the Med is nearly 5,000 feet. More than deep enough to hide a boomer. Missile flight times from the Ionian or Aegean sea would be quite short- on the order of 6 to 8 minutes or so.

What this means is that the US is sending a dual message:

  • Our submarines are in a position to strike first with nukes, and you won’t have time to react,
  • we don’t care that you know their location, because we are going to use them before you get a chance to sink them

The US is saying that at least two of their submarines are no longer deterrents to nuclear war, they are now first strike weapons. You better believe that the Russians (I keep wanting to say Soviets) got that message loud and clear.

Combine this with the story that the US is moving more B61s into Europe where they can be employed by F35s stationed there, and it becomes clear that the US is threatening a first strike, not a response to a possible Russian nuke.

This goes beyond MAD. This is making it appear like the US powers that be have decided that a nuclear war is winnable. The theory that was behind MAD was “no one can win.” This is more like “we can win by decapitating you before you even knew you were at war.”

Incidentally, this is also why the Russians are so opposed to Ukraine joining NATO. They don’t want nuclear missiles or nuclear armed stealth bombers sitting in positions where they could take out Russian leadership before they can react to an attack.

Look at this from a Russian perspective: They don’t want nukes on their border any more than the US did during the Cuban missile crisis. The difference between Khrushchev and Biden is that the Soviet Premier was smart enough to blink. I don’t think Biden is.

If nothing else, this is the beginning of a new cold war. It looks like our government has decided that they can win a nuclear war.

The days when the US can force the rest of the world to do their bidding have come to an end. After the debacle in Afghanistan, those days are over. The rest of the world has seen that our military is a paper tiger, so all Biden is left with is nuclear saber rattling. Like a school yard bully, he is trying to pick the one fight that he thinks he can win. He might just be wrong. He is betting the entire country on a pair of fives.

Poking the Bear

First, the Navy publishes the location of a boomer in the Arabian sea. Now, just two weeks later the US lets the world know that there is a boomer in the Med. This is a huge threat to the Russians. A Trident II SLBM on a depressed trajectory could travel 1,850 kilometers in roughly 7 minutes. This means that a US Ohio class submarine would be able to hit Moscow from the Mediterranean in less time than the Russian command structure can react.

The presence of SLBMs in the Mediterranean and Arabian seas is a significant provocation, as their missiles can be launched in depressed trajectories at these short ranges, reducing flight times to the point that they can arrive at their targets before Russian systems have time to react and launch a counter strike. This move is not for deterrence, having SLBMs so close to their targets is more of a first strike tactic.

Picture three submarines launching as many as 900 nuclear warheads at your command and control facilities, bomber bases, and missile silos. All of the warheads would strike within 7 minutes of breaking the surface of the ocean. You know that it takes 10 minutes to launch your own missiles in return. What steps would you take in response?

Make no mistake, this is a provocation. It’s like Biden is trying to start a nuclear war on purpose.

More Shortfalls

In a continuation of a trend I have been reporting for awhile, the military is shrinking because of a fall in retention and enlistment. First the Army and now the National Guard reports that they are falling short in meeting manpower targets, falling short by about 7,500 troops. Senior leadership is blaming a large decrease in troops reenlisting for the shortfall.

Officials claim that people are not reenlisting because they are disappointed by not being able to deploy and get shot at. I think that’s bullshit. They are failing to reenlist for a few reasons:

It seems that most of the nation’s military isn’t as excited about woke bullshit as the left would have us believe.

Navy Scapegoating

This morning’s military article comes to us with news that the sailor who had been accused of burning down a baby carrier has been cleared of any wrongdoing. The article actually points out two problems that have plagued the Navy for decades.

The first is that the US Navy has a long history of finding scapegoats upon whom to place blame for institutional failures. In this case, you have a ship that is poorly maintained and cluttered with junk. A sailor warns his division officer that the place is a fire hazard and is ignored. A fire is started by some unknown source. Sailors can’t put it out because they and their officers have no idea how to perform even basic damage control. Instead of blaming the command for poor training, maintenance, and housekeeping, blame the sailor who tried to warn you. The Navy saves face, and who cares about those stupid enlisted men? They are there to be destroyed for the sake of officer careers.

That is reminiscent of the Iowa explosion. In the case of the Iowa battleships, there was a flaw in the firing system. The silk making up the 50 pound bags that the gunpowder comes in were famous for leaving embers behind in the chamber of the 16 inch guns. Ramming them into the breech too quickly while those embers were still there was a recipe for explosions. They had been known to cause mishaps in those guns for decades.

However, those cannons were a huge PR point for the Navy, providing tons of photo ops and bragging rights for recruiting commercials. So when the Iowa had an explosion, instead of blaming a faulty process in a 50 year old weapons system and hurting their recruiting tool, they blamed a sailor who they alleged was a jilted gay lover.

That brings us to the second issue exposed by the above article. The Navy has had recruiting issues for decades. The smarter and nerdier recruits all want to go to the Air Force, which is seen as more technical and cerebral. A lot of the muscle-head jocks want to prove their masculinity and join the Marines. Many other kids want to be able to play with machine guns and blow shit up, so join the Army. What does the Navy have? The Navy has historically solved that problem by trying to project this image that everyone in the Navy is a fighter pilot, a SEAL, a computer technician, or an officer. You will note that no one in Navy movies except Steven Seagal is ever a cook, and even then, Seagal was a Navy SEAL cook. Assigned to a battleship. Not everyone can have those awesome jobs. In fact, most Navy jobs are tedious jobs more akin to janitorial work than to anything cool or technical. There are more people cleaning toilets and doing officers’ laundry than there are SEALS in the Navy. (There are as many Admirals as there are ships– someone has to be their orderlies.)

So the Navy convinces everyone that they can be a SEAL, or a Rescue Swimmer, or a nuclear power plant operator. The recruiters make the pitch and convince you that your job is going to be AWESOME, and will come with all sorts of promotions and large cash bonuses. What they don’t tell you, or at least gloss over, is that the washout rates are on the order of 80 percent or more for some programs. Sometimes they wash you out for nebulous reasons, like “possesses traits undesirable in this career field” because the kid got caught with a beer while under 21 years old. Starry eyed high school kids join the military to be SEALS, washout before training even starts, and find themselves cleaning toilets and chipping paint with a hammer for the next four years.

The Navy knows that those jobs suck, but they have you under contract for the next four years, so they don’t care if the sailor is happy or not. As evidenced by the statement from the Navy prosecutor:

Prosecutors said Mays was angry and vengeful about failing to become a Navy SEAL and being assigned to deck duty, prompting him to ignite cardboard boxes on July 12, 2020…Mays thought he would be jumping out of helicopters on missions with the SEALs, but instead he was chipping paint on the deck of a ship, and he hated the Navy for that, Jones said.

This is a common story. The reality of the Navy is far different from the image it portrays in the movies. The Captain of the ship doesn’t listen to some E-4 Petty Officer with grudging respect for the knowledge he possesses. The Captain is more likely to be a career ticket puncher who is desperately trying to become one of the Navy’s 265 Admirals, and will destroy that E4’s life to do so. I can’t speak for the other branches, but that is life on the big, gray boat.