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Oh, the lies we tell ourselves

Posted by Mike @ 1:45 AM Tuesday, 5 December 2017 • Category: Begins At Home, Big tsimmis, Culture Of Treason, Fucking Morons, Guardians Of Freedom, Life in a once-great nation, We Are Soooooo Screwed

America is the richest nation in the world. America is the most free nation in the world. The American military is the strongest in the world, is effectively invincible, and will always be so. Slashing its budget can therefore do no real harm, and there is no chance of anyone daring to take advantage of any erroneous perception of decline and weakness on our part.

The U.S. Navy doesn’t have enough amphibious warships to effectively support the Marine Corps in training for combat operations, according to senior Pentagon officials.

Marine Lt. Gen. Brian Beaudreault, deputy commandant for plans, policies, and operations, said Friday the current fleet of 32 amphibious assault ships falls short of the number needed to meet operational requirements. He said this negatively impacts the ability of joint naval forces to train, particularly in large-scale formations, which harms readiness.

Beaudreault, testifying before the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness, said the training shortcomings have left at risk the “core competency” of the Marine Corps and Navy to move a combat force from ship-to-shore to rapidly penetrate enemy battle space.

“We can do some training…through virtual systems, but at some point you have to put the ships to sea and go through a mission rehearsal,” he testified. “The ability to generate the number of ships required to train at a Marine expeditionary brigade level just simply isn’t there, so we take it in bite-size chunks.”

The Navy has said it needs as many as 38 amphibious ships to meet rising operational demands, but the service likely won’t be able to reach that number until 2030 due to budget constraints.

That’s okay, it will be fine. I’m sure it will.

A US Navy plane crashed into the ocean southeast of Okinawa on Wednesday afternoon, marking at least the sixth apparent accident involving a Navy asset in East Asian waters this year.

The C2-A Greyhound transport plane was carrying 11 crew and passengers to an aircraft carrier when it crashed into the Philippine Sea, the Navy said. As of Wednesday evening, eight people had been rescued, and three were missing.

Wednesday’s crash comes three weeks after a Navy and civilian panel recommended sweeping changes in a comprehensive review of the Japan-based US 7th Fleet, which covers East Asian waters.

The review found that two deadly accidents — the collisions of the USS Fitzgerald and the USS John S. McCain with commercial ships in June and August, respectively — were avoidable.

No worries. Things will work themselves out. They always do, right?

The two US Navy destroyers involved in deadly collisions in the Pacific this summer both had lengthy records of failure to fulfill key training requirements, according to Government Accountability Office data provided to Congress and obtained by CNN.

The USS Fitzgerald had expired training certification for 10 out of 10 key warfare mission areas in June, and the USS John S. McCain had let its certifications lapse in six out of the 10 mission areas, the data show.

The training records of the McCain and Fitzgerald were worse than the average warship in the Pacific, but they weren’t the only ones with training problems. GAO testimony released last week revealed that expired training certifications for the Navy’s 11 cruisers and destroyers based in Japan had skyrocketed five-fold from 7% in January 2015 to 37% in June. Two-thirds of the certifications had been expired for at least five months.

No problem. Let’s just all remain calm and complacent here, okay? No need to fret. Really.

The number of Marine Corps aircraft ready to fly on any given day has plummeted in the last sevenyears, leading to serious questions about the safety of the service’s aircraft as leathernecks continue to wage war on terrorists and respond to crises around the world.

Mission-capable rates for all but one of the Marine Corps’ 12 fixed-wing, rotary and tiltrotor airframes have fallen since the end of fiscal 2009, according to data obtained by Marine Corps Times via Freedom of Information Act request. While officials stress that the number of flyable aircraft fluctuates daily, the downward trends have alarmed Marine leaders and members of Congress.

Of the Marine Corps’ 276 F/A-18 Hornets, only 87 are currently flyable, Marine Corps officials said on April 20. That is less than one-third of all the service’s F/A-18A-D variants that can be used to strike the Islamic State group, provide close-air support or fly reconnaissance missions.

By comparison, 73 percent of F/A-18As were mission capable in fiscal 2009 along with 77 percent of the C-variant and 76 percent of F/A-18Ds.

Marine helicopters have seen the biggest drop in readiness. Only 42 of the Marine Corps’ 147 CH-53E Super Stallions are flyable, or about 28.5 percent of the CH-53E fleet, according to Marine aviation officials. At the end of 2009, the CH-53E’s mission-capable rate more than doubled that at 63 percent, with 39 percent of the helos fully mission capable.

“In the typical squadron … the remaining six are not able to fly tonight due to a shortage in parts, long-term fixes or need some kind of attention that the squadron doesn’t have the ability to provide,” Salene told Marine Corps Times. 

Hm. What might have happened in 2009 that could have caused all this, I wonder?

Oh yeah. I remember now.

President Obama would like the American people to believe that his lower spending caps on defense are only about eliminating waste at the Pentagon. He expressed this idea quite succinctly during a White House press conference on June 29, 2011: “I, as Commander-in-Chief, have to have difficult conversations with the Pentagon saying, you know what, there’s fat here; we’re going to have to trim it out.”

Undoubtedly, there are areas of waste in the Department of Defense (DOD), but by the Administration’s own admission, the President’s defense budget is overwhelmingly about reducing U.S. military capabilities. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has stated that this budget will reduce defense spending by $487 billion over 10 years, with $259 billion of these cuts applied over the next five years against an undefined baseline. Of the $259 billion in savings over the five years, he acknowledged that only $60 billion would come from increasing efficiency in the Department of Defense. Thus, according to Secretary Panetta’s statement, less than a quarter of the proposed savings over the next five years will come from increasing efficiency and more than three-quarters will come from reducing military capabilities.

Gee, it would seem elections really DO have consequences after all. Thank goodness there won’t ever be any more wars, eliminating any need for preparing ourselves to cope with the unexpected or unforeseeable.

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  1.  
    Mark Matis
    12/5/2017 | 6:29 AM
     
    One of those warships involved in the deadly collisions was the McCain. What else would one expect of a vessel with that name???
  2.  
    12/5/2017 | 7:47 AM
     
    We are the richest nation in the world, any way you'd care to measure that.
    But we've spent ourselves deep in a hole, and mortgaged our present and future.

    We are the freest country in the world, by any measure whatsoever.
    I've seen the competition, and you can have them.
    But we're far less free than we were twenty, let alone seventy years ago and more.
    And we keep heading the wrong way on that, every day.

    And we do have the most powerful military in the world, period.
    We spend more per annum than the next dozen armies.
    But we are not therefore invincible.

    We have been shrinking by leaps and bounds under the studied neglect of four presidents, and the distance between our potential enemies and ourselves has closed apace.

    In 1990, we were King Kong, alone atop the Empire State Building, and no one in the world dared touch us.
    We now have all the admirals and generals we had then, every single one, but only 1/3 as many E-7s, E-5s, or E-3s as we did then.

    We now have an army and navy nearly as small as what we had on hand around the Great Depression.

    And the armed might we wielded as recently as 1990 was barely a patch on the machine we dismantled in 1946, after doing the heavy lifting to win two world wars.

    That's what happens when you cut defense spending precipitously, plow the money into stock bubbles, housing welfare, etc., and in the process crash the economy hard twice.
    And after all that quantitative easing, we're headed for a brutal third crash that will make 1929 look like a church picnic.

    And between the two bubbles, we squandered a serviceable but barely adequate military on adventurism and asinine you-break-it, you-bought-it "nation building" in two of the most illiterate and utterly worthless sh*tholes on the face of the earth. We traded a family cow's worth of military power for the magic beans of Middle Eastern democracy, and we don't even have a beanstalk to show for it afterwards. Just a dead giant.

    But we burned out the troops, burned up their airplanes, wore out their weapons, and mothballed our rusted navy, because affirmative-action generals like Colon Powell never read Alfred Thayer Mahan.

    What you see now is what happens when you entrust leadership to idiots, in an organization dedicated to the Peter Principle as a promotion tool.

    Militaries cost money and brains, and both Congress and the Pentagon have been short on both for decades. And there's no easy fix for that, either place.

    But the tests will come, ready or not.
    The only good news is that the country has a president up for the job for the first time in 40 years.
    But that's a thin nail to hang our hat on.

  3.  
    June J
    12/5/2017 | 1:26 PM
     
    No surprise that "McCain" and "lapses" appear in the same sentence.

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