No Runny Eggs

The repository of one hard-boiled egg from the south suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (and the occassional guest-blogger). The ramblings within may or may not offend, shock and awe you, but they are what I (or my guest-bloggers) think.

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Archive for the 'Military' Category

November 11, 2011

Veterans Day 2011

by @ 0:05. Filed under History, Military.

I may have been too silent the last few weeks dealing with and finally (I think) whipping an ugly cold so I could make it to BlogCon, but it’s the 11th of November (or at least it is back in Wisconsin). That means it’s Veterans Day, the day to thank those who served in the armed forces of the United States.

Thank you, vets, for preserving the freedoms we have.

August 30, 2011

Arriving off a coast near you – Ohio-class SSGNs with TLAM-Es

by @ 9:58. Filed under Military.

(H/T – Gabriel Malor)

Strategy Page reports the USS Florida (SSGN-728), one of four Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines converted to carrying a heap of cruise missiles and a rather large detatchment of Navy SEALs, saw action in the Libyan Wa…er, Kinetic Military Action. The Ohio-class subs, whether in ballistic-missile or cruse-missile form, are widely reported to be the quiestest nuclear submarines in the world. With nuclear weapon treaties requiring the United States Navy to retire four of the Ohios, and at least 20 years of life remaining on the four oldest, they were sent in for conversion for a multi-dimensional conventional role, losing their 24 Trident ballistic missle tubes but gaining space for 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles and 66 waterborne special forces types.

The jury is still out on using the third-largest submarine class in the world to deliver SEALs into shore, but being able to sneak the same number of cruise missles as a surface action group a bit off-shore and not having the target know anything about it until the shooting starts is awesome.

June 29, 2011

Australian military to hold yard sale

by @ 11:58. Filed under Military.

(H/T – Darren Buckley, an old ‘Pooner friend from Down Under)

I almost termed this a “fire sale” as over the next 10 years the Australian Defence Force will be shedding 10% of Australia’s non-financial assets, but the Australian Associated Press notes that the Australian Defence Force is in the middle of a major overhaul of its military. Indeed, Defence Materiel Minister Jason Clare said that, over the next 15 years, 85% of the armed forces’ armaments will be replaced or upgraded.

Known to be on the block are the four Adelaide-class guided-missile frigates, which are “slightly”-modified Perry-class frigates, as well as a bunch of combat aircraft, armored vehicles, other vehicles, and assorted armaments. I know the FFGs will fit in the St. Lawrence Seaway as Perry-class FFGs (really, FFs now that they don’t have the Mk-13 launcher), so I can keep it on Lake Michigan. If only I had a tip jar, I couldd have the most kick-ass fishing boat in Wisconsin.

Seriously, Claire pointed out that, since 1997, Great Britain and Australia disposed of roughly the same amount and type of military equipment. While Great Britain netted about AUS$1 billion by being aggressive on selling rather than scrapping, Australia spent about AUS$20 million.

Perhaps I should wait until the coming Great American Military Fire Sale to pay not for the modernization of our military but for the Communization of the country. Of course, given much of the debt is held by Red China, they’ll probably demand and receive first dibs on all the good stuff.

June 20, 2011

Texan II vs Tucano – the rematch

by @ 17:39. Filed under Military.

The United States Air Force is expected to announce soon the winning entry in its Light Atttack/Armed Reconnaissance program, with the winner getting to build 100 aircraft. The two contenders are the Hawker Beechcraft/Lockheed Martin AT-6 (based on the T-6 Texan II trainer) and the Embraer/Sierra Nevada A-29/EMB-314 Super Tucano.

This is not the first time the Texan II and the Super Tucano have faced off in a USAF competition. Back in the 1990s, the T-6 beat out the EMB-312H Super Tucano, a variant of the standard EMB-312 Tucano, to become the primary trainer for both the USAF and the United States Navy.

Embraer went on to develop the EMB-314 Super Tucano based on the -312H design, and successfully marketed it to several other South American countries. Indeed, the Super Tucano was put to use successfully by Columbia in raids on FARC bases.

Also, the Navy tried out a leased copy of the Super Tucano for the SEALs in 2009, and by all accounts, liked it so much that they wanted additional planes. That, however, fell through due to lack of funding.

Beechcraft, for its part, wasn’t standing still. The T-6 was designed from the outset, at the insistence of the Hellenic Air Force, to fulfill the light attack role. The current AT-6 prototypes expand on this potential, featuring uprated engines, additional hard points to mount weapons, and armor protection mandated by the LAAR program.

The first question to answer is whether what is essentially a manned version of the MQ-9 Reaper is necessary. Both the AT-6 and the Super Tucano have similar weapons performance to the Reaper, though the manned planes are a bit faster and have far less endurance. While each flight of either plane would involve aircrew going into, potentially, harm’s way, there won’t be a datalink between the platform and those controlling said platform that can be broken into and compromised. In the era of hyper-sensitivity over collateral damage, having an unjammable link between the human activating the weapons release and the weapon being fired is worth the risk.

I’m not privy to any flight testing that has been done, so I can’t answer whether the modifications made to the T-6 have radically changed the flight characteristics of the AT-6, or how hard the integration of USAF-specific avionics has been for either type. Assuming neither was a significant issue, the fact that just about every pilot that came up in the last 10 years flew the Texan II means familiarity with the basic flight envelope would tend to tip the scales in its favor, especially when the mission turns into a two-way shooting match.

Another item that would seem to tip the scales in the favor of the AT-6 is the ejection system. The AT-6 seats are designed to safely handle a far wider range of crew, especially women, than the A-29’s seats. Of course, that may well be able to be rectified by Embraer with a minimum of fuss.

That leads me to the sourcing. Yes, neither leading company is a government-controlled entity, but Embraer is a foreign entity. There is a reason why the Pentagon has typically required foreign entities that win procurement contracts to use American sources for both assembly and major parts; we don’t feel like being held hostage to the whims of another country.

That is not just an idle threat, either historically or specifically to the use of this plane in a manner that Brazil does not appove. After Columbia used its Super Tucanos in a cross-border raid on FARC facilities in Ecuador, Brazil cut diplomatic relations with Columbia for a while. On the historic end, France blocked Israel from access to Dassault Mirage 5 jets it had already paid for back in 1967.

The Air Force needs to choose a plane that will get the job done. It does also, however, need to make sure that it can use the plane more than once.

February 28, 2011

Last Doughboy passes

by @ 12:18. Filed under History, Military.

CNN reported that Frank Buckles, the last surviving US veteran of World War I, passed away on Sunday. Rest in peace, sir; you have earned it.

November 11, 2010

Thank you, veterans

by @ 8:03. Filed under Military.

I usually don’t have an opportunity to positively quote President Obama because he and I are diametrically opposed on almost every issue, but this year’s Presidential Proclamation is a happy and worthy exception.

On Veterans Day, we come together to pay tribute to the men and women who have worn the uniform of the United States Armed Forces. Americans across this land commemorate the patriots who have risked their lives to preserve the liberty of our Nation, the families who support them, and the heroes no longer with us. It is not our weapons or our technology that make us the most advanced military in the world; it is the unparalleled spirit, skill, and devotion of our troops. As we honor our veterans with ceremonies on this day, let our actions strengthen the bond between a Nation and her warriors.

In an unbroken line of valor stretching across more than two centuries, our veterans have charged into harm’s way, sometimes making the ultimate sacrifice, to protect the freedoms that have blessed America. Whether Active Duty, Reserve, or National Guard, they are our Nation’s finest citizens, and they have shown the heights to which Americans can rise when asked and inspired to do so. Our courageous troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the globe have earned their place alongside previous generations of great Americans, serving selflessly, tour after tour, in conflicts spanning nearly a decade.

Long after leaving the uniform behind, many veterans continue to serve our country as public servants and mentors, parents and community leaders. They have added proud chapters to the story of America, not only on the battlefield, but also in communities from coast to coast. They have built and shaped our Nation, and it is our solemn promise to support our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen as they return to their homes and families.

America’s sons and daughters have not watched over her shores or her citizens for public recognition, fanfare, or parades. They have preserved our way of life with unwavering patriotism and quiet courage, and ours is a debt of honor to care for them and their families. These obligations do not end after their time of service, and we must fulfill our sacred trust to care for our veterans after they retire their uniforms.

As a grateful Nation, we are humbled by the sacrifices rendered by our service members and their families out of the deepest sense of service and love of country. On Veterans Day,let us remember our solemn obligations to our veterans, and recommit to upholding the enduring principles that our country lives for, and that our fellow citizens have fought and died for.

With respect for and in recognition of the contributions our service men and women have made to the cause of peace and freedom around the world, the Congress has provided (5 U.S.C. 6103(a)) that November 11 of each year shall be set aside as a legal public holiday to honor our Nation’s veterans.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim November 11, 2010, as Veterans Day. I encourage all Americans to recognize the valor and sacrifice of our veterans through appropriate public ceremonies and private prayers. I call upon Federal, State, and local officials to display the flag of the United States and to participate in patriotic activities in their communities. I call on all Americans, including civic and fraternal organizations, places of worship, schools, and communities to support this day with commemorative expressions and programs.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.

BARACK OBAMA

July 16, 2010

RIP, 1st Lt. Vernon Baker

by @ 9:36. Filed under Military.

(H/T – Brad Wilmouth)

Vernon Baker, the last living American of African descent to receive, well after the fact, the Medal of Honor for his service during World War II, passed away Wednesday. Baker initially received the Distinguished Service Cross, and ultimately received a well-deserved Medal of Honor for the following actions:

For extraordinary heroism in action on 5 and 6 April 1945, near Viareggio, Italy. Then Second Lieutenant Baker demonstrated outstanding courage and leadership in destroying enemy installations, personnel and equipment during his company’s attack against a strongly entrenched enemy in mountainous terrain. When his company was stopped by the concentration of fire from several machine gun emplacements, he crawled to one position and destroyed it, killing three Germans. Continuing forward, he attacked an enemy observation post and killed two occupants. With the aid of one of his men, Lieutenant Baker attacked two more machine gun nests, killing or wounding the four enemy soldiers occupying these positions. He then covered the evacuation of the wounded personnel of his company by occupying an exposed position and drawing the enemy’s fire. On the following night Lieutenant Baker voluntarily led a battalion advance through enemy mine fields and heavy fire toward the division objective. Second Lieutenant Baker’s fighting spirit and daring leadership were an inspiration to his men and exemplify the highest traditions of the Armed Forces.

I’ll let Brian Williams handle the eulogy (from Wednesday’s “NBC Nightly News”):

November 11, 2009

Thank you, vets

by @ 10:37. Filed under History, Military.

I believe I said it before, but it bears saying again – Without your service and the service of those who served before you, I wouldn’t be here doing this in the greatest country in the history of mankind.

June 6, 2009

Storming the castle, revisited

by @ 20:59. Filed under History, Military.

Sixty-five years ago today:

D-Day.

Addendum: Black Five has an excellent roundup of D-Day posts from many blogs. And have a look at this entry for a photo essay on D-Day.

Photo link courtesy of Confederate Yankee.

(First posted in 2006. I was going to write something else to commemorate D-Day, but that photo says it all.)

Flag

UPDATE: President Reagan’s speech at Normandy, delivered on the 40th anniversary of the landings in 1984: The Boys of Pointe du Hoc. One of the great presidential speeches, ever. Audio of the speech: Part 1 and Part 2.

(cross-posted at Public Secrets. Thanks to Steve for letting me play in his sandbox.)

May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

by @ 9:09. Filed under History, Military.

This is the first Memorial Day I spent on this side of the border since 1995. Last year, Patrick put up a video of his trip to Wisconsin Memorial Park. I’ll rerun it for you.

YouTube Preview Image

I thank those that made the ultimate sacrifice so that we may be free.

January 22, 2009

NFL to Marine Corps – thanks for the colors, but no game for you – UPDATE – In the stadium for the game

by @ 18:01. Filed under Military, Sports.

(H/T – Neptunus Lex, who I really need to get on the bloated roll lest a mutual friend come up from Jacksonville to kick my ass)

David M over at The Thunder Run reports that, unlike previous recent years, the NFL will not let the military color guard (this year, the Marines) stay to watch the game after presenting the colors at The Championship Game That Cannot Be Named™. From an e-mail David received from a Marine Mom:

My youngest Marine called me this morning. In the course of the conversation he made mention of being part of the Color Guard for the ceremonies at the Super Bowl. He has been part of other Color Guards at other games and has been able to enjoy the entire game after presenting the Colors. HOWEVER, this will not be the case this time. The 12 man/women color guard will be presenting the Colors and then will be escorted out of the stadium and therefore not allowed to see the game. Steven and the 11 others are quite upset about this and have asked that I see if I could contact someone and have that changed.

David already went to the Tampa Bay Host Committee, who told him that all game-day decisions rest solely with the NFL, and that he should contact Mallory Steinberg (Mallory.Steinberg@NFL.com). As of now, David has not received a response.

I know I don’t have all that many readers, but I humbly ask that you kindly ask the NFL to reconsider their course of action.

Revisions/extensions (7:40 pm 1/23/2009) - David M has an answer from Greg Aiello of the NFL via Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com:

The members of the Color Guard have always been our guests at a Super Bowl party in a compound on the stadium grounds where they watch the game on big-screen TVs and enjoy food and beverage. That is how we have done it every year.

That last sentence is rather important. The NFL has done it this way for quite a while. Moreover, Florio notes that Aiello states there has been no complaint from the Marine Corps Color Guard, but that the NFL would be talking with theiir military liason.

There’s a further update from Dad29 in the comments that says that the Color Guard will be in the stadium. The relevant portion of the comment (quoting the e-mail he got from the NFL):

Since we had not heard about this directly from the military, we contacted our military liaison for the color guard immediately to discuss the issue. After speaking with our military liaison for the color guard, we will host the members of the color guard (12 people) in the stadium.

The background is this:

The members of the color guard have always been our guests at a Super Bowl party in a compound on the stadium grounds where they watch the game on big-screen TVs and enjoy food and beverage. That is how we have done it every year. The military provides an intra-service color guard as part of our pre-game tribute to the military that also includes the military fly-over of the stadium. Then we arrange a place for the color guard to watch the game along with other pre-game and halftime show participants (more than 2,000 people).

Thank you, NFL.

June 25, 2008

From The Front Lines – tomorrow

by @ 16:42. Filed under Military.

Hot Air will be hosting a very special 8-hour event tomorrow to raise enough money for the largest-ever care package shipment to the troops. The fun starts at 3 pm (conveniently right after the Ed Morrissey Show), and as the poster says, there will be a star-studded lineup.

Do be there.

Revisions/extensions (5:22 pm 6/25/2008) – Sorry about the HTML foul-up.

May 13, 2008

What the blooming bloom is going on in Bloomer?

by @ 14:45. Filed under Compassionate Lieberals, Education, Military.

(H/T – a semi-retired Cheddarsphere denzien)

I guess we can add Bloomer High School principal Brent Ashland, Bloomer School District Superintendent Doug Martin, and the majority of the Bloomer School Board, headed by president Joe Zeman to those whose patriotism we no longer need to question because they have none. Why? Allow me to recap the Chippewa Herald story I linked to:

– Bloomer High School senior Daniel Lingen finished his studies early so he could complete Marine Corps boot camp before the graduation ceremony on May 31.
– He requested permission from principal Brent Ashland to wear his soon-to-be-earned Marine dress blue uniform instead of the traditional cap-and-gown at said ceremony. Ashland, with no written policy to guide him, refused to allow this.
– His father, Charles Lingen, took his son’s case to the school board, after getting conflicting excuses for the refusal.
– On Monday, after what school board president Joe Zeman called weeks of discussion both among school board members and between school board members and the public, and after a snap decision to put this on the agenda the prior Friday and thus barely meet the requirements under the Open Meetings statutes, the school board adopted a cap-and-gown only policy written by superintendent Doug Martin. Of note, an attempt to carve out an exception for military dress uniforms died for a lack of a second to the motion offered by Ralph Bruxvoort.

The Chippewa Herald was thoughful enough to include a statement from the Bloomer School District. As you read it, note that there was no official uniform for graduation until after Daniel Lingen made his request and after the Bloomer School District spoke to their military representative:

The School District of Bloomer released the following statement Tuesday morning on the board’s decision:

It is the position of the School District of Bloomer that high school graduation, although it may hold different personal meaning for each individual, is a ceremony to recognize and honor students for their academic achievement in earning a Bloomer High School diploma.

Based on this, the Board of Education has determined that the appropriate attire for the Bloomer High School graduation ceremony will be the traditional cap and gown as selected by the Class of 2008.

In weighing this decision, the School Board and administration received input from individuals and groups on both sides of the issue, within and outside the community, including a representative of the U.S. Military. The military representative we talked with informed us that he understood our position because the military is all about uniformity; and if the uniform of a high school graduate is the cap and gown, all graduates should wear the cap and gown.

Unfortunately, there are some that will claim that by requiring graduates to wear the cap and gown, rather than their respective military uniform, that the district is somehow unpatriotic or unsupportive of those that serve our country. Drawing this conclusion is not an accurate assessment of the genuine appreciation felt by the individuals that comprise the School Board and administrative team.

The School Board and administration of the School District of Bloomer hold in highest regard the men and women who join and serve in our country’s military. We both respect and admire the sacrifices these individuals make to defend our national and individual freedom.

We are extremely grateful to our graduating students who choose to take this honorable path and, in recognition of that, there is time set aside during the Bloomer High School graduation program to acknowledge their commitment.

By adopting this official position only after it became an issue, and by at the least misleading that military representative what the official position of the school district was, I would say that deeming the school district is unpatriotic and unsupportive of the military is an accurate assessment.

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