Category Archives: ARMY TRAINING

Boy Scouts ban water-gun fights | New York Post

It’s going be some doggone days of summer.

Boy Scouts everywhere will no longer be able to partake in the summer childhood pastime of squirt guns and water balloon fights.

A blog post by Bryan Wendall, an Eagle Scout and editor at various Scouting publications, reminded Scout leaders that new policies now prohibit the use of water guns and water balloons.

The ban is detailed inside the “2015 Boy Scouts of America National Shooting Sports Manual,” which regards water guns as firearms.

via Boy Scouts ban water-gun fights | New York Post.

Firearms safety is all well and good, but this is obviously a case of taking a good idea to its illogical extreme.

Of course, I don’t really know how rampant watergun fights were in the Boy Scouts in recent years. But I do know they’d have been aghast is the water fights we had in Sea Scouts (a division of the BSA).

The SES Whidby didn’t have any squirt guns. What it did have was four 1-1/2″ fire hoses, and the big old Hercules diesel fire pump.

Whenever we found ourselves cruising in company with another Scout ship, we would have a good natured water fight. And by good natured, I mean you could knock a man off his feet at about 100 feet with one hose.

And if you made the mistake of towing your ships rowboat behind you, we’d flood that thing in a heartbeat.

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Medal of Honor Lessons for Graduates – WSJ

On Saturday I attended my first commencement program in 61 years. The speaker drew me there: Ryan Pitts, addressing the University of New Hampshire’s class of 2015.

In an era when speakers are routinely disinvited from American colleges for the sin of challenging academic orthodoxy, I wanted to see how my alma mater would welcome a man who joined the U.S. Army out of high school, who twice deployed to war, and who in July 2008 was the last man alive in an observation post named Topside, above the village of Wanat in the Hindu Kush mountains of northeastern Afghanistan.

via Medal of Honor Lessons for Graduates – WSJ.

Read the whole thing. It’s a nice piece. SSG Pitts is one hell of a soldier, and one hell of a man.

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In Flight Emergency During the VE Day Flyover

During the 70th Anniversary of VE flyover of the capitol by dozens of warbirds, many people noticed a TBM Avenger suddenly leave the formation. It had suffered a hydraulic leak. Here’s some dramatic in cockpit video.

42 seconds from the leak to the landing. That’s some fine aviating.



Hershey to Display Upgraded Chocolate 3D Printer

The Hershey Company will showcase the most advanced 3D chocolate printer in the world at a confectioners’ conference in Chicago this week.

The chocolate company debuted the printer, built in partnership with South Carolina-based 3D Systems, last year at its Pennsylvania headquarters. The mechanism can form intricate designs that would not be possible with traditional molding techniques.

“There’s a lot of opportunity for us to make that exactly the way you want it,” Hershey senior marketing manager Jeff Mundt told the Chicago Tribune. “Consumers want their things custom.”

via Hershey to Display Upgraded Chocolate 3D Printer.

Finally! A practical use for 3D printer technology!



Reconnaissance, Selection and Occupation of the Position

It’s interesting that so much doctrine, in spite of any changes in terminology and technology, remains relatively constant. I’m mostly sharing this for the benefit of URR, and any other arty types interested. The tactics, techniques, and procedures used by the Infantry or Armor are significantly different. Then again, there are a lot of similarities.

For you non-artillery types, do please note that almost right from the bat, they designate Baltimore as Hostile. If you’re worried about Jade Helm 2015 designating Texas as Hostile, please note that the Army has been doing this sort of thing for a long, long time. It’s not that Baltimore, or Texas, is truly considered hostile. It’s just that for training, you almost by definition need to invent an enemy force or objective.



Russian destroyer design revealed – IHS Jane’s 360

A new class of destroyer for the Russian Navy is currently under development by the Krylov State Research Center (KSRC), IHS Jane’s was told during a visit to the company.

The new design is called Project 23560E or Shkval (Squall), KSRC’s deputy director, Valery Polyakov, who added that a scale model of the design is going to be exhibited for the first time during the International Maritime Defence Show 2015 in St Petersburg from 1-5 July.

“The Project 23560E destroyer is intended to conduct operations in off-shore maritime and oceanic zones, to destroy land and naval targets, to provide combat stability to naval forces, to maintain area anti-air and anti-missile defence, and to complete peacetime tasks in all zones of the world’s oceans,” said Polyakov.

The Project 23560E destroyer has full-load displacement of 15,000-18,000 tons, a length of 200 m, beam of 23 m, draft of 6.6 m, high speed of 32 kt, cruise speed of 20 kt, endurance of 90 days, and a crew of 250-300.

via Russian destroyer design revealed – IHS Jane’s 360.

That’s one big ship. On a par with the upcoming DDG-1000 Zumwalt design. By contrast, the DDG-51 Burkes top out at around 9500 tons.

Of course, whether it will actually get built, and how effective its combat systems will be remains to be seen. Putin’s Russia has an affinity to say what they will be doing in the future. But long term lower energy prices are making paying for those grandiose announcements somewhat more difficult to bring to fruition.



Information Dissemination: Restoring the U.S. Navy’s Electronic Warfare Prowess: The Gospel Spreads

Last month I wrote about LCDR Jack Curtis’s excellent article at the Bridge regarding the Navy’s need to resurrect its late Cold War-era skills for fighting in opposed electromagnetic environments. I also noted Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work’s commentaries along the same lines.

It isn’t often that electronic warfare topics like these get public attention. That’s extremely unfortunate given the centrality of electronic warfare to maritime combat. Granted, classification can be a barrier with respect to specifics. But the general principles are—and have always been—unclassified. I’m often amazed by how often electronic warfare considerations are overlooked in commentaries on modern warfare; such oversights detract from informed debate.

That’s why I truly appreciate the publication of good articles on electronic warfare in widely-read defense journals. This month’s Proceedings contains two pieces that meet this standard. Unfortunately, both lie behind the Naval Institute’s paywall. If you subscribe or have access to the magazine hardcopy, they are must-reads.

via Information Dissemination: Restoring the U.S. Navy’s Electronic Warfare Prowess: The Gospel Spreads.

Jon Solomon has been contributing some graduate level pieces on naval warfare over at ID the last couple months.

One point he raises here about commanders operating in an EMCON or contested electronic environment is that by practicing it, you foster a mission command atmosphere. That is, tell your subordinates what you want them to accomplish, in terms of an end state, not every tiny little step for them to take. You want to foster initiative, and flexibility, in your subordinates. That has effectively become impossible in an era where the White House can call down to the individual ship (or squad leader, in the Army) and nag and give direction.

“Sorry, I can’t come to the phone right now” means a commander on the scene can use his own initiative and best judgement, all while denying the enemy information.

Our Navy used to be very, very good at this sort of thing. But we’ve fallen out of  practice in the post Cold War era. And it’s high time we return to our proficiency there.

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