Category Archives: ARMY TRAINING

How the U.S. campaign in Iraq has escalated with a new weapon: rocket artillery – The Washington Post

Last week, close watchers of the many-sided war in Iraq and Syria learned from an apparently inadvertent Russian state television disclosure that Russia has upped the ante in its eight-week-old war in Syria, apparently adding ground-based artillery to the array of attack jets, strategic bombers, and helicopter gunships that have been pounding Islamic State terrorists and U.S.-backed rebels alike in the country

.Without fanfare, the U.S.-led coalition has escalated its involvement in the conflict in a similar way in recent weeks, adding artillery raids of its own to the steady thrum of air strikes against the Islamic State. In the U.S. case, the weapons involved are long-range, satellite-guided rockets, not howitzers, and the targets are in Iraq, not Syria.

Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman Col. Steve Warren first acknowledged the use of the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS—a staple of U.S. operations in Afghanistan—during a briefing last month. Since then, Inherent Resolve press releases have noted the use of rocket artillery on eight more days, most recently Sunday, when “rocket artillery” accounted for an unspecified number of 19 coalition strikes in Iraq.

Source: How the U.S. campaign in Iraq has escalated with a new weapon: rocket artillery – The Washington Post

I’m not entirely sure “escalation” is the right word to describe a weapon that has shorter range than strike aircraft, and a smaller warhead.

Three things here. HIMARS is the launcher. High Mobility Artillery Rocket System. GMLRS is the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System. HIMARS can carry a pod of 6 GLMRS. ATACMS is the Army Tactical Missile System, a much larger, longer ranged guided missile. The HIMARS can carry one in a pod with the same dimensions as the 6-pack of GMLRS.

GMLRS is relatively cheap. ATACMS is not, so its use would be for very important targets.

Leave a comment


SMA Dailey’s Top 10 for Sergeants Major

SMA Dailey is pretty much the best Sergeant Major of the Army I’ve seen since Glenn Morrell.

No. 1. Yelling doesn’t make you skinny. PT does.
If you’re not out there saluting the flag every morning at 6:30, you can automatically assume your soldiers are not. Soldiers don’t care if you’re in first place. They just want to see you out there. This is a team sport.
PT might not be the most important thing you do that day, but it is the most important thing you do every day in the United States Army. The bottom line is, wars are won between 6:30 and 9.

No. 2. Think about what you’re going to say before you say it.
I’ve never regretted taking the distinct opportunity to keep my mouth shut.
You’re the sergeant major. People are going to listen to you.
By all means, if you have something important or something informative to add to the discussion, then say it. But don’t just talk so people can hear you. For goodness sake, you’re embarrassing the rest of us. Sit down and listen. Sometimes you might just learn something.

No. 3. If you find yourself having to remind everyone all of the time that you’re the sergeant major and you’re in charge, you’re probably not.
That one’s pretty self-explanatory.

No. 4.You have to work very hard at being more informed and less emotional.
Sergeants major, I’ll put it in simple terms: Nobody likes a dumb loudmouth. They don’t.
Take the time to do the research. Learn how to be brief. Listen to people, and give everyone the time of day. Everyone makes mistakes, even sergeants major, and you will make less of them if you have time to be more informed.

No. 5.If you can’t have fun every day, then you need to go home.
You are the morale officer. You don’t have to be everyone’s friend, but you do have to be positive all the time. The sergeant major is the one everyone looks to when it’s cold, when it’s hot, when it’s raining, or things are just going south. Your job is to keep the unit together. That’s why you’re there. The first place they will look when things go bad is you, and they will watch your reaction.

No. 6. Don’t be the feared leader. It doesn’t work.
If soldiers run the other way when you show up, that’s absolutely not cool.
Most leaders who yell all the time, they’re in fact hiding behind their inability to effectively lead.
Soldiers and leaders should be seeking you, looking for your guidance, asking you to be their mentors on their Army career track, not posting jokes about you on the ‘Dufflebag blog’. That’s not cool. Funny, but it’s not cool.

No. 7. Don’t do anything — and I mean anything — negative over email.
You have to call them. Go see them in person. Email’s just a tool. It’s not a substitute for leadership. It’s also permanent.
You’ve all heard it. Once you hit ‘send,’ it’s official, and you can never bring it back. Automatically assume that whatever you write on email will be on the cover of the Army Times and all over Facebook by the end of the week. Trust me, I know this personally.

No. 8. It’s OK to be nervous. All of us are.
This happens to be my favorite. It came from my mother. My mom always used to tell me that if you’re not nervous on the first day of school, then you’re either not telling the truth, you either don’t care, or you’re just plain stupid. [Being nervous] makes you try harder. That’s what makes you care more.
Once that feeling is gone, once you feel like you have everything figured out, it’s time to go home, because the care stops.
Don’t do this alone. You need a battle buddy. You need someone you can call, a mentor you can confide in. Don’t make the same mistakes someone else has made. Those are the dumb mistakes. Don’t do this alone.

No. 9. If your own justification for being an expert in everything you do is your 28 years of military experience, then it’s time to fill out your 4187 [form requesting personnel action] and end your military experience.
Not everything gets better with age, sergeants major. You have to work at it every day. Remember, you are the walking textbook. You are the information portal. Take the time to keep yourself relevant.

No. 10. Never forget that you’re just a soldier.
That’s all you are. No better than any other, but just one of them.
You may get paid a little more, but when the time comes, your job is to treat them all fair, take care of them as if they were your own children, and expect no more from them of that of which you expect from yourself.

Leave a comment


Jeff Bezos Blue Origin Rocket lands

Which, it’s a pretty nifty trick.

Of course, Space-X is attempting the same approach, with less success so far. The difference is, Space-X is launching an orbital vehicle. The Blue Origin rocket was designed from the start as a suborbital vehicle. Its whole purpose is to send a tourist capsule on a ballistic arc similar to that of Alan Shepard’s 1961 Mercury flight.

Still, this is pretty impressive. What struck me was the high rate of descent until almost the last moment. But why not? The engine clearly has more than enough thrust to rapidly arrest the rate (since it is almost empty and thus weighs much less than at take-off) and using high thrust for a short time needs less fuel than medium thrust over a longer period, the reducing even more the bring back fuel required, thus lessening the thrust needed to arrest the rate of descent. Pretty elegant.



Video: Moment rebel group fire missile at Russian helicopter in wake of jet crash – Telegraph

Syrian fighters claim to have destroyed a Russian helicopter with a missile, shortly after they forced it to make an emergency landing in a nearby government-held area in Syria’s Latakia province.

Source: Video: Moment rebel group fire missile at Russian helicopter in wake of jet crash – Telegraph

As the link says, there’s video at the Telegraph.


Leave a comment


BREAKING NEWS: Warplane Downed Near Turkish Border | Fighter Sweep

 There’s breaking news coming out of Turkey: according to local sources, a warplane has been downed near Syria’s border with Turkey.

A few grainy, cell-phone-quality photos have emerged, showing what appears to be a Sukhoi Su-24 Fencer in flames prior to impacting the ground a short time later. We don’t know the exact circumstances of the incident, but it appears both occupants of the stricken Fencer were able to eject, and helicopters have been launched to recover the airmen.

Source: BREAKING NEWS: Warplane Downed Near Turkish Border | Fighter Sweep

Look, I just woke up, and there’s conflicting reports on the status of the crew. But Turkey has made it abundantly clear that they will brook absolutely no intrusions into their air space. As is their right.



Aerial Torpedo

You don’t sink ships by letting air into the top, but by letting water into the bottom.

We tend to think that weapons before guided missiles were crude. Well, they had to use a lot of ingenious mechanical means to overcome some significant engineering challenges.


And here’s another interesting approach to an anti-shipping weapon.

Leave a comment


Mr. Stewart Goes to Vietnam | History Net: Where History Comes Alive – World & US History Online | From the World’s Largest History Magazine Publisher

It had been nearly 12 hours since Captain Bob Amos had taken off from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam on a B-52 bombing mission to strike targets near Saigon. As he piloted his Stratofortress into its approach for landing back at Andersen, slowing to 220 knots and lowering the flaps, his co-pilot, Captain Lee Meyers, shouted out, “The flaps are splitting!”Amos ordered Meyers to raise the flaps as he corrected a rolling moment to the left, and then declared an emergency as he pulled out of the bomber stream and climbed to gain altitude. What had been an uneventful flight was now getting hairy, all the more so because of the man who was seated behind Amos in the instructor pilot seat. Visions of screaming newspaper headlines hitting doorsteps across America raced through his head: “Jimmy Stewart Killed in Bomber Accident with Bob Amos Piloting!”

Source: Mr. Stewart Goes to Vietnam | History Net: Where History Comes Alive – World & US History Online | From the World’s Largest History Magazine Publisher

Read the whole thing. I knew he flew in World War II, and I knew he retired as a BG, but didn’t know he wrangled a combat hop in Vietnam.