Royal Marines 350

Formed in the reign of King Charles II on October 28, 1664 as the Duke of York and Albany’s Maritime Regiment of Foot (or Admiral’s Regiment), the name Marines first appeared in the records in 1672 and in 1802 they were titled the Royal Marines by King George III.

via Royal Marines 350.

Happy Birthday to one of the finest military organizations in the world.

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Cold War Naval Ops on Iceland

Warbirds News has some very interesting photographs detailing US Navy operations in Iceland during the 1960s:

One of VW-11′s Lockheed WV-2 Super Constellations at Ernest Harmon AFB.

One of VW-11′s Lockheed WV-2 Super Constellations at Ernest Harmon AFB.

From contributor Will Tate:

In November, 1963, after boot camp and Aviation Electronics school, I arrived at my new command, VW-11 (AEWRON Eleven). The squadron’s home port was Naval Air Station Argentia in Newfoundland, Canada. However, to maintain readiness for the ever-present Soviet bomber threat, the twenty man crews for our EC-121K Super Constellation AWACs aircraft spent two weeks out of every month deployed to a forward base; Naval Air Station Keflavik in Iceland. Our role was to augment the Distant Early Warning Line, or DEW Line for short. The DEW Line comprised a series of radar stations spanning the northern rim of the Americas out over the North Atlantic to the Faroe Islands. Along with other units, our squadron helped form an Airborne Early Warning (AEW) barrier in the Denmark Straits between Greenland and Iceland, and another barrier between Iceland and the United Kingdom. The DEW Line’s land-based radar stations throughout Alaska, Canada and Greenland were thusly joined with an unbroken link to stations in Iceland and England. The Navy’s AEW barriers would fill the over-water gaps round-the-clock for the next three years. While at NAS Keflavik, I was able to observe and photograph Navy and NATO aircraft operating from base.

There’s interesting photographs here of classic naval aircraft.

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Firepower Vs. Maneuver

This won’t be an extended treatise on on doctrine, but I came across a brief passage in a paper (that I’ll expound on in a later post) that I wanted to share with you:

Further the tension between firepower and maneuver-based doctrines
often appears as more of a false dichotomy than self-styled maneuver theorists might allow. As DePuy stated in partial response to critics who accused him of being an attritionist, “maneuver warfare is not a doctrinal choice, it is an earned benefit.”

Put aside the COIN vs. Full Spectrum Operations (or whatever the hell the Army is calling it this week) argument, for decades, there’s been the tension between the advocates of attritional firepower versus the advocates of maneuver warfare.

To which I say-

You need firepower to give you freedom of maneuver, and maneuver to effectively place firepower.

Big Army, especially the armored and mech infantry side of the house, are frequently castigated as the attritionists. That’s fairly odd, because DePuy, supposedly the head attritionist in chief, was the guy that strongly encouraged the revisions to the ‘76 version of FM 100-5, inviting input that eventually lead to a far more “maneuverista” approach, eventually enshrined in 1982 as AirLand Battle Doctrine.

On the flip side, the Marines, famous for frontal assaults throughout history, are currently seen as a hotbed of maneuveristas, holding it as the high holy grail of doctrinal thought. Heck, they named their doctrine Operational Maneuver From The Sea. Maneuver is great, but at some point, you need firepower. You can dance all around put eventually, if you gotta land some punches.

By the way, let me get definitional here for a second- maneuver is not movement. It usually involves movement, but is more than that. One dictionary definition of maneuver, as a verb, is:

carefully guide or manipulate (someone or something) in order to achieve an end.

“they were maneuvering him into a betrayal of his countryman”

intrigue, plot, scheme, plan, lay plans, conspire, pull strings

“he began maneuvering for the party leadership”

Movement simply implies the effect on your own force. Maneuver is intended to have an effect on the enemy force. Indeed, every action our forces take should remember that. The goal of operations is to induce an effect on the enemy towards achieving our desired end state. The flip side of the coin, firepower, well, it too must be harnessed. But as LeMay once said, if you kill enough of them, they quit fighting.


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AGM-130 in Action

Via Funkers 350

Operation Northern Watch-1999.

A Beagle crew spots an SA-2 Surface to Air Missile system, and takes a shot with an AGM-130.

What’s an AGM-130?

Take a 2000lb bomb. Fit it with a television camera and remote controls. Give it big fins for good glide range.  Then, to give it a bit more range, strap a goodly sized rocket motor underneath. Add on a datalink so the launching aircraft can send directions from long distance.

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Hornet Ball 2014

The various “communities” of Naval Aviation, the Hornets, the Hawkeyes, the helo bubbas, have a long-standing tradition that each community will annually have a week of semi-professional symposia and at least one fancy dress ball at their home station. Awards from industry and various professional associations would be presented. Music would play, and the officers and sailors would show off their ladies and dance and socialize.

Back when there was a larger number of communities, and most were split between the east and west coast, that meant there were a great number of these to attend. For instance, Whidbey Island would annually host the west coast Intruder Ball, as well as the Prowler Ball, and usually send a representative or two to the east coast Intruder Ball at NAS Oceana.

There are fewer communities now, and some are amalgamated on one coast or the other, but the tradition of the ball continues. A trend over the last decade or so has for the component squadrons of a given community to share video taken over the past year for a highlight reel video. This year’s west coast Hornet Ball video is a winner.

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CDR Salamander: The Moral Warping of D1 Sports Shows its Head Again

For most of the first two decades of my life, I had the experience of most young American men, I played sports. Lots of sports. At one point or another, at varying degrees of mediocrity and length, I had the usual mix of football, baseball, wrestling, and basketball on an official level, and a smattering of other recreational ones as well.

I am a believer in the multi-faceted value of sports on the young mind and body, especially the mind. Team sports especially, I find them instrumental in learning many life lessons and better understanding your ability to control your mind and body, and learn to work with others under stress and emotion.

There is a dark side to sports, and the problem isn’t mostly with the players – it is with those in the stands. The weekend tailgater or ESPN addict isn’t per-se the issue, that is mostly social and from a love of the game.

via CDR Salamander: The Moral Warping of D1 Sports Shows its Head Again.

I wasn’t by any stretch an athlete growing up (thought I did letter three straight years) but other than that, I align myself wholly with CDR Salamander on the toxic effects of a D1 athletic program at the service academies.

I do believe team sports and individual sports build character and are good elements of any service academy. But D1 sports, especially the football program, corrodes the integrity of the academy experience, and not only warps the morality of the school, but the recruitment of prospective officers for those services.

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Jackie Cochran Airshow montage

I was a little disappointed, and it was damned hot, but there were some nice flying displays.

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by | October 27, 2014 · 2:34 pm