Archive for February, 2010

Morning:

Seabasing Nuggets   

 

Expeditionary Warrior 2010 is a joint, multinational wargame designed to test the concepts of seabasing. Refer to: https://www.mcwl.quantico.usmc.mil/ew.cfm

Sitting through the obligatory classes prior to the seabasing wargame. To save you the few hours and the line to the head during breaks, here are a few nuggets:

-Seabasing is a national capability. The Corps gets is feathers ruffled when we hear this, but the fact is the Army has significant equipment already pre-positioned and they are buying some Joint High Speed vehicles, to connect MPF ships and ports.

-The current 30-yr shipbuilding plan just released with the QDR will realize an amphibious fleet of 29 – 33 ships as the years go by. Both the Navy and Marine Corps agree that it takes 38 ships to lift 2.0 Marine Expeditionary Brigades (MEB). To further complicate matters, current USMC units have more vehicles than the tables of organizations of 10-years ago; it won’t all fit on the ships, even if we did have 38.

-USMC (and Army) equipment has gotten much heavier and larger in the past 10 years, and will continue to do so. This will make amphibious ships too heavy, and with the larger vehicles needing to be in the upper vehicle stowage areas just to fit, the ships are too top-heavy. As a telling illustration:

Old Vehicle: M151 Jeep: 3,000 lbs.

Currents ships designed around: M998 Soft-door HMMWV: 5,000 lbs

Currently used on the ground: Up-Armored HMMWV: 7,600 lbs

Future vehicle, Joint Light? Tactical Vehicle: 22,000 lbs

Current Helo ships are designed around: CH-46: 13,000 lbs

Future Helo: MV-22: 47,000 lbs

Current V/STOL attack aircraft: AV-8b: 25,000 lbs

Future V/STOL attack aircraft: JSF (F-35): 46,000 lbs

This is a huge problem that we haven’t really been faced with in combat operations yet. How to fit current Marine forces on a ship? There are a few smart guys crunching the numbers to examine the Gear Left On the Pier (GLOP).

The first move of the game comes this afternoon, we’ll see how this seabasing thing works

Move 1: Steady State Operations from a Sea Base

For background material on Expeditionary Warrior 2010, refer to https://www.mcwl.quantico.usmc.mil/ew.cfm 

To answer a question from an earlier blog about “What is a seabase?” and “How does this work with MPF?”

A seabase is a collection of ships and capabilities at sea. It basically provides an airfield, a port and a logistics base through the collection of ships and other tools. So in real terms, you put some MPF ships together with a carrier and LHA/LHD, add some well deck capability with LPD/LSD’s and there you have a seabase. Now anyone who has been a part of a Navy surface combatant group knows that at times it is easier to swim to another ship than it is to get a ride there, or have a phone call with anyone on another ship. So you can see quickly, that a key element of a successful seabase is ship to ship, and ship to shore connectors. In addition to that, you will need to surgically extract the cargo you want from the densely packed MPF ship. So when the MPF ship goes to support a humanitarian assistance operation, you will want to leave the armored vehicles, but take out all the tents, generators and water purification units. It is projected that in 2020, the time for Move 1 of the wargame, the U.S. will have a selective cargo offload capability, as well as improved connector capabilities.

So in Move 1 of the wargame, the U.S. and its coalition partners are supporting a nation like many in the world. There is little to no infrastructure, the national government has little or no ability to improve the lives of its people or provide basic services, and laws mean very little. The reason the seabase was deployed to the area was to support the government to rebuild infrastructure and prevent disease following an unusually severe rainy season.

A seabase is good for humanitarian assistance because it reduces the footprint ashore and the amount of support you need to bring ashore for yourself. That’s great, and it was proven in the aid provided to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.

For the seabase capabilities we envision for 2020, we are planning on the ability to pull the bulldozer and generator out of the hold on the MPF ship, and deliver them with an LCU or LCAC. We don’t have that capability yet, but we’re working on it. Currently, when you unload the MPF ship, you need to unload it all until you see the equipment you want, then you need to put all the stuff back in the same order.

The seabase is not a great answer to everything however. In Move 1, we want to provide a persistent presence ashore to assist rebuilding and disease prevention. A seabase is not really great for that, you can’t really build situational awareness or relationships while you are 40 miles or more off shore. A seabase was seen as being a good platform to deliver heavy equipment, and some logistics capabilities not provided in the host nation, like refined fuels, medical supplies, etc.

Move 2 and 3 tomorrow: send your questions.



There are a few things that I hold as self-evident. This simple progression, is one of them;

- The most effective things and the most important things are simple to describe and protect.
- When effective and important things are inconvenient to some, barriers to their needs – they complicate the effective and important.
- When effective and important things are made more complicated, they become flaccid and ill-defined.
- Flaccid and ill-defined things can be easily shaped and avoided.
- Things easily shaped and avoided are useful for everything and nothing.
- Things that can be used for everything and nothing are ineffective and unimportant.

This weekend at The Captial, Ensign Stephen E. Shaw has an important article that requires your attention titled, Naval Academy Honor Concept strays from roots.

You don’t have to be a Annapolis Alumni to be concerned with Annapolis – I’m not. The fact remains that this is the critical core of our future leadership – its seed corn. What is learned there is brought to the Fleet. What is damaged there has to be repaired in the Fleet. Honor – or one’s respect of it – is the wellspring from which all else flows. If you don’t get that right, it is hard to make the rest work from being a DivO to running a Program Office.

You have to read it all – seriously – because the strength of the article is how ENS Shaw describes how a simple system has been perverted in such a way that it is almost impossible to talk about it. So complicated, that good people can’t even argue about it because no one really understands it. You cannot enforce something you can’t explain, understand, or follow.

The French have a great word for someone who works in and is stuck in a bureaucratic mindset – fonctionnaire – that about describes the only personality type that could support the system at Annapolis as it exists today.

Here is the pull-quote,

The current widespread problem of cynicism at the Academy is an indication of a failure to do this. I often wondered, What legitimate reason does the Naval Academy midshipman have to be cynical? The quality of education is high and is provided at no cost to the midshipman. The opportunities available to each member of the Brigade far surpass those available to any comparable undergraduate student in the country, including cadets at West Point and the Air Force Academy who have fewer options for service assignments.

It is difficult to believe, as it is oftentimes claimed, that trivialities such as limited weekend liberty or regulated exercise uniforms are the main causes of cynicism. The average midshipman is not, and has never been, adverse to hard or challenging work. In fact, this is what typically attracts him or her to the Academy in the first place. Something is driving midshipmen to acquire cynical attitudes towards the Naval Academy.

In 2005, the committee structure was completely abandoned. The current “honor staff” is a subcomponent of the regular Brigade organization, and honor staff members are selected by a panel of senior officers at the Naval Academy. 27 It must be noted that few, if any, midshipmen have had a “say” in the changes that have been made to the system over the years— a system which was originally created by midshipmen and enacted by a nearly unanimous Brigade-wide vote.

Nonetheless, since the system was established in 1951, each new class of midshipmen has been taught that the Naval Academy has a non-codified, or concept-based, standard of honor despite the system’s actual structure. There is still regular discussion and proclamation that the Brigade “owns” the Honor Concept (sometimes meaning both the statement and the system, depending on whom you talk to), despite the fact that: 1) the Brigade plays no role whatsoever in the selection of honor staff members, and 2) the selected staff members report directly to the Honor Officer, who is a member of the Department of Character Development and Training Division under the Commandant. This is a far cry indeed from the original structure, which on occasion saw the First Class Committee Chairman, who was the midshipman responsible for overseeing the system, report directly to the Superintendent. 28

While the system has undergone drastic changes throughout the past 60 years, the description and discussion of it have remained basically unchanged. Due to the inconsistency between how the system was understood and how it actually operated, midshipmen, alumni, faculty members, and staff officers have little confidence in the effectiveness of the current program.

The system is claimed to be non-codified, yet definitions remain; it is claimed to not be based on fear, yet its only function is to punish (although I am unaware of any midshipmen who were separated solely due to an honor offense in the last four years); it is claimed to be owned and operated by the Brigade, yet the Brigade has no “say” in the selection of staff members, nor do those staff members have any real authority over the system, other than the execution of documented procedures and orders from the staff officers assigned over them.

As long as the inconsistencies described above are allowed to exist, it remains practically impossible to address any issues afflicting the honor system. Since the same terminology (concept, ownership, etc.) has been used for the past six decades, officers, midshipmen, and alumni who attempt to discuss these issues are not aware that they very well may be talking about different things. For example, it took me nearly four years to completely piece together the evolution of the honor system from its creation in 1951 to what exists today. The confusing language and recycled terminology has made work on this program convoluted and tedious at best. The current honor system at the Naval Academy is inconsistent, ineffective, contradictory, misunderstood, and confusing, and has little support from the Naval Academy community as a whole.

I’ve said it before, and I will say it again. There is nothing wrong with the MIDN at Annapolis. This generation of men and women are just fine, thank you very much. The problem is with the older generations above them.

These MIDN – the ones you want – will have no problems meeting a superior standard, all you have to do is ask. All leadership has to do is to have the courage to meet the standard in action that they describe in words.

Remember, what is learned at the Academy is brought to the Fleet – the good and the bad. Even we knuckle-dragg’n NROTC types know that……



Posted by CDRSalamander in Navy | 7 Comments
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MidratsThis will be a full-scope Midrats.

Please join me with with our panel of fellow USNIBloggers Galrahn and EagleOne as we take on the latest Navy-Marine Corps team issues this Sunday, 1700R/2200Z/5pm EST.

No guests this week – just all Navy milblog radio. You can join us live via the showpage – where you can also roll in with the usual suspects during the live-show chatroom that gives you the opportunity to share your thoughts on the ongoing conversation and feed the panel your question and/or observations.

If you can’t join us live though – remember that you can get to the archives at the blogtalkradio showpage, or subscribe and download the podcast on iTunesicon.



Posted by CDRSalamander in Navy | 1 Comment
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300px-Sixth_Fleet_during_invasion_of_Iwo_Jima

Shortly after 0830 on 19 February 1945, the assault ships, landing ships, landing craft, and LVTs standing off the beach of the Japanese stronghold of Iwo Jima saw the “Romeo” flag appear on the signal bridges of the designated ships of Richmond K. Turner’s Task Force 51. Radios crackled with the identical message: “Land the Landing Force”.

iwo jima 1

As the coxwains steered the amtracks and landing craft into assault waves and headed toward the beach, the bloodiest and most difficult 26 days in the history of the Marine Corps began. Fighting savagely against an entrenched, skilled, and determined foe, the forces of the V Amphibious Corps (3rd, 4th, and 5th Marine Divisions) under General Holland M. Smith would cover themselves with glory on this forbidding volcanic mass that was a stepping stone to the invasion of the Japanese homeland.

When the island was declared secure on 16 March, 1945, nearly 5.000 Marines and Sailors lay dead, with another 21,000 wounded, with nearly all the 21,000 Japanese defenders also dead. Twenty-seven Medals of Honor were awarded to 22 Marines and 5 Sailors. Admiral Chester Nimitz had proclaimed that, in the battle for Iwo, “uncommon valor was a common virtue”. Also from the stinking slaughterhouse of Iwo Jima came the most famous photograph ever taken, Joe Rosenthal’s iconic image of Easy Company, 28th Marines’ flag raising.

iwo-jima-image-1

I won’t try and describe those 26 days in this post. So much has been written about Iwo Jima that I could do nothing but disservice to attempt to re-tell those tales here. Please, read the works by Bill Ross, Eric Hammel, and so many others. The story, six and a half decades on, remains among the most compelling in the history of American men at arms.

What should be striking to planners today who discuss amphibious operations in terms of “operational maneuver” is the requirements in numbers of ships to land what was really a modest-sized force. The assault on Iwo Jima was a middling-sized amphibious assault by the standards of 1945. With an initial landing of around 30,000 Marines and 150 tanks, the landing at Iwo was much smaller than TORCH (North Africa) in 1942, HUSKY (Sicily) in 1943, and the 1944 operations of OVERLORD (Normandy), DRAGOON (Southern France), or even MacArthur’s Pacific landings at Hollandia (New Guinea) and Luzon (Philippines).

An examination of forces shows that Admiral Turner’s Task Force 51 (Joint Expeditionary Force) consisted of nearly five hundred ships and craft. Five HUNDRED. Among the ships of TF 51 were forty-three Attack Transports (APA), sixteen Attack Cargo Ships (AKA), six Fast Attack Transports (APD), thirty-one LSMs, and sixty-three LSTs. Sixty-five auxiliary ships, and nearly one hundred landing ships. Such numbers should be noted in today’s discussions about amphibious capabilities and power projection.

However, on this milestone anniversary we should remember the men who fought on Iwo Jima, at places called Beach Green, the Meat Grinder, the Amphitheater, Suribachi, and a hundred others whose names were famous only to those who endured the furnace of that island. To those who survived and those who gave their lives, we owe each of you a debt that can never be repaid. Every single Marine since that battle has measured himself against you, and always will. Semper Fidelis.



Israel has a lot invested in doing littoral combat right. And, right now, the IDF is sending their Merkava Main Battle Tank to sea in LCTs.

Rather than call the LCTs mere landing craft, why not call them Littoral Combat Boats (LCBs)? That’s what they are.

Look. There’s plenty for IDF littoral combat forces to do. There’s plenty for smaller forces to do nearby–and given the constantly-increasing demands upon Israel’s “higher end” naval assets, the Israeli Navy seems to have decided to travel down a high-lo development path for littoral combat.

Thus the LCB.

Israel has hunted for a multi-mission littoral solution since about the nineties. After evaluating the really high (LPD-17) and high (LCS-1) end options, Israel threw in the towel on the littoral stuff, settling for a relatively conventional “small navy” supplement of MEKO-100 corvettes and some Dolphin Class subs.

But interestingly, to bulk up amphibious support and offshore fires, Israel is pursuing a decidedly low-end option–the LCB.

According to a September 22, 2009 Jerusalem Post article (no direct link available, sorry), Israel purchased several landing craft (the IDF has not mounted an amphibious assault since the early ’80s). Why? Well, the Post article gives a hint–it all goes back to Gaza:

“In both conflicts, the navy faced almost zero resistance at sea, and during Cast Lead it was able to provide close artillery support for the Paratroopers Brigade – which maneuvered along the coast.”

In Gaza, fire support was provided by Sa’ar boats, and those little ships used their tiny guns to great effect, hitting some 200 targets during Cast Lead. The most recent Jane’s Navy International (again, no link available) provided more details–it seems the Israeli Navy has purchased several 25 Meter/20 knot LCTs, sticking Merkava Main Battle Tanks upon them (or some troops, or, well, whatever fits…) and sailing away.

“It is the navy’s mission to support the infantry and the best way to do it is with LCTs,” IN Captain (res) Mike Eldar, who commanded the IN’s amphibious flotilla in 1982, told Jane’s. “This is an important capability and will give the IDF more flexibility and maneuverability.”

For duty off Gaza or off Lebanon, these ultra-cheap littoral combat boats (along with their hefty ‘ole mission module) will be a game changer.

The U.S. has done similar things. Off Grenada, America supplemented its modest fire support assets by mounting tanks on LCUs. In Vietnam, we mounted tanks on LCMs, and during World War II we did the same thing. According to Oscar Gilbert’s Marine Tank Battles of the Pacific, landing-craft-mounted tanks even sank a few ships:

Rowland Hall related: “We re-embarked them [three light tanks]. As we went around the tip of the peninsula inshore we spotted some Jap landing craft. We opened up on them with the 37 and machine guns. We bagged about three of those and set them on fire. A sort of naval battle using tanks.

If I were some mischief-minded RPG-equipped yahoo in a Boston Whaler, I’d hate to run into a Merkava at sea. What could be next? Finland’s Patria NEMO landing craft? Each boasting a 120mm mortar? Or…a more water-happy EFV?

But be careful. As the LCB emerges, it won’t take long before some of those asymmetric minded kids out there start thinking up waterborne IED solutions…

NEXTNAVY.COM



This is LtCol Roger Galbraith, USMCR, packing my seabag for a notional deployment to a seabase for exercise Expeditionary Warrior 2010.

Expeditionary Warrior 2010 is the Marine Corps sponsored Title X wargame that will exercise a notional seabasing capability as envisioned in the year 2025. The exercise will require participants to assemble a seabase, and use its capabilities to conduct humanitarian assistance, security, and combat operations. The exercise will raise questions about how a multi-national, multi-platform seabase will coordinate operations among its member ships, units and nationalities. The purpose of the game is to use the notional scenario to show abilities or gaps in policy, functions and interoperability in the use of the seabase.

Follow me as I serve as a member of the amphibious task force staff and comment on what the weather, the sea, and opposing forces are doing, and what the assembled seabase will do, or try to do in response. The exercise runs Monday, February 22nd to the 25th. I’ll be providing a post for each game move, the game will have about two moves a day.



VMBP

Votkinsk Machine Building Plant.

Portal at VMBP (click image to enlarge)

Portal at VMBP (click image to enlarge)

Located about 8.5 km to the east of the birthplace of Pytor Illyich Tchaikovsky, in the Russian Federation Republic of Udmurtia, is an industrial facility whose name, in typical Soviet fashion, obscures the products made there. It is a name unfamiliar to most outside of the arms control, intelligence or strategic planning communities, yet promises to figure prominently in the upcoming finalization and ratification of the START I follow-on treaty.

Why?

Because up until December 2009 (expiration of START I) the US maintained a relatively robust inspection and verification outpost at the portal to the facility. At one time or currently in production at this facility were/are the:

  • Pioneer (INF: RSD-10 DoD/NATO: SS-20 Sabre) mobile IRBM,
  • RT-2PM Topol (START: RS-22 DoD/NATO: SS-25 Sickle) road mobile ICBM,
  • RT-2PM2 Topol-M (START: RS-12M2 DoD/NATO: SS-27) and
  • the 9K720 Iskander-M (DoD/NATO: SS-26 Stone) SRBM

All solid-fuel, mobile missiles designed by the Moscow Thermotechnical Institute for production at Votkinsk.

SS-25 on mobile TEL (Image from START documentation requirements)

SS-25 (in launch canister) on mobile TEL (Image from START documentation requirements)

Mobile Missiles and Inspection Regimes

As part of the INF Treaty and later, START I, an intrusive inspection regime was established to provide and facilitate onsite inspection of production facilities and deployments by both the US and the Soviet Union (later Russian Federation). Given Votkinsk’s central role in producing the most difficult missiles to monitor for treaty “breakout” reasons, the US established a monitoring facility manned by Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) employees and contractors to monitor missile production via inspection of production units passing through the portal. Perimeter inspection, via a concrete road around the perimeter of the facility, was also conducted to ensure portal inspection wasn’t being thwarted. Indeed, inspection under the INF Treaty included passing units through a cargo inspection facility to be x-rayed to ensure that the banned SS-20 was not being hidden in the mobile launch canisters used for the SS-25. Upon the completion of destruction of the last SS-20, that facility was decommissioned.

Where mobile missiles are concerned, a rigorous, verifiable inspection regime is a must. It has been said that a long-term collection effort to create a sound intelligence base and target familiarity is essential for missile monitoring in peace or targeting during war1 – hard experience learned by the US following SCUD-hunting in Desert Storm. An example of that kind of rigor is found in the Mobile ICBM provision (Article VI) of START I:

1. Deployed road-mobile launchers of ICBMs and their associated missiles shall be based only in restricted areas. A restricted area shall not exceed five square kilometers in size and shall not overlap another restricted area. No more than ten deployed road-mobile launchers of ICBMs and their associated missiles may be based or located in a restricted area. A restricted area shall not contain deployed ICBMs for road-mobile launchers of ICBMs of more than one type of ICBM.

2. Each Party shall limit the number of fixed structures for road-mobile launchers of ICBMs within each restricted area so that these structures shall not be capable of containing more road-mobile launchers of ICBMs than the number of road-mobile launchers of ICBMs specified for that restricted area.

3. Each restricted area shall be located within a deployment area. A deployment area shall not exceed 125,000 square kilometers in size and shall not overlap another deployment area. A deployment area shall contain no more than one ICBM base for road-mobile launchers of ICBMs.

4. Deployed rail-mobile launchers of ICBMs and their associated missiles shall be based only in rail garrisons. Each Party shall have no more than seven rail garrisons. No point on a portion of track located inside a rail garrison shall be more than 20 kilometers from any entrance/exit for that rail garrison. This distance shall be measured along the tracks. A rail garrison shall not overlap another rail garrison. (more)

and Article XI (Inspections):

14. Each Party shall have the right to conduct continuous monitoring activities at production facilities for ICBMs for mobile launchers of ICBMs to confirm the number of ICBMs for mobile launchers of ICBMs produced. (emphasis added)

Concern, however is growing that the above provision (continuous monitoring) may not be part of the START follow-on treaty currently being finalized between US and Russian negotiators.

ObamaMedvedevEtalWH

Follow-on Verification?

Late in 2009 hints about a major concession on the part of the US began to emerge, both in the general press and in the arms control blogsphere. In essence, in Nov 2008 the bush Administration presented a proposal to Russia (one year out form expiration of START) that rolled back the verification regime under START I to a more informal one that dropped monitoring while allowing verification visits to “START sites.” The rationale behind this approach evidently lays in a change in focus — away from launchers and towards deployed warheads themselves. It appears some form of this approach has been accepted by the Obama Administration now if the following item from a Ria Novosti from earlier this month:

Russia will submit new ballistic-missile test data in exchange for a U.S. agreement not to monitor mobile missile production. Russian presidential aide Sergei Prikhodko and negotiators claim that while technical discrepancies remain, the document could be signed in March or April.

A White House spokesperson said Russia had agreed to provide telemetry data on new intercontinental ballistic missile tests under the new treaty, and that the START-I Treaty which expired in December 2009 included a similar clause. The United States undertakes not to monitor production of ballistic missiles at the Votkinsk Engineering Plant in the Republic of Udmurtia, Russia. U.S. inspectors were permanently based at the plant under the START-I Treaty.

So — in order to get an agreement, negotiators agreed to a Russia providing something that was already part of START I (telemetry data) while foregoing a critical means of monitoring mobile missile production? Some will argue that 15+ years of data collection alleviates the need for maintaining the portal monitoring. The article goes on to note that while a signing may be set for Prague sometime in the spring (ignoring the irony of linking Prague and spring) the really difficult part will be getting ratification in the US Senate.

Indeed, that nut may be a tough one to crack, but not for the necessarily obvious reasons. Jeffery Lewis, over at ArmsControlWonk has some interesting analysis based on Senator Lugar’s comments at the Strategic Weapons in the 21st Century conference. In essence, Lugar, who has been an important presence and force in the post-Cold War arms control world, has weighed in with his concern:

I have been a strong advocate for extending START I verification procedures. Unfortunately, a choice was made to informally act in the spirit of the treaty after its expiration on December 5, 2009, rather than to extend it by formal agreement. I am hopeful that a successor for START I will be successfully concluded in the coming months and that it will contain strong verification procedures.

Lugar, a moderate, is generally not regarded as a partisan firebrand, but the gist of his remarks had better give the Administration pause to consider its approach to ratification of a START follow-on treaty. On the one hand, refusal to ratify the treaty (and here I note that again, we have not seen the final draft) would play into the Russian’s hands as they clearly wanted the intrusive monitoring stopped. A post-START world absent a follow-on treaty would enable the Russians to pursue a changes to their land-mobile force without having to provide the US telemetry on new or modified missiles (e.g., the RS-24 a MIRV’d Topol-M).

On the other hand, agreeing to dropping the intrusive inspection and monitoring at the chief production facility for mobile ICBMs and SRBMs may have been the price the Administration was willing to pay to keep the Russians from arguing a quid-pro-quo between providing ballistic missile telemetry and the US providing telemetry from its missile defense tests. This item has been particularly a complaint on Putin’s part for the better part of the past half-year. The assertion lacks substance though when one considers the handful of GBIs that constitute the BMDS vs. even the new lower limits of 1100 launchers per side reportedly agreed to under the new format. The only other interceptor with an counter-ICBM capability, the SM-3 Blk IIb is a paper design only and won’t see IOC until mch later in the decade.

It remains then to see (a) what the final wording of the new treaty offers and more importantly, (b) how the Administration justifies the negotiating position it took if the START I monitoring provisions are not included. If it isn’t included, and if there are no apparent provisions that balance the lack of that monitoring (and clear delineation from the Administration why), then mustering 67 votes for ratification may well be a bridge too far.

Not like we haven’t been down that road before either…

rs-24-a

1 Jermano, Jill L. and Springer, Susan E. Monitoring Road-Mobile Missiles Under START: Lessons From the Gulf War. Parameters 23:70-80 Spring ’93

(cross-posted at http://steeljawscribe.com)



17th

Clear, direct D&G = AU

February 2010

By

Like a man dying of thirst – there is nothing of greater value or need than a clear, cool, and soothing glass of water. Simple, yet essential.

A Commander’s Direction and Guidance must be the same. We have all suffered under unreadable and opaque D&G that is so infused with consultant-speak, hedging, and posturing that the mind aches to find anything you can use.

I would like you to try this on for size.

If you have not had the chance, I highly recommend you read ADM J.C. Harvey Jr.’s Commander’s Guidance as CFFC. Get your copy here. For such a document, it is short at 6 pages – and meaty.

Read it twice. Leaders – benchmark the style – make this the new normal.

Hold him accountable – it is a safe assumption he would want you to. Run with it.



Posted by CDRSalamander in Navy | 3 Comments

Team Rubicon is an amazing group of U.S. citizens that answered the call to duty immediately following the 12 January 2010 Haiti earthquake. According to their website,

We are the new face of disaster response. We bridge the gap between catastrophe and large-scale response, utilizing flat command structures, social networking technology, and simple decision making processes. We don’t wait for ideal situations to develop, we make dysfunctional situations ideal.

We are men and women not satisfied with standing on the sidelines. We believe that inaction is not an option; that our skills are needed, and that Team Rubicon is a model for delivering them. We are 21st century “Medical Minutemen.”

We are capable of doing MORE with LESS. We are self-sustaining, self-reliant and self-deploying. We bring only what we need, deploying rapidly to where we are needed. We arrive on-site, identify problems, create solutions and GET THE JOB DONE.

We are Team Rubicon.

To learn more about Team Rubicon, click on their website here.

To join me in sending them a gift so they can continue their good work, click here.



MidratsYou should be through with all your Valentine’s Day requirements, so today at 1700R/2200Z/5pm EST, just click here to join us for our second visit to the subject of piracy.

We will have two guests. The first will be author, journalist and documentary film maker Daniel Sekulich, whose latest work is Terror on the Seas.

Our second guest will be former Marine and Special Agent Kevin Doherty, owner of Nexus Consulting Group of Alexandria. You may remember Kevin from the interview I did with him here at USNIBlog last year.

After our guests, we will continue with our usual panel discussion with fellow USNIBloggers EagleOne from EagleSpeak, Galrahn from InformationDissemination and me. We will expand the discussion we had with our guests to include the latest developments and trends related to the international response to piracy.

As always, if you can’t listen live, you can find the archive for this show and others here – or just search for “Midrats” on iTunes.



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