Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Putin Dictates US Defense Policy

Vladimir Putin, Russia's true Czar, on Dec. 29 in a web posting stated the following:

"The problem is that our American partners are developing missile defenses, and we are not.

But the issues of missile defense and offensive weapons are closely interconnected. ... There could be a danger that having created an umbrella against offensive strike systems, our partners may come to feel completely safe. After the balance is broken, they will do whatever they want and grow more aggressive.

In order to preserve a balance while we aren't planning to build a missile defense of our own, as it's very expensive and its efficiency is not quite clear yet, we have to develop offensive strike systems.

They should give us all the information about the missile defense, and we will be ready then to provide some information about offensive weapons."

- Vladimir Putin, Russian Prime Minister, Dec. 29, 2009

Now, a real world translation;

Putin is laying down a line in the sand to Obama.

Russia has not developed (that we know of) any type of missile defense shield - not because they didn't want to, but because they couldn't afford it, and apparently have been unsuccessful in stealing the technology from us.

Putin regards our missile defense shield as an advantage - and Russia cannot stand for us to have an advantage.

Putin wants Obama to both give him all the technical details of missile defense (so they can build their own without paying for the development), and restrict our own use of missile defense. In other words, Russia wants the advantage ....

Putin is dangling a carrot/threatening to build more nuclear tipped missiles to point at us if Obama doesn't agree to both of these conditions.

Obama, who wants to unilaterally castrate US defense forces and policy, is likely to sit up and bark agreement to whatever Putin wants - because he wants to be seen as the force for peace in the world.

Now, missile defense, a completely defensive system with no capability to attack an enemy, should be a thing regarded highly by everyone in the world. The people whose weapons it makes irrelevant are scared of it, and are twisting world opinion against it in hopes of defeating it politically. Only in Obama's America would our own leadership think a defensive system is a bad thing.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

BRAC - Scheduled for Another Attack on Our Military

BRAC - the mere suggestion of the name causes almost everyone in the military to shiver, along with many politicians and civilians employed by the military. BRAC - Base Realignment And Closure.

BRAC was started as a non-partisan, independent affort to reduce military installations, eliminate redundant ones, and realign others for new missions. There have been several rounds of BRAC attacks on the military - hundreds of installations have been closed, thousands of people thrown out of work, hundreds of military communities devestated, and a lot of military capability lost.

BRAC is scheduled to surface again in 2013 for another round of closures. With all that has been closed and eliminated, there just isn't much more that can be cut - without drastically reducing our military capability. That doesn't seem to be a problem for the current administration ... time is almost here to whack away again.

Why is this an issue now? Because the poilitical wrangling has already started. Politicians go to war (almost literally) with BRAC, Congress, and the Admininstration to protect bases in the areas they represent. A politician who can claim to have defeated BRAC and saved a local base is guaranteed re-election.

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-NE) is a moderate Democrat, one seen as a swing vote in the current Obamacare battle. He has been reported to have asked leadership of the Senate and the Obama administration to guarantee him that Offutt AFB, NE will be excluded from the BRAC list, in exchange for his vote.

Offutt AFB is home to about 10,000 Air Force personnel. It was the HQ of SAC. It hosts the 55th RW, which operates most of the Air Force's fixed wing intelligence aircraft. It is located in Omaha, which is very dependent upon the base for its economy. Offutt is also rumored to be a big target of the next BRAC list. Nelson would be pretty much guaranteed his re-election if he can secure Offutt's immunity from BRAC.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dec. 2, 1966

December 2nd, 1966 was another bad day for US aerial forces flying in SEA.

RF-4C 65-0829, 11TRS 432TRW, flying out of Udorn, was lost on a recon mission north of Hanoi after being hit by groundfire. Both crew members, pilot Capt. Robert Gregory and WSO Lt. Leroy Stutz, successfully ejected and were captured. Gregory was injured during the ejection and died shortly after being captured.

F-105D 59-1820, 34TFS 388TFW, based at Korat, piloted by Capt. Monte Moorberg, was lost on a raid on the Phuc Yen airfield. The aircraft was hit by groundfire, Moorberg did not eject and perished.

F-4C 64-0753, 480TFS 366TFW, Da Nang, was lost on the same mission, hit by a SA-2. Pilot Capt. Hubert Flesher and WSO Lt. James Berger ejected and were captured.

F-4C 64-0663, 389TFS 366TFW, Da Nang, was hit by another SA-2 during the same raid. Maj. Ray Burns and Lt. Bruce Ducat both ejected and became POWs, but Lt. Ducat died in captivity.

A-4C 145143, VA-172, flying from the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt, and A-4C 145116, also from VA-172 were both lost on a night mission near Phuc Nhac. The exact circumstances were not determined, but it was thought that they were downed by SAMs. Pilots Cdr. Bruce Nystrom and Ens. Paul Worrell were both killed.

F-4B 151014, VF-154, based on the USS Coral Sea, was lost while flying a mission to Kep airfield in North Vietnam. It was hit by groudfire, which blew off the entire left wing. Pilot Lt. David McRae did not eject and died. RIO Ens. David Rehmann did successfully eject, and was captured.

4 Phantoms, 1 Thunderchief, and 2 Skyhawks were downed on this day, resulting in 6 aircrew members dying, and 5 being captured. Another crappy day in a crappy war .....