Reality for the class of 2014

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by thepalmers4, Jul 13, 2014.

  1. thepalmers4

    thepalmers4 Member

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    Scout, Norwich, and others have posted about force reductions and a military that is clearly is having to make do with less. For me, the "less" is the big story.

    The class of 2014 faces a China that is arming, a Russia that is rearming, a middle east in turmoil, a nuclear North Korea and Iran soon to be. These nations are willing and able to project force in their theaters, which include some of the most important economic real estate in the world. And I don't hear their leaders talking about going green, limiting collateral damage, and embracing sexual integration. As Secretary of State Kerry might say, how 20th century of them!

    Alongside our sons and daughters are a NATO that is becoming militarily irrelevant, a corrupt VA, a President and Congress with little personal military experience, and a public that is increasingly detached from the military. This administration dismisses threat nations as regional powers, enables open borders, and openly crosses swords with traditional allies. And the class of 2014 will suffer a procurement system that is dysfunctional at best. Army helo modernization, anyone? Air Force F-35? Navy Littorals? Coast Guard? I guess the CG doesn't have a modernization program to screw up.

    This is just me, not Fox News. Just an old guy that wants our kids to have the best training, the best equipment, and the best chance when the world goes old school on us.
     
  2. aeroma

    aeroma New Member

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    +1 thepalmers4. I'm constantly reminded of the Hans Christian Andersen tale ''The Emperor and His New Clothes''.
     
  3. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Haha..... oh.... well..... the Coast Guard did have a modernization program that it unfortunately did screw up.

    I think in large part it has made some serious "course corrections". I do have real concerns about the modernization of the fleet. The medium endurance cutters I had experience on, (the Reliance class or "210's") were first commissioned in 1964. As a cadet I was was on the USCGC Diligence (WMEC-616) (commissioned 1964) and USCGC Active (WMEC-618) (commissioned 1965) and as an officer I was mostly on USCGC Vigorous (WMEC-627) (commissioned 1969) and for a patrol, USCGC Reliance (WMEC-615) (commissioned 1964). Those are sold old boats. They feel old and they run old.

    While 12 high endurance cutters are replaced by 8 (hopefully) national security cutters, the 14 Reliance class 210's and the 13 Famous class 270's, as well as the odd balls like the 282' Alex Haley will also need to be replaced.

    I've seen some of the new FRCs. They're pretty cool, but they don't replace the medium endurance cutters listed above.... they replace the beat up Island class 110's.

    And NOTHING is scheduled to replace the U.S. government's ONLY ice breakers, the older 399' USCGC Polar Sea and USCGC Polar Star as well as the less capable, but newer, 420' USCGC Healy....

    Does the United States need a Coast Guard? I biased... but I think yes. Unless it starts funding it like it actually wants it, we're going to see some very hard times in the future.

    And to that end, I never understood the Navy's investment in the littoral combat ship, which is essentially being used as a glorified Coast Guard cutter for JIATF-South and SOUTHCOM. Don't get me wrong, I've had the opportunity to check out both forms, and even rode around on one (talk about a rooster tail!!!! those things are FAST!).... but why? The litoral program was far more expensive than the Coast Guard's nationals security cutter program....

    Real cuts have to be made, and that will include the military. The kind of debt our country is carrying is a very real concern. And it's not some abstract, far off in the future concern... it's here and now.
     
  4. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard are all fighting each other for more funding, forgetting what's best for the individual service might not be best for the country.

    I know my response is soft, so get more response

    Why can't we have a single basic helicopter pilot school, than follow on training for land and sea operations.

    I recall a discussion about a single service academy . . .

    Tradition and pride have price tags we can't afford.

    Why can't we have a single basic medic training, than follow on training for service specific training?

    Why can't we have a single baisc military police training, than follow on training for service specific training.
     
  5. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    All good questions. In some ways, we "do" have single schools. The sea services (Coast Guard, Navy and Marine Corps) share a number of schools, including flight school.

    While there are difference between services, why create a redundant line of ships that, often times, do the same work that is already being done? We get an LCS at a price tag that the Coast Guard doesn't come close to.... to perform work the Coast Guard does? Huh? And I'm not saying performs work better.... I'm saying why have a multi-billion dollar ship program to do stuff that's already being done?
     
  6. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Because it justifies the existing size of the Navy and even an opportunity to make it bigger. Bigger Navy means more higher ranking positions and higher rank means a higher chance of bigger "golden parachute."

    Am I being too cynical?
     
  7. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Haha, I had a similar discussion on helicopter purchases. The proposal from one guy was ALL services get the same base helicopters and can modify them. The DoD buys AH-1Zs for attack, UH-1Ys for scout/light transport, CH-53Ks for heavy lift/CSAR/heavy troop transport/spec-ops/etc. (Maybe throw in a variation of the S-92/EH-101 for medium capability)
    That brings us down to 3 or 4 common platforms, simplifies most MX and logistics requirements, reduces the number of training pipelines, and probably reduces the number of failed acquisition programs.
     
  8. osdad

    osdad Member

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    Yes, palmers, all those things may be true. But hopefully the class of 2014 is also facing a career where unmanned vehicles take over most of the most dangerous missions. Where advances in weapons place them ever farther from the battle. Where the civilian leadership places more value on their young lives than on protecting corporate interests. Hopefully they’re entering into a service that values the equal contribution of all members equally. One that doesn’t reject good people for bad reasons. That serves a population that understands that there are limits to what military might can achieve. Hopefully they’re entering a service that values performance over tradition.

    Hopefully.

    Will the class of 2014 be able to overcome the inertia of what Eisenhower warned against in 1961? Doubtful. Will generals still plan to win the last war? Yup! Will politics and politicians continue to mess things up? Yup!! Will they get frustrated? Fed up? Discouraged? Yup!!!

    Will they be the best leaders of the best military in the world? Of that I have no doubt.

    OSDAD
    Proud parent of a 2nd LT USMC, USNA Class of 2014
     
  9. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    And also because if the resource is already being fully utilized then it's not available. For example- during the Iran-Iraq War in the 80's the then Commandant of the USCG (Adm Yost offered up 110' CG Cutters to escort reflagged tankers thru the War zone. They were exactly the right ships for the job. They were also fully employed in the Caribbean interdicting drugs and Haitian immigrants; and Congress intervened forbidding the use of Coast Guard assets for the mission.- the Navy did the mission. It's not redundant if it's not available.
    (Admiral Yost was an interesting guy- a real warrior- he had a Silver Star from commanding a Riverine boat in Vietnam and he was the Admiral who mounted Harpoon Missiles on the 378s. )
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2014
  10. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    So...everyone copies the Marine Corps. Except for the Osprey, which...well...

    ...And FWIW LITS there are plenty of heads being scratched over the LCS in the Navy, too.
     
  11. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    Dont worry, we Americans have a great abilty to recover quickly. We gone through the downsizings several times in the last century. In lean times we always managed through it. It is not just the left but also the far right too this time around. Sequestration was an approach developed by both sides. As for our kids, sometimes it is better for them in the long run with less. They have to become tougher and smarter.
    And as always over the last 100 years, God help anyone out there that really pisses us off.
     
  12. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Got me thinking. Are above mentiondd threats real or a good excuse for increased defense spending?

    No doubt that the China is arming, but they are upgrading from 1970/80's technology. Granted to they can skip and borrow technology from us to become a peer competitor with the U.S. But certain things just can't be copied or requires upgrade of the whole entrprise. Many folks talk about the single Chinese Aircraft carrier as the threat to the U.S. Navy. I guess Naval experts can tell me that how much a singl aircraft carrier can do? Don't you need a carrier battle group, not just a single aircraft carrier. How about whatever generation fighter aircrafts or C4I systems, air refueling capabilties, adn etc. By the way, it's a big, nice target for U.S. Navy to sink. How much advance China made on their ship based air defense? China poses more threat against US in the economic and cyber arena. We need strong economy and cyber capabilities against such threat not more aircraft carriers.
     
  13. thepalmers4

    thepalmers4 Member

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    The Chinese can’t match our overwhelming carrier force, so their focus seems to be area denial. There has been a lot written about the Chinese anti-ship, medium range ballistic missile program, but China is also thought to have several thousand modern anti-ship cruise missiles. If China can effectively deploy them and figure out over-the-horizon targeting, our willingness to put a carrier force into the South China Sea, the Sea of Japan, or even the Phillipine Sea would be severely tested. This was discussed last month in Aviation Week (9 Jun 2014 page 50 – I tried to copy the link, but it kicks back to a subscriber login).

    The Chinese would like to say stuff like this and make it stick.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/15/us-china-usa-asean-idUSKBN0FK0CM20140715

    Gone are the days when you could put your 16” guns outside of the harbor.
     
  14. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    So if I may, a better way to counter the Chinese naval threat is NOT buying another aircraft carrier, rather defeat anti-ship, medium range ballist missile or over-the-horizon targeting cpabilities or don't put a carrier force to close the China. I am sure the Navy will say we need two more aircraft carriers.
     
  15. thepalmers4

    thepalmers4 Member

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    The names Polar Star and Healy helped me remember a WSJ article from earlier this year about retreating Artic ice and a new strategic mission for the CG… keeping the future Northwest Passage open for commerce and fighting the Russkies for it. From the article, "The inevitable opening of the Arctic will essentially create a new coast on America's north…Navy officials say the Arctic will give the U.S. its first new ocean to police since the annexation of the Pacific Northwest in 1846... For now, the defense of Arctic waters belongs to the Polar Star, the Coast Guard's single heavy icebreaker, and the service's medium icebreaker, the Healy….. Russia, by contrast, has 25 icebreakers, including six that are nuclear powered.”

    New mission, but no new money!

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303330204579250522717106330

    Hope this link works. It displayed the article free pass key.
     
  16. thepalmers4

    thepalmers4 Member

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    Were things only what we wished them to be. War is cruel and personal, not clinical and detached. The shoot down of MH17 and the Gaza conflict are examples of this.
     
  17. MedB

    MedB Parent

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    This is where things need to go in the future. Period. And while it's easy to be cynical and assume the worst about why leaders resists such ideas, the truth it is often well meaning (if misguided).

    There are countless examples of this in the private sector:
    * wanting "purpose built" solution that meets every exact need vs a common solution that meets most of them for far less money and overhead.
    * wanting to avoid loss-of-control issues
    * wanting to have resources on-tap when needed even if it means wasting dollars having resources sit idle for periods
    * etc

    I deal with this on a regular basis and I understand that most leaders are not as cynical or diabolical as we might believe. They are doing what the believe is best for their objectives/responsibilities..... sadly though often at the expense of larger objectives and overall effeciency.
     
  18. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    The Coast Guard already trains it's Helicopter Pilots with the Navy, that seems to work just fine. Granted each branch flys different airframes but IERW could surely be consolidated. Scoutpilot will probably bite my head off for saying that. but that's an outsiders view.

    When the AF goes to jump school it's done with the Army, again works just fine.

    I agree with you, there are many logical situations when training could be service wide with one school. The cost savings alone, not to mention a consistent level of training, would be very beneficial to all the branches.
     

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