Category Archive 'US Military'
29 Jul 2017

Not Created Equal

, , , ,


Marines at Khe Sanh.

Captain Katie Petronio, in the July 2012 Marine Corps Gazette, went on the record opposing the opening of the Infantry Officers Course (IOC) to women. Her comments seem particularly applicable in the aftermath of the president’s announcement of a ban on transgenders serving in the military.

I would ask everyone to step back and ask themselves, does this integration solely benefit the individual or the Marine Corps as a whole, as every leader’s focus should be on the needs of the institution and the Nation, not the individual?

Which leads one to really wonder, what is the benefit of this potential change? The Marine Corps is not in a shortage of willing and capable young male second lieutenants who would gladly take on the role of infantry officers. In fact we have men fighting to be assigned to the coveted position of 0302. In 2011, 30 percent of graduating TBS lieutenants listed infantry in their top three requested MOSs. Of those 30 percent, only 47 percent were given the MOS. On the other hand, perhaps this integration is an effort to remove the glass ceiling that some observers feel exists for women when it comes to promotions to general officer ranks. Opening combat arms MOSs, particularly the infantry, such observers argue, allows women to gain the necessary exposure of leading Marines in combat, which will then arguably increase the chances for female Marines serving in strategic leadership assignments. As stated above, I have full faith that female Marines can successfully serve in just about every MOS aside from the infantry. Even if a female can meet the short-term physical, mental, and moral leadership requirements of an infantry officer, by the time that she is eligible to serve in a strategic leadership position, at the 20-year mark or beyond, there is a miniscule probability that she’ll be physically capable of serving at all. Again, it becomes a question of longevity. …

[W]hat are the Marine Corps standards, particularly physical fitness standards, based on—performance and capability or equality? We abide by numerous discriminators, such as height and weight standards. As multiple Marine Corps Gazette articles have highlighted, Marines who can run first-class physical fitness tests and who have superior MOS proficiency are separated from the Service if they do not meet the Marine Corps’ height and weight standards. Further, tall Marines are restricted from flying specific platforms, and color blind Marines are faced with similar restrictions. We recognize differences in mental capabilities of Marines when we administer the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery and use the results to eliminate/open specific fields. These standards are designed to ensure safety, quality, and the opportunity to be placed in a field in which one can sustain and succeed.

Which once again leads me, as a ground combat-experienced female Marine Corps officer, to ask, what are we trying to accomplish by attempting to fully integrate women into the infantry? For those who dictate policy, changing the current restrictions associated with women in the infantry may not seem significant to the way the Marine Corps operates. I vehemently disagree; this potential change will rock the foundation of our Corps for the worse and will weaken what has been since 1775 the world’s most lethal fighting force. In the end, for DACOWITS and any other individual or organization looking to increase opportunities for female Marines, I applaud your efforts and say thank you. However, for the long-term health of our female Marines, the Marine Corps, and U.S. national security, steer clear of the Marine infantry community when calling for more opportunities for females. Let’s embrace our differences to further hone in on the Corps’ success instead of dismantling who we are to achieve a political agenda. Regardless of the outcome, we will be “Semper Fidelis” and remain focused on our mission to protect and defend the United States of America.

16 Jan 2017

Army Spent $350 Million to Pick a New Handgun Without Result

, ,


My solution: M1911A1 Semi-Automatic .45 ACP.

Task and Purpose:

The Army’s troubled program to buy a new standard-issue handgun for soldiers was the subject of renewed debate on Capitol Hill.

During Thursday’s confirmation hearing for retired Marine Gen. James Mattis to become defense secretary in the Trump administration, Republican Sens. Joni Ernst of Iowa and Thom Tillis of North Carolina took turns criticizing the service’s XM17 Modular Handgun System (MHS) program, a $350 million competition to buy a replacement to the Cold War-era M9 9mm pistol.

At a time when Russia is upgrading its service rifle, “we continue to modify our M4s [and] many of our troops still carry M16s, the Army can’t even figure out how to replace the M9 pistol, first issued in 1982,” Ernst said.

The senator, a frequent critic of the program who in 2015 retired as a lieutenant colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard, said she and others would joke while in the military that “sometimes the most efficient use of an M9 is to simply throw it at your adversary.”

Ernst blasted the Modular Handgun Program’s many requirements. “Take a look at their 350-page micromanaging requirements document if you want to know why it’s taking so long to get this accomplished,” she said.

She also mocked the stopping power of the 5.56mm rifle round. “Our military currently shoots a bullet that, as you know, is illegal for shooting small deer in nearly all states due to its lack of killing power,” she said.

Tillis went even further by showing up to the hearing with the pistol program’s full several hundred pages of requirements documents wrapped in red ribbon. “This is a great testament to what’s wrong with defense acquisition,” he said, slapping the three-inch-tall stack of paperwork.

In response, Mattis said, “I can’t defend this,” but added, “I will say that at times there were regulations that required us to do things.”

Coincidentally, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley was asked about the program earlier in the day at a breakfast sponsored by the Association of the United States Army. Milley was tight-lipped about the effort but hinted the service is making progress.

Beretta, FN Herstal, Sig Sauer and Glock are reportedly still competing for the program after the Army dropped Smith & Wesson from the competition last year. We’re hoping these gunmakers will help shed more light on the status of the program next week at SHOT Show in Las Vegas.

Hell, I’ll solve their dilemma for them for half of that.

13 Feb 2016

Leaving Coins on Soldier’s Gravestones

, ,

GravestoneCoin

Jake Brannon explains the significance of different denominations of coins left on the headstones of soldiers.

While “Cleaning of the Stones” at the National Cemetery in Holly, I noticed a quarter placed on one of the stones. Later I also noticed a nickel placed on another stone. I was so touched with this that I took pictures. (sorry the nickel did not turn out).

I googled about the coins, and found this out. I am very proud to share this.

A coin left on a headstone lets the deceased soldier’s family know that somebody stopped by to pay their respect.

Leaving a penny means you visited. A nickel means that you and the deceased soldier trained at boot camp together. If you served with the soldier, you leave a dime. A quarter is very significant because it means that you were there when that soldier died.”

Hat tip to Bird Dog.

18 Nov 2015

What Defeating ISIS Would Look Like

, ,

ISISWontheToss

Kurt Schlichter fantasies in IJReview.

And those are our proposed courses of action, Mr. President,” concluded the CENTCOM commander.

“When I was elected, I told you I wanted to be briefed on your plan to utterly destroy ISIS, General,” the President said. He was young and usually quite calm, but as a Cuban-American son of immigrants, he understood tyranny and knew how to deal with it. “General, what you gave me are timid half-measures that don’t begin to meet the intent I expressed to you. Now, I may not have served myself, but I understand the old game of manipulating civilian leadership by providing just the options you want instead of the ones the commander-in-chief requested. You’re relieved of command, General. Fired. Agents, show the general out.”

He turned to his chief of staff. “Get the Wildman on the line.” As the Secret Service agents bum rushed the stunned four star out of the Oval Office, the President took the phone.

On a Florida golf course, the secure cell phone of the retired Marine everyone called “The Wildman” rang, ruining his putt. The Wildman was a legend for his aggression, hence his nickname. President Obama had naturally felt it necessary to replace him with a more pliable, passive CENTCOM commander. He answered, then listened.

“General, this is the President. We need you. I am ordering you off the retired list and back to active duty as CENTCOM commander, effective immediately. I want to see your plan for the total destruction of ISIS in 72 hours. Your rules of engagement are simple. Wipe them out.”

Read the whole thing.

27 Oct 2015

US Military Small Arms Need Replacing

, , , ,

M4_MOD2

Jim Schatz, in National Defense, makes an irrefutable case for replacing US primary-issue small arms. US forces need a more reliable rifle and both new rifles and new pistols firing more potent rounds.

Since the end of World War II, only 10 U.S tank crew members have been killed in warfare. This is an amazing testament to fighting vehicle technology and the money spent to develop and sustain that tactical edge over our enemies.

In that same period, the United States has lost some 60,000 soldiers in small arms engagements, an approximate one for one exchange.

Few foes on the planet could hope to dominate America in a tank, air or naval battle. Yet every bad actor with an AK-47 takes on U.S. and NATO ground forces in a small arms fight. We are no longer suitably armed to prevent it.

This happens because the current U.S. Army small arms development and acquisition system is dysfunctional and virtually unworkable, even for those within the system. It has not brought troops substantial evolutionary small arms and ammunition capabilities in years, or even decades, and too often not at all, and almost never on or under budget. Lives are often lost as a result. …

Small arms are the most deployed weapon systems in our arsenal, yet the age of America’s eight most numerous conventional military small arms are on average more than 35 years old. While we have replaced uniforms, helmets, body armor, radios, rations and footwear countless times in three decades, the weapons and ammunition we use in 2015 are little more than variants of Vietnam-era technology possessing the antiquated capabilities of a bygone era.

The Army continues to procure weapons with old performance specifications that have been repeatedly eclipsed by superior commercial small arms used by our allies, our top-tier special operations forces and sometimes by our enemies. Elite units — with a few exceptions — do not use the standard-issue U.S. Army small arms or ammunition. Why? Because they are inferior to the more advanced weapons selected by these units. There is a fundamental difference between their acquisition process and that of the “Big Army,” where there are hundreds of decisions makers and countless agencies and offices involved.

Read the whole thing.

Schatz doesn’t get into it, but I think the root of the problem is cultural. America has become, in recent decades, much more a nation of metrosexuals than a nation of riflemen. The shooting sports are completely alien to the largest urbanized sector of American society.

We now have to look to Germany & Italy to buy military-quality small arms. Colt is in bankruptcy. The Winchester factory in New Haven closed years ago, and Winchester today is just a revived trade name building its products in Japan. The American chattering classes are not concerned in the slightest with feminization of American men or the decline of our domestic arms industry. They’d like to confiscate and destroy all our guns.

14 Jul 2015

Secretary of Defense Announces That Transgendered Will Be Allowed to Serve Openly

, ,

Trannies

The Obama Administration strikes one more important blow for the cause of universal equality:

Over the last fourteen years of conflict, the Department of Defense has proven itself to be a learning organization. This is true in war, where we have adapted to counterinsurgency, unmanned systems, and new battlefield requirements such as MRAPs. It is also true with respect to institutional activities, where we have learned from how we repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” from our efforts to eliminate sexual assault in the military, and from our work to open up ground combat positions to women. Throughout this time, transgender men and women in uniform have been there with us, even as they often had to serve in silence alongside their fellow comrades in arms.

The Defense Department’s current regulations regarding transgender service members are outdated and are causing uncertainty that distracts commanders from our core missions. At a time when our troops have learned from experience that the most important qualification for service members should be whether they’re able and willing to do their job, our officers and enlisted personnel are faced with certain rules that tell them the opposite. Moreover, we have transgender soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines – real, patriotic Americans – who I know are being hurt by an outdated, confusing, inconsistent approach that’s contrary to our value of service and individual merit.

Today, I am issuing two directives to deal with this matter. First, DoD will create a working group to study over the next six months the policy and readiness implications of welcoming transgender persons to serve openly.

Has anyone ever heard of a transgendered individual serving honorably in the military?

26 Mar 2015

Some Useful Observations From Our Armed Forces

,

MilitaryHumor

Liberty’s Torch has some classic examples of military humor:

The three most common expressions (or famous last words) in military aviation are:

1. “Did you feel that?”
2. “What’s that noise?”
3. “Oh S…!”

– Authors Unknown

————————————
Added in the comments section:

The Five Most Fear-Inspiring Phrases in the United States Army (in no particular order for the first four, but the last one is the most fear-inspiring, for those in the know):

A second lieutenant pompously saying “Based on my military experience…”

An Army captain musingly saying “You know, I was thinking…”

A private enthusiastically saying “I learned this in Basic Training…”

A sergeant mournfully saying “Sir, you really don’t want to know…”

A chief warrant officer, an evil grin on his face, saying “Watch this $#!+…”

Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.

25 Sep 2014

Presidential Saluting

, , ,

ObamaCoffeCupSalute

The portion of the national commentariat viewing reality from the Right has been giving Obama hell for two days now for returning a salute from a pair of Marines while holding a container of coffee in his hand. Examples at Twitchy.

All this demonstrates just how few of the intelligentsia, on either side, have any real personal contact with matters military. The commentariat doesn’t realize that a salute is a honor normally exchanged by uniformed members of the military. Saluting is actually a privilege. Prisoners in the brig, for instance, are not entitled to salute.

Customs of saluting vary among the various branches of the American military. The Marines saluting Obama, like the Navy, only salute when in uniform and wearing their cover.

It is appropriate for American military personnel to salute Obama in his capacity as commander-in-chief. The president, however, is never attired in uniform and moreover does not wear a cover. He is actually, in fact, not entitled to salute.

It is understandable, of course, that presidents generally, not only Obama, feel a human obligation to try to respond to military salutes, but they are actually wrong, and violating proper military etiquette, by trying to salute at all, coffee cup or no coffee cup.

In his capacity as commander-in-chief, any president actually does possess the power to amend military customs and etiquette and to award himself and other occupants of his office the right to return salutes when not a serving member of a military and when not in uniform and not covered, but until some president formally creates that right, they are all wrong to around saluting.

Wikipedia entry on the salute

Apparently, it was Ronald Reagan who started saluting.

This article suggests that maybe Ronald Reagan really did, sort of, kind of, officially modify military custom.

14 Jun 2014

Land of the Free

, , ,

gaypride4

Like the rest of us, Ol’ Remus is disgusted.

Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, in Lakewood, Colorado who violated the law by refusing to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple was directed to change his store policies immediately and force his staff to attend the training sessions. For the next two years, Phillips will also be required to submit quarterly reports to the commission to confirm that he has not turned away customers based on their sexual orientation, says Todd Starnes in this article, Baker forced to make gay wedding cakes, undergo sensitivity training, after losing lawsuit, at Fox News.

    Shortly after Dykes on Bikes rumble across the starting line of the Capital Pride parade in Dupont Circle on Saturday, an expected 150,000 spectators should witness something never before seen on an American city street — a U.S. Armed Forces color guard marching alongside rainbow flags in a gay pride parade.

Aaron Davis at washingtonpost.com

Remus says – Pointedly humiliating the armed forces is now a career credit in DC.

05 Jun 2014

Explaining Obama’s Bergdahl Political Disaster

, , , ,

bismillah

Ralph Peters, in National Review, explains how Barack Obama and his elite team of intellectual giants walked obliviously into a colossal political disaster.

Congratulations, Mr. President! And identical congrats to your sorcerer’s apprentice, National Security Adviser Susan Rice. By trying to sell him as an American hero, you’ve turned a deserter already despised by soldiers in the know into quite possibly the most-hated individual soldier in the history of our military.

I have never witnessed such outrage from our troops.

Exhibit A: Ms. Rice. In one of the most tone-deaf statements in White House history (we’re making a lot of history here), the national-security adviser, on a Sunday talk show, described Bergdahl as having served “with honor and distinction.” Those serving in uniform and those of us who served previously were already stirred up, but that jaw-dropper drove us into jihad mode.

But pity Ms. Rice. Like the president she serves, she’s a victim of her class. Nobody in the inner circle of Team Obama has served in uniform. It shows. That bit about serving with “honor and distinction” is the sort of perfunctory catch-phrase politicians briefly don as electoral armor. (“At this point in your speech, ma’am, devote one sentence to how much you honor the troops.”) …

The president, too, appears stunned. He has so little understanding of (or interest in) the values and traditions of our troops that he and his advisers really believed that those in uniform would erupt into public joy at the news of Bergdahl’s release — as D.C. frat kids did when Osama bin Laden’s death was trumpeted.

Both President Obama and Ms. Rice seem to think that the crime of desertion in wartime is kind of like skipping class. They have no idea of how great a sin desertion in the face of the enemy is to those in our military. The only worse sin is to side actively with the enemy and kill your brothers in arms. This is not sleeping in on Monday morning and ducking Gender Studies 101.

But compassion, please! The president and all the president’s men and women are not alone. Our media elite — where it’s a rare bird who bothered to serve in uniform — instantly became experts on military justice. Of earnest mien and blithe assumption, one talking head after another announced that “we always try to rescue our troops, even deserters.”

Uh, no. “Save the deserter” is a recent battle cry of the politically indoctrinated brass. For much of our history, we did make some efforts to track down deserters in wartime. Then we shot or hanged them. Or, if we were in good spirits, we merely used a branding iron to burn a large D into their cheeks or foreheads. Even as we grew more enlightened, desertion brought serious time in a military prison. At hard labor.

This is a fundamental culture clash. Team Obama and its base cannot comprehend the values still cherished by those young Americans “so dumb” they joined the Army instead of going to prep school and then to Harvard. Values such as duty, honor, country, physical courage, and loyalty to your brothers and sisters in arms have no place in Obama World. (Military people don’t necessarily all like each other, but they know they can depend on each other in battle — the sacred trust Bergdahl violated.)

President Obama did this to himself (and to Bergdahl). This beautifully educated man, who never tires of letting us know how much smarter he is than the rest of us, never stopped to consider that our troops and their families might have been offended by their commander-in-chief staging a love-fest at the White House to celebrate trading five top terrorists for one deserter and featuring not the families of those soldiers (at least six of them) who died in the efforts to find and free Bergdahl, but, instead, giving a starring role on the international stage to Pa Taliban, parent of a deserter and a creature of dubious sympathies (that beard on pops ain’t a tribute to ZZ Top). How do you say “outrageous insult to our vets” in Pashto?

Read the whole thing.

01 May 2014

It’s Only Tax Dollars!

, ,

Ammunition1

USAToday:

The Pentagon plans to destroy more than $1 billion worth of ammunition although some of those bullets and missiles could still be used by troops, according to the Pentagon and congressional sources.

It’s impossible to know what portion of the arsenal slated for destruction — valued at $1.2 billion by the Pentagon — remains viable because the Defense Department’s inventory systems can’t share data effectively, according to a Government Accountability Office report obtained by USA TODAY.

The result: potential waste of unknown value.

“There is a huge opportunity to save millions, if not billions of dollars if the (Pentagon) can make some common-sense improvements to how it manages ammunition,” said Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., and chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “Despite years of effort, the Army, Navy and Air Force still don’t have an efficient process for doing something as basic as sharing excess bullets. This Government Accountability Office (GAO) report clearly shows that our military’s antiquated systems lead to millions of dollars in wasteful ammunition purchases.”

The Army and Pentagon, in a statement, acknowledged “the need to automate the process” and will make it a priority in future budgets. In all, the Pentagon manages a stockpile of conventional ammunition worth $70 billion.

I don’t know about missiles, but I seriously doubt that any ammunition manufactured from the Vietnam era onward is not going to fire. I have myself inherited or purchased old rounds produced long before WWII, and all of them fired just fine with the single exception of a box of 9mm rimfire solids (which probably dated back to before WWI).

Why not just offer the cartridges, with a disclaimer, at bargain prices to the American public via the Civilian Marksmanship Program?

18 Feb 2013

New US Military Award

, , , , ,

Not content with introducing women into combat, the Obama/Panetta Defense Department is reportedly well along in the process of inventing an important new military award.

Atlantic Wire:

[T]he Distinguished Warfare Medal… will be given for “extra achievement” related to a military operation. That would include drone pilots operating unmanned planes from halfway around the world, or even hackers who launch a successful cyberattack on an enemy. Unlike all other combat-related medals, this would be the first one that you can be awarded without actually putting your life on the line. …

The Distinguished Warfare Medal would be the first combat-award created by the Armed Forces since World War II, and would become the fourth-highest ranking combat decoration. (It would rank above the Bronze Star, but below the Silver Star.)

Rico has a few suggestions for additional awards the Air Force might consider adopting.

24 Jan 2013

Liberal Social Engineering and the US Military

, , ,


Leon Panetta

Former Defense Deputy Undersecretary Jed Babbin takes aim at Leon Panetta’s cowardly and disgraceful decision to put women into combat roles.

Panetta’s action will probably complete the destruction of the warrior culture on which the success of our military depends. That culture, developed over the past two thousand years or so, is not uniquely American but our brand of it is. Our warriors take pride in what they do because they do it for America and because they do it better than anyone else. Thus, one of the most important parts of that culture is the objective standards someone has to meet to qualify to join the combat arms.

Every Marine in a rifle platoon, every pilot in a squadron, every special operator has had to meet the standards set for all the others. At least they did until the services began to cave under political pressure to enable women to join combat units. …

Eleven years ago I wrote about the danger of “gender neutralizing” the objective tests for entry into combat arms. That article reported on a British Ministry of Defence study authored by Brigadier Seymour Monroe. In that study, Monroe reported that when the British were trying to fit women into combat roles, they “gender neutralized” — i.e., lowered — their standards so that women who couldn’t qualify under the men’s standards did so under their own.

Who can doubt that the Obama Pentagon will do exactly the same? Why should the men accept anyone — woman or man — who can’t make the same grade they did? They shouldn’t, and they won’t. It will destroy unit cohesion and pride.

That is the principal objection to what the Obama Pentagon is up to. And it will have two effects, both of which are a threat to our national security.

First, by pushing standards down to enable women to qualify, Obama’s Pentagon will reduce the units’ ability to fight. Our guys — and I use the term with malice aforethought — win because they’re better trained and more capable than the enemy. Whenever you reduce the qualifications, you reduce the level of capability and the unit’s ability to win. To lower standards is to increase the risk of defeat.

Second, whether or not standards are relaxed, allowing women into combat arms will break the spirit of many of our warriors whether they be ground pounders, airmen, or sailors.

Our guys do what they do — and do it so well — in part because they’re guys who are members of the most exclusive club in the world: the warriors, the real 1%’ers. Their club’s membership has been 100% men since before Thermopylae. These men understand that they are different — mentally and physically — from women and want to stay that way. They have wives and girlfriends at home. They don’t have them as fellow warriors who they train and fight alongside.

To put women among them would force them to break with their ancient customs, traditions, and beliefs. In short, it would fundamentally change what they are and how they function in combat. The price will be paid in resignations, in declining re-enlistments, and in lives and battles lost.

There’s one more aspect to this, which is the strain Panetta’s act will put on military families. When he decided to allow women to serve on submarines, a lot of Navy wives were really angry. They know their men, and they know that our elite submarine force would become a fleet of submersible Love Boats, and, in too many instances, they have.

What higher price will more military families pay when women are allowed into the rest of the combat arms, serving in remote places in tough conditions with the men beside them?

Panetta’s decision has to be stopped by House Republicans. They can do it if they bar the use of any authorized or appropriated funds for DoD to implement the Panetta policy, a provision that should be in every bill they pass until it becomes law. If they don’t, we should throw the lot of them out.

28 Oct 2012

General & Admiral Relieved For Defying Washington and Trying to Rescue Former SEALs?

, , , ,


General Carter F. Ham

There are rumors, which seem to have originated in military circles, floating around that the commander of U.S. Africa Command and the commander of the aircraft carrier strike group USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) were both relieved of their commands for defying orders to stand down, and attempting to send US forces to the assistance of the two former Navy SEALs besieged at Benghazi on September 11th.

The Carter Ham story was reported by James S. Robbind at the Washington Times:

Is an American General losing his job for trying to save the Americans besieged in Benghazi? This is the latest potential wrinkle in the growing scandal surrounding the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack that left four men dead and President Obama scrambling for a coherent explanation.

On October 18, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta appeared unexpectedly at an otherwise unrelated briefing on “Efforts to Enhance the Financial Health of the Force.” News organizations and CSPAN were told beforehand there was no news value to the event and gave it scant coverage. In his brief remarks Mr. Panetta said, “Today I am very pleased to announce that President Obama will nominate General David Rodriguez to succeed General Carter Ham as commander of U.S. Africa Command.” This came as a surprise to many, since General Ham had only been in the position for a year and a half. The General is a very well regarded officer who made AFRICOM into a true Combatant Command after the ineffective leadership of his predecessor, General William E. “Kip” Ward. Later, word circulated informally that General Ham was scheduled to rotate out in March 2013 anyway, but according to Joint doctrine, “the tour length for combatant commanders and Defense agency directors is three years.” Some assumed that he was leaving for unspecified personal reasons.

However on October 26, “Ambassador” posted the following RUMINT on TigerDroppings (h/t Jim Hoft):

    I heard a story today from someone inside the military that I trust entirely. The story was in reference to General Ham that Panetta referenced in the quote below.

    quote:

    “(The) basic principle is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on; without having some real-time information about what’s taking place,” Panetta told Pentagon reporters. “And as a result of not having that kind of information, the commander who was on the ground in that area, Gen. Ham, Gen. Dempsey and I felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation.”

    The information I heard today was that General Ham as head of Africom received the same e-mails the White House received requesting help/support as the attack was taking place. General Ham immediately had a rapid response unit ready and communicated to the Pentagon that he had a unit ready.

    General Ham then received the order to stand down. His response was to screw it, he was going to help anyhow. Within 30 seconds to a minute after making the move to respond, his second in command apprehended General Ham and told him that he was now relieved of his command.

    The story continues that now General Rodiguez would take General Ham’s place as the head of Africom.

This version of events contradicts Mr. Panetta’s October 25 statement that General Ham advised against intervention. But so far there is nothing solid to back it up. Maybe Ham attempted to send a reaction force against orders, or maybe he simply said the wrong thing to the wrong people. Perhaps he gave whomever he was talking to up the chain a piece of his mind about leaving Americans to die when there was a chance of saving them. At the very least U.S. forces might have made those who killed our people pay while they were still on the scene. The Obama White House is famously vindictive against perceived disloyalty – the administration would not let Ham get away with scolding them for failing to show the leadership necessary to save American lives. The Army’s ethos is to leave no man behind, but that is not shared by a president accustomed to leading from that location.

————————-

Mike Johnson, at American Thinker, added:

The New York Times ran an article by Elisabeth Bumiller titled “Panetta Says Risk Impeded Deployment to Benghazi.” The article refers to the night of 11/12 September and includes the following: As a result, Mr. Panetta said, he and two top commanders “felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation.” The commanders are Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. Carter F. Ham of Africa Command, which oversees American military operations in Africa, including Libya. You probably have seen similar clips on TV. The impression being given by Mr. Panetta is that the three of them agreed upon the course of action.

Not how it works in the military. The junior person present gives his views, the next junior, his, and so on up the line until the senior person, in this case Mr. Panetta, makes the decision. It is not a vote and there is only one person with a veto, the senior person, Mr. Panetta. Of course, he could have had marching orders from higher up in the chain of command. Note also that the NYT piece, written eight days after Mr. Panetta’s announcement, makes no mention of General Ham being replaced as commander of U.S. Africa Command. Is it not relevant?

————————-

SundanceCracker is skeptical.

I doubt, allow me to repeat and emphasize, “doubt“, these reports are accurate. Why? Because Congressman Jason Chaffetz is on record stating that in his visit to Libya he travelled with General Ham. When Chaffetz asked Ham about whether he had a ready reaction force, according to Chaffetz – Ham told him “yes, however, we never got a request to assist in Benghazi”.

So why would there now be reports of Africom Command General Ham being replaced because of his non-compliance? He said he never got the request for help, or call to mobilize? He is not going to lie to the House Intelligence Committee – No motive, Period.

————————-

Ace successfully, I’d say, debunks any connection of events in Benghazi to the relief of Admiral Gaouette

The Stennis Carrier group is in the Persian Gulf area, which is the 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility. It’s nowhere near Libya, which is in the 6th Fleet AoR

Most importantly, this little tidbit in the [Stars and Stripes] story.

The Stennis group deployed from Bremerton in late August and had entered the Navy 5th Fleet’s area of operations in the Middle East on Oct. 17 after sailing across the Pacific.

I don’t know exactly where Stennis was on SEPTEMBER 11th but it was nowhere near Libya.

Calendars….How do they work?

My prediction: Gaouette’s “judgment” issues have more to do with the port calls in Thailand and Malaysia than nefarious politics.

————————-

Conclusion: Probably both Snopes fodder, though the General Ham story is not yet totally dismissable.


Rear Admiral Charles M. Gaouette

Your are browsing
the Archives of Never Yet Melted in the 'US Military' Category.

















Feeds
Entries (RSS)
Comments (RSS)
Feed Shark