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Old 09-18-2009, 11:12 PM
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Default Feeling my Age & Some Envy

I was looking at the US Navy's LCS (Littoral Combat Ship) mission concept and design. I'm so envious of the guys who get to participate in this exciting future! Working aboard such a multi-task ship in the modern world would be an exceptional experience. I'm sure the crews will spend ungodly amounts of time at sea, which will be hard on the families. Nevertheless, if a ship like this can fulfill at least some of her promise, some seamen will have some interesting stories to tell.

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Old 09-18-2009, 11:29 PM
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I get that same envy when I see the Javelin, hand-launched UAVs, Palm-Pilot-sized computers in the hands of line doggies that can direct air strikes, fancy Trijicon sights on the M-16s and M-4s....
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Old 09-19-2009, 06:43 AM
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I get that when looking at the new M-1A2s
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Old 09-19-2009, 10:38 AM
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For me it's seeing the 40mm grenade launchers mounted on the F88 Steyr and realising there's a whole new generation of infantrymen who've not had the displeasure of having to haul around an M79 in addition to their rifle.
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Old 09-19-2009, 12:10 PM
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I can't recall where but I'm pretty sure that I heard or read recently that the littoral combat ship program was being cancelled one of those too expensive, would be nice to have but isn't really necessary at the moment, weapons systems. I remember feeling a bit disappointed because I quite liked the idea. I could be wrong, though.
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Old 09-19-2009, 01:36 PM
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From what I have been reading, the LCS is an on-again, off-again affair. Congress is making a big stink about the cost. The Navy is making a big stink about how badly it is needed in the immediate future. The impression I have had is that the grotesque cost overrun is being viewed in a hold-your-noses-boys fashion and that acquisition will proceed slowly. That much said, my information could be out of date in what appears to be a revolving door of planning and opinion.

I'm quite attracted to the idea that seven of these ships could replace twenty conventional warships off the Horn of Africa for anti-piracy duties. Anything to keep the Navy boys at home a few more weeks a year making the next generation of fighting Americans...

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Old 09-21-2009, 01:58 AM
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That is how it usually goes... the politicians put a price tag on human lives. Then throw people under the bus when the price tag for gear that was felt to be to high, and thus not purchased ended up getting people killed. Just like they attacked Rumsfeild for saying 'You go to war with the Army you have, not the one you want to have.' All the while not wanting to face the fact that the 90s saw military budgets cut to the bone, programs canceled because they costed to much, and a prior administration that gutted intelligence gathering capabilities and blocked the sharing of gathered intelligence between agencies.

I guess what i'm saying is that it's Politicians and Politics get's people like us killed a hell alot more often than anything else.

As for the M79, I actually liked it. One of my dad's friends in Vietnam carried an M79 and a shotgun. Of course he called the shotgun 'little bang', and the M79 'big bang'. He said that he carried alot of the beehive rounds and they had been his favorite way to stop the 'human wave' attacks during ambushes.
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Old 09-21-2009, 03:04 AM
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As for the M79, I actually liked it. One of my dad's friends in Vietnam carried an M79 and a shotgun. Of course he called the shotgun 'little bang', and the M79 'big bang'. He said that he carried alot of the beehive rounds and they had been his favorite way to stop the 'human wave' attacks during ambushes.
Gnarly.
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Old 09-21-2009, 03:26 AM
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There's the infamous BCW or 'Break Contact Weapon'; an M79 cut down into a stupid sized pistol firing flechette rounds. You only got one shot, but that's all you needed.

Of course, if you really wanted to irritate people in the scrub, you got your local M551 to fire its 152mm beehive round . . . .
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Old 09-21-2009, 03:28 AM
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Of course, if you really wanted to irritate people in the scrub, you got your local M551 to fire its 152mm beehive round . . . .
You old Sheridan fanboy you...
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Old 09-21-2009, 04:00 AM
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"f course, if you really wanted to irritate people in the scrub, you got your local M551 to fire its 152mm beehive round . . . . "



mmmmmmmm
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Old 09-21-2009, 05:45 AM
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You old Sheridan fanboy you...
Guilty as charged!
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Old 09-21-2009, 06:57 AM
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I loved the M79.......on the range.

But, speaking as a machinegunner, the best tactic isn't a single shot 40mm, but a long, sustained burst of 7.62mmN from a lovingly cared for M60.

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Old 09-21-2009, 10:57 AM
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Just like they attacked Rumsfeild for saying 'You go to war with the Army you have, not the one you want to have.'
Rumsfeld was attacked because he tried to pass off his own shortcomings with a truism. He is a classic example of the civilian who thinks he knows the military better than the military. The professionals wanted 350,000 troops in Iraq. Rumsfeld argued it could be done with far fewer based on his own assumptions, which turned out to be little more than wishful thinking. He also put the brakes on spending for things we needed: up-armored Hum-Vees and the like. Only after it became obvious that he's have to part with some coin for the troops (as opposed to the contractors) did the tap get turned on properly. While Rumsfeld may be right about the Army one goes to war with, I would point out that you deal with the world as it is, not as you hope it will be.

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Old 09-21-2009, 05:51 PM
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Rumsfeld was attacked because he tried to pass off his own shortcomings with a truism. He is a classic example of the civilian who thinks he knows the military better than the military. The professionals wanted 350,000 troops in Iraq. Rumsfeld argued it could be done with far fewer based on his own assumptions, which turned out to be little more than wishful thinking. He also put the brakes on spending for things we needed: up-armored Hum-Vees and the like. Only after it became obvious that he's have to part with some coin for the troops (as opposed to the contractors) did the tap get turned on properly. While Rumsfeld may be right about the Army one goes to war with, I would point out that you deal with the world as it is, not as you hope it will be.

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I recall some of the trade magazines referring to "Rumsfeld's screwdriver", a euphemism for his unwarranted interference with tactical units (i.e. telling them how to do their jobs), when he should have been concerning himself with telling the generals what he wanted them to achieve and then letting those generals run the war.
People like him should keep their noses out of the jobs that senior NCOs and junior officers are trained to do but I can imagine it's only going to get worse with the latest generation of technology allowing everyone to see what an individual Section/Squad is doing and even individuals within that unit
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:28 AM
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Micromanagement gives trouble even in peacetime armies.
In combat is a nightmare waiting to happen.

Add the "CNN effect" and you end up with crazy rules of engagement like the ones we had in Bosnia (UN mission) back in 95, saying that if somebody shot you, you couldn't return fire unless you were very VERY sure they really wanted to hurt you, and not only to scare you. And even then, you had to be given permission from company or up before shooting back.

On the topic, I really feel my age when I see sergeants or captains younger than me
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:12 PM
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On the topic, I really feel my age when I see sergeants or captains younger than me
Tell me about it. I've been approached about going back to the National Guard as an officer. I strongly doubt there would be any openings in MI, so I'd have to go to a different branch as a lieutenant (although they say as a first lieutenant). I can just picture myself at Engineer or MP OBC standing in formation with butterbars 15-18 years younger than me. I'd be the same age as the battalion commander, or at least the XO. Ugh. No, thanks.

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Old 09-22-2009, 06:15 PM
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If I'd stayed in, I could be retired with 24 years in...But then I'd be looking for a job in a time when jobs are tough to find.
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Old 09-22-2009, 07:40 PM
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Micromanagement gives trouble even in peacetime armies.
In combat is a nightmare waiting to happen.

Add the "CNN effect" and you end up with crazy rules of engagement like the ones we had in Bosnia (UN mission) back in 95, saying that if somebody shot you, you couldn't return fire unless you were very VERY sure they really wanted to hurt you, and not only to scare you. And even then, you had to be given permission from company or up before shooting back.

On the topic, I really feel my age when I see sergeants or captains younger than me
We were talking about that at work. One of my co-workers was in the Army Reserve and he was going to be send to Bosnia at that time but they didn't have to go. They showed training films like a mob was attacking U.S. soldiers and it showed one of them with an axe where he started to swing at the soldiers and the ax was almost at the soldier's shoulder and the film stopped and said, "that is the time to use opposing force." I hope the soldier had a .45 in the other arm to fight back since he was going to lose the arm with the ax.

Chuck M.
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Old 09-22-2009, 08:53 PM
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The Army is badly in need of reorganization to handle OOTW, SOSUS, or whatever the next acronym is for rear area/peacekeeping type missions. At the risk of repeating myself, a National Guard brigade organized with one each medical, MP, and engineer battalions would be far more appropriate than an infantry brigade. If need be, the brigade could be plussed up with an infantry or combined arms task force. The MPs could be equipped with the latest nonlethal technologies to deal with crowd management, etc.

The infantry belong in the field killing folks, plain and simple. Infantry operations is a skill set that quickly atrophies at the checkpoint, I can say with some authority. If there is no enemy readily available, then the infantry can be placed into a support role in which they continue to train for killing folks; or they can patrol outside the urban areas. Folks who volunteer for the infantry have volunteered for combat, not police operations. The infantry shouldn't be in a position to wonder where the line is drawn for the use of lethal force. He should be applying lethal force or off someplace training to apply lethal force.

My $.02.

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Old 09-23-2009, 09:31 AM
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I went to the US Army's "Spirit of America" show last weekend-- featured bands and the Silent Drill Team, as well as some re-enacting of key Army history moments. Of course, I did some musing about my non-existent Army career (rejected from ROTC).

I was shocked to calculate that IF I had been commissioned when I wanted to, summer 1990, I would be one year from the magic number of 20 for retirement! Assuming, of course, I didn't quit in the '90s or die or something else, of course.
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Old 09-28-2009, 02:11 PM
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Tell me about it. I've been approached about going back to the National Guard as an officer. I strongly doubt there would be any openings in MI, so I'd have to go to a different branch as a lieutenant (although they say as a first lieutenant). I can just picture myself at Engineer or MP OBC standing in formation with butterbars 15-18 years younger than me. I'd be the same age as the battalion commander, or at least the XO. Ugh. No, thanks.
When I moved from North Dakota to Oregon, I found myself attached to a National Guard unit in which I was the same age as the battalion commander and technically outranked by virtue of date of rank. Since it was an Infantry battalion and I was a Cavalry officer, we decided that I would act as a (VERY senior) platoon leader for a separate "odds-and-sods" platoon that would serve as a home for those random misfits that always seem to somehow make their way into the National Guard...I wound up with, among other things, two ex-Navy submariner Sonar Technicians and a Military Intelligence sergeant who spoke Japanese and Russian. As an added bonus, however, I did inherit the battalion's single Vietnam War-vintage M113 ACAV and all five of the enlisted 19Ks scattered throughout the battalion.
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Old 09-28-2009, 10:59 PM
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When I moved from North Dakota to Oregon, I found myself attached to a National Guard unit in which I was the same age as the battalion commander and technically outranked by virtue of date of rank. Since it was an Infantry battalion and I was a Cavalry officer, we decided that I would act as a (VERY senior) platoon leader for a separate "odds-and-sods" platoon that would serve as a home for those random misfits that always seem to somehow make their way into the National Guard...I wound up with, among other things, two ex-Navy submariner Sonar Technicians and a Military Intelligence sergeant who spoke Japanese and Russian. As an added bonus, however, I did inherit the battalion's single Vietnam War-vintage M113 ACAV and all five of the enlisted 19Ks scattered throughout the battalion.
Interesting... In my guard unit in SO Oregon we had colonel come to our unit as an E5. I believe that when he put in for his retirement he found that he was short a year or so. It was funny seeing him trying to boss around other senior NCO's and lieutenants. I think our Ranger XO put him in his place one day, and he chilled out finally.
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Old 09-29-2009, 11:25 AM
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When I moved from North Dakota to Oregon, I found myself attached to a National Guard unit in which I was the same age as the battalion commander and technically outranked by virtue of date of rank. Since it was an Infantry battalion and I was a Cavalry officer, we decided that I would act as a (VERY senior) platoon leader for a separate "odds-and-sods" platoon that would serve as a home for those random misfits that always seem to somehow make their way into the National Guard...I wound up with, among other things, two ex-Navy submariner Sonar Technicians and a Military Intelligence sergeant who spoke Japanese and Russian. As an added bonus, however, I did inherit the battalion's single Vietnam War-vintage M113 ACAV and all five of the enlisted 19Ks scattered throughout the battalion.
Sounds like a really good starting group of PC's to play the Kalisz scenario with!
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Old 09-29-2009, 01:54 PM
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Sounds like a really good starting group of PC's to play the Kalisz scenario with!
*chuckling* Yeah...the battalion commander (who was also an old-school T2K player) made a comment to that effect, and he and I were laughing about that very thing when we set up the Odds-and-Sods platoon*. We even looked kind of like one, with an elderly M113ACAV, a Deuce-and-a-half that was nearly as old, and a pair of HMMWVs.



* We had an actual name for it -- something like Headquarters Support Platoon -- but I don't remember what it was anymore.
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Old 09-29-2009, 07:35 PM
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...all five of the enlisted 19Ks scattered throughout the battalion.
For the benefit of us non US people, what the hell is a 19k?
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:03 PM
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For the benefit of us non US people, what the hell is a 19k?

Page 27, 2TK 2.0 book:
Quote:
Each specialty (called an MOS, or military occupational specialty) is assigned a code for easy classification (the MOS for M1 tank crewmembers is 19K, or "Nineteen-Kilo," for instance) but these are not important to the game.
Not important unless you like to write novels for character backgrounds
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:01 PM
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For the benefit of us non US people, what the hell is a 19k?
Or if you are an American infantryman, you call them DATs.
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:04 PM
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Or if you are an American infantryman, you call them DATs.

19k = M1 tank crewman.


LOL
a D.A.T. I be and proud of it. :P
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:21 PM
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Ah, a turrethead or in the case of an M113 crewman, a buckethead.

:P
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