Saturday, July 18, 2020


I read this article just now and the author asks a question. He hustles around the berry bush but he doesn't actually have a clue about the answer. I know what it is. You should too.

When I was a Commander working at Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command I watched something amazing happen and nobody at all saw it or wrote about it. I did but that was back when USENET was a thing.

What happened was that when Obama took power he and his party set out to destroy the military. They didn't do it the old fashioned way with rockets, bombs and infantry. What they did was a lot more soulless. Working with the Clinton machine they simply arranged for the worst possible officers to get promoted to flag rank and to get advanced to 3 and 4 stars. Starting with their war on Bosnia you could watch as the leadership of the military declined to about a 90 IQ.

The larger issue that most people would miss from Bryan McGrath's article is, why does it take 2 and a half years to weld steel and run some wires to fix a ship? It didn't use to and the ships aren't really any more complex than they used to be. That's a myth people like to believe. It's steel and wires. Yeah there are the finicky details but those were thrashed out 30 years ago.

Ship construction funds are like the gold of Congress and they are doled out to truly deserving Congresscritters and Senators and they always have been. We are paying a ridiculous premium for shipyards that don't actually build or repair ships so the tap will remain open and the dollars will flow. Yes, even as I write that I realize that I sound like an old codger but it's true. The Bonhomme Richard will almost certainly be towed 300 yards to NASCO shipyard for repairs and the repairs will take about 3 years. That's the optimist in me. In reality there is little chance it will make fiscal sense to repair a 20 year old ship gutted by a fire that burned for 4 days.

I read everything Dan Gallery DDLM wrote. I may have reached my Pueblo Incident moment. I think he was probably about this old when he wrote it.
The Bonhomme Richard fire raises another question: How tough and survivable can a ship be in combat if it is burning out of control in port during peacetime? While it takes three to five years to build a modern warship, there are very few places to do so. And, as was recently shown by the two-and-a-half years of repairs to the USS Fitzgerald after its 2017 collision, it takes time to repair major damage to a modern warship. Some will look at this fire and conclude that continuing to build and operate large, vulnerable ships makes little sense in an age of proliferating anti-ship missiles and greater visibility of ship movements through a variety of sensors.
There's something nobody talks about. In that crew of 1100 people? It takes just one enemy of civilization to torch it. And there is nothing anybody can do to stop it.


Bobo the Hobo said...

In all honesty, the decline/decimation of the military started after Reagan with Bush 41. I watched with great sorrow how solid NCO’s with 16 years in were encouraged to leave the service, allegedly a “cost savings” move, while incompetent “leaders” began flogging social awareness issues.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reminder about Admiral Gallery, DDLM [and, yes, I remember that too].
Meeting social justice needs is believed to be a war winner. We shall see.
Listen to General Milley whining about walking across the street with PDT. [More to that than meets the eye as well]
V/R Jwest

Rib said...

Actually, I’d peg the decline to immediately after Reagan. As a flight surgeon, I easily shot down (simulated of course), Gen Mather (aka the ‘Beav’) during the build up to Desert Storm during F16 night ops at Torrejon. And I was no Adolf Galland. Promoted above his competency, he was infamous for such morale building exercises as citing motorists for starting their car before fastenng seatbelts in the BX parking lot.

capt fast said...

do trust that you are not the only one who saw and experienced that particular phenomenon and had ire aroused by it. the draw down of competent experienced seven and nine level airmen in the enlisted ranks after vietnam was nothing compared to what occurred under bush clinton bushy and obama. the senior officers and midlevel warfighters went away soon after. that's the view from the air force. I am sure the other branches suffered the same slings and arrows. the competency and dedication displayed in the gulf war is still there, but, on a much smaller scale. the willingness of our political class to kill the golden goose with their corruption and criminality disgusts me to a point I can no longer tolerate.

Ominous Cowherd said...

The military procurement system delivers grift, not weapons. If our military could fight, we wouldn't be able to re-equip them in a near-peer war. We can barely manage to keep them equipped to slaughter goat-humpers.

HMS Defiant said...

Yep, I saw the same thing. Early retirement they called it and then they followed that up with High Year Tenure and for the enlisted it became like they were officers. You had a set amount of time to promote to the next rank or they tossed you out of the service nobody how well you actually did your job.

HMS Defiant said...

He wrote some wonderful stories and I really would have enjoyed meeting him for a beer. We need to get rid of the politicians in uniforms. What we have now is a 1000 times worse than the Admirals Revolt. Clinton screwed the promotion system to 3 and 4 stars to hell with his political thumb on the scale for those to promote that were loyal to him or his ideals and since they run things they continue to select more like themselves and most of them are scum.

HMS Defiant said...

I remember at Damneck even back in the 80s the Base security thought it was legit to train their drug detector dogs by placing packets of real drugs on the wheels of cars parked at the commissary even though those same dogs were then taken to the gates where they hit on the cars that still had the residue of drugs from the training and motorists were treated like criminals. New CO canned that instantly.

HMS Defiant said...

Sad but true. How could this country suffer a nationwide ammo shortage 10 years ago but still expect to fight a major land war anywhere if there was nobody to tool up or man the tools to make millions of rounds of ammo a week.