Saturday Links of Interest

Japan and China face off in the air.

Tensions continued to escalate between Japan and China over disputed islets in the East China Sea on Thursday, with Japan reportedly sending two F-15s from Naha, Okinawa, after several Chinese military aircraft crossed into its Air defense identification zone (ADIZ). China responded by scrambling two J-10s of its own.

Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force spotted the Chinese aircraft in its ADIZ over the East China Sea at about 12pm on Thursday, Kyodo quoted a senior Defense Ministry official as saying, adding that the Chinese aircraft never entered Japanese airspace. Kyodo said the Chinese aircraft penetrated Japan’s ADIZ on three occasions.

It’s not illegal for China to fly into the Japanese ADIZ. But it is understood that any non-scheduled flight into an ADIZ will trigger an interception. So sending military aircraft into the ADIZ is considered rather rude, and provocative. And sooner or later, it will get ugly. It only takes a moment for something like this to turn into a shooting incident.


The Navy’s Task Force Uniform spent 5 years and untold millions coming up with the Navy Working Uniform. It’s ugly, expensive, and best of all, highly flammable!

The U.S. Navy’s standard-issue blue digitized camouflage fatigues are highly flammable and will burn ‘robustly until complete consumption,’ a report revealed last month.
The findings show that the digital-print camo, which is made from 50 percent cotton and 50 percent nylon, will drip as it burns, causing potentially hazardous burn injuries.
But the Navy’s top spokesman said that the government organization is aware of the report findings, and added that sailors had asked for a fade-resistant uniform that was also comfortable.

Big Navy’s response is that sailors who will be in direct contact with fire will have appropriate fire resistant clothing. The problem is, aboard ship, every sailor is a firefighter.

When the USS Stark was struck by two Iraqi Exocet missiles, sailors didn’t have time to change out of their dungarees into firefighting clothing. They fought as they were dressed.  The old cotton dungaree pants and blue chambray shirts might not seem very suitable for firefighting, but in fact, with one hose team spraying fog, and another hose team attacking a fire, the 100% cotton clothing provided excellent protection for most flashover situations. I know, I’ve been in a massive pool of burning jet fuel wearing them.  The blended materiel in the NWU not only burns, it melts, clinging to the wearer’s skin, causing horrific pain, and greatly complicating treatment for burns.


NWU- Making the Army’s ACU fiasco look sensible!


The latest version of the Army’s AH-64 helicopter was developed as the AH-64D Block III. In a move that shows a stunning bit of common sense, the Army finally decided to follow the actual stated policy with regards to Tri-Service aircraft designations and redesignated it the AH-64E.  But just to add to the fun, they also decided that this sub-type of Apache also needs a sub-name. And as usual, they picked a dud. The Guardian. We certainly can’t have a weapon designed to hunt down and kill our foes having an aggressive name, now can we. On Outlaw 13’s Facebook page, he was looking for better names. Given the PC trends of the services, I suggested it should have been named the AH-64E Apache Fluffy Kitten.


The Army is justifiably proud of its networked combat systems, where every vehicle and most troops have instantaneous access to the battlefield internet. Locations of friendly and enemy forces are plotted in real-time, and shared across the battlefield, providing levels of situational awareness that were simply unimaginable in my time. Orders are transmitted digitally, reports are similarly sent across the ether. Logistics, medical support, maintenance and fire support all are managed through this battlefield network.

But what happens when the network fails? Armed Forced Journal has an article that explores this problem. It seems the article is focused a bit above the Brigade Combat Team level, but the questions apply there as well. Our soldiers have spent a decade using these digital tools to facilitate their operations. Can they still execute the mission without them? One wonders if Esli’s rotation at NTC will see a mission or two where the Force XXI Brigade and Below Command and Control System (FB2C2) will be degraded or denied.

Via Bryan McGrath at Information Dissemination


Roamy should like this. It’s got both splodey, AND rocket science!


7 thoughts on “Saturday Links of Interest”

  1. The Japan/China thing? Un-freakin’-believable. I am writing the moves for a wargame for the Navy League, and it is almost verbatim my lead-in to Move 2. Unreal.

  2. “AH-64E Apache Fluffy Kitten” – While that sells to Generation Dora, the Army has traditions to follow here. Aircraft receive names of Indian (er…) Native American tribes. Hekawi, maybe? Fugawi?

  3. I can’t get the digital coms article to open, but I am using FM with retrans, ABCS and FBCB2 for the duration, at Bn and below and largely the same for Bn to BCT. (Make that ABCT, as Armored Brigade Combat Team has been formalized.) The digital architecture was built for static operations in Iraq. It can literally take 24 hours for a massive BDE TOC to jump and get all the “upper tier” digital systems going, and I will not tie in that much. My own TOC is much smaller, but stil takes a bit to jump. My main concerns are that FBCB2 requires EPLRS radios, of which we are short, and that I need the BCT to make the jump from digital products to “analog” for me as they have a larger staff and I can’t provide any digits to the companies in anything other than FBCB2 for maneuver and AFATDS for fires. Google the temps at fort Irwin today and you will see my real problem as we draw vehicles today.

    1. Esli,

      I would LOVE to hear more about how the digital architecture would need to be changed to support mobile operations. Equipment, protocols for xfer of control, etc. How many EPLRS each level of command needs to maintain optimal digital connectivity, and what that looks like for trained operators and tech support.

      If you come across any UNCLASS AARs from Irwin or other evolutions, I would love to read ’em.

      Methinks you are hitting on a sizeable and self-induced C4I problem for all ground combat elements.

    2. Oh, and as for being unable to function without FBCB2, on the contrary I have been pushing a very resistant force to use it. If I had to grade myself (meaning collectively) on FBCB2 as anything other than a navigational tool, I would give myself a D.

    3. Hit me up after mid-FEB when I come out of the box and I would be glad to comment. (From a maneuver vice signal perspective.). We’ll lose all personal connectivity here in a couple days, besides which I would be WaaAyyyy to busy even to check on this site, which while I don’t want to encourage xBrad, is one of my few daily reads for, yes, the intellectual stimulation. Even as it is, this comment will take a couple minutes to post by government phone.

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