Army PFC Roosevelt Clark Laid to Rest after 62 Years

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The Bakersfield Californian tells the tale.

“My aunt and uncle are up in heaven, ecstatic that their son is home now,” said Leticia Maiden Carter, Clark’s cousin. “It’s a blessing from God.”

PFC Clark died when his company of the 35th Infantry was overrun by Chinese Communist Forces near Unsan in November of 1950.   His remains were identified in December, 2012.  Now, he is home and has been laid to rest with the honors befitting an American hero.  Most importantly, his family has closure, upon which no price can be placed.

You were not forgotten, and now your sacrifice can again inspire.

Hand Salute. 

Ready TWO!

Woodward on the Obama White House and Sequestration: “A kind of madness I haven’t seen in a long time.”

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Say what you want about Bob Woodward, he IS still an independent voice.  Which apparently is incurring the wrath of the Obama Administration.

Bob Woodward said this evening on CNN that a “very senior person” at the White House warned him in an email that he would “regret doing this,” the same day he has continued to slam President Barack Obama over the looming forced cuts known as the sequester.

“It makes me very uncomfortable to have the White House telling reporters, ‘You’re going to regret doing something that you believe in,'” Woodward said.

Business Insider tells the story, and includes the appearance on NBC’s “Morning Joe”.   The above revelation should be most disturbing to those who understand the importance of an independent press.  But, from the rest of the beholden media, not a chirp.  We will hear endlessly in government and civics classes about Nixon’s “enemies list”, but the obvious fact that Obama’s staff makes overt threats against those who dare criticize will be somehow excluded.

Sequestration was Obama’s idea.  A deal was negotiated in good faith to cut spending, but Obama changed the rules.  Obama wants to use this “fiscal cliff” nonsense as a vehicle for even more confiscatory taxes on “the wealthy” as a way to wage class warfare and redistribute the wealth.  He was given the authority to make targeted cuts other than those specified in the sequestration deal.  He wanted no part of that, as responsibility would point directly back at the President, something he assiduously avoids.

Obama insists on blaming Republicans, who have already caved once on higher taxes (which will generate infinitessimal amounts of revenue compared to the debt).   When Bob Woodward points out the blatant dishonesty of such an assertion, he is threatened by the White House.   One has to wonder whether Woodward will mysteriously be named in some scandal, or become the subject of an IRS audit, or have some other misfortune befall him.  Some on the Left are already treating him like a pariah for having blasphemed.

Ponder that this is the government that wants to take your guns, your money, and your privacy.   What could go wrong?

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As Aggie points out below, others in the MSM would be quick to declare Woodward senile.

Former Obama adviser David Plouffe tweeted Wednesday: “Watching Woodward last 2 days is like imagining my idol Mike Schmidt facing live pitching again. Perfection gained once is rarely repeated.”

Despite the anticipated White House denials and the well-worn “factual disagreement” card, what happened to Woodward isn’t the first time.  Seems it happened to Lanny Davis, too.   “It will never happen again”, of course, until it does.  
A Chicago criminal enterprise on the Potomac.

First Operational P-8A Squadron Prepares for Deployment; Fleet Transition Continues

Five years ago, in the midst of managing fatigue-life issues with our P-3 fleet, we developed a plan to transition the fleet to the P-8A Poseidon beginning in spring 2012. I’m pleased to report today that P-8 transition is well underway at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla., in accordance with the plan we laid out.

With the hard work and support of our fleet, the Naval Air Systems Command, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and industry team, the Navy accepted the first six low-rate, initial-production P-8s on or ahead of schedule, with the last LRIP Lot 1 aircraft delivered on Jan. 31. Furthermore, Boeing is on contract to deliver seven additional LRIP Lot II aircraft over the next year.

Our Fleet Replacement Squadron, VP-30, commenced “training the trainers” in April 2012, and our first fleet squadron, Patrol Squadron 16 (VP-16), began P-8 Fleet Introduction Training in July 2012 after returning from a deployment. VP-16 aircrews and maintenance personnel successfully completed P-8 transition on schedule and the squadron was certified “Safe-for-Flight” to operate P-8s from its home port last month. The squadron is training to build advanced combat readiness in its P-8s in preparation for deploying to the Western Pacific with six P-8s in December.

via First Operational P-8A Squadron Prepares for Deployment; Fleet Transition Continues.

None too soon. Read the whole thing to see the parlous state of the P-3 fleet. And if you read my piece on the Falklands, you’ll know just how devastating the lack of patrol aircraft was to the Argentinians.

The P-8 has been a remarkably smooth program compared to so many others. Why? Because it was extremely tightly focused, and the trend to gold plating/multi-missioning was held in check. NavAir wanted a P-3 replacement, and wanted it to be as cheap as possible. They held the line on that, and got what they asked for.

Coming Home to Roost

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Donna Brazile, Democratic strategist and former Campaign Manager for such luminaries as Jesse Jackson (1984) and Dick Gephardt (1988), and supporter of virtually all things Obama, still managed to be somewhat befuddled that the impact of the Affordable Health Care Act was to make health care, well, less affordable.  (But to be fair, it is redistributing the wealth and bringing about “economic justice” which the Founding Fathers, not being from Chicago, neglected to include.)

@donnabrazile

What’s on your menu? Just got off the phone with my health care provider asking them to explain why my premium jumped up. No good answer!

The comments over at Twitchy are more than a little amusing.

And just when you think it couldn’t get any better, or the cognitive dissonance any more complete, why, it does.  Seems it isn’t the fiscal train wreck of Obamacare that is the cause.  Nooooooooooo.  Perish the thought.

@donnabrazile

Why are your health insurance premiums higher? Price gauging, not. My provider told me it was because of my age. More to come.

We won’t talk about the difference between “gauging” and “gouging”.  It must not be part of the Womens’ and Gender Studies curriculum at Georgetown.    As Twitchy says in the follow-up, Bless her Heart!

 

China unveils new stealth missile frigate — RT News

China releases details of a new stealth missile frigate. It’s part of a military modernization process amid ongoing tensions over Beijing’s maritime claims in the region.

The first ship of the Type 056 Jiangdao class frigates was handed over to China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) in Shanghai, home to one of the country’s largest naval shipyards.

The stealth frigate Number 586 is a new design with sloped surfaces made as clean as possible, it also has reduced superstructure clutter. It features advanced technologies that will make it harder to detect by radar, visual, sonar, and infrared methods, the Chinese navy said at their website.

China’s brand new vessel is armed with a 76-mm main gun based on the Russian AK-176 and 30-mm remote weapon systems. The main anti-ship armament consists of YJ-83 sea-skimming anti-ship cruise missiles in two twin-cell launchers. The primary anti-aircraft armament is one FL-3000N short range missile system with eight rounds. The ship is fitted with a helicopter deck at the stern but has no organic helicopter support facilities.

At 1,440 tons fully loaded, this frigate cruises at an estimated 28 knots and has about a 2,000 nautical mile range.

via China unveils new stealth missile frigate — RT News.

1400 tons is really more of a corvette than a frigate, but there’s no law that says they have to follow any particular naming convention.

And it’s a good looking little ship, with a reasonable mix of weapons and sensors.

Mind you, much of the value of a warship isn’t readily visible just by counting the mounts and antennae. Redundancy of critical systems, integration of sensors via the ships combat system, and its ability to network with other ships and platforms are critical to the overall effectiveness of a warship. And just how effective the Chinese radars and sonars are is open to argument. I’d argue that they’re not nearly as bad as many folks would immediately assume.

And because China doesn’t have to deploy these ships half way around the world to fulfill its mission set, they can build larger numbers of ships with modest capabilities. And quantity has a quality all its own.

Stealing all the good stuff from CDR Salamander

I love stealing from being inspired to post by CDR Salamander.

He’s got a couple of good posts today, a nice mix of the old and the new.

First a link to a great photospread on the HMS Caroline, a Royal Navy cruiser from World War I.

There’s also a half hour video on her.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__B9zprZf9Y]

Next up, LCS-1 recently got a new paint job, designed and applied by the crew for their deployment that starts Friday. *

No, a new paint job doesn’t make the Little Crappy Ship** any better, but having painted a boat a time or two, I appreciate the hard work it is. And at least the black patches hide some of the soot from the diesel exhausts.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tb-mWG4uSek]

*I thought sailing on Fridays was bad.

** A term coined over half a decade ago by Byron the shipfitter, and denizen of Sal’s front porch.

Senate confirms Hagel for defense secretary – First Read

The Senate voted to confirm former Sen. Chuck Hagel as President Barack Obama’s next secretary of defense following weeks of dogged opposition by Republican senators to their erstwhile colleague.

The Senate voted 58 to 41 to formally confirm Hagel, on the heels of a procedural vote earlier in the day that cleared the way for Tuesday afternoon’s final vote.

That earlier vote dispensed with a filibuster that Senate Republicans had waged for a week and a half against Hagel, whose confirmation was delayed by Republicans past the President’s Day recess in order to allow for more time to dig into the former Nebraska senator’s background.

via Senate confirms Hagel for defense secretary – First Read.

I’m generally in favor of granting wide latitude to the President in choosing his cabinet members. But, in spite of his infantry NCO background, I’m appalled at the choice of Chuck Hagel as SecDef. Not so much on ideological grounds, but on the fact that he’s just not very bright.

DoD is facing some enormous management challenges in the coming years, and Hagel has shown absolutely no talent for managing complex entities. DoD also faces serious strategic policy issues, and Hagel hasn’t shown much depth there either.

What really frustrates me is that there are any number of people from the Democrat side that would have made pretty good candidates. I might disagree with them (vehemently) on any number of issues, but they at least have skills and smarts to put to the task.

One struggles to find a reason why President Obama has chosen to place the top three national security jobs in the hands of people that are rather dim. I can only surmise that by placing weak people in these jobs, he feels he can maintain closer personal control, and not have strong, independent minded leaders pushing back on his policy directives.

John Lehman, Gary Roughead: Fix Procurement To Save The Navy

WASHINGTON: In a remarkably non-partisan moment amidst the current strife over budget cuts and Chuck Hagel, Ronald Reagan’s Navy Secretary and George W. Bush’s Chief of Naval Operations told a Republican-helmed committee that the Navy’s real problem was not the Obama administration’s budget but decades of creeping bureaucracy that have eaten every budget’s buying power.

“I hate to say anything particularly in praise of this administration’s defense policy,” said John Lehman, Navy Secretary from 1981 to 1987 and national security advisor to Mitt Romney in 2012, at a hearing of the seapower panel of the House Armed Services Committee, chaired by Rep. Randy Forbes. But, Lehman went on, a recent report by the Defense Business Board really shows “how to get at the bureaucracy and the overhead.”

The chairman of that study, retired Marine general Arnold Punaro, told AOL Defense at the time that its recommendation for the Pentagon procurement system was, in a phrase, “put a match to it.”

via John Lehman, Gary Roughead: Fix Procurement To Save The Navy.

Goldwater-Nichols is often seen as a response to the lack of joint warfighting capability exposed by the serious problems in the 1982 invasion of Grenada, and a few other incidents. It gave us our current joint structure of regional Combatant Commanders (formerly the regional CinC’s), and strengthened the Office of Secretary of Defense, and largely limited the role of the service heads in the realm of current operations. Whereas the CNO used to be the Chief of Naval Operations, he is today really the chief of buying stuff and training sailors. CNO is no longer in the operational chain of command.

But the CNO, despite being the guy in charge of buying stuff, isn’t trusted to decide what to buy. Virtually all major acquisition programs are centrally managed via the OSD.

Theoretically, the system for procurement is rather simple. But in practice, the procurement system, like so much of government, emphasizes process over product. By the time a program manager is assigned, there’s assumed to be a valid need for the program. And the program manager is evaluated on how well his program moves through the process, not on whether the product is useful, efficient, or even really needed. That’s how you wind up with the LHX helicopter program running for a quarter century, going from  a program for a cheap replacement for the Huey, Cobra and Kiowa, to the RAH-66 Comanche stealth scout helicopter that would have been the most expensive helicopter in the world by far. And it took the SecDef to cancel it, even though everyone knew it was busting the Army’s entire procurement budget, not just aviation, and it had no real role to fulfill in the force structure.

I don’t have a sure answer for fixing procurement. But I’d start by devolving procurement authority further down from OSD toward the services, with each service having virtual autonomy in certain functional areas. OSD would still maintain its role in assuring interoperability.

I’d also take a long hard look at the COCOM structure. Do they really all need to be four-star slots? The force deployed today in Afghanistan would have been a two-star job in World War II.  At least some of the COCOMS should be two star, or at most, three star slots. If more horsepower is needed when a region is an actual theater of combat, it’s easy enough to bump it up. But just keeping a stable of four stars and their multitude of subordinate three and two star component deputies is wasteful.

Split the world in half. Pacific Command and Atlantic Command (or whatever you wish to call them). Make them the regional 4-star COCOM, and specific regional commanders under them can be lower grades.

At any event, Goldwater Nichols needs to be replaced by a more efficient structure.