Saturday, November 22, 2014

Halo & Homer.

This is coolbert:

"China And Russia Team Up To Build World's Largest, Most Powerful Chopper"

"Currently, the largest and most powerful helicopter to have ever entered production is the gargantuan Mi-26 'Halo' of Russian origin, of which many still serve in governmental and commercial roles around the globe. After decades of the 'Halo' being on top, a new record holder is now said to be on the way, with Russia and China joining forces to make it happen."

Mi-26T2 Halo but not merely an improved version but a vastly improved version. Able to lift way more than any other existing helicopter. Think of the Halo as HEAVY CONSTRUCTION MACHINERY as might be found in the building trades. Civilian and military application  both.

Devoted readers to the blog will also like to view the accompanying video showing the Homer in action. Called the V-12, only two prototypes made, THE LARGEST HELICOPTER EVER EXISTING AGAIN ONLY THE PROTOTYPE STAGE!

My understanding is that these heavy lift helicopters of enormous size normally have more maintenance problems and preventative care required that makes for a lot of "down-time". NOT so cost efficient to operate such a gargantuan helio.

Perhaps with modern technology such constraints have been overcome?



This is coolbert:

Open skies and friendly skies!

I had thought the treaty was in abeyance at the insistence of the Russian. This is no longer the case?

"US plane flying over Russian airspace, taking photos of military equipment"

"The US military has conducted surveillance missions over the Russian airspace, capturing images of the country’s military equipment."

"A US observation plane has been flying over Russian skies during the past several days, Stars and Stripes reported on Wednesday."

"The US says the mission was done under the Open Skies Treaty that allows a limited number of observation flights. Russia, the United States and a number of other countries have signed the treaty."

NONE OF THIS BEING DONE IN A SURREPTITIOUS AND COVERT MANNER. LEGALLY MANDATED BY TREATY. Within the context of the Ukraine crisis such over flights can be seen as a good omen. Tensions ameliorating and trust slowly returning? I would like to think so but am somewhat skeptical.


Friday, November 21, 2014


This is coolbert:

Colonel Austin Bay at Strategy Page also has taken note that it is now one hundred fifty years since the famous/infamous "March to the Sea". With extracts and commentary.

"Sherman's March to the Sea: Total Impact Warfare"

"One hundred fifty years ago this month, General William Tecumseh Sherman's Union 'Army of the West marched from Atlanta, Georgia, to the seaport of Savannah"

"Remaining in Atlanta also entailed serious danger. For supplies, Sherman's troops depended on the single rail line connecting Atlanta to Chattanooga. On a daily basis, Confederate cavalry under Nathaniel Bedford Forrest snapped Union telegraph lines and ripped up railroad track. If Sherman tried to winter in the city, his army might starve."

This NOWHERE have I ever seen referenced. Sherman almost HAD to make the march. His options were limited. MOVE forward to the sea and replenishment of resources NOT only an alternative but becoming a MUST!

"Sherman had his medical officers cull out sick, weak and overweight soldiers. They were put on the next train to Chattanooga. The result: 60,000 lithe, armed athletes capable of sustaining a forced march pace."

A fit army without any troops unable to maintain a pace, NOT necessarily forced but continuous and unrelenting. A slacker or troop falling out on the march subject to southern marauders and local civilians with his fate most terrible.

"Sherman waged war for total psychological impact and hence political impact. If Southerners wanted to keep their pigs, they could surrender."

NOT so much pigs as cured hams. That civilian population to be unmolested unless resistance was encountered. And for the most part, that preponderance even, NO resistance was offered.

My perception is that of HARD but not CRUEL! It was war!



This is coolbert:

Read from Strategy Page the full dope on those USAF and USN [air force and navy] personnel deployed to the war zones of Iraq and Afghan but functioning and having a ground combat mission.

1. "Infantry: USAF Cuts Ground Combat Training"

"14,000 airmen a year to be more skilled in ground combat."

USAF and USN airmen and sailor who at least for the air force are graduates of  the CBAT and GCS programs.

* CBAT (Common Battlefield Airmen Training).

Ground Combat Skills course (GCS).

2. "Sailors Serving As Soldiers Has Changed The Navy"

"The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have had an interesting impact on the U.S. Navy. Since September 11, 2001 over 78,000 U.S. Navy sailors have served as 'IAs,' (individual augmentees), overseas, mainly with the U.S. Army, in combat areas. Most (69 percent) served between 2006 and 2011, the periods of most intensive combat in Iraq and Afghanistan."

Missions to include sentry duty, patrolling, convoy protection, EOD when needed.

Relieve trained combat infantry units of onerous duty. Perform a vital mission and leave the actually active and search and destroy combat missions to the combat arms personnel.

Give the USAF and USN high marks in both cases. Highly motivated airmen and sailors and once again BRAVO!


Thomas Case.

This is coolbgert:

The fighting airman!!

Here is a combat airman that on several occasions has done himself very proud. During ground combat too.

"Airman Becomes 3rd to Earn 2nd Silver Star"

"As bullets cracked around his head, Air Force Master Sgt. Thomas Case stayed cool and directed pinpoint airstrikes on Taliban positions less than a stone’s throw away."

"With two foreign fighters coming at the commander of the Army unit to which Case was assigned as a joint terminal attack controller, he shielded the officer with his body and took them down with his rifle."

"For his heroism fulfilling both the air and ground aspects of the JTAC’s job during a battle on July 16 and 17, 2009, Case on Thursday became just the third airman to be awarded a second Silver Star medal"

Traditionally the only enlisted air force personnel that might even have the opportunity to see ground combat would be the pararescue jumpers.

Since the time of Iraq and Afghan that has all changed!

Both naval and air force personnel volunteering for ground combat duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and comporting themselves with distinction. Missions to include sentry duty, patrolling, convoy protection. GROUND COMBAT! NOT infantry but nonetheless military personnel carrying a rifle and performing their military service with honor and courage. Bravo to all of them!!


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Guam & Bear.

This is coolbert:

NO WHERE else is this reported. It has now become SO ROUTINE is is not worth reporting?

"Russian Bombers Threaten Guam"

"Two Russian strategic bombers [Tu-95] circled the U.S. island of Guam last week in what U.S. defense officials say is the latest in a series of nuclear provocations by Moscow."

. . . .

"Friday’s flights [14 Nov.] were the second time in the past two years that Russia conducted unusual long-range bomber missions around the island. Two Tu-95s circled the island on Feb. 12, 2013 and were intercepted by F-15 jets."

. . . .

"The flights took place a day before President Obama arrived in Brisbane for the summit where he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin."

NOT SO MUCH threaten as these planes on an intelligence and reconnaissance mission? Or more for intimidation sake this is all done?

IN this instance there was not even an intercept response on the part of American fighter aircraft.



This is coolbert:

Some update on more low-profile instructions and orders for military personnel. EUCOM = European Command. Low-profile for American military personnel off base in the U.S. and now Europe also.

1. "EUCOM bars troops from wearing uniforms off base"

"STUTTGART, Germany — U.S. European Command has ordered all troops serving on the continent to refrain from wearing uniforms off base except when they are commuting to work in their personal cars or on base buses. The directive, which was sent to respective service components on Nov. 10, was expected to be in full effect at bases across Europe by Tuesday as part of an effort to ensure the safety of personnel, EUCOM said. In addition, EUCOM recommended that all personnel review their individual social media accounts make sure they don’t reveal too much personal information on their geolocation functions..."

Also that knife attack at the submarine base, Groton CT, USA not a case of amok. Much more mundane and pedestrian.

2. "Man Charged in Knife Attack at Groton Navy Base"

Brunache the accused knife wielder it seems either mentally deranged or extremely angry or just the disaffected individual.

"The man accused of 'swinging a knife' and assaulting officers at the Groton submarine base Thursday evening will remain in federal custody until a detention hearing scheduled for noon Wednesday."

. . . .

"Brunache, who said he went to the base to see his brother, walked from Norwich to the Navy base around 7 p.m. Thursday. He became frustrated when officers at the main gate on Crystal Lake Road wouldn't let him in and began 'swinging a knife' at Officer Brian McCarthy, according to the NCIS officer who filed a complaint against him."

NOT merely swinging a knife. The one guard was indeed STABBED!