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Monday, 02 May 2005

Comments

Mike

You are spot on with the need for a backup plan...especially in relation to Korea. Are all those bar-code readers hardened against an EMP?

I didn't think so.

Major Mike

What happens to strategic lift when every Hummer weighs 500-1000 (or more) lbs more than it did two years ago? Are embarkation plans keeping up? What is the cumulative effect on our total lift capability with this incremental creep in weight over thousands of vehicles? Do the retrograde plans really accommodate these mods, or are we going to dump all the aromor we paid for when we do leave? Trust me, this is the next step, and Korea is rightfully the step after that. All of this data needs to be captured before we can remotely begin "moving on" to the next conflict.

I agree...the "friendly skies" theory can be teh predominate theory, but the unfriendly skies scenario, also needs significant consideration.

Air Force Voices

The newly armored humvees will most likely come back (or redeploy) via sealift. Sealift is probably the best alternative...although the add-on armor is getting into theater via airlift due to the immediate need to strenghten humvees.

Oh yeah, we all kind of snickered when it was pointed out that the Air Force needs to abandon its reliance on airlift for most of its mobility requirements and start thinking more along the lines of sealift. We snickered because although it makes absolute sense...trying to convince senior Air Force leadership to procure a couple of Large/Medium Speed Roll-on/Roll-Off (LMSRs) Ships is anathema to current AF doctrine. I wonder which of my AF buddies will get to captain that ship?

Also, the radio frequency tags are not all that great. Aside from not being nuclear hardened, they are large and bulky and do not stick very well to the pallets. Most of them end up on the ground or worse, rattle around a moving aircraft. Second the batteries tend to fail and it is an enormous drain on time and effort to check the battery charge and replace batteries in an already hectic aerial port. Finally, the radio tags are not all that accurate...the display may say the item attached is an Abrams tank but oddly enough you are actually staring at a tow truck instead. Clearly, there is more work to be done.

Finally, there is lots to be desired in getting mobility materials returned to the aerial port so they can continue to do their job. Cargo nets, chains, straps, radio frequency ID tags, and expensive pallets tend to get left behind in the theater at a great cost to the Nation. Worse are the large cargo containers that sit around in port. Sure they make great flooring, hammocks, and additional force protection barriers, yet this is not their intended purpose. Recycling these items is typically an afterthought. I was interested to learn that the command is starting to address return of these items...most likely by sealift.

JD

Let me pose a question: At what point can we no longer operate without power, computers, and technology? I might suggest we've already passes this mark--not a thesis, just my thought. Maybe the soldier can operate w/o electric, b/c his weapon isn't electric (yet!), but what about the AOC? W/o electricity? I doubt an ATO will ever be produced without electricity again (if one ever was). Could you fly an F-15E w/o electric? What about sailing a ship? The Pentagon surely couldn't operate! (better?) I agree the key is to think about and HAVE backup plans. In these cases, like AMC's ops center or a field TALCE, its not working w/o power, but how to keep the power on that should be the focus. If you look forward to the Army's FCS, soldiers will be highly dependent on micro electronics, radios, sensors, etc, so this dependence will only get worse(?). Yes, we better think about how to recover from power-out, but we really need contingency plans to keep the power from going out. To echo Mike, we need to think more about EMP... Cheers!

Major Mike

Don't forget the Army has more "airplanes" than the Air Force, so out of the box thinking may be the right thing. Maybe time for a DOD re-org...Air Attack Command, Mobility Command, Logistics Command, Ground Attack Command, Naval Attack Command...vice our traditional service alignments...Mobility Command could then drive ships without cringing. The Marine will shoot me on this one.

Mike

Haha, well, you forgot Amphibious Command, MM. Of course, AmphibCom will need its own air support and air lift capability, thereby saving Marine Air as well.

Anyway, I agree with JD in that we should look more at dealing with adverse electrical conditions. Most (if not all) combat systems are going to be hardened against an EMP, but as far as I know, a lot of essential non-combat systems are not.

Oh, and I absolutely loved this comment: "Finally, the radio tags are not all that accurate...the display may say the item attached is an Abrams tank but oddly enough you are actually staring at a tow truck instead."

Mixed Humor

The "culture of assumptions" is also a mindset that led to some of the intelligence failures regarding Iraq, specifically layering. Interesting take and have enjoyed reading the exchange here.

MH

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