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May 13, 2005

Random Rounds

Hee. I especially like Earnest T. Bass and Squee.

Boudicca has the Carnival of the Recipes up!

A little breath of fresh air, courtesy Victor Hanson. I would note, in these pages, we have been respectful of the sacrifices of the Russian soldier in WWII. But we're also mindful of Stalin's complicity in how the war progressed.

Given that Congress wants to increase the Army's end-strength, and DoD is reluctantly coming to agree - despite the recuiting problem. As sign of how deep the problem has become, the 15 month enlistment. One of the arguments *against* a draft (one of several) is large numbers of short-term soldiers are barely trained and then are let go. This *may* help the Reserve, but it *is* a real sign of desperation, and not a good sign for an end-strength expansion.

The Congressional Budget office recently released their report of restructuring possibilities for the Army. If you'd like to leaf through how the Congress is getting the issue pitched internally - click here.

The BRAC list is out. The Army didn't suffer too much (that was telegraphed last week by Rumsfeld when he talked about the rethink of excess space - considering the return of forces from Europe. The Depot/Arsenal system didn't get hit as hard as expected, and although there are several Army Ammunition Plants on the list, they aren't producing small arms ammo, which is what the services are short of. Some of the nice old Army posts are on the list, but that makes sense, too - they are among the most expensive to maintain, on a cost per square foot of building space. Be interesting to see the food fight over the prime real estate Fort Monroe represents. And, for those who were emailing on the subject - told ya Carlisle wasn't closing and the War College coming here to Leavenworth! Another thing - the closures are also hitting in areas with a high cost of living (on the Army side, not throughout).

The Navy seems to be taking the biggest hits, with DFAS (Defense Finance and Accounting Service) and Reserve Centers being the bulk of the numbers. All in all, except for the few large installations on the list, I suspect a lot of communities are breathing this afternoon. I don't know if Kansas City was paying attention or not, but with the exception of the Recruiting Battalion and MEPS station, DoD is going to be pulling up it's tent stakes in the KC Metro area.

I gotta admit (but I'm no sailor, so I'll let CDR Salamander and the various Bubbleheads comment) the closing of the sub base at New London was a surprise to me, home as it is to the sub school - but the Navy relocated the nuke school from Orlando and there haven't been any nuke ships lost that I'm aware of... so, whadda I know?

If you haven't seen it - the closure list, and the 'winner' list - the places that are going to see increases. If you want to see the official DoD side of the story, go here (note: the data on this page will change over time - probably by tomorrow or Monday - after that, just start searching on BRAC). If you want a quick look at raw numbers of personnel losses and gains, click here.

Lifting and shifting...

Heh. Can you say, "Violation of your oath of office?" I knew you could.

U.S. Border Patrol agents have been ordered not to arrest illegal aliens along the section of the Arizona border where protesters patrolled last month because an increase in apprehensions there would prove the effectiveness of Minuteman volunteers, The Washington Times has learned.

This story certainly certainly merits a look.

Moving on...

Feh. While I admit to being prejudiced and a softy about critters - in this day and age of computer simulation and animation, this was simply unnecessary. Yours truly would have accepted an "F" for the year rather than participate in this biology lab activity.

Here's an update for those of you following Marine LT. Pantano's murder trial - an interesting development.

I'll close this one out with a pic for Lennard, our commenter from the Netherlands. A picture from the memorial ceremony at the big US cemetery in Margraten.