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December 19, 2005

H&I Fires.

First off, I endorse Bill's comment at the bottom of his post below. Second, Endorsements 'R Squared: I endorse MSG Keith's endorsement.

Interesting spam note I got this weekend... typos included. I should note it did *not* come to the Castle Email Box... *that* would have made sense.

Subject: military vehcile engine part
Date: Sat, 17 Dec 2005 11:24:09 +0800

Dear Sir,

I am James Shen from a diesel fuel injection parts Plant, hope we can help you in the line of military use diesel fuel engine parts.

With more than 20 years experience in this field, our factory is producing the parts: HD90101A and HD8821.They are used in the engine system of M35A2 and M60 tank. Their most competitive price (almost one tenth of the product which made in USA) and the same quality will meet your need fairly.

We are one of ADS members. Our products have a good reputation with sound quality and competitive price in European market, South American market and other countries.

If you feel interested in our products, please let us know any time. We are always within your touch.

Thanks and best regards,

James Shen
private mail: [deletedbythearmorer]

Perhaps someday the Castle Motorpool will include a Deuce, but I suspect we're never going to have an M60. And dude, you are *never* going to be in our touch, I assure you.

Military Transformation... Or bringing a new meaning to Urban Renewal and Weed and Pest Control.

I guess it depends on your neighbo(u)rhood. While the Brits go through some real pains contracting - the Ozzies are looking at expanding... H/t CAPT H and Kat. BTW, here's a Lessons Learned/Summary of Ops regarding Ozzie participation in OIF. Here is the official release of the 2005 Defence Update. We've already noted the Canadians are changing directions, along similar lines to the Australians. For many years the America Britain Canda Australia alliance has been ABca. Now perhaps, within their means and needs, it's going to return to ABCA. Let's hope it doesn't shift to AbCA.

Speaking of pain - then there's those overworked, under-equipped fellas in the Coast Guard bending their new ship... which (new ships) they need more of. Larry K (my USCG guy) opined thusly:

I may have mentioned that the Coast Guard is replacing the old USCGC Mackinaw (not to be confused with the Mackinac which is different … in a small service why they have so many confusing names is a puzzle to me … the USCGC Neah Bay is ported in Cleveland but Station Neah Bay is in Oregon I think) with a brand new Great Lakes ice breaker after over 60 years service.

The old one is still on duty into 2006 and may actually have to be extended. The new cutter has not even been commissioned yet and has already had a mishap and now a change of command.

I will post a links and you can read the stories. But apparently this new type of ship which has AZIPODS instead of traditional props and rudders can be a bit tricky to operate.

Here is the initial story with video (if you are going to mess up do not do it in front of the press).[emphasis mine, saith the Armorer] Also it was as they were entering Grand Haven which is known as Coast Guard City (for an interesting reason by the way).

Now perhaps Larry will share the interesting reason...

In conclusion: Civil Affairs Troops.

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Marine Corps Civil Affairs troops pose with their urban renewal toolkit.

When the artillery stops, that's when you got to go out and start making friends." LTG Jan Huly, Deputy Commandant for Plans, Policies, and Operations.
I have signed new tables of organization mission statements for the active and Reserve component artillery regiments (and) battalions. The New mission statements assign each artillery regimental headquarters and each cannon battalion with a secondary CMO (Civil-Military Operations) mission. GEN Mike Hagee, Commandant of the Marine Corps, ALMar 061/05

Marine Transformation takes an interesting turn. "If we're going to do the things we think we're going to be doing in the future, the kinds of fights that we're getting into, the kind of stability operations... we need more civil affairs capability," said LTG Huly, quoted in the Marine Corps Times.

I was at the Class VI (military liquor store) this weekend and I saw the Marine Corps Times with a headline screaming (to me) "Artillerymen Will Now Do Civil Affairs." Now *that's* some transformation! The transition of the Artillery from a Combat Arm to a Combat Service Support arm is complete. That's an inside joke. Those who know, know.

While it makes sense, as described here over at Strategy Page, and Army artillerymen have been fighting as Infantry in Iraq, it is still cause for bemusement. But - yes, it *does* make sense, for in the COE (geek-speak for Current Operating Environment) the artillery has a large number (unlike the real CSS units) of trained organized troops whose primary specialty is not in high demand. The question truly is "Why not?" vice "Why?" You can ask (as some have) why not stand up more units like the Seabees, etc? The short answer is simple: Standing up new units means standing down old ones, or recruiting and training more people. Taking an existing unit and tweaking it is simpler.

And, as an artilleryman, I don't believe it will impact the ability of the units to maintain their ability to shoot quickly and accurately. Especially since the gunnery process is now so highly automated - maintaining the skillz in the Fire Direction Center was more challenging when data was done manually (said the hoary old manual FDO veteran). The guns represent the science of fire support, and that, I think, is a skill that can be maintained under this new paradigm. The art of fire support takes place with the Fire Support Officers at the supported maneuver units - and that relationship and training need is not really touched by this change. Besides, it will make artillery soldiers more employable when the get out or retire.

Civil Affairs units are set up to do the planning and coordination, not to do large-scale execution. A vacuum exists. So what happens is, services or operations in the civil-military operations field cannot be done as rapidly as required. What happens is we miss what's called a 'golden hour' to earn the trust and confidence of the local people."

And the left thinks the services can't think outside of the box. It may take a sledgehammer to get our attention, but even a lefty should be able to love this development. Coming soon to a newspaper near you:

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April 2010: Marine Corps Civil Affairs Unit helping local officials with weed and pest control...

I wonder what the Big Unit thinks about all this? Cassandra?