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Thread: Obama Guts the Military

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    Default Re: Obama Guts the Military

    Air Force is losing pilots, and the headwind is getting worse

    By Sig Christenson | San Antonio Express-News | Published: September 25, 2016

    SAN ANTONIO (Tribune News Service) — At the controls of a T-38 training jet high over Hondo, 1st Lt. Alex Lauer dueled at up to 485 mph against Capt. Christopher “Fiat” Umphres, who has 450 combat hours in Afghanistan.

    Lauer was “shot down” just once in the mock dogfight, demonstrating his growing skills.

    Lauer, 24, is near the end of an innovative 12-week course at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph that has increased graduation rates in the Air Force, which is struggling to fill a huge fighter pilot shortage as aviators burned out by deployments, budget cuts and extraneous duties flee for jobs elsewhere.

    The shortage stands at 723 pilots this year and is expected to worsen, reaching 1,000 in 2017, with no immediate way to plug the gap because the Air Force needs two years to transform a young officer into a fighter pilot. While active-duty pilot training will increase from 200 this year to 285 in 2017, it won’t begin to replace the lost talent and institutional memory.

    The Air Force has cut the number of active-duty fighter squadrons to 31 over the past 20 years, from a high of 54 in 1996.

    Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James, in a briefing with reporters last month, blamed a good economy and airline hiring for the problem. Some estimates say airlines will recruit 2,000 pilots per year for the next decade.

    The crisis stems from crushing budget constraints under the congressional sequester, too many nonflying tasks that distract pilots from their main job and a perception that the Air Force doesn’t value them, several pilots said.

    Even as the Air Force built a fiscal firewall to protect its training units from budget cuts, flying hours went down substantially in many fighter squadrons. Pilots, especially those with families, may be weary of repeated deployments, but some find the drop in sorties stateside over the past 20 years more concerning.

    The Air Combat Command wants inexperienced fighter pilots to fly nine sorties a month and its veterans to fly eight. The average this year is only 7.2.

    “It’s not about the money. This is not a bunch of fighter pilots saying, ‘Hey, pay us more or we’ll leave and go to the airlines.’ said Umphres, 30, an instructor with the 435th Fighter Training Squadron here. “Nobody joined the Air Force to be a fighter pilot because someday they wanted to work for Delta.”

    “The Air Force right now has taken something that was every 8-year-old’s dream job and they’ve made it so difficult or frustrating or incompatible with their family life that they feel like they’re being forced to leave and do something else.”

    ‘Quiet crisis’

    Gen. David Goldfein, the Air Force chief of staff, recently called the shortage a “quiet crisis” and outlined plans last week to provide greater support to fighter squadrons.

    Goldfein, an F-16 fighter pilot with 4,200 hours in the cockpit, also cautioned that the Air Force could not meet America’s defense needs if the sequester remains. Even with 5,600 airmen added this year, bringing the total to 317,000, retention is a servicewide problem, he said.

    “Pilots who don’t fly, maintainers who don’t maintain, controllers who don’t control, will walk,” he recently told the Senate Armed Services Committee. “And there’s not enough money in the Treasury to keep them in if we don’t give them the resources to be the best they can be.”

    As the shortage worsens, pressure will only grow for instructor pilots like Umphres, who does three “double turns” a week. That’s two grueling instruction sorties a day, pulling up to six G’s in mock combat, each lasting about four hours with pre-flight and post-flight briefings.

    As the 435th’s flight commander, he puts in an additional four hours that include scheduling the next day’s sorties. It’s less of a problem for Umphres than for others. He lives alone at Randolph while his wife studies law in another state.

    The mathematics of the problem is simple. There are fewer instructor pilots than students in the Air Force training command’s T-38 and T-6A squadrons. Umphres’ squadron has 40 instructors and 22 T-38C Talon jets, and it graduated 160 pilots in the fiscal year that ends Friday, pilots who move on to their final phase of instruction.




    In a September, 2015 file photo, Second Lt. Duston Obrien, 435th Fighter Training Squadron upgrade pilot, and Maj. Gavin Peterson, 435th FTS instructor pilot, perform a pre-flight check at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph. The 435th Fighter Training Squadron conducts Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals student training in nearly 50 T-38C Talon aircraft and trains IFF instructors for Air Education and Training Command at large. 502nd Air Base Wing


    The threat to a certain military culture is more complex. Lt. Col. Jason “Ugly” Earley, the 435th’s commander, mentioned Air Force “tribes” while bemoaning the lapse of hallowed fighter pilot traditions.

    He wouldn’t elaborate. Other pilots cited the banning of bawdy songs from squadron bars, now called “heritage rooms.”

    Some problems, such as time away from family, aren’t new. Gen. Mark Welsh, who recently retired as Air Force chief of staff and is now dean of Texas A&M University’s Bush School of Government and Public Service, said pilots also faced a high deployment tempo when he was young.

    But the service can’t consistently fight, fly and train the way it would if its maintenance units were fully staffed and supplied and its planes weren’t so old, he said. The F-15 fighter, for example, was introduced 40 years ago. The venerable B-52 bombers were first deployed in the 1950s.

    The Air Force has worked to address the problems, moving 4,500 personnel specialists and administrators into its squadrons from other units, but it has 500 fewer aircraft than it did 10 years ago.
    And the extra tasks that drive pilots crazy are the biggest new concern, said Welsh, a San Antonio native who served at Randolph.

    “When I was a squadron commander, I didn’t hear people complain nearly as much about additional duties because we had other people doing them,” he said.

    In a recent blog, retired fighter pilot Nate “Buster” Jaros recalled having to monitor the progress of plans to move into a new building, right down to making sure the toilet paper was ordered.

    Then there’s money. Earley, 42, calls it the least of the bigger issues but said the prospect of “equitable compensation” appeals to pilots whose aviation incentive pay and bonuses have remained stagnant for years.

    Flight incentive pay, based on a pilot’s age and years as an aviator, is around $650 a month for most and hasn’t changed in decades, he said.

    The bonus, at $25,000 a year, is the same as during the last big pilot shortage, in the late 1990s. Goldfein wants to increase it, but another former Air Force chief of staff, retired Gen. Ronald Fogleman, said some in Congress want a differential bonus program “where you pay fighter pilots a larger bonus than pilots in other career fields.”

    He hopes Goldfein will push back against the proposal because the Air Force has so many pilots “in bombers, airlift, tankers and special operations,” that “a differential bonus will create second-class citizens where there are none” and worsen the pilot retention problem.

    But money can’t buy what fighter pilots say they really need: love. They’re bothered by the idea, pushed down from higher echelons, that pilots aren’t different from anyone else in the Air Force.

    Umphres says it bothers people when the service tries to convince them “that fighter pilots are not special.”

    “We’re willing to work our butts off, but when you then turn around and tell us that we’re not any more valuable to the Air Force than the guy who’s running the commissary, that kind of rubs us the wrong way,” he said.

    Welsh, 62, has heard the complaints about getting rid of the crude songs in the bars that aren’t called bars anymore. He sang some of them when he was younger.

    But pilots can still call it a bar among themselves, and they can sing other songs, he said, recalling how his father, a highly decorated fighter pilot in World War II and Vietnam, reacted when Welsh shared his squadron’s songbook while home from Kunsan Air Base in South Korea in the late 1990s.

    “He said, ‘Why in the world would you ever sing stuff like this?’”

    Good time to be a pilot

    Ask Alex Lauer what he thinks of entering a service that is hemorrhaging pilots, and he’ll smile and say it doesn’t get him down.

    “I think this is a really good time to be a young pilot in the Air Force,” he said.

    Lauer, of Sammamish, Washington, will graduate from the Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals course at Randolph in October and head to the Basic Course, where he’ll fly the F-15. He’s among the 45 percent of all Air Force pilots who came out of ROTC programs, in his case at Central Washington University. Another 45 percent graduated from the Air Force Academy, and the rest from officer training schools.

    Meanwhile, Lauer has flourished in a squadron that uses a new, more collegial approach to teaching the fundamentals of aerial combat, where instructors encourage students to bring up issues and concerns they might have kept to themselves in the past, so “we also end up fixing the things that we didn’t even know they screwed up,” as Earley put it.

    “We can open up to each other and we can say, ‘Hey, look, I asked you to do this and you didn’t do that. Why?’ In the past, a student might have said, ‘Yes, no, I don’t know,’ and not want to give any additional answers,” said Earley, an F-15 and T-38 pilot with 2,600 hours over his career, including about 50 in combat.

    So far, the attempt at a new training culture has cut attrition 85 percent.

    Using a video screen and whiteboard in a complex built in 1930, Maj. Matthew “Crater” Hannon went through the high and low points of Lauer’s dogfight. It was the first time Lauer had defended himself from an “aggressor,” and if mistakes were made, he still had reason to smile.

    “He did pretty well. We’re teaching a young man to look over his shoulder and fly a high-speed aircraft, which has a very small window of error before you’re no longer effectively flying your game plan,” said Hannon, an A-10 veteran of Afghanistan, where he flew close to 400 combat hours.

    “So Lt. Lauer learned how crucial it is to not only recognize a trigger by the bandit — the trigger meaning once I see (an enemy maneuver his jet) or I see a bandit respond in a certain manner — what’s my response?”

    Lauer had a split second to make the right, life-saving decision.

    After 16½ years in the Air Force, Hannon, a former instructor at the elite Air Force Weapons School in Nevada, is applying a fighter pilot’s perspective to events unfolding both in the squadron and at home, where his kids, Jack, 8, and Reese, 11, are an ever-larger issue in deciding his next move.

    Whether he stays or goes is up in the air. He’s waiting to see if Congress approves Air Force efforts to give pilots a $48,000 annual bonus.

    “I would fly fighters for this country for the rest of my life, if it were an option. The only reason I wouldn’t do that is at the expense of being the very best father that I could be to my children,” said Hannon, 38, of Seguin. “And not at the expense of not being able to teach my son the rules and the game of football, not being able to show my daughter how she should be treated on a date.”

    Nowhere to go but up

    At a conference in Florida this past week, Goldfein, the Air Force’s 21st chief of staff, reflected on how training time helped prepare him for his first night of battle in the Gulf War. He’d flown at Red Flag, a Nevada exercise that gives pilots a taste of what to expect.

    Only his squadron commander had been to war before, but as the mission ensued, he and his fellow pilots saw everything they had experienced at Red Flag — except when an enemy MiG fighter crashed.

    “And so for those that built that exercise to give young aviators the first 10 sorties so they could survive combat, gentlemen and ladies, it worked,” Goldfein told the crowd. “And so I came to believe that high-end training against the most difficult threat, in the most difficult environment, is nothing short of a moral obligation.”

    One of three focus areas over the next four years, Goldfein said, will be to stress the importance of the squadron, “where we succeed or fail as an Air Force.”

    “It’s where our culture resides,” he said.

    How to do it is the question.

    “The limited things that the Air Force can do itself to impact this, one of them is a refocus on letting aviators do what aviators are supposed to do, which is fly airplanes and not do additional duties,” said Fogleman, the retired Air Force chief of staff, who has flown fighters, transports, tankers and rotary-wing aircraft, including 315 combat missions.

    “The other thing they can do is they can advocate to the Congress to increase the money for readiness, spares, fuel for flying hours, and they can advocate for increased bonuses,” he continued. “Together, I think this can make a difference.”

    When it comes to retention issues, Welsh, one of the other retired chiefs of staff, thinks there are three kinds of pilots.

    The first plan to stay in. They love what they do, are challenged by it and will deal with the daily frustrations of life in the Air Force and work to make improvements. The second group, pushed by personal or family considerations, will get out, and there’s no stopping them.

    “And then there’s the third group, which is the group that kind of likes what they do and might stay if we can remove some of these frustrations,” he said. “Understanding the things that bother them the most and working on solutions to those issues is really where the focus needs to be.”

    Back at Randolph, Earley ran though the same categories: deployment-weary pilots and families headed out the door, those who might well stay if given better bonuses, and the ones who will fly through the turbulence.

    “I want to stress the most important one of those three is being part of something bigger than yourself. That’s what keeps people in the military,” he said. “That’s what motivates people to serve our nation.”

    Goldfein, who ran a fighter squadron at Aviano Air Base, Italy, during the 1999 Kosovo air war, has said morale and readiness are linked. Asked how he would rank the current state of Air Force morale and readiness, he repeated what Earley had said, almost word for word: “Morale comes from being part of something bigger than yourself.”

    “I’ve never had an airman come back from a deployment raving about the quality of life downrange. They come back and talk to me about the mission. They talk about whether they were valued,” Goldfein said. “Whether they contributed and made a difference. That’s what makes high morale.”

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  2. #242
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    Default Re: Obama Guts the Military


    Pilot Error, Lack of Training Caused Deadly Marine Helicopter Crash

    October 26, 2016

    The deadly helicopter crash that killed 12 Marines off the coast of Oahu earlier this year was a result of pilot error, a lack of training, and command problems, according to a Marine investigation into the incident.

    The investigation, which was obtained by the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California, Berkeley, and reported by Civil Beat and the Huffington Post, found that the pilots of the two CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters had not met service goals for flight hours in the month leading up to the crash.

    The helicopters, which were each carrying six crew members, crashed off the coast of Oahu’s Waimea Bay around 11 p.m. on January 14 while conducting a nighttime tactical formation flight. All 12 Marines aboard the aircraft were killed “instantaneously,” according to the investigation, in a crash that yielded an explosion with forces “estimated at hundreds of times the force of gravity.”

    The Marine Corps declared all 12 service members dead after five days of unsuccessful search and rescue operations in January.

    Service officials said in a statement Tuesday that “low aircraft readiness leading to inadequate pilot efficiency, human factors, and the squadron’s lack of focus on basic aviation practices” were the main causes of the crash.

    According to the investigation, the four pilots had logged “4, 5, 4, and 13 hours” of flight time in the 30 days before the incident, which are all less than the Marine’s 15.1 flight hours per month goal for the Super Stallion helicopters. The months-long probe also concluded that two of the pilots were not “adequately proficient” in using night vision devices.

    There was no evidence that either of the helicopters endured mechanical problems leading up to the incident.

    The Marines were part of the Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463 based at Kaneohe Bay. According to investigators, several of the pilots in the squadron were worried about not logging enough flight training hours the month that the crash occurred.

    The probe also found that the firing of the commanding officer of the squadron days before the crash disrupted the “daily routine” and served as a “distraction.” He was fired, in part, because of a loss of confidence largely due to his “inability to improve aircraft readiness.”


    Marine aviation deaths reached a five-year high months before the January crash, 18 Marines having died in 13 separate incidents between May 2014 and September 2015. A Senate committee convened a hearing in March to ask Gen. Robert Neller, the Marine commandant, whether budget reductions had contributed to the increase in fatal helicopter crashes.

    “I would say the CH-53 community is probably right now the most challenged because of a variety of reasons: available aircraft, certain maintenance issues that go back to a Navy MH-53 accident three years ago this past January,” Neller told lawmakers. “When you don’t have enough airplanes to fly, then your flying hours go down and it becomes difficult to maintain your currency.”

    Budget cuts and force reductions have placed stresses on all of the military services, prompting leaders to voice concerns about impacts on readiness. Budget cuts coupled with continued deployments have generally reduced the services’ number of aircraft available to fly, resulting in less flying time for pilots.

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    The gift that keeps on giving...


    Grounded: Nearly Two-Thirds Of US Navy’s Strike Fighters Can’t Fly

    Congress’ inability to pass a budget is hurting the fleet, leaders say

    February 6, 2017

    The U.S. Navy’s F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet strike fighters are the tip of the spear, embodying most of the fierce striking power of the aircraft carrier strike group. But nearly two-thirds of the fleet’s strike fighters can’t fly — grounded because they’re either undergoing maintenance or simply waiting for parts or their turn in line on the aviation depot backlog.

    Overall, more than half the Navy’s aircraft are grounded, most because there isn’t enough money to fix them.

    Additionally, there isn’t enough money to fix the fleet’s ships, and the backlog of ships needing work continues to grow. Overhauls — “availabilities” in Navy parlance — are being canceled or deferred, and when ships do come in they need longer to refit. Every carrier overall for at least three years has run long, and some submarines are out of service for prolonged periods, as much as four years or more. One submarine, the Boise, has lost its diving certification and can’t operate pending shipyard work.

    Leaders claim that if more money doesn’t become available, five more submarines will be in the same state by the end of this year.

    The Navy can’t get money to move around service members and their families to change assignments, and about $440 million is needed to pay sailors. And the service claims 15 percent of its shore facilities are in failed condition — awaiting repair, replacement or demolition.

    The bleak picture presented by service leaders is in stark contrast to the Trump administration’s widely talked about plan to grow the Navy from today’s goal of 308 ships to 350 — now topped by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson’s new Force Structure Assessment that aims at a 355-ship fleet. Richardson’s staff is crafting further details on how the growth will be carried out — plans congressional leaders are eager to hear. It seems to many as though the Navy will be showered with money to attain such lofty goals.

    Yet, for now, money is tight, due to several years of declining budgets mandated first by the Obama administration, then Congress, and to the chronic inability of lawmakers to provide uninterrupted funds to the military services and the government at large. Budgets have been cut despite no slackening in the demand for the fleet’s services; and the Navy, to preserve shipbuilding funds, made a conscious choice to slash maintenance and training budgets rather than eliminate ships, which take many years to build and can’t be produced promptly even when funding becomes available.

    Congress has failed for the ninth straight year to produce a budget before the Oct. 1 start of fiscal 2017, reverting to continuing resolutions that keep money flowing at prior year levels. CRs have numerous caveats, however, and many new projects or plans can’t be funded since they didn’t exist in the prior year. There is widespread agreement that CR funding creates havoc throughout the Pentagon and the industrial base that supports it — often substantially driving costs higher to recover from lengthy delays. Yet, like the proverbial weather that everyone talks about but no one can change, there seems to be little urgency in Congress to return to a more businesslike budget profile.

    The current continuing resolution through April 28 marks the longest stop-gap measure since fiscal 1977 — outstripping 2011 by only a couple weeks, noted Todd Harrison, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, in a post on Twitter. This also marks the first CR situation during a presidential transition year.

    And while the talk about building dozens of more ships grabs headlines, it is not at all clear when or even whether Congress will repeal the Budget Control Act — sequestration — which, if unabated, will continue its restrictions to 2021.

    Meanwhile, some details are emerging of the new administration’s efforts to move along the budget process. In a Jan. 31 memorandum, Defense Secretary James Mattis described a three-phase plan that included submission by the Pentagon of a 2017 budget amendment request. The request would be sent to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget by March 1.

    Under the plan, the full 2018 budget request is due to OMB no later than May 1.

    The third phase of the plan involves a new National Defense Strategy and FY2019-2023 defense program, which “will include a new force sizing construct” to “inform our targets for force structure growth,” Mattis said in the memo.

    The services will make their case to Congress this week when the vice chiefs of the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps testify in readiness hearings before the House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday and the Senate Armed Services Committee the following day.

    The vice chiefs are expected to make their pitches for money that can be spent right away, rather than funds for long-term projects that, with only five months left in the fiscal year even if Congress passes a 2017 budget, can’t be quickly put to use.

    “If we get any money at all, the first thing we’re going to do is throw it into the places we can execute it,” a senior Navy source said Feb. 2. “All of those places are in ship maintenance, aviation depot throughput — parts and spares — and permanent changes of station so we can move our families around and fill the holes that are being generated by the lack of PCS money.”

    The backlog is high. “There’s about $6-8 billion of stuff we can execute in April if we got the money,” the senior Navy source said. “We can put it on contract, we can deliver on it right away.”

    Even if the budget top line is increased, Navy leaders say, the immediate need is for maintenance money, not new ship construction. A supplemental Navy list of unfunded requirements for 2017 that was sent to Congress in early January and is still being revised made it clear that maintenance needs are paramount.

    “Our priorities are unambiguously focused on readiness — those things required to get planes in the air, ships and subs at sea, sailors trained and ready,” a Navy official declared. “No new starts.”

    The dire situation of naval aviation is sobering. According to the Navy, 53 percent of all Navy aircraft can’t fly — about 1,700 combat aircraft, patrol, and transport planes and helicopters. Not all are due to budget problems — at any given time, about one-fourth to one-third of aircraft are out of service for regular maintenance. But the 53 percent figure represents about twice the historic norm.

    The strike fighter situation is even more acute and more remarkable since the aircraft are vitally important to projecting the fleet’s combat power. Sixty-two percent of F/A-18s are out of service; 27 percent in major depot work; and 35 percent simply awaiting maintenance or parts, the Navy said.

    With training and flying hour funds cut, the Navy’s aircrews are struggling to maintain even minimum flying requirements, the senior Navy source said. Retention is becoming a problem, too. In 2013, 17 percent of flying officers declined department head tours after being selected. The percentage grew to 29 percent in 2016.

    Funding shortfalls mean many service members are unable to relocate to take on new assignments. So far in 2017, the Navy said, there have been 15,250 fewer moves compared with 2016.

    Under the continuing resolution, the senior Navy official said, another 14 ship availabilities will be deferred in 2018 — one submarine, one cruiser, six destroyers, two landing ship docks, one amphibious transport dock and three minesweepers. Programs seeking to buy items that were not included in the 2016 budget can’t move forward, including CH-53K helicopters, Joint Air-to-Ground Missiles, Long-Range Anti-Ship Missiles and littoral combat ship module weapons. Many more programs that were to increase 2017 buys over 2016 levels can’t do so.

    And with only five months left in fiscal 2017, even if a budget is passed in late April, there is some talk about a yearlong continuing resolution — a prospect at which the senior Navy official shook his head.

    “The full CR is not a good situation at all,” he said.

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    Default Re: Obama Guts the Military

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Ruck View Post
    The gift that keeps on giving...

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won’t accept
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    outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of
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    until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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    like overripe fruit into our hands."



  5. #245
    Creepy Ass Cracka & Site Owner Ryan Ruck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obama Guts the Military

    Quote Originally Posted by American Patriot View Post
    That is a true statement. Pregnancy just before deployment. In unmarried women. It happens a LOT.

    And so do abortions.

    Deployed US Navy Has A Pregnancy Problem, And It’s Getting Worse

    March 1, 2017

    A record 16 out of 100 Navy women are reassigned from ships to shore duty due to pregnancy, according to data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group.

    That number is up 2 percent from 2015, representing hundreds more who have to cut their deployments short, taxing both their unit’s manpower, military budgets and combat readiness. Further, such increases cast a shadow over the lofty gender integration goals set by former President Barack Obama.

    Overall, women unexpectedly leave their stations on Navy ships as much as 50% more frequently to return to land duty, according to documents obtained from the Navy. The statistics were compiled by the Navy Personnel Command at the request of TheDCNF, covering the period from January 2015 to September 2016.


    The evacuation of pregnant women is costly for the Navy. Jude Eden, a nationally known author about women in the military who served in 2004 as a Marine deployed to Iraq said a single transfer can cost the Navy up to $30,000 for each woman trained for a specific task, then evacuated from an active duty ship and sent to land. That figure translates into $115 million in expenses for 2016 alone.

    “This is an avoidable cost and expense, leaving a gap for other people to pick up the work slack,” Eden said.

    “A pregnancy takes you out of action for about two years. And there’s no replacement,” said Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, a nonpartisan public policy organization. “So everybody else has to work all that harder,” adding that on small ships and on submarines, “you really have a potential crew disaster.”

    Navy Lt. Cmdr. Nathan Christensen told TheDCNF the Navy tries to plan for the unplanned.

    “Just as we deal with other unplanned manning losses due to injury or other hardships, we work to ensure that pregnant service members are taken care of and that commands are equipped to fulfill their missions when an unexpected loss occurs,” he said.

    In January 2015, 3,335 women were pregnant aboard military vessels, representing about 14 percent of the 23,735 women then serving such duty, according to the data.

    But by August 2016 that number reached nearly 16 percent, an all-time high. The Navy reported 3,840 of the 24,259 women sailors who were aboard Navy ships were pregnant.

    The Obama administration understated the pregnancy problem throughout its eight years and even suppressed some data about the impact of its “gender-neutral” policies on the Navy.

    For decades, for instance, the Navy published results from exhaustive surveys of 25,000 men and women in a document called the “Navy Pregnancy and Parenthood Survey.”

    The reports once were 75 to 100 pages long and disclosed attitudes among men and women and their behavior. However, the Obama administration published only brief two to three-page summaries from 2012 onward.

    A civilian attached to the Navy Personnel, Research, Studies and Technology group, which researched and published the surveys, told TheDCNF full reports were completed regularly even though it’s detailed findings were not released to the public. The individual requested anonymity.

    “The military has been tight lipped over the years about these numbers. They don’t like to publicize them,” Eden told TheDCNF.

    The Navy has been dogged for years by lingering claims that some women get pregnant simply to avoid deployment.

    “We all know that happens. Women do it to avoid deployment,” Eden told TheDCNF.

    “There do seem to be coincidences,” said Donnelly. “There is a lot of anecdotal evidence.”

    “This information is considered so sensitive. You just don’t talk about it. And you don’t ask. It’s just something that everybody knows occurs. Don’t ask, don’t tell,” Donnelly said. She served on the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services and on the Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces.

    The sudden departure of pregnant women aboard military vessels severely hurts military readiness and morale for those left behind and who must pick up the slack. The expecting sailors must be transferred from a ship after the 20th week of pregnancy.

    The Navy officially considered pregnancy incompatible with military service and women who became pregnant were automatically discharged, according to The Alliance for National Defense.

    Obama during his eight years in office sought to increase dramatically the number of women on ships.

    In May 2015, Admiral Michelle Howard announced a quota of 25% women on all ships. “We’re going back and looking at the ships — all of them — and what percentage of women are on the ships. Over time, we’ll modernize them to make sure we get to about 25 percent on each ship,” she said.

    Former Navy Secretary Ray Mabus in September 2015 pushed the new policy, stating that the Navy SEALs and all other combat jobs in the Navy should be open to women, with no exemptions as part of the Pentagon’s new “gender-neutral” employment policy.

    Eden believes the policy of increasing women on ships results in failure. “It’s bad policy when you think of ships that have to be battle-ready and then have to transfer women off for pregnancy — something that has to do with controlled behavior or voluntary behavior,” she said.

    It is unclear how President Donald Trump’s Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis will handle women in the military. He has been a skeptic, but also said during his confirmation hearing he would support a combat role for women.



    I still think any female wanting to be active duty military should be required to have a birth control implant regularly administered...

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    101st Airborne Division's Readiness Is Under Question

    Match 8, 2017

    The problems were compounded after sequestration, budget cuts and when former President Obama imposed strict caps on troop numbers for Afghanistan; Jennifer Griffin reports for 'Special Report'




    But the real question is, are they current on their SHARP training and are there sex change operations available for all?

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    Air Force Could Recall As Many As 1,000 Retired Pilots To Address Serious Shortage

    October 20, 2017

    President Trump signed an executive order Friday allowing the Air Force to recall as many as 1,000 retired pilots to active duty to address a shortage in combat fliers, the White House and Pentagon announced.

    By law, only 25 retired officers can be brought back to serve in any one branch. Trump's order removes those caps by expanding a state of national emergency declared by President George W. Bush after 9/11, signaling what could be a significant escalation in the 16-year-old global war on terror.

    "We anticipate that the Secretary of Defense will delegate the authority to the Secretary of the Air Force to recall up to 1,000 retired pilots for up to three years," Navy Cdr. Gary Ross, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement.

    But the executive order itself is not specific to the Air Force, and could conceivably be used in the future to call up more officers and in other branches.

    The Air Force needs about 1,500 pilots more than it has. Bonus programs and other incentives have not made up the shortfall.

    The Air Force has been at the forefront of the Pentagon's battle against the Islamic State, flying most of the combat sorties in Iraq and Syria since 2014.

    In June, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., labeled the pilot shortage a crisis that would prevent the Air Force from fulfilling its mission.

    “This is a full-blown crisis, and if left unresolved, it will call into question the Air Force’s ability to accomplish its mission,” said McCain, chairman of the Armed Services Committee.

    Richard Aboulafia, an aviation analyst and vice president of the Teal Group, said the shortage stemmed from a number of issues.

    "One is competition from commercial airlines," Aboulafia said. "Another is delays and funding shortfalls in training. And, due to military operations, utilization of the aircraft and crew has been higher than expected."

    On Capitol Hill, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and a member of Armed Services Committee, said that the fight against Islamic State and al-Qaeda linked terrorists will be expanding. He spoke to reporters while speaking about the four U.S. soldiers killed Oct. 4 in Niger.

    Counter-terrorism rules under President Obama had been too restrictive and ineffective, Graham said.

    “The war is morphing," Graham said. "You’re going to see more actions in Africa, not less. You’re going to see more aggression by the United States toward our enemies, not less. You’re going to have decisions made not in the White House but out in the field. And I support that entire construct.”

    Last month, President Trump became the third president to renew the post-9/11 state of national emergency, which allows the president to call up the national guard, hire and fire officers and delay retirements.

    Those extraordinary powers were supposed to be temporary. But even after 16 years, there's been no congressional oversight of the emergency.

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    Lengthy Operations Are Grinding Down The Air Force, According To Rand Report

    August 30, 2018

    A new study sounds the alarm over the longer missions the Air Force has conducted overseas since the Cold War — and warns that the service won’t be able to fully do any of the jobs that may be asked of it in the future.

    Top Air Force leaders
    have been expressing concern for some time about the pace of operations and the size of the force. But the Rand Corp. report — “Is the USAF Flying Force Large Enough?” — attempts to specifically identify how bad the problem is and where the danger areas lie.

    The study aims to help the Air Force "develop planning tools to test the robustness of the flying force against a range of possible future demands.” It does so by estimating future fixed demands on Air Force aircraft, by missions such as homeland air defense, then predicting possible additional demands that might be placed on those aircraft, relying on historical data dating back to 1946.

    The report outlines four different scenarios the Air Force most likely would encounter: a Cold War-type situation with a long regional conflict like the Korean or Vietnam wars; a Cold War situation with a short regional conflict like Operation Desert Storm; a peacetime environment, perhaps to include a no-fly zone; and a counterterrorism or counterinsurgency conflict similar to the current operations going on in the Middle East.

    In all four of those scenarios, the Air Force would see significant shortfalls in multiple areas, according to Rand. For example, during a long regional conflict, the Air Force would only be able to field about half of the C3ISR/BM — or command, control, communications, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and battle management — as well as special operations aircraft necessary, and less than two-thirds of the airlift and attack aircraft necessary.

    Even a peacetime environment, which historically has included lengthy no-fly zones in places like the Balkans and Middle East, would seriously tap the Air Force’s ISR, special operations, tanker, bomber, fighter and attack aircraft capabilities, the report said.

    While some aircraft fare better under certain scenarios, there’s no class of aircraft that can meet at least 80 percent of demands, Rand said. For example, fighter aircraft would be able to meet at least 93 percent of demands under both Cold War scenarios and a counterterror or counterinsurgency scenario. But under peacetime, fighters drop to 64 percent.

    “Perhaps the most surprising result is that a future characterized by peace enforcement operations is most stressful to capacity,” the researchers write. "This is because that period was characterized by prolonged no-fly zones in the Balkans and Middle East, which required continuous rotations of fighter, tanker and C3ISR/BM platforms. Airlift is the only aircraft without shortfalls [under this scenario], meeting 97 percent of demand. “The other classes face massive shortfalls.”

    Rand argues that prolonged operations, defined as those lasting more than a year, are having a disproportionate impact on the Air Force — and are growing longer, on average, since the end of the Cold War. The Air Force has taken part in 46 prolonged operations throughout all presidencies since 1946, the report stated.

    The Air Force needs to start using historically based simulations, similar to those used in the study, as it goes through its force planning process, according to the report. For example, the current process doesn’t fully account for demands placed on the force during peacetime, when airmen are supposed to be training and otherwise preparing for the next conflict, the report said.

    The service also must start tracking data that better illustrates the consequences of lengthy overseas operations, the report said.

    “Better metrics would also help USAF leaders make the case for more force structure in interactions with DoD leadership, Congress, the media and the public,” the report said.

    But the answer isn’t longer deployments, the researchers wrote. Even if airmen needed to operate ISR aircraft were deployed as much time as they stayed at home — or a 1:1 deploy-to-dwell ratio — that would only allow those planes to meet 42 percent of the demand, up from 29 percent. That’s an improvement, they noted, but it wouldn’t be worth the price.

    The change “still leaves the majority of demands unmet,” Rand said. “It also would place extreme, and likely unsustainable, burdens on units, personnel and families. It is hard to imagine service or DoD leaders recommending such a policy change.”






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    Default Re: Obama Guts the Military

    Report warns U.S. could lose a war against China or Russia will probably not get fixed thanks to Obama's sequester

    CBS Evening News
    Published on Nov 14, 2018

    A new report by a bipartisan commission selected by Congress says the U.S. has lost its military edge and could lose a war against China or Russia. CBS News national security contributor Michael Morell, former deputy CIA director, joins "CBS Evening News" to explain.


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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won’t accept
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    outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of
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    until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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    We’ll so weaken your
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    until you’ll
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    like overripe fruit into our hands."



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