Battleland

SEALs Emerge, Blinkingly and Broken-Heartedly, From the Darkness

The war in Afghanistan is pushing the Navy’s SEALs — long hidden in the pitch-black world of special operations — into the shadows. While we can now discern some of what the Pentagon likes to call their TTPs — tactics, techniques and procedures — there’s still much we can’t see. But it’s plain that the recent double-barreled news …

How the Taliban Brought Down the SEALs’ Chopper

I have flown in CH-47 Chinook helicopters over Afghanistan, like the one shot down on Saturday, which killed 38 people, including 22 members of the elite SEAL Team 6. Believe me, it’s not a ride for the fainthearted. In addition to needing straps for rucksacks and weapons, you need one for your stomach.

It’s really very simple: …

F-22’s Catch-22: Money For Nuttin’, Checks for Free

Didn’t mean to make my first day back to Battleland such a downer, but this piece from the Los Angeles Times over the weekend on the Air Force’s F-22 fleet can’t pass by unnoted:

It’s the most expensive fighter jet ever built. Yet the F-22 Raptor has never seen a day of combat, and its future is clouded by a government safety

Cyber War Worrywarts

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta whipped up the cyber-threat Friday during his get-acquainted visit to Nebraska’s Offutt Air Force Base, home of the U.S. Strategic Command. “We could face a cyber attack that could be the equivalent of Pearl Harbor,” he said. Such an attack, Panetta warned, could “take down our power grid system, take …

“Why Are We at War With Libya?”

This week on Command Post we’re taking a look at what has been going on for more than five months — yikes, by my watch that’s nearly half a year — in Libya. This was supposed to be a flick-of-the-wrist military action by the most powerful military alliance in the history of the world. NATO chieftains expected the barrage would lead …

The Pentagon Budget Battle’s Ratcheting Rhetoric

Glad to see the debt crisis has been resolved in the past two weeks while I was away. It has been plain to anyone paying attention for the past couple of years that military spending – or “security” spending as the Orwellians in the White House are now calling it – has to come down, and by more than the $400 billion President …

Length of Army Combat Tours Decreased

There is some good new in the world. This ain’t the biggest deal, but we’ll take it.

The Army will reduce the length of many combat deployments from 12 months to 9 months. This is also down from the height of the Iraq war, when many soldiers spent 15 months at war. The shortened tours don’t begin until early 2012 and don’t apply …

Reverse Boot Camp: Pick Me, Drill Sergeant!

The President today announced a series of initiatives to help American service members better assimilate into the civilian world after leaving service. Several of these programs require Congressional approval, and there are already competing bills circulating inside the Dome of Shame. So it’s not clear exactly how these will play out. …

Defense Discipline: Good; Trigger Cuts: Bad

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Adm. Mullen can hardly be expected to step up to the mike and say they can live with $800-900 billion fewer dollars than the Department currently projects it would like to have for defense.

The didn’t disappoint yesterday. They can live with the roughly $400 billion …

“So There I Was…”

…Those four words are how every pilot starts a story.

So there I was, tightening the velcro on my flak vest. One of my crewmembers pointed out to me the warning label the lawyers wrote on the inside in case it failed to perform as advertised. It said something about this piece of equipment not being rated to stop ballistics or …

New Rules for Post 9/11 GI Bill Education Benefits

Our friends over at the Vantage Point blog have posted a primer explaining changes to VA’s Post 9/11 education benefits that took effect Monday. Rather than summarize what they’ve already nicely summarized, I’ll just point out that the changes are pretty wide ranging and veterans who are using Chapter 33 benefits should read and …

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