The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Learning from bad examples of leadership...

Good leaders lead by example...so do bad leaders.  We all have had good leaders inspire us to do greater things or do things that we thought were not doable.  We also had those people that showed us by their bad example what NOT to do.  I remember my leaders in the Army, I have had good officers and officers that well........they sucked.  They were all about advancing their career over the backs of their troops.  They would promise the earth, moon and the sun, and after we got the latest awards or other marker for their career, well the promised reward never happened.  I also have had officers that we would march through the gates of hell and smack the crap out ol scratch hisself to prove a point.
     NCO's also were the same way, I had an NCO that as soon as I got to advanced training in early January 1986, I was on his crap list, don't know what I did, but I basically spent the first 4 months restricted to the quad, my friends hung with me out of loyalty and we played a LOT of AD&D.  I was at an AIT for people that were geeks.  Well the NCO that gave me all the trouble, got himself chaptered out of the service and I got a new NCOIC.  She immediately removed all the restrictions and I was allowed off Fort Devens for the first time in 4 months.  As soon as I was allowed off post, we would go to Boston and that is where I developed my love for the city.  I was walking in Fanuel Hall and saw this basket of stuffed Lobsters with a sign that said "Help me, I am trapped in Boston..."  Well I was trapped in Massachusetts so I understood the reference.

 I picked up several of them for some lady soldier friends of mine and I kept one....Turned into my navigator for the entire time I was in Germany so for 5 years he sat on my dash....that is why he is grungy and not bright red and somehow he lost an eye.....How he hides in my bonus room.
     Well anyway, I digress.  But I think highly and fondly of SSG Story who restored my faith in the NCO corp after what had transpired...

   I pulled the following from Angry Staff Officer

Responsibilities of Leadership

In many organizations, one of the primary duties of leaders is to develop their subordinates. Air Force Handbook 36-2618, “The Enlisted Force Structure,” or, as it’s known among Airmen, “The Little Brown Book,” lays out responsibilities associated with each tier of the enlisted forces, making sure to note that the first three responsibilities of a Noncomissioned Officer (NCO) include leading and developing subordinates, mentoring those same subordinates, and helping their subordinates to develop their resiliency in order to help accomplish the mission. Once they reach the Senior NCO tier, their first responsibility, in addition to all NCO responsibilities, is to serve as a role model for others. These responsibilities are listed before anything having to do with the NCO or SNCO’s occupation in the Air Force, whether they are a Loadmaster, a Crew Chief, a Plumber, a Paralegal, or anything else.
Most people who have served in the military, or likely any other career, can probably remember leaders who helped them succeed or who set good examples. Whether that was in demonstrating the best way to accomplish a task, helping them out when they had problems, or giving them valuable advice on how to improve themselves or deal with challenges, these people made great role models to look up to, and hopefully to emulate when you have subordinates of your own. Of course, I’m not here to write about those folks, but rather about the other guys.

Bad Examples

There’s a Demotivational Poster – part of a series of parodies of the motivational posters that used to be quite popular – showing a shipwreck, with a caption suggesting that your purpose in life might be to “serve as an example to others.” It is a simple and unfortunate fact in life that people make mistakes, whether due to poor instincts, poor training, poor judgement, or simply poor character. When that happens, others will often discuss those mistakes, viewing with the benefit of calm hindsight all of the things that went wrong and what should have been done differently. Which brings me to my central point: As one NCO told me when I was a brand new airman, you learn from your good leaders and you learn from your bad leaders. The important thing is learning which is which, and whether you want role models or cautionary tales.
We’ve all had bad bosses and leaders. Some were verbally or physically abusive of their subordinates, while others abused their authority by having their troops run personal errands for them or to coerce them into taking unethical actions themselves. Then there were those simply unwilling to stick their necks out to help their people when they needed it, or else chose not to stick their necks out at all, becoming deadbeat bosses who were never seen and rarely provided mentorship or feedback.

Learning Right From Wrong

So how can we learn from such people? Well, first figure out that they’re doing something wrong. If you don’t know what a good leader looks like, you might not recognize a bad one when you see one. Also, it’s easy for people to justify poor leadership. An abusive leader might be “trying to toughen us up,” while it could be said of a lazy boss that “he doesn’t micromanage us!” Now, the hard part can be finding that fuzzy border between good and bad. A boss leading you through an intense workout to help you improve your PT score might be a good thing, but a boss forcing you to over-train and injure yourself, or to violate a medical waiver to PT despite injuries, is definitely doing more harm than good. A boss who trusts you to accomplish your tasks and mostly stays out of your hair could be good, but one who doesn’t care to train you properly or check on your work at all might simply be negligent. A lot of this will come down to judgement and circumstances, and you may very well not recognize a bad leader until well after the fact.
So, once you’ve identified a bad leader, what can you learn now? Try to figure out what they were doing wrong as a leader, and try to figure out why they made that mistake. Maybe they were simply imitating the leaders who trained them. Maybe they’re overtasked, or distracted by personal concerns, or in some cases blinded by their own prejudices. On rare occasions, you may have a boss who is simply malicious towards others. Then, once you get this far, you get to the really hard part: Determine if you might be a bad leader.

The First Step in Fixing a Problem

Self-reflection is a difficult trait to develop, but an indispensable one, especially for leaders. People often assume that they’re doing just fine and never stop to reflect on what they need to improve on. Of course, it is also common for people to assume that they’re doing terribly, and everyone either knows it or is about to figure it out, something known as “Imposter Syndrome.” This is why the “Little Brown Book” that I mentioned before also specifies that an NCO should provide feedback and counseling to their subordinates.
In the absence of that feedback, or ideally in addition to it, developing a healthy practice of checking yourself (before you wreck yourself) will help you to find your problem areas and their causes. If you are doing something you shouldn’t, or failing to meet some responsibility, realizing this is the first step to fixing it. And if you can identify root causes, such as being overloaded with work, school, and family, you can reach out for help or re-prioritize your responsibilities. If it turns out that you’ve just fallen into bad habits due to complacency, these periodic self-checks might just be the way to jolt yourself back onto the sometimes arduous path of being a quality leader.

About the Author: This piece is from the able hands of Sergeant Swivel, who can be found on Twitter  @SergeantSwivel

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The 777X The plane that can change flying for Generations

I know a bit about the 777 series of airplanes, my employer operates about 20 of them.  They are big airplanes, and they are used for long distance hauls like going to Johannesburg,Tel Aviv, Mumbai or Dubai.  The airplane was made for long distance cruising.  Boeing designed a new variant of the 777 and they are calling it the 777X.

The Boeing 777 (Triple Seven) is a long-range wide-body twin-engine jet airliner developed and manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It is the world's largest twinjet and has a typical seating capacity of 314 to 396 passengers, with a range of 5,240 to 8,555 nautical miles (9,704 to 15,844 km). Commonly referred to as the "Triple Seven",its distinguishing features include the large–diameter turbofan engines, long raked wings, six wheels on each main landing gear, fully circular fuselage cross-section, and a blade-shaped tail cone. Developed in consultation with eight major airlines, the 777 was designed to replace older wide-body airliners and bridge the capacity difference between Boeing's 767 and 747. As Boeing's first fly-by-wire airliner, it has computer-mediated controls. It was also the first commercial aircraft to be designed entirely with computer-aided design.
The 777 is produced in two fuselage lengths as of 2018. The original 777-200 variant entered commercial service in 1995, followed by the extended-range 777-200ER in 1997. The stretched 777-300, which is 33.25 ft (10.1 m) longer, followed in 1998. The initial 777-200, extended-range -200ER, and -300 versions are equipped with General Electric GE90, Pratt & Whitney PW4000, or Rolls-Royce Trent 800 engines.

They have since been collectively referred to as 777 Classics. The extended-range 777-300ER and ultra long-range 777-200LR variants entered service in 2004 and 2006 respectively, while the 777F, a freighter version, debuted in February 2009; these second-generation variants all feature high-output GE90 engines and extended raked wingtips. The 777-200LR is one of the world's longest-range airliners, able to fly more than halfway around the globe and holds the record for the longest distance flown non-stop by a commercial aircraft.In November 2013, Boeing announced the development of the third-generation of the 777, the 777X, consisting of the 777-8 and 777-9 variants. The 777X features composite folding wings and GE9X engines plus further technologies developed for the Boeing 787, and is scheduled to enter service by 2020.
The 777 first entered commercial service with United Airlines on June 7, 1995. The 777 has received more orders than any other wide-body airliner; as of July 2018, more than 60 customers had placed orders for 2,013 aircraft of all variants, with 1,582 delivered.The most common and successful variant is the 777-300ER with 799 delivered and 844 orders; Emirates operates the largest 777 fleet, with 163 passenger and freighter aircraft as of July 2018. The 777 has been involved in six hull losses as of October 2016; the Asiana Airlines Flight 214 accident in July 2013 was its first fatal crash in 18 years of service, and the shootdown of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in July 2014 is its deadliest crash as of January 2019.
The 777 ranks as one of Boeing's best-selling models, making it the most-produced Boeing wide-body jet, surpassing the Boeing 747. Airlines have acquired the type as a comparatively fuel-efficient alternative to other wide-body jets and have increasingly deployed the aircraft on long-haul transoceanic routes. Direct market competitors include the Airbus A330-300, the Airbus A350 XWB, and the out-of-production A340 and McDonnell Douglas MD-11. The 787 Dreamliner, which entered service in 2011, shares some design features with the 777.

  I clipped this from Yahoo

View photos
The 777X is Boeing's most expensive aircraft - Copyright © 2015 Boeing. All Rights Reserved.
Some of the world’s most prestigious airlines are on tenterhooks as the first flight of an aircraft that could change long-haul travel for decades looms ever closer.
Executives at Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Qatar Airways, among others, will have their eyes cast to the skies this spring when Boeing is expected to fly one of its new 777X planes for the first time.
The 777-9, the first of the X family to be developed, will have the biggest jet engines ever seen, attached to the longest wings of any aircraft ever made by the Seattle-based manufacturer.
The 777X has been said to be the result of the very best of the existing 777 plane, as favoured by the likes of British Airways et al, and the game-changing 787 Dreamliner, which has been praised as one of the most technologically advanced aircraft in history, garnishing plaudits from passengers on BA, Norwegian and Virgin Atlantic alike.
It's an “absolute peach”, said Emirates president Tim Clark of the aircraft. The Dubai airline has staked its future on the 777X, ordering 150, the largest single firm order in history. “It is a step change in aircraft design and a step change in propulsion. We are very happy we have got what we wanted,” he told Australian Aviation.
The 777-9 (the smaller sibling, the -8, will follow) is listed as $426 million but will likely sell, considering typical bulk airline discounts, for around $200 million (£155m), making it Boeing’s most expensive plane.
View photos
The -9 will be longer than a 747 Credit: boeing

What’s so good about the 777X?

It depends who’s asking. On the one hand, it promises a vast increase in fuel efficiency, working towards an operating cost reduction of up to 18 per cent, which in turn should lead to a fall in fares on long-haul flights. Boeing says it will be the largest and most efficient twin-engine plane on the planet.
On the other, it is another step in the evolution of passenger comfort, with the same benefits showcased on the Dreamliner expected on the 777X, including large, dimmable windows, higher ceilings and an anti-dry, jetlag-beating ventilation system.
What’s more is its pin-up potential. With a wing-span of up to 71.8 metres and a length of 76.7 metres (longer than a 747), the 777X is a beast, and one that is set to become Boeing’s flagship aircraft.
Dominic Gates, aerospace reporter for the Seattle Times, was part of a press group allowed inside the Everett assembly plant in north-east American ahead of the aircraft’s rollout. “It will be an impressive sight in the sky,” he said. “While most planes look much the same to harried air travellers, early in 2019 Boeing's newest jet may manage to catch and arrest even the casual eye.
“Passengers about to board will see its long, long carbon-fiber wings arc up and away from low on the fuselage, gull-like, then curve downward to the tips. There the wings will end in what will surely be the iconic image of this plane: scythelike wingtips painted with a 777X and folded upward so the jet fits at the airport gate.”
Carrying as many as 414 passengers in a two-class set-up (in the longer 777-9; 349 in three classes), the X is set to become the mainstay of many an international airline.

Can it fly further than any existing plane?

Not quite. Its range is not at the heart of its appeal. The -8 has a projected range of 8,690 nautical miles, and the -9 7,525 nautical miles, both shorter than the 9,700 nautical miles of the A350-900ULR, the aircraft currently serving the world’s longest flight between New York and Singapore.
That said, it has been reported that the 777-8 could serve the “holy grail” of routes, between Sydney and London, carrying perhaps fewer passengers (280) and heading west with favourable winds.
"We think our airplane has the legs and the capability," said Dinesh Keskar, Boeing Senior Vice President Sales Asia-Pacific and India in 2017. "If the 787-9 can do Perth-London, we think that when the 777-8 comes out in the 2021 timeframe we will have a lot more improvement in technology."
It is the Boeing 787 currently being used on the groundbreaking London to Perth route by Qantas. The route’s success makes the likelihood of the X family being put to use on UK-Australia services.

Who will fly it?

Despite the 777 being a stalwart of the British Airways fleet (BA has 58 of the aircraft), the British flag carrier has not yet signalled interest in its younger, shinier sibling, instead placing orders for its Airbus rival, the A350-1000.
But why doesn’t BA want to fly to Australia, too, we hear you cry. It just doesn’t. Willie Walsh, chief executive of IAG, of which BA is a part, said last year: “Code sharing is an option but in terms of using our metal, we're not considering it.
“Personally the idea of sitting on an aircraft for 21 hours to get from Heathrow to Sydney, it does not appeal to me.”
As it stands, seven airlines have orders placed with Boeing for the 777-9, with Emirates boasting the largest. Qatar, Etihad and Lufthansa also have orders placed, while Turkish Airlines has shown willing. Qatar, Emirates, and Etihad are the three to places orders for the -8, too.
Qantas has not yet decided between Airbus and Boeing for its aircraft of choice to forge ahead with plans for “Project Sunrise”, the endeavour to link any city in Australia with anywhere else in the world with a direct flight.
Iran Air previously had $38billion worth of orders placed with Boeing, including 15 777-9s, but these were all but cancelled when President Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran Nuclear Deal in 2016.
The first deliveries of the 777-9 are expected to be made next year.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Monday Music "Pride in the name of Love" by U2

 I remember hearing this song while I was in Germany.  It is still very popular in the radio stations and on Sirius/XM.  I think the song is ok personally, I like their "Sunday bloody Sunday and "new Years Day and of course "where the streets have no name " as my personal favorite songs from U2.
    I decided to run this song on "Martin Luther King Day" because it was a song about Martin Luther King Jr.  I understand and agree with what Martin Luther King was doing, but I don't think he would appreciate oh how his legacy and dream has been squandered and wasted by the new generations.   

"Pride (In the Name of Love)" is a song by Irish rock band U2. The second track on the band's 1984 album, The Unforgettable Fire, it was released as the album's lead single in September 1984. Written about Martin Luther King Jr., the song received mixed critical reviews at the time, but it was a major commercial success for the band and has since become one of the band's most popular songs. "Pride" appeared on the compilation The Best of 1980–1990 as the opening track, and on the 2006 compilation U218 Singles.
The song ranked number 388 on the Rolling Stone list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and is included in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll

 The melody and the chords were worked up in a November 1983 War Tour sound check in Hawaii and completed in Windmill Lane Studios during The Unforgettable Fire recording sessions.
The guitar part is subtly varied through each verse, chorus, and melody, such that no riff is exactly repeated.
The song contains the erroneous reference to King's shooting as "Early morning, April 4," when it actually occurred after 6 p.m. Bono acknowledges the error and in live performances he occasionally changes the lyric to "Early evening..."
Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders sang backing vocals on the recording. She was married to Jim Kerr of Simple Minds at the time and she is credited as "Christine Kerr".

"Pride" reached number number 3 on the UK Singles Chart and number 8 on the Dutch Singles Chart. The song was the band's first top 40 hit in the United States where it peaked at number 33. It gained considerable US album-oriented rock radio airplay and its video was on heavy rotation on MTV, thus helping U2 continue its commercial breakthrough begun with the War album. It reached number 1 in New Zealand, the first time a U2 single topped a country's singles chart.
Initial critical reactions to "Pride" were mixed, especially in regards to the lyrics. Robert Christgau in The Village Voice complained of "the moralism with the turn-somebody-else's-cheek glorification of Martin Luther King's martyrdom."Meanwhile, Kurt Loder of Rolling Stone wrote that "'Pride' gets over only on the strength of its resounding beat and big, droning bass line, not on the nobility of its lyrics, which are unremarkable."
But the 1984 Pazz & Jop poll of 240 music critics ranked "Pride" as the 12th best single of that year, a higher ranking than the overall album, which finished 29th. The single's ranking remained the highest of any U2 single until "One" achieved 8th in 1992.And in 1989, Spin named the song the 65th-greatest single in history. Rolling Stone magazine later (2010) placed the song at number 388 in their list "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time".[12] The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame selected "Pride (In the Name of Love)" as one of 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. Music television network VH1 ranked the song number 38 on the "100 Greatest Songs of the 80s" countdown in its series The Greatest. In 2004, Mojo placed the song at number 63 on its list of the "100 Epic Rock Tracks"

Three music videos were made. The first was shot in August by director Donald Cammell and features opening and closing shots of the Dublin Docklands area. Two versions of this video exist; black and white and colour (sepia). The band was not satisfied with Cammell's video, and they agreed to their principal photographer, Anton Corbijn, shooting an alternative. The second video was filmed in a basement near London's Heathrow Airport, it features U2 standing sternly in front of a wall under poor lighting conditions. The U2 camp was also unimpressed with this video and a third video is produced by compiling footage shot during The Unforgettable Fire recording sessions at Slane Castle. The original (black and white) Cammell video was primarily used in promotion.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

The modern class struggle and the Trump effect.

I got this from my Online friend Brad Torgersen, he had picked it up off USA Today.  I was surprised as was everyone else that the liberal USA Today would print something that wasn't a character assassination on President Trump.  I have blogged repeatedly about the Trump effect and why he got elected, he was the first president that spoke of the forgotten man.  the one that seemed to get forgotten in the inter-sectional identity politics of the modern age.  he surprisingly has become the spokesman for the middle class, you know the one that the GOP traditionally ignores and the Democrats discarded.  You know the ones that President Obama called "Bitter Clingers" and 2016 democratic candidate Hillary Clinton called "Basket of deplorables".  We are the ones forgotten about when the politicians play their games in D.C on the Potomac.  It seems like we play by the rules and "do right" by society by working, paying bills and the myriad of taxes.  Our kids are the ones joining the service and sacrificing but "Our Betters" children go to the Ivy League schools to learn how to network and then use the system to their advantage.

 The article from USA Today:

To understand events around the world today, one must think in terms of the class struggle.
This sentence sounds like something that could be written by a doctrinaire Marxist. But it is nonetheless true. Much of the current tension in America and in many other democracies is in fact a product of a class struggle. It’s not the kind of class struggle that Karl Marx wrote about, with workers and peasants facing off against rapacious capitalists, but it is a case of today’s ruling class facing disaffection from its working class.
In the old Soviet Union, the Marxists assured us that once true communism was established under a “dictatorship of the proletariat,” the state would wither away and everyone would be free. In fact, however, the dictatorship of the proletariat turned into a dictatorship of the party hacks, who had no interest whatsoever in seeing their positions or power wither.

Read more commentary:
Yugoslav dissident Milovan Djilas called these party hacks the “New Class,” noting that instead of workers and peasants against capitalists, it was now a case of workers and peasants being ruled by a managerial new class of technocrats who, while purporting to act for the benefit of the workers and peasants, somehow wound up with the lion’s share of the goodies. Workers and peasants stood in long lines for bread and shoddy household goods, while party leaders and government managers bought imported delicacies in special, secret stores. (In a famous Soviet joke, then-leader Leonid Brezhnev shows his mother his luxury apartment, his limousine, his fancy country house and his helicopter only to have her object: “But what if the communists come back?”) 
Djilas’ work was explosive — he was jailed — because it made clear that the workers and peasants had simply replaced one class of exploiters with another. It set the stage for the Soviet Union’s implosion, and for the discrediting of communism among everyone with any sense.

Elites of postwar institutions don't want change

But the New Class isn’t limited to communist countries, really. Around the world in the postwar era, power was taken up by unelected professional and managerial elites. To understand what’s going on with President Donald Trump and his opposition, and in other countries as diverse as France, Hungary, Italy and Brazil, it’s important to realize that the post-World War II institutional arrangements of the Western democracies are being renegotiated, and that those democracies’ professional and managerial elites don’t like that very much, because they have done very well under those arrangements.  And, like all elites who are doing very well, they don’t want that to change.
The postwar era saw the creation of international institutions ranging from NATO to the United Nations to the World Bank, along with a proliferation of think tanks and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to accompany them. It saw the vast expansion of higher education in the United States, and the transformation of academic degrees into something close to must-haves for the upper-middle class. It saw a great expansion of power on the part of media organizations, and on the part of government bureaucrats and lobbyists, both of whose numbers increased enormously.
But after the turn of the millennium, other Americans, much like the workers and peasants in the old Soviet Union, started to notice that while the New Class was doing quite well (America’s richest counties now surround Washington, D.C.), things weren’t going so well for them. And what made it more upsetting was that — while the Soviet Union’s apparatchiks at least pretended to like the workers and peasants — members of America’s ruling class seemed to view ordinary Americans with something like contempt, using terms such as “bitter clingers,” “deplorables” and flyover people.

Class wars in America disguised as culture wars

Suddenly, to a lot of voters, those postwar institutional arrangements stopped looking so good. But, of course, the beneficiaries showed no sign of giving them up. This has led to a lot of political discord, and a lot of culture war, since in America class warfare is usually disguised as cultural warfare. But underneath the surface, talk is a battle between the New Class and what used to be the middle class.
If you look at the “yellow jacket” protests in France, the election of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and events in places like Italy and Hungary — or, for that matter, the Brexit movement in Britain — you find a similar unhappiness with institutional arrangements and the sleek and self-satisfied elites who benefit from them.  People who, in President Bill Clinton’s famous phrase, worked hard and played by the rules now suspect that the rules were rigged, and that they were treated as chumps.
Talking about the yellow-vest movement, French geographer Christophe Guilluy observes: “Immediately, the protesters were denounced as xenophobes, anti-Semites and homophobes. The elites present themselves as anti-fascist and anti-racist, but this is merely a way of defending their class interests. It is the only argument they can muster to defend their status, but it is not working anymore.”
That’s right. It’s class war masquerading as something else, but people have seen through the mask.
Understanding this won’t make the conflict less intense, but it might make it clearer what’s really at stake. What’s happening in America is an echo of what’s happening in democracies around the world, and it’s not happening because of Trump. Trump is the symptom of a ruling class that many of the ruled no longer see as serving their interest, and the anti-Trump response is mostly the angry backlash of that class as it sees its position, its perquisites and — perhaps especially — its self-importance threatened.
Glenn Harlan Reynolds, a University of Tennessee law professor and the author of "The New School: How the Information Age Will Save American Education from Itself," is a member of USA TODAY's Board of Contributors.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

28 years ago it started....

28 years ago, Desert Storm started.  I remember the January 15 deadline for Saddam withdrawing from Kuwait via UN Resolution.  Saddam blew off the deadline, in my mind he truly believed that we wouldn't attack, because we were a paper tiger and the decadent West can't handle casualties from the "Mother of All Battles"from his  battle tested Army and with the exception of a few soldiers from the Vietnam conflict the American Army and armed forces were "green". Saddam had the worst timing possible.  If he had waited a couple of years he probably could have seized Kuwait and got away with it.  The wall had come down, the soviet were not threatening anymore , there was discussion of drawdown and demobilization from certain members of congress that was in a hurry to spend the :Peace Dividend".   Saddam didn't take into account changes in our doctrine, from the Red flag exercises, where we used the old Caesar saying, "I want our training to be bloody battles and our battles to be bloodless training".  The American Armed forces after 10 years of flush spending from the Reagan military buildup.  We had trained with "Airland Battle", where we were trained to decimate the soviet 2nd and 3rd echelons of battle.  We would use our air forces to go after the 2nd and 3rd while the ground forces fought the 1st echelon.  The Army was well trained, the Airforce was well trained and the Navy and Marines were well trained., well equipped, and highly motivated.  Especially since we were told "For the duration + 6 months," this told us that we were here to start it and finish it. no rotation policy like they did in Vietnam, General Schwartzkopf forbid it, he saw the destructive influence such a policy had on the U.S. Military.   The Iraqi's with the exception of the Republican Guard was a conscript Army and they were tired from war after 8 years with Iran.  The equipment they had was worn out and poorly maintained.
  The Air War started on January 17th at 3:30 in the morning we were woke up and told to "stand to" in full MOPP Gear level 4.  We suited up as fast as we could because we were convinced that the Iraqi's would counterattack with Chemical weapons.  We had no reason to doubt this because they have done it before to the Iranians and to the Kurds.  We had a couple of M-8 alarms but we really didn't have any real faith in the equipment.  To assist us, we had a real live chicken in a cage.  We were told that if there are any chemicals in the air, the chicken will keel over first before we got affected.  Granted we spent a lot of money building up the force in the 10 years, but the NBC gear wasn't as advanced as some of the other stuff.

                                                   Czech Chemical Detection vehicle
      The Czech Military(The former communist adversary sent over all their Chemical detection equipment and soldiers to help out.  I thought that was ironic former Warsaw Pact adversaries joining us to defeat the same stuff that they trained for.  We had the Chicken for several weeks then he just vanished..I figured that someone scarfed it up and cooked it.
       After the Apache's took out the Sam sites clearing the way for the massive air strikes to punish the Iraqi Capital,

As the Air Force methodically went after the Iraqi C3 Nodes, the Command, Control and Communications Nodes.  We had spent the buildup logging the location of every single one and waited until the Air War kicked off and we went after the logistic and infrastructure during the air war.  We also started going after the Republican guard which was the center of gravity for the Saddam regime.  The air War went on for 6 weeks until the ground war kicked off and whatever C3 nodes that survived the air war we blew up so they couldn't coordinate their ground forces when we crossed the berm.
This was me and my brother after the War was over.  We both were over there.

  The Iraqi's would throw SCUD missiles at us and the Israeli's to provoke the Israeli's into attacking  and fracturing the coalition against them.  It was a close thing, the Israeli's did launch a few times and Dick Cheney calling the PM of Israel and assuring them that we were doing everything possible to hunt them down.  After the war we found out that the SCUDs could be set up and launched in less than 30 minutes.  Much quicker than the original estimates that the Soviets had.   Our casualties were very low especially compared to the pasting the Iraqi's took.  I lost a couple of friends in this war and it was due to "Blue on Blue" which is called "Friendly Fire" but it was anything but friendly..The legality of the new generations of weapons exceeded the capability of "positive target Identification" which usually was "Mark 1 eyeball.  The United States hasn't operated large formation of troops and tanks since WWII and the weapons were far more lethal.
     I have Blogged a bit about Desert Storm from my experiences and what I have learned later on after the War. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The largest battleships ever built.

I atill think that it is funny that me being an Army guy pays attention to Naval history and I have Blogged several times about "Yamato class Battleships".  From the historical stuff to the Anime series "Star Blazers" that is known as "Space Cruiser Yamato" and its fight to save Earth.

The largest battleships ever built were Yamato and Musashi of the Imperial Japanese Navy. These behemoths were triple the tonnage of some other battleships of their day and each one had three turrets, with three huge 18.1″ guns per turret. They also mounted numerous smaller guns to annihilate secondary targets.
They could outrange and outlast any ship of the line in World War II. Each ship was eventually sunk by aircraft carrier-based planes, proving that the aircraft carrier was now the true image of might in any navy during WWII and beyond.

In 1906 the British Royal Navy launched the 18,000 ton HMS Dreadnought. Its revolutionary design heralded the new age of the truly all-powerful “Battleship.

This new breed of battleships had an all steel design with very large caliber guns in rotating turrets. Despite being heavily armored, their powerful steam turbines enabled them to be incredibly fast, too.
The concept was quickly adopted by every major nation that could afford it. HMS Dreadnought had cost the equivalent of what in 2018 would be roughly 151 million pounds, sparking a huge and expensive arms race, especially between the British and the Germans.

HMS Dreadnought (British Battleship, 1906) by WWI, she was obsolete by the quick increases in Naval Technology. 
This resulted in these two countries entering World War I in 1914 with large numbers of these cutting edge battleships, and continuing to build more of them in ever increasing numbers throughout the war.
This resulted in even more refined versions, like the Imperial German Battleship SMS Baden, built in 1917, that weighed in at just over 32,000 tons.

SMS Baden Photo by Bundesarchiv, Bild 
But a fundamental flaw with these highly prestigious and costly war machines became apparent: the concern that they were almost too valuable to risk losing in battle.
So for most of the war, neither side felt confident enough to commit them to a full scale battle. The exception was at Jutland in 1916, which was and still is the only large scale battle that involved a large number of battleships.
The battle itself was inconclusive, due to being fought at very long ranges. Both sides were hesitant to commit to a full-blown, head-on battle.
HMS Indefatigable sinking after being struck by shells from SMS Von der Tann Battle of Jutland
With the end of the war, large numbers of these battleships were scrapped due to their formidable operational costs and the amount of manpower it took to run one of these colossal monsters.
For example, the St. Vincent-class battleship HMS Collingwood needed a crew of 758 to keep her running while at sea. So in 1922, despite being only 12 years old, Collingwood was sold for scrap and sent to the junk yard for disposal.
Collingwood at anchor, 1912
Throughout the inter-war years, there were several attempts via naval treaties to try to limit the size and number of battleships each major nation could have.
Despite this, technology still helped to further refine the battleship concept. Towards the end of this period, Germany re-established itself as a naval superpower with such ships as the advanced Scharnhorst (1939) and Bismarck (1940). At the same time, the United States and Japan began emerging as two other naval superpowers.
THe BIzmark in 1940. By Bundesarchiv, Bild CC BY-SA 3.0 de
But at this time, questions were starting to be asked regarding whether such a valuable asset could survive in a battle environment that increasingly included aircraft carriers.
For in the 1920’s, the outspoken US Army officer William Mitchell set out to prove air power in the form of aircraft carriers could easily destroy the incredibly costly battleships.
Brigadier General William L. Mitchell,
United States Army Air Service.
He did end up proving this to a degree when he sank or badly damaged obsolete battleships in a series of tests. This caused the United States to start to come around to his way of thinking.
So at a time when nations were scaling back the production and development of battleships, why did the Japanese use valuable and scant industrial capacity to build the two largest battleships ever produced?
Yamato and Musashi, the two largest battleships ever built

Japanese logic for building such ships was to counter the fact that the U.S. had a numerical superiority in battleships, something Japan could not hope to match. So they concluded that a bigger and better class of battleships would counter the numerical advantage that the Americans had.
Thus, they came up with the Yamato class of Japanese battleships. This class ended up comprising just two ships: Yamato and Musashi.
The Fuji, a member of the Fuji-class battleships of the Japanese Imperial Navy

There was a third ship, but as soon as WWII started, realization dawned that aircraft carriers were what was going to win the Pacific war. Therefore the Japanese decided they would convert the third battleship before it was finished. It would become the Shinano, the largest aircraft carrier in the world at that time.
Another reason for going ahead initially with the Yamato class of battleships was Japan’s ingrained respect for such ships. They recalled with pride the Battle of Tsushima in 1905, which became legendary after the Japanese fleet had crushed the Imperial Russian fleet.

Admiral Tōgō on the bridge of Mikasa, at the beginning of the Battle of Tsushima in 1905. The signal flag being hoisted is the letter Z, which was a special instruction to the Fleet.
At the center of that historic victory was the concept of using battleships that were heavily armored and fast, and that had large caliber main batteries.
Battle of Tsushima (1905)
Major Casualties/LossesImperial RussiaJapanese Empire
Battleships7 lost, 4 surrendered
Cruisers4 lost
Destroyers6 lost
Total Tonnage Sunk126,792 tons*450 tons
KilledBetween 4,000 to 6,000Around 110
CapturedNearly 6,000
*3 torpedo boats sunk

It is easy to see why such a decisive victory might influence thinking in the Japanese Navy for decades to come.
Although the big battleship concept was an important influence on Japanese Navy planning in the inter-war years, nevertheless the Japanese Navy was also forward-thinking, and started to build aircraft carriers as far back as 1921.
During the 1920’s Japan built Hosho, Kaga, and Akagi, and during the 1930’s they built seven more aircraft carriers.

Aerial view of Hōshō as completed in December 1922
The British raid on the Italian fleet at Taranto in 1940 was said to have influenced Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. The latter attack sank or damaged many U.S. warships including four battleships, as well as destroying large numbers of aircraft.
As if Pearl Harbor was not enough to vindicate the belief in the air-power that aircraft carriers could provide, just three days later Japanese aircraft attacked the British Z Force, sinking a battleship and a battlecruiser with very few casualties of their own.
Early Carrier Air Power Victories

Attacker/TargetDateAttacker’s Aircraft lossesTarget’s losses
Battle of TarantoGreat Britain/ItalyNov 12th 194023 Battleships damaged
Pearl HarbourJapan/USADec 7th 1941294 Battleships sunk            4 Battleships damaged
Attack on Force ZJapan/Great BritainDec 10th 194161 Battleship Sunk            1 Battlecruiser
For the rest of the war, the Japanese concentrated on building as many aircraft carriers as it could, as well as converting a number of existing or near completed ships into aircraft carriers. The fact of the matter is after the two Yamato-class battleships were completed, Japan never built another battleship ever again.

Yamato during sea trials off Japan near Bungo Strait, 20 October 1941.
As for Yamato and Musashi, the design for these ships had been finalized in 1937, after a protracted and detailed examination of twenty-four very different and modern design proposals.
Yamato was laid down in November 1937 and was commissioned into service on December 16, 1941, just days after Japanese carrier-based planes had successfully attacked both Pearl Harbor and Z Force. Therefore Yamato arrived in service at a time when events were starting to raise questions about the usefulness of battleships.

Musashi leaving Brunei in October 1944 for the Battle of Leyte Gulf
Yamato‘s sister ship Musashi was laid down in March 1938 and was commissioned into service on August 5, 1942. Thus both ships entered service after each taking over four years to build.

Yamato under attack off Kure on 19 March 1945
To show you how much naval air warfare had progressed in that short time, in 1937 the British Navy was using 150 mph Blackburn Shark biplane torpedo bombers that could carry an 18-inch torpedo or 1,600 lbs of bombs.
By the time Musashi was commissioned in 1942, the U.S. Navy was using the 275 mph Grumman TBF Avenger torpedo bomber that could be armed with either a 22.5-inch torpedo or 2,000 lbs of bombs.

Musashi, August 1942, taken from the bow
This rapid aircraft development caught the Yamato-class battleships by surprise. Initially, Yamato had only 28 anti-aircraft guns when commissioned in 1941. The Musashi, commissioned a year later, incorporated lessons learned from recent events regarding air defenses, and came into service with 40 AA guns.
With aircraft carriers now dominating the Pacific theater, by 1945 the Yamato had no less than 166 AA guns!
Landmark Battleships

NationalityYearTonnageMain GunLengthCrewSpeed
HMS DreadnoughtBritish190618,41010 x 12 inch52775024 mph
SMS BadenGerman191732,2008 x 15 inch5901,27124 mph
BismarckGerman194141,7008 x 15inch8232,06534mph
YamatoJapanese194165,0279 x 18 inch8622,65031 mph
South DakotaAmerican194235,6009 x 16inch6802,36431mph
*HMS DarlingBritish20098,5001 x 4.5 inch50019135 mph
*For comparison The UK largest Major Surface Combat Ship in service today (2018)
The Yamato-class ships were truly breathtaking in their scale and armament. When fully loaded they each weighed an incredible 72,000 tonnes and were fitted with the largest guns ever carried by a battleship. Each one had a main armament of 18.1-inch guns capable of firing 3,220-lb shells over 26 miles. Their turrets had armor over 25 inches thick.
The ships had been built in secret and amazingly, the Allies were totally unaware of their existence until 1942. U.S. Intelligence was shocked that ships like this could have been built without their knowledge.

Yamato and Musashi in the war

But the Japanese quickly became afraid to deploy these new battleships, even being reluctant to allow them out to do patrols. The Japanese High Command was forever fearful of Allied submarines or aircraft carriers attacking them. Also later on in the war, there was simply not enough fuel available to run them regularly, so both ships spent most of the war inactive, berthed at various “safe” naval bases.
This fear and hesitation was further reinforced when Yamato was badly damaged by the U.S. submarine Skate in December 1943. Then in March 1944 Musashi was damaged by the U.S. submarine Tunny.
Yamato hit by a bomb during the Battle of the Sibuyan Sea on 24 October 1944; the hit did not produce serious damage
But by late 1944 the Japanese Navy was forced to deploy the battleships, both out of necessity and desperation. Thus Yamato and Musashi participated in the Battle of the Philippines on June 19-20, 1944, but this was primarily a carrier to carrier battle and neither battleship saw any real action.
Then on October 23-26, 1944 Yamato took part in the Battle of Leyte Gulf and for the first time saw real combat. During the battle, Yamato managed to help sink the escort carrier USS Gambier Bay and the destroyer USS Johnston.
But the Yamato herself was badly damaged by aircraft from the U.S. carriers Intrepid and Cabot, though she did manage to return to port.
Musashi under attack by American carrier aircraft during the Battle of Leyte Gulf.
Musashi was less fortunate and was attacked by several waves of aircraft from various aircraft carriers including the Intrepid, Cabot, Essex, Lexington, Enterprise, and Franklin. Finally, after multiple torpedo and bomb hits, the Musashi sank, taking nearly half of her crew of 2,399 men with her. In her short wartime career, Musashi did not sink or damage any Allied shipping.
As for Yamato, it did not venture out again until April 1945, when Nazi Germany was on the eve of surrender in Europe. Japan sent out a large fleet of warships headed by Yamato to attack Allied shipping engaged in the Battle of Okinawa. It was an act of desperation that was almost suicidal since the task force had little to no air cover.
Yamato steering to avoid bombs and aerial torpedoes during Operation Ten-Go
The Americans intercepted the Japanese force with hundreds of bombers and torpedo bombers, launching wave after wave of aerial attacks. It was an onslaught, and it took the Americans just over 100 minutes to sink Yamato. Ninety percent of Yamato’s crew was killed, including fleet commander Vice-Admiral Seiichi Itō.
The explosion of Yamato’s magazines
After WWII battleships were quickly phased out. All 4  of the United States’ Iowa-class battleships lingered in service on and off until 1992, when the era of the battleship finally faded into history.   There is talk about bringing the Iowa class ships back into service, if I recall 2 of the ships have to be kept in "deployable status". meaning that they can be brought back into service if needed.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Monday Music "Walking on Sunchine" by Katrina and the Waves

I remember when this song first hit, it was a bit campy and a bit bubblegum, but I liked it, it was a bubbly positive song and fun to listen to.  Quite a few songs were downright depressive when you listening to them, but this song was fun to listen to and you could play it over several times and it wouldn't get old.  The song got a lot of playtime on MTV back in the day.

"Walking on Sunshine" is a song written by Kimberley Rew for Katrina and the Waves 1983 eponymous debut full-length album. The re-recorded version was at first released on the band's 1985 self-titled album as the album's second single and reached No. 4 in Australia, No. 9 in the United States, and No. 8 in the United Kingdom. It was the Waves' first US top 40 hit, and their biggest success in the United Kingdom until "Love Shine a Light" (1997). Originally conceived of as a ballad, Katrina decided to belt the song out as a more upbeat song

Royalties from airplay and advertisements of "Walking on Sunshine" have been extremely high. Katrina and the Waves kept the publishing rights and the royalties that typically go to the songwriter have been divided among the band members.Estimates are the song has earned $1 million per year for the ten years ending in 2010. According to a former employee of EMI, "Walking on Sunshine was the crown jewel in EMI's catalog," and that it was one of EMI's biggest earners from advertisers.
In late August and early September 2005, which marked the 20th anniversary of the song's release, the storm surge of a storm named Hurricane Katrina devastated much of the U.S. Gulf Coast, and the MSNBC program Countdown with Keith Olbermann dubbed its coverage of the storm, "Katrina and the Waves"; the name also appeared in numerous headlines and blog postings. A New York Times reporter contacted Katrina Leskanich, who said: "The first time I opened the paper and saw 'Katrina kills 9,' it was a bit of a shock. ... I hope that the true spirit of 'Walking on Sunshine' will prevail. I would hate for the title to be tinged with sadness, and I will have to do my own part to help turn that around." She also stated that she hoped that "Walking on Sunshine" would become an anthem for the Gulf Coast's recovery.
2010 was the 25th anniversary of the release of "Walking on Sunshine," and a series of back-catalog re-releases and a re-recorded version of the track were released at the time. A free download of one of the tracks from Kimberley Rew's solo album Bible of Bop was given away in March 2010 from the band's website.
In August 2015, which marked the 30th anniversary of the song's release, the song was acquired by BMG Rights Management for £10 million, along with all the other songs written by Kimberley Rew and Katrina and the Waves.

The music video opens with a Docklands alley, the Waves huddling whilst Katrina dances about above them. The video proceeds to depict the band performing live at a United Kingdom concert. Katrina herself is either with or not with them, but either dancing in a disused Docklands warehouse, or walking through Hyde Park on a cloudy day, past a churchyard, Tower Bridge, and the south bank of the Thames. She catches up with the others and feeds ducks (one of them eats the leftovers, referring to the Waves). The four all repair to a backstage dressing room and prepare for a concert

Friday, January 11, 2019

musings...and thoughts....and musings...oh my

I have been very busy and I think of all these great post that I want to do while I am doing other stuff like working, sleeping, driving,and other items of living in real life and the eloquence of what I will write, so I am excited so when I get in front of the laptop, my muse deserts me like the morals of a democratic politician...and I look at a blank screen going "well....crap...".

      I have noticed that the government shutdown has entered the 3rd week, we are eating unsafe food, breathing unsafe air and drinking polluted water since our betters are not checking up on how things are going because they are at home not getting paid....well according to the media anyway...
    A couple of days ago, the President gave a speech on his case for the wall, and the media outlets almost didn't want it broadcasted,
 I noticed a few things, first off..the speech was short and to the point, it wasn't full of "I" and "Me" like the previous inhabitant of the White House who was verbose or as my friend Shelldude would say "Dude uses a bunch of $5.00 words".  But they allowed Chuck"Nothing get in the way of the Camera" Schumer and Petrified Pelosi to do a rebuttal of the Presidents statement..

To my knowledge this has never been done before, excluding "State of the Union" Speeches.  This shows the amount of animus that the media has for President Trump. They view themselves as the gatekeeper of knowledge and any information that goes against the "GroupHiveThink" or the latest  stuff whatever the ministry of Truth decrees as "Truth" to be disseminated to the "Dirt People"

      Schumer and Pelosi challenged the president in a sleight-of-hand deal to re-open the part of government that is closed and then continue the debate about a wall. That reminds me of the "deal" offered to President George H.W. Bush by then-Speaker Jim Wright (D-Texas). Wright said Congress would cut spending if Bush would OK a tax increase. Bush was blamed for the tax hike, never got the spending cuts and lost his re-election bid as Bill Clinton and the Democrats reminded everyone in 1992 and the term "Read my lips, No new taxes" by President Bush and the resulting political suicide because the President tried to compromise with the democrats.  The Flipside is that 2 years later, the GOP running on the genius of Newt Gingrich took the house for the first time in 40 years because of the miscues and overreach of the Democrats with "Hillarycare" and the "Assault Weapons ban 94".  The Democrats got creamed in the 1994 elections.   This is interesting, If President Trump caves, he is through for 2020, he will be a 1 term president like the first President Bush. President Trump will have challengers in his own party, even Romney would make a go at him.

    The Democrats are feeling exuberant, they think they have the hated "Cheeto man" on the ropes.  The entire agenda for the democrats can be summed up in Impeachment, illegal to legal immigrant, and they will lock up another monolithic voting block like the blacks and guaranteeing a voting majority and power to rule, no borders, medicare control for all, green energy, Tax"in the name of fairness" increases and of course gun control.

   And speaking of "Gun Control"   Dianne "Ban all guns except the ones used by her personal security detail and the government" Feinstein of course...the dirt people...well their purpose is to pay the taxes, get sheared and occasionally killed for mutton to support the cloud people as an example to the others that might step out of line.

  The purpose is to replace us with a malleable voting population that will do what they are told.  People from the central and south American countries are used to totalitarian governments and their criminals prey on the dirt people and the resulting cries for "help" against the criminal elements that are terrorizing them is used as an excuse to strip more of the "rights" in return for "security" and people that depend on the government for security will do what is "suggested" to keep the security and this will guarantee permanent power to the state and the democrats.
     This is the part of the dekulakization that I mentioned in a few earlier POST.  If they can replace us and they can decimate the middle class at the same time.  The middle class is the checks and balance on the totalitarianism of those that would wish themselves "King".  Like the Magna Carta, this curtails tyranny because the middle class has the knowledge, money and guns to defend themselves if it came from push to shove.  The poor people will do what they are told because they need the EBT and other subsidies to live and they will mortgage their souls to do so because they depend on .gov and those that depend on .gov WILL do what they are told.

      And reading more of the Gun control bill, this basically is going after all firearms that have use a magazine, have a fore grip, that is where you hold the front of the rifle and other features.  This is most of the camel to coin a phrase. Even my lever action rifle falls under this ban, the fore-grip part.  All rifles use a fore-grip and this will basically ban all rifles.  Pistols will be next.  Once we are disarmed, we are at the total mercy of the big government democrats, and have no say in the process of governance.  
   I am bouncing all over the place on this posting, and this posting kinda reflects that...

   On a slightly different note, the Schumer, Pelosi rebuttal has been Meme gold....I will add a couple of ones that I picked up...

There are many more on the internet...

     On a different note, The new highspeed range near my house reopened, but I saw a sign on the door that said "Law Enforcement/Retired Military only".This concerns me because we regular people would like a nice place to shoot.  Having a range that caters to "LawEnforcement/Retired Military only" screams of elitism and a good way to guarantee another range closure.....again.
      I will go talk to them and see if this policy is ironclad and if it ain't, I will take the Garand and the Henry to the range and really try to shoot them.