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6 Facts Highlight Why We Need to Rebuild Our Military

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This is from The Daily Signal.

After reading this article I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach.

I knew there were bad problems with our military but I never realized how bad the problems are.

The Air Force’s B-52 bombers are an average of 53 years old. (Photo: U.S. Air Force/Reuters/Newscom)

The U.S. military seems to be breaking. Senior military leaders have made dire statements before Congress, and story after story is revealing the potentially deadly challenges facing our men and women in uniform.

As Congress considers the annual defense authorization bill, here are six clear, real-world examples of why Congress needs to use the defense bill to start rebuilding the U.S. military.

1. The Marine Corps is pulling parts off of museum planes to keep their F-18s flying. Even with that drastic action, only about 30 percent of their F-18s are ready to fly. Not only that, but instead of getting 25 or 30 hours a month in the cockpit, Marine Corps pilots are getting as little as four hours per month of flying time.

2. Only one-third of Army brigades are ready for combat. The Army has now fallen to the smallest level since before World War II, while the top Army general says that the Army would face “high military risk” if it were to fight a serious war.

3. The Air Force is cannibalizing parts from some F-16’s to keep other F-16’s flying and is pulling parts off museum planes to keep their B-1 bombers flying. And half of Air Force squadrons are not prepared for serious combat.

4. The Navy keeps extending deployments of its ships, but still doesn’t have enough to meet demand. While the Navy needs about 350 ships, today it only has 273.

5. Serious crashes of Marine Corps planes and helicopters arenearly double the 10-year average.

6. The Air Force’s B-52 bombers are an average of 53 years old. Most Americans would not want to drive across the country in a 53-year-old car (see example below), let alone go to combat in a 53-year-old airplane.

1963 Oldsmobile (Photo: David Chapman imageBROKER/Newscom)

1963 Oldsmobile (Photo: David Chapman image Broker/Newscom)

These six facts show the consequences of cutting the national defense budget by 25 percent over the last five years.

At the same time, threats are growing. Russia has invaded Ukraine and threatens more. China is building illegal islands. Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon and North Korea already has one. And we also face the real threat of terrorism and the growing threat of cyberattacks.

The bottom line is that Congress needs to start rebuilding the U.S. military. We can’t let this go much further.

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OBAMA’S MILITARY…. FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGED

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Hat Tip Firebird@SHE’S RIGHT.

Eight years ago, America had THE FINEST military in the world. Our Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps were the best there was.

Today…… not so much.
The U.S. military is shedding so many troops and weapons it is only “marginally able” to defend the nation and falls short of the Obama administration’s national security strategy, according to a report by The Heritage Foundation on Tuesday (2/24/15).  This article also states that our military can no longer fight two wars at once.http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/feb/24/us-military-decimated-under-obama-only-marginally-/?page=all

That’s only the beginning.  As part of Obama’s promise to ‘fundamentally change America’, he has fundamentally changed the American military… and it will never be the same again.

Don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT) was the official United States policy for military service by gays and lesbians, instituted by the Clinton Administration on February 28, 1994.  This was the camel’s nose under the tent.

President Barack Obama on Friday [7/22/2011] certified the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” the policy preventing gays from openly serving in the military.

“Our military will no longer be deprived of the talents and skills of patriotic Americans just because they happen to be gay or lesbian,” Obama said in a statement released by the White House.

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/43859711/ns/us_news-life/t/obama-certifies-end-militarys-gay-ban/

Closets flew open and LGBT service members came out.  Cool.  We now have military officers and enlisted personnel who CAN BE OPENLY GAY throughout the ranks of the military. No problems with HIV/AIDS? Seems there is a wee issue with the spread of HIV in the rank and file ….No problems with morale, right?  Ummmmmmm….

An order came down the chain of command (NOT from the CinC) that anyone with HIV must disclose that to all sex partners.  Makes sense, right?  Seems those who disobeyed the order were being kicked out of the military.  But wait…. the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) does not cover this.  [As an aside, the UCMJ hasn’t kept up with the world – Congress, in conjunction with the military lawyers propose/pass laws for the military and the CinC signs off on them.  This is a bit behind the times – go figure.]

Gavin B. Atchak’s commanding officer at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina ordered him to avoid unprotected sex after Atchak tested positive for HIV in 2011.The officer also directed Atchak, an enlisted man in the Air Force security forces, to inform future sex partners that he carried the virus that can cause AIDS.Atchak disobeyed and engaged in unprotected oral and anal sex with fellow airmen. At a subsequent court-martial, he pleaded guilty to aggravated assault. Then the ground shifted.Now Atchak and others, including a former South Carolina-based airman, are caught amid changing times, as military prosecutors and defense lawyers alike sort through the evolving legal guidelines applicable to sexual activity among HIV-positive troops.While some 34 states have adopted criminal laws related to exposure to HIV, Congress has not done the same for the Uniform Code of Military Justice.Read more on this at the link below.  It’s an interesting analysis of current HIV laws in the military and in the civilian world.

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/crime/article57147868.html

And lest we forget….

PFC Bradley Manning was sentenced in August 2013 to 35 years in prison for giving hundreds of thousands of secret documents to Wikileaks.  This CONVICTED leaker of security intel, now known as Chelsea Manning, has begun a physical transition from male to female at Fort Leavenworth prison. Authorities say it is ‘medically appropriate and necessary.’ Manning is the first Army member to receive hormone therapy at the military’s expense.

Help me with this.  Manning – a traitor – is getting sex change therapy IN LEAVENWORTH???  Something he could not begin to afford if he had gotten an honorable discharge???  I only have one comment on this.  WHAT THE F**K!!!!  A traitor……. Is getting sex change therapy – IN A MILITARY PRISON????  AT GOVERNMENT (a/k/a taxpayers’) EXPENSE.  This is President Obama’s military…… fundamentally changed.

Bradley…………………………… or Chelsea Manning

Moving right along…

Women have been in the military for many years.  They are capable and if they can meet the qualifications, there is no reason they should NOT be in the military.  But in my mind – women have absolutely no business in a combat role.  They are NOT capable of matching the strength and endurance of a man.  A 125 pound woman no matter what great shape she is in, is physically INCAPABLE of dragging her 225 pound fellow combatant out of harms’ way.  There is no shame in that – they just do not have the strength.

The CinC decided women could become Army rangers, and 20 were accepted into the ranger course at Ft. Benning, GA.  Two graduated… but they were NOT treated like their male counterparts.  Males going through ranger school are allowed ONE shot at repeating a phase.  For instance, if they are injured in one of the phases, they will be given ONE re-do. The women were allowed multiple repeats during the course because there was an unspoken ‘MANDATE’ that A WOMAN WOULD GRADUATE AND WOULD GET THE COVETED RANGER TAB.  Check this off the to-do list, Mr. President.

http://www.people.com/article/female-ranger-school-graduation-planned-advance

Below is a recent example of a woman in a combat role.  Less than a month ago, 10 American Navy personnel (one was a woman) were taken hostage by the Iranians.  These nine honorable men are protecting that woman – see where she is in the picture below…. she’s in the corner and they are all between her and the enemy.  Honorable?  Protecting the woman?  YUP….A distraction in a crisis?  For sure!

Troop morale….. is it a problem?  It is.  But surprisingly, it’s not about salaries or deployments.  It’s because of the senior leadership, who has apparently lost the confidence and support of those of lower rank.  In his newly released book ‘A Passion for Leadership’, former SecDef Robert Gates opines that President Obama does not listen to the advice of his MILITARY leaders, but listens only to the advisers he has surrounded himself who are completely, totally CLUELESS about the ways of all things military.  Gates says all of Obama’s MILITARY decisions are based on POLITICS.

[Ed. Note:  In my opinion Obama is the biggest cause of poor morale in the military and for those who have LEFT the military because of how his administration has done NOTHING to improve the plight of service men and women by perpetuating the joke that is the VA system!  And it IS a joke!]

http://taskandpurpose.com/real-reason-poor-state-military-morale/

Anyway…

CONCLUSION:  The greatest fighting force in the history of the world… has become a disgusting social experiment.  And the Commander-in-Chief is smiling at THIS ‘fundamental change’ of something that was (past tense) truly representative of what this country stood for.

BREAKING: White House Now Pressuring Army to Let Bergdahl Go Free!

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This is from Joe For America.

So Obama wants the Army to set his Muslim Brother free so he can collect approximately $300,000.00 in back pay and be promoted to sergeant.

Does this mean the Army will give a posthumous pardon and reinstate benefits for the executed deserter Eddie Slovik?

 

As incredible as it may sound, the Obama Administration is putting pressure on The Army to let deserter Bowe Bergdahl go free after earlier reports he would be charged with Desertion.

Maj. Gen. Ronald F. Lewis, the Army’s chief of public affairs, put out a statement Tuesday afternoon calling the reports, including one by NBC News, “patently false.”

“To be clear there have been no actions or decisions on the Sgt. Bergdahl investigation,” he said. “The investigation is still with the commanding general of U.S. Army Forces Command who will determine appropriate action — which ranges from no further action to convening a court martial.”

image: http://joeforamerica.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Bergdahl2.jpg

Bergdahl2Why would Obama, after making the worst trade for Bergdahl’s return to the U.S. since the Red Sox traded Babe Ruth – let a deserter and traitor walk? They aren’t going to court-martial him and instead give him full pay, benefits AND a promotion? … oh brother.

 Ralph Peters: Obama Admin “Pressuring The Army To Whitewash” Bergdahl Fiasco

Hat tip: REal Clear Politics:

 

LT. COL. RALPH PETERS: What we have here is very, very clear, it’s damnably clear that the White House which doesn’t understand why this is a big deal. I mean, he just deserted, right?

Wouldn’t anybody do that? And they just want to protect the president. And they are pressuring the Army, pressuring the Army to whitewash this. And they don’t understand that for the military, those who went before, retirees like me, those on active duty, this is a powerful matter, as you heard from the young soldier, of precedent and principle.

image: http://www.thepoliticalprophet.com/files/Col.-Ralph-Peters.gif

If you letBergdahl walk — it’s not about this pathetic little creep, Bergdahl, it’s about the principle:If you let him walk with full pay and benefits and a promotion despite overwhelming evidence that he deserted his post in wartime, you make it virtually impossible to prosecute future deserters.

Now, in the Army, I’m sure — the Army’s not perfect. You’ve got some people craven enough and ambitious enough to save to the White House, and I’m sure they are arguing the White House’s point, but so far you’ve got some generals that are showing backbone and saying, no, for the good of the Army, for the good of the military, he has to go through the Article 32 and into court-martial.

And the White House is fighting it tooth and nail because they don’t give a damn about our military, they just care about this pathetic puss in boots president’s reputation.

Unbelievable, but then again – this is the Obama Administration we’re talking about here… Fellow soldiers accused Bergdahl of deserting his post on a base in Afghanistan in 2009.

You remember Obama with Bergdahl’s parents in the Rose Garden at the time in celebrating his return home? And that prisoner swap for five of the highest ranking and dangerous Guantanamo prisoners?

Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer told Bill O’Reilly that there was “no doubt” the White House was dragging out its decision. He said there’s a “huge battle” going on inside the Obama administration, as some try to “suppress” this development. “This is shaping up to be a titanic struggle behind the scenes,” he said.

Shaffer also said the Army “wants to do the right thing,” but the White House “wants this to go away.”…

It probably will after the next scandal takes it’s place.
Read more at http://joeforamerica.com/2015/01/breaking-white-house-now-pressuring-army-let-bergdahl-go-free/

Army to force out 550 majors; some in Afghanistan

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This is from Stars and Stripes.

This scares the Hell right out of me Stalin would be proud..

I know history and remember that our military was gutted prior to Pearl Harbor.

 

WASHINGTON — About 550 Army majors, including some serving in Afghanistan, will soon be told they have to leave the service by next spring as part of a budget-driven downsizing of the service.

Gen. John Campbell, the vice chief of the Army, acknowledged Friday that telling troops in a war zone that they’re out of a job is a difficult task. But he said some of the soldiers could join the National Guard or the Army Reserve.

The decision to cut Army majors comes on the heels of a move to slash nearly 1,200 captains from the ranks. Army leaders were criticized at the time for giving 48 of them the bad news while they were deployed to Afghanistan.

The Army declined to say how many majors will be notified while they are at the battlefront.

“The ones that are deployed are certainly the hardest,” Campbell told reporters. “What we try to do there is, working through the chain of command, minimize the impact to that unit and then maximize the time to provide to that officer to come back and do the proper transition, to take care of himself or herself, and the family.”

Campbell said it’s difficult to avoid cutting deployed soldiers because of the timing schedules.

All the soldiers being forced to leave have probably already been given a heads-up that they were at risk of the job cut and will meet with a senior officer, according to the Army.

Those who are cut have nine months to leave the Army. And the soldiers who are deployed, including those in Afghanistan, will generally have about a month to move out of that job and go home to begin to transition out of the service.

The cuts have been difficult for many young officers, particularly captains, who tend not to have enough years in service to retire.

To make the cuts, the Army looked at about 8,500 majors who joined the service between 1999 and 2003. Some may have about 15 years of service, depending on all factors that go into credit for years of service, and might be able to retire, but many won’t have enough time in the job, Campbell said

Guard and reserve leaders are looking for officers, especially captains, so there could be opportunities for the soldiers to continue to serve, he said.

After 13 years of war that forced a significant and rapid build-up of the Army to about 570,000, the military now has to reduce its combat forces to meet budget cuts.

The Army has close to 514,000 soldiers now, but will have to be down to 510,000 by October, shrink to 490,000 by October 2015 and be down to 450,000 by 2019. In addition, if Congress doesn’t act to prevent automatic budget cuts from resuming, the Army may eventually have to get down to 420,000 — a size that that leaders say may not allow them to wage even one major, prolonged military campaign.

The Army tried to avoid some cuts by slowing enlistments and using attrition and some voluntary separations. It also has been combing through files looking for soldiers with disciplinary or other problems in their annual evaluations to weed out lower-performing officers first, officials said.

Report: Pentagon to destroy $1B in ammunition

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This is from USA Today.

One more example of  how big of a cluster truck the Pentagon is.

Why no instead of  destroy the ammo just keep it for the troops?

Or better yet put it  for sale to the public?

 

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon plans to destroy more than $1 billion worth of ammunition although some of those bullets and missiles could still be used by troops, according to the Pentagon and congressional sources.

It’s impossible to know what portion of the arsenal slated for destruction — valued at $1.2 billion by the Pentagon — remains viable because the Defense Department’s inventory systems can’t share data effectively, according to a Government Accountability Office report obtained by USA TODAY.

The result: potential waste of unknown value.

There is a huge opportunity to save millions, if not billions of dollars if the (Pentagon) can make some common-sense improvements to how it manages ammunition,” said Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., and chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “Despite years of effort, the Army, Navy and Air Force still don’t have an efficient process for doing something as basic as sharing excess bullets. This Government Accountability Office (GAO) report clearly shows that our military’s antiquated systems lead to millions of dollars in wasteful ammunition purchases.”

The Army and Pentagon, in a statement, acknowledged “the need to automate the process” and will make it a priority in future budgets. In all, the Pentagon manages a stockpile of conventional ammunition worth $70 billion.

The effect of inaccurate accounting of ammunition for troops at war was outside the scope of the study. However, there were limited supplies at times of .50-caliber machine gun and 9mm handgun ammunition at the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a senior military officer who spoke on condition of anonymity to talk about the issue.

“We simply cannot afford this type of waste and ineffectiveness,” Carper said. “The (Pentagon) has a responsibility to efficiently manage its ammunition stocks, not only because it is important to be fiscally responsible, but also because our antiquated ammunition inventory systems can shortchange our war fighters and compromise their ability to complete their mission.”

Other key findings from the report:

• The services have inventory systems for ammunition that cannot share data directly despite working for decades to develop a single database. Only the Army uses the standard Pentagon format; “the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps operate with formats that are obsolete.”

• The services hold an annual conference to share information about surplus ammunition and swap bullets and other munitions as needed. Data about ammunition left over after the meeting disappears from the books, resulting in an unknown amount of good bullets headed to the scrap heap.

• The Army, although required by regulation, had not reported annually on its missile stockpile until last month, shortly before the GAO study was to be released.

The report illustrates the obsolete nature of the Pentagon’s inventory systems for ammunition. A request for ammunition from the Marine Corps, for example, is e-mailed to the Army. The e-mail is printed out and manually retyped into the Army system because the services cannot share data directly. Not only is this time consuming, but it can introduce errors — by an incorrect keystroke, for example.

Waste, buying new ammunition while usable stockpiles exist, can occur “because the Army does not report information on all available and usable items,” the report states. The annual conference among the services — although it saves about $70 million per year, according to the Pentagon — is inadequate. The services, in fiscal year 2012, exchanged 44 million items, including 32 million bullets for machine guns and pistols.

“Specifically, the Army’s report does not include information from prior years about usable ammunition that was unclaimed by another service and stored for potential foreign military sales or slated for potential disposal,” the report says.

Missiles are another source for concern, the report notes. The Army has an inventory of missiles, including Stingers, Javelins and Hellfires, that has totaled more than $14 billion in recent years. Hellfire missiles have been a weapon of choice for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in the CIA-run Predator and Reaper drone missions to kill terrorists in places like Yemen.

The GAO found that the Army and its missile command “do not contribute to required annual report.” The reason, Army officials told investigators, is that it “rarely has items to offer for redistribution.”

Without its cooperation, the Army “risks others services spending additional funds to procure missiles that are already unused and usable in the Army’s stockpile.”

The Army, in a statement, said that it began offering that information to the other services last month.

In its recommendations, the GAO urged Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to require the Army to make known information on all available for use by all services.

 

Congress insists on spending $436 MILLION for new tanks – but the Army DOESN’T even want them

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This is from The U.K.Daily Mail.

 This makes me say “What are they thinking”?

Why force these tanks on the Army?

I know these tanks are made in these Congressmen’s district

or in case of Senator’s their home state .

 

  • Lawmakers have devoted nearly half a billion dollars in taxpayer funds over the past two years to roll out upgrades of the Abrams tank
  • But the Army argues that the money would be better spent elsewhere
  • Upgraded Abrams tanks cost about $7.5million each, the Army says

 

Built to dominate the enemy in combat, the Army’s hulking Abrams tank is proving equally hard to beat in a budget battle.

Lawmakers from both parties have devoted nearly half a billion dollars in taxpayer money over the past two years to build improved versions of the 70-ton Abrams.

But senior Army officials have said repeatedly, ‘No thanks.’

It’s the inverse of the federal budget world these days, in which automatic spending cuts are leaving sought-after pet programs struggling or unpaid altogether.

Tanked: Lawmakers from both parties have devoted nearly half a billion dollars in taxpayer funds to build improved versions of the 70-ton Abrams tank, which the Army doesn't wantTanked: Lawmakers from both parties have devoted nearly half a billion dollars in taxpayer funds to build improved versions of the 70-ton Abrams tank, which the Army doesn’t want

Republicans and Democrats for years have fought so bitterly that lawmaking in Washington ground to a near-halt.

Yet in the case of the Abrams tank, there’s a bipartisan push to spend an extra $436 million on a weapon the experts explicitly say is not needed.

‘If we had our choice, we would use that money in a different way,’ Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army’s chief of staff, told The Associated Press this past week.

Why are the tank dollars still flowing? Politics.

General: The Army's chief of staff, Gen Ray Odierno, says 'If we had our choice, we would use that money in a different way'General: The Army’s chief of staff, Gen Ray Odierno, says ‘If we had our choice, we would use that money in a different way’

Keeping the Abrams production line rolling protects businesses and good paying jobs in congressional districts where the tank’s many suppliers are located.

If there’s a home of the Abrams, it’s politically important Ohio. The nation’s only tank plant is in Lima. So it’s no coincidence that the champions for more tanks are Rep Jim Jordan and Sen Rob Portman, two of Capitol’s Hill most prominent deficit hawks, as well as Democratic Sen Sherrod Brown.

They said their support is rooted in protecting national security, not in pork-barrel politics.

‘The one area where we are supposed to spend taxpayer money is in defense of the country,’ said Jordan, whose district in the northwest part of the state includes the tank plant.

The Abrams dilemma underscores the challenge that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel faces as he seeks to purge programs that the military considers unnecessary or too expensive in order to ensure there’s enough money for essential operations, training and equipment.

Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska, faces a daunting task in persuading members of Congress to eliminate or scale back projects favored by constituents.

Federal budgets are always peppered with money for pet projects. What sets the Abrams example apart is the certainty of the Army’s position.

Sean Kennedy, director of research for the nonpartisan Citizens Against Government Waste, said Congress should listen when one of the military services says no to more equipment.

‘When an institution as risk averse as the Defense Department says they have enough tanks, we can probably believe them,’ Kennedy said.

Congressional backers of the Abrams upgrades view the vast network of companies, many of them small businesses, that manufacture the tanks’ materials and parts as a critical asset that has to be preserved.

The money, they say, is a modest investment that will keep important tooling and manufacturing skills from being lost if the Abrams line were to be shut down.

Uphill battle: The Abrams dilemma underscores the challenge that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel faces as he seeks to purge programs that the military considers unnecessary or too expensiveUphill battle: The Abrams dilemma underscores the challenge that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel faces as he seeks to purge programs that the military considers unnecessary or too expensive

The Lima plant is a study in how federal dollars affect local communities, which in turn hold tight to the federal dollars.

The facility is owned by the federal government but operated by the land systems division of General Dynamics, a major defense contractor that spent close to $11million last year on lobbying, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

The plant is Lima’s fifth-largest employer with close to 700 employees, down from about 1,100 just a few years ago, according to Mayor David Berger.

But the facility is still crucial to the local economy. ‘All of those jobs and their spending activity in the community and the company’s spending probably have about a $100million impact annually,’ Berger said.

Jordan, a House conservative leader who has pushed for deep reductions in federal spending, supported the automatic cuts known as the sequester that require $42billion to be shaved from the Pentagon’s budget by the end of September. The military also has to absorb a $487billion reduction in defense spending over the next 10 years, as required by the Budget Control Act passed in 2011.

Still, said Jordan, it would be a big mistake to stop producing tanks.

Production: The Lima Army Tank Plant is Lima's fifth-largest employer with close to 700 employees, down from about 1,100 just a few years ago, according to Lima's mayorProduction: The Lima Army Tank Plant is Lima’s fifth-largest employer with close to 700 employees, down from about 1,100 just a few years ago, according to Lima’s mayor

‘Look, (the plant) is in the 4th Congressional District and my job is to represent the 4th Congressional District, so I understand that,’ he said.

‘But the fact remains, if it was not in the best interests of the national defense for the United States of America, then you would not see me supporting it like we do.’

The tanks that Congress is requiring the Army to buy aren’t brand new. Earlier models are being outfitted with a sophisticated suite of electronics that gives the vehicles better microprocessors, color flat panel displays, a more capable communications system, and other improvements.

The upgraded tanks cost about $7.5million each, according to the Army.

Out of a fleet of nearly 2,400 tanks, roughly two-thirds are the improved versions, which the Army refers to with a moniker that befits their heft: the M1A2SEPv2, and service officials said they have plenty of them.

‘The Army is on record saying we do not require any additional M1A2s,’ Davis Welch, deputy director of the Army budget office, said this month.

The tank fleet, on average, is less than 3 years old. The Abrams is named after Gen Creighton Abrams, one of the top tank commanders during World War II and a former Army chief of staff.

New tech: The upgraded tanks cost about $7.5million each, according to the ArmyNew tech: The upgraded tanks cost about $7.5million each, according to the Army

The Army’s plan was to stop buying tanks until 2017, when production of a newly designed Abrams would begin.

Orders for Abrams tanks from U.S. allies help fill the gap created by the loss of tanks for the Army, according to service officials, but congressional proponents of the program feared there would not be enough international business to keep the Abrams line going.

This pause in tank production for the U.S. would allow the Army to spend its money on research and development work for the new and improved model, said Ashley Givens, a spokeswoman for the Army’s Ground Combat Systems office.

The first editions of the Abrams tank were fielded in the early 1980s. Over the decades, the Abrams supply chain has become embedded in communities across the country.

General Dynamics estimated in 2011 that there were more than 560 subcontractors throughout the country involved in the Abrams program and that they employed as many as 18,000 people.

More than 40 of the companies are in Pennsylvania, according to Sen. Robert Casey, D-Pennsylvania, also a staunch backer of continued tank production.

Like new: The Abrams tank fleet, on average, is less than 3 years old. It is named for Gen Creighton Abrams, one of the top tank commanders during World War II and a former Army chief of staffLike new: The Abrams tank fleet, on average, is less than 3 years old. It is named for Gen Creighton Abrams, one of the top tank commanders during World War II and a former Army chief of staff

A letter signed by 173 Democratic and Republican members of the House last year and sent to then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta demonstrated the depth of bipartisan support for the Abrams program on Capitol Hill.

They chided the Obama administration for neglecting the industrial base and proposing to terminate tank production in the United States for the first time since World War II.

Portman, who served as President George W. Bush’s budget director before being elected to the Senate, said allowing the line to wither and close would create a financial mess.

‘People can’t sit around for three years on unemployment insurance and wait for the government to come back,’ Portman said.

‘That supply chain is going to be much more costly and much more inefficient to create if you mothball the plant.’

Pete Keating, a General Dynamics spokesman, said the money from Congress is allowing for a stable base of production for the Army, which receives about four tanks a month.

Facing backlash: Lawmakers have chided the Obama administration for neglecting the industrial base and proposing to terminate tank production in the U.S. for the first time since World War IIFacing backlash: Lawmakers have chided the Obama administration for neglecting the industrial base and proposing to terminate tank production in the U.S. for the first time since World War II

With the line open, Lima also can fill international orders, bringing more work to Lima and preserving American jobs, he said.

Current foreign customers are Saudi Arabia, which is getting about five tanks a month, and Egypt, which is getting four.

Each country pays all of their own costs. That’s a ‘success story during a period of economic pain,’ Keating said.

Still, far fewer tanks are coming out of the Lima plant than in years past.

The drop-off has affected companies such as Verhoff Machine and Welding in Continental, Ohio, which makes seats and other parts for the Abrams.

Production: The first editions of the Abrams tank were fielded in the early 1980s. Over the decades, the Abrams supply chain has become embedded in communities across the countryProduction: The first editions of the Abrams tank were fielded in the early 1980s. Over the decades, the Abrams supply chain has become embedded in communities across the country

Ed Verhoff, the company’s president, said his sales have dropped from $20 million to $7 million over the past two years.

He’s also had to lay off about 25 skilled employees and he expects to be issuing more pink slips in the future.

‘When we start to lose this base of people, what are we going to do? Buy our tanks from China?’ Verhoff said.

Steven Grundman, a defense expert at the Atlantic Council in Washington, said the difficulty of reviving defense industrial capabilities tends to be overstated.

‘From the fairly insular world in which the defense industry operates, these capabilities seem to be unique and in many cases extraordinarily high art,’ said Grundman, a former deputy undersecretary of defense for industrial affairs and installations during the Clinton administration.

‘But in the greater scope of the economy, they tend not to be.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2316117/Congress-insists-spending-436million-dollars-new-tanks–Army-DOESNT-want-them.html#ixzz2Roc9KIPp
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US Army labels Evangelicals, Catholics religious extremists

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This is from Bizpac Review.

I resent being called a religious extremists.

The Religion of Peace is the extremists.

No one in the Evangelical Community advocates killing our female relatives because they are out without a male family member.

 The Catholic Church does not recommend murdering their members 

for leaving the Catholic faith.

Islam says this and more.

U.S. Army reserve unit in Pennsylvania lumped Catholicism and evangelical Christianity along with Hamas and al-Qaida as examples ofreligious extremism during an Equal Opportunity training brief.

The Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty disagrees.

pope-Eucharist

A religious extremist? Photo creditgalatiansfour.blogspot.com

“We find this offensive to have Evangelical Christians and the Catholic Church to be listed among known terrorist groups,” said its executive director, Ron Crews, Fox News reported. “It is dishonorable for any U.S. military entity to allow this type of wrongheaded characterization.”

Oddly, the Army also listed “Islamophobia” as an example of religious extremism, which, of course, is not a religion, but a fear.

Fox News contracted Army spokesman George Wright regarding the incident. He advised the agency that this was an “isolated incident not condoned by the Dept. of the Army.”

“This slide was not produced by the Army and certainly does not reflect our policy or doctrine,” he said. “It was produced by an individual without anyone in the chain of command’s knowledge or permission.”

The program’s presenter apologized and removed the slide after someone complained.

“We consider the matter closed,” Wright said.

The presentation first came to light by a participant who “considers himself an evangelical Christian and did not appreciate being classified with terrorists,” Crews told Fox News.

“There was a pervasive attitude in the presentation that anything associated with religion is an extremist.”

Fox News Radio’s Todd Starnes wrote that “The Archdiocese for the Military Services was shocked to learn that the Army considered Catholicism to be an example of extremism.”

Given that Catholicism is the world’s oldest form of Christianity, I can well imagine.

extremeists sign“The Archdiocese is astounded that Catholics were listed alongside groups that are, by their very mission and nature, violent and extremist,” the Archdiocese said in a statement.
They are calling for the Defense Department to “ensure that taxpayer funds are never again used to present blatantly anti-religious material to the men and women in uniform.”

It took very little digging to discover that the presenter, not an expert in the subject matter, got her information from an internet search — primarily from the Southern Poverty Law Center.

“Why is there such dependence upon the work of the SPLC to determine hate groups and extremist groups,” Crews said. “It appears that some military entities are using definitions of ‘hate’ and ‘extreme’ from the lists of anti-Christian political organizations. That violates the apolitical stance appropriate for the military.”

We used to refer to the future as “a brave new world,” from the title of an Aldous Huxley novel. There’s nothing “brave” about religious bigotry, and there;s nothing “new” about hate and distrust.

 

 

Letters of South Carolina soldier killed in Vietnam come home

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This is from Fox News.

I am glad this family finally got this young mans letters.

There was only part of this story that fired me up.

It was were the uncle said it was a war we could not win. BS.

If it was not for the politicians meddling we could have won the war.

Then we had that commie loving bastard Cronkite saying the war was lost.

The North Vietnamese said they were beaten,If we had kept up bombing them.

COLUMBIA, S.C –  Four letters from a courageous South Carolina soldier who tried to tell his family about the fearsome battles that raged around him in Vietnam were returned to his family Saturday, some 40 years after he was killed.

Military representatives of the Army‘s 101st Airborne Division presented the letters from Sgt. Steve Flaherty of Columbia to his uncle Kenneth Cannon and sister-in-law Martha Gibbons during a ceremony at the state’s memorial honoring Vietnam veterans.

Flaherty was killed in combat in Vietnam in 1969. Vietnamese soldiers took the letters after Flaherty’s death. They were turned over to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta last month when he visited Vietnam.

“It’s a miracle these letters have shown up after all this time,” Cannon said, taking a peek into the envelope that held the missives. The 80-year-old Navy veteran said the family had decided to study them in private because of the emotion of the moment.

“They are in remarkable condition to be 40-years old,” he added. “I know Steve would be glad they are back home.”

Gibbons, 73, said the family decided to donate the letters to a South Carolina military museum that is planning an exhibit honoring the nearly 1,000 South Carolinians who died in the conflict.

“This way they can be preserved for anybody to see,” said Gibbons, 73, from nearby Irmo. “It means a lot to us.”

Lt. Col. Townley Hedrick, deputy commander of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division, shook Cannon’s hand and kissed Gibbons on the cheek as he presented an envelope containing the letters.

Gibbons said she was grateful to the Vietnamese officer who retained them for so many years.

“We didn’t know they were out there,” she said.

Cannon said he’d been able to read some excerpts from the letters that had been released by the Pentagon, in which Flaherty spoke of the carnage his unit experienced and his own fear and determination.

“I felt bullets going past me,” Flaherty wrote, according to the excerpts. “I have never been so scared in my life.”

The young soldier said his unit “took in lots of casualties and death,” adding, “we dragged more bodies of dead and wounded than I can ever want to forget.”

Flaherty wrote at one point that a “sweet card” he had gotten “made my miserable day a much better one but I don’t think I will ever forget the bloody fight we are having. … RPG rockets and machine guns really tore my rucksack.”

By 1969, the war had sharply divided Americans back home, but Flaherty wrote he still believed in the mission.

“This is a dirty and cruel war but I’m sure people will understand the purpose of this war even though many of us might not agree,” he wrote.

Cannon said his nephew was “a frightened young man, and who wouldn’t be? He knew he was fighting an enemy he couldn’t see in a war we could not win.”

Cannon and representatives of the Army said Flaherty had been born in Japan and was adopted by his South Carolina family at the age of 9, after living in an orphanage dedicated to help children born to Japanese mothers and U.S. military fathers. The mixed heritage made it difficult to assimilate into Japanese society at that time.

Flaherty grew into a stellar student and athlete, even getting an offer from the Cincinnati Reds to join their major league baseball team, Cannon said.

“It’s regrettable he died so young. He’s history now, he made history,” Cannon said. “He felt it was his duty to fight for the country he loved. We are very glad to have Steve’s letters and this part of Steve’s life back in South Carolina.”

 

“The Recreational Lands Self-Defense Act” Introduced In The Senate: Urge Your Senators To Cosponsor And Support This Important Legislation

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This is from the NRA-ILA.
Call or email your Senator and ask them be a cosponsor.
Also urge them to become a supporter of S.1588.



On September 21, Senators Jim Webb (D-Va.) and John Boozman (R-Ark.) introduced S. 1588 —  “The Recreational Land Self –Defense Act.”  S. 1588 is the Senate companion bill to H.R. 1865, and is designed to protect the rights of gun owners on lands owned or managed by the Army Corps of Engineers.
Legislation that made it legal to possess firearms for self-defense on National Park Service and National Wildlife Refuge System lands greatly expanded the places where law-abiding Americans can legally carry firearms for self-defense.  However, that change in the law did not include millions of acres of recreational land managed by the Army Corps of Engineers.  The Corps owns or manages over 11.7 million acres, including 400 lakes and river projects, 90,000 campsites, and 4,000 miles of trails.
After passage of the change in carry regulations for National Parks, the Army Corps released a statement that read: “Public Law 111-024 does not apply to Corps projects of facilities . . . It [the Army Corps] will continue to prohibit loaded concealed weapons on Corps properties regardless of the new law and notwithstanding any contrary provisions of state law.”
S. 1588 will reverse this Army Corps policy and prohibit the Secretary of the Army from enforcing any regulation that prohibits gun possession in compliance with state law on Corps projects and lands.  The legislation would not, however, allow firearms in federal facilities such as Army Corps headquarters, Corps research facilities, or lock and dam buildings.
This important legislation is another step in the removal of a patchwork of laws that prohibit or restrict where law-abiding people may legally carry a firearm for self-defense.
“Gun owners need to know that they can exercise their Second Amendment rights when they are legally camping, hiking or fishing in our nation’s parks and recreational lands,” said Senator Webb. “This bipartisan bill would provide consistent rules for all federal lands rather than the current patchwork of regulations where the Army Corps has different rules than the Parks Service.”
“Gun owners must be allowed to defend themselves on federal lands. This is important to protecting our constitutional rights and we owe it to law abiding gun owners to address this national gun issue,” said Senator Boozman.
 
Please contact your Senators and thank them if they have signed on to this important bill.  Or, if they are not yet cosponsors, please urge your Senators to sign on in support of S. 1588.

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