That was interesting…

Not only are we going to put troops back into Afghanistan, but Pakistan has also been put on notice. President Trump is listening to the folks that do warfighting, rather than the media pundits, or being driven by polling on what he should do. What a novel concept! Yes, there is a strong possibility that more will be lost, but it is not fair to those who gave their lives, and good portions of their careers in that theater over the past sixteen years, that were NOT of his making. The bottom line is this will be pursuit of the goal of freedom from attack, by taking out the terrorists, not nation building… He is also going for a coalition among the partner countries, and thankfully he didn’t release ANY timelines or plans! OPSEC at least for now, but how long before some s**thead leaks it??? Dammit…

In other, sad news, it appears USS McCain had a steering failure, and got T-boned before they could get aft steering manned. Ten are still missing, and if you look at the pictures of the damage, the bulbous bow of the tanker impacted berthing spaces yet again…

I can’t help but wonder if the years of maintenance cuts are coming home to roost… Maintenance avails can’t possibly ‘fix’ all the problems, especially in a forward deployed environment like Yokosuka. And shipyard avails are few and far between out there.

The straits themselves are literally the most congested waterway in the world. StrasseLink has a good overview, HERE. Down in the Phillips Channel area, it’s only 1.9nm wide, so you have very large ships in very close proximity…

And the entire straits passage.

This piracy brief has some good visuals on the sheer amount of ship traffic, and how congested it is, along with the piracy that, thankfully, is declining. Brief is HERE, granted it’s now 7 years old, but you get the general sense of the issue.

Update- As of this morning, a ‘number’ of bodies have been located by Navy divers, and one body is being transferred from the Malaysian search and rescue team. Thoughts and prayers for those families still awaiting word.


Well… — 18 Comments

  1. You can only go to the well so often, before it’s dry. Prayers for the missing, and for their families.

    I said, when Obama was elected, that the only good thing about it was that in four years, we’d be able to look back on the Carter administration, and say “Well, now, that wasn’t so bad, was it?” I never intended to be a Cassandra.

  2. I saw first-hand (waning years of Viet Nam) what budget cuts & operational reductions did to readiness – and that was without equipment failures. Years of that have reduced our finest to the appearance of bumblers. Our armed forces deserve our best, and not just dregs. How many more must lose their lives to this sort of thing before we take it seriously?

  3. I was wondering about the maintenance thing myself. Granted I know little, but the photos were a little shocking to me. I saw a lot of rust on the hull that I don’t recall ever seeing before on a USN vessel. Admittedly I have seen relatively few. But it gave me pause and made me wonder. this to an untrained eye was telling

  4. I read an article in the military times about how the SWO community was the most removed from actual warfighting and how little training time was spent on actual, you know how to fight the ship, and how much was about some two starts now SJW plan

    • They had a good blog-comment session on the sad state of SWO training over at cdrsalamander.

      The various commenters really lay it on the line. Wonder how many of the upper brass read that blog (and, how many hate that blog?)

  5. RS- Agreed!

    Rev- You and me both, we lived that…

    Jag- Of course… sigh

    Randy- Yep, that IS the current state of ‘disrepair’… Dammit…

    SPE- Yep, SWOs are hurting. They eat their young anyway, and the lack of sea time and training isn’t helping. 14 days a quarter underway is NOT enough for proficiency, much less actual operations.

  6. As noted on Instapundit, “Those sailors did not have the basic seamanship skills, but by God, they got their sensitivity training, they got their race relations training, they got their sexual harassment training.”

  7. Glad he listens to the military. Probably the only who actively seeks their input without congress interfering. Exclusively praises Mattis. Duh. The people on the ground know what is going on.

    I tell ya. The leakers are pissing me off. Who the hell puts themselves and their little glory stance before the masses and jeopardizes the security of the nation. I know someone who is still for favor of public hangings. Coincidently. Just stating that for a friend. Sad about the USS McCain. Lots of prayers.

  8. “Not only are we going to put troops back into Afghanistan, but Pakistan has also been put on notice.”
    He “NORKed” Pakistan.

  9. Bout time someone shook up Pakistan. I would support cutting off all the foreign aid to there…what have they done for us recently? Anytime?? Don’t mind me…I’m just a (former) New Yorker and had friends in the Towers on 9/11. Some of us will never forget…

    And I NEVER understood the entire philosophy of Obama about broadcasting our plans ahead of time. Made no sense to me.
    Maybe he never learned about the “loose lips sink ships” in history class?

    I spent a very enlightening afternoon talking with the youngest son of my best friend who had just gotten back from a tour in Afghanistan. (I remember when he was born, now he is old enough to be worrying about buying a house, and being sent back overseas. I’m getting old.) His biggest complaint was the multiple hoops they had to jump through when they had bad guys in their sights before they could get authorization to fire. It is about time the pols let the military do their job. We’ve tried it the other way, which has been a dismal failure, so, hey…let’s try letting the pros do it their way. See if it gets us outta there any quicker…

  10. The problem is that it goes culturally far, far deeper than the politicians relationship with the military. As a culture, all upper management is reactive rather than proactive if it is any ‘legacy’ system: infrastructure, buildings, military, etc. Spending money on maintenance is verboten and we can get away with it because so much of the systems built in the 20th century are ‘overbuilt’ and can take the abuse…to a point. And then it fails.
    I am struggling with that right now, pointing out serious issues with deferred maintenance in a system and not getting traction. If we are lucky…nothing will break. If we aren’t lucky, we will be national news. But if we are lucky, and odds are….then the money needn’t have been spent. Justifying proactive money is almost impossible.

  11. All- Thanks! Acair- Exactly!!! Except ‘stuff’ is now breaking… sigh

    Posted from my iPhone.

  12. Thanks for the perspective, both on the nautical geography and on the maintenance and leadership challenges.

  13. Hey Old NFO;

    Maintenance ain’t sexy, but it is necessary. I remembered when I was in the service, we were getting all this new gear,but we still had regular stuff that was “broke” and it took forever to get spare parts to replace what was broke.