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GOV/MIL ‘You’re on your own’: US sealift can’t count on Navy escorts in the next big war
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  1. #1
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    ‘You’re on your own’: US sealift can’t count on Navy escorts in the next big war

    https://www.defensenews.com/naval/20...rcing-changes/ (fair use)
    By: David B. Larter   1 day ago

    WASHINGTON — In the event of a major war with China or Russia, the U.S. Navy, almost half the size it was during the height of the Cold War, is going to be busy with combat operations. It may be too busy, in fact, to always escort the massive sealift effort it would take to transport what the Navy estimates will be roughly 90 percent of the Marine Corps and Army gear the force would need to sustain a major conflict.

    That’s the message Mark Buzby, the retired rear admiral who now leads the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration, has gotten from the Navy, and it’s one that has instilled a sense of urgency around a major cultural shift inside the force of civilian mariners that would be needed to support a large war effort.

    “The Navy has been candid enough with Military Sealift Command and me that they will probably not have enough ships to escort us. It’s: ‘You’re on your own; go fast, stay quiet,’” Buzby told Defense News in an interview earlier this year.

    Along with Rear Adm. Dee Mewbourne at Military Sealift Command, who would get operational control of the whole surge force in a crisis, Buzby has been working to educate mariners on things that might seem basic to experienced Navy personnel but are new to many civilian mariners.

    Losing ships and qualified mariners would rapidly put enormous pressure on U.S. logistics trains if the nation had to support a major war effort overseas. With far fewer qualified and trained mariners than existed during World War II, combined with an all-but-extinct commercial shipbuilding sector in the United States, sealift would rapidly become a massive strategic liability if Russia or China were able to begin sinking ships in numbers as Germany did during both World Wars.

    Today, the Maritime Administration estimates that to operate both the surge sealift ships — the 46 ships in the Ready Reserve Force and the 15 ships in the MSC surge force — and the roughly 60 U.S.-flagged commercial ships in the Maritime Security Program available to the military in a crisis, the pool of fully qualified mariners is just barely enough.

    They need 11,678 mariners to man the shops, and the pool of available, active mariners is 11,768. That means in a crisis every one of them would need to show up for the surge, according to a recent MARAD report to Congress. By contrast the U.S. had about 55,000 active mariners in the years prior to World War II, with that number swelling to more than 200,000 at the height of the war, according to most sources.

    That means that significant losses among the available pool of mariners would likely dissuade some from volunteering (bad) and would mean the loss of mariners with critical skills needed to operate the fleet for months or even years in a major contingency (worse). And even without losses, MARAD estimates the country is about 1,800 mariners short if any kind of rotational presence is needed.

    Electronic warfare

    To try and offset these daunting challenges, MSC and the Maritime Administration are getting their mariners to think more like sailors when it comes to digital emissions. U.S. Navy ships have for decades had to be conscious of electronic sniffing equipment that can identify U.S. warships by the specific electronic emission made by a big fire-control radar or military communications gear.

    Often U.S. ships will turn off all systems except a small commercial navigation radar to appear to be, electronically, just a commercial vessel, or even go dark all together. That kind of electronic trickery is going to be vital to preserving the sealift fleet if it has to operate with Russian or Chinese military on the prowl in the Atlantic of Pacific theaters, Buzby said.

    “Adm. Mewbourn at Military Sealift Command and I have talked a lot about this and we have been trying to get the word out to people that we are going to have to do things differently,” Buzby said.

    “Turn your navigation lights off, turn your [Automatic Identification System] off, turn your radars off, tell your crews not to use their cell phones — all those [Emissions Condition] things that we in the Navy are familiar with that are completely foreign to a merchant mariner and are seen as an imposition.

    “We are operationalizing the force, that’s been Adm. Mewborne’s focus since he got here. We’re focused on preparing mariners for the more complex operational environment,” Van Leunen said.

    As part of those efforts, the command has developed a basic and advanced operations course for its mariners and has been participating in more fleet exercises, he said.

    Mewborne’s efforts on “mariner resiliency” have been setting the right tone, Buzby said. The effort focuses on containing electronic emissions, becoming physically fit to be able to combat damage over long periods and a sobering reminder at the end, he added.

    “The last bullet point on one of the slides is ‘Learn how to swim,’” he said. “It’s to that point. There’s not going to be a bunch of destroyers around us as we take those ships over there. We’re going to be hitting the sea buoy, cranking it up and going hell-bent for leather, hoping to stay undetected.”

    4th Battle of the Atlantic

    The lessons from World War II are on the minds of many in the U.S. military’s high command when it comes to logistics.

    The head of U.S. Naval Forces Europe, Adm. James Foggo, has already declared the renewed competition with Russia “The Fourth Battle of the Atlantic,” referring to the standoff with Germany in the first and second World Wars, and the standoff with Russia during the Cold War.

    But with the expansion of NATO to former Soviet satellite states, the Battle of the Atlantic will sprawl from the Eastern Seaboard all the way to the Baltic and Black seas, areas that Russia has fortified with anti-access, area denial weapons and other capabilities in recent years.

    In an Oct. 5 presentation at the Atlantic Council, Foggo pulled up an image of the immense landing and sustainment force on the beaches of northern France in 1945 to demonstrate what was made possible by containing German submarine activity in the Atlantic.

    “Operation Overlord. Look at all that stuff,” he said, pointing at the picture. "That would not have happened if we had not won the Second Battle of the Atlantic. That battle raged during the first few years of the war and the Germans almost brought us to our knees using the Wolf Pack tactics.”

    To that point, Foggo said that focusing on logistics is a vital part of the upcoming NATO exercise Trident Juncture, happening in and around Norway in October and November.

    “We have 45,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines; over 60 ships; 120 aircraft, and 10,000 vehicles,” Foggo said. "So we are really testing our response to an Article 5, our ability to move rapidly ... and even more importantly, we are testing our ability to conduct operations in the ‘Sixth Domain’ of warfare and that is logistics, which is so important.

    “When you have 45,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, and all of their kit, you’ve got to get it there. So that’s several lifts of aircraft, several [roll-on/roll-off] or sealift ships that have to get in, you have to put the vehicles on the ground.”

    But while the alliance continues to scrape the rust off its large-scale logistics trains, the question of whether the mariners will show up to man the lift vessels is an open one, and one that Buzby thinks about from his office at the MARAD.

    “We are going into a contested environment, so we are going to have attrition to deal with, in both ships and the people who sail on them,” Buzby said. "Who knows, that might dissuade some people.

    “The tradition of the Merchant Marine is we go to sea no matter what, damn the torpedoes. Most of us believe that our people will not be dissuaded. But until they walk up the gangway, you never know.”

    FORTE EST VINUM, FORTIOR EST REX, FORTIORES SUNT MULIERES:

    SUPER OMNIA VINCIT VERITAS.


  2. #2
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    And turn your radar cross sections off too, while you're at it.
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    -http://bastionofliberty.blogspot.com/2016/10/a-wholly-rational-hatred.html

  3. #3
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    I'd sure like to see Housecarl and some of our other former navel folks comment on this....

    This doesn't sound good at all for our Military Sealift Command!!!
    JOHN 3:16 / John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you FREE.

  4. #4
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    Remembering the 1971 song,"Bring The Boys Home",
    by Freda Payne.

    Seems like I remember something said by,
    President George Washington,
    about staying out of everybody else's affairs,
    and taking care of only our national defense.

    I actually see this, as being very very good,
    for the FUSA, especially for those that would be
    sent to fight, a neocon war.

    If the FUSA cannot get the materials and the troops
    of war, transported to far away places,
    where the FUSA does not belong, all the better.

    Let the other nations of the freaked up Earth,
    fight their own battles, and leave us the hell alone.
    No more sandboxes, no more rock gardens.
    That part of the Earth, is already on fire,
    let those fires rage on, they will eventually burn out,
    on their own.

    No more wars, not until they land on our beaches.
    Then and only then, we go to war.

    Please be safe everyone, and please arm up.

    AVOID THE GROID/GHOUL
    In honour of the brave Whites in South Africa,
    as they fight against their genocide.

    I pray for the White race in South Africa,
    with every prayer, and so should you,
    if you pray.

    Regards to all deplorables.

    Nowski
    "Read everything, listen to everyone, believe absolutely nothing,
    unless you can prove it with your own research." Milton William Cooper

    "Life is a glass, half empty, of spoiled milk, sitting in a bed of thorns." Nowski

  5. #5
    In a general war scenario merchant ships will be targeted by standoff weapons, such as sea to sea missiles and air-to-sea missiles. There will not a be replay of U-boats hunting convoys in the North Atlantic. The relatively few attack submarines available to all sides will be hunting other submarines and surface warships. IMHO there is no longer any need for destroyers to escort convoys. Even if there was, there are not enough destroyers available to do the job and further, modern destroyers aren't the dedicated anti-submarine vessels that they were in WWII. What the convoys will need is anti-missile defense and to a much lesser degree, anti-torpedo defense.

    My idea would be to develop a container-based, modular anti-missile system that could be loaded onto any merchant ship (with crew) and provide "defense in a box." This would be analogous to the small naval guns mounted on most merchantmen in WWII.

    Best regards
    Doc

  6. #6
    How does a "modern" but obviously slow-moving sea-lift capability remain "undetected" in today's look-down world of eye-in-the-sky and other methods of detection assets owned and operated by several international players?

    Inquiring minds want to know.


    intothegoodnight
    "Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

    — Dylan Thomas, "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night"

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc1 View Post
    In a general war scenario merchant ships will be targeted by standoff weapons, such as sea to sea missiles and air-to-sea missiles. There will not a be replay of U-boats hunting convoys in the North Atlantic. The relatively few attack submarines available to all sides will be hunting other submarines and surface warships. IMHO there is no longer any need for destroyers to escort convoys. Even if there was, there are not enough destroyers available to do the job and further, modern destroyers aren't the dedicated anti-submarine vessels that they were in WWII. What the convoys will need is anti-missile defense and to a much lesser degree, anti-torpedo defense.

    My idea would be to develop a container-based, modular anti-missile system that could be loaded onto any merchant ship (with crew) and provide "defense in a box." This would be analogous to the small naval guns mounted on most merchantmen in WWII.
    And, then, the Russians and the Chinese upset this "applecart" by inventing stand-off, ultra-sonic, sea-skimming missile tech that works very well . . . bearing down on the target at a few thousand miles-per-hour, eluding radar unless overhead look-down assets are employed to provide targeting data - maybe - in time to launch an effective counter-measure . . .

    Wash, rinse, repeat.


    intothegoodnight
    "Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

    — Dylan Thomas, "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night"

  8. #8
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    Just like the last big war,the navy will do what the President tells them to do.
    "When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law." ~ Frederic Bastiilt

    "Duty is ours; results are God's."

  9. #9
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    So what parentage of reasonable people believe that WW3 will only be a ground war????

    Nuclear weapons will be used especially by the IDF when attacked in mass by their neighbors on the ground and in the air and by missiles....

    Texican....

  10. #10
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    "Go fast. Stay quiet."

    Ummm... You get to pick ONE of those.

  11. #11
    Until the military defends us against the invasion from the mid east and the south - I can't think of a scenario that I would be supportive of.

    Especially if it is not done by draftees.

    Why continue to kill off the predominately conservative patriots?

    Think of all the conservatives that Bush got killed.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSTemplar View Post
    Just like the last big war,the navy will do what the President tells them to do.
    That doesn't mean they'd necessarily win, though.
    The Imperial Japanese Navy (mostly) followed orders, and by the end of WWII, had largely been wiped out.
    Proud member Alt-Right group "Scientists For Trump". (Smart Americans know he's right.)
    A man should only take a wife whose Bible includes Genesis, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Colossians, Malachi, Isaiah, Ephesians, Corinthians, Hebrews, Timothy, Titus, Proverbs, Mark, Peter & Revelation. Ecclesiastes 7:28 (NIV) tells him the odds.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by intothatgoodnight View Post
    How does a "modern" but obviously slow-moving sea-lift capability remain "undetected" in today's look-down world of eye-in-the-sky and other methods of detection assets owned and operated by several international players?

    Inquiring minds want to know.


    intothegoodnight
    It doesn't. What a clusterf@&k.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texican View Post
    So what parentage of reasonable people believe that WW3 will only be a ground war????

    Nuclear weapons will be used especially by the IDF when attacked in mass by their neighbors on the ground and in the air and by missiles....

    Texican....
    Nukes and "anything else" they can "whip up"...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by JF&P View Post
    I'd sure like to see Housecarl and some of our other former navel folks comment on this....

    This doesn't sound good at all for our Military Sealift Command!!!
    For one thing, it pretty much guarantees that there will be limited options available and an extremely steep escalation curve if thing went stupid and loud, never mind extremely bright....

  16. #16
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    AEGIS Type CWIS in a box covers a lot of the issues.


    Particular the last couple Blocks of AEGIS.

    Come up with a way to put it in a box (yeah my baby brother MIGHT just be able to do the design etc on that for Raytheon) and load them onto container ships, they'd be the ultimate roll ON/Roll Off (RO/RO) kit.
    "The Spoor of an ELEPHANT
    is only RELEVANT
    to an ANT
    or a SYCOPHANT"

  17. #17
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    Heck, what they need are FFGs, a lot of them (ETA: And as usual they're turning the design/contract process into another opera.). Just the fact they were having to use Burke DDGs for anti piracy missions, for lack of other ships, says how thin the USN got under Obama...ETA2: For that matter modern PEs/light FFGs shouldn't be a nosebleed either to design or procure.
    Last edited by Housecarl; 10-11-2018 at 08:30 PM.

  18. #18
    I'd say it's past due to declare, the world has changed, as has tactics. No government, no military is safe on the open seas. Therefore, don't go there. Fall back, protect the homeland. Build a merchant marine to protect our borders, and an anti ship missile battery to do the same. Go into a defensive mode.

    We no longer protect the world. We protect our nation, and perhaps this continent. The rest is done with ICBM's. Say it loud, say it proud. Don't fucc with us or our immediate neighbors. Time to seriously consider today's weapon systems, and ours and how that plays out on the open seas. Kick the globalists out of our military, they want our boys dead.

  19. #19
    What about a patriot battery on each ship for starters. Arm the mariners with Stingers, and the Phalanx vulcan gun turret is easy enough to place on a merchant ship.

    Another thing-call up the retired mariners. That's an experienced group we might really need.

  20. #20
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    I always loved a good Battleship.
    Recently a friend told me I am delusional, I almost fell off my Unicorn!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlfaMan View Post
    What about a patriot battery on each ship for starters. Arm the mariners with Stingers, and the Phalanx vulcan gun turret is easy enough to place on a merchant ship.

    Another thing-call up the retired mariners. That's an experienced group we might really need.
    You're forgetting that 1) the gov't is going broke, too broke for many of those weapons, 2) we make less and less of our stuff here, and 3) the retired mariners (presume you mean civvies) are largely long-dead, it's been so long since we've had much civilian merchant marine due to overregulation/taxation.
    Proud member Alt-Right group "Scientists For Trump". (Smart Americans know he's right.)
    A man should only take a wife whose Bible includes Genesis, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Colossians, Malachi, Isaiah, Ephesians, Corinthians, Hebrews, Timothy, Titus, Proverbs, Mark, Peter & Revelation. Ecclesiastes 7:28 (NIV) tells him the odds.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by AlfaMan View Post
    What about a patriot battery on each ship for starters. Arm the mariners with Stingers, and the Phalanx vulcan gun turret is easy enough to place on a merchant ship.

    Another thing-call up the retired mariners. That's an experienced group we might really need.
    Ships on the high seas, are sitting ducks today. That's the whole story. Russian plane flies by, the ship is dead in the water....hint hint. Missiles a thousand miles off at hyper sonic speeds.....boom gone. Nukes, take out entire battle groups...... The water is a dead zone, from here on out. That's the truth of the matter. sucks to be in the navy..........expect the smart one's to go awol.

  23. #23
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    Until the enemys capability is broken then the ships sink. That has always been the case with the Merchant Marine. Even more so today as we have much larger ships with better capacity but far fewer than in the past. I have a number of friends that are Merchant Mariners and I fear for them if a conflict breaks out. I stayed ashore and chased a girl otherwise I would be sailing with MSC. As for arming them, there currently are some designs to do so with modular systems but they are sitting ducks. We also do not have many real merchant ships left. Our US flagged fleet is tiny and old with the exception of MSC. Our Ready Reserve fleet is anything but. A large number of those vessels are 40-50 yo steam ships. Parts are unavailable and there aren't that many engineers that have even operated one. You could start a massive building program like the Liberty Ships but there are far fewer shipyards and there would be a real shortage of crews as most existing crews are working in capacities that would still be required in war. It would be a mess.

  24. #24
    Crazy idea here.....what if we actually used our defense for defense instead of playing world cop?

    Every empire's reach is finite. And they all have sunsets.

    The time to acknowledge that reality for empire america has come.
    pragmatic. eclectic. realistic. vivere paratus: fortune favors the prepared

    the BIBLE: Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth! read it yourself. live it. love it.

    it is what it is.........but it will become what you make of it

  25. #25
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    United States Merchant Marine
    Usmm-seal.png

    United States Merchant Marine emblem
    Ships: 465 (>1,000 GRT)
    Deck Officers: 29,000
    Marine Engineers: 12,000
    Ratings: 28,000
    Source: "Water Transportation Occupations". U.S. DOL, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved 2007-03-31.
    Statistics for the shipping industry of United States
    Total: 465 ships (1,000 gross register tons (GRT) or over)
    Totalling: 10,590,325 GRT/13,273,133 tonnes deadweight (DWT)
    Cargo ships
    Bulk ships 67
    Barge carrier 7
    Cargo ship 91
    Container ships 76
    Roll-on / roll-off ships 27
    Vehicle carrier 20
    Tankers
    Chemical tanker ships 20
    Specialized tanker ships 1
    Petroleum tanker ships 76
    Passenger ships
    General passenger ships 19
    Combined passenger/cargo 58

  26. #26
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    a good read.....


    The US Merchant Marine Fleet Is Dying — And It May Hurt America’s Ability To Wage War Abroad
    By TIM JOHNSON, MCCLATCHY WASHINGTON BUREAU on May 15, 2018
    The once-mighty U.S. Merchant Marine fleet has nearly collapsed under the weight of high labor costs, zigzagging federal policies and intense competition from abroad, damaging America’s position as the only country in the world able to supply and sustain a long-distance war.

    The U.S. Merchant Marine has declined from 1,288 international trading vessels in 1951 to 81 today.

    “It’s a matter of national security,” said Maritime Administration chief Mark H. Buzby, a retired Navy rear admiral.

    The Merchant Marine is a fleet of U.S. ships that carries cargo during peacetime and becomes an auxiliary of the Defense Department during wartime to deliver troops and supplies to conflict zones. The Navy itself does not have enough ships to handle a large-scale supply mission on its own and has relied in almost every conflict on the Merchant Marine.

    “I tell people we’re kind of on the ragged edge here of our ability to conduct a large-scale sea-lift operation to move our combat forces overseas. Even in an uncontested environment, we would be challenged,” Buzby said.

    Get the inside story.
    Subscribe to The Pentagon Run-Down our weekly update from Jeff Schogol, our man in the Pentagon.

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    An Air Force general warned Congress last month that the Pentagon might have to turn to foreign vessels to mobilize equipment, just as it did in the 1991 Gulf War mobilization. But in that war, the crews of 13 of the 192 foreign-flagged vessels carrying cargo rebelled and forced their ships away from the war zone.

    “If the fleet continues to lose ships, a lengthy, mass deployment on the scale of Desert Shield/Desert Storm could eventually require U.S. forces to rely on foreign-flagged ships for sustainment,” Air Force Gen. Darren W. McDew, head of the U.S. Transportation Command, told a Senate panel April 10.

    McDew said the dwindling Merchant Marine fleet, along with an aging Navy transport fleet, “threatens our ability to meet national security requirements.”

    U.S. troops stationed in the Middle East and Afghanistan still receive much of their supplies via U.S. flag vessels. Despite the usage of heavy lift aircraft, large oceangoing vessels remain crucial to military mobility in the 21st century.

    Vessels flying the flags of places like Liberia, Panama and the Marshall Islands usually have smaller multinational crews that stay at sea for longer periods, even as the value of the cargo aboard their ships — sometimes surpassing 20,000 containers — grows ever higher. U.S. flagships have more robust crews — a minimum of 22 — and all mariners take an oath of allegiance to the United States.

    Foreign crews shouldn’t be allowed near armaments and supplies the Pentagon uses in fighting wars, Buzby said.

    “They could sabotage equipment or have access to classified equipment and systems,” Buzby said. Or “just be slow or nonexistent about delivering it.”

    RELATED: MATTIS IS PUSHING THE NAVY TO A BRAND NEW FLEET STRATEGY »

    One member of Congress described the shortfall in merchant ships as a weak flank in the nation’s defense posture, and referred to one of the epic battles from World War II, saying it would have been a lost cause in today’s conditions.

    “It’s debatable whether the Marines, if they were to land on the shores of Guadalcanal, would they be able to have supplies for the second month? The answer is, probably not,” said Rep. John Garamendi, a California Democrat and the ranking member of a House Transportation subcommittee that deals with maritime issues.

    Crises over the U.S. Merchant Marine date as far back as the Civil War when the North rushed to charter vessels to help blockade Southern ports. Decades later, chaotic scenes unfolded at the port of Tampa in the run-up to the 1898 Spanish-American War as authorities tried feverishly to charter vessels to transport Col. Theodore Roosevelt and his 25,000 Rough Riders to Cuba. In the end, only 16,000 men would fit aboard the limited vessels.

    Less than two decades later, the U.S. government found itself with little means to transport an expeditionary force to Europe in World War I, and “had to requisition, scavenge and steal to get the vessels,” said Salvatore Mercogliano, a maritime historian at Campbell University in North Carolina.

    The ships also often face grave danger without the armaments to protect themselves or their cargo. By the end of World War II, 1,554 U.S. vessels lay at the bottom of the ocean, many of them sunk by German U-boats. Some 9,500 merchant died, a rate of casualty that rivaled that of U.S. Marines for the early part of the war. After the wartime buildup, the U.S. boasted the largest Navy and Merchant Marine fleet in the world.

    united states merchant marine fleet
    Yet in the intervening years, U.S. shipping companies fell behind as global oceangoing trade grew a staggering twentyfold. U.S. flag vessels today carry only 2 percent of the $1.8 trillion in goods and material that transit U.S. ports each year.

    U.S. shipping companies say they cannot meet the ever-lower costs of foreign shipping companies from nations that subsidize shipbuilding, allow skeleton crews aboard vessels and offer rock-bottom salaries. Some 50,000 oceangoing trading vessels ply the seas today. The United States is not even among the top 20 maritime nations of the world in terms of gross tonnage.

    “They utilize Filipino, Indian, Chinese (crews from) low cost countries where the standard of living is far below that of the United States . They’ll go aboard a ship for six months straight,” said Thomas B. Crowley Jr., chairman and chief executive of a namesake shipping company that has headquarters in Jacksonville, Florida.

    “Companies would love to be able to fly the American flag. They know it’s better protection for them,” Mercogliano said. He pointed to a piracy attack on the U.S.-flagged MV Maersk Alabama off the coast of Somalia in 2009, made famous in the 2013 movie “Captain Phillips.” U.S. Navy snipers killed three Somali pirates as they sought to escape aboard the cargo ship’s lifeboat with the ship’s American captain, who was uninjured.

    U.S. flag vessels since that incident often sail with 50-caliber miniguns and security teams, especially when traveling in dangerous waters.

    U.S. shippers cite the hypercompetitive global market as one factor in their decline. But they also say they’ve been hurt by fluctuating government policies, drastically reduced shipments of U.S. food aid abroad and the sharp drawdown of U.S. military forces abroad after the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1989.

    “It’s been an 80 percent reduction in the overall global (U.S. military) footprint since circa 1990,” said Eric P. Ebeling, chief executive of American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier Group out of Woodcliff Lake, N.J., the third-largest U.S. flag carrier in international trade. “When cargo goes down, that’s less cargo on U.S. flagships.”

    RELATED: SHIPBOARD SERVICE IS HARSH. THE NAVY ISN’T PREPARING RECRUITS FOR THIS REALITY »

    Experts say the problem is not only about a dwindling number of ships. As the U.S. maritime industry shrinks, so does the number of mariners, who find fewer jobs and stay in them for fewer years, allowing mandatory periodic licensing to lapse once they leave. This makes emergency call-ups problematic.

    “We’ll run out of people before we run out of ships,” Buzby said. He noted that a report to Congress submitted last year by a Maritime Administration working group found that the nation would face a shortfall of 1,800 mariners once a major war dragged toward six months.

    The United States is the only nation in the world that can deploy large military forces anywhere, anytime, a conflict looms. The Pentagon has positioned supplies and armaments around the world. Once a deployment occurs, a subsequent “surge” from the Military Sealift Command, which has 15 vessels, would take more supplies. Behind them would sail any of the 46 government-owned ships of what is known as the Ready Reserve Force, many of them on five- or 10-day notice, ready to load and head to war.

    The average ship in the Ready Reserve Force is 43 years old. While some of the ships are lightly used, sitting in harbor waiting for a future fight, 26 of the vessels are steam-powered, a largely obsolete propulsion technology that nonetheless requires a workforce of 491 steamship qualified engineers. The Pentagon has plans to keep a few specialized ships operating past age 60.

    “They are old, they are declining and they are rusting out,” Garamendi said.

    The vessels are strategically placed around the country, awaiting deployment. One of them, the Cape Washington, a roll-on, roll-off ship built in Poland in 1982, is now docked in Baltimore harbor. The ship could be packed with as many as 1,000 Humvees, hundreds of M1 tanks, or numerous Sikorsky CH-53 heavy-lift helicopters.

    U.S. flag commercial vessels would be the final — but equally critical — component of sustaining foreign battle. Of the 81 commercial deep-water U.S. flag vessels in the Merchant Marine, 60 or so ships take part in the Maritime Security Program, which gives them an annual stipend of $5 million to be ready within days if called to service.

    “They’ll start doing the bucket brigade of ammunition and follow-on supplies and everything else,” Buzby said. “It’s not just one push. It’s the sustainment. That’s what enables a combat force to keep going.”

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    Over the years, legislators have crafted a patchwork of incentives to keep the Merchant Marine afloat, if on life support. Among them:

    — Cargo preference laws require 100 percent of Pentagon cargo be delivered on U.S. flag vessels as well as all cargo resulting from government loans or credit guarantees. Another quota exists for other U.S. government cargo, if shipping rates are deemed fair and reasonable. In a war, many of these U.S. flag ships would be diverted from civilian activity.

    — Another regulation, known as the Jones Act, requires that goods moved by water wholly within the United States or among its territories must travel on U.S.-built, U.S.-owned vessels and staffed by U.S. crew. Puerto Ricans angry at delays in the arrival of relief supplies following Hurricane Maria last September blamed the Jones Act for exorbitant shipping costs. The White House eventually waived the Jones Act for 10 days.

    But shippers have voiced frustration that legislators have tinkered with the rules, making their own long-term planning difficult. In 2012, Congress reduced the quota for U.S. flag vessels from 75 percent to 50 percent for U.S. food aid headed overseas. In late 2015 it lifted a four-decade ban on the export of U.S. energy production. The move allowed foreign vessels to load their holds with U.S. crude or liquefied natural gas (LNG) and export it.

    “It would be helpful to have better long-term certainty of the programs we’re in,” Ebeling said, adding that the $5 million stipend per U.S. ship is set to expire in 2025.

    “That’s only seven years away. When we’re going out to buy replacement ships, those are 30-year assets that we’re buying. And they may cost upwards, depending on vessel type, of $70, $80, $90, even $100 million per ship,” Ebeling said.

    One move is afoot to stimulate shipyards by again requiring some energy exports to sail on U.S. flag vessels. Garamendi said he will introduce a bill in the House later this month that would require a growing percentage of LNG and other energy exports to move on U.S.-built ships, starting at only 1 percent and slowly rising to 30 percent.

    “We would simultaneously rebuild the American fleet and the ability of our shipyards to produce blue water ships,” Garamendi said.

    ———

    ©2018 McClatchy Washington Bureau. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by pirate View Post
    United States Merchant Marine
    Usmm-seal.png

    United States Merchant Marine emblem
    Ships: 465 (>1,000 GRT)
    Deck Officers: 29,000
    Marine Engineers: 12,000
    Ratings: 28,000
    Source: "Water Transportation Occupations". U.S. DOL, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved 2007-03-31.
    Statistics for the shipping industry of United States
    Total: 465 ships (1,000 gross register tons (GRT) or over)
    Totalling: 10,590,325 GRT/13,273,133 tonnes deadweight (DWT)
    Cargo ships
    Bulk ships 67
    Barge carrier 7
    Cargo ship 91
    Container ships 76
    Roll-on / roll-off ships 27
    Vehicle carrier 20
    Tankers
    Chemical tanker ships 20
    Specialized tanker ships 1
    Petroleum tanker ships 76
    Passenger ships
    General passenger ships 19
    Combined passenger/cargo 58
    These numbers include all US govt MSC ships as well. Fewer than half are owned by companies. There are also a number of American owned ships flying foreign flags and with foreign crews. I don't know if those could be pulled back and pressed into service if needed but you would have to find crews. Those mariner numbers likely include limited tonnage and small vessel license holders as well as those of us that hold a license but don't sail. The number of US merchant mariners actually sailing is far fewer. I also believe that the Reserve Fleets have been gutted in the last 20 yrs due to age and repair. I think it is now under 100. I remember sailing past the James River fleet and there were a ton of old ships just chained together rusting away.

  28. #28
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    In an emergency scenario, I see a whole lotta ships being seized...especially if we are facing the chicoms.

    The bottleneck will be RO-RO capabilities.
    Proud Infidel...............and Cracker

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  29. #29
    [QUOTE=Millwright;7045334]In an emergency scenario, I see a whole lotta ships being seized...especially if we are facing the chicoms.

    The bottleneck will be RO-RO capabilities.[/QUOTE

    I see a whole lot of ships and men going down to the depths to keep the bankers rolling in cash....and if history repeats, the same bankers are funding all sides in this next world war. Wars are fought for money, it's time for that to end. We need to step back, as Trump is doing. Fall back, build our manufacturing base and our economy, to hell with playing policeman for the bankers and the global elite. I should say evil global elite.

  30. #30
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    These are all WWII, Korea and Iraq scenarios, none of which can happen till US/NATO can establish air superiority and bomb and destroy air defenses, then you will have to have an area on the EU Continent to land your supplies....a safe port for convoys. None of these will happen, if the balloon goes up and the US attacks Russia all hell will break lose FAST....if it comes from the US, Russia will take out their traditional enemies Britain and France, then everything offensive in Alaska, I mean take out with Nukes, the Russians won’t play, to them this is survival, noting gets across the Atlantic or the N. Pole in the air, B2- B1 nothing the Russians have the ability to defend their nation....it won’t last long. Russia won’t hit the continental US unless we send ICBMs then it’s total destruction for all parties involved.
    Last edited by alfa1; 10-12-2018 at 10:32 AM.

  31. #31
    The Us trotting out the navy in the next war will not be any less humiliating than the Polish cavalry during the first days of WWII. Ships are useless against current missile tech. In war they will weaponize space and death will literally rain from above.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanb999 View Post
    The Us trotting out the navy in the next war will not be any less humiliating than the Polish cavalry during the first days of WWII. Ships are useless against current missile tech. In war they will weaponize space and death will literally rain from above.
    Why Trump wants a "Space Force".

    My guess is, if the balloon goes up, the opening moves will be with satellite killers...from both sides.
    Proud Infidel...............and Cracker

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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Millwright View Post
    Why Trump wants a "Space Force".

    My guess is, if the balloon goes up, the opening moves will be with satellite killers...from both sides.
    c.f.: Dean Ing 'Quantrill Series".
    "The Spoor of an ELEPHANT
    is only RELEVANT
    to an ANT
    or a SYCOPHANT"

  34. #34
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    https://nationalinterest.org/feature...all-time-12411

    The National Interest

    Bullseye: The 5 Most Deadly Anti-Ship Missiles of All Time
    March 13, 2015 Topic: Security

    These missiles will sink any battleship.
    by Kyle Mizokami

    After decades of rapid innovation, the end of the Cold War and the subsequent Global War on Terror all but halted anti-ship missile development in the West. A focus on land operations in the Middle East and Central Asia sent Western navies struggling for relevance.

    As a result, navies adopted an emphasis towards supporting land forces and operating in the littoral zone. For the most part, ship to ship warfare was reduced to a 9,000-ton destroyer confronting a 2-ton pirate skiff.

    As rising tensions with China and Russia make clear: ship-to-ship naval warfare is back. And with it, the need to reach out and sink enemy ships.

    A new generation of anti-ship missiles (ASMs) are on the horizon. Stealthy, supersonic and autonomous, these missiles are adept at evading defenses and hunting individual ships. Let’s look at some of the more interesting ASMs, both deployed and in development.

    Brahmos
    Named after the Brahmaputra and Moscow Rivers, the Brahmos anti-ship missile is a joint Indian-Russian program. Developed through the 1990s and early 2000s, Brahmos is one of the few anti-ship missiles built during this time. It is currently in service with the Indian Armed Forces.

    Brahmos is the fastest low-altitude missile in the world. The missile has two stages: the first, consisting of a solid-fuel rocket, accelerates Brahmos to supersonic speeds. The second stage, a liquid-fueled ramjet, accelerates it to Mach 2.8. The missile reportedly flies as low 10 meters above wavetops, making it what’s known as a “sea skimmer”. It has a range of about 290 kilometers.

    The missile is extremely versatile, capable of being carried by surface ships, land-based anti-ship missile batteries, and aircraft such as the Indian Air Force’s Su-30MK1 . The air-launched version has a longer range of 500 kilometers. A submarine-based version is under consideration but has not been developed due to lack of interest.

    Brahmos packs a considerable punch: land and ship-based versions are armed with a 200 kilogram warhead, while the aircraft version has a 300 kilogram warhead. Even without a warhead, at Mach 2.8 Brahmos would impart tremendous kinetic energy on its target.

    Brahmos uses its high speed, stealthy design, and sea-skimming capability to evade enemy air defenses. The missile’s speed of Mach 2.8 translates to 952 meters per second. Assuming the defender’s radar is mounted at a height of 20 meters, Brahmos will be detected at a range of 27 kilometers . This leaves the defender with just 28 seconds to track, illuminate and shoot down Brahmos before it impacts the ship.

    LRASM
    The U.S. Navy needs a new anti-ship missile. The current missile, Harpoon, was introduced in 1977. One of the best ASMs of the Cold War, Harpoon has aged into a mediocre missile unable to incorporate the latest technological advances.

    The Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile, or LRASM, is a leading candidate to replace it. LRASM is a variant of the U.S. Air Force’s JASSM-ER cruise missile and shares many of its design features. Built by Lockheed Martin, JASSM-ER is jam-resistant and stealthy, with a range of 500 miles. JASSM-ER is designed to autonomously detect and attack targets based on an uploaded profile. It can deliver a 1,000 pound penetrating warhead to within three meters of the target, and is capable of being carried by most U.S. Air Force strike aircraft.

    LRASM takes a different tack from missiles such as Brahmos. Instead of achieving high Mach numbers to make the missile more survivable against air defense threats, the subsonic LRASM uses stealth and autonomous decision-making to evade shipboard defenses. LRASM will identify high value targets on its own and home in on them.

    LRASM should be expected to have a range similar to JASSM-ER. Compared to the existing Harpoon’s 67 miles, LRASM’s estimated 500 mile range will considerably enlarge the engagement range of the U.S. Navy’s air and ship platforms.

    Unlike Harpoon, LRASM fits in both the Mk. 41 vertical launch system silos of the Ticonderoga-class cruisers and Burke destroyers and the Mk. 57 silos on the new Zumwalt-class destroyers. This will allow individual ships to carry many more anti-ship missiles than ever before, although this will impact the number of other missiles, such as the SM-6 surface-to-air missile and ASROC anti-submarine rockets, in the ship’s overall inventory.

    Club (3M-54E1 anti-ship variant)
    An anti-ship missile used by the Russian Navy, Club is actually a family of weapons sharing the same airframe. It is a versatile weapons system with variants capable of anti-ship (3M-54E1), land attack, and anti-submarine missions. Club has been exported to Algeria, China, and India.

    There are four versions. Club-S is designed to be launched from 533mm torpedo tubes, a standard diameter for submarines worldwide. Club-N is designed to be launched from surface ships, Club M is launched from land, and Club K is fired from camouflaged shipping containers.

    Club has a solid-fueled first stage , which clears the missile of the launcher and boosts it to cruising altitude. After the first stage burns out, the missile’s turbofan engine kicks in. The latest anti-ship version, 3M-54E1, is directed to the target by an active radar seeker, GLONASS global positioning system targeting, and internal navigation systems. The 3M-54E1’s warhead weighs 881 pounds.

    Technically a cruise missile, 3M-54E1 typically cruises at 0.8 Mach at an altitude of 10-15 meters. Some versions accelerate to 2.9 Mach supersonic flight during the terminal stage shorten the reaction time of enemy anti-missile defenses.

    The maximum range of the 3M-54E1 is 300 kilometers, or 186 miles. It’s surely a coincidence that the missile’s range is the maximum allowable for cruise missiles under the Missile Technology Control Regime. MCTR is a nonproliferation agreement designed to limit the range of nuclear-capable missiles, to which Russia is a signatory.

    Developer Concern Morinformsystem-Agat JSC caused a stir in 2010 when it announced Club K, a version that is camouflaged as a standard 40-foot shipping t container. The launcher, which can be carried by container ship, flatbed train car or truck, carries four missiles. It was never fully explained why any legitimate military would want weapon system camouflaged as a staple of global commerce. The launcher sparked fears that rogue states such as Iran (which subsequently announced interest) and terrorists could use it to hide missiles in plain sight.

    XASM-3
    Japan’s strictly defensive military doctrine has driven a requirement for smaller ASMs to arm ships, aircraft and ground batteries. Japan has designed and produced two generations of anti-ship missiles fitting this profile, but the third generation will likely be a radical departure from past designs.

    XASM-3 is an anti-ship missile currently under joint development by the Government of Japan’s Technical Research and Development Institute and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI). Although relatively little is known about the missile at this point, if put into production it will represent a considerable leap over the Japan Self Defense Forces’ existing capabilities.

    XASM-3 will be a hypersonic missile, a solid-fueled rocket with integrated ramjet operating at speeds of up to Mach 5. The missile is designed to be stealthy. Like Brahmos, XASM-3 will use speed to limit the enemy’s reaction and engagement time. Using the same engagement parameters as Brahmos, XASM-3 will allow defenders only a 15 second reaction time.

    XASM-3 has both active and passive integrated seekers. The missile weighs 1,900 pounds, with warhead size currently unknown. It is expected to have a range of 120+ miles.

    The missile will be carried by Japan’s indigenous F-2 fighter . Other possible carriers are the Kawasaki P-1 maritime patrol aircraft and Japan’s F-35A fighters. XASM-3 will most likely not fit inside the internal weapons bay of the F-35 and would have to be carried externally, making the F-35 easier to detect.

    Development of the XASM-3 began in 2002, and is expected to end in 2016 — six years overdue. At that point, MHI will need to decide if it wants to create a production missile. Should XASM-3 go into production, it’s possible it will be cleared for export to friendly countries.

    Naval Strike Missile
    A new anti-ship missile designed by Norway’s Kongsberg, the Naval Strike Missile is touted by the company as the world’s first “5th generation anti-ship missile.”

    NSM utilizes a rocket booster for initial launch, after which it transits to a turbofan engine. The missile is a sea-skimmer, appearing to travel less than 10 meters above the wavetops in videos. Speed is unreported but likely high subsonic.

    Kongsberg touts the missile as “fully passive,” meaning it does not use active sensors to track targets. NSM does not emit infrared or radar waves that could be detected by enemy ships. Weighing in at 410 kilograms, NSM is smaller than other missiles on this list. The missile has a range of 185 kilometers and carries a 125 kilogram warhead.

    NSM is currently in service with the Norwegian Navy’s Skjold-class missile boats and Fritjof Nansen-class destroyers. NSM is also operated by the Polish Army as coastal artillery.

    In October 2014, the U.S. Navy tested a Naval Strike Missile from the flight deck of the littoral combat ship USS Coronado. The test was a success, with a direct hit on a simulated target. The test was part of the Navy’s Foreign Competitive Testing Program and does not necessarily mean the Navy will acquire NSM.

    A version of the Naval Strike Missile, the Joint Strike Missile, is currently under development. The JSM will be capable of both air to ground and anti-ship missions, and will fit the internal weapons bay of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. It will also fit a standard 533mm submarine torpedo tube. JSM is scheduled to become operational in 2023.

    Kyle Mizokami is a writer based in San Francisco who has appeared in The Diplomat, Foreign Policy, War is Boring and The Daily Beast. In 2009 he cofounded the defense and security blog Japan Security Watch. You can follow him on Twitter: @KyleMizokami.
    The wonder of our time isn’t how angry we are at politics and politicians; it’s how little we’ve done about it. - Fran Porretto
    -http://bastionofliberty.blogspot.com/2016/10/a-wholly-rational-hatred.html

  35. #35
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    China wary of US navy's 'show of force' as Xi visits Manila

    Really worried about the potential in this situation. Anything perceived as a threat to Xi or an attempt to isolate him by force would be a matchstick.

    https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2...-visits-manila (fair use)
    Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) - October 9, 2018 - 12:43pm

    MANILA, Philippines — Beijing has expressed concern over the reported plan of the US Pacific Fleet to conduct a series of operations in the South China Sea as a show of force.

    According to a report from CNN, the US is planning to sail ships and fly aircraft near China's territorial waters in the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait in November.

    This would be around the same period that Chinese President Xi Jinping is scheduled to visit the Philippines.

    "China, of course, expressed concern over a naval military exercise that the United States will be conducting in the area at about the same time that the Chinese president will be in the Philippines," presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Tuesday.


    President Rodrigo Duterte, however, has assured Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua that Manila would not be joining the exercises of its long-time ally.

    "The general consensus was we don’t want anything to mar the visit of President Xi so I think that the DFA will do all that it can to make sure that President Xi’s visit will be fruitful and as productive as we would want it to be," Roque said.

    The Chinese envoy met with Duterte on Monday to discuss Xi's upcoming visit to the country next month, which is seen to further strengthen the relations between Manila and Beijing.

    According to Roque, Duterte and Zhao agreed that joint exploration in the West Philippine Sea, a portion of the disputed South China Sea, would be the for the best interest of both countries.

    "China reiterated that they do not desire any military confrontation as a result of the West Philippine Sea (dispute) either with any of the claimant states or with any other powers because China is the biggest user of the West Philippine Sea," the Malacañang spokesman said.

    Roque added that a military confrontation in the disputed waterway would have dire consequences on China's commerce.

    The supposed proposal from the US Navy recommends the US Pacific Fleet to conduct a series of freedom of navigation operations close to Chinese forces for an entire week.

    US defense officials clarified that there is no plan to engage with the Chinese, CNN reported.

    The US Department of Defense has refused to comment on the proposed operation that would challenge China's dominance in the region.

    "As the secretary of defense has said on countless occasions, we don't comment on future operations of any kind," Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. David Eastburn said.

    FORTE EST VINUM, FORTIOR EST REX, FORTIORES SUNT MULIERES:

    SUPER OMNIA VINCIT VERITAS.


  36. #36
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    Just as the mechanics of WW2 were different from WW1, so the next big war will be different from Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan.

    We saw war go from fields of brute force to touching the 3d dimension with artillery, and then air power. The next generations of war will include speed of munitions, nukes of various kinds and uses, drones on land, sea & air, and electronic/ software attacks for disabling enemies. Use of foot soldiers will become untenable until the first waves achieve superiority.

  37. #37
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    My son is on a ship in the Military Sealift Command. Without these ships there are no supplies to the Navy ships when they are out at sea. This includes fuel, ammo and just about all else needed.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dozdoats View Post
    And turn your radar cross sections off too, while you're at it.
    And the FitBits from ObAma sent to Afghanistan

    Trump won 2626 counties
    Hillary won 487 counties
    In 2018, all 435 U.S. House Members and 34 U.S. Senators are up for reelection.

  39. #39
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    My initial post regarding US/NATO vulnerabilities was based on my having studied our, US methods and tactics especially logistical support particularly in Iraq which was triggered by discussions with my son who served in the ‘Sand Box’ ‘04-05 He was in logistics and supply.

    The shipping or massing of a convoy today is a call to extinction with today’s weaponry.

    Andrei Martyanov evidently having read the article posted by the OP has written a overview titled “The Third Battle of the Atlantic “ it is worth the read and debunks the idea that one nation or for that matter any nation would be able to form major nautical supply stream in today’s Battle Space

    https://russia-insider.com/en/3rd-ba...st-two/ri25048

  40. #40
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    Sigh.
    And it looks like we can't count on our technicians much either.
    '
    Task & Purpose
    ‏ @TaskandPurpose

    Technician Accidentally Fires Vulcan Cannon And Destroys An F-16 On The Ground In Belgium https://taskp.se/2ROpYa2

    https://twitter.com/TaskandPurpose/s...66166629146624

    I can't post the pix, but the F-16 is Toast.
    SS
    “Then the creatures of the high air answered to the battle, .., and the woods trembled and the wind sobbed telling them, the earth shook,; the witches of the valley, and the wolves of the forests, howled from every quarter and on every side of the armies, urging them against one another.”
    ― Lady Gregory, Gods and Fighting Men: The Story of the Tuatha De Danaan and the Fianna of Ireland

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