Category Archives: Military

Stories about the US or other militaries and their soldiers, civilians and equipment or policies

New Air Force One Presidential aircraft won’t be cheaper like Trump said they would be…

The two aircraft will cost approximately what was advertised in the first place….

4$ Billion …..

A typical brand new Boeing 747-8 Icosts  around $403 Million…

Donald Trump upon becoming President was surprised at the cost of the two possible aircraft and vowed to cut costs….The Air Force then went to Boeing who sold them two aircraft originally oredered by a Russian airline (don’t laugh )…

Image result for Air force one /Boeing 747-8

The White House Military office stuck to the origanl price tag and Trump then spoke to the President of Boeing and annouced he’d made a ‘deal’ to cut the costs of the aircraft by Billion dollars….

That was year ago…

As with the White House Military office usuala operating?

The requirements for the President’s transportation has gone up….

The same process happened back on the new Marine Helicopter purchase that skyrocketed their costs and ended up cancelling an early replacement helicoter fleet…

Now it has been reported that the two Air Force Presiddntial jets price tag has climbed back up to the $4 Billion that Trump said he cut. down by 25%..

Two new Air Force One aircraft are still projected to cost $4 billion, despite President Trump’s claims he negotiated with Boeing to take $1 billion off the price tag, Pentagon documents reveal.

The figures appear in a document released yesterday as part of the U.S. Defense Department’s 2019 budget proposal. They provide the U.S. Air Force’s first public update on the planes’ projected cost since last May.

Service officials and Boeing — which makes the planes and will oversee their transformation into a flying White House — say they are still looking for ways to lower the price.

We continue working with the Air Force towards a best value approach to the [Air Force One] program,” said Todd Blecher, a Boeing spokesman.

The document — formally, Research, Development, Test &Evaluation, Air Force, Vol. 2 — indicates that the Air Force has already paid $1 billion to Boeing for two airframes and the engineering work needed in advance of their conversion into a VIP configuration. It says the service expects to spend another $2.9 billion between 2019 and 2023 on the two planes. And it says that the “cost to complete” is “continuing” — a sign that more money would be needed beyond the five-year budget proposal.

The Air Force, in its budget proposal sent to Congress this week, asks lawmakers to approve $673 million for some modification work that would be done fiscal 2019.

While last year’s Air Force budget proposal boasted about saving $191.6 million on the project, this year’s mentions no such savings….

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Note…

The only thing cut from the aircrafts was the inflight refueling system….

I doubt that an Air Force One has ever done a aireal refueling with a President on board…

image …Boeing

Israel and Iran could be edging into a armed conflict…..

While America is egaged in Trumpism, and American troops in Syria ihave been in combat against Russian merc’s and Israeli has it’s head of state possibly looking at criminal charges …..

Israel and Iran has be involved with DIRECT combat skirmishes….

Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, attending a security conference with international leaders here in Munich, on Sunday brandished what he said was part of an Iranian drone shot down by Israel and warned that he was ready to go to war if Tehran continued to entrench itself in Syria….

Israel has long warned about the risk of conflict as Iranian forces and their allies, including Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group, have dug in on Syrian territory and approached the boundary with the Israeli-held portion of the Golan Heights.

Israel has carried out scores of airstrikes in Syria in recent years, focusing largely on what it says are advanced weapons stores or convoys of weapons meant for Hezbollah, and it has also reportedly hit Syrian government facilities involved in weapons development and an Iranian base under construction in Syria.

“I’ve made clear in word and deed that Israel has red lines it will enforce,” Mr. Netanyahu said on Sunday. “Israel will continue to prevent Iran from establishing a permanent military presence in Syria. Israel will continue to act to prevent Iran from establishing another terror base from which to threaten Israel.”

The Munich conference provided Mr. Netanyahu with a timely opportunity to appear on the world stage in his preferred role as Israel’s security czar and chief guardian against Iran, just days after the Israeli police recommended that he be charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust in two corruption cases….

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The Air Force wants to get rid of B-1 and B-2’s and keep B-52’s and a new B-21 Bomber…

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Aviation Week looks at the wish list from the US Air Force in the new budget …

Of course Congress doesn’t always go along with whta the Air Force wants….

The U.S. Air Force plans to retire its fleet of Rockwell B-1B and Northrop Grumman B-2 stealth bombers in a “Bomber Vector” roadmap that will be laid out in the coming weeks.

As Northrop’s next-generation B-21 “Raider” comes online in the mid 2020s, the Air Force wants to phase out the nuclear-capable B-2 and conventional B-1, according to two sources with knowledge of the budget discussions.

In its budget blueprint for fiscal 2019, the Air Force also will invest heavily in multi-domain command and control, defense of space assets, and buy a number of OA-X light attack aircraft for low-end warfighting, the sources said.  The President’s budget request for fiscal 2019 will be unveiled officially on Feb. 12.

In addition, the service will kill an effort to replace Northrop’s E-8 Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (J-Stars) surveillance and battle management fleet, and planned production rates of the F-35A will remain steady.

All of these efforts are subject to approval by Congress, and lawmakers likely will fight hard to keep the J-Stars re-cap effort alive.

There is no immediate plan to retire the Vietnam-era B-52 Stratofortress, the backbone of the Air Force’s bomber fleet, the sources said. The Air Force has spent more than half a century installing various avionics and weapons systems upgrades on the B-52, which came online in 1960 and 1961, allowing the aircraft to remain a critical contributor to the modern battlefield.

Most recently, the B-52 squadron fighting Islamic State terrorists in the Middle East received a key upgrade of the aircraft’s internal weapons bay, adding a conventional rotary launcher (CRL) that allows the bomber to drop eight additional smart bombs. The Air Force already has put this capability to use in Afghanistan, according to the Pentagon.

Lawmakers recently have moved to bolster support for re-engining the B-52,….

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More on the B-21 Program….

image of the ole’ B-52…Boeing.Com

Donald Trump and the ‘Special’ British Relationship….

…..by  @ The Oligrach Kings…

EPSON MFP image

You can always tell when a British politician is in deep trouble at home.  They invoke “The Special Relationship” to give them a bit of prestige, a bit of what used to be called “bottom”.  Gravitas, solidity, the sense that the world (and most especially America) listens to whatever hair has got up the arse of the British this week.

Much then is made of the “Special Relationship” between America and Britain, at least in Britain, and even then mostly by British politicians on foreign jollies looking for a bit of a boost back home.  Like Theresa May when she was at Davos last week trying to bolster the British apology for a foreign policy and Brexit with a lot of sceptical Europeans.  We are important, it states – because we and we alone have the ear of the United States to speak truth to power.  As if power had ever listened to anything other than power.

Most of this over-vaunted relationship is, and always was, rubbish.  It was a fiction dreamed up by the establishment, standing in the ruins of a country broken by war, desperate to hold things together and trying to make the most of a very poor hand of cards.  It was designed to win over a very sceptical British population who historically never really went a bundle on the bloody Yanks, and by the end of the Second World War had had quite enough of them, thank you.  If it kidded anyone at all, Dullas did for it in the Suez debacle within ten years.

For those who are not aware what the “Special Relationship” is, it harks back, as so many things that went gone wrong for Britain in the last century do, to Winston S. Churchill…..

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GOP Sen. Rand Paul gets no applause for his holdup of Congress…

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The Republican Senator from Kentucky was doing it for the RIGHT reason, sort off….

The Grand Ole party bitched and cried that President Obama was spending too MUCH money a few years ago…

So they put a cap on how much money could be spent by the Congress/Government…

It was called a sequester….

It was supposed induce cuts in spending….

That was then….

Now?

We have a Defense Sec telling people he can’t run his department because he doesn’t have money to do so in the future….

So?

The same Republicans who where fiscal CONSERVATIVES and screamed about a ‘Balanced Budget’ now have pushed thru a budget spending plan that up’s the debt in that budget projection by HUNDREDS of BILLIONS of dollars….

Those same Republicans started out telling the Democrats that any budget increases that THEY , the Republicans would vote thru with their majority HAD TO be paid for with cuts in entitlements  like Social Security and Medicare….

But THAT didn’t happen because their party leader Donald Trump told them no cuts in entitlements ….

So?

Here we are with more debt, something Donald Trump has always said he LIKES…..You know…Spending OTHER people’s money….

Oh, by the way?

The Defense Dept. in embarking on it’s FIRST complete audit….

That after it has been discovered that some parts of the Pentagon doesn’t even know where hundreds of millions of money it’s supposed have ?…Is LOST…..

Rand Paul took a stand, consequences be damned. And Senate Republicans are livid about it.

After driving the government into a brief shutdown over his demand for an amendment to cut government spending, the Kentucky Republican took friendly fire from a significant number of his Republican colleagues for delaying an inevitable passage vote in the Senate. They accused the senator of misusing the Senate’s time for no real reason other than to draw attention himself.

“It’s a colossal waste of time,” said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.). “He never gets a result.”

“He’s tilting at windmills. Don Quixote, you know,” said Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.).

The Paul-driven shutdown, however short it may be, was sparked by the libertarian-leaning senator’s insistence that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) grant him a vote to amend a budget deal that includes more than $300 billion in new spending over two years. McConnell refused, reasoning that would open up the bill to too many amendments. In turn, Paul declined to allow a vote before midnight, when government funding expired.

Asked if he’s worried about singlehandedly inheriting the blame for a shutdown, Paul replied: “No. I think it’s an important enough thing that we should have a discussion over.”

“Somebody’s got to stand up and fight,” Paul said in an interview….

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image…cnbc.com

Defense Sec Mattis: Immigrant service members won’t face deportation…

A judge’s order also prevents the Trump Admin from taking deportation action against ANY DACA/Dreamer….

The nearly 850 immigrants currently serving in the military or waiting to start basic training won’t face deportation despite the ongoing federal wrangling over the fate of people who came to America illegally as children, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Thursday.

Mattis said he spoke with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen earlier Thursday in what he described as a “confirming call” and was told that those military members and all veterans who were honorably discharged will be safe unless they have committed a serious felony or a judge had issued a specific deportation order for them….

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Trump’s parade idea lands with a thud….

Not too many people think his longing for a grandiose march of soldiers and military hardware saluting him makes sense….

President Trump is receiving quite a bit of pushback for his plan for a grand military parade down Pennsylvania Avenue.

The Washington Post’s Greg Jaffe and Philip Rucker reported:

Surrounded by the military’s highest-ranking officials, including Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., Trump’s seemingly abstract desire for a parade was suddenly heard as a presidential directive, the officials said.

“The marching orders were: I want a parade like the one in France,” said a military official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the planning discussions are supposed to remain confidential. “This is being worked at the highest levels of the military.”

Even the hosts of Trump’s beloved “Fox and Friends” expressed reservations about the spectacle that could cost millions.

“I don’t know,” co-host Brian Kilmeade said Wednesday. “It seems like a waste of money.”

Trump has frequently spoken of his longtime support for veterans — he praised them twice in the past week in his Black History Month proclamation and in his Super Bowl statement.

But the president’s critics have called his support for the military shallow, noting that Trump has never served in uniform (he was approved of multiple deferments for bone spurs during the Vietnam War), and he has attempted to fill his administration with generals for the purpose of optics.

Some critics even went so far as to say the parading of military strength makes Trump look more like an authoritarian dictator than the leader of a democracy….

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Donald Trump orders HIS Military to give him a Parade…

Yes….

You read THAT right….

Just like the Communist China and Russian military might parade’s….

American President Donald J. Trump , who idolizes dictators, wants HIS Tanks like he’s been asking for since he got the job…

Image result for Trump parade

The Pentagon has been ducking him on this….But like a little kid?

He’s NOT giving up on this….

President Trump’s vision of soldiers marching and tanks rolling down the boulevards of Washington is moving closer to reality in the Pentagon and White House, where officials say they have begun to plan a grand military parade later this year showcasing the might of America’s armed forces.

Trump has long mused publicly and privately about wanting such a parade, but a Jan. 18 meeting between Trump and top generals in the Pentagon’s tank — a room reserved for top-secret discussions — marked a tipping point, according to two officials briefed on the planning.

Surrounded by the military’s highest-ranking officials, including Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., Trump’s seemingly abstract desire for a parade was suddenly heard as a presidential directive, the officials said.

“The marching orders were: I want a parade like the one in France,” said a military official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the planning discussions are supposed to remain confidential. “This is being worked at the highest levels of the military….

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image…cleveland.com

US Military begins leaving Iraq……

The last time American troop left Iraq they had to come back….

But with what seems like the defeat , or more correctly the dispersment of ISIS forces in the country American military assets are going back to Afghanistan…

The number mentioned to leaving will be about 60%, which would leave about 4,000 left in place….

Western contractors at a U.S.-led coalition base in Iraq say American troops have started to draw down from the country after the defeat of the Islamic State group.

U.S. soldiers, weapons and equipment are being transported out of Iraq to Afghanistan, the contractors said. Dozens of American soldiers have left on daily flights over the last week.

Two Iraqi officials told the Associated Press that the U.S.-led coalition has reached an agreement to draw down its troops in Iraq for the first time since the war against Islamic State was launched more than three years ago….

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Republicans want more Defense money while the Penagton can’t find hundreds of millions?

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There is something VERY wrong in the above….

The United State Military budget is a whopping $598 BILLION….It is MORE then half of what the United States spends….

The budget rises by the billions each year….

Yet?

The entire budget has NOT been audited, or checked for waste, or even if money it has is where it’s supposed to be?

We now find out that hundreds of millions are LOST….

The good thing?

They ARE actually going to mount a massive effort to check on their budget spending in total and at the service level….

Now I ask?

Why are Republican lawmakers going ahead with trying to add MORE money ABOVE their own spending limit to the Pentagon when they do NOT even KNOW the current status of things?

The audits will take at least a year to complete by outside auditors….

What’s the hurry?

One of the Pentagon’s largest agencies can’t account for hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of spending, a leading accounting firm says in an internal auditobtained by POLITICO that arrives just as President Donald Trump is proposing a boost in the military budget.

Ernst & Young found that the Defense Logistics Agency failed to properly document more than $800 million in construction projects, just one of a series of examples where it lacks a paper trail for millions of dollars in property and equipment. Across the board, its financial management is so weak that its leaders and oversight bodies have no reliable way to track the huge sums it’s responsible for, the firm warned in its initial audit of the massive Pentagon purchasing agent.

The audit raises new questions about whether the Defense Department can responsibly manage its $700 billion annual budget — let alone the additional billions that Trump plans to propose this month. The department has never undergone a full audit despite a congressional mandate — and to some lawmakers, the messy state of the Defense Logistics Agency’s books indicates one may never even be possible….

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image…themolitewindows.com

Trump’s White House annoyed at Pentagon caution on North Korea military war making options…

Like the suspense in the movie ‘War Games’ where the computer is trying to guess the nuclear codes to launch a strike?

We have the Trump White House trying to get the nation’s militayr to give them ‘limited’ military action planes that the US Militay is afraid could lead to World War III with thousand of American military and Millions of Soutrh Korea deaths…..

Image result for mcmasters/mattis

The White House has grown frustrated in recent weeks by what it considers the Pentagon’s reluctance to provide President Trump with options for a military strike against North Korea, according to officials, the latest sign of a deepening split in the administration over how to confront the nuclear-armed regime of Kim Jong-un.

The national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, believes that for Mr. Trump’s warnings to North Korea to be credible, the United States must have well-developed military plans, according to those officials.

But the Pentagon, they say, is worried that the White House is moving too hastily toward military action on the Korean Peninsula that could escalate catastrophically. Giving the president too many options, the officials said, could increase the odds that he will act.

The tensions bubbled to the surface this week with the disclosure that the White House had abandoned plans to nominate a prominent Korea expert, Victor D. Cha, as ambassador to South Korea. Mr. Cha suggested that he was sidelined because he warned administration officials against a “preventive” military strike, which, he later wrote, could spiral “into a war that would likely kill tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of Americans.”….

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Note…

That this story has leaked out to the front pages of the New York Times could mean that people in the military are REALLY afraid of what they are being asked to do by a White House led by a President that has been irrational, impatience and unable to grasp the consequences of direct military action that could start a world war with a country that HAS nuclear weapons and posion gas capabilities….

image….politico

Air Force One Jets will get $24 Million Refrigerators….

Yes…

You read THAT right….

And we, the taxpayers are footing the bill….

Image result for Air Force One airplane

I’m sure they could find something WTF cheaper….But the money is already signed off on…

Oh, these are for the current Air Force One two  aircraft ….Two other brand new aircraft are being outfitted right now…

Air Force One needs new refrigerators, an upgrade that will cost taxpayers nearly $24 million.

Their high cost is the latest example of just how expensive it is to build the heavily modified 747 jumbo jets that fly the president of the United States. Experts say the reason isn’t price gouging by Boeing, which makes the jets and handles the presidential modifications, but instead the result of bespoke equipment requirements put in place by the White House Military Office and the Air Force.

“It’s not a contractor issue, it is a requirements issue,” said Richard Aboulafia, vice president of analysis at the Teal Group consulting firm. “It’s not getting people rich.”

The new refrigerators aren’t your kitchen Frigidaires, or even a typical jetliner’s cabin-feeding coolboxes. The requirement for Air Force One is the ability to feed passengers and crew for weeks without resupplying. That means storing about 3,000 meals in massive refrigerators and freezers below the passenger cabin. Five “chillers” cool a total of 26 climate-controlled compartments, according to the Air Force.

In December, the Air Force awarded Boeing a $23.7 million contract to replace two of the chillers, which cool eight compartments. Boeing declined to comment on the deal, referring all questions to the Air Force…..

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image….defenseone.com