Closing Thought–12Oct20

This one story should chap old Marines butts no end.

In these changing times of a truly co-ed USMC there is a decision being weighed by the leaders…..

The Marine Corps is considering a plan in which it could close its two existing boot camp locations and funnel all recruits to a new base where men and women would train together.

Marine entry-level training is a long way off from being able to meet a congressional mandate to make its East and West coast training bases both able to support gender-integrated training in the coming years, the Corps’ top general said on Thursday.

That is leading the service to study the option of opening a third training base in a new location to which all new recruits would ship, rather than spending cash on construction projects at aging training bases.

“Nothing, the way we’re organized right now, lends itself to integrated recruit training,” Commandant Gen. David Berger said on Thursday. “If that’s our start point — and it is — we have to get to a place on both coasts, or at third location or whatever we end up with, that … there are male and female recruits around.”

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/09/24/marines-weigh-closing-parris-island-and-san-diego-open-new-coed-boot-camp.html

Will they approve the loss of their beloved “boot camps”?

Next question with a chap ass quality is that there is female drill instructors headed for an all male San Diego…..

Men stepping onto the famous yellow footprints at the Marine Corps‘ historically all-male recruit depot on the West Coast will soon be greeted by female drill instructors.

For the first time ever, the female drill instructors could begin training men at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, Commandant Gen. David Berger said Thursday. The move is part of a years-long congressional mandate the service is facing to make its entry-level training coed.

“All of our female drill instructors are on the East Coast,” Berger said during an event hosted by Defense One. “… We’re going to run a couple trials this wintertime actually moving drill instructors from South Carolina to San Diego [on temporary duty] and train recruits on the West Coast to see how this is going to work.”

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/09/24/female-marine-drill-instructors-are-headed-all-male-san-diego-boot-camp.html

Just a couple of macho altering decisions that should have butts clinching all over the country.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Those Government Contracts

I have written about the massive amount of money that we throw at the Defense Department and a blogging friend over at Libertas And Latte (https://libertasandlatte.wordpress.com/ ) has given me his insights into the process.

Having never had applied for contract I am not really super informed and I appreciate his thoughts and his corrections.

So I decided to check into the contract process and this is what I found…in an article written by Julie Bowden-Davis……

1. Register. In order to sell to any government entity, you must obtain a Dun & Bradstreet number. This is used as your contractor identification code. From there, you register on the System for Award Management (SAM), the primary database of vendors doing business with the government.

2. Think inside the box. When it comes to government contracts, innovative business ideas aren’t generally encouraged. “Small-business people are entrepreneurs by nature,” Karch says, “but the government by nature exists to support the people and isn’t tasked with innovation and isn’t measured by the lack of providing it. 

3. Sell what you know. Given the fact that the government is interested in high-quality work that fulfills a direct need, it makes sense to sell what you do well. “If you’re in the technology space, create a niche,” Karch suggests. “If you’re in construction, create a unique value proposition. Or, if you’re in a health-care field, create a unique benefit to the overall wellness of the end user.”

4. Revise when necessary. In order to land government contracts, small-business owners must be diligent in modifying their company offerings so they fit government needs, Karch says. “With technology products or services, think about security; with construction, think about scale; and with health care, think about the long-term process. Of course, these modifications can take time, but making them also benefits your company.”

5. Get help. Errors and omissions can disqualify you, so it’s important to get assistance. “Government contracting is filled with nuances, acronyms, procedures and regulations that require expertise,” Karch says. “The SBA employs procurement representatives at various area offices to help businesses throughout the process, and there are numerous online resources, too.”

6. Check your commitment level. “Recognizing the tremendous effort required to apply for government contracts is essential,” says Burt Wolder, a consultant with Ragland Burton Communications, who was working for Hooper Holmes, a company that provides health risk assessment services to the life insurance and health insurance industries, when it was awarded a multi-year contract to support the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs last September.

7. Have patience. Applying for government contracts is a long-term process, Karch says. “It’s sometimes difficult for small businesses to be patient when it comes to revenue generation,” he notes, “but in the government contracting arena, patience is more than just a virtue—it’s an absolute must. Your return on investment is measured in quarters and years, not weeks and months.”

Or try these steps to becoming a contractor for the government.

  • Update your business plan for government contracting. Define your business, identify your goals, qualify your resources and determine how you will market your organization to government agencies and contractors. Your business plan can serve as your resume and help your potential customers and supporters understand your business and your goals.
  • Identify your North American Industry Classification System, or NAICS, code.
  • Use the SBA Size Standard Tool and determine if your business qualifies as a small business.
  • Sign up for your business identification or DUNS number online or by or calling Dun & Bradstreet at 866-705-5711. This process normally takes one business day.
  • Register in the Central Contractor Registry in the System for Award Management, or SAM, by providing general, corporate, goods and services, financial and point-of-contact information. It can take up to 10 days after you submit your information before your account is active. If you previously registered for a CCR, your information will transfer automatically into the SAM system. Update your information if necessary.
  • Submit the Online Representations and Certifications Application, or ORCA, through SAM.
  • Get a Commercial and Government Entity code. Your CAGE code is automatically created when you apply for your CCR, so make sure you record the code for future use.
  • Familiarize yourself with the Federal Acquisitions Register, or FAR. Focus on Part 19, the section on small businesses.
  • Identify business opportunities with resources like FedBizOpps.gov, where you can search for contract opportunities over $25,000, and SUBNET, where prime contractors and subcontractors connect to form partnership opportunities.
  • Use your resources. Get help from the Small Business Administration and the Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers.

Sounds like a time consuming process does it not?  But I guess the rewards are well with a little time on the web.

If I missed anything please feel free to correct or add to the information.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

DARPA!

Do you know where those taxpayer bucks go?

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)

This is where all those special weapons are researched….those secret weapons……some even sound like science fiction…..lab grown blood….or plant eating robots…..etc…….

For every one of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s wild successes, there seem to be a plethora of wild failures – projects like mechanical elephants or telepathy research. What makes DARPA so unique is its ability to go outside the red tape of bureaucracy to innovate. DARPA isn’t subject to the same acquisition rules as other agencies, which means it has fewer restrictions on the scientists and innovators it can hire and the salaries it can offer.

The agency also has fewer financial limitations, enabling it to invest in longshot projects with the hopes they’ll pay off – they’re basically the military’s innovative venture capitalists.

Here are some of the more interesting projects to come out of DARPA’s “high-risk, high-reward” environment.

https://www.militarytimes.com/off-duty/military-culture/2020/09/04/8-weird-darpa-projects-make-science-fiction-seem-like-real-life/

Now this brings me to the interview that Trump gave Woodward…..while the media is focusing on his pandemic comments there are others that should be just as important……like his disclosure of secret weapons systems…..

Trump discussed the weapons system while reflecting on how close the United States and North Korea came to nuclear war in 2017, according to excerpts from “Rage” published Wednesday by The Washington Post, where Woodward is an associate editor.

“I have built a nuclear — a weapons system that nobody’s ever had in this country before. We have stuff that you haven’t even seen or heard about,” Trump told Woodward, according to the Post.

“We have stuff that Putin and Xi have never heard about before,” Trump added, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping. “There’s nobody — what we have is incredible.”

https://thehill.com/policy/defense/515700-trump-disclosed-secret-weapons-system-to-woodward-book

Could this “secret” weapon be the one that has already been reported?

The new warhead was first announced in the Trump administration’s Nuclear Posture Review which, unveiled in February 2018, framed the weapons system as “a comparatively low-cost and near term modification to an existing capability that will help counter any mistaken perception of an exploitable ‘gap’ in U.S. regional deterrence capabilities.”

The W76-2 warhead — which, with an explosive yield of roughly five kilotons, has a smaller explosive yield than either of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki — was subsequently deployed aboard the nuclear submarine USS Tennessee at the end of 2019, according to Defense News.

https://taskandpurpose.com/military-tech/trump-nuclear-weapons-w76-2-low-yield-nuke

So is this the “secret” weapon referred to by Trump….or are there more that he will blurt out?

DARPA is the bottomless pit of DC……money goes in and no one knows where it goes from there.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

In Defense (Sort Of)

I have been a critic of Trump since he was elected….there is very little about him or his policies that I can agree with on any occasion.

But pull up a chair and make yourself comfortable….I am about to do something that I seldom do….

But I have agree with him on some issues like ending our endless wars…I agree with the promise but not the actions that he has taken.

He opens his mouth and spouts crap almost daily. Most of it is either exaggeration or lies…..but on occasion he does say something that is accurate or almost accurate….like his most recent statement that has the media crapping on themselves to discredit his words.

What could he have said that I would jump to defend him over?

Let’s see shall we?

President Donald Trump blasted the Pentagon’s leadership on Monday for allegedly caring about the defense industry more than U.S. service members.

“I’m not saying the military’s in love with me – the soldiers are,” the president said at a White House news conference. “The top people in the Pentagon probably aren’t because they want to do nothing but fight wars so that all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy.”

Trump also said that his desire to withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria now that the Islamic State no longer holds any territory has put him at odds with military leaders.

“I said: That’s good; let’s bring our soldiers back home,” Trump said. “Some people don’t like to come home. Some people like to continue to spend money.”

A Pentagon spokeswoman referred questions about the president’s remarks to the White House. The Joint Staff declined to comment for this story.

(Task & Purpose)

Think about it……if there is not a revolving door at the Pentagon then why are most retired generals and such working for Halluburton, Raytheon or Lockheed-Martin?

Old soldiers don’t retire….they just move location and continue to do what they do…..and war is what they do.

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

Remember Top Gun?

The weekend and the search for news and thoughts that can be of interest to my readers…..

Off we go into the wild blue yonder……

The movie made about the elite and unbeatable Air Aces from the schools in the US…..I mean it was so important and influential that there is a sequel in the process.

But recently there is some sad news for this program…..there seems these “Top Guns” have been beaten……there claim to fame is no longer.

No it was not Russian that beat them…..or the Chinese…..then who could possibly be that good?

It’s official: The robots are taking over.

Not quite. But in a significant development on August 20, an artificial intelligence (AI) program managed to defeat a human F-16 pilot in simulated dogfights. The AI program, designed by tech firm Heron Systems, was pitched against the human pilot in an environment resembling an elaborate video game during the third and final event of the AlphaDogfight trials organized by U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Heron System’s website notes that the program was based on deep reinforcement learning – an AI technique that combines insights from behavioral psychology with how the human cortex is structured and functions – along with unspecified innovations. The bested human operator, publicly known only by their callsign, “Banger,” was reported to have been trained at the Weapons School at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.

https://thediplomat.com/2020/08/ai-defeats-human-pilot-in-darpa-organized-dogfight/

Don’t look now but this is just another step into the future and the prediction of “Skynet”.

Oh the horror!

Will that mean the cancellation of the Top Gun sequel?  (Sarcasm)

In case anyone is interested……

Heron, a small, female- and minority-owned company with offices in Maryland and Virginia, builds artificial intelligence agents, and is also a player in DARPA’s Gamebreaker effort to explore tactics for disrupting enemy strategies using real-world games as platforms. The company beat eight other teams, including one led by defense giant Lockheed Martin — which came in second in the AlphaDogfight “semi-finals” that pitted the AI pilots against each other this morning.

Congrats Ladies!  Job well done!

This ends my Saturday posts….my wife will have me designing a garden for next Spring…..at least it gets me away from the keyboard for awhile…..

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Screw Service People!

Closing Thought–21Aug20

The Congress and Trump have just approved the new massive Defense Budget…..with the help of Democrats I might add…..and now with all the cash for new weapons and such the attack will be on the miltary health care…..

Shortly after both chambers of Congress approved a $740 billion Defense Department budget for fiscal year 2021, Pentagon officials are reportedly pushing for more than $2 billion in cuts to military healthcare over the next five years, potentially threatening the coverage of millions of personnel and their families amid a global pandemic.

Politico reported Sunday that the proposed $2.2 billion cut to the military healthcare system is part of a “sweeping effort” by Defense Secretary Mark Esper to “eliminate inefficiencies within the Pentagon’s coffers.”

“Ever notice that it’s never a cut to things used to send kids to war?” asked Josh Moon of the Alabama Political Reporter. “It’s always—always—a cut to the promises we make to get them to volunteer for us. What a disgrace.”

According to Politico, “Esper and his deputies have argued that America’s private health system can pick up the slack” for any servicemembers who lose coverage.

“Roughly 9.5 million active-duty personnel, military retirees, and their dependents rely on the military health system, which is the military’s sprawling government-run healthcare framework that operates hundreds of facilities around the world,” Politico noted. “The military health system also provides care through TRICARE, which enables military personnel and their families to obtain civilian healthcare outside of military networks.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/08/17/what-disgrace-pentagon-weighing-22-billion-cuts-military-healthcare-just-after

This is one of the “entitlements” that is promised to the serving military and their families

Recently I read about the poor condition of military hospitals…..

Incredible waste is, of course, natural to Washington, particularly in the trillion dollar national security budget—which includes nuclear bombs, intelligence, and veterans’ costs. Three years ago, when I suggested “16 Ways to Cut Defense Spending,” one of the cost savings I wrote about was duplicative hospital costs, this from a system of separate Army, Navy, and Air Force medical services. They should be combined into a single system, but imagine the screaming about lost jobs.

The system was designed after World War I, when wounded could not be easily transported from one part of America to another and long before helicopters and super highways. It is part of the Tricare network, which takes nearly $50 billion yearly out of the Pentagon budget. It includes 55 hospitals and 373 clinics and gives free treatment to military retirees and their families for the rest of their lives. Then there is also the Veterans Administration hospital network with 152 medical centers and almost 800 outpatient clinics.

Why Military Hospitals Are Unhealthy and Inefficient

This is unacceptable…we ask so much from our troops and their families then we should hold good our promises to them…whatever that may be.

This is shameful on so many levels and no American seems willing to speak up…..

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

How About Defunding The Pentagon

We have lots of talk these days about defunding the police…..but for me the debate should be about defunding the Pentagon……why? So much of the problems we face revolves around a department in government that is out of control….it is wasteful and corrupt.

Yes I said corrupt!

Because the defense industry owns our Congress, both Houses, it is obvious when a bill came up that would cut just 10% of the budget….read my thoughts on this……https://lobotero.com/2020/07/22/2021-ndaa/

Now to the meat of the post…..there has been calls for the defunding the Pentagon (something I can agree with but that would be another post)………

n just the past few months, Congress has appropriated nearly $3 trillion dollars to fight the economic and public health impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is on top of a terrible budget deal last year that blew through spending caps imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act. With little end in sight to the pandemic and its associated recession, Congress is likely to spend even more in the months to come.

With resources more limited than ever, areas of the budget that were off-limits for years should now be more closely scrutinized. At the top of that list should be the single largest part of the federal discretionary budget, an entire category of spending that has long been off the table: the Pentagon.

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/07/16/defund-the-pentagon-the-conservative-case-366066

I agree that the Pentagon could use some tweaking and scrutiny….it has gotten away with wasting taxpayer money for decades….time for it to tighten up……

To be fair……something more bloggers need to try…..I will give the rebuttal to the defunding call…..

Recently Politico published two opinion pieces claiming that it’s time to “defund” national defense: “Defund the Pentagon: The Conservative Case by Andrew Lautz and Jonathan Bydlak, and “Defund the Pentagon: The Liberal Case by Sen. Bernie Sanders. A provocative suggestion, but both pieces lack some information that would contribute to a richer, more informed discussion of this critically important topic.

Although sharing similar headlines, the articles advance different arguments for why defense spending should be reduced. The self-described “conservative case” argues Pentagon spending has become “bloated” and “wasteful” and that Americans can no longer afford national security at the level currently funded. The other, “liberal view” proposes that instead of funding national defense, America should focus inwardly and take care of pressing internal problems.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2020/07/25/what_the_defunding_the_pentagon_articles_dont_tell_you_115494.html

I am with those that are calling for the defund…..put of control M-IC has given us endless war and wasted money…..and unless we voters pay attention and vote these toads out of control we will continue to have endless wars and pissed away cash.

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

What Is The Fourth Estate?

I know you have heard the term “Fourth Estate”, right?

In case you are ignorant of the term…..let me assist you…..

The term “fourth estate” is used to describe the press. Describing journalists and the news outlets for which they work as members of the fourth estate is an acknowledgment of their influence and status among the greatest powers of a nation, the author William Safire once wrote.

The term goes back centuries when it applied to any unofficial group that wielded public influence, including a mob.

https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-the-fourth-estate-3368058

Now that you have the background on the term “Fourth Estate”….that is NOT what this post is about.

The Fourth Estate is a term used within the Pentagon to mean any thing other than military ……..

The term “Fourth Estate” — first popularized as a way to describe the press as a non-governmental actor in society — has in recent decades been appropriated as shorthand for the Defense Department’s agencies and activities that are not part of the military branches: the Departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force.

The distinction between these “DOD Components” and the “military components” is laid out in DoD Instruction 7730.64. As a 2018 GAO report put it, the “DOD has defined Fourth Estate organizations as DOD organizations, other than the
military services, that have DOD manpower resources.”

These organizations include the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, DOD field activities, and the combatant commands. The list also includes more than two dozen defense agencies, including the: Defense Logistics Agency, Defense Finance and Accounting Service, Defense Contract Management Agency, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Missile Defense Agency, and more.

https://www.defenseone.com/news/2020/02/what-pentagons-fourth-estate/162939/

Now you know something that does not mean a damn thing to you….but at least you can say you learned something thanx to the old professor….

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Afghanistan–2020

If you care just a little about what the US is doing in Afghanistan then I have a report for you……DoD 1225 Report On Afghanistan….

On January 23, 2020, The Department of Defense provided to Congress the DOD 1225 report on Afghanistan. The semiannual report, Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan, covers events during the period of June 1 to November 30, 2019.

The principle goal of the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan has not changed during this reporting period. It remains to achieve a “durable and inclusive political settlement to the war that protects the United States homeland from terrorist attacks.” The U.S. is currently engaged in efforts to find a political settlement with the Taliban and the U.S. military mission is in support of diplomatic efforts to achieve a political settlement as well as to conduct counterterrorism operations.

This 93-page 1225 report states that there are still challenges within the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF). Chief among these challenges are corruption, attrition of the force, and the inability to conduct logistical planning. These challenges remain a focus of the Resolute Support Mission.

The report is divided into several sections:

  • Section 1 – Strategy and Objectives
  • Section 2 – Threat Assessment
  • Section 3 – Overview of ANDSF
  • Section 4 – MOD and ANA
  • Section 5 – MOI and ANP
  • Section 6 – Financing the ANDSF
  • Annex A – Acronyms

Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan
DOD 1225 Report, December 2019
U.S. Department of Defense
https://media.defense.gov/2020/Jan/23/2002238296/-1/-1/1/1225-REPORT-DECEMBER-2019.PDF

I think all Americans should read this report and check to see where your money is being spent….then take a look if it is being spent wisely (hint:  It is NOT)

Click to access 1225-REPORT-DECEMBER-2019.PDF

But how is this conflict going?

Glad you asked for I can present you with an answer…..

A sampling of curated news, commentary, and analysis about America’s longest war – or the Afghanistan quagmire . Topics include security, governance, Resolute Support, ANDSF, elections, peace negotiations, and more from the past month.

Afghanistan Conflict Update – January 2020

If you want the best information available on our many wars then I suggest that you…..

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–28Jan20

A Serious Lack Of Imagination!

By now most will be aware that we have a new a separate military branch, the Space Force…..and just last week the new “logo” was released…..

Notice anything?

The Pentagon’s new US Space Force is not Star Trek’s Starfleet Command, but their logos bear a striking similarity, the AP reports. President Trump unveiled the Space Force logo Friday, writing on Twitter that he had consulted with military leaders and designers before presenting the blue-and-white symbol, which features an arrowhead shape centered on a planetary background and encircled by the words, “United States Space Force” and “Department of the Air Force.” The logo, which bears the date 2019 in Roman numerals, also is similar in design to that of Air Force Space Command, from which Space Force was created by legislation that Trump signed in last month. (See a comparison of the Space Force logo and the Starfleet Command logo here.)

Space Force explained the logo in a statement late Friday: “The delta symbol, the central design element in the seal, was first used as early as 1942 by the US Army Air Forces; and was used in early Air Force space organization emblems dating back to 1961. Since then, the delta symbol has been a prominent feature in military space community emblems.” Space Force is the first new military service since the Air Force was created in 1947. It is meant mainly to improve protection of US satellites and other space assets, rather than to put warriors in orbit to conduct combat in outer space. “After consultation with our Great Military Leaders, designers, and others, I am pleased to present the new logo for the United States Space Force, the Sixth Branch of our Magnificent Military!” Trump wrote. George Takei, who played Mr. Sulu in the original Star Trek TV series and films, tweeted in response, “Ahem. We are expecting some royalties from this.”

First the logo illustrates a serious lack of imagination then secondly…if it is a separate military force why is it labelled with United States Air Force as well?

Well the Trump administration will never be known for its imagination…..anyway.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”