You are the U.S. Secretary of Defense. You can make policy for all braches of the U.S. Armed Forces. What weapons systems would you buy, which ones would you cancel, what initiatives would you launch and which strategies and tactics would you use?
This thread should cover all aspects of the hypothetical, from administrative to boots-on-the-ground. You can do as you will with any and all branches.
I would cancel the V22 Osprey and fund the LHX and the AHX in its place.
I would fund the building of new CH46s and 47s and augment them with CH53s.
I would fund the further building of improved M1A tanks and M2 Bradleys since they seem to come in so handy despite claims that they are "obsolete."
One word: Crusader.
Small Arms Edit: Keep the current M4/M16 platform until someting really better comes along that cannot be adapted to the same lower reciever.
If I am not a professional military man, then I try to stay the heck out of picking new weapons systems, leaving the bulk of the decisions to the people who are going to have to actually fight with the stuff.
I would place the people who do the fighting in charge of the equipment decisions as much as possible.
Cancel V-22 and add more armor and resurrect Crusader (what no Sgt York?)....
You guys will be ready when the Warsaw Pact comes across the West German border, that's for sure.
We need more nuclear testing...in Iran, Syria, and North Korea...
The real answer is even more UAV/RPV for real time battlefield reconnaissance, enhanced communications gear down to squad level/vehicle level. Enhance the survivability and lethality of the individual infantry with advanced light armor, integrate night vision/ position/command and control displays and improved weapons. Improve training and raise standards for all ground troops, blurring the line between infantry and special operations.
Add more airlift capability to the Air Force, add more capability for tactically employed , strategically deployed air assets to work directly with the troops on the ground via the ground troops enhanced capability. Improve PGM capability.
Utilise the increased airlift with a new family of intermediate armor, M8 would be a good starting point for the interim.
There's lots more. This could easily be a book.
Communications and battlefield awareness, coupled with speed, mobilty and firepower are the force multipliers for the future.
Kill the XM-8 - Its not needed. The money can go to body armor, optics, etc.
Have the Army change Basic Training, ALL troops will go thru Infantry School first, then they can go on to their respective AIT for the MOS they signed up for. The Marines got this one right. It might be a good thing to put all Services thru such training as Sailors and Airmen may find themselves supporting the Army/Marines in a hotspot and everyone needs to be proficient at trigger-pulling.
Put JAG in its place, Warfighters don't need some desk jockey dictating how we treat terrorists, My directive would be if the captured terrorists can't give intel, shoot the SOB's or throw them in pen of hungry pigs.
PC Generals and Admirals would be forced to retire, I want smart, aggressive leaders
The Zero Defect mentality, I would crush it with extreme prejudice within reason. Mistakes happen and valueble lessons are learned from mistakes. I rather have mistakes in training not on the battlefield.
Keep the F-22!
Bring on the F-23 to replace the F-117 and F-15E
Keep the A-10, hell build new ones- Modernize the electronics, it shines in its main use as a long loiter time, direct support aircraft for Warfighters.
For the Navy, Build more Fast Attacks (any Conflict with China/Taiwan, we put the PRC Navy to the bottom)
If the Russians have better missiles like their Cruise Missiles, get a license to build them here. No need spending a shitload of money developing a missile when we can get one off the shelf thats already been tested and is operational. We can better spend money improving the missile and giving the left over cash to some other program that needs it, like producing more small arms ammunition.
Here are some ideas:
I would transfer the A-10 and all logistics/pilots/support to the U.S. Army. The pilots would become Army officers. The A-10 would be upgraded with night/adverse weather capability, digital datalinks and new engines. (Luckily the A-10 is supposed to be upgraded.) I would then issue a Request For Proposals (RFP) for a FOT3 (Follow On To Thunderbolt II.)
I would start to phase out C5 Galaxy transports and any remaining C-141 Starlifters. I would also begin phasing out the KC-10 and KC-135 tankers. I would plan to acquire 200 additional C-17 Globemaster aircraft to cover these roles. I would also experiment with supplimenting our airlift with civilian 747 aircraft.
I would cancel the V-22 Osprey program and buy interim heavy lift helicopters (CH-53 class) as a stopgap from whomever currently has the best. Issue a RFP for Future Tactical Rotary Wing Transport.
Issue a RFP for Wing-In-Ground-Effect Transports for superheavy lift/rapid deployment capability.
RFP for a new class of Hybrid diesel-electric multi-mission submarines, smaller than the Improved Los Angeles/Seawolf/Virginia classes.
I would limit the acquisition and issue of the XM8 Modular Weapons System to Stryker Brigade Combat Teams. Issue RFP for American-built Infantry Small Arms System. Continue development of OICW.
Expedite fielding of Objective Crew Served Weapon 25mm airburst/.50 systems to replace Mk19 and M2 systems.
Some ideas off the top of my head, more ideas to come. Feel free to discuss/criticise/flame...
eodtech2000, I like the way you think
I'd give the military, especially the enlisted ranks, a big pay raise. Then I'd make it priority number one to improve payroll, records handling and transfers. There would be an emergency assistance fund for families and personnel on every post specifically assigned to make dependents lives easier. I would encourage higher education and make it easier for servicemen and women to get a college education. I'd make it my number one goal to to enchance the quality of life for the military. I'd strive to increase moral and professionalism. I'd reward good ideas and implement changes as soon as possible. I'd listen to the troops in the field and fix design flaws in equipment. I'd work to make every branch of the service a very attractive profession for anyone graduating from high school or college. I'd try my best to establish a new system of military justice in order provide a fair and impartial hearing for anyone involved in a disciniplary action. I'd try to put an end to the "Your career is over" mode when someone commits a crime the supervisor couldn't possibly have prevented.
BIG +1. The Army should have the A10 and should not be shut out from having armed, fixed-wing aircraft.
Give the A-10 to the Corps.
Make the Osprey a greater Priority.
Increase the number of MPF Squadrons. (prepositioned supplies)
Scrap the Brigade plan and go to 16 Divisions (full strength), 6 Armored, 6 Heavy Infantry, 4 Light.
Adopt a replacement for the Striker with a working gun and armor.
Adopt the Crusader.
Marine Corps goes back to three full divisions, plus the FSSGs and MAWs.
Corps gets more 18s and AV8s
The advanced AAV gets full funding, and the Corps also goes to a company of AAVs and Tanks for each MEU
Corps gets the rest of the 130s Congress bought as a jobs program
We see the Osprey through
Air Force gets more transports and tankers. We bring the Buffs back from the yard for the next 20 years full strength, and scrap the current strike fighter in favor of specific mission birds.
Navy goes to 500 ships, with 2 additional carrier groups (full strength groups) and 2 extra MEU groups.
Navy also invests in more small surface ships and some sort of bombardment vessel.
Fire all Clinton officers above the rank of LtCol. Clinton officers will consist of all officers who were promoted to LtCol or above under Clinton and who show any sign of PC or who put their next promotion above the welfare of their troops.
Rabid_Coyote...will you marry me?
You saved me a great deal of typing.
Crusader and Abrams are great....but not so much when they require "friendly" pre-positioning or heavy and slow (time consuming) sealift. The ramp up to GF 1 was months. Now we need to work on days.
It's not the tool we need to focus on, but the intended result. Is it better for a highly mobile Force 21 type unit to depend on ground based heavy artillery that has to be resupplied, defended and is slow? Or should airborne artillery combined with lighter more lethal and precise systems be used? The Crusader is impressive.....but useless when it's sitting on the water weeks away from deployment. The new truck based MLRS is air transportable and in the inventory. Not as sexy, but gets the job done.
If I was the SecDef, I'd increase funding for recruiting and training. I'd then make the attrition rates in Basic Higher.
Raise the standards.
Grow and thin the herd at the same time.
Make graduating from Boot Camp not as much of a given.
Make the "New" Military seem that much more elite.
Equip Marine LHD Ambibious Assault vessels with Army MLRS Launchers to provide support fires.
Pursue Strike UCAV development, especially navalized version. Next generation carrier + Strike UCAV = lots of capability.
I agree that boot camp should be modeled on the Marine Corps for all services. No co-ed units. Women must be removed from combat roles. Combat support units must train as fighters.
Individual soldier communications must be a priority. Blue Force Tracking (BFT) capability should be achieved for every soldier. If it can be seen, everybody should be able to see it and then kill it.
Future Combat Systems not in the 16-20 range as currently projected, but 35 ton range. The Abrams system should continue to be upgraded. Older units can be cannibalized for this, as we have many M1 tanks. Bradleys should be kept up as well.
Re-emphasize 120mm SP Mortar systems.
Re emphasize the role of the Marines as rapid deployment/assault forces and Army as follow on heavy combat units.
Make the focus of the USAF Air Supremacy. Experiment with assigning organic heavy airlift to individual Brigades/Units of Action.
RFP for a dedicated Convoy Escort Vehicle. This can be purchased from whomever has the best design currently. This should be a wheeled vehicle with good speed and acceleration, heavy firepower, armor protection against threats up to 7.62x54R and RPG cage/slat armor. Monocque hull to defeat mines/IED's.
The Stryker Mobile Gun System must be fixed - a 105mm gun is too big. They need to downsize it to 90mm or 76mm.
Add light armored fighting vehicles to 101st and 82nd Divisions. These *must* be air-transportable.
"hey, what's this RED button do? "
- Cancel the Stryker and divert funds to M1 Abrams development. Contract with the Israelis to help us adapt the Abrams to, and train crews for, urban warfare.
- Clean out the War College of any and all PC elements. Any field-grade officer who even hints at any principle put forth in the Just War Theory will be given early retirement ASAP.
- Work to convince the President that nukes can and should be used in places like Tora Bora. The taboo on employing nukes must go away.
Most of the C-141's are already gone. The C-5's are still very much needed. It can still carry a bigger load a lot farther than the C-17. Using the 747's is a good idea though. Now, where I really have a problem here is phasing out the KC-135's and KC-10's. Both are still useful cargo/personnel transports, but thats not their primary role. Without them, just what would we do for inflight refueling? In todays world, without the guarantee of basing rights, this is more important than ever before. The most advanced fighter/bomber/transport does no good if it doesn't have the fuel to get where it needs to go.
Too bad the acting SecDef would need to have all of his wishes approved by Congress first..
Unfortunatly, they are the ones that control the budget and spending..
ETA: look, I reached .223 posts today.. yippie!
See through V-22
Keep A-10's on active duty, transfer F-15's to Reserves/NG (Justification: We are likely to be fighting enemies that will not require the F-15's to maintain Air Supremacy. The active forces should be primarily 'attack-capable' aircraft, A-10's and F-16's for now, JSF's in the future. 'Pure' fighters will only be needed briefly in most conflicts.)
Return to 16 CVBG's
Return Carrier fighter wings to 5 squadrons.
Reintroduce dedicated tankers on Carriers (Based off V-22 platform?)
More Surface combatants for Navy. Cease retirement of ships less than 30 years old. Cease retirement of Carriers less than 50 years old.
Accellerate DD(X) program. Refurbish 1 Battleship for fire support in Interim.
Issue RFP for Low-Cost Heavy bomber in B-1 class. Requirement is for a 'Bomb Truck' that is capable of penetrating Airspace of 2nd and 3rd world countries, and employing Cruise missles against 1st world countries. To supplement B-52H and B-1B.
Issue RFP for Super-Low-Cost Heavy Bomber in B-52/B-47 class. Requirement is for a 'Bomb Truck' that is capable of delivering payloads over undefended territory. To supplement B-52H as a cruise-missle platform and bomb carrier. To be built to commercial standards. This bomber is to be used in situations where Anti-Air threats are minimal. (I'm thinking something along the lines of a 777 with a bomb bay, to deliver ordinance in Afganistan/Iraq, etc.)
That's all I've got for now...
Edited to add: More in-flight tankers. BIG ones.
Aviation buff, so I'll concentrate there.
Logistics would be my primary concern.
Increase the number of C-17s purchased, until we have a fleet of 300.
Re-engine our C-5A/Bs.
Enter into a multiyear procurement deal for Boeing KC-767 tankers (Combis, equipped with boom, centerline drogue, and two drogue units on the wings.)
As for combat aircraft:
Re-engine/rebuild the A-10. The Warthog's TF34s have been developed greatly on the civil market over the past 30 years. Use these off-the-shelf powerplants that offer vastly increased thrust and range for the Warthog. The F-32 is nice and all, but it will never be risked for the CAS role despite the Air Force's claims, nor is it designed to operate at low altitudes over the battlefield (anyone remember the F-16A/B "CAS" fiasco from "Desert Storm"?). There will still be a place for the A-10 30 years down the road.
Restore the B-1's high-altitude supersonic capability primarily through the use of variable geometry inlets (similar to those used on the B-1A, though improved for reduced RCS). A B-1 flying more efficiently and faster at high altitude with a truck load of GPS guided munitions is an awesome weapon. Oh yeah, throw the Bone pilots a bone, and finally upgrade their cockpits with HUDs and perhaps equip the Bone with an AESA radar that would enable it to ground map targets more precisely and at greater range given my restoration of vg inlets idea. Imagine how far one can stand off from the target with JDAMs (or enhanced JDAMs/SDBs featuring pop-out wings) when dropping them from altitudes in excess of 35K'! Perhaps one could even increase stand-off range even further by allowing the BONEs to "toss bomb" (at far less radical angles than nuke armed B-47s, F-84s, A-4s,etc. did) and place their munitions on a ballistic trajectory that would be within the bomb's guidance "basket"?
Re-engine the BUFF with four F117 (PW2040) turbofans. The same powerplant used on the C-17. A more radical proposal would be to also "re-nose" the BUFF w/a totally new cockpit featuring modern avionics, displays, sensors, ejection seats (all upward firing), etc.
For Naval Aviation, develop an aircraft to replace the Navy's E-2/C-2/KS-3. Use the same airframe (or variants thererof) to provide for C3, tanking, and COD from the carrier decks. Also develop a land based variant to replace the Air Force's C-27s, Sherpas, etc. and perhaps for foreign military sales so as to broaden customer base and increase production volume, thus lowering costs.
Just some ideas.
Those of you guys calling to stick with the V-22 Osprey, can you give your reasons?
I feel that it has been in development too long, has too many unresolved issues, too much money has been spent on it, and does not deliver significant capability over a helicopter after all is said and done. I think it is time to cut bait.
I supported the cancellation of Crusader and Commanche. Crusader was too heavy and UAV's can perform Commanche's recon mission and the AH-64 can perform the attack mission.
I am not sure that the Navy needs more ships at this time. I do support advanced diesel electric subs and advanced technology carriers operating Strike UCAV's defended by Aegis Cruisers.
replace Strykers wheeled vehicles with improved M113 APC
force DoD wide adoption of 6.8mm SPC as a general issue weapon
replce M9 with modernized 1911
revive AGS program, to give airborne units armor again
transfer A-10 in it's entirety to Army
upgrade A-10 with new engines, and add 2nd gen IR
build 300+ new ones
related to above: give CAS role to Army
buy modernized CH 53 class helo
issue proposal for CH-46 class replacement that ISN'T tilt-rotor
greatly expand UAV program
build 300+ more C-17s
buy 100+ 767 based tankers
accelerate EA-6B follow on project (EF-18G)
lengthen boot camp for all services by 2 weeks, minimum
STOP CLOSING BASES
That's just off the top of my head
Agreed. The most important weapon system needs to be retained and treated well.
Disagree. It’s all about accountability, not impartiality. Soldiers are far more interdependent than civilians on a vast number of levels. A civilian disobeying the law is accountable for his or her own personal actions and then others if property damage or injury occurred. A soldier is far more likely to cause harm if they break the UcoMJ simply by the nature of their work. Greater accountability as interpreted by fellow soldiers (jury of peers) is needed. The standards are higher because the risks are higher.
Here are some ideas:
I would transfer the A-10 and all logistics/pilots/support to the U.S. Army. The pilots would become Army officers. The A-10 would be upgraded with night/adverse weather capability, digital datalinks and new engines. (Luckily the A-10 is supposed to be upgraded.) I would then issue a Request For Proposals (RFP) for a FOT3 (Follow On To Thunderbolt II.)
Interesting idea, but it breaks the treaty between the Army and Airforce. That BS politics aside, the more practical reason is the Army isn’t in the fixed wing business. It’s geared for all rotar all the time. It would cost far too much money to give the Army a logistical and training capability that is the Air Force’s Bread & Butter. Keep it in the Air Force, HOWEVER, mandate that the Air Force can try and cut and under fund it all they want in favor of more glamorous fast movers, but it ain’t gonna happen. A-10 is here to stay. The Air Force brass HATES the A-10. In GW 1 it was Schwartzkopf who demanded they be used, otherwise, they were staying home. Good thinking on his part. I think with a streamlined approach, the current airframe design could (should!) be used, but modified for greater survivability with new composites and other materials. Great idea upgrading avionics with data links. Blue Force tracking is a must! They shouldn’t have to use Maverick missile TV seekers as a “poor man’s FLIR” nor should they be droping flares to illuminate targets! Also the upgraded INTERNAL all weather capability, (no pods means more room for bombs.) Furthermore, add better active counter measures (chaff, jammers, etc) AND passive (stealth materials, engine intake masking, etc) to make low level survivable. Hell, maybe they need to think of it as more of a weapon system and add a “stand-off” radar capability (not an on-board radar) with a datalink to J-Stars/Hawkeye/other theater sensors C3I and a RIO to manage it! The 2nd seat could manage Blue Force tracking, countermeasures, etc, while the pilot would be the weapons man, employing the gun. That was all on the fly off the top of my head. What do you think of my “Strike Warthog”???
Lighter, smaller and more lethal weapons systems means smaller more dispersed transport. Maybe it’s time for a new generation of faster more versatile transport craft? How about unmanned transport for materials? You could have civilian airline pilots (many of which are former Mil) fly these craft anywhere. No crew means less weight, more lift. Sounds radical, but why not? Keep troops/roll-off combatants in piloted craft
We’re already utilizing civilian transport like commercial airline fleets.
I would finish the Osprey. The Marines have been good at assessing needs. They want a rapid over the horizon ship to shore (and beyond) capability. I would trust them to keep spending for it.
Great idea. I’m not sure WHY the DoD hasn’t picked up on it. The concept works, the Russki’s proved that.Perhaps the Navy should look into it since these craft are in their domain and would require their defense.
Agreed. We need to be ready to compete with the Chinese on this level. They’ll own the close to shore and brown water otherwise.
Why to just the Stryker teams? Do they really need to contend with 2 NEW systems?
Keep the XM8, but bump the round up to 6.8mm. Otherwise, if you’re shooting the same round, just scrap the whole project and stick with the M16. The better round would make it useful.
OICW won’t work, too heavy. The direct result of it’s failure WAS THE XM8. The idea was since OICW is too “longview”, they broke the weapons apart into their two major components, the small arm for the rifleman, the larger 25mm for a “grenadier type” support role.
YES! But don’t replace the M2. The surveys done on gear with the troops in the field right after the advance on Baghdad showed OVERWHELMINGLY that the M2 was the most effective weapon mounted.
I don't know enough about equipment to comment on that.
But, I would not send a single soldier into battle without the complete Interceptor vest system.
I've seen some picture of the Generals who have them on while on HEAVILY PROTECTED tours of Baghdad, yet some of the soldiers making up the heavy protection did not have them.
For those of you who will undoubtedly remind me.........
I would also make it a requirement that you wear at least the vest portion of the vest system, throat and groin protection would be at your discretion.
Hope that doesn't piss anybody off. If I had one I'd wear it...........
What he said!
"I'd double the number of special forces"....so what, if that means I'll probably lower the
acceptance criteria...we should not disciminate against other soldiers since they are all special
-John F'd up Kerry
I mostly agree with you. I figure we already have the Strykers, already have trained with them and deployed with them and a lot of the troops like them and they have proven to be relatively survivable, so we will use the ones we have. They bring capabilities that we previously did not have. I would upgrade to a new remote weapons station with an OCSW.
6.8mm needs much more evaluation in my opinion. It looks like it has potential but it is still too early to tell.
Everything else I think you're right on.
Increase capability to transport equipment by sea. 90% of cargo in Gulf War was moved by ship.
Buy 767 tankers
Use 747 or other long range aircraft to do supply in non-hostile areas
Have large supply of missiles
Increase size of coast guard and do whatever is necessary to check all cargo for nuclear devices
Continue moving forces away from North Korean border
Reduce troop sizes in Europe and redeploy to US.
Make clear that the "Axis of Evil" is a target list and that the countries on it had better do everything in their power to proactively prevent a nuclear bomb detonation in the US.
Continue anti-missile defense. Persue space based weapons.
Change strategy in Iraq so that we control only the most critical pieces of infrastructre and hold them until Iraq finds itself a friendly government. Interdict influence from other nations. Attack mosques if they are being used for war purposes. Evaluate application of Geneva conventions against an enemy that is fighting a war without rules.
It is time we changed that rule. The Close Air Support Mission should involve both rotary and fixed-wing platforms. I would even support transferring some AC-130 gunships to Army control. It is time we spend the money instead of saying "our national security is getting too darn expensive."
The C-17 has proven to be a remarkable success, so I support this platform to replace those other assets that I had mentioned. The WIG Superheavy Lifter would take over for the C5. I still support C-130J platforms.
I believe that most of the things that the Osprey can do an advanced rotary-wing platform could do better.
I think XM8 should go to the Stryker Teams because they are our "technology demonstration" units. They are our interim brigades and we should use them to test out new warfighting technologies. I support the 6.8mm XM8, but I think the round requires much more study. The M16 platform would serve the rest of the infantry well until the new Small Arms System appeared.
I support the XM25 25mm Airburst Weapon, but I also think that infantry small arms can benefit from continued research into the OICW concept.
well, I would argue that the .50 round fired from a fully automatic platform was what the troops wanted, the M2 just happened to be what we had. It is getting very long in the tooth and the OICW should be able to take up the torch.
One big idea that I haven't seen addressed here is this: Reduce the seperation between the service branches.
You could greatly reduce duplicated efforts at the service HQ level and it would reduce political fighting for roles, missions and dollars.
There would be some what of a loss of the service traditions and pride associated with each service, but this could be balanced by implementing a concept somewhat similar to a Regimental system so that we could maintain our history and esprit de corps.
I know the USMC would be the biggest opponet of this, but the Marines could maintain their identity by controlling their own training and recruiting as part of a unified Expeditionary Command.
Just the simplification of administration and logistics would do wonders.
In the future smaller military there will be a need for more warriors and fewer administrators. This could help get it done, and give the taxpayer more bang for his buck.
Send the A-10s to the Air National Guard. If we ever need to fight so many tanks that the Apaches, Abrams, & JSFs can't handle them, the A-10 will be a pilot deathtrap. Low & Slow is suicide against modern SAM systems - as proof, the only fixed-wing US aircraft shot down in OIF has been an A-10. The reason the AF hates the 'hog is that it is a pilot-killer in any serious threat environemnt, simply by it's mission profile, period.
Maintain fighter forces as the focus of the active duty Air Force. There are alot of pilots who DIED in Vietnam because the bomber boys put the fighter component on back burner, and forbid ACM training as 'a waste of money'... They said, JUST LIKE YOU GUYS ARE, that "we'll never have to fight like that again"... It was stupid then and stupid now... It's alot easier to maintain a proficient bomber pilot with reduced, reserve-level training than it iis for fighter pilots...
Send the B-52s to the boneyard. They are too slow, too weak (bomb load), and too big a target.
Start 'B-1C' or 'B-3' production to replace plane-for-plane the B-52s.
The 'B-1C' would have F-22 engines & be different enough from the B-1B that it would not be covered by START, and could thus launch ALCMs & nuclear weapons.
Begin a plane-for-plane retirement of F-15Cs for F-22s
Begin a plane-for-plane retirement of F-16s for conventional-takeoff JSFs
Buy a purpose-built tanker aircraft, retire KC-135s and KC-10s as replacements come online...
Replace the F-18 with 2 aircraft: a dedicated stealth strike aircraft (no air-air capability) and a navalized F-22. Cancel further F-18 development.
INSURE completion of the V-22 and retire all USMC conventional transport helicpters for V-22s. The current CH's have killed more Marines in recent crashes than the V-22, and it will only get worse. Begin R&D on heavy lift 'short hop' aircraft, possibly derived from the V-22, with the aim of finding an efficient way to shift supply deliveries from trucks to aircraft
Cancel the XM-8 and all other remanants of the OCIW project.
Cancel any government funding of 6.8 SPC, and make 77gr Mk262 5.56mm STANDARD ISSUE for rifle units.
Make the M16A4 with 4x or 6x ACOG (depending on service preference) standard issue for ALL troops except Special Forces, rear-area units, and vehicle crews. No more of this carbine-equipped infantry stuff...
Completely ELIMINATE the M14 from the US inventory. Surplus them to police departments, civillians, anyone who will take them...
Evaluate which of the SPR in 5.56x45 77gr, or an equivalently priced AR-10 pattern weapon in 7.62x51 makes for a better squad marksman rifle, and develop a program to not only replace the ad-hoc use of now-eliminated M14s, but integrate a standard SM position into infantry units (program development to be done by infantry personell familliar with the subject)... Prtference would be given to the 5.56mm platform UNLESS it was proven in actual trials that the 7.62x51mm platform was significantly superior for this role.
Begin developing a replacement 50cal machinegun for the M2/M3. Browning's design is getting close to 100yrs old, it's time for a newer, more advanced system.
Cancel the Stryker, and restart the development of the M-8 Buford, with the added requirement that a 'Level 4' armor be developed that can withstand at least one hit from another M-8's main gun (at present, the armor on the M-8 can only withstand 37mm cannon fire).
Retire the current M113 & Stryker APCs completely, and commission a new TRACKED APC with the following requirements:
1) Air Droppable by C-17
2) Capable of accepting bolt-on armor and/or a 'cage' to a level that will withstand RPG fire
3) Remote-operated Main gun in 25mm Short with 7.62mm coaxial MG, tied to a M1A2-style thermal sight/ballistic computer, and with both able to be re-loaded from inside the vehicle.
4) Capable of accepting interchangable 'Missile Boxes', which would provide SAM or ATGM capabilities depending on which box was mounted.
5) Is driven using pedals, a shifter-stick and a yoke, NOT bulldozer-style 'sticks'
Upgrade all Abrams tanks to M1A2 configuration, with one specific modification: Revise the Commander's M2 mount so that it becomes an electronically aimed & fired weapon (ala Stryker) tied to the CITV (Commander's Independant Thermal Viewer), and give it a larger ammo box
Point out to the Army that they are NOT to become the Marine Corps - one light-infantry focused service is enough to fill the role, the Army needs to focus on dealing with threats too heavy for the Marine Corps & their rifleman-focused tactics. Cancel all programs aimed at turning the Army into a light force of guys with guns & fancy commo gear rolling around in rubber tired trucks. Give the Army 2 main missions, to be (a) an airborne light/medium mechanized force (Buford & the above 'XAPC') , and (b) a heavy mechanized force (Abrams & Bradleys). Move all non-mechanized, light infantry dutiesoutside of SF & the Rangers to the Marines, with the concept that USMC has some armor, Army has some light inf, but if you specifically need either there is a branch that specializes in it.
Cancel 'distinctive uniform' projects for non-combat-arms personell as well as Navy & Air Force combat arms personell who fight from ships, missile silos, etc. Adopt 'Defense Work Uniform' for all non-combat-arms peronell to wear while performing daily working duties. Uniform should be similar in appearance to the US Navy's blue coveralls, but 'wash & wear', the cover should be a baseball cap with unit insignia patch & service branch. Color should be standardized across all services, and only one color should be produced.
Adopt a standard 'Combat Uniform' for each environment, and have ALL non-SF ground forces wear the same pattern.
Require all services to complete regular small-arms training and qualify all personell who are or may be issued long-arms during the course of their duties with the M16A4 at 300m or beyond using both carry handle and optical sights, semianually (a good balance between 'Every Soldier a Rifleman' and '25m with a .22LR' - those who will fight with small arms must know how to shoot & clean. Those who will not (Sailors, Enlisted Airmen, etc) are just using up training money for those who will). Note that deployable/forward maintanance & supply units would be subject to this requirement.
Require all services to qualify all personell who are issued pistols at 25m, semianually.
Institute a 2 major, 2 minor force structure, adding enough manpower to combat arms to allow us to fight 2 'major' conflict and 2 'minor' conflicts simultaniously.
Make it US military docctrine to train to defeat the 'Worst Possible Future Enemy' (eg an 'Anti-USA'), NOT to blindly focus on chasing Arab terrorists, as if we won't have to fight anyone. Make "We'll never have to fight (an enemy) like that again" an instant career killer...
Institute a 'Tail to Tooth' reduction program, focusing on the elimination of un-needed non-combat manpower, perticularly in the 0-3 to O-6 ranks. Review & streamline all processes to eliminate un-needed reports & paperwork, and use technology to simplify the rest.
Eliminate the support-side culture that focuses on things being good 'on paper' rather than in real life, and prioritizes paperwork over actual operational capability.
The same applies to any weapon system. The argument that the M-16 "ain't broke" so keep it applies to the M2. I think the OCSW is great. We should use it. But there still is a place for the M2. A design being around for a long time doesn't mean its bad. Look at the B52! If anything, the M2 is proven as reliable and lethal. I say use the OCSW for infantry because it's amazingly light weight and transportable, and use it on the Stryker. Keep the 50 on trucks, etc.
This good stuff. I'd make you my Ass. Sec. of Def. ANYDAY.
Military in general:
Pay raises, especially for enlisted, incentives for skilled personell to stay in and technically skilled civilians to enlist.
Upgrade A10s with radar and digital battlefield capabilities and ECM while building a next generation version (keep the turbofans, armor etc).
MORE F22s!!!!! As in the original order numbers!!!
F35s to replace F16s (equal numbers or more)
New tanker fleet to replace aging KC10 and KC135
C17s rule... more of those, get rid of the starlifters.
Keep suitable F15s for ANG interceptors and active ground attack roles.
Improve the AIM-120, improve the AIM-9, develop an ALRAAM (share this with the Navy).
More B1s and make them nuclear capable again (fuck START III)
More strike capability: Replacement for medium bomber or heavy strike (modern replacement for F-111 or B-47/58) perhaps an FB-22... Super heavy strike like the improved self-defending super B-1 idea.
Do NOT take the MIRV warheads off the MX missiles (fuck START III).
Develop ICBM replacement for Minutemen III.
Develop replacement new version of the B61.
DO NOT develop micronukes. Put money into advanced conventional bunker busters.
Geth the ABLs up and running ASAP.
Abandon the midcourse/endcourse ICBM interceptor project being worked on in Alaska.
Diesel Electric subs cabaple of true littoral combat (unlike Virginia).
More SSN-21s with some Virginia class systems installed.
Begin work on new SSBN fleet to replace the Ohio boats by 2015.
No more Super F-18s. more F-35s and order a new fighter design to fill in the hole left by the A-6 and F-14D.
DD-21 more of em... enough to bring the CVBG escort numbers up to snuff...
Order a nuclear battleship class catamaran with maglev bombardment systems in the 200+ mile range.
Two more CVBGs since we can't count on operating from other countries facilities... more preplacement of supplies as well.
Speed development of SM-4
Make sure the P-3 fleet is replaced by a mix of turboprop and turbofan aircraft.
Upgrade the E-2.
Bring back the RAH-66 (stealth, fast, NBC ops, perfect for todays "low intensity" conflicts) and make LOTS of them.
Screw the XM-8
Bring back Crusader
More M2 and M3s.
More upgrades for the M1A2s.
Four more divisions.
Order IGF heavy high speed transports for Sealift command (skimmers seem more suited for them than AMC)
Speed development and deployment of PAC3 and new MANPADS to replace the stinger.
Deploy Israeli Arrow-II.
Additional funding to Army Chemical Corps and Fort Deitrik for Chemical Defense and Biodefense.
Get them more good toys instead of army hand-me-downs
Get the V22 working
More heavy lift helos.
Replace AV8B with F35
Two more MEUs.
That's what I think we need except for the pricetag.
Your 'proof' is crap.
The CAS mission is the deadliest in the Air Force, regardless of which airframe flies it. It is not a 'fault' of the A-10 that it is exposed to FAR more fire than any other aircraft type - it's a CRITERIA. And the A-10 has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to take a severe beating and come home.
The current plans to supplement the CAS mission with VSTOL aircraft is to my thinking / observation a HUGE mistake. Several Harriers have been total losses because of that huge hot turbine at the center of its body. Any new VSTOL designs will suffer the same fate / higher loss rates, by the very nature of their design.
The A-10, like so many other specialized aircraft of its era, was wonderfully designed for its designed mission. Interchangeable components for swift repair. high seperated cooler running turbofans for IR missile surviveability, armor for the pilot, multiple redundant controls systems, an amazing cannon, and a bomb payload capacity of 16,000+ lbs (that's equal to THREE B-17s)
It's replacement F-35(?) is a costly mistake. The A-10s are LONG paid for. Put them through a SLEP, new engines, avionics, kevlar / carbon fiber flight-control surfaces for damage limitation, and fly them for another 25yrs.
SecDef in general - mostly what Rumsfeld planned when he took up the job for the second time - huge force re-structuring, and a major realignment of our international basing. Germany / NATO, Kiss My Ass. We're OUT of 'Old' Europe, FOR GOOD. (except when we'll have to raid France for the contents of the Louvre, when the Islamic invasion finishes swamping Europe, and the neo-Taliban resumes destruction of historic art / artifacts).
Continue / accelerate the Army restructuring.
As another poster said - purge the Clintonistas from the Pentagon.
STOP scrapping perfectly fucking good Spruance-class destroyers.
DD(X)-type upgrades for the Surface Combatant fleet.
Continue the SpecOps conversions of a few fleet Attack boats (Los Angeles class subs)
Individual fighter improvements? Body armor, body armor, body armor. HUGE purchase of FRS-type intra-squad communications devices. huge rollout of platoon-level backpack-portable reconnaissance drones with PDA-type control / display devices. Take it out, fire it up, fly around a building, back into your hands. Replay cached surveillance and/or uplink it to higher.
GPS / IFF on everybody and everything in our inventory. NO MORE 'FRIENDLY' FIRE 'ACCIDENTS'.
Missile Defense (all parts, including the airborne laser) continues on schedule and budget.
Increase the pay and incentives. Continue the MILCON housing projects around the nation. Initiate bonuses and incentives for warfighters.
Continue to reduce our troop levels overseas to a minimal level. Bring them home and prep them for deployment to the Sand Pile to kill BGs.
Improve our relationships with our technical university labs. Get our best and brightest civilian scientists to sea and in the field to sit down with our warriors to learn their needs...then go back and invent neat "stuff". There's a lot of brainpower going to waste out there now.
As much as feasible, increase the size of the special forces. Make it the career of choice for our best and brightest. That does NOT mean lower any standards.
ALL military boot camps and officer training programs would be modified to include true warfighting skills. Officers and enlisted would learn basic infantry ops and they get extensive weapons familiarization. They would have to qualify at the range to pass basic training and then would have to qualify twice a year...just like the PFT.
I would increase funding to the Reserves and Guard to ensure they receive all training and equipment necessary to be fully combat ready so as to make a seamless transition from peacetime role to active duty combat.
Improve and upgrade our rapid deployment, heavy lift capabilities, both by air and sea.
Turning the A-10s over to the Marines and Army actually sounds like a good idea!
Continue development of the follow-on to the B61-11 deep penetration nuclear weapon (bunker buster).
Convince President Bush and Congress to implement BRAC-05/07/09 as quickly as possible. We have too damn much useless/underused infrastructure. That money could and should be put to better uses.
Continue development of directed energy weapons at full speed. I include this here because the technology cuts across all services. THIS weapon will really revolutionize warfare. If the Navy's new weapon tests successfully, we might finally have an effective ship defense system with a PRa (Probability of Raid Anihillation) of nearly 100%.
I would completely overhaul the promotion paradigm for all line officers. Spending most of your career in Washington DC sucking up to generals, admirals, and politicians while you stived to learn the Washington Two-Step would NOT be the preferred path to stars any more! I would promote warriors. Washington DC REMFs would be retired. I got so damn sick of serving with guys who were just marking time while they waited for another juicy DC job to come open for another critical ticket punch on their career dance card! I would make damn sure that this new path to stars was inculcated in our officer corps from the day that O-1 takes the oath.
I'd overhaul the promotion and selection boards as well. Officers assigned to the boards would, on pain of discipline exclude themselves from having ANY influence on the promotion or non-promotion of a candidate that they knew...or from receiving any outside influcence from others during the selection process. The Secretaries would handle this and it would be ENFORCED! The time for outside bootstrapping of lesser-performing shlubs is OVER! We must promote and select for command the best and brightest warriors...not those with the best sea-daddy in DC.
In general, listen to what they have to say and give them what they need.
Lighter, faster, smarter systems that truly help out the grunts would be plussed up. With a few possible exceptions, those old Cold War systems would continue to disappear. Crusader for example, would have had a role in defending the Fulda Gap...but now it just isn't relevant an d it is pricey. Better to spend the money on other things.
M1 tank stays, Stryker gets a lighter gun, major new land vehicle comes on line quickly to combat the IEDs/RPGs, enemy infantry. The grunts get all the tools they need to kill BGs and reduce their risks. The list is long...you guys know what they need. I'd give it to them...in spades! The changeover to network-centric warfare continues and would be accelerated. UAVs/UCAVs get plussed up.
IF the OPEVAL continues as well as I'm hearing, the M-8 rifle acquisition process would be accelerated. I might ask the Army to seriously consider issuing it in 6.8mm. Screw NATO now.
Upgrade our infantry MGs, both individual and crew served. I'd buy more of the new 900-1100 rpm Ma Deuces.
Ditch the M-9 and acquire a better pistol. I won't pick one...there are several worthy of selection. I would demand a more effective cartridge. I would remove the aged requirement that the pistol have a positive safety. I know...this is heretical to many...but TRAINING is the answer! Most of us have been around an ND; I know I have...and in each damn case it was a lack of training...plus maybe a lack of sleep that caused the soldier/sailor to accidentally fire his weapon.
Find out what the Army & Marine grunts are requesting from home...stuff that they NEED...and GET THAT SHIT INTO THE SUPPLY SYSTEM...NOW! I don't give a rat's ass if it happens to be fargin baby wipes...I won't have my troops asking their wives and mothers for this shit...GET IT MR. SECRETARY!!!
As with the Army...give them what they want.
Ditch the AV-8 Harrier as soon as we can get the JSF online.
If the MV-22 Osprey OPEVAL continues well, get it deployed ASAP. Buy LOTS of them. The concept is outstanding and it has great capabilities. Apparently, the disastrous testing problems have been resolved. The Marines I recently spoke with really like it.
Upgrade and rebuild more heavy and medium lift helos...or acquire a bunch more. The H-53 has soldiered on for many years...so far as I know the services like it. Why not get some more?
Maintain a slow SSN building program. Ditch ANY idea of a diesel sub. Trust me...they are good weapons systems...but a nuc is by orders of magnitude better. A nuc is a true theater force multiplier. One or two SSNs operating in the South China/Yellow Sea could tie up virtually the entire PLAN.
Direct the Navy Secretary to vastly improve the ships' anti-terrorist, anti-intrusion attack profiles. I'd send the crews to real training to improve their risk awareness and provide them with really effective weapons. Not sure what the crews have now...but on the destroyers I served in we had M-14s, shotguns and 1911s, and a couple of M-60s. None of the long guns were optimized for work inside the skin of the ship. I'd get them something like M4s or Bennelli short shotties and the training needed to use them effectively. We didn't get issued vests...I'd make sure ALL of our warriors going in harm's way were protected...even the swabbies.
Continue decommissioning of older, less capabile surface combatants and subs.
Maintain the CV building program. (It is mandated by Congress anyway.) I might ask for one more CV to ease the strain on the current deployment schedule. That would mandate another airwing activation.
DD(X) gets axed or morphs into the CG(X). (It's probably a goner anyway!)
Greatly improve the minehunting/mine neutralization capabilities of the service. This is traditionally not a "sexy" career choice for Navy officers. Make it so.
Upgrade the Bone with improved avionics. Don't spend any money on making them high altitude supersonic capable though. Don't need it to fight the current enemy and we won't need them with that capability for our potential enemies on the other side of the Pacific.
Buy more C-17s. (See national comments about lift above.)
Upgrade the F-15 avionics and MMI systems.
Accelerate acquisition of the helmet man-machine interface system. Ask the Russians how they do it?
Continue with tanker acquisition. The near term 767 leases will have to do for now...but something else will be required eventually.
F-22? Don't know yet...I'd have to take a very hard look at that program and juxtapose it with the F/A-35 JSF and the upgrades I'd want to the F-15s.
Is this enough?
I would disband the USCG .
I totally agree, except keep the Strikers!!
Here's something that I've always questioned:
Why do married soldiers make more money than single soldiers???
Why do married soldiers get to live off-base? Why do they get "special liberty" every time they claim that their wife "needs to go to the base hospital"?
Soldiers get paid the same in my military, whether married or single.