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 Post subject: Re: Military Thread
PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:37 am 
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Zad Fnark wrote:
That's the A model. The Ms will still be up.


Yup, that was said in the article.

I applaud them for upgrading the the C-5M if that is a better/more efficient model.

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 Post subject: Re: Military Thread
PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:47 am 
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My basic training unit, Karelian Brigade and their supply forces use ATVs.

They're handy at transporting equipment to small units in rough terrain as well as retrieving wounded. Finland does not have the kind of aerial medevac capacity and in all likely scenarios the helicopters themselves would face unbearable risks. Small ATVs can better avoid enemy fire while also moving rapidly and carrying heavy loads in the typical broken terrain that we have. A group of ATVs can resupply even a medium sized unit in rough terrain without having to worry about roads and without having to worry about the roads being mined or ambushes along the obvious road route.

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 Post subject: Re: Military Thread
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:38 am 
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https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/finland/2017-10-09/finnish-model

Can't view the article, it's behind a paywall but here's a Finnish version referring to it:

https://www.verkkouutiset.fi/amerikkalaislehti-ylistaa-puolustusvoimia-ottakaa-suomesta-mallia/

Quote:
The Finnish Model
To Improve Europe’s Militaries, Look North
By Elisabeth Braw
When Mikael Granlund was called up for service in Finland’s military seven years ago, he could have tried to get an exemption. For an elite ice hockey player such as Granlund, who now plays for the National Hockey League team Minnesota Wild, a year in the armed forces can bring serious athletic setbacks. But Granlund didn’t try to be exempted.

“For a Finn, it’s an honor to do military service,” the 25-year-old Granlund said this month. “It’s just something you do if you want your country to stay independent.” What about athletes? “Professional athletes do it, too,” Granlund added. “It’s just something you want to do.”

Granlund is not alone. Each year, several of Finland’s top athletes join the Finnish Defence Forces as conscripts. So do music stars, who could similarly try to be exempted. Though the FDF—like most armed forces—exempts would-be conscripts only for health-related reasons, in many countries young men fake illnesses in order to avoid service. And young star athletes and artists would, one might think, have a good reason to avoid the draft, as their careers could suffer irreparably from a year away from the limelight. (Next year’s cohort of conscripts will include one of the country’s biggest pop stars, Robin, who will enter the navy.)

Indeed, as Granlund’s and Robin’s enlistments show, the FDF has managed a feat that other armed forces could learn from: it has made itself an attractive destination for conscripts and professional troops alike. This helps explain why the armed forces routinely have more applicants than openings for noncommissioned officer positions. According to a May Eurobarometer poll, 95 percent of Finns trust their army, a higher rate than anywhere else in the European Union.


In 2002 only half of Finnish conscripts saw the service as positive thing. Now we're close to 70%. In 2002 Finnish Military adopted a system where it frequently interviews NCOs and conscripts and really listens to what they have to say about the service experience. While it seems like 'soft approach' is not fitting for a military organization, the increase in morale is making the troops try harder to give their best. It is also directly impacting Finland's ability to recruit and maintain it's forces.

In other words, good morale is not bad in itself. This autumn the troops gave 4/5 rating for their respective units' cohesion / unity, with officers receiving the same score.

According to Foreign Affairs, leadership skills of Finnish officers have improved over the 15 year period along with the satisfaction of the troops thanks to the system.

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 Post subject: Re: Military Thread
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:18 am 
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Kameolontti wrote:
https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/finland/2017-10-09/finnish-model

Can't view the article, it's behind a paywall but here's a Finnish version referring to it:

https://www.verkkouutiset.fi/amerikkalaislehti-ylistaa-puolustusvoimia-ottakaa-suomesta-mallia/

Quote:
The Finnish Model
To Improve Europe’s Militaries, Look North
By Elisabeth Braw
When Mikael Granlund was called up for service in Finland’s military seven years ago, he could have tried to get an exemption. For an elite ice hockey player such as Granlund, who now plays for the National Hockey League team Minnesota Wild, a year in the armed forces can bring serious athletic setbacks. But Granlund didn’t try to be exempted.

“For a Finn, it’s an honor to do military service,” the 25-year-old Granlund said this month. “It’s just something you do if you want your country to stay independent.” What about athletes? “Professional athletes do it, too,” Granlund added. “It’s just something you want to do.”

Granlund is not alone. Each year, several of Finland’s top athletes join the Finnish Defence Forces as conscripts. So do music stars, who could similarly try to be exempted. Though the FDF—like most armed forces—exempts would-be conscripts only for health-related reasons, in many countries young men fake illnesses in order to avoid service. And young star athletes and artists would, one might think, have a good reason to avoid the draft, as their careers could suffer irreparably from a year away from the limelight. (Next year’s cohort of conscripts will include one of the country’s biggest pop stars, Robin, who will enter the navy.)

Indeed, as Granlund’s and Robin’s enlistments show, the FDF has managed a feat that other armed forces could learn from: it has made itself an attractive destination for conscripts and professional troops alike. This helps explain why the armed forces routinely have more applicants than openings for noncommissioned officer positions. According to a May Eurobarometer poll, 95 percent of Finns trust their army, a higher rate than anywhere else in the European Union.


In 2002 only half of Finnish conscripts saw the service as positive thing. Now we're close to 70%. In 2002 Finnish Military adopted a system where it frequently interviews NCOs and conscripts and really listens to what they have to say about the service experience. While it seems like 'soft approach' is not fitting for a military organization, the increase in morale is making the troops try harder to give their best. It is also directly impacting Finland's ability to recruit and maintain it's forces.

In other words, good morale is not bad in itself. This autumn the troops gave 4/5 rating for their respective units' cohesion / unity, with officers receiving the same score.

According to Foreign Affairs, leadership skills of Finnish officers have improved over the 15 year period along with the satisfaction of the troops thanks to the system.


The English version is also behind a paywall for me.

It sounds as if the Finnish military is doing something right (in getting Finnish people to think positively about their military).

I think that the US military went through a similar phase, with many in the public thinking negatively about the military during the late and post Vietnam period, and then rising to where it is today.
I know that one change occurred in the US during that time period was that conscription ended in 1973. Males still have to register for the draft (through Selective Service) in case of a national emergency, but no one is currently conscripted. The US has an all volunteer force.

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 Post subject: Re: Military Thread
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:33 pm 
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After being unemployed since last November, I wound up getting two job offers at the same time. One in healthcare IT at a hospital in Manitowoc, and then one from Oshkosh Defense. I took the latter, as driving 12 miles is better than 46 miles each way. My son's excited that I'm working for the company that makes the stuff he drives around.

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 Post subject: Re: Military Thread
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:41 am 
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chijohnaok wrote:
The English version is also behind a paywall for me.

It sounds as if the Finnish military is doing something right (in getting Finnish people to think positively about their military).

I think that the US military went through a similar phase, with many in the public thinking negatively about the military during the late and post Vietnam period, and then rising to where it is today.
I know that one change occurred in the US during that time period was that conscription ended in 1973. Males still have to register for the draft (through Selective Service) in case of a national emergency, but no one is currently conscripted. The US has an all volunteer force.


It certainly didn't help that the left, the greens and commies all together were rounding up attack after attack on the Defense Forces and the whole concept of national service.

They kept bringing up the single person ever who had gone to jail instead of simply having said "I'm not cut out for this" and getting a permanent exempt. No, instead he insisted in being taken to home imprisonment system for the duration of the service which really only exists as a "well, doing your service certainly beats being imprisoned and if you want there's the civil service option where you help out at some workplace".

In any case, they really worked their asses off to please their Russian lords by hurting the Defense Forces. It was a part of wider attack such as having YLE, Finnish BBC take down all patriotic traditions and content and replacing them with pro-multicultural content etc.

I don't understand how the rezident senile missed this period, they also tried to constantly bring up "we must dissolve conscription" bla bla. "There's no reason to maintain a defense", "look, even the Swedes dismantled their army!"

They had permanent folks by the call up locations handing out anti-Finnish propaganda leaflets, these pothead hippie types to be precise complete with filthy hair that has formed into rasta style naturally for not being washed or combed ever.

During the time I was living within Helsinki area and I had to actually defend myself for fulfilling my citizen obligation because a lot of people in Helsinki didn't seem to like that.


Don't know if the attitudes have changed in the capital but where I live we tend to take patriotism and these things more seriously. Also, Russia showed it's real face after a long period of excruciating abstinence which probably gave Putin the blue balls.

Still, I didn't think it was bad when I did my basic service in 2005 and if they've improved it for more than a decade after that - all the better for all of us.

I would also go as far as to say that no one in Finland is forced. It is too an all volunteer force, there are a number of ways to get exempted without anyone batting an eye about it and with almost no judgment. Just, you will get called at that age and the officers will be talking to you in the manner that this is what you're supposed to do if you're at all capable and care about your country. You can then flat out tell them "no" and explain some sob story that will get you out for good but the primary reason for being exempted is poor physical condition. We don't want people in who'll only get themselves hurt for being morbidly obese or so.

I think of our current conscription system as an all-volunteer system where you get pushed a lot for your own good. Imagine the US recruiters being able to reach all the males reaching 18, every year and getting to tell them essentially: "So, will you be in a year from now or within the next three years? which branch would you prefer, Army, Navy, Marines or Air Force? Do you want to apply for special forces?"

Then again we can't pay what you guys pay for your troops. Only officers and permanent staff get real salary, the rest get just enough money to buy some donuts and coffee every day.

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 Post subject: Re: Military Thread
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:43 am 
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Zad Fnark wrote:
After being unemployed since last November, I wound up getting two job offers at the same time. One in healthcare IT at a hospital in Manitowoc, and then one from Oshkosh Defense. I took the latter, as driving 12 miles is better than 46 miles each way. My son's excited that I'm working for the company that makes the stuff he drives around.

Image


Congrats!

It's unfortunate that they don't yet have mil-spec VR systems that I'm aware of. It would be a breeze to whip up a VR control system for the turret gun but yea, it drains battery and is hardly that much better than a mono camera while being ^2 as expensive with several technical drawbacks.

That's a good looking vehicle.

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 Post subject: Re: Military Thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:54 am 
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Quote:
Xbox 360 Controllers Save U.S. Navy Boatloads of Cash
By Arnold Carreiro October 8, 2017
https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2017/10/0 ... oads-cash/


The control panel used to operate a Virginia-class submarine’s periscope features two masts that rotate 360 degrees and high definition cameras that showcase the images picked up on large display monitors. There are a few downsides to this advanced imaging system though; the controls are awkward to use, they require hours of training to use properly, and they are extremely expensive. But the United States Navy has a cost-effective solution: replace them all with Xbox 360 controllers!

Lt. j.g. Kyle Leonard, the USS John Warner’s assistant weapons officer, recalled why Navy officials began experimenting with videogame hardware: “The Navy got together and they asked a bunch of J.O.s and junior guys, ‘What can we do to make your life better?’ and one of the things that came out is the controls for the scope," he said. "It’s kind of clunky in your hand; it’s real heavy.”

It’s great to hear that our submarine pilots will have a far easier time controlling the periscope with comfortable Xbox 360 controllers, and it’s even better when you find out that the $30 videogame controllers are replacing an unwieldly control system that costs $38,000 per unit. Not only does this save the taxpayers a boatload of money, the Xbox controller allows operators to easily learn how to handle the periscope within minutes.

The USS Colorado will be the first submarine to get the Xbox 360 controller upgrade this November, which will be the standard periscope control system for all new Virginia-class submarines. It will be installed on current submarines through the “normal modernization process.” The Navy aims to utilize similar solutions using iPads and other commercial electronics to create technology that new crew members would immediately understand and be comfortable with using.

The next time you’re ready to tell your kids to get off the Xbox and play outside, just remind yourself that playing Minecraft or Halo could be early training for their career in the Navy!

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 Post subject: Re: Military Thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:43 am 
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abradley wrote:
Quote:
Xbox 360 Controllers Save U.S. Navy Boatloads of Cash
By Arnold Carreiro October 8, 2017
https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2017/10/0 ... oads-cash/


The control panel used to operate a Virginia-class submarine’s periscope features two masts that rotate 360 degrees and high definition cameras that showcase the images picked up on large display monitors. There are a few downsides to this advanced imaging system though; the controls are awkward to use, they require hours of training to use properly, and they are extremely expensive. But the United States Navy has a cost-effective solution: replace them all with Xbox 360 controllers!

Lt. j.g. Kyle Leonard, the USS John Warner’s assistant weapons officer, recalled why Navy officials began experimenting with videogame hardware: “The Navy got together and they asked a bunch of J.O.s and junior guys, ‘What can we do to make your life better?’ and one of the things that came out is the controls for the scope," he said. "It’s kind of clunky in your hand; it’s real heavy.”

It’s great to hear that our submarine pilots will have a far easier time controlling the periscope with comfortable Xbox 360 controllers, and it’s even better when you find out that the $30 videogame controllers are replacing an unwieldly control system that costs $38,000 per unit. Not only does this save the taxpayers a boatload of money, the Xbox controller allows operators to easily learn how to handle the periscope within minutes.

The USS Colorado will be the first submarine to get the Xbox 360 controller upgrade this November, which will be the standard periscope control system for all new Virginia-class submarines. It will be installed on current submarines through the “normal modernization process.” The Navy aims to utilize similar solutions using iPads and other commercial electronics to create technology that new crew members would immediately understand and be comfortable with using.

The next time you’re ready to tell your kids to get off the Xbox and play outside, just remind yourself that playing Minecraft or Halo could be early training for their career in the Navy!


And playing Kerbal is great pre-training for Strategic Command! :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Military Thread
PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:59 am 
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http://www.defenseone.com/threats/2017/ ... rt/141957/

Quote:
EXCLUSIVE: US Preparing to Put Nuclear Bombers Back on 24-Hour Alert

BY MARCUS WEISGERBER
READ BIO
OCTOBER 22, 2017

If the order comes, the B-52s will return to a ready-to-fly posture not seen since the Cold War.

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. — The U.S. Air Force is preparing to put nuclear-armed bombers back on 24-hour ready alert, a status not seen since the Cold War ended in 1991.

That means the long-dormant concrete pads at the ends of this base’s 11,000-foot runway — dubbed the “Christmas tree” for their angular markings — could once again find several B-52s parked on them, laden with nuclear weapons and set to take off at a moment’s notice.


“This is yet one more step in ensuring that we’re prepared,” Gen. David Goldfein, Air Force chief of staff, said in an interview during his six-day tour of Barksdale and other U.S. Air Force bases that support the nuclear mission. “I look at it more as not planning for any specific event, but more for the reality of the global situation we find ourselves in and how we ensure we’re prepared going forward.”

Goldfein and other senior defense officials stressed that the alert order had not been given, but that preparations were under way in anticipation that it might come. That decision would be made by Gen. John Hyten, the commander of U.S. Strategic Command, or Gen. Lori Robinson, the head of U.S. Northern Command. STRATCOM is in charge of the military’s nuclear forces and NORTHCOM is in charge of defending North America.

Putting the B-52s back on alert is just one of many decisions facing the Air Force as the U.S. military responds to a changing geopolitical environment that includes North Korea’s rapidly advancing nuclear arsenal, President Trump’s confrontational approach to Pyongyang, and Russia’s increasingly potent and active armed forces.

Goldfein, who is the Air Force’s top officer and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is asking his force to think about new ways that nuclear weapons could be used for deterrence, or even combat.

“The world is a dangerous place and we’ve got folks that are talking openly about use of nuclear weapons,” he said. “It’s no longer a bipolar world where it’s just us and the Soviet Union. We’ve got other players out there who have nuclear capability. It’s never been more important to make sure that we get this mission right.”

During his trip across the country last week, Goldfein encouraged airmen to think beyond Cold War uses for ICBMs, bombers and nuclear cruise missiles.

“I’ve challenged…Air Force Global Strike Command to help lead the dialog, help with this discussion about ‘What does conventional conflict look like with a nuclear element?’ and ‘Do we respond as a global force if that were to occur?’ and ‘What are the options?’” he said. “How do we think about it — how do we think about deterrence in that environment?”

Asked if placing B-52s back on alert — as they were for decades — would help with deterrence, Goldfein said it’s hard to say.

“Really it depends on who, what kind of behavior are we talking about, and whether they’re paying attention to our readiness status,” he said.

Already, various improvements have been made to prepare Barksdale — home to the 2d Bomb Wing and Air Force Global Strike Command, which oversees the service’s nuclear forces — to return B-52s to an alert posture. Near the alert pads, an old concrete building — where B-52 crews during the Cold War would sleep, ready to run to their aircraft and take off at a moment’s notice — is being renovated.

Inside, beds are being installed for more than 100 crew members, more than enough room for the crews that would man bombers positioned on the nine alert pads outside. There’s a recreation room, with a pool table, TVs and a shuffleboard table. Large paintings of the patches for each squadron at Barksdale adorn the walls of a large stairway.


One painting — a symbol of the Cold War — depicts a silhouette of a B-52 with the words “Peace The Old Fashioned Way,” written underneath. At the bottom of the stairwell, there is a Strategic Air Command logo, yet another reminder of the Cold War days when American B-52s sat at the ready on the runway outside.

Those long-empty B-52 parking spaces will soon get visits by two nuclear command planes, the E-4B Nightwatch and E-6B Mercury, both which will occasionally sit alert there. During a nuclear war, the planes would become the flying command posts of the defense secretary and STRATCOM commander, respectively. If a strike order is given by the president, the planes would be used to transmit launch codes to bombers, ICBMs and submarines. At least one of the four nuclear-hardened E-4Bs — formally called the National Airborne Operations Center, but commonly known as the Doomsday Plane — is always on 24-hour alert.

Barksdale and other bases with nuclear bombers are preparing to build storage facilities for a new nuclear cruise missile that is under development. During his trip, Goldfein received updates on the preliminary work for a proposed replacement for the 400-plus Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles, and the new long-range cruise missile.

“Our job is options,” Goldfein said. “We provide best military advice and options for the commander in chief and the secretary of defense. Should the STRATCOM commander require or the NORTHCOM commander require us to [be on] a higher state of readiness to defend the homeland, then we have to have a place to put those forces.”

Marcus Weisgerber is the global business editor for Defense One, where he writes about the intersection of business and national security. He has been covering defense and national security issues for more than a decade, previously as Pentagon correspondent for Defense News and chief editor of ... FULL BIO


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