Thursday, June 17, 2010

Technology and Combat Readiness

(fm the BC thread "Iron Sky")

The Congresscritter had a point about GPS. It has become an addiction. Our navigation, communication and even our weapons systems are now totally dependent on satellites. In the event of a Defcon 1 shooting war none of those systems will be available. We would be at a disadvantage before an enemy equipped with sail ships and muzzle loaders. The Navy never should have disestablished the Signalman rating and never should have shifted from a system where the troops learned to repair the gear they operated.

At one time every Radarman, Radioman, or Fire Controlman learned how to operate their equipment at an A school before their first deployment as a Petty Officer 3rd Class. If successful they were then sent to a B school where they learned to repair the equipment before their next advancement and sea tour as a Petty Officer 2nd Class, with supervisory responsibilities as a watch stander. After another reenlistment if selected after another sea tour as a Petty Officer 1st Class with responsibility as a Work Center Supervisor they would if selected for further advancement get to go to to a C school where they would learn the administrative tasks needed if they assumed the role, and distinct uniform in the same khaki color as the officers', of a Chief Petty Officer. The B schools were eliminated years ago. The result is that some gear is repaired by special technicians who are not the operators and other equipment is simply shipped back to a depot for replacement and possible repair by a civilian technician.

That is a system that can work in the Air Force but it reduces the capability of a Navy designed for extended deployments and independent combat operations. If the part is removed then you lose combat capability. Even more important you lose the exceptional level of bonding between members of a crew and their ship that came from their knowing every aspect of the job so intimately and having absolute respect for the qualifications of their senior enlisted members.

Regarding the Counterbattery problem. I would surround Gaza with about 300 artillery tubes and announce the CEP (circular error of probability) of the 155 mm systems. Promise that any attack will trigger a response, within 30 seconds. Will Hamas deliberately attack from within human shield zones? I can assure you that they will. If Israel repeatedly launches the response, and the systems now available can trigger a response before the incoming round even lands, then the operators will be killed and the populace will turn on them. Remember they voted for Hamas.

The Assad family comes from the Syrian village of Qardaha in the coastal mountains North of Lebanon. In the event of hostilities directed at Israeli civilians by either Syria or agents of Syria the Israelis should target Qardaha.

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