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Supreme User
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Mark1 last won the day on April 7 2017

Mark1 had the most liked content!

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About Mark1

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    Flight Lead
  1. B-1 (Bone) questions

    Damn. This whole time you were responding to a conversation that was occurring nowhere except inside your own head? Well I hope somebody who bothered to read what I had to say takes some food for thought from it.
  2. B-1 (Bone) questions

    I have no experience with the MX on the gunship...so yes, I'm familiar. And you're very right. It's just a matter of spectrum sensitivity. Further, all the modern systems have the requisite detection sensitivity, so it's really just a matter of display sensitivity. But the widely fielded fusion systems as they're implemented put a premium on the pretty picture, and simply augment it with the other information. The limits to which the user can modify this are too tight. If you've got a 1km radius area on display in your peripheral vision and a round travels through, it's not going to jump off the screen at you. It could be made to do so. But I've never seen one of the modern systems that is configurable to do it. And I doubt there's one out there that I'm just not familiar with, because as I said, not once have I heard another asset key in on such a thing. Sounds like you were forced to work with a lot of U-boat crews. I feel your pain, and I'll be right behind you at the complaint department.
  3. B-1 (Bone) questions

    The response was predictable, but I'm sorry, it's wrong. First, let me emphasize what I actually said: Of course I'm not suggesting we should hang a half-century old system on a modern aircraft. I'm advocating replicating the capability with the benefit of 50 years of technological advancement. A LLLTV-like system could be miniaturized and would only be a component of a greater visual sensor system. That is, as part of a fusion-like system...but implemented effectively. And I should note that the U-model ALLTV was significantly worse than the H-model LLLTV at the aspects I'm heralding. The ALLTV presented a picture that was more usable for people who wanted it to function like a second (shitty) IR system (i.e. making pretty pictures for the TOC), but it had shortcomings in critical areas. Your response to my comment is the same that the LLLTV got from everybody who didn't have experience with it. And don't get me wrong, for most things I'd rather have had a brick strapped to the side of the aircraft. But it was indispensable for others. Two things made it fantastic for battlefield SA. But as I typed them out I couldn't avoid moving into OPSEC grey areas. I don't much mind talking about the LLLTV itself given it's no longer in the inventory, but contrasting it to modern system capabilities in detail became a problem. Suffice to say this: Any weapon system discharged within effective range of friendlies (or discharged outside and simply traveling through that region) would be immediately and unmistakably apparent on the LLLTV. It would be almost trivial to locate the POO. I have operational experience with fusion up through MX-20, and the same can not be said of it. The technology is there, but it's not implemented correctly. I assume because the engineers are satisfying the desire of poorly trained operators and the ecosystem that made them that way, which thinks fusions greatest utility is being able to stare down a soda straw at an individual and confirm that his head is twinkling. Whatever is going on in the universe outside of 20m from that individual is of no concern. If that's what you want, then the existing fusion systems are great. I hope that's not what you want. In principle the modern systems give you the big-picture view, but in reality they don't do it effectively...for reasons that I won't get into. In all of my experience since fusion systems were widely fielded I have not once heard a fusion equipped asset identify a rifle round or other weapon system in flight once separated from its muzzle and accompanying IR signature. It was a routine occurrence with the LLLTV and it saved many lives. It's the reason that the gunship could routinely pinpoint the source of enemy fire 400m away from friendlies before they ever even knew it was directed towards them, and while all the other assets onstation happily stared away at their area of responsibility, oblivious to the world around them. People that haven't experienced a proper near-IR system see the fusion balls and think they're great, but only because they have no point of reference.
  4. B-1 (Bone) questions

    Not blaming the equipment at all. The fact that the crew doesn't know the basic capabilities of their aircraft is indicative of the root problem. Insufficient training or failure to enforce standards as I said in my first post. And there's no way that a crew with such a fundamental gap in knowledge about their aircraft is peak performing at all the other aspects of "CAS". Effective communication being the most critical among them. Having said that, there's no doubt that the equipment in question is inadequate for anything beyond the most rudimentary "CAS" support. Which is to be expected for a platform that wasn't designed for the mission. I wish the generals would just admit to that fact when questioned about it rather than spitting out a bunch of verbal chaff designed to obfuscate reality. It's okay to acknowledge that we can't afford 1000 AH-64s, A-10s, and AC-130s, so we make do with what we have. On a related sidenote, it was always frustrating to see how the gunship's LLLTV/ALLTV was ignored as outdated technology. It didn't produce a picture that looked pretty on the big screens at the TOC, so it was worthless to anybody who mattered. But for the crews it provided instant and nearly total battlefield SA of all friendly positions, and the positions of any enemy that were brave enough to take a shot. If you could get the right general in the aircraft for the right mission to see what that sensor provided, Big Safari would be pushing out new variants of it for every platform in the inventory. Instead, because it doesn't generate an intuitive image like the FLIR that everybody is used to, nobody cares. And, no, the fusion systems (as they're currently being implemented) are no replacement. There were plenty of opportunities to prevent the incident being discussed given the circumstances at hand that night, but a LLTV system (or suitable equivalent) would have made it functionally impossible from the beginning.
  5. B-1 (Bone) questions

    The most egregious active mistakes came from the controller, for sure, but they were just the start of the error chain and the aircrew was still in the best position to put things back in order after the mission began to jump the tracks. I know we put ultimate responsibility with the JTAC/GFC by doctrine, but I can't recall an employment scenario where I didn't have more SA than the controller (not a dig; given the tools at my disposal there's a big problem if that's not the case). By doctrine the JTAC is at fault, but the reality is that the aircrew has, or should have, more SA (4 brains vs. 1, and a bunch of equipment) than the controller and is better equipped to put a stop to it. If the JTAC passes info that is vague, contradictory, or incomplete then the aircrew needs to pull the proper info out of him. And if he passes information that insinuates he believes something to be true that is not, then the aircrew needs to address it immediately. Given the circumstances there should have been, at an absolute minimum, some concern over the level and validity of information the aircrew had been provided. In a pinch, the aircrew could have suggested that they mark their intended impact point to confirm the target with the JTAC. That, also, would have immediately clarified things. And that's the kind of the suggestion that is usually going to have to come from the crew. If they fail to suggest such a thing the AAR will never mention it as a failure, because it's something that wasn't done. In my experience the reports focus 99% on the things that were done, just improperly. But that doesn't make it any less of a failure. I hate to Monday morning quarterback, I really do. I fully understand that things are different in the heat of the moment, with the fog of war, with the urgency in the JTACs voice, etc. But sometimes a pig is a pig.
  6. B-1 (Bone) questions

    One thing that nobody ever factors into "safety record" is bad shit that could have been avoided had a proficient crew, flying a purpose built aircraft, been onstation. People only consider it a black mark on your record if you frag the friendlies or strike an invalid target. What about the FKIA resulting from enemy contact that nobody saw coming, but should have? They're less tangible because you can never really be sure if any given situation was the result of substandard support or just the unavoidable cost of war, but it's a huge factor in my preference for the assets I want overhead if I'm the GFC. Two of my most memorable missions didn't involve any air-to-ground employment and yet I'm sure we prevented loss of life where no other asset in the inventory would have. Had we not been there the friendlies would have been in a world of hurt, but there wouldn't have been any congressional inquiries into the performance of the other aircraft onstation for those missions. People only pay attention when missions are actively bungled (e.g. fratricide), not when things go south as a result of something that wasn't done. As for 60 Minutes, portions of the story were cringeworthy, but I wanted to strangle the GO who tried to minimize the significance of a crew not knowing the basic capabilities of their aircraft. The fact that they were in combat without that knowledge indicates a systemic failure. Insufficient training or failure of the system to enforce standards, or both. Either way it's a system wide problem and the primary causal factor despite the military's insistence on laying overall responsibility at the feet of the GFC for anything/everything that happens in their general vicinity. There's blame to go around, but the aircrew was in the best position to break the chain by a massive margin. A simple "Copy, you're marked by IR strobe. Understand we're unable to see that visual mark with our equipment, request [XYZ]." in response to the JTACs first mention of strobes would have absolutely changed enough moving forward to prevent the whole incident.
  7. New BAH rates are out.

    This thread suggests otherwise. It's not surprising. it's natural human behavior. But it is annoying when they act as such and insist on telling you that it's just rain running down your leg. Was wondering how long it would take for somebody to go with this "too long" bullshit. I know, I know. All the most productive conversations occur on Twitter 150 characters at a time. You're not one of them millennials, are you? A grown up is capable of reading 13 lines of text without throwing in the towel. I can't imagine the feedback you had for Lockheed or Boeing after you gave up half way through the first paragraph of your 1500 page T.O. "TLDR you entitled (WTF?) pricks".
  8. New BAH rates are out.

    Seriously guys, just admit that you like your entitlement and that they'll have to rip those Obama phones out of your cold dead hands and then we can leave it alone. But don't try to explain it away logically. The feeble, reaching, attempts are desperate and that's not a good look. You pick up the shitty duty, and they get paid more. I see the give, but where's the take again? Happens every day. Um, yeah. It's probably a non-starter for everybody, as literally nobody has suggested it. There is one person in this thread suggesting that there should be parity in pay, but that's the extent of it. The word "change" suggests dissimilarity. We're already there. A more appropriate word for what I'm suggesting would be "same". Thanks for making my point for me. Everybody is doing the same job. Except w/dependent members have more deposited into their bank account at the end of the month. You need a big house for your family and think DoD should help you out with that? Since when did that become your employers problem? Name one other job on the planet that would supplement your pay explicitly because a couple of meat sacks fell out from between your wife's legs. What about the single guy who needs a room for his pool table and a 3 car garage for his ATVs and Vette? Should DoD accommodate his lifestyle with supplemental pay also? Unless you're prepared to say yes, just admit that you like your entitlement and will resist any attempt to take it from you. Although this is an inconsequential contributor to the overall problem, that attitude (which is pervasive, unfortunately), will be the eventual death of this country. As long as I get mine.. Lets see if you guys can get this post up to 20 trillion downvotes to match the national debt that has resulted from every entitlement beneficiary in the country raising hell with their representatives anytime it's suggested that their specific entitlement shouldn't be kept around. I just hope that I'm worm food before we get our comeuppance.
  9. Green Beret Open Letter

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kunduz_hospital_airstrike You can pretty much ignore any of the specific factors focused on in any media report of the incident, or Gen. Campbell's briefing of the incident's investigation results. They're all contributing, not causal, factors. The causal factors are much more fundamental.
  10. I don't necessarily support them but these are long term plays, not short term recruiting efforts. I wouldn't expect to be able to definitively tie individual accessions to them. The DoD paid the NFL millions to allow for "patriotic" displays at NFL games over the last decade. Servicemembers watching the games from the sidelines getting highlighted on the big screen. Surprise reunions between deployed members and their cheerleader girlfriends as the game returned from commercial break. Flyovers at prominent games (yes they paid to have the opportunity to perform a flyover). To the viewer it looked like the NFL supported the troops and was therefore gifting the attention, but that was not the case. What does the military get out of it? Every 10yr old in the country that wants to grow up to be a professional football player, 99.99% of which have no shot at it, will remember that their sports heroes (seemingly) idolize members of the military. When their sports dream falls apart and they need an alternative path through life DoD hopes they'll remember the positive vision of the military that was displayed on the field. As much as knowing that the NFL had to be paid to act like they support the military cheapens it, the reality is that it's probably the most powerful recruiting tool the military has. I'd bet that the general appearance of servicemembers being greatly respected by society at a venue that draws hundreds of millions of viewers over the course of a season will draw more recruits than all the air shows in the country combined.
  11. New BAH rates are out.

    You make it sound as if rationalism is a bad thing? Yes. Listen, it's simple. I'm not trying to suggest that anybody is more valuable than anybody else. I'm suggesting the exact opposite. Everybody is performing the same duty. One team, one fight, right? They should be paid accordingly....the same. There was only one level of bold available to me when I highlighted the word "IF" in my previous post. If I could have highlighted it with rainbow colors, I would have. As for the number of deployments I did: It's complete immaterial and makes ZERO difference in the argument I don't need people to see notches on my belt to validate myself, so apparently I pay less attention to something that appears to be important to others. Although I could guess to within a few of the correct number, see #1 I don't recall mentioning anything about retention. Others did, I did not. The tone comes as a response to your "stunted thinking" comment. If you're going to dish it.... You've fallen victim to the cable news cycle. It's an unfortunately effective tactic. But suggesting that anybody who holds an opinion apart from yours has formed it based on seedy biases while, by default, your opinions stem from pure and wonderful objective reasoning is not reality. I am (obviously not for my own hiring). And I, as any other employee with hiring/firing authority, knows that it would literally be illegal to offer a married person different salary than a commensurate single person based on that circumstance. You know that too. Married, single, you get the same offer. In practice no two people are "commensurate" and barring a hiring manager making an incriminating statement nothing would ever come of a single guy being offered different compensation than a married guy. Nevertheless, it would be illegal to do so and it doesn't happen because private corporation's don't give a shit. The fact that an employee has three lesbian daughters in no way affects their value to the company, so they just get paid based on their value. We've got a theme developing. Were you aware that you would be compelled to move on occasion when you joined the military? Did anybody conceal that fact or downplay the impact that it could have on your life? Did you, knowing this, voluntarily sign up and voluntarily get married? Did your wife understand that there would be unique challenges associated with marrying into the military (or support your decision to enter if you were married prior)? Then deal with the consequences of your choices with quiet dignity, son. The assumption that your hardship is greater than that of a single guy rather than just different may be based on a little bias. I'm not sure.
  12. New BAH rates are out.

    It's a crusade because I've only talked about BAH related issues in a thread focused on BAH rates? I mean, if you want me to discuss more important issues here, I could, but I feel like they're suited for other threads with topics dedicated to them. That's why they call it service and not a job. The thought that married guys have a monopoly on the sacrifice is precisely the problem. And for the record, on the outside I'm traveling 40% of the month for work and have relocated twice in 4 years for the same. My employer doesn't give a shit about the impact that has on my wife's earning power, nor should they. They employ me, not her. They offer a compensation package commensurate with my value to them, and I decide if it's best for the family for me to take it. A single guy with similar skills would get the same offer. We're talking about compensating servicemembers based on their value to the organization, not their personal circumstances. I fail to see how instituting more dissimilar treatment based on personal circumstances is in line with what I'm saying. I don't think forcing barracks on guys is a good idea personally, however, if that's what you want I don't have a massive objection...just as long as it applies across the board. Single, married, otherwise. You can meet your wife off base after hours at her place and figure out how to make your budget work with the kids on the same pay that your single buddies are getting.
  13. Green Beret Open Letter

    Yes, and they already have. Sadly, it's going to take something massive to turn the trend around. Watched an incident make front page news for weeks. When it was adjudicated human error was cited but the root cause of diminishing standards wasn't even mentioned. A few individuals were removed from duty as aberrations in an otherwise healthy system with the implication that the mess had been cleaned up. That's a lot easier for brass to do than to accept that the system they watch over is fundamentally flawed...as a result of their command decisions. Media happily went away after the spectacle died down and business continues as usual.
  14. New BAH rates are out.

    The assumption that impact of military life on a married servicemember is more significant than that for a single one is stunted thinking, indeed. There are plenty of things a single guy could be into that are severely impacted by military service. The service shouldn't concern itself with any of them. They're personal choices and should be dealt with personally by the member. I was on single BAH for more than half my career, but it was about even between single/dependent BAH over the period of my CMR time, so I don't think bias has anything to do with it. Quite the opposite in fact. I'm able to look at a situation and come to a logical conclusion even if it's bad for me personally (doesn't impact me at all anymore, except as a taxpayer, but I would have said the same when I was collecting dependent BAH). Got dat pair of panties. Of course not. Once you hand out an entitlement, you can never take it back. The uproar would be tremendous. This forum certainly seems to know that...just selectively when it impacts others and not themselves.
  15. New BAH rates are out.

    What? That's why BAH rates are regional and COLA exists. Whether they're effective at making up the regional differences is a different story but I fail to see how that applies at all to getting rid of dependent vs non-dependent BAH. If you don't think BAH at Hickam adequately addresses the cost of housing then great, but whatever the correct dollar amount for BAH is there, everybody (at respective ranks) should get the same amount. Single guys don''t get extra allowance to offset the cost of whore-mongering...guys with 19 kids shouldn't expect extra to afford the mansion necessary to house their family. Pay should be commensurate with value to the institution (adjusted for locale), and everything else should be a matter of adults making adult decisions on how to deal with the financial consequences of their choices in life. To address your question: I don't know your background but unless you're still in UPT I find it hard to believe that you aren't aware that single guys getting fucked over by circumstances having to due with squadronmate's dependent related issues is, in fact, a thing. On that alone the point I was trying to make is valid, regardless of my history. However, when I was active I belonged to a unit that did not operate on AEF bands. That meant ~3 deployments per year (if you weren't self-restricted from deploying over the holidays, or during the kid's summer break, or when your wife's PMS was flaring). That adds up and they start running together so, yes, I literally do not know how many deployments I did in my tenure without consulting my records. And yes, I've lost count of how many were covering for others although that's probably due primarily to fading memory as I've been out for some years. It was a handful. Let me make clear this is not bitching. At least in my case I enjoyed the deployments. It was always a kick in the nuts to have to extend a deployment when you were 1 week out from going home, or cancelling plans to take one on short notice, but I generally enjoyed leaving the squadron queep behind to go kill bad guys. Nevertheless, my argument remains: IF anybody should get paid extra, it's the unencumbered guys. However, nobody should get extra. Everybody should be paid the same amount for the same duty regardless of their personal circumstances.