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Mark1 last won the day on April 7 2017

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About Mark1

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  1. Mark1

    ENJJPT or UPT for AFSOC?

    Do what you can to get a true picture of what the MC-130 does if you're going vector hard towards it. In no way am I trying to steer you way from it, but my impression of what the MC-130H did when I was in your position was nothing but terrain following low level, threat penetration, high speed airdrop of clandestine forces, and that seemed pretty cool to me. Turns out, although those may be capabilities, they're rarely exercised and 95% of the time the MCs aren't doing anything a slick -130 doesn't do (excluding HAR/TAR as my impression is the crews don't consider it especially enjoyable). There's nothing wrong with "slick missions", but it may not be what you expect from the MCs. I had a strong desire to end up in MCs initially, but by dumb luck ended up elsewhere in AFSOC and wouldn't have taken an offer to cross-train into MCs after I had seen their reality from up close. Again, not to discourage you. If that's what you want, go for it. Just do what you can to be sure you understand what you're working towards.
  2. Mark1

    NFL Ratings are Way Down

    You know what happens after something peaks, literally by definition? It declines. That's why I said the decline started in 2015, which you can see if you look at year over year viewership numbers by week rather than an entire season. Regardless, if you use the seasonal numbers they still indicate the decline began with the 2016 season. Interesting that you glossed over that in order to point out where I'm wrong because it doesn't fit into your story. IF there's no movement on widespread state sanctioned gambling on NFL games in the next 4 months then we'll be able to test your theory. Ratings will be back at historical highs for the 2018 season as all the people who abandoned the games over Anthem protests (including the clairvoyant ones who stopped watching 2 years early) return in droves to the game they love so dearly, but sacrificed on principle. Either that, or it will become clear that the declines in NFL viewership are predominantly explained by the same forces that have caused a general decline in viewership across all major sports (don't bother pointing to outliers; it doesn't change this fact). My gut tells me that even if the gambling variable is developed before the 2018 season, it won't overcome the downward pressure. However on that issue, and that issue alone, I'm guessing and could be wrong.
  3. Mark1

    NFL Ratings are Way Down

    If you want to assert a cause-effect relationship you're going to have to explain why the marked decline in NFL viewership began in 2015, before any of this nonsense, and why there was no statistically significant change to the rate of decline surrounding the referenced anthem displays. Clairvoyant fans who saw it coming 2 years ahead of time? I started to turn this into a 2-page response with charts and numbers and shit, but it's just not worth my time. When you can show a meaningful relationship between the two with p-values and confidence intervals, let me know. Until then I'm going to draw obvious conclusions from actual data as opposed to an ardent campaign on the part of Fox News to spark outrage, thus driving their ratings and ad revenue up, by shoehorning a tired narrative onto a target of opportunity under the guise of "news".
  4. Mark1

    NFL Ratings are Way Down

    I believe it was something along the lines of "And the ratings sure as hell aren't down because of anything to do with players making fools of themselves while 'disrespecting' the National Anthem"...but I could be wrong. What does your link have to do with ratings, again? I read the story and didn't see any mention of it, so then I searched the page for the term "rating" just in case you were referencing something in the toxic wasteland that is the comments section. That returned nothing. Very confusing. But I'll go ahead and admit that you certainly nailed me with that one. Well done.
  5. Mark1

    Military appreciation has jumped the shark

    You shouldn't have hedged. It's absolutely their "fault". It's one of two things: 1. Attention whoring / seeking recognition 2. Akin to a Colonel jumping to the front of the chow line in front of all his troops that just came in from the field. Yes, he can exploit his status for personal benefit, but it's a detestable trait. A few months ago I watched a guy argue with a gate agent because early boarding was only for active military in uniform. He made it known that since he was a retiree with 20yrs service he had sacrificed more than anybody who was still active. I was embarrassed to be in the room for it even though nobody around could have known I used to belong to the same fraternity as that guy.
  6. Mark1

    Syria strikes underway

    I think it's more likely there would have been an order of magnitude more dead women and children. Any significant action against Assad, and by that I mean something hard hitting enough to destabilize his rule, would have left a power vacuum that only one entity was in a position to fill at that time. And that entity would have made his chemical attacks look like Disney World. Certainly a good reason not to make "red line" ultimatum statements if you can't back them up, but nevertheless, Assad is still around largely because he quickly became the lesser of two evils towards the latter half of 2013. No politician in this country would admit it, but we went from threatening to remove him to orchestrating our moves in the region around (tacitly) ensuring his stability nearly overnight. This all being before the Russians got involved. As a side note, I'm no champion of Obama and on the strategic issues I agree his overarching philosophy was weak, but come on: Bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki, Jessica Buchanan, Ahmed Khatalla, etc. They're all easy to pass on if you're truly spineless.
  7. Mark1

    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.
  8. Mark1

    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.
  9. Mark1

    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.
  10. Mark1

    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.
  11. Mark1

    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.
  12. Mark1

    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.
  13. Mark1

    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".
  14. Mark1

    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.
  15. Mark1

    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.