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U.S. Army Near Future

Modern US Army infantry on patrol in a foreign country. While weapons change, the need for "boots on the ground" doesn't.
After the aerial bombardments and missile strikes, someone has to put boots on the ground and actually occupy the enemy territory. That job often falls on the U.S. Army. Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville says he is proud American young people continue to sign up for that job, including his two sons and a daughter.

America’s longest war — 20 years in Afghanistan – is winding down this year by order of President Biden. The Washington Post recently interviewed Gen. James McConville, the U.S. Army chief of staff, and asked about the American army post-Afghanistan. McConville backtracked a bit and pointed out to the interviewer the accomplishments in the war.

“I know what it means to send our sons and daughters off to combat,” the general told the Post. “They’ve done an incredible job. They’ve basically prevented al-Qaida from attacking our country again. But there’s much, much more work that’s going to be needed to be done in Afghanistan.”

Bad behaviors not allowed

President Harry Truman ended segregation in the US Military in 1948. Here he congratulates a black Air Force sergeant.
President Harry Truman integrated the U.S. armed forces in 1948, but ordering military personnel to change their attitudes is one thing while actually seeing change is another.

Gen. McConville was asked about political extremism in the ranks in the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. At least 52 active or retired military, law enforcement, or government service employees were among 400-plus suspects arrested in the Capitol incident.

The general referred to “harmful behaviors” such as extremism, sexual assault and harassment, and racism, and said the Army works hard to weed out such behaviors because they ruin team cohesiveness and lower trust the American people have in their military.

Gen. McConville said one bad apple is one too many, but he acknowledged the existence of unwelcome attitudes and actions among some soldiers.

Battlefield 2035

The U.S. military will be making more and more use of drones and autonomous vehicles in the future to aid their mission and reduce casualties.
Drones and autonomous machines of various kinds will be a big part of the Army’s future.

Gen. McConville told the Post the Army needs to transform itself every 40 years. Interesting. Never heard that before, but I’m not a West Pointer. The general pointed out transformation occurred in 1940 in preparation for WW II and in 1980 (when McConville joined up) with the introduction of the air-land battle concept and the all-volunteer force.

The latest transformation involves “multi domain operations,” part of the “joint force fighting concept,” McConville said. So what is that? Warhistorybuffs can guess.  It means the military branches will work together more than they ever have. As McConville put it: “… working together to bring forward a combined joint all-domain command and control system that will allow us to tie our sensors and shooters all together and to give us the speed, the range and the convergence that we need for decision dominance and for overmatch.”

The general hinted at some of the future weapons systems. “We are committed to developing and fielding … long-range precision fires to next-generation combat vehicle to future vertical lift to a network that ties everyone together, to air missile defense and soldier lethality.” And to tie it all together McConville said the Army will “compete” for the talented young women and men needed to staff the Army of the future.

The Post tried to get Gen. McConville to talk about turf battles with the other services, but he didn’t take the bait.

“We all want to win,” he concluded.

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Iconic Spitfire celebrates 85th anniversary

The iconic Supermarine Spitfire.

An unpainted prototype of the Supermarine Spitfire took its first flight on March 5, 1936, from Hampshire, England. The prototype sported a crude fixed-pitch wooden propeller, but it was powered by the new, powerful 1,030-hp Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. Tragically, designer Reginald J. Mitchell, who watched the first flight, died of cancer a year later. Even though the Spitfire was outnumbered by the British Hawker Hurricane, the sleek fighter came to symbolize Britain’s defiance against the mighty Luftwaffe in 1940’s Battle of Britain.

New and improved variants of the Spitfire remained in production through WW II. If you want to submerge yourself in Spitfire lore read John Vader’s book Spitfire, available as a paperback on Amazon. 

New Space Force base

Vandenberg Air Force Base has been renamed Vandenberg Space Force Base in honor of America’s newest military branch. The Space Force was established in 2019. Service members in the Air Force Space Command became Space Force personnel. Vandenberg, named for Air Force Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg, has been used for missile tests and orbital launches from its central California location.

Space Force scandal

As the new Space Force is getting up to speed, at least one of its senior officers won’t be along for the ride. Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier was relieved of command after he criticized diversity training in the military. Lohmeier recently was promoting his book “Irresistible Revolution: Marxism’s Goal of Conquest & the Unmaking of the American Military” on the podcast “Information Operation” with host L. Todd Wood. The officer argued diversity and inclusion training are rooted in Marxism and critical race theory. Lohmeier was fired May 14. He had commanded the 11th Space Warning Squadron at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. 

Posted in U.S. Army, Future war, Political extremism, Afghanistan, military, outer space, Space Force, War History, weapons

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