Archive for March, 2013

The Battle of An-Nasiriyah 23 Mar – 2 Apr 2003

March 22, 2013

On 23 March 2003, 5,800 U.S. Marines and U.S. Navy Corpsmen-the warriors of Task Force Tarawa-began fighting a ferocious battle in the city of an-Nasiriyah, Iraq. As the first large-scale battle fought by U.S. Marines in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Nasiriyah became a test of the Coalition’s ability and resolve to defeat a determined, resourceful foe that relied on a combination of conventional units and tactics and irregular forces willing to violate the laws of war. Task Force Tarawa’s Marines adapted quickly, and the battle of Nasiriyah, with its asymmetrical warfare, emphasis on combined arms and joint operations, and Coalition forces’ ability to react quickly and aggressively against unexpected enemy tactics became emblematic of the 2003 Operation Iraqi Freedom campaign.

Nasiriyah lies in a date-growing region along the banks of the Euphrates River in Dhi Qar Province about 225 miles southeast of Baghdad. Its population, made up almost entirely of Shi’a Muslims, was an estimated 560,000 in 2003, making it the fourth most populous city in the country. It was founded in 1840 near the ruins of the ancient city of Ur, the birthplace of Abraham.

The events that brought the Marines to Nasiriyah, however, were far more current. Only six days before they stormed into the city, President George W. Bush had issued an ultimatum giving Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and his two sons 48 hours to leave Iraq. The United States had viewed the Iraqi government with heightened concern since the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001. Hussein’s regime was believed to sponsor global terrorism and also to be building and stockpiling weapons of mass destruction-nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons for use against its neighbors and Western nations.

Soon after 11 September, it became clear that the immediate source of the terrorist who carried out those attacks was Afghanistan rather than Iraq.

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An-Nasiriyah 23 Mar – 2 Apr 2003“Iraq and An-Nasiriyah on the Eve of War

AnNasiriyah Marines

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

March 17, 2013

st patricks day

CJCS White Paper – “America’s Military – A Profession of Arms”

March 6, 2013

Attached, is ³America¹s Military ­ A Profession of Arms,² a CJCS white paper that articulates his direction for a recommitment to our profession of arms and its core values. The paper presents the values, ethics and standards that define the personal and professional character traits that are at the core of our military service. It also establishes the foundation for a wide range of follow-on efforts, needed at all levels of service and leadership, to renew our commitment to the core values of our service to the Nation.

I ask you to widely distribute the paper. Joint and service doctrine, publications and curriculum should include the Chairman¹s guidance where appropriate. The increasing complexity, uncertainty and accelerated pace of change anticipated for the future will continue to challenge our Nation; we must adapt as we build future leaders and the Joint Force 2020. Incorporating the Chairman¹s vision of the Profession of Arms into your efforts will ensure we remain the finest military in the world.

LtGen George J. Flynn, USMC
The Joint Staff J-7
Director for Joint Force Development


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America’s Military – A Profession of Arms (White Paper)

B-2 Stealth Bomber Hardened for More Challenging Missions

March 6, 2013

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“Air Story” out of Vietnam

March 5, 2013


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5 Carriers Docked in Norfolk, VA

March 5, 2013


What is wrong with this picture?

The picture is of the five nuclear carriers… Just like Battleship Row, Pearl Harbor,December 7, 1941.

This picture was taken the other day in Norfolk. The Obama Administration ordered 5 nuclear carriers into harbor for “routine” (?) inspections. Heads of the Navy were flabbergasted by the directive.

NORFOLK, VA. (February 8, 2013). The first time since WWII that five U.S. aircraft carriers were docked together.

USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), USS Enterprise (CVN 65), USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), and USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) are all in port at Naval Station Norfolk, Va., the world’s largest naval station.

Sources stated that this breached a long standing military protocol in the Navy meant to avoid massive enemy strike on major US forces. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Ryan J. Courtade/Released)

Marine Generals Showing Dominance of Top Jobs

March 3, 2013

Marine generals showing rare dominance of top jobs
Jim Michaels, USA TODAY9a.m. EST February 24, 2013
When U.S. and NATO top brass gathered in Kabul to mark a change in the top leadership this month, all three American generals lined up on stage were Marines.
Afghanistan is a landlocked country, but for the second consecutive time President Obama nominated a Marine to lead the war there. Joining the outgoing and incoming commanders on stage was Marine Gen. Jim Mattis, chief of the command that oversees all forces in the Middle East region.
Little noticed outside defense circles, it was a historic moment for the Marine Corps, a seagoing service whose humble beginnings were to provide security and landing parties for Navy ships.
“The Marine Corps is clearly punching above its weight,” said Peter Mansoor, a retired Army colonel and military history professor at Ohio State University. “This is a very unusual and singular moment in Marine Corps history. “The Marines are aware of just how singular it is.
With 195,000 troops it is the smallest service of the armed forces, representing only 8% of the overall Defense Department budget. Until World War II, the Marines didn’t have an active duty four-star general.

Today it has six four-star generals, a record number, serving in prominent positions around the world. Gen. John Allen, who stepped down as commander in Afghanistan, was the first Marine to command an entire theater of war.
The commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. James Amos, said it was not something that happened by design. “We’ve just got a string of very seasoned combat generals,” Amos said in a recent speech at the American Enterprise Institute.
Analysts agree, saying the Marine generals are chosen on an individual basis as commands have to be filled.

Still, they point to a couple factors that have contributed to the growing prominence of the Marine Corps: The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan played to the strength of Marine officers, and the emphasis on joint commands mean Marines have more opportunities to take jobs outside their service.
The joint commands “got the leadership the recognition that it has deserved,” said Walt Ford, editor of Leatherneck magazine and a retired Marine colonel.
The success Marines have had in top positions may also have something to do with their leadership training, Mansoor said.
“I think there is something about how Marines approach professional military education that produces officers with a broad view of the world and who are flexible and can deal with the very different challenges of the type of wars we’re fighting today,” he said.
“With a few exceptions, the Army tends to breed good company men,” Mansoor added.
The Marine Corps is as much a mindset as it is a set of capabilities. The service bills itself as an expeditionary force, able to get to hot spots fast with lots of firepower. But its reputation is built on something less tangible: fighting spirit, or what Marines call esprit de corps.
“Marines don’t celebrate their technology to the same extent as the Navy and Air Force,” said Aaron O’Connell, a Marine reserve officer and author of Underdogs: The Making of the Modern Marine Corps.
That spirit may have made the Marines more insular in the past, but today it has helped them rise to prominent positions as the United States battles irregular enemies far from its shores.
“I think the Marines have a cultural advantage over the other services when it comes to dealing with chaos and uncertainty,” O’Connell said.
The rising prominence of Marine leaders has not gone unnoticed by the other services. “There is a big competition for the U.S. commands,” Ford said.
The Marine Corps is particularly sensitive to competition from the other services, who in the past have been behind efforts to eliminate or shrink the corps. The Marine Corps has survived 20 such attempts since its founding in 1775, O’Connell said.
The Corps’ popularity on Capitol Hill and among the American public has always saved it, but that history has infused Marines with a healthy dose of paranoia. “The Marine Corps more than any other service is forever vigilant to threats to its existence,” O’Connell said.
Even today Marines worry about getting complacent. “Most Marines look at it as a bubble we won’t see again for a long time,” Ford said of the record number of four-star generals.
In fact, upcoming retirements will likely reduce the number of Marine generals. Allen announced this week that he plans to retire, turning down a nomination to be the top NATO officer in Europe. Allen’s likely replacement is Air Force Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, the Associated Press reported, citing an unnamed senior NATO official.
Mattis will step down as chief of Central Command and will be replaced by an Army general, the Pentagon has said.
Still, analysts say the Marine Corps can finally let go of its fears.
“The Marine Corps should not worry about its organizational survival,” Mansoor said. “The American people have embraced it as an institution.”



AMOS = “A Mile Offshore”: which is where you will need to deploy your LST and LSD ships to conduct U.S. Marine amphibious assult operations without the cancelled Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV).