Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

ISAF To Cut "Nonessential" Amenities

From a blog posting by Command Sergeant Major Hall of the International Security Assistance Force - Afghanistan:
Many of you have heard that there are plans to shut down some of the “amenities” throughout Afghanistan. This is not rumor. It is fact. This is a warzone – not an amusement park. From the moment GEN McChrystal and I arrived in Afghanistan last summer, we began looking for ways to do things more efficiently across the battlefield – the optimization of ISAF. This effort includes moving and reallocating resources to better accomplish our mission.
One of the ways we’re going to do that -- in order to accommodate the troop increase and get re-focused on the mission at hand -- is to cut back on some of the nonessentials. That includes some of the morale, welfare and recreation facilities throughout Afghanistan. In the coming weeks and months, concessions such as Orange Julius, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Dairy Queen and Military Car Sales will close their doors.
Other changes will not be so obvious. We will also reduce the amount of canned and bottled goods coming into country, as well as first-run movie showings and non-USO entertainment shows.
What it comes down to is focus, and to using the resources we have in the most efficient and effective ways possible. Supplying nonessential luxuries to big bases like Bagram and Kandahar makes it harder to get essential items to combat outposts and forward operating bases, where troops who are in the fight each day need resupplied with ammunition, food and water...
... Some will say the decision to do away with these amenities is meant only to make things harder for deployed service members, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Closing these facilities will free up much-needed storage facilities at both Bagram and Kandahar, space which is critical as 30,000 additional American and up to 7,000 international troops flow into Afghanistan over the next several months.
OK, some of this I can see. But what's the deal with no longer showing first-run movies? He doesn't say they're taking down the movie theaters (which in a lot of cases are probably the mess halls with a screen and portable projector), so they'll probably still show old movies. Is he saying they can't carry in a few extra DVDs in their resupply flights? I really don't get that.

So what do you guys think? Will this help us Solve The Problem and Win The War? Or are these the actions of a command team that wants to look like they're doing something, and have forgotten what life is like outside of the headquarters building? Maybe when they tour around the bases and talk to "randomly selected" servicepeople, they should realize that they only get to talk to the kiss-asses, and that's the reason they hear complaints about "too much fun stuff to do during our down time". Stuff like this makes me think back the the time I was at CENTCOM HQ in 2003-2004, and we passed around (and contributed to) the Staff Officer's "Hard Sayings" Log.

I don't know. Maybe times have changed in the last 5 years, and today's Soldiers want to have fewer first-run movies and more time spent studying excessively restrictive ROEs.

68 Comments:

Anonymous Alan said...

I don't see how closing down Pizza Hut helps them focus. Once in Iraq I had occasion to look through a bunch of dumpsters in the troop housing area. I was astonished to see how many Pizza Hut boxes had been thrown away, i.e., how many pizzas had been eaten.

Jeez, it's just a small comfort. That CSM appears to be a grandstanding ass who doesn't know his troops.

3/25/2010 4:16 PM

 
Anonymous NHSparky said...

No McDonalds? No air conditioned movie theaters? No Baskin-Robbins? Whatever will the FOBbits do? Sympathy? Sorry, not feeling it. The guys outside the wire have my respect and get my kudos. The ones who never leave it? Not so much.

3/25/2010 5:01 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I support closing any that are supported financially by the government. If they are there on their own, more power to them and to the troops! It is a war zone and they receive combat pay and tax reductions for it...no need to subsidize it being like main street podunk city!

3/25/2010 5:17 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What I don't get about this is, does it take that much more room to ship a BK hamburger over to Afghanistan than a regular ol' unbranded mess hall one? If they're putting all the pizzas in cardboard boxes, that sounds like reducible waste, but come on. Food is food, unless everything they eat is dehydrated.

The movie thing seems ridiculous, and likely to backfire as the alternative ways soldiers find to spend their time probably aren't going to include mastering the violin or reading the classics.

3/25/2010 5:18 PM

 
Anonymous NHSparky said...

Anon @ 5:17
IIRC, they are supported by the AAFES. That being said, IT'S A FREAKING WAR ZONE! Does this mean I can claim PTSD because the COB didn't make sure we had Papa John's Pizza on Saturday nights, or Long John Silvers for halfway night? I understand trying to make life a bit better when far from home, but as the proverbial saying goes, time and a place for everything, know what I mean? Maybe I'm just too crotchety and immersed in a, "if I didn't get it back in the day, why should they" mentality, so flame away, I guess.

3/25/2010 5:31 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The sub force should try this. Go to a boat now and watch the Chief's Quarters and Wardroom playing XBox. Guys have PSP's and DVD players in thier racks. Nuc's make up their own LAN's and geek out with Warcraft.

And that's just the Non-quals...you should see what others are doing!

My last boat: the CO/XO had a mini LAN to play games head-to-head.

Time to get back to basics, quals and training before we lose a boat. There is time to relax and do what you want, but it seems that is the rule now rather than the exception. When the XO comes to me looking for evals and training I gave the DH weeks agao and I find the DH in the rack playing PSP and watching a movie, something is wrong.

The force is still looking for relevance and prove that it fit's in, but we are doing a heck of a job of not proving it.

Some of you old-timers (even those away from the game only 10 years) would be amazed at some of the things that happen on boats today. Not that every boat is like that, but more and more are heading down that road.

I think the guys who are killing people need a few more “amenities” than someone making holes in the ocean. This CSM needs re-think a few of these cutbacks.

3/25/2010 5:33 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you shitting me? This post read like a spoof. Should have had a datetimegroup. Sigh. Anyone in that hellhole deserves every goody that can be provided. They'll focus when need be. Sphincter focus takes a while to lose. What a country we've become.

3/25/2010 5:51 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, Nein, Нет!!

Now, I've not done an IA tour, but I see this as a pointless endeavor in trying to make headlines along with fortifying our next SITREP.

Give the folks on the ground who are pounding sand a break wouldja' please?! Those simple things like pizza hut and theaters are a biggy for those who serve over there. Umm, what useful purpose does it serve to minimize these areas of comfort?

What?...do you need more room? Is that it? You're in the middle of the stinkin' desert. You have more "potential" real estate than you know what to do with. Ever flown in to Vegas? For those who have not been there, I can say when you look out the starboard porthole of the plane while descending to McCarran Airport, you see nothing more than desert. Vegas is in the middle of the desert. You have ample square footage to build on.

Now back to the sand box across the seas. You have more than enough room if needed. There is no reason to take away the comforts of home. Again, I'll admit I've never been there, but please don't fuck it up for all the ground troops who are sweating it out so you can look good for your next Eval.

MT1(SS) WidgetHead

3/25/2010 6:01 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How does screwing with rec stuff improve the combat readiness and operations?

This sounds like the idea of some typical REMFs (Rear Echelon ....) or desk jockeys.

The beatings will continue until morale improves.

3/25/2010 6:16 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MT1(SS) WidgetHead beat me to the answer. Leave it to the Marines and Army grunts to decide.

While we are letting them decide on amenities, let their generals decide on the RsOE. Since America began letting lawyer-politicians dictate RsOE for the "conflicts" they have sent our troops to fight like British regulars during our Revolution, we have not been as successful as we could have been, and it has cost their lives. Cindy Sheehan has that point right!

Flamethrower Frank

3/25/2010 6:21 PM

 
Blogger Vigilis said...

Way to go, WidgetHead and Flamethrower!

3/25/2010 6:26 PM

 
Blogger Sandy Salt said...

As a former IA in the sand box for a year, this has to be the dumbest idea or super poor packaging. If the Gen and the CSM are saying flying or trucking soda and pizza for the big bases takes away assets needed to supply the outposts then I am all for freeing up trucks/planes to support the war fighters out on the front lines.

I know for a fact that we trucked tons of gedunk all over Northern Iraq every darn night. This took a lot of men and machines, so if that is the point then it needed to be said far more clearly. We don't need to be getting people killed for Pizza Hut and Baskin Robbins. If guys are getting blown up on the roads then we should do everything we can to minimize the number of trucks on the road.

3/25/2010 6:32 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The commnet about "...will let us refocus on the task at hand."

WTF task has been the object of the focus up to this point?

Maybe this group is smarter than their running mates?

Who believes any of this political BS from these REMFS other than their NUB buttboys, coffee runners and PAO doublespeak word masters?

3/25/2010 6:33 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1940s Unrestricted Submarine Warfare:

Find ’Em, Chase ’Em, Sink ’Em

2010 political FUBAR:

Find 'Em, Chase 'Em, Read 'Em rights and Prosecute 'Em.

Strange the different approach used when the intent is to remove the enemy's desire to engage in and wage war!

3/25/2010 6:43 PM

 
Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

McChrystal is following Bull Halsey's advice: "When you're in command...Command!"

McChrystal signed the Title B card for that mess over there - let him run it the way he wants.

Deprivation on the line in active duty is not unknown to submariners. As my old friend Gabby Hays said, "Cowboys don't cry."

3/25/2010 6:45 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Supplying nonessential luxuries to big bases like Bagram and Kandahar makes it harder to get essential items to combat outposts and forward operating bases, where troops who are in the fight each day need resupplied with ammunition, food and water...

Translation: Buck Farack has cut our budget to provide health-care reform to no-load welfare-teat aficionados. Additionally, we will no longer be out processing flaming ass pirates unless Adm Mullen himself catches the individual in the act. So you guys better suck it, er, I mean suck it up. Yeah, that's it.

3/25/2010 6:59 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know. Maybe times have changed in the last 5 years, and today's Soldiers want to have fewer first-run movies and more time spent studying excessively restrictive ROEs.

I wouldn't worry too much about the ROEs. My contacts in the USMC tell me that they routinely ignore the BHO Admin ROEs and do whatever the hell they need to do to A) Survive, and B) Complete the mission.

3/25/2010 7:05 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"they routinely ignore the BHO Admin ROEs and do whatever the hell they need to do to A) Survive, and B) Complete the mission."

Well fuckin' A!!! You Marines found a way to fight and have fun too.
Keep that innovative shit up. There are a few of us who appreciate your efforts in life.

3/25/2010 7:14 PM

 
Blogger ret.cob said...

We, of all people, know that the focus should always be on the tip of the fucking spear. The only reason anybody else is there is to support the guy who is looking his enemy in the eye, and shooting him in the face. General and CSM got it right.

3/25/2010 7:55 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good idea. Fewer movies and distractions will free up time to study JPME.

3/25/2010 7:58 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It sounds like they have resources problems?

Maybe cut back on Pelosi treating military aircraft like it is her personal airline and flying her and her gaggle of folks around which seems to be a possible case of government waste, fraud and abuse. This would save some fuel and free up assets for the people who could use the assistance.

3/25/2010 8:15 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They have an Orange Julius. . . ?
OldCOB

3/26/2010 4:51 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the purpose is the remember that the focus is on winning the war, perhaps there should be austerity programs back home too.

Rationing, warbonds, etc.

It seems the US People have lost the focus, not the soldiers.

3/26/2010 4:52 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is an Orange Julius?

3/26/2010 5:44 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ultimately I think this measure is because the Federal Government has cut funding as a result we have to choose smoothies or necessary ammunition.

3/26/2010 8:05 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"This is a big F@#&#$*@ deal"

3/26/2010 8:18 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There does seem to be a security benefit, if they have been using locals to run the BK and Dunkin Donuts. That'd be a lot of eyes and ears on the base who may be giving info to the bad guys.

3/26/2010 8:47 AM

 
Anonymous Kolohe said...

First of all, those that are doing it should put the fooktarded political shiat away. The defense department still has pretty much a blank check for this adventure, and in any case the same people have been CJCS and SecDef as before the last election.

The problem is that they are too many fooking people on the 'staffs'. Plus we've estimated that there roughly 50-60 general/flag officers in the CJOA, with 100K troops total - a less than 1 to 2000 ratio.

When McCrystal first got here, or so the story goes, he visited the Destille Garden* on the ISAF HQ base. He was brand new so nobody knew who he was, and was in PT gear so nobody knew he was a general. He walked up to some soldiers sitting at a table in the garden and asked what they were doing. And they essentially said 'absolutely nothing' - they were sent to the HQ as staff, but not given any specific assignments. So, since then COMISAF been on a mission to cut staffs and morale/rec programs by 20%.

But they just did a big-reorg, and started up an intermediate HQ staff (with some 1300 people) and are soon to possibly create yet another regional command.

The thing is during the mini-surge when Bush was still in office, and the current one approved by Obama, a whole bunch of 0-6's have used the extra manpower for RFF's to build their own empires within staffs, without clearly defining what they want to accomplish with the extra people.

So the solution isn't to cut of the Orange Julius's. It's to either send people downrange or the send them home. But when there is a chance for a break in the action, people should have a chance to relax.

There are no 'days off' or weekends. Everyday is a workday (but Fridays and Sundays are ususally half days). Until last year, people scheduled to be deployed 270-365 days could take (not including transit time) a four day pass to qatar, and a two week leave period anywhere in the world (most go home). They canx the 4 day in qatar around September, because with the travel delays, people were gone for as much as two weeks. They kept the two weeks of leave (and have just in the past week made it non-chargable)

Most of us are used to 6 month deployments (and find the last month or so to drag) but a year long deployment is a whole nother ball of wax. And without the benefit of liberty ports (Even if you only do the Guam/Sasebo circuit)

I understand the logistics of it for the big stuff, but most of it is not logisitics heavy. Heck, just installing some more publically accessible internet stations or esp wifi hotspots is a fairly marginal logisitics load with a high morale payoff. I totally agree with Joel that the movie thing is nonsense on stilts (btw, the bazaars have plenty in the way of 'first run movies')

And finally, alluding to what Sandy Salt said. They have never done any of this 'belt-tightening' and 'focusing on the mission' stuff in Iraq. They still have the Qatar trip in Iraq. They still have all the amenities at the main bases. And we have 'won' there, haven't we? Furthermore, the coalition nations will still have their own national support element ammenities. So all this is really going to effect is Bagram, and the US servicmembers on the main US and Nato bases in Kabul.

*can't show a pic, because there is no easily accessible non-work related internet. And facebook, flicker, youtube and the like are blocked. This site was blocked for a bit but seems to be back for the time being.

3/26/2010 10:41 AM

 
Anonymous Kolohe said...

There does seem to be a security benefit, if they have been using locals to run the BK and Dunkin Donuts. That'd be a lot of eyes and ears on the base who may be giving info to the bad guys.

Every base has local national contractors doing the construction work, it's part of COIN to do this job creating stimulus type thing. Additionally the larger bases have a bazaar section with Afghan owned and operated shops that sell rugs jewelry, etc. Again pretty much part of coin. In some places they are attempting to do partnering with combined Afghan and Coalition troops living on the same base. (The theory being that the Coalition troops won't put up with substandard conditions that an Afghan only base might, thus raising the bar for everyone. In theory.)

What pretty much is antithetical to COIN is locking yourself up in your base and avoiding interaction with the population.

You know how you avoid giving info to the bad guys? By not talking about classified stuff in public, whether you're in a Dunkin donuts in Afghanistan, Yokosuka, or San Diego

3/26/2010 10:48 AM

 
Anonymous pc assclown said...

Congress and the administration can find a way to send 700 billion to greedy Wall Street scum yet the Army pulls the "simple pleasures of home" rug from beneath our soldier's feet. What a shame...Where's the perspective?

Maybe the ice cream and soda pop machines should be removed from the boats. No more spunk on that gedunk. Spunk on gedunk takes too much focus away from the mission. What the hell? Why stop there? Why don't we stop issuing toilet paper and just let em save the corn cobs. Ease of ass wiping also takes focus away from the mission. Fucking jerks.

Not only should we not take away their Pizza Hut, Baskin-Robbins, first run movies, etc...We should provide these niceties 100% at taxpayer expense.

And what's up with active duty military in war zones having to pay any form of income tax?

And as usual the arrogant one chimes in with his usual arrogance

3/26/2010 11:44 AM

 
Anonymous YNC(SS), USN, Ret said...

Don't know if it's a good thing or not. I do know that the "khaki mafia" was dug in pretty deep by 1967. I also know that there were a number of courts martial of senior NCO's who ran the clubs and mess, and hustled assorted civilian entertainment groups, and made a chunk of change off of them. We didn't have Burger King, and the other chain fast food outlets. I also know that a fine Army Brig General was reduced in rank to Colonel in 1969/1970 and forced to retire (collateral damage.) Some of you may have heard about it.

Is this something that is going on now?

Do the Infantry and other field folks get in-country R&R, or out of area R&R? That matters.

I also believe the folks in the field in either part of the "sandbox" have it much harder than the folks in Vietnam.

I spent two tours in country (boots on the ground) in Vietnam 1965-1966, 1968-1969. Courier/driver. I had a seven-day R&R out of country each time.

3/26/2010 12:21 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does this mean that government "public SERVANTS" have to cut back on high dollar socializing, long distance jaunts, and blatant boondoggles on the taxpayer's dime by exercising sound judgment, restraint, maturity, discretion, frugalness and prudence?

Perhaps the "public SERVANTS" do need to refocus some things like their priorities.

Leadership by Example. Sometimes it is only a fantasy. "Let them eat cake."

3/26/2010 12:50 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PC Assclown, spot on with the arrogant one's most predictable arrogance and dribble.

Assclown Under Instruction (UI)

3/26/2010 12:54 PM

 
Anonymous ronnie mac said...

And if we are not victorious, let no burger-flipper concessionaire come back alive!!!

3/26/2010 1:19 PM

 
Anonymous PC Assclown said...

Assclown Under Instruction (UI),

Thanks for the observation. Now go get me a blond and sweet and maybe I'll sign of Trim and Drain. Or are you a nuke?

3/26/2010 2:02 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PC Assclown,

Do you want that coffee in a Sippy Cup filled from the old san tank on an inboard vent?

No, not a nukie. Just an Assclown Striker Non-rate.

Can I draw something easier?

My rate was not so smart, noisey, smelly and slippery but I know that fire is bad and food is good and people tank stay dry and then all campers stay happy!

Note to self, when rimmig hot coffee cup do not fill cup so full, ouch.

Assclown Under Instruction (port and starboard watches)

3/26/2010 2:27 PM

 
Anonymous observedfrombehind said...

PC Assclown (UI) is a butt shark...

3/26/2010 2:30 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Guess CSM Hall giving the REMF empire builders at big bases a heads up. He and McChrystal may also be responding to Marine and other pointy-end-of-spear troops complaints about REMF's. Another 15-20 K troops in country this year. Many reports of probs getting equipment, ammo, building materials through Pakistan and over Kyber Pass. I was kinda thinking like YNC(SS) re: VietNam. Problem is, can't pull resupply ships into Afganistan way we could into Camh Ranh Bay and Danang.

My two cents and keep a zero bubble..........

DBFTMC(SS)USNRET

3/26/2010 2:41 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

observedfrombehind,

Define buttshark? lol

I ahve to get my card signed off to become a Master Assclown, lol.

Assclown (UI)

3/26/2010 2:42 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TMC,

Acorn might be solicited to deliver material.

It would be delivered within 10 years or its free.

3/26/2010 2:45 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TMC,

The REMFs might be complaining that they do not have enough rec good deals so the warriors will just have to suck it up.

3/26/2010 2:47 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 2:45PM,

ACORN dead and gone last week. Might be a good job for TeaBaggers tho.... They could tell CSM Hall, "DON'T F**K WITH MY PIZZA HUT...etc, etc... Good place for'em to exercise their second amendment rights don't'ya think??

Keep a zero bubble.........

DBFTMC(SS)USNRET

3/26/2010 2:52 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TMC,

No Teabaggers have a bad rap. It would have to be someone from the Parasite Party, the progressive liberal democrats. The leeches, mooches and suckers. The Teabaggers are mostly employed and not wearing SEIU shirts and beating the crap out of those who do not agree with them.

Hey, maybe we have an idea. The Post Office is broke? New job maybe?

3/26/2010 3:18 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ANON 3:18PM,

Ain't saying Tea Baggers got a bad rap, they do have an entertainment factor. Just think they could dress up in their colonial duds, wigs, carry them ol'tea pots and go yell at CSM Hall. Freedom of speech and all that stuff. Most of the Tea Baggers in my area of northern California are a bunch of ol'white retired guys or out of work peckerwoods. Could give'em something meaningfull to do and get'em off the street corners and annoying the public.

Keep a zero bubble.........

DBFTMC(SS)USNRET

3/26/2010 3:40 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most of the Tea Baggers in my area of northern California are a bunch of ol'white retired guys or out of work peckerwoods. Could give'em something meaningfull to do and get'em off the street corners and annoying the public.

I doubt they are out of work. Most likely took a day of vacation. It's the out of work and perpetually lazy crowd that show up for Obumbler rallies and what not.

3/26/2010 3:51 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have Teabaggers in your street, well it is CA and SanFran is their capital. Note, not talking about the ones holding wooden signs.

Teabaggers will enable boomers to go to one crew and save lots of money but all the domestic crap will be tough. The green table will be occupied by domestic issues and Doc will have to deal with foreign object retrieval emrgencys. Better load out 3 cases of bilge pickers. It will never be the same place again.

Steely eyed teabaggers of the deep.

3/26/2010 3:53 PM

 
Anonymous PC Assclown said...

PC Assclown UI,

Your qual board will consist of several who truly detest political correctness yet are masters of mocking the true PC'ers by sounding like one while remaining totally sarcastic.

FTN over at the defunct EM Log was a great one. He pinned on my fins. And then we both drank them despite the PC rules against doing so. But alas he's gone and I ramble.

And watch out for the old smoke boat skipper who thinks he's still in command.

3/26/2010 3:55 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PC Assclown,

The qual challenge sounds very tough. To sound PC and yet mock PC in such a way as to penetrate the very center of asinine thought?

I must consult the Jedi master and that Kung Fu guy because I am but a young jedi grasshopper.

The scary one is the "Arrogant one", he might be having flashbacks? He told me to single all lines and to rig in the capstan. On another occassion he orderd a "Crash Dive." My only thought was please just make the mean man go away.

On my Jr. Assclown journey and search I have learned much but still more is to come.

I anticipate an old school qual board of no less than 7 hours and drawing every system.

Assclown UI on balls to four

3/26/2010 4:10 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PC Assclown,
I have successfully retrieved my travel snack pack of assclown woop ass and I have completed the designated Assclown card. I am ready for even the “arrogant ones” condescending attitude and pontification.
Assclown UI

3/26/2010 4:36 PM

 
Anonymous Sub Iconoclast said...

One more example of effective leadership by McChrystal. Just heard last week from one of his senior planners about how much of a drain (and risk) these extra amenities cost our effort - not to mention how much the guys in the field resent coming back to secured areas and seeing why their support troops are so out of touch with everything that's happening around them.

Can you imagine how much resentment the local Afghan support contractors must feel, seeing such luxuries so near while they still live in squalor? This is a counterinsurgency, folks... you don't win people's trust by embarrassing them with a huge wealth differential.

We've managed to win multiple wars in our past without the comfort of TGI Friday's for dinner. No reason to think we can't do so again.

3/26/2010 5:11 PM

 
Anonymous Law Abiding Citizen said...

Wouldn't it be nice if we could do something like this to the prisons around the country? No way, the libs would be all over that!

3/26/2010 6:04 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Singapore does not have a prison population problem. They execute drug dealers over there. That would probably change some young peoples chosen career path in America if they were genunely serious about eradicating the drug problem.

The Mexicans have a gunfight at the Ok coral going on down there over drugs.

Seems like history shows that the way to stop unwanted things is to actualy stop it. Get serious, no pussyfooting around and just do it.

The one sherriff out west has an outdoor jail. They get no AC, no movies. baloney for every meal and wear pink underwear. Not many are opting to get back in the jail out there.

The fed gov seems to be riding him over his policy on illegal immigrants. Funny, a local Sherriff can control his area and others who have failed their primary mission want him to stop.

Maybe his superior performance is just making them look bad?

Some career politicians and lawyers have done a number on America over the years.

3/26/2010 6:28 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you imagine how much resentment the local Afghan support contractors must feel, seeing such luxuries so near while they still live in squalor?

I can possibly see the point about front line troops being resentful, but even that doesn't hold water. When the tip does get to head to the rear, I would imagine they would want a few (not the ridiculous crap like TGIF, OJ, etc) of the comforts. As for the local concern quoted above, I couldn't give an effin rip. These people live in the 5th century because of their backward religion, and no amount of PCBS justification will change that fact.

3/26/2010 7:17 PM

 
Anonymous NHSparky said...

Okay, anon--I can give you a few second-hand examples, along with one of my own. I also know a few guys who have been to the sandbox in combat arms, and there IS a resentment towards the FOBbit types who never see outside the gate, because the REMF's are more concerned about THEIR creature comforts than the mission.
One case I ran into was when I left my last boat to go to recruiting, and dropped off my record at PSD, whereupon the very junior PN2 griped at me for coming in "so late" (it was 1300 on a Thursday--still remember it well) because they were having a picnic after their inspection, having worked "so hard", pulling 10-hour days for the last two weeks. Needless to say, I was not amused.
Everyone has their ricebowl, to quote the line from The Sand Pebbles. But don't be distracted by the fact that THE MISSION COMES FIRST. Period.

3/26/2010 7:47 PM

 
Anonymous from the sea said...

How could a REMF even look a tipper in the eye? How many tenders do we have left?

3/26/2010 7:58 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many tenders do we have left?
For subs?
Two. AS-40 in Guam & AS-39 stripped to the bone of uniformed crew (heading to Dgar as an MSC ship).

AS-40 repair det is getting massively plussed up this year since the plan is to rotate some of their guys to Dgar every so many months.


Sad thing is AS-40 crew get AIP, but AS-39 do not...

3/26/2010 8:11 PM

 
Anonymous YNC(SS), USN, Ret said...

"NHSparky said...
Okay, anon--I can give you a few second-hand examples, along with one of my own. I also know a few guys who have been to the sandbox in combat arms, and there IS a resentment towards the FOBbit types who never see outside the gate, because the REMF's are more concerned about THEIR creature comforts than the mission.
One case I ran into was when I left my last boat to go to recruiting, and dropped off my record at PSD, whereupon the very junior PN2 griped at me for coming in "so late" (it was 1300 on a Thursday--still remember it well) because they were having a picnic after their inspection, having worked "so hard", pulling 10-hour days for the last two weeks. Needless to say, I was not amused.
Everyone has their ricebowl, to quote the line from The Sand Pebbles. But don't be distracted by the fact that THE MISSION COMES FIRST. Period."

Been there, done that. Experienced the same thing back in the day. Folks could not cope with Regular Navy, returned from life on the other side, or sea duty.

3/26/2010 8:56 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many sub tenders did we have in the 1970s/1980s?

I remember some but I think that there were more:

Orion
Hunely
Mckee
Canopus
Spear
Land
Proteus

?????

3/27/2010 6:07 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Additional Submarine tenders.

USS Simon Lake
USS Holland
USS Frank Cable
USS Hunley
USS Fulton
USS Bushnell
USS Sperry

3/27/2010 6:16 AM

 
Anonymous Rak Buster said...

It's not just the big bases like Kandahar and Bagram that are getting the amenities pulled. With those bases, they probably need a little redirection. Out here in the wilds near the Paki border, they are shutting down the little sewing shop where you can get rank sewed on or things fixed on your uniform.

I don't give a crap about the Burger Kings and the like. I had that crap in Iraq and it just never tasted right. That meat was suspect.

Just what logistical load does a Harley dealership have??? What about that sewing shop?? Needles and thread.... seems like the REMFs are taking over. We'll probably have a lawn at the HQ to mow before too long like at Arifjan....

3/27/2010 8:08 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't they issue sewing kits in boot camp anymore??? WTF!!!

keep a zero bubble.........

DBFTMC(SS)USNRET

3/27/2010 12:16 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TMC,

IMHO. Just because boats are low on the nice things due to spacial limitations, the bird farms do not lack much as far as all the sweet extras. I do not envy the troops having any luxury items that are practical without being over the top. You remember what its like pulling into civilization after being submerged forever and just getting a real slider, breathing real oxygen minus the boat's stench, a real hair cut and taking a real shower? Those troops are in a nasy environment serving the flag and why not give them a tiny bit of civilization? Just my opinion. I see how fiscally irresponsible and unsound some of governmnet is and when I see them being genuinely responsible then I will reconsider the other aspect.
Again, just a humble opinion.

3/27/2010 4:02 PM

 
Blogger Sandy Salt said...

I will say again because it bears repeating, it is great to have amenities of home when you are out there in the sandbox. It is a wonderful thing, but when it puts guys at risk of being killed or prevents the guys being shot at the things they need then hell yeah cut back. I agree there was no such belt tightening in Iraq and guys faced getting blown up every night to bring Pizza Hut and Baskin Robbins to Balad and VBC. It never made sense to risk lives for these things. We finally got the AF to actually carry stuff in all those empty cargo planes. This was considered a great victory. Here is one Gen and CSM that actually get it and they are taking a ration of sh!+. I really didn't think that guys that spent their time in the war zone in either the Green Zone, VBC or Balad really qualified as beeing deployed because they had all the comforts of home, except for maybe Balad due to the indirect fire problem. If you can run around in PT gear and not carry your weapon then you really aren't in the game. If you are crapping your pants wondering if you are going to make it through the night then you should be first and foremost on the Commanding General's mind and damn sure to get the bullets you need to shoot back. I would gladly ensure that guy got what he needed vice some AF puke at Balad running from the movie theater to the pool. I am sure it isn't much different in Afghanistan.

3/28/2010 6:17 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Close all the damn FOBs and make everyone live outside with the people.

That is what we were doing in Afghanistan and things got peaceful quick.

Close the FOBs - first step toward victory.

3/28/2010 12:49 PM

 
Blogger Sandy Salt said...

Agree with Anon 12:49, worked in Iraq and would work in Afghanistan as well. The people need to see you and be able to come to you without having to jump through hoops and get themselves beheaded for coming to the FOB.

3/29/2010 5:01 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(1) Concessions and ammo are not transported by the same assets. Ammo is military transport and military escorted. Concessions are civilian hire, unescorted. (2) Sure REMFs have more access to said concessions, but when Joe transits through Bagram/Kandahar/Salerno, kudos to him for hitting Burger King or Pizza Hut. It's said that leaders in the Puzzle Palace (Pentagon) lose touch with the real military. Same can be said at ISAF HQ.

4/01/2010 1:13 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you're deployed several thousand miles from home, even when it's not war, it is an emotional drain. If you're enlisted and doing a few years of military service before you move on to a civilian life, you're trying to remember home.

When I was stationed in Korea in '88-'89, I loved having the BK on base because it kept me sane. It was a little reminder of the world I missed. Heck, I nearly took my leave during that duty in Guam because that was the location of the closest Taco Bell.

These guys are facing stresses and pressures I will never fully comprehend. They are fighting for their lives. I am guessing that the small comforts that are getting axed mean a lot to them - probably more than they meant to me when I was in Korea.

This Sergeant Major really comes off as an ass. Yes, we know it's not an amusement park. Is that the reason you are closing down the reminders of home? He gives other reasons related to combat logistics. If those are the real reasons that's fine, but it kinda sounds like he's just shutting them down to be an ass.

Way to not understand your troops, CSM. Way to screw up morale.

4/06/2010 10:00 AM

 
Anonymous Ophelia said...

Quite worthwhile material, thank you for the post.

9/01/2012 3:39 AM

 

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