Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The United States Space Corps - The Resurrection

It was understood that due to it's previous rejection in the U.S. Senate last autumn that the fate of the proposed sixth branch of the U.S. armed forces dubbed "The Space Corps" by it's proponents was sealed and sent to whatever page in history pipe dreams go. That was until Monday morning at least when POTUS45 announced that he was directing the Department of Defence and The Pentagon to begin work on establishing the new branch of the armed forces responsible for asserting U.S. dominance in space, apparently a "recent idea of his" which he has designated "Space Force".

However, this bizarre directive which can't actually be enacted without Congressional approval (something that was refused last year) may be years before such a force could be fully established. The announcement apparently took the Pentagon by surprise although as part of last years NDAA deliberations, it has been working to deliver an interim report to Congress by August on whether it's feasible to carve out a separate Space Force branch from the U.S. Air Force. If POTUS45 got wind of it, he likely made up his own mind about it and simply told people to get it done.

However, the creation of a new military service is not a small policy that can be simply added to an annual budget request, it's "major legislation. It is going to take years. I don't think Congress will get around to authorizing it until next year at the earliest," said Todd Harrison, director of the Aerospace Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in an interview on Monday.

It's conjectured that the creation of the space force may not have a huge impact on the annual budget request due to the DOD likely leveraging personnel and capabilities it already has but if requires an accompanying service academy like the Air Force Academy, then it will all add up exponentially.

"Renewed space threats are driving this -- Russia and China," Harrison said "This is what reignited this in 2016, and the concern was the Air Force wasn't moving fast enough. But the biggest winners if a space force happens? Contractors. Anywhere from 15,000 to 20,000 personnel could be added to the space force, augmented by a force of contractors and civilians that may be double that number. That's where the experts are."

Air Force leaders past and present almost unanimously agreed against the previous suggestions of establishing a Space Corps last year. However, following POTUS45's order Monday, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldstein (left) voiced agreement with the president's position that the U.S. military approach to the space domain must become more robust to meet current and future challenges (as publicly disagreeing would likely need to be followed by their resignations). A statement from the Air Force brass included: "The President's statement to the National Space Council adds emphasis to the Air Force position -- space is a warfighting domain and the entire national security space enterprise must continue to enhance lethality, resilience and agility to meet the challenge posed by potential adversaries," they wrote. "We look forward to working with Department of Defense leaders, Congress, and our national security partners to move forward on this planning effort."


Monday, April 16, 2018

R.I.P. Gunny

Gny. Sgt. R. Lee Ermey USMC a Marine for 11 years and later an actor and consultant in Hollywood made famous by Full Metal Jacket has died at 74.

I've lost one of my heroes and role models. Marines die, but the Corps is forever, so he is forever.

Semper Fi Gunny.

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Over-zealous General attempts to wrest control of 5G roll-out!

Brig. Gen. Robert Spalding USAF, the senior director for strategic planning with the National Security Council, left the White House this week following the leak of a memo that advocated for a government takeover of development of the nation’s 5G mobile telecom network.

Last week the Wall Street Journal reported some White House officials viewed next-gen 5G wireless service as a “key area of competition,” and saw a potential threat from China as justification for a “moonshot” government effort behind the network’s development. Moonshot in this context being an ambitious, exploratory and ground-breaking project undertaken without any expectation of near-term profitability or benefit and also, perhaps, without a full investigation of potential risks and benefits.

Spalding was the memo's author which irked the telecom industry and irritated the White House according to the Washing Post, but was not implicated in the leak. However it was decided his backing of the potential government takeover of the 5G network exceeded his NSC role.

FCC chairman Ajit Pai told the New York Times that he opposed the idea of a government-built 5G network, and industry group USTelecom said government involvement would likely slow the technology's development.

"What can seem like a logical idea can often be derailed in the way it's presented," said Brigadier General "Whopper" Creedon, USMC, SPEARHEAD Assistant Commander for Intelligence and Information who as a Colonel in 2005 served the NSC as Military Assistant to the Deputy National Security Advisor for Extraterrestrial Encounters. "My proposal for AMDI, the Alien Mothership Deterrent Initiative needed to make it look like it was coming directly from the advisors never by me. If it got shot down - fair enough, if it got accepted - all good but if it crashed and burned it would have been difficult for the advisors to pin it on me without looking like they were idiots for suggesting it."

"One doesn't just suggest taking government control of a new telecommunications standard roll-out! You give the companies 'incentives' to get them all to do the job faster themselves. You have to know how to play the game but more importantly you have to know the players, sadly Spalding was too over-zealous with his proposal for the current administration to handle or likely even understand," said Gen. Creedon.

Source: Fox News / WSJ / NYT / Washing Post

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Doctor Pinnochio

During the week the White House physician Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson spoke to the media and gave a glowing report on POTUS45's health. Repeating the word "excellent" more than half a dozen times and uttered statements like "He has incredible genes... He has incredibly good genes, and it's just the way God made him." - God of course having no place in a medical diagnosis, but that's another issue.

Other statements included "if he had a healthier diet over the last 20 years, he might live to be 200 years old" which lead the media to question if the man was even a real doctor. Yes he's a real doctor but he's lying.

He's lying because he reported that the president had somehow grown an entire inch in his 70's. He's lying because he reported that the president is just one pound shy of being classed as obese. He's lying because I've stood in uniform and lied to enough people at the behest of a superior to recognise when I see other people forced into doing it too. 

Sadly that's what's missing from the media reports questioning Dr. Jackson's diagnosis. Like it or not POTUS45 is the Commander in Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces of which Dr. Jackson is a member. Ordering a subordinate to give false statements is not a crime. Giving false statements to the media is not a crime. But I do hope Dr. Jackson is of good enough character to at least loose sleep over what he's had to say...

I know I have.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

SPEARHEAD: Zuma not intercepted by aliens. Pentagon says "Ask SpaceX!"

Zuma, a billion-dollar spy satellite built by Northrop Grumman was launched Jan. 7 on SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and was reported as "failed to reach orbit." As everything about the mission except the launch itself was secret, few details will be available to the public. Despite the loss SpaceX was quick to assert last week that its Falcon 9 performed as advertised.

Chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White and Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., Director of the Joint Staff elected not to comment on the launch, and refer all questions to SpaceX. 

SPEARHEAD's Assistant Commander for Intelligence and Information Marine Corps Brig. Gen. "Whopper" Creedon has denied reports that Zuma was intercepted by an Extra Terrestrial spacecraft, answering a reporters question with the word "Bollox".


Monday, January 01, 2018

2017 - Those We Lost

We pay tribute to those lost in 2017 including:

Powers Boothe
Roger Ailes (77) American television executive and media consultant. Chairman and CEO of Fox News and the Fox Television Stations Group.
Richard Anderson (91) American actor ("The Six Million Dollar Man", "The Bionic Woman").
Jim Baikie (77) Scottish comics artist ("The New Statesmen", "Judge Dredd", "Star Trek", "Batman")
Chester Bennington (41) American singer, songwriter, and actor. Linkin Park lead vocalist.
Chuck Berry (90) American singer, songwriter, musician. Pioneer of rock and roll music. "Johnny B. Goode".
Jack Blessing (66), American actor (Dulmur in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine "Trials and Tribble-ations").
Powers Boothe (68) Emmy winning American actor ("Tombstone", "Red Dawn", "By Dawn's Early Light", "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.")
Rich Buckler (68) American comic book artist. (Iron Man #196–197) Creator of Deathlok.
Wally Burr (91) American voice actor and director (The Transformers series, Transformers: The Movie and the G.I.Joe series/movie).
Glen Campbell (81) American singer, guitarist, songwriter, television host, and actor. "Rhinestone Cowboy".
Bernie Casey
Bernie Casey (78) American actor and football player. ("I'm Gonna Git You Sucka", "Under Siege", Lt. Commander Cal Hudson in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine).
Captain Eugene Cernan, USN Ret. (82) American astronaut, naval aviator, electrical engineer, aeronautical engineer, and fighter pilot. Apollo 17, last person to have walked on the Moon.
Don Cockburn (87) Irish journalist, presenter and RTÉ newsreader.
Fred Cogley (82) Irish sports broadcaster.
Alan Colmes (66) American radio and television host, liberal political commentator for the Fox News Channel, and blogger. Co-host of "Hannity & Colmes".
Mike Connors (91) American actor ("Mannix").
Chris Cornell (52) American musician, singer, and songwriter. Lead vocalist for Soundgarden and Audioslave. Perrformed theme song to "Casino Royale" (2006) "You Know My Name".
Liam Cosgrave (97) Irish politician, Taoiseach (1973–1977).
Alfie Curtis (87) British actor (Dr. Evazan in Star Wars: A New Hope).
John Cygan (63) American actor and voice actor ("Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic" video game series, Dash Rendar in "Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire" and "Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance").
Dick Gautier (85) American actor and singer (Rodimus Prime in "The Transformers" and Serpentor in "G.I.Joe").
Nelsan Ellis (39) American film and television actor and playwright. (Lafayette Reynolds in "True Blood").
Miguel Ferrer
Miguel Ferrer (61) American actor ("RoboCop", "Star Trek III: The Search For Spock", "NCIS: Los Angles").
Neil Fingleton (36) English actor and basketball player. Tallest British-born man. (Mag the Mighty in "Game of Thrones", motion capture for Ultron in "Avengers: Age of Ultron").
Captain Dara Fitzpatrick (45) Irish Coast Guard helicopter pilot.
Sir Bruce Forsyth, CBE (89) British presenter, actor, comedian, singer, dancer, and screenwriter whose career spanned more than 75 years.
Colonel Wesley L. Fox, USMC Ret. (86) Legendary American Marine Corps officer, Medal of Honor recipient.
Jim French (89) American radio host and voice actor (Father Grigori in "Half-Life 2").
Stephen Furst (63) American actor ("Babylon 5", "St. Elsewhere").
Frank Vincent (80) American actor, starred in many mafia tough guy roles.
Captain Richard F. Gordon Jr. USN Ret. (88) American naval officer and aviator, chemist, test pilot, and NASA astronaut. Gemini 11, Apollo 12.
Dick Gregory (84) African-American comedian, civil rights activist, social critic, writer, entrepreneur, conspiracy theorist.
Robert Guillaume (89) American actor and singer ("Benson", Dr. Eli Vance in "Half-Life 2").
Robert Hardy, CBE (91) British actor ("All Creatures Great and Small", "War and Remembrance").
Richard Hatch (71) American actor ("Battlestar Galactica" 1978 / 2004, "The Streets of San Francisco").
Maureen Haughey (91) Irish political figure, wife of Charles Haughey.
Glenne Headly (62) American actress ("Dirty Rotten Scoundrels", "Future Man").
John Heard (71) American film and television actor ("NCIS: Los Angeles", "Snake Eyes", Commander Barry Garner in "Battlestar Galactica" (2004)).    
Hugh Hefner (91) American magazine publisher (Playboy), businessman (Playboy Enterprises) and reality television personality.
John Hillerman
John Hillerman (84) Emmy winning American actor ("Blazing Saddles", Higgins in "Magnum, P.I.").
Skip Homeier (86) American actor (Melakon in "Star Trek "Patterns of Force"" and Dr. Sevrin in "Star Trek "The Way to Eden"").
Captain Thomas J. Hudner Jr. USN Ret. (93) American naval aviator, Medal of Honor recipient (Battle of Chosin Reservoir).
Dave Hunt (74) American comic book artist ("Transformers").
Sir John Hurt, CBE (77) BAFTA winning British actor ("Alien", "1984", "Hellboy", "Outlander").
Captain Arthur J. Jackson USMC Ret. (92) American military officer, Medal of Honor recipient.
Clifton James (96) American actor (Sheriff J.W. Pepper in "Live and Let Die").
Al Jarreau (76) Grammy winning American jazz and R&B singer ("Moonlighting").
Gordon Kaye (75) English actor and singer ("Allo 'Allo!").
Specialist Four Thomas James Kinsman, USA (72) American soldier, Medal of Honor recipient.
General William L. Kirk USAF Ret. (84) American air force officer. Commander in Chief, U.S. Air Forces in Europe/Commander, Allied Air Forces Central Europe (CINCUSAFE/COMAAFCE) from 1987 to 1989.
Sonny Landham
Sonny Landham (76) American actor ("Predator", "48 Hrs.", "Lock Up").
Martin Landau (89) Oscar winning American actor ("Space: 1999", "Mission: Impossible", "Meteor", "By Dawn's Early Light").
Peadar Lamb (87) Irish actor (Fargo Boyle in "Father Ted "Chripy Burpy Cheap Sheep"").
Joan Boocock Lee (95) Wife of Stan Lee (Computer Voice in Iron man (1994)).
Victor Llamas (41) American comic book artist ("Batman", "Star Wars: Republic", "G.I. Joe").
John Mollo (86) British costume designer ("Star Wars").
Lawrence Montaigne (86) American actor (Decius in "Star Trek "Balance of Terror"", Stonn in "Star Trek "Amok Time"").
Mary Tyler Moore (80) 7-time Emmy winning American actress.
Lt. General Harold G. "Hal" Moore, Jr. USA Ret. (94) American army officer and author ("We Were Soldiers Once… And Young").
Sir Roger Moore, KBE (89) English actor ("The Saint", "The Wild Geese",  James Bond in seven movies).
Captain Bruce McCandless II, USN Ret. (80) American astronaut (STS-41-B).
Douglas Netter (95) American television producer ("Babylon 5").
Barry Norman (83) British film critic and television presenter.
Michael Nyqvist (56) Swedish actor ("Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol", "John Wick").
Bill Paxton (61) American actor ("Navy SEALS", "Apollo 13", "Aliens", "True Lies", "U-571", "Twister", "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.").
Michael Parks (77)American singer and actor (Kill Bill movies, "Argo", "Django Unchained").
Lt. General Leonard H. Perroots, Sr., USAF Ret. (83) American military officer, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (1985–1988).
Tom Petty (66) American Hall of Fame musician and voice actor.
Tim Pigott-Smith
Tim Pigott-Smith, OBE (70) BAFTA winning British actor ("Quantum of Solace", "Flyboys", "Johnny English", "Jewel in the Crown").
Richard Portman (82) Oscar winning American sound mixer ("The Godfather", "Star Wars", "The Deer Hunter").
Oberfeldwebel Willi Reschke (95) German Luftwaffe ace. 26 aerial victories in 70 missions.
Don Rickles (90) American stand-up comedian, actor, and author. ("Run Silent, Run Deep", "Kelly's Heroes", Mr. Potato Head in the Toy Story franchise).
George A Romero (77) American-Canadian filmmaker, writer and editor. Progenitor of the fictional zombie of modern culture ("Night of the Living Dead", "Day of the Dead", "Land of the Dead").
Master Sergeant Wilburn K Ross USA Ret.(94) American WWII veteran, Medal of Honor recipient.
Peter Sallis OBE (96) British actor. ("Last of the Summer Wine", Wallace and Gromit franchise).
Sam Shepard (73), Pulitzer Prize winning American playwright and actor ("The Right Stuff", "Black Hawk Down", "Stealth").
Harry Dean Stanton (91) American actor ("Alien", "Escape from New York", "Red Dawn").
Charles P. Thacker (74) American computer designer, co-inventor of Ethernet.
Jay Thomas (69) American actor, comedian, and morning radio personality. (Marty Grossman in "Ray Donovan", Brett Morris in "American Dad!").
Colonel Leo K. Thorsness, USAF Ret. (85), American air force officer and Medal of Honor recipient, member of the Washington Senate (1988–1992).
Private First Class Edward J. Tipper Jr. (95) American World War II veteran (Easy Company), depicted in "Band of Brothers".
Margaret Towner
Margaret Towner (96) British actress (Jira in "Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace").
Michael Twomey (83) Irish actor. (Cha and Miah).
Judge Joseph Wapner (97) American judge and television personality ("The People’s Court").
Stewart Wieck (49) American game designer (White Wolf Publishing).
Len Wein (69) American comic book writer and editor (Watchmen, Iron Man #82–85) Co-creator of Wolverine.
Captain Paul J.Weitz, USN Ret. (85) American naval officer and aviator, aeronautical engineer, test pilot, and NASA astronaut. Skylab 2, Commander of STS-6 mission.

Adam West (88) American actor ("Batman", "Family Guy").
Stanley Weston (84) American inventor and licensing agent. Created the G.I. Joe toy line in 1963, as well as the very concept of the action figure.
Lt. General Samuel V. Wilson, USA Ret. (93) American army officer, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (1976–1977).
Bill Woodson (99) American voice actor (Narrator on "The Winds of War", "War and Remembrance" and "Battle of the Planets").
Captain Jerry Yellin, USAAF (93) American fighter pilot. Flew final combat mission of World War II.
Malcolm Young (64) Scottish-born Australian Hall of Fame guitarist and songwriter (AC/DC). 

May they rest in peace.

Goodbye 2017

2017 was:

Triggering of Article 50 for Brexit
MOAB was dropped
Attack in Manchester
U.S. pulls out of Paris Climate agreement and UNESCO
Raqqa is liberated
The North Korean Menace Continues
 Wonder Woman
Mugabe says goodbye
Total Solar Eclipse
Isil attacks Iran
Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, Ophelia
Earthquake in Mexico
The Last Jedi
Bus Éireann strikes
Las Vegas shooting
Catalonia declares independence
Mladić sentenced to life
 Enda says goodbye
Iraq liberated from Isis
Disney to buy Fox

All the best for 2018!

Friday, November 10, 2017

The United States Space Corps - Part XII: The Finale

The Congressional committee reconciling the differences between the House and Senate NDAA versions have finally axed the Space Corps as a provision. While this means that the new military branch will not be created for January 2019 the final NDAA, will contain language for the deputy SECDEF to have a federally-funded research and development centre not affiliated with the USAF  to examine the long-term prospects of creating a military department to deal with space.

There will also be significant changes to the relationship between the Air Force and space as a domain. The NDAA now includes a number of provisions taken from the Space Corps framework to fix what the conference report termed a "broken national security space enterprise." It places emphasis on "streamlining Air Force acquisition authorities, eliminating burdensome red tape, empowering a single accountable organization for space forces within the Air Force, placing renewed emphasis on the organization and management of space in the DoD, and holding the deputy secretary of defense responsible for the full and faithful execution of these improvements."

The legislation also eliminates multiple space authorities, including the Principal DoD Space Adviser and the Defense Space Council, instead consolidating authority within Air Force Space Command. The NDAA also strips Secretary Wilson of her role as primary space adviser to the secretary of defense.

While the dream of a Space Corps is now finished for the time being, there may be nothing preventing it from appearing in the future.

Sources: Space News / The Hill / Popular Mechanics


242 years today. Oorah! Semper Fi!