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Intel Officer Likes G2mil

I'm a fan of your work & a subscriber to your site.  I'm also a former Army Intel Officer (CI/HUMINT) who, in very large part, agrees with your assessments re: Iraq (& other matters, as well).

                                                                                                 Chris Farrell

More Infantry

I enjoyed your articles in the November issue of your on-line magazine G2mil on mobilizing the regular army by, among other things, abolishing surplus artillery units and using the additional manpower to stand up more rifle units for Iraq and other purposes.

Interestingly enough, and as you're probably already aware, there is ample historical precedent for this -- in both the Mexican War and in the Civil War, the US Army pressed artillery units into service as infantry when pressed to generate additional infantry. For that matter, the CS Army did so as well.

I liked your recent article on the 6 division marine corps also [in the transformation section], and always enjoy reading your page.

                                                                                        Hale Cullom, III

OPSEC Paranoia

Please explain to me the necessity to identify each and every Reserve/Guard unit mobilized along with home town and personnel strength.  Did not you and your associates get introduced to OPSEC during your military service???  Are you actually willing to help build our enemies data base for them or are you too indifferent to care??  One of the first priorities of an interrogator is to determine the enemy's order of battle and where each POW fits in to that OB.  You disgust me.

                                                                                                Robert Kosmal

Ed: That information is from the main website of the Department of Defense (  Fortunately, they are not suffering from OPSEC paranoia.

TOW-Hydra Rocket Launchers

      I did some quick calculations and an adapter can be made for the current breed of Tow launchers that would allow a triple pack of Hydra 70's to be carried.  A quick change to targeting software would allow firing the unguided rounds.  With the future implementation of laser guided hydra rockets, accurate fire is achieved.

      Better yet, have a replacement kit for Bradleys that changes out the double Tow launchers for a twin pack of 19-round Hydra packs.  Depending on the weight limit of the gimble, you might have to use a single 19, two 7 packs, or a single 19 and a single 7.  Since all operations vs. heavy tanks in Iraq is over, this is an ideal situation in an urban environment.  Another idea is to mount packs of Hydras on a remote turret on 113s and Hummers.

      Imagine a truck/trucks laden with explosives rounding a corner barreling toward a roadblock.  Does the crew have enough time to use a Tow?  Does the Tow have enough time to arm?  If there are multiple trucks, can the Bradley engage them both?  If the Bradley fires a volley of unguided Hydra HE rockets, this would vaporize the trucks.

                                                                                                  Eric Teague

Rockets and Cessnas

I'm not sure the 150mm rocket idea will fly (so to speak).  Unguided rockets aren't terribly accurate (at least not point-target accurate).  Wind gusts induce significant yaw.  Inconsistencies in propellant burn also produce inaccuracies.  Recoilless rifles don't suffer these problems because all of the propellant is burned by the time the round leaves the barrel, and the rounds are typically spin stabilized and much shorter, which minimizes wind-induced yaw.  Perhaps just buying TOW rounds with HE warheads would suffice.  $18K is a drop in the bucket for military programs.  Troops in OIF were using $75k Javelins and more expensive Hellfires for the same purpose.

On the OV-6B, I question whether or not it has sufficient volume and load carrying capability to handle all the various comm/optical gear it would need.  I imagine it would be useful for it to carry a Sniper/Litening pod (don't know if its hardpoints are wired properly).  Looking out the window with binoculars just isn't the Army/USAF way anymore.  They want precise coordinates for JDAMs, not "second hill to the right" targeting.

Also, a 900 mile range would give it around a 3 hour flight time (no air refueling capability). Considering it'll probably have to fly several hundred miles from base on a regular basis to reach its loiter area, it may only have an hour or so on station.  Adding drop tanks on its inboard wet hardpoints would help somewhat, but there's only so long an aircrew can stay aloft in such a small cockpit.

Perhaps moving up to something like a Cessna Citation, with a stand up cabin (and mini-toilet), would be more reasonable.  It has enough interior volume for a couple controller workstations plus comm gear.  A Citation Sovereign has up to a 2600 mile range.  A 440 mph, it could stay aloft for up to 6 hours - 4 of which over a 400+ mile away target area.

Of course, Citations are significantly more expensive, and don't have hardpoints for EO/IR gear.  I would spend the extra money to have the F-35 DAIRS IR and EOTS (or podded Sniper) systems integrated.  This would give the 2+ controllers a wide aperture IR view using DAIRS and pinpoint, high altitude targeting using EOTS.  An argument could be made to integrate a radar with ground mapping and MTI capability (possibly from the F-35 or Global Hawk) as well.

Given appropriate comm gear, such an aircraft could also act as a forward UAV/UCAV controller.  If that's too rich for your blood, perhaps something like a modified Britten-Norman Defender  It's not very fast, but does have 8 hours of
endurance, hardpoints, and a larger cabin.

                                                                                                  Brent Smith

Ed: Aircraft have used 70mm rockets successfully for years, but I agree they are only good for close area targets.  However, that is what infantrymen often encounter; a heavily defended hillside 500 meters ahead.  In urban combat, targets are sometimes within 50 meters.  I can see them loaded with flechette rockets while on convoy duty to immediately suppress an ambush.

I also like the idea of cheap dumb Hellfires for $5000 each, rather than the laser-guided $100,000 Hellfires.  An Apache or Cobra can carry 16 Hellfires, so if the pilot just wants to dig up some dirt where an enemy is said to be dug in, he can let loose some dumb Hellfire rockets with a much large explosive charge than 70mm Hydra rockets.

As I suggested, there will be much debate about the best observation aircraft, but only the T-6 is available to the USA for immediate use.  As for larger command aircraft, the E-2C Hawkeye would be great.
During major combat operations, I envision a Hawkeye as the circling airborne coordinator whilst several OV-6Bs serve as close-in scouts, often assigned to specific battalions.

Israeli Nuclear Subs

     That article about the Israeli nuclear carrying subs was right on the money. 

     The rumor is that the missiles were tested off the coast of Sri Lanka (Ceylon). Very plausible. Victor Ostrovsky, in his book about the Mossad, states that the Mossad has very good relations with both sides in the Sri Lankan conflict, selling arms and advice to both sides.  Maybe home grown cruise missiles. And of course home grown nukes as well. The Israelis do have an impressive technological base and background in this area. And their ordnance people are very good at taking a basic system and converting it to an even more effective weapons system, such as their subs.

      Probably to be used against Iran, Pakistan, Libya, etc. Or any other possible opponents that harbor nuclear intent. One base is probably at Eilat, on the Red Sea. Gives them access to the Indian Ocean. 

Ed:  Former Mossad case officer Victor Ostrovsky's books are very insightful, and frightening.  They are difficult to find in the USA as the small publishers who printed first editions were hounded and harassed until they stopped.