Unsat follow-ups

| July 25, 2023

First off,  let’s chat about the V-22 Osprey. A while back the Air Force grounded all of theirs due to several in-flight incidents caused by what they called Hard Clutch Engagements (HCE) which essentially tear up the drive line to the rotors. No rotor spin, no fly.  The Marines, who also fly the V22, said their pilots were trained to handle such instruments  but then June 8 last year an HCE crash killed 5 Marines.

Despite a history of at least 15 such incidents between March 2010 and August 2022, “the root cause of HCE remains unknown,” Maj. Gen. Bradford Gering wrote in a March letter accepting the investigation results.

Gering wrote that the fix the Pentagon touted in February — replacing a part of the drivetrain called an input quill assembly — serves only to reduce the chance of this costly, and now deadly, issue from happening again.

Despite no clear understanding of what causes the problem, the office that runs the Osprey program for the Pentagon claimed in a statement released Friday that, “through a combination of efforts, including the recent input quill assembly replacement bulletin in February 2023, the risk of a HCE event occurring was reduced by greater than 99%.”

Seems the input quill assembly wears prematurely and after 800 hours of operation should be replaced  The August crash aircraft had over 2000 hours on its quill assemblies.

“By greater than 99%” – in other words, still a measurable problem.  Maybe the best news on this is that DoD says it has run through its planned acquisitions of V-22s and won’t be buying more.  (Compare and contrast, if you will, the still-flying C-47s and C-130s of the world. Or the Dorian Grey B-52. What have we lost along the way? I suspect the KISS principle is rearing its ugly head.

And then we get to politics. Alabama’s folks are having an outsized impact nowadays – involving two major controversies on headquarters siting and abortion issues.  Huntsville, AL was selected as the Space Command’s permanent headquarters – but ever since the Air Force has slow-rolled confirming that decision, reportedly due to a) pique that Colorado Springs wasn’t selected, b) Deep blue Colorado is hardly likely to endorse a Trump administration decision. Much less one Trump supposedly made personally.

“Space Force — I sent to Alabama,” Trump told the “Rick & Bubba” radio show at the time. “I hope you know that. [They] said they were looking for a home, and I single-handedly said, ‘Let’s go to Alabama.’ They wanted it. I said, ‘Let’s go to Alabama. I love Alabama.'”

After Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Ala., told Military.com last week he was holding up military reprogramming requests over the Air Force’s much delayed decision on where to base U.S. Space Command, a committee spokesperson said Wednesday that the lawmaker has now allowed requests related to personnel funding to go through.

So at least Air Force personnel funding has been released. Now on the other side… Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-AL is blocking the processing of all O-7-up nominations. This includes both position and rank appointments. As an example, we have no confirmed head of the Marine Corps for the first time in over a century and a half. Why? Tuberville doesn’t like the Pentagon’s rules on paying for abortions for military members.  No transfers, no promotions until he gets his way.

Me, I am not wild about the Pentagon rules either, and past comments here indicate that many here are vehemently opposed to a far greater degree. Sure seems to me that there should be a better way to go about objecting, though, than to screw with the lives of folks who are most likely NOT the policymakers who set those policies.




Category: Air Force, Marines, Politics

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Per capita we have over 4 times more general/flag officers today than we did during WWII.

I’d say we’re a bit top heavy to begin with.

Not to mention that general/flag officers today are not warriors, they are politicians. That was true 20 years ago when I retired and, from what I understand, is even more true today.

I don’t have a lot of sympathy for those poor downtrodden politicians who are being stymied from grasping the golden ring that they’ve kissed so many asses to attain.

Not to mention that I honestly don’t see how it could harm readiness any more than the woke policies the brass have implemented in the past few years anyway. Might actually do some good. Maybe interim “leaders” will be a little more hesitant to implement whatever hare-brained schemes they’ve hatched to “out woke” their predecessors.

One can hope anyway.


My thoughts exactly, the military will run with or without its officially confirmed leadership. A General is a General and an Admiral is an Admiral. If they need further recognition to do their job as an acting, or stand-in, Chief of Staff or Commandant, maybe we (the taxpayers) should reconsider their usefulness.

In my experience, O5 (Lieutenant Colonel or Commander) is the last somewhat apolitical paygrade in the military. O6s are a mixed bag, but by the time that eagle is donned, an officer has to make a decision: stay true to the service and do what’s right by their subordinates and unit or walk that fine line that may net them one or more stars.

Green Thumb

Retire any flag officer that cannot bench press 225 lbs.


That’s a hate crime for transmen who aspire for flag officer rank.😆

That said, I resent my statement, not sure if my shoulders can handle 225 pounds these days. I might look like this guy:comment image


Just bring the CH-46 back for the Marines.


Didn’t the DOD recently find an accounting error of like 4 billion dollars? They could get their raises from that fat sack of cash. Oh, wait. It went to Ukraine instead.


C’mon, man, the security of Ukraine is directly tied to the security of our own borders. 😆


Tuberville is using the freeze to bludgeon Schumer into a floor vote on the DOD’s abortion policy. This will expose venerable Dems to actually having to go on record over the illegal practice.
So who is really holding up promotions?


Can’t auto-rotate when the lose power, just go splat. Something that’s not so critical please.


The placing of military bases and the assets inside of them has always been a delicate game of politics, pocket book and negotiation of the two. Trump cut through all that and simply sent them to Alabama, probably because his support level there was among the highest in the country. Even so, it was a smart decision.

Redstone Arsenal made more sense then most other places. NASA, MDA, DIA, MSIC as well as a bunch of Army Support Commands are located there. There is a well developed contracting base and two colleges with well developed engineering programs offering advanced degrees and research in space operations and engineering in the area.

Biden isn’t trying to stop it on it’s merits, he can’t.

Veritas Omnia Vincit

The military is the political football that both parties like to kick when it suits them and carry when it suits them to stop kicking….

Largely because it’s effective…

When they are against the military it’s all about saving money and reaping a peace benefit, when they are for the military it’s all about supporting the troops…

If only the reality matched the rhetoric one suspect recruitment would be a non-issue.

It is difficult to feel bad for some Colonel not getting that next step, a lot of those Colonels are a waste of space already and that star will only make them more political and less military. That said it’s still wrong to deny someone their due over an issue they can’t control. The legislators are wrong, as usual, on this one.

Regarding recruiting, the military and civilian labor markets are competing for the same small group of employees…and right now the civilians are offering better options than the our Uncle Sam….maybe some of those Colonels can offer some insight as to the benefits of working for Uncle Sam. Perhaps Uncle Sam could look at the pay system and consider paying an additional month each year…as there are 52 weeks in a year not 48 Uncle Sam is already behind the curve when it comes to pay…the US Postal Service in Massachusetts starting wage for letter carriers is almost $20/hr which is $3200 a month without overtime and right now there is considerable over time which can add $600-$750 a month to that salary…looking at the 2022 pay chart an E5 with 6 years earns $3273 but with only 12 pay checks their yearly wage is $39276 while the postal worker will get over $2,000 more for that same 52 week period.

If it’s really the troops that matter somebody better explain to the brain trust that their benefit package is no longer competitive in this new scarce labor available market.

USMC Steve

Remember back in the mid 90’s I believe it was, when they got rid of like 147 flag rank officers. You can pay a lotta privates for that kind of coin. I like to think efficiency got way better after they hit the bricks too.


Hackworth was a controversial figure, but having read About Face and his other books, as well as his weekly column, he was right about the burgeoned GO and FO ranks post-WWII, as well as other leadership “struggles” the military has had since Vietnam (and probably well before).

Nowadays, nearly every unit above brigade strength has at least an O7, and often, a position is filled by a subordinate officer who’s about to get promoted. So, if, say, a Brigadier General can fill a billet for a few months before pinning Major General, or a Captain can fill the shoes of a Rear Admiral (Lower Half), why is it such a travesty for a General to fill a General’s billet for a few months? Sorry, “Commandant of the Marine Corps (Acting)” must hold so much less authority than “Commandant of the Marine Corps”. I mean, it’s almost like an Army Corporal filling in as Squad Leader while waiting for promotion to Sergeant and for the incoming Staff Sergeant to in-process and assume the position. Except for, it’s not. An O10, or an E9 for that matter, has already reached the highest attainable paygrade, and position is what really matters anymore. That Corporal may be considered a temporary peer of the other Squad Leaders, but he/she is making far less money and will revert back to being a Team Leader as soon as someone senior in rank takes over. The General or Admiral acting as service chief is still getting the max pay permitted by law while also serving in what’s likely their last assignment, whether they are confirmed or not.


“caused by what they called Hard Clutch”

We used to just floor it off of a fast idle while side stepping the
clutch pedal and holding the parking brake to take any slack
out of the rear end.


Kirby says the Pentagon has a ‘sacred obligation’ to kill unborn babies (msn.com)

National Security Council coordinator John Kirby wants to remind everyone that the Democratic Party is so thoroughly obsessed with letting people kill their unborn children that Democrats view it as an integral part of defense policy.

On Monday, Kirby defended the Department of Defense policy of paying for travel expenses for military members to end the lives of their unborn children. Kirby called funding abortion trips a “foundational sacred obligation” of the military and said that helping kill unborn children is how the military “takes care” of families. “It’s just the right darn thing to do,” he said.

Forest Bondurant

Yeah, and the rub is the funds to pay for that travel for the procedure comes from the taxpayer.


Since it’s an election year, we will see who really is for this.


Sacred to the children of Moloch and all who worship at the alter of Ular, there are many sects and they lump them all into the SecUlar term.

Worship the Most High or the many Lows, Darpa Dark Projects…


“helping kill unborn children is how the military “takes care” of families. “It’s just the right darn thing to do,” he said.”

No, that’s how you prevent families



Found this and Apparently some are happy with how tuberville is handling things.


“Unsat” describes most of our current political & military state, IMHO

Someone needs to blade-hand a few folks


The US Navy is now fielding a few dozen Ospreys.
For ship to ship and ship to shore transports,
the range and payload advantages are invaluable,
reducing time delays and ship movements.

My son’s recent early 2022 personal experience,
flying his US Marines MV-22 Osprey alongside another,
training / leading a few newly deployed Navy CMV-22 Ospreys,
ship to ship throughout the Med,
and to landing spots in southern Europe and north Africa.

The new Navy Osprey pilots are getting the Top Gun hero treatment.
The Marine Osprey pilots, not so much.
Certificates of thanks, yes.
Medals or ribbons, no.


USMC Steve

The Corps should never have gotten rig of the Phrog.


As a former “backseater” in the UH-1V and UH-60, I’ve always thought the concept of the V-22 was something drawn up by the “Acme Corporation”. BTW Army, best of luck with the V-280….wink.


Good segue. 🙂

Coming soon…. To a theater near you.
Bell V-280 Valor – Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA)


Just fix the damn thing. It ain’t rocket science, is it?

Political pissing contests…sigh. Is it time for SEC Football yet? Roll Tide Roll How ’bout Them Dawgs and GO Army Beat Navy.

Green Thumb

Tubby had an undefeated season 2004.