This is what this year's US/UK carrier strike group will look like - We Are The Mighty
Intel

This is what this year’s US/UK carrier strike group will look like

Earlier this week, defense officials from the United States and the United Kingdom signed an agreement that will allow the two nations to merge forces into a joint U.S./U.K. carrier strike group in 2021. The joint strike group will be led by the U.K.’s new flagship carrier, the HMS Queen Elizabeth, and will include a U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, as well as a compliment of U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Joint Strike Fighters.

“This deployment underscores the strength of our bilateral ties and demonstrates U.S.-U.K. interoperability, both of which are key tenets of the U.S. National Defense Strategy,” a Pentagon’s announcement on the agreement reads.

Carrier strike groups represent some of the most potent means of force projection in any nation’s military, made up of an aircraft carrier and assorted ships tasked with defending and supporting carrier operations. The standard U.S. Navy carrier strike group is led by one of America’s supercarriers from the Nimitz class of ships (with Ford-class carriers expected to enter operational service in the near future as well). Each carrier maintains a carrier air wing made up of as many as 70 aircraft, allowing a single ship to leverage more destructive power than some entire nations. The U.S. Navy operates F/A-18 Super Hornets and will soon fly F-35C Joint Strike Fighters from the decks of its flat tops.

That carrier is usually accompanied by at least one cruiser, two destroyers or frigates, and other ships that may support specific operations like nuclear submarines or supply ships. All told, a single American carrier strike group usually boasts more than 7,500 personnel and wields enough conventional firepower to achieve tactical and strategic objectives on a broad scale. At any given time, the United States maintains 10 such carrier strike groups around the world.

This is what this year’s US/UK carrier strike group will look like
U.S. Navy ships assigned to the USS George Washington Carrier Strike Group sail in formation in the Atlantic Ocean (U.S. Navy photo)

The U.K. maintains only one carrier strike group, which is smaller in scale than any of America’s. Today’s UKCSG (U.K. Carrier Strike Group) is comprised of nine total ships, including the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier, two frigates, two destroyers, one replenishment ship, and a solid support ship. The Queen Elizabeth, which is the largest warship ever built for the Royal Navy, is not nuclear powered like America’s Nimitz-class carriers and is notably smaller–displacing 65,000 tons compared to the Nimitz’s 100,000.

While the Queen’s carrier may not be as large as its American counterparts, it still packs one hell of a punch. The HMS Queen Elizabeth is capable of supporting more than 65 aircraft and intends to field between 24 and 35 F-35B Joint Strike Fighters, alongside another 14 helicopters, at any given time.

This is what this year’s US/UK carrier strike group will look like
Royal Navy Cmdr. Nathan Gray, an F-35 Patuxent River Integrated Test Force test pilot, continues first of class flight trials (fixed wing) developmental test flights aboard the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin by Dane Wiedmann/Released)

“Next year, HMS Queen Elizabeth will lead a British and allied task group on our most ambitious deployment for two decades,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said. “We shall forward-deploy more of our naval assets in the world’s most important regions, protecting the shipping lanes that supply our nation.”

This is what this year’s US/UK carrier strike group will look like
Pictured in formation are, RFA Tideforce (lead), HMS Northumberland (her right), USS Truxton (her far right), HMS Dragon (her left), USS Philippine Sea (her far left) with HMS Queen Elizabeth at the rear during Exercise Westlant 19. (UK MOD)

The UKCSG currently includes the HMS Diamond, HMS Defender, HMS Kent, HMS Richmond, at least one attack submarine, the RFA Fort Victoria supply ship, and a Tide-class tanker for fuel.

The HMS Diamond and the HMS Defender are both Daring-class air-defense destroyers with a suite of onboard weapon systems, including up to 48 Aster 15 and Aster 30 missiles. The Kent is a Duke-class frigate with anti-submarine torpedoes, 8 Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and 32 anti-air missiles, and the Richmond is an older Type 23 frigate with a similar loadout. The subs used in the carrier strike group hail from either the older Trafalgar or the latest Astute-class of nuclear attack submarines.

This is what this year’s US/UK carrier strike group will look like
This image of the UKCSG includes destroyers from the Netherlands and U.S. Navy, making it a reasonable approximation of what the joint carrier strike group will look like later this year.
(U.S. Navy photo courtesy of the Royal Navy)

In 2021, the UKCSG will be joined by the USS The Sullivans, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer homeported in Mayport, Florida. The 505-foot ship displaces around 6,800 tons and carries a crew complement of around 280. Each Arleigh Burke-class vessel can carry 56 Raytheon Tomahawk cruise missiles. Each Tomahawk can strike targets as far away as 1,550 miles.

This is what this year’s US/UK carrier strike group will look like
U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Halsey firing a Tomahawk cruise missile. (U.S. Navy photo)

The joint strike group will be bolstered in the air by 10 of the U.S. Marine Corps’ short take-off, vertical landing variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. While the U.S. Navy operates F-35C’s off the decks of its own flattops, the F-35B has been considered a better option for the Queen Elizabeth’s sloping deck. The F-35B is the only version of the stealth fighter that can land vertically, eliminating the need for arresting wires during landing. The U.S. Marine Corps has been operating F-35Bs off the deck of amphibious assault ships in recent years in a similar fashion, earning the colloquial name of “Lightning Carriers.”

This article originally appeared on Sandboxx. Follow Sandboxx on Facebook.

Intel

These ‘Old Army’ vets don’t get your first aid kit

Today’s soldiers hear a lot about the “Old Army,” when men were men and privates weren’t allowed to speak.


Soldiers Magazine got veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm together to check out modern first aid kits. The old-timers were impressed by how much gear was in the kit but were confused by some items.

Check out their reactions in the video below:

Articles

Here’s what an Army medic does in the critical minutes after a soldier is wounded

When a soldier is wounded on the battlefield, medics get the call.


Medics are sort of like paramedics or emergency medical technicians in the civilian world, except paramedics and EMTs are less likely to carry assault rifles or be fired at by enemy forces. When everything goes wrong, soldiers count on the medics to keep them alive until they can be evacuated to a field hospital.

Also Read: Inside ‘Dustoff’ — 22 Photos Of The Army’s Life-Saving Medevac Crews 

Ninety percent of soldier deaths in combat occur before the victims ever make it to a field hospital; U.S. Army medics are dedicated to bringing that number down.

To save wounded soldiers, the medic has to make life or death decisions quickly and accurately. They use Tactical Combat Casualty Care, or TCCC, to guide their decisions. TCCC is a process of treatment endorsed by the American College of Surgeons and the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians.

First, medics must decide whether to return fire or immediately begin care.

This is what this year’s US/UK carrier strike group will look like
Photo: US Army Army Staff Sgt. Mark Burrell

Since the Geneva Convention was signed, the Army has typically not armed medics since they are protected by the international law. But, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have mostly been fought against insurgencies who don’t follow the Geneva Convention and medics have had many of their markings removed, so they’ve been armed with rifles and pistols.

When patients come under fire, they have to decide whether to begin care or return fire. The book answer is to engage the enemies, stopping them from hurting more soldiers or further injuring the current casualties. Despite this, Army medics will sometimes decide to do “care under fire,” where they treat patients while bullets are still coming at them.

Then, they treat life-threatening hemorrhaging.

This is what this year’s US/UK carrier strike group will look like
Photo: US Army Sgt. Michael J. MacLeod

Major bleeding is one of the main killers on the battlefield. Before the medic even begins assessing the patient, they’ll use a tourniquet, bandage, or heavy pressure to slow or stop any extreme bleeds that are visible. If the medic is conducting care under fire, treatment is typically a tourniquet placed above the clothing so the medic can get them behind cover without having to remove the uniform first.

Now, they can finally assess the patient.

This is what this year’s US/UK carrier strike group will look like
Photo: US Army Spc. Evan V. Lane

Once the medic and the patient are in relative safety, the medic will assess the patient. Any major bleeds that are discovered will be treated immediately, but other injuries will be left until the medic has completed the full assessment. This is to ensure the medic does not spend time setting a broken arm while the patient is bleeding out from a wound in their thigh.

During this stage, the medic will call out information to a radio operator so the unit can call for a medical evacuation using a “nine-line.” Air evacuation is preferred when it’s available, but wounded soldiers may have to ride out in ambulances or even standard ground vehicles if no medical evacuations are available.

Medics then start treatment.

This is what this year’s US/UK carrier strike group will look like
Photo: US Army Army Staff Sgt. Mark Burrell

Medics have to decide which injuries are the most life-threatening, sometimes across multiple patients, and treat them in order. The major bleeds are still the first thing treated since they cause over half of preventable combat deaths. The medics will then move on to breathing problems like airway blockages or tension pneumothorax, a buildup of pressure around the lungs that stops a soldier from breathing. Medics will also treat less life-threatening injuries like sprains or broken bones if they have time.

Most importantly, Army medics facilitate the evacuation.

This is what this year’s US/UK carrier strike group will look like
Photo: US Army Army Staff Sgt. Mark Burrell

Army medics have amazing skills, but patients still need to get to a hospital. Medics will relay all information about the patient on a card, the DA 7656 and the patient will get on the ambulance for evacuation. The medic will usually get a new aid bag, their pack of medical materials, from the ambulance and return to their mission on the ground, ready to help the next soldier who might get wounded.

Intel

The incredible history of the Medal of Honor

This is what this year’s US/UK carrier strike group will look like
Photo: The White House


The nation’s highest award for valor was first introduced exclusively for sailors and Marines, while the Army rejected the medal as a bad idea.

But six months after it was introduced in 1861, the Army changed its tune and authorized the Medal of Honor for soldiers. Since its creation, more than 3,400 military personnel have received the medal, which is awarded for “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty.”

In a documentary called “Medal of Honor – The History,” there are many more insights into how the medal came to fruition during the Civil War, its different designs, and how the requirements for receiving it changed over time. Interestingly enough, the idea of “stolen valor” frauds that today’s veterans continue to fight was a problem even in the late 1800s, which led recipients to form the Medal of Honor Legion.

The film, which is narrated by Gary Sinise, also explores the actions of some of the heroes who received the medal. It’s worth a watch.

Check it out:

https://vimeo.com/100896594

NOW: 8 Post-9/11 heroes who should have received the Medal of Honor — but didn’t

Intel

How a war between Michigan and Ohio would play out today

One of the least impressive wars in American history is the Toledo War. In 1835, a time after Ohio gained statehood and when Michigan was still a territory, war broke out between the two over who controlled Toledo. Two separate maps were drawn on either side, each claiming the highly profitable city of Toledo. Ohio and Michigan mustered their respective militias and prepared for war.


Luckily, or sadly, if you’re the type who enjoys violence, nothing happened. Instead, everyone got drunk and just shot their guns into the air. Only one person was actually injured, Sheriff Joseph Wood of Michigan, but he was stabbed in a bar fight. Additionally, Michiganders also managed to kill one Ohioan’s pig. Tensions were so high that President Andrew Jackson had to step in and sort things out. Toledo went to Ohio, while Michigan laid claim to the Upper Peninsula. In the long run, the forests and mines of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan turned out to be far more beneficial than the pretty-neat Toledo Zoo.

Today, the “war” is a funny footnote in American history that everyone from Michigan and Ohio will remind you of when it’s time for one the state’s sports teams to play the other’s. Out of pure speculation, let’s pretend that the two states prepared for a second Toledo War. For this scenario to play out, each state would act as their own country, not using any forces outside of already-established bases and National Guards, one half of the number of troops each state gives towards active duty as loyalists, and 2.5% of the state’s GDP (slightly above the world average for military expenditure).

This is what this year’s US/UK carrier strike group will look like
And let’s pretend the cause for war is because Ohioans never forgave Michigan for that one pig. (Image via New York Public Library)

Michigan Forces

Guard Troops: 14,934.

Additional troops from Active: 1,044.

Military expenditure: $13.2 Billion.

Two things would make Michigan a formidable foe: Detroit Arsenal and the large lakes secured by a sizable Coast Guard. The Detroit Armory produced many of the U.S. Armed Forces’ tanks from 1940 until its transfer to civilian use in 2001. Michigan is a large hub for the Coast Guard with two stations, one in Detroit and the other in Traverse City. Michigan is also home to two Air National Guard Bases, Battle Creek ANGB and Selfridge ANGB. They also have Camp Grayling, the largest National Guard training center in the USA, both by physical size and number of troops trained.

Despite these benefits, Michigan is the underdog in nearly every statistic. The fact that it also has no sizable Active Duty installation outside of the Coast Guard puts Michigan at another disadvantage.

This is what this year’s US/UK carrier strike group will look like
All those woods up north make for good training grounds. (Michigan National Guard Photo by SPC Victoria Jacob)

Ohio Forces

Guard Troops: 27,208.

Additional troops from Active: 3,397.

Military expenditure: $16.87 Billion.

Other than higher numbers, a key strength Ohio has over Michigan is Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. This probably contributes to the 5,358 airmen who enlisted active duty out of the total 6,793 Ohioans who serve. Those numbers would definitely be able to manage the five other Air National Guard bases scattered throughout Ohio.

In this fight, there’s no doubt about who controls the air — but that’s about it. In a full-scale war against Michigan, Ohio would greatly lack in ground and naval troops.

This is what this year’s US/UK carrier strike group will look like
The war entirely comes down to how large of an Air Force you would need to overpower every other branch. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Marisa Alia-Novobilski)

Outcome

Winner: Depends on how long the war goes.

Ohio’s vastly superior Air Force would overpower Michigan in a heartbeat, but that’s about all they’ve got going on. Michigan has the means of production and self-sustainability to counter Ohio’s lack of ground and naval capabilities if the war drags on.

Who do you think would win in this fictional fight? What other states would you like to see duke it out in a fictional war? Let us know in the comments!

Intel

This WWII vet says killing his enemy was the saddest memory of his life

Understanding the mental cost of taking someone’s life can be nearly impossible for those people who have never experienced it. In this StoryCorps video, Joseph Robertson, an infantryman who served during the Battle of the Bulge, tries to explain to his son-in-law the guilt he has carried since he killed a German soldier approaching his position.


StoryCorps, which works nationwide to collect oral history, has a veteran specific program, Military Voices Initiative, where veterans and service members can tell their stories.

(h/t Upworthy)

MORE: The 6 scariest vehicles of WWI and WWII

AND: 21 of the US military’s most overused clichés

Intel

A book published in 513 B.C. predicted exactly how the Vietnam War would play out

The lessons in Sun Tzu’s book “The Art of War” still ring true, despite it being written in 513 B.C. Case in point comes from the tactics used during the Vietnam War. As the following video points out, you have American Gen. William Westmoreland, who sees the battlefield like a chessboard. Then you have Gen. Võ Nguyên Giáp — who sees it like Sun Tzu would — as a go board. In go, you acquire territory with the fewest resources instead of eliminating the enemy troops like in Chess.


“It’s a classic case of a general fighting the last war,” says Richard A. Gabriel, a professor at the Department of War Studies at the Royal Military College of Canada, in the video. “The lessons he learned there [Gen. Westmoreland during World War II] only apply partially to Vietnam. There were no fixed objectives to be taken, there were no fixed units to be destroyed.”

This video shows how Sun Tzu’s lessons were applied during the Vietnam War:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fy2PZFajNPE

NOW: This Green Beret’s heroism was so incredible that Ronald Reagan said it was hard to believe

OR: Here’s how Hollywood legend Dale Dye earned the Bronze Star for heroism in Vietnam

Intel

The first Marine death of the Iraq war has been avenged, 13 years later

This is what this year’s US/UK carrier strike group will look like


Over a decade after Marine Lance Cpl. Antonio “Tony” Sledd was killed in Kuwait — marking the first American casualty of the second Iraq War — the terrorist mastermind who was responsible has been killed.

The Pentagon reports that an aerial drone was used to take out two Kuwait men who were tied to Sledd’s death, according to Time Magazine.

Sledd was 20 years old when he was killed on Fylaka Island in October of 2002, about 20 miles east of the city of Kuwait. He and fellow Marines were training on the island, five months before the official invasion.

Sledd had been creating a makeshift baseball diamond during a break when a white truck driven by two Kuwaitis burst through the training exercise, opening fire with AK-47s. One of the men was Mushin al-Fadhli.

The 34-year-old al-Fhadli was killed in a drone strike on July 8 while he drove his vehicle through northwestern Syria.

The Times reports:

“Al-Fadhli was the leader of a network of veteran al-Qaeda operatives, sometimes called the Khorasan Group, who are plotting external attacks against the United States and our allies,” Navy Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement. He added that al-Fadhli also was “involved” in the 2002 attack “against U.S. Marines on Faylaka Island in Kuwait.”

Read the full article at the Times

NOW:These new mini-drones could revolutionize ground warfare

OR: There’s going to be a ‘Top Gun 2′ — with drones

Articles

The King Of Jordan Sent Out This Badass Photo In Response To ISIL

This is what this year’s US/UK carrier strike group will look like
Jordan’s King Abdullah II (Photo: The Royal Hashemite Court, Facebook)


Jordan’s King Abdullah II, a former commander of his country’s special forces, vowed to bombard the Islamic State until his military runs “out of fuel and bullets” after the release of a grisly video showing a captured Jordanian airman being burned alive in a cage.

The official Facebook page of The Royal Hashemite Court published a photo showing Jordan’s leader dressed in military fatigues. The same photo was published on the king’s instagram account eight months ago.

Jordan has carried out airstrikes against the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS or ISIL, in Mosul.

The Jordanian government has denied rumors the king flew any aerial attacks.

Dubbed the “Warrior King,” Jordan’s leader has served in the military for 35 years.

According to the King’s bio, he enrolled in the UK’s Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst in 1980 and went on to become an attack helicopter pilot.

The Washington Examiner carried this amazing snippet from US congressmen who visited Abdullah in Jordan as part of an official trip:

“He said there is going to be retribution like ISIS hasn’t seen,” said Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter Jr., a Marine Corps veteran of two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, who was in the meeting with the king. “He mentioned ‘Unforgiven’ and he mentioned Clint Eastwood, and he actually quoted a part of the movie.”

Hunter would not say which part of “Unforgiven” the King quoted, but noted it was where Eastwood’s character describes how he is going to deliver his retribution. There is a scene in the picture in which Eastwood’s character, William Munny, says, “Any man I see out there, I’m gonna kill him. Any son of a bitch takes a shot at me, I’m not only going to kill him, I’m going to kill his wife and all his friends and burn his damn house down.”

Beyond airstrikes, Jordan could further contribute to the fight against ISIS through the use of its extremely effective special forces units.

Jordan’s special forces team, grouped under Jordan’s Joint Special Operations Command, is 14,000 strong and is one of the most effective fighting and intelligence forces in the region. Jordanian special forces frequently train alongside US forces.

More from Business Insider:

This article originally appeared at Business Insider Defense Copyright 2015. Follow BI Defense on Twitter.

Intel

This riveting animated short reveals the complexities of war

“Confusion Through Sand” tells the story of a young infantryman confronted by overwhelming conflict when he’s sent to a small, sandy village. Scared and alone, he has to fight his way out of an ambush.


The nine-minute short reveals the confusion of war from the warfighter’s perspective. It explores the spectrum of haze experienced by today’s soldiers in the desert, interpreting what happens when training encounters circumstances beyond the realm of human control.

The story is on the ground and under the helmet of a 19-year-old infantryman, according to the video’s Kickstarter campaign.

Watch:

NOW: Iraq war vet relives his most intense gunfight

OR: This beautifully animated video shows tow WWII pilots fighting all the way to Hell

Intel

The hilarious way to deal with someone pulling rank on liberty

The military is like an organized play. Everyone who assumes a position is supposed to follow the script to their role. However, some take it too far and continue even after the play has ended. These folks are always in character and they expect the same out of everyone around them.


In the field it’s understandable but if one of these “motards” pulls rank on you during liberty, you may be inclined to react the same way this Marine does.

Watch (some profanity):

NOW: This hilarious video shows the ‘hype vs. reality’ of Marine life

OR: Here’s the way-funnier version of what the Marine PFT is really like

Intel

Rare color footage shows the behind the scenes of the Japanese surrender 70 years ago

The official Japanese surrender ceremony took place aboard the USS Missouri anchored in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945.  Here’s some amazing B-roll uncovered by the Naval History and Heritage Command that shows behind-the-scenes stuff like the Japanese delegation coming aboard American warships on their way to the ceremony as well as what it looked like to the hundreds of sailors perched above the main deck when it all went down. The ceremony was a veritable who’s who event with military rock stars of the day like MacArthur, Nimitz, and Halsey in attendance. (There’s no sound on the video, but it’s worth the time.)


Intel

The new Air Force evaluation system is…optional?

On February 2, 2020, the Air Force announced a new evaluation system for its senior enlisted airmen and officers. E-7 through E-9 and O-1 though O-6 personnel will be graded on 10 Airman Leadership Qualities focused on character and competence. According to the Air Force, the 10 ALQs are categorized under four major performance areas which coincide with both the major graded areas of the Air Force Unit Effectiveness Inspection program and the language used to describe expected performance factors provided to promotion boards. Arguably the most interesting aspect of the new form is that it is optional.

“We designed the addendum to be used in conjunction with the primary Airman Comprehensive Assessment form to serve as a guide for raters to help facilitate actionable discussions during feedback that incorporate the Airman leadership qualities,” said Air Force Talent Management Innovation Cell Director Col. Laura King. Following initial release, the service will collect and implement feedback from commanders to rework and finalize the ALQs and the evaluation system as a whole.

Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne Bass noted that the new system is in its infancy. “This is just the beginning stages of constructing a system that clearly defines the qualities we value and need in our Airmen,” Bass said. “The synergy between the officer and enlisted evaluation systems is a huge win for how we develop our Airmen to build the Air Force our nation needs.”

The four major performance areas and 10 ALQs of the new evaluation system are broken down as follows:

Executing the Mission

  • Job Proficiency: Demonstrates knowledge and professional skill in assigned duties, achieving positive results and impact in support of the mission.
  • Initiative: Assesses and takes independent or directed action to complete a task or mission that influences the mission or organization.
  • Adaptability: Adjusts to changing conditions, to include plans, information, processes, requirements and obstacles in accomplishing the mission.

Leading People

  • Inclusion and Teamwork: Collaborates effectively with others to achieve an inclusive climate in pursuit of a common goal or to complete a task or mission.
  • Emotional Intelligence: Exercises self-awareness, manages their own emotions effectively; demonstrates an understanding of others’ emotions, and appropriately manages relationships.
  • Communication: Articulates information in a clear and timely manner, both verbally and non-verbally, through active listening and messaging tailored to the appropriate audience.

Managing Resources

  • Stewardship: Demonstrates responsible management of assigned resources, which may include time, equipment, people, funds and/or facilities.
  • Accountability: Takes responsibility for the actions and behaviors of self and/or team; demonstrates reliability and transparency.

Improving the Unit

  • Decision Making: Makes well-informed, effective and timely decisions under one’s control that weigh constraints, risks, and benefits.
  • Innovation: Thinks creatively about different ways to solve problems, implements improvements and demonstrates calculated risk-taking.

As the Air Force revamps its evaluation system following these 10 ALQs, leaders are encouraged to “use it to the maximum extent practical” according to a service press release. That said, if you have to pester your leadership for an evaluation, try not to do it to such an extent that you wind up on their bad side.

This is what this year’s US/UK carrier strike group will look like
(U.S. Air Force)