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Ultranationalist
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12,878 Posts
Its a brotherhood that I wish I had entered when I was in the army. Its that little extra.
Sometimes you have to get lucky. Every unit I went to, I requested to go to Airborne. Every unit told me they weren’t sending anyone to Airborne because XYZ. My first unit told me they weren’t doing it because in Korea, we train for a Korean conflict. My last unit told me they weren’t sending anyone because we were training up for deployment to Afghanistan. Everyone in between gave me similar types of excuses.

Some people get to go and make it through. Some wash out. Others never even get the opportunity. Lack of opportunity to go to higher level schools is one reason I got out.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You're on a little rampage aren't you lol.

Bashing traditions, telling us elite units aren't really elite or needed, now airborne is not needed too.

I may be wrong, but I feel an agenda....

Sent from my Note 8 using Tapatalk
I don't know if the author had an agenda or not but he makes some valid points. I don't have an agenda, just found it interesting and it caused me to think a bit.
 

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Wildlife Proctologist
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2,216 Posts
The article states airborne units are an outdated concept and that we have too many. I suspect the author doesn't understand military history and strategy.

One of the primary missions of airborne units is to seize airfields. It's still a valid mission for a forced entry outside the range of rotary wing (Grenada). That's all about the flow of forces, evacuating medical, and logistics. Our ability to project and mass forces saves lives. Another valid mission is to rapidly gain a foothold by securing terrain his rear (northern Iraq). The capability itself prevents a smart enemy for massing forces and requires him to secure rear areas.

If the author is only looking at history since 9-11 then he is falling into the easy trap of assuming the last war will be like the next rather than the realizing the need to prepare for a near peer competitor. For example, had we trained for a Vietnam type war into the 80s we likely wouldn't have won the Cold War because Russia likely wouldn't have stayed on their side of the fulda gap. Another example preparing for the last war was France's magineot line which was a mere speed bump to the blitzkrieg.
 

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6,384 Posts
The article states airborne units are an outdated concept and that we have too many. I suspect the author doesn't understand military history and strategy.

One of the primary missions of airborne units is to seize airfields. It's still a valid mission for a forced entry outside the range of rotary wing (Grenada). That's all about the flow of forces, evacuating medical, and logistics. Our ability to project and mass forces saves lives. Another valid mission is to rapidly gain a foothold by securing terrain his rear (northern Iraq). The capability itself prevents a smart enemy for massing forces and requires him to secure rear areas.

If the author is only looking at history since 9-11 then he is falling into the easy trap of assuming the last war will be like the next rather than the realizing the need to prepare for a near peer competitor. For example, had we trained for a Vietnam type war into the 80s we likely wouldn't have won the Cold War because Russia likely wouldn't have stayed on their side of the fulda gap. Another example preparing for the last war was France's magineot line which was a mere speed bump to the blitzkrieg.
Well said.

Sent from my Note 8 using Tapatalk
 

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We need airborne. There is simply no easier, efficient nor more effective way to get troops where we need them, when we need them.

The article did NOT say do away with airborne. He said we have too much, and that as a unit, it really doesn’t work.

“Does the Army need airborne? The short answer is no. The long answer is we need the capability, there is a small fraction of operations where an airborne assault might be the only way to go, but we don’t need as much “airborne” as we currently have.”


But he also mentions that the idea of a company sized unit being a cohesive unit after a jump is ridiculous, and that the jump training is overrated, a first time jump is no more dangerous than a 100th jump.

“We don’t need units like the 82nd or battalions like the 1/501st. We need each unit to have a small cadre of jump masters and if the military decides to utilize personnel on an airborne operation, the cadre will ensure everyone is suited up, rigged, and then push them out the door.”


So why waste time and money training beyond a cadre, or set up and maintain units that will not be units within minutes of leaving the planes?

On the other hand, his argument is moot...if the unit comes apart, why have company sized units jump at all?

I certainly don’t have the answers. I know esprit d’corp is a real thing, though.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Though this point has nothing to do with the article's premise. HALO jumps are particularly valuable in today's environment. Of course they don't require the expense of maintaining large trained units. As far as a ready to depart trained force we do have the 75th Ranger Regiment which is an elite airborne light infantry combat unit with strategically located battalions.
 

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Proud Crusader
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Let me tell you something, OP. My unit, 1-508th, 173rd AB, while in Kunar Province, had a reaction time that NO UNIT matched, while I was in country(2009). I can also say with total confidence that we, alongside our friends from Latvia(those guys HATED muslims like you would'nt believe), took care of business re: wacking muslim dogs.

You have no clue.
 

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Si vis pacem, para bellum
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9,695 Posts
Let me tell you something, OP. My unit, 1-508th, 173rd AB, while in Kunar Province, had a reaction time that NO UNIT matched, while I was in country(2009). I can also say with total confidence that we, alongside our friends from Latvia(those guys HATED muslims like you would'nt believe), took care of business re: wacking muslim dogs.

You have no clue.
as for the article, the author has no idea what in the hell he is talking about, this is nothing more than an opinion piece from an uninformed person.

AB units as well as Ranger units are stationed as was pointed out in strategic places. But they are also set up in a way that they can be anywhere on this planet within 18 hours when needed.

As for the assumption that there is inherent danger to being an airborne soldier, well let's just say that the military is a hazardous job. One in which you know the inherent danger before you sign up.

Yes malfunctions happen but I would much rather jump from a plane where I can control my descent rather than go down with the plane.

Also AB units and Rangers also know the risks before they decide to join and choose to do the job that most can't do. They are a legitimate SOCOM force and have an extremely valuable role in military operations. Their Motto is "Rangers lead the Way" or simply RLTW.

And as far as someone who says SEALS are the best of the best, I read a report a few years ago that said they were essentially equal as far as value the only difference is the SEALS have better P.R. The Rangers prefer to remain out of the spotlight. They do not have the pressure of dealing with the public opinion because people only think about them as an afterthought.

Do not ever discount an Airborne Unit or a Ranger, you would be gravely mistaken when you do.
 

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I had a chance to go to jump school as a Marine. I said no. I kind of regret that. (The Marines use the Army jump school but then you have to jump a few more times before you get your "Navy/Marine" wings.) But not the first nor the last school I declined to attend as a Marine and then as a soldier.
 

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Bugged out already
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4,086 Posts



Never screw with old paratroopers. I’m a retired army paratrooper, but I will never be equal to the tough old bastards who jumped during the Normandy and Market Garden operations. Not even close.

The author cited in the OP is a stinking no good leg who’s girlfriend obviously left him for a real man. A paratrooper.
 

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Born 120 years too late.
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THE ONLY way you could get me to jump from an airplane would be if it was on fire.

I volunteered to do a lot of thing in my life. But, NOPE...
Maybe it was because I started flying at an early age. I solo'd at 16.
planes are your friend.:thumb:
I 'd rather take my chances going into a hot LZ on a helicopter than ride in on a bed sheet.

Both are crazy.:thumb::thumb::thumb:
 

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Si vis pacem, para bellum
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THE ONLY way you could get me to jump from an airplane would be if it was on fire.

I volunteered to do a lot of thing in my life. But, NOPE...
Maybe it was because I started flying at an early age. I solo'd at 16.
planes are your friend.:thumb:
I 'd rather take my chances going into a hot LZ on a helicopter than ride in on a bed sheet.

Both are crazy.:thumb::thumb::thumb:
Just so you know, the fall won't hurt you....it is that sudden stop if you don't pack your chute properly that'll get you every time. :D:
 

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My grandfather was 101st Airborne 501/PIR (Geronimo’s) and jumped in Operation Overlord and Market Garden, I have all the respect in the world for Airborne, but I’d never do it.

I worked avionics on C-141’s and was able to fly with 82nd Airborne doing a Big Drop. It was amazing to fly in a large formation dropping that many guys.

It’s utterly ridiculous and amazing at the same time, I’m glad we have people willing to do it.
 

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reluctant sinner
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17,575 Posts
I have nothing but respect for everyone that served honorably. All those special forces types are special - its right in their name.

To quote George Jetson "Oh my button pushing finger!" It will robot wars soon enough because everyone will be overweight, have cancer or some other disease due to bad: air, water, medicine and or food.
 

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An interesting article regarding the need or not for airborne units.

https://havokjournal.com/culture/airborne-go-away/
I'm an experienced paratrooper who served with several elite units, including on active jump status. And I'm a veteran of OIF.

That article is a load of horse****. The US Military benefits in a host of tangible and intangible ways . To summarize:

* Occupy, seize, and own valuable terrain anywhere in the world in 24 hours or less. Sometimes a few hours. You want an airfield, we'll take it. That opens up unlimited supply and troop delivery options. You want a capitol city. We'll take it.

A fleet of C130s, C17s or other aircraft, or CH47 Chinooks, can put thousands of men on a interior battlefield (city outskirts, airfield, oil fields, etc.) with artillery, vehicles, munitions, food, water, and equipment in minutes, and the terrain is largely irrelevant as long as there's a flat piece of land nearby. If you've ever seen a mass exit airborne operation, it's impressive. https://youtu.be/opTFyjzONPw?t=144

There's no other way to do this on landlocked areas. You cannot march in, drive in, or land planes and helos into interior locations quickly or effectively.

That is not only a real ability, but it's a heck of a deterrent effect on our enemies who KNOW we can do this.

* Prestige and history. Airborne infantry units are a prideful group and attract and maintain the very best. They compete harder, train harder, and have attitude. And gain confidence. Individuals work and train harder to advance to become jump masters, get to HALO or HAHO schools, etc. Being a paratrooper is something many Soldiers really aspire to and train harder to achieve. That is tangible and intangible.

* The military is a dangerous profession. Airborne operations are dangerous, but the training is significant to mitigate danger. Yes, every year some die and many are injured. If you wanted a safe profession, the Army is not for you.

* It's a skill set that must be maintained and is perishable. It must be passed down to new generations. If we lost that skill set, it would take generations to re-learn it, rather than gradual improvements. For example, after several big conflicts, in peacetime, our services abandoned the snipers skillsets and paid a price. Same with dogfighting, when missiles were thought to replace dogfights. These are expensive lessons.

I am personally extremely proud to own a pair of earned jump wings, wear them on my uniform, wear jump boots in my dress uniform, and be among an elite group of Soldiers called paratroopers.

I read this paragraph:
"The operational characteristics, fully published in FM3-99 Airborne and Air Assault Operations, show the limitations clearly. The threat to personnel from the jump alone has the exact same dangers whether performed during peace or war. In fact, regardless of the number of jumps a person has, the risk to life and limb is the same each time they jump. The experience they receive does not affect the process once they exit the aircraft. The senior commanders are just as exposed to risk as the privates....We can still, when the need arises, utilize airborne operations. All risk being equal, there is no difference to the mission to drop an entire unit using a small cadre of experienced personnel and the rest of the personnel can just strap on the parachute and fall."
Total F***** Hogwash. Like anything, experience matters. Experienced RIGGERS, JUMPMASTERS, LOADMASTERS, PATHFINDERS, and PILOTS mitigate risks to jumpers and equipment. You cannot abandon this for a generation and expect to just relearn it from scratch. The author really demonstrates total lack of the ecosystem involved in Airborne Operations. Further, an experienced paratrooper will exit an aircraft correctly, is less likely to panic if there's a problem, and will be better at avoiding ground obstacles, and landing without incident. You don't just "strap on a parachute and fall." It doesn't work that way. Airborne school is a very busy 3 weeks of intense training on all aspects of jumping. Using the equipment properly, safe aircraft posture, correctly exiting the aircraft, chute deployment, reserve deployment emergency operations, avoiding ground obstacles, safely landing, and chute retrieval among dozens of other things. Far more complicated with 80-100 pounds of equipment...

"This was also proven in WWII by the same units. Many of those men had no training in parachute operations. They were taught to put it on and they got in the plane and jumped into combat."
Not true. Airborne operations were taught extensively prior to WWII participation. Has this author never studied history? However, there were a lot of complications due to inexperience and improperly designed equipment and aircraft, which lead to a lot of casualites. Guess what changed to make it safer... DECADES of improvements based upon EXPERIENCE!! Something this moronic author wants to throw away.

"We don’t need units like the 82nd or battalions like the 1/501st. We need each unit to have a small cadre of jump masters and if the military decides to utilize personnel on an airborne operation, the cadre will ensure everyone is suited up, rigged, and then push them out the door."... "The risks are exactly the same and if they are, then there is no reason to have a specialized unit with nifty hats just to practice a tactic that is not really necessary to practice. All they do is fall. They don’t have to open the parachute because the static line does that. While the appropriate parachute landing fall might be worthwhile to prevent injury, it is not really worth the effort of a 3 week school just to teach that."
This isn't possible on a short time horizon and we would lose the ability to train YOUNGER generations of paratroopers to pass the torch. There are specific techniques to safely be in the aircraft, guard your reserve, an orderly manner to exit the aircraft to avoid injury, what to do if one is a dragged jumper, how to properly exit the aircraft to avoid injury, static line and reserve chute performance, how to steer, how to land without injury (FYI, the impact is the equivalent of jumping off a 1 or 2 story building and requires SPECIFIC technique to avoid breaking your legs, hips, back, etc.).

If you took untrained and untested Soldiers and just put them in equipment and pushed them out of an airplane, you'd probably have 75% casualties on the ground from the jump and be combat ineffective.

This author and article have zero credibility and you get dumber reading the article.
 
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