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The 6th branch, a good or bad idea?

While the 6th branch originally is referenced towards Extra Special Forces illustrating a different subject.
This is in regard to the application of a certain skill set and project this as a force multiplier.
Also has to be said that while this was an idea would not per say mean it would be a good idea.
Simply spinning idea's that can come to fruition, moving from idea to concept to application.
But alas the word has spread and it was picked up and somehow it became a space force.
Here I dive into the wider application of space as a battle space, application, and tactics.
And finally the pros and cons of having a 6th branch of the military.

Space the final frontier.

Mankind has merely dipped its toes in space and yet we decide to fight in/over it.
That said space is a hostile place and us humans are not made to venture into space.
But we are also exploring somehow drawn to adventure and to look and see beyond our own planet.
As it stands we do not even know what long-term exposure looks like where we spend lifetimes in space.
There are several programs that look into the long-term exposure of 0 G to the human body.
And as it stands it is not looking good, even with training muscle tissue is lost at a rapid pace.
Astronauts coming back from these long journey barely can walk when they come back to 1 G.
Furthermore, we have no efficient way of traveling even to our moon and beyond.
It will take a while for us to achieve some sort of efficiency in space travel before we able to utilize space.

That said military minds are considering their options when dealing with hostile military hardware.
We use GPS, communications, and surveillance in various orbits around the earth.
To disrupt these assets is a valid option to attack Command and Control and Intelligence gathering.
During the Cold War, both sides had and still have missiles capable of striking targets in orbit.
There are "reports" that even though this is prohibited that there are weapons in orbit, but an emphasis on "".
Space, as it stands, is relegated to the Air Force or variants by their respective country's.

Orbital Warfare.

Yes, that is correct all assets military or civilian are in orbit including the International Space Station.
A hand full of expeditions have been taken to the moon, unmanned satellites have ventured beyond that.
But as it stands human presence in space is severely lacking to even consider a war in space.
War is fought with manned or unmanned assets with the intent of destroying the opposite side.
Considering our current technological development we are incapable of fighting in space in large numbers.
No one fields any kind of craft that can engage in orbit let alone in space, a handful of ground-based systems can.

The Arguments*.

In favor of a space force is a side that considers that around WWI there was no Air Force it was part of the Army.
Referred to then as the Army Air Force but during WWI the amount of aircraft grew exponentially.
It was then separated into the Air Force, as well as dealing with different logistics and tactics to deploy aircraft.
At the time a radical idea in today's optics a totally rational concept that no one's questions.
Space should be seen as the same and it would require different training, tactics, and logistics.
Currently, our global economy is tied heavily towards assets in space, GPS, communication and even weather reports.
The military also has a lot riding on their space assets, today you can barely remove GPS from the day to day operations.
Optical and electronic surveillance of the battlefield is a common sight as well as communication networks.
Then there is the argument what military branch has control over space and any funding that comes with it.

Now against arguments, a space force would be that taking into consideration the above pro's.
During WWI the amount of aircraft grew exponentially when looking at all assets used during WWI.
At the time of its formation, the Army Air Forces was even more numerous then Armored and Motorized Divisions.
From a command and control and logistics perspective, it does make sense to branch off into an Air Force.
That said currently there are no space or orbital craft, manned or unmanned any type of engagement is from the ground.
There is no "force" to deploy in orbit or space, we struggle to some extent to supply a single space station.
Now consider the logistical nightmare of supplying a garrison of troops, and where would you put them.
Space is a hostile place, radiation, solar flares, meteor strikes, and man-made orbital debris.
Our current technological development is decades from where it should be to consider manning space stations.
In the case of an emergency, how would you rescue large quantities of troops from orbit or space?
Today a rescue attempt involving the International Space Station would be a huge undertaking.
And that is only with 4 to 6 astronauts involving multiple launch platforms around the world.
Development in area's such as hydroponics, shielding, and artificial gravity are hurdles we yet have taken.
Adding a whole new branch would vastly increase the amount of staff to the current military as well.
Establishing a Head Quarters for a branch amounts to about 2000 military and civilian personnel**.
While in reality, you need a think tank with about 50 military and civilian personnel.
A military, civilian partnership beyond the initial theory crafting to find and develop solutions to venture into space.
Also, a big problem is more competition over resources and funding with the classic branches of the military.
You don't see a special submarine branch either even though submarine warfare requires different tactics over surface warfare.

Tactics.

Protecting assets in space can be done with CIWS as you see on navy ships, ground-based missiles are still missiles.
The CIWS can also defend single or multiple satellites from a hostile satellite that might attempt to dock/hijack.
Furthermore, you should consider hardening critical assets from hacking, EMP and physical impacts.
An orbital war could be fought almost entirely with drones or remote connections with human interaction as a backup.
Human interaction in the form of small Special Forces teams with a background in electronics and hacking.
This can be done with a dedicated force at Brigade size when tasks and responsibilities increase upgraded to a Division.
Any of the current branches of the military are more than capable of fielding an extra Brigade or Division.
It would also prevent a 5th entity(6th branch?)competing for resources and funding with other branches.

The 4 Classic Military Branches in Space.

A 6th Branch over the 4 classic Branches and the 5th being Special Forces why would there be a need?
The arguments surely stack against the so-called space force but let's find out if we can shape the classic military.
What if and these are all bigs ifs and a lot of insightful theory crafting the current military as is goes into space.
How would the delegating area of operations, theater, and region commands to a Branch or Branches work.
Tactics wise not much would change, it would require military thinking on a 3-dimensional scale.
Something is commonly seen within the Airforce, Navy & Marine pilots and commanders and Submarines.

Delegate the planetside garrison of a planet, moon(s) and orbital platforms to the Army, 1G or more 
The Airforce could operate in atmospheric flight, a planet orbit, moons orbits and manning defense platforms.
So the Army would consider ground-based combat their theater, a single planet + any moon(s).
And the Air Force would consider anything between the planet and moon(s) as it's theater. 
Using the Navy and the Marines to patrol a solar system, for instance, Sol would be a theater for them.
Where the Marines would focus on expeditions planetside and ship to ship combat and boarding.
The Nay would consider the space between planets and moons its theater of operations.
Large-scale battles can still involve the Army assigned within a theater where a planet or moon is considered a region.
As you would see currently that all branches can operate together without getting confused.
But a clear and logical area of operations much is designated to prevent confusion and lack of responsiveness.

"Come talk to me when they change the docking rings on the International Space Station"
- Paul Ripmeester

Reference Articles.
*Space Force by Covert Cabal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkU8kjgaCZY
**Army Headquarters: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Army_Headquarters_(United_Kingdom)



Light Special Assault Deck purpose build special operation craft to launch medium to light helicopters,
helicopter gunships, light landing ships, special assault craft and ribs.

 

In order to conduct global counter-terrorism missions with a wide scope with a far reach and without imposing troops on a sovereign nation.
A special craft can be devised to acts as a mobile base to reach most of the earths locations.
None of the amphibious assault ships offers a reasonable size and cost perspective for such operations to be effective.
For that reason, the consideration can be made to design and build a special type of ship purpose built for special forces operations.

It should be able to operate solo without an escort in low-intensity warfare if needed escort can be added to provide more anti-air cover.
But the main purpose will be to offer a stable, fast platform to conduct special operations.
It should feature a small docking area in the stern to launch small crafts and a deck that allows for airborne operations without VSTOL.

While smaller conventional craft can fulfil this role in some capacity they do not offer a large enough deck that deck is also allocated to other systems that would not be needed.
In terms of actual size and displacement you would end up with a ship roughly the size of a modern cruiser but with a wider body.

All space is allocated to special forces operations with some defence what you would commonly see in the area of operations.

 

Specifications(roughly)

Crew: 100-150

Troops: Companie size and lower

Helicopters: 5 to 10 depending on the size of the helicopters

Well Deck: Only a small deck would be needed to allow for docking and storage of small crafts,
roughly 1/4th of the length of the ship, below the waterline and 1/2 decks above the water line.

Self Defense: medium range AA missiles weapon system to intercept other missiles/aircraft and drones,
CWIS in the form of 2 guns, 1 small ship cannon(76mm Oto) on the bow with a bushwhacker cannon on the stern to fend off small attack craft and can dual role as AA defence.
A range of .50/7.62 mm mounts for the ship crew and guards.

Electronics: a flight control/war room to conduct operations(radar/comms),
a operations room for the ship crew to facilitate the defence/operation of the ship and back up for the bridge if it becomes damaged.

Sonar Suite to detect below the surface treats.
Radar for defense and detection, air control radar and surface search radar.
Medical: small operations and recovery room for wounded with prolonged care.
Rec Room/Mess: Dual purpose room that can be used through the day to socialise and eat.

Length: 175m
Beam: 70m
Speed: 25 knots
Draft: 5 to 6m, a wider ship will have greater buoyancy.

 

Notes:

  • possibilities of having a helicopter for refuelling to extend the range of deployment for medium and small helicopters.

  • NH-90 Special,

 

 

Mission description, a sum up for intended and possible deployment options.

To conduct operations for special forces on a global scale with water access.
To conduct operations in international waters in terms of boarding, SAR/CSAR,
Hostage Rescue on the high sea's, and various patrol duty's that do not warrant the deployment of carriers and other large surface ships.
To conduct disaster relief and shipping of personnel/aid to deploy where no there is no infrastructure or is damaged that is can not be used.
To aid larger amphibious assault ships by augmenting a number of available helicopters, this allows disembarking larger amount of troops per run.

Paul Ripmeester


With recent tensions on the rise regarding North Korea let's see what are the options on the table for either party.
Without getting involved in the usual politics a simple look at the strategic situation at hands, North Korea vs the U.S.A.
It might just happen this time although that has been said before so no one really knows what to expect and hopes that it will all blow over.
Sure the United States has a formidable arsenal but let's not forget that North Koreans are fanatics and do have a decent arsenal.
Let's dive into the subject matter and see where it will lead, and rest assure it will take more than a glorious big explosion to retain a foreign nuclear arsenal.



North Korea

Without refraining to the usual mainstream insults, an objective look at North Korea the ups and downs of actual capabilities.
Starting with the outer perimeter the North Korean is the Navy what is surely no match for the advanced US Navy.
It does have a lot of ships counting at roughly 810 in total
It's the biggest asset for an actual engagement would be the submarines but those are rather old and do not offer the same performance of modern subs.
While being Diesel/Electric powered and are considered to be silent compared to other propulsion such as Nuclear Powered.
With some larger surface ships such as frigates and more recent enhanced anti-submarine capabilities in the form of Nampo helicopter light frigate.
But this will be easy pickings for the US navy as their numbers are too small to offer an effective fighting force vs a carrier task group or force.
What does poses a problem of some sorts is that massive amount of small torpedo and missile crafts that when deployed all in could swarm a task force.
In such a case damage can be dished out combined with submarine attacks but this would require a massive amount of command & control to be truly effective.

Next up is the North Korean Army Air Force but reports show a total number of aircraft sitting around 940 aircraft of all types.
But the inventory is outdated and reports also show that there is a shortage of parts(spare) and fuel and not enough training.
The only aircraft is worth mentioning here is the M-29 variants but are mainly used for the defence of the capital.
In any case, these will be the primary objective for carrier F-18's preferable to be taken down while still on the ground.
As it stands the air force can play no real role in the outer perimeter defence and only in the defence of Pyongyang.

But the main goal for the U.S.A. as stated in the news is the nuclear arsenal and preventing them from completing the development.
The objective would be to gain control and/or prevent further development of said arsenal.
While the development can be stalled with a cruise missile barrage it must be said North Korea should have anticipated such an attack in it's planning.
And will most likely have backs up and secondary location to proceed with development of their nuclear program.

What would be a game changer is when the U.S.A. deems is necessary to physically enter North Korea to gain access and remove/destroy their entire arsenal.
This would require ground troops and they would face a somewhat well equipped North Korean Army and Reserves.
In time and given a full blown war the U.S.A. is, of course, more than capable of invading and occupying North Korea, but it would come at a high cost.
This cost does not reflect the currency from spending it would be more a human cost of American lives and a population that has grown tired of wars.
Since that would not be a real option quick strike with mobile troops that are in and out of North Korea in less than a day.
Being there less then a day would be a huge task that while being possible would stretch the minds of most general to its limits.
Current figures place the active combined North Korean Armed Forces at roughly 1.190.000 with 600.000 reserves.
Being armed with a wide range of somewhat modern weaponry and some old weaponry it does poses a problem for an in and out ground strike scenario.
Purely based on a lot of numbers of troops and that the location that needs to be invaded will be well guarded with nearby reinforcements.
What also is a big problem for military planners is that the South Korean capital is well within artillery range for most North Korea artillery batteries.
That the South Korea capital basically held hostage by North Korea and that all sides are well aware of this should be apparent.

 

Unites States

If need be the United States can bring to bear its full carrier fleet of carrier task groups for a long range strike with devastating effect.
Bringing all carrier groups to North Korea would take time and relocating these from around the globe would take time and give North Korea ample warning.
With 2 options on the table being the most likely and safe bet would be the long standoff range strike using cruise missiles and JDAM's.
This option will only slow down the actual development of North Korea's Nuclear weapons program and could throw the North Korean problem in the next Presidents lap.
As mentioned above if the U.S.A. does decide to physically move in it would have to fully mobilise it's Air Mobile and Paratroop assets.
This would consist of the 101st Airborne Division, the 82nd Airborne Division, the 173rd Airborne Combat Brigade, 3 Marine Expeditionary Forces and SOCOM but more specific 75th Rangers Regiment.
Either or full or partial deployment of the above-mentioned manoeuvre units, however, the more troops to more of a logistical nightmare it would be.
A strong point for the Americans the advanced command and control that allows it to form up for multiple pronged attacks and attempt to hit all locations simultaneously.
Something the North Koreans lack but given time the element of surprise will be lost and North Korea can mobilise and attempt to pin down a unit or units where it deems possibly.
These most likely locations would be the North Korean sites that are located deep in North Korea close to the Chinese border.
Buying extra time would come in the form of hitting the command and control assets of the North Koreans in an attempt to delay counter attacks and bringing up reserves.
Roads, bridges, communications etc are an obvious target must be added that the North Koreans do not really have a way of defending all if any of the vital infrastructure.
It will be almost certain the United States will have absolute air supremacy and will be able to attack reinforcements forming up and moving around on North Korea's infrastructure.

Why would a quick strike be in less than a day that is straight forward if said units do not move fast enough the North Koreans could pin down a unit and attempt to wipe it out.
In order to complete it;s mission and extract it would have to move faster than that the North Koreans can mobilise and move into position.
The longer you linger inside North Korea the more time they will have to form a plan of attack.
Even if all the planning is excellent and everything goes exactly according to plan there will be casualties, the more casualties the bigger the strain will be on logistics.

What offers complication to the physically entering of North Korea it would negate the ceasefire in effect and North Koreans could and most likely will attack South Korea.
As mentioned above the South Korean capital is well within North Korean artillery range and will suffer greatly if the Americans do attack.
Even if they only attack using standoff munitions the North Korea leader will be forced to show strength and retaliate on South Korea.
Taking into account that the North Korea does not have a great chance of doing damage to the US Navy it most likely target would be South Korea.

Conclusion

The military option is not really an option the American people have grown tired of war and will most likely opt out.
While it could very well be possible for the United States and Allies undertake this is pressed hard enough as it stands there will be tension but it will be highly unlikely.
Neither side can really win even though a military victory for either side will be very costly especially on the human side of this story.
All in all, tensions will remain either China will exert some influence if it still can and wants to.
As it stands the option that has the least violence and suffering involved will be for North Korea to collapse and somehow reunites with South Korea.
Where both the united States and China will be able to reach an agreement to secure the nuclear materials and research to prevent it from entering the black market.

 

"As a tactician/strategist your in it for the win and not for comparing dick size" - Paul Ripmeester


Recent events have bestowed international attention on a specialised type of munition of the United States Airforce called the MOAB.
Referred to as "Mother Of All Bombs" this is, however, the nickname given to this weapon, the correct abbreviation of this weapon is "Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb".
Designated as GBU-43/B by the United States Armed Forces, whereas GBU stands for Guided Bomb Unit.
It was designed and developed by the Air Force Research Institute and is currently being manufactured McAlester Army Ammunition Plant.
Currently the biggest non-nuclear weapon in the world with, with the Russian FOAB as second.


Basic specifications and intended purpose:

Total weight is 9.800 (921,000 lb) and the explosive component weighs in at 8.500 kg (18.700 lb) yielding an 11 tonnes blast yield.
The weapon is also guided by GPS(KMU-953/B GPS/INS) and deployed at high altitude protecting the C-130 from short range AA MANPADS.
It can only be dropped from a military transport aircraft the C-130 and variants, it uses a drogue parachute and cradle to extract from the C-130.
As a thermobaric weapon utilizes the oxygen from the surrounding area to create an intense heat and serves mainly to defeat soft targets.
Since it soaks up all the surrounding oxygen it will kill all life that is caught inside the blast radius.
While the MOAB can be used vs hard targets due to its massive explosive yield it is more an area of effect weapon.
It is not designed to penetrate but to explode right before hitting the ground to maximise the blast radius.
Because of the nature and design of the MOAB, it can also be used to clear an LZ in forest/jungle area or clear out mine fields.

History and deployment:

For the intended military application it was designed for the 2003 invasion of Iraq(Operation Enduring Freedom).
The main goal for the weapon was part of the shock and awe strategy as an anti-personnel weapon with a physiological effect.
MOAB is a area of effect weapon, a single weapon vs the multiple munitions dropped during carpet bombing.
It would have been useless in the Iraq war since not bunker complexes were used to defend an area during the Iraq invasion.
As mentioned above it requires a C-130 at high altitude what would make it extremely dangerous for the C-130 to fly into a hostile area.
The Iraq Army at the time had high altitude AA although most of them were taken out it was still possible some launch vehicles survived.
A common tactic for AA defence is to switch off the radar and switch it back on so it can not be engaged with radar seeking missiles used to counter AA defence.
Most likely the main reason it was not used at the time, to begin with, once engaged a C-130 has little chance vs semi-modern AA missile.

Fast forward to the war on terror it does however shine, the various terrorist factions do not have an air force nor do the have high altitude AA capabilities.
As an area of effect weapon that comes with soaking up the oxygen of the surrounding area, its niche is to target cave systems.
Carpet bombing mountain ranges and the case system in it will have little to no effect since there are multiple entry and exit points in a cave system.
The MOAB will soak up all oxygen and draw out oxygen from these cave systems due to the created vacuum where the MOAB explodes.
While the blast will have little to no effect especially at range inside a cave system the lack of oxygen will do the trick just fine.
Of course, anything outside in the open caught in the blast radius will be killed by the pressure of the explosion.
Another con when it comes to the MOAB the area is pretty much cleared of IED's but inside a cave system, one must be careful.
As the lack of oxygen will not temper with a trigger mechanism of an IED.

All in all the weapon was never designed for this but does the job very well, and it's intended design to same extend fails.
It is perfectly capable of clearing an area of tree's and mines but the 16 million price tag is a bit over the top for such a task.
For the Iraq war, it would have been an overpriced toy but it proves to be priceless in clearing out intricate cave systems.
It would take months and a large force to clear out a decent sized cave system what is also most likely rigged with IED's.
Offering a price tag equivalent in currency and not to mention the cost of human lives.
The conclusion is for conventional war this is a toy, for counter-terrorism this has defiantly a utility.

Paul Ripmeester


White Paper for the Papua New Guinea Defense Force.

 

As per information provided by Wikipedia, the defense force suffers from shortages.
The Enhanced Defence Partnership mandates external assistance from both Australia and New Zeeland.
This white paper will cover a haul over and training program for the entire PNGDF.
Geography information states that roughly 98% of available land mass is tropical rain forest,
forest swamp and other none habitable land with the largest untrained rain forest in the world.
It also consists of a range of large and smaller island making it challenging to defend.
Budget wise it will also be a challenge to maintain an adequate force with the right equipment.
Economic utilize will need to be provided for the government to provide a larger budget.
Foreign assistance goes a long way but these sources can dry up or change due to political issues.
The best way would be to provide assistance in phases covering military and economic issues.
By increasing the overall government budget the military budget can be increased accordingly.
The end result will be that Papua New Guinea will be self-sufficient and capable of maintaining a moderate sized self-defense force.

 

My vision.

 

There will be no need for any heavy armor as urban, (tropical)forest and swamp will make it impossible to use such heavy weapons effectively.
Combine the land and air element in a marine corps style branch with the navy as a separate branch.
Both branches then forming the PNGDF reducing administration costs and other related overhead.
Further reducing the administration costs with the new model for command units as described in my Knight Raiders White Paper, HCT/HCC & HCB.
However it will still remain a relatively small force for such a large country, there for it would be wise to adopt a guerilla style doctrine.
Thus still require reinforcements to repel large scale attacks.
The final force will consist of 2 brigades, 4 Navy Flotillas and a mixed support service of military and civilian personnel.
Reference to final force PNGDF_Org_Chart.jpg attached at bottom of this White Paper.
Most aid should be seen as donations in the form of military equipment and funding to support economic growth.

 

Phase 1.

 

Forming the current 2 brigade's structure and assigning current battalions accordingly.
Forming the 3 Navy surface flotilla, Start training for the submarine flotilla.
Replacing equipment and buying new equipment by purchasing/donations, planning future upgrades and replacement for all phases.
Providing an economical stimulus to drastically increase the GDP.

 

Phase 2.

 

Obtaining Heavy equipment such as vehicles AA/AT and artillery training their crews, planning in both phase 2 and 3.
Start training aircrews for rotary and fixed wing aircraft, the first batch of aircraft into operation.
Raising the corresponding Battalions AA/AT/Arty providing equipment, OTO Melara Mod56, L118 LG, 60 and 120mm mortars,
Spike AT, Panzerfaust 3, RBS 70, Starstreak or any of their Russian counterparts(Purchasing and maintenance costs will be VITAL!)
Vehicles of interest will be Ivecp LMV, BvS 206s/10, M113.
Helicopters of interest: Airbus Cougar, AW139M, AW109LUH, Mi-8/17, Mi-28NE, T129.
Aircraft of interest: CN 235, C212, II-76MF, A400m.
Starting to replace the current navy ships with better more capable ships.
Corvette & Patrol boat class ships for better coastal coverage, new build, 2nd hand or convert from merchant ships.

 

Phase 3.

 

Ordering 2 to 4 submarines, either new build or 2nd hand and finishing the formation of the naval surface flotillas.
The second phase of forming and/or finalizing all the battalions with the corresponding equipment,
if the budget does not permit a selection of items should be moved to phase 4.

 

Phase 4.

 

Balancing the final budget, the final adjustments to maintain an optimum operational readiness vs costs.
The last delivery of surface and submarines and some vehicles and aircraft.
Plans from any of the above phases that were not able to meet their target should be finalized here.
Will most likely be equipment and staff for larger more costly items such a navy ships, aircraft etc.
This plan should be seen over 10+ years where it is vital that the GDP grows at a steady and sustainable rate improving the living standard overall.
It is of the utmost importance that the equipment has low maintenance costs and has an above average lifespan so that the budget remains predictable and balanced.
The weather and terrain conditions are rugged and should not be underestimated.

 

Doctrine: Guerilla Warfare.

 

The unforgiving landscape of Papua New Guinea does not favor traditional warfare.
And also the current formation is also not suitable to repel large scale attacks.
However, this is the ideal place and situation for a guerilla style doctrine.
The use of vehicles especially heavy vehicles is almost impossible.
Vehicles do have a place in some of the urban terrain for transport and fire support.
Or transport in general with the available road network in place or to be built.
The remote place is most effectively supplied by air, depots can be supplied using roads and rivers.
But with a doctrine as this must take into account that the normal supply's routes may not be saved to use in times of conflict.

The material must also travel over small jungle and mountain trails and should be suitable to do so.
Light, sturdy and easy to handle is a must in this doctrine.
A network of small supply's depots should be made under the jungle canopy or in mountain caves.
The logistics and supply units must also consider alternate locations that could be used to create makeshift supply depots if needed.
How various current and possible supply depots can be accessed when the battlefield shifts.
Airlifting supply's should be done where possible at a low level and at night to remain undetected.
The navy should also adopt guerilla-style tactics, disrupt enemy shipping and/or supply lines.
Insert commando teams behind enemy lines, for this reason, the navy will deploy submarines.
Surface ships should be allowed in case of war to relocate to Australia or New Zealand.


PNGMC Organisation Chart

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Operation PitchFork Strategic Battle-plan. Introduction:My own initiative to ponder on the options based on current data taking into account assets as described on the Operation