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Old 01-26-2012, 01:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Johnson Valley FEIS to be released April27th!

Everyone get prepared - the Final Environmental Impact Statement will be released April 27th.

The good news - we delayed the release from the previously announced December 2011 until late April. They had a lot of substantive comments to wade through.

Now we have an advantage - the recently released military budget shows a decrease in defense spending of $487 billion dollar in defense spending, with fewer battalions on the ground. In the JV documents, the Purpose and Need for the expansion clearly stated the need to train MORE battalions on the ground. The fact that there will be less money, fewer troops, and a change in Marine strategy means that there is no need for the expansion.

We have to get this news to our legislators, local, state and federal.....now!

You all know how to to do - everyone has learned how to send faxes, emails and letters. Just do it, and you'll be preparing the groundwork for substantive objections after the FEIS is released.

After the FEIS is relased, we will have 30 days to prepare objections that are substantive and meaningful. NEPA can work for us, we have to work the system.

Amy
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Now we have an advantage - the recently released military budget shows a decrease in defense spending of $487 billion dollar in defense spending, with fewer battalions on the ground.
Amy,

When I was listening to that speech on the budget by the Secretary and General, the only cuts in size are supposed to be the army and air force. The marines and navy are supposed to stay the same size. so unless I heard wrong, or you know something I don;t know, the marines will still need a larger training facility.

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Old 01-26-2012, 06:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Amy,

When I was listening to that speech on the budget by the Secretary and General, the only cuts in size are supposed to be the army and air force. The marines and navy are supposed to stay the same size. so unless I heard wrong, or you know something I don;t know, the marines will still need a larger training facility.

Nope.

The Marines ARE going thru a Force Structure Review.

The ARE down sizing. The commadant has made several speeches and appearences all thru 2011 saying this and outlining the plan.

Plus, according the the Marines, they are getting back to thier orginal purpose... to act as a spearhead, NOT as a 2nd land-army like we have been using them for the past 10 years. (which is also the time period they set their eyes on JV)

also, nearly all models for future engagements point to small scale warfare in the litterals.

I have spent countless hours researching this, and posted much of it here on Pirate.

The Marines DO NOT need Johnson Valley. Even if they were NOT scaling down in troops and equipment. Just the fact that they are getting back to their roots and going back to the original mission of the Corps takes away the purpose and need of taking over JV.

Simplest way to look at this:

We have a Army. The Marine's job is NOT to do the Army's job.

Therefore the Marines do not need a bigger training area than the Army, becuase their mission is different. Not major land battles, but smaller fights in the litterals..

I STILL believe that one reason for expanding 29 palms is that it was once the largest training area.... until the army expanded Irwin to be larger. Now the 29 expansion would make 29 just a little larger than Irwin. Sounds to me like a big dick-swinging competition.
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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One thing said over and over again by the Marines in all these meetings in defending the reason to expand 29:

"We must train as we fight"

For ten years, they were fighting like the Army.

We no longer need a "second land army"

Now that they are reverting back to their roots, the "as they fight" part will significantly change.

This one is "win-able" folks.
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Old 01-26-2012, 07:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The commadant has made several speeches and appearences all thru 2011 saying this and outlining the plan.
unfortunately Secretary of Defense >>> commandant of marines.

like I said, I'm just going based off of what was outlined in the brief today on the budget for the 2020 military. they said army/airforce cut backs and navy/marines staying the same. when I heard it, my heart sunk.

I hope like hell you are right kurt, but I haven't seen the budget myself or what the Secretary is calling for personnel wise.
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Old 01-26-2012, 07:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I agree with Kurt - this is winnable, and the first things we need to focus on is the document being released in April. The entire reason, or official Purpose and Need for the project has been completely eliminated. They cannot move forward with a different plan unless they redo all the environmental documentation, which will cost millions of dollars they don't have to spend.

We have to object over and over again, pointing out the issues exactly as Kurt has described them - and I'm willing to help whomever needs direction from a NEPA point of view.

"The Army would shrink from a peak of 570,000 to 490,000 within five years, and the Marines would drop by 20,000, to 182,000........ Both will keep their footholds abroad, although the Army will decrease its presence in Europe and the Marines plan to increase theirs in Asia. AP Story published today

But the Marines have also realigned their bases to become more of a sea-fighting force. All told, it adds up to the same story - the Marines do not need Johnson Valley to train.

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Old 01-26-2012, 07:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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BTW - my son was a nuke also, on board the USS Carl Vinson when it was the first ship to respond to fighting when it started in Afghanistan after 9/11. Six years in the Navy, 2 years in the Navy Reserves, and now involved with 4WD Search and Rescue in Kings County, Washington.

We're military supporters, and once a military mom, always a military mom.

This isn't about the Marines, who are all someone's sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, etc. This is about the true need to expand into Johnson Valley - a move NO ONE supports, local residents, OHV enthusiasts, and environmentalists, from what I've heard. Sometimes it's up to the public to point out the obvious - and that's certainly our job now.


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Old 01-27-2012, 08:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by RedNeckRea View Post
unfortunately Secretary of Defense >>> commandant of marines.

like I said, I'm just going based off of what was outlined in the brief today on the budget for the 2020 military. they said army/airforce cut backs and navy/marines staying the same. when I heard it, my heart sunk.

I hope like hell you are right kurt, but I haven't seen the budget myself or what the Secretary is calling for personnel wise.
He didn't have to say the Marines were going to downsize.... becuase the Marines are already down sizing!

http://www.marines.mil/unit/hqmc/Pag...rineCorps.aspx

Corps trims down to ‘middleweight’
3/2/2011 By Lance Cpl. Jacob D. Osborne, Headquarters Marine Corps


MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. — The Marine Corps is changing, and while focused on operations in Afghanistan, senior leadership must balance the Corps’ future missions with today’s uncertain battle space.

Lt. Gen. George J. Flynn, commanding general of Marine Corps Combat Development Command, recently held a media event to talk about the 2010 Force Structure Review.

In September 2010, the Marine Corps formed the Force Structure Review Group to develop the organization, posture and capabilities of the Marine Corps and its role within the joint force in a fiscally constrained, post-Operation Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan environment.

The Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has been briefed on the Marine Corp’s Force Structure Review and has confirmed the role of the Marine Corps in the future operating environment.

Gates’ guidance to the Marine Corps, as outlined in his San Francisco Speech Aug. 12, 2010, that informed the Force Structure Review process was “to be at the ‘tip of the spear’ in the future, when the U.S. military is likely to confront a range of irregular and hybrid conflicts.” Furthermore, that the “the maritime soul of the Marine Corps needs to be preserved.”

Flynn discussed how the re-shaping of the Marine Corps reflects our historic role as the nation’s crisis response force and provides unique capabilities to the joint force in terms readiness, adaptability, flexibility and utility at an affordable cost.

Some of the Force Structure Review recommendations are:

- A reduction in force structure from 202,000 to 186,800 when conditions in Afghanistan warrant

- Reduction in ground combat forces, to include a reduction in infantry (regimental headquarters from eight to seven; infantry battalions from 27-24); a reduction in cannon artillery battalions (nine to seven; but a reorganization of batteries to support distributed operations), and a reduction in armor (10 companies to 8)

- Increasing unit readiness within the operating forces by ensuring 99 percent manning of enlisted billets and 95 percent manning of officer billets

- Aligning five joint task force capable, regionally-focused Marine Expeditionary Brigade command elements that are habitually aligned subordinate elements to improve ground combat effectiveness and speed of response

- Increase cyber structure by 67 percent for cyber network defense, exploitation and attack operations by augmenting our communication and radio battalions, and by increasing the structure of Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command

- Strengthening the capabilities of Marine Special Operations Command through a 44 percent increase in critical combat support and combat service support Marines



Flynn stressed the Corps’ near-term priority remains operations in Afghanistan.

“We’re not going to go down in force structure until after our commitment in Afghanistan has come down,” Flynn said.

He said that some force structure changes do not impact those operations and are already underway, especially with respect to the command, aviation combat, and logistics combat elements, to include the reserve component.

Flynn also said the commandant of the Marine Corps made it clear that “one of the key parts to a reduction is to keep the faith of our Marines, their families and our civilian Marines.”
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Old 01-27-2012, 09:22 AM   #9 (permalink)
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The entire reason, or official Purpose and Need for the project has been completely eliminated. They cannot move forward with a different plan unless they redo all the environmental documentation, which will cost millions of dollars they don't have to spend.
Bingo!

This is a major key element that will cause the DEIS to fail.

The USMC knew damn good and well last year (when they released the DEIS) that their mission was about to change. They went ahead anyways with the DEIS with a flawed critical component.

While Amy might indeed be correct that they are still working on the comments submitted to the DEIS; I suspect they are attempting to find a way to explain a critical flaw in the document.
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Old 01-27-2012, 09:37 AM   #10 (permalink)
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http://articles.boston.com/2011-12-0...-okinawa-anbar

Postwar Marines: smaller, less focused on land war
December 04, 2011|Robert Burns, AP National Security Writer


With the Iraq war ending and an Afghanistan exit in sight, the Marine Corps is beginning a historic shift, returning to its roots as a seafaring force that will get smaller, lighter and, it hopes, less bogged down in land wars.

This moment of change happens to coincide with a reorienting of American security priorities to the Asia-Pacific region, where China has been building military muscle during a decade of U.S. preoccupation in the greater Middle East. That suits the Marines, who see the Pacific as a home away from home.

After two turns at combat in Iraq, first as invaders in the 2003 march to Baghdad and later as occupiers of landlocked Anbar province, the Marines left the country in early 2010 to reinforce the fight in southern Afghanistan. Over that stretch the Marines became what the former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, has called their own “worst nightmare’’ — a second American land army, a static, ground-pounding auxiliary force.
That’s scary for the Marines because, for some in Congress, it raises this question: Does a nation drowning in debt really need two armies?

Gen. James F. Amos, the Marine Corps commandant, says that misses the real point. He argues that the Marines, while willing and able to operate from dug-in positions on land, are uniquely equipped and trained to do much more. They can get to any crisis, on land, at sea or in the air, on a moment’s notice.

He is eager to see the Iraq and Afghanistan missions completed so the Marines can return to their traditional role as an expeditionary force.

“We need to get back to our bread and butter,’’ Amos told Marines Nov. 23 at Camp Lawton, a U.S. special operations base in Afghanistan’s Herat province.

That begins, he said, with moves such as returning to a pattern of continuous rotations of Marines to the Japanese island of Okinawa, home of the 3rd Marine Division formed in the early days of World War II. The rotation of infantry battalions to Okinawa was interrupted by the Iraq war. After the March 2003 invasion, that war evolved into a bigger, costlier and longer-lasting counterinsurgency campaign than the Pentagon or the Marines had anticipated.

Amos says he plans to begin lining up infantry battalion rotations for Okinawa even before the 2014 target date for ending U.S. combat in Afghanistan.

Another element of this return-to-our-roots approach is the decision announced in late November to rotate Marines to Australia for training with Australian forces from an Australian army base in Darwin, beginning in 2012.

Up to 2,500 Marines, infantry units as well as aviation squadrons and combat logistic battalions, will go there from Okinawa or other Marine stations in Japan and elsewhere in the Pacific for a few months at a time.
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