April 17, 2010

Don't Fire Up The Black Helicopters Just Yet...

It was several years ago—during the Bush Administration—that Ward Brewer was pitching the idea of reconfiguring a small fleet of retired naval vessels into long-term, heavy-lift emergency response vehicles that could provide food, water, shelter, power, medical care and emergency transportation in the event of a major national disaster or terrorist attack.

The idea had a lot going for it.

In the big scheme of things it is relatively inexpensive (remember, we're talking in government dollars) and could turn retiring Tarawa-class Amphibious Assault Ships into even more important national assets than they were as weapons. Loaded with first responders and equipment, such vessels would have been a godsend in the response to the recent earthquake in Haiti, not to mention the hurricane season.

For various reasons, plans for what I'd quickly dubbed the &qout;Salvation Navy" never came together, but that doesn't mean that Ward's ideas weren't good ones. His ideas found champions in various political and military leaders, along with similar plans already under discussion.

One of those ideas evolved into cross-training military units to perform roles in disasters, and plans were made to create both interim and long-term solutions.

Sadly, some of the same sort of conspiracy theorists that think 9/11 was an inside job to hide Barack Obama's Kenyan birth quickly assigned a sinister purpose to the unit in question, which observant blogger David Luckie noticed in a conspiratorial column in the Examiner.

Nutty, much?

In October of this year, one month prior to the November midterm elections, a special army unit known as 'Consequence Management Response Force' will be ready for deployment on American soil if so ordered by the President.

The special force, which is the new name being given to the 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 3rd Infantry, has been training at Fort Stewart, Georgia and is composed of 80,000 troops.

According to the Army Times,

They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack.

The key phrase is 'may be called upon to help with civil unrest.'

This afternoon a local radio talk show host reported that he had been in contact with a member of the military. This military source stated that the armed forces have been alerted to the strong possibility that civil unrest may occur in the United States this summer, prior to the midterm elections of 2010.

The gist of the column was to gin up fears that Barack Obama was building a massive Gestapo-like force to be unleashed so that he could seize control of the government and declare himself Emperor... or something. Read the rest, if you want.

Mr. Luckie, who blogs at I Bleed Crimson Red, simply shreds the conspiratorial ranting of the Examiner columnist by actually talking with real, honest to God people-who-know-what-they're-talking-about.

It won't dissuade those poor souls that need conspiracies the way the rest of us need oxygen, but Luckie's demolition of this myth of Obama's secret Army should satisfy any questions most normal people have about the unit.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at April 17, 2010 04:58 PM

Isn't a good indication that this is probably an exaggeration "at least" the fact that 80,000 troops would be more like a Corps-sized organization than a brigade combat team?

And wouldn't pulling 80,000 active-duty troops into such an organization put a little bit of a strain on our manpower needs elsewhere?

Posted by: Gunpowder Chronicle at April 17, 2010 05:51 PM

Especially when the force has been authorized at 450k size along with the new configuration of the Homeland Security and lets not forget the recent appearance of the previously non-existent Join Task Force for Terrorism. NOOOO there is nothing going on here so just move along folks........

I wonder what the MIAC report and the other Government documents are being released for?

Again, just move along, nothing here just trust us.

Ya, right!

Posted by: JohnQ at April 18, 2010 08:22 AM

Just providing they are not training up the civilian defense force which will be just as large and have as big a budget as the Defence Deoartment.

Posted by: davod at April 18, 2010 09:25 AM

as the old saying goes just because your paranoid doesn't mean that someone isn't out to get you

Posted by: Rich at April 18, 2010 11:01 AM

Oh-ya, I forgot this really nagging question I have had about the initial choice of the 3st Brigade Combat Team of the 3rd Infantry. These are not good combat troops - these are some of the best with the most experience in urban assault received from actual combat in our ongoing operations. I really mean I respect these men and women and their commitment and sacrifice so please understand when I am asking WTF are we expecting down the road be selecting this group when we are looking for troops to "help" with emergencies? I mean we are training our troops to go house to house looking for undesirables and confiscating weapons. This is not fire, earthquake, or other natural disasters. I am just asking were are the search and rescue assignments in these hardened assault troops? Are these men and women MP's, Doctors, Search & Rescue, or anything like that? NOOOO, these are the best men and women we have to crack an urban center and crush it. So please tell me again with all of the other lies coming out of the Whitehouse and Congress why we should not be looking anything less then a full press assault coming from our friendly Federal Government by the selection of this combat brigade to seed this new organization?

Please don't insult us with any more propaganda like this. Maybe you do believe this tripe and if so I apologize in advance but I find that hard to believe form the other posts on this blog and articles published in other places.

So what is it Belief, Trust, or pucked?


Posted by: JohnQ at April 18, 2010 12:27 PM

JohnQ, the unit is not the 3rd of the 3rd, but primarily combat support units of the 1st of the 3rd... learn to read.

It is worth saying again for those who missed it before, this cross-training was proposed well before Barack Obama was President, and began under Bush (at which point it was crazed leftists claiming Bush was going to use the unit to install a military dictatorship).

Sometimes the people "out to get you" are merely the orderlies attempting to get you your meds.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at April 18, 2010 01:31 PM

On this one... I dunno... the concept of utilizing STBs (Special Troops Battalions) or any other part of our 'regular forces' in the United States is, on its face, I believe a violation of Posse Comitatus.

Unless the proper 'disaster' is of military in nature, then I can understand utilizing those who are best trained/equipped for it, especially a NBC (Nuke Bio Chem) event. Every single US troop (and even us contractors) get the 'basics' in training, (as much as it was a refresher for most of us contractors as we're 90% former military).

I fully understand the 'tinfoil kids' and fear of the "Black Helicopters" as the past few years has shown an inherent distrust of, if not the military itself per se, but the hand that weilds the military 'hammer' de facto.

The biggest issue we have facing us is a monetary system thats on the verge of collapsing, a 'out of work' population that is rapidly understanding that the "well is dry" and that the compounding lack of a realistic approach to fixing the problems at the core, coupled with a degrading international scene, and the time is right for every demogog with an Antigummit Axe to grind is going to have a soapbox to preach from.

History repeats itself. It's circular. One should study the Weimar Republic and realize we aren't far removed from that happening to us in the US, nevermind that if the US fails spectacularly, then so goes the world. As the interrelation of economies is just too intertwined to extricate ourselves from this in a meaningful way, not without 'breaking some eggs' so to speak.

Add in the failure of the media to meaningfully ask the 'tough questions' and the continued state of De Nile (not just a river in Egypt anymore) by our supposed "representatives," and hey, we're looking at a "Prefect Storm" that might coalate into something truly ugly.

The Tea Party is just the beginning. A lack of realization that "Joe and Judy Sixpack" have finally glimpsed 'the man behind the curtain' and realized Oz ain't gonna fix it, and man... talk about a potential "Summer of Discontent."

Posted by: Big Country at April 18, 2010 02:48 PM

and just as a corallary: I'm in $%#@ing IRAQ and even I can see how jacked things are looking... and if I can see it for garnering my intel thru the net from 8500 miles away, I'm sure that back home, the picture is that much grimmer....

Posted by: Big Country at April 18, 2010 02:53 PM

Shame they didn't follow through, as that type of ship would be great about now to ferry stranded Americans back from Europe.

I note with interest that no one in the federal government is taking any measures to implement sealift to remedy the current disaster unfolding from volcanic ash. If non-combatant evacuation (NEO) is needed to bring home military families from England and Germany, where's the sealift coming from? Personally, where I a military member in Europe, I'd already have my family at NEO Phase I.

Posted by: Timothy at April 20, 2010 01:07 PM