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Combat Force __FULL__

Last year, the Navy and Marines first tested out a key tenet of LOCE: the Littoral Combat Group, which would combine a traditional ARG and embarked Marine force with at least one surface combatant and Navy Expeditionary Combat Command assets. In that case, USS Somerset (LPD-25), USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG-108) and Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force (SP-MAGTF)-Peru deployed together as Littoral Combat Group 1 in November and December.

Combat Force

  • CCLTF develops, evaluates, recommends, and monitors the implementation of improvements to U.S. Close Combat Formations to ensure overmatch against pacing threats and strengthen their combat lethality, resiliency, and readiness with emphasis to: Accelerate promising service-level Close Combat initiatives

  • Develop joint solutions to capability gaps that affect the joint force

  • Federate disparate developmental and research efforts into a DoD community of practice to accelerate innovation and implementation

  • Take immediate actions to drive change and develop enduring solutions

  • Assess and evaluate solutions across Doctrine, Organization, Training, Material, Leadership, Personnel, Facilities, and Policy (DOTMLPF-P)

  • Prioritize analysis in a manner that accelerates fielding the most promising approaches and solutions and fully integrates Special Operations forces (SOF) conventional Close Combat forces to ensure interoperability

In May 2001 the Fifth Labour Government of New Zealand decided to disband the Royal New Zealand Air Force's air combat force by withdrawing its Douglas A-4K Skyhawk fighter aircraft and Aermacchi MB-339 trainers without replacement. This followed a debate over whether 28 General Dynamics F-16 A/B Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft should be leased from the United States to replace the Skyhawks. The RNZAF's air combat units were disbanded in October 2001, and many of the aircraft were eventually sold.

In November 1998, The National-led Coalition Government made the decision to lease 28 F-16 A/B fighter aircraft. The Labour Party opposition opposed this decision on the grounds that the funds would be better spent on the Army. Following Labour's victory in the 1999 New Zealand general election, the new government commissioned a review of the fighter lease. While the report recommended reducing the number of F-16s, the government decided instead to cancel the deal in February 2000. The air combat force was disbanded following further consideration, with the government stating that the funding this freed up would be reallocated to other elements of the New Zealand Defence Force.

The decision to disband the RNZAF's air combat force was controversial. The opposition National Party disagreed with the decision, as did many RNZAF personnel. Defence commentators' views differed, with some seeing the air combat force as being of little value while others feeling that New Zealand would be overly reliant on its allies, Australia in particular. Public opinion was also split, but a majority agreed with the decision.

For over three decades, the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk and TA-4 served as New Zealand's primary combat aircraft.[1] This decision, along with the purchase of the Bell 47 and Bell UH-1 Iroqouis helicopters and Lockheed P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft, reflected the closer strategic relationship with the United States and Australia in the 1960s. In April 1968, 14 were ordered at the cost of $24.65 million.

The opposition Labour Party expressed concern over the F-16 lease at the time it was announced.[7] On 21 October 1999, Phil Goff said: "Labour opposes the decision to invest what will amount to $700 million on the F-16 jet aircraft. It also opposes the purchase of further ANZAC frigates. Neither can be considered a priority if peace keeping is to continue to be the focus of deployment of our armed forces. In opting for frigates and F-16s, the National Government has put display ahead of utility. It has been concerned more about pleasing military chiefs in Australia and the United States, than about meeting the practical needs arising from the responsibilities we are actually placing on our armed forces."[8]

On 20 March 2000 Clark announced the cancellation of the F-16 deal. She stated that while reducing the number of F-16s as recommended by Quigley would have moderated the funding pressure the lease posed for the defence budget, "it would not have removed it". She also noted that while the lease deal was a bargain, "the mere existence of a bargain at a sale is not a reason for buying it". Clark stated that the Government would focus on improving priority-setting in the defence budget, which would include consideration of whether the air combat force should be retained.[11][12] Opinion polls found that most New Zealanders supported the decision to cancel the F-16 deal.[13]

The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet published a report on options for the RNZN's air combat capability in February 2001. This report argued that reducing the number of strike aircraft to 14 would not free up enough funds by itself to meet the needs of other elements of the RNZAF. The report judged that disbanding the air combat force "would assist in the rebuilding of the NZDF, significantly reducing the need for additional funding".[14][15]

On 8 May 2001, Clark announced that the government had decided to disband the RNZAF's air combat force, which would involve withdrawing the Skyhawks and Aermacchi MB-339 training jets.[14][16] The government estimated that this would free up $870 million over ten years, which would be reallocated to other areas of the NZDF.[17] In particular, the government intended to improve the capabilities of the Army.[13]

There was a mixed reaction to Clark's announcement. Members of the air combat force were deeply disappointed, and morale across the RNZAF was badly affected.[17][18] The views of defence experts differed, with some also being disappointed while others supported the decision on the grounds that the air combat force was of little practical value.[19] The National Party opposition disagreed with disbanding the air combat force, with opposition leader Jenny Shipley labelling it "the bludger's option". Clark rejected this accusation, and stated in parliament "Is the difference between being a bludger and not being a bludger whether you have 17 clapped-out Skyhawks?".[20] The decision was also debated in the community, but received overall public support.[13]

Dear Reader, The latest paper by the Research Division reveals the historical context of the NATO pledge on "significant combat forces" (SCF) made in 1997 as part of the signing of the NATO-Russia Founding Act. It focuses on the political circumstances under which the pledge it was formulated and introduced. The SCF pledge had played a significant bridging role during the negotiations of the Adapted Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty (ACFE) and the fourth wave of NATO enlargement in 1999.

The development of this strategy will include a thorough interagency review of our existing trade policies and tools used to combat forced labor, including forced child labor, to determine areas that may need strengthening and gaps that need to be filled.

Once war was declared, the army attempted to mobilize the troops very quickly. The fatigued British and French troops, who had been fighting since August 1914, sorely needed the relief offered by the American forces. In May 1917, General John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing was designated the supreme commander of the American army in France, and the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) were created. Pershing and his staff soon realized how ill-prepared the United States was to transport large numbers of soldiers and necessary equipment to the front, where supplies, rations, equipment, and trained soldiers were all in short supply. Since even the transport ships needed to bring American troops to Europe were scarce, the army pressed into service cruise ships, seized German ships, and borrowed Allied ships to transport American soldiers from New York, New Jersey, and Virginia. The mobilization effort taxed the limits of the American military and required new organizational strategies and command structures to transport great numbers of troops and supplies quickly and efficiently.

Although the first American troops arrived in Europe in June 1917, the AEF did not fully participate at the front until October, when the First Division, one of the best-trained divisions of the AEF, entered the trenches at Nancy, France. Pershing wanted an American force that could operate independently of the other Allies, but his vision could not be realized until adequately trained troops with sufficient supplies reached Europe. Training schools in America sent their best men to the front, and Pershing also established facilities in France to train new arrivals for combat.

Throughout 1917 and into 1918, American divisions were usually employed to augment French and British units in defending their lines and in staging attacks on German positions. Beginning in May 1918, with the first United States victory at Cantigny, AEF commanders increasingly assumed sole control of American forces in combat. By July 1918, French forces often were assigned to support AEF operations. During the Battle of St. Mihiel, beginning September 12, 1918, Pershing commanded the American First Army, comprising seven divisions and more than 500,000 men, in the largest offensive operation ever undertaken by United States armed forces. This successful offensive was followed by the Battle of Argonne, lasting from September 27 to October 6, 1918, during which Pershing commanded more than one million American and French soldiers. In these two military operations, Allied forces recovered more than two hundred square miles of French territory from the German army.

By the time Germany signed the Armistice on November 11, 1918, the American Expeditionary Forces had evolved into a modern, combat-tested army recognized as one of the best in the world. The United States had sustained more than 320,000 casualties in the First World War, including over 53,000 killed in action, over 63,000 non-combat related deaths, mainly due to the influenza pandemic of 1918, and 204,000 wounded.1 In less than two years the United States had established new motorized and combat forces, equipped them with all types of ordnance including machine guns and tanks, and created an entirely new support organization capable of moving supplies thousands of miles in a timely manner. World War I provided the United States with valuable strategic lessons and an officer corps that would become the nucleus for mobilizing and commanding sixteen million American military personnel in World War II. 041b061a72


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