Good Wavell Room Article - The Army has 'a culture of apathy and dishonesty'

What I’ve never understood - does the US Army Corps of Engineers do anything “warlike”, or do they just do large scale Infra? Are their Sappers more like the Royal Engineers Combat Engineers (or SeaBees?)?
 

Alamo

LE
No I didn’t. USAF Civil Engineers and US Navy Civil Engineers design and manage Air Force and Navy facilities respectively. They do not have the same national infrastructure responsibilities as USACE. Damn good engineers though and a way more powerful capability than the UK has for managing critical air and maritime infrastructure.

USACE runs the entire US canal and waterway system, about a quarter of the US hydro power capacity and some very significant federal facilities.
Understood,but they do sort airfields
 
What I’ve never understood - does the US Army Corps of Engineers do anything “warlike”, or do they just do large scale Infra? Are their Sappers more like the Royal Engineers Combat Engineers (or SeaBees?)?
USACE has three pillars of responsibility; combat engineering, military infrastructure and civil works.

Combat engineers are organised into battalions and based with the formations they support. There are also engineer battalions that do what we call general support engineering and there’s a regimental structure above it, embedded into the CofC. There’s more, but you get the gist.

The military construction pillar is about building and maintaining the Army’s fixed and expeditionary infrastructure.

The Civil Works Pillar covers their national infrastructure responsibilities plus design and construction management of major new military facilities for both the Army and Air Force.

It’s a huge capability.
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
USACE has three pillars of responsibility; combat engineering, military infrastructure and civil works.

Combat engineers are organised into battalions and based with the formations they support. There are also engineer battalions that do what we call general support engineering and there’s a regimental structure above it, embedded into the CofC. There’s more, but you get the gist.

The military construction pillar is about building and maintaining the Army’s fixed and expeditionary infrastructure.

The Civil Works Pillar covers their national infrastructure responsibilities plus design and construction management of major new military facilities for both the Army and Air Force.

It’s a huge capability.
We're involved with them in the US - 'huge' doesn't come anywhere near!
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
I hear the Chelsea Pensioners are very well run.

Was a bit much to expect them to chip in on TELIC at their age, though.
Amazingly, the idea of 'Town Majors' along the lines of WW2" was very definitely put forward. However it was a Brit that put it forward, in a Boy Scout jersey, in a most patronising tone.
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
Which makes it all the more difficult to understand why in the name of heaven it was not allowed to feature in the planning for Eye-Rack.
Because there was a war to win and Tommy was a warfighter. No poncey Bosnia or Haiti tours for him - he had no 'peacekeeping/enforcing/nation building (what is that?) experience..

Right man for (part) of the job.
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
Selection and maintenance of The Aim :thumleft: It's the First Principle of war . . . . .

. . . . and indeed of every other human endeavour.​

Well done him and The Chimp.​
Read this book and all will become clear:

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I know an awful lot of the CENTCOM folks in that book and they aren't all worthy of censure...
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
I know an awful lot of the CENTCOM folks in that book and they aren't all worthy of censure...
I don't doubt you, not for one moment: but climb that command chain high enough, and there's somebody worthy of being stood before a firing squad, even if he'd never worn uniform (having successfully doged the draft for Vietnam duty, as befits every red-blooded patriotic 'Mur'can male with a heartfelt commitment to Their Patriotic Duty No Matter How Hard . . . . . and a feelthy rich family :wink: )
 
Arguably, it would return us to the policy of most of our post-1688 history, which treated the army as less useful than a powerful (and, by nature, defensive) navy. Adventures on the continent (waged largely by soldiers) cost us countless lives and much capital.

How on earth did wars in "NI, Oman, the Falklands, former Yugoslavia, Sierra Leone, Gulf I and II, Afghanistan...." protect our trade or supply chains? We were largely exporters of oil from the 1970s into the 2000s and now we are moving to a "green" economy, so even wars in sandy places seem like swashbuckling adventurism.
The admirals were as bent as the generals.
Defensive?
The Royal Navy, elements of the British Army and a regiment of East India Company, invaded the Philippines without orders, or ever informing parliament, the admiralty, or Horse Guards. Having taken Manila, in the belief that Spain had vast silver mines on the islands, fierce battles were fought with Spanish colonists and locals whom reportedly ate the dead brits and sepoys after the engagements.
'When-Britain-Ruled-Philippines-1762-1764' by Shirley Fish
 
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