New 21st Century Force Structure for 4th Generation Warfare

Non-Linear Maneuver Brigade (NLMB)


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Non-Linear Battlefields: the Clear and Present Danger

The sad fact is that the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is divided into factions that want to do their pet roles & missions and not what needs to be done to prevail on the non-linear battlefield (NLB) to win 4th generation (4GW) wars. The current corrupt culture of DoD is based on a false war and sociological philosophy that man is getting better and better expressed by discredited sociologists Alvin & Heidi Toffler. As DoD wastes $ Billions each year on a "Revolution in Military Affairs" (RMA) false "Jesus" where firepower by MENTAL computers allegedly win wars for us, our troops-in-trucks are getting PHYSICALLY clobbered in the real world where rocket propelled grenades (RPGs) and roadside bombs trump our linear war technofantasies conjured on our computer screens.

To win 4GWs, the futurist who realized that we are in the 4th generation of warfare---Dr. Martin Van Crevald proposes that nation-state military bureaucracies like the U.S. DoD will have to give way to private armies who will be free to do whatever it takes to win without the common cultural baggage and narcissistic egomaniac BS. We totally agree that we need a totally new, force created from-scratch without the current U.S. military blind-obedience lemmings steered by narcissistic egomaniacs who want "YES-MEN" to win 4GWs. The following slides outline one proposal to achieve this.

The Right Air & Ground Mix

Photo courtesy of Chase Warren of DropMaster Thanks Chase!

To do non-linear, adaptive warfare well, you need forces that are composed of strong, adult people who can fight in any direction at any time; this means all "teeth" and no "tail". Bill Lind proposes such a force for the USMC by eliminating complex helicopters in favor of robust, fixed-wing Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) aircraft. Recent research has discovered that not only has the U.S. Army effectively used "grasshopper" STOL observation/attack/liaison aircraft that could be ground-mobile by towing and trucks, that the CIA's Air America use of Pilatus Turbo Porter STOL aircraft inspired the Riverine Navy to try to get some floatplane Porters for Maneuver Air Support. See Slide 23 for more details.

AU-23 "Peacemaker" gunship (aka Pilatus TurboPorter)

Such a capability is still needed today and can be fulfilled by several aircraft including Porters, Caravans and Thrush AY-65 Vigilantes to just name a few. However, Bill wrongly assumes heavy tracked vehicles are the only tracked armored vehicles available and broad-brushes all tracks into the "too-hard-to-support" category in his whimsical Islandia marine article in the marine corps gazette; "The Islandian marine corps: A Model?" Read his ideas here:

Islandia Mc proposal by Bill Lind

He is 80% right but has actually set the force capabilities "bar" too low for the NLB by lumping in LIGHT tracked armored fighting vehicles (AFVs) with medium and heavy ones when we cannot afford to lose 28% space/weight capability going to wheeled vehicles. A LIGHT tracked AFV is easier to fuel/maintain than a light-to-medium heavy wheeled vehicle pressing down on fragile drivetrains and suspensions on top of narrow rubber tired wheels. Wheeled vehicles are much too vulnerable on the NLB and simply cannot be made RPG and roadside bomb resistant enough. In general, wheeled armored vehicles generally cannot swim and are too high for internal aircraft transport. Thus, our NLMB is ALL TRACKED. The success of German air/ground maneuver in the early years of WWII were the result of their LIGHT tracked mobility. You can't do unpredictable, cross-country, mobility anywhere in the world with wheeled trucks--you need LIGHT tracks.

Planet Earth is essentially the same today as it was in 1940---tracks are the best way to move quickly over the ground, through the water against human opposition. That opposition is INCREASING not decreasing making it more and more difficult for air-filled rubber-tired vehicles to even move amidst rubble, wire, broken glass, shrapnel, firebombs, bullets, explosions, rocks, debris.

We draw further inspiration for 3D deep maneuver from the example of Orde Wingate's "Chindits" delivered by the U.S. Army Air Force "Air Commandos" for the NLMB. However, the NLMB will not be limited to just tracked combat engineer equipment; the force will be able to "Air-Mech-Strike" using tracked AFVs to achieve 3D air/ground maneuver. Backing up and working in concert with the 3D AMS forces are a 2D element in medium and heavy tracked AFVs delivered by a shared sea base created by modifying a Roll-On, Roll-Off sealift ship to offload vehicles using LCAC air cushion hovercraft.

To read more about the amazing CHINDITS:


Part 1

Japanese masters at jungle warfare bicycle infiltrate and outflank British taking Malaya/Singapore, demoralized in restive India, Wavell calls for maverick Wingate who lead Israeli Special Night Squads and Gideon Force to victoria in Ethiopia, he creates long-range penetration groups resupplied by air to out-junglefight the Japanese, attacking their supply lines

Part 2

300 man columns with 100 mules, RAF radiomen with each column to insure resupply, 90 day operations, 2 columns sent south to divert Japs, 5 columns under Wingate head east to cut rail lines, bad weather prevented resupply so columns went without food for 10 days, men got sick, had to eat their pack mules, need for SERE skills to gather food and lightweight rations or rice seems evident, seriously wounded men shot when should have been air-evaced by STOL grasshopper planes, 1, 000 men out of 3, 000 died, of 2, 000 survivors, 600 were unable to return to duty, wily Winston Churchill has Wingate accompany him to Canada to get Americans and Canadians to create their own Special Forces, 1st Air Commandos created to better support CHINDITS and American Galahad penetration force that became Merill's Marauders now the Army's 75th Rangers

Part 3

Colonel Phil Cochrane's Air Commandos well-equipped with P-51 fighter-bombers, C-47s and 100 x Waco gliders to infiltrate without having to march in, gliders carrying tiny tracked bulldozers to improve landing areas so C-47s could airland with mules and the rest of the men

Part 4

Operation Thursday: multiple CHINDIT brigades in strong points deep inside Jap-held Burma, Wingate liases with his brigade commanders by STOL grasshopper but switches to a longer-range B-25 bomber to return to headquarters that crashes, killing him. Cochrane's fighter-bombers offer maneuver air support to help ward off Jap attacks

Part 5

Air resupply and CASEVAC by Sunderland seaplanes on the river, CHINDITs ordered to take Mogang to assist Stillwell's taking of Mytykinkya town after taking the airfield, Slim's 14th Army with Bren gun carriers and light and medium tanks repulses Jap offensive, Stillwell and CHINDITs link-up and latter are flown back to India, Ledo road connected to Burma road to resupply China, Japs in retreat, CHINDITs disbanded and stupid idea that resources would have been better used with Slim's predictable advance is non-sense, without Stillwell and CHINDITS UNHINGING the Japs from the inside-out, Slim wouldn't have got anywhere

Like the CHINDITS, the NLMB will be capable of "Expeditionary Dispersed Operations" (EDOs) by their M113 Gavin tracks with bulldozers scraping out runways for their aircraft to land, followed by spraying Rhino Snot sealant to prevent "brown-outs" from causing crashes and keep dirt/sand out of engines and troop living areas.

EDO Web Page

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Iraqi Air Force Better Equipped than Racketeer U.S. Military Bureaucracy of Incompetents!

Having BILLIONS $$$ of dollars to waste like the U.S. military has results in beaucoup purchases of BS like Predator UAVs that cannot see squat, constantly crash and cannot transport any troops or supplies. SAIC is now offering an armed Caravan that can be flown either by pilots or unmanned. Of course we will not likely buy Caravan fixed-wing AU aircraft lest the helicopter racketeers get threatened.

Bird Dogs for the Iraqi Air Force

04-Dec-2007 17:33 EST

Related Stories: Americas - USA, Contracts - Awards, Middle East - Other, Other Corporation, Support & Maintenance, Transport & Utility

IqAF Cessna 208B

Iraq’s air force has been very slow in getting to its feet. A handful of Seeker light observation aircraft with their distinctive bubble-shaped fronts, a few Comp Air light propeller aircraft, a couple of old, refurbished C-130E transports, and a handful of helicopters. A few Hawker Beechcraft King Air 350s have been ordered for transport and surveillance duties, and an RFP for armed counterinsurgency aircraft in is progress, but decisions to date have ensured that the Iraqi air force is still a long way from being able to secure Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. While it continues to grow, its primary duties remain troop/medical transport, light supply duties, and surveillance of roads and infrastructure.

That kind of surveillance doesn’t require high tech, high-end aircraft. The USAF has been using F-16 and F/A-18 aircraft at $15,000 per flight hour, plus recapitalization amortization. In contrast, light propeller aircraft like Cessna’s L-19 “Bird Dog” and O-2 successor worked very well in Vietnam. Their modern descendants can be outfitted with modern surveillance turrets plus “Mk1 eyeballs and ears” for a fraction of a fighter jet’s acquisition and amortization cost, in order to do more or less the same ISR job. They’ll also crash less often than expensive UAVs, and are more suitable for fledgling air forces. Specialty models like the Schweizer RU-38 Twin Condor even add acoustic silencing, plus more mission space for dedicated surveillance equipment.

The “Bird Dog” concept certainly fits the IqAF’s profile and support capabilities, and was initially slated to serve as a trainer aircraft. Sure enough, statements from people on the front lines suggest that Cessna aircraft are in fact acquiring other IqAF roles as well.

Contracts & Events:

Nov 29/07: Cue more Cessna Caravans. The Cessna Aircraft Co. of Wichita, KS received a firm-fixed price contract for $23.7 million to buy 5 Cessna C-208B Caravan aircraft along with minor aircraft modifications, logistic support services, and one year of spares for the Iraqi Air Force. The contract also includes an option for 2 additional aircraft, At this time, all funds been obligated. The 337th AESG/FMS at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH issued the contract (FA8617-08-C-6183).

Oct 31/07: U.S. Air Force Col. Michael Wobbema, Chief of Staff for the Coalition Air Force Transition Team, says in an interview that: “And then we’ve got this Cessna [208B] Caravan. The Cessna Caravan will also become—there will be an armed variant of that that will come online.

Aug 3/07: Cessna Aircraft Co. in Wichita, KS has received a firm-fixed-price contract for $10.6 million. The aircraft will reportedly be used primarily in a trainer role, and for about the price of a high-end Predator UAV system, this contract action will procure 18 Cessna C-172 aircraft (with an option for 10 more), logistics support services, and 1 year of spares for the Iraqi Air Force. At this time, $7.5 million has been obligated. Work will be complete December 2008. Air Force Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH issued the contract (FA8617-07-C-6181).

Additional Readings & Sources

 StrategyPage (Feb 19/08) – Iraq Seeks Cessna Solution. “The 208Bs are being equipped with the same sensors and targeting pods used on the Predator UAV. The 208B can be rigged to carry Hellfire missiles as well, giving the Iraqis an aircraft that can act as an Predator clone, a personnel transport or a cargo hauler. Many are available on the used aircraft market for about $2 million each. And pilots can be quickly trained on the 172, and easily transition to the 208B.

 Defense Tech (Oct 31/07) – Rebuilding the Iraqi Air Force.

 USAF, Wright-Patterson AFB (Oct 31/07) – Wright-Patt plays a part in training future Iraqi pilots

 USAF (Oct 5/07) – Iraqi air force flying training school opens at Kikuk. They mean Kirkuk, where the 52nd Expeditionary Flying Training Squadron operates.

 USAF Guy’s Milblog (June 11/07) – Manners & Mustaches (pics). “Got to fly up in the Iraqi Air Force’s newest aircraft—a modified Cessna Caravan. It’s a great little aircraft and has a large forward looking infrared and video pod the Iraqis will use for reconnaissance.” The Author is a U.S. Air Force officer currently deployed to Basrah Air Station, Iraq where he is embedded in an Iraqi Air Force squadron as a military advisor.

Modeling the NLMB...

We just found a 1:87 scale die-cast AU-27 Cessna Caravan float plane model for $1.50 @Toys R US.!

Look for the MATCHBOX "Skybusters" line that should be hanging on a metal post.

You should be able to buy the Caravan individually, but if you have to buy the 4-pack to get it, its worth it especially if its got the B-1 Lancer its a very good model because its wings retract unlike any other die-cast metal model.

We're painting our Caravan sky camouflage gray and adding rocket and gun pods, U.S. roundels to make it an AU-27 to go along with our other 1:87 scale "BattleBox" ISO container system components.

From the Sea

Another sad testament to DoD's techno-narcissism is that the U.S. Navy and marines do not want to do what is necessary to fight from the sea successfully and project meaningful combat power inland. In our NLMB construct, we have our forces FLY over sea mines to work around USN ASW and counter-mine warfare incompetence. However, we need naval gunfire support to clear beach landing sites to safely land the NLMB's medium/heavy Bradleys/Abrams tanks by LCAC. Since the USN refuses to do its job of providing naval gunfire support, we propose that an Iowa class battleship be assigned to the NLMB and manned by NLMB personnel. Fitted with ski jumps, a battleship like the USS Wisconsin could carry 6 x F-35 Joint Strike fighters to provide air cover from enemy aircraft and missile attacks. Details:

With the addition of an Iowa class "aircraft battleship", the NLMB moving by Container Assault Ship now has naval escort and protection from everything except enemy submarines. Since we cannot count on the USN to do its job in ASW warfare, the NLMB design we propose would have lighter-than-air (LTA) airships fitted with anti-submarine warfare gear and a "mother" container ship with ASW weaponry to counter the enemy submarine threat.

Therefore the NLMB flotilla would look as follows:

1 x Container Assault Ship with the NLMB air/ground team embarked on board
1 x Container ASW ship with patrol blimps
1 x Iowa Class battleship (USS Wisconsin) with 6 x F-35 Joint Strike fighters

NEW! BattleBoxes on Container Assault Ship pictures!

The British won the war in the Falklands because they used container ships as aircraft carriers, why not us? The SCADS concept was even more bolder and created actual ski-jump equipped container ships by using ISO shipping container modules (see Slide 25 for more details)

British have already done it: Container Ship Conversion to Aircraft Carrier

Future and Specials

In the late 1960s the U.S. Navy had conceived the "Arapaho" programme, under which a container ship would be modified to permit testing of its suitability to operate special mission helicopters. The aim at that time was to allow a significant proportion of wartime convoy escort and sealane protection tasks to be performed by such ships, manned by USN reservists. The Arapaho concept involved an LPD-size flight deck 200 feet (61m) long and 64 feet (19.5m) wide, and a 4,000 sq ft (372m²) hangar large enough to accommodate four Sea King [amphibious] helicopters. The complete installation weighed 900 tons, and could be installed on a container vessel in less than 18 hours.

In 1982 such an installation was emplaced on the 18,000-ton Export Leander, and 178 helicopters landings and take-offs were performed. In the following year the Arapaho equipment was leased by McDonnell and installed by Camel Laird at Birkenhead on the 27,900-ton MV Astronomer (subsequently renamed RFA Reliant) for tests in the South Atlantic.

The Evil Chinese Communists are Getting Ready to Take Container Ships to Nation-State War

The British have already taken container ships to war in the Falklands in 1982. Snobby navies like the U.S. Navy want handfuls of custom-made "warships" and don't realize in war SIZE counts.

The author below doesn't seem to know that its possible to offload container ships without having to seize container cranes at a port. He doesn't know about FASTship or SCADS, either but he's right on target with how container ships can be made into aircraft, troop and tank carrying ships.

April 11, 2005

China's container ship fleet and Taiwan's security

By Frederick W. Stakelbeck, Jr.

China is busily building a fleet of the largest container ships the world has ever seen. That is a boon for its export trade and economic efficiency. But like the Trojan Horse of ancient Greek civilization, the fleet could potentially be used by China in a spectacular, lightening invasion of Taiwan. Could the hollow hulls and empty decks of Chinese container ships carry infantry and mechanized divisions for a devastating attack on Taiwan, securing the island before the U.S. could respond?

The thought of mammoth Chinese container ships carrying an amphibious invasion force across the Strait of Taiwan is certainly frightening. But the capability for just such an invasion is slowly being put in place.

The Chinese have plans to build several 90,000 ton—plus container ships capable of carrying 8,530—TEUs [EDITOR: 20 foot long shipping containers] (Twenty Feet Equivalent Units).* In an agreement announced in November 2004, Chinese shipbuilder Hudong—Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) Co., Ltd. announced it will deliver 4—5 of the giant container ships to the China Shipping Group by October 2008. When completed, the new ships will surpass the Republic of Korea's 8,000—TEU as the largest container ships in the world.

Supplementing increased construction and advances in the container ship industry have been developments in China's amphibious capabilities. The People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) is building amphibious ships at a breakneck pace. The ships include nine large Yuting 072— II class LSTH; the Yunshu class LSM; a new 64 meter LCU; a number of medium landing ships; and the construction of LSDs and LPDs with flight decks for attack helicopters.

Solidifying China's stranglehold on the world's merchant fleet is the country's rapid ascension as a world leader in commercial ship repair and conversion services. These complex projects can now be completed at a number of shipyards throughout China. Its largest ship repair organization, the China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO) Shipyard, operates the Nantong shipyard near Shanghai, which is increasingly handling tanker, container and bulk carrier repairs and conversions. Separately, the Dailan and Guangzhou shipyards, among the country's largest repair facilities, also expect rapid growth and increased investment in the near future.

The largest producer of ship containers in the world is also a Chinese company. China International Marine Containers (CIMC) ranks as the world leader in container manufacturing, with over 40 percent of the international container market. These containers can be custom built to specifications with louvered vents and electric power added to make a working, livable environment that is virtually sound—proof. Containers can also be armored and include partitions to conceal individuals or large items.

Entranced by economic opportunity, the Taiwanese are inadvertently making a possible Chinese container ship invasion a reality. In May 2004, ground was broken for construction of the first container center at the Port of Taipei. The new center is expected to save several hundred million dollars in transport costs and make the port an attractive location for investment. Located at the mouth of the Danshuei River in northern Taiwan, the Port of Taipei is one—hundred and thirty—four miles from Fuzhou Harbor in mainland China.

Further improvements to the Port of Taipai's transportation infrastructure are scheduled for completion in 2008 — the same year that the last of the great 90,000 ton container ships will be delivered to the China Shipping Group. Included in these improvements will be the completion of the Bali—Wugu section of an east—west expressway. This will allow for the easy transport of containers from the Port of Taipei via the expressway, or a link with Chiang Kai—shek International Airport via the West Coast Highway, which is currently being widened.

A Chinese invasion of Taiwan has been compared by some to the allied invasion of Normandy and McArthur's landing at Inchon during the Korean War. The D—Day Normandy invasion of 1944 transported 176,000 amphibious troops; used three airborne divisions; 10,000 aircraft, 136 warships, 3,000 landing craft and 2,000 support ships. Available intelligence reports suggest that the Chinese can assemble 15,000 amphibious troops, three airborne divisions, 3,300 aircraft, 60 warships and 300 landing craft for an invasion of Taiwan. In addition, a support force of 50,000 ground troops of the Chinese 31st Army Group now deployed at the Nanjing Military Region could be made available for an invasion with another 250,000 troops loaded onto container ships for an assault on Taiwan. According to Wang Jisi, Director of the Chinese Institute of Strategy at the Central Party School, "the danger of war truly exists. We are not a paper tiger. We are a real tiger."

In theory, a covert assault using Chinese container ships is possible. But like the Normandy invasion, most, if not all, of the operational and contingency planning involved in such a large—scale amphibious invasion would have to be precise and error—free. A fleet of container ships would have to unload men and material in an extremely fast, cohesive manner, probably under constant fire from Taiwanese ground, navel and air forces.

Loading docks in the Port of Taipei would need to be cleared for immediate military offloading operations. Major roads leading out of the port would have to be secured by airborne units of the Chinese 43rd, 44th and 45th divisions or advance units of a special operations force (SOF) attached to the invading amphibious force.

Once secured, the port would require continuous patrolling to propel a retaliatory naval or air assault on container ships unloading at the port. Air cover using a combination of attack helicopters and fighters from the decks of ships in port or from airfields secured by Chinese airborne units would be necessary. The imposition of a rigorous naval shield using China's fleet of diesel and nuclear powered submarines would be needed to diminish threats from the United States and its allies.

French Exocet SM—39 anti—ship missiles known as "carrier killers," 3M—80 Moskit Sunburn missiles, developed by the Chinese specifically to defeat the U.S. Aegis air—defense system, or cruise missiles launched from Russian—made Su—30 fighters could also be used to attack U.S. assets in the Pacific. Deployed on submarines, fighters, frigates, or mainland China, cruise missiles could inflict considerable damage and innumerable casualties on U.S. Naval Forces in the early hours of a conflict. This would effectively mitigate an overwhelming response from the U.S. and prompt a tactical regrouping of U.S. forces for a coordinated counteroffensive that could take several weeks or months to organize.

A southern Chinese invasion force made up of container ships and Chinese naval support ships could land near the ancient city of Tainan situated on the southwestern coastal plains of Taiwan. As one of the island's largest cities with a population of approximately 700,000 residents, Tainan's transportation system includes a major airport that, if secured by Chinese airborne units, would allow for accelerated troop movements north. The Tainan Airport, a public facility as well as an air base, is well—known to Chinese military strategists. Railway lines and highways leading north to Taipei already exist and are large enough to handle large supply trucks, tanks and armored vehicles.

Adding credibility to the hypothesis of a possible Chinese container—based invasion of Taiwan, the United States itself is now considering using container ships in support of naval operations, and plans to explore the conversion of container ships for military purposes. Working with Maersk Line Ltd., the U.S. Navy is considering its Maritime Prepositioning Force (MPF) Future Program with a modified S—class commercial container ship. The 1,140 feet long ship is designed to offload cargo for 6,000 troops and maintain a flight deck for the V—22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft. Working with architectural firm Gibbs & Cox and ship conversion company Norshipco, the proposed ship will be outfitted with ramps, a loading platform and stern and bow thrusters. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2007. Hovercrafts would be used to deliver cargo to shore.

China has embarked on a determined mission to surpass both Japan and South Korea as the world's leading shipbuilder. The Chinese can now offer state—of—the—art shipbuilding, repair and conversion services as a result of increased domestic and foreign investment in maritime modernization projects. With improved shipbuilding production methods, modern capital equipment for its shipyards, and significant progress in the areas of ship design, China's shipbuilding industry deserves the attention of the U.S. and its Pacific allies as a possible national security threat.

Would China undertake a container—based invasion of Taiwan? This is an intriguing question which merits our attention as China approaches superpower status.


*The unit TEU (twenty—foot equivalent unit) is used to express the relative number of containers based on the equivalent length of a 20' container. For example, 100 containers of 20' is 100 TEUs, while 100 containers of 40' is 200 TEUs, Export 911,

Frederick W. Stakelbeck, Jr., is a freelance journalist residing in Philadelphia

Battle Boxes for supplies and embarking troops with living areas

With the BattleBox system its now possible to make any container ship into a "Container Assault Ship" capable of launching both air, land and sea craft as well as house Soldiers/Airmen to operate them. One application of this concept for Special Operations Forces would be for the Non-Linear Maneuver Brigade.

The Container Assault Ship can with its flight deck carry hundreds of ISO container BattleBoxes as well as launch V/TOL and STOVL aircraft while those with RO-RO ramps can simultaneously deliver amphibious vehicles and vehicles/cargo onto landing craft while far out to sea, eliminating the need for ports and piers.

Aircraft like CH/MH-47 SuperChinooks and A/MH-6 Little Birds, OH-58D Kiowa Warriors/Model 407s etc. could also easily operate from Container Assault Ships.

The Container Assault Ship can even defend itself from air attack by carrying its own STOVL fighter/attack aircraft. [Note we couldn't find 1/350 scale F-35 JSF models so F-18 Hornets are shown here as notional surrogates].

AmphiGavin amphibious tracked, armored fighting vehicle spearheads

M113A4 AmphiGavins can splash into the water from RO-RO ramps and swim themselves ashore to secure beach landing sites (BLSs) for the follow-on echelons delivering non-amphibious ground vehicles

CH-53E Sky and SpeedCranes for V/TOL air delivery

A CH-53E SpeedCrane takes off from the Container Assault Ship with an AmphiGavin snug under its skeletal fuselage as a "Streamlined External Load" (SEL)

AmphiGavins can also by flown by SkyCranes/SpeedCranes over potential sea mines for 3D air assaults to secure BLSs and other mission objectives

The basic CH-53E SkyCrane is fitted with Piasecki VTDP thrust units and wings can double ship-to-shore speeds making "SpeedCranes"

With its high 200+ mph speeds, the CH-53E SpeedCrane can fly high above the clouds to deliver cargo like M113A4 AmphiGavins and troops deep inland for 3D operational maneuver

LCAC/RO-RO Ramp Interface

Many combination container and RO-RO ships could be used as Container Assault Ships

Here a container ship owned by the U.S. Army with a stern RO-RO ramp interfaces with a floating platform (ACV-LAP) to enable U.S. Navy LCAC hovercraft to land and pick-up/drop-off cargo and vehicles.

This sideview shows how simultaneous actions can occur from the Container Assault Ship to speed deliveries ashore.

A close-up of the RO-RO ramp and LCAC landing platform

Here LCACs deliver a pair of Bradley medium Fighting Vehicles and a M1 Abrams heavy tank ashore at 60 mph speeds, over potential sea mines

Armored Resupply for the Lethal Non-Linear Battlefield (NLB)

Cargo-carrying XM1108 AmphiGavins can speed cargo like ISO Container BattleBoxes ashore by swimming themselves or hitching a ride using the LCAC platform RO-RO ramp interface

Ski Jumps for STOVL F-35 Joint Strike Fighters

With the addition of a bow ski jump, Container Assault Ships can launch STOVL fighters like the F-35 JSF with full ordnance loads. The JSFs would land vertically back onto the container assault ship for refuel and rearming.


There are no "second class", "support" Soldiers in the NLMB. EVERYBODY fights, EVERYBODY works, to include leaders. Lead by example means your fingers get dirty, too. Just like Heinlein's "Starship Troopers" (the book not the movie with the bare-breasted chicks in the shower).

With the advent of the personal computer there is no reason for huge bureaucracies. Weak people want bureaucracies to hide in.

The Non-Linear Maneuver Brigade (NLMB) would have ZERO bureaucracy.

The leader would be accessible at all times to everyone like Carlson was to his Raiders. The NLMB would be completely self-sufficent, NO TAIL, everybody fights, everybody works. It would have no buildings, only BattleBoxes, tracks, aircraft on trailers and a container assault ship. If you want to parachute jump, it has its own aircraft. If you want to move by sea, its own ships and aircraft that can land on the water. You get the idea. The NLMB can do almost every military task.

No asshole narcissistic egomaniacs would be tolerated in the ranks, anywhere. The minute you start acting like a NPD asshole, its 3 strikes and then you are out. Recruits are psychologically tested for NPD and no one that has that disease gets in. Anyone who on a survey indicates they want any vestige of the spit 'n polish garrison cancer or their own pet style of warfare like most of the lightfigher folks who think they are such "studs" in U.S. Army/marines---are out. We only want people who have ALLL ideas on how to win on the table. Someone who thinks "tracks are for pussies" or smokescreens are not important and wants to just barge in and shoot everyone all the time is out. We do not want anyone who is always trying to ride their hobby horse.

There are no unit tents, no sports PT gear, no file cabinets, no polished floors, no lawns to mow, EVERY OUNCE OF WEIGHT OF EVERYTHING WE HAVE GOES TOWARDS VICTORY IN COMBAT. Just like Sherman's "flying columns" in the U.S. civil war, except in a sturdier form to prevail on a more lethal NLB.

Incentives will be the fact that you are doing exciting things and getting paid well. There will be no rank/ego biscuits to "rise to become a general", the NLMB will be known for WHAT IT DOES AS A UNIT to defend freedom.

I know I'd want to be a part of such a unit. Larteguy's famous saying echoes this. He concluded the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) came closest to this ideal. Here is an excerpt from his classic book, "The Centurions" which was made into a great war movie starring Anthony Quinn called "Lost Command":

"Have you noticed that in military history no regular army has ever been able to deal with a properly organized guerrilla force? If we use the regular army in Algeria, it can only end in failure. I'd like France to have two armies: one for display, with lovely guns, tanks, little soldiers, fanfares, staffs, distinguished and doddering generals, and dear little regimental officers who would be deeply concerned over their general's bowel movements or their colonel's piles: an army that would be shown for a modest fee on every fairground in the country. The other would be the real one, composed entirely of young enthusiasts in camouflage battledress, who would not be put on display but from whom impossible efforts would be demanded and to whom all sorts of tricks would be taught. That's the army in which I should like to fight."

"We no longer wage the same war as you, colonel. Nowadays it's a mixture of everything, a regular witches' brew… of politics and sentiment, the human soul and a man's ass, religion and the best way of cultivating rice, yes, everything, including even the breeding of black pigs. I knew an officer in Cochin-China who, by breeding black pigs, completely restored a situation which all of us regarded as lost."

"My father used to say that in love one must stake one's soul on it the same way as one stakes one's life in war, and if he had known about the war we're fighting now, he would have added: one's honor."

"The Templars discovered the power of money at a time when money was despised, and in Syria the sect of the Assassins had taught them the power of a dagger wielded by a fanatic, in other words terrorism. They were ready for the conquest of the world."

"The ancestors of the Communists?"

"Perhaps. But the Templars were burnt on the stakes of Phillippe le Bel just as the Communists were shot through the head by Stalin's henchmen."

"We had too many arms, too much money. With the money we bought up a lot pf puppets, while we let the Vietminh take the arms. We had no valid reason for fighting, apart from preventing the Communists from fanning out into South-East Asia. To succeed in this aim, we needed the support of the Vietnamese people. But how could they give us their support since, at the very outset, we denied them their independence?"

"For a prisoner, everything is justified," Esclavier had declared, "stealing, lying… From the moment they deprive him of his freedom he is given every right."

"I make war as best I can. If I were in the position of the French, I wouldn't need bombs, but I've no other means at my disposal. What difference do you see in the pilot who drops cans of napalm on a mechta from the safety of his aircraft and a terrorist who places a bomb in the Coq Hardi? The terrorist requires far more courage."

"In Indochina we experienced the solitude of mercenaries; we felt like outcasts from the nation. We don't want any more of that situation. We've got to create a popular army, thanks to which we will find ourselves in communion with the people. That's why those who've been called up, the reservists like you, are much more important to us than the volunteers who, by the very fact of enlisting, have performed more or less the act of a mercenary."

"He was like a bullfighter being asked by ignorant strangers, who did not number one genuine aficionado among them, to describe his fight just after it is over, when he has not yet got rid of his fear, when he still feels closer to the animal he has killed in the sunshine of arena than to these people scrutinizing him with a strange gleam in their eyes as though he was a murderer."

"All warfare is bound to become political, colonel, and an officer with no political training will soon prove ineffective. Frequently the word 'tradition' only serves to conceal our laziness."

The NLMB is as self-sufficient as humanly possible!

1. All vital supplies carried on the Container Assault Ship

Ship has ability to create fresh drinking water from seawater

2. All ground vehicles tow a quick-detachable trailer with FLEX-CELLS, ammo, lightweight dehydrated food, water

3. ALL troops can live off land with SERE skills, water purifiers, human battery rechargers

4. Aircraft can air deliver supplies by CopterBox airdrop and STOL airland to keep NLMB "flying columns" moving

5. XM1108 AmphiGavins shuttle in supplies by PLS flat rack and plywood skidboards.

These folks would also move the BattleBoxes forward to create Forward Operating Bases (FOBs).

All the NLMB is, is a miniature version of how we go to war overseas now WITHOUT THE BUREAUCRACY.


SCADS & SKYHOOK: ideas for Container Assult Ships

Here's the excerpt from the excellent Greg Goebell Vector web site, a reader recently pointed out to us on SCADS/SKYHOOK:


* Several ingenious ideas were promoted by Harrier enthusiasts in the post-Falklands period to use the Harrier as a naval "force multiplier", based on unconventional replacements for a traditional aircraft carrier.

One was called the "shipborne containerized air-defense system (SCADS)". This was a clever idea by which all the equipment needed to put together the operational apparatus of a small ski-jump Harrier carrier -- including living quarters, fuel and munitions storage, maintenance facilities, missile and decoy launchers, anti-submarine helicopter facilities, and of course a ski-jump deck -- would be built in a modular fashion, based on the standard container sizes used on container ships, and put in storage. The entire kit could be assembled in about two days on a container ship when needed, with provisions for 30 days of operation without resupply. The kit would be removed and stored again when the emergency was over.

An even cleverer idea was the "Skyhook". This concept was to use a crane that could be mounted on a small ship, such as a helicopter frigate, to lift Harriers off the deck and allow them to fly off, and then recover them later. On recovery, they could be returned to their deck hangar, or refueled while they dangled on the crane, and released to continue operations. The crane would be "smart", with stabilization capabilities and a panel indicator mounted to give the Harrier pilot location information. With such a system, even a helicopter frigate could operate four Harriers as a kind of "mini-carrier".

While British Aerospace experimented with the Skyhook on land using their G-VTOL demonstrator, neither SCADS nor the Skyhook became realities. Critics suggested that they implied a dispersal of forces that made logistics impractically difficult. Nonetheless, they remain interesting ideas to be kept in mind for the future of STOVL combat aircraft.

A reader writes in:


I am a regular reader of your site(s) now for a while but this is the first time I have contacted you concerning your innovative (yet often common sense) ideas. The idea(s) in question are the ISO "battle box" and the container assault ship. In parallel (and before I saw your idea) my self and a friend discussed your "battle boxes" and arrived at a similar concept but being British we focused on the SCADS (Sea-borne Containerised Air-Defence System) concept developed in the wake of the Falklands War.

This essentially turns cargo ships into v/stovl carriers. All elements to operate a small number of Harriers and helicopters can be modularised within ISO containers including a lightweight 4-cell seawolf anti-aircraft/missile missile launcher, reloads and control/aiming radars. If this weapon system can be containerised, couldn't others? CIWS is one ides, but what about offensive weapons?

Being containerised and modular means the systems and aircraft can easily be moved from one ship to another but what about other options...

If SCADS and Battle Boxes could be combined then not only could vehicles and equipment be moved by ship/aircraft/tracked vehicle but so could containerised weapon systems - go any where air defence? mobile cruise missiles? Battle-field CIWS?

I believe this idea has a lot more room for growth, and hope to hear back from you regarding these simple ideas,


Wales, UK

5 Years to Freedom: Build the NLMB with an American Foreign Legion?

There are thousands of foreigners that want to be Americans more than many Americans do. Being a true American is an outlook on life; its to NOT be a snob. To see that ALL MEN ARE CREATED WITH EQUALLY HIGH VALUE. We would be able to make a great NLMB lead by American officers and NONCOMs composed of foreigners willing to do 5 years of dedicated service to earn their citizenship and learn our English language and buy into a morally sound warrior ethos. Since DoD doesn't want to adapt to the NLB, an American Foreign Legion to build the NLMB might be the way to go. The French Foreign Legion kicks ass, which no one disputes.

Chickenhawk Max Boot (neocon who longs for war now that he is a middle-aged man at no risk of losing his life in such wars) writes:

Los Angeles Times June 16, 2005

Defend America, Become American

By Max Boot

The Army is getting desperate. Having fallen 25% short of already reduced recruiting goals last month, it is raising enlistment bonuses to $40,000 in some cases and lowering standards to accept and retain Soldiers who would have been turned away in years past. A minor criminal record? No high school diploma? Uncle Sam still wants you.

Down this way disaster lies - the undoing of the finest armed forces in U.S. history. But what choice is there? With combat dragging on in Iraq and plenty of jobs available at home, there aren't enough volunteers. So far, a real crisis has been averted only because the Army has exceeded its retention goals and kept some troops in uniform past their discharge dates, but it will only get tougher to keep volunteers in uniform if troops are constantly deployed overseas.

Having reviewed all the other possibilities and found them wanting, I return to the solution I proposed on this page in February: Broaden the recruiting base beyond U.S. citizens and permanent, legal residents. Legislation has been drafted to make a modest start in that direction.

The proposed Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act is targeted at children of undocumented immigrants residing in the U.S. for more than five years but not born here. They would get legal status and become eligible for citizenship if they graduate from high school, stay out of trouble and either attend college for two years or serve two years in the armed forces. This bill, introduced by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), drew 48 cosponsors in the Senate last year but failed to get a floor vote. It is likely to be reintroduced soon.

The DREAM Act is a great idea, but I would go further and offer citizenship to anyone, anywhere on the planet, willing to serve a set term in the U.S. military. We could model a Freedom Legion after the French Foreign Legion. Or we could allow foreigners to join regular units after a period of English-language instruction, if necessary.

When I first made this suggestion, I got a lot of positive responses but also some scathing critiques. A retired Army sergeant in Houston wrote (expletives deleted): "Are you out of your mind? The last thing we need in our military is a bunch of illegal immigrants serving in combat operations for a country to which they are not culturally bonded!" But there is no better way to build that bond than through military training and discipline. Drill sergeants have been forging cohesive units out of disparate elements since the days of the Roman legions.

In the past, the U.S. military had many more foreigners than we do today. (During the Civil War, at least 20% were immigrants. Now it's 7%.) The British army, among many others, has also made good use of noncitizens. Nepalese Gurkhas still fight and die for the Union Jack despite not being "culturally bonded" to it. No doubt they would do the same for the Stars and Stripes.

Some letter writers invoke the specter of mercenaries leading to the fall of the U.S. as they supposedly led to the fall of Rome. That's a misreading of Roman history. As classicist Victor Davis Hanson points out, by the 1st century AD, the legions "were mostly non-Italian and mercenary, and the empire still endured for nearly another 500 years." If only the Pax Americana were to last half as long!

Other critics think it's repugnant to ask foreigners to face dangers that citizens won't. But there is always an element of unfairness in war. Unless you institute a truly universal draft (we've never done it), some will always be more at risk than others.

Besides, the U.S. already makes ample use of mercenaries. We rely on tens of thousands of contractors in Iraq, Colombia and elsewhere, many of them not Americans. They would be a lot more useful if they were in uniform and subject to military orders so that we could avoid mix-ups like the one that just happened in Iraq, where Marines detained 19 employees of an American engineering firm for allegedly firing on them.

Would foreigners sign up to fight for Uncle Sam? I don't see why not, because so many people are desperate to move here. Serving a few years in the military would seem a small price to pay, and it would establish beyond a doubt that they are the kind of motivated, hardworking immigrants we want.

Anyway, what's the alternative? $100,000 signing bonuses? Recruiting felons?

A former Army officer writes:

"Back before the war in Iraq in late 2002 while I was still working as an HQDA country desk officer, I did a study of the percentages of foreign nationals that we had in our armed forces. Overall, I think it was 2 percent. But for the Army, it was 5 percent. For obvious reasons, those numbers are likely higher today. It seems you just can’t get good cannon fodder when you need it from the U.S. citizenry today. So your idea of outsourcing the job of fighting our foreign wars is not without merit."

An USAF NONCOM writes:

"Plenty of legal foreign nationals currently serve, and the circumstances behind each illegal immigrants choice to come here vary. Blanket acceptance of any group would be unwise, but if we overlook minor youthful criminal offenses by native-born citizens, why exclude an illegal immigrant who has not committed an offense against property or person? I'm not for opening immigration floodgates because we in the U.S. benefit from selective immigration. However, illegals are an important part of our economy. They will exist in large numbers because the business and political interests that allow them here are immovable. Their legal counterparts are part of that power. If we are stuck with them, and they want to serve, why not put them to work in a way that will assimilate them? They come here to do civilian jobs no one else wants, so...

There is no financial "pay gap", but there IS a recruiting/retention gap, driven by circumstance.

Financial/compensation incentives are part of overcoming the disincentives of war, family separation, civilian career interruption, etc.


"This sucks. I'm putting in my papers. Now how much for that contract gig in the same location???")

In a battle of PERCEPTION, what is a good peacetime/short war compensation package is less desired when prolonged wartime operations are the norm.

There are alternatives to serving in the volunteer force. If we wish to select quality recruits from a variety of applicants then COMPETITION requires offering an attractive package.

How attractive? Enough to succeed.

If people do not see their needs sufficiently met by a given activity, they will do something else.

Re: the interpretation of "conservative values", FWIW I'm an atheist. (Not Madalyn Murray O'Hare, just free of superstition/spirituality period-full-stop.)

What I meant was that the specific civilian mindset that drives individual acceptance of military service/self-sacrifice/the profession of arms is INHERENTLY conservative (note the lower-case "c"), and that immigrants with those values are plentiful. People whose ideology is inherently anti-service and/or anti-war will (no kidding) not self-select to fight.

Immigrants who have not been corrupted by the U.S. culture of "entitlement without obligation" are a national resource, and (at least in my experience) often perform superbly in a military setting.

I'm not an immigrant, but the drive and dedication of those I've worked with who chose to serve are exemplary. I would be happy to have a flight of them.

Conservatism isn't inherently religious or locked to the frothing religious right, though they would very much like us to think so.

Military service of any sort is inherently unattractive ('unbearable' is a fair statement) to most of the population. No reasons exist to believe that was or will ever be different.

In other news, the sun rose in the East...

We need to tip the balance so people who are already disposed to enlist join and stay."

Table of Contents

Title Quote by B.H. Liddell-Hart

The 2 Battles

The Battle Against the Earth

Interchangeable Maneuver

Battle Against Man: RMA vs. 4GW

RMA dismal failure in Iraq

Employ sound war philosophy


Purpose of the NLMB

Non-Linear Battlefield (NLB)

2D/3D Maneuver needed to win

NLMB unique capabilities

Overcoming nation-state SSCs

12 x C-27J "Baby Herks"

24 x A/MH-6 "Little Birds"

12 x AU-27 Combat Caravan CAS/transports

AU-27 payload


Surveillance & Attack

Airborne delivery by parachutes

OV-1, OV-10 capabilities regained

STOL landings

Trailer-mobile on ground

Floatplane AU-27s deliver SEALs (details of USN attempt to get TurboPorters in Vietnam)

AU-27 floatplanes & RO-RO sealift ships as tenders

RO-RO Commando V/TOL Carrier

RO-RO Commando V/STOL Carrier: first done in WW2

F-35 JSF & JPODs interface

JPODS: carry troops

Parachute JPODs with supplies

JPOD with ammunition

Exfil vehicles for JPODs

M113A4 AmphiGavins & RO-RO exits

AmphiGavins helicopter-transportable

Troops/cargo ashore by AmphiGavins

LCACs & RO-RO ships

Stern shelf concept

LCAC & RO-RO ship interface

SKJOLD and tanks for fire support

M1A3 Abrams heavy tank & LCAC

M2A4 Bradley Fighting Vehicle

NLMB TAFV upgrades

NLMB based on proven M113 Gavin light TAFVs

TAFVs enable NLMB to maneuver in face of enemy fire

14,000+ M113 Gavins in U.S. Army

NLMB Sappers armored mobility

TAFVs enable rocket line charges to be shot

Tracked NLMB not road-bound like wheeled units

Most of NLMB can swim across any body of water/rivers

Fences/Walls vital for 4GW success

The roadside bomb threat

Where is the air cover?

UAVs fail to cover roads/supply routes; manned fixed-wing aircraft needed

ALL NLMB TAFVs are landmine resistant

All have ACAV-type gunshields

IDF gunshields option

7 layers of TAFV armor protection

Tracks are 28% more space/weight efficient than wheels

TAFVs are RPG-resistant

AV30mm 1-man autocannon turret

Shoots same 30mm ammo as AH-64

NLMB Missions in MOUT

Foot-infantry MOUT woes

Tracked Siege Engines needed


Got questions? We got answers.


RUAG M113 Gavin anti-mine light tank

Rear view of RUAG Gavin

Why NOTAR Little Birds?

Stealth by NOTAR key to victory

NOTAR Little Birds on water

Future Force Multipliers

Seaplanes: DoD not interested

MC-27J float planes

Pantobase Ski system

Noseloading offload

Pantobase on land

Pantobase on snow

Air Cushion Landing Systems (ACLSs)

Tracked Landing Gear

General Gavin's Vision

C-82 with tracked landing gear

XB-36 with tracks

Runways are vulnerable

2D/3D maneuver defeats SSCs

V-22s can't air-mech

Tracked landing gear = more planner options

Rubber tires are weak

Payload: $26 million C-27Js, 13 tons, $80 million V-22, 5 tons

NLMB owes inspiration to Chindits

Air Commando Aircraft yesterday and today's NLMB

Author: 1st Tactical Studies Group (Airborne)


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