AUSA, Crossfire, and the Military Industry

Just back from AUSA.  Some thoughts.  Industry shows suck.  Crossfire is an awesome company with some really nice, decent people.  The military industry is a den of iniquity. 

Industry shows.  This one is a little different, in that the grand poo-bahs are all in attendance, versus the grunts who actually use this stuff.  But that is by design, as the vendors want to talk with the decision-makers, not the guy who actually uses this shit.  So if you think it's more about making a shit-load of money rather than supplying the troops with what they really need, yeah you're pretty much there.

I know that's a little harsh, but we seem to have this over-dependence on technology to fight wars these days.  To mis-quote Heinlein, something about a guy trying to operate a vernier scale, while a cave man slips up behind and bashes in his skull with a rock.   Anyways, not my crowd; too many pips and pimps.

Crossfire.  Ah, there's a little gem.  Meeting Mr. Peter Marshal still gives me hope for humanity.  What a lovely soul.  What he's ever doing in this business, God only knows.  Well, I do  too, but that's another story.  A country gentleman, renaissance man, and just a really good bloke.  They don't make them like this anymore.  Talking with him over the past few days has given me new perspective on a lot of things.  Including rucksacks.  Not to mention LBE, clothing, and boots.  Fascinating insight into the design philosophies behind these things, as well as the practical applications of manufacturing them.  

22F.  Now there's a guy who I would want by my side, for the zombie apocalypse, or just a simple bar fight.  Hard as woodpecker lips, but a heart of gold.  I keep saying commonwealth soldiers are some of the best on the planet, and he is a shining example of this.  I don't think you could find a better mate anywhere.  And BTW he's NOT gay.  Just wanted to put that to rest.  

Honorable mention to the new marketing guru.  Also a very nice person.  I'm sure she will do well.

The military industry.  I really don't want to go into this now.  Suffice it to say, it's a real den of snakes.  Think of that scene where Indiana Jones opens that crypt and the floor is hissing and writhing and you're there. I'm really glad now I never started my own company and got into it.  Always wondered about that over the years; no more.

Anyways, as I sit here on this cold, rainy morn, lucky to be alive; inside, warm and dry, with a cuppa.  (You don't know how good this really is, until you've soldiered.)  I picked up a couple of rucks and some other things, with thanks to Peter, which I will be putting through their paces very soon.  After being chastised, and sufficiently called to task for monkeying around with it, instead of testing it, I will now concentrate on seeing how it works, in military applications, and report back here.  The little mods and tweaks will be set aside for now as we hump these things up in the mountains, as is, and see how they work.  As Tiny Tim would say: God bless us all.                

         

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

Original Post

22F. He's not gay, just Australian..

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So low speed, i'm in Park.

"I could stand to hear a little more.." Jayne

Training is brief. Death is forever. PAY ATTENTION.

Joined: 6/14/03 1:02 PM

Diz, the secret to getting good stuff to troops in the fight...is to introduce them to the gear.  They decide with their own wallets and bucks.  Then they push the purchasing officers to dosingle source purchases.

It takes time and worn-out gear to build a dedicated following to the point shooters demand a single product.  Like poncho liners, MICH helmets, and Geissele triggers.

You can pander to the buyers a few times and they'll force stuff on the troops.  Nothing like the Good Idea Fairy.  Like the ACU camo pattern.  Then someone who uses it will have a moment of clarity when a blinding flash of the obvious is in front of him, and their unit suddenly goes off the (conventional) track, ditches the standard, and buys a fix.  Like SAPI over the old PASGT flak, M4s over M16A2s, Multicam over Universal. 

It's why SOCOM is flexible enough to change direction quickly while The Army goes on bureaucratic inertia and autopilot.  We like to think common-sense and usefulness trumps lowest bidder and someone's Legion of Merit for changing the force while foisting something that makes you ask, "WTF?!"

Don't get me started.  My boss was presenting at AUSA on the last day (in the last slot).  A very large government contractor pushed slides to him through a senior leader.  They are some we have already seen, already refuted, but we have to answer AGAIN why these are not based on real data...

Tankersteve

In Yorktown, VA.          Joined August 2008

Gov't Civilian, after retiring from active duty in 2015. 

 

'One's own open sore never smells.'  - Haitian proverb

AUSA is a dog and pony show for nonsense. I went a few years ago (out of uniform) and left shaking my head. I've got my fair share of utterly broken procurement stories but every AUSA I can see more start to develop.

"We the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful."

Yeah, I get that, you show the stuff to the guys that use it; I'm just in rant mode against the machine this morning.  My bud is in a NG ODA and they ruck practically every Friday, so yeah, I will be sporting Crossfire kit and hopefully they will see the value in it.  

And yeah, SOCOM is the way to get things to the troops.  It used to be whatever Airborne was doing; now SOCOM leads the way with innovative kit.  But that doesn't always mean they make good choices.  Sometimes they are influenced by what civvy mountaineers are using, which may or may not be what they need.  

And yeah again, they are many charlatans in this community.  I'm not sure what I should or shouldn't say, so I'll just leave it at that.  

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

Buying the latest and greatest kit in any number is very hard to do using the FAR.  It can be very difficult to objectively state why something like the crossfire is better than say the issue molle in a way that will stand up to a protest regardless if everyone including the KO knows it.  

Unless you have time to do a full blow source selection and have switched on guys doing your evaluations you will end up with crap.  Also, you have to find an SSA who won’t default a trade off into a LPTA assuming you found good evaluation factors in the first place.

A Soldier without bullets is just a tourist!

Diz, my brother!

It was bloody great to meet you face to face, break bread and share stories. 

 

One of the best parts of the trade show season for me is to meet outstanding people and share quality time with them. 

 

And for the record: I don’t have an ounce of shame. 

But my boyfriend luuuuurrrrrves cock

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Forward!
Where we are, where we belong, where we should be.

  

Location: Back in Bris-Vegas, wondering at the bright lights of the big smoke

Ha, and you know I'm only queer when you're near.  Good meeting you too mate.

On the eval and selection thing.  Yeah I do realize it can be a tough sell; having the best kit is only a part of the equation; so many things factor in to it.  

Sometimes I think these shows are just a smokescreen to let the buyers say they looked at all the options, before buying whatever they already decided on.  The real work is being done beforehand, building relationships, not at some booth like a carnival barker.  

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

I’m going to put more serious thoughts on the show to paper later.

 

But I’ll leave you mob with the thought of the day:
I am over the jet lag and alive!

Back to work today, so reality has hit me in the face like a wet fish.

I went from doing cool-bloke shit like eating roast duck with textile manufacturers, talking to cute little French girls about marketing campaigns and catch up with full bird colonels to talk about air defence for the country and terminal affects of 30mm and higher autocannon on various targets like Combloc AFV’s, back to my day job of pissing on fire hydrants.... 

 

*despondant sigh*

=======================
Forward!
Where we are, where we belong, where we should be.

  

Location: Back in Bris-Vegas, wondering at the bright lights of the big smoke

If anything comes out of that show, I'd wish the Corps would adopt the DG-16 frameset.  

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

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