Saturday, June 3, 2017

From Joint Force to Unified Command

No one asked me, but I believe that eventually the armed forces of the United States will become a single entity. Different services from the component down to the fire team will maintain identity and special esprit de corps. However, the uniforms and ranks will be unified, and all will share one name: the United States Armed Forces. The unarmed military forces – the Public Health Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – will continue apart from them, perhaps until the time when Earth benefits from a common government.
Marine Corps "Fat Albert" rocket-assisted take-off, one of the
Navy's "Blue Angels" team. (left) US Army C-12 Huron (right). 
We are already moving in that direction with the concept of the joint force. And it is nothing new. It is a common quip that the Army has more boats than the Navy and more aircraft than the Air Force.  It not quite true, but it does underscore the fact that all of the services have operated their own cross-environmental platforms. This probably originated with the Battle of Myle (260 BCE). The Romans defeated the Carthaginians when they changed a sea battle into a land battle by dropping planks so that their soldiers could cross onto the enemy ships.
US Armed Forces as a whole must be multi-mission capable; interoperable among all elements of US Services and selected foreign militaries; and able to coordinate operations with other agencies of government, and some civil institutions.Multi-Mission Capable. Our forces must be proficient in their core warfighting competencies and able to transition smoothly from a peacetime posture to swift execution of multiple missions across the full spectrum of operations. …
 Some situations demand the unique capabilities of only one Service, but most will call for capabilities from all Services. The skillful and selective combination of Service capabilities into Joint Task Forces provides US commanders great flexibility in tailoring forces to meet national objectives given specific circumstances.
US Air Force Boats. The "Tyndall Navy" has provided electronic
support of missile tests since 1957. The USAF also floats
the Rising Star, a Thule-class tugboat.
 Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA) is a United States military facility located in San Antonio, Texas, USA. The facility is under the jurisdiction of the United States Air Force 502d Air Base Wing, Air Education and Training Command (AETC). The wing's three Mission Support Groups perform the installation support mission at the three bases that form JBSA.

The facility is a Joint Base of the United States Army Fort Sam Houston, the United States Air Force Randolph Air Force Base ,Lackland Air Force Base and Martindale Army Airfield , which were merged on 1 October 2010.
Joint Base Charleston … is a United States military facility located partly in the City of North Charleston, South Carolina and partly in the City of Goose Creek, South Carolina . The facility is under the jurisdiction of the United States Air Force 628th Air Base Wing, Air Mobility Command (AMC). The facility is an amalgamation of the United States Air Force Charleston Air Force Base and the United States Navy Naval Support Activity Charleston, which were merged on 1 October 2010.
US Army's Spearhead theater support vessel (TSV).
Commissioned 2002-2005. One of 127,793 Army vessels.
 WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Oct. 2, 2009) -- An Army installation in New Jersey and two in Virginia officially transformed Thursday to become part of new joint bases.
 Near the nation's capital, the Fort Myer Military Community joined forces with the Marine Corps' Henderson Hall, Va., to form Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. The Army will manage installation functions there. The new joint base also includes Fort McNair in the District of Columbia.
 In central New Jersey, Fort Dix combined forces with Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst and McGuire Air Force Base to form Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. At the new "super base," the Air Force will run installation management operations, acting as a sort of city manager to control basic infrastructure functions.
 Finally, in southern Virginia, Fort Story joined up with Naval Mid-Atlantic Region at Naval Station Norfolk to form Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, with installation management provided by the Navy.


  1. The airplane shown in the top left photo is NOT a U.S. Army C-12 Huron (the C-12 is a twin-engine vice four, as clearly shown, airplane). It is rather a different version of the C-130 (probably a USAF C-130J) as one can plainly see by the eight-bladed props on each engine. It is also equipped with skis, and while one cannot see the markings, its paint scheme looks as though it is Air Force (the Army does not operate C-130s).

    Also, the website you reference clearly states in the first sentence that the 127,793 figure was from WORLD WAR II vice current figures (the number also included ALL types of "watercraft" including small boats and landing craft, etc. Among those watercraft were 126,128 tug boats, launches, barges, pontoons, and landing craft. Therefore, the Army only operated 1,665 ships of over 1,000 gross tons, including 1,557 troop and cargo ships and 108 hospital ships and other specialized repair ships, etc. The Army did not operate any warships, of any kind, surface, submarine, or aircraft carriers, so this “more ships than the Navy” claim is completely bogus.

  2. Correction to the above: I meant TOP RIGHT photo appears to be a USAF C-130J--anyway, it is not an Army C-12.