New Centcom head announced

Scotth

Verified Military
Joined
Nov 8, 2007
Messages
1,496
Location
Minneapolis, MN

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
SOF Support
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
Messages
16,401
Location
Not Afghanistan
While I'm glad to see that for Mattis, I kind of wish they'd replaced McC with the guy.
 

Teufel

Force Recon
Verified SOF
Joined
Mar 15, 2008
Messages
4,489
Location
Tun Tavern
I wonder how the relationship between General Petraeus and Mattis is going to be. Mattis is much more at home destroying the enemy than making haji friends.
 

racing_kitty

Sister Mary Hellfire
Verified Military
Joined
Aug 21, 2008
Messages
4,560
Location
SE of Disorder
From everything I've heard about the guy, from Marines who've served under him, he's a great choice as a replacement. He was the guest speaker at the EOD Memorial ceremony in May 2009, and sounded like an outstanding Marine and human being. I will concede, though, that hearing one speech doesn't really give me enough to judge.
 

Teufel

Force Recon
Verified SOF
Joined
Mar 15, 2008
Messages
4,489
Location
Tun Tavern
Here is a good article about him : http://thisainthell.us/blog/?p=19495

When the first battle of Fallujah in April 2004 reached its climax and it appeared that the Marines and soldiers assaulting the city were close to securing the insurgent stronghold, General John Abizaid travelled to Anbar to order General James Mattis, commander of the 1st Marine Division, to stop the assault. Disingenuous news reports from Arab media outlets which painted the assault as a massacre of innocent civilians had caused an outcry in the international community and as a result the Bush administration and its Iraqi allies waivered in its support for the operation. Abizaid met Mattis in his command post outside the city, where he had been leading the battle from the front for weeks. Over three dozen soldiers, sailors, and Marines had died in the assault. Mattis’s own command element had been attacked multiple times by this point and had suffered casualities. His uniform was soiled and dirty from the weeks of constant combat. When Abizaid (a four-star general in charge of CENTCOM) told Mattis (a two-star divisional commander) to stop the assault Mattis looked Abizaid in the eye and growled IF YOU ARE GOING TO TAKE VIENNA TAKE FUCKING VIENNA. Abizaid just nodded and Mattis stormed out of the room.
That story for me is the embodiment of General James Mattis, whom I think many Marines would agree is the greatest Marine general since Chesty Puller.
 

Teufel

Force Recon
Verified SOF
Joined
Mar 15, 2008
Messages
4,489
Location
Tun Tavern
There was a story out about an ODA needed MedEvac and Mattis refusing to launch, I'll have to find it.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-01-18/the-green-berets-who-saved-karzai/full/

THEN ONE MORNING, not long after the team had set foot behind enemy lines, an urgent radio call for help went out over the airwaves.
At Camp Rhino, less than 100 miles south of ODA-574’s position near Kandahar, Master Sergeant David Lee was in his B-team’s tent when the request for emergency medical evacuation came over the radio shortly before 9 a.m. The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, under the command of Brigadier General James Mattis, had occupied the “Rhino” airstrip since November 25. Two days later, Lee and his B-team had arrived; their primary role was as a liaison, coordinating the Special Forces’ actions in the area with those of the Marines.
Looking out the door at the parked helicopters—including four Cobra gunships, four transport CH-53s, and six dual-rotor heavy-lift CH-46s—Lee picked up the radio and informed Task Force Dagger that the Marines at Camp Rhino were the closest Americans in a position to respond, a 45-minute helicopter flight away. Meanwhile, Lee’s boss—Major Rob Cairnes, the B-team commander—was running across the flat, barren landscape to General Mattis’ command post, located in one of the few hard structures on the base, a single-story concrete building. He informed the Marine general, face-to-face, that a presumed mortar or artillery attack on a Green Beret position had occurred and that the wounded needed immediate evacuation. Mattis asked if they were still in contact and wanted more specifics, which Cairnes did not have.

“Well, if they’ve taken fire,” said the general, “and you can’t tell me definitively how they got all scuffed up, I’m not going to send anything until you can assure me that the situation on the ground is secure.” Mattis went on to explain that there were nearly a thousand Marines at Camp Rhino for him to worry about, and he was not willing to dilute base security and risk sending his air squadron on a dangerous daylight mission just to assist an unknown number of casualties.
Cairnes raced back to consult with Lee, who was his third in command, and his second-in-command, Chief Warrant Officer Tom Leithead, both of whom were infuriated. They could understand why Mattis wouldn’t send all of his helicopters, but no one in the tent could fathom why he wouldn’t do something to help their guys. “Where’s the love from the Marines?” said another member of the team. “They’re supposed to be frothing at the mouth for this kind of shit.”
The Green Berets continued to monitor the radio and berate the Marines: “These helicopters outside would be airborne already if it were Marines that were bleeding,” said the B-team’s communications sergeant.
“You know what,” said Lee, who had watched the Marines endure abysmal conditions at the base since they’d arrived. “It’s not the Marines. It’s Mattis.”
“Just heard,” said the commo sergeant. “One American KIA, three critically wounded.” For the past week, Lee and Leithead had been briefing Mattis and found him a fairly personable guy. He probably just needs a little prodding in the right direction, thought Lee. Turning to Leithead, he said,
“Let’s go have a little talk with the general.”
“I’m all for that,” said Leithead, and the two hurried to the Marine command post some 20 minutes after Mattis had declined Cairnes’ request. Inside, the expressions on the faces of Mattis’ staff showed their frustration and embarrassment. One Marine glanced away as they walked past, unable to meet their eyes.
Mattis greeted the two Green Berets at the heavy wood door that led into his spartan concrete-floored office. He held a military-issue canteen cup filled with coffee in his left hand and gestured them inside with the other. After closing the door to a crack, he sat down at a small writing desk where a map was laid out.
“Let’s hear it,” said Mattis.
“Sir,” said Lee, “we’ve got reports of mass casualties, and word is they expect the numbers to continue to rise. You are the closest American with the ability to respond.”
“Do you have an update on how they got all scuffed up? Are they still in contact?”
“With all due respect,” said Leithead, “we think that’s irrelevant.”
“I hear you, but no, I’m not sending a rescue mission,” Mattis said. “We. Don’t. Know. The situation.”
“The situation, sir,” said Lee, “is that Americans are dying. And they need your help.”
“Look, when I have fighters over the scene so that I’ve got air superiority, then I’ll send choppers. That, or we wait till nightfall.”
Exchanging a look with Leithead, Lee said, “That’s not good enough, sir.”
Standing up, the general cleared his throat. “Sergeant,” Mattis called to his sergeant at arms, positioned outside the office. “We’re done. Escort these men out of here.”
Without another word, Lee and Leithead walked out of the office toward the door to the command post, again passing Marines who wouldn’t make eye contact. Behind them, they heard Mattis say, “Nobody gets into my office.”
Back outside, Lee said, “Who’s going to get our guys out of there?”
“Besides here, the only helicopters are at K2 and J-Bad. Uzbekistan and Pakistan. They’re at least three hours away, and that’s if they’re ready to launch.”
They looked to their left, at the rows of Marine helicopters parked along the desert airstrip.
“What a joke,” said Lee.
 

Teufel

Force Recon
Verified SOF
Joined
Mar 15, 2008
Messages
4,489
Location
Tun Tavern
I hadn't heard about this before but I could see it happening. What do you guys think? I am biased because I am a huge Mattis fan. I haven't met many Generals who would commit helos into an area with a known enemy threat and unknown situation without robust escort.
 

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
SOF Support
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
Messages
16,401
Location
Not Afghanistan
Historically speaking in OEF, MEDEVAC has been a sensitive issue. I dont' know the reasons, or read them and can't recall the specifics, but if you are to believe Gary Schroen then JSOC wouldn't commit troops to Afghanistan until a safe haven for CSAR birds could be found, MEDEVAC was refused during Takur Ghar/ Robert's Ridge, Army MEDEVAC crews used to refuse some missions forcing the AF Rescue Squadrons to take them on, MEDEVAC was refused during TF Ranger in '93.....

I'm not sharpshooting, so don't sharpen your knives and come after me. My point is that it is a sensitive issue and over the last 20 years you usually have the "why won't they launch" vs. "it isn't secure enough" argument.

I'm not in a position to know, so I'm not in a position to point fingers. I guess it really depends on who you trust and their perspective.
 

pardus

Verified Military
Joined
Sep 7, 2006
Messages
10,162
Based on the incident with the medevac, IMO Mattis is an asshole.

Cowardly and uncaring, something I'm not surprised about.

He had many options that would have helped in some manner but chose to not give a fuck. Awesome Sir, fuck you!

I have zero faith in the Military helping me if I get in the shit, my comrades yes, the military, no way.
Ive seen far too many cases of troops being disregarded for political, logistical reasons to have any faith whatsoever in the system.
 

Teufel

Force Recon
Verified SOF
Joined
Mar 15, 2008
Messages
4,489
Location
Tun Tavern
Historically speaking in OEF, MEDEVAC has been a sensitive issue. I dont' know the reasons, or read them and can't recall the specifics, but if you are to believe Gary Schroen then JSOC wouldn't commit troops to Afghanistan until a safe haven for CSAR birds could be found, MEDEVAC was refused during Takur Ghar/ Robert's Ridge, Army MEDEVAC crews used to refuse some missions forcing the AF Rescue Squadrons to take them on, MEDEVAC was refused during TF Ranger in '93.....

I'm not sharpshooting, so don't sharpen your knives and come after me. My point is that it is a sensitive issue and over the last 20 years you usually have the "why won't they launch" vs. "it isn't secure enough" argument.

I'm not in a position to know, so I'm not in a position to point fingers. I guess it really depends on who you trust and their perspective.

If you think about it, the initial attempted rescue missions in Anaconda (Roberts Ridge) and Red Wings resulted in a great deal more casualties than the original incidents. A lot of that has to do with going into a situation blind. I was refused an air medevac in Afghanistan after a complex ambush and lost a Marine as a result...I still think that they could have landed (the TIC was ongoing but I had fixed and rotary wing CAS on station and was going to do a no shit SEAD with 120mm mortars) but I understand the need to protect the force ahead of the individual. It doesn't make me feel better about the situation I was in but I understand the concept.

“Do you have an update on how they got all scuffed up? Are they still in contact?”
“With all due respect,” said Leithead, “we think that’s irrelevant.”

How is this information irrelevant? I don't see this conversation going down quite like this reporter (who didn't actually witness this exchange) makes it sound. Also Mattis didn't refuse the medevac altogether, he just wanted to develop the situation and escort package before committing his helicopters. You never want to confuse enthusiasm to conduct a recovery with capability. There is a reason we have TF 160th; we mitigate some of the risk of complex combat situations by supporting them with more proficient and experienced pilots and air crew.

“Look, when I have fighters over the scene so that I’ve got air superiority, then I’ll send choppers. That, or we wait till nightfall.”
Exchanging a look with Leithead, Lee said, “That’s not good enough, sir.”

At the end of the day I wasn't there and neither was the reporter who wrote this article. I, more than most people, understand how frustrated and upset the ODA would have been after having been refused a medevac and I am sure that colored the tone of the article.
 

Teufel

Force Recon
Verified SOF
Joined
Mar 15, 2008
Messages
4,489
Location
Tun Tavern
Based on the incident with the medevac, IMO Mattis is an asshole.

Cowardly and uncaring, something I'm not surprised about.

He had many options that would have helped in some manner but chose to not give a fuck. Awesome Sir, fuck you!

I have zero faith in the Military helping me if I get in the shit, my comrades yes, the military, no way.
Ive seen far too many cases of troops being disregarded for political, logistical reasons to have any faith whatsoever in the system.

Say what you will about Mattis, but he is no coward, his PSD during the battle of Fallujah took 30% casualties as he circulated the battlefield. I have never heard of a General who took so much personal risk since Chesty Puller.
 

AssadUSMC

Ruining hajis' days
Verified Military
Joined
Sep 11, 2008
Messages
521
Location
No VA
Look, the whole decision to launch is ALWAYS a touchy subject, it just gets "touchier" when MEDEVAC is involved. I've worked LOTS of missions in Iraq and Afghanistan where we developed, in my professional opinion, enough to launch a high-confidence assault (GAF or HAF). In more instances than I can count, the battlespace commanders refused until either A) there was ISR overhead, B) a QRF close by, and/or C) more information (i.e. intelligence - either ground or signals). It is a major frustration to hang your ass in the wind for several hours doing your thing only to have the GAF or HAF refuse to launch.

The consideration is much like the old sniper conundrum: one guy gets hit, so how many more do you sacrifice to go "save" the first one? I am with Teufel on this one - there is more than what the story reports. Who knows if a helo had been shot down the day before? Who knows if there was solid intel on MANPADS or large caliber ground weapons? Etc. etc. etc. It's easy to second-guess. Mattis is in the position he's in now because of a long history of making the right call at the right time.
 

pardus

Verified Military
Joined
Sep 7, 2006
Messages
10,162
Like I say that is just based on that one snipped of Mattis, he might be the best General ever, I don't know.



Say what you will about Mattis, but he is no coward, his PSD during the battle of Fallujah took 30% casualties as he circulated the battlefield. I have never heard of a General who took so much personal risk since Chesty Puller.
 
Top