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Sunday, October 07, 2012

Last Resort Pros and Cons

This is Steven Petrick posting:

I watched the second episode of "Last Resort," and I have a few observations about the firefight.

First, what in heck was the commando (note, I am using commando for generic purposes as there are all sorts of different elite ground combat elements) team doing advancing across open ground? Does this island have a stripe of defoliated terrain from one end to the other? Or at least surrounding its harbor?

Second, what was it about that particular point of open ground that made it obvious that the commandos would have to cross it so that the swabbies could be there waiting for them?

Third, why in heck were the commandos advancing in full daylight? I mean, seriously, they have by definition tremendous technological and training advantages if they come by night. Any first-world commando outfit is going to have night-vision capabilities, and they are going to be trained to operate under cover of dark.

The above being said, I have to give credit for showing what would likely happen if swabbies went up against commandos. Swabbies get very little training in ground combat; even Masters at Arms are not going to come up any where near the level of a commando unit. The result is that when the firefight starts, it is obviously one-sided. The swabbies are losing, and losing badly, until one of the S.E.A.L.s intervenes.

So far, the submarine started with a crew of 150 (stated), plus five S.E.A.L.s they picked up, and they have lost 18 people; 12 were reported killed by the attack made on them, one member of the crew was killed by the admiral's daughter, and purportedly five men were killed in the firefight with the commandos. Nuclear submarine crews are pretty stressed keeping their boats operational; I cannot help but wonder how much more stressed they are with at least 14 members (about 10%, and assuming that the other four fatalities were the other members of the S.E.A.L. team they picked up at the start of the series, and actually it is 16 members since they have locked up two men, one of them the C.O.B.) of the crew dead and no longer able to carry their share of the workload. How lucky they have been that a 10% loss has not included anyone truly critical to the operations of the sub.

I also have to admit that I find the whole scenario completely implausible every second the sub is on the surface in the island's harbor. I can agree that the convenient radar array is useful looking for B1s, but here is the scenario the situation does not deal with. We (the United States) have satellites, and B-2 stealth bombers. Nothing stops us from orbiting a stealth bomber with cruise missiles outside of the island radar's limit. Nothing stops us from waiting until a satellite, in real time, says the submarine is on the surface in the harbor, and having the stealth bomber come in and release a pair (use two in case of a malfunction) of nuclear cruise missiles at a range short enough that the submarine will not have time to launch.