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Patton    12/10/2010 12:08:42 PM
There is currently one division and an additional (Airborne in name only) Air Assault Division. With the world being a Global battle ground of asymetric warfare and potential "resource wars" is there a need for two Airborne Divisons since all IBCT's are air assault capable ???
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JFKY    Airborne   12/10/2010 12:36:33 PM
1) ANY unit is air assault capable...all that means is that you can climb onto a helicopter and climb out of one, without decapitation. 
2) Stryker Brigades are NOT Air Assault capable, you can't move enough of their primary combat vehicle, the Stryker via available heavy lift helicopters.
3) Stryker brigades are air TRANSPORTABLE, which is different than Air Assault.
4) Whilst an airborne DIVISION, seems an eextravagance-when was the last time the 82nd Airborne DIVISION was employed-airborne TROOPS are not.
5) When you need to get some bullet-throwers somewhere FAST, airborne is the way to go.   They may not have much staying power, or capacity in armour-heavy combat, but to get troops to a place, airborne, either via air drop or air transport is ideal.
6) Air Assault requires a substantial land base, nearby to stage the helicopter lift, Stryker and Heavy Brigades need sea lift and a port to off-load their prime combat power, M-1/2/3's.
7) An airborne unit can deliver organized combat power very quickly, albeit one with limited mobility and combat power.  An airborne platoon is better than an armoured platoon, without it's tanks or a mechanized platoon without its Bradleys. 
8) Lastly, you write:
With the world being a Global battle ground of asymmetric warfare and potential "resource wars" is there a need for two Airborne Divisions since all IBCT's are air assault capable ???
What does that have to do with anything? Al-Qaida or Hamas are very vulnerable to airborne attack, they are ill-trained light infantry!  And a "resource war" what does that mean, a fight for Khûzestân or the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, might be armour-heavy, mobile combat, but a struggle for many resource areas will involve light infantry, fighting a revolutionary/insurgent force in urban or complex terrain.  In short, IDEAL for Light Infantry.  I really don't see how "asymmetric warfare" or "resource wars" bears, directly, upon the overall utility of AIrborne forces.  You might want to commit airborne forces in some cases and in some cases you wouldn't.
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Patton       12/10/2010 1:13:49 PM
Well, I was actually thinking about the oil in k-stan.  That is a potential "resource war" with Russia... something that "could" happen, not that it will. ( There are other places that have vast mineral wealth where conflict could arise as well, like Nigeria and the Spratley Islands.)  The whole 101st Airborne Div., (AA) deployed to Iraq and operated under 5th Corps.  But I was thinking that since all  IBCT's have the same capabilities as the 101st, why not put the 101st back on full jump status since DOD has considered the possibility of having to fight two separate regional conflicts simultaneously ???  It makes since if you have to get there (two separate places) in a hurry.
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Patton       12/10/2010 1:29:35 PM
The ABCT's of the Eighty Deucy have rotated in and out of A-stan and Iraq at different times as light infantry.  As a matter of fact, Airborne units are only standard infantry that are Airborne qualified.  The last combat jump the 82nd  made was probably Panama.  The 173rd Airborne Bde., (S)  made a combat jump into Northern Iraq in '03.  They don't jump into combat much anymore, but they are Rapid Reaction/Deployment Forces still, and if you have two divisions that can reach any point on the global map in 18 hrs after going  "Wheels-Up," then you have a strong force projection capability to deal with any potential global conflict.
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WarNerd       12/11/2010 2:47:03 AM

Well, I was actually thinking about the oil in k-stan.  That is a potential "resource war" with Russia... something that "could" happen, not that it will. ( There are other places that have vast mineral wealth where conflict could arise as well, like Nigeria and the Spratley Islands.)

The Russians knew all about the oil when they were there, as well as the rest of the resources.  All the 'discoveries' have just been people going out and confirming the old Russian survey.  Since they left, they obviously did not feel the resources were worth fighting to keep.
It is more cost effective to get paid to develop and run the resource extraction.  Let security be someone else's problem.  China is doing exactly that all over the world right now.
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mabie       12/11/2010 3:44:42 AM
Maybe they can revisit Project Walrus.
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Patton       12/13/2010 4:20:51 PM
I was reading a book entitled "Resource Wars" not too long ago and K-stan petrol was covered.  The book even went as far as to say that the 82nd Abn conducted a training jump into K-stan in a rehersal of how the U.S. would respond if the oil fields were threatened.  Modern Conflicts are more likely to be defined by counter terror/insurgent threats, threats to strategic resources (such as oil, LNG, etc.), or threats to allied governments such as the Republic of Korea.   I'd like to reiterat the fact that DOD has recognized the need to be able to fight two separate regional conflicts simultaneously. If this is indeed and in fact the case, then should there not be two Airborne divisions available for such a contingency ???
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JFKY    My Response   12/13/2010 4:27:23 PM
Is to ask, "When has an Airborne Division been employed AS an Airborne Division?"  The answer would be 1945.  What you need, if "need" isn't too strong is Air Transportable troops.  The US is very unlikely to be dropping the 82nd, battalions FROM the 82nd yes, the 82nd, No.
Plus, as it would take the Russians 60 days to reach Kuzestan I think we won't be needing to air drop the 82nd to "hold" the province.
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Patton       12/20/2010 12:11:47 PM
You make a valid point about Abn Divs being air-dropped as such.  However, if something happened in Kazakstan (not the place you mention), the Russians would already be there and it would take an ABCT 18 hrs or less to make its initial drop. Such a drop might have to be in division strength as Kazakatan is land-locked not permitting for an amphibious assault.  Abn troops would have to establish an airhead until fly-in troops could follow-on via the air transport that you mention.
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JFKY    My response   12/20/2010 12:35:07 PM
Khûzestân, yes!   Kazakhstan, NO!  So dropping the 82nd Airborne Division, in my universe, is unnecessary for the protection of Kazakhstan, because we are NOT going to "protect" Kazakhstan...IF you think the US can project enough combat power to defend Kazakhstan from Russia, I believe you grossly over-estimate the combat power and logistics power of the US!
The closest Kazakhstan is to any NATO area is about 1,000 kilometres, from Turkey!  It BORDERS Russia....
Bottom-Line: the 82nd Airborne isn't going to dropping into Kazakhstan, and if it does what will happen is that the 82nd Airborne will be chopped into pieces and the remnants scattered to the four winds, because there will be no "Garden" XXX Corps coming to the aid of Operation "Market" of the 82nd.
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Patton       12/22/2010 9:49:34 AM
Well bud, the Eighty-Deucy has already conducted a demonstration jump into Kazakstan with the Commanding General of the 18th Airborne Corps being the first to jump.  Great PR stuff, huh... Fact is, since they went to that extent they have EVERY INTENTION of defending Kazakstan from Russia.  And let me tell you, if the balloon goes up on that situation the 82nd will jump in, take and hold its objective until relieved, and accomplish the mission.  ALL THE WAY, and then some.  You talk like this is impossible because they would be surrounded.... The Airborne is supposed to be surrounded.  Nothing has changed since Bastogne when Brigadier General McAuliff told the Krauts who demanded his surrender NUTS !  And thats basically what Im telling you.  AIRBORNE.
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