Mark Hertling Profile picture
Retired soldier. Loves family, dedicated to nation. Studies leadership, nat’l security & healthcare. Commissioner, @usabmc. Cards/Blues fan.
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Jun 28 8 tweets 2 min read
Make no mistake, the Russian attack on the Kremenchuk shopping mail was both barbaric and criminal, as it was not a military target but a strike on civilians.

But those calling for Patriots or Iron Domes do not understand how those systems work. Here's a short explainer. 1/8 Both those systems are long range air defense, but they provide POINT not AREA DEFENSE capabilities.

What's that mean?

These extremely expensive systems are made of of 4 large components systmes. They identify & intercept aircraft or missiles INBOUND to a SPECIFIC TARGET. 2/
Jun 25 8 tweets 3 min read
.@potus is heading to Europe.

He'll be hosted from 26-28 June at the G7 summit by Chancellor Scholz of Germany (they'll be at Schloss Elmau, photo below)

A beautiful location in the Bavarian forest, between Garmisch-Partenkirchen & Mittenwald (and a great biking route).
1/8 This is Biden's 4th trip to Europe in 18 months, showing his priority of revitalizing allied & partner cooperation.

Since taking office, several recent surveys & polls from all the EU nations have shown an increased trust & confidence in US leadership.… 2/
Jun 21 16 tweets 4 min read
I've been hesitant to write a 🧵on the current tactical situation & what might happen next. But @DAlperovitch's view of potential outcomes (RT below) cause me to weigh in.

His view is plausible, but I don't believe it accurately portrays the current situation. 1/ In both the Donbas & Kherson, it appears the RU are following their playbook.

1. Russian Massive Arty barrages
2. Russian Attempts Recon in Force (RIF)
3. Russian targets civilians
4. RU focus on logistics build/regeneration
5. RU lacks Combined Arms Operation action 2/
Jun 20 11 tweets 4 min read
In the coming days, Americans may here about Lithuania's blockade of the RU enclave of Kalinigrad.

Few Americans know about this Russian enclave WEST of several NATO nations. I introduced the importance of its strategic importance to @CNN in December.

A 🧵 1/10 K-grad (as it's called by @USArmyEURAF ) is a Baltic port sandwiched between Lithuania & Poland. It was once known as Königsberg.

Founded in 1255 by Teutonic Knights during the Crusades it was eventually named Königsberg for King Ottokar II of Bohemia. 2/
Jun 16 11 tweets 3 min read
During an interview, the terrific @MarquardtA asked me why the US wasn't delivering the weapons "some" in UKR said they had requested (1000 artillery, 500 tanks, etc).

I cited @SecDef press conference from Madrid yesterday, where Austin rebuked the same question. 1/9 The @SecDef noted he was specifically coordinating equipment transfer and weapons priorities with Ukraine's Defense Minister Reznikov.

Reznikov's top priorities are:
-Long Range fires
-Armor vehicles
-Mid-range ADA systems

Then Austin provided some numbers...2/
Jun 15 8 tweets 2 min read
The meeting of the Defense Ministers & military leaders in Madrid today is crucial for Ukraine.

While there is the need for supplying UKR with the weapons needed to continue this fight, there are other factors under consideration. 1/8 "Interoperability," ease of repair/replacement &"standardization of equipment" has been an issue w/in NATO for years. What's that mean?

As 30 countries design, acquire, & establish support for *their* weapons & ammunition, NATO has attempted to standardize w/in the alliance. 2/
Jun 13 22 tweets 5 min read
Due to the 1/6 report, 2A legislation & economic issues, details of Donbas battles & the illegal Russian invasion of Ukraine are not at the forefront.

UA isn't "losing" & the action isn't stalled. It remains a slugfest in the east.

Here's a new 🧵on equipping UA. 1/21 As I said in past threads, the "new phase" of the fight (which started in early April), brought change.

-RU focus is on massing artillery, attempts at breakthrough.
-UA focus is logistics, active defense & maintaining will.

I've used this slide to describe the major shifts. 2/
Jun 10 9 tweets 3 min read
Normally I have no problem sleeping. But after watching the first Congressional 1/6 report, I needed to write some things down.

So many disturbing things:
-Barr's comments
-Kushner's dismissal of WH counsel advice
-the witness testimony
-the extensive new video

A 🧵 1/9 Congresswomen's @RepLizCheney description of events was masterful & yet extremely upsetting. She described the state of our democracy being in grave danger.

But it was @BennieGThompson opening remarks, and his comments about our Constitutional oath, that has me wide-eyed 2/
Jun 5 29 tweets 7 min read
Travel & work have limited my ability to comment & provide updates on Russia's invasion of Ukraine from a "ground commander's" perspective.

But I've continued to watch actions -especially in the E & S- & several followers have asked for me to provide thoughts.

Here's a🧵 1/ First, a caveat.

It's easier providing thoughts on operational & strategic movements & actions than commenting on tactical battles.

Even w/ feeds from units or S2/J2 (intelligence) assessments, the "fog of war" skews the assessment of the up-close fight.

May 31 13 tweets 4 min read
Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine is not getting as much attention right now because of competing stories in the US.

But I will attempt to clarify the "MLRS issue" that seems to be the primary story on the war right now.

An "artillery" thread to help clarify. 1/13 🧵 1st, "MLRS" (Multiple Launch Rocket System) is:

-1 of 2 types: M270 MLRS or M142 HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System)
-A system firing many types of missiles (referred to as FOM, or "Family of Missiles")
-An onboard fire control & commo package
-Resupply trucks. 2/
May 29 25 tweets 11 min read
On Memorial Day 5 years ago, @cnn asked me to come on air to discuss what the day meant to me.

I brought this box containing the photos of 253 soldiers I served with in combat who gave their last full measure of devotion.

This year, I did something different. A 🧵 1/24 Each one of the 10 appointed commissioners of the @usabmc visited those who rest for all eternity in different American Battlefield Cemeteries at 26 locations around the world.

I'm honored to be one of those, and here are some of my stories from the last few days. 2/
May 26 13 tweets 3 min read
During a long day (& night) of air travel today, I found myself reflecting on the current state of our nation.

You see, I'm going to Europe to visit (and speak) at several American Battlefield Cemeteries.

On this eve of Memorial Day Weekend, I have a heavy heart. A 🧵 1/ You see, I wore the cloth of our country for 38 yrs. My Army life provided endless opportunities, magical experiences & allowed me to meet & serve w/ tremendous people.

Few knew my political leanings, but I believed I was "ideologically conservative" w/ "liberal values." 2/
May 26 9 tweets 2 min read
On or about 9 April, as RU claimed they were entering "phase 2," I mentioned we'd start seeing a different sort of combat.

Arty barrages, recon in force (RIF) & attempted breakthrough by RU...w/ hasty defense, counterattacks & some withdrawals by UA.

What's happening? A 🧵 1/9 Some analysts have called this a "stalemate." Ive attempted to avoid that phrase, because there is LOTS going on.

RU is, as predicted, attempting to use their artillery to open up the front line. They follow w/ small units doing RIF, if they see advantage they push through.2/
May 21 7 tweets 2 min read
Always good to be on with @acosta. His questions get to the crux of issues.

He asked: "what is Russians trying to achieve?" It's easily answered. They are trying to destroy Ukraine's identity & culture. They can't beat them militarily, so they bomb & terrorize citizens. 1/6 But the results of RU actions run counter to their objectives.

-UKR is standing stronger today than on 2/24. They are more united, their desire for sovereignty & freedom burn white hot.

-UKR cities/cultural centers may be bombed, but their stories grow in intensity. 2/
May 20 5 tweets 2 min read
GEN Eisenhower was given a very brief (two page) order for the Normandy invasion. His task:

"You will enter the continent of Europe and, in conjunction with the other united nations, undertake operations aimed at the heart of Germany & the destruction of her armed forces" 1/5 Brief & succinct strategic guidance to the leader of the greatest generation.

1. Undertake operations aimed at the heart of Germany.

2. Destroy her armed forces.

No appeasement, no "let Hitler have part of Poland," no face-saving for a dangerous megalomaniac. 2/
May 18 16 tweets 5 min read
Want a 🧵 on artillery (arty)?

Just got off @cnn where I also commented on this clip from the good ole COL Khodaryonok (who seems to have changed his tune since yesterday).

He's talking about how RU artillery is hitting UKR's new M777 arty pieces.

Except, he's full of BS. 1/ I'm an old tanker, but I sometimes get to comment on the king of battle (artillery), because they are usually impressive.

This clip doesn't impress me. Here's why.

Watch the film COL Khordaryonok is commenting on a couple times, then come back. 2/
May 16 18 tweets 6 min read
This thread on River Crossing Operations (RCOs) by my friend and colleague @WarintheFuture is excellent!

MG Ryan speaks eloquently to the doctrine & training requirements of something as difficult as an RCO.

That comes about due to a METL assessment!

What's that? A 🧵 1/ METL is a commander's prediction of what missions his/her unit will likely face in combat related to an anticipated mission.

After analyzing any mission, Commanders identify a "Mission Essential Task Lists" of MANY essential tasks they believe they must accomplish in combat. 2/
May 13 13 tweets 2 min read
On 2/24 -at the start of the conflict- I posted the attached thread with reasons why I thought Ukraine would win.

We’re now seeing RU transition to a “hasty defense” in many sectors, while regrouping for new offensive operations.

That portends some problems for RU. 1/12 In his classic “On War,” Clausewitz provides an entire chapter on “culmination.”

He implies there are various factors that cause an army to culminate -stop- their offense & revert to the defense.

Fatigue, will, force depletion, supplies, not reaching strategic goals, etc. 2/
May 9 9 tweets 2 min read
What did Putin's "Victory Day" speech contain and what does it tell us?

There were some interesting take-aways, some good, some bad.

Here's what I saw in the film and the reports. A🧵 1/6 Many (me included) were wrong on predicting:
1. A declaration of victory (strategic, operation, or tactical).
2. A formal announcement of mobilization.

What wasn't said is important (especially #1) because intel said he had told his generals to produce a victory by 9 May. 2/
May 6 12 tweets 2 min read
Having done a fair share of targeting of enemy forces during my career, I'm a bit baffled about the amount of coverage of the intelligence sharing that is going on between the US and Ukraine.

Here's why. Another 🧵 1/12 When conducting "targeting," there are three important elements to consider:
1). The collection of important intelligence
2). The "boarding" of the target (how to hit, where to hit, when to hit, defenses, etc.)
3). The enemy's ability to avoid being hit. 2/
May 5 11 tweets 3 min read
Navy Captain (and Astronaut) @StationCDRKelly asked me last night "how can you sabotage a Russian T72"

He has contacts who can get this information to those young Russian soldiers who see the invasion of Ukraine as illegal.

Here's his thread & my English translation. A 🧵 1/11 “How to Sabotage your Russian Tank 101.” Dear Russian Soldiers, We understand some of you are sabotaging your tanks which means others may want to and do not know the best way. Here are some basic tips for how to render the T72 inoperable: 2/