Home » News & Analysis » Navy Creating Attack Sub Aggressor Unit to Train to Fight Against Russia, China


Navy Creating Attack Sub Aggressor Unit to Train to Fight Against Russia, China

Virginia-class fast-attack submarine USS Missouri (SSN-780) on May 31, 2018. US Navy Photo

ARLINGTON, Va. — The U.S. Navy submarine force is creating an aggressor squadron as one initiative to ensure all subs are combat-ready as the service trains to take on China and Russia, the commander of Naval Submarine Forces said on Wednesday.

Vice Adm. Charles Richard, who took command in August, drew attention during the change of command ceremony by telling the force to “prepare for battle.”

He has backed up those words with actions in the months since, moving ahead with a plan – updated in March to reflect the National Defense Strategy – that includes refocusing training and certification on combat and developing new tools and concepts to support high-end warfighting.

The plan – called the Commander’s Intent for the United States Submarine Force and Supporting Organizations – led to an overhaul of training for the attack submarine force, Richard said today while addressing the Naval Submarine League at its annual conference.

“We have restructured and retuned the fast attack training period to ensure that we’re ready for that high-end fight, including restructuring what we used to call the Tactical Readiness Evaluation, and it is now a Combat Readiness Evaluation to ensure we’re focused on warfighting,” he said.
“We’ve updated the deployment certification process to eliminate duplication, put the right focus in the right place. I’ll tell you that I am driving to put competition in everything we do inside the submarine force. I want to produce winners and losers just like we do in battle; it does you no good to be at standards if your opponent is more at standards than you are. You still lose, and in this competition, you may not come home.”

The new aggressor squadron fits in with the desire to create more high-end sub-on-sub competitions and ensure the Navy is ready to win. Richard said the plan mimics what the naval aviation community has at “Top Gun.”

Vice Adm. Charles A. Richard, the incoming commander of Submarine Forces, walks through the side boys during the Submarine Forces change of command ceremony aboard the Virginia-class fast-attack submarine USS Washington (SSN-787) in Norfolk, Va. on Aug. 3, 2018. US Navy Photo

Navy spokeswoman Cmdr. Sarah Self-Kyler told USNI News at the event that, unlike Top Gun, the squadron won’t have its own submarines dedicated to training the squadron and fighting other submarines in training events. Instead, the squadron will include a yet-to-be-determined number of personnel – which Richard said would include active and reserve sailors and civilians – and that personnel would get to work with submarines and sub crews as allowed by operational and training schedules.

Richard, calling the new group “a cadre that does nothing but emulate red in all of our training and certification exercises, said “we’re taking a page from naval aviation and we’re establishing an aggressor squadron with a team that will become experts in employing our adversaries’ potential capabilities and then set them up to be able to go head-to-head with our units so that we’re always training against what we think is the highest fidelity simulation I can give them in terms of what they might be able to expect when they go into combat.”

The Commander’s Intent plan also outlines an Undersea Rapid Capability Initiatives (URCI) program that Richard said not only delivers “stuff” but also concepts of operations, tactics, maintenance strategies and more.

“I can’t go into a lot of detail given the nature of the work – it is classified – but I am able to tell you that we are working on 26 major future projects, including the Navy’s number-one priority of strategic deterrence; 13 URCIs; 11 operational initiatives; and a series of advanced workshops and military exercises designed to expand our capabilities in the undersea domain. We are pursuing next-generation weapons, multi-domain sensors, comms systems, navigation aids, and unmanned and autonomous technologies. In some cases, these capabilities are revolutionary and will inform future programs of record.”

Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Hampton (SSN-757) during Ice Exercise (ICEX) 2016. US Navy Photo

On the hardware side of this rapid development, Richard highlighted the work the Navy’s Digital Warfare Office is helping them do to move full speed ahead with “the employment and naval application of artificial intelligence and machine learning.” He also cited DARPA and the Office of Naval Research and their work with prototypes of unmanned systems and advanced sensors that have made significant progress in development and testing in just the past couple of years.

Lastly, he cited the ingenuity of the fleet in embracing additive manufacturing as a means of boosting readiness and helping reduce their logistics footprint.

“Onboard our submarines, we are embracing the future of at-sea maintenance and repair. We are actively experimenting with additive manufacturing and working expediently to provide this capability to all of my ships – all of my boats will get 3D printers in the near-term,” Richard said.

He noted that SUBSAFE standards would still apply but that the printers could still prove to be a useful asset to the crews. The crew of attack submarine USS Virginia (SSN-774) bought their own 3D printer and “in using that, built themselves a part at sea and helped keep their boat on deployment. It is that type of initiative and problem-solving that happens daily across the force.”

  • Centaurus

    Now all we have to be able to do is to 3-D print the parts that will break on a deployment of the 3-D printer.
    Perhaps the Chinese will be selling us the 3-D printers that will need the parts ?

    • DaSaint

      I guess we will need redundancy in the printers too! I guess it would make sense to have 2 or 3 in disparate parts of the boat, but connected to the network, just in case.

  • Leatherstocking

    There is still no way to assure the quality of 3D printed parts. They will work temporarily but you can’t assure the quality/integrity to the MIL STDs of OEM parts. 3D printing has a great future but without controls there will be failures and mishaps until the Navy develops the appropriate processes and procedures. Given the normal rate of Navy advance, perhaps my grandson will see those processes and procedures.

    • Bubblehead

      I would assume any parts replaced during a deployment is only a temporary solution until the boat can pull into port and receive the OEM Mil Std part. But I could be wrong.

      • Leatherstocking

        I hope so. But I frequently get my products back for repair where someone has jury-rigged a solution (alternate parts & creative cabling) to get through a deployment and it looks like the jury-rig stayed until another major failure required the unit be sent back for service. Of course, many of those systems are 30-40 years in service . I just received a request from one Navy logistics office on 40-year-ago designed items requiring me to provide confirmation on support for new and repaired items for the next 20+ years. I wished I lived on Fantasy Island like those folks. .

        • Hugh

          One current problem with 30 year old kit is running out of spares, another is when the OEM has ceased to exist (though hopefully the IP is retained so that another vendor can be found to manufacture the parts – at a price.)

          • Leatherstocking

            Strangely enough, I’m trying to reverse engineer several products for the Navy and shipyards right now because the vendors went out of business. I can’t violate IP because it’s still owned by others and they wouldn’t even entertain an offer to buy the IP. I have to re-engineer the PCB layouts, design test equipment (because I can’t get working systems to test the cards from the Navy or shipyards) and handle obsolete parts. Of course, the Navy can’t project their needs and can’t pay for an economic quantity of boards. The Navy won’t pay for requalification either so I’m a bit like the 3D technology in that all I have is engineering judgment on the quality of the end product.

          • Zorcon, Fidei Defensor

            Been doing the same for 20 years. Fun stuff, need any help?

      • NavySubNuke

        We had to manufacture a threaded bolt at sea one time because we didn’t have any big enough. We literally had a guy using a lathe manually shape the threads. It was the ugliest thing you have ever seen but it worked flawlessly for the next 6 weeks until we got home and could get the right size bolt. Hard to imagine a 3D printed part being worse than that!

        • GAW1000

          I had a similar experience. Had a brass coupler in a critical sonar system that broke and one of the machinist mates turned one on the lathe. Didn’t have the flexible feature of the original but it kept us at sea and lasted till we could return to port.

    • RobM1981

      Reasonable concerns, of course, but the Admiral openly says that it’s experimental. I wonder if there are small x-ray units that can scan parts for quality, before installation?

      • Leatherstocking

        It’s not just voids and cracks by X-ray. It’s having the sintering oven at the right temp and time to ensure strength evenly throughout the item. (Ever ate a cold-in-the-center microwave item?) You are melting thousands of little beads into a “solid” item. We know how to determine the characteristics of a foundry-processed lot by sample testing. Each 3D item is unique and we can’t have a lab aboard and test each item using samplng and destructive testing. I have a big CNC shop at my plant and I’d love to add 3D but there are no agreed processes or procedures for ensuring the end product is safe and meets requirements.

        • RobM1981

          I have to admit, I’m curious to know how they can deal with the off-gases from sintering, in a sub. I’m sure they’ve thought this through.

          • Leatherstocking

            I thought about that but didn’t want to get anyone in trouble. All of the processes have some outgassing.. PET and PLA are already defined in the NASA outgassing for spacecraft database. Build it in the escape trunk with the operator wearing his SEIE? (just kidding)

          • RobM1981

            I guess that in either case you can contain the printer in an airtight container and then pump the pollution overboard. Lots of ways to do that.

          • Centaurus

            Perhaps vent it off to the sailors in the mess, it can be used as an aroma-modifying agent…I mean, who needs their sense of smell where one eats food, anyway ?

          • Centaurus

            Wouldn’t you like to be the guy that gets to breathe some (all) of the “off-gasses ” ? Mmmmm, smell that….

    • PolicyWonk

      It would seemingly depend on the application of the 3D part in question. But you’re right: there is a danger someone will get carried away and do something dumb; and it takes forever for new processes and procedures to take hold even when they make sense (unless there’s shootin’ going on – that tends to speed things up).

    • Duane

      Quality compared to what? Presumably the quality of a functional temporary replacement part will exceed that of a failed part. It is true that there will need to be some procedures that need to be developed, but at the end of the day, if a field manufactured part enables a sub to survive and to perform its mission, that is only a positive.

    • SierraSierraQuebec

      Affordable metal working CNC machines have been around for years, since I personally bought a mill and a lathe over a decade ago. Today, a 3D additive plastic parts printer can be had for less than $200, and as well I will soon own a modestly more expensive model given certain cost advantages and eases of use over working reductively in various metals.
      I remain a bit mystified as to how these devices will magically transform operations in a submarine or any other deployed platform, it seems more of a gee whiz notion cooked up by people whom have never used the tools and are getting their information from a magazine or brochure source.

  • RobM1981

    Good idea. They used to use the 585’s to act like Soviet boats, so it’s by no means a new idea – but it’s a good one.

  • Andy

    TOPSUB; all caps, all one word. 😉 (Them that know…)

    Hope this will continue to grow and expand. A timely move.

    • DaSaint

      I like.

    • Tom Worthington

      Bottom Gun. I already have the ball cap for it.

  • PolicyWonk

    I’d like to see the USN acquire/lease one or two AIP boats (plus a few conventional SSK’s), for the “aggressor” fleet, to sharpen the skills of our SSN’s in the littorals, in addition to testing each crew against peer-level SSN’s in open ocean (etc.). Maybe get our allies subs involved as well.

    Given the success of TOPGUN, etc., I don’t know why they didn’t think of this years ago.

    • NavySubNuke

      Already posted this to DaSaint but it bears repeating since your comment mirrors his:
      We bring SSKs over all the time for training operations. Check out the Diesel Electric Submarine Initiative (DESI) if you want to learn more. It is a great program and gives US Sub Officers a chance to actually live and work on SSKs for weeks at a time to better understand their capabilities and limitations. I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent at sea on my DESI ride and learned a great deal. The battlegroup we were working with also had some great opportunities to learn and practice against a live boat. And the nations who send their SSKs also get a tremendous benefit in terms of training and PR opportunities.
      This program continues to this day and shows no signs of stopping. Way more economical than buying or leasing SSKs of our own and it helps reinforce our alliances.

      • PolicyWonk

        Thanks, NSN – I’ll have a look…

        • NavySubNuke

          It really is a great program. We have run it every year for a number of years now and have learned a lot.

  • DaSaint

    Good expansion of existing training efforts! Where I would differ is that I would dedicate an SSN and purchase a SSK to be the aggressors, but with limited numbers of SSNs I can see how this could be problematic. Plus the things they can do these days with simulation and networks, you feel that you’re competing against what your systems are indicating as ‘real’, but they’re not.

    • NavySubNuke

      Exactly right on simulations being “real enough”. The trick is to make sure someone knows which contacts are real and which ones are inserted for training when you run exercises at sea using phantom targets generated on board.
      As far as needing an SSK — we bring SSKs over all the time for training operations. Check out the Diesel Electric Submarine Initiative (DESI) if you want to learn more. It is a great program and gives US Sub Officers a chance to actually live and work on SSKs for weeks at a time to better understand their capabilities and limitations. I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent at sea on my DESI ride and learned a great deal. The battlegroup we were working with also had some great opportunities to learn and practice against a live boat. And the nations who send their SSKs also get a tremendous benefit in terms of training and PR opportunities.

      • DaSaint

        DESI sounds like a great program. I know that there has been a lot of training with Canadian and Swedish subs. My thought was for the USN to acquire one of their own, to ensure that one is available for all training cycles. Could be a good investment, similar to how we’ve acquired some Easter Bloc and Israeli fighters for aggressor training.

        • NavySubNuke

          We work extensively throughout the year with these countries to make sure boats are there when we need them barring a sudden maintenance issue which would be a problem whether it was our boat or not. In some ways it is more likely to be a problem if it is our boat and we only have one or two. These nations can look through their entire submarine force and pick the best boat to come up since they don’t want to be embarrassed. And as you said in your original post we have all pieces we need to conduct really accurate simulations when we need to.
          Oh and of course the fact that the Russians are playing the game again with us also helps.

          • DaSaint

            Understood. Thanks NSN.
            I wonder how exercises with the Japanese AIP SSKs and the Aussies have turned out. Those Japanese boats are excellent, from what I’ve heard.

          • NavySubNuke

            Me too. I have done all of my AT’s in LANT (CTF-69 for the win!) so I really have no idea. My DESI ride was out of Florida as well.

    • LarryInIowa

      As an old S-3 & P-3 Tacco I can attest that finding a diesel boat on batteries is almost impossible. Heck, the nukes are hard enough. ASW is more an art than a science and requires a lot of practice and patience. I hope we give it the priority it needs. We were pretty good at it several decades ago but the indications are that we have let it slide. Hopefully we will give it a high priority. Simulations are great for acquiring and maintaining the required skills but nothing beats training against real boats. After all, they want to beat you as much as you want to beat them. Nothing like flares shot off close to the battle group to increase ASW awareness.

  • Duane

    Developing counter tactics today is much harder than during the Cold War. In the Cold War we had the benefit of decades of real seagoing experience and hard data (acoustics) to help us understand Soviet ASW and submarine tactics. There was a generation skipped between the late 1980s when the Soviets welded their remaining boats to the pier where they rusted away, and the late 2000s when they began their current military buildup. The Chinese never had much of a sub force in the Cold War, so they have been writing their own books of tactics from the keel up over the last decade.

    Over time we’ll collect the data and watch and observe their tactics, and refine our tactics as necessary.

    • NavySubNuke

      I can see how it would appear that way to someone who hasn’t stepped foot on a submarine in 40+ years and even then only served in the engine room and has no real idea what happens during ASW operations but what you claim here isn’t true.

  • Ed L

    Perfect opportunity to spend 2 billion on 3 or 4 AIP submarines and parts Put 2 on east coast and 2 on west coast

    • Why not, I would get a least 2 squadrons worth of SSK Submarines and that way they can free up the SSN’s for all the HIGH end work such as protecting Carrier and Amphibious ready groups. The SSK’s can be used for Aggressor training and when not doing Aggressor training, they can patrol and protect the EEZ. Support Special operations in the Littorals and even do ISR in the littorals.

      • GAR9

        The problem is that to Congress, a submarine is a submarine. I guarantee that for each SSK that the USN buys, Congress will authorize one less SSN.

        Plus, given that we don’t have that much excess yard capacity, each SSK will displace an SSN that could be built. Then, there would be the crews to man them. We’d do better to “rent” SSKs and crews from our allies for training.

        • I think SSK’s in small numbers can be used for USSOCOM

  • And this is why SSK submarines are needed for.

    • Jeff

      And this is why education is needed for.

  • Ser Arthur Dayne

    How long will it take to load the torpedoes?? — 10 minutes… — TEN MINUTES?? THIS THING WILL BE OVER IN *TWO* MINUTES!!!

    • Jeff

      Your CapsLock key is stuck. Exactly *what* will be over in two minutes? Even SLBMs launched from a sub off the East Coast have a flight time longer than that.

      • Ser Arthur Dayne

        It was from “Top Gun” , genius.

    • Nordic Bezerker

      You know nothing.

      • Ser Arthur Dayne

        And Now It Begins…

        • Or as Donaldus Magnus would say, “Here we go.”

    • I get jokes.

      • Ser Arthur Dayne

        This is good to know

  • Mk-Ultra

    Can someone explain if these multri-trillion dollar subs are still needed since a war with china is likely never going to happen in fear of a nuclear response?

    • Nordic Bezerker

      Subs can deliver a non-nuke array of weapons to destroy any enemy.

      • Mk-Ultra

        Yes. But that will likely never be used against the enemy they’re designed for, since they have nuclear weapons.

        There’s a reason why the only countries America has invaded are ones without nuclear weapons. And why north Korea is so determined to get them after seeing what happens when you don’t have them. Kim does not want to go down the way of Gaddafi. He refused to develop nukes, he died getting sodomized.

    • If you’re right, it’s because of subs like these. Some of the greatest weapons we ever developed came and went without being used for anything but deterrence– their first and foremost purpose.

      • Mk-Ultra

        Gotcha. Yeah that’s true. But it’s just a thought that came to mind.

        We spend all this money, and build these great machines of war, but never use them since nuclear weapons makes them obsolete.

        For example, the F-22 will likely retire without ever getting a kill since it’s purpose, shooting down a rival modern jet, will likely never happen since we’ll never go to war with a country that has them, since they have nuclear weapons.

        So I just wonder. Why build them if all you really need, it seems, is nukes?

        Will a country ever invade you, even if you don’t have a modern military, if you can just retaliate with a bunch of nuclear missiles?

        It just seems nukes has made modern military hardware to go against a nuclear superpower redundant

    • Mu’ammar Abdur-Rashid

      They’re needed. One reason being is the fact that Navy SEALS are going back to maritime operations instead of land based operations. That’s the focus. But that’s just one factor.

    • Tom

      Our subs are a huge deterrent. It’s called ‘Peace Through Strength’.

      • Mk-Ultra

        But history has shown nukes is all you really need.

        You think anyone would invade you if you have a stockpile of tens of thousands of nuclear weapons and 1 sub?

  • Chesapeakeguy

    This sounds like a good idea, and one that is long overdue.

    • SDW

      Yes, sounds like an opportunity to allocate about a half-dozen SSKs to protect coasts, train with the rest of the USN (and allies), gain knowledge of what SSK ops look like around the world (including port calls), and a lot of other missions that large, fast, hyper-capable SSNs just don’t cover as well.

      Too much green-house gas has and continues to be generated arguing that one fills the roles of the other. If there is a need for a couple dozen FFX in addition to a fleet of DDGs (and there is) then the same rationale applies to having a certain, useful number of SSKs.

      • Doug Stoxen

        SSKs? What are those?

        • SDW

          Basically, a non-nuke sub. It started off as something to distinguish a “Hunter-Killer” from a “normal” sub but that faded in significance much like the CVAN v. CVN.

          • Doug Stoxen

            Forgive me. I was on an SSBN and a fast attack, SSN. Never heard of an SSK or a Hunter Killer.

      • Chesapeakeguy

        Good points.

  • moyeti

    Improved seawolf attack – killer subs on the way ?!

  • moyeti

    Seawolfs were cancelled in large part due to the littoral combat role and the Virginia class was capable, modular and cheaper. Now we need a sub that can dive 2000+ feet like a Seawolf, but is modular, and more lethal.

    • Nordic Bezerker

      And you do not think we do not have it, little do you know.

  • Nordic Bezerker

    He who has the best submarine force wins. Subs are the most deadly weapon on this earth. I spent many year developing weapons control systems for fast attack subs.Fear them

    • GAW1000

      Two types of ships, submarines and targets. Still have that t-shirt somewhere around here.

    • LarryInIowa

      I recall the saying that “Submarines are the number one weapon of the number two Navy.”

  • ChipsterNGA

    Attack sub fleet has been training for this for at least four decades. This isn’t news.

    • Nordic Bezerker

      They have been following Ivan for many years.

  • claymore cluepile

    you mean the navy is going to start preparing for war by practising tactics and aggression? is that legal?

    • Mk-Ultra

      Yeah, the military built to go to war is practicing to go to war is definitely unheard of.

  • mac9955

    Crazy Ivan.

    • GAW1000

      Been a lot of years since I heard that term.

  • WTF is up with the guy giving a left-handed salute?????????

    • He’s the boatswain’s mate – his pipe will be in his right hand, and he salutes with the left. It’s a good trivia question though.

      • oldfiredog

        Thanks for that,this old Army guy sure was confused over that.I thought maybe his right arm was in a sling or something.

      • longtrail

        Thank you Sir.

      • Fascinating. I didn’t know there was ever a condition that warranted a left-hand salute. I suspect there is no similar provision in any of the other branches (except maybe Coast Guard?).

  • mastice

    I sleep well at night knowing these men are out there for us. Keep it up gentlemen! I salute you all.

  • RETUSAF1995

    Fight China and Russia? They won’t even fight illegal aliens and drugs coming over the border. Democratic socialists will throw a parade for Russia and China when they come marching in. China and Russia just have to wait it out until the US is flooded with South American Indians and then invade and take over like the Spanish did. By that time They will have voted Spanish the official language.

    • Kenneth Taylor

      If you managed to land an army and stage at the southern border, your invasion would not be met with significant resistance until you were halfway to Washington D.C.

      • pfbonney

        I don’t know. Texas’ Governor Abbot is pretty hard-nosed about “his” border!

        Now, progressive New Mexico would probably let them in. And progressive Colorado would probably let them pass….

      • Fastercat

        Kenneth713 already

    • pfbonney

      President James K. Polk (D) should have taken ALL of Mexico, if he was going to go to war with Mexico in an act of naked aggression the first place, instead of taking just the 55% of Mexico that he did annex. (“♪ From the Halls of Montezuma …. ♪”)

      Corruption and thus, poverty, would have been significantly reduced and we’d have a smaller border to protect.

      (I like it how the progressives complain about “our country” having stolen so much of Mexico, when it was none other than a progressive president that stole it! And Polk actually wanted more! (And we had a boomer sub named after him!) His negotiator refused to be recalled and negotiated the 55% of Mexico that we did get. Polk thought that we should have gotten more. He fired the negotiator as soon as he returned to Washington.)

      • Furthermore, let’s examine which Mexicans got the better deal, the ones who ended up in the greatest nation on earth, or the ones left behind in their corrupt, failed society.

        • pfbonney

          Considering the Mexicans who ended up in the greatest nation on Earth are not attempting to be illegal aliens in Mexico, whereas the ones left behind in their corrupt, failed society are becoming illegal aliens here in the greatest nation on Earth, its easy to figure out who feels that they got the better deal.

  • rmiers1

    China is said to be manufacturing diesel subs like sausages, all which can do nukes. Some think of possible “you are surrounded”, surrender or die possibility. P3 type hunter killer aircraft can take out many but not all.
    Both coasts need more than an Obama funded response. We need to plug that hole….quick
    Pray for our President and for time to rebuild our defenses.

    • Florida Prophet

      China has no forward bases. How are their diesel subs going to cross the Pacific undetected?

      • Sharkey

        We did it easily in the ’60’s.

  • Jose Ortega

    Why are we broadcasting our plans to the enemy?

    • moyeti

      There is likely more to it than what we see.

  • How come President TRUMP is allowing this? I thought Putin controlled him? Oh yea, thats right, the Commie Dems are full of chit. MAGA !

    • oldfiredog

      The POTUS is rebuilding what the Kenyan allowed to deteriorate.

      • pfbonney

        And the progressives are wondering why President Trump’s spending is so high.

        Because we have to make up for the spending that Obama DIDN’T do during his 8 years, in ADDITION to maintaining proper current military spending.

  • SilasdeGoute

    Hampton is SSN-767 not SSN-757 Alexandria)

  • Ruckweiler

    The submarine force is training to do what they always did?

  • Where did the sailor behind the admiral learn how to salute? Is the lefthanded salute a Navy thing? I spent three years in the Army and never saw one of those (although I’m sure allowances would be made if a limb had been lost).

  • BENDER tharobot

    Russia has the sub game on lock down it would take a little extra cash to get on their level

    • Mk-Ultra

      No it doesn’t. Russias subs are pitiful and literally falling apart. They can’t even afford to keep cold war subs sailing.

  • Defiant

    GOOD! All Obama did over 8 years was bring the military to it’s knees. We SHOULD be practicing to fight the hostile nations of the globe.

    • Mk-Ultra

      That’s just right wing ignorant propaganda.

      Only inept right wingers will cry Obama was “a war mogerer” and then cry “brought the military to it’s knees” in the same day. It’s hilarious how you dorks don’t realise you cry against yourselves.

      Obama has done a lot for the military. Use your own brain, look for yourself and don’t just regurgitate right wing fear mongering propaganda. You’ll realise a few thungs. One of them is how dumb you people make yourselves look