HONOLULU — A new report from U.S. IndoPacific Command reveals harrowing details about China's growing fleet of vert ramps, which experts say can only be countered by heavy investment in tactical rollerblades.
"We're talking 15-foot ramps, handrails, big air jumps, the works," said INDOPACOM Commander Adm. Philip Davidson. "If we want to assert our supremacy as the gnarliest shredders in the South Pacific, we need every soldier equipped with aggressive, lethal inline skates ASAP."
Satellite imagery shows that China has been illegally building vert ramps throughout the South China Sea for years, encroaching on territory that had previously been set aside for an international street skating environment. The Pentagon's top brass in the Pacific say this is clearly a challenge to the United States to "go big or go home."
"The last time we've competed in an inline vert competition was in the Gulf War," said Davidson. "Our experience doing the basics like fakie 360s and topside grinds has withered during the long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Heck, right now we're hard-pressed to find anyone who can do a stalefish grab."
Davidson says counterinsurgency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have caused the U.S. military to stray from its preferred mission of "shredding the gnar-gnar." During that time, resurgent powers like China and Russia have invested heavily in their extreme sports skills and are prepared to face the U.S. in open competition.
"I'm confident our acquisitions system will be able to get these skates to our men and women on the front lines before an all out game of S-K-A-T-E breaks out," added Davidson. "But God help us if the Chinese learn how to double flatspin."