Showing posts with label War on Terror. Show all posts
Showing posts with label War on Terror. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A lot of the reason that my posts here have tapered down to near once a week is that I have been traveling a lot over to Europe. It seems like every other week I am on my way to either the Czech Republic or to Norway for a week or so then I return.

So, having logged more than 70,000 miles since July (all in coach/economy) I have some recent experience going through the security apparatuses on both sides of the Atlantic.

First off there is a huge difference between what we are put through here in the US and what they do to you in Europe. Even though the rules regarding “Probable cause” and “Search and Seizures” are radically different the two sides of the pond they seem more sensitive in Europe than here in the US. And that goes for Germany too, by the way.

Also, they don’t make you take off your shoes over there, only here in the US. Now what burns me is that the shoe bomber originated over in Europe so you would think that we (the US) would make people originating over there and flying into the US have their shoes checked? At least I would given the “attack” came from the Easter side of the Atlantic.

Same with the underwear bomber.

Another thing, they do not automatically pat you down, if you go through the magnetometer and it alarms you can expect to get the hands on inspection. And yes they do the random “secondary” inspection where you are taken into a room and they swab your carry-on and parts of your cloths. I have had that done to me.

By and large, when you see armed men (and I mean the kind with Automatic Weapons on slings) standing around out on the front curb, hanging out in the lobby and wondering around the terminal you maybe think about your situation. Do they profile, I am sure they do but they are not hung up on being Politically Correct like we are here and doing that is does not have the negative connotations like it does here in the US.

Now, I believe there are a couple of things that we should do to get away from the TSA handling all of the traveling public like we are guilty or we are criminals first.

First, Profile. Yeah put everyone through the metal detector and then pull out the most obvious people for the strip search and bore scope procedure. And I mean that, put a camera up their ass and then cat scan them. If they survive the radiation with nothing to hide, than they can enjoy the privilege of flying in this country.

Second, seal off the Borders. This is huge sore point but we need to keep everyone out of this country that does not want to come in through an official entry point. And yes, we should have millions and millions of Mexican’s in this country as long as they are willing to let us know who they are. We need them here but not as an illegal. I say give them a kind of Social Security Number and vest them in our society legally. Not as citizens but as temporary workers. Throw into jail any Company Owner that hires people under the table, and I don’t mean one of those country club jails, throw them in with the wretched folk and that will be the last time they hire illegal’s.

Make the ugliest war on our enemies as we possibly can. Ignore the Geneva Convention, ignore the UN and especially ignore the PC crowd on the left and wage war so ugly and nasty that no one wants to mess with us. This whole problem with Islamic Extremists comes from the limp noodle Jimmy Carter response to the invasion of sovereign US Territory back in 1979. Had he simply nuked that place or invaded with a “Take No Prisoners” orders than I really do think these asshats would be bugging someone else. The way we fight them today is viewed by them as weakness, they taunt us with our restraint and we lose fine Men and Woman trying to placate the weasels on the left that think we might actually “offend” someone when we make war. I say bring back napalm , flame throwers and tactical nukes and kill as many of them as possible in the most inhumane way and they will leave us alone.

I am just saying.

Here is by far the best parity of the current TSA boondoggle.

Well I am off, I have in the next three weeks round trips to Orlando the Czech Republic and New Mexico and only one of those trips am I really looking forward to.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Retired too Soon?

Here is what they are catching in the Pacific coming up from Columbia:

That would be a kind of submarine. A drug runner's submarine. Here is the caption that came with the picture:

"Photo released by Guatemala's Defense Ministry on Sunday July 11, 2010. Guatemala's soldiers and sailors escort a drug smuggling submarine captured last Friday July 9 off Guatemala's Pacific coast and arrested four Colombian men on board."

That thing was 57 feet long and carrying 5 tons of cocaine.

Now, I bring this up because this thing was working its way north to the US of A. Oh, it would most likely come ashore somewhere in Mexico and the goods then transported across the border which our great Secretary of Homeland Defense is as secure as it has ever been. At the same time other senior administration officials (David Axelrod) claimed that no one had done more to secure the border than the current Administration. Yeah, just the thing you want to hear knowing all along that the border is as porous as a screen door on the submarine.

This brings to mind two rants that need to be made. The first is the bald face lying the Administration is doing regarding the poor status of the southern Border, of course the northern one is no better. Any enemy of this country can bring in whatever toxic chemical, biological or nuclear weapon right over the border. Who is going to catch them? And proof that the border is still very porous and so easy to get across unmolested is that drug lords are hauling 5 tons of cocaine at a time to the border. They feel the hardest part of the journey is not the crossing the border, it's getting from Columbia to Mexico. This submarine is proof that they are going to great lengths to get their product up to Mexico. Because this was not the only one of these captured. There have been hundreds.

The second rant is the part of about how this was discovered. By the DEA. Now at one time we had a once proud fleet of ASW aircraft and ships. The aircraft were P-3 Orion and S-3 Viking aircraft (my old Jet). The Navy owned more than 400 P-3's and they were stationed all round the US coastline (there were two main bases on each coast and one in Hawaii but they deployed detachments to many places). The S-3's numbers were vastly lower and their duty was mainly carrier based anyway but when we did Caribbean deployment we were always tasked with anti-drug missions. In later years we would deploy a squadron to NAS Key West for this function and a few times the Wings would send aircraft to South America again for the drug interdiction mission.

Today, all but a few of the S-3's are in the great desert graveyard while the P-3's are fast joining them their wings are tired and in need of replacement. There are a mere 100 or so remaining and are as we speak preparing to retire to the desert also. The Boeing P-8 will take its place however there will not be nearly enough of these to cover all the operational demands and that leaves these submarines almost a free pass to Mexico.

Until someone actually gets serious about the border or deploying surveillance aircraft to the waters off South America we will be at risk of not just the drugs but of way worse an import. PresBO wants amnesty and he will keep the borders open as a political weapon to gain support for that. Meanwhile anyone or anything can be brought across.

What the hell are we doing?

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Best Headline – Ever?

This says it all!

I am not by any stretch of the imagination a fan of anything New York but this really works for me. Great Job up there!

Tip-O-the-Hat to: American Digest

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

SN2 Update – still in Nawa

We have only word from the Marine Mom network that SN2 is doing well, other Son's that have called home and report that Jon is fine.

We also found this photo of him distributed by the DOD originally back in late October. The press has been using it every time a story needs a picture of a Helicopter and a Marine. I am happy it is Jon, getting his 15 minutes of fame in small increments. The original posting of the picture stated that he was pulling security for VIP's that were at a Combat Outpost in Helmand province. There were many VIP's visiting the area under the 1/5 Marines control, seems they have done more than a good job and are used as an example of what COIN should be and its results. Article here from the LA Times. It has been peaceful enough that the Marines go shopping in the little villages without body armor. Scary yes, I know. I am hoping my boy is keeping his gear on no matter how peaceful things look on the outside.

His tour there is over soon, we have been told to expect the entire battalion back by Christmas. Last dates I saw that I can talk about show that his Company will be pulling out of Helmand and back to Camp Leatherneck this week. They will spend only a few days there when they start the transition to Manas AFB in Kyrgyzsatn marshalling for the return to the states by charter airline.

We are hoping that when he gets to Camp Leatherneck he can find a phone and check in with us in person.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sixth Sense for Bombs

Very interesting article here (the video is only remotely related to the subject of the story) regarding the best method to detect IED's hidden in the road or along a trail, ye ole Mark 1 Eye Ball Detecting Group, oh and someone with background on how to use them. The article goes on to say that researchers have determined that Marines (and Soldiers too, but the research was done using Marines) with a background in hunting or in urban life are best at detecting hidden threats in the AF and Iraq.

In the first case, the young man uses his hunting skill to identify minute disturbances in the terrain ahead. In the second case, growing up in gang infected urban settings gives the Marine skills in using his peripheral vision for detecting threats that would be missed by those that spent their youth on Video Games. These tended to have a kind of tunnel vision and needed some training in learning how to use their peripheral vision.

The best troops were the ones who grew up in the rural areas; one unit in particular was the South Carolina National Guard unit. "They just seemed to pick up things much better, they know how to look at the entire environment." Said Army Sgt. Maj. Todd Burnett, the top enlisted man with the Pentagon-based Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization.

Its worth a read.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Monday, October 12, 2009

CinC Priorities

Priorities. Yes they say a lot about you. While the brave men of the US Army and the US Marine Corps on the ground in Afghanistan wait for the "analysis" by the CinC of the request for reinforcements by General Stanley McCrystal, that very CinC goes off to make promises to reverse DADT for the entire military. In a speech to the group Human Rights Campaign, a pro-Gay Rights lobbying group the PresBO said he would reverse the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy allowing Gay's unrestricted service within the US Military. "We are moving ahead on Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

How many days has it been since that report landed on his desk? What's it been since August 30th, 43 days? How many lives have we lost in Afghanistan since then? But he has the time to make another flowery speech to a bunch of wild-ass Gay's. Come on, he has no plans on how he is going to implement this new policy he just has yet another empty promise. But fine Men are dying over there and he needs to Man-up and either give the General what he says he needs or cut and run.

This is HIS war, this was supposed to be the "Good War", or so say the Nancy Pelosi and the Harry Reid's of the world. The Dem's were more than happy to bash Bush with his choice for fighting in Iraq and not "finishing what we started" in Afghanistan. Ok already, lets finish it one way or the other!

Now I admit, I have an ulterior motive here, it's not simply to bash the PresBO or besmirch Gay's and their desire to serve in the Military. I have skin over there and I don't want to see him left out to dry. Or for that matter any member of our Military that is working and fighting hard stay alive. I wish I could say they were working and fighting to win, but that is not proper vernacular in the new paradigm as presented by PresBO. He is not interested in winning.

Fight to win or Cut and run. Simple as that.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Boys and their Toys

The DOD is looking for new weapons. Nothing new there, the DOD is always looking for newer and better. What they are really looking for is new stuff that is adaptable and AFORDABLE. This is according to the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General James Cartwright (USMC).

Speaking at the annual Association of the U.S. Army, the General states that weapons systems must be adaptable enough to fight with across different fronts and cheap enough to be fielded in large numbers.

Some of the good examples he cited were the many and varied UAV's that are being used today in both Iraq and Afghanistan. From the hand launched versions to the long endurance Predator/Reaper, the UAV concept has shown that adaptability and a slate of affordability. The biggest problem is getting them in large enough quantity to cover total mission requirements. Part of this is getting manufacturers to pick up the pace in production, opening new production lines or licensing production to alternate manufacturers.

The Marine General complained about the escalating cost of fielding top-of-the-line weapons systems like new Fighters and Bomber aircraft. His examples were illustrative of the current trend upward in costs of weapons systems.

B-52 introduced in 1955 at a cost in 1998 dollars of $53 Million, we built more than 700

The BUFF, the U is for Ugly and they are proud of it too! (USAF Photo)

B-1 introduced in 1986 with a cost in 1998 dollars of $283 Million each, we built only 100

Sexiest Plane flying today. (USAF Phoo)

B-2 introduced in 1997 at a cost of $1.16 Billion each we could only afford 20 of them

The Sprit deployed to Guam. (USAF Photo)

The good General says something has to give because "I can't afford one [plane] on each coast, because that was all I could afford to buy." That is where we are headed if the trend continues to the next generation of manned bomber holds true.

This same trend exists in the Fighter world as well, given all the debate surrounding the F-22 no one criticizes its capabilities, just what each one costs. And again, we have curtailed production not at what we need to defend the country but at what we can currently afford to buy.

What is next?

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Busy Work – 8 KIA

August 30th General Mc Chrystal delivered a report to the President on the current conditions in the AF. This report, a long and detailed assessment on the strategy, future direction and troop strength within his command took him since June 15th to complete. That is the date he took over in the AF. This report includes a request for additional troops specifically, additional combat infantry and trainers for the AF national army and police. Important for all of us as US citizens is that the this General, specifically appointed by PresBO to command forces in AF, has asked for more troops on the ground to both protect the existing US Forces in place but also to press home the ultimate defeat of the enemy, the ultimate goal of any Army committed to action against a foe.

The President meanwhile, has during this same time has been on 5 different Sunday talk shows, hosted Town Halls meetings in 5 different cities across the country, been on David Letterman and he has had a jaunt to Denmark to pitch for the Olympics games in 2016. The good news is that while in Denmark General Mc Chrystal was able meet up with the President and have his first face-to-face with the CINC since taking command, having only talked to him once in the 70 plus days since his appointment.

On Saturday, 8 US Army soldiers were killed in fighting against the Taliban in the Kamdesh district of Nuristan province. Two remote combat outposts were the center of the attack by the Taliban which was described as a very well coordinated attack by a large force (in excess of 300). The fighting lasted all day and required the use of artillery fire and air strikes to break the will of the enemy and force a withdrawal.

8 brave US Soldiers were killed, 8 men, brothers, husbands and son's were killed while the CINC rested after his strenuous run at getting his home town the Olympics. A mission failure.

"Failure to provide adequate resources also risks a longer conflict, greater casualties, higher overall costs and ultimately, a critical loss of political support. Any of these risks, in turn, are likely to result in mission failure." General Stanley Mc Chrystal from his report to the President on Afghanistan, 30 August 2009.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Harvest of Hot Steel

The USMC is pressing forward with arming their KC-130J tanker aircraft with recent test flights of a kit known as the "Harvest Hawk". This kit adds an ISR and targeting capability mounted on one wing with a set of Hellfire missiles mounted on the other. This gives them some teeth along with persistent ISR.

The kit when installed does not affect the aircrafts ability to carry out its primary tanker mission. The ISR ball is installed in the after section of the massive pod/faring on the left wing. This pod carries one of the two refueling hose and drogue assemblies and the EO/IR gear is installed into this pod. A Targeting Sight System is installed into the cargo compartment of the aircraft. The carriage rack for the Hellfire missiles are mounted on the right wing.
I have circled the ISR Ball. This is a USMC Photo of a VX-20 Test aircraft. VX-20 flies out of NAS Patuxent River Maryland and is the home of Developmental Testing for the US Navy and USMC for a variety of aircraft including the P-3, P-8, E-2, E-8 and the KC-130's.

Plans are to 12 of the C-130J's the marines fly after flight testing is complete which should happen quickly. The Marine Corps Times reports that a prototype aircraft will be flying overhead in Afghanistan in November. This is a very smart thing to do; the KC-130's the Marines fly are busy in the sky's over the AF hauling equipment and personnel within that large country. They also provide fuel to the many Marine CH-53 and Army AH-47 helicopters. I am sure they will pass gas to the V-22 once it gets into the fight as well.

Boring holes in the sky will be a lot less boring with this Harvest Hawk kit and future plans call for the addition of a 30mm Bushmaster cannon in addition to the Hellfire kit. That is some serious teeth that I am sure the Marines are dying to try out on the scene in the AF.

Bully for them. I'd pack some of them MOAB BLU-82's on each aircraft too, you know just for fun in making big holes in the earth.

Read more here.

Killing Tango's should not be constrained.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Monday, September 14, 2009

ROE in the AF – Killing Marines

A recent incident in Afghanistan reveals several items regarding the new Rules of Engagement (ROE) that Troops in contact with the enemy must comply. I had decried these rules when promulgated by General Stanley McChrystal as putting our Troops at risk to death and injury over the death and injury to the enemy. Here is proof:

"U.S. commanders, citing new rules to avoid civilian casualties rejected repeated calls to unleash artillery rounds at attackers dug into the slopes and tree lines - dispite being told repeatedly that they weren't near the village."

This was taken fromt he following story by the McClatchy Newspapers:

First: The Taliban can read. So, when these new rules were released they were made known to our enemy and with their analysis they contrived to use the civilians within this village as cover. Who out there did not see this coming? How many more times will this happen? How many more fine men and women of our Armed Forces will die because of this policy?

Second: Where is the MSM on this? During the Iraq war this kind of stuff was front page fodder! Anytime a policy decision by members of the Bush appointed military staff brought shame and discredit to that administration, matter how slight it was, the front page headlines were automatic. Not now with the Obama appointed gang, they can do no wrong apparently. And look at where this report originates; The McClatchy chain? Now, I have heard of them but they are far from Main Stream. Nothing from the Grey (two legs in the grave) Lady or the major TV networks. Nothing. Researching this gave me fits because I could only find references from other Blogs. It took me many jumps to get to the original story without a reference through another Blog. A sorry reflection on the state of Journalism in this country today.

Third: Who was it that said the way to win a war is to kill more of the enemy than they kill of your side? Here we allow the Taliban to 'melt' back into the country and in most cases right back into the villages they are fighting from. Where is the Napalm? I say smoke a couple of these villages and soon the natives will start turning in the Taliban just to prevent thier asses from being smoked in the fiery gelatin.

I realize that I have an ulterior motive and maybe I am being selfish, but if it keeps my son alive; all the better. We are at war and we should bring to bear all the steel, fire and death at our disposal in as dispassionate a methodology as we possibly can. Dispassionate to the Enemy and thier collaborators, if the poor are co-opted by the Taliban and they do not stand up against them, too dam bad. They can take up arms too and relieve us of having to go there in the first place.

I fear these four brave Marines are just the start of a long line of warriors giving their all to this narrow and deadly streategy where all the hoooks are on us and none on the enemy.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

UPDATE: The four killed turned out to be 3 brave marines and one Navy Corpsman.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Catch and Release

Letting Terrorists out of captivity, alive.

First we had the Pan Am 103 bomber let go on compassionate grounds. Now the US has released a terrorist held at the notorious Gitmo prison. The US has released Mohammed Jawad who was 'detained' in 2002 for throwing a hand grenade at SF troops. (story is here: He was sent to Gitmo in 2003 and has spent 1/3ard of his life in prison. Mohammed was the youngest person kept in Gitmo at an age somewhere between 12 and 17, no one knows for sure even Mohammed. The ACLU represented him at Gimo and won his release based partly on the lack of evidence.

Two things bother me about this, the first of course is this issue of using a Criminal standard with regard to the collection of evidence in a War Zone. What the ACLU is asking for is absolutely insane. You can't have Fighting men (be they Army or Marines) stop everything they are doing to collect evidence. Can you imagine in your mind what they are asking for here: taking pictures, measuring angles and trajectories, molds of foot prints in the ground, taking finger prints, putting trace material into little bags? Holding hearings and witness interviews. Then when the CSI's done with the scene – resume fire fight!!

Simply asinine, it speaks to what the AG, PressBO and the entire anti-war left understands how one fights a war. If you make taking prisoners a burden and then let them go again, why bother. Simply kill them in the field.

The other thing that bothers me is the ACLU. How in the world did they get in there, a military base, a secure military base, and get their hooks into the process of defending the War Prisoners. I can see letting the Red Cross in to take a look around, make sure the 'captives' have water in their cage and such other creature comforts as our prisoners would receive when captured by the enemy.

But the ACLU. They need to find the guy that decided that and put him in Gitmo!!

BT: Jimmy T sends.