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November 26, 2005

Saturday fare.

Ain't she purty? 4.7 inch 40 Caliber british gun - though this one is in Spain. Man, would she look good in the Bailey!

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If you are still in need of something to do - Mike D (and I) suggest you head over to GCS Distributing - and look at some cool windows movies they done up in support of the troops. The owner is Tony Clegg, and I know from following these guys for some time now that they have worked long and hard, and spent some money (buying bandwidth) to get these things out in front of us. So, take this link and spread it around!

GCS Distributing - Celebrating our rich heritage. (Note to corporate entities - do work like this, *I'll* give ya free ads, too).

Ahhh. The return of an old friend. I *loved* running those ranges...

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CAMP AL QA'IM, Iraq - Paintsville, Ky., native Lance Cpl. Scotty R. Price, rifleman, Company I, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team - 2, fires a Light Antitank Weapon at a possible insurgent position during Operation Steel Curtain. Photo by: Sgt. Jerad W. Alexander

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Nov 26, 2005 | Artillery | Global War on Terror (GWOT) | Observations on things Military
» Don Surber links with: We Won. Let's Go Home

November 25, 2005

Entrepreneurial thinking, part A, part B.

Two emails, one right after another, one new post...

Part A: Entrepreneurship, private enterprise style:

"THE ROCK" SURVIVES IED BLAST [W. Thomas Smith Jr.] I've just learned that during an operation near Baghdad, this morning, one of our armored vehicles - a brand new one unofficially referred to as "The Rock" - was hit by an IED. The vehicle sustained no major damage, and - best of all - ZERO injuries were suffered by passengers or crew.

Full text of Smith's post, here. Link to original reporting on the subject here, at

Hmmm. Mebbe my next truck will be built "Ford-Tough" on an F-550 chassis, body by Granite Engineering...

H/t, Mike D.

B. Entrepreneurship, Big High-Inertia Governmental Agency Style (but entrepreneurship, nonetheless...)

A note from Commander Salamander:


Being that you were one of the first to find this of interest last year....I thought you would like the update. The CNO is serious. It will take another 18 months to get there....not quite fast....but it is coming.


A bit to tease you with...

Friday, November 25, 2005 Greybeards wanted: Back to Brown Water V More right thinking and the right words from Navy leadership about taking back a traditional and ill-served warfare area – Riverine.

His post is here.

Raymond - *this* is how it's supposed to work.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Nov 25, 2005 | Global War on Terror (GWOT)
» The Politburo Diktat links with: The Rock - Surviving IEDs

On Giving Thanks...

...each day, not just on Thanksgiving. Celebrate quietly, thoughtfully. It needn't take long and requires no lengthy preparation.

Give thanks that we live in a country with people like these:

SangerM, whose comment on Americans a couple of posts down was too good not to give wider exposure...

That we are so rich in every imaginable way, and that we can travel around the world in fantastic machines of our own making and deliver food and other aid to people on mountains and in valleys, and everywhere, and that we can do it again, and again, and again... That we don't care if those people can read or write or speak our language; nor what their religion is, or their color, or even if they like us all that much. We just do it because it is the right thing to do. . .

. . . Because it is the right thing to do.

...and another.

Slow Hand salute for a brave young man, unafraid to answer his nation's call, willing to give the last full measure of devotion in defense of our freedom and way of life. Please pray for him and his family in their time of grief.

1st Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry, 3rd BCT, 101st Airborne Division. Killed in action 19 November, 2005, in one of two separate IED attacks on US combat operational patrols in the vicinity of Bayji, Iraq.

I am deeply saddened at this young man's death. It has brought back all the repressed memories of comrades lost in another war, another time.

How fortunate we are that we have men such as this. How very painful it is when we lose them. God Bless and keep you, Dennis. Farewell.

Jim Ewart
162 AHC
Vulture 29
Can Tho 69-70

Two-Niner and I have sounded our own Taps earlier, in private--but in keeping with Castle tradition, now is the time when we dance In Memoriam.

Friends await him on his journey...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by CW4BillT on Nov 25, 2005 | Something for the Soul

November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

Interesting, if currently not useful, factoids.

Not counting our time on Blogspot, our server logs indicate:

934,123 unique visitors.

2,079,785 visits (does not include webbots, etc).


Hey! No politics on this post! Lea'me 'lone!

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Nov 24, 2005 | Something for the Soul

Thanksgiving around the world

We'll be off with friends and family today. In one sense, I hope you are reading this tomorrow - and not spending the day on the web. We have much to give thanks for, and those of you who read (and especially who take the time to comment) are on the list of things we're thankful for. Go, eat, socialize!


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Senior enlisted Marines at U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific share the spirit of Thanksgiving by treating their Marines to a pre-Thanksgiving luncheon at the Camp Smith Sunset Lanai, Nov. 23.
Photo by: Lance Cpl. R. Drew Hendricks


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041125-N-2984R-010 Persian Gulf (Nov. 25, 2004) - Mr. Guenther Reetz helps prepare the Thanksgiving Dinner aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). Carrier Air Wing Three (CVW-3) embarked aboard Truman is providing close air support and conducting intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions over Iraq. Truman’s Carrier Strike Group Ten (CSG-10) and CVW-3 are on a regularly scheduled deployment in support of the Global War on Terrorism. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate Airman Apprentice Ricardo J. Reyes (RELEASED)

Air Force:

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ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- Staff Sgt. Tina Ross prepares vegetables Nov. 21 in anticipation of the Thanksgiving festivities here. She is assigned to the 36th Services Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo Jr.)

Coast Guard:

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BOSTON (Nov. 24, 2004)--Auxillarists Colleen Kloster and Jim Healey receive a gourmet Thanksgiving feast today at Boston Lighthouse prepared by Executive Chef, Daniel Bruce from the Boston Harbor Hotel. This is the 2nd year Chef Bruce has delivered Thanksgiving dinner to couple, he hopes to make it a tradition. USCG photo by PA3 Kelly Newlin Coast Guard photo by PA3 Kelly Newlin


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Sgt. 1st Class Preston Lee Slayton, Headquarters and Headquarters Company platoon sergeant and Alton, Va. native forms dough onto the tail of turkey food sculpture on Oct. 19. The turkey will be featured during the Thanksgiving feast at the Camp Liberty dining facility.

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Sgt. Amanda Bittner and Spc. Jennifer Roszynski, from the 450th Civil Affairs Battalion, U.S. Army Special Operations Command, 82nd Airborne Division, bring Thanksgiving cheer to children in an orphanage in Herat, Afghanistan. This photo appeared on

Yeah, the Army got two pictures. I'm a soldier, what's yer point?

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Nov 24, 2005 | Observations on things Military

Don't forget the "other" deployments this Thanksgiving

BTW - though I haven't seen much of it in the Press - this Thanksgiving we've still got troops deployed in Pakistan doing earthquake relief.

Hillclimbers go in search of 'H' in Pakistan November 22, 2005

CHAKLALA, Pakistan (Army News Service, Nov. 22, 2005) -- In addition to delivering relief supplies to remote Pakistan villages and towns, the mission of the 25th Infantry Division “Hillclimbers” includes evacuating casualties, and transporting displaced persons to camps where they will be better equipped to survive the harsh winter weather as it approaches.

Pilots leave Chaklala flight line at Quasim Airbase with a helicopter full of supplies and an approximate grid coordinate for their delivery destination from the Operations Center. Once in the air, they look for landing zones marked with a large, white letter "H." However, many of the landing zones marked with an "H" are not official and have been made by desperate people in desperate need of supplies.

Capt. Michael Sines, a pilot and the commander of Company B, 2nd Battalion, 14th Aviation Regiment, has flown relief missions almost every day since he arrived in Pakistan.

"Being a pilot, up front, we don't really get a chance to be a part of everything Hosting provided by FotoTimethat goes on when we land,” said Sines. “It's the crewmembers who really get to get up close and personal with the people we're helping. It's still a great feeling you get at the end of the day, though, knowing what we're accomplishing over here.”

Hillclimbers saving lives

Acting first sergeant for the Hillclimbers, Sgt. 1st Class Steven Wyllie, wants to make sure all his Soldiers get a chance to experience every aspect of the mission.

"From the mechanics who work at night when the birds land --to make sure they can fly the next day -- to the commo [communications] specialists who work all day at base camp, everyone plays a vital role here," he said. "I think people will get worn out if they stay at Quasim and don't get a chance to see the human side of the mission here."

After being "on the ground" in Pakistan, one Soldier’s words mirrored exactly what life was like for the pilots and crewmembers of the who were delivering relief supplies to victims of Pakistan's deadly Oct. 8 earthquake.

“Everything that you do over there, you're either saving someone's life, feeding children or making someone warm; that's the mindset you have to have," said the Combined Joint Task Force 76, Task Force Griffin, Command Sgt. Maj. Hector Marin as he spoke to a group of Soldiers from Hawaii, Kansas and Texas while they were staging in Bagram, Afghanistan.

5 tons of relief in 10 minutes

The 60-person team of Hillclimbers has become a part of the larger Task Force Quake, which is comprised of Soldiers from U.S. Army units in Hawaii, Kansas and Texas. Joining them are European Chinook counterparts from the British Army and the Royal Air Force hailing from Great Britain.

An amazing flurry of organized chaos takes place when the Hillclimbers come into view at each landing zone. For the most part, the American helicopters, which are marked by an American flag on either side, only land where there are Pakistani military soldiers already on the ground.

The "Pak Mil," as they are affectionately called by U.S. Soldiers, is playing a huge role in maintaining civil crowd control, so that approaching relief helicopters are not mobbed. As the crews and Pak Mil unload more than 10,000 pounds of relief supplies in less than 10 minutes, crowds of locals slowly emerge to watch with engrossed eyes. Tents, rice, sugar, blankets, and sometimes even baby food are unloaded.

One Pakistani man gave excited praise through his broken English for his family’s rescue by the Hillclimbers.

"Thank you, thank you, America, yes, thank you," he said as he shook hands with American Soldiers.

(Editor’s note: Spc. Mary Simms serves with 25th ID & USARHAW PAO.)

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U.S. Army crew chief Sgt. Micah Louis delivers humanitarian relief supplies from a U.S. CH-47D Chinook helicopter at Panjkot, Pakistan, Nov. 18, 2005. The Department of Defense is supporting the State Department by providing disaster relief supplies and services following the massive earthquake that struck Pakistan and parts of India and Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Barry Loo) (Released)

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Nov 24, 2005 | Observations on things Military
» Mudville Gazette links with: Dawn Patrol

Wartime Thanksgiving Proclamations

President's Thanksgiving Day 2005 Proclamation
By the President of the United States of America

November 19, 2005

Thanksgiving Day is a time to remember our many blessings and to celebrate the opportunities that freedom affords. Explorers and settlers arriving in this land often gave thanks for the extraordinary plenty they found. And today, we remain grateful to live in a country of liberty and abundance. We give thanks for the love of family and friends, and we ask God to continue to watch over America.

This Thanksgiving, we pray and express thanks for the men and women who work to keep America safe and secure. Members of our Armed Forces, State and local law enforcement, and first responders embody our Nation's highest ideals of courage and devotion to duty. Our country is grateful for their service and for the support and sacrifice of their families. We ask God's special blessings on those who have lost loved ones in the line of duty.

We also remember those affected by the destruction of natural disasters. Their tremendous determination to recover their lives exemplifies the American spirit, and we are grateful for those across our Nation who answered the cries of their neighbors in need and provided them with food, shelter, and a helping hand. We ask for continued strength and perseverance as we work to rebuild these communities and return hope to our citizens.

We give thanks to live in a country where freedom reigns, justice prevails, and hope prospers. We recognize that America is a better place when we answer the universal call to love a neighbor and help those in need. May God bless and guide the United States of America as we move forward.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 24, 2005, as a National Day of Thanksgiving. I encourage all Americans to gather together in their homes and places of worship with family, friends, and loved ones to reinforce the ties that bind us and give thanks for the freedoms and many blessings we enjoy.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighteenth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirtieth.


Now for a few other wartime proclamations:

By the President of the United States : a Proclamation

...In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict, while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union...

...I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.



By the President of the United States : a Proclamation

...The skies have been for a time darkened by the cloud of war, but as we were compelled to take up the sword in the cause of humanity we are permitted to rejoice that the conflict has been of brief duration and the losses we have had to mourn, though grievous and important, have been so few, considering the great results accomplished, as to inspire us with gratitude and praise to the Lord of Hosts...



By the President of the United States : a Proclamation

It has long been the honored custom of our people to turn in the fruitful autumn of the year in praise and thanksgiving to Almighty God for His many blessings and mercies to us as a nation. That custom we can follow now even in the midst of the tragedy of a world shaken by war and immeasurable disaster, in the midst of sorrow and great peril, because even amidst the darkness that has gathered about us we can see the great blessings God has bestowed upon us, blessings that are better than mere peace of mind and prosperity of enterprise.



By the President of the United States : a Proclamation

God’s help to us has been great in this year of march towards world-wide liberty. In brotherhood with warriors of other United Nations our gallant men have won victories, have freed our homes from fear, have made tyranny tremble, and have laid the foundation for freedom of life in a world which will be free. Our forges and hearths and mills have wrought well; and our weapons have not failed. Our farmers, Victory gardeners, and crop volunteers have gathered and stored a heavy harvest in the barns and bins and cellars. Our total food production for the year is the greatest in the annals of our country...



By the President of the United States : a Proclamation

As a Nation much blessed, we feel impelled at harvest time to follow the tradition handed down by our Pilgrim fathers of pausing from our labors for one day to render thanks to Almighty God for His bounties. Now that the year is drawing to a close, once again it is fitting that we incline our thoughts to His mercies and offer to Him our special prayers of gratitude... Especially are we grateful this year for the truce in battle-weary Korea, which gives to anxious men and women throughout the world the hope that there may now be an enduring peace.



By the President of the United States : a Proclamation

...Over the years, we have made Thanksgiving a unique national occasion. Thanking God for His goodness, we thank Him as well for the promise and achievement of America. Our reasons for gratitude are almost without number.... Much as we are grateful for these material and spiritual blessings, we are conscious, in this year, of special sorrows and disappointments. We are engaged in a painful conflict in Asia, which was not of our choosing, and in which we are involved in fidelity to a sacred promise to help a nation which has been the victim of aggression. We are proud of the spirit of our men who are risking their lives on Asian soil. We pray that their sacrifice will be redeemed in an honorable peace and the restoration of a land long torn by war...



By the President of the United States : a Proclamation

...As we continue the Thanksgiving tradition, a tradition cherished by every generation of Americans, we reflect in a special way on the blessings of the past year. When this Nation and its coalition partners took up arms in a last-resort effort to repel aggression in the Persian Gulf, we were spared the terrible consequences of a long and protracted struggle. Indeed, the millions of people who prayed for a quick end to the fighting saw those prayers answered with a swiftness and certainty that exceeded all expectations. During the past year, we have also witnessed the demise of communism and welcomed millions of courageous people into the community of free nations.



H/t to the Pilgrim Hall Museum for the text of the Presidential Proclamations, save the 2005 edition.

Thanksgiving - some Alternate views.

Ben Franklin's take:

The Real Story of the First Thanksgiving By Benjamin Franklin (1785)

“There is a tradition that in the planting of New England, the first settlers met with many difficulties and hardships, as is generally the case when a civiliz’d people attempt to establish themselves in a wilderness country. Being so piously dispos’d, they sought relief from heaven by laying their wants and distresses before the Lord in frequent set days of fasting and prayer. Constant meditation and discourse on these subjects kept their minds gloomy and discontented, and like the children of Israel there were many dispos’d to return to the Egypt which persecution had induc’d them to abandon.

“At length, when it was proposed in the Assembly to proclaim another fast, a farmer of plain sense rose and remark’d that the inconveniences they suffer’d, and concerning which they had so often weary’d heaven with their complaints, were not so great as they might have expected, and were diminishing every day as the colony strengthen’d; that the earth began to reward their labour and furnish liberally for their subsistence; that their seas and rivers were full of fish, the air sweet, the climate healthy, and above all, they were in the full enjoyment of liberty, civil and religious.

“He therefore thought that reflecting and conversing on these subjects would be more comfortable and lead more to make them contented with their situation; and that it would be more becoming the gratitude they ow’d to the divine being, if instead of a fast they should proclaim a thanksgiving. His advice was taken, and from that day to this, they have in every year observ’d circumstances of public felicity sufficient to furnish employment for a Thanksgiving Day, which is therefore constantly ordered and religiously observed.”

Then there's that whole "Who was first?" thing:

When on September 8, 1565 Pedro Menéndez de Avilés and his 800 Spanish settlers founded the settlement of St. Augustine in La Florida, the landing party celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving, and, afterward, Menéndez laid out a meal to which he invited as guests the native Seloy tribe who occupied the site.

The celebrant of the Mass was St. Augustine’s first pastor, Father Francisco Lopez de Mendoza Grajales, and the feast day in the church calendar was that of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. What exactly the Seloy natives thought of those strange liturgical proceedings we do not know, except that, in his personal chronicle, Father Lopez wrote that “the Indians imitated all they saw done.”

What was the meal that followed? Again we do not know. But, from our knowledge of what the Spaniards had on board their five ships, we can surmise that it was cocido, a stew made from salted pork and garbanzo beans, laced with garlic seasoning, and accompanied by hard sea biscuits and red wine. If it happened that the Seloy contributed to the meal from their own food stores, fresh or smoked, then the menu could have included as well: turkey,venison, and gopher tortoise; seafood such as mullet, drum, and sea catfish; maize (corn),beans and squash.

What is important historically about that liturgy and meal was stated by me in a 1965 book entitled The Cross in the Sand: “It was the first community act of religion and thanksgiving in the first permanent [European] settlement in the land.” The keyword in that sentence was “permanent.” Numerous thanksgivings for a safe voyage and landing had been made before in Florida, by such explorers as Juan Ponce de León, in 1513 and 1521, Pánfilo de Narváez in 1528, Hernando de Soto in 1529, Father Luis Cáncer de Barbastro in 1549, and Tristán de Luna in 1559. Indeed French Calvinists (Huguenots) who came to the St. Johns River with Jean Ribault in 1562 and René de Laudonnière in 1564 similarly offered prayers of thanksgiving for their safe arrivals. But all of those ventures, Catholic and Calvinist, failed to put down permanent roots.

St. Augustine’s ceremonies were important historically in that they took place in what would develop into a permanently occupied European city, North America’s first. They were important culturally as well in that the religious observance was accompanied by a communal meal, to which Spaniards and natives alike were invited. The thanksgiving at St. Augustine, celebrated 56 years before the Puritan-Pilgrim thanksgiving at Plymouth Plantation (Massachusetts), did not, however, become the origin of a national annual tradition, as Plymouth would. The reason is that, as the maxim holds, it is the victors who write the histories.

During the 18th and 19th centuries British forces won out over those of Spain and France for mastery over the continent. Thus, British observances, such as the annual reenactment of the Pilgrims’ harvest festival in 1621, became a national practice and holiday in the new United States, and over time obliterated knowledge of the prior Spanish experiences in Florida, particularly at St. Augustine. Indeed, as the Pilgrims’ legend grew, people of Anglo-American descent in New England came to believe that Plymouth was the first European settlement in the country and that no other Europeans were here before the arrival of the Mayflower– beliefs that are still widespread in that region.

In recent years, Jamestown, Virginia has enjoyed some success in persuading its Anglo-American cousins in Plymouth that it was founded in 1607, thirteen years before the Pilgrims’ arrival, and that there were regular ship schedules from England to Jamestown before the Mayflower’s voyage of 1620. Furthermore, Berkeley Plantation near Charles City, Virginia, has convincingly demonstrated that it conducted a thanksgiving ceremony on December 4, 1619, nearly two years before the festival at Plymouth. Thought to have been on Berkeley’s menu were oysters, shad, rockfish, and perch. Along the old Spanish borderlands provinces from Florida to California an occasional voice is heard asserting that this site or that was the first permanent Spanish settlement in the United States – a claim often made in Santa Fe, New Mexico which was founded in 1610 – or that it was the place where the first thanksgiving took place. An example of the latter claim appeared last year in the New York Times, which, while recounting the colonizing expedition of Juan de Oñate from Mexico City into what became New Mexico, stated that celebrations of Oñate’s party in 1598 “are considered [the Times did not say by whom] the United States’ first Thanksgiving.”

The historical fact remains that St. Augustine’s thanksgiving not only came earlier; it was the first to take place in a permanent settlement. The Ancient City deserves national notice for that distinction.

Perhaps most of New England is now willing to concede as much, though that was not the case in November 1985, when an Associated Press reporter built a short Thanksgiving Day story around my aforesaid sentence of 20 years before in The Cross in the Sand. When his story appeared in Boston and other papers, New England went into shock. WBZ-TV in Boston interviewed me live by satellite for its 6:00 p.m. regional news

The newsman told me that all of Massachusetts was “freaked out,” and that, as he spoke, “the Selectmen of Plymouth are holding an emergency meeting to contend with this new information that there were Spaniards in Florida before there were Englishmen in Massachusetts.”

I replied, “Fine. And you can tell them for me that, by the time the Pilgrims came to Plymouth, St. Augustine was up for urban renewal.”

The somewhat rattled chairman of the Selectmen was quoted as saying: “I hate to take the wind out of the professor’s sails, but there were no turkeys running around in Florida in the 1500s. But there may be a few loose ones down there now at the University of Florida.” So there! Within a few days of the tempest a reporter from the Boston Globe called to tell me that throughout Massachusetts I had become known as “The Grinch Who Stole Thanksgiving.” Well, let’s hope that everyone up north has settled down now. And let’s enjoy all our Thanksgivings whenever and wherever they first began.

Dr. Michael V. Gannon is a Distinguished Service Professor of History at the University of Florida. He has had a long interest in the early Spanish missions of Florida about which he has written extensively. Two of his books, Rebel Bishop (1964) and The Cross in the Sand (1965) treat of the early history of this state.

H/t Jim C and the Catholic Information Network.

Update: The Pilgrims fire back. From Suzy in the comments:

We know the Spanish were the first Europeans (other than the Vikings) to establish a presence in the New World, but let's not try to change history folks--the St. Augustine thanksgiving took place in Spanish territory. Any Viking thanksgivings (assuming they ever happened) took place in what is now Canada. As for Jamestown's thanksgiving, that was probably a bunch of lonely guys getting drunk (and probably into a brawl afterwards). As a Mayflower decendant, I am re-claiming dibs on the first "American" Thanksgiving. Sure people have given "thanks" for as long as people have been people, but the basis of our celebration has and is the Plymouth Colony's Thanksgiving, which was later promoted by Ben Franklin and then later decreed a National Holiday by Abe Lincoln (right after the Civil War ended). If you want to celebrate a "St. Augustine thanksgiving," knock yourself out with a salt pork stew in September--hey why your at it go celebrate a "Viking" and "Jamestown" thanksgiving too, but in November we are re-enacting the Pilgrim's Thanksgiving. Get over it.

As a Jamestown descendent, my response is, "Yeah? So? What's yer point?"

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Nov 24, 2005 | Historical Stuff
» tdaxp links with: Thanksgiving
» Sierra Faith links with: Early Thanksgivings

November 23, 2005

Little help for a reader.

I got an email this morning from Jon, who asks for help identifying this gun from the Battleship Cove, Fall River, Massachusetts, museum. I believe I know what it is, I thought I'd just throw it out here in case someone else would like to try to figure it out. I'll narrow it down for you - US Navy or US Army Coast Defense, caliber is in the 3.5-6 inch range.

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The same view, higher res.

Second view, from the rear (breech construction makes a difference).

I suppose a loyal reader in the same area code as Battleship Cove *could* just call and ask... or visit!

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Nov 23, 2005 | Artillery

A superb week, indeed

The 1-150th General Support Aviation Battalion is back from Iraq.

My folks.

I've avoided posting about them, partly due to OPSEC and partly from the desire to avoid drawing Trouble's attention to them--they were pretty active in those big multi-unit set-tos in the north and they lucked out, except for a crash that crew and passengers limped away from.

And now everybody is back. Alive and well.

Thank you, Sky Six...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by CW4BillT on Nov 23, 2005 | Global War on Terror (GWOT)

As promised...

...something for the soul. Especially if you're really soothed by things that go boom when they launch things that go boom...

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If you look really, really closely at the barrel below the equilibrator housing, you can see where the *other* guy's boom gouged some chunks, back in the day.

Or, you can save your eyesight and just click here for the hi-res. Ummm, if you're on dialup, you'll have time to go brew a cuppa.

And I just *know* one of the grognards is gonna count the lands and grooves and then proudly announce that the paint job *wasn't* originally haze grey...

Hmmmmm? What's that? Nope, this one isn't the gun pr0n pic. I'm saving that one for later. Bear in mind what Captain JMH says: "Context is everything."

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by CW4BillT on Nov 23, 2005 | Artillery

November 22, 2005

WP in Fallujah, let's end this...

Just got this note from Bob at Confederate Yankee.

There is a thread up over at Protein Wisdom where a poster claiming to be a Vietnam veteran states:

Technically, WP and smoke rounds (HC) are classified as chemical weapons.

Is that true? [Armorer, only in that they are classified as obscurants - whose primary purpose is *not* attack of personnel]

He further states that:

Note also that smoke generators are operated by the Chemical Corps. [Yep. Not relevant, however. Chemical smoke isn't a weapon, either, though you shouldn't breathe anything with that particulate load for long times or in high concentrations...]

Is that true, and if so, is that relevant to the discussion of artillery-deployed WP? [Nope]

Thank you for any clarification you can provide. [You're welcome]



Let's answer the WP as chemical weapon question, shall we?

I believe the relevant international agreement is the "Convention On Prohibitions Or Restrictions On The Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Excessively Injurious Or To Have Indiscriminate Effects"


The specific wording of interest is:

(b) Incendiary weapons do not include:

(i) Munitions which may have incidental incendiary effects, such as illuminants, tracers, smoke or signalling systems;

(ii) Munitions designed to combine penetration, blast or fragmentation effects with an additional incendiary effect, such as armour-piercing projectiles, fragmentation shells, explosive bombs and similar combined-effects munitions in which the incendiary effect is not specifically designed to cause burn injury to persons, but to be used against military objectives, such as armoured vehicles, aircraft and installations or facilities.

Emphasis mine.

The doctrinal use of White Phosphorus in the United States military is as an obscurant, a signal/marker, or to start fires where fires are militarily useful, such as ammo dumps, weapons caches, motor pools, etc.

In other words - exactly as it was used in Fallujah, and within the confines of the UN Convention on the subject.

As a career artilleryman and Joint Targeteer, I'll vouch that in our training on the subject and the written doctrine on the subject, the purposes to which you apply WP are those within the confines of the convention.

It was easy to sign on to the convention, we didn't have to make any changes. And WP is a crappy AP weapon, anyway. If I can shoot you with that, it would be far better to shoot you with HE or DPICM.

Can we MoveOn, please?

Others pointlessly pricking Moulitsas:

My Pet Jawa, John Cole, Confederate Yankee, The Commissar, Dread Pundit Bluto, Wunder Kraut, Caedorioa, Dean Esmay, INDC Journal

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Nov 22, 2005 | Global War on Terror (GWOT)
» The Jawa Report links with: Kos and the Left Betray Our Troops and Nation
» The Middle Ground links with: Lies, Damn Lies and Supporting the Troops
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Eminently Snerkable.

From an email - I don't believe it's real (but I'd love to know if it *is*) but it's funny because it's plausible at all levels... Gotta admit, it's probably *not* good from a "Hearts and Minds" perspective, but the more bloody minded of you will castigate me for that - just like I got a raspberry for giving CNN the benefit of the doubt.

Reportedly, a Navy Commanding Officer sent this. But probably not.

To: All Commands
Subject: Inappropriate T-Shirts
Ref: ComMidEastFor Inst 16134//24 K

1. All commanders promulgate upon receipt.

2. The following T-shirts are no longer to be worn on or off base by any military or civilian personnel serving in the Middle East:

"Eat Pork Or Die" [both English and Arabic versions]

"Shrine Busters" [Various. Show burning minarets or bomb/artillery shells impacting Islamic shrines. Some with unit logos.]

"Napalm, Sticks Like Crazy" [Both English and Arabic versions]

"Goat - it isn't just for breakfast any more." [Both English and Arabic versions]

"The road to Paradise begins with me." [Mostly Arabic versions but some in English. Some show sniper scope cross-hairs]

"Guns don't kill people. I kill people." [Both Arabic and English versions]

"Pork. The other white meat." [Arabic version]

"Infidel" [English, Arabic and other coalition force languages.]

3. The above T-shirts are to be removed from Post Exchanges upon receipt of this directive.

4. The following signs are to be removed upon receipt of this message:

"Islamic Religious Services Will Be Held at the Firing Range At 0800 Daily."

"Do we really need 'smart bombs' to drop on these dumb bastards?"

5. All commands are instructed to implement sensitivity training upon receipt.

I see the Marines are ahead of the game here - which makes sense, given the Naval source... and it's spreading like wildfire through the shooting community. Hey, we gotta pile on!

And then again, there's this thread at, mebbe there is a kernel (or more likely, Colonel-equivalent) in it.

H/t, Rich B.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Nov 22, 2005 | Global War on Terror (GWOT)
» Pirates! Man Your Women! links with: We didn’t have this censorship in WWII

November 21, 2005

Ah, the memories!

Pictures like this kick in the reflexive trips down memory lane... I can almost smell the JP8. And the smell of diesel exhaust on cold-enough-to-freeze-nosehair mornings will always carry me back to Maneuver Rights ARTEPS... those who know, know.

Hosting provided by FotoTime

11/14/05 - U.S. Marine Corps 2nd Lt. Jim A. Neville of Delta Company, 2nd Tank Battalion, sits on the top of an M1A1 Main Battle Tank during an early morning sunrise in Batra, Iraq, Nov. 14, 2005. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Robert R. Attebury)

There are very few pictures of The Armorer As Lieutenant, as he was usually Hosting provided by FotoTimebehind the camera, and most of the pictures he took during the era were lost in moves (or one very bad bout of temper). But I did find this website which, while it's the 11th ACR, could just as well have been 1/46 Infantry, 2/81 Armor, or 1/22 FA, units where the Armorer spent his Lieutenancy. Same era. Ah, Wildflecken!

The only difference between this M113 and the Armorers FIST M113 is mine would have 4 antennae on it.

Turning to other topics, and recycling this posting surface...

Musings from those who don't drink the Kool-Aid... Rino-Sightings at Searchlight Crusade.

And finally (for now, anyway) - Carnival of the Recipes #66 is up at Rocket Jones. H/t, Denizenne Puncitilious.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Nov 21, 2005 | Observations on things Military

November 20, 2005

Serious Timewaster

Especially if you'd like to spend some time getting some practice with sight pictures, and setting sights for competition weapons.

I lost an hour of my life here so far... and will no doubt lose more.

Euro Firearm Simulator.

Heh. Might be a way to work this into a Cyber-shoot...

Work safe for just about everybody but Ry.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Nov 20, 2005 | Gun Rights | Pistols | Rifles

Balancing the Karmic budget

Just so everyone knows I'm "fair and balanced" here's a successful Navy weplaunch.

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Pacific Ocean (Nov. 17, 2005) - A Standard Missile Three (SM-3) is launched from the vertical launch system (VLS) aboard the Pearl Harbor based Aegis cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70), during a joint Missile Defense Agency, U.S. Navy ballistic missile flight test. Minutes later, the SM-3 intercepted a separating ballistic missile threat target, launched form the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii. The test was the sixth intercept, in seven flight tests, by the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense, the maritime component of the "Hit to Kill" Ballistic Missile Defense System, being developed by the Missile Defense Agency. All previous Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense flight test were against unitary (non-separating) targets. U.S. Navy photo

In related news - another nation, the Phillipines, outsources primary Defense activities to the United States. Hey, it's worked for the Euros, and allowed them to finance their crumbling welfare states. Well, mebbe they should have spent the money in other ways... like economic infrastructure and such.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Nov 20, 2005 | Observations on things Military
» Alphecca links with: Around Town...