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January 27, 2007

H&I* Fires, 27 JAN 2007

Open post for those with something to share, updated through the day. New, complete posts come in below this one. Note: If trackbacking, please acknowledge this post in your post. That's only polite. [Hey - trackbacks work again!]

You're advertising here, we should get an ad at your place...

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So, how do you make a snake climb a tree? You hire the Killer Rabbit from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, of course. Though here he's all cammied up.

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40 years ago today, the Moon was paid for, in blood and fire.

Today in 1967, NASA tested it's mettle. Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee died in flames (every pilot's nightmare) in the capsule fire during the checkout of the Apollo 1 spacecraft. 10 missions later, Neil Armstrong stepped from the LEM to the Moon. Yes, doubters. I believe that, too.

Click the picture to see the names of those who have died in the US space program.

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This is one tough dude. H/t, Toluca Nole

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How can we refuse?

Greetings,

It's been a while since I had anything worthwhile to recommend you blog about, but this is a project I just got involved in and I'm really enthusiastic about it.

In the same vein as AdoptASniper.org, Marine Staff Sgt. Michael Mendoza has designed several t-shirts that he's selling to benefit his Marine Sniper Platoon back in Iraq.

He was injured when a grenade landed next to him and his 5 buddies in a sniper nest and severely injured him, but his quick thinking surely saved his teammates. While he was in the hospital, he came up with the idea of selling these great T-Shirts. Have a look!

We'd really appreciate a mention on your blog, and, of course, if you'd like to purchase and t-shirts we'd be very grateful. I'm hosting and maintaining his site for free as this is a truly worth
cause.

Here's the site: http://www.infidelshirts.com/

And here are some news mentions about Sgt. Mendoza:

http://cbs2chicago.com/topstories/local_story_309220926.html
http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=local&id=4953138

Jordan Golson

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Nor surprisingly, Tim Blair did Australia Day *much better* than we did... -the Armorer

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Oh good golly. When is anyone going to show some consideration for Christian feelings? Even China is essentially afraid of offending Muslims? Why the flipping flip flop don't we *all* just tell 'em to get over it? Good lord. Increasingly, I'm getting the feeling that the way to get respect is to do what? Start killing people in the name of being religiously offended. *Then* people suddenly get all accomodating. Argghhh!!! -the Armorer

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CAPT H provides some links detailing Russian losses in the Space Race.

The Soviet Burn victim, Valentin Bondarenko (and some other interesting info, as well).

For a history of all the losses in mankind's reaching for the stars, click here.

And, as CAPT H put it, the best rumour [sic] site. -the Armorer

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In an exclusive interview with Military.com, former Navy Petty Officer and Playboy playmate Sherry Lynne White recommends that the military develop a policy that specifically provides nude modeling guidelines to servicemembers.

Maybe it's just me, but I can think of some other items that might take precedence... -- BillT

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by Denizens on Jan 27, 2007 | General Commentary

Ohhh-TAY!

Here's the tank that's been giving everybody conniptions.

Hi, Sanger! I'm a tank!

Sanger finally found the thing and popped a bunch of links in, but technically didn't solve the whatziss 'cuz he never mentioned The Name.

From Rod Thorson: Looks something like one of the Marmon-Herrington USMC eval tanks, but some details are puzzling.

That's because it *is* a Marmon-Herrington. A Marmon-Herrington CTMS 1TBI, to be precise. The reason Rod's puzzled is because M-H produced four variants on the same piece of crap hull:

--CTMS 1TBI had a three-man crew and was armed with a 37 mm gun and two or three M1919 .30 caliber machineguns.

--MTLS 1GI4 had a four man crew and was armed with two 37 mm guns and four machineguns, probably on the theory that if the first popgun didn't stop the enemy, the second would. Yeah...

--CTLS 4TA(Y) and CTLS 4TAC had two-man crews and were armed solely with two or three machine-guns. 4TA(Y) had its turret offset to the left, the 4TAC had it offset to the right. My theory is that there was a fold in the blueprint that got unfolded during manufacture.

The M-H series were originally designed and manufactured for export to the Dutch East Indies. However, after the first 28 of a planned run of six hundred -- man, they *had* to have been cheap -- were delivered, Japan decided that the Greater Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere (aka Everything East of the Suez Canal and West of Whidbey Island) needed some oil reserves to round out the portfolio and the subsequent invasion of the East Indies made additional tank deliveries somewhat problematic. Seven CTLS 4TA(Y)s ultimately made it into combat, halting the Japanese onslaught for about a half an hour -- it took that long for them to stop laughing.

The US Army grabbed most of the M-Hs which were stranded stateside and used them for driver training, while the Marines actually attempted to use them during a couple of combined-arms exercises. The exercise participants concluded the M-H would be more useful as turreted pillboxes than combat vehicles.

A scad of them were exported to Guatemala, which still hasn't forgiven us.

Anyway, just to prove that I didn't PhotoShop the beast, I stuck Sanger's links (unbollixed) and some newspaper clippings in Flash Traffic...

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by CW4BillT on Jan 27, 2007 | General Militaria

Okay, let's get back to basics.

First - the answer to the cockpit whatzis was... Yak 3. Congrats to Gwedd and HomeFrontSix(!).

Turn yourselves loose on this one.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by John on Jan 27, 2007 | Gun Pr0n - A Naughty Expose' of the fiddly bits

What happens to Cats who retire from the stage...

Macavity loses it and goes rogue

H/t, Bad Cat Robot.

[Waving] Hiya Cornerites! Welcome to where a couple of Jonah's military guys hang out.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by John on Jan 27, 2007 | I think it's funny!

January 26, 2007

H&I* Fires, 26 JAN 2007

Open post for those with something to share, updated through the day. New, complete posts come in below this one. Note: If trackbacking, please acknowledge this post in your post. That's only polite. [Hey - trackbacks work again!]

You're advertising here, we should get an ad at your place...

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Bad Cat Robot - check your voicemail:

WEAPONS OF THE WORLD: Ray Gun Factory Opens January 26, 2007: It had to happen eventually. The American Northrop Grumman Corporation has just opened the first ray-gun factory. Officially, the plant will build high-energy, solid-state lasers and figure out how to install them in military vehicles. The first weapon being produced is the JHPSSL (Joint High-Power Solid State Laser), a 100 kW solid-state laser. The JHPSSL is to be mounted on armored vehicles and in aircraft. JHPSSL is basically an anti-aircraft and anti-missile system. It has already demonstrated that it can destroy artillery and mortar shells, as well as rockets and cruise missiles. Israel is interested in using JHPSSL as part of its rocket defense system. Ray guns have long been a staple of science fiction, and when the first lasers appeared in the 1950s, science fiction writers just assumed that many of their ray guns were "lasers." All this is not quite science fiction any more, mainly because it will take another decade or so before you have a hand held laser.

H/t, Strategy Page.

They also have some analysis of Israeli Merkava losses in the last fighting. Interesting differences from what I've seen elsewhere. -the Armorer

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Nuclear sting operation in Georgia(the country, not the state) stops sale of weapon grade uranium.

The Iraqi version of the ‘General’s Revolt’ is being played out.

Apparently, the lack of political will to see an invasion all the way to victory isn’t just an American problem. It’s even happening in Africa.

Something for Cliff to sink his teeth into: Reservist nurse fired for doing her job.
(ht/Malkin)
--ry(I'm late! I'm late!)
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A Spanish court has issued arrest warrants for three soldiers involved in the death of a Spanish journalist at the Hotel Palestine during the Battle of Baghdad. Jules Crittenden has more. FWIW, I'm with Jules.

In other legal news...

101st Airborne soldier sentenced to 18 years for murdering 3 detainees in Iraq

By Ryan Lenz
Associated Press

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. — A 101st Airborne Division soldier was sentenced yesterday to 18 years in prison after pleading guilty to murdering three detainees during a raid on a suspected al-Qaida compound last year in Iraq.

Spc. William B. Hunsaker, 24, pleaded guilty to murder, attempted murder and obstruction of justice. Under a plea agreement, Hunsaker's rank will be reduced to private, his pay will be forfeited and he will be dishonorably discharged.

Military judge Col. Theodore Dixon also imposed a life sentence with parole that would be implemented if Hunsaker violates the terms of his plea agreement, which requires him to cooperate with prosecutors bringing cases against other soldiers in the crime.

In testimony during his court-martial, Hunsaker said he took "careful aim" at the detainees and tried to make it as "professional" as possible by shooting them in the chest and head. He also said he knew it was illegal but felt he was doing a greater good by killing detainees who might have been al-Qaida agents in Iraq.

"In his mind, he believed it was a lesser evil for a greater good," said defense attorney Michael Waddington.

Good. Welcome to my town, Soon-to-be-Inmate Hunsaker. You can read the rest here. -the Armorer

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"You weep with them; you hug them; you cry with them. Despite their grief, most of them want to go right back out on the line. They are the most amazing young men. I'm proud to be with them." Army Chaplain Chuck Popov, of Milford, Ohio, is with the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade in Iraq.
They've suffered 30 casualties in recent months, including 5 deaths on the December 6, 2006: Spc. Yari Mokri of Pflugerville, TX; Spc. Joshua Madden of Sibley, LA; Pfc Travis Krege of Cheektowaga, NY; Spc. Jason Huffman of Conover, NC; Sgt. Jesse Castro of Chalan Pago, Guam. Many, many thanks to Chaplain Popov and those who serve both God and Country. ~AFSis

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This isn't war:

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A bomb killed 15 people and wounded 55 in the second attack in as many months on Baghdad's much-loved Friday morning pet market and a suicide bomber in Mosul killed seven at a Shi'ite mosque, police sources said.

This is just venal killing for killing's sake. If there is honor in this - I want no part, period, in the philosophy that embraces this as a just act worthy of entry into paradise. Farking splodeydope a$$holes. Read more here.

PM Maliki said to Parliament yesterday: "There will be no safe haven -- no school, no home, no mosque ... They will all be raided if they are turned into a launchpad for terrorism, even the headquarters of political parties."

Actions, sir. Actions. -the Armorer

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Right Wing News posts a poll of right-of-center bloggers on Republican candidates for President. I would say we bloggers haven't forgiven John McCain for his targeting of us in his campaign finance law (may the Supremes overturn those provisions in this next go-round.).

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The AP is reporting that the 5 US Soldiers killed in the attack on the Karbala complex last Saturday were NOT all killed in the meeting room, as previously reported. Now they're saying that only 1 was killed inside the complex; the other 4 were abducted, driven away from the complex, and then either killed or left to die up to 25 miles away.
This is *SO* messed up. Fury is building... someone put out the fire. QUICK. ~AFSis

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by Denizens on Jan 26, 2007 | General Commentary
Mitch Lewis links with: Fighting and Dying for Nothing
Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator links with: Bush to Propose Reducing Gasoline Consumption

The Military Channel is seeking your videos.

We're happy to help publicize.

One word, though, boys and girls.

OPSEC. Don't give away buy the farm just to be on TV.

The Military Channel is seeking personal videos from members of the U.S. Military to let soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines tell their story directly to viewers. Real-life moments captured on film by service members will be broadcast on the Military Channel as part of a new on-air programming initiative. Servicemen and women anywhere in the world who brought a camcorder with them on a recent deployment, or those who currently have a camera with them on the frontlines, can submit their videos directly to the Military Channel.

Additional information is available from a recent DOD release: http://www.defenselink.mil/News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=2762

As well as a recent piece that aired on the Pentagon Channel:
http://www.media-file.net/discovery/militarychannel/

Personal videos can be submitted online at www.mywardiary.com, or mailed to the address below. Or email mywardiary@discovery.com for more information.

Mailing Address

MILITARY VIDEOS
Discovery Productions
8045 Kennett Street
Silver Spring , MD 20910

The Military Channel is owned and operated by Discovery Communications, Inc. More information about Discovery and its businesses can be found at www.discovery.com.


Alright, alright. We *have* been neglecting the airplane grognards.

You guys can play with this one.

The gunsight might be a clue.  Mebbe.  I dunno.  This could be a red herring for all you know.  Or not.  Where's Sanger?  Sanger - this is an airplane cockpit.  Just so you could get started on the right foot.  Or the left.  Whichever.

In what aircraft is this the pilot's office?

You guys usually get this in about 15 minutes. Let's see how many still hang out around here.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by John on Jan 26, 2007 | Aircraft

To our Australian fans...

Happy Australia Day! As far as I know, our Australian fans are... two - SezaGeoff and Trias, but mebbe more will come out of hiding today.

Australia Day

We'd have a pic of the Aussie Red Ensign flying over the Castle... but that flag is in the mail, literally. (However, Murray, the Kiwi flag - bloooooooooo - *is* here.)

Australia Day commemorates the arrival in Sydney Cove, Australia of the First Fleet, January 26, 1788.

MAY 1787 : DEPARTURE: "..AT 4 AM FIRED GUN AND MADE THE SIGNAL TO WEIGH, WEIGH'D AND MADE SAIL, IN COMPANY WITH THE HYAENA FRIGATE, SUPPLY ARMED TENDER, SIX TRANSPORTS AND THREE STORE SHIPS, AT 9 FIRED A GUN AND MADE THE SIGN'L FOR THE CONVOY TO MAKE MORE SAIL."

So records the logbook of HMS Sirius, the flagship of the fleet, under the command of Captain Arthur Philip. The fleet transported the first convicts that give Australia it's charm today... 8^).

Hey, it's not like *we* didn't get our share... Georgia, anyone?

Anyway - click the link below for the official Aussie site. Geoff, Trias, anyone - if you've got Aussie stuff you're proud of or think we 'Muricans should know more about - drop links in the comments!

Australia Day

Australia currently has circa 1400 troops in Iraq as a part of Operation Catalyst, and 400 troops in Afghanistan as a part of Operation Slipper.

Australia Day celebrations at Headquarters Joint Task Force 633 in Baghdad (L-R): Lieutenant Commander Petrus Jonker, Lieutenant Timonthy Minion, Corporal Krissy Dalton, Flight Lieutenant Glenda Preston, Lieutenant Kristen Leydon, Squadron Leader Tharron Kingston-Lee, Corporal Peter Herbert and Leading Aircraftman Aaron Beavington. Photo courtesy the Australian MoD.

Australia Day celebrations at Headquarters Joint Task Force 633 in Baghdad (L-R): Lieutenant Commander Petrus Jonker, Lieutenant Timonthy Minion, Corporal Krissy Dalton, Flight Lieutenant Glenda Preston, Lieutenant Kristen Leydon, Squadron Leader Tharron Kingston-Lee, Corporal Peter Herbert and Leading Aircraftman Aaron Beavington. Photo courtesy the Australian MoD.

I gotta admit, I'm jealous of the commander of that bunch. He has a bona-fide Minion! How cool is that?

20070110adf8502859_0231 Sapper Beau Best stands guard as Australian, Dutch and Afghan forces conduct a 'shurah' or meeting with local leaders. The meeting is to discuss the needs of the village and what the Reconstruction Task Force can do to improve their lives. Photo courtesy the Australian MoD.

Castle Denizen (and Aussie) Trias has his own post up on the subject right here.

Our Canadian Brothers at The Torch honor Diggers today, too.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by John on Jan 26, 2007 | Historical Stuff
Soccer Dad links with: If .. you must 01/28/07

ANOTHER FIRST!!

Remember when I predicted we'd be Number 1 in Google for "T-128 Anti-Tank Gun"?

S-C-O-O-O-O-R-R-R-E!

So much for self-aggrandizement. Back to keeping John flummoxed your online source for winning at "Trivial Pursuit 2007." Yesterday's Whatziss guesses were close (as in, Screw/Auger, Mud, 1 each), but the stogie stays in the wrapper. You drill a hole with an auger and then remove it to insert something.

Hi! I'm a screw!

In this case, the thing stays put. It's a screw anchor for a Scruple Lighthouse.

Hi! I'm a screw!

Oooops. Make that "Screw Pile" Lighthouse. Dang quadrifocals...

Oh-kayyy, so far the Great Rolling Whatziss Contest has served to amuse the artillerists and the yachting crowd (Hiya, Lex!), so I guess this one will be for the 50-ton self-propelled radio grognards.

*sigh*

Poor Sanger McGee's going all insomniacal because he can't figure out what this rattletrap is.

Hi, Sanger! I'm a tank!

When I first saw it parked on the pad out back, I thought, "Holy Riveted Armor!" I knew what it was because I'd seen an article about it in Playboy one of the flash-in-the-pan Soldier of Fortune clones that proliferated in the 1980s. Never dreamed any of 'em had escaped the scrap heap. This one almost didn't -- it was rescued by a tank collector (hey, if you've got more money than you know what to do with, you can collect *any*thing -- take a look at the waterfront in Philly or Sandy Egg-O sometime and see what the Navy's got pack-ratted).

I think the Museum swapped a truckload of main gun rounds for his M48A5 some spare parts for his heavy metal melange to get the beast, but I wouldn't swear to it. I'm in an expansive mood, so here's another view for you--

Hi, Sanger! I'm *still* a tank!

-- and, just to help Sanger off to the Land of Nod, here's a closeup...

Use exact change

Heh...UPDATE: While I was busily cobbling this, Sanger was busily slapping links into the comments for yesterday's Whatziss. He gets credit for industry, but never mentioned the nomenclature of this thing! And to keep the rest of yez honest, I fiddled his links. Saved the originals for later, cuz they're cool, but fiddled 'em for now...


Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by CW4BillT on Jan 26, 2007 | Historical Stuff

January 25, 2007

H&I* Fires, 25 JAN 2007

Open post for those with something to share, updated through the day. New, complete posts come in below this one. Note: If trackbacking, please acknowledge this post in your post. That's only polite. [Hey - trackbacks work again!]

You're advertising here, we should get an ad at your place...

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Dangit, Joe. On the flip side, it didn't slow down Pope John Paul II that much. Fuzzybear Lioness agrees. I can't imagine it's going to slow you down that much. But I'm pretty sure you have a *much* better attitude than I would have at this point. -the Armorer

[FbL sez: "Joe" (aka Bloodspite) requires registration to comment at his site, but he's a Castle regular and will surely see any comments you leave here... UPDATE: Bloodspite replies.]

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Fuzzybear Lioness on the AP equivalent of "Eats shoots and leaves." vice "Eats, Shoots, and leaves." Word choice and punctuation matter. Headlines are written to suck you in to read the story - but you still shouldn't be quite this bad... of course, it's not like Matt Drudge doesn't do the same thing... -the Armorer

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Warning to persons of a senstive nature - combat footage. Not gory or explicit, but not actors who got up and went to the bar for a beer after it, either.

Gun camera footage of the Brits riding the Apaches to the rescue of a fallen comrade. Heh. That turns the myth upside down, doesn't it? The Cav riding to the rescue - now we ride Apaches to the rescue. Well, the Brits did, and I have no doubt we would.

Then there's this bit - I don't know when it was taken, but it certainly shows how it sucks to not have control of the air.

Pay close attention here - there are two guys with serious hearing problems at the end of this clip.

We've linked this before - but when a regular reader like Randy K sends us the link ... it means it's been too long since we linked it last. Boys with Armorer-like Toys. -the Armorer

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Jules Crittenden encourages John Kerry to run. Snerk.

And... as reader Toluca Nole points out, it's hard to find good help today, if you're an old-time Neo-Nazi.* -the Armorer

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Oh - and congrats to Don H. for being first with assertion that the "what the heck" whatziss I put up yesterday was a 1950's era IBM 5 megabyte hard drive. The source I have says a RAMAC 301, but since I have no knowledge outside that - I'm not going to argue with Don's floating the 601... 5 megs... -the Armorer

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Denizenne Barb points us to a great story about a soldier and his football hero (reader-friendly version here). - FbL

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If you have a few spare bucks (or excess birthday cards and some postage to Canada) Damian asks that you consider this little blog-led effort - Birthday Cards for Shane, being honchoed by Andrew at Bound By Gravity. C'mon, it's a pittance of time, to coin a phrase. -the Armorer

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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by Denizens on Jan 25, 2007 | General Commentary
Soldiers' Angels New York links with: 6 Degrees

Contractors in Iraq, part deux.

Remember this discussion with Cliff from OneUtah? The contractor discussion?

There's an OpEd in today's LA Times that decries the situation, and pretty much, I'm guessing, from a perspective that would match Cliff's. [As always, you should read the whole thing, and not just the quotes I've chosen. You view might differ from mine if you have the whole context]

From Iraq and Afghanistan to the hurricane-ravaged streets of New Orleans to meetings with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger about responding to disasters in California, Blackwater now envisions itself as the FedEx of defense and homeland security operations. Such power in the hands of one company, run by a neo-crusader bankroller of the president, embodies the "military-industrial complex" President Eisenhower warned against in 1961.

Further privatizing the country's war machine — or inventing new back doors for military expansion with fancy names like the Civilian Reserve Corps — will represent a devastating blow to the future of American democracy.

As I mentioned in my piece on the subject, I've got a friend who currently works for Blackwater - in Iraq - doing *exactly* what the recently killed Blackwater employees were doing, providing diplomatic security.

This bit here gets to the heart, I think, of what Cliff was after:

Already, private contractors constitute the second-largest "force" in Iraq. At last count, there were about 100,000 contractors in Iraq, of which 48,000 work as private soldiers, according to a Government Accountability Office report. These soldiers have operated with almost no oversight or effective legal constraints and are an undeclared expansion of the scope of the occupation. Many of these contractors make up to $1,000 a day, far more than active-duty soldiers. What's more, these forces are politically expedient, as contractor deaths go uncounted in the official toll.

The president's proposed Civilian Reserve Corps was not his idea alone. A privatized version of it was floated two years ago by Erik Prince, the secretive, mega-millionaire, conservative owner of Blackwater USA and a man who for years has served as the Pied Piper of a campaign to repackage mercenaries as legitimate forces. In early 2005, Prince — a major bankroller of the president and his allies — pitched the idea at a military conference of a "contractor brigade" to supplement the official military. "There's consternation in the [Pentagon] about increasing the permanent size of the Army," Prince declared. Officials "want to add 30,000 people, and they talked about costs of anywhere from $3.6 billion to $4 billion to do that. Well, by my math, that comes out to about $135,000 per soldier." He added: "We could do it certainly cheaper."

There is some truth here. We need to do a much better job of formulating policy and governance for contractors - especially armed ones - in the employ of the United States. And they need to have better oversight. Good criticisms all.

However, I think the author of this piece, Jeremy Scahill (who has just published a book on Blackwater) is reaching a bit when conflating the Civilian Reserve Corps into his aversion for Blackwater.

The CRC as proposed by the President would not be contractors to my understanding. They would be more akin to the already-extant FEMA reserve system, where people make themselves available on-demand to FEMA to provide a ramp-up for major disasters, without requiring a large scale increase in full-time personnel who would otherwise be under-employed but still consuming tax dollars. The State Department and the Agency for International Development actually have a similar problem when confronted with a major expansion requirement such as levied by Iraq and Afghanistan, but which will not translate into a career-length Full Time Equivalent employee. But they would be a federal employee when called to serve.

I would think the progressive side of the aisle would be supportive of this - as it would actually reduce the reliance on contractors like me who otherwise often end up providing these services, in addition to the paramilitary services provided by firms like Blackwater. Additionally, they would be composed of subject matter experts as well as retired government employees, leveraging a greater experience base while at the same time lowering costs.

There wasn't anything in the CRC proposal as I read it that would incorporate the paramilitary functions. One of the complaints about the response to Katrina and similar disasters is that there is an insufficiency of government personnel available for the response required - and the progressive side of the aisle gets grumpy when contractors fill in - I would think this is exactly what someone like Mr. Scahill would prefer to the current system - unless the point is to inflate the federal bureaucracy with scads of under-employed people?

To recap: I agree, and have said so before, that the oversight of contracting in Iraq has been poorly handled, from concept through execution.

The CRC represents a way to reduce the reliance on contractors overall (though I don't believe it envisions the paramilitary aspect of it) and creates a cadre of part-time experts available for both national and international needs.

Rather than reject it out of hand, I suggest they involve themselves in the study and shaping of the construct.

A similar thing is happening at the state level. Kansas is setting up Incident Management Teams, which are comprised of people *not* already involved in emergency preparedness and response jobs, to provide a cadre of people available locally to augment local EOCs when they are overwhelmed by an emergency. They are volunteer positions, with the volunteer having to provide proof that his employer is supportive, and will in fact support by allowing the employee sufficient time to train, and help fund that if needed.

Yes, I am applying. I've been a federal emergency response planner, and I have skills and experience to offer here. And my employer is being supportive of my effort. But Mr. Scahill would rather I not, I guess. Or, more likely, Mr. Scahill's antipathy to Blackwater is clouding his judgement on the Civilian Reserve Corps idea.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by John on Jan 25, 2007 | Global War on Terror (GWOT)
The Thunder Run links with: Web Reconnaissance for 01/25/2007

Sergeant Ian Anderson

Soldier's Angel Kansas City and Denizenne Kat sends regarding the pending funeral for Sergeant Ian Anderson, of Prairie Village, Kansas:

Ian and Suzanne Anderson, Thanksgiving 2007. Photo courtesy of the family
Ian and Suzanne Anderson (Courtesy of the family)

Angels,

Below is the Patriot Guard Rider information for the services of fallen soldier Sgt. Ian Anderson. If you are able to assist with flags please let the PGR people know you are in SA when you get there.

Included the address information for angel Sarah Glasebrook who is an angel to Sgt. Anderson's wife who was deployed with him in Iraq. She is happy to pass on any condolence
cards or emails to the Anderson family. [Armorer's note: If you'd like this information, drop me an email and I will provide it.]

Thank you all for all that you do.

God Bless Our Troops!

Marcia

Patriot Guard Information:

Sgt. Ian Anderson, 22, of Prairie Village

*Phase 1 Wednesday ~ Jan. 24 ~ KCI Escort to Funeral Home* To hold flags & form reception/flag line for family and Sgt. Anderson's remains.

Amos Funeral Home ~ 10113 Lenexa Dr. (East side of I-35, South of 95th St.)
*Please arrive by 9:00pm* There will be 100 flags, we need a minimum of 40 to 50 at the funeral home when the escort arrives.

*Phase 2 Thursday ~ Jan. 25 Visitation*

6:00pm to 8:00pm To hold flags & form reception/flag line. Amos Funeral Home – 10113 Lenexa, Dr. (I-35 frontage road ~ South of 95thSt.)

Come when you can, leave when you must. We need a minimum of 40 to 50 for this phase.

*Phase 3 Friday ~ Jan. 26 Funeral Mission and Escort to Cemetery*
8:00am Staging Opens ~ Home Depot (95th/Metcalf ~ SW Corner)
9:00am Mission Briefing
9:30am Depart for Bethany Lutheran ~ 9101 Lamar.
At the conclusion of the service, we will provide escort to Lenexa Cemetery on Pflumm between 87th & 95th Streets.

Road Conditions are improving and are generally clear. Will have Law Enforcement escort. Soldiers Angels will provide coffee at staging.

Welcome home, soldier.

Now is the time at Castle Argghhh! when we dance: In Memoriam.

Heh. At least they aren't shy and coy about it.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Larry Farnsworth
January 24, 2007 (202) 232-6574


Progressives Steer Congressional Democrats To The Left

Left-Wing Caucus Wields Influence in the House and Finds New Home in the Senate

Washington D.C. - Democrats are not alone in reaping the benefits from the power shift in Congress this month. The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), founded by self-described socialist, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), has greatly increased its influence over Congress. The CPC represents the most left-leaning members of the House of Representatives, and their control of major committees and subcommittees of the House may help it dominate the nation’s political agenda.

CPC is eager to violate House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) pledge that Democrats in Congress will focus on a mainstream agenda. Instead, the CPC can be expected to work with left-wing advocacy groups to organize attacks on corporations, “the rich,” and the Bush Administration. The CPC is not afraid to promote socialist public policies and ignore Pelosi’s promise to govern from the center.

The January 2007 issue of Foundation Watch, a publication of the Capital Research Center , reports on the Congressional Progressive Caucus’ leadership, activities and likely influence. At least seven members of the CPC will chair powerful committees (e.g. Charles Rangel—Ways & Means; Barney Frank—Financial Services; John Conyers—Judiciary, Henry Waxman—Government Reform) and a dozen more CPC members will chair important subcommittees (e.g. Pete Stark, Maxine Waters, Sheila Jackson Lee).

Terrence Scanlon , President of the Capital Research Center , said of the report, “The Congressional Progressive Caucus’s unapologetic and partisan track record speaks for itself. The public already has a poor opinion of this Congress, and the CPC will only chaperone liberal members of Congress down a self destructive path.”

About 69 members of the House and two U.S. Senators (Sanders and Ohio Democrat Sherrod Brown) are in the Congressional Progressive Caucus this term, an increase from 59 members during the 109th Congress. Despite the President’s conciliatory State of the Union address this week, the CPC is likely to aggressively push Congress to adopt radical social and economic policies—no matter what Speaker Pelosi says.

Keep that in mind when the next election rolls around. I'll have to keep this handy.


by John on Jan 25, 2007 | Politics

This'n Is For The Squids

Lotta quick guesses nailed the Whatziss

Ask Maggie. She’s the one talking about non-weaponry Whatzisses…issesess…%$#@!

(and even how it worked -- good on ya, SezaGeoff), but I'm stunned, confounded and discombobulated that *no*body tagged the training base.

But first, First Things First (as the Red Queen would say), the denouement:

It's a drag-bag lock. The Army stopped issuing them when the new, improved crop of dufflebags with pre-sewn carrying handles were harvested. Besides, if it was Army, they'd have made it out of brass so's you'd have to polish it to death before the weekly White Glove Special.

If it was gyrene, it'd be anodized black and then painted green. Three coats, minimum.

The Air Force didn't issue them because that would have meant firing the pilots' personal baggage porters.

The Coast Guard never had the spare change to buy 'em.

Soooo, that makes it a Navy item by default-- a seabag lock, ca. 1979. Which means that they were issued at Great Lakes Naval Station. Alimentary, my dear Boquisucio.

A-hem. The Great Rolling Whatziss Contest continues. In keeping with the maritime tradition I just now established, allow me to present today's Whatziss for your edification, enjoyment and erudition:

Ask Maggie. She’s the one sniffing 'bout tag-teaming with WK and kickin' keister in the non-gun category...

This one's not at Museum Main, so Will the Sea Scout doesn't have an unfair advantage.

Avaunt! Have at thee it!

UPDATE: John and Bloodspite both said screw it it's a screw. Well, yeah, it is.

Hi! I'm a screw!

However, that's kind of an AFSis answer (e.g., "Oooooh! It's a tank!"). And I know what *kind* of screw they're referring to (*not an airscrew, btw. nor a wood screw*).

Nope. It's not *that* kind, either...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by CW4BillT on Jan 25, 2007 | Historical Stuff

January 24, 2007

H&I* Fires, 24 JAN 2007

Open post for those with something to share, updated through the day. New, complete posts come in below this one. Note: If trackbacking, please acknowledge this post in your post. That's only polite. [Hey - trackbacks work again!]

You're advertising here, we should get an ad at your place...

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Zenpundit offers up yet another meaty reading assignment. Congrats on becoming part of Chicago Boyz.

Not everyone thinks Gen Patraeus knows what he’s doing. He was dissed quite rudely on Newshour last night.

An excerpt:

Secondly, he goes to Mosul, and he worked very hard to demonstrate his sensitivity to the cultural differences, to work on a whole range of issues, but we also know that some people would say, within hours of the 101st departure, the area reverted to insurgent control. Actually speaking, the insurgents simply took it over.
And then, finally, you have the training of the Iraqi army. The Iraqi army today is, by anyone's definition, a disaster, and it is substantially his creation.


A non-BDS criticism of the SoU address and the current admin in general is offered up here.

Hey, now’s a time when the rest of the world can step up and put their bacon on the line. If DPRK is helping Iran set up for nuclear weapons tests, as is reported, why are we even talking about continuing sanctions and the six party talks? This offer to halt, with more talking to be done, nuclear ambitions in light of the above report really gives the impression that Kartman Jung-IL has taken a page out of Robert the Bruce’s playbook. And the rest of the world is playing Kartman’s game. Stuuuuped.
---ry

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For some reason, SWWBO thought I would be interested in this... I'm thinking this is more a Maggie/WereKitty/Fuzzybear sorta thing. -the Armorer

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This is an interesting article on TCS by Alvaro Llosa: French Lessons. No, not a subject of titilation, but rather a look at the French experience in Algeria, and some parallels to our experience in Iraq:

What lesson from that conflict is relevant today? The paramount lesson seems this: "First-world'' armies and "third-world'' guerrillas have different notions of time and space, and therefore of what constitutes defeat and victory. A "first-world'' army can defeat "first-world'' guerrillas and a "third-world'' army can defeat "third-world'' guerrillas because in both cases the army and the enemy operate under similar notions of time and space. The Italian security forces were able to defeat the Red Brigades, just as Germany's security forces were able to defeat the Baader-Meinhof Gang, because they were at war with each other under similar time and space horizons. Equally, Alberto Fujimori's dictatorship was able to defeat the Shining Path in Peru in the 1990s and Venezuela's Romulo Betancourt destroyed the Castro-inspired guerrillas in the 1960s because the warring sides shared a common idea of where and when they were fighting. That is not to say that in all such cases the army will triumph. Castro's victory in 1959 proves that the opposite can happen. But as long as the established power commands enough civilian support, which is usually the case against a terrorist insurgence, the security apparatus enjoys a big advantage.

If that caught your eye, you'll want to read the whole thing here.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by Denizens on Jan 24, 2007 | General Commentary

The Blackhawk Casualties.

From a personnel seniority perspective, this was the greatest single kill event the jihadis have managed since 9/11. While no death is better or worse than the others, the Army Aviation community took a big hit on January 20th.

No. 081-07 IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 24, 2007 Media Contact: (703) 697-5131/697-5132 Public/Industry(703) 428-0711

DoD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of 12 soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died in Baghdad, Iraq, on Jan. 20, when the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter they were in crashed.

Killed were:

Col. Brian D. Allgood, 46, of Oklahoma, who was assigned to the 30th Medical Brigade, European Regional Medical Command, Heidelberg, Germany.

Staff Sgt. Darryl D. Booker, 37, of Midlothian, Va., who was assigned to the 29th Infantry Division, Virginia Army National Guard, Sandston, Va.

Sgt. 1st Class John G. Brown, 43, of Little Rock, Ark., who was assigned to the Arkansas Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 185th Aviation Regiment (Air Assault), 77th Aviation Brigade, Camp Robinson, Ark.

Lt. Col. David C. Canegata, 50, of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, who was assigned to the Virgin Islands Army National Guard, Christiansted, U.S. Virgin Islands.

Command Sgt. Maj. Marilyn L. Gabbard, 46, of Polk City, Iowa, who was assigned to Joint Forces Headquarters, Iowa Army National Guard, Camp Dodge, Johnston, Iowa.

Command Sgt. Maj. Roger W. Haller, 49, of Davidsonville, Md., who was assigned to the 70th Regiment, Regional Training Institute - Maryland, Maryland Army National Guard, Reisterstown, Md.

Col. Paul M. Kelly, 45, of Stafford, Va., who was assigned to the Joint Force Headquarters of the Virginia Army National Guard in Blackstone, Va.

Staff Sgt. Floyd E. Lake, 43, of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, who was assigned to the Virgin Islands Army National Guard, Christiansted, U.S. Virgin Islands.

Cpl. Victor M. Langarica, 29, of Decatur, Ga., who was assigned to the 86th Signal Battalion, Fort Huachuca, Ariz.

Capt. Sean E. Lyerly, 31, of Pflugerville, Texas., who was assigned to the Texas Army National Guard's 36th Combat Aviation Brigade, 36th Infantry Division, Austin, Texas.

Maj. Michael V. Taylor, 40, of North Little Rock, Ark., who was assigned to the Arkansas Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 185th Aviation Regiment (Air Assault), 77th Aviation Brigade, Camp Robinson, Ark.

1st Sgt. William T. Warren, 48, of North Little Rock, Ark., who was assigned to the Arkansas Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 185th Aviation Regiment (Air Assault), 77th Aviation Brigade, Camp Robinson, Ark.

Now is the time at Castle Argghhh! when we dance: In Memoriam.

More information on Colonel Kelly and Staff Sergeant Booker is available here.

There's this about Corporal Langarica (h/t, SFC D):

FORT HUACHUCA — The 11th Signal Brigade lost its first soldier in Iraq when an Army helicopter crashed on Saturday.

To the Army buddies of Cpl. Victor M. Langarica, a wheeled-vehicle mechanic with Bravo Company of the 86th Signal Battalion, the loss was akin to the death of a family member. Of those who knew the soldier, he was more than just a guy who wore a uniform like theirs.

Langarica, 29, was remembered as a person who loved to crack jokes and whose high-octave laugh was infectious.

But more important to the likes of 1st Lt. Robert Ashman, Sgt. 1st Class David Mendoza, Staff Sgt. Stephanie Brown, Spc. Charlie Harris and Spc. Ashlee Kerrigan, Langarica was first and foremost a dedicated soldier who was always willing to help.

The full article for Corporal Langarica is available here.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by John on Jan 24, 2007 | Global War on Terror (GWOT)

Just for chuckles...

...and a change of pace. Anybody know what this is?

Hosting provided by FotoTime

One hint - the military may have used it - but it isn't specifically a military item.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by John on Jan 24, 2007 | Historical Stuff

We interrupt this blog for a trenchant observation...

Besides that, there has to be *someplace* where you can take a break from politics...

A man and woman had been married for many years. They had shared everything. They had talked about everything. They had kept no secrets from each other except that the little old woman had a shoe box in the top of her closet that she had cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about.

For all of these years, he had never thought about the box, but one day the little old woman got very sick and the doctor said she would not recover. In trying to sort out their affairs, the little old man took down the shoe box and took it to his wife's bedside.

She agreed that it was time that he should know what was in the box. When he opened it, he found two crocheted dolls and a stack of money totaling $295,000.

He asked her about the contents. "When we were to be married," she said, "my grandmother told me the secret of a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doll."

The little old man was so moved; he had to fight back tears. Only two precious dolls were in the box. She had only been angry with him two times in all those years of living and loving. He almost burst with happiness.

"Honey," he said, "that explains the dolls, but what about all of this money? Where did it come from?"

"Oh," she said, "That's the money I made from selling the dolls."

Hmmm. Better check SWWBO's eBay account.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by John on Jan 24, 2007 | I think it's funny!

Whatziss wid all the Whatzisses...esses...?

Muffy! Drop the remote, get off the couch and tell Jake to crank up the drumroll CD -- we've got a coupl'a Whatziss Whiners Winners.

Jake! That's *not* a frisbee! Wipe it off and stick it in the boombox -- oh, yuck. Where'd you get the maple syrup, anyway?

So much for presentation...

Anyway, something interesting's cropped up. The Museum guys labeled this 57mm jobbie an M1A1.

Not * a 6-pounder or a 17-pounder or a quarter pounder

Yup, the US copy of the Brit gun. Chris figgered it out, but John and Sanger both went deeper and spotted something else.

The suspect identified by DNA

That caster wheel on the trail means it's an M2 -- which means it's misidentified in the Museum.

That's what happens when the Artillery expert is a retired tanker, I guess...

But M1A1 or A3 or M2, they're all pretty adept at demonstrating why you don't see knights in full plate gallivanting over the battlefield anymore:

The real reason chivalry went extinct…

Speaking of real reasons, here's why John's been so anxious to stick I-beams in the kitchen ceiling. Don't tell SWWBO. It's supposed to be a surprise...

The real reason John wants a re-inforced ceiling…

But I digress. Let the Great Rolling Whatziss Contest continue!

Ask Maggie. She’s the one talking about non-weaponry Whatzisses…issesess…%$#@!

Give it a shot. No, Mags, it's *not* a weapon, so you don't have any excuse...

Heh. Hogtie PG-17C -- this ought'a be good...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by CW4BillT on Jan 24, 2007 | Militaria

January 23, 2007

H&I* Fires, 23 JAN 2007

Open post for those with something to share, updated through the day. New, complete posts come in below this one. Note: If trackbacking, please acknowledge this post in your post. That's only polite. [Hey - trackbacks work again!]

You're advertising here, we should get an ad at your place...

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“Military service, particularly in combat arms units, is something akin to a religious experience. But to an outsider who has never slogged through the mud with an M-16 rifle or winged an F-18 Hornet up into the stratosphere, such a comparison might seem nothing more than hyperbole. And if not hyperbole, perhaps something that edges close to a bridging – thus a violation – of the separation between church and state.”

Is there a connection between Spirituality and “The Brotherhood”? I wouldn’t know. I’m a Normal.

I always love how people cherry pick stuff to justify doing the wars they want and denounce the wars they don’t. [Armorer's note: The author of the article Ry links to obviously has no understanding of what the situation in Iraq was like, from a looming internal disaster perspective - a point that reinforces what Ry said]

Two words that shouldn’t go together but somehow do: hockey and strategy. (And in case you’re wondering what they mean by 5th Gen go here, and maybe read Neither Shall the Sword.)

There's lots of ways this can be interpreted: "Al Qaeda deputy to U.S.: If we are killed, you will be killed"
---ry

[Ry - this is a particularly toothsome set of links. Well done, boyo! -the Armorer]
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This is an interesting post over at (koff) the Huffington Post. Strip out the guy's bias, and there is useful info in there. If it *is* how he sees the elites at Davos seeing it, I don't see that as a bad thing. More people stepping up to the plate and succeeding, consequently with more to lose by failing, will perhaps raise up more people to shoulder the burden, and consequently lessen ours, whether through sharing or via regional leadership. No doubt the entrenched powers in the realm of politics and economics won't like it - but there is potential for goodness in there. Rising tides, and all that. Hey, I'm a blogger! We Rule! We Own the Media! How come I didn't get invited? 8^) -the Armorer

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For those who follow it - Carnival of the Recipes (full of diabetic-friendly recipes this time) is available at, oddly enough, Diabetic Recipes! -the Armorer

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Raising TRICARE fees - it's baaaaack! As we knew it would be. For what it's worth - though I don't care for more than doubling it overnight, essentially, the fact that the fee structure hasn't changed in 10 years is rather unrealistic. As I said before - I think lumping *all* officer retirees in one group is unfair to the company grade retirees. If *I* were King for a Day, I would make some breaks in the officer ranks, as we did the enlisted. Company Grade/WO1-CW2 - same as the senior enlisted (most of those guys retired pay is roughly equivalent to the Senior Enlisted retired pay band), Field Grade/CW3-CW5 - the current proposed cost, and Flag Officer - whatever, but more than the Field Grades are paying. That seems fair to me. -the Armorer

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Judging from my sitemeter data, the Discount Mats people are probably not all that happy. -the Armorer

UPDATE: Wolfwalker links to an article on it in the comments, and Blackfive also highlights more media coverage.

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Hello everyone. It's not often that I get to kill two birds with one stone. For Ry is sure to be tickled pink, and aggravate Mr. Tuttle with his slow connection. Ahhh! The joys of SF6 - BOQ

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And the culture leaves me farther and farther behind. I haven't seen *most* of the Oscar-nominated movies. That didn't used to be true. Aherm. Ponderponderponder. -the Armorer

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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by Denizens on Jan 23, 2007 | General Commentary

This just in from Sergeant Hess.

As I suspected, Sergeant Hess is inundated with offers to help. I sent him an email and asked him if he needed any help.

Here's his response:

Fox got fax wrong but the company did say what fox said. I was looking for flooring for a conference room and not for soldiers to sleep on. If you don't mind creating a draft email that says thank you for you support and everything is under control that would be great. I'm trying to email about 100 people in regards to what fox said but every time I get 5 out 3 come, fox is going to do a followup hopefully to make things straight. Thank you.

As you can see, the good Sergeant is not only busy fighting a war, he's now busy fighting his email, and all the good-hearted people who want to help.

Those of you who sent emails or left comments offering assistance - Sergeant Hess says, well, why paraphrase?

thank you for you support and everything is under control

Sergeant Hess is also a Sergeant at war, so I will cease forwarding him your offers of assistance - unless he needs something else and asks me to.

Let's let the young man do his job, eh!

But all y'all been really good about this - and I appreciate it, too.

And let us not forget this side to the story - where the company defends itself and has reportedly fired the rocket scientist employee.

Staying Busy in Iraq.

Of particular interest to Castle visitors who've been chatting about it:

-- Paratroopers with the 25th Infantry Division and Iraqi security forces detained four suspects in Karbala with alleged ties to the Jan. 20 attack at the Karbala Provincial Joint Coordination Center.

Good. Wring 'em for the intel on how *that* went down. but for heaven's sakes, don't hurt them or make them in any way uncomfortable. That would be naughty.

Moving on: 100 Terrorists Killed, 50 Detained in Operation Turki Bowl

By John J. Kruzel American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 23, 2007 - U.S. and Iraqi forces killed 100 terrorists, detained 50, and dismantled a large terrorist group in January during Operation Turki Bowl, the senior U.S. Army officer in Iraq's Diyala province said yesterday.

The operation, conducted from Jan. 4 to 13, occurred south of Balad Ruz in the Turki Village, Tuwilla and 30 Tamuz areas of the province. During the operation, U.S. Army and Iraqi soldiers isolated and defeated a terrorist group known as "The Council," Col. David W. Sutherland,
commander of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, told reporters via satellite connection from a news conference in Iraq.

"The group, made up of former Baath Regime members, al Qaeda and Sunni extremists, refused to participate in any political dialogue and preferred attacking innocent civilians in the Diyala province," Sutherland said.

The council killed as many as 39 civilians in one kidnapping and mass murder in November, he added.

"The fear of the people and the weapons used by these individuals are used to attack the core of Iraqi values and beliefs," Sutherland said. "They are interested in preventing individual human rights and freedoms that the people of this region want so much."

Leading up to the large-scale operation, coalition forces discovered a large weapons cache in November in the area, resulting in "major combat operations with several large organizations" of terrorists, Sutherland said.

"Upon defeating them, we intentionally moved back to our base of operations so that we could exploit the intelligence that we would ... gather over the next several months," he said.

While developing plans for Operation Turki Bowl, U.S. military leaders, with the 5th Iraqi Army Division, studied the enemy's early warning systems, their actions, and "how they reacted to our initial contact with them," Sutherland said.

Coalition forces conducted smaller-scale raids in the area prior to Operation Turki Bowl, to give civilians a perceived safe-haven and encourage their cooperation with troops, he said. Through tips and phone calls to coalition forces, civilians provided invaluable information about
the enemy, Sutherland added.

"What we wanted to do was isolate (terrorists) from the population so they could not blend in," Sutherland said. "It (was) a counterinsurgency operation, but the difference is we were able separate the terrorists from the people they were living off of.

"Since I've been here, we have not conducted an operation where we have been able to bring to bear against a group of this size that was willing to fight us out in the open," Sutherland said.

In addition to defeating the council, troops found 25 weapons caches containing more than 1,150 Katusha rockets and 1,000 rocket-propelled grenades, 170 anti-tank missiles, anti-tank mines, small- and heavy-arms ammunition and sensitive terrorist documents.

Soldiers are now focused on interacting with the local populous and reinforcing the security and stability of the region, according to a Multinational Force Iraq news release. The Iraqi army will maintain a permanent presence, while coalition forces are focusing on reconstructing roads, essential services and other basic services to help the people of Turki, the release stated.

"This operation clearly was a significant tactical success for (coalition forces), (Iraq army), and most importantly, the citizens of Turki and surrounding areas," Sutherland said. "The long-term affects we hope to achieve are stability for economic growth, increased political action
for all parties and self-reliance for the Iraqi government and security forces."

There's more news from Iraq below the fold, in the Flash Traffic/Extended Entry.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by John on Jan 23, 2007 | Global War on Terror (GWOT)

Things that make you go, hmmmm.

Here's an interesting headline: Black Caucus: Whites Not Allowed. What's revealing in it are the attitudes expressed by members of the Black Caucus in Congress.

A little backstory is in order. Freshman Rep. Stephen I. Cohen, D-Tenn, explored joining the Black Caucus as he represents a majority-black district previously represented by Rep. Harold Ford. Oops. Cohen has a problem. He's... not black. I can see why he considered joining, as a way to gain insight into the people he represents. Well, it ain't happening. Which isn't a shock, mind you. But what I find interesting is the attitudes expressed on the part of members of the Black Caucus.

"I think they're real happy I'm not going to join," said Cohen, who succeeded Rep. Harold Ford, D-Tenn., in a majority-black Memphis district. "It's their caucus and they do things their way. You don't force your way in. You need to be invited."

Cohen said he became convinced that joining the caucus would be "a social faux pas" after seeing news reports that former Rep. William Lacy Clay Sr., D-Mo., a co-founder of the caucus, had circulated a memo telling members it was "critical" that the group remain "exclusively African- American."

Other members, including the new chairwoman, Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, D-Mich., and Clay's son, Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-Mo., agreed.

"Mr. Cohen asked for admission, and he got his answer. ... It's time to move on," the younger Clay said. "It's an unwritten rule. It's understood. It's clear."

The bylaws of the caucus do not make race a prerequisite for membership, a House aide said, but no non-black member has ever joined.

Heh. Rules for thee, but not for me. How much of what Representative Clay said could have issued from genteel white lips in the 50's? I understand the impulse of the Caucus to act as it has - but, still, the echoes of the past are a bit eerie.

When do we move beyond? The answer - certainly not as long as the leadership of the Civil Rights movement remains invested in the past, and can only see through lenses forged in the struggle. I'm not suggesting the battle is over - but I am suggesting perhaps the landscape has changed.

You should read the rest, here at The Politico.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by John on Jan 23, 2007 | Politics

Two Whom You Should Meet

About two months before we left Bosnia, our Task Force XO decided to play with his new CD burner and give everyone in TF Pegasus a memento; a disk recapping what we'd seen and done (and why) and including at least one picture of everyone in the unit -- planners, pilots, mechanics, our infantry squad, Bosnian interpreters, the schoolkids we'd scrounged pens 'n' paper 'n' such for -- everyone. He left before I got my copy, but he e-mailed me the whole thing a month later -- three megs at a time.

Took forever to download all 93 megs and even longer to reassemble it. I poked through it a couple of times last year just to keep the name-face links intact.

Somehow, I didn't really consider I might be pulling up pix from it for another reason entirely...

BAGHDAD — At least 19 U.S. troops were killed in a helicopter crash and insurgent attacks across Iraq on Saturday in the deadliest day for the American military here in nearly two years. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * The day's deadliest episode was the crash of a Black Hawk helicopter northeast of Baghdad on Saturday afternoon, killing all 12 U.S. soldiers aboard. The military initially had said 13 were killed but revised it to 12 early today. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * U.S. military officials said the cause of Saturday's crash had yet to be determined, but Iraqi sources said it was shot down. A witness said he saw ground fire bring down the aircraft, and an insurgent group claimed responsibility for the attack in an Internet posting that could not be authenticated.

Aviation is the Two-Degrees-of-Separation Branch of the Army -- I no longer know most of the folks in it, but I know those who do. And at 3pm Baghdad time on Saturday, 21 January 2007, there were two fewer of them...

I'd like you to meet COL Paul M. Kelly, 29th Aviation Brigade, Virginia Army National Guard.

COL Paul Kelly, 29th Aviation Brigade

COL Kelly was our TF commander. There were five of us Viet Vet Warrant dinosaurs living in a cluster of SEAhuts somebody in IFOR had christened "Raziac Ranch" -- COL Kelly started calling it "Jurassic Ranch"...and it stuck. To show our appreciation, we made him an honorary CW2 and he griped that he'd spent enough time sitting around drinking coffee to qualify for CW3.

He was the only field grade commander I'd seen since 1972 who spent as much time checking on the troops' welfare as he did in his office. And he had the good sense not to be a squad leader while he was doing it...

I'd also like you to meet SSG Darryl D. Booker, 29th Aviation Brigade, Virginia Army National Guard.

SSG Darryl Booker, 29th Aviation Brigade

Sergeant Booker was my Flight Ops / Tac Ops NCOIC and the only Minister I know who could cite the Old Testament to prove that Rap Music was one of the Ten Plagues visited upon the Egyptians. He kept the TOCettes in line, made sure nobody got less time off than the two of us did and we took turns watching the bottled water on our desks freeze solid after nightfall.

We lost touch after he took leave to visit his daughter -- I heard she'd gotten married and made him a grandpa, which was the one thing he really, really wanted out of life...

Now is the time at Castle Argghhh! when we dance: In Memoriam.

If I smell green tobacco when I'm on the path to Fiddler's Green, I'll know somebody's saved me a seat...

[Update: The full list of casualties from the Blackhawk is available here.]

Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by CW4BillT on Jan 23, 2007 | Something for the Soul
MilBlogs links with: Two whom you should meet.

The Whatziss Iss A *WHAT*?!?

If you've perused the comments on the latest Whatziss, you might think that *somebody* in that talent lineup (Maggie, Will the Sea Scout, AFSis, John) would have nailed it.

Mmmmmmmmmmmm -- no. Several in the "Close, but no cigar" category, though. It's an anti-tank gun, but not a 37mm (?!?) or a 90mm or an 8-incher (!!!). I won't keep you in suspense (hold the applause, please-and-thank-you) any longer -- meet the T-128 75mm anti-tank gun.
Left side view of the T-128, which is a dead giveaway for anybody familiar with the T-128. Which doesn’t even include the people who made the thing…

Right after the Korean War cranked up, US troops were tossed at the NORK advance as speed bumps. They promptly discovered that the only effect their (very few) anti-tank weapons had on the T-34s rolling their way was to chip the paint.

The home front rolled into action to produce a more effective anti-tank gun

Disregarding the Wehrmacht's seminal "Lessons Learned: The Futility of Engaging the Frontal Portion of a Farkin' T-34 with Anything Smaller than an 8.8cm Dual-Purpose Gun" -- Like, Say, with a 7.5cm Popgun...", Rock Island Arsenal mounted a -- you guessed it, 75mm -- high-velocity gun on a 76mm recoil cradle and carriage.

Initial production for the testbed guns began in late 1950 and halted shortly thereafter because someone figured you could manufacture a hundred 3.5" rocket launchers, train a hundred 3.5" rocket launcher teams and purchase each team a hundred 3.5" rockets for about the same cost as the gun.

Based on the manufacturing date (1950) and the serial number on both the recoil mechanism's cradle
Yup. Serial number two…

and the gun carriage
Yup. There's that serial number two again…

I'd hazard the guess that the T-128 is extinct in the wild. 'Specially since neither Google nor the Rock Island Arsenal Museum even refer to it in passing. Hey! I'll betcha we'll be number one in Google for "T-128 Anti-Tank Gun" one of these days...

Sanger figured the gun shield east of the T-128 belonged to a field gun. Okay -- *which* particular field gun izzit?
*Not* an 8-incher…

Yeeee-hah, the Great Rolling Whatziss Contest has commenced...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by CW4BillT on Jan 23, 2007 | Artillery
MilBlogs links with: ATTN Military Hardware Geeks.

January 22, 2007

H&!* Fires, 22 JAN 2007

Open post for those with something to share, updated through the day. New, complete posts come in below this one. Note: If trackbacking, please acknowledge this post in your post. That's only polite. [Hey - trackbacks work again!]

You're advertising here, we should get an ad at your place...

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Col. Steele, of Black Hawk Down fame, is in the news again. Probably not for what he’d like to be in the news for though.

Letter bombs. Terrorist go back to the 1970s with their tactics. They were effective for a while you know.

J does what J does best. Puts breath back in breathless reporting about CBRN issues.
--ry
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Castle Smith Murray, who commented on my Red Ensign post below, has his own coincidental post up regarding flags. And some interesting commentary therein. -the Armorer

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OK, OK... so maybe CNN doesn't stand for Communist News Network afterall. Thanks, CNN, and congratulations Fisher House!

5 US soldiers killed INSIDE the Karbala compound by insurgents impersonating US soldiers. This story worries the heck outta me, combined with reports of IED's which are better built and more deadly. Our enemy inside Iraq is becoming smarter about fighting us... we need The Surge to surge a bit quicker, imho. ~AFSis

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Update from wounded blogger JRSalzman of Lumberjack in a Desert. Soldier on JR. You *are not* a gimp. And we'll help ya whup anyone dumb enough to suggest it. By pulling you off of them before you beat them to a bloody pulp. One four fingered handed. H/t, Heidi's Mom. -the Armorer

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I have been vilely slandered. I look nothing like Jimmy Carter (and how did you get one of the rare photos of me without my hat?).
----gollum(aka. ry)
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For you guys who only read during the week (and skip the weekend posts - you know who you are) don't miss Bill's new Whatziss! -the Armorer

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Jules is mostly right, however much one might want to quibble on the details. Bloggers are second order scribes - we rely on the professionals to do the major legwork. Much as we like to 'dis 'em, we need 'em. Of course, if they'd pay some attention to *why* we dis them, they might find that many of us slip back into our original mode - providing the extra context that they don't have the room to provide. They've got to adapt or die. I'll be around after they're gone. Well, looking at traffic, maybe not, but hey, I'm not doing this for a living. Jules is. -the Armorer

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If you'd like to help JR Salzman (mentioned above) but don't feel like you have the gift of gab to comment on his blog, here are a couple of ways you may want to show your support. You can send cards to:

JR Salzman
Walter Reed Hospital
Ward 57 Room 5741
6900 George Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20307

Donations to help with his expenses can be sent to:

JR Salzman Fund
Associated Bank
PO Box 636
10526 Main
Hayward, WI 54843

JR has also asked that people strongly consider supporting Soldiers' Angels, the Wounded Warrior Project and the Red Cross, all of whom have helped him out. - FbL

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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by Denizens on Jan 22, 2007 | General Commentary

Pizza Party!

Kewl.

By Sgt. Jon Cupp, USA Special to American Forces Press Service

CAMP TAJI, Iraq, Jan. 22, 2007 - The generosity of an infantryman's parents, working in coordination with a major pizza restaurant's corporate office, a unit family readiness group, and a major shipping company, led to a feast for some soldiers here Jan. 18.

Troopers from Company B, the "Bandogs," 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, dined on Little Caesars pizza shipped to them all the way from Detroit following a coordinated effort involving the Little Caesars Pizza Kit Fundraising Program teaming with L.S.S. Consulting, a global security consulting firm at which both parents of a Co. B soldier are executives, and DHL shipping, which worked with the unit's family readiness group at Fort Hood, Texas, to get the pizzas into the hands -- and stomachs -- of the soldiers.

More than 100 pizza kits, enough to make about 500 pizzas, were flown to Iraq and then shipped by DHL -- with the Army's help via a military convoy -- and arrived here Jan 9. The kits were encased in a 42-cubic-foot refrigerated shipping container to keep them fresh for cooking
later.

The whole pizza event came about when Walled Lake, Mich. native Pfc. James Timmons' parents, Ned and Mary Timmons of L.S.S. Consulting, decided to send their son and his fellow soldiers a taste of home. Ned and Mary teamed with the other companies and also paid the cost for shipping the crate.

The rest is in the Flash Traffic/Extended Entry.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by John on Jan 22, 2007 | Observations on things Military

Elmer Lindsey... someone you should know.

The railway bridge at Remagen, captured by the 27th Armored Infantry battalion, Combat Command B, 9th Armored Division, 6 March, 1945.

The obit is simple.

Elmer B. Lindsey, 84, Weston, Mo., passed away Jan. 8, 2007, at his home. A visitation will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2007, at Vaughn Funeral Home, Weston.

The funeral service will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 12, 2007, at the funeral home.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Diabetes Association in Elmer’s memory.

Elmer Byron Lindsey was born on Aug. 3, 1922, in Weston, to Nannie (Nower) and Jesse Lindsey. He was a lifelong resident of Weston except for the three years he spent serving his country in the U.S. Army.

Elmer married Velva Rowland on April 25, 1953, in Weston.

He worked for International Harvester Company in Kansas City, Mo., for 30 years.

Elmer was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Walter and Percy Lindsey; and three sisters, Bessie Blankenship, Sarah Weigman and Marie Humes.

He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Velva Lindsey, of the home; and nieces and nephews.

Arrangements by Vaughn Funeral Home, Weston, MO.

He was a lifelong resident of Weston except for the three years he spent serving his country in the U.S. Army.

But what a three years. Elmer was not a great general. Or a holder of the Medal of Honor. He was simply a dogface soljer, like millions of others. But he *did* have one thing that set him apart from the others.

He was drafted in 1942, and trained as a grunt. A simple dogface soldier. He was assigned to Company A, 27th Armored Infantry battalion, 9th Armored Division, nicknamed "The Phantom Division." He trained at Camp Funston, a part of Fort Riley, Kansas, and in the Desert Training Center, a huge, sprawling complex in the Mojave Desert of California that *contained* 29 Palms Marine Corps Base *and* Fort Irwin. The Desert Training Center was... huge. Interestingly enough, though the 9th Armored Division no longer exists, it has a battle honor that has caused it's colors to still be cared for by the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley. But more about that later.

The 9th Armored shipped over to England, and waited it's turn for combat. The 9th Armored Division landed in Normandy late in September 1944, and first went into line on 23 October, pulling patrol duty in a quiet sector along the Luxembourg-German border. When Field Marshal von Rundstedt launched Operation Wacht Am Rhein, better known to us as the Battle of the Bulge, the 9th, with no real combat experience, found itself up to its neck in Germans. The Division saw its severest actions at St. Vith, Echternach, and Bastogne, its units fighting in widely separated areas. The Division's stand at Bastogne fended off the Germans long enough for the Screaming Eagles of the 101st Airborne to dig in for their epic defense of the city. Acquitting themselves well, the Phantoms set the stage for their greatest victory.

March, 1945. The war in Europe is going pretty well now, considering what it was like just three months previously. The division just crashed across the Ruhr at Rheinbach as a part of Operation Lumberjack. The reconnaissance troops of the 9th Armored discover an intact railroad bridge across the Rhine river. The bridge at Remagen.

Brigadier General Hoge (for whom Hoge Barracks at Fort Leavenworth is named) orders Combat Command B to seize the bridge. The 27th Armored Infantry led the way, capturing the bridge on 6 March. Sergeant Alexander Drabik was the first man across the bridge. Lieutenant Karl Timmerman was the first officer to cross.

Elmer? Elmer holds a unique first in the annals of warfare. On the 7th of March, 1945, after the engineers had made the requisite repairs, Elmer drove the first vehicle, a half-track, across the bridge - becoming the first soldier in history to drive a combat vehicle over a defended Rhine River. It's just a small thing - but it's something you can't take away from him.

He was a lifelong resident of Weston except for the three years he spent serving his country in the U.S. Army.

But what a three years.

Now is the time at Castle Argghhh! when we dance: In Memoriam.

The Armorer would like to credit John Reichley, a retired soldier and historian in his own right (who has a basement similar to The Armorer's, but full of uniforms) for the inspiration for this post and the details of Elmer's service.

Remagen Bridghead, 7 March 1945. Here, on the Ludendorf Bridge crossing the Rhine at Remagen, Combat Command B, 9th Armored Division -- headed by the 27th Armored Infantry Battalion -- with 'superb skill, daring and esprit de corps' successfully effected the first bridgehead across Germany's formidable river barrier and so contributed decisively to the defeat of the enemy. The 27th Battalion reached Remagen, found the bridge intact but mined for demolition. Although its destruction was imminent, without hesitation and in face of heavy fire the infantrymen rushed across the structure, and with energy and skill seized the surrounding high ground. The entire episode illustrates that high degree of initiative, leadership and gallantry toward which all armies strive but too rarely attain, and won for the Combat Command the Distinguished Unit Citation.

Remagen Bridghead, 7 March 1945. Here, on the Ludendorf Bridge crossing the Rhine at Remagen, Combat Command B, 9th Armored Division -- headed by the 27th Armored Infantry Battalion -- with "superb skill, daring and esprit de corps" successfully effected the first bridgehead across Germany's formidable river barrier and so contributed decisively to the defeat of the enemy. The 27th Battalion reached Remagen, found the bridge intact but mined for demolition. Although its destruction was imminent, without hesitation and in face of heavy fire the infantrymen rushed across the structure, and with energy and skill seized the surrounding high ground. The entire episode illustrates that high degree of initiative, leadership and gallantry toward which all armies strive but too rarely attain, and won for the Combat Command the Distinguished Unit Citation.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by John on Jan 22, 2007 | Historical Stuff
MilBlogs links with: ATTN Military Hardware Geeks.

January 21, 2007

H&I Fires* 21 Jan 2007

Open post for those with something to share, updated through the day. New, complete posts come in below this one. Note: If trackbacking, please acknowledge this post in your post. That's only polite. [Hey - trackbacks work again!]

You're advertising here, we should get an ad at your place...

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Lex has uncovered a plot--in his very own home! (In other words, the Scruples have a new recruit). - FbL [UPDATE: be sure to check the comments at Lex's--as BillT says in comments here, "Jake and Muffy visited Lex to say "Hey" to the new 'cruit. It wasn't pretty..."]

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The real test - will Ry notice this post when he sets up his? BTW, Ry - yer doin' an *excellent* job. Thanks. -the Armorer [FbL sez: I put the first H&I Fires post up a few days ago and he noticed that one, IIRC].

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Even though he's shilling for votes in a contest where we threw our support to Blackfive - this is worthy of a link, regardless. Sgt. Hook. H/t, Mike D. Snerk. We've gotten all of *5* more votes this week. And Sgt Hook has overtaken Blackfive. Gad, we have no influence *at all!!!* It's time to consider retiring the site. 8^) -the Armorer

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When opportunity knocks. Ouch. It pays to employ common sense about opening attached files to your email. Curiosity can kill more than just the cat.

Like EF Hutton of old, when The Salamander speaks you should listen(and he echoes The Armorer). I say this is how we should’ve reacted to the PLAN sub incident as well. If it comes to cases this is a serious problem.

I hope this isn’t GPS reliant.

US the Resilient. Well, would you rather live thru a catastrophe somewhere else?
--ry
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The End of the World? Dorking. H/t, Mike D. -the Armorer

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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by Denizens on Jan 21, 2007 | General Commentary

Act on this as you will.

[Update: Sergeant Hess has a request - be sure to click here after you read this post! -the Armorer]

I'm sure the retail outlet emailer felt s/he was scoring major points and making a HUGE statement. Or not, just being, an ass. As if the good Sergeant has the choice - and as if the little protestor *truly* wants we military types to pick and choose where we go and when. Sigh. They never think *that one* through.

From Polipundit.

Lefty Business Insults Troops

This is disgusting & pathetic. This business owner is a disgrace.
{This has been verified as TRUE}

Sgt. Hess, who is from the 1st Cavalry Division stationed in Iraq, emailed a company called discount-mats.com, an online retailer in West Allis, Wisconsin to inquire about ordering some mats but wanted to verify that they would ship to a APO.

From: SGT Jason Hess Sent: Tue Jan 16 3:25

Do you ship to APO address? I’m in the 1st Cavalry Division stationed in Iraq and we are trying to order some mats but we are looking for who ships to APO first.

Well, you wouldn’t believe the disgusting reply he received back from the company:

From: contact@discount-mats.com Sent: Tuesday, January 16, 2007 9:44 PM Subject: Re: Feedback: from discount-mats.com

SGT Hess,
We do not ship to APO addresses, and even if we did, we would NEVER ship to Iraq. If you were sensible, you and your troops would pull out of Iraq.

Bargain Suppliers
Discount-Mats.com

Please read & take action. I am sick and tired of these anti military left wing nuts. Contact DISCOUNT MATS and let them know how wrong they are. Freedom of speech?

And who exactly protects that right?

414-736-8394
contact@discount-mats.com

Here is their mailing address:

Bargain Suppliers
3259 S.106th Street
West Allis, WI 53227

-- Michael "A.J. Sparxx" Illions

It's hard to boycott people you don't use, but you can certainly send them a nice, polite email telling them how thick-headed their employee is, and how shallow their thinking.

Do have fun. But be polite. Remember the Rulez. You're also far more likely to get read (unlike a blog, where you're more likely to get read if your rude... go figure) if you're polite and reasonable.

[Update: Note the Snopes reference in the comments. Read more here. I reiterate: Be Polite. -the Armorer]

Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by John on Jan 21, 2007 | Moonbat Watch
AlphaPatriot links with: Muslim-American Disses Soldier Over Mat -- Roundup
Searchlight Crusade links with: Links and Minifeatures 01 24 Wednesday

I've got a new skillset for my resume - and a whatziss!

Antique Ordnance Restoration Expert.

Heh. *That* oughta jump right out at all those Fortune 500-type recruiters…

A couple of the guys from the State Militia Museum found out I was "between jobs" and dragooned me into doing a li'l pro bono work. Okay, okay, a * lot* of pro bono work. They made me the Aviation SME and have me working on everything save things that slip the surly bonds of earth. Well, for a couple of months, I kept telling myself, I should'a brought my camera – the kids would love this stuff. Today, I did.

I'll post my latest project sometime this week; I sure as hell hope b'lieve it'll be finished by Friday…

Hosting provided by FotoTime

Meantime, a minute portion of what I'm currently involved with is returning what's left of one of our three French 75s to its original state. This one came back to the US after the War to End All Wars and, sometime in the mid 1930s, was upgraded, modernized and modified with a more offroad-friendly carriage. Heh. You wouldn't believe where we found a bunch of OEM parts for it… [Armorer's note - I believe this is in fact a M1905 3 inch gun, which saw combat in the Punitive Expedition, but never left the US during WWI. Having been loosely patterned on the French M1897 75mm, it is often mistaken for one. What *is* unique about this one - it's the first one I've seen modified to a high-speed (i.e., faster'n a team of horses) towing configuration. I've asked Bill to check the data plates on the gun.]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The caisson here is an oddball. I separated the layers of a paint chip with a razor blade and the first coat that was slapped over the primer was good ol' Desert Sand Yellow. In 1907.

Hosting provided by FotoTime

Heh -- a hundred years ago, the Army in the West was painting stuff the same exact color as the stuff used by the Army in the East today. Sooooo, that's the color it got after the major repair work. Only difference is that there's no lead in this tintage.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Got all kinds of goodies in the scrap heap restoration yard (even more in the museum proper), including some things you don't often see. Like this --

Whatizzit?

Okay, all you Field Artillery types, Whadizzit?

No, guys, it's the #82-lookin' thingy in the center, not the Jeep or the Reckless Rifle. My stuff is a lot easier to figger out than John's, but I'm not gonna hand you the answer on a silver platter.

Oh, stop whining. Here's a side view, too.

C'mon, quite stalling.  Whatizzit?

Heh. Like Captain H sez, "Context is everything." I'll be back later.

Ummmmmm -- don't let WK and Maggie drag the comments too far afield…

Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by CW4BillT on Jan 21, 2007 | Artillery
MilBlogs links with: ATTN Military Hardware Geeks.

Snow-eating Grin...

Snow-eating grin on the Tractor of Argghhh!

Look at the Lawn Tractor of Argghhh! Sure, he's not tracked. And he got stuck once - but self-recovered, Murray - and 4 inches of really wet snow is about all he can handle - but is that not a snow-eating grin? Happy to be an all-season tractor, and not just sit silent and morose in the Shed of Argghhh! during the winter.

This is the vista that greeted us this morning.

Before and After.


And this is what it looked like before we tidied up the little bits. We'll have to do it again later today, no doubt. Advantage of living on a snow route - your street gets cleared. Disadvantage, the city keeps dumping snow on your sidewalk and telling you that you are required to clear it off your sidewalk. And then they come back and... dump snow on your sidewalk. We're better off than our flanking neighbors. The snowplows took out their mailboxes last night. One reason we have the kind of mailbox we now have is because the city, and idiots with over-large mirrors kept taking it out.

The ice storm last week took out a lot of power. Around here, the local power company has been aggressively exercising it's tree-slaying easement to remove threats to the powerlines. The Inner Bailey suffered from their depredations this year - but if you were home, you could force 'em to trim. If you weren't home, you came home to a pile of neatly stacked firewood and no tree.

Anyway, we don't worry about that overmuch in cold weather here at Castle Argghhh! Here's a shot of SWWBO yesterday with 9/11ths of the reason why we don't worry about it over much, at least from a warmth perspective.

Critter Swarm of Argghhh!

Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by John on Jan 21, 2007 | I think it's funny!

Red Ensign Blogging.

I've been a Red Ensign blogger ever since the Flea invented the concept - that of people who visualized a, well, more robust Canada. Like the Canada that has stepped up in Afghanistan. Even though they smell funny, I really *like* Canadians. The hosers. They're a lot like us, only different. And they spell badly. Those extra vowels, doncha know.

I'm just curious though - of all the Red Ensign Bloggers - how many have actually *flown* the Red Ensign?

The Castle Flies the Red Ensign of Canada.

The Red Ensign being Canada's flag prior to adoption of the Maple Leaf flag.

Regardless - yesterday, appropriately during the snow storm - the Castle hoist the Red Ensign.

Just because we could. We're still trying to score a nice Australian and New Zealand Red Ensign, which, like the Canadian version (well, except for yesterday, where we did it just because we wanted to) it will fly from the Castle staff on their respective national days..

'Cuz we like the Anglosphere. Without apology. Even if Tony has turned out to be a bit of a twit.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by John on Jan 21, 2007 | Shameless Self-Promotion