Yesterday I had the opportunity to participate in a DoD-sponsored Blogger's
Roundtable with U.S. Air Force Col. Michael Wobbema, Chief of Staff for the
Coalition Air Force Transition Team. His job? Help rebuild the Iraqi Air Force.
With the recent MQ-9 Reaper kill that I briefly talked about over on Defense Tech, my first
if UAVs were going to be included in the the future Iraqi Air
Force. With ISR assets (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) such a
large part of any operation, I was curious if the success of any Coalition UAV
ISR program is in the cards. COL Wobbema's reply:
I do not think that we have any kind of unmanned vehicle program established in the long-term planning. Basically what we're doing is we're using a manned form of the same type of intelligence-gathering equipment in the form of a Caravan, a Cessna Caravan, that we've put an ISR suite on, which is operated by a sensor operator that's actually flying in the aircraft.
My next question centered around what sort of aircraft the Iraqi Air Force can be expected to be flying in the near future:
Well, in the future, of course, you know, I've been a fighter guy my whole career, and a lot of the Iraqi air force pilots are all former fighter pilots. And, of course, if they had an unlimited budget and didn't want to worry about anything else, we'd be buying F-16s, F-18s for them. Or they would be buying
them for themselves. That's what they'd be wanting to do.
But we have to walk before we can run, and right now we've got some C-130
aircraft on the ground that they're operating. There are some MI-17 for the
rotary-wing side. They've got a few Hueys.
And then we've got this Cessna
Caravan. The Cessna Caravan will also become -- there will be an armed
variant of that that will come online. And then they'll move into -- the next iteration
will be a light- attack aircraft of some sort, probably a propeller-driven kind
of light-attack aircraft that can take care of their most immediate need, and
that is to deal with the insurgency that's taking place inside their own
From there, then, it will migrate to being able to
develop an air defense capability to protect their borders from outside
influence. And then, from there, you know, who knows? At some point in time I
suspect that they will ultimately migrate to becoming a fully integrated part
of the world community.
Thinking back to the air order of battle that existed in Iraq 17 years ago, those days are far in the future. Currently any external threat that may require a robust air defense capability can and will be handled by coalition aircraft that remain in theater or are operating offshore from carrier strike groups. Same goes for Close Air Support (CAS), either on-call from a CAS-stack or some form of alert launch, in support of ground operations. Self-determination from a military aviation perspective is in in the cards, but not for a while.
COL Wobbema has a number of other fascinating things to pass on in this interview and you can read the article from DefenseLink News here or read the transcript of the roundtable here.
Pay particular attention to the second and fourth stories.
Nickelodeon "news" program, is not a news program, it is a but this show
was a primer on how to be a "left-wing radical REBEL".
not a blind follower of our Government, and I also think that
Government should be watched by it's citizens. It is our civic duty.
However this program led by Ellerby, is anti-war, anti- GWOT, anti-military.
shows a group, of "tweenagers" walking around in orange jumpsuits,
hooded and yelling from a bullhorn. "We are not ok, with people being
tortured by American soldiers!" "Are cooperation's priority over human
There is also a call for the impeachment of the
President in the second segment of the video, "democracy is at stake
because of the President violating the Constitution"...
I went and watched the clip and it's even worse that AWTM says it is. To say that I'm shocked by this kind of propaganda on a children's tv station is an understatement.
Poor Mark Kukis, Time writer in Baghdad. He has a deadline to get his copy in so Time can kill a few hundred thousand trees spreading lies and defeatism. But he catches a lucky break when the news of 20 lovely decapitated bodies comes in. Oh Bliss, his editor will love this and it ties in with the overall Time stylebook requirement that any positive accomplishments in Iraq, must be offset by 4 times as many reports on bad news, real or fake but accurate. "Just follow the narrative son, you'll be fine."
He punches the reader right in the guts with his highly edited and fact-checked reporting in this opening paragraph.
The horrible discovery in Diyala province Monday was disturbing even by
the standards of Iraq's running sectarian violence. Iraqi police said
they found 20 decapitated bodies dumped near a police station west of
Baquba, the capital of Diyala province.
That would be horrible if it had actually happened, you maroon. Just another terrorist press release printed in full and given the MSM seal of approval.
It is kinda fun watching the MSM do a beautiful slow motion sinking, kinda like the Titanic. I can't wait until Leo slips under the water.
Go ahead and watch the vid so you can join me in giggling your ass off. (h/t the Corner)
Readers might remember that after 9/11, the military band at Buckingham
Palace broke with tradition and played the Stars and Stripes.
Yesterday, as king Abdullah of Saudi Arabia arrived to meet Her Majesty
the Queen, they played a somewhat different tune to greet the visiting
monarch's arrival: Darth Vader's theme music.
The first two days of torture started with threatening questions about
his family's conspiracy. Shin Dong-Hyuk had no answers because at age
14, he was required to live in the dormitory with other teenagers in
North Korea's notorious political prison camp No.14, north of
Pyongyang. He had not seen his parents and brother for weeks.
The next morning, Shin was hung upside down with his ankles
cuffed, all day long. He wondered why his mother and brother tried to
escape, if what the authorities claimed was true. Surely, they should
have known that anything short of being out of place in this camp is
punished by death.
On the fourth day Shin was dragged into cell No.7, the secret
underground torture chamber. Completely stripped, legs cuffed, hands
tied with rope, his legs and hands were hung from the ceiling. The
torturers lit up a charcoal fire under his back. He struggled. But they
pierced a steel hook near Shin's groin to keep him from writhing. Amid
the sounds and smells of flesh burning, Shin then blacked out.
If you know edged weapons, and you know historical weapons, then you know Hank Reinhart. He may have been best known to the larger public for his previous work with Museum Replicas and Atlanta Cutlery, but there was much more to the man and his work with that. Hank taught knife and edged weapons to the military and law enforcement, as well as to those who showed they were willing and ready to learn. I don't have details, but have been informed that he passed away this morning. I have paid a small tribute to him at my blog and I am glad for knowing him in a small way. Hank, it was a pleasure. I keep, and ask you to keep, his wife Toni Weisskopf, his children, and his many friends in your thoughts in the days ahead.
You all know how much I love it when the left hates on me. I giggle like a schoolgirl and the fact that I am unashamed infuriates them even more. The current raison d' hate is my firm support of waterboarding, the Halliburton of coercive interrogation. I don't believe that it constitutes torture and that makes me the purest kind of an evil police statist. Sadly, No.
I especially like the screenshot they took from one of the Freeflys for a picture. The caption read "Uncle Jimbo and his best friend". Funny how they had to crop Kev out of the freakin' picture to make the lame ass insult. Plus I damn sure don't drink Vodka and Coke FFS! My best friend that night was Bacardi Anejo.
I think I need a new tag line and while they are hatin' they do have some entertaining ways to refer to me. Vote on your favorite or make up lovely new ways to insultingly name me in the comments.
Take famed right-wing milblogger Uncle Jimbo at Blackfive, for example; in his latest post on the virtues of a police state, he has this to say:
Famed eh? Sadly, not very. But I do enjoy being the representative of all that is evil with the neocon, global imperialist agenda. Some retro-commies had a fresh and tasty tag for me. I don't know if they are real or pseudo-lefties, but they definitely have a bone to pick with me.
But none stranger than this from the inimitable Unclue Jimbo at Blackfive:
I wrote a piece this weekend in response to a Wash Post story about "secret" CIA prisons and my support for them and most of the mean things we do to people in them. It was in the style of Grim's magnificent piece "On the virtues of killing children", and this may be a genre we should continue. Malcolm Nance wrote a piece for Small Wars Journal titled "Waterboarding is torture, period" and both went up late Sunday night. I hadn't read his piece until someone linked to it in the comments. Once I read it I added a link to it and stated that it was an excellent piece. I still think so, it was informative, definitive and persuasive. It just didn't and won't persuade me. I disagree on the judgment that the act of waterboarding fits the proper definition of torture or even the more restrictive definitions employed by human rights groups and the left.
Without going into the whys of that, let me pose a simple question.
If waterboarding is torture and torture is illegal, then didn't Congress break the law every year when they passed a military budget that contains funds specifically dedicated to conducting waterboarding as a matter of course?
Mr. Nance conducts waterboardings professionally or did, and yet he believes that the procedure is fine for our troops, but somehow not fit for our enemies? I have a very hard time wrapping my brain around that concept. Congress banned the use of torture in the Detainee Treatment act of 2005. So, if it is torture we shouldn't be doing it to ourselves, but if Congress authorizes the military to do it, then it can't be torture. Congress is not allowed to authorize money for patently illegal activities, therefore their knowing authorization explicitly says that waterboarding is not torture.
I will grant that the procedure is horrifying and repulsive, but that is part of it's effectiveness. The fact that it causes no lasting damage at all is another reason to favor it's use. But the number one reason to use it is because it works. It is the perfect answer to the lie that you cannot coerce useful information from bad guys. KSM broke very quickly and the info we got from him allowed us to scarf up dozens of AQ killers and saved countless lives. While other methods may have eventually procured this intelligence, the time spent doing so made it more likely his info would be out of date and we would miss the chance to capture or kill the terrorists. As awful as that makes me, I think that means we have an obligation to do it and I would consider it's banning a blow to our security.
Man oh man, what a beautiful day here in the Mad City 68 degrees and the bluest skies. I headed to my local cafe with wi fi and voila. I'm at work. Yes the girl behind me is smokin' hot, model pretty, her friend too. Bliss.
Here is an email I got yesterday.
Listened to you this morning on Allman and Crane. Love your site. Check out www.myspace.com/marchalli when you have a second. A song I wrote about our fallen troops overseas. Enjoy.
His email indicates he works for the local NFL team in St. Louis, but I won't name them as I think they are having a bye year. Heh. Great song though.
Since the times of Stephen Decatur, John O'Bannon, and Thomas Jefferson, pirates have come up against the United States Navy.... and been found wanting. (Sort of like the jihadists of their day). Today I came on a story too good to pass up.
NAIROBI, Kenya - A U.S. Navy
destroyer off the coast of Somalia helped sailors who retook control of
their vessel Tuesday in a deadly battle with pirates who hijacked the
North Korean-flagged ship, the American military said.
helicopter flew from the USS James E. Williams to investigate a
phoned-in tip of a hijacked vessel, and demanded by bridge-to-bridge
radio that the pirates give [up] their weapons, the military said in a
statement. The sailors then overwhelmed the hijackers, leaving two
pirates dead, according to preliminary reports, and five captured, the
Three seriously injured crew members were brought onboard the Williams, it said.
Former Paratrooper and Army Officer, "Blackfive" started this blog upon learning of the valorous sacrifice of a friend that was not reported by the journalist whose life he saved. Email: blackfive AT gmail DOT com
Retired Special Operations Master Sergeant, Jim Hanson ("Uncle Jimbo") is now focused on writing about the military, politics, intelligence operations and foreign policy. Email: jimbo AT unclejimbo DOT com
Writer, photographer, and raconteur C. Blake Powers is the Laughing Wolf. He is independent in politics and covers topics including journalism, military, weapons, preparedness, space, science, cooking, food and wine, product and book reviews, and even spirituality. Email: wolf1 AT laughingwolf DOT net Laughing Wolf's Amazon Wish List
Bill Paisley, otherwise known as Pinch, is a 22 year (ongoing) active and
reserve naval aviator. He blogs over at www.instapinch.com on a veritable
cornucopia of various and sundry items and will bring a tactical naval
aviator's perspective to Blackfive. Readers be warned: any comments of or
about the F-14 Tomcat will be reverential and spoken in low, hushed tones.
Email: wpaisley AT comcast DOT net
Mr. Wolf has over 26 years in the Army, Army NG, and USAR. He’s Airborne with 5 years as an NCO, before becoming an officer. Mr. Wolf has had 4 company commands. Signal Corp is his basic branch, and Public Affairs is his functional area. He recently served 22 straight months in Kuwait and Iraq, in Intel, PA, and senior staff of MNF-I. Mr. Wolf is now an IT executive. He is currently working on a book on media and the Iraq war. Functional gearhead.
In Iraq, he received the moniker of Mr. Wolf after the Harvey Kietel character in Pulp Fiction, when "challenges" arose, they called on Mr. Wolf...
Email: TheDOTMrDOTWolfAT gmail DOT com
Deebow is a Staff Sergeant and a Military Police Squad Leader in the Army National Guard. In a previous life, he served in the US Navy. He has over 19 years of experience in both the Maritime and Land Warfare; including deployments to Southwest Asia, Thailand, the South Pacific, South America and Egypt. He has served as a Military Police Team Leader and Protective Services Team Leader and he has served on assignments with the US State Department, US Air Force Security Police, US Army Criminal Investigation Division, and the US Drug Enforcement Administration. He recently spent time in Afghanistan working with, training and fighting alongside Afghan Soldiers and is now focused on putting his 4 year Political Science degree to work by writing about foreign policy, military security policy and politics.
McQ has 28 years active and reserve service. Retired. Infantry officer. Airborne and Ranger. Consider my 3 years with the 82nd as the most fun I ever had with my clothes on. Interests include military issues and policy and veteran's affairs.
Email: mcq51 -at - bellsouth -dot- net
Tantor is a former USAF navigator/weapon system officer (WSO) in F-4E Phantoms who served in the US, Asia, and Europe. He is now a curmudgeonly computer geek in Washington, DC, picking the taxpayers pocket. His avocations are current events, aviation, history, and conservative politics.
Twenty-three years of Active and Reserve service in the US Army in SF (18B), Infantry and SOF Signal jobs with operational deployments to Bosnia and Africa. Since retiring he's worked as Senior Defense Analyst on SOF and Irregular Warfare projects and currently ensconced in the emerging world of Cyberspace.
Major Pain --
A Marine who began his blog in Iraq and reflects back on what he learned there and in Afghanistan. To the point opinions, ideas and thoughts on military, political and the media from One Marine’s View. Email: onemarinesview AT yahoo DOT com
Uber Pig was an Infantryman from late 1991 until early 1996, serving with Second Ranger Battalion, I Corps, and then 25th Infantry Division. At the time, the Army discriminated against enlisted soldiers who wanted use the "Green to Gold" program to become officers, so he left to attend Stanford University. There, he became expert in detecting, avoiding, and surviving L-shaped ambushes, before dropping out to be as entrepreneurial as he could be. He is now the founder of a software startup serving the insurance and construction industries, and splits time between Lake Tahoe, Boonville, and San Francisco, CA.
Uber Pig writes for Blackfive a) because he's the proud brother of an enlisted Civil Affairs Reservist who currently serves in Iraq, b) because he looks unkindly on people who make it harder for the military in general, and for his brother in particular, to succeed at their missions and come home in victory, and c) because the Blackfive readers and commenters help keep him sane.
COB6 spent 24 years in the active duty Army that included 5 combat tours with service in the 1st Ranger Battalion and 1st Special Forces Group . COB6 was enlisted (E-7) and took the OCS route to a commission. COB6 retired a few years back as a field grade Infantry officer.
Currently COB6 has a son in the 82nd Airborne that just returned from his third tour and has a newly commissioned daughter in the 4th Infantry Division.