U.S. Army soldiers jump from a hovering CH-47 Chinook helicopter during
the helo-cast event on day two of the Best Sapper Competition, Fort
Leonard Wood, Mo., April 20, 2010. The Best Sapper Competition gives
engineers throughout the Army the opportunity to compete in a grueling
six phase and three day competition to determine who are the best
engineers in the Army.
DoD photo by Benjamin Faske
...Ajab Han, a sergeant in the ANA working with British troops from the
1st battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland at a patrol base in the
Sangin valley, has found 177 IEDs during his three years in Helmand.
know where they put them now," says Sergeant Ajab. "It helps to know
the terrain. I can also think like the insurgents, stay one step ahead
of them, and keep my soldiers, and ISAF soldiers safe." <...> Capt. Will Wright, the platoon commander from 1 Scots mentoring team,
working alongside Sergeant Ajab and his soldiers said, "Patrolling with
the ANA gives us such an advantage. They see things we sometimes don't,
they are brave beyond words...
An Iranian maritime patrol aircraft buzzed the carrier Dwight D.
Eisenhower at sea in the Middle East last week, passing within 1,000
yards of the ship, but American defense officials sought to downplay the
encounter as relatively common...
Without fanfare, the United Nations this week elected Iran to its
Commission on the Status of Women, handing a four-year seat on the
influential human rights body to a theocratic state in which stoning is
enshrined in law and lashings are required for women judged "immodest."
Of course, the AP had a different take by writing an entire article base upon Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton's speech that she was supposed to give to the American Jewish Committee yesterday.
...On Iran, Clinton will say the administration is still open to engaging
with Tehran but that it must meet international demands to prove its
suspect nuclear program is peaceful as it claims and not a cover for
developing atomic weapons. Short of that, the U.S. will continue to
press for tough new U.N. Security Council sanctions on Iran...
Soldiers in Afghanistan doing Lady Gaga's "Telephone." Quite possibly the best music video filmed in a war zone. If you don't find this entertaining, then there is something wrong. More on the video here
The Veterans Airlift Command provides free air transportation to wounded warriors, veterans
and their families for medical and other compassionate purposes through
a national network of volunteer aircraft owners and pilots. These men donate their time and resources. Not all of
our heroes are in the military. Watch the video. Visit the site. Make a donation.
“The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in
any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how
they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were Treated and
Appreciated by their Nation.”
Dale Brown’s latest novel, Executive Intent, combines military technology with political intrigue. There are a lot of confrontational episodes between the United States military and America’s old adversaries, Russia and China. Mr. Brown uniquely explores how Americans need to be aware of Russia’s re-emergence and China’s new status as super powers.
The book begins with an encounter between one of America’s aircraft carriers and a Chinese fighter plane, a Sukhoi-34. Brown uses the plot to explore the need for America to have a base in space that can fire anti-ballistic missiles to protect America and her allies. The story takes off when China and Russia join forces to threaten the US. What unfolds is a combination of military and political decisions based on the technology at hand. He weaves together stories that build up to a high climax. It is a fascinating theory in which Brown explained that, “If Russia and China put away their differences and worked together to harass the US, it would be a serious problem. We could lose control over a particular ocean or region. What I wanted to do is create a level of anxiety in the world.”
There are a number of questions Mr. Brown poses to the reader through a suspenseful plot. How should America respond to a threat by another super power? Should there be military bases in space? Should weapons be allowed on those bases? Is there a need to develop a strong missile defense system? What happens when political figures, America’s leaders, turn out to be pacifists, and how will that affect America’s national security? He answers these questions through action-packed encounters where technology plays a leading role.
Blackfive.net asked Brown why he wrote a book centering on a military space base considering the US signed a treaty that forms the basis of international space law. He commented that “Military pundits are fearful of a military space race. The US is finding more competition with nations such as China, Russia, and India. They point to the space treaty and say it prohibits weapons in space. It prohibits weapons of mass destruction in space, but does not prohibit lasers or defensive missiles.”
One of the main points of the book is how politics affect the military. Brown points out that the military is run by civilians and the Commander-in-Chief, the head of the military, is the President. He explores how politicians ultimately make the final decision in how to respond to threats. He commented that “we have the technology to do that, it’s the political will we need. One of the sub-plots of the story is that the President was putting on blinders regarding the use of technology.”
Although the book is an enjoyable read, the characters need to be better developed earlier in the story. As the plot progresses, Brown develops the character’s personalities more. It is obvious that his fans crave a book that concentrates on the latest weapon system and technology. He admitted that “the humans are not the main characters of the story. I think the technology and the weapons are the main characters.”
The book has something for everyone. A military buff will be able to look into the technological future in the next 2 to 5 years. There is also a suspenseful, insightful plot that centers on the political personalities affecting our national security. Overall the book is an interesting read.
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.