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July 2011

Why We're Winning The Global War On Terror


News.24 in South Africa reports on news from Iraq:

"An al-Qaeda terrorist, Mohammed Nussayef Jasim al-Hamdani, was killed while trying to fit a bomb inside a vehicle at his home," a police official in Kirkuk said.

"His two children, aged 10 and 11, also were killed, part of his house was destroyed, and 20 of his neighbours were wounded," he added, saying the incident occurred before midnight on Monday west of Kirkuk city.

We're fighting chimps. Deadly, murderous chimps. But chimps.

Navy Tests F-35C on a Catapult



An F-35C test aircraft piloted by Lt. Christopher Tabert launches from a steam catapult for the first time. CF-3 is the designated carrier suitability test aircraft. The F-35C carrier variant of the Joint Strike Fighter is distinct from the F-35A and F-35B variants with its larger wing surfaces and reinforced landing gear for greater control in the demanding carrier take-off and landing environment. The F-35C is undergoing test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River before eventual delivery to the fleet.  Photo courtesy of US Navy Visual Information Service.

[More about the F-35 program (and controversies from the media) here and here]

Breaking: Soldiers Arrested Planning Attack [Updated]

AWOL Soldier arrested planning an attack on Fort Hood.  News at FoxNews.

....Pvt. Nasser Jason Abdo, an AWOL soldier from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, was arrested by the Killeen Police Department near Fort Hood and remains in custody there. Authorities, however, will not say if Abdo is the one who raised security concerns...

Update:  Sean Linnane had a post up about Private Abdo's AWOL 12 days ago.  Check it out.

Update 2: The Farm Team at This Ain't Hell were all over this guy last year. There's an IVAW connection.

Highlanders in Helmand

Highlander Mark Mackenzie, 4th Battalion, the Highlanders, the Royal Regiment of Scotland, and a native of Stoneaway, Scotland, covers his sector during a patrol in Lashkar Gah District, Helmand province, July 20. The battalion has recently stepped up its patrol presence to counteract insurgent activity in its area of operations.


Bombardier Al Coburn, a Joint Terminal Attack controller with148 Commando, Forward Observation Battery, searches for suspicious activity while on patrol with 4th Battalion, the Highlanders, the Royal Regiment of Scotland, in Lashkar Gah District, Helmand province, July 23. The battalion has recently stepped up its patrol presence to counteract insurgent activity in its area of operations.

RangerUp Needs You (in Chicago)

Tonight, RangerUp (with Nick and Tim Kennedy) are hosting a segment of a new show being developed by the Deadliest Catch and Ice Road Truckers producers.  The show is about young Americans wanting to join the military and meeting some of the people that have served in it.  It's a cool concept when you think about having the Rangers and an SF Soldier like Tim meeting a recruit.

If you are a veteran in Chicago and want to come out and support RangerUp and the military, here are the details:

    Date:          Today, July, 28, 2011

    Time:          2200 [10pm]

    Location:     Chicago Marriott North West
                        4800 Hoffman Blvd
                        HOFFMAN ESTATES (NW suburbs, not Chicago)

    Attire:          Please wear clothes

Help us out and let people know through Facebook, Twitter, and any other means at your disposal.  Please join us (I'm going to try to be there, too), as It's going to be a very good time.
Update:  Been asked about the attire comment.  It was intended for Rangers and Rugby players.  B5 out.

Walter Reed closes- end of an era

Today was the official casing of the colors for the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. An awful lot of military folks have moved through there over the years and have received some of the best medical care in the world. There may have been some glitches, but all in all it was a safe haven for our wounded and sick. There was quite a going away party today and I attended w/ my girlfriend who is in the Wounded Warrior program there. The Golden Knights jumped in and started things off which is always fun.

Photo(13)  My girl went to introduce me to a double amputee skydiver who used to be a member of the Knights and actually returned to the team after losing both legs at the knee. Funny thing was I already knew him and had gone through the SF Weapons course with him back in the day. Dana Bowman was there to jump in later with the Ranger Group.

Photo(12) One of the great parts of the Walter Reed family was the Mologne House, a hotel right on post where our wounded and their families could stay while rehabilitating. It opened in 1997 and was named for a former commander of Walter Reed, Gen. Lewis A. Mologne. His widow Rose has remained a major force in the lives of many of those who have spent time there and she and my girlfriend are good friends.We got a chance to say hi to her today.

Most of the programs from Walter Reed have survived and will move to Bethesda, which is being renamed to include the Walter Reed legacy and to Ft. Belvoir. But a piece of our military history closed today and that is a bittersweet thing. Thanks to all the talented and dedicated medical personnel who have done so much for the patients who needed them.


US Army Sergeant Jacob Perkins - Someone You Should Know

We first heard about this story (a soldier rushed into a burning bus to save the passengers) over at This Ain't Hell, but it was only a rumor at the time.  Later, the story went national and Jonn Lilyea said that the Soldier in the story should get the Soldier's Medal.  After you read this, I think you'll agree 100%.  Sergeant Nick sends:

...At about 1:20 a.m., the bus pulled back onto the highway. It had just crossed the rough surface of the road’s shoulder when a Matrix Expedited Services truck carrying 14,000 pounds of ball bearing crashed into it.

It woke Michelle, and her mom began telling her to get out of the bus.

Michelle stood up. “I turned around and you could see the transport truck there on fire at the back of the bus.”
At about the same time, Army Sgt. Jacob Perkins, 28, was driving his truck westbound. Perkins was stationed at Fort Drum in the First Squadron 89th Calvary Regiment and had served in Iraq. He was beginning a couple of weeks leave with a long drive to his home in Mountain Grove, Mo.

“It was just a big fireball of a crash. There were two vehicles burning on the side of the road and people were outside, but there weren’t any first responders there,” he said.

Perkins pulled his truck over.

“All of a sudden this guy came running. He ran right onto the bus that was fully engulfed in flames,” Michelle said...

More here at Syracuse.com.

Apparently Perkins touched every seat on the bus even though it was on fire - because the think heavy smoke made it impossible to see - but like a good sergeant he got his headcount right and everyone was accounted for...

More here at ABCNews.

...Though the tractor-trailer driver died in the accident, police said there were no fatalities on the tour bus thanks largely to the heroic actions of Sgt. Jacob Perkins, who is stationed at the nearby Fort Drum army base and is with the 10th Mountain Division, 2nd Brigade, 189 Cavalry.

The Army has said that Perkins was part of a brigade that had just gone on leave Wednesday and was driving to Missouri to celebrate his daughter's birthday when he pulled over to help rescue the victims...

Sergeant Perkins is Someone You Should Know.

Paratroopers in the Ukraine

Staff Sgt. Travis Surber, a native of Franklin County, Va., and a paratrooper with the 173rd Brigade Combat Team’s Battle Company of the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, parachutes out of a C-130 Hercules Transport Aircraft and into the Ukraine sky. This marks the first time the “Sky Soldiers” of the 173rd have jumped in Ukraine and they’ll be training and conducting multinational airborne operations, a situational training exercise and a field training exercise here from through Aug. 5 as part of Rapid Trident 2011. Rapid Trident 2011 is a U.S. Army Europe led, multi-national exercise taking place at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center in Yavoriv, Ukraine. It is designed to promote regional stability and security, strengthen international military partnering and foster trust while improving interoperability between participating nations. Rapid Trident 2011 involves approximately 1,600 personnel. In addition to the U.S. Army Europe and Ukraine, participants include: Latvia, Belarus, Moldova, Slovenia, Canada, Poland, Serbia, the U.K., Lithuania, Estonia, California and Utah National Guard and U.S. Air Force Europe. Rapid Trident supports interoperability among Ukraine, the United States, NATO and Partnership for Peace member nations. This exercise will help prepare participants to operate successfully in a joint, multinational, integrated environment with host-nation support from civil and governmental agencies. Rapid Trident is a part of U.S. European Command’s Joint Training and Exercise Program, designed to enhance joint combined interoperability with allied and partner nations. The exercise also supports Ukraine’s Annual National Program to achieve interoperability with NATO and commitments made in the annual NATO-Ukraine work plan. The 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team is one of the U.S. Army’s most highly decorated units having particularly distinguished itself during the Vietnam War and having produced 15 Congressional Medal of Honor recipients including Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, the first living recipient of the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War.

Sector Scan

U.S. Army Spc. Brian Coelho, rifleman, scans his sector of fire during a key leader engagement at the district center, a secured location, in Arghandab, Afghanistan, July 26, 2011. Members of Provincial Reconstruction Team Zabul meet with leaders of the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and village elders frequently to solve security issues around the province. PRT Zabul's mission is to conduct civil-military operations in Zabul province to extend the reach and legitimacy of the government of Afghanistan.