« September 2012 | Main | November 2012 »

October 2012

Video: Coasties Rescue Crew of HMS Bounty

 

The Coast Guard rescued 14 people from life rafts in the Atlantic Ocean approximately 90 miles southeast of Hatteras, N.C., Monday, Oct. 29, and two people remain missing. The first MH-60 Jayhawk crew arrived on scene at approximately 6:30 a.m. and hoisted five people into the aircraft, and a second helicopter arrived and rescued nine people and all were taken to Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., with no life-threatening conditions. U.S. Coast Guard video by Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C.

Story after the jump.

Continue reading "Video: Coasties Rescue Crew of HMS Bounty" »


Sitrep, Sound-off

 

Hearing from a number of regulars that they are okay, but it would be nice if others could let us know their status.  So, sound-off, and if you need help we will do what we can to link you up.  For all, be aware that the damage may be worse than expected, and even basic recovery may be weeks.  Meantime, if you can, drop a dime to Team Rubicon to help them help those in need. 

LW


Just wondering ...

Today, POLITICO's "Morning Defense" had this little blurb in it:

FAST FACTS --

-- Panetta is set to receive his first Sandy briefing of the day inside the Pentagon at 8:30 a.m.

-- Some 275 ambulances are staged at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, in New Jersey.

-- The following bases are available for FEMA use: Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass.; Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.; and Dover AFB, Del.

-- Ft. Devens, Mass., has been designated a Federal Team Staging Facility.

I couldn't help but wonder if Panetta might decide he doesn't have enough information to send anyone "into harm's way".

And if he so decides, would questioning that decision be "Monday morning quarterbacking"?

Most importantly, would any deaths attributed to such a decision, just be "bumps in the road?"

</sarc>

~McQ


Today is the Day of the Deployed - Help Send Holiday Cheer to the Deployed

SA

Today is the Official Day of the Deployed.

Right now, our men and women overseas need our support.  Soldiers' Angels is in the middle of a drive to get every Soldier, Sailor, Airman, and Marine a care package for the holidays.  There are a lot of ways to help, whether you send your left over Halloween candy or donate some much needed postage:

Each care package costs about $12 to send, and Soldiers' Angels is aiming to send a care package to every single hero deployed to Afghanistan.

And that's where the candy comes in...

Fall and Winter are the perfect time to send chocolaty and gummy candy to the troops.  It's also a great way to deal with the candy overload of Halloween.  Our deployed military men and women always enjoy candy in their care packages, and this is the perfect time of year for shipping all types of candy--the cooler weather means it's less likely to melt! 

From putting together a big fundraiser for postage to helping your kids collect candy for the troops on Halloween, there are endless ways to get your family and community involved in this month's project!

To help make holiday care packages a little sweeter, you send your candy to the following addresses, or click here to help with postage (links to PayPal and AuthorizeNet are at the bottom).

Soldiers’ Angels
Six Months of Christmas
1792 E Washington Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91104

  OR

Soldiers’ Angels
Six Months of Christmas
5068 US HWY 64 East
Franklinville, NC 27248


Former Delta Operator on "The Panetta Doctrine" or also known as "The Dumbest Shit I Ever Heard!"

Got an email from the retired former Delta operator in the Benghazi post.  And yes, he mis-spells the SecDef's name on purpose.

This is about doctrine, specifically the Obama Administration's doctrine, and how it doesn't work in the real world:

Leon Penetta is Either a Dumbass or a Liar
 
The Secretary of Defense, in his most determined way, continues to try to protect the President from the fiasco in Benghazi.  So desperate to shield the President he announced what will be forever remembered as the Penetta Doctrine:
 
“(The) basic principle is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on; without having some real-time information about what’s taking place,” Panetta told Pentagon reporters. “And as a result of not having that kind of information, the commander who was on the ground in that area, Gen. Ham, Gen. Dempsey and I felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation.”
 
Of course, in the circles that I ran with, it will be forever labeled “The Dumbest Shit I Ever Heard Doctrine”.
 
To be fair to Leon, however, his audience for this ridiculous statement was not members of the military and especially not for those in the Special Operations arena who immediately recognized that the entire statement is not a doctrine at all.  It is horseshit, nothing more.
 
The “The Dumbest Shit I Ever Heard Doctrine” was targeted toward civilians.  Read the doctrine carefully.  On the surface it makes a case for Force Protection being an overriding element of critical decision making and it should be and it makes sense.  The Secretary of Defense wants to ensure the safety of our troops and understands the value of “real-time information”.  Okay, makes sense, good job Leon, end of story, right?
 
A couple of points however need to be made.
 
First.  I am certain that Penetta realizes that we have very specially trained folks whose job it is to execute missions just like what was needed in Benghazi.  On the other hand, maybe he didn’t, since both of the Generals who he supposedly consulted with have a grand total of ZERO days duty in any Special Operations organization.  In fact, they are both old tankers.  The senior of which, General Dempsy, has a Master's degree in literature from Duke University, where he wrote a thesis on the Irish poet W B Yeats. He was a Captain then, and that thesis alone should have rendered him ineligible for promotion to field grade officer.
 
Second, and this is very important. I don’t know what Penetta’s definition of “real-time information” is, but I suspect that, if Eisenhower had the same doctrine, we’d still be sitting in England waiting to invade Europe.
 
Let’s review the real-time facts that we know so far.  The entire event was being streamed live to the State Department and, in all likelihood, the White House situation room.  That’s pretty “real-time” if you ask me, but it gets worse.  Not only were we watching the entire damn thing on expensive televisions; we had at least two highly trained special operators on the ground in direct communication!
 
Do you think the whole Pointe Du Hoc event would have happened during the D-Day attack if Ike and boys had two Navy SEALs telling them that the artillery had been moved?
 
Maybe MacArthur should have cancelled the Inchon landings in Korea because having a live tv stream and two highly trained individuals on the ground just wasn’t quite enough “real-time information”?
 
And this is why “The Dumbest Shit I Ever Heard Doctrine” is so ridiculous.
 
The best “real-time information” possible is eyes on the objective.
Even better is people on the objective with eyes on the enemy.
Even better than that is people on the objective that are highly trained with years of special ops experience in direct communications.
 
My God people, this was a perfect intelligence situation to execute a forced entry relief operation!
 
I spent my youth (24 years) in Infantry and tier one Special Ops units and have been up to my ass is serious fighting on many occasions.  In all that time, I never hit an objective where two Navy SEALs were already there and feeding me all the information I could ever want!  Hell, that wouldn’t even be a raid, it would be a link-up!
 
What more information do you need?  Or was this never about information at all?  Was it really the president deciding that the lives of four Americans wasn’t worth as much as a campaign talking point?
 
In any case, this was not a military consideration made by Penetta or any Generals, it was purely political.
 
And that pisses me off.

Me too.  Me too...


SGT Craig Warfle Awarded Distinguished Service Cross - First Ranger to Receive DSC post 9/11

WarfleU.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno presents the Distinguished Service Cross to Sgt. Craig D. Warfle, from Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, during an award ceremony at Hunter Army Airfield, Ga., Oct. 26, 2012. Warfle received the Army's second highest award for valor for his actions during combat operations in Afghanistan. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Teddy Wade/Released)

U.S. Army Ranger Sergeant Craig D. Warfle's Silver Star award was upgraded to the Distinguished Service Cross, our nation's award for valor second only to the MoH.  Read the citation and the original award write up and see that the upgrade was well deserved.

His citation reads:

For Gallantry in action from August 18 to 19, 2010 during combat operations against an armed enemy of the United States as an Automatic Rifleman for a Joint Task Force in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. During this period, Specialist Warfle, with total disregard for his own personal safety, maneuvered on a fortified enemy machine gun position through effective enemy fire.  Even after being wounded, Specialist Warfle continued to suppress the enemy with high volumes of effective fire in order to allow his team members to pull his unconscious element leader to safety.  Specialist Warfle refused to be medically evacuated from the fight and his actions allowed the Platoon to hastily withdraw and defeat the enemy utilizing air assets.  Specialist Warfle’s distinctive accomplishments are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, this Command, and the United States Army.

The whole write up for the original Silver Star award is below:

 

SPECIALIST CRAIG WARFLE

SILVER STAR (ACH) OEF


Specialist Craig D. Warfle distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous achievement as a Ranger Squad Automatic Weapons Gunner on August 18, 2010 while deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.  Specialist Warfle was assigned to a task force, whose mission was to capture or kill Al Qaeda (AQ) and Taliban (TB) Senior Leadership.

Specialist Warfle’s valorous actions under effective fire while executing an objective saved the lives of his teammates and were instrumental in the death of at least 16 Taliban fighters, the removal of two Taliban Provincial Commanders, and the recovery of a large cache of weapons intended for use against Coalition Forces.

On August 18, 2010, the team received special intelligence indicating that a Taliban Commander and weapons facilitator, was meeting near a tree line with at least 17 other Taliban fighters.  Information gathered indicated that the enemy was orchestrating an ambush on Coalition Forces in Logar Province, Afghanistan.  The team observed the fighters in position for the attack to include multiple spotters and runners used to communicate between the various fighting locations.  The Battle Space Owner was notified of the imminent threat and diverted all convoys.  When the enemy fighters aborted their attack they were observed walking in a military formation back towards a meeting site along a tree line.  Enroute to that location the enemy fighters were positively identified to be carrying weapons.  The team initiated a kinetic strike on the fighter’s location from two AH-64s.  The team stood ready and boarded two CH-47 helicopters for insertion once the kinetic strike was complete.

Immediately after the kinetic strike, the team inserted a Ranger Element onto the hot landing zone to the West of the target area to eliminate the several remaining enemy combatants.  Ranger Element 1, consisting of Specialist Warfle and five others, were tasked with isolating the Northern side of the tree line and suppressing the enemy to allow Ranger Element 2 to assault from West to East.  Upon infiltration the Ranger Assault Force received effective enemy fire in vicinity of the North-South running tree line where the AH-64s had just completed gun runs.  As soon as Specialist Warfle stepped off the ramp he came under fire from multiple enemy positions and without hesitation returned fire and crawled 15 meters through the muddy field towards the enemy.  From this position, Specialist Warfle suppressed the multiple enemy positions with 150 rounds from his MK-46 allowing Ranger Element 1 to move to the North and Ranger Element 2 to maneuver to the South.  Under fire and with no cover in the open field, Specialist Warfle continued to suppress the enemy positions permitting members of the Assault Force to get down in the prone position while the leaders determined a way to assault the enemy positions. After a couple of minutes passed, Ranger Element 2 came under heavy effective fire from enemy crew served weapons.  Realizing that Ranger Element 2 was effectively pinned down in the open field to the South, Specialist Warfle moved with Sergeant Lugo to the North to flank the enemy position from the North-West.
 
Specialist Warfle, while under heavy effective enemy fire, advanced on the enemy position to suppress the enemy and allow the Assault Force to maneuver on and destroy the entrenched enemy.  As Sergeant Lugo and Specialist Warfle voluntarily maneuvered towards the enemy positions they identified two entrenched enemy personnel with automatic weapons firing on the Assault Force.  Specialist Warfle continued to advance on the entrenched enemy using suppressive fire alone to protect Sergeant Lugo and himself because there was no available cover in open terrain. When Sergeant Lugo and Specialist Warfle got within 25 meters of the enemy machine gun positions, Specialist Warfle and Sergeant Lugo were both hit with a volley of machine gun fire.  Although Specialist Warfle knew he had been shot in the right shoulder he disregarded his own personal safety and moved through the kill zone to Sergeant Lugo’s side to protect his incapacitated Squad Leader.  Specialist Warfle purposefully positioned himself in the line of enemy fire and immediately suppressed the enemy in order to defend Sergeant Lugo and provide covering fire for the platoon medic, Sergeant Solomon, to move to and treat Sergeant Lugo.  Specialist Warfle fearlessly continued to provide accurate suppressive fire from his exposed position, allowing Staff Sergeant Myers and Sergeant Kochli the ability to move forward, suppress the enemy, and then subsequently evacuate Sergeant Lugo.  Specialist Warfle continued to provide suppressive fire as Sergeant Solomon, Staff Sergeant Tucker, and Sergeant Kochli pulled Sergeant Lugo back to cover.  Only after the casualty evacuation aircraft evacuated Sergeant Lugo, did Specialist Warfle treat the through and through gunshot wound to his right shoulder by applying a tourniquet to his right arm.  Specialist Warfle then proceeded to engage the enemy position from a position between the enemy and the Platoon for over twenty minutes while the Assault Force reconsolidated and moved back away from the enemy positions.  He steadfastly remained at his forward position delivering accurate fire on the enemy until all members of the Assault Force had moved across the open field to cover 100 meters to the West.  Specialist Warfle bounded back to the West over the open field while the Assault Force provided suppressive fire.  Specialist Warfle’s actions allowed the Assault Force to break contact, drop ordnance on the enemy positions, and safely move to the exfiltration hot landing zone.

By repeatedly risking his life for others, Specialist Warfle’s purposeful gallant actions, selfless dedication to the safety of his teammates, and demonstrated extraordinary heroism were distinctive and exemplary.  He is most deserving of the distinct recognition.  Through his distinctive accomplishments, Specialist Warfle’s personal actions reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.


"Is That Daddy?"

According to the official US Army SF page, Sgt MacPherson's son asked at his father's memorial, "Is that Daddy? Is that Daddy?"

Macpherson

Sgt. Thomas R. MacPherson of 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment was laid to rest Oct. 26, 2012 at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Cypress, Calif. by his fellow Rangers. Sgt. MacPherson was killed by small arms fire during a combat operation in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan on October 12, 2012. It was his fifth deployment, fourth to Afghanistan.  US Army courtesy photo.

Mrs. MacPherson's birthday was the 25th.  From the OC Register:

...A day later, Claudia MacPherson spoke at her husband's memorial service as she held their 17-month-old son Brayden. On stage was a memorial placed in her husband's honor. His helmet, dog tags and boots stood in front of his photograph.

"I'm grateful for the little piece of Tommy that was left with me in the form of Brayden," Claudia MacPherson told the gathering of family members, friends, law enforcement and Army Rangers.

He was 17 when they met and she, 15. She recalled snapshots from their nine years together.

Senior prom, their wedding day when tears rolled down her cheeks and he had "the most terrified expression on his face," the day their son was born and he named him Brayden. The most recent family gathering when "Tommy" smiled at her with chocolate-smeared teeth.

"Our baby boy will know how proud he should be to call you his daddy," Claudia MacPherson said, breaking down. "I'll share with him the passion you had for what you did. Thank you for going through life with me, Tommy. It's been a privilege."...

Macp
Video of the memorial:

Godspeed, Ranger MacPherson!


Beep....Beep....Beep.....

Hey, step back everyone, there is a bus pulling in over here...

Blaming people who work for you is one thing, but blaming those that are prohibited by law from speaking publicly about what a piss-poor excuse for a leader you are just makes you look like an even bigger horses ass. 

"Neither the president nor anyone in the White House denied any requests for assistance in Benghazi," 

 

All Righty Then, let's walk through this.

There was a call for help from the Ambassador and other Americans in Benghazi.  And we know from Matty's post and all of the updates (page down just a touch) that there are many in the know that are aware that assets of many kinds could have been brought to bear from only a couple hours away.

Now the President says that the US Military that he is at the head of (and controls) as the commander in chief are the ones who, after seeing the same information he did, decided not to help those besieged Americans and the President's personal envoy and representative who were under attack.

So the employees you told to save the company decided to go on their mandatory union break instead? Somehow, that strikes me as something that you might be familiar with...

I know that there are his sycophant defenders who are going to say "Whuh!  Did you want the Delta Force SEALS to HALO rappel from the Space Shuttle and use their death rays and then use the Flux Capacitor to beam themselves to America?"  No trolls, I expected them to do their job and give the Ambassador the assets he needed to be safe in the first place, but barring their lack of testicular fortitude to do that, I would expect that they would use whatever they had at their disposal to aid the living and destroy our enemies.  Delta Force could have rigged in-flight for a jump into the nearest DZ that would have gotten them into the fight to be followed by heavier forces from Italy.  AFRICOM SOF assets on the Horn Of Africa could have planned on the helo flight there, Fighter Jets, land or carrier based, could have been there early on and established a presence and put human eyes on what was happening. 

So Mr. President, when you say that you didn't deny aid to those brave men in Benghazi, but that members of the US Military decided not to send aid to your personal representative under attack all on their own and you had no influence over that decision, then you are either derelict, incompetent, or a liar.  

Either way, that means to me (and hopefuly soon, a whole mess of registered voters) you don't deserve to be Commander in Chief.