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November 2012

Just over the horizon...

Hires_121119-N-DO751-004Flashes of lighting are seen over the horizon as the aircraft carrier the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower operates in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility, Nov. 19, 2012. The Dwight D. Eisenhower is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and support missions for Operation Enduring Freedom. U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Greg Linderman

Heh ...

The old rivalry begins to heat up:

Bill the Goat, the Naval Academy Mascot, was stolen over the weekend and attached to a median near the Pentagon. He was recovered Saturday morning in good condition.

The goatnapping was confirmed Thursday by John Jordan, manager of Maryland Sunrise Farm, the home of Bill XXXIII and Bill XXXIV. Jordan did not know which of the academy’s two mascots was stolen.

Jordan suspects soldiers were behind it, but he had no knowledge of it.


Why in the world would he suspect that?


Roasted goat, properly done, isn't so bad.



Betrayal - Special Air Service Soldier Jailed for having "war trophy"

UPDATE 11-29-12:  Sgt Nightingale's sentence has been suspended. Go here for more information!  Sally Nightingale brought the petition to free Danny with 106,000 signatures for the judge.  Thanks to everyone for their support, thoughts, prayers, $, and time in working on behalf of the Nightingales!

UPDATE 11-28-12:  Thanks to everyone for signing the petition and sending cards and letters of support to Sergeant Nightingale.  I hope the petitions land on the desk of the judge tomorrow...which brings me to this point...  The hearing for Sergeant Nightingale is tomorrow, Thursday, November 19th.  Since tomorrow is already happening in England, your thoughts and prayers would be appreciated. 

See the end of this post for a note from Sally Nightingale and sign the petition!!!


This one's for Tiny...

It is no secret that we support our friends, allies and family over in Britain.  They have stood by us in the darkest of times.  It's no secret that we are admirers of the SAS and the work that they do.  We've focused on a few of them here over the years.  Which brings us to this travesty of justice happening right now. 

The Brat over at Assoluta Tranquillita alerted us (please read) to this story in the Telegraph:

...In 2007, Sgt Nightingale was serving in Iraq as a member of Task Force Black, a covert counter-terrorist unit that conducted operations under orders to capture and kill members of al-Qaeda.

He also helped train members of a secret counter-terrorist force called the Apostles. At the end of the training he was presented with the Glock, which he planned to donate to his regiment as a war trophy...

But two of his mates were killed and he escorted their remains back to Britain.  His quick departure left behind, not only all of his gear, but also the pistol in Iraq.  The pistol was packed up in box and sent home - not opened for years.  In the meantime, Sgt Nightingale served honorably and ably; however, in the 30th mile of a 200 mile trek across Brazil, he collapsed and was in a coma for 72 hours suffering memory loss.  Then...

...In May, 2010, Sgt Nightingale was living in a house with another soldier close to the regiment’s headquarters when he was posted to Afghanistan at short notice.

During the tour, his housemate’s estranged wife claimed her husband had assaulted her and kept a stash of ammunition in the house. West Mercia Police raided the house and found the Glock, still in its container...

Legends in the SAS community have rallied round Sgt Nightingale including Richard Williams, Tim Collins, Andy McNab and Chris Ryan. They have sent a letter of protest to the Prime Minister David Cameron.

Read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/campaigns/our_boys/4642941/Open-letter-to-David-Cameron-over-jailing-of-SAS-sergeant.html#ixzz2CD15RNPB

There's a petition you can sign to show support of Sgt Nightingale here.  Yes, I don't expect the British judge to respond to a petition from a bunch of Americans and Canadians, but it might send a signal to the good sergeant and his family that A LOT of people around the world have his back.

And, to the judge in this case, as they say across the pond, "sort this out, or we'll sort you out."


Telegraph UK
Assoluta Tranquillita

Below is a note from Sally Nightingale:

38 Degrees is forwarding this email on from Sally Nightingale, the wife of Sergeant Danny Nightingale. So far, more than 90,000 38 Degrees members have signed the petition calling for Danny to be released (http://you.38degrees.org.uk/p/danny-nightingale). Read her message below:

I can’t thank you enough for the support you’ve shown my husband, Sergeant Danny Nightingale. It means more than I can tell you that tens of thousands of people are standing with us to fight for his freedom. From the bottom of my heart - thank you.

Tomorrow, I’ll be taking the petition we’ve all signed into court for Danny’s appeal. A crucial issue will be whether keeping Danny in jail is in the public interest - so our petition calling for his freedom, signed by so many thousands of people, will be vital for Danny’s case.

If we’re going to show the court that the public don’t want Danny in jail, we need as many signatures as possible on that petition by tomorrow. It really could be what decides whether or not Danny comes home with me and our children in just a few hours' time. Every single signature counts.

Can you forward this email to your friends and family now and help grow the petition? You can also share this link on Facebook or Twitter (where we know lots of people are seeing it):

This could be our last chance to help Danny. Right now, more than 90,000 of us have signed the petition - but Danny’s lawyers have said they think it will be a huge boost to his case if we can get it up to 100,000 signatures by the time they take it into court.

Please forward this email now - and here’s the link to share on Facebook or Twitter:

Thank you so much for everything you’re doing to help Danny.

Sally Nightingale, Sergeant Danny Nightingale’s wife

Why In The World Do You Want This Job?

Not that I am begging, but can I get a job explaining to the LameStream Press at a duly called and constituted press conference why exactly allowing women in combat arms branches is a bad idea?

I know I have talked about it before on this blog, and you can dig into the archive, but the leftards are back at it now with a lawsuit from the ACLU.  The fact that the USMC just did this in their Infantry branch course and of the two that volunteered, one Female Marine didn't last the first day and the other didn't finish (along with 26 men who didn't make the cut either) should be an indication.

And why in the world do these chicks want to be in the combat arms so bad?  Do they have a mud fetish?  Do they long to spend sleepless hours standing watch in a fox hole while their buddies snort and fart in their sleep underneath a poncho liner inches away in their patrol base?  They have to check off "spend 3 hours putting 95 pound 155mm shells into a cannon and firing them" off their bucket list?  They can't live any longer until they have carried an 81mm mortar baseplate up the side of a mountain, along with part of the machine gunner's ammunition and their own equipment after getting 2 hours of sleep in the last 36 hours?

I can't believe I need to explain this, but since the SecDef and his PIO aren't in a position to comment on this, I will take it from here...

Continue reading "Why In The World Do You Want This Job?" »

Help Team Rubicon win up to $1M in the Chase American Giving Awards today!

02-20121106_SANDYNY-HUDSONA veteran-led Team Rubicon work crew removes a bookshelf from the flooded basement of a home in Rockaway Beach, New York. Photo by Thomas Hudson

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A fascinating trip down the Ho Chi Minh trail today

A friend sent me this and it is a very interesting travelogue put together by a guy riding a dirt bike down the Ho Chi Minh trail and photographing points of interest.  He also has a bit of dialogue going that explains some of the places he visits and artifacts found.  Definitely worth the few moments it takes to scroll through it.


Wild Weasels: Saving lives and cheating death

All of the books I have reviewed lately have been infantry or special operations, so I really didn't think Viper Pilot, an autobiography of a modern-day Air Force fighter pilot would offer much in the way of excitement.

I was mistaken.

In an age of low-tech, low-intensity conflicts, dogfights have become all but a distant memory. But while threats facing today's aviators have evolved, they most certainly have not disappeared. U.S. fighter pilots, the world's best at air-to-air combat, have shifted their role towards close air support for ground units. And with all those planes in the sky, somebody has to take on the death-defying job of knocking out enemy surface-to-air missile sites.

That job goes to the “Wild Weasels.”

The basic objective of a wild weasel mission is for a team of F-16 pilots to fly over enemy air defense sites, forcing the enemy to fire deadly missiles at the pilots. Once pilots detect the launch – assuming the missile doesn't kill the pilot – they use teamwork to counterattack and destroy the launchers and radar stations, making the skies safe for other aircrews in the theater. This process was repeated countless times over Iraq – both during the Persian Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.

If you think that fighter pilots are all glory and no guts, soaring 30,000 feet over the mud and blood of combat, then you haven't met Lt. Col. Dan “Two Dogs” Hampton. The now-retired author of Viper Pilot has flown over 150 combat missions in just about every combat operation since Vietnam, earning four Distinguished Flying Crosses for Valor and the Purple Heart...

[Read the entire review at The US Report]

What Are You Thankful For?

That was the question on a hot desert day 10 years ago, I was sitting at a table in the MFO Chow hall at South Camp in the Sinai with Lee, Illiad, Steve, Katie, Brandon, Ken, Matt, and Leo and we were enjoying one of the best Thanksgiving Day spreads that I have ever had away from home.

I noted at the time that it was the first time during a deployment that I wasn't on QRF on Thanksgiving (just my luck) but as an added bonus (if you could look at it like that) that I was in a place where it was going to be over 100 degrees that day...

So, I went around the table and asked everyone "what are you thankful for?" and because they are soldiers, with type A+ personalities and families might read this; I will spare everyone what the real answers from soldiers were to that question. (God Bless Joe...  Has an answer for every question...).

The takeaway at the end of the meal, with bellies full of turkey and pie, and melancholy hearts was that we were thankful to be together, because if we couldn't be home, we were together with friends.  We were thankful that we drew this good deployment (if there ever was a deployment that could be called "good"), because the next one would certainly not be nearly as comfortable.  We were thankful that the food was hot and plentiful and didn't come out of a wrapper that said "Diced Turkey With Gravy."  We were thankful to be stationed in a place where there was alcohol, because it was great to hoist a cold one with friends after a long day of work.

Today, far from that place and time, I am thankful that I will be able to spend this time at home with family and friends; mindful of the fact that many of my brothers and sisters are serving overseas and are on duty around the world who will have their turkey and trimmings brought to them by the Sergeant of the Guard on a paper tray. I am thankful for the opportunity to have served with some of the finest men and women I have ever come to know.  God Bless my comrades and all those still serving and may they enjoy the blessings of this day, whether they be at home or standing a post somewhere far from home.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and now, if you will excuse me, I hear another large slice of pumpkin pie calling my name...