04
Jun
12

AW1 Tim:

I wanted to write a new article for today, it being the 70th anniversary of Midway. However, real life interferes so here is a repost of an article from 2 years ago.

Originally posted on AW1 Tim's Blog:

Scott the Badger reminds us all that today, 4 June, marks the 68th anniversary of Torpedo 8′s famous attack against the Japanese fleet during the Battle of Midway.  Of the core group onboard Hornet, 15 aircraft went into battle that day, and all  were shot down by Japanese fighters or anti-aircraft fire, with the loss of every man except one, Ensign George Gay.

VT-8 was equipped with Douglas TBD Devastators, a relatively slow and out-classed aircraft.  A portion of the squadron was stateside, receiving the new Grumman TBF Avenger. These crews missed the sailing of USS Hornet, and so flew their aircraft in a series of stages to Midway, where they launched in support of operations against the Japanese fleet. Another detachment of VT-8 was left behind at Pearl Harbor, and sailed with USS Saratoga. Upon transferring to Hornet, they learned of the loss of…

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28
May
12

AW1 Tim:

I thought that this post would be important to reblog today. Andrew was a true hero, who gave his life in the service of his country. It is important that we remember him, and all who gave their tomorrow for our today.
To his name, I’d also add two close friends of mine, AT2 Gary Nesbitt, and AW3 Jim Piepkorn, Both lost too soon.
And also, as so many today, Capt Carrol LeFon, Neptunus Lex.
I was blessed to know all of them, and I will keep their names and memories with me for as long as I live. God Bless all who have fallen, and may God’s angels comfort their families and friends.

Originally posted on AW1 Tim's Blog:

Private First Class Andrew R.  Small,  B co, 1/32 Infantry, 10th Mountain Division.

Andrew was a friend of my son,  and lived up the road in Wiscasset, Maine.  He was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2006, and his death was mourned through the area.  Almost every store, business, church, school, had a message on their fronts, and hundreds lined the streets to view his funeral procession.  His was a life of laughter, mischief, and love, not only with his family, but with his friends.  They have started a memorial page on FaceBook, which you can see here.

19 years old. A small town kid. Many in this nation wonder where we are headed, and despair of our future when they read of the problems facing our youth.  If Andrew was any sort of representation of America’s youth, then I’d say the nation will be in good hands…

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13
May
12

2012 Milbloggies Winners Announced

Sadly, AW1 Tim was unable to attend this year’s event.  An unfortunate cabal of real life situations conspired to prevent me from attending and from meeting up with many of my old friends. But there’s always next year. Sigh.

Regardless, the winners of this year’s Milbloggies have been announced and they are as follows:

Best U.S. Army Blog  The Rhino Den
Best U.S. Military Spouse Blog  **Wife [Widow] of a Wounded Marine**
Best U.S. Military Parent Blog  Semper Fi Parents
Best U.S. Military Supporter Blog  Character Does Matter
Best U.S. Marine Corps Blog  One Marine’s View
Best U.S. Navy Blog  USNI Blog
Best U.S. Coast Guard Blog  ryan erickson
Best U.S. Air Force Blog  Aim High Erin
Best U.S. Military Veteran Blog  You Served
Best U.S. Reporter Blog  The Unknown Soldiers

My congratulations to each of these winners. If you haven’t checked out these blogs, be sure to do so.

I’ll have more info on the 2012 MilBlogger’s convention in a later post.


05
May
12

Gitmo Trial Live Blog

AW1 Tim’s good friends at “This Ain’t Hell” have this in the bag. Head operator there, Jonn Lilyea,  Got credentialed and is live-blogging the entire proceedings for us.

Anyone who is interested can follow the proceeding here:   Gitmo Trial Live Blog  Just hit your F5 key to refresh.

Of course, Jonn has an image of the car at least one of the “unbiased” media is driving, complete with Obama 2012 sticker on it. Can’t wait to read THOSE shaded half-truths.

Jonn starts of this way:

So here I am at Fort Meade, MD with the unbiased media. That’s one of their cars in the parking lot when we met up with the ‘splody smelling dogs. Just thought I’d let you know that there might be a bias in the reportage. Not from me, though. The trial starts at 9AM, so here’s your program for the fun.

The defendants are Kahlid Sheik Mohammed, Walid Muhammad Sakith Mubarak Bin ‘Attash, Ramzi Binai Shibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi. The lead prosecutors are General Mark Martins (DoD), Edward Ryan (DoJ) and Robert Swann (DoD).

There’s another site here on Fort Meade for CCTV broadcast from Guantanamo for 9-11 victims’ family members. The media doesn’t have access to them (rightfully) until after the broadcast and then both groups are out of the control of DoD. There are also ten family members in Guantanamo watching the trial through one-way glass who were picked by lottery.

The way I plan to do this live blog is like the way I did Winter Soldier, continually update this post once the trial begins. All you have to do is hit F5 to refresh the post. That’s so interested bloggers can just post this link for their readers.

The DoD PAO promises us “high adventure” today, so stand by for the fun.

For those who don’t comprehend WHY these trials are finally taking place, let me remind you:

 

05
May
12

Julia’s Circle of Life: Obama Pravda

Iowahawk has once more used his own personal philosopher’s stone to change the lead of the Obama campaign’s Julia to the Golden Book edition it was meant to be. Go and read, and understand what the left REALLY means when they talk/tell/mandate how things should, er WILL be if they have their way.

I give you the Pravda edition of  “The Life of Julia”, episode 1.) The rest are just as wonderful. Go, and be (re)educated.

01
May
12

US Marine Musicians: The Few, The Proud, The Exceptional.

I believe that this video is a GREAT recruiting tool. I There are darned few things I’d recommend to a High School musician more than considering one of the Military Musician programs.  AW1 Tim was a music major in College, and had not there been openings in the Aviation Rates, I would have been in line to audition for the Navy Band.

You heard that right. Audition. NO ONE gets into any of the Military Music programs without passing an extensive and difficult audition. If you think you have what it takes, and seriously, what musician worth his or her chops doesn’t have an ego, then you owe it to yourself and your country to consider one of the Military’s Band programs.  Excellent pay & benefits, plus extensive travel around the world.  Even if you only do one enlistment, you’ll have experience and skills that will place you head & shoulders above others your age.

28
Apr
12

TSO & A Dog On Patrol

Further adventures of our friend TSO going on Patrol in Afghanistan. Interesting observations by him and our own military about the Afghans and the ANA.

In my defense, a first call of 0300 for a media embed is unconscionable. (Joes were 0200)

Nonetheless, when I showed up at the vehicles this morning for our SP time, my vehicle-mates would have been well within their rights to just send me back to my hooch. No MRE. Camelback empty. No gloves. Wearing sunglasses and using a white light (I honestly just thought it was dark.) And my field and stream shirt was inside out, so not only was the collar on the inside of my armor and rubbing the wrong way, but the interior mesh of the shirt was on the outside. And I might never have known about this deficiency until I caught sight of my shadow, and realized that those straps you use to make your shirt short-sleeved were hanging down from me. Dude, soup sandwich don’t have [stuff] on me.

Today was day 2 of actual patrols with the ANA, and I remain impressed by them. I was sitting outside one Qalat with an E4 (maybe an RTO) who looked up at his ANA counterparts and waved to one of them. “You know what pisses me off about the media and civilians?” he asked. “They either badmouth the ANA or they think all of these people are savages. Neither is true.” he lamented as he shook his head.

The man “Parachute Cutie” calls “Captain America”, the CO of Able company agrees. “Look at ‘em, doing everything we do.” The CO and the 1SG are a hilarious couple. They remind me of the guys from the old Bartles and James commercials where one guy talks nonstop, and the other just sort of nods. You could ask 1SG if he could pass the salt and somehow, without breathing, he’d be still talking 20 minutes later, and telling you how much he is pulling for some girl on The Voice. The CO is more like me, you have a certain number of spoken words you can use each day, and he is economizing them, and his are spoken in this Tennessee drawl so I listen pretty close to every one of them.

The two of them never stop smiling, answer everything I ask, and tease the troops and each other mercilessly. In fact, everyone in this unit smiles a lot. My only complaint at all is that the PSG I am with smiles right before he launches into epic arse-chewings, and I never get a chance to get it on video. It’s not what he says neccessarily that makes them epic, but he has this certain panache that makes his rants so enjoyable. I swear, I look around before patrols in hopes someone isn’t wearing knee pads, which to hear him tell it might be worthy of a court martial.

But today I got to follow the CO around, and watch him interact with the troops, the terp (“Cletus” is probably not his given Afghan name, but it is on his nametape) and the Afgan Army guys. He pointed out all the stuff they were doing. For instance, we were moving through one village, and it had probably 20-30 qalats, and in-between the houses were 2-300m open spaces. Where on my deployment here (’04-05) I had witnessed similiarly situated ANA guys walking around in circles or playing soccer with UXO (well, it probably wasn’t unexploded ordinance, but it was a cylinder that looked unhealthy) these guys set up overwatch positions, and then bounded in 2 elements.

When we went into the compounds, they didn’t steal everything that wasn’t tied down, they talked to the homeowner first, requested permission to climb up on the roofs, didn’t leave litter everywhere, and then thanked the guy when we left. They continue to not get the total concept of safety* but on tactical stuff they are great. They understand how to use the maps, and communicated through the radios pretty effectively.  When one guy was apparently not pulling his weight yesterday morning, he literally got a boot to his arse, and then the ANA Commander took away the guys weapon and chased him back on the compound.  They seem to take real pride in the work they are doing, and seem very cognizant of the importance.  It may be a small thing, but they decorate all their vehicles with the Afghan flag, and they seem to be very cogniscent of emerging nationalism.

*Case in point was the weapons test fire the other day, and this other poor cat that was in the back of a pickup that I saw the other day. Undeterred by a man standing in the back with a DShK attached to the roof, the driver decided to take a series of bumps at about 30 MPH. Guy in the back had to let go of the gun, and grab onto the side of the truck. The perturbations of the vehicle of course send the DShK spinning in a circle, so now the guy is holding on for dear life to the sides, while simultaneously channeling Jackie Chan’s ducking ability to keep from getting his block knocked off by a machinegun.

Another patrolmate today was Pookie, some sort of mutt that the guys think is a guardian angel. It should be noted that this Talisman of Luck is not being fed, owned or in anyway controlled by the Joes (that would violate General Order 1B prohibiting pets) but rather appears to live over at the ANA compound, and runs out at the sound of vehicles. This isn’t a dog I would take home to play with mine. The only reason I was upset about not bringing my gloves this morning was because I would rather shower with turpentine than pet that dog without gloves on. MOPP 4 would even be preferred. But that guy was running alongside the vehicles as we left and then patrolled with us when on the ground. A few times he got a little lazy and just skipped large portions of the road on cut-backs, but most the time he ran right behind one of our vehicles. Was glad to see Pookie with us today though, since I saw a dead dog yesterday on patrol, and it made me a bit sad.  The guys think nothing bad will happen when Pookie is around.

Anyway, that is it for today. It’s noon and I am exhausted. And I just ate what they refer to as “chow” here, and I therefore know I have a date with the restrooms in my near future. After that, a shower, some laundry, and then a nap that will last through first call tomorrow. Let’s hope common decency prevails and that first call isn’t before….oh, let’s say 0900.

All of TSO’s reports from his embed in Afghanistan may be found at “This Ain’t Hell” using the tag “TSO Embedded in A’stan




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