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October 17, 2005

What catches the eye this morning...

Apropos of nothing else...

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BAGHDAD – An Iraqi couple proudly display their purple fingers in the Karradah district of southern Baghdad Oct. 15. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. David Kobi, 4th Brigade Combat Team PAO)

On to other things...

Jay, over at Stop the ACLU, hopes this is a hoax. Sorry, Jay - it isn't, and it's been done before. I don't care about a female CinC, I just want one that is closer to Thatcher than... well, the Beast From New York.

One of the things I do for a living is examine networks, to see how they can affect battle command, for good or ill. This is an interesting development and business model... though, truth be told, I really want to see one in a city, and one with power issues, at that. It'd be nice if it moved, too, and had variable weather. Oh, and it would be nice (for me, not the residents) it parts of the network would randomly fail, as well as having people deliberately target the physical *and* logical infrastructure for attack. Just sayin'.

Don't give your pets to PETA. Idjits. At least the money PETA is spending on defending these fellas is money not being spent on other silly stuff.

Pakistan Earthquake relief efforts... are Joint (meaning all services):

October 14, 2005 Release Number: 05-10-52



MANAMA, Bahrain – USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) made a brief port stop in Bahrain, Oct. 14 where Sailors loaded 13 pieces of heavy equipment bound for Pakistan. The machinery will be used to assist the victims of the worst earthquake in that country’s history.

Pearl Harbor, a dock landing ship, usually transports Marines and their combat equipment to areas worldwide. The crew of approximately 425 is on a regularly scheduled deployment to the North Arabian Gulf as part of maritime security operations, or MSO, and it received orders to change course in order to load dump trucks, front-end loaders, backhoes, cargo trucks, a road grader, a forklift and a generator.

“It was overnight,” said Cmdr. Jonathan Harnden, commanding officer of USS Pearl Harbor. “They made the decision that they wanted to send this equipment late yesterday afternoon, and we were here first thing this morning.”
A member of Expeditionary Strike Group 1, Pearl Harbor’s posture in the region allowed the ship to respond so quickly, Harnden says.

Pakistan was the epicenter of a devastating 7.6 magnitude earthquake Oct. 8 that left thousands dead and more than one million people homeless. For many residents of remote or mountainous regions in that country, food and medical attention has been limited or non-existent, and entire villages are in ruins.
The United States will support Pakistani relief efforts with specific capabilities. U.S. forces, like Pearl Harbor, and other members of ESG 1 will act in a supporting role for this effort. Specifically, Rear Adm. Michael Lefever, commander of ESG 1, leads the Disaster Assistance Center (DAC) in Islamabad where U.S. military relief efforts are coordinated.

“I think it’s important to help the people of Pakistan who we have a long, historic relationship with -- one that’s drawn even closer with the war on terrorism,” said Harnden, originally from Virginia Beach, Va. “We all witnessed the tragedy. We can see what’s happening on the news. Our hearts go out to the people who were affected by this.”

Sailors aboard Pearl Harbor said they felt honored to join the relief effort.

“I feel like we’re doing our part, helping them out,” said Second Class Damage Controlman Edward Rodriguez from Whittier, Calif.
Second Class Damage Controlman Matthew Sanchez from Fresno, Calif. said he would like to do more than just drop off the equipment.

“I feel great [about the delivery], but I would go to help out,” he said.
Currently, two Seabee battalions, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 74 stationed in Gulfport, Miss. and NMCB-3 based in Port Hueneme, Calif., are in Bahrain on a regularly scheduled deployment. Sailors from these battalions helped move the 13 pieces of heavy machinery from Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain and load it onto the ship. Because of the urgency of the mission, both battalions worked till the task was complete.

“This mission is unique in that two battalions are working together on the same project,” said Senior Chief Construction Electrician Tim Bray of NMCB-3. “That actually doesn’t happen very often.”

The Seabees also sent two of their own with the machinery to facilitate a smooth delivery.

“My role in this evolution is to be with the vehicles, making sure they’re maintained and pretty much securing the travel,” said Construction Mechanic Third Class Nathan Hansen, one of the Sailors accompanying the shipment. Hansen from Great Falls, Mo. said humanitarian missions are not unusual in his rating, “I’m excited that Seabees are known for doing humanitarian jobs. I’ve been part of it a few times, and every time it’s exciting to know that I’m doing something that really matters to somebody.”

For further questions, please contact Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs Office at 011-973-1785-4027 or

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CAMP DOHA, Kuwait (Oct. 10, 2005) - Coalition Forces Land Component Command Soldiers from Company C, 1st Battalion 12th Field Artillery and 1864th Medium Transportation Company strap down palettes full of U.S. military tents, cots and Halal meals at the Central Receiving Shipping Point. The cargo is being flown to Pakistan to aid earthquake victims.

It's *Battery* C, but, hey, we'll take what we can get. Give some, Raiders!

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A U.S. Air Force KC-10 Extender aircraft is loaded with relief supplies at Langley Air Force Base, Va., Oct. 11, 2005. The KC-10 is from McGuire Air Force Base, N.J. DoD photo by Tech. Sgt. Mike Buytas, U.S. Air Force.