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December 02, 2006

H&I* Fires, 02 Dec 2006

Open post for those with something to share, updated through the day. New, complete posts come in below this one. Note: If trackbacking, please acknowledge this post in your post. That's only polite.

You're advertising here, we should get an ad at your place...


Well, for some today is a day of unbridled optimism. Me, I think it's a day of forlorn hope.

Hosting provided by FotoTime

I'm not a grad, but I suppose, in an unfortunate turn of phrase, I'm sorta obligated to go down with the ship...

Update. Sigh. I *hate* swimming.


Heh. I post pictures of ships - CDR Salamander posts pictures of howitzers, pansterhouwitsers...

Congratulations Chuck! When's the promo party and are you paying airfare now that you're a stinking rich field grade? H/t, Fuzzybear!

On the "Mistreated Coffin" story (which I have evinced some scepticism about) Chuck Simmins has more. All of which reinforces my scepticism. Well, actually, confirms it. [/smug look]

Jules notes some, um, interesting rulez for the Taliban.

Otay - I gotta go mail some cluebats! -the Armorer

In an effort to help the In-Laws once again I'm shamelessly advertising something that may and or may not appeal to your history loving hearts

North Collins, New York in the Civil War

My mother in law is the Town Historian and is hosting the event for the Town Museum. Featured will be many period items, letters, and local history as well as a visit from the Columbia Rifles...which was founded by my Brother in Law.

Detecting a theme here yet? :)

With the holidays upcoming they're giving away autographed copies of his published story Christmas in the Irish Regiments

So for you lower Canada, Northeast America and New York readers, or frequent Civil War buffs, there's plenty to see and do. Wish I could be there this year.

Trackbacks still aren't working, so I thought I'd put this here: it's a tough decision. - FbL

*A term of art from the artillery. Harassment and Interdiction Fires.

Back in the day, when you could just kill people and break things without a note from a lawyer, they were pre-planned, but to the enemy, random, fires at known gathering points, road junctions, Main Supply Routes, assembly areas, etc - to keep the bad guy nervous that the world around him might start exploding at any minute.

Not really relevant to today's operating environment, right? But, it *is*

The UAVs we fly over Afghanistan and Pakistan looking for targets of opportunity are a form of H&I fires, if you really want to parse it finely. We just have better sensors and fire control now.

I call the post that because it's random things posted by me and people I've given posting privileges to. It's also an open trackback, so if (Don Surber uses it this way a lot) someone has a post they're proud of, but it really isn't either Castle kind of stuff, or topical to a particular post, I've basically given blanket permission to use that post for that purpose. Another term of art that might be appropriate is "Free Fire Zone".

Comments on H&I* Fires, 02 Dec 2006
FbL briefed on December 2, 2006 11:39 AM

John, if you need something to lift your spirits, Blackfive has a great video. ;)

Ken Larson briefed on December 2, 2006 12:21 PM

I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak.

If you are interested in a view of the inside of the Pentagon procurement process from Vietnam to Iraq please check the posting at my blog entitled, “Odyssey of Armements”

The Pentagon is a giant,incredibly complex establishment,budgeted in excess of $500B per year. The Rumsfelds, the Adminisitrations and the Congressmen come and go but the real machinery of policy and procurement keeps grinding away, presenting the politicos who arrive with detail and alternatives slanted to perpetuate itself.

How can any newcomer, be he a President, a Congressman or even the Sec. Def. to be - Mr. Gates- understand such complexity, particulary if heretofore he has not had the clearance to get the full details?

Answer- he can’t. Therefor he accepts the alternatives provided by the career establishment that never goes away and he hopes he makes the right choices. Or he is influenced by a lobbyist or two representing companies in his district or special interest groups.

From a practical standpoint, policy and war decisions are made far below the levels of the talking heads who take the heat or the credit for the results.

This situation is unfortunate but it is ablsolute fact. Take it from one who has been to war and worked in the establishment.

This giant policy making and war machine will eventually come apart and have to be put back together to operate smaller, leaner and on less fuel. But that won’t happen unitil it hits a brick wall at high speed.

We will then have to run a Volkswagon instead of a Caddy and get along somehow. We better start practicing now and get off our high horse. Our golden aura in the world is beginning to dull from arrogance.

BloodSpite briefed on December 2, 2006 01:04 PM



J.M. Heinrichs briefed on December 2, 2006 01:10 PM

Ken has been touring with his Pentagon "Odyssey", looking for interested readers. Evidently he has many interesting tales of the Military Procurement Process and is anxious to share them.


BloodSpite briefed on December 2, 2006 01:26 PM

You mean he actually thinks that the procurement process being a overzealous nightmare is news?

What rock has he been under the last 2 decades?

Maggie briefed on December 2, 2006 05:14 PM

WooHoo!!!! Anthony over at "Headspace and Timing" already has the Navy logo up on his blog!! A man of honor!

Swabbie Doxie

John of Argghhh! briefed on December 2, 2006 06:07 PM

Mr. Larson orginally left that comment on the Operation Santa post. I moved it up here, and sent him a note telling him I had done so.

As CAPT H notes, apparently Ken puts this stuff out several places.

He sent me a note back essentially saying that he lives in a veteran's home in Minnesota, that things like Operation Santa are more to make the givers feel good and only annoy the recipients.

That may be the case with Mr. Larson and his friends, but hasn't been true in my experience with most of the people I have been with on a face-to-face basis. Mr. Larson's mileage obviously varies. I do need to tidy up his comment. The bad formatting is my fault, not his!

BloodSpite briefed on December 2, 2006 11:15 PM

Well I now feel like a incredibly large horse's rear. That'll serve me I reckon

Gwedd briefed on December 3, 2006 05:46 AM


So Kevin is your brother in law, eh? What a small world. I've known him for a few years and we both post to a couple of ACW Living History forums. Like minds, eh?


Carrie briefed on December 3, 2006 08:27 AM first reaction to Mr. Larson's email was to give him the one finger salute but after thinking about it...
That's just a sad way to look at the world.

FbL briefed on December 3, 2006 10:09 AM

Yeah, that's just a very sad way to look at the world. I'm sure there's a story behind it that is probably angering/heartbreaking for those of us who care about our veterans.

Carrie briefed on December 3, 2006 10:11 AM

Perhaps Santa will pay him a visit...:) or at least UPS something to him.

BloodSpite briefed on December 3, 2006 11:06 AM


Indeed! Maureen (his wife) is mine's sister. It appears we Irish enjoy the same taste in women ;) a subject he and I have joked about upon occasion.

I would like to say we are close, but I would be lying, but thats mostly due the fact we live 900 miles from them, so aside from her weekly contact with her parents I don't talk to him often.

However for holidays and birthdays he never fails to send me various historical novels as gifts.

Small world? Absolutely! Where are you at again?

Gwedd briefed on December 3, 2006 03:53 PM


I am in Maine, on eternal (it seems) advanced post. Email me if you'd like my particulars.

Kevin's a good fellow. We disagree from time to time on minutia, but nothing of real importance.

It's interesting, you know? My mother's family was all Irish (County Cork), and my family's been tilling the soil here since 1620 or so. Still, The family served the Confederacy, and seems I was the first one born north of the Mason-Dixon line since the 17th century. Ah well.....