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October 15, 2005

Saturday Fare

Heh. I think most Denizenne's could subscribe to this attitude:

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From this fella's website.

Update: As I thought, but couldn't find, and JTG thought, but couldn't find, MCart *did* find... this *is* an Oleg Volk picture... from here. When I went looking to confirm, I went here, Oleg's Studio website... and I shoulda known better!

Sigh. You'd think they'd know better... a "no speech zone"?

Apparently needing some confirmation about Blake's affirmation that DHL delivers, Boquisucio when out and found proof: DHL Delivers!

Let's have a caption contest... since Cassie isn't providing this anymore, mebbe we can snare some of her clever double-entendre' types...

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Other caption contests as I find them: The Right Place, WILLisms, OTB, GOP and the City, Wizbang,

by John on Oct 15, 2005 | I think it's funny!
» Stop The ACLU links with: Sunday Funnies

Fear Not!

Despite the official banishment of Piglet to the Outer Darkness (aka the Colonies, aka all of us benighted souls on this side of the pond)...

Despite the efforts of well-meaning but slightly-gone-over-the-edge PMs...

There'll always be an England.

At least as long as they maintain their monomaniacal pursuit of the one-off, slightly daffy bit of humor.

Heh. Turn the speakers on. Work safe and kid safe--an admitted change for something from yours truly. Although the li'l nippers probably won't "get" most of the visual snarks, they'll get a kick out of the animation...

by CW4BillT on Oct 15, 2005 | Politics

October 14, 2005

Sorry, Fellas.

We *do* have Gun Pr0n here, but not this kind. From the Activity Log:

2005.10.13 19:11:50 62.252.0.9 Search: query for 'sex free trailers'
2005.10.13 19:11:52 62.252.0.9 Search: query for 'sex free trailers'
2005.10.13 19:12:13 62.252.0.9 Search: query for ' free trailers of sex'
2005.10.13 19:12:23 62.252.0.9 Search: query for ' free trailers of pornstars'

Now when you search, you'll find this post - which tells you, "Sorry Dudes, we don't have that kinda stuff here..."

Ya want that stuff... go look here.*

Now, to make this more interesting for *normal* visitors...

Today in History - The last successful invasion of England culminated in the death of Harold the Second.

In honor of Yom Kippur, now is a good time to point out sometimes the sheep don't go easily to the slaughter.

And in 1986 the Nobel committee showed that is doesn't *always* make PC, feel-good picks for the Peace Prize. They gave it to Elie Wiesel.

Of course, upon reflection, perhaps the "free trailers of sex" searchers are actually looking for *this* article... and had a different kind of trailer in mind... and figure this is a milblog, so we must cover this sort of thing. Heh. Now we have.

*Not!

A reader-provided-content post...

Hmmm. All Denizens: When traveling... do what Barb does!

Via AFSis...

sam jpeg

You are Sam the Eagle.
You are patriotic and devoted. And extremely anal.

HOBBIES: Patriotism, Being appalled at what everyone else is doing.
FAVORITE MUSIC: The National Anthem of America

FAVORITE MOVIE: "An American In....America"

LAST BOOK READ: "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, Eagles are from America"

QUOTE: "Please stop that now! It's un-American!"


What Muppet are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Boquisucio found this clip of maroons.

Ry found a "non-chick test"... Which Historical General are you?

The test is very sensitive in some ways, remarkably unsensitive in others.

Ry came up at Edward the 1st: He scored 68 Wisdom, 81 Tactics, 55 Guts, and 51 Ruthlessness. He added: "Odd, I expected Guts and Ruthlessness to be much higher than wisdom and tactics."

Me? Even though I pretty much killed everybody except the little boy and wasn't a big fan of torture... I attacked pretty much when the option was there... obviously not always up the middle - I'm A Hippie, unfit to command and probably not a useful member of society, scoring 70 Wisdom, 54 Tactics, 60 Guts, and 40 Ruthlessness! The prejudices of the 18 year old male who designed the test are interesting... tweak my answers a tiny bit I go from being a Hippie to being Julius Caesar, to being Vercingetorix...

Lets see what you guys do, I've wasted all the moments of my life I'm gonna on that one.

Moving on, CAPT H. provides this little window into the life of an Afghan-deployed Canadian soldier. Note there are multiple pages in the thread.

The ACLU doesn't always win. Interesting how the group they are representing, NARAL, seems more interested in suppressing a viewpoint, vice advancing one.

Major C. sends along this obit for General O'Meara. I met him once, when I was but a wee sprout and he came to a party my father was hosting. It was a different Army then - as any now serving who read the obit will recognize.

Cricket provides this bit of humor:

A visiting minister during the offertory prayer:

"Dear Lord," he began with arms extended and a rapturous look on his upturned face, "without you we are but dust..."

He would have continued, but at that moment one little girl leaned over to her mother and asked quite audibly in her shrill little girl voice,

"Mommy, WHAT is butt dust?"

Church was pretty much over at that point...

Thank you all!

by John on Oct 14, 2005 | Denizen Link-Fest!
» Righty in a Lefty State links with: General foolishness
» Silicon Valley Redneck links with: Yet another silly test
» She Who Will Be Obeyed! links with: Appropriate, I think
» Stop The ACLU links with: Sunday Funnies

Taking up the slack

Slacker my friggin' left testic probably wouldn't be my word-of-choice to describe someone who keeps pullin' your pudgy butt off the griddle sacrifices soooo unselfishly to let your sorry butt sleep in allow you some much-needed weekend-long hangover recovery Saturday morning respite from the week's endeavors.

There. I feel like an idiot much more like downing a six-pack of Lysol than ever at peace with myself for having scraped that off the bottom of my shoe said those few words...

Morning drive-time's been much more amusing since the AM Talkers discovered the Zarqawi / Zarahiri memo (thirteen pages isn't a memo, it's a Tom Clancy prologue), particularly since most of 'em haven't the vaguest clue about the ramifications of our spooks grabbing it. Some interesting takes--yup, plural--on it at Fuzzybear Lioness' place here (the prequel) and here. And, if you're curious as to what makes FbL's heart go pit-a-pat, stop in for a conversation.

Oh, yeah--the milblogs have their own slant on it, too--semi-live, from the folks of TF Katrina: Dude! Where's My Book?

And, speaking of neat stuff you don't get from the MSM, you guys *do* remember we hotlinked CENTCOM, don't you? Gratuitous memory-jogger: right sidebar, official seal, United States Central Command in a tasteful Arial Narrow verdigris...

Okay...lessee here

*rummaging around in the Big Bag of Boz Trons*

The most boring portion in any deployment is the period of time after the unofficial transfer of duties and responsibilities to your relief. After the SFOR-11 folks got their Death-by-PowerPoint briefings, their orientations, their classes on what does what, their warnings about the quirks of the polarity-sensitive Europlugs for the computers, etc., there was *nothing* to do until the plane came to bring us back home.

Except babysit the new guys. Some days--and nights--had more amusement value than others...

TINS!* With enough acronyms and abbreviations to make Barb's day...

-----Original Message-----

From: Tuttle, William CW4
Sent: Thursday, March 21, 2002 4:55 AM
To: [*distinguished military addressees names deleted by author because they know where I live*]; Aviation BN TOC Comanche
Subject: Proposed name change for Eagle Base

Two SFOR-11 crewchiefs got stranded here last night and wandered into the TOC, looking for a ride back to Eagle or a place to spend the night on Comanche. TF Pegasus leaped to the rescue with transportation and CW2 S-P coordinated entry of the rescue force (a Hummvee plus armed occupants) with Eagle BDOC. I dispatched SPC McS to accompany SPC Y in order to preserve personnel integrity and Force Protection IAW the IMPIN-announced Threat Level (B3I). PFC B accompanied them to preclude any snickering from the vulgar-minded among you.

The rescuers departed on their mission of mercy at 0030. Tuck this time into your subconscious--there will be a test.

Getting onto Eagle was not a problem, despite the the TL of C2I posted prominently at the gate. SPC Y told the gate guard, "We'll be back in five minutes," was allowed entry onto Eagle and the crewchiefs were delivered to their quarters without incident. So far, so good.

On their return to Eagle Gate, the rescuers were stopped IAW Force Protection procedures and informed that they couldn't depart Eagle Base because they were not a four-vehicle convoy of up-armored Hummvees. When SPC Y asked the guard if the Force Protection Posture had changed in the preceeding three minutes, he was told, "No, it's still Charlie."

"Charlie what?"

"Charlie."

"Anything in addition to 'Charlie'?"

(Looking at the FP notice) "Charlie...India."

"Any, like, vehicle movement code with that?"

"Charlie. India."

The conversation went downhill from there. When SPC Y asked if he could use the guard shack telephone to call Comanche TOC, he was told, "No." When he asked if he could use the guard shack telephone to call the Eagle BDOC, he was told, "No." When he asked if the gate guard would kindly have one of his fellow guards use the guard shack telephone to call Eagle BDOC, he was told, "No." When he informed the gate guard that he, SPC McS and PFC B were expected back at their duty locations, he was told, "You have to stay here." When SPC Y pointed out that there were no accommodations available at Eagle (visualize the "No Vacancy" sign at the Kit Carson Inn flashing forlornly in the fog, here), he was told, "Sleep in your vehicle." When SPC Y drew the guard's attention to the fact that SPC McS was a female and complying with the guard's suggestion would lead to unseemly speculation on the part of the vulgar-minded, he received a blank stare, not unlike that of a deer caught in your high beams.

SPCs Y and McS (and PFC B--you forgot all about PFC B, didn't you? Shame.) then turned around and proceeded back onto Eagle in search of a telephone. After discovering that the passenger terminal and every other public facility on Eagle (including the DFAC) locks its doors and/or its telephones after all the cappuccino bars close, they succeeded in convincing the night shift at the White House that they weren't itinerant al-Q'aeda and received permission to make a phone call to the Eagle BDOC.

When they got back to the gate, a different guard was on duty. After reading them the entire contents of the Force Protection Code booklet, he allowed them to proceed out the gate and return to Comanche.

Now for the test (I told you there would be a test--stop whining): If a rescue mission leaves Comanche at 0030 for a twenty-minute round trip to drop off some crewchiefs at Eagle, when will they arrive back at Comanche?

If you answered, "Two-and-a-half hours later," you are absolutely correct.

Since Comanche is closed (at least, according to Stars & Stripes and Talon), we must be the Lost Slides of some laudanum-besotted staff officer’s PowerPoint briefing and this means that the Hotel California, aka the Two-Story-Building-Where-the-VIPs-Stay is now officially dis-named. In order to maintain a certain continuity with our Peacekeeping predecessors, therefore, I would like to suggest that Eagle Base be officially redesignated "The Hotel California."

Because you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave. Ever.

The best reply I got was from our XO. See Flash traffic / Extended entry...

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by CW4BillT on Oct 14, 2005 | I think it's funny!
» Two Babes and a Brain links with: Milbloggers Getting Our Attention

October 13, 2005

Heh. Just heh.

I know what she means. Perzackly.

For a while the guns thunder, the crew eager to serve the piece...

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And send their missiles downrange in righteous wrath...

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But eventually, the rage subsides, or the message is delivered, the mission accomplished, the target destroyed or in disarray... Or, sometimes, the bastards just grind you down, and the guns fall silent.

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Which is why this place has been changing over the last few months.

by John on Oct 13, 2005 | Something for the Soul
» The Politburo Diktat links with: RINO Update
» Cafe Oregano links with: Weekend Buffet

Imagine you’re thirteen again…

…and you have a history test in school tomorrow. I’ll give you a couple of seconds to adjust your mindset. Ready?

Okay, what are some of the things you’re worried about?

[Awww, man—all those names of dead people and dates that happened before I was born and places that I’ll never even go to! How’m I ever gonna remember all that stuff? And then there’s…]

Yeah, things look a lot different from a thirteen-year-old’s perspective, doesn’t it?

Now let me add two items to your perspective.

1. You’re a thirteen-year-old girl.

2. You live in Mosul.

Ever wonder what it’s like to really, really hope you get to school without being blown to pieces by a car bomb?

Meet somebody who can tell you. Meet Sunshine

...and after you've read what she's said, you can add this to the reasons we need to win this thing: so that thirteen-year-old girls won't have to be afraid of being killed just because some scumbucket thinks that little girls shouldn't go to school.

Wahabism delenda est!

Thank you, Lady Christine, for finding Sunshine....

by CW4BillT on Oct 13, 2005 | Global War on Terror (GWOT)
» Scotts Conservative News & Commentary links with: You Shouldn't Need Any Reason Besides This

Getting to the fight, part 7.

Another bit from Blake, wherein he keeps a promise and answers his teaser.

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My part of this mission is winding down. Most of our stuff has shipped, and we're cleaning up bits and pieces here and there. It's getting easier to find time to do things like write, hence the following.


True Tales of Horror from the Unit Movements Bidness, Part 2.

Okay, so in the last installment of this collection, I mentioned having once helped airmail a water buffalo to Afghanistan. I’ll own up. I did it. Or at least, I helped…

No, not a live carabao. Not even a dead one. Take it from me, moving large animals by air is a LOT more trouble than its worth, most of the time. Ain’t gonna, can’t make me. Although, come to think of it, the CIA did fly two 747’s full of the very best Tennessee mules out of Fort Campbell back when we were supporting the Afghan mujahideen in their war against the Russians. Given that the typical beast of burden in rural Afghanistan is a scrawny donkey, handing out the mules was supposed to be the equine equivalent of giving a humongous new Ford F350 pickup to a guy making do with a beat-up little Nissan. I never did hear how the project worked out.

No, what I actually helped airmail was one of these, properly known as “Trailer, Tank, Water, 400 gallon, M149A2." Soldiers have been calling these trailers “water buffalos” as long as I’ve been hanging around the Army…

What happened was that a certain unit at Fort Campbell (which shall here remain nameless,) was alerted to deploy to Afghanistan by military airlift on little or no notice. Their Unit Movement Officer, (or UMO) in a hurry to generate his Deployment Equipment List (or DEL) in the transportation computer system so that he could start printing shipping labels, reasoned that the unit had just returned from a rotation to the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, LA, and that they had done fine down there, so he created his new DEL by making a copy of the DEL from the Fort Polk deployment, instead of creating his DEL based on his unit’s total equipment baseline. So the UMO prints out his labels based on the new DEL, goes back to the unit and gives the labels to his sergeants, saying unto them: “Here are the shipping labels for what we are deploying. Go, thou, and prepare these items for movement!”

The problem was, the UMO had forgotten that while the unit had been at Fort Polk, they had arranged to draw a number of vehicles from an equipment pool kept there for that purpose, so that it had been unnecessary for the unit to deploy those types of vehicles with it from Fort Campbell, and equally unnecessary to list these items on the DEL. Among the items that the unit had drawn from the Fort Polk training equipment pool was a Trailer, Tank, Water, 400 Gallon, M149A2.

So, we members of the Deployment Support Team move Heaven and Earth to get this unit moved on time (which, in itself, is another tale that needs to be told here,) and we somehow manage to get them there faster than anyone could reasonably have predicted. (Ask me some time about the C-5B we sent off loaded with 108,000 pounds of ammunition, or about the Incredible Growing Pallet…) And eventually the members of the advance party for the unit get off the airplane at Kandahar International Airport, and discover that yea, verily, Afghanistan enjoys what scientists call a “semi-arid-to-arid” climate. In other words, it’s mostly desert broken up with big honking mountains and not-quite-so-high piles of big rocks euphemistically referred to as “hills.” Being as they are in a desert, it occurs to someone that they will probably have a need to transport and store water, and someone asks “OK, what flight is the water buffalo arriving on?” This seems like a good question, but nobody has an answer, since the advance party took off well before we had all of the load plans finalized. So, they break out the ultra-sophisticated, highly-miniaturized satellite communications system and do the “E.T. phone home” thing back to Fort Campbell.

Back at Campbell, we get the telephone call. “What flight is the water buffalo arriving on?” We shuffle through the twenty-five-odd aircraft load plans, and reply “It isn’t coming: we never loaded one.” Incoherent spluttering on the other end of the line eventually resolves into “Whaddaya MEAN we ain’t getting no water buffalo?!? We’re in the middle of the freakin’ desert here! We’re all gonna die without a water buffalo!”

Back at Campbell we all nod sagely at that bit of wisdom. The next phrase out of the telephone is, predictably, “Well, adjust the load plans on one of the later airplanes in the airflow, and add the water buffalo!”

Can’t be done, we reply. The aircraft are all planned to better than 95% of Authorized Cabin Load (ACL – the maximum cargo and passenger load permitted by the mission parameters,) and the only way to get in the water buffalo onto an aircraft at this point is to take something equally combat essential off. This results in more incoherent spluttering, which resolves to “So request another airplane!”

Which also isn’t happening, we explain. The movement plan for the unit has already been validated and locked by both Forces Command for the Army and Transportation Command for DoD, and since EVERYTHING going into Afghanistan is going in by air, airplanes are in high demand. In order to get another airplane at this point, it would require that our division commander go hat-in-hand to the Air Force and beg for another airplane to fly a single trailer to Afghanistan because one of his battalion commanders was too stupid to figure out on his own that he needed to take a water trailer with him to the desert. Hell would freeze over first.

More incoherent spluttering from the ‘Stan, which resolves to something like “We’re doomed, we’re all doomed…”

At which point my boss intervenes, and tells the poor suffering guys in Afghanistan that we will get them their water buffalo somehow: it just may take us a few days. We hang up the phone. The boss looks at us and tells us “There has to be SOME way of getting these guys their water buffalo. Find it.”

So we start looking. First stop is the Air Force, to ask about inserting the water buffalo into the normal sustainment airflow into the ‘Stan. “Yeah,” the zoomies tell us, “we can do that, but the transit time will be 10-14 days, assuming that the water buffalo doesn’t get lost at a transfer point like Ramstein or Diego Garcia.” Obviously that won’t do. One of my geographically-challenged peers suggests that we move it by sea. I point out that that would take too long, and anyway, Afghanistan is a land-locked nation that doesn’t have any seaports. “Are you sure?” asks my co-worker. When I nod, said co-worker toddles off to consult an atlas. Someone remembers that there is a chartered 747 freighter due in soon to ferry helicopter parts to Afghanistan. Maybe we can sneak the water-buffalo onto that. No luck. The bird is already full. Rotor blades take up way too much space. Then someone says “What about Fed Ex?”

We all look at each other. We grin. If this isn’t a case of “when it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight,” we haven’t seen one lately. We lunge for the phone. The Fed Ex guy at the other end says “You want us to fly air freight into a war zone? Are you guys on crack or something? We don’t do stuff like that.”

We shrug, hang up, and call UPS. The UPS person says “We don’t do things like that. Who do you think we are, DHL?”

We have no idea who or what DHL is, but the inference is that they will do what UPS and Fed Ex will not. So we call operator assistance, and we eventually get connected to the nearest DHL terminal, which is in Atlanta. The DHL person, when presented with what we want to do, says “Yeah, we can do that. It’s gonna cost you a bunch extra for hazard charges, but we can do it.” We ask how come they can do this sort of thing when Purple and Brown won’t, and we get told that DHL has subcontracting arrangements with a lot of small carriers who will fly anything anywhere if the price is right.

DHL overnights us some blank airbills and a book of instructions. We fill out the paperwork, and lay on a commercial truck to haul the water buffalo to Atlanta. A minor complication pops up: the water buffalo has a water-chilling unit mounted on it which is powered by a small diesel engine. This makes the whole thing HAZMAT for airlift. Fortunately, we Deployment Specialists are required to be HAZMAT certifiers, so we fill out the necessary HAZMAT documentation, insuring that it is entirely machine-printed (‘cause it’s going via commercial airlift,) and send the whole package off to Atlanta.

The next day we get a telephone call from DHL in Atlanta. Everything is wonderful, except that, according to some pedant on the staff of the DHL terminal, we have misspelled “Kandahar” on all of the paperwork. We point out at some length that the written form of Pushto is strictly phonetic, and that there is no single, generally accepted English spelling for the names of most places in the ‘Stan. Doesn’t matter. Said pedant is the custodian of some sort of sacred approval stamp, without which DHL’s own internal rules prohibit moving our shipment. We sigh mightily, ask how Mr. Pedantic wants us to spell “Qand’har,” redo all the paperwork, and overnight it to Atlanta. DHL tells us they will move the shipment.

About three days later we get a jubilant telephone call from the unit, telling us they got their water buffalo. “Yeah, man: some crazy dudes wearing blue jeans brought a beat-up 747 freighter into Kandahar Airport yesterday with a whole bunch of mail and high priority stuff on it for a bunch of people. Our water buffalo was part of the load. You Deployment Support Team dudes rock!”

Which is how I airmailed a water buffalo to Afghanistan.

Mission First, People Always. It's a cliche', but it's right.

Parts 1, 2, and 3, 4, 5 6 can be reached by clicking the respective numbers.

October 12, 2005

Updating a post a little tiny bit...

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That post being this one, where Blake expounds on stuff the Polish Army is taking home from Iraq.

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I mentioned in that discussion the Skoda howitzer at Pinder Barracks, Zirndorf, Germany, my first duty station after my initial Army schooling. Reader but infrequent commenter Frank C. was a fellow-denizen of Pinder, we have exchanged TINS before. This week he provided scans of his pics of the gun in question! So here is a little, tiny slice of Pinder Barracks, now long since returned to the Germans. To them it was FlakKaserne Zirndorf, barracks for the local anti-aircraft units responsible for the southwestern sector of defense for the Nűrnberg-Fűrth region. It appears it's first US occupants (outside of the combat forces moving through the area at the end of the war) was a military police railway security battalion, the the 395th MP SV. Battalion, followed by the 16th Infantry Regiment. To me it was home to the 1st Battalion, 22nd Field Artillery, 6th Battalion, 14th Field Artillery, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1st Armored Division Artillery, the 595th Military Police Company (we needed lots of supervision...) and the 156th Maintenance Company. After the 1st Tank Division moved out of that part of Germany, Pinder was briefly Headquarters AAFES-Europe (which had itself been moved from Munich).

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Pinder has been mostly dismantled, though the signature tower and guard room remains - and it's now PinderPark... which is nice that Zirndorf kept the name, given that it was named for John J. Pinder, posthumous awardee of the Medal of Honor. It speaks well for our overall relationship with Zirndorf that they kept the name, I think.

*PINDER, JOHN J., JR.

Rank and organization: Technician Fifth Grade, U.S. Army, 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Colleville-sur-Mer, France, 6 June 1944. Entered .service at: Burgettstown, Pa. Birth: McKees Rocks, Pa. G.O. No.: 1, 4 January 1945. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty on 6 June 1944, near Colleville-sur-Mer, France. On D-day, Technician 5th Grade Pinder landed on the coast 100 yards off shore under devastating enemy machinegun and artillery fire which caused severe casualties among the boatload. Carrying a vitally important radio, he struggled towards shore in waist-deep water. Only a few yards from his craft he was hit by enemy fire and was gravely wounded. Technician 5th Grade Pinder never stopped. He made shore and delivered the radio. Refusing to take cover afforded, or to accept medical attention for his wounds, Technician 5th Grade Pinder, though terribly weakened by loss of blood and in fierce pain, on 3 occasions went into the fire-swept surf to salvage communication equipment. He recovered many vital parts and equipment, including another workable radio. On the 3rd trip he was again hit, suffering machinegun bullet wounds in the legs. Still this valiant soldier would not stop for rest or medical attention. Remaining exposed to heavy enemy fire, growing steadily weaker, he aided in establishing the vital radio communication on the beach. While so engaged this dauntless soldier was hit for the third time and killed. The indomitable courage and personal bravery of Technician 5th Grade Pinder was a magnificent inspiration to the men with whom he served.

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And many, many thanks to Richard Lippmann, webmaster of Zirndorf, for his gesture of friendship to those of us who spent time living in Pinder and the surrounding area.

Heh.

Over at My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, Beth (SWANS)* is hosting a "King of Cotillion" contest (I would note the seeming to uncouth ears grammatical faux pas is not).

We did not deign to enter.

Okay, no one asked us and we didn't know about it, not being regular Cotillion readers...

We received the following email yesterday, from Casey Tompkins an unamed blogger who opined thusly:

John,

First, let me thank you for not entering the competition. Makes life easier for me, 'n Thunder6.

Second, I just wanted to drop a link to let you know it's on, and I've entered. T6 of 365 & A Wake-Up has as well, not to mention a couple of other semi-demi-celebrity bloggers, all of whom are probably better known than I. :)

Your wife might get a bit distracted, though. I'm just sayin'...

I assure you, sir, that #82 keeps the thoughts of SWWBO fully-occupied. Ahem.

I won't speak too loudly for Dusty and Bill, but were the Armorer to have entered, it would have looked something like this:

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Or perhaps something with a recoiless rifle, if a tank was considered too agressive.

*She Who Are Not Swwbo

October 11, 2005

GLORIA MERCES VIRTUTIS**

In the spirit of the Naval Service, "Non Sibi Sed Patriae!"*...

Coleseal.jpg

Ladies and Gentlemen, I say to you the Dead of the USS Cole, DDG-67:


Hull Maintenance Technician 2nd Class Kenneth Clodfelter
Electronics Technician Chief Petty Officer Richard Costelow
Mess Management Specialist Seaman Lakeina Francis
Information Systems Technician Seaman Timothy Lee Gauna
Signalman Seaman Cherone Louis Gunn
Seaman James Rodrick McDaniels
Engineman 2nd Class Marc Ian Nieto
Electronics Warfare Technician 2nd Class Ronald Owens
Seaman Lakiba Nicole Palmer
Engineman Fireman Joshua Langdon Parlett
Fireman Patrick Howard Roy
Electronics Warfare Technician 1st Class Kevin Shawn Rux
Mess Management Specialist 3rd Class Ronchester Santiago
Operations Specialist 2nd Class Timothy Lamont Saunders
Fireman Gary Graham Swenchonis Jr.
Ensign Andrew Triplett
Seaman Craig Bryan Wibberley

Enough from me. Let Alan pick up the narrative.

Now is the time at Castle Argghhh! when we dance: In Memoriam of early casualties of the Global War on Terror.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by John on Oct 11, 2005 | Global War on Terror (GWOT)
» A Blog For All links with: This Day in History
» Neptunus Lex links with: Remembering the COLE
» Small Town Veteran links with: Remembering the USS Cole attack

Out and about at lunch...

Woo-woo! Be a "Top Something" blogger - get press releases! As if they know you!

John, I thought FRONTLINE's next episode might interest you and your readers at Argghhh!. If you can't catch the PBS broadcast, most FRONTLINE films are available for free via streaming video a few days after the broadcast.

In "The Torture Question," airing Tuesday, October 18, at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), FRONTLINE traces the history of prisoner abuse in Afghanistan; Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; and Iraq since 9/11. You can read a full press release (I've excerpted a bit below) and watch a 5 min. preview here:
http://www.pbs.org/frontline/torture/ .

On a related note, FRONTLINE has organized a collection of its reports on the War in Iraq on a new portal page here:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/saddam/

On the site you can access full-length streaming video (for free) and companion online reporting from such recent FRONTLINE documentaries as "Private Warriors," "The Soldier's Heart," "A Company of Soldiers," "Beyond Baghdad"--and many more. (We'll add a link to "The Torture Question" Web site and streaming video following its broadcast.)

Here's hoping you'll tune in on October 18. Please contact me with any questions.

Sincerely,
Jessica Smith
Publicist, Interactive Media

I dunno if I'll have the time - mebbe Ry can watch it and report out...

Speaking of Ry reporting out - he sent this yesterday, but it got lost in the shuffle... Father of the US Cavalry gets a hero's burial.

Don Surber has some "doncha regret Google" questions for some Senators, in re: Miers.

RINO Sightings... a whole lotta Miers, just be warned!

The Brigaded Blogs of the Canadians Militant hoist the Red Ensign!

Jay's Carnival of True Liberties.

On this day in 1809, the Armorer's Most Famous Relative (2nd Cousin, 6 times removed) died. Leaving behind a nice juicy controversy, too!

As a nod to certain co-workers... on this day in 1860 the Fighting Fenians of the 69th New York Infantry refused to parade (scroll down to The Irish Volunteer, stanza 4)

In other news: The Last Flying Monkey dies. The world is a poorer place.

A post in which Cricket loses her invitation to the Castle for her, *ahem* comment.

October 10, 2005

For someone who needs some distraction right now.

You know who you are.

6 inch guns on the HMS Belfast.

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Belgian Fortress Gun.

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Because you, of all people, will appreciate a picture of a literally mindless soldier doing mindless work... operating a belt-filling machine.

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The guts of a T-54, after the Finn museum people got ahold of it...

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Here's a chit for a free one at Fiddler's Green...

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Now is the time at Castle Argghhh! when we dance: In Memoriam of a Veteran of the 20th Air Force, Saipan. Load a drum for me, Sergeant.

And no, everybody, it isn't someone you know. There are at least a few degrees of separation for most of you.

Getting to the Fight, Part 6.

Part 6 of Blake's Behind-the-Scenes look at the GWOT.

Miscellany and Curiosities

Been working my butt off again, literally. I’m having to tighten my belt to keep my pants up, which isn’t a bad thing considering that my doctor would like me to lose 40 pounds or so.

A bit of an explanation seems in order here. The basic process for deploying unit equipment in theater is that we get the stuff off the ship, then move the stuff to the staging base. Some of the equipment is unpacked there in order for the deploying unit to conduct required training, such as live-firing all individual and crew-served weapons, and conducting live-fire immediate action drills of various sorts, both dismounted and mounted. Then when all the training is complete, the gear gets packed back up, and we load everything up on trucks to move it north. The people fly north by tactical airlift (cattle-class on C-130’s, mostly,) or by road convoy in armored trucks and HMMWV’s, and marry up
with the rest of their equipment at their bases in Iraq when the line-haul trucks deliver it.

But the problem is that there are never enough line-haul assets to make everyone happy. (Kirk’s First Rule of Logistics: No army, anywhere, will ever have enough transportation assets to keep everyone happy.) So we as shippers have an obligation not to waste lift: it’s really bad form to use ten trucks to move gear you could have moved safely on eight trucks, because those two extra trucks could have been used to move some other shipper’s stuff. We’re not doing so bad here. As evidence I offer the following photo of a loaded line-haul truck somewhere in Kuwait. I think that one counts as being full.

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At some point in my perambulations around Kuwait, I ran across a Polish Army unit getting ready to go home. And they had a war trophy. Sitting on a heavy equipment transporter was, of all things, a Sherman tank. It looks like one of the old “Super Shermans” the Israelis up-gunned with a 90mm gun, but this one has had a sleeve inserted into the barrel to turn it into a flamethrower tank. It’s not real clear as to how it would up in Iraq, but by cracky, the Poles found it somewhere upcountry, and they are taking it home.

See pictures:

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Finally, I keep getting reminders that this is not quite the same Army I joined in 1978. To wit, tonight in the chow line I saw a couple of interesting vignettes:

The Cute Blond Chick with the Big Honking Gun – In my day an infantry brigade was an all-male club. These days two of the six battalions in my brigade have women assigned to them, as does the brigade’s headquarters company. So here in the chow line is this little blond female PFC, who is maybe 5 feet tall in her boots, with an M240 machine gun slung diagonally across her back. Durned gun is nearly as big as she is, and she’s toting it around with about as much concern as if it were an oddly-shaped purse.

The Star Wars Toy – In the same chow line was a hulking squad leader from an airborne unit, one of those annoying 6-foot-6-inch-260-pounds-and-ain’t-none-of it-fat types with the 56-inch chest and the 28 inch waist. (I say annoying because I’ve always wanted to look like that and have never managed it…) He’s carrying an M4 carbine across his chest in a combat sling. The weapon has so many hi-tech widgets attached to it, it looks like a toy from the Star Wars aisle at Toys-R-Us: aiming lasers, optical sights, spotlights, extra handgrips, a bipod, you name it. If there’s a place to attach an accessory, there’s something attached. In this guy’s massive paws it really looks more like a toy than the very lethal weapon it actually is.

My first military rifle was an M14 in college ROTC during my freshman year. We've come a long way since then. Except we haven't, really. I'm given to understand that a number of units now want to issue scoped M14's to the Designated Marksman in each squad until the purpose-designed DM rifle becomes available. I expect that the novelty of a wooden-stocked weapon in this day and age will wear off about half-way through the first foot patrol toting that beast. It gets heavy after a while.

For the record, based on the markings and battle damage - I call that an M36 Jackson turret sitting in a standard M4 chassis (vice the angled-body chassis more common to the type) that belonged to the Iranians (see that roundel on the turret? Green/tan/brown? A camo version the green/white/red of the Iranian Army. The Poles are taking home an Iraqi Army battle trophy...

Lest we think that unusual - at Pinder Barracks, Zirndorf, Germany, the 6th Battalion, 14th Field Artillery (Everything's better with a Whorebonnet on it! Those who know, know), had a trophy gun in front of their battalion headquarters. A Skoda howitzer captured from the Serbs by the Austrians, captured from the Austrians by the Italians, captured from the Italians by the Germans, and just taken over by the US when they found it occupying the Kaserne after WWII... Heh. A traveling trophy, kinda like the Americas Cup...

Lastly, when you're me-sized, the M14 doesn't feel that big. I liked it.

Parts 1, 2, and 3, 4, 5 can be reached by clicking the respective numbers.

October 09, 2005

Denizens in the Assault!

What are the Denizens up to? MSG Keith entertains royalty while SGT B waxes rhapsodic about... aviators... ewwww!. Meantime, over at Random Fate, Jack's messy divorce from politics continues, as he pretty much hates all the options, and is probably considering a small, uncharted island where he can avoid the sausage-making that is politics. If I thought everybody else would *truly* leave me alone, I'd be jiggy with that. The Rammer family is dealing with the loss of Rammer's father. Pace, familias. The Snarkatron spanks the Smithsonian for essentially embezzling a donation in practical terms, if not in legal ones. Cassandra at Villainous Company says approving things about the Washington Post, and has a post up comparing history's only Bomb-dropper, Mizzou's own Harry S. Truman, to... wait for it... Dubya! Ah, Cassie - she covers Miers so I don't have to! Between Cassie and Baldilocks, my piece is pretty much said regarding Miers. But if you *like* Miers-blogging, consider Carnival of the Clueless #16 or Don Surber, one of the paid pundits *not* rending his garments over the nomination. Barb offers condolences, and reports out on someone you should know. SWWBO gives us her take on Miers - and don't forget this week's Carnival of the Recipes (SWWBO's Invention!) over at The Glittering Eye! AFSis's concern about justice is assuaged by some good news - just as Ohio is made happy with the return of their Marine reservists from a hard tour in Iraq. Castle Philosophotrix Kat reminds us that there is still work to be done in Afghanistan... and it is. Fuzzybear Lioness has some posers of questions about political figures - I got them both right. Allen and I agree about something - which happens more often than our snarking allows, but he *is* a foreigner, after all. While I'm as guilty as anyone about the 'Net, I don't get the need to be able to instantly contact anyone - and the seemingly concomitant need to be in constant contact with *someone*. I'm not available 24/7 and don't want to be - and have turned down jobs where a Blackberry was involved. And people who get angry with me for *not* have a cell phone with me at all times, and especially not having one that will take my email... well, that's both bemusing and amusing. If you want those kinds of jobs, rest assured, I am *not* your competition.

Let's close this out with some Gun-n-Plane Pr0n. The tailgunner position of the Memphis Bell[e]. For pity's sake, Jack. Like you've *never* had a typo!

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If you are *still* looking for something to do - try Jay's Sunday Funnies over at Stop The ACLU.

Probably last, but not least: Snerk!

From RedState.org.

Sunday Caption Contest

This is another two-fer, provided by the Admiral of the Moat Fleet, Boquisucio:

#1.

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#2.

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No prize but bragging rights...

Other Caption Contests: OTB, Wizbang, The Right Place, Random Numbers, GOP and the City, Cafe Oregano #1, Cafe Oregano #2, WILLisms, Commonwealth Conservative, a Limey in Bermuda, The Gone Rick Hotel, Sortapundit and Villainous Company

by John on Oct 09, 2005 | I think it's funny!
» Stop The ACLU links with: Sunday Funnies

Maybe you'd better wait...

...until after church. I finally found my collection of quotes from the good ol' days of spontaneous TV, long before the bleep button and three-second delays became standard network issue in the control room.

Heh--the original Prime Time Castle Comment Party. Hollywood Squares.

Here, PG-17C! Here, boy! Goooood construct. Just look what I've got for ya in this wall locker...that's it, climb right in and

*slam!*

You guys know the drill by now. See Extended Post/Flash Traffic.

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