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About gunrodeomilitary

United States-Member since December 2015

Wednesday, March 18th

Part 7 A Mission to Kill Osama bin

by Alex Quade

**New Mission**

That is, until now.

After retiring earlier this month, Englen donated the small U.S. flag from his body armor to the 9/11 Museum at Ground Zero in New York. He wore it on all of his more than 2,500 missions, including the bin Laden mission.

He contemplated going back to flying, until his friend Congressman Mark Green (who'd been an Army special operations flight surgeon with the 160th) said, "Why don't you take on a new mission?"

Englen sought the counsel of Panetta and McRaven, who encouraged him to run for local office in his home state of Tennessee.

So he threw his hat into the ring as a Republican running for Tennessee State Senate District 22.

It was a little bit of a surprise to his wife.

“I thought retirement would be the time for us to take some walks and spend some time together. But, I’m on board because I love him,” Tina laughed.

However, being in the public eye will be a huge change for them. Plus, in the SOF community, there’s always criticism against any operator who talks about their former career. Especially if it appears to be for personal or financial gain.

“I asked them (McRaven and Panetta), saying, ‘This is what I’m considering doing.’ And they’re like, ‘It’s wonderful. Why are you worried about them (the SOF community)?’ And I said, ‘Well, because I don’t want them to think I’m being egotistical, or cynical, or trying to make money off this,'” Englen explained.

McRaven looked at him and grinned.

“You realize, by you being concerned and asking that question, you know you’re not,” they’d said.

With their blessing, he’s shared here the story of the air component side of the bin Laden mission, and his experiences which personify all SOF warriors and their unconventional work.

Once, then done.

“I want my experiences to explain who I am, so people know they can believe in me. Then transition to getting work done for my community," Englen said. “The things the military and especially SOF taught me — I’ll use to problem-solve some of the issues in the state that I live in.”

“I reached every level in the Army, so I must do it — take on this new mission. That’s what’s motivating me. I want to serve the people."

The 160th SOAR’s motto, “Night Stalkers Don’t Quit,” still applies to Douglas Englen.

He’ll be inducted into the Army Aviation Hall of Fame in April.

Thursday, March 19th

Part 6 A Mission to Kill Osama bin

by Alex Quade

“We just sat there and watched TV, like the rest of you,” Tina said. “As I’m sitting there watching the television, trying to figure out where Doug is, what’s going down — I’m worried: ‘Am I going to get a knock on the door,’ (from a uniformed officer and the chaplain)?” Tina shared.

They lived on post, and everyone was excited. People outside were running up and down the street with air horns.

“I had gone out to see who was shooting the horns off, and I couldn’t tell if my phone was ringing or not. I came running back in, knocked my knee on the door, about fell into my living room, and sure enough, my phone was ringing. It was Doug,” Tina shared.

All she heard between the ruckus outside, was: “I love you, everything’s good, and I’m coming home.”

Englen was the only one able to call home.

Right after Englen dropped the body off with the Marines so they could fly it up to the Carl Vinson and had written his executive summary report, he received approval to run inside real quick to call his wife.

They’d been together since meeting in high school in 1987. He knew she and their four children would be stressed.

“I knew it was prom, and when this hit the news, they’d connect the dots. But the news, ‘There is a helicopter crash,’ they’d think the worst. A quick phone call just to hear my voice, and tell them everyone’s OK, I knew that was all that was needed,” Englen said.

“It was enough,” Tina confided. “We didn’t even get to say goodbye, the phone had disconnected. Probably 20 seconds later, the announcement came from the White House that he was killed, bin Laden. Obama was there in the hallway, saying it.”

Neighbors came over, asking if she’d heard from her husband, since news had spread of a helicopter down.

“In our (160th SOAR) community, the first thing is, is everybody OK,” Tina said.

Her daughter came home, worried, from prom in her huge ball gown. She wanted to be with her family to see what was going on.

“She knew I had heard from her dad, so I said, ‘Go. There’s nothing you can do, there’s nothing you can change. This is your prom night, go. Go have fun, I’ll see you later.’ So she went back out,” Tina recalled.

But, not before telling her mother, “Why the hell did I want a Cinderella dress? I couldn’t move in it. I couldn’t get in and out of the car.”

**Strangeness back home**

Two days after arriving home, Englen was at Jiffy Lube with Tina, getting an oil change. On the TV in the tiny lobby waiting room, the news was all about the killing of bin Laden. Three gentlemen waiting, in their mid-20s, were absolutely convinced it was a conspiracy.

“I’m just sitting there, smiling, because they thought that it never happened. They thought it was just a publicity stunt for propaganda, for campaigning for Obama. They thought Obama staged it, like putting that on the news to boost his numbers,” Englen laughed.

Tina looked at her husband.

“They have no idea, do they?” She’d whispered to him.

“No. And I’m not here to explain it to them,” he’d chuckled.

While Englen was amused, Tina was bothered. She’d heard one of the men saying: “The soldiers that took part in this (conspiracy), should be shot, too.”

“They made a comment like that, and you know, I’m sitting there in this little, tiny waiting room, and I can’t believe that guy thinks that. And, that he thinks what my husband did, is horrible,” Tina recalled.

**The aftermath**

In the days that followed, Englen smirked at the media coverage. Especially when random helicopter pilots and aviation consultants offered their expertise on what they thought happened on the mission.

Almost all of the news coverage was about the SEALs, which he was perfectly fine with Folks really did not need to know about what special operations aviators do — period.

Some of the officials who'd been in the White House Situation Room during the operation later released details from the intelligence side, and some of what the SEALs had done.

For instance, former Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Advisor John Brennan, said that the ground forces had been “met with a great deal of resistance,” and bin Laden had used a woman as a human shield.

“But nobody — probably because my executive summary was so vague — there was no contextual data to say, ‘Here’s what happened on the air side,'” Englen speculated.

He was relieved details about his 160th SOAR’s air piece never really got out.

**Presidential visit**

Three days after the Jiffy Lube incident, President Obama came to Fort Campbell to congratulate everyone on that operation. No family members were allowed.

“Nothing very glamorous at all. There’s really no pictures, either,” Englen said. Then again, the 160th SOAR, like the rest of the special operations community, is accustomed to having their award ceremonies behind closed doors, so information about sensitive missions doesn’t get out.

“He (Obama) told me, ‘We need to keep you around.’ And, all 24 ground forces that were on the objective that night made me an honorary member of their team. They basically said, ‘If you weren’t there, it would’ve been different.’ So it made me feel good,” Englen shared.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, and Adm. McRaven told him they were putting him in for the Distinguished Service Cross since he was responsible for the entire air piece. The rest of the air crew would receive Silver Stars. But Englen turned it down.

"I volunteered for that. But we all crossed that border. We all flew at the same time. Those crews took no less risk than I did," Englen told them. So, he was awarded that Silver Star with that non-descript citation for that operation, along with the rest of the air crew.

“I just kept a low profile, just morphed back into the ranks. Some asked, ‘Where’ve you been the last several months?’ In fact, nobody even within the unit (160th SOAR), really knew about it afterwards,” Englen added.

**More Honors**

Four months later, Englen received his second Silver Star (for that same year) in Afghanistan.

This time his Chinook was in a huge firefight rescuing 7th Special Forces Group ODA-7223 in Panjway after it hit an IED. Their Navy EOD tech lost his leg and needed medical evacuation. But daylight was upon them and the firefight was too hot for the MedEvac to fly in, and there was no close-air support.

“I couldn’t wait any longer,” Englen said. So he and another Chinook went in with the risky approval from a 160th BN commander at Bagram.

“We went through about 8,000 rounds of mini-gun fire protecting the Chinook on the ground, trying to pick up the injured EOD guy. Killed probably 30 or 35 insurgents. We got shot at with absolutely everything: RPGs, RPK, AKs. That day, they missed,” he added.

**The only easy day was yesterday**

In the nine years since Operation Neptune’s Spear, Englen lived with a healthy sense of paranoia about potential threat to his family, while still flying missions in war zones.

“We worried that we were going to be on al-Qaida’s top 10 list because of this, just as if we would look for them,” he said.

“Look what happened with Extortion 17 (most of the 38 people on board the fatal Chinook shot down in Afghanistan were special operators). That was a ‘stake a claim,' so there’s always a target for certain individuals, so we stay quiet. Right now, I’m just telling you the story, because there’s never been an air piece conveyed on what happened that night,” Englen reiterated.

He also read the books released by two former SEAL Team members on the raid.

“They really didn’t talk about the air piece. I think if they did talk about the air piece, we (160th SOAR) would have come out and said, ‘No, they’re completely wrong. We’re not telling you how it’s wrong, just that it’s wrong,'” he said.

As most military families can attest, transitioning out of the service is a big adjustment.

“Keeping this house was always my job. You know, I didn’t put an ad in the paper to hire somebody to join me in running it, so it’s odd to have Doug home,” Tina chuckled.

Sometimes, she’d forget he was back, since he’d been absent so often in their marriage.

“When he started being here, I was eating dinner without him. He’d walk in the door, and say, ‘What we having for dinner?’ And I’m like, ‘Uh, whoops, I’ve already eaten. Sorry, just not used to you here’,” Tina admitted.

“I know he has the same feelings, because all of a sudden, he’ll say, ‘I think I’m going to the gym,’ and I’ll go, ‘Oh, you’ve had too much of me, gotcha,'” Tina laughed.

It was also a bit shocking for Tina, when attending her husband’s retirement functions, to hear he’d been shot at.

“We would go to these awards events and I was like, ‘You did what?’ Now, he’s very good at warning me ahead, so I’m not shell-shocked in front of everybody, and trying to keep on a smiley face,” Tina shared.

“I didn’t know any of that, really, during the whole all of those deployments. I didn’t ask, he didn’t tell,” she added.

Continue Reading Part 7 A Mission to Kill Osama bin Laden Mission Details:


Friday, March 20th

Part 5 A Mission to Kill Osama bin

by Alex Quade

“We like to be 10 to 15 seconds. Because, I mean, how long does it take operators to run on the back of a Chinook? That’s how long it should take,” Englen said. “But when they’re having to deal with grabbing things and carrying things (like bin Laden’s body bag, and everything seized from the compound), it changes everything.”

The mini-gunners, or door gunners, were scanning. They kept an eye on their sector. They saw civilians from the neighborhood around the compound come in from the right side towards the commotion, and kept an eye on them.

“It’s a little bit different of an environment. There is no ‘enemy’ in Pakistan, other than those that were inside the compound. So, even if we were shot it, it would be hard to even return fire. Not this type of objective. The rules of engagement are much different (than Afghanistan),” Englen explained.

“Ok, we’re loading the last guys,” the crew chiefs communicated with Englen, who started pulling a little bit of pitch.

“I had to anticipate and load the engines. Because I knew we were going to be extremely heavy,” Englen explained.

Turbine engines are running at a constant speed — about 6,000 rpm (revolutions per minute). If they are loaded too quickly, they can bog down a little bit.

As soon as the last ground force was on the aircraft, the crew chiefs came in right behind them and ramped up.

"When we pulled out, I yanked the guts out of the engines and we were at max power. I mean, we were at the maximum weight that the aircraft could hold," Englen explained.


Englen’s Chinook headed back to Jalalabad, Afghanistan, while the remaining Black Hawk (Chalk-2) headed to the refuel site about 30 miles north of Abbottabad.

The other Chinook had set up prior to the Black Hawk coming in, shutting the aircraft down and running the fuel hoses out.

“So, that’s time for the Chinook to get there, time it to shut down, time to refuel, close up the refuel hoses, start the aircraft and head out. It takes a little bit of time,” Englen said.

That meant they were sitting on the ground vulnerable inside a sovereign nation, after invading its airspace and assaulting a compound. The Chinook was on the ground for probably 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, Englen’s lone Chinook on its way back was engaged three times by a Pakistani F-16. Because he’d anticipated and planned for that, he was able to defeat and evade the fighter jet.

“It was as an electronic fight. A missile never left the rail. So I was able to evade him electronically. That’s all I’ll say. But, he was searching and hunting for me, and three times came very close to actually launching a missile,” Englen said.

He'd done that before with other fighter jets on other missions.

"That's why we were picked for this mission. And, I was one of the few who trained 160th crews how to do that," he added.

Regardless, they were still jinking and jiving, flying nap-of-the-earth.

"We pulled every technique and tactic out of the book. And it worked," he said.

The risk was different, depending on who you asked.

On the actual bin Laden compound, the risk to the ground force was high (which is why comparisons were made to it being like “just another night in Afghanistan,” where operations occur multiple times a night).

While the risk to the airframes was fairly low on the objective, it was extremely high during the other nearly four hours of flying.

"It was not typical. That risk would be typical of the early days of Iraq, when we had air defense and we had to use electronic warfare tactics," he said.

Nevertheless, crossing back into Afghanistan was an unusually good feeling.

“We felt safe,” Englen said, “Which is a totally weird thing to say about (a war zone) in Afghanistan.”

**Exhuming UBL**

As soon as they landed at Jalalabad, a C-130 transported the team and Englen to Bagram Air Base to help exhume the body of Osama bin Laden.

"Take it out of the body bag, inspect and take samples and things like that, to verify," he clarified.

They put him back in the bag, and took it out to the Marine MV-22 Ospreys.

“We had a gunny sergeant who was pissed off like you wouldn’t believe. Because they were out there running — full rotors turning for like two hours waiting for us,” Englen said.

The Marine air crew hadn’t been read into what they were doing there, or where they were going. As Englen and ground force members brought the body bag out to them, they expressed some frustration.

He tried yelling at me, you know, just, ‘What the F, why are we here, what’s going on?’” Englen recalled.

Englen just put his hand on that Marine gunny sergeant, and pointed at the body bag.

“'You know who that is?' I said. And, he looked at me, and I go, ‘That’s Number One.’ And there, he just snapped a salute, immediately changed his tone,” Englen said.

The Osprey air crew immediately pulled the ramp up, and off they went. They flew with an escort, all the way up to the USS Carl Vinson and buried bin Laden in the North Arabian Sea.

**Breaking News**

Stateside, there had been speculation about the delay between the time all the TV networks broke into prime time programming — with the surprise announcement that Obama would be addressing the nation shortly — and the president actually walking to the podium, nearly an hour later.

Many speculated that the delay was because most of the media were at the White House Correspondents Dinner, and it took time to assemble them back at the anchor desks. There were even reports of some media members being slightly tipsy from the party as they reported the breaking news.

In reality, that delay was because the special operators were reveling at Bagram.

“I’m one of the ones who wrote the report that delayed Obama by about 45 minutes,” Englen admitted.


"That’s because I was joking around, we were high-fiving and celebrating, and so was the ground force commander,” said Englen. “Then a senior officer looked over and says, 'Hey, jackasses. The president’s waiting on your executive summary.’”

He had kept the details in the executive summary regarding their special operations air piece to a minimum, careful about providing contextual data.

Minutes after they finished the report, Obama walked down that famous hallway in the White House to the podium to tell the world the news: The United States had conducted a raid to kill Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaida.

**Prom Night**

Back home at Fort Campbell, it was high school prom night for Englen's daughter.

Englen’s wife Tina had just opened up a bottle of red wine, and sat down to watch “CSI” on TV, to relax from all the prom drama that day.

“Remember how dramatic you were at 16, 17 years old? So, I’ve got this teenager, going over-the-top that her hair wasn’t going (right), huge Cinderella dress wasn’t going, shoes were horrible, ‘I look fat,’ 'everything sucks,’ and on and on,” Tina sighed.

The couple’s son Chris had come down from their local college to fill “the dad role,” since Englen couldn’t be there. He’d pinned his sister’s corsage on, and was there to support her before driving back to his dorm.

One of Tina’s girlfriends had come over to see about going out for dinner before the teenagers headed out for all the prom parties on post.

“She told my daughter, ‘Do not go out and drink, and make your mom work harder tonight. Your mom doesn’t need it.’ And I was like, ‘Thank you, somebody tell this child to be good tonight,'” Tina laughed.

Before he’d left, Englen had told Tina, “Stay local. Don’t go anywhere, be home, just stay home.”

Tina had put their other two children to bed, and was hoping for a minute of calmness before her daughter came home from prom. She’d literally just sat down when the news bulletin interrupted “CSI."

“Mom, mom, mom!” Tina’s son called immediately from college.

“Chris, I got to go. I don’t know what’s going on,” Tina replied.

“Is this dad, is this dad?” he asked.

“I don’t, I don’t know, let me...” Tina hung up, because the live feed picture of the White House with the empty podium came on. Anchors and reporters filled time on air waiting for the president to come out. She thought she heard someone say there was a concern about a helicopter down.

Her son called back.

“I just said, ‘Stop calling me, I need to watch TV. When I know something, y’all will know something, give me a minute.’ And he just was crying on the other end of the phone, ‘This is our dad, this is my dad, this is my dad.' All I could say was: ‘I know, baby. Maybe. Let me figure it out.'"

Chris had his whole dorm floor watching the TV in the common areas.

All the prom parties at Fort Campbell High School stopped. Everybody focused to what was happening on TV.

Continue Reading Part 6 A Mission to Kill Osama bin Laden Mission Details:


Saturday, March 21st

Part 4 A Mission to Kill Osama bin

by Alex Quade

**Meanwhile, on the home front...**

Back home, Englen’s wife Tina started putting two and two together, because her husband was gone for months during the lead-up. She didn’t know who the exact person the special operations aviators were going after, but knew there were three or four targets for which this intense focus was needed.

“I knew this was definitely a little bit different, because of the hours of training, how much he was gone, and how he was ‘taken.’ I mean, he was taken out of an award ceremony, like, ‘You come now.’ He looked at me and said, ‘Hey you’re going to have to catch a ride, I got to go.’ I’m like, ‘Crap. I’ve got to find a ride home,’” Tina recalled.

Over the course of his career, and their marriage, Doug Englen never shared much.

“I didn’t ask a lot, either. In this community, it’s kind of good to be ignorant, because what you don’t know, doesn’t hurt you. We (the spouses) were always imbued with, ‘Just support them,’” Tina said.

Tina didn't know when she'd hear from her husband again, during those busy months away from home. Once, when he'd called to ask how she and their four children were doing, her washing machine was flooding water out their front door.

“I just literally sat down in the middle of the water and talked to him,” she recalled, not saying anything about the chaos at home. ‘”We’re fine, we’re good, everything’s great, couldn’t be better.”

"The fact that I didn't have a washing machine, and I'd have to re-carpet the downstairs, was not important," Tina said.

The fact that her husband had called was.

Living on post at Fort Campbell, home of 160th SOAR, was “always trying,” she said. “Everyone (in the special operations community) worried if they didn’t hear from their spouses.

“If an aircraft went down, and you didn’t hear anything. Or if somebody’s husband didn’t come home. Somebody was always planning or doing something for those guys. And you just always hoped that you weren’t the one that they were planning for,” Tina said.

“I knew what he was doing was big. The last thing he said to me was, ‘I will not be able to talk to you until I’m back in-country.’ So, I just glued myself to the TV, and tried to read between the lines of anything being reported, if I could,” Tina said.

Of course, there was no news until Obama made the announcement about Neptune's Spear.


“This was a ‘do-or-die’ type mission,” Englen said. “The mission was to ‘kill/capture’ him. And, if we are shot down, we had to make sure we were sterile.”

“Yeah, it’s a weird term,” he added.

Sterile meant no identification, name tags, unit patches, family photos. No wedding rings. Nothing personal, in case they were taken hostage.

“I had some money on me, and a few cigars for bargaining (with captors), but that was it (besides his M9 pistol and M4 rifle),” Englen said. Their SAR (search and rescue) plan was in effect.

“The thing is, you get into this level of operation, it’s not the standard SAR. It’s multiple layers of search and rescue and recovery,” he added.

Englen and his fellow special operations aircrew went to their helicopters for final checks that they had nothing personal on board. Their wedding rings, and everything else, went into their kit bags to stay behind.

“We have guys that know where our kit bags are at, in case something were to happen,” he said.

Many operators wrote letters to be delivered to their loved ones back home, should the worst happen. Englen refused to. He’d never done that throughout his entire career of dangerous missions.

“No, I felt like it was a jinx. Plus, I always felt like it took you out of your frame of mind,” he said. “A lot of guys wrote letters. A lot of people asked why I didn’t. I just didn’t. It wasn’t an option to not come home,” he added.

Back home, Doug’s wife Tina worried, as she had throughout his career. But she refused to think about him getting hurt, and leaving her and their four children.

Tina closed her eyes and ears to the possibility and prayed a lot.

“I just knew he was going to come home. Because I really couldn’t do it by myself, so I knew he was going to come home,” Tina said.


Behind the scenes, there was friction between the Black Hawk crews and the Chinook crews. Englen, being the planner and flight lead (i.e., the boss), had recommended infiltrating first with the Black Hawks. The Chinooks would be there as the backup.

Air crew competitiveness ensued.

“We went back and forth. I said, a different airframe should be first in there, versus myself (Chinook pilot). To be completely unselfish, I’d rather pick the right tool for the ground force, versus it always being myself,” Englen explained.

The primary plan was for the Chinooks to give the Black Hawks gas on the ground in Pakistan, out in the middle of nowhere. The Black Hawk crews would “get the glory” of being on the objective for this historic operation getting bin Laden, “which was totally OK."

“They’re walking out. And, I’m like, ‘Hey, good luck guys. See you when you get back.’ And they say, ‘Just give us gas, bitches,'” Englen laughed, realizing they had a small chip on their shoulder.

That was the famous last quote of the pilot that crashed that helicopter.

**Into Pakistan**

Black Hawks Lead and Chalk-2, with the small surgical force, flew out from Jalalabad 45 minutes ahead of the Chinooks, since they were “flying along the route.” Chinooks Chalk-1 and 2, with the “smack down force,” basically flew straight to the refuel rendezvous site inside Pakistan.

Crossing into Pakistan was emotional for everyone.

“You know, it’s almost like there’s a road sign, ‘Stop, take a picture of Welcome to Pakistan.’ Even the crew members in the back, were like, ‘We’re in, right? Pakistan?’ And I’m like, ‘Yep’,” Englen said.

The deeper they flew into Pakistan, the more it felt like “metropolis United States,” with power lines, towers, cultural lighting. The contrast was stark: they were in a completely different country, much more prosperous than Afghanistan.

"You could see lights coming off and on,” said Englen. “You could tell that we are waking up Pakistan, because this is not normal. An aircraft flying at roughly 11:30 to midnight is not normal, because they (Pakistan military aircraft) don’t play at night as much as we do. In fact, at all, sometimes.”

While the local populace was aware something was up (and began tweeting and calling 911), the special operations aviators weren’t getting indications that the Pakistani military or the Air Force was keen on what they were doing.

“But, it’s paramilitary, so we just knew that eventually they would. We made it to the objective without really causing too much of a ruckus over the 911 calls. (But,) once we crashed the aircraft, within the first 30 seconds of the mission, then that’s when we really woke up that entire valley,” Englen said.

**On the objective**

Hearing “Black Hawk down” over the radio changed everything.

Englen’s single Chinook raced across Abbottabad to pick up the ground force and air crew, arriving within 10 minutes of the call.

As he landed under the mushroom cloud of the exploding Black Hawk, the flight lead and planner was pissed off.

“I think crashing a helicopter on one of the most important missions of our generation, and later being asked by the director of the CIA (Leon Panetta), ‘Why the hell did you crash?’ I think that’s enough said,” Englen stated.

“It was hotter than expected for the MH-60 crews, and it had more fuel than expected. And they’re throwing on more last minute ground force. So, that (Black Hawk) crew — that had the famous last words to my two MH-47 (Chinook) crews before leaving Jalalabad of, ‘Just get us gas, bitches’ — had miscalculated, and came into that courtyard and lost effective lift,” Englen explained.

“Now, in retrospect, we could have done it with two Chinooks, the entirety. And more than likely — I don’t want to ever second-guess anybody —but in this condition, we would not have crashed, because we (the Chinooks) have the lift,” Englen said.

On the objective, his crew chiefs on the ramp, hopped out do a head count.

"They've got to get the headcount right, to make sure (we've) got the right amount of fuel. Plus, remember, we had people already on board, and this 800-gallon fuel tank inside. So there wasn't a whole lot of space (on board)," Englen explained.

While they were loading up inside, the Chinook was vulnerable.

“There’s nobody to protect us (the aircraft and crew) while we’re on the ground. Ever. When we’re on the ground, it’s just us,” he said. “So just hit the stop watch.”

They were on the ground for probably a minute and a half. It sounds like nothing. But for special operations aviators of the 160th, that’s an eternity.

Continue Reading Part 5 A Mission to Kill Osama bin Laden Mission Details:


Sunday, March 22nd

Part 3 A Mission to Kill Osama bin

by Alex Quade

"Take a baseball bat and hit the side of your car — that’s what a bullet sounds like inside an aircraft,” he said. “It’s horrible. And, when it starts ricocheting inside, it’s even more horrific. I would just get pissed, because I knew that we had young kids on mini-guns getting scared, and if I got scared, they would freeze. I had to remain calm.”

Harosky, the Ranger, was with 3/75th Ranger Regiment and at a blocking position further from the dam.

"TF 160 was truly amazing at Haditha Dam,” he said. “Especially their support firing directly into trench lines in front of us that had enemy personnel in them. They would fly in line with the trenches while strafing them.”

“The DAPs — defensive air penetrators — were just unleashing. We saved most of the Rangers’ lives. Some we didn’t, because they were burnt too bad,” Englen said.

“Haditha Dam was one that I knew we were going to get hit, we’re going to get hit. I just knew, it’s either that, or they’re going to die,” he added. “I had one of the best special operation aviators ever with me that night without any hesitation in the heat of battle. I owe my life to him, the crew owes their lives to him."

**Chasing Soleimani**

During those Iraq War years, Englen was involved in a number of missions supporting operations out of Mission Support Site Fernandez operations, which was near Baghdad. Those missions involved British special operations and multiple Tier 1 organizations from the U.S. From Samarra to the Yusufiyah triangle, the list of operations the public never knew about was long.

Twice between 2013 and 2016, Englen was in hot pursuit of Iran’s Quds Force leader, Gen. Qassem Soleimani. But their order was “capture only.”

"It wasn’t ‘capture or kill,’ so if we couldn’t guarantee a capture, then we couldn’t take it to the next level,” Englen said. “But we were minutes behind him and his vehicles in Iraq, and we could’ve gotten him. But our rules of engagement was, 'capture only.’”

Soleimani was killed in an airstrike at Baghdad Airport this past January.

Though the global special operations never ceased for Englen and his fellow 160th aviators, the one the public always wanted to know about was the famous bin Laden mission.


Englen had gone after bin Laden three times prior to Operation Neptune's Spear.

The first time was in Tora Bora in 2001.

"I was not the flight lead,” he said. “Al Mack, who has publicly disclosed his name, gets the credit for that. But for me, that was some of the nastiest flying you could think of.”

The second time was in the Shigal Valley, northeast of Jalalabad, in 2006.

Englen’s MH-47 Chinook was supposed to be the contingency force, but ended up being the primary aircraft to put the first guys in to go running after bin Laden.

“We actually crashed a helicopter,” Englen admitted. “It was one of our 160th Black Hawks. They did a great job crash landing and not hurting anybody.”

The MH-60 Black Hawks were supposed to fast-rope the assault group onto the rooftop of a mud building.

“So, you can imagine that amount of time, before one Black Hawk, another Black Hawk, a third Black Hawk — in and out — can’t make it in there. All of the sudden, ‘Hey, we need you to put the contingency force, the QRF [quick reaction force], as the primary assault force’,” Englen explained.

While Chinooks can be a little slower, in this case his was the only helicopter with the power to hover over that building and drop a rope down so the ground forces could rope onto it.

“Bin Laden was there. He was there, but it took (us) so long to get in,” Englen stated. “With the noise in the valley, he had an early warning network, and he was out of there. I’d say, two or three minutes before we got in there. And that’s just enough.”

(A Pennsylvania National Guard Chinook, CH-47, slung-loaded the crashed MH-60 Black Hawk out of there, so nobody would be the wiser about that nighttime special operation — though some “famous daytime photos” of resupplying the ground troops later went viral. The photos show a National Guard Chinook with its back wheels on the rooftop of that same mud building “hanging there.”)

The third time Englen went after bin Laden was between the Khost Bowl and the Tirah Valley in Afghanistan, right next to Pakistan, in 2008.

"We went after him there, and sure enough, it was another extremely dark night. I mean, he's very savvy, and eluded us once again," Englen said.

They had other attempts against bin Laden.

“But the administration, from 2008 on, would not allow us to cross the border (into Pakistan) to go get him,” Englen said.

Until 2011, when they got the approval to go for Operation Neptune’s Spear.

**Lead up to the UBL raid**

Englen had just trained 160th crews on electronic warfare: deep-insertion attacks against an enemy threat with an air defense network. Their aircraft had just been fitted with new equipment, which he helped certify.

“I was selected because I knew that type of environment very well. Not only that, the ground force commander — I had rescued him numerous times throughout the globe. We already had an extremely close relationship, and trust and loyalty. So they brought me on the team,” Englen said.

Due to operational security concerns, only a few people were involved in the planning of that mission.

"We had to keep it down to such a minimum, because we didn’t want to leak it out in our own (special operations) community,” Englen said. “Plus, we didn’t know when we were going to do it. So we had to make sure that we didn’t ‘suspend’ (hold) a group of the elite ground force and air crews for three, four, or five months at a time, and not utilize them.”

Those few planners worked for nearly four months at the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

“We hung out in the print shop of the CIA because it’s a little outside of the main building,” he said. That was to alleviate exposure to other individuals of Special Operations Command regularly visiting the agency.

“We didn’t want to run into one of them, and have them ask ‘What are you guys doing here?’” Englen added.

They did not bring in the rest of the air crew, and the rest of the ground force, until two and a half weeks before they executed the mission.

Every other day, Englen assisted in briefing CIA Director Leon Panetta and Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

He briefed President Barack Obama twice, though McRaven briefed him more than that.

“In the situation room, the vice president approached me with off-topic discussion. I’ll admit (it) was very distracting,” Englen said.

These were high-level, the overall concept of what the risk and probability was: all the things the president would want to know to make a decision.

"It truly is a decision brief each time, but you have to go through the concepts. Sometimes the president would ask details. Sometimes he would ask, ‘Where are you landing?’ Sometimes he’d ask, ‘How are you planning on doing that?’ Or about the air crew. You’d have to explain that, ‘This is our concept, now,’ Englen recalled.

McRaven would speak 90 percent of the time.

“We really wanted to do this (mission), and make sure we are the absolute professional,” Englen said. “That’s what Adm. McRaven is, just the true professional, true leader — and here I am getting side-barred with the vice president.”

Turns out, Vice President Joe Biden pulled Englen to the side every time to make small-talk. He was genuinely interested in Englen and his family back home.

"He was really concerned, you know, ‘You’re gone a lot. How’s this on the family?’ He was asking those types of things, ‘How many kids do I have? How long you been in the service,’ etc,’” said Englen. “They were genuine, thoughtful questions, but were kind of off-topic. Finally I just politely asked him, 'Sir, if you don’t mind, I have to pay attention.’”

The plan called for using four aircraft: two Chinooks and two Black Hawks, which are a little bit quieter. They emit a smaller signature from a radar standpoint.

"The use of Black Hawks was to get them (the ground forces) quickly roped into the objective,” Englen said. “The Chinooks were the ‘smack down force’ — the extra assaulters, extra gas in case anything were to happen — like an aircraft crash. That was the No. 1 planned contingency: a Black Hawk crashing.”

Once they got the word to proceed with rehearsal, that's when they brought the rest of the ground force and the air crews in.

Continue Reading Part 4: A Mission to Kill Osama bin Laden - Mission Details:


Monday, March 23rd

Part 2 A Mission to Kill Osama bin

by Alex Quade

In reality Englen, who just retired as the senior warrant adviser to the secretary of the Army and most decorated aviator in the Army, led the air component for the bin Laden raid, one of the most famous military operations in recent history. 160th SOAR aviators rarely speak about their missions or careers, because the majority is spent supporting Tier 1 operators on covert or clandestine operations.

When most people think of the bin Laden mission, they think of SEAL Team 6 and the CIA’s Special Activities Division members, shooting its high value target, code named “Geronimo.” What they may not realize is the majority of duration of that mission belonged to the special operations aviators.

While the risk was high for the ground forces during the 38 minutes they were actually on the ground at bin Laden’s compound, the risk for the helicopters during the rest of almost four hours of flying was extreme. And, of course, one of the MH-60 Black Hawk helicopters crashed.

"We're the ones that are penetrating into a sovereign nation. We're the ones that have to elude the air defense, early warning network. We're the ones that have to make sure we can get the ground force in, where they need to go. Loiter, for up to an hour, in an area that could shoot you down at any time, they possibly could think it's an aircraft from India," Englen said.

And getting back safely was even more difficult because, by then, the Pakistani military was alerted. “We absolutely can get shot down on the way back, which means we have to evade,” Englen said.

Englen is sharing his story for the first time — and possibly the last, since he lives by the “quiet professionals” code, and avoids discussing his life in the shadows. He’s only venturing into the light because former CIA Director Leon Panetta and retired Navy Adm. William R. McRaven — the overall commander of the bin Laden mission — encouraged him to, calling him “an American hero.”

“He is, without a doubt, the finest Army aviator of our generation. Doug pulled my fat out of the fire more times than I can think of,” McRaven said at a speech at Murray State College in February, a month before Englen retired.

“There truly are few people of this 9/11 generation that have been as heroic and as courageous as Doug Englen,” McRaven added, without revealing any specifics.

The bin Laden operation is merely one of numerous classified missions he’s participated in which the public knows little about.

“I’m telling it to you,” he told Military Times recently, “because there’s never been an accurate air piece conveyed on what happened that night."

Not only was Englen the MH-47 (a special operations version of a Chinook helicopter, a multi-role assault aircraft) pilot, he was also the flight lead, which means he’s among the top 10 percent of the aviators in the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment.

"That means you're in charge of not just your aircraft, you're in charge of the flight: responsible for the flight planning, execution, and orchestration. Think of it as a music conductor. But, you're also writing the lyrics for the song, playing the song, and you're orchestrating the song," Englen explained.

The 160th is the only rotary wing precision special operations aviation force in the entire Defense Department. It originated after the failed Iran hostage rescue attempt in 1980. The primary reason 160th aviators are “special” is their selection process, realistic training and resourcing. They are the best of the best. They take pride in supporting the elite: working with special operations forces of all branches on classified missions.

Englen always wanted to fly helicopters. As a child, he went to an Air Force Academy football game and crawled all over the helicopter static displays, and was hooked.

He bootstrapped his way up. He saw combat as a door gunner during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Then he went to flight school. As a crew chief, he was in one of the first helicopters in Bosnia in 1995.

More than 90 percent of Englen’s career has involved Tier 1 missions.

Englen has more than 7,000 flight hours. About 4,500 of that was under night vision goggles. In Iraq and Afghanistan alone, he flew more than 2,500 missions. His 34 deployments translate to six years and nine months’ worth of combat time downrange, away from his wife Tina and four children.

That number does not include all the other operations and training missions away from home.

**Task Force Sword**

Operation Neptune's Spear was not Englen's first time in Afghanistan. His 160th SOAR air crews had been going after Osama bin Laden since the beginning.

During the longest helicopter assault in U.S. history, Englen’s was the first helicopter into Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks, on Oct. 19, 2001.

“The flight lead was left seat, I was his copilot in the right seat,” he recalled.

While Task Force Dagger and the Green Beret "Horse Soldiers" flew in from the north, Task Force Sword and the Tier 1 commando elements flew in from the south.

"When we're a top tier, you don't advertise what you do, you don't follow up with what you do, and that's why you don't see books and movies about TF Sword," he explained.

Task Force Sword was a combined, joint interagency special operations task force run by Joint Special Operations Command, to conduct direct action missions in southern Afghanistan. It included special operations forces from the United Kingdom and other government agencies.

While the “Horse Soldiers” made headlines later, little was reported about Task Force Sword missions. Missions like “Objective Rhino” and “Objective Gecko” did make it into the news, however.

Tom DiTomasso, a retired lieutenant colonel and former Army Special Operations Command squadron commander, was at Objective Gecko and praised Englen and the 160th SOAR.

"They continue to be the premier standard for SOF aviation,” DiTomasso said. “They are both great pilots and great fighters. I witnessed their commitment to us first-hand in Somalia, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. Consistently put themselves in harm's way to make sure we are covered on the ground. They are not normal pilots. Trusted them completely. As a commander, there are no others that I would want on an objective.”

Rescuing Karzai

Only a few days following Objective Gecko, Englen (under a senior flight lead) rescued Hamid Karzai from the Taliban. Karzai later became the president of Afghanistan.

“We flew all the way from the Indian Ocean, off the USS Kitty Hawk, all the way through Pakistan, all the way through Afghanistan. Probably less than a hundred miles from ‘Triple Nickel’ (Special Forces ODA-555, which along with ODA-595 became known as the 'Horse Soldiers’), and rescued Karzai, because he was surrounded by hundreds of Taliban,” Englen said.

His Chinook picked up Karzai, along with members of other governmental agencies, and repatriated him elsewhere within Afghanistan. It was almost a full moon, and Englen incurred 38 bullet holes in his Chinook.

"I used to love the moon,” Englen said. “I hate it now. I didn’t know if the aircraft was going to hold together, because we still had five hours to fly to get back to the USS Kitty Hawk. It held together, thank God.”


In Iraq, there were also several high-profile missions the public knew little about.

Englen was on nearly every special operations insertion in the two weeks prior to the “Shock and Awe” campaign on March 19, 2003.

Among other missions, he infiltrated Top Tier members, along with British and Australian special operations in Al-Anbar, near the Syrian border, to deal with H-3 and H-2 Air Bases.

"Haditha Dam was a big one. I was leading," Englen said, of one the legendary battles in Army Ranger history.

The 160th brought AH-6 helicopters — the light helicopter gunship based on MH-6 “Little Bird” — and defensive armed penetrators, the MH-60L modified attack helicopter that looks like a Black Hawk, and one Chinook to that firefight.

Englen and a crew of six was flying that one Chinook.

“There’s at least a dozen missions that I thought, ‘There was no reason why we should have come out of that alive,' ” he confided.

Haditha Dam was one of those.

“We rescued the Rangers when they were protecting the road going into Haditha, and a lady suicide bomber, pretending to be pregnant, blew up the checkpoint,” Englen said.

Ranger Joe Harosky’s friend Russ Rippletoe was killed in that vehicle-borne IED (VBIED) incident, along with three other Rangers.

"It was a suicide mission,” Harosky said. “Vehicle stopped and the woman acted like she was pregnant, feigned that she needed water. Russ was giving her a bottle of water, when the VBIED detonated.”

The Rangers never gave the clearance for Englen to come in.

"They said it was too hot, and we just went in anyway. I knew if we spent another minute holding, these Rangers were going to die. So we went in, and I've never seen so many bullets coming our way, hitting us, going over the top of us, below us," Englen said.

Throughout his career, Englen never got scared when bullets hit his aircraft. Instead, he always became angry.

Continue Reading Part 3: A Mission to Kill Osama bin Laden - Mission Details:


Tuesday, March 24th

Part 1 A Mission to Kill Osama bin

Exclusive: Legendary special operations aviator reveals Osama Bin Laden mission details for the first time

by Alex Quade

It was just 30 seconds into the mission to kill Osama bin Laden in May 2011 when special operations Chinook pilot Chief Warrant Officer 5 Douglas Englen heard the call of “Black Hawk down” come over his radio.

Black Hawk 2′s pilot alerted Englen — the pilot in charge of the air operation that night — that Black Hawk-1 had just crashed inside the 9/11 mastermind’s Abbottabad compound.

Englen, the air component planner for Operation Neptune’s Spear, was pissed off.

His crew in Chinook-1 and another crew in Chinook-2 had been setting up a refuel site for the two Black Hawks, about 30 miles to the north. But his Chinook immediately went straight to the objective area, to pick up the ground force and the aircrew. Meanwhile, the other Chinook stayed at the refueling site.

“We just went into contingency mode,” said Englen, talking about the raid, and his life, for the first time in an exclusive interview with Military Times. “Didn’t know the severity — if it was crashed with casualties? If it crashed in civilian area? All we do is minimize our time and get there as quick as possible," Englen said.

Englen had studied the area around bin Laden’s compound for months. He knew exactly where everything was; he didn’t need a map. When he flew over Abbottabad, it felt as familiar as flying over his hometown of Clarksville, Tennessee.

He could see where the police lights were, where the commotion was happening. Blue police lights don’t show up in night vision goggles, so Englen looked under his goggles to see those blue lights.

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From getting the call, Englen was there less than 10 minutes after the aircraft crash. As he came in fast to pick up the ground force and air crew, he saw the downed helicopter.

Just as Englen was about to land, the team master chief told him over the radio to break away. The fuse was ready to blow up the crashed helicopter.

“I was probably 100 feet from the aircraft when it blew up. It pushed our aircraft to the side. I had to actually fly away, make a tight circle and come back in, and land under the mushroom cloud. I landed to the east of the compound, right next to it. I mean like, right next to it,” Englen explained.

Before they'd left the States, there were some ground force team members who'd said, "I don't think we're going to make it back."

Englen figured some ground forces were worried because they’d only been read-in two and a half weeks before the mission, and didn’t have the full aspect of what was going on. He’d had months of planning and knew everything about that part of Pakistan and the area around bin Laden’s compound.

He also knew the ground forces had to trust him and the ground force commander.

“We literally just needed them to be on the objective, which they did phenomenally well. But what scared them was: ‘We’re going into this place, what are our odds of making it back?’ I never thought that. I never thought that we weren’t coming back,” Englen said.

Some people may have thought he was being cocky or arrogant, but cockiness was what had earned him the nickname “Stud Muffin” when he first arrived at the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, or SOAR.

Not coming home was never an option.

**Back home**

Englen’s wife Tina, his high-school sweetheart, was worried.

“I just knew, that God knew, I wasn’t going to be able to raise these kids without Doug,” Tina confided in an interview.

Having four children to keep her mind off the dangerous mission became her saving grace.

“They were just as worried. So, if mom was worried, they were worried. If mom wasn’t worried, they weren’t worried,” Tina said.

Tina was raised in the church. Her grandmother always told her that faith would get her through life.

She prayed to God —“Go ahead and take Doug and use him, and do what You need to do. But, I’m going to need him back.”

**Night Stalkers don’t quit**

Look up the Silver Star citation for CW5 Douglas Englen for that night — the citation is so blandly generic that it looks like he didn’t do much. Which is exactly the point. For years, the special operations aviator flew figuratively under people’s radar back home, while flying literally under the enemy’s radar downrange.

Continue Reading Part 2: A Mission to Kill Osama bin Laden - Mission Details:


Wednesday, February 12th

Divide Camp For Veterans

“Honoring Service & Building Hope”

by Anna Trump, Gun Rodeo & Col Mike Howard

Last weekend, Portland, Oregon, hosted its annual outdoor Sportsman’s Convention. Anna had the opportunity to learn about an organization that is making a difference and passed this info on to Col Mike. After researching this fine organization, we just want to share this ‘good scoop” with our loyal readers. Hope you will consider learning more, participating in, and supporting these outstanding folks!

“I had the pleasure of meeting two #militaryveterans by the name of Frank and Jared, representatives and board members of the non-profit group Divide Camp. What I found most intriguing about meeting these two gentlemen was not only their humble demeanor but their continued work in demonstrating selflessness, a key element that defines Divide Camp.” Anna Trump, Gun Rodeo Team

What Camp Divide Does:

We give veterans an opportunity to regain a sense of well-being and restore confidence. We strive to bring purpose and hope to individuals who’ve come home from war – and found neither.

The History:

Camp on the divide between Big and Little Sheep Creeks in the Wallowa Mountains has been going on since the late 1800’s when the land was inhabited by early settlers. Cattle and sheep were grazed on the land and camp provided shelter for the ranchers and sheepherders while they were in the area. As time went by homesteaders moved to the lower lands and cattlemen continued to utilize the divide for grazing.

In the 1960s the land that included Divide Camp was purchased by Jim and Rita Fossen, my parents. My father was a logger and a home builder. He became an outfitter and guided elk hunts in the Eagle Cap Wilderness Area. He would pack hunters in to the high mountains, set up their camps and guide their hunts. Mother was involved in every aspect of building and operating the camp, but she was most appreciated for being an amazing cook.

During those years the land at Divide Camp was developed and a series of cabins were built. The main cabin, referred to as the lodge, was constructed from western larch trees taken off the property, peeled by hand and erected using a jeep with a winch. Three additional cabins were built in the following years. The last was constructed by my father and then ten year old son in 1986. That cabin was for my grandmother — also an extremely accomplished hunter.

Learn more about Divide Camp: https://dividecamp.org/

Please consider donating to Divide Camp: https://dividecamp.org/contribute.htm

Tuesday, September 4th

Trijicon RMR Type 2

The Trijicon RMR Type 2 Red dot sight has been Selected for U.S. Special Operations Command for a 5 year contract.

The Trijicon RMR® Type 2 deploys a new electronics design that bolsters durability and performance in the most punishing environments and extends the functionality of the red dot sight. The updated electronics and battery contacts increase reliability under the harshest use and stiffest recoil. The CR2032 lithium battery lasts up to four years in the Adjustable LED model at mid-setting. Audible and tactile windage and elevation adjustments allow for quick and easy zeroing with no need for special tools or devices. The RMR Type 2 is compatible with existing RMR mounts and optics-ready pistols.

Read More Courtesy of Ammo Land...

Tuesday, August 28th

US Army Winchester contract

Winchester's 7.62mm ammunition has become quite popular with the #USArmy ! Winchester was just given a second source contract worth $8.1 million for this ammo. The total value of ammo ordered on this contract is now at $285 million since first being established in 2016.

The U.S. Army has recently awarded Winchester an $8.1 million order for 7.62mm ammunition under an existing “Second Source” contract. The ammunition will be manufactured in Winchester’s state-of-the-art facility in Oxford, MS with an estimated completion date of Dec 31, 2019. Winchester has received more than $285 million in orders on this contract since it was initially awarded in January 2016.

Read More Courtesy of Recoil Web...

Wednesday, June 20th

PepperBall VKS Army Contract

Pepperball's VKS (Variable Kinetic System) Non lethal Launcher has been given a $650,000 Contract with the US Army.

The VKS uses PepperBall’s VXR projectiles for high-intensity, crowd-control operations with effective range of 150 feet or 50 yards. Filled with a proprietary irritant, the VXR projectile bursts upon impact and produces a debilitating cloud that negatively affects the eyes, nose and respiratory system.

Read More Courtesy of Guns...

Tuesday, June 12th

Military Appreciation Program

Smith & Wesson and Thompson/Center Arms have announced a new Military Appreciation Program for their Customers. Any active duty #military or veterans will have access to a discount on certain firearms purchased in 2018.

This new program offers eligible United States Armed Forces personnel a discount on qualifying Thompson/Center and Smith & Wesson firearms purchased from June 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018. This program applies to all active duty, honorably discharged, retired, or disabled members of the U.S. Armed Forces or Reserves.

Read More Courtesy of Ammo Land...

Wednesday, May 23rd

The Silent Enemy - How PTSD Damages

With #MemorialDay approaching, American symbolism of red, white and blue will be on display throughout cities across the U.S. Many will gather for backyard BBQ's, be a spectacle at a small town Main Street parade or travel for a weekend getaway.

As you enjoy freedoms paid for by the fallen, remember many past and active military members are still battling to regain a sense of self. Shedding light on #PTSD is one of our allies from across the pond in the UK, Rehab 4 Alcoholism.

If you are in crisis dial 911 or 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255), press 1 for Veterans.

"This infographic points out that many of the serving or veteran military personnel who are diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are simply not receiving the clinical or financial support they need.

This is despite the fact that PTSD is more understood than ever before. In fact, as the infographic points out, doctors have been treating soldiers for psychological effects of combat since World War I.

The infographic focuses on facts about how PTSD affects servicemen and women.

Some of the highlights of this infographic include:

  • 65,000 WWI veterans were still being treated for 'shell shock' 10 years later

  • PTSD in the US affects 31% of veterans

  • 1 in 3 people develop PTSD after a traumatic experience

  • Under 18s are significantly more likely to suffer PTSD when leaving the forces

  • 93% of veterans are ashamed or embarrassed about their mental health problems

  • 62% of PTSD sufferers also have current or past alcohol or drug problems

  • 3/4 of veterans on average resolve symptoms with counselling

Read More Courtesy of Rehab 4 Alcoholism....

Find a PTSD Treatment Program Near You...

Wednesday, May 16th

SIG SAUER TANGO6 1-6×24 Riflescope

The SIG SAUER TANGO6 1-6×24 Riflescope has been selected for the US Army's Squad Designated Marksman Rifle (SDMR).

The US Army has announced its selection of SIG SAUER’s TANGO6 1-6×24 riflescope for their Squad Designated Marksman Rifle (SDMR). The optic is the final component to be selected for the complete SDMR system that will be put into service for the US Army’s Designated Marksmen.

Read More Courtesy of Ammo Land...

Monday, April 23rd

New Mk 13 Rifles for Marines

The Marines are getting a much needed and deserved upgrade from the M40 rifles that they have been using since 1966. They have received $4.3 million in funding to buy 356 MK13 rifles.

Marine snipers have been carrying some version of the M40 rifle since the Vietnam War, but now the Corps is about to arm its snipers with a new weapon system. Marine snipers will soon be carrying the Mk 13 Mod 7 sniper rifle, Marine spokesperson Capt. Christopher Harrison confirmed to Marine Corps Times Monday.

Read More Courtesy of Ammo Land...

Monday, April 23rd

New US Navy Body Armor

The manufacturing company Applied Fiber Concepts and Propper International has been chosen to construct and produce new ballistic vests for the United States Navy.

Applied Fiber Concepts, Inc. and Propper International have been awarded a contract to manufacture the new Naval Security Forces Vest (NSFV) for the United States Navy.

Read More Courtesy of Ammo Land...

Wednesday, March 21st

Military branches to issue Sig Saue

{img} All of the US #military branches are said to start issuing #SigSauer 's 9mm Handgun. They will be uniformly replacing M9s, Colt M45A1 CQB .45ACP pistols and the M007 Glock amongst others. {img}

Though originally a winner for an Army contract, Sig officials report that every branch including the Coast Guard has placed orders for the modified P320 pistol platform. Sig’s M17/18 pistol, the winner of the Army’s Modular Handgun System contract last year, is set to be fielded by not only the land service but the Air Force, Marines and Navy as well as the Coast Guard, according to company representatives.

Read More Courtesy of Guns...

Monday, March 12th

Former Slave, 2-Time Olympian Becom

After enduring countless hardships and overcoming unimaginable obstacles, #AirForce Airman 1st Class #GuorMaker found his way out of war-torn South Sudan and into the U.S. nearly 20 years ago.

As one of roughly 20,000 children uprooted by the gruesome second Sudanese civil war, Maker’s childhood was far from normal. After losing 28 family members, including eight of his nine siblings, 8-year-old Maker set out on foot from South Sudan to live with his uncle. “The country I came from was torn apart by war,” said Maker, who is attending training here to become a dental assistant “It was all I knew growing up, nothing else. I’ve seen people die in front of me, but I knew no matter what, I had to make it.” During his harrowing journey, he was captured and enslaved twice: once by Sudanese soldiers, and once by herdsmen.

“When I was captured, I was forced to be a slave laborer,” Maker said. “I would wash dishes or do anything else needed to get by. I slept in a small cell and rarely got to eat … but not always.” Twice escaped from enslavement, he finally joined his uncle in Khartoum after three perilous years. However, Maker’s journey to safety was far from over. During a nighttime attack on his uncle’s home, he was beaten unconscious by a soldier who smashed his jaw with a rifle. “My mouth was shut for two months and I could only consume liquids because my jaw was broken,” said. “We fled to Egypt after that, and the United Nations treated my injuries.”

After two years of filling out paperwork at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in Egypt, Maker and his uncle’s family were finally granted permission to enter the United States. “I was very excited to come to the U.S.,” he said. “Looking back at everything my family and I endured, it is a miracle that we made it out of there.” When Maker first arrived in the U.S. in 2001, he settled in Concord, New Hampshire. Not only did he want to survive, but he wanted to thrive. “I wanted to change my life, help my parents back in South Sudan, and give my future children a better childhood than the one I had,” he said. “And the only way to do that was through education and determination.”

Maker started with the basics — learning English by watching children’s cartoons and spending plenty of time with other high school kids, listening to their conversations and absorbing all that he could. “Within a short amount of time, I was able to communicate with effectively with other students and teachers, order food, and really get by on my own,” he said. While learning English was a crucial step his personal journey, Maker’s high school career really took off when one of his teachers introduced him to running. “Running was always just natural and easy for me,” he said. “It was a great high school experience and it helped me meet a lot of friends, build confidence and it was genuinely fun.” After winning the National High School indoor two-mile title, Maker received a scholarship to compete at Iowa State University, where he allowed himself to dream of things that had never been done before.

Read More Courtesy of Ammo Land...

Monday, March 12th

Propper Partners with HAVA to Help

Propper International is proud to announce a new partnership with Honored American Veterans Afield ( #HAVA), a #veteran support organization conceived and organized in 2007 to help the healing and re-integration of disabled veterans and injured active #military back into normal American life through participation in outdoor events.

“When HAVA described their mission and told us their need, it was an easy decision to support this great organization,” said John Negrau, VP of Marketing and eCommerce for Propper. “We’ve been providing uniforms and other gear to the military since 1967. Supporting our brave fighting men and women after their service ends makes sense as well.”

One important facet of HAVA’s mission is the “Learn to Shoot Again” (LTSA) program where veterans who have significant or debilitating injuries can train to regain some of the combat skills learned during their time in service. As part of Propper’s sponsorship, LTSA instructor staff – many of them wounded veterans – received new uniforms and gear to assist in continuing the organization’s mission of training disabled combat veterans reintegrate into civilian life.

“This program is a huge lift for our wounded veterans coming back from their tours,” said Learn to Shoot Again Director Rick Cicero, himself a combat veteran who was injured in Afghanistan. “Regaining skills they thought that had lost forever is paramount to helping them rebuild their self-confidence. Propper’s assistance in this endeavor is much appreciated!”

Read More Courtesy of Ammo Land...

Friday, March 2nd

Military EDC

A combat tracker squad needs to travel as light as possible, but still carry the right equipment to survive on the battlefield. In order for the tracker and his squad to successfully perform their combat tracking mission, mobility will be key. The trackers ability to react to the enemy is reduced when overburdened with a heavy load, which will cause physical/mental fatigue and place the trackers in danger when needing to rapidly react to enemy contact.

1. Camouflage Jacket. With 1″ square piece of infrared identification, friend or foe (IFF) tape attached.

2. Camouflage Headgear. With a 1″ square piece of Infrared IFF tape placed on the top of the headgear for identification by friendly air.

3. Signal Device. Phoenix IR-15 programmable transmitter with a 9V battery for marking one’s own position at night and a 10″x10″ orange signal square cut from a VS-17 Panel. This panel is used as a recognition signal device for linking up with other ground elements.

4. Identification Tags.

5. SAR Eclipse Signal Device. The SAR Eclipse device is very compact and has been tested and observed out to 10 miles during daylight conditions.

6. INOVA Microlight. This small flash light comes in white, green, blue and red colors and is perfect for signaling or conducting map checks at night.

7. Signal Mirror. Besides using a signal mirror for signaling, applying camouflage or shaving, it’s also a good piece of equipment to deflect and manipulate light in order to view details of an impression.

8. Whistle. A whistle comes in handy when having to signal commands to other friendly elements over gunfire.

9. Magnetic Compass. Although a GPS is a good piece of equipment, it will never take the place of good compass.

10. Camouflage Trousers.

11. Trouser Rigger’s Belt.

12. Lighter.

13. Notebook. This notebook is used to record information gained during the mission, along with footprint data cards.

14. Map, Protractor and Lead Pencil.

15. Field Expedient Patch Kit. To quickly repair minor rips or tears to the uniform during a mission.

16. Rations. Should be high energy food items.

17. Boots.

Read More Courtesy of Its Tactical...

Thursday, March 1st

US Marines Selected Rifle

The United States #Marine Corps is in the process of fielding the #M38 , which features a #Leupold TS-30A2 Mark 4 MR/T riflescope atop an M27. The configuration is to be known as the Squad-Designated Marksman Rifle. The TS-30A2 Mark 4 MR/T has previously been fielded with the Mk 12 Special Purpose Rifle.

“We pride ourselves on building optics that deliver elite optical performance and unparalleled reliability,” Bruce Pettet, president and chief executive officer for Leupold & Stevens, Inc., said. “We’re ecstatic that the Marine Corps selected the TS-30A2 Mark 4 MR/T. The men and women of the U.S. armed forces deserve the very best, and we’re proud to deliver it.”

The TS-30A2 Mark 4 MR/T, which features a 2.5-8x36mm design, was designed with mid-range applications in mind, and has easy-to-adjust tactical turrets and range estimating reticles. A 30mm maintube provides greater strength and light transmission. As with all Leupold riflescopes, the optic is waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof.

“The TS-30A2 Mark 4 is the perfect optic for those looking to deliver fast, precise rifle fire,” said Sam Horstman, director of military sales for Leupold & Stevens, Inc. “Further, like all Leupold optics, it’s been strenuously tested for durability, and fully meets the rugged standards set by the Marine Corps.” For more information on Leupold products, please visit us at Leupold.com. Join the discussion on Facebook, Facebook.com/LeupoldOptics, on Twitter at Twitter.com/LeupoldOptics or on Instagram at Instagram.com/LeupoldOptics.

Read More Courtesy of Ammo Land...

Tuesday, February 27th

Military Personnel Carrying Firearm

One of the #SecondAmendment themes Candidate Donald #Trump campaigned on was that #military personnel should not be made into disarmed and helpless victims.

President Trump said on Friday, 23 February, he would be reviewing the current policies about military personnel carrying personal defensive firearms. From military.com: President Donald Trump said Friday that he would review policies that keep troops from carrying personal weapons onto military bases. “If we can't have our military holding guns, it's pretty bad,” Trump said in a wide-ranging speech to the annual Conservative Political Action Committee conference in Maryland, “and I'm going to look at that whole policy on military bases.”

“So we want to protect our military. We want to make our military stronger and better than it's ever been,” Trump continued in the speech, in which he also renewed his call for allowing trained teachers and military retirees to carry concealed weapons in schools. When I joined the U.S. Army on active service, I had been competing in university pistol competitions for four years. I knew more about pistol shooting and the civilian use of deadly force than my non-commissioned officer instructors. But, as a commissioned officer, I was not allowed to carry a personal firearm for self-defense… unless I was acting, as an additional duty, as a military game warden.

It struck me as a ludicrous example of hypocrisy and a direct contradiction of my sworn oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States, that I, as a trained military officer, was not allowed to carry a firearm for self-defense. Military personnel voluntarily give up some rights when entering the military. They are under the command of their officers. They are subject to inspection for their health and welfare. They must, within limits, do what they are told and go where they are ordered. They are not required to disobey illegal orders, but they put their career on the line and risk severe punishment, if, on review, the order turns out not to have been illegal. They are limited in their First Amendment rights.

President Trump is on the correct track. The military should protect its members, allow them to protect themselves, and show that military commanders support the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights, as they are sworn to do. Commanders in the military are responsible for their troops. Many are under the age of 21. Commanders, in some ways, are father figures that have enormous responsibilities and power. As Commander in Chief, President Trump can require military commanders to respect the Second Amendment, but give them guidance and goals to allow them to exercise their judgment and enhance their authority while doing so. He could require that programs be set up to allow for the exercise of Second Amendment rights, in concert with the requirements of military discipline.

Read More Courtesy of Ammo Land...

Monday, February 19th

Sheepdog Survival Fund

The #SheepdogSurvivalFund, a new 501(c)(3) charitable organization, today made its official debut with the announcement of its inaugural fundraising event in Chandler, #Arizona . Founded to address a serious unmet need within the #lawenforcement , first responder and #military communities, The Sheepdog Survival Fund helps these professionals accomplish their missions in the safest and most effective manner possible by providing access to advanced training and mission-critical equipment, all at zero cost to the applicants.

“When you put on a uniform to serve and protect, there’s a level of responsibility and risk you willingly accept,” said Blake Hayes, co-founder of The Sheepdog Survival Fund. “Our law enforcement and first responders must always be at the ready and continuously refining their skillsets in order to protect others, themselves and most importantly, save lives. Refining those skillsets, however, comes at a cost, and in the face of shrinking budgets, the reality is that not all departments can afford to invest in providing such training or even upgrading critical equipment. Filling that gap is our mission and what drives our organization.”

Fundraising for The Sheepdog Survival Fund is supported by strategic partnerships with leading brands, such as 5-11 Tactical, Leupold, Gerber, Full Throttle Energy, Crate Club, as well as through tax-free donations from individuals from all walks of life. One of the primary applications of the funds is to provide scholarships for a wide range of training courses, such as basic defensive tactics, instinctive hand-to-hand combat, tactical entry, active shooter response and survival ground combatives. Moreover, The Sheepdog Survival Fund will also help law enforcement further develop mindsets in regards to use of force as well as officer survival, both from a hands-on as well as legal perspective.

To provide training, The Sheepdog Survival Fund has aligned itself with the industry’s most respected organizations, such as Sheepdog Response, which boasts some of the most experienced, expert instructors in the world. Renowned for their skills, Sheepdog Response is led by legendary U.S. Army Green Beret and Special Forces Sniper, Tim Kennedy, and retired Special Forces operator and one of the foremost experts in both tactical trauma medicine and combat sports medicine, Dr. Mike Simpson.

“It comes down to experience, training and self-awareness, and to achieve that, our first responders need to be on the range, in the gym, and given the opportunity to train,” said Kennedy. “Unfortunately, those opportunities are not presenting themselves and law enforcement is forced to do the best they can with the resources they have. When your life and the lives of others are on the line, that’s simply not enough. They need help and we, as a nation, need to step up and answer that call.”

2017 marked the second lowest death toll among law enforcement in 50 years, and a drop of 10% from 2016. While those are promising numbers, the stark truth is that nearly 130 police officers did not make it home to their families. Through proper training and outfitting of our first responders with the proper equipment, The Sheepdog Survival Fund and its partners are confident that this trend can and will continue.

Read More Courtesy of Ammo Land...

Wednesday, February 14th

Five Year Ammo Contract from U.S. N

Federal Premium is proud to secure a significant domestic #military #ammunition contract award. The U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center-Crane Division, operated under the U.S. Navy’s Naval Sea Systems Command, committed to a five-year contract beginning in 2018 for the delivery of up to $20 million in 40-caliber frangible training rounds featuring Federal Premium’s lead-free Catalyst high-performance primer.

Unlike other lead-free primers, clean-burning Catalyst is not hygroscopic, so it won’t absorb ignition-inhibiting moisture and always delivers the most reliable ignition possible. In addition to surefire performance, Catalyst fuels a more efficient powder burn, improving the consistency of bullet velocities.

“We’re proud the U.S. Navy for this important contract,” said Jason Nash, Senior Director of Marketing. “Our Catalyst lead-free priming technology is a major breakthrough and we’re excited to see it used by those that protect our freedom.”

Headquartered in Anoka, Minnesota, Federal Premium has been providing hunters and shooters with high-quality rimfire, centerfire and shotshell ammunition since 1922. It pioneered the Premium category of ammunition and is a world-leading ammunition manufacturer. Federal Premium is a brand of Vista Outdoor Inc., an outdoor sports and recreation company. For more information on Federal Premium, go to www.federalpremium.com.

Read More Courtesy of Ammo Land...

Monday, February 12th

Heroes Salute Military Branch Glock

Coming off the success of their first line of custom “Fallen Series” Thin Blue Line #Glock #pistols , MASP Industries is continuing to stand out in the custom Glock scene by releasing their newest line of “Heroes Salute” #military branch Glocks.

These Heroes Salute line follows the same trend of the thin blue line Glock with custom slide cuts, paint jobs, enhanced billet trigger, and a bad ass pelican case to store your Glock in. Not only is their attention to detail and design apparent with their newest Military Glocks, so is MASP's dedication to continue being a company that gives back to its community. With each and every custom Glock package sold, MASP is continuing to give 100% of the proceeds to families of fallen heroes.

When we spoke to their president Tigh Mumgaard he put it pretty clearly “We are able to give protection to the buyers of the gun, and in turn, peace of mind to the families that have lost so much. Thats the goal of our ‘Fallen Series'…. allow people to give back to those who gave everything for our safety”

To understand MASP as a company is to understand the reason and goal of the “Fallen Series” Glocks. MASP has long since been a company based on being able to provide protection to its community all while maintaining an honest, fair, and charitable business model. MASP has been around since 2013 producing custom rifles, charging handles, and an open door gun shop serving the needs of their customers.

A peak into their building shows the dedication and success they have been able to achieve by filling their Nebraska based machine shop with almost one million dollars in CNCs, Lathes, and laser cutters. Their shop is constantly filled with the sounds of progress, creativity, and cutting edge designs, all the while working non stop to continue to be Nebraskas leading custom gun manufacturer.

Their “Fallen Series” Thin Blue Line and Military “Heroes Salute” packages on available now on their website. If supporting a company with core values rooted in honesty, integrity, and quality is something you're interested in, look no further than MASP Industries. They continue to lead the way in improving the gun industry as we know it, and making a real difference while doing it.

Read More Courtesy of Ammo Land...

Monday, February 5th

High Tech Military Weapons

Matador Rocket Launcher: Designed for urban warfare, primary uses are to blow the SHIT out of armored vehicles and brick walls. It has two firing modes and one can shoot a rocket and hit the wall, then shoot a second rocket through the pre-blown wall and hit the space behind it.

Armatix Digital Revolver: A digital hand gun that can be automatically disabled via a wristwatch, It also requires a fingerprint scan from the primary owner, which is then scanned through the internal device and activated for a period of time. Or until manually disabled. After registering the data from the analyzed fingerprint the LED's on the Revolver are turned green (unlocked) or red (locked) Could it be the perfect weapon for law enforcement?

KAC M110 Sniper Rifle: Not to be confused with your CACK it can effectively shoot up to 32,000 feet and can have a range of attachments like a supressor and even a nightvison scope. useful any time of day

XM25 Smart Grenade Launcher: The programmable Grenade launcher can carry up to four 25mm shells and can shoot up to 2,300 feet (Almost half a mile) But the greatest feature of this weapon is it's ability to program the shells to detonate at any given time. It sports different sight,laser and sensor functions. This gun is really something to be reckoned with, and most COD players have already heard of it.

Beretta LTLX7000 Shotgun: This prototype shotgun can hit the target with the same force over any distance thanks to it's holographic sight programmable to the distance, and then align the two red dots with the targets head and feet and send a blast at them. A shot at 50ft away has a force of 211mph and at 230ft the result is nearly identical.

M32 Multiple Grenade Launcher: Capable of firing six 40mm shells in less than sixty seconds, 18 in a minute, It can also fire HUNTIR rounds which float to the ground via parachute and capture aerial footage of the area.along with HELLHOUND rounds which are extremely powerful firing from 140 yards and can obliterate everything in sight

HK M320 Grenade Launcher:Can either serve as a grenade launcher or bring double penetration ;)....... with attaching itself to an M16 or M4 it fires all NATO rounds alongside some less-lethal rounds. It also provides better accuracy and first-hit probability thanks to it's handheld laser rangefinder. There is also a day/night feature allowing it to operate well in daylight or darkness.

Barret MRAD .388 Sniper Rifle: It stands for Multi-Role Adaptive Design. it fires the .388 lapua magnum shell. And offers a fully modifiable system which allows upgrades and add-ons, it has user changeable barrel system allowing for caliber conversions and maintenance. It's most noticeable feature is the ambidextrous magazine and features a thumb operated system. Which is unconventional for bolt-actions sniper rifles which makes it unique.

Read More Courtesy of Sharenator ...

Tuesday, January 30th

Status of CMP 1911s

The #CMP has been authorized to receive 8,000 1911 type #pistols from the #UnitedStatesArmy.

The 1911s have been received by the CMP. A complete inventory will be conducted over the course of this week. The pistols will then be securely stored until the Army-approved 1911 building and armory infrastructure is completed. That completion is anticipated to be approximately 60 days from now. Once the 1911 armory is completed, inspection, grading, repair, and ultimately test firing of the pistols will begin. (Please be aware that the CMP was led to believe that we were ready to move forward, but three weeks ago facility requirements were changed, and we are now fulfilling those requirements.)

The CMP 1911 order packet will be posted 90 days prior to the order acceptance date and opening sales date. No orders will be accepted prior to that date. Please visit www.thecmp.org, click on the Sales icon then 1911 Information, for the latest. CMP customer service has been inundated with calls and emails concerning the 1911s and no further information is available at this time. The CMP will keep everyone posted as we move through this process.

Read More Courtesy of Ammo Land...

Tuesday, January 30th

Interview with Tim Kennedy

What type of person would go on #FoxNews after ISIS puts a price on their head and give out his home address and challenge ISIS to come get him? Maybe a Green Beret who was a Ranger sniper? Perhaps a #UFC fighter? Possibly a guy who is “Hard To Kill” and is known for “Hunting Hitler”? The answer is all of the above!

Tim Kennedy has worn many hats in his life. He is a world-class athlete who turned pro in MMA during college. After college, Tim signed up for the army eventually becoming a Green Beret serving in the 7th Special Forces Group. He went on to compete in the UFC further proving he's earned the title of “bad ass.” Proving physical prowess is not the only thing Tim had in his arsenal he went on to found the wildly popular Ranger Up clothing brand. He is the star of the History Channel's “Hunting Hitler,” and an upcoming Discovery show “Hard To Kill.” These feets are in addition to appearing in movies such as “Range 15.” I had a chance meeting with Tim Kennedy at the 5.11 SHOT Show party in Las Vegas. He agreed to set down for an interview with me the next day.

John: I did a little bit of research on you. I understand your mom got you into cooking and piano, and then your dad got you into martial arts and shooting. Do you think that helped you while growing up with that balance of a yin and yang type of thing?

Tim: I think balance is important. Even now I do a lot of extreme stuff, but I still cook. I still clean my own animals. I still hunt. I still do a lot outdoors.

John: Do you still play the piano?

Tim: I do, but not as much as I should especially with these monkey hands. Balance is important. I do yoga. A lot of strength and conditioning I do is bodyweight movement so that I can tear people's throats out more efficiently, but yeah. I am sure it helped. I just don't know how.

John: You got into competing in MMA when you went to the Columbia College of Missouri. What got you into that?

Tim: I started MMA when I was twelve. I just went pro in college. I wrestled. I did Hawaiian Kempo. I did Japanese Ju-Jitsu. I was a Japanese Ju-Jitsu school when Beau Taylor, Jake Shields, and Chuck Liddell walked in and just mopped the floor with everyone. I was like, “I think I need to change something up.” So I followed them to where they were, which was The Pit with John Hackleman, and at the time it was probably the first and only real fight camp for professional fighters. There was like the Huntington Beach guys, and there was the Team Quest guys, and there was The Pit. At the time there was no American Top Team, there was no Jackson's. This was the first, and that was 20 minutes from where I lived. So I started at a very early age doing a lot of Martial Arts. I tried to find what worked best to try to beat someone.

Read More Courtesy of Ammo Land...

Tuesday, January 23rd

Unique Multi Spectral Sight

Meprolight Ltd. –a member of the SK Group and a leading manufacturer of electro-optical systems, thermal and #nightvision equipment, self-illuminated sights, and Laser Range Finder systems for #military, #lawenforcement and civil applications – will introduce at Shot Show 2018, the unique MEPRO NYX-200 multi-spectral weapon sight and hand-held device.

The MEPRO NYX-200 combines an uncooled thermal channel with a sensitive high-resolution digital day/night camera. The sight improves the soldier’s situational awareness, and allows rapid target acquisition in any lighting conditions and in any environment.
According to Benny Kokia, Meprolight, VP Marketing and Sales , “Modern battlefield challenges force soldiers to carry an expanding array of systems, sensors, and equipment. The weight of this equipment and the need to operate a variety of devices reduces mission effectiveness and may compromise soldier safety. To solve these issues and improve the modern soldier's operation, we developed the MEPRO NYX-200.”

“The MEPRO NYX-200 is a lightweight, all-in-one weapon sight that includes a thermal imaging channel and day/night sensitive camera, integrated DVR and IR pointer,” Mr. Kokia continued. “This solution replaces at least four (4) different systems currently carried by the average soldier. It allows ongoing work, 24/7, in all environments and weather conditions – meeting the demands of the modern battlefield and increasing mission effectiveness.”

The MEPRO NYX-200 is available in two configurations: thermal channel with digital night camera or thermal channel with digital day camera. The combination of thermal channel and digital night camera (DNC) enables enhanced situational awareness with maximum view at any level of darkness in any environment. The thermal channel can be used in total darkness and through fog, camouflage, etc. The sight’s digital night vision is optimized for Close Quarters Battle (CQB), face recognition, and more.

The combination of thermal channel and digital day camera (DDC) enables the soldiers to use the sight for both day and night operation, eliminating the need to change sights/devices between day and night, and allowing soldiers to move between dark and light environments, such as entering dark places also during daytime.

Long operation time based on four (4) commercially available batteries enables soldiers to complete missions without power failure. The integrated IR pointer (optional) supports various tactical scenarios including CQB and covert night operations. Using integrated DVR enables image capture and video recording and transmitting for mission debriefing. MEPRO NYX-200 was designed and fabricated to the most stringent military standards, including MIL-810, to assure years of reliable operation under all field and environmental conditions.

Read More Courtesy of Ammo Land...

Friday, January 19th

National Guard troops to be armed

Governors in Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Indiana and Texas have issued orders authorizing #NationalGuard #troops to carry personal #firearms at bases and recruiting facilities. The moves follow the shooting of several Marines at a Naval Reserve training center in Chattanooga, Tenn. July 16.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence commented that, “As commander-in-chief of the Indiana National Guard, I will not permit our citizen-soldiers to remain unable to defend themselves and our citizens at facilities in our state. Hoosiers may be assured that those who have stepped forward to defend our state and nation will have the ability to defend themselves.” The politics of this are pretty interesting. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Texas Gov. Rick Perry are declared presidential candidates, while Pence is often mentioned as a potential candidate. Florida’s Rick Scott and Oklahoma’s Mary Fallin are also prominent Republicans. We can assume that other Republican governors will likely follow suit, showing they’re prepared to double down on the right to bear arms, despite the supposed recent leftward shift in public opinion.

The Obama administration will take heat for failing to allow active-duty personnel to carry licensed firearms, as will anti-gun governors in California, Connecticut, New York and other states who are unlikely to make similar declarations. It will be tough to explain why Indiana Guardsmen should be able to protect themselves while their comrades in Massachusetts cannot, especially in the wake of an attack.

The ban on personal guns on military bases was one of the Clinton administration’s first anti-gun maneuvers. It will be interesting to see if Bill Clinton backtracks on that one as he has reversed himself on drug penalties enacted at the same time. Allowing troops to carry personal arms is no panacea. Not everyone will be armed all the time. And you can be sure that the media will avidly report any mishaps like a Navy recruiter shooting himself in the leg with a concealed pistol.

But if the potential of meeting a carry holder deters another Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez from attacking a recruiting office, progress has been made. Of course, that deterrence may just move him to that kindergarten or church or post office down the road that remains a “gun free” zone. We won’t be truly secure until his kind know there’s no place, anywhere in America, they can strike with impunity.

Read More Courtesy of Firearms News...

Wednesday, January 17th

Military feed lip gauge for magazin

The Master Gunner of the 82nd Airborne shares some tips on care and feeding of #M4 #magazines, especially when it comes to wonky feed lips.

“Go/No-Go” gauges have long been a thing in the military for determining if chambers and other firearms parts are in spec or in need of replacement. It stands to reason that the Army would adopt such a device to gauge to check if the feed lips on a magazine are in-spec as well, and they did, patenting a design in 2006. And to provide some insight into its use, Raymond Miller, the 82nd Master Gunner, ran an informative post last week on just such a topic.

“To use it, you place it on the back of the magazine and press down on the follower. If it stops at the ‘go’ side, the magazine is good. If the tool goes all the way down to the ‘no go’ side, the magazine is defective and needs to be turned in,” notes Miller before going on to clarify that only the Army’s own EPM magazines are standard while the new Magpul Gen 3s are optional, but clarifies that the gauge works on both metal and polymer body mags. In case you are curious, there are some feed lip gauges on the civilian market that appear similar to the Army’s and could prove a wise investment for those who stack up on surplus magazines by the gross.

Read More Courtesy of Guns...

Saturday, December 23rd

Christmas Dinner In Vietnam

#Christmas 1969, south of Danang, South #Vietnam

They hadn’t taken much fire that day, not much when you consider that the previous weeks had been filled with “wading in the deep stuff.” Still, there had been a few hits through the rotor blades when they had gone in to Firebase Ross, but the gunships had jumped in and hosed things down pretty well and it was no big deal. Maybe the Vietnam Christmas Truce was going to work.

They were flying turkey dinners to the grunts in the field, part of a mission with two other CH-46s and two Cobra gunships and they had been at it for nearly 10 hours, two hours more than the limit insisted upon by the 1st Marine Air Wing. The dinners were prepared in a field kitchen that had been flown in by a big CH-53 to LZ Baldy, and the finished products turned over to the CH-46s for delivery. Christmas dinner and a show were scheduled back at Marble Mountain, but it looked like they were going to miss it.

The weather was hot and crummy and the crew could see the humidity trail as it came off the rotor blades where they meshed together like a Mixmaster. Their flight suits had soaked through hours ago and, for the two pilots, the cockpit was an oven in spite of the thousands of horsepower of fan directly above them.

In the back, the gunners would watch over the long barrels of their big .50 caliber machine guns during the approaches. The rest of the time they were relaxed and chatted together with lip-reading abilities developed over long hours of flying in an environment where the sounds of radios and engines and rotor blades killed normal conversation. The crew chief, LCpl Boyd, usually rode leaning in to the cockpit and then standing exposed in the door as he guided the pilots in to the zones.

The grunts on the ground never understood how the “fly boys” could comfortably fly around, exposed, barely above the ground, just asking to get shot at. For their part, the aviators never understood how the grunts could comfortably live on the ground in the mush and the goo, just asking to get shot at.

Earlier that day Boyd and the co-pilot had picked up a dozen cases of Bud and smuggled them onto their bird. Boyd had a raw-boned cowboy look about him, although he was from New Orleans. His flight suit was usually dirty and his hair a bit long for a Marine, but you could eat off the engine on his aircraft. Many nights he worked straight through the night, repairing battle damage to be ready to fly the next day. The pilots would say it was better to have a grimy crew chief with a clean aircraft, than the other way around.

Boyd had gotten a bunch of cotton from the hospital tent and rigged a beard under the chin strap of his helmet. As they delivered the dinners to the really remote observation posts or small units stuck out in the bush, he would toss down a couple of 6 packs to the Marines on the ground. The dirty, tired Marines would run up to the cans, waving and smiling and chug the warm stale beer like it had been perfectly chilled and served at their favorite bar “back in the world.”

Around sunset, LZ Baldy called and released them. Christmas or not, no one wanted to risk aircraft and crews to deliver turkey dinners. The tower asked Boyd’s pilot to wait a few minutes to take a couple of “walking wounded” to the hospital ship in Danang harbor, so, as their wingmen and the gunships left for home, they taxied to the side of the runway and shut down to wait. Dinner and the Christmas show at Marble seemed less and less likely.

LCpl Boyd disappeared and then reappeared 15 minutes later with five cans of Korean War-vintage C-rations and five cans of Coke, just enough for the two pilots, two gunners, and him.

Boyd said not a word but went straight to his work and, giving a nod, asked the pilot to start the #2 engine. He then flattened a cardboard box, punched holes in the tops of the C-ration cans with his K-Bar, and opened the engine access door. The door swung down from the overhead, exposing the pumps, wires, and plumbing of the General Electric T-58 engine and, on this occasion, food warmer. Boyd slid the cans on the cardboard into the engine compartment like a pizza chef. Four minutes later he removed the feast and opened the cans the rest of the way, holding each with a pair of pliers. The aroma of boiling turkey filled the back of the helicopter, mixing with and almost covering the smell of hydraulic fluid, fuel, and sweat that defined the interior.

He distributed plastic forks, sprayed the cans of Coke with the fire extinguisher to chill them, and served Christmas dinner. For the pièce de résistance Boyd opened a can of peaches he had secretly hoarded and passed it around to the crew. Each speared one peach half and gratefully took a swallow of the thick, sweet juice.

Back “in the world” people were sitting down to turkey at grandmother’s house and snow was drifting mistily beyond frosted windows that reflected the flame-shaped bulbs of hanging wreaths. In Vietnam it was hot and humid and sticky as the four Marines sat in the troop seats and looked gratefully at Boyd. He raised his Coke to each in turn, “From my house to your house,” he said. “Merry Christmas.”

It was Christmas dinner, 1969, and it was good.

Friday, December 22nd

Wreaths Across America

Each December, on National #WreathsAcrossAmerica Day #wreath-laying ceremonies are held at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as over 1,200 additional locations across the country and abroad. Worcester Wreath Company (the wreath company that provides holiday greenery for L.L. Bean) makes and decorates holiday wreaths and places them on headstones as a tribute and remembrance to American heroes. Morrill Worcester - President of Worcester Wreath Company, based in Harrington, Maine, started this annual event in 1992 to honor our nation’s fallen #soldiers.

The Arlington Wreath project, coordinated with the Cemetery Administration and the Maine State Society, adorns the white tombstones with evergreen wreaths and red bows to recognize sacrifices our Veterans and their families have made for our country. The cemetery will be closed to vehicle traffic until 3 p.m. ANC Tours, Arlington’s interpretative bus tour, will not operate this day. This is a walking event. Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable walking shoes and bring refillable water bottles. Temporary restrooms will be located throughout the cemetery. Because of the large number of volunteers and lack of adequate parking, participants are highly encouraged to take Metro. The wreaths will be at Arlington National Cemetery for approximately four weeks. The Cemetery is located across the Potomac River from Washington DC at the west end of the Memorial Bridge in Arlington, Virginia.

Due to interest in this project from around the nation, the Arlington Wreath Project now includes over 1,100 participating locations in all 50 states, and 24 national veteran cemeteries abroad. Each year, Wreaths Across America and a national network of volunteers lay over 540,000 memorial wreaths at 545 locations. A Moment of Silence will be held at ALL locations on December 16 at Noon EST. To learn more about ceremonies, at locations around the country, see the official website.
Until 2009, Worcester Wreath did not accept donations. The organization has since become a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and expanded to include local fundraising groups in all 50 states representing more than 900 cemeteries, military memorials and other locations, along with Arlington National Cemetery. Wreaths Across America is now raising money to help fulfill its mission through sponsorship of wreaths. Donations may also be sent to:
Wreaths Across America
PO Box 256
Harrington, ME 04643

Read More Courtesy of Trip Savvy...

Thursday, November 9th

Rare Naval Military Exercise in the

Three U.S. #military #aircraft carriers are heading to the same part of the world at the same time, to take part in a rare military exercise not seen in a decade.The #USS #Ronald #Reagan, based in Japan; the USS Theodore Roosevelt, based in San Diego; and the USS Nimitz, based at Naval Base Kitsap at Bremerton, Washington, will commence the strike force exercise in the Western Pacific Saturday through next Tuesday.

Units assigned to the strike force will conduct coordinated operations in international waters to demonstrate the U.S. Navy’s unique capability to operate multiple carrier strike groups as a coordinated strike force effort.

The three aircraft carriers are expected to link up in the Sea of Japan later this week off the Korean Peninsula, a U.S. defense official tells Fox News.

“It is a rare opportunity to train with two aircraft carriers together, and even rarer to be able to train with three,” said U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander, Adm. Scott Swift. “Multiple carrier strike force operations are very complex, and this exercise in the Western Pacific is a strong testament to the U.S. Pacific Fleet’s unique ability and ironclad commitment to the continued security and stability of the region.”

Read More Courtesy of Fox News....

Thursday, October 19th

The Naval Airship that was an Unfor

The #Akron seemed to make that promise come true. The rigid craft included a huge bag of gas and a large structure beneath where passengers and cargo could ride. Unlike a blimp, its exterior was made of aluminum-treated cotton cloth that stayed the same shape regardless of how much gas was inside. The airship was reminiscent of the #Hindenburg , but filled with helium instead of hydrogen gas.

Rumors began to circulate that the Akron was unsafe to fly. After months of repairs, Rear Admiral William A. Moffett, for whom the Akron was a pet project, appeared before Congress to defend the ship. “To my knowledge,” he said, “it is the best ship that has ever been built.”

The worst was yet to come. On April 3, 1933, the Akron again took on a group of guests. This time, they were naval officers. The mission was to assist the U.S. Navy in calibrating radio towers. The mission seemed relatively simple, but when the Akron flew into a thunderstorm, it was doomed.

Buffeted by wind, the ship dropped in altitude. Suddenly a gust of wind forced the craft toward the water. Its lower fin tore off and the craft disintegrated. Trapped in the frigid, stormy waters of the Atlantic Ocean, crew members waited for rescue. It was slow to come; rescue ships had a hard time locating the survivors. The men had no life jackets. Slowly, those who did not drown perished from hypothermia.

All in all, 73 men died and only three of the crew survived. Among the casualties was the airship’s staunchest defender, Moffett. Ironically, some of the men who perished that day had survived another airship disaster, the breakup of the airship #USS Shenandoah, just a few years earlier.

Read More Courtesy of History....

Wednesday, September 27th

German STF 44

This is an outstanding example of an extremely rare, all original and unaltered #WWII #Nazi #STG44 (SturmGewehr 44) assault #rifle with all matching numbers that is complete with one late war "MP44" marked magazine. The STG44 select fire rifle was a continuation of the MP44 series of weapons which was designed for mass production using several stamped sheet and welded steel parts.

This series of assault rifle was developed to give the German soldier more fire power by using the shorter/lighter 7.92X33 mm Kurz cartridge in a 30 round magazine with select fire capability. The 7.92X33mm cartridge provides far more power and greater range than the standard 9 mm SMG round as used in the MP40 series of SMGs. This allowed the German Infantryman to carry considerably more ammunition that the standard 8mm ammunition for the 98K rifles. The MP44/STG44 series of rifles is considered to be the father of the modern assault rifle concept/design and was the basis of the later Russian AK series of weapons.

This specific example is a very late production model, manufactured in 1945. The left side of the receiver is marked "4332 a l/45" with the upper portion stamped with the prominent "STG 44" markings. The underside of the receiver is stamped with the clear "ce/Eagle/Eagle 37" Waffenamt proof which was the wartime manufacturers code for the "J.P. Sauer & Sohns" factory; the factory firing proof and the Waffenamt (Weapons Office) proofmark, assigned to the J.P. Sauer factory. Additionally, it is stamped with the extremely rare and desirable "SUP" code, along with a small "3/5" mark and "WaA 1" Waffenamt acceptance mark. The finish on this rifle is a combination of late war green-gray phosphate finish mixed with the late war blue parts. Many parts show original WWII secret subcontractor manufacturing codes, such as "aqr" for the Lux Metal Factory, on the phosphate handguard; late war "svw" code for the Mauser Werke factory on the blue gas cylinder and "fxo" for the Haenel factory on the bright bolt carrier. The stock is laminated Beech and contains an operator’s manual in the butt trap. This excellent assault is complete with one original, 30 round gray-phosphate magazine, that is marked on the sides; "qnw/Eagle 214 Waffenamt" and "MP44" on the reverse side.

Read More Courtesy of Rock Island Auction....

Monday, August 28th

National Guardsmen Assist in Hurric

#HOUSTON -- Weather forecasters report that the remnants of #Hurricane #Harvey are causing "catastrophic flooding" in Southeastern Texas, as 3,000 #Texas State #Guard and Texas #NationalGuardsmen have now been called up to help their fellow citizens, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said during a news conference in Austin, Texas yesterday.

#Harvey has been downgraded to a tropical storm, but the National Weather Service says the rain will continue. "This is really going to be an event that is going to continue to worsen," said Daniel Porter, of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Harvey is the strongest storm to hit Texas since 1961, Abbott said. The governor said the federal government has provided all the assets the state has asked for to #combat the storm. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is the lead federal agency working with the state and local officials, as 19 counties in the region have been declared #disaster areas.

During a National Incident Communication Conference Call on Hurricane Harvey on Saturday, FEMA requested the Defense Department to provide a search and rescue package to the area. This consists of two planners, nine helicopters, two fixed wing #aircraft and refuelers, and para-rescue teams to operate from Joint Reserve #AirForce Base in Fort Worth, Texas. In addition, DoD was asked to provide 11 generators and 50,000 gallons of gas and 50,000 gallons diesel to Fort Hood, Texas.

Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Corpus Christi late Friday, bringing fierce winds and heavy rain. About 900 members of the Texas Army National Guard were positioned throughout the state ahead of the storm at the request of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

The activation includes members of the Texas National Guard, the Texas State Guard with the Texas Military, officials said.

UH-60 #BlackHawk and UH-72 Lakota air crews remain in position and on standby in Austin and #SanAntonio to assist with emergency search and rescue, swift-water rescues and emergency evacuations.

In addition, multiple Texas #Army #National #Guard ground transportation teams have been activated to support local and state agencies with any request for swift-water rescues, high-water ground transportation and personnel evacuation needs.

"This is what we train for," said Army Brig. Gen. Patrick M. Hamilton, commander of the Domestic Operations Task Force. "And we're proud to stand beside our civilian partners, first responders and volunteers to serve the citizens of Texas."

Read More Courtesy of Army....

Wednesday, August 23rd

Abandoned Military Flight Project

In the mid-1950s, #Hiller constructed a series of innovative #Flying #Platforms for an #Army #Navy program as a one-man #flying vehicle that the #pilot could control with minimal training. The pilot simply leaned in the desired direction and the platform would follow. The platforms, which utilized the aerodynamic advantages of the ducted fan, were incapable of tumbling, because if the pilot leaned over too far, the platform would pitch up and slow down.

The 1031-A-1 is the second of the Flying Platform prototypes and was the first to operate out of ground effect (aerodynamic cushion caused by thrust hitting the ground). The Army contracted for a larger, improved model - the VZ-1 - but the extra engines required for redundancy if the primary failed made the platform so heavy that it was impossible for the pilot to control the craft kinesthetically (by leaning), defeating the purpose of the design.

While several versions of the "Flying Platform" were built and tested, the Army lost interest in the project and it was eventually abandoned.

Read More Courtesy of Airspace...

Tuesday, June 20th

Is the battleship era coming to an

The #Iowa Class’s Mark 7 16-inch guns and their huge turrets were like four-story rotating steel fortresses in their own right. Each massive 66-foot, 240k-pound #rifled #barrel had a life between 250 and 350 rounds before it needed to be replaced. They were capable of flinging #artilleryshells weighing up to 2,700 pounds almost 25 miles at #hunting #rifle speeds. Each #turret was operated by between 75 and 90 men, and they weren’t even attached to the ship. Their weight alone kept them seated, so if the #ship were ever to rolled over, the #gunturrets would have slipped out.

Battleships excelled at shore-bombardment, #anti #aircraft #defense and action against other battleships. But not for long. During World War II and beyond, new technology eroded the big ships’ advantages.

In many ways, the #battleship represented the greatest-ever concentration of naval power in a single vessel. Between #WWI and #WorldWarII, the big, fast, thickly-armored and heavily-armed #warships dominated the world’s oceans. And then, very quickly, the battleship became practically obsolete.

Battleships, in the end, are simply a delivery system for ordnance,” Farley concludes. “When other platforms became capable of delivering ordnance more efficiently, the battleship began to disappear.” Today just one battlewagon, by Farley’s definition, remains in frontline use — Russia’s Pyotr Velikiy, a missile-armed nuclear-powered battlecruiser dating to the Cold War.

Read More Courtesy of National Interest....

Read More Courtesy of Foxtrot PHA....

Monday, May 29th

Memorial Day Tribute

Since the earliest ceremonies in small American towns following the Civil War, we have gathered on #MemorialDay to #honor and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation. As in those early days of laying wreaths and placing flags, our national day of #remembrance is often felt most deeply among the families and communities who have personally lost friends and loved ones.

This national holiday may also be the unofficial start of the summer season, but all #Americans must take a moment to remember the sacrifice of our valiant #military service members, first responders and their families. #Memorial #Day is a day of both celebration and grief, accounting for the honor of our #heroes and reflecting on their tragic loss.

National Moment of Remembrance

To ensure the sacrifices of America’s fallen heroes are never forgotten, in December 2000, the U.S. Congress passed and the president signed into law “The National Moment of Remembrance Act,” P.L. 106-579, creating the #White #House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance. The commission’s charter is to “encourage the people of the #UnitedStates to give something back to their country, which provides them so much freedom and opportunity” by encouraging and coordinating commemorations in the United States of Memorial Day and the National Moment of Remembrance.

The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation. As Moment of Remembrance founder Carmella LaSpada states: “It’s a way we can all help put the memorial back in Memorial Day.”

Read More Courtesy of Military....

Read More Courtesy of PBS....

Monday, April 24th

Purple Heart Awarded to Army Sergea

#President #Donald #Trump on Saturday made his first visit to a #military #hospital with his wife, #Melania, in order to award a #PurpleHeart to an #Army sergeant.

#Trump said he was moved by the story of #Sergeant 1st Class #Alvaro #Barrientos, who was wounded in #Afghanistan last month.

"When I heard about this ... I wanted to do it myself," Trump said during a brief ceremony at #Walter #Reed #National #Military #Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

Barrientos, whose right leg below the knee had been amputated, was brought into a hospital atrium in a wheelchair, accompanied by his wife, Tammy. Trump kissed Barrientos' wife before he affixed the award to the sergeant's shirt collar. The Purple Heart is awarded to service members who are wounded or killed in action.

Trump reportedly met privately with about a dozen other service members who are receiving care at the medical center. Before leaving the White House for the hospital, the president tweeted that he looked forward to "seeing our bravest and greatest Americans."

Trump was driven to Maryland instead of flying in the Marine One helicopter because of annual public tours of the White House south grounds and gardens that were taking place Saturday. As the motorcade exited the complex, the sidewalks were lined with protesters who had come to Washington on Saturday to promote science and defend it from attack, including Trump's proposed budget cuts.

Read More Courtesy of Military.....

Thursday, February 23rd

U.S. Flag Raised on Iwo Jima

On this day, during the battle for #IwoJima, #US #Marines raise the #American #flag atop Mt. Suribachi, the highest point on the island of Iwo Jima and a key strategic point. Later, #Marine commanders decide to raise a second, larger flag, an event which an Associated Press photographer captured on film. The resulting photograph became a defining image of the war.

The amphibious landings of Marines, after severe and relentless bombing of the island, began the morning of February 19, 1945, as the secretary of the navy, James Forrestal, accompanied by journalists, surveyed the scene from a command ship offshore. As the Marines made their way onto the island, seven Japanese battalions opened fire on the 9,000 Marines headed for them. By that evening, more than 550 Marines were dead and more than 1,800 were wounded.

Once atop Mt. Suribachi, Rosenthal attempted but was unable to find the soldiers involved in the first flag-raising, deciding instead to photograph the second flag-raising, which featured a much bigger and more photogenic Stars and Stripes. Lowery’s film was sent back to #military headquarters for processing via ordinary army post–and took a month to arrive. Rosenthal’s film was sent by seaplane to Guam, and sent from there via radio-photo to the United States. The photograph so impressed #President #Roosevelt that he ordered the men pictured in it to return home for a publicity tour. Rosenthal later won a #PulitzerPrize for the photo, but for years was forced to deny erroneous reports that he personally staged the second flag-raising and attempted to pass it off as the original.

Although the famous photograph has long led people to believe that the flag-raising was a turning point in the fight for Iwo Jima, vicious fighting to control the island actually continued for 31 more days.

Read More Courtesy of History....

View More Photos Courtesy of Iwo Jima....

Video Courtesy of AiirSource Military....

Wednesday, February 1st

The Guiberson Periscope Rifle

This transforming #M1903 was conceived by a #California native presumably of the same name. He had seen the #periscoperifle rigs in #American mechanical #magazines and decided he could compact the whole thing into a single soldier's #weapon.

The #rifle has a push button that allows the #soldier to lift up on the receiver and down on the #riflestock until it snaps in place firmly. Another button allows it to be stowed. When up, there is a hollow through the now-vertical wrist section. At its base is a polished mirror. Along the left side wrist an extendable, rotating arm holds another mirror, which can be aligned with the rear sight. Sadly this little mirror was missing on the example here.

While fascinating to look at it appears the #SpringfieldGuiberson never saw real #combat. We found this piece in the #Springfield #Armory #National #Historic Site, where we were allowed complete access to help with our documentation of the small arms of #WWI.

Read More Courtesy of Imgur....

Thursday, December 15th

United States Air Force Cargo Launc

Our #GunRodeo staff loves the #USMilitary and the sacrifices they've made to keep us safe, and not to mention the spectacular exercises they conduct. For example, launching military convoys out of a plane 5,000 feet up!

#Military Machine presents #USAirmen from the 16th #AirliftSquadron at Joint Base Charleston, SC, execute an air drop of eight military #convoyvehicles from 5,000 feet on May 26, 2016 to a drop zone in Fort Bragg, NC, in support of Crescent Reach 16. Crescent Reach is an annual exercise designed to test and evaluate Joint Base Charleston’s ability to mobilize and launch a large-scale aircraft formation in addition to train, process and deploy Airmen and cargo in response to a simulated crisis abroad. ( #USAirForce video by TSgt Jose A. Rodriguez Jr)

Read More Courtesy of Military Machine....

Thursday, November 10th

Happy 241st Birthday to the U.S. Ma

Leading patriots into battle since November 10th, of 1775 the United States #MarineCorps have given superior protection to the greatest nation on earth. The iconic motto, Semper Fidelis or #SemperFi, meaning "Always Faithful" has bonded brothers and sisters of the corps for over 20 decades. From the shores of Tripoli, to the Battle of #GuantanamoBay, and current missions in the middle east our #USMarines are the epitome of American pride. Happy 241st Birthday we are forever indebted to those who serve our country the land of the free, and home of the brave.

Here are a few photos that capture the true grit of a Marine!

Read More Courtesy of Marine Corps Times....

Tuesday, October 25th

Sky Soldiers

#Paratroopers from the 82nd and #101stAirborne Division perform static line jumps from #C17Globemaster III aircraft over Sicily Drop Zone at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. AiirSource #Military covers events and missions from the United States Armed Forces: #Army, #Navy, #MarineCorps, #AirForce, and #Coast Guard.

The First Combat Jumps

Germany was the first nation to drop infantry into combat. History’s first wartime jumps came during the 1940 invasions of Norway and Denmark.

Before dawn on April 9, German Fallschirmjäger troops leapt from Junkers Ju-52 transport planes onto the Aalborg Airport in Denmark. Others seized nearby bridges. Subsequent missions saw German paratroops capture a fort on the Danish island of Masnedo as well as the Storstrom Bridge, which links Masnedo with another island. More German airborne assaults would follow in the invasion of Norway. The Fallschirmjäger faced its first opposed drop while assaulting the Sola airfield Stavanger.

German paratroopers would play key roles in the invasions of France and Holland, and were earmarked for the planned assault on Great Britain as well, but heavy casualties sustained in the massive airborne operation on Crete convinced Hitler to abandon similar gambits in the future. Fallschirmjäger troops would fight the rest of the war as conventional infantry..

Read More Courtesy of Military History....

Watch More Courtesy of AiirSource Military....

Tuesday, September 27th

U.S. Military Bridges the Gap Betwe

The #HelmetElectronicsDisplay System Upgradeable Protection (HEaDS-UP) was unveiled last month, but more recently was showcased at the Association of the #U.S.Army’s annual meeting. This helmet, which has been compared to looking like those in the popular video game “Halo,” was developed by researchers at the Massachusetts-based Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center.

The helmet not only has enhanced protective measures, but also embedded technology that includes a see-through, heads-up display and communication capabilities, according to the Army’s article. With 72 percent of all #combatinjuries impacting the face, the engineers sought to bridge a “technology gap” with a mandible and visor on the helmet.

"Soldiers wear the eyewear, but everything outside the #eyewear is open. This will be the biggest advantage to the soldier,” NSRDEC engineer Don Lee said, according to the Army."

The new helmet, Dowling said, has “protection for a rifle round threat.” The helmet includes cushioning to meet a 14-feet-per-second impact requirement, which will help #reducetraumaticbraininjuries — an injury that have been called the “signature wound of our generation.”

Read More Courtesy of The Blaze....

Tuesday, September 13th

Military Heroes of WW1

These are the #USMilitaryHeroesofWW1 and the integral acts of duty to their country. #Braveryandhonor describes these fine soldiers and the legacy they left behind to future #AmericanSoldiers.

Alvin York

Sergeant Alvin York was once described as World War I’s “greatest civilian soldier,” yet he began the conflict as a conscientious objector. A deeply devout man from the small mountain town of Pall Mall, Tennessee, York initially resisted serving on the grounds that violence was against his religion. His request was denied, however, and in May 1918 he arrived in France along with the 82nd Division of the U.S. Army.

Frank Luke

Renegade pilot Frank Luke was America’s greatest “balloon buster,” the nickname assigned to the brash aviators who attacked German observation balloons used to sight artillery. Luke joined the 27th Aero Squadron in France in July 1918, and wasted little time in aggravating his fellow pilots with his cocky attitude and reckless flying style. Nevertheless, the Arizona-born aviator proved an expert at downing the reconnaissance balloons—dangerous targets that were often guarded by anti-aircraft guns, cannons and enemy fighters. He scored his first kill on September 12, and by September 28 he had claimed 15 victories, including one day in which he shot down two balloons and three enemy planes.

Henry Johnson

Henry Johnson was the most famous member of the “Harlem Hellfighters,” an all-black National Guard unit that was among the first American forces to arrive in Europe during World War I. Johnson and his fellow African American soldiers spent their early days in the war performing unskilled manual labor before being sent to reinforce the depleted ranks of the French army.

Charles Whittlesey

An attorney by trade, Major Charles Whittlesey later made his name as the uncompromising commander of the so-called “Lost Battalion,” an American unit that became stuck behind German lines. On October 2, 1918, the bookish and bespectacled Whittlesey led his men into hostile territory as part of a coordinated offensive in the Argonne Forest. But due to poor communication, his unit crossed the rough terrain too swiftly and was soon cut off and enveloped by German forces.

Edouard Izac

Navy officer Edouard Izac’s remarkable odyssey began on May 31, 1918, when a German submarine torpedoed his ship, the USS President Lincoln, as it sailed near the coast of France. Most of the crew managed to escape, but Izac was captured and taken aboard the U-boat for the journey back to Germany. Unbeknownst to his captors, Izac was the son of German-speaking immigrants, and he used his knowledge of the language to collect vital information on German submarine operations.

Dan Daly

Marine Sergeant Dan Daly entered World War I as one of the United States’ most famous Marines, having already won the Medal of Honor on two separate occasions for his service during the Boxer Rebellion and the U.S. occupation of Haiti. The 44-year-old continued to write his name into the history books during June 1918’s Battle of Belleau Wood, a month-long offensive that was one of the first major World War I battles fought by U.S. troops. On June 5, Daly bravely extinguished a fire on the verge of igniting a cache of explosive ammunition. Two days later, as his Marines were being shredded by enemy machine gun fire, Daly urged them to leave their cover and counterattack by supposedly screaming the famous words, “Come on, you sons of bitches! Do you want to live forever?!”

Read More Courtesy of History....

Friday, August 5th

Front Lines of WW1

When the #United #States entered #World #War #I in April of 1917, they brought #motorcycles from several #US companies to help on the front lines. The bulk of the motorcycles came from #Indian and #Harley-Davidson, but motorcycles produced by Excelsior, Henderson, and a few other US manufacturers also made it to Europe. Indian devoted most of it's production to the war effort, building almost 50,000 motorcycles for the US Military. Harley-Davidson also upped production, delivering over 20,000 motorcycles to support the war.

The #Indian #military #model was based on their new PowerPlus Big Twin. It featured a 61 cubic inch side valve motor which produced 18 horsepower and could reliably carry the motorcycle at speeds of 60 mph. The engine was mated to a three speed hand shift transmission and the drive train was mounted into a frame with both front and rear suspension. Lighting was handled by a gas headlamp and there was even a rear brake just in case you needed to stop quickly.

Harley-Davidson based their military model on the their J series motorcycle. It used a 61 cubic inch F-head motor which produced 15 horsepower, putting it below the Indian in terms of power. It also used a three speed hand shift transmission and a frame with front suspension. Like the Indian PowerPlus, the electric headlamp used on the civilian model was replaced by simpler gas version and only a rear brake was mounted for stopping the motorcycle.

Unlike the WLA's which would be used exclusively as dispatch motorcycles in WWII, the motorcycles of WWI saw action on the front lines. Motorcycles were outfitted with various sidecar mounted machine guns and placed together in motorized units called "Motor Mobile Infantry". They were also converted into ambulances, able to carry one or two wounded soldiers on stretchers adapted to sidecar frames. Like the WLA's they also were used to lead convoys, dispatch messages and general transportation behind the front lines.

Read More Courtesy of War Machines....

Tuesday, July 19th

History Behind U.S. Special Ops

1. The origin of America’s special forces can be traced all the way back to 1676.

King Philip’s War, in which Native Americans clashed with British settlers and their Indian allies, was one of the bloodiest conflicts (per capita) in #American history. In 1676, Governor Josiah Winslow of Plymouth Colony granted Captain Benjamin Church permission to form a company made up of English soldiers and Christianized Native American forces trained in the so-called “skulking way of war.” These unconventional #troops would have a decisive impact on the conflict, and constituted the first use of indigenous #forces by an American unit in a direct capacity—now a key part of #special #operations techniques.

2. The #US #Army #Special #Forces known as the #GreenBerets got their namesake headgear from a commando school in Great Britain.

During World War II, a group of elite U.S. Army Rangers trained at an intensive commando school in Scotland, run by British fighters who wore distinctive green berets. Upon graduation from the program, which included stringent training in mountaineering, river crossings and field survival, the soldiers were rewarded with the same berets. Though the U.S. Army did not authorize them to wear the berets at the time, those who earned the beret wore it secretly while they were in the field, separated from conventional forces.

3. President John F. Kennedy played a key role in the history of the Green Berets, and is a particular hero of the Army Special Forces.

In 1961, when President Kennedy was preparing to travel to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, he sent word to Brigadier General William Yarborough for all Army Special Forces soldiers to wear their green berets for his visit. In advance of the visit, the U.S. Army officially authorized the beret as part of the Special Forces uniform, and Yarborough greeted the president wearing his own green beret. Kennedy continued his support for the Special Forces in 1962, calling the green beret “a symbol of excellence, a badge of courage, a mark of distinction in the fight for freedom.” To this day, Army Special Forces lay a wreath and a green beret on the late president’s grave every November 22, the anniversary of his 1963 assassination.

Read More Courtesy of History....

Tuesday, July 5th

American Traditions!

Thousands of spectators lined the streets of Hillsboro Monday morning for the city's #FourthofJuly parade.

The annual #IndependenceDay event featured as many pieces of candy (thrown) as flags (waved). The parade, which snaked through the city's #downtown area, was put on by the #Hillsboro Rotary Club.

Scroll the gallery for a look at the festivities.

Read More Courtesy of Oregon Live...

Friday, July 1st

Independence Day

The #USConstitution established America’s national #government and #fundamental laws, and guaranteed certain basic rights for its citizens. It was signed on September 17, 1787, by delegates to the #ConstitutionalConvention in Philadelphia, presided over by George Washington. Under America’s first governing document, the Articles of Confederation, the national government was weak and states operated like independent countries. At the 1787 convention, delegates devised a plan for a stronger federal government with three branches–executive, legislative and judicial–along with a system of checks and balances to ensure no single branch would have too much power. The #BillofRights -10 amendments guaranteeing basic individual protections such as freedom of speech and religion–became part of the Constitution in 1791. To date, there have been a total of 27 constitutional amendments.


At age 81, Pennsylvania’s #BenjaminFranklin (1706-90) was the oldest delegate, while the majority of the delegates were in their 30s and 40s. Political leaders not in attendance at the convention included Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) and John Adams (1735-1826), who were serving as #US ambassadors in Europe. John Jay (1745-1829), Samuel Adams (1722-1803) and John Hancock (1737-93) were also absent from the convention. Virginia’s Patrick Henry (1736-99) was chosen to be a delegate but refused to attend the convention because he didn’t want to give the central government more power, fearing it would endanger the rights of states and individuals.


In 1789, Madison, then a member of the newly established U.S. House of Representatives, introduced 19 amendments to the Constitution. On September 25, 1789, Congress adopted 12 of the amendments and sent them to the states for ratification. Ten of these amendments, known collectively as the Bill of Rights, were ratified and became part of the Constitution on December 10, 1791. The Bill of Rights guarantees individuals certain basic protections as citizens, including freedom of speech, religion and the press; the right to bear and keep arms; the right to peaceably assemble; protection from unreasonable search and seizure; and the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury. For his contributions to the drafting of the Constitution, as well as its ratification, Madison became known as “Father of the Constitution.”

Read More Courtesy of History....

Monday, June 20th

WW2 Veteran POW Medal Recipient

It was a long time to wait, but judging by the smile as bright as the shiny Prisoner of War Medal pinned to his black fleece jacket on Sunday at the Veterans Home at Union Grove, Ellington was thankful for the belated recognition.

"It's about time," said Ellington, 91.

Ellington was on his fifth mission as a waist gunner on a B-17 crew when the bomber was hit by German anti-aircraft flak on April 13, 1944. With the plane's fuel tanks damaged and control cables severed, the crew couldn't make it back to the home base in England, so the pilot turned toward neutral Switzerland.

Because Switzerland was not an enemy combatant, downed allied airmen such as Ellington were housed in resort towns far from the country's borders. Switzerland was obligated to detain Allied troops, while soldiers and airmen were obligated to escape to return to their units.

Which is exactly what Ellington did.


Wednesday, May 4th

Proud of The Red, White, & Blue!

Here are selected images from the 2015 #MilitaryPhotographer of the Year contest. Held every year at the Defense Information School in Fort Meade, Md., the contest recognizes outstanding work from #USmilitary photographers.

As described by the Department of Defense: "More than 2,432 photos were entered into the annual competition, called the Visual Information Awards Program. This program celebrates the work of photographers, videographers, journalists, mass communication specialists and graphic artists serving in the different branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. Staff Sgt. Kenny Holston, USAF was named this year's Military Photographer of the Year."

Soldiers with 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, participate in a #tankshoot rehearsal as preparation for a live-fire tank shoot at Novo Selo Training Area, Bulgaria, June 24. Transported as part of a tank section from Germany to Bulgaria, the Abrams tank will be used by soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, alongside Bulgarian soldiers from the 6th Brigade Battle Group, during a live-fire exercise during Operation Speed and Power during Kabile 15 as part of Atlantic Resolve-South. Operation Speed and Power is a joint training exercise which demonstrates U.S. Army Europe's preparedness to deliver strategic effect in Atlantic Resolve-South by showcasing the freedom of movement to maneuver and fire M1A2 Abrams anywhere along the Eastern Flank. This ability enables the NATO allies to defend themselves against all threats, and shows that the alliance remains ready to defend itself anywhere at any time. (Photo taken with video camera) [Sgt. Alan Brutus]

#USMarines with 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division participate in a tug of war competition during warrior night at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., July 1, 2015. Warrior night is an annual event held to build camaraderie in the battalion.

U.S. Air Force Combat Control trainees assigned to Operating Location C, 342nd Training Squadron, laugh with each other while sharing a meal ready to eat during a long day of training Feb. 13, 2015. Working as a team and keeping morale high within the unit is vital to each Airman's success as they push through training. At the 342nd TRS both CCT and Special Operations Weather Team trainees go through four months of grueling tactical and class room training.

Read More Courtesy of Tampa Bay...

Tuesday, March 15th

The Gulf War Unfolds

Operation Desert Storm kicked off 24 years ago on Jan. 17, 1991.

The #GulfWar officially lasted from August 2, 1990 to February 28, 1991. It consisted of two phases; #OperationDesertShield and Operation Desert Storm. Desert Shield was the #codename used for the part leading to the buildup of #troops and defense of Saudi Arabia and Desert Storm was the combat phase by the coalition forces against Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.

15,000 Western civilians – including 3,000 Americans – living in Kuwait were rounded up and taken to Baghdad as hostages. In this YouTube screen capture, 5-year-old Briton, Stuart Lockwood refuses Saddam Hussein’s invitation to sit on his knee … Awkward. 700,000 American troops were deployed to the war; that’s more than 2015’s entire population of Nashville, TN.

Desert Storm was the largest #military alliance since World War II; 34 nations led by the United States waged war in response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. #Americantroops prepared for every scenario since Iraq was known for employing chemical weapons in the past. Untested in combat, Desert Storm would be the first time the M1 Abrams tank saw action; 1,848 of them were deployed to the war.

Read More Courtesy of We Are The Mighty...

Thursday, March 10th

American Ingenuity at its Finest

The #V22osprey is a joint service multirole #combat #aircraft utilizing tiltrotor #technology to combine the vertical performance of a #helicopter with the speed and range of a fixed-wing aircraft. With its #rotors in vertical position, it can take off, land and hover like a helicopter. Once airborne, it can convert to a #turbopropairplane capable of high-speed, high-altitude flight. This combination results in global reach capabilities that allow the V-22 to fill an operational niche unlike any other aircraft.

Optimizing readiness of the Osprey fleet around the globe is one of Boeing’s many missions. From performance-based logistics contracting and integrated fleet support to vertical lift maintenance, modifications and repairs, Boeing provides a broad spectrum of innovative products and services which directly support and enhance capabilities while reducing total cost of ownership. These award-winning services range from transactional spares to complete lifecycle support solutions that are uniquely tailored to the requirements of each V-22 customer.

V-22 Osprey Quick Facts:

Meets U.S. Navy requirements for combat search and rescue, fleet logistics support, and special warfare support. Matches the U.S. Special Operations Command’s requirement for a high-speed, long-range, vertical lift aircraft. Can be stored aboard an aircraft carrier or assault ship because the rotors can fold and the wings rotate. Has air-to-air refueling capability, the cornerstone of the ability to self-deploy. Watch the Smithsonian Channel’s piece on the V-22, ‘Air warriors: An extremely risky mission in enemy territory’. Watch the Smithsonian Channel’s piece, ‘Air warriors: Ospreys quickly take down a Taliban warlord’

Read More Courtesy of Boeing...

Wednesday, March 9th

USO's Woman Of The Year

ARLINGTON, Va. (Army News Service, Dec. 8, 2011) -- Lt. Gen. Patricia D. Horoho, the first nurse and #firstwoman appointed, became the #Armys43rdsurgeongeneral Dec. 7 in a ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. She was nominated to the position by President Barack Obama May 10 and was later approved by the Senate. She succeeds Lt. Gen. Eric B. Schoomaker, who will retire in January.

"Over the past decade, #Army #medicine has led the joint health effort in the most austere environments." Horoho said. "As part of the most decisive and capable land force in the world, we stand ready to adapt." A decade of this war, she said, has left a fighting force with both physical and psychological scars. "We are dedicated to identifying and caring for those Soldiers who have sustained psychological and physical trauma associated with an Army engaged in a protracted war," she said, adding that the war fighter does not stand alone.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, who passed the U.S. Army Medical Command flag to Horoho in a ceremony Dec. 5 at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, promoted her to lieutenant general and administered the oath to swear her in as the Army's top medical officer."The Army cannot provide trained and ready forces to the nation without our talented medical professionals and leaders. In everything we do, we rely on medical command and the surgeon general to set the vision for this community and have the courage to carry it out," Odierno said. Horoho has commanded the Army Nurse Corps since 2008, when she received a rare two-grade promotion from colonel to major general.

Read More Courtesy of Army...

Thursday, February 18th

Navy's Newest Combat Ship

The #USNavy newest combat ship, the #USSLittleRock slid into the waters of #MarinetteMarineShipyard in Wisconsin on Saturday morning.

In the #launch ceremony, speakers said the 378-foot-long, 3,000-ton littoral #combatship with only a 13-foot draft is ideal for the missions the Navy faces in shallow waters around Pacific Rim, where the Navy is increasing presence as it keeps an eye on China, which is expanding its naval forces and its presence in the South China Sea.

#Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said the launching of the Little Rock is emblematic of the Navy's commitment to have a fleet of 304 ships by the end of the decade, enough to maintain a strong presence in all the world's waters. That presence means "being where it counts, when it counts," Mabus said Saturday. "That presence reassure allies, it deters potential foes."

LCS #ships are designed with what the Navy calls "mission modules," which can be switched out quickly according to assigned tasks. The ships have a core crew of around 50 with accommodations for 97 sailors, depending on the mission. LCS vessels come in two variants, the monohull Freedom class and the trimaran Independence class. Freedom-class ships hold odd hull numbers. Ships of the Independence class hold are designated by even hull numbers.

Read More Courtesy of CNN..

Monday, February 15th

Triumph for Military Heroes

Timmy O'Neill is guiding Steve Baskis through ancient #yellowpines that almost touch the sky. They're #hiking all day to base camp in California's #YosemiteNationalPark, 2,000 feet up in Little Yosemite Valley.

Taking Baskis by the hand, O'Neill traces the distant ridge of #HalfDome a bald rock rising almost a mile from the valley floor. That's tomorrow's challenge.

Baskis can't actually see the peak. Four years ago, a bomb blast in #Iraq took his eyesight. So O'Neill is guiding Baskis along the trail, providing directions and warning him away from steep drops. When they reach the base camp, O'Neill guides Baskis right into the Merced River for a bracing dip.

Much of the nation marked the 12th anniversary of Sept. 11 with the reading of victims' names or moments of silence. But Baskis and a group of 18 fellow veterans commemorated the date in a less solemn way — by climbing two peaks at Yosemite.

O'Neill is a pretty famous rock climber. He's co-founder of an adaptive-climbing nonprofit called Paradox Sports, which helps people with disabilities enjoy outdoor activities. The #veteransclimbs of Half Dome and El Capitan are this year's highlights.

Read More Courtesy of NPR...

Monday, February 15th

Mountaineering Veterans

Working with #USmilitaryveterans is where #Paradox began. Paradox #Veterans is a series of backpacking, mountaineering, river rafting, and #rockclimbing trips specifically designed to #empower injured veterans as they reintegrate back into civilian life. Our first veterans-specific ascent took place on September 11, 2012 when we summited the Grand Teton with a team of injured veterans. In 2013, we expanded our veterans trips to include #MtRainier and #YosemiteNationalPark. In 2014 and 2015 we have expanded the program again to include multiple outdoor experiences. For our adaptive veteran specific programming, Paradox Sports focuses on #militarymembers who have a physical disability or injury.

Steve Baskis, a 27-year-old veteran who was permanently blinded by a bomb in 2008 while serving in Iraq, charges up Half Dome during our Yosemite Veterans Ascent on Sept. 11. Baskis has climbed mountains all over the world, including the 20,000-foot Mount Lobuche in the Himalayas. Photo by Victor Henderson

2015 Paradox Veterans Schedule & Applications*
July 1-6: Mt. Rainier, WA – Mountaineering, commemorating July 4th (registration closed).
July 15-20: Grand Teton, WY – Rock Climbing (Registration closed.)
Sept 9-12: Yosemite, CA – Rock Climbing and Hiking commemorating Sept 11th (APPLICATION HERE)
Sept 23-27: Location TBD – Wilderness Backpacking (tentative date)

Read More Courtesy of Paradox Sports...

Monday, February 15th

Submarine Life

“The #training #submariners go through is so unique compared to other #warfare specialties. After one year of #NukeSchool and Operations Training, officers spend a few months at Submarine School. Enlisted nukes don’t go to #SubmarineSchool but everyone else does.

Apparently these multi-billion dollar machines aren’t designed to just push around a reactor underwater. So Submarine School is your crash course in how to drive a sub, sonar, contact tracking, damage control, flooding response, firefighting, weapon systems. Everyone on board is trained to fight flooding. Everyone is an amateur firefighter. Everyone on board is trained on the basics of every system on board. Even a cook knows how fission works. Even a nuke knows a bit about navigation.

A fast attack #deployment goes at least six months. The longest I went between port calls was over 50 days. A port call could be a few days or a few weeks. Usually in the middle of a deployment there’s a two or three week extended call with one of the submarine tenders to do some repairs and fix anything that’s broken.

In addition to deployment, the ship is underway all the time. There’s always an inspection to train for or you just go out and maintain proficiency. Submarines also have extended refit periods. Complex repairs are performed, new equipment is installed, some ships get a new reactor core halfway through ship’s life. All this takes a lot of time, from weeks to many months."

Read More Courtesy of Foxtrot Alpha...

Thursday, February 11th

Cold War Behind The Scenes

The end of #WorldWarll set the stage for the #Cold War, the #struggle between #communism and #capitalism that pitted East against West and pushed the world to the brink of #nuclearwar. The Crimean resort town of Yalta was the setting for an #historical meeting of British, U.S. and Soviet leaders--Winston Churchill, #FranklinDRoosevelt and Josef Stalin--in February 1945. With the defeat of Nazi #Germany imminent, the Big Three #allies agreed to jointly govern postwar Germany, while Stalin pledged fair open elections in Poland.

In 1955, the #WarsawPact was organized, creating a #militaryalliance of communist nations in Eastern Europe that inclided Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania and the Soviet Union. Here, the Soviet Army marches during May Day celebrations in 1954.

Hovering #USArmy #helicopters pour #machinegun fire into the tree line to cover the advance of South Vietnamese ground troops in an attack on a Viet Cong camp northwest of Saigon, near the Cambodian border, in March 1965. The Vietnam War lasted nearly a decade and left more than 58,000 Americans dead.

#Soviettroops cross the Soviet-Afghan border along the bridge over the Amu Darya river near the town of Termez, Uzbekistan, during their withdrawal from Afghanistan on February 6, 1989. The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979 as communist Bebrak Karmal seized control of the government. U.S.-backed Muslim guerrilla fighters waged a costly war against the Soviets for nearly a decade.

Read More Courtesy of CNN...

Thursday, February 4th

Capturing The Korean War

More than 5.7 million #Americans served in the #KoreanWar from 1950 to 1953. The #USDepartmentofDefense chronicled our country's involvement through photographs, a collection of which found its way into the #care of local Korean War #veteran Betty Perkins-Carpenter. Now, #PerkinsCarpenter would like to pass on these original photos, which remain in excellent quality, to the men and women pictured in them or their families.

The Democrat and Chronicle has teamed up with Kodak Alaris to share the photos with a wide audience. Digital files scanned by Kodak Alaris have been used to create this Web site. We invite you to browse the gallery and — if you have ties to the Korean War — to keep an eye open for people or places you might recognize. You can search the gallery for a name, hometown, battle or date by using the search bar below. Click a photo to view it in a larger format and access a link to email Perkins-Carpenter to inquire about a photo.

All of the #photographs were taken during the early months of the Korean War in the summer of 1950.

The objective of this project is to connect these photos with the soldiers featured in them or their families. Making these connections is a labor of love for a small, collaborative team led by Perkins-Carpenter, Ph.D., of Penfield, NY.

Read More Courtesy of Democrat & Chronicle...

Wednesday, February 3rd

The Impressive Lockheed C-5 Galaxy

The #LockheedC5Galaxy has the largest lift capacity of any #US transport aircraft, and the 3rd largest in the world. It is able to carry 122 tons on 2 decks, lower deck for #cargo and the upper deck has seating for 73 passengers. It is a monster, but that is hard to put into perspective.

A C-5 Galaxy can hold 10 light #armored vehicles, which at 12 tons each, aren't very light at all. But lets get a bit more ambitious. An Apache #helicopter #gunship is formidable #weapon of war, and the C-5 can carry 6 of them. But empty of fuel and munitions they are fairly light, so lets get heavy. An M1 Abrams main battle tank weighs 67 tons, and this #monster #aircraft can carry two of them. Or 1 Abrams and 2 Bradley IFVs. That's all well and good, but what if you want a transport aircraft in your transport aircraft?

The C-5 can swallow an entire Chinook transport helicopter inside it. But what if you want to transport 30mm depleted uranium shells at 1000+m/s into enemy armour? Then you'll need one of these. A Galaxy can carry an A-10 Warthog, abet with the wings and tail detached, to wherever you need it to be. But an A-10 is pretty slow, so what if you want to go fast?

An F-14 is quite a bit faster than an A-10, and can fit nicely in the C-5's belly. But just in case you need to bail out over the water, it might be a good idea to bring a boat. A Mark 5 Special Operations boat might be what you want. An entire boat is impressive, but for the finale we need to go really meta...

Read More Courtesy of Imgur...

Wednesday, February 3rd

Leading Stealth Supper Hornet

During three weeks of flight testing the #AdvancedSuperHornet #Boeing and partner #NorthropGrumman demonstrated improvements that make the jet much harder for radar to detect and give it significantly more #combat range.

Through 21 flights in St. Louis and Patuxent River, Md., that began Aug. 5, the team tested conformal fuel tanks (CFT), an enclosed weapons pod (EWP), and signature enhancements, each of which can be affordably retrofitted on an existing #BlockIISuperHornet #aircraft or included on a new jet.

“We continually insert new capabilities into today’s highly capable, already stealthy Super Hornet, and the Advanced Super Hornet is the next phase of this technology evolution,” said Debbie Rub, Boeing Global Strike vice president and general manager.

Improvements to the aircraft’s radar signature, including the enclosed pod, resulted in a 50 percent reduction compared with the #U.S. Navy’s stealth requirement for the current Super Hornet variant. The tests also showed that the CFTs increase the jet’s combat radius by up to 130 nautical miles, for a total combat radius of more than 700 nautical miles.

Read More Courtesy of Flight Story...

Tuesday, January 5th

Destruction Hits Pearl Harbor

With the premiere of the ten part HBO miniseries, The Pacific, produced by Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg and Gary Goetzman, World War II has again come into the living rooms of American families. The Pacific, the follow-up to Band of Brothers, will focus on the US Marines in the Pacific Theater of the war.

The below collection focuses on The Pacific War, a term referring to parts of World War II that took place in the Pacific Ocean, the islands of the Pacific and the Far East. The start of The Pacific War is generally considered to be the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941. The Pacific War pitted the Allies against the Empire of Japan and culminated with the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August of 1945, Victory over Japan Day on August 15, 1945 and the official surrender of Japan aboard the battleship U.S.S. Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945.

December 7, 1941: The battleship USS Arizona belches smoke as it topples over into the sea during a Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The ship sank with more than 80 percent of its 1,500-man crew. The attack, which left 2,343 Americans dead and 916 missing, broke the backbone of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and forced America out of a policy of isolationism. President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced that it was "a date which will live in infamy" and Congress declared war on Japan the morning after.

Aug. 7, 1942: Members of the crew of a U.S. Destroyer get a good look at a Japanese twin-motored bomber shot down by U.S. aircraft near Tulagi in the first day of fighting for possession of the southern Solomon Islands. One third of the end of the fuselage was shot off. Barely discernible above the waves, one member of the crew of the plane clings to the starboard wing.

Read More Courtesy of Blogs Denver Post...

Tuesday, January 5th

Victory on D-Day

Original color photographs of the #DDay invasion of #Normandy during World War II. From British and #Americansoldiers preparing for the invasion in England to German prisoners being marched through the streets after France’s liberation, these images are some of the only color photographs taken during the war. This set of photographs is primarily from the German Galerie Bilderwelt, part of Getty Image’s exclusive Hulton Archive collection.

Some of the first American soldiers to attack the German defenses in #HigginsBoats (LCVPs) approach #OmahaBeach near Normandy, France on June 6, 1944. Plastic covers protect the soldier's weapons against from the water. (Photo by Robert F. Sargent, U.S. Coast Guard/Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images) Photo by Add this to feed

#BritishNavyLandingCrafts (LCA-1377) carry #UnitedStatesArmy Rangers to a ship near Weymouth in Southern England on June 1, 1944. British soldiers can be seen in the conning station. For safety measures, U.S. Rangers remained consigned on board English ships for five days prior to the invasion of Normandy, France. (Photo by Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images) Photo by Add this to feed

Private Clyde Peacock, 1st Military Police (MP) Platoon of the 1st #InfantryDivision of the United States Army in June 1944 in Dorset, United Kingdom. The 1st Division was one of the two divisions that stormed Omaha Beach on D-Day suffering high casualties. (Photo by Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images) Photo by Add this to feed

Read More Courtesy of Blog Denver Post...

Tuesday, January 5th

Noble SEAL Team Member

Thom Shea was a #NavySEAL (Sea, Air & Land) for 23 years. Special Operator, Chief SEAL Shea did three tours (approximately six months each) with #SEALTeam Two in Kosovo, Macedonia and the Gulf, as well as two tours with SEAL Team Seven in Iraq and Afghanistan. During his #military career he served in three wars, ultimately leading a team of Navy SEALs into Afghanistan in 2009 where he earned a Silver Star, Bronze Star with Valor, Army Commendation with Valor and his second Combat Action Medal. He was hand-selected to serve as Officer in Charge of the famed #SEALSniper course from 2009 to 2011.

Having retired early this year, Thom has many great stories of trial and tribulation; sadness and sorrow; triumph and celebration; risk, sacrifice, courage and valor. As Thom shared with me, there really is a #brotherhood of #Americanmilitary and SEALS in particular. These guys don't leave each others' sides. They're not afraid to die for their country. They don't flinch from a fight. And they don't whine or brag. In other words, they are real men amongst men.

Let me set the stage for the story Thom wants to tell. It's Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan by the Pakistan border in July of 2009. Blisteringly hot around the clock; dusty beyond belief with a terrain that makes the moon look smooth, this troubling land was riven with enemy fighters filled with hatred for America. Thom and his six other SEALs have received orders to rescue another Special Forces team cornered by presumed Taliban forces in a mountainous region of that malignant, impregnable country. This was Bravo Platoon, SEAL Team Seven at their best.

Read More Courtesy of Hiffington Post...

Tuesday, January 5th

Flying High

Two #B2Spirit bombers and four #F15EStrikeEagles are parked inside Hangar 1 at #AnderseAirForceBase Guam, Aug. 6. The aircraft were moved into the hangar in preparation for a tropical storm that was expected to reach Guam that day. This was the first time the six #aircraft had been parked in the hangar, proving to base officials that the hangar could accommodate the aircraft, and aiding in future tropical storm and typhoon planning. The two bombers are deployed to the 13th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron from the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman AFB, Mo. The fighters are deployed to the 90th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron from the 3rd Wing at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration/Tech. Sgt. Mikal Canfield)

General Ronald E. Keys, Air Combat Command commander, said the #AirForce is looking to get a next-generation long-range bomber by 2018. The command is funded for a new bomber, he said during his presentation Sept. 26 at the Air Force Association's Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition in Washington D.C. Meanwhile, the current bomber fleet, including this B-2 Spirit, flying over the St. Louis Arch, will continue to be a mainstay in the war on terrorism. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Justin D. Pyle)

A #flightdeckcrewmember guides an #F-14D “Tomcat” assigned to the “Bounty Hunters” of Fighter Squadron Two (VF-2) onto one of four steam driven catapults on the ship’s flight deck. This is the last cruise for the Bounty Hunters, as their squadron will be decommissioned along with the Constellation after this deployment. Constellation is on a regularly scheduled six-month deployment conducting combat missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Richard Moore.

Read More Courtesy of Military Jet Fighters...

Tuesday, January 5th

Tanks That Won WW2

The #M18Hellcat was an #American #tank destroyer of World War II. Armed with a #76mmcannon the vehicle was the fastest tracked, armored fighting vehicle during #WorldWarII with a top speed up to 60 mph (92 kph), and Buick nicknamed it the Hellcat. The speed was attained by keeping armor to a minimum, no more than one inch thick. Hellcat crews took advantage of the vehicle’s speed to minimize the enemy’s ability to pierce its thin armor. Hellcats were used to penetrate the sides and back of the heavily armored Tiger and Panther tanks used by the Germans.

Used in the Italian and European theatres, the Hellcat, along with the Sherman Firefly and M10 Wolverine, provided #Alliedforces with a respectable mobile #antitank capability against the newer German armored types. Buick production lines have been rolling for 110 consecutive years but for a short period during World War II, the vehicles produced looked decidedly different. In February 1942, the last civilian car left a Buick facility before full attention was placed on engineering and producing aircraft engines, ammunition and the M18 Hellcat Tank Destroyer.

The M18, originated in the design studio of Harley Earl, whose team also worked extensively on early camouflage paint. Earl’s staff designed even the Hellcat logo and patches worn by its crew. Flanked by the words “Seek, Strike, Destroy,” it depicts a wildcat biting down on crushed treads, signifying the Hellcat’s mission of targeting enemy tanks.

Read More Courtesy of War History Online...

Tuesday, January 5th

The Fall of Saigon

(AP) Today, April 30th, marks the 35th Anniversary of the fall of Saigon, when communist North Vietnamese forces drove tanks through the former U.S.-backed capital of South Vietnam, smashing through the Presidential Palace gates. The fall of Saigon marked the official end of the Vietnam War and the decadelong U.S. campaign against communism in Southeast Asia. The conflict claimed some 58,000 American lives and an estimated 3 million Vietnamese.

The war left divisions that would take years to heal as many former South Vietnamese soldiers were sent to Communist re-education camps and hundreds of thousands of their relatives fled the country.

In Vietnam, today is called Liberation Day and the government staged a parade down the former Reunification Boulevard that featured tank replicas and goose-stepping soldiers in white uniforms. Some 50,000 party cadres, army veterans and laborers gathered for the spectacle, many carrying red and gold Vietnamese flags and portraits of Ho Chi Minh, the father of Vietnam’s revolution. In a reminder of how the Communist Party retains a strong grip on the flow of information despite the opening of the economy, foreign journalists were forbidden from conducting interviews along the parade route. The area was sealed off from ordinary citizens, apparently due to security concerns.

Read More Courtesy of Blogs Denver Post...

Tuesday, January 5th

Honoring an American Hero

This is a stunning time-lapse video of the launch of a new Arleigh Burke-class Navy destroyer, the Ralph Johnson (DDG 114). The complexities and the skills involved in such an operation are clearly seen in this video, and they are matched by the efficiency with which they are accomplished. The video has an eerily beautiful quality to it as you watch the passage of time from day to night and back to day again. Watch the strange ballet of the cranes as they keep changing positions against the night sky. Then, with the dawn, you'll see the launch and the tugs and spotter boats moving around her like worker bees.

This destroyer is named after PFC Ralph Henry Johnson, a Recon Marine. He was born in Charleston, SC, on January 11, 1949. He enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve at Oakland, CA, on March 23, 1967. He was discharged from the Reserves so that he could enlist in the regular Marine Corps on July 2, 1967. When he arrived in Vietnam in January 1968, he was 19 years old. On March 5, 1968, he served with Alpha Co., 1st Recon Batallion, 1st Marine Division.

His 15 man reconnaissance team was manning a position on Hill 146 overlooking the Quan Duc Valley during Operation Rock when they were attacked by combined North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong forces. When a grenade suddenly fell into his three-man fighting hole he shouted a warning and dove onto the grenade. His body absorbed the majority of the fierce force of the explosion. He was killed instantly. For his action that day he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor on April 10, 1970. The medal's citation read, in part:

Read and Watch More Courtesy of Blog The Veterans Site...

Tuesday, December 29th

Lending a Hand to Military Families

This #militarykid is not crazy about dealing with the holidays. Now don’t get me wrong, I love #Christmas and New Year’s! Lots of nice people and “Good Cheer.”

But when you’re a military kid it can be tough. Your parent can be #deployed or one or more of your brothers won’t be home because of leave or deployment. It can be really challenging to get in the spirit.

So, my family has come up with some “awesometacullar” ways of still having traditions, not your normal ones but they are Richards’ military family ones. FYI, these are traditions that can usually change from year to year (Haha).

My favorite part about Christmas when I was little, was having everyone home to decorate the tree and have hot chocolate while listening to really old Christmas music. My older brothers are a bunch of comedians. So, it was always loud and lots of laughter. I think being a military kid taught me that you can still celebrate and be jolly even if things aren’t the way you remember or want them to be.

Our family has many new traditions when it comes to Christmas. We get our iPads and phones into the living room and then FaceTime whichever brothers can’t be home. We turn on the Christmas music LOUD so they can hear it.

Read More Courtesy of Operation Home Front...

Tuesday, December 29th

U.S. Navy Answers Cry For Help

The amphibious transport dock ship #USSSanAntonio helped #rescue nearly 130 migrants from a raft that was being rocked by high #waves off the coast of Malta, in an area where hundreds of migrants died when their boat capsized.

The ship was about 60 nautical miles away when the U.S. 6th Fleet headquarters in Naples, Italy, responding to a distress call from Maltese authorities, directed it to respond. A Maltese patrol aircraft had spotted the raft.

The San Antonio was recently in the news for holding Abu Anas al-Libi, who was captured in Libya during a U.S. special operations raid on Oct. 5. Interrogators reportedly questioned Al-Libi for about a week aboard the ship. He’s now in New York to stand trial on charges he helped plan and conduct surveillance for the bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998.

The ship used two 11-man rigid hull inflatable boats to bring the stranded migrants, all men between the ages of 20 and 30, on board, according to a Navy news release. The crew provided food, water and medical attention. There were no deaths on the raft.

Read More Courtesy of Stripes...

Tuesday, December 29th

Super Hornet Recovered

Taken on Jul. 22, 2015 the following interesting pictures feature #U.S.NavyDivers and #ExplosiveOrdnanceDisposal (EOD) technicians, assigned to Commander, Task Group (CTG) 56.1, successfully salvaging an F/A-18F #SuperHornet lost at sea aboard USNS Catawba (T-ATF 168).

Noteworthy this #aircraft was lost because of a mechanical failure suffered by one of its engines and its #salvage will allow a close inspection on the engine that failed.This F/A-18F (AB 210, BuNo 166814) was assigned to the “Fighting Checkmates” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 211 and crashed in the Arabian Gulf on May 12, 2015 shortly after its launch from the aircraft carrier #USSTheodoreRoosevelt (CVN-71).

The #aircrew ejected safely and was recovered by USS Theodore Roosevelt search and rescue personnel.

Read More Courtesy of The Aviationist...

Tuesday, December 29th

Honoring Americas Heroes

#MemorialDay, sometimes called Decoration Day, began at the end of the Civil War. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers died during the War Between the States. Shortly after the war, women, freedmen, and #veterans took time to visit the gravesites of those who had died in battle. Some even created #monuments to honor their commanders. An early #CivilWarmemorial was created by men under the leadership of Brigadier General Strong Vincent, whose brigade defended #LittleRoundTop at the #BattleofGettysburg.

These observances were first followed by organizations and local communities. In 1971, Memorial Day became a national holiday by act of Congress. By this time, the remembrance had also grown to include those who died in all American wars.

To honor the memory of these fallen soldiers, national cemeteries such as #Gettysburg National Cemetery and #ArlingtonNationalCemetery have been created. The locations of some cemeteries are the actual places where soldiers died. For example, there are American cemeteries around the world to honor the heroes who never made it back to their homeland.

Read More Courtesy of Memorial Day...

Tuesday, December 29th

Soldier Care Packages

We know care packages = SMILES, and we just love seeing smiles like these! Don’t you? Our troops work hard all year long, and during the holiday season it must be more difficult than ever to be away from loved ones and the comforts of home.

Now through November 17 stop by your local Peet’s to purchase and donate a 1 lb. bag of Major Dickason’s Blend. The #coffee will be donated to #OperationGratitude for our care packages and Peet’s will match that with an additional $5 donation (up to $35,000!) to help fill and send MORE care packages! We are very grateful for Peet’s generous support!

In 2012, Operation Gratitude included the very first paracord “survival” bracelets in care packages to #FirstResponders. The response was overwhelmingly positive so we decided to send them in every #carepackage we could!

One Sailor recently wrote to us:

“I have used three of your bracelets so far. The first one I gave away to a 10-year-old patient who saw it on my bag (where I kept it in plain site for anyone to use) and he put it on as just a bracelet from an ‘American’! The next time I needed one was when a stray dog entered our site and we were going to use it as a leash to get him out, but he left on his own. The second and third time I actually used the bracelets was to extend a ladder, you know one of those ladders with the pulley on it to extend it about twice its height, so our guys could put a satellite dish on a roof. Strong stuff. I actually did get that cord back, but then since it was already unraveled we ended up using it to tie shower curtains up (that we were using as visual barriers) because we ran out of shower curtain hooks! Amazing what you can do when you have a little string on you! –P.A.”

Read More Courtesy of Operation Gratitude...

Tuesday, December 29th

Arlington Nation Cemetery

#ArlingtonNationalCemetery Va. (April 26, 2010) -- A lone #Soldier stands on an open plaza, buffeted by bone-chilling wind. Twenty-one steps. Turn. Stand at attention for 21 seconds. Turn. Repeat. The sun drops. The temperature falls. The crowds depart. The Soldier continues his solitary walk.

The cemetery closes at 5 p.m., but closing brings little relief. The Soldier is only 12 hours into a 27-hour shift. He has spent every other hour marching in the bitter cold, and still has a long, frigid night of training on the plaza before he can go home at seven the next morning.

None of this fazes the Soldier, for he is a sentinel, a guard at the #TomboftheUnknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. He has one of the most sacred missions in the military, and he would walk through fire to honor and protect the fallen, #namelesssoldiers under his watch.

In the early 1920s, the modern world was still emerging, shell-shocked, from World War I. The "war to end all wars" had claimed entire countries, monarchies and an untold number of lives, many who are still nameless and faceless.

Following the examples of allies like Great Britain and France, Congress approved a resolution to ceremonially honor and bury one of America's countless unknown World War I casualties in a special tomb at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., in 1921. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was dedicated that Nov. 11-then known as Armistice Day-by President Warren G. Harding, with the inscription: "Here Rests In Honored Glory An American Soldier Known But To God."

Read More Courtesy of The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier...

Tuesday, December 29th

Welcome Home

#U.S. #AirForce Technical Sergeant Chad Boley is reunited with his family at a #surprisehomecoming prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on Nov. 10, 2013, in Avondale, Arizona. Lance Cpl. David Sellers, a refrigeration mechanic with the 24th #Marine Expeditionary Unit, embraces his wife with a kiss during the Command Element’s homecoming on July 17, 2015, at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

Members of the U.S. Army's 159th #CombatAviation Brigade, 101st #AirborneDivision embrace family members following a homecoming ceremony at Campbell Army Airfield on Sept. 1, 2014, in Fort Campbell, Kentucky.Five-year-old Gavin Shaw flashes a smile as he hugs his father, Master Sgt. Adam Shaw, during a Welcome Home Ceremony for approximately 230 4th Brigade Combat Team soldiers on Nov. 4, 2012, in Fort Carson, Colorado.

Mya McNeal is kissed by her mother, U.S. Army Sgt. Kionna Huewitt, during a homecoming ceremony for 184 troops in the 1st Armor Brigade Combat Team after a 9-month deployment to Afghanistan on July 3, 2013, at Fort Stewart, Georgia. Lynne Johnson greets her son-in-law U.S. Army Sgt. Howard Lovell during a homecoming for 184 troops with the 1st Armor Brigade Combat Team on July 3, 2013, at Fort Stewart, Georgia.

U.S. Army Spc. Clayton Joy hugs his sons Peyton, 3, left, and Austin, 2, right, as other soldiers with the 4th Stryker Brigade #Combat Team move to greet their family and friends in the early hours of Aug. 25, 2010, at a homecoming at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state. Spc. Sabrina Day, 132nd Military Police Company, South Carolina National Guard, smothers her three-year-old son Blake with hugs and kisses on Aug. 4, 2014, at Eagle Aviation in Columbia, South Carolina, upon returning from deployment to #Afghanistan.

Read More Courtesy of Huffington Post...

Tuesday, December 29th

Helping Fellow Veterans

After a 30-year career in the U.S. Navy and 10 more years working for a defense contractor, Ed Nicholson had one main goal when he retired in 2004: do lots of fly fishing.

“I planned to relax in the great outdoors doing my favorite hobby,” Mr. Nicholson says.

But just weeks after he retired, Mr. Nicholson was diagnosed with prostate cancer and ended up undergoing surgery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. His time in the hospital changed the course of not just his life, but also the lives of thousands of veterans.

“I was feeling sorry for myself and then looked around and saw so many young people with devastating injuries, people in their 20s with missing limbs, deep psychological problems and other terrible wounds,” Mr. Nicholson says. “I had to do something to help them.”

Read More Courtesy of Wall Street Journal...

Tuesday, December 29th

Empowering Veterans

#DerekWeida’s humorous, profanity-filled Internet videos on #bodybuilding and weight loss have attracted millions of viewers. The amputee #veteran has his own clothing line, and tens of thousands of people have reached out to him for diet and exercise advice.

But Weida, 29, who credits fitness with helping him break out of severe depression after an insurgent’s bullet ended his #Army career, said he would gladly give up his Web fame if he could return to active duty.

Through motivational videos and a nonprofit that helps veterans cover fitness-related expenses, Weida has found a new way to serve by trying to recreate his success for others.

“The two things that really helped me fall out of that dark period of my life was reconnecting with my veteran friends and purpose-driven fitness,” he said. “We use fitness as an alternative to alcohol and things like that. I think fitness is kind of the universal healer.”

The Next Objective, sustained by donations and “committed to empowering returning servicemembers to overcome obstacles and achieve post-military success,” has given about $16,000 in grants this year to help veterans pay for gym memberships, personal training and event sponsorships, Weida said.

Read More courtesy of Stripes...

Tuesday, December 29th

Bringing Holiday Spirit To Those Se

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md., December 5, 2015 — #MarineCorps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. launched the 2015 #USO Holiday Tour from here today with stops planned on three continents.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is bringing the USO troupe to entertain service members in Europe, Africa and Asia.

“The chairman, along with members of the 2015 USO Entertainment Troupe, will be visiting service members and their families to express the country's #gratitude for their service while deployed during the holidays in defense our nation,” said #Navy Capt. Greg Hicks, the chairman’s spokesman.

Read More Courtesy of Holiday Troop Tour...