Archive for the ‘Military’ Category

Christmas in Vietnam

December 21, 2015

“Christmas in Vietnam,” written by John Wilson and John Wessler, recorded by them as “Johnny &  Jon,” and released on Stan Lewis’s Jewel Records in 1966, during the Vietnam Conflict.

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Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-mJZ

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Rogue Blimp Attacks Pennsylvania!

November 2, 2015

Rogue Blimp Attacks Pennsylvania!
A 243-foot-long helium-filled blimp broke its tether and escaped from Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland last Wednesday and, chased by F-16 fighters, snapped some power lines before it went to ground 160 miles away in a ravine in Montour County, Pennsylvania. The $175 million surveillance “aerostat” was finally subdued by Pennsylvania state troopers with shotguns, and it’s being dismantled with chainsaws.

The pricey gasbag was part of the $2.7 billion Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System or JLENS, produced by Ratheon for the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). Two of these tethered aerostat platforms floated 10,000 in the air, protecting the airspace over Washington, DC from hostile aircraft, but they missed that Florida gyrocopter that landed on the Capitol lawn in April.

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Tropical Island Resort Property Available Soon

July 23, 2015

Tropical Island Resort Property Available Soon

A long-anticipated real estate deal is about to put eight prime parcels of tropical paradise on the market. White House press secretary Josh Earnest blabbed that the Obama Administration is finally ready to close down the Guantánamo Bay concentration camps detention centers on the sunny island of Cuba.

The canny Mr. Obama teased the deal back in 2009, but waited for the Cuban real estate market to take off, and it’s muy caliente after US normalization of relations with the island nation. There are already deals in the works for a dozen new luxury golf courses, and tourists from as far away as China are waiting for tee times.

The “Gitmo” detention centers now hold 116 inmates guests at a cost of more than $100 million (possibly $454 million) a year, so it’s plainly time to cash out and recoup costs during Cuba’s current resort development boom. The deal would look better without sitting tenants and since 106 of those 116 guests have never been charged or convicted of anything, it’s time to find them other accommodations. And why host the remaining 10 guests at an annual cost of at least $10 million each when the Government Accountability Office has found many alternatives?

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D-Day’s ‘Matchbox Fleet’

June 6, 2015

D-Day’s ‘Matchbox Fleet’

Sixty wood-hulled boats made in Brooklyn were carried across the North Atlantic to England on the decks of Liberty Ships seventy years ago. The patrol boats, each 83 feet long, were designed for anti-submarine patrol and coastal search and escort, but had been modified as rescue craft. Most had radar; some had sonar.

The group of small, wooden, gasoline-powered cutters, vulnerable to incendiary shells, was understandably nicknamed the ”Matchbox Fleet.”  On June 6, 1944, these boats crossed the English Channel as U.S. Coast Guard Rescue Flotilla One (ResFlo1), part of Operation Neptune/Overlord.

Inscription on the Rescue Flotilla 1 (The “Matchbox Fleet”) Memorial, harborside at Poole, Dorset, UK:

“From this Quay, 60 cutters of the United States Coast Guard Rescue Flotilla 1 departed for the Normandy Invasion, 6 June 1944.  These 83 foot boats, built entirely of wood, and the 840 crewmembers were credited with saving the lives of 1437 men and 1 woman.  In remembrance of the service of Rescue Flotilla 1, and with appreciation of the kindnesses of the people of Poole to the crews, this Plaque is given by the men and women of the United States Coast Guard.”

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Social Media Skirmishers

February 5, 2015

Social Media Skirmishers

The British army is creating a special force of social media soldiers to wage digital warfare. The 77th Brigade will be based at Denison Barracks near Hermitage, Berkshire and will begin operations in April. 1,500 keyboard commandos, half of them reservists, will battle on many fronts, from Facebook and Twitter to Instagram and YouTube.

 More:

“British army creates team of Facebook warriors,” Ewen MacAskill, The Guardian

“Wanted: Brit Facebook and Twitter trolls for counter-jihad psyops,” John Leyden, The Register

“The British Army Is Going to Start Fighting in the Social Media Trenches,” Lily Hay Newman, Slate

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Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-kQl

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Christmas in Vietnam

December 25, 2014

“Christmas in Vietnam,” written by John Wilson and John Wessler, recorded by them as “Johnny &  Jon,” and released on Stan Lewis’s Jewel Records in 1966.

_____________

Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-kvO

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Armistice Day

November 11, 2014

Armistice Day
This is Veterans Day in the United States. It was originally named Armistice Day and commemorated the time the agreement to stop The Great War was signed, at the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918. After World War I failed to be The War to End All Wars, the U.S. observance was officially renamed Veterans Day in 1954, probably because veterans vote and dead WWI soldiers don’t (except in Chicago), and we already have Memorial Day. Britain still commemorate the WWI Armistice and those who died to achieve it, and today is known as Remembrance Day in Commonwealth nations.

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Local Notable Promoted

September 7, 2014

Local Notable Promoted

Capitol Hill resident Chesty XIV (above), U.S. Marine Corps mascot, was recently promoted to Corporal. Be sure to congratulate the handsome canine Non-Com when you see him strolling along Barracks Row.

More:

“Marines’ Chesty XIV Promoted to Corporal, Despite Taste for Snacks,” Julian E. Barnes, Wall Street Journal

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Short link:  http://wp.me/p6sb6-jTr

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Laptop of Doom

August 31, 2014

Laptop of Doom

A unit from a moderate Syrian rebel force raided an ISIS hideout earlier this year and found a Dell laptop. It appears to have belonged to a former Tunisian university student who dropped out to fight for the Islamic State in Syria. Documents hidden on the hard drive indicated the owner was trying to teach himself how to weaponize bubonic plague.

Is this an active threat? It sounds pretty grave, but this is a drop-out we’re talking about …

More:

“Found: The Islamic State’s Terror Laptop of Doom,” Harald Doornbos and Jenan Moussa, Foreign Policy

“Recovered ISIS Laptop Reveals Terror Group’s Bio-Warfare Plans,” Andrew Tarantola, Gizmodo

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Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-jQt

Image (“Blogging the Dunes, after René Péan) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Feathered Heroes of D-Day

June 9, 2014

Feathered Heroes of D-Day

On D-Day, June 6, 1944, the Allied forces invading Nazi-occupied Normandy made use of the latest electronic technology. So how did the Allies learn of the invasion’s progress? Carrier pigeon.

Gustav (pigeon ­NPS.42.31066) flew 230 miles across the English Channel from a ship off Normandy to carry home the first D-Day news. Paddy (pigeon number NPS.43.9451), an Irish-born RAF messenger pigeon, flew 230 miles across the Channel in four hours and fifty minutes with updates. Both birds were later awarded the Dinkin Medal for bravery, the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross. 32 birds received the Dinkin, an indication of the importance of these sturdy birds to the war effort. Try and remember that the next time their civilian cousins decorate your car.

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