Thursday, May 31, 2007

Excalibur Unsheathed in Iraq

The Weekly Standard entertains me with this little piece about not Arthur, King of the Briton's sword, but a GPS guided artillery shell.

Artillery Gets Smart, Mortars Still Dumb
reports today on the "first combat firing of a 155 mm
precision artillery shell in Iraq." The shell, the XM982 Excalibur, was fired at
an al Qaeda safe house earlier this month:
Standing on a rooftop some 700 meters from the safehouse with his fire support team, Clausen [commander of the 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment] said he witnessed two consecutive rounds penetrate the target: “Never in my wildest imagination as a field artilleryman did I expect to see two consecutive rounds go through a roof into a house and have the effects that we needed to destroy that particular target.”
It all sounds very impressive--Clausen adds, "We’re looking to
improve efficiency in everything we do. Precision means you need fewer rounds,
and fewer man hours in moving large numbers of rounds...That’s how you cut the
logistics tail.”
Precision guided artillery has a short history. The Army developed a laser guided 155mm projectile called
Copperhead in the 1980s, and the round was used in combat in the first Gulf War. But the Copperhead was expensive, and laser targeting
requires a high cloud deck and a soldier on the ground to illuminate the
target--it wasn't ideal and the program was killed. But Excalibur may finally
give the Army the guided munition it's been looking for.
Still, not everyone's convinced. This morning I spoke with Stuart Koehl, a military analyst at Johns Hopkins University's Center for Transatlantic Relations, who called the strike "a stunt, because they didn't have to use an artillery round, they could
have used an airplane--it would have been a lot cheaper." I also spoke with
WEEKLY STANDARD contributor Tom Donnelly, who said that, "without being
dismissive, I would kind of agree....We're hardly suffering from a want of
firepower in Iraq." But's John Pike took the opposite view--"JDAM [the GPS guided Joint Direct Attack Munition] is widely regarded as having
revolutionized aerial warfare, and things like Excalibur, I think, have the
potential to do that with artillery."

The rest of the article is HERE

I never fail to get a laugh out of these guys who say, "why do we need this or that, we'll have a jet do that." People who say things like that have never tried to get a jet when you really need one.

The ground commander controls his arty, and he can fire his arty pretty much when and where he wants. I'm also pretty sure a 155mm gun is a hell of a lot cheeper than an F-22 or F-35 and easier to maintain as well...not nearly as sexy though... and in the end we all know that's what really counts.

For more stuff written by guys who never met a fast jet they didn't like I suggest you try this website

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

All The News That's Not Fit To Print... most newspapers about Iraq is available HERE

The Crossed Sabers is the Division newspaper for the 1st Cavalry Division, it is published bi-weekly and is available to anyone by going to the link above and then clicking on the Crossed Sabers link.

Of course the people who really need to read this stuff would never bother themselves to read the "propaganda" produced by the pentagon's war machine.

But for those who read this space, who wish more information about the current situation in's another source for news. Enjoy!



TR Tuesday, 29 MAY 07

Mr. Roosevelt on the "square deal" and the soldier...

"A man who is good enough to shed his blood for his country is good enough
to be given a square deal afterwards. More than that no man is entitled, and
less than that no man shall have." Speech to veterans, Springfield, IL, July 4,

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

9/11 Memorial Taking Shape

Over the years following 9/11/2001 we've been blessed with seeing agruments about the composition and content of the memorials that have been intented to honor our fallen in Pennsylvania and New York City.

There is a another memorial and it's being built, right the Pentagon.

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) - More than five years after their loved ones were killed at the Pentagon during the Sept. 11 attacks, relatives of the victims got a chance Friday to tour the construction site of a memorial park being built in their honor.
When it is completed next year, the park will stand just outside the Pentagon wall where American Airlines Flight 77 crashed on Sept. 11, 2001, killing 184 people.

Seeing the park take shape brought tears to Abraham Scott's eyes.

See the rest of the article HERE

To contribute go to this website: Pentagon Memorial Fund:

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Friday, May 25, 2007

How to make a Snakebite

We can't have liquor here...but we can watch ads about it...

Have a Kamikaze for me!



Girl Friday, 25 MAY 07

Another week down, only... who knows... how many weeks to go.

It's Friday and most everyone back in the land of the big PX will be getting a long weekend...enjoy your Memorial Day weekend and remember what it's all about. Those guys who gave their lives for this country paid for your freedom...please enjoy it. And use responsibly!

Playboy Playmate Tailor James stops by and slips out of those itchy clothes...she's our Girl Friday for this Friday, 25 May, 2007.


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Thursday, May 24, 2007

War Crime?

I have found evidence that the US Army is using torture against innocent Iraqis...


Sgt. Tierney Nowland teaches the "Macarena" (a type of dance) to an Iraqi Soldier during a break from a cordon and search mission in Ameriyah, May 16. She is a combat cameraman with the 982nd Signal Company. (Photo by Spc. Elisha Dawkins)


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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Every Friday

Every Friday for the last several years a parade has taken place. If you care about soldiers, or just plain people then you owe it to yourself to read this POST over at Blog Them Out of the Stoneage.

Cheers on Corridor Three
by LTC Bob Bateman
10:30 hours (local EST), Friday, 11 May 2007: Third Corridor, Second Floor, The Pentagon:

It is 110 yards from the “E” ring to the “A” ring of the Pentagon. This section of the Pentagon is newly renovated; the floors shine, the hallway is broad, and the lighting is bright. At this instant the entire length of the corridor is packed with officers, a few sergeants and some civilians, all crammed tightly three and four deep against the walls. There are thousands here. This hallway, more than any other, is the “Army” hallway. The G3 offices line one side, G2 the other, G8 is around the corner. All Army. Moderate conversations flow in a low buzz. Friends who may not have seen each other for a few weeks, or a few years, spot each other, cross the way and renew. Everyone shifts to ensure an open path remains down the center. The air conditioning system was not designed for this press of bodies in this area. The temperature is rising already. Nobody cares.

Go read the rest and find out what happens next. You won't be sorry.

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

And Then There's These People...

Just the other day IN THIS POST I wrote about well meaning Milbloggers who may have jumped the gun when it came to getting all hot and bothered about the ability of deployed people like myself to post blogs or watch You-Tube while living in our desert summer home.

Well, today while casting around the Internet looking for nude pictures of Reagan Yun and Kiran Chetry (not together...although that might be hot...but that is another post), I ran across a link to a post, written by a Mr. Rieckhoff, HERE.

Warning, some nuttiness follows:

Here's a little piece of it... (SARCASTIC comments in ORANGE are mine)

But the Army's sweeping new policy isn't just aimed at keeping vital operational details off the Internet. The new regulations say that a soldier must:

"Consult with their immediate supervisor and their OPSEC Officer for an OPSEC review prior to publishing or posting information in a public forum. [...] This includes, but is not limited to letters, resumes, articles for publication, electronic mail (e-mail), Web site postings, web log (blog) postings, discussion in Internet information forums, discussion in Internet message boards or other forms of dissemination or documentation."

That sounds like the Army wants to approve every single email or blog comment sent by any of the 154,000 troops in Iraq. Of course, the Army's public affairs machine (if the PAO is a machine, it resembles a model T Ford that has rusted out and is sitting on blocks in my uncle's front yard) has since backtracked, via a press release:

"In no way will every blog post/update a Soldier makes on his or her blog need to be monitored or first approved by an immediate supervisor and Operations Security (OPSEC) officer. After receiving guidance and awareness training from the appointed OPSEC officer, that Soldier blogger is entrusted to practice OPSEC when posting in a public forum."

But it doesn't matter what the Army's public affairs told the media. The unclear and broad regulations still stand. The new rules will have a chilling effect (BURRRR! Is it cold in here? No it's just the new AR on blogging and e-mail usage ripping my heart and soul out...Damn you US Army) on troops trying responsibly to share their experiences with their families and communities back home. In fact, the rules are just vague enough to make even the most conscientious milbloggers wonder if they've crossed the Army's vague new line. Many, perhaps most, will choose not to take the risk. (Yes, because we are for the most part, a cowardly lot)

Sadly, the wholesale silencing of military bloggers won't keep American tactics from the insurgency. The ability of our enemies to learn and adapt is well-documented. (So to HELL with OPSEC...FUCKIT, let's just post our OPORDs on a public website so the enemy will know when and where to be when we want to have a fight) But the Army's censorship will keep the world from hearing troops' stories and learning about what is really happening on the ground. And that, too, is dangerous to our cause - as military analyst and Iraq veteran Phil Carter has documented in Slate Magazine. (How did we ever win WWII without blogs and e-mail? Or DID WE?)

Just as we did at the start of the war, we need now to hear directly from the troops if we are going to understand what's actually happening on the ground in Iraq... and what few courses of action we have left. (Yeah, I'd say your willing to listen to the troops as long as they think the same way you do...but heaven forbid that they disagree with the conclusions you've reached...then they are brian washed little dupes)

And thanks to the morale-crushing new regulation that forbids our troops serving multiple tours from watching "Lazy Sunday" and Nora the Piano-Playing Cat, there'll be plenty of time for them to write blogs. (Sorry Dude, I'm in Iraq right now and I can still do all those...wait... fighting my Commander...he's trying to pull the plug...WOW...I thought for a minute, they were going to cut me off...really...I mean it.)

Yes, if it weren't for e-mail and blogs the truth would never get out. I suppose with the advent of computers and the Internet, we are all so stupid that we can't sit down and write a letter, put it in an envelope, walk to the mail drop and send it to your chosen pen pal? And what about all those damned phone centers we have over here...shut those things down as well.


Sorry, it's all part of the evil war machine's plan, if we keep news that actually reaches the shores of the Continental Unites States at least ten days one will pay attention to it...because it's all ancient history....BWAAAAAH!

Of course I'm just a shill for the evil DOD, who ruthlessly takes cynical advantage of my idealism to further their plan to dominate the world and take everyone's oil. So why should anyone listen to me? Why indeed.

We're doomed.

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Bruce Campbell...


Yeah, I really don't know if I will be buying Old Spice anytime soon...but this sure is wierd/funny.

Hail to the king baby!
H/T Absolute Moral Authority

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Girl Friday, 18 MAY 07

Another week gone...boy time flies, when you're working. Doesn't really have the same ring to it as when you're having fun does it?

This week's Girl Friday is model Katia Corriveau...have a great weekend, y'all.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Hey Pervs!

All you guys ...I assume you're guys...who keep arriving here in your search for "nude pictures of Kiran Chetry"...sorry dude, no dice.

What on God's green earth would lead someone to believe that there would be nude pictures of a newscaster available? I guess it's worth a shot on google...I mean after all she is really cute and what if there were nude pictures available...if we didn't google we'd never know and then if there were nude pictures of Kiran Chetry, we'd miss out on all that newscaster hotness.

Well there aren't least any that I know of...until that messy divorce and her ex-husband sells his "private collection" to Swank Magazine or maybe Cherry...who knows. But that's years from now. So for now tough luck guys...but if you find them be sure and let me know.

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Banning the Blog

I have watched from a distance...literally, while a lot of folks have been sounding off about the Army's latest update of the AR (Army Regulation) which covers soldiers use of e-mails, blogging et al, as well as the uproar about You Tube being banned from Army servers.

These of course are two separate issues that have their own explanations and facts surrounding them. There is however one thing that ties them both together...well meaning people who have the soldiers best interest at heart have gone off half cocked and starting raising hell about issues that really don't need to be raised hell least yet. In some respects the folks yelling bloody murder about the death of soldiers first amendment rights and denying them the right to view their child's first steps via "You Tube" strikes me about the same as the hysterical loons screaming about global warming.

On the one hand we know that the "media" never tells the whole truth when it comes to our combat operations, so why would you expect that they got the story right when it comes to my ability to post to the Internet or send e-mails or look at Britney Spears getting out of a limo with no panties on via You Tube?

The truth of the matter over here is, the use of commercially available Internet that soldiers pay for out of their pocket is wide spread. Officers and NCOs are far too busy to run around policing every e-mail their soldiers send, or some such. They couldn't fully control Internet usage and e-mail traffic even if they wanted to.

One the other hand should commanders control the Army networks? Of course they should and they can, the networks exists to move information to those same commanders and their staff to allow them to execute combat operations...everything else is secondary. If that means the MWR doesn't get as much bandwidth then so be it...combat comes first.

The bottom line to all of this is, try and do a little homework before you start screaming about problems that may or may not exist...because if you don't, you run the risk of reducing yourself to the level of those you have so little respect for...the media.



Tuesday, May 15, 2007

You've Got To Be S#%ting Me!?!

Maxim Magazine...perveyor of AAFES P0rn for more than a few years now, has named Lindsay Lohan the Hottest Woman in the World. WTF?

Not this woman...

Noureen Dewulf (#100 on the list) Don't ask I don't know who she is or what she does either...but she is hot.

Not this woman...

Carmen Electra (#28)

Not this woman...

Scarlett Johansson (#3)

No, none of those women are nearly as hot as...wait for it...this...

YGTBSM...she is the hottest woman in the world? She is certanly skanktasic. Hot? No. Does she have in her possesion pictures of the Maxim Magazine editors having mad sex with each other?

Hey I'm in Iraq, I've been here for going on 8 months now, and I wouldn't touch that with a ten foot pole. Yes, I (strongly) disagree Maxim's decision to name this young lady the hottest woman on the planet.

If she is the hottest woman on the planet, then this guy...

Is the hottest man in the world (yeah that's me...and no I'm not).

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Motivation for the un-motivated

Posted by Cro, a commenter at Neptunus Lex...I present you with his motivational photshop artistry.



TR Tuesday, 15 MAY 07

Here's the latest quote from the late great Teddy Roosevelt...

"There are good men and bad men of all nationalities, creeds and colors; and if this world of ours is ever to become what we hope some day it may become, it must be by the general recognition that the man's heart and soul, the man's worth and actions, determine his standing."
Letter, Oyster Bay, NY, September 1, 1903

Today, I leave you with "The Fighter Pilots Prayer"
“Lord I pray for the eyes of an eagle, the heart of a lion and the balls of a ARMY helicopter pilot.”

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Friday, May 11, 2007

Girl Friday, 11 MAY 07

Cristal Houston, a "nursing student" from Beaumont, TX says, "Howdy!" She's the Girl Friday for 11 May 2007.

Everyone have fun tonight...everyone wang chung tonight.
Have a great weekend.

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Video for the Folks Back Home

Below you'll find a video that was made and posted to You Tube for the folks back home by some people that are very near and dear to me...

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

TR Tuesday, 8 MAY 07

Here's a quote from Mr. Roosevelt about what is expected from America's boys (in a more enlightened time we would just say youth). What would he say about America today?

"A healthy-minded boy should feel hearty contempt for the coward and even more hearty indignation for the boy who bullies girls or small boys, or tortures animals."..."What we have a right to expect of the American boy is that he shall turn out to be a good American man."
"The American Boy," St. Nicholas Magazine, May 1900

Check out more quotes at THIS website.



R&W @ Quad A

Rotor & Wing magazine is reporting from the Army Aviation Association of America convention in Atlanta. Quad A as it's known, is a professional organization of Army aviators and industry types who get together yearly to pat each other on the back and tell everyone what a great job they are doing. In general it's true enough, but we could really stand some honest self critique from time to time...but that's another story. Here's some Apache news from R&W...for those who find those things interesting.

Boeing’s AH-64 Apache is a workhorse of the U.S. war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan, and will remain a mainstay of U.S. Army aviation as the Block 3 Apache, with its greater net-centric capabilities, comes on line starting in 2011. We discussed the latest on the program and its lessons learned from combat operations with Al Winn, Boeing’s vice president of Apache programs.

How is the Block 3 effort going? The program’s moving along well. We signed the contract for the system development and demonstration phase of the program last July, and now we’re in the middle of a series of preliminary design reviews (PDRs). We’ve just successfully completed a PDR of the drive system, a weeklong event that looked at the aircraft’s split-torque, face-gear transmission—that’s a new concept—as well as the main gearbox and nose gearbox. We’re on track for the system-level PDR in April 2008.

How are lessons learned from operations in Iraq and Afghanistan leading to improvements in the Apache fleet? That’s really been a continuous process. When we were defining the Block 3, for instance, there were lessons learned from Afghanistan. The high-altitude performance requirement for the aircraft really derived from the operations there. Operations in Iraq led us and the Army to refine the connectivity requirements to improve situational awareness and connectivity from both a joint level across the services and with the troops on the ground. Blue Force Tracker was another upgrade that was driven by operational experience.

Whenever a unit returns from Iraq or Afghanistan, a team of us goes down and meets with the unit. First, we recognize what they’ve done for the nation. But we also talk to them about what lessons they learned there that we should be following up on. Apaches are working more closely with troops on the ground, which has led to the troops in the field—both the Apache units and the infantry—developing things on the move.

What are some examples of things “developed on the move”? The troops on the ground want to be communicating directly with the Apaches, and they come up with their own ways to do that. For instance, troops on the ground use laser pointers on targets. So they and the Apache crews came up with a way to mount a laser pointer on the side of the Apache gun. Crew chiefs came up with a sheet-metal bracket for the pointer and mounted it on the turret. Based on that, we worked up a modification to the aircraft to do that on all Apaches.

What’s going on with the Block 2 production line, following delivery of the 501st and last AH-64D under the Army’s multi-year procurements? The Block 2 program finished the multi-year-2 production [the second of two five-year Army procurements] back in July 2006. Then the Army extended Block 2 to procure another 96 aircraft remanufactured from the -64A to D configuration. This is a little different from the previous work, because the Army depots are “de-modding” the As and delivering them to us.

We’re also building new-build AH-64Ds for the Army. The first is scheduled for delivery this month. That’s significant for us. We’re under contract to the Army for 45 new-build -64Ds now.

Brig. Gen. Stephen Mundt, director of Army aviation, complained recently that the industry is not on a war footing. He cited specifically the long lead time in getting war-replacement aircraft, which largely means Apaches. What’s the complaint? Obviously, his concern is that as airplanes are attrited, the need is immediate. The unfortunate thing is the lead time on raw materials has doubled or tripled in the last several years. The typical lead time for an Apache used to be two years. If we just increased our lead times based on the growth in the raw-materials lead time, that would have increased to 36-39 months. That’s not helped by the fact that we are not allowed to buy specialty materials from overseas. We have gone out on long-lead materials and procured them ahead of time to keep that lead time at 24 months or so. We’ve done what we can. We have been able to absorb the lead time. But we haven’t been able to reduce it. There’s very little that’s being done at a national level to address that as a national priority.

36-39 months to make a new helicopter. Does anyone remember how long it took a P-51 Mustang to go from nothing but paper to an actual flying airplane? Well, I'm pretty sure it wasn't that long. I'm sure there are multiple factors at work here...and Boeing isn't totally to blame...but I'm also pretty sure they could find some of the stuff they need to build Apaches at the 787 plant in Washington, or the F-18 plant in St. Louis...just guessing.

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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Eat Your Ham, Tina!

One of our more mentally unstable Captains (is there any other kind?) sent me this picture today.

I guess this just about says it all...

Sarcasm, one of the many services we offer.



Friday, May 04, 2007

Girl Friday, 4 MAY 07

Happy Friday!!

This week's Girl Friday is Jennifer Walcott, Playmate of the Month...oh hell, I don't know when it was, if you want to know so bad look it up.

Here are the pictures...

Have a great weekend!

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Turn The Heat Off!

Via Chic[k]pilot comes a video of a Japanese student and an American IP with the callsign of Satan (that's one thing about the Army...we fail miserably at cool call-signs. Our's consist of the unit name and a number, we don't call ourselves Strwaberry Shortcake, Grandmaster Flash or whatever the cool kids are calling themselves today. Oh, well).

Much Filthy Language Included
(at no extra charge!)
Don't say I didn't warn you

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

TR Tuesday, 1 MAY 2007

Mr. Roosevelt gives us his opinion of those who fly and fight...

The ordinary air fighter is an extraordinary man and the extraordinary air fighter stands as one in a million among his fellows.

— Theodore Roosevelt

And then we have these geniuses...

The cavalry, in particular, were not friendly to the aeroplane, which it was believed, would frighten the horses.

— Sir Walter Alexander Raleigh, 1910. (Note: This is not that other Sir Walter Raleigh, who was beheaded nearly three hundred years earlier!)

Another popular fallacy is to suppose that flying machines could be used to drop dynamite on an enemy in time of war.

— William H. Pickering, 'Aeronautics,' 1908.

To affirm that the aeroplane is going to 'revolutionize' navel warfare of the future is to be guilty of the wildest exaggeration.

— 'Scientific American,' 16 July 1910.

Aviation is fine as a sport. But as an instrument of war, it is worthless.

— General Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superiure de Guere, 1911.

It is not possible . . . to concentrate enough military planes with military loads over a modern city to destroy that city.

— US Colonel John W. Thomason Jr., November 1937

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