Friday, June 29, 2007

The SR-72 C@#K Tease

The fine people at Aviation Week and Space Technology are famous for revealing the most up to date aviation technology. SO much so they have earned the nickname "Aviation Leak".

Their blog, Ares has recently took up the job of opiate to the aviation geek masses by posting several entries concerning the SR-72.

If I were 12 years old in body instead of just mind, I would right at this second be in full-on aviation geekazoid mode, with drawing pad and pencil, scribbling out the rough design of what this secret monster of the airways surely must look like. Accelerating at roughly the same rate as a Viper being launched from the Battlestar Galactica, this invincible black shark of an aircraft would leap forward to slay all foes and return to base where the pilots would be loved and adored by all as the savior of the universe, available for stud service on weekends.

But of course I'm not twelve and there is no SR-72 (at least that you know of). Even though they show us patent drawings that indicate Lockheed Martin is "up to something" could very well be that Lockheed Martin has decided to enter the adult toy industry and some engineer with a sick sense of humor has slipped you the design drawings for some new vibrator, with improved pleasure ridges and a non slip grip...that has about as much validity as ram jet combo drives, dough-nut shaped smoke trails in the upper atmosphere, pulse detonation propulsion and the female orgasm...yeah whatever, like those really exist.

Here's part of the post...

Ares reported a couple of weeks ago on the emerging USAF/Lockheed Martin effort to restart technology for high-altitude, high-speed flight. A newly released patent may be a hint as to the source of some of this new-found enthusiasm.

Fact is, designing a ramjet engine for sustained high-supersonic flight does not involve too much bibbidi-bobbety boo. The trick is getting the vehicle to a point where the ramjet will light and run efficiently without resorting to the brute force approach of sticking a rocket on its back end.

No the real trick is getting the pilot to fly it on a Friday night, when there's a party at the O'Club. Nice "Bed-knobs and Broomsticks" reference. (no, you're not geeky at all).

In the end all this talk about a plane we'll not see anytime soon, if ever, is like looking at AAFES porn...all the tease and no payoff. Unless your 12 years old...and well you know the rest.

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The One

Marcus Luttrell, former Navy SEAL and veteran of Afghanistan was the sole survivor of a SEAL Team that was compromised and chased through the mountains of Afghanistan, his team's remarkable story is detailed in the book Lone Survivor

This is a story every schoolchild should hear...unfortunately the vast majority never will.

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Girl Friday, 29 JUN 07

Another Friday, and another month down.

Amber Campsi is the "Girl Friday" for 29 JUN 07...have a great weekend, and for those of you who won't go back to work under after the 4th of July...screw you. :-)

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Biggio Gets His 3000th Hit

As a kid every summer we went to see my relatives in Houston and always at least once a year we went to see the Astros. I was going to Astros games before there were Astros...there's a picture somewhere of me as a toddler, in the parking lot of Colt .45 stadium with the Astrodome being built in the background. I was an Astro buddy in later years...the awful melting Popsicle jersey days...the disco years. My summers were spent with my mom most evenings sitting in a lawn chair watching the sun go down listening to the Astros on the radio. Even though they never made the playoffs until I was in college and never made it to the World Series until a few years ago, I have always followed and loved the 'Stros.

For the last twenty years Craig Biggio has been a Houston Astro. While I don't know the man personally, he seems to be a great guy who loves his family and supports the community of Houston. Last night he got his 3000th hit. He's now 26th on the list of major league ballplayers in hits. He should be a shoe-in to the hall of fame. But even though I didn't see it on ESPN over here in Iraq, I'm sure the cynical, hate everything that isn't East/West coast goons had "something" to say about it. They always do...and that's too bad because we could use a few more Craig Biggio's in baseball. Maybe he is past his prime and shouldn't be playing every day, but loyalty is really worth something to some people, and I'm glad the Astros gave him some in return for his. For those of you who might wonder why I blog about this while I'm stuck in Iraq, sweating my butt haven't been listening. Stuff like this is why we fight, but besides that, anything that takes me back to a better time and place can't be all bad.

Congratulations Mr. Biggio. And thanks for the last 20 years.

For the story go HERE
More, better stuff is HERE

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Coming Soon to a MSR Near You

Task Force ODIN

Task Force ODIN brings together a fleet of U.S. Army Beech/Raytheon C-12 Hurons fitted with special sensors and the General Atomics Warrior and AAI Corp. Shadow unmanned aerial systems with Boeing AH-64 Apaches and other helicopters. The fixed-wing manned and unmanned aircraft give the Army what Cody called “persistent stare,” which allows combat commanders to observe insurgents as they scout positions in which to place IEDs and then conceal them. At the Army Aviation Assn. of America annual gathering in Atlanta, Cody showed reporters declassified infrared video of a mission in which an Apache crew spotted a handful of people at a road intersection on the ground. The crew handed off the targets to the fixed-wing assets operating “well above 3,500 ft” and undetected by those on the ground; they maintained surveillance of the suspects while the Apache returned to base to refuel and re-arm, Cody said. “When the Apache left, they thought no one was watching them any more,” he said. Upon the Apache’s return, the fixed-wing assets provided targeting information for a Hellfire missile launched from the AH-64 against the insurgents.

If this works out then maybe the USAF will quit having to "waste" all their flight time on the counter IED fight.

The rest of the article can be read HERE

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Monday, June 25, 2007

All Sides Agree...

...the press suck

This morning’s NYT article is only the most recent reminder that some men choose to make history, while others choose to “write the first draft.” A couple of quotes from Michael Ledeen today in The Corner:

It appears we have appointed our worst generals to command forces, and our most gifted and brilliant to edit newspapers! In fact, I discovered by reading newspapers that these editor/geniuses plainly saw all my strategic defects from the start, yet failed to inform me until it was too late. Accordingly, I’m readily willing to yield my command to these obviously superior intellects, and I’ll, in turn, do my best for the cause by writing editorials - after the fact.
- Gen. Robert E. Lee, CSA

I hate newspapermen. They come into camp and pick up their camp rumors and print them as facts. I regard them as spies, which, in truth, they are. If I killed them all there would be news from Hell before breakfast.”
- Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman, USA

H/T Neptunus Lex

Yeah, I know I posted the GEN Sherman quote before, but it never hurts to remind folks that the more things change the more the stay the same. The GEN Lee quote is really good as well. Seems both sides had something they could agree on.

Meanwhile in other un-reported news...we're still kicking ass

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

New Army Commercial

A new commercial for the Army...from "Family Guy"

Yeah...that pretty much sums up my Army experience.

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Why Some Soldiers Hate the Air Force

There has been in some circles a love/hate thing going on regarding the USAF since they escaped from the clutches of the Army back in the late 40's. A lot of folks would claim jealousy as the primary reason. But, I would wager it's statements like these being made by the ACC (that's Air Combat Command to you) Commander that give guys that are driving the roads of Iraq real reason to question our sister service's willingness to "man up".

Using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and pod-equipped combat jets to find improvised explosive devices (IEDs) is often a misuse of time and resources, said U.S. Air Force Gen. Ronald Keys, commander of Air Combat Command.

Often, requests for airborne surveillance are based on the assumption that such aircraft help find IEDs and save ground forces from such attacks, he said. Certain military leaders feel they need the full-motion video feeds to locate the explosives. The truth, he said, is much different.

Based on Air Force analysis, the number of IEDs found by UAVs, surveillance aircraft or combat jets outfitted with advanced targeting pods per 100,000 flight hours is very low, according to Keys. "It's a waste," Keys said June 20 during a morning keynote speech at the Transformation Warfare 07 conference and exhibit in Virginia Beach, Va...

Unfortunately, the military is basing some of its decisions on anecdotes instead of real metrics, he said. Indeed, the only metric being used is whether the Air Force is meeting certain tasking orders, instead of making sure those assets and flights are effective and the best use of time and aircraft. "This is no way to fight a war," he said.

Keys said ACC has developed a "concept of deployment" to help fight IEDs that is air-centric "to a certain point." Without going into specifics, he said, "We ought to be attacking the system - to the left of 'the bang,'" meaning the process before the IED is emplaced. What needs to be looked at is the network, "not the thing that's buried out there," he said.

Flying pod-outfitted F-16s up and down streets no one will be on for another 12 hours will not help the IED fight, he said. Looking for buried IEDs in Iraq in that fashion is not the best way to stop attacks. "It's a junkyard out there," he said, adding there are too many false positives.

The article from Wired's Danger Room is HERE .

To read the quote, one gets the idea that jets launch sorties just to hunt for IEDs and they can't do anything else while they are on station.

IEDs are the number one killer of soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines in Iraq. If having jets look for IEDs saves the life of one soldier was it worth it? Route recon needs to be accomplished, having jets do it with their targeting pods while they are on station awaiting other taskings sounds like an efficient use of assets that were going to be there anyway.

Maybe the General was quoted out of context. It's possible, we are talking about the press after all.

Maybe the General has a better idea. That's possible as well. If he does we need to hear it and if it's worth a crap let's implement it, instead of giving speeches about it in Virginia someplace.

Bottom line, it's been the elitist holier than thou, this isn't worth my time and effort attitude from USAF leadership over the years that has caused some to feel that all the Air Force cares about is building their B-2s and F-22s and the hell with everything else.


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Friday, June 22, 2007

Girl Friday, 22 JUN 07

June is almost gone...what the HELL? I guess time flies when you're having...well I'm not having that much fun, but I am fairly busy. I still don't know how many Fridays I have to go over here...but we can start this one with one of our favorite "Girl Friday" ladies.

Reagan Yun, is here (well, not actually here where I am...that would be in gross violation of General Order #1...but here on the page you are looking at, but you knew that didn't you? Or hell, maybe you didn't. Maybe you're just that stupid. Are you still reading this? Where did you go?) once again to usher in another weekend!

Damn it's hot over here. Whoda thunk it... it's hot in Iraq in June...WOW.

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Nurture versus Nature

Sorry I'm late getting to this one from the Military Motivator website.

Anyone who went through Army flight school in the late 80's can tell you about AO Vanguard and places like LZ Bush. Word spread quickly among the students that if during your LZ hopping experience, you navigated your way by certain places down by the Pea River, you might be able to see certain things. It was sort of a carrot to the IP's stick if you will.

As far as I know there were no similar incentives for the lady pilots and BlackHawk drivers amongst us...sorry. :-)

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

National Lampoon presents...

72 Virgins

WARNING as you might expect this is pretty rude, crude and socially unacceptable. It also has a ad at the end where you can go vote on the question of if they should make this trailer into an actual movie or not. I am afraid that if they with a lot of movies the trailer is funnier than the actual film. But hope for the best!



More SR-72

From Wired's Danger Room comes this let down...

...the story's assertion that the plane was being designed to go "Mach 6." That's way, way, way faster than anything the Air Force has in its inventory -- about double what the original, ultra-speedy Blackbird could do. Yeah, a Darpa-funded vehicle briefly hit Mach 10 the other day; but that was after it was launched into space, and came falling back to Earth. The X-51 hypersonic cruise missile is on track for a Mach 5 flight test in '09. But it hasn't flown, yet. And controlling a plane is a lot harder than controlling a missile.
"The most advanced things we've got are still just engines sitting in a wind tunnel," the source said. What's being reported as the SR-72 "is not in the realm of science fiction. But it's close."
Now, Darpa does have a hypersonic program called "Blackswift" that, according to a military press release, is aiming towards a "flight demonstration vehicle... powered by a combination turbine engine and ramjet, an all-in-one power plant. The turbine engine accelerates the vehicle to around Mach 3 before the ramjet takes over and boosts the vehicle up to Mach 6." That's not entirely dissimilar to what's described as the "SR-72."
But here's the thing: according to that Defense News story, the new plane was being developed for the Air Force, right? Trouble is, the Air Force hasn't put any money into the project. There have been some talks, sure. But it's all "pre-decisional," our source says.

Is it too much to ask to leave us with our illusions? I mean first the pin-ups in our favorite men's magazines have to tell us about their boyfriends/husbands and now you have to tell us that these airplanes really don't exisit.
Yeah, I knew that...just like I knew all along I wasn't going to bag Eva Longoria...but it was nice to have that illusion for even a brief moment.
THANKS for runining it for me there Mr. Reality...JEEZE...could you please be more of a buzz kill? Next thing you know you'll be telling me there is no Santa Claus.

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Another Hero Gone ...


Brigadier General Robin Olds, United States Air Force, retired, passed away peacefully, Thursday evening, June 14th, 2007 from congestive heart failure, one month short of his 85th birthday. He was born in Honolulu on July 14, 1922, the son of Major General Robert and Eloise Olds.

Robin spent his younger years and schooling in Hampton, Virginia and attended West Point, where he was an All American tackle and graduated in 1943 as a 2nd Lieutenant.

Following graduation from Pilot Training in 1943, General Olds was assigned to the European Theater at the end of WWII where he flew 107 combat missions in the P-38 Lightning and P-51 Mustang.

He shot down 13, enemy aircraft over Europe. He became a Triple Ace 23 years later during the Viet Nam Conflict when he downed 4 MIGS. He flew 152 combat missions in the F-4 Phantom while Wing Commander of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing at Ubon AFB in Thailand.

General Olds' exploits as the creator and Mission Commander of Operation Bolo, the most successful aerial battle of the Vietnam conflict, has been documented in the recent History Channel Dogfights Special series, entitled "Air Ambush"...

...A memorial service will be held at the U.S. Air Force Academy within the next two weeks. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association towards scholarships for the children, or to assist the spouses, of Armed Forces aircrew members killed or missing in action.

Robin's family has asked for any re-communication of this detail, to include the family's request for privacy at this time. I will keep you all informed as to final arrangements when formalized.

Godspeed to a more than fine leader.

When I was but a wee lad riding my "10 speed" around Waco, Texas trying to figure out how I would ever get into flight school and be a fighter pilot...I pedaled my bike over to the Air Force recruiter and picked up a copy of Airman magazine. Inside was a story about Operation Bolo. That day was the first time I ever read or heard anything about a man named Robin Olds, an American hero. His story and accomplishments inspired me, and I think in some way led me to where I am today. While I'm not a fighter pilot (I screwed around way too much in college for the Air Force to want any part of me), I think I've done pretty well for myself and I am thankful for Robin and those like him. His passing makes me wonder who the kids of today read about, look up to and are inspired by...I can only hope there is a Robin Olds for them. We'll see you on the green Robin.



Texans Rock...

Via my good friend and fellow Texan, 67 Cougar, comes this story from the Dallas Morning News.

...A few weeks ago, a volunteer with the USO at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport contacted me. She was distressed. Volunteers had just learned that a tight budget meant cutbacks in some snacks and other perks offered to soldiers passing through the airport.

She was sure that if Dallas-area folks only knew of the problem, they would be eager to remedy it. I agreed and was happy to convey that need in a May 27 column...


...donations to the D/FW USO over the last three weeks have totaled more than $392,000.

You read that right.

We're talking more than a third of a million dollars. And they're still counting! Donations are still rolling in!

I think there will be spicy chicken sandwiches and ice cream bars aplenty for our soldiers.

"It has been humbling. It has been joyful. You just lose words when you try to talk about what everyone has done," said Rhenda White-Brunner, director of the local USO. "Unbelievable is the only word I can say."

Some 2,300 individual donations have come in, ranging from a few dollars to one incredible donation of $100,000...(THEY)have not only met the food budget for the D/FW USO, but you have also covered its entire budget for this year and some of next.

And that means other USO funds are now freed up to support USO centers in places like Kuwait and Afghanistan, where local fundraising isn't possible.

So please understand that your support of our U.S. service members has been shown in a very real and powerful way...


As someone who has spent some time at the DFW airport coming to and from Iraq, I can say without a doubt that that place and the people there are just awesome. I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of affection that I, and all of the soldiers I have talked with have received as we have gone through there on our respective journeys to and from leave. I don't say this just because Texas is my home, but the people of Texas and specifically DFW have shown over and over again that they support the troops not just in words but in deed as someone said once in a song GOD BLESS TEXAS.

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Friday, June 15, 2007

The Great HH-47 Debate

I have no dog in this fight. But I do find the on-going squabble about the viability of the CH-47 Chinook as a Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) platform somewhat interesting. Today, I found an interesting piece on this continuing debate HERE. There's even more HERE and finally HERE.

It's interesting to me at least, that the loudest voices against the CH-47 have never flown it, while I'm sure they could positively identify it correctly 9 out of 10 times. Here's a sample of what passes for reasoned debate on this subject...

...I’m not sure what happened with CSAR-X, but the scuttlebutt has it that General Brown and the Army C-47(sic) lobby got to the USAF—perhaps a quid pro quo for LCA, for Predator orbits, who knows. But, it was a very, very odd selection and choice. You should see the pictures of C-47(sic) brownout compared to the other two, both of which have specific rotor designs that cause a “doughnut” of clear ground around the chopper that would actually help a rescue by obscuring the helo and the downed pilot from the enemy if they were close-by.

…The C-47(sic) decision seems odd, because somehow the old C-47(sic) mafia (including Brown) somehow got their way at the 11th hour (the C-47(sic) wasn’t even a competitor until late, which also has an aroma about it)...

I don't know about you but I wasn't aware that a Gooney Bird could there nothing those airplanes can't do? If a person is so lazy that they can't get the designation of the aircraft they are complaining about correct how the hell am I supposed to take anything they say seriously? So we're to believe that the selection of this aircraft was solely based on some backroom deal involving UAV's , a fixed wing transport plane and some unmentioned pictures of the secretary of the Air Force with barnyard animals?

NASA R4D AKA... C-47

Finally there is this puzzleing statement from an AFSOC veteran...

I think the bigger issue is who flies helos? If the Army flies them then we should expect that they will be misused and shot down more often. Simple matter of different cultures, training and what kind of competency the crew has…

First of all, I'm kind of stoopid being in the Army and all, but I think I've just been insulted. Second if you stop and look at total hours flown, since day 1 of this thing losses per airframe hour are quite small especially considering the environment the aircraft are being flown in (11 AH-64s lost to enemy action in 5 years of combat (source FLIGHTFAX)). And third, I seem to recall that the USAF came begging to the Army in the 90's taking every Warrant Officer who would come to fly their helicopters for them...half the Pave Low pilots in the USAF right now are former Army Aviatiors (I may be a bit off on that last one...but what the HELL, I was on a roll). Finally talk to the operators and ask them who they would want to fly them on a pitch black night, I'm sure the answer you'd get rymes with Nightstalkers...and those aren't Air Force dudes. Remember you started it, un-named AFSOC guy.

People can talk about the suitability of airframes all day long, and that's should be done. But it serves no purpose at all to start inter-service warfare in a time of armed conflict...these boobs need to get out more often. Ultimately I want what I would hope everyone involved would want, the best aircraft for the mission...we'll see if that happens.

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Girl Friday, 15 JUN 07

It's payday...and it's Friday!

Time for another Girl Friday. In this installment of Girl Friday, Alison Waite graces us with her beauty. No these pictures aren't from the 70's although I didn't realize that anyone actually played air hockey anymore. While I'm sure some might ask; "There's an air hockey table in one of these pictures?" I can assure you that there is...

Have a GREAT weekend.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007


To the United States Army...
Only 232 years don't act a day over 220.



Tuesday, June 12, 2007


I'm a big fan of black jets that go really fast. So I found it interesting to see this little tidbit in the Aries Blog run by Aviation Leak Week.

Anyone who follows this stuff has been hearing or read the rumors about a REALLY fast jet called "Aurora" for many years now. The rumors were exacerbated by the retirement of the SR-71 with no obvious replacement available. If I recall, the thinking at the time by the aviation masses was, "Well, they wouldn't retire it if they didn't have something to replace it with now would they?" The folly of that argument of course is that decisions made in the "puzzle palace" are always made rationally and involve nothing but the bottom line...the defense of this nation. Unfortunately, things like politics tend to creep in from time to time so what seems like the obvious course of action always isn't.

Does this mean I have some inside knowledge about "Aurora"? Oh, hell no, all I know about Aurora for sure is that they produced some really crappy models when I was a kid...other than that I don't know anything other than what I read. And with that, here's part of what Aries has to say about the SR-72...

The X-plane would be the size of a fighter and would be designed for a speed of Mach 6.5 -- 4300 mph -- at 100,000 feet. (The SR-71 Blackbird, retired in 1990, could manage up to Mach 3.3 in sprints at 85,000 feet). It would be powered by two jet engines -- bigger versions of the engine used on the Skunk Works' RATTLRS (Revolutionary Approach To Time-critical Long Range Strike) cruise missile -- integrated into ramjets.

The speed -- less than DARPA'S Falcon Hypersonic Cruise Vehicle project or the USAF's X-51 scramjet demonstrator -- is important. At Mach 6.5, the vehicle can be powered by ramjets, rather than having to incorporate a scramjet (supersonic combustion ramjet) mode into the system. It would take off from a runway and land under power, not as a high-speed glider. It can burn near-standard hydrocarbon fuel, not hydrogen or a similarly exotic propellant. It could be made from conventional materials -- even composites -- with heat-resistant materials confined to the leading edges.

This is important because the idea of the X-plane is not to prove that such an airplane can fly at 4,300 mph but that it is "doable, practical and will work like a regular airplane." (Conspiracy theorists may choose to speculate about why the Skunks regard Mach 6.5, in itself, as No Big Deal.)

For the rest go read it HERE

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Sunday, June 10, 2007


From the latest Crossed Sabers available

By Sgt. 1st Class Rick Emert
1st ACB, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs
CAMP TAJI, Iraq – Many a Soldier has seen an AH-64D Apache fly overhead and wished they had had that guy’s recruiter. As Army jobs go, helicopter pilot ranks right up there with astronaut on the cool-job scale. But, ask an Apache pilot what the highlight of his days in Iraq are, and it’s not the Apache’s firepower or even flying that gets them juiced. “Ultimately, we support the ground guys. If they need our support, that’s our top priority,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Terry Eldridge, an Apache and maintenance test pilot from Company B, 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade,1st Cavalry Division. “That is the most satisfying thing that we do – going out and supporting the ground forces,” echoed Chief Warrant Officer 2 Daryl Hosler, Apache pilot and aviation life support equipment officer for Company B, 1-227th, from Placerville, Calif. While responding to troops in contact with the enemy may be the money mission for the pilots, they perform a wide range of essential missions in the Multi-National Division - Baghdad area, including reconnaissance, VIP flight escorts, convoy escorts and presence missions.

For the rest of the story and others see this WEBSITE

The only reason we fly is for those guys on the ground...if we can possibly be there for you we will be...count on it.

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Saturday, June 09, 2007

World's Largest Distributor of Automotive Parts

One of these days they will learn not to double park...

2/10th MTN, 1 ACB kill IED emplacers

Saturday, 09 June 2007
Multi-National Corps – Iraq Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory APO AE 09342
June 9, 2007
2/10th MTN, 1 ACB kill IED emplacers 2nd BCT, 10th Mountain Division (LI) PAO Multi-National Division – Center PAO
AZ ZAIDON, IRAQ – Apache attack helicopters engaged and destroyed an improvised explosive device emplacement team near Az Zaidon, Iraq, southwest of Baghdad, June 7.
The IED emplacement team was observed preparing a site, emplacing, and covering the IED by an unmanned aerial vehicle at about 10:30 a.m.
The UAV, controlled by the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, continued surveillance of the team until AH-64 Apache attack helicopters from the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade arrived at the scene.
As the sedan was moving away from the IED site, the Apaches engaged the sedan with a rocket, killing the two occupants and destroying the vehicle.
The Az Zaidon area is known as a safe haven for al Qaeda and as a step-off point for launching attacks into Baghdad.

This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

OR BY PHONE AT DSN 318-822-7482 OR COMMERCIAL 912-767-4114

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Rocket Launchers with Video

Direct from the Multi National Forces Iraq-You Tube page...

These are the rocket launchers referenced in the press release from the 3rd of JUN...see below. Or go HERE to read the whole thing.

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Girl Friday, 8 JUN 07

This week's Girl Friday, is Kimberly Williams...

Enjoy the weekend, drink water and try and stay cool!

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More News...

Here's a couple of stories you'd have to look for to find...
Check out more HERE

Helicopters conduct air strike
Tuesday, 05 June 2007
Multi-National Corps – Iraq
Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory
APO AE 09342

RELEASE No. 20070605-03
June 5, 2007

Helicopters conduct air strike
Multi-National Division – Center PAO

KALSU, Iraq — Coalition aircraft conducted precision air strikes against anti-aircraft weapons northwest of Iskandariyah June 4.

An AH-64 Apache attack helicopter from the 4th Squadron, 227th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion was providing aerial security for ongoing operations when Paratroopers spotted an anti-aircraft artillery piece not far from a house they were raiding.

The helicopter destroyed the artillery piece with two missiles to prevent it from being used against the Iraqi or Coalition Forces in the area.

In the last three days, the Paratroopers and the 227th ARB have destroyed seven anti-aircraft weapons.


FOR QUERIES, CONTACT THE MULTI-NATIONAL DIVISION – CENTER PUBLIC AFFAIRS AT MND-CENTER_PAO@IRAQ.CENTCOM.MILThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it OR BY PHONE AT DSN 318-822-7482 OR COMMERCIAL 912-767-4114

Tuesday, 05 June 2007
703.270.0320 / 0299

June 5, 2007
Release A070605b


BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition Forces detained 18 suspected terrorists in raids targeting the al-Qaeda in Iraq network Tuesday morning based on information gained from previous successful operations.

North of Taji, Coalition Forces captured an alleged key leader in the Rusafa vehicle-borne improvised explosive device network. Coalition Forces also detained another suspected al-Qaeda in Iraq terrorist on the scene.

Based on information from a suspected terrorist detained May 29, Coalition Forces captured an alleged al-Qaeda facility manager who operates a safe house southwest of Tarmiyah.

In Mosul, Coalition Forces raided two buildings and detained two suspected terrorists, one of whom is allegedly the assistant to a senior terrorist leader captured May 29.

During continued operations to disrupt the al-Qaeda in Iraq network in Anbar province, Coalition Forces conducted a raid on four associated buildings northeast of Fallujah. The ground force detained 13 suspected terrorists for their association with a cell that carries out attacks against Iraqis and Coalition Forces with VBIEDs, snipers, and mortars, and targets Iraqi infrastructure.

“Our continuing operations are frustrating al-Qaeda in Iraq’s ability to operate,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, MNF-I spokesperson. “We are targeting them, detaining them, and they in turn are giving us information to disrupt the networks further.”


FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT THE COMBINED PRESS INFORMATION CENTER at: e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

And finally this one...from HERE

Thanks Reuters. I did a google search and it appears to be the only news service picking up this story...I guess it isn't important with rich spoiled socialites get sprung from jail early.

By Ross Colvin Reuters - Monday, June 4 07:44 pmCAMP ANACONDA, Iraq (Reuters) - Three U.S. helicopter crews were honoured on Monday for bravery under fire for coming to the aid of a helicopter that was shot down, killing 12 soldiers in one of the worst crashes of the Iraq war.

The Black Hawk transport helicopter was brought down on January 20 north of Baghdad as it was ferrying troops on a routine run to the capital. The military's top medical officer in Iraq and two other senior officers were among those killed...

...The helicopters landed and deployed the troops they had been carrying to set up a perimeter around the downed aircraft until Apache attack helicopters arrived on the scene. ...

Chief Warrant Officer Jerry Sartin, the pilot who led the rescue, received the U.S. military's fourth-highest decoration, the Silver Star, while three others received the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the rest received Air Medals...

For the rest of this article please go HERE

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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

There's a Reason They Are Called ATTACK Helicopters

Here'a couple of press releases from MNC-I that you won't see too many places...just so you know there are successes among the IED's over here.

The following is available HERE

RELEASE No. 20070603-18
June 3, 2007

MND-B Apaches disrupt enemy attack on aircraft
1st ACB, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs Multi-National Division – Baghdad PAO

CAMP TAJI, Iraq – Multi-National Division-Baghdad attack helicopter crews
killed four insurgents and destroyed five enemy vehicles carrying heavy antiaircraft
weapons systems May 31 in Baghdad.

Four Apaches from the 1st “Attack” Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st
Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, destroyed bongo trucks that were
mounted with heavy anti-aircraft machine guns, and one truck carrying what
appeared to the aircrews to be a man-portable air defense system.

“This battle, on a well defended terrorist position proves the awesome
lethality and agility my crews display every day with every mission supporting
Coalition Forces,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Walach, commander, 1-227th
Aviation Regiment. “In a short period, the enemy just could not react to the
Apache Longbow crews’ quick actions, superior aerial skills, team work and very
accurate and lethal fires all under heavy enemy fire. These aircrews’ actions …
contributed significantly to preventing future attacks on Coalition aircraft and
Coalition ground units.”

A team of two Apache helicopters were on an area reconnaissance
mission at about 6:30 p.m. May 31 while en route to Baghdad International
Airport when they noticed vehicles quickly leaving the road after seeing the
aircraft. The occupants left the vehicles and hid in nearby ditches.

Coming under fire from three to four heavy machine guns, the crews
returned suppressive fire. One vehicle moved near a house, where the Apache
crews fired at it, killing one.

The Apache crews saw three of the trucks fleeing the engagement area
and observed muzzle flashes from the machine guns mounted on the trucks. The
crews engaged the trail vehicle.

The crews fired again and disabled the lead vehicle. The crews continued
engaging the vehicles – disabling the three gun trucks and killing three more
enemy gunmen.

The crews returned to the truck at the house and destroyed it. A fifth truck
carrying a probable MANPAD system was engaged and also destroyed.

Four insurgents were killed and five vehicles destroyed in the

And then there is this one available HERE

RELEASE No. 20070603-17
June 3, 2007

Rocket attack foiled
Insurgent rocket team engaged, four killed, six captured
Multi-National Division – Baghdad PAO

CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq — Attack helicopter crews from the 1st “Attack” Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, in a coordinated operation with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, killed four terrorists, apprehended six suspects and destroyed one van and multiple rockets that were aimed toward the International Zone in eastern Baghdad June 2.

The Apache helicopter team was alerted to the area when terrorists were spotted setting up multiple rocket firing positions aimed at the International Zone.

“This operation against an enemy rocket team shows the awesome capability and lethality my aircrews display every day,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Walach, commander of the 1-227th Aviation Regiment.

In all, four terrorists were killed, one vehicle destroyed and 10 rockets destroyed in the Apache Longbow engagement. There was no collateral damage observed during the engagement.

Following the destruction of the equipment by the attack helicopters, Soldiers with the 82nd Airborne Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team pursued six suspects observed fleeing the scene of the foiled rocket attack. They tailed the suspects to a residence inside Sadr City and apprehended them.The six suspects were then transported to the nearby Sadr City Joint Security Station for questioning.

“These intelligence-driven raids by the Coalition are designed to go after extremists responsible for indirect fire attacks in Baghdad against innocent civilians in recent months,” said Lt. Col. Scott Bleichwehl, spokesman for Multi-National Division – Baghdad.

Who says there's no good news?

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

I Am An American Soldier...

I am a Warrior and a member of a team. I serve the people of the United States and live the Army Values.

I will always place the mission first.
I will never accept defeat.
I will never quit.
I will never leave a fallen comrade.

I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills. I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself.
I am an expert and I am a professional.
I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy the enemies of the United States of America in close combat.
I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life.
I am an American Soldier.

Good poster from the Military Motivator website.

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Monday, June 04, 2007

From Ben Stein's Diary

All of you know Ben Stein, if not from his fabulous game show, Win Ben Stein's Money then as his role as the teacher in Ferris Bueller's Day Off (..."Bueller...Bueller"), or even for his "Clear Eyes" commercials. One thing is for certan however, Mr. Stein's heart is in the right place. Read this part of what he wrote in his most recient Ben Stein's Diary article for the American Spectator

AMERICA IS THE PUREST EXPRESSION OF GOD'S LOVE. That love is magnificently expressed in the Declaration of Independence. We hold these truths to be self-evident -- that all men are created with certain inalienable rights. That among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It doesn't say some men or some white men, so it includes blacks and Asians and Hispanics. It doesn't say all Protestant men, so it includes Catholics. It doesn't say all Christian men so it includes Jews, Hindus, Moslems, and atheists. It doesn't say only rich men. It says all men, which includes poor men. I learned these phrases from Martin Luther King, Jr.

In this dream come true, we live in a blessed garden of opportunity, toleration, comfort, even luxury and good nature.

Outside this garden is a roaring savage jungle of hatred, brutality, violence, and cruelty. Outside America is exploitation of women, cruel torture of anyone different, power unrestrained by decency or law. We are in a small patch of paradise and outside it is a huge swath of hell.

How do we stay secure in this garden? It's not because of movie stars, those overgrown, overpaid big babies. In fact, I don’t consider them stars at all. It’s not because of the political stars, also big overgrown babies. They talk a lot and sometimes they make brave decisions, but I would not call them stars by any means. No, we stay safe inside our magnificent gardens of play and lushness and opportunity and happiness because we have some men and women who offer up their lives for us selfish big babies here at home. And they are the real stars.

No, it's not Babs Streisand or Rod Stewart or Alec Baldwin or Sean Penn or Hillary or even President Bush who are the real stars. It's the guys in battle dress uniforms over body armor in 130-degree heat who are the real stars. They're stars in humvees and on foot patrols and they’re getting shot at and blown up by IEDs for us. They don’t get paid $20 million a picture and they don’t make a billion dollars a year trading commodities on Wall Street. But they make every single darned thing we do here in our garden possible.

None of it -- NONE! The movies, the love, the gourmet meals, the Waffle House, the frat parties, the mansions, the SUVs, the kids at play, Rosie, none of it, absolutely none of it, would be possible without them.

And this gathering is about the ones who gave the most to make it possible. They gave their lives and their families gave their peace of mind, their happiness, their love -- everything -- for us. What possibly greater greatness could there be than the men and women who fight for this country, die for us, and the families they leave behind? What could possibly compare in human sacrifice! ?

And so how do we make it up to them? How do we possibly show them we care as much as we should care? Of course they get the benefits the government promised them. They won't starve.

But they are lonely. They are desperate. I want the people who are reading this or listening to it to just try a mental and spiritual experiment: Try thinking about what your life would be like if you suddenly had a man come to your home to tell you your beloved husband or wife or father or mother or son or daughter was dead -- gone forever to the worst enemies of civilization there have ever been.

(And make no mistake, the Islamic fascists we are fighting now are as bad as the Nazis, as barbaric, as murderous, as vicious, as sadistic, as cruel, as relentless -- and there are a hell of a lot more of them and we are supporting them with our gasoline purchases. And they represent a threat as powerful as any threat to humanity there has ever been.)

So imagine that a chaplain has just showed up at your door, talked to you for a while, left you some pamphlets, and then left. The bottom of your life has just fallen out. All you see around you is endless bleak pain and loneliness.

And so how do we make it up to you? We could shower you with money. That wouldn't do it. We could put you on The View. That wouldn't do it.

What we need is something simple for you: to sit down with someone else who has been there. Someone else who has been in your situation: lonely, desperate, short of breath with pain. For your kids to sit down with kids who have been there. For the parents to sit down with the man or woman who has lost a child to a terrorist sniper. For you to talk to someone who has been there, walked through that valley of the shadow of death and come through -- thanks to not walking through that valley alone.

That is TAPS, the great organization I help out with in a tiny way. Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors. They put grieving widows and or! phans wi th other grieving widows and orphans and mentors in Good Grief camps and they let you know that it can be done: You can walk through this. You can get through it.

TAPS is not about policy. TAPS is not about politics. TAPS is about humans reaching out to other human beings in pain. I am so blessed to be allowed to help out with this. It is so much bigger than I am and just to be allowed to touch it. Just to be allowed to hug these kids and their moms and dads. Just to see their brave mentors from the Old Guard. Well, this is beyond what I deserve. Beyond what any of us fat civilians deserve.

We all have a chance to belong and get this done: get these people through their pain -- which will never stop, by the way, but it becomes manageable. There is a wall in front of their doors forever, but eventually it becomes covered with ivy and roses, and TAPS helped to plant them.

The world owes these families more than we can ever pay them. They are the bulwarks of decency for 8 billion people. Through TAPS, we can help them a tiny little bit. More than a tiny little bit. A lot.

You know, when Bonnie Carroll started TAPS, she did a miracle of human goodness. We just follow in her footsteps. We just write checks and say a few words. Bonnie and the volunteers of TAPS are doing the best that can be done. They are following through on the divine precept: Here on earth God's work must truly be our own.

God bless every one of you.

This, in case you are wondering, is the speech I am about to give for TAPS, at the Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C. You can find Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors online and help out, and it's your loss if you don't. Yours and everyone else's.

Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer living in Beverly Hills and Malibu.

For those who are interested TAPS can be found on the web HERE!

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Saturday, June 02, 2007

Sikorsky goes...


Check out the picture in the upper right corner's Sikorsky's vision of a "future" compound attack helicopter capable of flying speeds of nearly 300 kts.

Funny thing is we had one of those in the late 60's and early 70's, and it was called...

the Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne...great scott Marty! Hop in the Delorian, we've got some time travelin' to do.

H/T AV Week's Blog...ARES



Friday, June 01, 2007

Girl Friday, 1 JUN 07

As all my friends in Texas try not to get washed away...we welcome another weekend, and a new month.

For some of us, especially those who work in the green machine, it's payday. I'll try and not spend it all in one place.

This week's Girl Friday, is a blast from the past (the 90's, why does that seem like such a long time ago to me?). Lisa Mathews, Playboy Playmate of the Year for 1991 is the Girl Friday for 1 JUN 2007...enjoy your weekend!

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