Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Valor Recognized

General recognizes pilots for daring rescue mission

Monday, 30 July 2007

BAGHDAD — The top U.S. general in Iraq presented awards to four Apache pilots for their part in the July 2 rescue of two other pilots downed by enemy fire during ceremony Friday in the Victory Base Complex .
U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus, commander of Multi-National Forces-Iraq, honored the four pilots of the 1st Cavalry Division’s 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, and eight others who helped rescue the pilots.
U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer Allan Davison and Chief Warrant Officer Micah Johnson, both AH-64D Apache attack helicopter pilots for Company A, 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, received the Distinguished Flying Cross...for the rest of the article please go HERE

I'm glad these guys were rewarded for a job well done. It's something that doesn't happen enough to be honest.

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

For Women Who Love Their Country...

This guy has a mission for you! WARNING! NSFW.


Via Jules Crittenden

And I'd like to remind anyone who might view this as a self serving move on my part, that I am in Iraq and will be for a while yet...so I would not benefit from anything that might result from this OPORD...you're welcome.

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Friday, July 27, 2007

Area 51 Construction

Maybe Will Smith needed extra space for his Flying Saucer collection?

Personally I think Harry Ried is behind this.

This is from ARES and Bill Sweetman.

The enterprising citizens over at Dreamland Resort just clubbed together and bought a new satellite image of the USAF Flight Test Center's secret annex in Nevada, better known as Area 51 - see page 24 of this for a quick background brief, which is still pretty current.

Dreamland resort webmaster Joerg Arnu has posted the first excerpts from the image. with more to follow. He hasn't been able to determine at press-time whether we can post images ourselves, but we'll keep you posted.

If there's a trend visible, it's construction - including the biggest hangar yet, 360 feet wide, equipped with an earthen berm to conceal activities from the closest public vantage point, and the enlargement of the "scoot and hide" hangar near the runway...

...In coincidence, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments has released an analysis of the 2008 classified budget for research, development and acquisition, by Steve Kosiak. The $18.1 billion total in FY2008 (the report explains how this total is legitimately arrived at) is far bigger than the total defense budget of most other countries; and the USAF's share of this money has now surpassed 40 per cent of the service's acquisition spending...



New X-Plane Flies at Edwards AFB

In the good old days (the "Right Stuff" era), that headline would have meant that a test pilot had strapped on a new experimental airplane to test a new concept that had never been tried before. Today it means NASA just flew a jet powered model airplane by remote control. If Chuck Yeager were dead he would have just rolled over in his grave.

Anyway this is still pretty cool, but not the stuff that will inspire a whole new generation of engineers and pilots


X-48B Blended Wing Body Research Aircraft Takes First Flight

EDWARDS, Calif. -- NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif., provided critical support for the first flight July 20 of the X-48B. The 21-foot wingspan, 500-pound remotely piloted test vehicle took off for the first time at 8:42 a.m. PDT and climbed to an altitude of 7,500 feet before landing 31 minutes later. The Boeing Co. of Seattle developed the blended wing body research aircraft.

"Friday's flight marked yet another aviation first achieved by a very hard-working Boeing, NASA and Cranfield team," said Gary Cosentino, Dryden's Blended Wing Body project manager. "The X-48B flew as well as we had predicted, and we look forward to many productive data flights this summer and fall."

NASA's participation in the blended wing body effort is focused on fundamental, advanced flight dynamics and structural concepts of the design. It is a Subsonic Fixed Wing project managed by NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, Washington.

In addition to hosting the X-48B flight test and research activities, NASA provided engineering and technical support -- expertise garnered from years of operating cutting-edge air vehicles. NASA assisted with the hardware and software validation and verification process, the integration and testing of the aircraft's systems and the pilot's ground control station. NASA's range group provided critical telemetry and command and control communications during the flight, while flight operations provided a T-34 chase aircraft and essential flight scheduling. Photo and video support completed the effort.

Boeing's Phantom Works designed the X-48B flight test vehicles in cooperation with NASA and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, to gather detailed information about the stability and flight-control characteristics of the blended wing body design, especially during takeoffs and landings.

The Boeing blended wing body design resembles a flying wing, but differs in that the wing blends smoothly into a wide, flat, tailless fuselage. This fuselage blending provides additional lift with less drag compared to a circular fuselage, translating to reduced fuel use at cruise conditions. Since the engines mount high on the back of the aircraft, there is less noise inside and on the ground when it is in flight.

Three turbojet engines enable the composite-skinned, 8.5 percent scale vehicle to fly up to 10,000 feet and 120 knots in its low-speed configuration. The aircraft is flown remotely from a ground control station in which the pilot uses conventional aircraft controls and instrumentation while looking at a monitor fed by a forward-looking camera on the aircraft.

Up to 25 flights are planned to gather data in these low-speed flight regimes. Then the X-48B may be used to test the aircraft's low-noise and handling characteristics at transonic speeds.

NASA long has supported the development of the blended wing body shape and concept, participating in numerous collaborations with Boeing on vehicle design and analysis, as well as several wind tunnel entries of various sizes and design models.

NASA is interested in the potential benefits of the aircraft: increased volume for carrying capacity, efficient aerodynamics for reduced fuel burn and possibly significant reductions in noise due to propulsion integration options. In these initial flights, the principal focus is to validate the research on the aerodynamics and controllability of the shape, including comparisons of the flight data with the extensive wind-tunnel database.

Later studies will be conducted to provide a detailed understanding of this unique aircraft shape and a knowledge database to enable a future full-scale design.

Two X-48B research vehicles were built by Cranfield Aerospace Ltd., in Bedford, England, in accordance with Boeing requirements. The vehicle that flew on July 20 is Ship 2, which also was used for ground and taxi testing. Ship 1, a duplicate, completed extensive wind tunnel testing in 2006 at the Full-Scale Tunnel at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. Ship 1 will be available for use as a backup during the flight test program.

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Girl Friday, 27 July 2007

July is almost done...in the burning hell that is Iraq that can be nothing but a good thing.

This week's "Girl Friday", Inga Drozdova (a 1997 Playboy Playmate) is a perfect example why the KGB used the "honey pot" scheme so successfully over the years.

Have a wonderful weekend...stay cool!

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Michael Yon had this to say about SF legend and American Hero GEN Wayne Downing, who passed away recently.

...“If it were easy, they wouldn’t need us Rangers, drive on.” — I just love it. I was never a Ranger, but people like Wayne Downing make me wish I had been. What is a man’s life worth if he will not defend his family, friends and country? Wayne Downing’s life was our treasure.

Read his whole tribute to a great American HERE

It's unfortunate that the news probably spent more time with stories about the latest Miss Thang out in Hollywood getting arrested for drunk driving or possession of coke than they did detailing the life of a man who did more for his country than 100 movie stars or football players ever could or have done.

If they did spend a few minutes discussing the heroes who have kept this nation free then we might not have quite so many people like this next guy...

This oxygen thief's name is A Whitney Brown. He used to be on SNL. I have watched that show quite a bit and although I recognize his name, I can't place anything in particular he did on that show...he must have been about as funny as he was in this video.

For those who weren't able to take this carp for more than a few seconds the fine folks at BLACKFIVE were kind enough to provide a transcript of some of the more vile things this asshat had to say. For instance...

You know you can adopt a kid for 15 dollars a month in Brazil or somewhere and you get pictures of them living their miserable lives. But I have paid hundreds of dollars in taxes over my lifetime, hundreds of dollars, and I don’t have so much as a single picture of an Iraqi child that I paid to have killed. It would be nice to just have something, you know, to remember them by.... a picture, a lock of hair, perhaps a necklace of ears...
So yes, I resent my support for the killing of Iraqis for which I get not even a memento or trophy. But do I still support the individual men and women who have given so much to serve their country?
No. I think they’re a bunch of idiots. I also think they’re morally retarded. Because they sign a contract that says they will kill whoever you tell me to kill. And that is morally retarded.
Friends, the most important moral decision a man makes in the course of a day is "Who am I going to kill today?"
That’s a decision you should agonize over, dream about, rehearse in your mind for hours, not just leave up to some hare-brained President you didn’t even vote for.
A man’s killing list is a very personal matter. It should be between him and those persistent voices in his head.
So to sum up, I don’t like our troops, I don’t like what they’re doing, I don’t like their fat, whining families, and yet, I support them. Thank God I live in a free country. Thank You.

Pretty pathetic stuff. Unfortunately there are more than a few people who feel exactly the same way as Mr. Brown does...so at least he's being honest.

Also, and equally unfortunate no matter what anyone says about the stupid idiotic things Mr. Brown opined...it won't change his mind or anyone else who believes the things that he does.

To be honest, everyone, including me who links his video and discusses his antics is more than likely playing right into this boobs hands.

Yeah, I can hear the conversations in places like NBC right now..."He's controversial, he's edgey...maybe we should give this funny-un-funny guy another shot."

I will refrain from swear words and threats of bodily harm against this boob because, while it may make some feel better ultimately it just lowers one to his level and like I read in a Porta Potty at NTC once, "Profanity is the linguistic crutch of the illiterate Mother F#@ker.

In the end it's an interesting contrast between a guy who gave everything for this country and a guy who couldn't care less and couldn't be more ungrateful. Sad but true...but I guess that's the way the world is sometimes.

I'll leave you with this video...
What Would Patton Say About Today?

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We have liftoff...as a person who grew up during the heyday of the space race, there was no sweeter sound to this aviation nerds ears than that phrase.

I remember teachers wheeling in the TV so we could watch moonwalks. My parents took me to visit the Manned Space Center during an actual Apollo moon mission.

So with all that in mind...this video is the shiznat yo!

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The True Nature of the Animal Threat Revealed


I wonder if PETA knows about this.



Monday, July 23, 2007

And Now For Something Completely Different...

only more of the same...it appears to be the story of Dorkus McGorgus trying to get drunk and or laid. I give you....SUPERBAD.

It seems this is going to be a lot like, Dazed and Confused meets Animal House meets that movie with the Ghost Whisperer chick (actually I believe the title of the movie is Can't Hardly Wait...staring Boobs McGee...er...Jennifer Love Hewitt (a native of Killeen, Texas and a fine actress by the way...we appreciate you for your talent as well as your body...no really, I mean it)) in it. Based on the trailer it should be very popular with guys between the ages of 15-40...so it should be appreciated by most of the guys in my unit.

Don't think too many ladies will be waiting in the line at the cinema to check this one out.

The Trailer is "R" rated, don't say I didn't warn you.

I guess we'll be seeing this one on Hadji vision, or DVD when we get home...not too many multiplex's over here.



Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Fake Diary of a Fake Soldier

There has been a lot of uproar in the last couple of days (rightfully so) about the atrocities contained in a story by "Scott Thomas" an alleged soldier, allegedly serving at FOB Falcon here in Iraq.

The story contains a lot of sensational charges and stories designed to make the average person reel with revulsion at the abject cruelty that is being committed in our name, by our poor brainwashed soldiers in Iraq.

I won't even attempt to address the motives of the person who wrote that piece of tripe. I will however say that the fact that a magazine would print or post to the INTERNET this stuff and present it as being true shows the contempt and utter lack of understanding they have of the culture surrounding today's military.

Unfortunately, there are plenty of people in the US Military who do wrong horrible things. The military is a reflection of the society and as such we have our share of depraved and sick minds. The thing that makes me believe this is made up is the fact that if someone did do the things described in the article they wouldn't get away with it. People would not accept it or stand for it. Even if heaven forbid, they were OK with what the "Soldier" was doing (like wearing part of a human skull as a crown) they would stop it, because they know others wouldn't be OK with it and that to allow something like that to happen would be the end of many a career.

There is a gulf that exists between the military and some in the press. A gulf some don't even care to try and cross. For those who have been educated by watching "Platoon", "Full Metal Jacket" and other motion pictures that feature all the depravity that the mind can imagine and then believe that is what being a Soldier is all about, it's easy to imagine that stories like this one, and Marines murdering civilians in cold blood are true. It conforms to the reality they know because that's all they know. They haven't taken the time, nor do they wish to find out what the military is really like. Why would they wish to associate with the troglodytes who would condone and commit such acts?

On top of their dislike of who and what we are, you can add that they are actively opposed to the war itself and some see opposing and stopping the war anyway they can trumps being objective or looking for the greater truth.

We in the military can try and reach out to council, teach and mentor these people but it is after all a free country (you're welcome). So if the majority of the press isn't willing to learn then what are we to do?

I guess we can continue to point out inaccuracies, and downright lies where we see them for a start. But with friends like these do we really need enemies?

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Girl Friday, 20 JUL 07

Happy Friday!

This week I am featuring Grace from the Ranger Up ads as the Girl Friday for this Friday, the 20th of July.

As you may have noticed below Grace is part of Operation GRIM. Please do your part and support this project not only to get Grace into Maxim magazine, but to help our wounded heroes recover.

Have a superior weekend!

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I've Got A Feevah...

And the only prescription is more cowbell...The MQ-9 Reaper is deploying to Iraq.

From the good folks over at OPFOR

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And I Thought My Helmet Looked Dumb

From The Robot Economist comes this picture of an "advanced" helmet display system.

I thought my neck hurt after flying 5-6 hours now...good Lord. Yeah, that looks like a great idea.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Why Pulling Out Won't Work

We've all heard over the course of this long war...well at least since President Bush appeared on the deck of an aircraft carrier with a "mission accomplished" banner waving proudly in the sea breeze that we need to "pull out".

Being one of the many that are "in" right now, I think it really might be a good thing to discuss the merits and the down side of "pulling out".

"They" say if we "pull out" now then we won't have any problems in the future with our current partner.

Not so, according to "experts", "pulling out" is not a reliable method to achieve the desired result. In fact if one "pulls out" too early there is no real effect for anyone involved regardless of the effort expended. If one "pulls out" too late, you have a real mess on your hands or even worse a problem that could last years, sometimes as long as 18 or so. This leads to more problems with the partner than you may have had in the first place.

"They" say if we "pull out" then we won't have to expend all this wasted energy to a cause that is in effect usless.

Not so, because if we "pull out" before the desired conclusion, then we will just have to expend effort somewhere else either right away or at a later time. It only makes sence to stay in and finish what you started in the first place.

To "pull out" generally accomplishes nothing other than aggrivating all the parties involved and in the end causes more trouble than its worth.

It would be better to have a "plan" where everyone involved can get what they want and in the end, when a "plan" has been executed, the desired result can be achieved without "pulling out" too soon. Having a "plan" helps insure that all parties involved get what they really need. But having a plan also means that you act like an adult and be serious about what you are involved with.

Remember this isn't something you do just for fun, there are lives and futures involved here.

Pulling out isn't the answer...ask any un-wed teenage mother.

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Ares and Bill Sweetman has once again answered my need for high altitude photography of hangers in the Navada desert. In today's edition of "As the Black Jet Purrs" we see that Uncle Sugar has built a new hangar at the airfield that doesn't exist. That's Area 51 to you people who don't get it.

Could it be that our reverse engineered UFO fleet is growing to such a size that we need more hangar space?

Or could it be that we need to house giant UAVs that look suspisiously like a twin engined raven.

Only the Shadow knows! (Oops, I made a UAV reference, 2 in fact...and a pop culture reference, well it was pop culture in the 40's)

Check the story out here

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Patches, Patches, Patches

I spotted this story in Ares and brought to mind my patch collection...

I am known as a patch hound. That's the guy who goes to air shows and rather than looking at all the airplanes, tries to trade for patches from all the aircrews. I've been doing this rather geeky hobby for more years than I care to admit. The first patch I got that I was really proud of was when I was in high school. I sent a letter to the 64th Aggressor Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada and asked if I could have one of their patches...oddly enough someone sent one. That was the beginning of a long and wallet sucking affair that continues to this day. Which brings me to this abomination...

Sorry, the patch doesn't seem to show up when I view the page...hopefully it will be there for you, it shows up when I compose the post. Maybe FOX is jamming the picture with some kind of high tech device that even the government doesn't know about, because it's in violation of copyright laws?
Anyway, if you can't see it, the patch depicts an enraged Homer Simpson yelling "You Sent Me To Afghanistan, You Bastards!" I would expect given the popularity of "The Simpsons" in the UK, this patch belongs to one of "them" or a really enthusiastic fan of "The Simpsons" (there are still people who are jacked up about "The Simpsons"?!?)
Why would I say that such a nicely rendered Homer Simpson is an abomination? Well, they ruined the joke. I have a patch that was and is still quite popular in Iraq...I bought it in '04 and it references a line that appeared in many many episodes of the popular cartoon South Park..."You Killed Kenny, You Bastards!" There is also a version for Afghanistan.

Now I will freely admit that the artist who did the Homer patch did a much better job than the guy who made the patch featuring Kyle...however, the patch has more meaning with Kyle than Homer...unless you just want to have Homer Simpson express your disgust with being sent to Afghanistan.

If that is in fact the case then mission accomplished and BRAVO!

What does this have to do with anything? Not a whole hell of a lot, expect to show that no matter where Soldiers, Sailors. Airmen and Marines go, we take our pop culture and our bitching with us. After all it is a Soldiers right to bitch...one of the few we still have.

Now if you want a patch...this is a patch!

H/T Ares

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Conan O'Brian Visits ILM

From NBC's Late Night via Ace of Spades

Let your Star Wars geek flag fly!

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Animal Planet


First we have this story from Basra, Iraq where a British military spokesman says...

"We can categorically state that we have not released man-eating badgers into the area."

Followed by this story.

The rodents were found near the Iranian border allegedly equipped with eavesdropping devices, according to Sky News.

The reports have come from the official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

When asked to confirm the story, the national police chief said: "I have heard about it, but I do not have precise information."

The IRNA said that the squirrels were kitted out by foreign intelligence services - but were captured two weeks ago by police officers.


When the animal kingdom is aligned against you...how "just" can your cause really be? Now what we really need are sharks...sharks with freaking laser beams.

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Using Dead Soldiers For Fun and Political Gain

As I have stated in the past I usually don't give a whole lot of my time to watching the news over here. I discovered the last time I was in this monkey house (and I mean that in the nicest possible way) that what is presented on the news is not an entirely accurate picture of events on the battlefield and it remains true today...from what little I am exposed to while trying to eat in the DFAC. So I missed Sunday's Meet the Press, where SENs Lindsey Graham and Jim Webb had an exchange about the war.

Tempers flare on Iraq

By CALVIN WOODWARD, Associated Press Writer
Sun Jul 15, 5:10 PM ET

WASHINGTON - When senators from opposing parties call each other "friend" and pat each other as they talk, there's a fighting chance they're angling to wring each other's neck.

So it appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday when Democrat Jim Webb of Virginia and Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina testily exchanged views on President Bush's Iraq policy and troop welfare. An impromptu troop surge debate turned into a temper surge.

"Just wash your hands of Iraq," an animated Graham said to the war critics, including the Democrat seated to his immediate right. "History will judge us, my friend."

"It's been a hard month, Lindsey," Webb commiserated, wearing a tight smile. "You need to calm down, my friend."

"Lindsey's had a hard month," Webb repeated.

"It ain't about Lindsey having a hard month," Graham snapped...

Yeah, whatever SEN Webb, at least have the decency to bring your butt over here and see it for yourself before you make up your mind. But being objective means that you might have to change your pre-conceived notions and go against your party...your allies in the war against the most hated enemy the Republicans and especially President Bush. It's a really sad day to see the number of people who will put party and self before the well being of their country. To hold up soldiers as props, as too stupid, poor or whatever excuse you have today, that we stay in and serve this nation and fight this war. Because to say you are wrong about the war means you might be wrong about President Bush and that might mean you wouldn't be re-elected and after all that's what it's all about isn't it? It's beyond pathetic.

You know in the end "The Surge" may very well be a failure...but some people haven't event given it a chance. They are in a headlong rush to declare defeat, bring the troops home and there's election to win, by God! Would I like to be home tomorrow? You're damn right I would but that doesn't mean it's the right thing to do. What ever happend to the hard right over the easy wrong? Oh yeah, that's only for us stupid, poor saps in the military. If you're a politician, duty, honor, country need not apply.


I also missed until today this story about how House Oversight Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and Tom Davis, R-Va were trying to get Pentagon and White House records concerning the death of Pat Tillman...

Panel Demands Tillman's Death Records
Associated Press July 14, 2007
SAN FRANCISCO - Two influential lawmakers investigating how and when the Bush administration learned the circumstances of Pat Tillman's friendly-fire death and how those details were disclosed accused the White House and Pentagon on Friday of withholding key documents and renewed their demand for the material.

The White House and Defense Department have turned over nearly 10,000 pages of papers - mostly press clippings - but the White House cited "executive branch confidentiality interests" in refusing to provide other documents.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and Tom Davis, R-Va., the committee's top-ranking Republican, said Friday the documents were inadequate. They insisted that the Defense Department turn over the additional material by July 25 and asked that the White House do likewise.

Tillman, a San Jose native, turned down a lucrative contract with the NFL's Arizona Cardinals to join the Army following the Sept. 11 attacks. He was killed April 22, 2004, by friendly fire in Afghanistan.

Although Pentagon investigators determined quickly that he was killed by his own troops, five weeks passed before the circumstances of his death were made public. During that time, the Army claimed he was killed by enemy fire.

Tillman's family and others have said they believe the erroneous information peddled by the Pentagon was part of a deliberate cover-up that may have reached all the way to President Bush and then-Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld. The committee said Friday it had scheduled a second hearing on Tillman's death for Aug. 1, this time to probe what senior Pentagon officials knew and when...

Anyone who has been in the Army more than five minutes knows how this one went down. First of all, first reports are usually wrong. Whomever took that first report from the battlefield before the in initial 15-6 investigation was done and ran with it...is a moron.

I have no particular knowledge of this event other than my Army experience and what I've read in the papers/INTERNET. That being said, here's what I think MAY have happened...a variation on this theme is more than likely closer to the truth than any grand conspiracy scheme someone in Washington or Hollywood could devise.

After the events on the battlefield cost Pat Tillman his life there were the initial reports back to Ranger BN headquarters and somewhere in that immediate chain of command a decision was made to try and pretty up an ugly event, to either help the family (which is ridiculous seeing as though his brother was in the same unit, like he wouldn't find out or talk), or save the reputation of a glorious unit (more than likely a combination of both). News of the now "heroic" event swept through the chain of command and Washington, desperate for heroes and knowing that THIS was going to be news tried to get ahead of the story, got up and told everyone how Pat Tillman went down fighting the talliban, a regular Audie Murphy. In the mean time the truth was discovered and instead of getting right back out there and correcting themselves, the hero story remained. Bad news doesn't get better with time, and someone out there forgot that. It could have been the Ranger BN or the White House...I don't know and I don't care. Pat Tillman is dead and who said what to whom and when they said is only being discussed right now for some selfish bastard's political gain.

This is a perfect example of how junior leaders decisions turn into strategic events. While in the grand scheme of things this event has little if anything to do with the war itself, it has everything to do with it to those that oppose the war and want to bring down the POTUS and gain power for themselves. This whole dog and pony show is not going to accomplish one thing other than prop up Pat Tillman's corpse as a celebrity spokesperson and open raw wounds of a grieving family just so someone can try and gain political advantage over another. It's sick and they should be ashamed of themselves...but they won't be because after all they are politicians.

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Operation GRIM

For those of you who read the comments on this website, the following comes as no surprise. For the rest of you mouth breathers who just look at the pretty pictures and drool all over your screen...well you aren't even reading this, so why bother.

As a rule I try not to know too much about the babes we all regard as "the hottest woman on the planet"...because if you look too closely you might find something you really didn't want to know.

Case in point, the "Girl Friday" for the 13th ( yesterday) Tamara Witmer, who according to her website is involved in a reality show on VH-1 where, ala "The Flavor of Love", competes for the attention of the former lead singer of Poison.

I may have low standards but I do have some and that folks crosses the line. She may be hot (smoking) but you can rest assured that anyone who appears on TV vying for the attention of a washed up half assed "rock star" will never grace these pages again. There are plenty of other half naked women who won't stoop that low to choose from...which brings us to Operation GRIM.

Anyone who has looked at more than a few MILBLOGS has come across the ads for RANGER UP. RANGER UP is a military run clothing and action wear company run by current and former members of the military. The ads feature a very attractive young lady wearing one of their shirts. They want to support those who have given so much. So they came up with OPERATION GRIM.

This is part of the story:

The Ranger Up Serious Monologue

Our nation owes everything to the brave men and women who have the courage to step into harms way time and time again so that we may live peacefully here at home. As we all know, many of our nation’s heroes have paid for our freedoms with their lives. Many more still have come home with life-changing injuries. These men and women lay injured in our nation’s hospitals or have finally transitioned home – into lives significantly altered. People that were once the finest of athletes with the best employment prospects find themselves worried about how they are going to adapt into their new lives – how will they work, exercise, live? As many folks we’ve spoken to that have undergone major operations such as amputations have said – even getting up in the morning takes planning. Nothing is easy anymore.

Moreover, we know that the government is failing our men and women in this regard – Walter Reed’s recent incidents are just the tip of the iceberg. Other hospitals are worse, and once our soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen are released from active duty, they have even less support. We’re not conspiracy theorists and we don’t think anyone is out to hurt our servicemen, but the government is a huge bureaucracy, and as anyone who has ever tried to fix their pay in the military system knows, bureaucracy does not equate to efficiency. As such, we at Ranger Up strongly support organizations like the Wounded Warrior Project.

What is the Wounded Warrior Project?

The Wounded Warrior Project is a nonprofit organization full of American patriots, many of them former servicemen and women, that is fighting to do something to help our wounded heroes. Their mission is “to raise the awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of severely injured service men and women, to help severely injured service members aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs.” In short, they are a motivated and lean organization that truly cares about our armed forces and is doing everything in its power to see that each and every wounded hero has the opportunity and tools to excel in every facet of their lives post-injury.

Ok – So what do you Ranger Up clowns have to do with this?

We’re not a huge corporation, and even though we are growing at an amazing rate thanks to your support, we’re still a handful of current and former soldiers working our butts off, so we aren’t in a position yet to donate in a meaningful way to the cause as a corporation (we do give on an individual basis), but we knew we needed to help. So we tried to figure out what we had available: 1) http://www.rangerup.com/, a great platform to get the message out and 2) Our buddies – the guys we served with – the guys we’ve met in person or online – and the patriotic Americans that support the Armed Services. We realized that the military, its veterans, and it supporters make up the most powerful network in the world because we can come together faster and with stronger execution than any other entity if there is a need.

With that thought in mind, we reached out to Matt Burden at http://www.blackfive.net/ and Mr. and Mrs. Greyhawk at http://www.mudvillegazette.com/, and inquired about whether they would support a little idea we had to raise awareness…They agreed.


So what’s the freakin’ plan? Simple. As anyone who is a Ranger Up fan knows, we are sophomoric idiots. We like beer, hot chicks, the Armed Forces, mixed martial arts, beer, and hot chicks (did I mention hot chicks and beer?). So we got the crew together, drank some beer, and identified the key ingredients of the plan:

1) Hot chicks – you guys know by now that we can’t do anything without Grace – especially if it involves asking her to take her clothes off…

2) Mixed Martial Arts – When he heard about what we were trying to do, undefeated International Fight League Fighter and Iraqi Veteran Tim Kennedy also came on board.

3) T-shirts – The OPERATION GRIM T-shirt. All the proceeds go to charity. Not $1 per shirt. Not $5 per shirt. Every nickel of profit from these shirts will go the Wounded Warrior Foundation. We’re only recovering the cost of the shirts and printing – no labor costs – no secret squirrel fees!

4) Milblogs, Radio, Newspapers – Led by the aggressive efforts of Blackfive and Greyhawk, we have started an awareness blitz. We’re letting millions of soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, vets, and patriots know about this opportunity to support our wounded troops. In fact, we feel so strongly about this that we will link to all blogs that place a permanent* link to the Operation Grim page on Ranger Up.

*Permanent = until Operation Grim’s mission is accomplished.

And Finally, the Mission:

5) MAXIM MAGAZINE. GRIM stands for GRACE IN MAXIM. I received the first American issue of Maxim Magazine in April of 1997 for free in my barracks and thought it was the coolest mag I had ever read. And you know what? Everyone else did to. Since then I (and everyone else I know) have found ourselves reading MAXIM during training exercises, throughout deployments, and when we are generally just sitting around the barracks. It has simply become an essential part of military life. In my estimation, whether it has been through military articles, free mags to deployed soldiers, or just general good humor, Maxim and its sibling Stuff, have always supported the troops. We’re gonna ask them to do it one more time.

We want them to put GRACE IN MAXIM.


It's a win, win, win situation. What are you waiting for?

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Friday, July 13, 2007

Girl Friday, 13 JUL 07

Well, it's the 13th of July...Friday the Thirteenth. I haven't seen any chain saw or machette wielding assailants chasing topless women over here yet...but there is still time.

So with that in mind, on to the real reason anyone comes to this site on Fridays...

The Girl Friday for this Friday, the 13th of July is Tamara Witmer

Enjoy your weekend!

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Remembering Robin Olds

Recently I told you about the passing of one of America's great legends of flight. A man who by all accounts was the prototypical Fighter Pilot.

Over at Instapinch there are a few stories which will give you insight into why this guy, was such a great leader and Fighter Pilot for the ages.

...So sleepless and delayed by an actual business meeting, I trudged into the Auger Inn around 2130 hours, having failed in my duty to greet General Olds properly. As if my presence had mattered. The Auger was at full blast with Rockin’ Robin holding court with a throng of young fighter pilots listening to him in rapt attention.

As I elbowed up to General Olds, I heard a young jock ask him,

“ What would you like most to be remembered for, sir ? ”

Robin simply and directly replied that … “ I loved my boys. ”

Three hours later, still in stage five burner, the General seemed somewhat indisposed, though the latest bottle of single malt Scotch was not yet at ‘ bingo.’

Sensing the party variation of controlled flight into terrain [ I was gently holding his shoulder for situation awareness purposes…his and mine ! ] I reasoned that now would be an opportune time to break contact and depart the area.

“ If it would please the General it would be a real honor to accept his keys and drive him to his quarters. ”

This of course had the same of effect as stepping on Superman’s cape.

“ It does not please me at this time ! ” he bellowed

Taking that, ah, soft hint, I sublimated, nevertheless continuing to hold on to Robin’s shoulder.

Two more hours passed and by about 0245 hrs I was a morphing into a real zombie; I was, at that moment, simultaneously crashing into the wall of sleep deprivation and gawking at pink elephants doing pirouettes through the main lounge.

However, Robin at age 75 or so, was still in ‘ burner ‘! Given that my grip on his sport coat had become a very stabilizing force in his life, other than an occasional teeter, he was showing no wear!

At my rickety edge of consciousness I meekly re-suggested a departure.

“Are you saying I am too drunk to drive?” he bellowed again.

To which I tactfully replied, “Absolutely not, sir, I only desire the honor and the privilege of driving the General to his quarters.”

He demurred.

Another hour passed before he sensed my weakened state and offered a window of opportunity.

“I demand an honorable challenge before going to quarters,” he declared.

Thinking that I retained superior SA [ another error in judgment ] I replied:

“Let the General engage with his weapon of choice! ”

“ Get me two brooms and those two empty scotch bottles over there. We will Joust! ”...

These stories also made me wonder, given the politically correct, afraid to do anything lest my superiors think I am unworthy of the mantle of responsibility, atmosphere that exists in many of our units...will we ever see a guy like GEN Olds again?

The world is a darker place without the likes of Robin Olds...we definitely need more people like him around.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

"Anybody Else Would Have Done It"

This just about covers the "Spur Ride" story...I know these guys are sick of giving interviews, but they deserve every bit of attention they have gotten. GREAT JOB!

From the Multi National Forces Iraq website

Air Cav pilots complete daring rescue
Tuesday, 10 July 2007
By Sgt. 1st Class Rick Emert
1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs

Apache pilots from the 1st 'Attack' Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, stand next to one of the AH-64D Apaches they used to evacuate two downed helicopter pilots in Baghdad July 2. The pilots are (left to right): Chief Warrant Officer 3 Allan Davison, Tumwater, Wash.; Chief Warrant Officer 2 Micah Johnson, Del Rio, Texas; Chief Warrant Officer 2 Seung Choi, Fairfax, Va.; and Chief Warrant Officer 3 Troy Moseley, Montgomery, Ala.

CAMP TAJI — The AH-64D Apache is an imposing, lethal weapon that rarely leaves terrorist activity unpunished. But, for a couple of 3rd Infantry Division pilots who were forced to land in Baghdad recently, an Apache from 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division that landed near their downed helicopter was a beacon in what – moments before – had been a flurry of enemy small arms fire.

The two-seat Apache would become their ride out of the hot zone.

The daring rescue on July 2 involved a “spur ride,” a rarely used but established rescue procedure in which Soldiers are strapped onto the wings of the Apache and taken to safety.

“There’s a handful of people who have done (a combat spur ride),” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Allan Davison, an Apache pilot from 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment.

Davison was pilot in command of the lead Apache. He and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Micah Johnson landed near where the downed pilots had taken cover from small arms fire and loaded the pilots on their aircraft. Their wingman aircraft, with pilot-in-command Chief Warrant Officer 3 Troy Moseley and copilot Chief Warrant Officer 2 Seung Choi, provided security from the air. All four Apache pilots are from Company A, 1st “Attack” Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment...

...The Apache pilots said finding the two downed pilots alive was the greatest reward for their actions that day.

“We’ve seen a lot of aircraft shoot-downs,” Johnson said. “Everyone that we’ve all probably seen, it’s resulted in burning aircraft and black smoke and usually catastrophic loss of life. If not loss of life, then there have been serious injuries.

“As soon as the first 58 landed, those (pilots) were already gone. It was kind of a shock to us, and it kicked us off to say, ‘Hey, we have got to find these guys, if they are out here.’ Just to see those two alive, it was amazing. It was great. When we got to BIAP, (the pilot who rode on the left wing) got off. He said he was glad that we showed up – appreciative like I would be if someone came up if I was down on the ground.”

They insist that their actions on July 2 were not extraordinary.

“Anybody else would have done it,” Davison said. “We just happened to be there.”

For the entire story go HERE

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Reasons To Love The USAF

Despite what the outgoing commander of ACC may say about the counter IED fight being a waste of his time, there are still reasons to appreciate and love the USAF. First they do give us a ride to and from theater when going home on leave (that's awesome). Next, they do put on a fairly good air show from time to time (The Thunderbirds). And finally, they have guys like this in their midst who truly do get it...it's seems that a lot of folks at the top, no matter what service they belong to, forget from time to time what is really important.

Let's hope that when the guys who are Captains now make General, that they don't forget the lessons they are learning today. Hey, it's only 6 years since we were attacked on 9/11 but, welcome to the war.

Seriously, some have been along since day one...it's the people that just refuse to change or adapt that are frustrating to some of us.

Iraq war leads U.S. pilots to learn new tactics
Fliers focus more on intelligence, reconnaissance

Associated Press
Originally published July 8, 2007
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan // Controlling the air is what F-16 pilot Maj. Paul Miller does for a living. He's now learning how to fight a ground war. Four years into the war in Iraq, the challenges of fighting insurgents are changing the way U.S. fighter pilots approach their missions. The training has shifted from traditional tactics of air dominance to emphasizing more specialized roles as eyes in the sky - such as locating buried bombs or homing in on small, highly mobile targets.

"This is a lot more on the go," Miller said from this base on Japan's northern frontier. "It's a pickup game."

With fighting insurgents, that can mean following up on intelligence and getting into areas ahead of troops to act as supersonic scouts looking for potential ambush points or bomb-rigged roads.

"We may not be able to read a license plate, but we can tell you if the guy behind the bush is smoking, and whether he's smoking with his right or left hand," Miller said. "It's that exact."

The demands in Iraq have also meant bringing in fighters from farther away.

Two squadrons of F-16s that normally are stationed here to keep watch on North Korea and bolster a mutual security pact with Japan have been assigned to rotate in and out of Iraq since the beginning of the year. ...the rest is HERE

H/T Ares Blog

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Monday, July 09, 2007

Weird Wings

Being an "Aviation Nut", I would say that the 50's and 60's took the prize as being the era that produced the strangest designs and ideas for aircraft, some of which actually flew.

That being said check this out a design that rivals anything that was dreamed up during the cold war. I don't care what you say that is just weird and cool all at the same time... via The Danger Room

The Air Force has enlisted all the big aerospace companies to design giant, high-flying spy drones that'll stay in the sky for two days, tracking everything in the air and on the ground for miles around. But to pull it all off, Defense News notes, the sensors have to be embedded in the wings of the robotic planes themselves...

Read the rest HERE

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Model Rocketry Run Amok

This is what happens when you cross bad parenting with Russian made rockets.

Just like Barney Fife used to say; "First sign of a child going wrong you've got to nip it in the bud...nip it."

RELEASE No. 20070704-15
July 4, 2007

MND-B aircrews thwart rocket attack on IZ
Multi-National Division – Baghdad PAO

BAGHDAD — Multi-National Division-Baghdad attack helicopter crews engaged a group of terrorists attempting to fire a rocket toward the International Zone at approximately 10 p.m. July 2 in eastern Baghdad.

Apache crews from 1st “Attack” Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, were conducting aerial reconnaissance when they spotted terrorists emplacing a rocket in the eastern Baghdad Sadr City District aimed toward the International Zone. The Apache crews gained positive identification of 10-15 terrorists who dispersed as the Apache crews closed in on their position.

The Apache crews got clearance to fire from the ground unit and engaged a van and two sedans in which the terrorists fled the site. The crews also fired on the rocket system. The engagement resulted in three enemy vehicles and a rocket system destroyed.



Friday, July 06, 2007

Girl Friday, 6 JUL 07

Today's "Girl Friday", the first for this July 2007, is Danielle Richardson. She's as hot as the ramp at Camp Taji on a Friday afternoon...

Y'all have a great weekend!

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Not The First One

Just so people don't get the wrong idea and begin thinking that AH-64 guys invented the "spur ride", they have been going on since the AH-1 Cobra days at least. And then there's this story of a MAJ in Vietnam who helped a friend in need.

for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in :

Rank and organization: Major, U.S. Air Force, 1st Air Commandos.

Place and date: Bien Hoa and Pleiku, Vietnam, 10 March 1966.

Entered service at: Kuna, Idaho.

Born: 11 January 1927, San Bernardino, Calif.

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. On that date, the special forces camp at A Shau was under attack by 2,000 North Vietnamese Army regulars. Hostile troops had positioned themselves between the airstrip and the camp. Other hostile troops had surrounded the camp and were continuously raking it with automatic weapons fire from the surrounding hills. The tops of the 1,500-foot hills were obscured by an 800 foot ceiling, limiting aircraft maneuverability and forcing pilots to operate within range of hostile gun positions, which often were able to fire down on the attacking aircraft. During the battle, Maj. Fisher observed a fellow airman crash land on the battle-torn airstrip. In the belief that the downed pilot was seriously injured and in imminent danger of capture, Maj. Fisher announced his intention to land on the airstrip to effect a rescue. Although aware of the extreme danger and likely failure of such an attempt, he elected to continue. Directing his own air cover, he landed his aircraft and taxied almost the full length of the runway, which was littered with battle debris and parts of an exploded aircraft. While effecting a successful rescue of the downed pilot, heavy ground fire was observed, with 19 bullets striking his aircraft. In the face of the withering ground fire, he applied power and gained enough speed to lift-off at the overrun of the airstrip. Maj. Fisher's profound concern for his fellow airman, and at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in the highest traditions of the U.S. Air Force and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.



Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th of July

Now that's a flag!

Y'all have a safe and happy Holiday.

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More on the Spur Ride

Happy 4th of July...more on that later.

Here's some more info about the SPur Ride that occured the other day. It seems 3IDs PAO is not afraid to put the aviators out there in the spotlight. Glad they made it out OK, and I'm glad us poor old, do nothing aviators from the 1st Cav were able to help out...

Comrades Rescue Ambushed Officers

By Ann Scott Tyson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 4, 2007; Page A01

"We're taking fire!" Chief Warrant Officer 2 Steven Cianfrini, 27, yelled to his co-pilot as he looked out the helicopter door and saw tracer rounds flying his way.

It was the first ominous sign Monday morning as their OH-58D Kiowa attack helicopter banked over palm groves, fields and canals on a reconnaissance mission to flush out Sunni insurgents in rural areas south of Baghdad.

It was also the opening salvo of what participants described as a dramatic ordeal of combat and survival, with two Army pilots crash-landing their aircraft, taking cover in neck-high water and reeds in a canal, avoiding insurgent fire, and dashing to a helicopter that lifted them to safety

For the rest please go HERE

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Monday, July 02, 2007

Spur Rides For All My Friends...

Task Force Marne pilots rescued from downed helicopter
Tuesday, 03 July 2007
Multi-National Corps – Iraq
Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory
APO AE 09342

RELEASE No. 20070703-02
July 3, 2007

Task Force Marne pilots rescued from downed helicopter
Multi-National Division – Center PAO

BAGHDAD — An AH-64 Apache helicopter rescued two Task Force Marne pilots after enemy fire brought down their OH-58D Kiowa Attack helicopter south of Baghdad July 2.

The OH-58 pilots received minor injuries.

An Air Force Thunderbolt II destroyed the downed helicopter with two 500-pound laser-guided bombs after the pilots were evacuated from the area.

The incident is under investigation.


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.

Hopefully we'll hear more about this in the near future.

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It's A Small World..

I'm cruisng through some websites...thinking about going to bed and what do I see but a story about someone I know. Not just do I know this guy, we went through WOC-D together, he was my roommate when we were on "rainbow" status in Flight School and we went to Air Assualt School together. Now he's out doing heroic shit up the road from me here in Iraq. Whoda' thunk it?!?

Good stuff via BLACKFIVE

Apache pilots evacuate critically-wounded Soldier, kill several extremists in Ramadi firefight
Staff Sgt. Lorin T. Smith36th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs Office

LSA ANACONDA, Iraq – Apache pilots from Company B, 1st Battalion, 149th Aviation Regiment (Attack), 36th Combat Aviation Brigade and Company A, 2nd Battalion, 159th Aviation Regiment, 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, engaged extremists and saved a critically-wounded Soldier’s life during a firefight in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, on June 30, 2007.

Two attack weapons teams (with two AH-64 helicopters making up a team) flew to Ramadi in support of Coalition Forces in search of insurgents and weapons caches.The teams reached Ramadi and received notice that Coalition Forces were taking heavy small arms fire. To maximize the helicopters’ time over a potential target, one team immediately went to the Ramadi forward arming and refueling point and the other attack weapons team flew into the fight.They engaged extremists with 30 millimeter cannon fire neutralizing them. The team then supported other Coalition Forces engaging extremists using two tractor trailers as cover. The crew took small arms fire and multiple enemy rounds to their aircraft...

Read the rest of the story HERE

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Stuff You May Not Know

If all you ever see about Iraq is CNN and their TV news cousins you probably have already heard about some soldiers charged with murder, or some "civilians" killed during a raid in Sadr City, but you probably didn't hear about this;

MND-B Apache crews find, destroy homemade explosive cache

1st ACB, 1st Cav. Div.,Multi-National Division – Baghdad PAO

CAMP TAJI, Iraq — Multi-National Division-Baghdad attack helicopter crews found and destroyed a large homemade explosive cache northwest of Baghdad June 29.
Apache crews from 1st “Attack” Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, were on a reconnaissance mission when they discovered the cache, which may have been intended for use in improvised explosive devices or car bombs.
“This was an incredible reconnaissance find, and outstanding effort by these Apache Longbow crews and undoubtedly will have an impact on insurgent IED operations,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Walach, commander of the1-227th Aviation.
The Apache crews spotted the white, powdery substance and were cleared by ground forces to destroy it. The crews fired on the substance which led to a 300-feet high secondary explosion, confirming that the substance was homemade explosives. The Apache crew destroyed a nearby facility to prevent its future use by terrorists for manufacturing explosives.

Or this...

MND-B aircrews destroy insurgent mortar system

1st ACB, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs Multi-National Division – Baghdad PAO

CAMP TAJI, Iraq — Multi-National Division-Baghdad attack helicopter crews found and destroyed an insurgent mortar system and vehicle at approximately 1:30 p.m. July 1 northwest of Baghdad...
...Apache crews from 1st “Attack” Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, were conducting a reconnaissance mission when they were diverted to respond to a mortar attack on a combat outpost. The Apache crew identified the vehicle and mortar system and was cleared by the ground forces to engage, destroying the vehicle and mortar system.

There were 22 press releases today from MNF-I, how many were actually reported on by mainstream news agencies? To read them, please go to the MNF-I site.

There's more to the story than you are being told...but most of you knew that already.