Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A 5 Year Mission... boldly go where no UAV has gone before

From Ares Homepage

Like the Aurora and Boeing concepts selected for study under Darpa's Vulture program, Lockheed's UAV is solar-powered. Like Boeing's, but unlike Aurora's, it is a single vehicle intended to stay aloft for the full five years. Notable design features include the tails, which rotate to collect the most sunlight. The "launch once" vehicle will also capture photovoltaic energy from the Earth's albedo, says Derek Bye, Lockheed's Vulture program manager.

The gondolas distribute systems and payload weight along the 300ft-plus span and are connected by a lower strut that helps stabilise the lightweight, flexible structure. The engines are electric ring motors, which avoid the need for gearboxes by driving the propellers directly at a distance from the hub.

Ain't that something?



Monday, April 28, 2008

PFC Ross McGinnis to Recieve Medal of Honor

From the Army Times.

McGinnis to receive Medal of Honor

By Michelle Tan - Staff writer
Posted : Sunday Apr 27, 2008 8:31:52 EDT

Spc. Ross McGinnis, who was killed Dec. 4, 2006, in Iraq when he smothered a grenade with his body, will receive the Medal of Honor, sources told Army Times.

McGinnis, 19, is the second soldier to receive the nation’s highest valor award for actions while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Sgt. 1st Class Paul Ray Smith, who was killed April 4, 2003, fighting off insurgents in a fierce firefight south of Baghdad, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor two years after he died.

McGinnis, of 1st Platoon, C Company, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, is credited with saving the lives of four fellow soldiers.

On Dec. 4, 2006, McGinnis was manning the turret in the last Humvee of a six-vehicle patrol in Adhamiyah in northeast Baghdad when an insurgent threw a grenade from the roof of a nearby building.

“Grenade!” yelled McGinnis, who was manning the vehicle's M2 .50-caliber machine gun.

McGinnis, facing backwards because he was in the rear vehicle, tried to deflect the grenade but it fell into the Humvee and lodged between the radios.

As he stood up to get ready to jump out of the vehicle, as he had been trained to do, McGinnis realized the other four soldiers in the Humvee did not know where the grenade had landed and did not have enough time to escape.

McGinnis, a native of Knox, Pa., threw his back against the radio mount, where the grenade was lodged, and smothered the explosive with his body.

Rest in Peace Soldier...we'll see you on the green

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Hey Good Looking, We'll Be Back To Pick You Up Later

From the Telegraph
How to pick up chicks with a CH-47...

The RAF has defended its decision to allow (a pilot) to use an RAF Chinook helicopter to transport him and his brother to a stag party.

The (pilot) took off in the helicopter after receiving his wings - denoting his qualification as an RAF pilot - from his father during a ceremony at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire at Friday lunchtime.

He put down briefly at Woolwich Barracks in South East London to pick up (his brother) before flying on to the Isle of Wight and landing at Bembridge Airport at 4pm.

The helicopter's co-pilot then took the aircraft back to base.

The trip saved the (lads) a six-hour journey by rush-hour clogged roads and a ferry.

Chinooks, which cost around £35 million each and are in short supply in Afghanistan, can fly at speeds of 140 Knots (160 miles per hour).

But (the pilot's) RAF commanders defended the move, saying the sortie had been authorised and the flight, over the capital and open water and on occasions at low level, helped him complete his flying training.

"Having spent a week under instruction with a Chinook helicopter Squadron (the pilot) flew a legitimate training sortie which tested his new skills to the limit," an RAF spokesman said.

"Flying at low level (that guy) piloted the heavy support RAF Chinook helicopter through the busy London flying lanes to a helicopter landing site in Central London before departing the lanes to the South West, making a water crossing and an approach to a civilian airfield routinely used by Chinook Squadrons."

I suppose it doesn't hurt if the pilot in question is the Prince of England.



When Guns Are Outlawed...

...only girls in animal print bikinis will have guns. Well, them and outlaws...but mostly outlaws.

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Onward Christian Soldiers...Oh and the rest of you guys too

H/T LT Nixon Rants

The NY Times entertains us with the story of an atheist soldier who said he was threatened by a Major and then set upon by wolves other Soldiers which precipitated his early return from Iraq.

Soldier Sues Army, Saying His Atheism Led to Threats

Published: April 26, 2008

FORT RILEY, Kan. — When Specialist Jeremy Hall held a meeting last July for atheists and freethinkers at Camp Speicher in Iraq, he was excited, he said, to see an officer attending.

Specialist Jeremy Hall, 23, outside Fort Riley, Kan., where he has been stationed since being sent home early from Iraq because of threats from fellow soldiers.

But minutes into the talk, the officer, Maj. Freddy J. Welborn, began to berate Specialist Hall and another soldier about atheism, Specialist Hall wrote in a sworn statement. “People like you are not holding up the Constitution and are going against what the founding fathers, who were Christians, wanted for America!” Major Welborn said, according to the statement.

Major Welborn told the soldiers he might bar them from re-enlistment and bring charges against them, according to the statement.

Last month, Specialist Hall and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, an advocacy group, filed suit in federal court in Kansas, alleging that Specialist Hall’s right to be free from state endorsement of religion under the First Amendment had been violated and that he had faced retaliation for his views. In November, he was sent home early from Iraq because of threats from fellow soldiers.

It's entirely possible that this occurred as told, but something tells me we aren't seeing the whole story.

Yeah, I know call me skeptical...but before I go running off screaming bloody murder about how the asshole Christians are persecuting this young Specialist...I'd like to hear the whole story. Which I am quite sure we aren't getting.

First, no Major is going to bar anyone from promotion or takes a commander to do that, and last I looked Captains command companies and Lieutenant Colonels command Battalions. I wouldn't put it past some Major to make that threat...but after all that's why we have an IG. Which brings to mind another question did he report this to the IG?...which is outside his chain of command by the way.

After his run-in with Major Welborn, Specialist Hall did not file a complaint with the Army’s Equal Opportunity Office because, he said, he was mistrustful of his superior officers. Instead, he told leaders of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, who put him in touch with Mr. Weinstein. In November 2007, Specialist Hall was sent home early from Iraq after being repeatedly threatened by other soldiers. “I caution you that although your ‘legal’ issues are yours and yours alone, I have heard many people disagree with you, and this may be a cause for some of the perceived threats,” wrote Sgt. Maj. Kevin Nolan in Specialist Hall’s counseling for his departure.

Uh, I guess that would be a NO.

I guess they really aren't Christians if they don't love the sinner but hate the sin...those hypocritical bastards. But if you don't believe why would it bother you if someone was engaging in what you as an unbeliever might consider superstitious nonsense? I know, according to SPC Hall he was "threatened". Now that wasn't very Christian-like behavior was it?

In some respects I can understand SPC Hall being uncomfortable if he is a non believer, a lot of prayers are given over in Iraq. I could hear the Muslim call to prayer every time it was given...did that bother him too or was it just the Christians he was forced to be around that bugged him? There's something else going on here...I just don't know what it is...and the NY Times doesn't know or care to find out. Nice story though.

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

26 Princess Leias

For all you folks who have a thing for Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia all dressed up in a slave girl outfit, Deal or No Deal has a...DEAL for you.

If you’ve always had a thing for Slave Leia, you definitely need to watch the first video below. That’s because next week’s episode of “Deal Or No Deal” is doing a “Star Wars” themed two-hour special and they’ve got the models dressed up like Carrie Fisher from “Return of the Jedi.”

To see the referenced video and read all about it go HERE!

H/T Ace of Spades

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Congress-critters on the Loose

I saw this on several blogs before I posted I apologise in advance if I don't give you the proper credit.

In Newsweek magazine in an article dated 25 APR 08 we read this:

You know there's something wrong when the word areola appears in a bill
circulating on Capitol Hill.Republican Congressman Paul Broun, the representative from Georgia's 10th District, wants to stop the sale of Playboy and Penthouse at military bases around the world, invoking an argument that at the very least is scientifically questionable: that consuming even soft pornography makes men more prone to committing sex crimes. A doctor by profession, Broun says he began drafting the bill after a constituent described her distress at having watched, along with her young children, an officer buy a nudie magazine at a military exchange store. "The military teaches to respect officers, and her little kids were seeing this military officer … there in uniform, buying pornography at the PX," Broun told NEWSWEEK.

To read the entire article please go HERE.

THAT is interesting. You know what else you can buy at the PX? Condoms, Booze,
Cigarettes, Chewing Tobacco...where is the good for us all train going to stop?
How about this, Congressman, my kids spotted some officer buying a six pack of
beer, a bottle of KY and a carton of condoms at the PX and he appeared not to be
married...whatever am I to do? If the congressman had any cajones he would say
welcome to the real world lady. But instead he uses this as his stepping stone
to rid us of "porn".

Those who follow this site know that I'm a fan of the female form...find any post with Girl Friday in it and see what I mean. A lot of those photos are from Playboy magazine, the magazine being called out by the congressman. I've seen porn and that isn't me on that.

Playboy doesn't need me to defend them, and I don't really want to, because to be honest there are a lot of things I don't appreciate or agree with (its political stance for one...they believe all conservatives to be fire breathing mullas) about that magazine. But for some person to start this crusade to have that magazine and others like it removed from the PX for "the children" is both ridiculous and big brother-ish.

It's ridiculous in that, even if it was banned from the PX soldiers could still buy a subscription and have it mailed to them, buy if off post and bring it back to the barracks with them or just get it on-line.

It's big brother-ish in that someone presumes to tell us what is good for us. A magazine that is legal and available for purchase around the world is deemed inappropriate for us because to be seen buying it sets a bad example...WOW, what are they going to ban us from buying next because it's bad? Before you know it the only thing the PX will have for sale is water. Oh yeah, there is also some cause and effect where those who read it are more subject to commit sex crimes. Yeah, I'd really like to see the studies on that one.



This is your last warning!

I mean it!

No kidding!

This is your last chance...

You know what I never have posted nudity before on this page, but because some people can't seem to separate the human body from porn here's an example of the former...

You can pretty much see this on the beach in Europe anytime...maybe not someone that attractive, but you get the point. That is about as nasty as Playboy gets...horrible isn't it? Look, I can understand and appreciate if someone doesn't want to look at that. That is their right as much as anyone has the right to buy a magazine with that content. But is that really the worst thing going on that we have to be concerned about?

Considering the things I've seen in two tours in Iraq...the world could use a lot more things like the beautiful lady above.

Fricking idiots.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Girl Friday, 25 APR 08

I missed last Friday, so my appoligies for those who watch this space for hawt chicks. This week's Girl Friday, is back for another go...#14 on Deal or no Deal...Playboy's Miss August of 2004, Pilar Lastra.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

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Those Wacky Japanese

Just out and out weird...

H/T Rufus T over at Dirty Harry's Place



Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Bill Sweetman Misses The Point...

At the risk of becoming a USAF bashing machine, I am going to devote some electrons to discussing the UAS/SECDEF/USAF dust-up that happened the other day.

From this post by author Bill Sweetman over at Ares Homepage we get this info...

Sec Def Misses The Point
Posted by Bill Sweetman at 4/22/2008 4:25 AM CDT

Starting a sentence with "Where the SecDef got it wrong..." is not career-enhancing, but as the good Doctor himself said, you have to decide sometimes whether to be somebody or do something.

Dr. Gates' criticisms of the USAF overlooked a crucial issue. Ironically, the limiting factor on Predator operations is not that "the air force doesn't like them because they don't have pilots", to summarize the viewpoint of service and media know-nothings. The problem is that they use too many pilots.

If you talk to anyone at the coal-face of UAV deployment, particularly where the Predator is concerned, you discover that most of these operations are throttle-to-the-firewall. The limiting factor is not the ability of GA-ASI to push airplanes out the door, but training.

If you've ever spent five minutes talking to GA-ASI president Tom Cassidy, you know that the Predator has to be flown by a pilot. The ground control system (GCS) is cockpit-like, with stick and rudder pedals - this is not a mouse-commanded automaton. The backseater needs skills, too, because the Predator is designed to direct lethal force even when it is not using its own weapons; and despite the seeming "war by video game" simplicity of the system, retaining situational awareness despite the soda-straw view through the turreted sensors is not easy...

Yes it isn't easy. Neither is kicking in doors looking for bad guys. Neither is driving on a supply convoy down RT Tampa.

The point the SECDEF was making (the way I understood it) is that the current way of doing things isn't cutting it. Someone needs to come up with a way to get more UAS and their crews up and running.

If that requires changing things then maybe they need to get on with it...there is a war on after all. In WWII somehow or another SGTs flew P-51s and by all accounts did a pretty good job (Some guy named Chuck Yeager was one of them)...I think we might be able to come up with a way to make UAS operators without stealing F-16/A-10/B-52/C-17 pilots away from their day jobs. The USAF could probably do it too, if they wanted to and that is the real problem right there.

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Apache, jump on it!

I suppose this is a contractor, judging by the haircut or lack thereof...I could never imagine this taking place on an Army airfield. Or I should say, I'd never have the cajones to attempt it.

Good for you sir! Nice work ladies, now get back to work.

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I aim to by request here's a BOB on the FOB cartoon



Monday, April 21, 2008

A ThunderVision of a Bunch of Crooks

Part of a post found at In From The Cold

Almost two years ago, we noted growing number the ethical and accountability issues facing the U.S. Air Force. Struggling to repair its reputation in the wake of the Boeing tanker lease debacle, the service was confronted by more allegations of wrong-doing, some involving high-ranking officials.

At the top of that list was the "Thunder-Vision" scandal, charges that senior officers tried to steer a contract for video screens to a company that included a retired four-star general among its partners. The screens were to be used to "jazz up" airshows that featured the USAF Thunderbirds, the service's world-famous, precision-flying team.

And sure enough, the Air Force awarded a $50 million contract to the company (Strategic Message Solutions) in December 2005--despite the fact that the firm's offer was more than twice as expensive as a competing bid. The service also ignored the precedent established by the Navy's Blue Angels, who received video screens for free, in exchange for selling advertising on their projection system during air shows. The SMS contract was later cancelled, after protests from rival firms.

Are these guys idiots? It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that this whole thing stinks to high heaven. The arrogance of these folks is astounding...and that's the only way to describe what happened. They were so arrogant that they thought they could get away with wasting our money, by giving it to their friends...all for some quid pro quo no doubt. Disgusting.

Some people need to re-examine that oath they took once upon a know that whole "protect and defend thing."



Sunday, April 20, 2008

Thud To Fly Again?

Hands down this is my favorite Vietnam era aircraft.

Now it appears that someone wants to make one flyable again. That would be an awesome sight, but I can imagine spares and maintenance would be a real bitch.

I got the following via e-mail

The Collings Foundation can be seen HERE

Collings Foundation is a 501 (3) with some 40,000 donators. They collect, restore, maintain and fly vintage aircraft at air shows. They are a class act. One part of Collings is the Vietnam Memorial Flight currently consisting of an F-4D, TA-4J, and HU-1. Another is their Wings of Freedom Tour flying B-17, B-24, B-25 and P-51.It took them four years to work through the Air Force and AF Museum at Wright Patterson bureaucracy to get an F-4 Phantom II. It is the only civilian owned F-4 flying today in the world. There was and is no cost to the government to get, rehab and fly the F-4. It's fully funded by the Collings Foundation.

I've been asked by Bob Collings to help them get a F-105 Thud. Scattered around the country, mostly outside on static display, pedestals, et al, the Air Force has about a hundred F-105s, 96 non airworthy. Most are deteriorating due to weather and exposure. Collings Foundation would pay all cost to get a Thud, to get an engine, to rehab it to flyable condition, and the cost to fly it. Not one penny of government funds involved. When trying to get the F-4 excuses like liability, et al were used. None of the military / AF Museum arguments against letting go of an F-4 have become problems.

For all veterans of our era, to see a thud fly again would be a thrill; would be a living memorial. And it would be special memorial to the hundreds killed in the Thud, to we POW Thud drivers, and to all who flew and maintained it. According to Bob Collings (neat guy), a word from the Republican ranking member of the Senate Armed Forces committee would do wonders to shake loose just one F-105. I see no down side, but think there would be upside to John from the veteran Vietnam era community. I'm trying to get this letter to John McCain should know soon if it gets to him (he seems busy lately!) As a Thud Weasel guy, Bob Collings (Collings Foundation) asked me to help contact the F-105 community.

I'm sending this the Wild Weasel Society, River Rats and drop it into the NAMPOW listserve. I assume most Vietnam vets, and all Thud drivers / maintainers would support seeing a Thud fly again. Any and all support you can help with is great. Bob said to contact him for as much detail as you want or need to help get the ball rolling. The web site is on top of this doc, his email

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You Know You're In Alabama...

When you are listening to the local classic rock radio station and you can't go for 1 hour without hearing one of the following groups; Molly Hatchet, .38 Special or of course Skynnard.

Additionally it's a dead giveaway when you hear between the ads for McDonald's $1.00 "Sweet Tea" and "Strips" Gentleman's Club and Package Store (where entertainers are always welcome and service-members with valid ID get in for free) a trivia question which garner the following responses:

1. Fish
2. Hunt
3. Pick their nose
4. Chew Tobacco
5. Suffer from prostrate(sic) cancer

By the way the question was: 7 out of 10 men do this, ________

The correct answer according to the radio station was: Sleep on the side of the bed closest to the door.

Surprising, I never heard NASCAR mentioned.

As funny as all of this is, the vast majority of these people are fine folks who you'd be proud to share a dinner table with...which is a lot more than I can say for the inhabitants of climes further north, say along the Potomac River, who "work" in a big white building with a dome on it.



Wednesday, April 16, 2008

From My Cold Dead Hands

Come and take it!

H/T The Last of the Few

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Winning or Loosing

I am currently traveling across the USA in route to a short school I am required to attend. I've stopped for the evening in Baton Rouge, LA, not exactly a military town. After I had a bite to eat, I visited the local Barns and Noble Bookseller...front and center was this book

I guess the war is over and we lost...nobody told me and we were winning when I left lat December...but I guess Jonathan Steele knows better than me.

Contrast and compare with this piece from Mr. Michael Yon

Let's 'Surge' Some More
April 11, 2008; Page A17

It is said that generals always fight the last war. But when David Petraeus came to town it was senators – on both sides of the aisle – who battled over the Iraq war of 2004-2006. That war has little in common with the war we are fighting today.

I may well have spent more time embedded with combat units in Iraq than any other journalist alive. I have seen this war – and our part in it – at its brutal worst. And I say the transformation over the last 14 months is little short of miraculous.

The change goes far beyond the statistical decline in casualties or incidents of violence. A young Iraqi translator, wounded in battle and fearing death, asked an American commander to bury his heart in America. Iraqi special forces units took to the streets to track down terrorists who killed American soldiers. The U.S. military is the most respected institution in Iraq, and many Iraqi boys dream of becoming American soldiers. Yes, young Iraqi boys know about ""

I trust Mr. Yon more than Mr. Steele, not just because he agrees with me, but I guarantee he's spent more time there (Iraq) and on the streets than just about anyone...but what the hell do I know?



Friday, April 11, 2008

Girl Friday, 11 APR 08

Happy Friday everyone!
The Girl Friday for this week is no average Jo. The Girl Friday for this Friday, the 11th of April 2008 is the Cyber Girl of the Year for 2008, Jo Garcia.
Be safe, it's a jungle out there!

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Sexual Harrassment

It's wrong...even if it makes you feel good.

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Jack-assery Of The Highest Order

I think this quote from the comments over at OPFOR sums it up perfectly...

To think that these knuckle heads will rate SGLI if they run themselves over conducting and filming this awe inspiring round of jack-assery. Wonderful!!!

They say every group has their 10% who are not the sharpest tools in the shed. You would think people would try to keep them out of sight right, like stuffed under a sink or on a far away island. Our 10% records themselves and posts it on wonder the majority of the world thinks our youth are a bunch of ass-clowns.

Can't beat one of my jerk-offs shooting a coalition field grade with a bb gun while i was out winning hearts and minds... NICE!!!

SSgt OB · April 7, 2008 08:14 PM

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Get A Grip Folks...

Anyone who might see THIS STORY and the video attached would be more than justified to think wow that ad was lame or poorly done or stupid...but insulting to women in uniform? Please take a look at that video and tell me you actually thought those women were in the military, that that ad wasn't an attempt to entice male military viewers to come down and buy a car.

Do these people not have better things to do with their time, than piss and moan about an ad like THIS?

Not to mention that the author of the article covering this has issues with identifying uniforms and aircraft...

"Get up off your butt and to Charlie Falk today," orders one of the actresses, wearing Marine-style digitized camouflage. In another scene, a woman in an Air Force flight suit stands in front of a shot of what's clearly a Navy F/A-18 Hornet.

Not an Air Force flight-suit and not an was a blue coverall she was wearing with some sort of military patch on it and in the background was an F-14, F-18 tomato/ potato, who give a s#!t, really?

"What they were doing were showing women in uniform in a provocative stance," said Montgomery, a retired Navy master chief. "I worked too hard for what I did to be reduced to that."

"You don't see them do that to men. You don't see a beefcake shot of a man in a uniform in the same manner."

Morrison, who retired after 27 years in uniform, is particularly bothered by the blond woman wearing Navy officer dress. She ticks off what's wrong with the picture: The white blouse is supposed to be buttoned up. "She's got a tie she's supposed to wear, and the top button on the jacket is supposed to be buttoned," Morrison said.

"Too many people have worn the uniform and have given their lives for our country, women included," said Morrison, the head of the Tidewater Tidal WAVES, an organization of women who have served or are serving in the Navy, Marines or Coast Guard.

Good grief, Charlie Brown.
H/T Dirty Harry's Place



Sunday, April 06, 2008

Charlton Heston, RIP

An American original has died...

Here's a small tribute to this patriot.

And one of the greatest suprise endings ever...

Thank you for everything, Mr. Heston. May you rest in peace.

Of course everyone can't have CLASS...idiots.

H/T Ace of Spades

Saturday, April 05, 2008

The Root Cause of Most Traffic Accidents

Well, that and people, and by people I mean women putting on make-up while driving.

From Last of the Few. Go there and see more automotive damage waiting to happen.



Friday, April 04, 2008

I'm Glad They've Got Their Priorities In Order

From Ares Homepage

Top generals in the U.S. Air Force are unsparing in their enmity for the service's uniforms. At their best – tailored and in wool – they look barely presentable, unless they’re in the room with a Marine. Off the rack, in polyester, the design falls into the potato sack category. Well they’re as mad as hell and they’re not going to take anymore. They’ve appealed to a higher authority – Brooks Brothers.

A committee, that includes Gen. C. Robert Kehler, chief of Air Force Space Command, went to the company for help. They wore their dowdy uniforms, but carried in their hearts memories of World War II, when airmen wore the dashing “pink and greens” uniform and hats with a 50-mission crush.

Pinks and Greens eh? If you still want to wear that uniform go to Texas A&M and join the Corps of Cadets.

Between getting money for new uniforms and F-22s they might have money left over to keep the A-10s and AC-130s flying...nice job Air Force!



Girl Friday, 5 APR 08

Yee Ha! It's the weekend and time for another Girl Friday! This Friday's lovely is Jamie Bergman, Playboy Playmate of the Month for January 1999.

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Can You Say, "Danger Close"?

Watch the Hellfire missile come in from the right at the end of this clip...yeah that's a little close to friendlies.



Wolfpack Hooah Tape