Monday, March 30, 2009


This is coolbert:

Who are you?

"Iran and North Korea vs. Japan and the U.S.?"

This IS troubling? Some intelligence agency from somewhere is really on the ball here? Normally, intelligence of this nature, if true, is very hard to get out of North Korea.

A lot of folks at the very top ARE going to be watching this with a lot of interest.

"Iranian missile experts in North Korea ahead of rocket launch "

From today: March 29, 2009

Agence France-Presse

"A GROUP of Iranian missile experts is in North Korea to help Pyongyang prepare for a rocket launch, Japan's Sankei Shimbun newspaper reported on Sunday."

"The news comes as spy satellites have photographed the nose cone of a long-range North Korean rocket on its launch pad, but its remains unclear whether it is carrying a satellite or a warhead."

"North Korea has said it will launch a communications satellite over northern Japan between April 4 and 8, and the report said the 15-strong Iranian delegation had been in the country since the beginning of this month"

" [It] 'remains unclear whether it is carrying a satellite or a warhead'"

Correct, which is it, and how can you tell?

And the connection between Iran and North Korea of itself is troubling. Iran has a demonstrable capability to orbit a satellite. And now North Korea will too.

George Bush was correct!? North Korea and Iran DO represent two parts of an axis of evil!?

Has anyone thought of this? The FRACTIONAL ORBITAL BOMBARDMENT SYSTEM! A concept, never deployed, from over forty years ago now.

A satellite, carrying a nuclear weapon, is put into orbit.


An orbiting nuclear weapon, the proverbial Sword of Damocles, hanging over the head of the whole world, and most especially, over the head of the American people. Literally so!

"The Sword of Damocles is frequently used in allusion . . . epitomizing the imminent and ever-present peril faced by those in positions of power. More generally, it is used to denote the sense of foreboding engendered by a precarious situation, especially one in which the onset of tragedy is restrained only by a delicate trigger or chance."

A weapon that if the go command is issued, will allow President Obama a whole five minutes to make the decision to retaliate. If indeed anyone knows for sure that a nuclear weapon is aboard that "communications satellite"!

Am I being excessively alarmist and overly pessimistic here??!! The thoughts of the devoted reader to the blog is invited.



This is coolbert:

"Why the Channel 7 chopper chills me to my feet?"

Here is an excellent YouTube video.

"Redgum - I Was Only 19 (1983)"

Film footage of Australian troops in Vietnam deploying for combat.

Red Gum is described as a [now defunct] folk music group, specializing in the political protest type genre'. [this particular video has original background music by Red Gum!]

Some comments regarding the video:

* Aussie forces in Vietnam carried the FN FAL rifle [7.62 mm NATO]. Ammunition compatible with the squad automatic weapon, the M-60 machine gun. The FN rifle is called the SLR by the Aussies. [some footage shows the M-16 also being carried.]

* Lightly laden combat troops. NOT carrying an excessive amount of gear. Wearing the floppy bush hat, NOT the steel pot helmet as would be worn by a U.S. troop.

* And NO HAT WORN WHEN BOARDING A HUEY HELICOPTER. TOO MUCH DANGER OF THAT HAT GETTING SUCKED INTO THE CHOPPER ENGINE AND CAUSING A CRASH!! Indeed, debris laying loose around an airfield or landing zone are inherently dangerous to the take off or landing of rotary wind aircraft. THE U.S. ARMY MANUAL ITSELF GIVES INSTRUCTIONS FOR MARKING A LANDING ZONE [the use of white engineer tape] THAT IS DOWNRIGHT DANGEROUS!!! [at least until recently]

* One fire team [5 men normally] per helicopter. Multiple trips by the choppers having to be made to airlift an entire unit to the area of operations.

* Australian troops in Vietnam were noted for their ability at jungle warfare, patrolling, small unit actions. Well prepared in advance, using a methodology for low-intensity type conflict as worked out and honed in Malaya, Borneo! Did not employ "Prince Rupert" tactics as common to much larger and unwieldy, and more lavishly equipped American units.

["Prince Rupert" tactics would include making a lot of noise, spectacle, flags flying, drums beating, bugles blaring, lots of marching, orders being shouted, etc. Alert the enemy as to your presence and whereabouts in a manner that is deleterious to the mission!!]


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sudan vs. Israel?

This is coolbert:

"We operate everywhere where we can hit terror infrastructure – in close places, in places further away, everywhere where we can hit terror infrastructure, we hit them and we hit them in a way that increases deterrence,” - - Ehud Olmert.

This from only the other day:

"Israeli jets destroyed Iranian arms shipments for Gaza, reports say
Strike would have been technically complex, observers say

"March 26, 2009 at 5:24 PM EDT"

"JERUSALEM — In a surprise attack, with overtones of Hollywood, Israeli fighter jets reportedly hit a convoy of Iranian weapons bound for Hamas in Gaza as the trucks made their way across the Sudanese desert toward the Egyptian border."

"The assault, apparently carried out 1,400 kilometres from Israel, killed several people, destroyed all 17 vehicles"

"Whatever that convoy was carrying must have been pretty important for someone to go to all this trouble,” - - Mark Heller, principal research associate of the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University.

Some sort of war munitions, anti-tank guided missiles [ATGM], shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles [MANPAD], or longer-range Iranian rocket artillery was being carried in those trucks? Take your pick. Israeli Air Force [IAF], on a long-range mission, tipped off by intelligence, found some high-value-targets [HVT] and destroyed same?!

This [if it did occur] is a very convincing display of Israeli military muscle and resolve. Israeli almost possesses a GLOBAL REACH!! Striking so far and so well from home base is difficult. Few militaries in the world have such a capacity?

The military historian and authority on all [??] matters involving the Israeli military, Martin van Creveld, was quoted as saying that Israel has without a doubt the second or third most powerful military in the world. Here is a demonstration of such a capacity first-hand. The Israeli is determined to strike where ever is necessary to defend itself when it sees fit.

Even long-range operations and attacks against sovereign nations far afield!!


Korea vs. Japan.

This is coolbert:

The order has been given, this is no longer speculation.

That North Korean missile, if the flight path endangers Japanese territory or territorial waters, or if the missile goes awry during flight, the instructions, the commands - - HAVE BEEN GIVEN - - TO SHOOT THE THING DOWN!!

Thanks to the Yomiuri Shimbun.

"Interception order issued / SDF to shoot down DPRK missile if it threatens Japan's territory"

"Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada ordered the Self-Defense Forces on Friday to take measures to intercept a North Korean missile if it looks set to come down on Japan or Japan's territorial waters after its expected launch in early April, government officials said."

"North Korea said the launch would occur sometime between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. between April 4 and 8."

An interception and shoot down, if needed, will be a two-pronged attack. First sea-borne interceptors will fire, aiming at the North Korean missile during the boost phase of launch. If the salvo from the sea-borne platforms does not succeed, an advanced version of the Patriot missile, land-based, will attempt intercept at a lower [?] altitude. Those Patriots are being moved into position, right now, as we speak!!

"Under the missile defense system, the Maritime Self-Defense Force initially launches a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) interceptor missile to destroy the missile in space. If the SM-3 fails to intercept the missile, a Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) interceptor missile is launched from the ground to intercept the missile at an altitude above 10 kilometers."

Japanese warships to be involved in the operation include:

"Chokai and Kongo, carry SM-3 interceptor missiles."

"The Kongō class of guided missile destroyers . . . serves as the core ship of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF)'s Escort Flotillas."

"The ministry also will deploy another Aegis-equipped destroyer, Kirishima [to mid-Pacific to monitor the launch and splashdown if and when the missile is sent aloft!!]"

"JDS Kirishima (DDG-174) is a Kongō class guided missile destroyer in the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF)."

"Kirishima is under going modification at Nagasaki to add the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMD) capability to its weapons suite."

Kongo and Kirishima. Two names of warships from the far distant past now. World War Two [WW2] vessels of the Imperial Japanese Navy [IJN]. Battleships, both sunk in combat with U.S. forces during WW2.

"Kongō (金剛, "vajra" or "indestructible") was the Imperial Japanese Navy's first super-dreadnought type battle cruiser, and the name-ship of her class . . . She was upgraded to a battleship rating in the 1930s and served in several major naval operations during World War II before being sunk by enemy action in 1944."

"Kirishima (霧島 ?) was the Imperial Japanese Navy's fourth Kongō -class battle cruiser."

"From 1933 to 1934, she [Kirishima] was reconstructed at Kure, Japan, emerging from her reconstruction as a 'fast battleship'"

New warships bearing the same name, but now having a mission never even envisioned by those old time sailors manning the namesakes from so long ago now.



Thursday, March 26, 2009


This is coolbert:

"A bird strike (sometimes bird strike, bird hit, or BASH - (Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard)) is a collision between an airborne animal (usually a bird or bat) and a man-made vehicle, especially aircraft."

I remember this very well.

From over thirty years now. But could have been yesterday.

An avian [bird] population, descending upon a U.S. Army base [Ft. Campbell], and doing so in biblical proportions, causing a simultaneous multiplicity of problems, among them the greatly increased possibility of BASH incidents.

Described as “blackbirds” [starlings/grackles/cowbirds/red-winged blackbirds], teeming millions of them, finding superb winter nesting and roosting sites in the forests surrounding Ft. Campbell.

[military bases generally speaking quite often have large contiguous wooded areas that make excellent nature preserves, habitat for a variety of animals!]

For the birds - - GREAT!!

For the humans, animal populations, AND ARMY AVIATION AVIATORS in residence at Ft. Campbell, A DISASTER OF UNMITIGATED PROPORTIONS!!! Seemingly without practical remedy.

Ft. Campbell was at the time and is now the home base of the 101st Air Mobile Division [often described as an airborne division, more correctly an air mobile unit!!] HEAVY IN HELICOPTERS, ROTARY WING AIRCRAFT!!

[Ft. Campbell is currently also the home base of the Special Operations Aviation Regiment [SOAR] and a Special Forces [SF] group. The former a helicopter heavy unit, the latter an airborne unit practicing parachuting from fixed wing aircraft on a regular basis. Ft. Campbell is very active with Army aviation.]

As to the flocks of "blackbirds":

"their comings and goings have since daily halted plane take-offs and landings."

The potentiality for a serious and lethal BASH incident is magnitudes greater for a rotary-wing “slow-mover” such as a helicopter in contrast to a fixed-wing “fast-mover”?

A disaster, “seemingly without practical remedy”? NO! A remedy was found to the bird problem.

"The War on the Blackbirds"

"an extermination program. Crop-dusting airplanes and helicopters would douse the roosting birds with Tergitol S-9, a strong, biodegradable detergent that washes the oil from the birds' feathers. Without the oil, which helps to insulate them, the blackbirds would begin to die from the cold —if the temperature remained below about 45° F."

The remedy was - - to KILL THE BIRDS. Spray with an oil - - the birds freezing to death in the winter temperatures, the insulating properties of the bird's feathers being lost. AND THIS WAS DONE!!

This decision of the military, brutal and harsh as it was, nonetheless EFFECTIVE, was not without controversy. THE SPRAYING OF THE BIRDS BECAME AN ITEM COVERED ON THE TELEVISION EVENING NEWS. [you can imagine the scene made of thousands of dying birds, on the ground, in clumps, slowly freezing to death, squawking and fluttering around in their death agony] In the minds of animal rights activists and humanitarians, an ATROCITY and HOLOCAUST without redemption was being committed!!

In response to the spraying and killing of the birds, some gadfly in New York City sued to prevent the Army from killing the “blackbirds” in an inhumane manner!! An outraged Kentuckian responded by suing to prevent the city of New York from killing rats in an inhumane manner!!

Extraordinary measures were required and implemented. Extraordinary situations require extraordinary measures? Surely this was the case?


Tuesday, March 24, 2009


This is coolbert:

Here are five persons, contemporaries of mine, peers if you like, that saw honorable and commendable military service in Vietnam.

Each in their own right having a successful post-war career and each achieving a degree of fame.

Young men [1960's], each and every one from a family of privilege, prestige, wealth, not shirking their military service during that most controversial era [1960's], responding admirably, very surprisingly so even?

1. Eric Margolis. Highly educated, even as a young man having the most impeccable credentials, volunteering for infantry duty as an enlisted man in Vietnam.

"Eric Margolis is an American journalist . . . writing mainly about the Middle East, South Asia and Islam, and appears frequently on Canadian television broadcasts, as well as on CNN."

"Margolis was born in New York City in the 1940s [father] a New York businessman, restaurant owner, theatrical producer and investor, [mother] . . . a journalist and author. He [Eric] holds degrees from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, the University of Geneva and New York University. During the Vietnam War he served as a U.S. Army infantryman"

2. Jack Smith. Son of the famous journalist and prime time television anchor Howard K. Smith. Served as an infantryman with the 1st Air Cavalry Division, severely wounded in the battle of the Ia Drang valley.

Jack Smith, Vietnam era.

"Mr. Smith was born in Paris and grew up in London. He was the son of ABC News anchorman Howard K. Smith"

"In 1964, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, and in 1965 and 1966 he served with the 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam. In November 1965 he was in the thick of the battle at the Ia Drang Valley . . . Mr. Smith was wounded in the battle of LZ Albany and received the Bronze Star with 'V' for valor and the Purple Heart."

"Mr. Smith joined ABC News in 1976 and was a Washington-based reporter from 1980 until his retirement in 2001."

Jack Smith, much post-Vietnam era.

3. John Steinbeck IV. The son of the famous Nobel Prize winning author John Steinbeck III. Also served in Vietnam, in the capacity of an army journalist [?]. Returned to Vietnam post-military service, an associate of Sean Flynn [son of the famous actor Errol Flynn].

"John Steinbeck IV (June 12, 1946 – February 7, 1991), was an American journalist and author. He was the second child of the Nobel Prize winning author, John Steinbeck. In 1965, he was drafted into the United States Army and served in Vietnam. He worked as a journalist for Armed Forces Radio and TV, and a war correspondent for the United States Department of Defense."

John Steinbeck IV being personally presented to President Johnson that more eminent father is in the center.

"In 1968, Steinbeck returned to Vietnam as a journalist. Along with Sean Flynn, son of actor Errol Flynn, he started Dispatch News Service"

"Steinbeck's Vietnam memoir In Touch was published by Knopf in 1969. He wrote about his experiences with the Vietnamese, the GIs and his interlude with that culture."

4. Lewis B. Puller. Son of the famous Marine General "Chesty" Puller. An officer with the Marines, infantry, wounded most severely in Vietnam, returning to the U.S. to lead an amazing, fruitful and accomplished life in spite of terrible handicaps.

"Lewis Burwell Puller, Jr. (August 18, 1945 – May 11, 1994) was an attorney, Pulitzer prize winning author and officer in the United States Marine Corps. He was severely wounded in the Vietnam War."

"Lewis Burwell Puller Jr. was the son of General Lewis "Chesty" Puller, the most decorated Marine in the history of the Marine Corps . . . [while in Vietnam] he was badly wounded by a landmine . . . losing both legs and most use of his hands in the explosion. The mine riddled his body with shrapnel"

5. Oliver Stone. Volunteering for duty as an infantryman, seeing combat duty, post-war becoming one of the great movie directors of all time [??], award winning, talented, gifted, a man always in the midst of controversy, even to a fault!

"A veteran of the Vietnam war . . . He specifically requested combat duty [service with the U.S. Army] and was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division and the 1st Cavalry Division, and was wounded twice in action. His personal awards include the Bronze Star with 'V' device for valor for 'extraordinary acts of courage under fire', and the Purple Heart with one Oak Leaf Cluster."


* Each and everyone of these men with the exception of Steinbeck served in a combat capacity. My original thought was that Steinbeck too had been at the Ia Drang valley battle at the same time as was Smith! Perhaps I am wrong about that? At least three of the five [Stone, Smith, Puller] were wounded, Puller of course most severely so!

* John Steinbeck III was on a familiar and conversational basis with President Johnson! Even presented his son to LBJ at the White House. Like I said, these men came from families of the American elite.

* Steinbeck in particular went "native", returning to Vietnam as a civilian and immersing himself in the culture, Steinbeck becoming a confirmed Buddhist, Stone reputedly describing himself also as a Buddhist, to whatever degree.

* Three [Smith, Steinbeck, Puller] of the five are no longer with us. Have passed on, each and every one of them, Smith, Steinbeck, Puller, representing a marked loss for American society and the world in general.

* Lewis Puller was a Pulitzer Prize winning author, "Fortunate Son" his autobiography detailing his amazing life and ordeals with his various afflictions. It is often thought that the song of the same name by John Fogarty was "inspired" by Lewis Puller. This is not so!!

* "Draft dodging", avoiding conscription or any form of military service altogether, or finding a "cushy billet" was not out of the question for any of these five men. Yet none of them took advantage of their "privilege, prestige, wealth"!


Monday, March 23, 2009

Missiles Away!!

This is coolbert:

"One to make ready and two to go!!"

More on the impending North Korean missile launch. Soon now. Intended to put a satellite into orbit. For communications purposes only? So it is announced. Has raised hackles in some quarters. NOT only from Secretary Gates, but from the Japanese too!!!

Tokyo reserves the right also to shoot down the North Korean missile! And has good reason for reserving this right. It seems that the first stage of this missile, after being jettisoned, might actually fall onto Japanese territory.

Alarming headlines:

"Japan warns N. Korea on missile launch"

"Japan Prepared To Shoot Down N Korea Missile"

"Japan has warned it is prepared to shoot down the rocket to protect its territory."

"The projectile will fly over Japan where the rocket's first stage is expected to fall in waters 75 miles off its north-western coast."

"The other 'danger zone' lies out in the Pacific Ocean halfway between Japan and Hawaii."

This North Korea missile launch IS BEING WATCHED WITH GREAT INTENSITY. A "window" for missile launch has been determined? Soon!!

"the launch of the Taepodong 2 missile is set for April 2-8."

"the launch date of North Korea's long-range missile getting ever closer"

"North Korea told global agencies this past week that it would put a communications satellite into orbit between April 4 and April 8"


"Japan Deploys Its Own Patriots"

"Washington (UPI) April 03, 2007"

"The vision of Junichiro Koizumi to create an anti-ballistic missile shield over Japan took a giant leap towards fulfillment Friday. On that day, Japan's Air Self-defense Force announced that its first battery of U.S.-built Patriot Advanced Capability-3, or PAC-3s was operational at the Iruma Air Base north of Tokyo to defend the Japanese capital, the Kyodo news agency reported."

This is the more sophisticated version of the Patriot as first used in the Gulf War of 1991! Able to intercept a ballistic missile with a pretty high degree of probability and certainty.

We may even see A COMBINED JAPANESE/AMERICAN OPERATION HERE!!?? AEGIS missile cruisers and Japanese Patriots blasting this North Korean missile out of the sky!! And if that missile goes OFF-COURSE, SURELY THEN SOME ACTION WILL BE TAKEN!!

This missile launch of the North Koreans HAS really agitated some folks. Almost so to the point where folks are not going to be able to back down now?

Like I said, "one to make ready, and two to go!!"


Math - - USMA - - II. [Conclusion]

This is coolbert:

Here are some persons, graduates of the USMA, West Point, who were outstanding mathematicians. Surprisingly so in some instances. As cadets excelled at math to such a degree that they were recognized as being worthy of consideration for appointment as an instructor. Military officers, proficient at mathematics, each and everyone of them reaching a very high level of command and authority during their military career. Greatly accomplished persons with a high intellect, as demonstrated by their proficiency at math.

[persons displaying proficiency at math can be said to have a high intellect??!! This is so??!!]

1. U.S. Grant.

"Ulysses S Grant wrote that he had hoped to take a position as a math instructor at West Point before the Civil War changed his plans."

Consider also, this particular quote attributed to Grant:

"'If men make war in slavish obedience to rules, they will fail.'”

In this particular instance, Grant is referring to [??] the Jomini book, "The Art of War", as carried and read by senior military officers of the period. A book, written by Jomini in the aftermath of the Napoleonic era wars, that was the source, the be-all and end-all, for tactics, operational art, strategy, etc., as practiced during the American Civil War era. A treatise by Jomini that explained warfare in terms and using rules that were thought to be subject to mathematical description and explanation!! BUT NOT VALID GIVEN THE WEAPONRY USED DURING THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR!!

2. Thomas Jackson.

"Stonewall" Jackson, the Confederate General, was a Professor of Mathematics at VMI.

The Virginia Military Institute [VMI] is one of only a few schools [Norwich, USMA, Citadel, Texas A&M, VMI] that can offer a graduate a REGULAR military commission. Such a prestigious commission is highly sought after by those seeking a military career.

3. John Jacob Pershing.

"Pershing had also taught military tactics and mathematics at the University of Nebraska [1890's] and earned a law degree there."

"Lt. John J. Pershing, on detached service from the U.S. Army to the University of Nebraska in the early 1890s, taught remedial mathematics to undergraduate Willa Cather. During his stint at the university, Pershing studied the law."

Even while a junior officer, as a military science officer and an instructor of mathematics, Pershing "rubbed elbows" with persons of prominence and stature - - highly regarded!! American elites. Persons such as:

* Willa Cather. Prominent American author.

* Roscoe Pound. Prominent American legal scholar.

* William Jennings Bryan. American politician, orator, fighter for "causes"!

4. Omar Bradley.

"In September 1920 Bradley began a four-year tour of duty as an instructor of mathematics at West Point . . . Bradley believed [the studying of mathematics] stimulated one's powers of reasoning"




Thursday, March 19, 2009


This is coolbert:

This was originally a mystery to me. Seen pictures of Israeli troops on maneuvers and did not recognize this particular combat vehicle. What was this "thing"?

A tank chassis with the turret yanked off. That is what it appeared to me.



Called, in Israeli parlance, a heavy armored personnel carrier [HAPC].

Comes in two varieties, both based upon a tank chassis. A tank with the turret ripped off, modified, and built into an APC [armored personnel carrier]!

1. Achzarit.

"The Achzarit . . . is a heavily armored armored personnel carrier [HAPC] manufactured by the Israeli Defence Forces"

An armored personnel carrier, HEAVY, based upon the Soviet T-55 tank chassis. Captured Soviet T-55 tanks, having the turret ripped out, the body of the tank chassis modified to provide a personnel carrier providing superlative troop protection and cross-country mobility.

An APC well armored and able to carry a squad of infantry!! From that low-profile, I would not have thought so.

A new engine, interior space for troops, weapons stations having the latest electronics allowing for remote use [gunner inside the APC can fire the weapon without exposing himself], additional reactive armor, modifications made by the thrifty, resourceful, and ingenious Israeli, and voila', a captured Soviet T-55 tank is put to good use.

[please keep in mind that during the Six Day War of 1967, the Israeli captured INTACT entire battalions of Soviet T-55 tanks from the Egyptian. Tanks, again, ENTIRE BATTALIONS, abandoned by their crews and just left in the Sinai desert. These tanks, captured over FORTY YEARS ago now, still seeing service in a manner NEVER INTENDED, IN A NEW INCARNATION!! Remarkable!!]

2. Namera.

Here the latest and greatest Israeli HAPC. Namera. Based upon the chassis of the indigenous Merkava [chariot] tank. Providing for EVEN GREATER TROOP PROTECTION THAN THE ACHZARIT!! The engine of this particular APC is up front, not in the rear.

But still allowing for a commodious interior, or so it would seem, an entire squad being accommodated, to include driver, commander and gunner. NOT cramped and offended as I would have thought. And again, each APC having pretty good organic firepower, cross-country mobility, and lots of protection.

The interior of the Namera.


In contrast, he U.S. Army M113, a mid-1950's APC design, allowed for protection against small-arms fire, and that was about it. Did provide for good cross-country mobility and could "swim", BUT WAS NOT AS ROBUST AND COULD NOT PROVIDE PROTECTION OF THE SAME MAGNITUDE AS THESE CURRENT ISRAELI HAPC!!


Tuesday, March 17, 2009


This is coolbert:

Here is some partial intel dope on the Israeli Golani brigade and several of it's constituent units.

"The Golani Brigade (Hebrew: חֲטִיבַת גּוֹלָנִי‎, also known as the 1st Brigade) is an Israeli infantry brigade which was formed on February 28, 1948 . . . It is subordinated to the 36th Division and is one of the most highly decorated infantry units in the Israel Defense Forces."

1. The The Egoz Reconnaissance Unit.

"The Egoz Reconnaissance Unit (Hebrew: יחידת אגוז, Yechidat Egoz) is an Israel Defense Forces elite infantry unit that specializes in guerrilla and anti-guerrilla warfare. The Egoz Battalion is part of the Northern Command's Golani Brigade."

"Egoz is a Hebrew word meaning 'nut' (meaning 'seed', not 'crazy'), although in the case of the unit, it is also an abbreviation for Anti Guerrilla and Micro-Warfare (Anti Gerila VeLohama Zeira). The Hebrew letter 'vav' can be pronounced several ways, including both 'v' and long 'o', hence the apparent discrepancy between VeLohama and the 'o' in Egoz."

Egoz = "nut". "Nut" not meaning crazy. Meaning SEED!!

2. 51st "HaBoki'm HaRishonim"/"First Breachers" Infantry Battalion.


And, thanks to YNet, two stories concerning Battalion 51 and their various combats in Lebanon that did not always go in their favor.

"Deadly battles in Bint Jbeil: Fallen soldiers' stories"

"Battalion 51's bad luck in Lebanon"

"First Breachers" to me suggests a a battalion sized unit, specially trained and equipped for commando style penetration of enemy defenses? Perform the most difficult missions using unconventional tactics to do so if necessary? Taking bad casualties from time to time as a result of hazardous combat duty?

A unit, Battalion 51, having a very high esprit and elan'! Accomplishes missions with alacrity in a fashion other units cannot?


Saturday, March 14, 2009


This is coolbert:

"War - - what is it good for? Absolutely nothing!" - - Edwin Starr.

Thanks for the idea from the TV program by Michael Wood. English journalist/historian/world traveler.

Here is an instance of where an empire, forged in war, as they say, became great, prosperous, providing enlightened and beneficial rule. An empire that could not have come into being WITHOUT WAR!!

The Chola Empire!

King Rajaraja, an expansionist ruler, around the year 1000 C.E., embarked on a series of wars, creating an empire that ruled the east of coast of India, the Maldive Islands, Sri Lanka. Rajaraja understood the value of naval power, extending his rule and dominion to the Malay peninsula, Sumatra, Java, and Borneo!

"Rajaraja Chola I (Tamil) is one of the greatest kings of the Chola Empire, who ruled between 985 and 1014 CE . . . His undefeated reign and his son the great Rajendra Chola I's unparalleled military conquests brought considerable strength and power enabling the Chola kingdom to last for more than four centuries"

"The Chola Dynasty (Tamil) as a Tamil dynasty that ruled primarily in southern India until the 13th century."

"The Cholas were at the height of their power continuously from the later half of the 9th century till the beginning of the 13th centuries. Under Rajaraja Chola I and his son Rajendra Chola I, the dynasty became a military, economic and cultural power in Asia."

The list of Chola wars as began [?] by Rajaraja is pretty extensive:

* "War against Vengi"

* "Kalinga conquest"

* "Western Chalukya Wars"

* "Ganga Wars"

* "Northern Wars"

* "Southern Wars"

* "Naval Conquests" [Maldive Islands, Sri Lanka, Malay [Malacca], Sumatra, Java, Borneo]


But NOT A DESPOTIC AND CRUEL REGIME RULING WITH A HEAVY HAND!! Beneficent to a fault almost? The wealth created by the Chola allowed for all the fine arts, trade, civil works projects to proceed and prosper in a manner not seen before or since within Tamil culture!

Fine arts such as:

* Literature.

* Sculpture.

* Architecture.


* Civil works projects of immense size [befitting an empire with resources at the ready], dams, irrigation, etc.

"The Cholas left a lasting legacy. Their patronage of Tamil literature and their zeal in building temples have resulted in some great works of Tamil literature and architecture. The Chola kings were avid builders and envisioned the temples in their kingdoms not only as places of worship but also as centres of economic activity. They pioneered a centralised form of government and established a disciplined bureaucracy."

During the British Raj, the English were fond of saying that within the British Empire, the Tamil were the most law abiding and civil subjects, cultivating the most productive lands, yielding three crops per year.

War - - what good is it good for??!! Well, you can ask the question - - how much better will it be when mankind can create great works of literature, sculpture, architecture and build immense public works projects, without having to first create an empire "forged in war"!!??

Well - - yes - - but ask yourself the question, when and where does it happen - - that empires are "forged" peacefully?

[Rajaraja did conquer and rule much of Sri Lanka. Set off a chain of events that have resulted in the Eelam Tamil Tigers and the continuous and now millennial long struggle between the Hindu Tamil and the Buddhist Sinhalese. THE CURRENT SRI LANKAN CONFLICT HAS LITTLE TO DO WITH THE MACHINATIONS OF THE COLONIAL POWERS AND THEIR LEGACY! ]


Shivaji - - Trailer.

This is coolbert:

From a comment to the blog:

"Anonymous said...
Hey coolbert. Unrelated to this topic but pertaining to an earlier post of yours about Chattrapati Shivaji. It seems like a new series has been produced in India about him."

"Here's the youtube link, it's pretty interesting."

"great warrior shivaji maharaj"

This is pretty good. Bollywood [?] has a movie or a TV series centered around the Hindu warrior/King Shivaji?

This particular youtube production is a trailer? Takes a while to download an view if you have a dial-up connection, much faster of course with other connection.

Shivaji of course is the Hindu ruler, the archetype of the ruler/warrior, who was able to successfully defy the Mughal [Muslim] rulers of India. Mughals, who ruled, in eyes of many, with a heavy hand, oppressive of their Hindu subjects. Shivaji is a modern iconic figure to the Hindu, THE RECENT TERRORIST ATTACK IN MUMBAI COMMENCING WITH THE SLAUGHTER IN THE TRAIN STATION NAMED AFTER SHIVAJI!!

"Shivaji Bhosle (Born:February 19, 1630, Died: April 3, 1680), commonly known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj . . . laid the foundations of the Maratha Empire."

"Shivaji established and set up a competent civil rule with the help of well regulated and disciplined military and well structured administrative organizations."

"Shivaji changed rules of military engagement prevalent in that era. He pioneered Ganimi Kava, rapid commando actions . . . Shivaji had smaller army and thereby was obliged to make major innovative reforms in military organization, logistics, stratergies and tactics to help overcome this great imbalance."

Some comments about the trailer I am able to discern:

* The army of Shivaji was primarily light cavalry? Fighting in the manner most commonly found in the Indian sub-continent. Warriors eschewing body armor for the most part, in contrast to say an European mounted knight, traveling and fighting in a manner to exclude excessive impedimenta.

* The horse preferred by the Hindu army of Shivaji employed the Marwari horse? A horse exclusively bred as a war-horse. But light and fleet of foot, as befits light cavalry. A BREED OF HORSE THE STATUS OF WHICH AS A DISTINCT BREED WAS IN QUESTION, BUT NOW, THANKS TO VARIOUS HORSE BREEDERS, NOW BEING RESURRECTED.

"the Marwari horse has been bred in Rajasthan since at least 1212 C.E. It was originally developed to be a war horse. The breed was developed by the Rathores, the traditional rulers of Marwar, who had developed a policy of strict selective breeding."

"Selective breeding produced a horse with speed and stamina. The Marwari was also bred and trained to behave courageously. It would not collapse, even when seriously injured, until it had carried its rider out of danger. It would stand near its wounded rider, biting and kicking at those who attempted to approach."

* Warriors within the cultural domain of the Indian sub-continent have long employed a wide variety of fighting techniques and martial arts forms unique to the culture. Again, for the most part, eschew body armor, relying upon fighting ability and skill, employing the sword and buckler [small shield] in combat, a sword probably maybe made with the finest wootz steel, of the highest quality and manufacture.

Westerners tend to have an image and think of India as a place populated by peaceful, non-violent, ahmisa followers of Mahatma Gandhi! NOT persons with a long military tradition and experience at warfare. NOT persons who engage in martial arts training or combat. This IS JUST NOT SO! India currently has the second or third largest army in the world, and world-class weapons design capability [BrahMos anti-ship missile]!

This too is most interesting:

Shivaji did confront, to some degree, the various European powers who were active in the area with naval forces. Shivaji understood the role and utility of naval forces and was able to employ same!

"A large portion of his kingdom was a coastline and he secured it with a potent navy . . . He was very successful in keeping foreign naval ships, particularly Portuguese and British, under check."

Shivaji was as formidable and successful warrior king. A man of natural and marked ability and an ENLIGHTENED RULER! That is a hard combination to beat!


Friday, March 13, 2009


This is coolbert:

Here, again thanks to Harry, from KTB Sharkhunters,

Intelligence Page.

Spook Stuff!

Checking on the Japanese.

Indications, surreptitious at the time, that the U.S,. Navy, even well before World War Two [WW2], saw the hand-writing on the wall, and was preparing for an eventual war with Japan in the Pacific. Preparations on-going with the tacit approval of President Roosevelt, AND IN CONNIVANCE WITH COMMERCIAL INTERESTS.

Intelligence gathering, done in secret, yielding potentially major dividends, that in some circles only might confirm the suspicions of many that the U.S. government KNEW with pretty good certainty what the Japanese were up to in the days just prior to Pearl Harbor.

From Agent SEEGEIST:

"In 1934 and 1935, U,.S. Navy interest in Japanese communications resulted in what was probably the first mobile radio intercept platform! Four Navy radioman . . . took turns riding commercial ships! Agreement was reached with American President Lines [APL] to furnish transportation for these intercept operators"

"When they [the radio intercept operators] went aboard, the intercept operator brought a RCA receiver with bands to switch between 40 and 480 kcs [KHZ] . . . the 'APL' ships left Seattle on the Far East trip and returned 44 days later."

"At the end of the trip, the intercept operator could check in with headquarters, forward the intercept and get a payday."

Navy radio intercept operators, crossing the north Pacific on U.S. commercial cargo vessels, copying what was called "buzzer" frequencies. Low-frequency [LF] radio communications of the Japanese Navy used PRIMARILY FOR INTER-SHIP COMMUNICATION! Was thought to be much less susceptible to intercept and allowed for coordinated movement and the issuance of orders with a low probability of intercept by a hostile force.


"Buzzer" frequency communications that the U.S. Navy was very well familiar with many years prior to 7 December. Communications that should have alerted the command in Pearl Harbor that something major was afoot. Something major that needed to be countered - - BUT WAS NOT!!

More grist for the mill of speculation!!



This is coolbert:

Here, thanks to Harry and KTB Sharkhunters,

Excerpts from an interview with the distinguished German U-boat captain from World War Two [WW2], Erich Topp. Regarding the Type XXI boat.

The question is whether the Type XXI was a war winning weapon. The Type XXI had the capability to allow Germany to prevail in the Battle of the Atlantic?

SH: "The Type XXI was an amazing submarine. Would you tell us something of it's capabilities and the effect it might have had on the Battle of the Atlantic, had been introduced earlier?"

Topp: "Well, the main thing was it had a higher underwater speed, in excess of seventeen knots, and it's endurance was considerable . . . So when you ask me if it would have changed the outcome of the Battle of the Atlantic, I must say NO  . . . we tried to find out if we could revive the old Rudeltaktik (The Wolf pack system) but it was impossible because we were always submerged . . . we were unable to communicate with the other boats"

SH: "So you mean that it might have extended it [the Battle of the Atlantic], but the outcome would not have changed?"

TOPP: "No, it would not have changed the outcome."


Erich speaks. And we must all pay attention.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009


This is coolbert:

From the Chicago Tribune today:

Where have you heard about this before?



Call to ease troops’ load

“Using heavy layers of armor to keep troops safe from bullets and bombs is making the Marine Corps too slow on a battlefield where speed and mobility are critical, a senior military leader said Tuesday.”

“Lt. Gen. George Flynn cautioned members of Congress against wrapping them [marines] in so much protective gear they can’t hunt down more agile insurgents”

“’The bottom line is that the focus on armor as the principal means of protecting our force is making us too heavy’

Right. The body armor, bullet resistant, as worn by U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghan, IS effective. But of course, there is no free lunch. Is heavy and adds considerable weight to the troops load IN ADDITION to the basic fighting AND existence load.

AND, for warfare of the nature found in the mountainous terrain of Afghan, at ALTITUDE, such body armor, effective as it is, may actually present a hindrance [that is why it is called impedimenta, as in impediment] rather than an asset!

Troops, marines or otherwise, bogged down with excessive weight, NOT acclimatized to the climate, terrain, or the nature of the Afghan enemy, are now and are going to have a difficult time just to keep up with the ephemeral Afghan foe, much less catch and defeat that adversary [Taliban/Al Qaeda fighter]!

[your average-everyday Taliban “troop” is equipped with an AK, a basic load of ammo, his clothes, and that is that. MAYBE NOT EVEN WEARING SHOES OR ANY FOOTWEAR AT ALL]

A mechanized infantry force equipped with such body armor as has been used in Iraq is not encumbered to the degree as would the light infantry type unit that is needed in Afghan! WHAT WORKED IN IRAQ IS NOT NECESSARILY GOING TO WORK IN AFGHAN?



This is coolbert:

"All that remains for me to add is, that you keep the whole matter as Secret as possible. For upon Secrecy, Success depends in Most Enterprizes of the Kind, and for want of it, they are generally defeated," - - G. Washington.

The USNS Impeccable was towing a submerged sonar sled, being used to map the sea floor?

This does constitute an intelligence mission of sorts. Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield [oceanic]! ESPECIALLY IN AN AREA OF THE OCEAN [NEAR HAINAN ISLAND] WHERE THE CHINESE ARE APT TO FEEL THAT YOU ARE STEPPING ON THEIR TOES!!

Denying this sort of information to U.S. naval forces was the intent of the Chinese “trawler” vessels? Intimidation of a counter-intelligence, counter-reconnaissance sort!

[increased counter-intelligence/counter-reconnaissance is normally an indication that your adversary has something to hide!! There is something they do not want you to know about! They are taking active preventative measures for a GOOD REASON!]

The Virginia class nuclear submarines are more ideally suited for this type of mission [mapping the sea floor] in areas of the world where a U.S. presence is highly suspected, and ill tolerated?

Those Virginia class subs have been configured for intelligence gathering, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions from the start. Have a capability, embedded, as they say, to perform sea floor mapping, electronic-warfare [EW] missions, etc.

AND CAN DO SO IN A STEALTHY MANNER NOT DETECTED BY THE POTENTIAL ADVERSARY! Stealthiness in such matters [intelligence gathering, surveillance, reconnaissance] is far preferable to operating in an open and obvious manner?

This is a far superior approach than what the U.S. Navy did in the 1960’s. Deployed in the various oceans of the world a series of AGTR [technical research] ships THAT OPERATED IN AN OPEN AND OBVIOUS MANNER! Ships with the name of Banner, Pueblo, Liberty, etc. Vessels, transport craft for the most part, modified to perform intelligence gathering, surveillance, reconnaissance missions.

Warships [??] that stood out like sore thumbs, made tempting targets, AND ON TWO OCCASIONS, WERE CONFRONTED AND SUBJECTED TO COMBAT ACTION WITH DISASTROUS CONSEQUENCES [Pueblo, Liberty]! Warships [?] that were not prepared for combat and were crewed by personnel not physically or mentally having the wherewithal to fight back when engaged by an enemy!

One of those Virginia class subs [a combat vessel] can make a very fast foray into an area, perhaps with just the mast slightly above water to get a GPS position, pinging the bottom with low-power sonar as it goes, performing the mapping of the ocean bottom much more effectively, AND IN A MUCH MORE STEALTHIER MANNER!!??

“I am sir, you most obedient servant” - - G. Washington.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009


This is coolbert:

This South China Sea most recent "incident" between an unarmed U.S. naval vessel and Chinese "trawler" type ships has created a minor stir?

An American unarmed naval vessel, USNS Impeccable, set upon by Chinese "merchant" shipping, the navigation of the American ship in open and international waters interfered with!

The path of the USNS vessel interfered with, debris thrown in the path of the Impeccable, and attempts made to snare an underwater sonar sled being towed by the Impeccable.

All grave violations of international law and the law of the sea?

The Impeccable is described as unarmed, a vessel the primary mission of which is servicing anti-submarine surface war craft of the U.S. Navy. An ungainly looking naval vessel, a box on a catamaran twin hull [?] but ideally suited for the mission it performs?

During the time of this particular incident, was towing a sonar sled, "mapping" the underwater terrain in the South China Sea.


"US protests 'harassment' of USNS Impeccable by Chinese vessels"

"At one point during the incident Sunday the unarmed USNS Impeccable turned fire hoses on an approaching Chinese ship in self defense, the Pentagon said. At another point a Chinese ship played chicken with the Americans, stopping dead in front of the Impeccable as it tried to sail away, forcing the civilian mariners to slam on the brakes."

"Chinese ships surrounded and harassed a Navy mapping ship in international waters off China, at one point coming within 25 feet of the American boat and strewing debris in its path, the Defense Department said today."

And here from the Guardian:

"The episode had overtones of spy craft, but the U.S. ship is not, strictly speaking, a spy ship. It maps the ocean floor with sonar, compiling information the Navy can use to steer its own submarines or track those of other nations."

"China views almost the entirety of the South China Sea as its territory. Its claims to small islets in the region have put it at odds with five governments: the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan"

It does appear that these WERE NOT Chinese naval warships that confronted and harassed the Impeccable. Civilian fishing vessels or the proverbial ubiquitous "trawler"!!


* Mapping of the undersea floor, with a towed sonar sled, could be considered to be "intelligence gathering". NOT espionage in the commonly understood meaning of the word espionage, but intelligence gathering nonetheless.

* The Chinese make extravagant claims regarding the South China Sea and adjacent waters. Claims that are specious but seriously regarded by the Chinese. ENORMOUS RESERVES OF OIL LAY UNDER THE SOUTH CHINA SEA? AGAIN, SPECIOUS AND UNVERIFIED CLAIMS!

* Interference of this nature could very well be seen as counter-intelligence, counter-reconnaissance. The behavior of the Chinese is for a good reason? There is something in that area, activity perhaps, the Chinese DO NOT WANT THE U.S. TO KNOW ABOUT!! "Something" that will cause concern on the part of the U.S. Navy if detected?


Monday, March 9, 2009


This is coolbert:

Has everyone been following these headlines regarding the purported forthcoming North Korean missile launch? A long-range North Korean missile will soon, very soon, perhaps, launch into earth orbit what the North Koreans describe as a communications satellite. In this regard, North Korea will join a select club of nations that possess both an intercontinental range missile and nuclear weaponry!!

A missile launch, for allegedly peaceful means, that the U.S. might interfere with? Secretary Gates has NOT RULED OUT THE POSSIBILITY OF A SHOOT-DOWN! A threat to U.S. security is seen here and the U.S. will not idly stand by?

Interfering with the announced peaceful launch of a ballistic missile is an act of war! Unheard of and unprecedented!!

What does Gates know that the rest of us do not??!!

An act of war [peaceful missile launch shoot-down], coupled with the U.S. and South Korea engaging in "war games" [WAR GAMES OCCURRING RIGHT NOW??!!], is liable to set off a wide-scale, all-encompassing war on the Korea peninsula.

Gates is playing with fire and must be very careful here!!

The U.S. and South Korean forces are on high alert, as are the North Koreans? One wrong move with regard to this missile launch, and the world is turned upside down in a manner we will greatly regret?

"NKorea Threatens 'War' If Satellite Is Shot Down"

"SEOUL, South Korea -- North Korea ordered its armed forces on standby and warned Monday it will retaliate against anyone seeking to block its planned satellite launch, a launch many fear will disguise a missile test."

"The threat came hours before United States and South Korea kicked off annual war games involving tens of thousands of troops, which the communist nation has condemned as preparations for an invasion."

"NKorea Cuts Hotline, Puts Troops on High Alert"

"'Shooting our satellite for peaceful purposes will precisely mean a war,' North Korea's military threatened in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency. Any interception attempt will draw 'a just, retaliatory strike,' it said. "

"U.S. may down a threatening missile
Secretary Gates, however, downplays possible danger from a North launch

"Gates also suggested Washington is ready to respond to any real missile threat from the North. When asked if the U.S. military is prepared to shoot down the North’s missile if it’s fired toward U.S. territory, he said doing so is 'an option.'”

"US To shoot Down North Korea's Satellite Launch?"

"If North Korea launched another missile in the direction of Japan, it would enter airspace that is protected by Aegis anti ballistic missiles, which are deployed on Japanese and U.S. Navy destroyers in the Sea of Japan and designed to intercept incoming missiles in mid-flight. As a secondary layer of defense, Tokyo is also protected by a Patriot missile system."

"These systems raise the possibility that a North Korean missile — even one advertised in advance as a peaceful space probe — could be destroyed in flight"

Evidently, the anti-ballistic missile systems are already in place? Aegis type cruisers waiting for the go-code? "Chomping at the bit", so to speak.


To be honest with you, this one does have me mildly startled. This talk of shoot-down as being "an option" is counter-productive?

We shall find out soon?


Sunday, March 8, 2009


This is coolbert:

Please see earlier BASH I and BASH II entries.

BASH. "A bird strike (sometimes birdstrike, bird hit, or BASH - Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard) is a collision between an airborne animal (usually a bird or bat) and a man-made vehicle, especially aircraft. It is a common threat to aircraft safety, and has caused a number of fatal accidents."

Collision with bird or birds, BASH, a bird-strike on a military aircraft, with possible fatal consequences, was a problem most egregiously encountered, for a period of decades, on Midway Island, Pacific Ocean?

Prior to, during and in the aftermath of [for the entire period of the Cold War], Midway Island was a vital military outpost. The airfield and attendant facilities on Midway played a significant, perhaps even irreplaceable role as part of U.S. war planning and war making capability?

[Midway became a U.S. possession as a consequence of the Guano Act of 1856. Uninhabited, unclaimed oceanic territory of no real importance until the age of aviation. An island perfectly situated halfway between Asia and Hawaii. Ideally suited as a military facility, most specifically, an airfield!!]

An airfield plagued by presence of the Laysan albatross. The black-footed booby! Called the gooney bird by the locals. A large bird, with a wingspan of up to seven feet in a fully grown adult. Indiscriminate nesters, begetting themselves in prodigious numbers, oblivious to the presence of man. AND AN ENDANGERED AND PROTECTED SPECIES!!

Birds, in particular the albatross, presenting an extreme danger of BASH to aircraft either taking off or landing. A danger for which there seemed to be no amelioration. The U.S. Navy did adopt all sorts of measures to scare away, intimidate, move, "shoo" away the goonies, but to no avail. The gooney is not easily frightened by man or the activities of man, MAN IS TRESPASSING IN THE RESERVE OF THE ALBATROSS, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND! Nonetheless, the danger to military aircraft from BASH at Midway could not be described in any way other than BAD!!

That aircraft landing in the background has to run a gauntlet of albatross? Notice that the roosting area for the albatross is in exact proximity to the landing strip. And the air appears to be full [almost on a biblical scale!!] of airborne albatross, each and every one of those birds posing a danger to the landing aircraft!!

Here, from a U.S. Air Force document dated 1968. Speaking of the gooney bird problem on Midway:

"the goony birds at Midway Island. These are just off the parking ramp and you can see the high density there. The operations people said, 'Should we continue to operate in the daytime or at night?' So we did a little exercise . . . we computed the number of tons in the wingspread of these goony birds based on the population these operating the daytime as against night light. We came up with some fantastic figures on how much bird meat there was in the air during the daytime with this population versus how few in terms of petrels and other night flying birds. . . . an impact and ingestion at night might be many times worse than one in the day time. But in any case, this problem is the most severe of any we have in the Air force [U.S. Navy too for that matter] today."

Again - - A LOT OF CONSIDERATION WAS GIVEN TO MITIGATING THE POSSIBILITY OF BASH INCIDENTS AT MIDWAY. The experts were called in and their final concerted opinion was to have landings and takeoffs restricted to nighttime. But - - what if a military mission requires a daylight take off or landing? The mission comes first - - forget about the danger?

Also, it had been observed that the albatross would not nest on a paved surface, concrete or asphalt. SERIOUS CONSIDERATION WAS GIVEN TO PAVING OVER THE ENTIRE ISLAND OF MIDWAY. This was not done, and the albatross are forever grateful.

Midway has now been abandoned by the military, and is now a nature refuge and sanctuary. Visitors can obtain a permit to observe the wildlife, BUT VISITING AIRCRAFT MUST ONLY FLY IN/OUT DURING HOURS OF DARKNESS BASH INCIDENT BE DAMNED! ["at night might be many times worse than one in the day time"].


Saturday, March 7, 2009


This is coolbert:

Pararescue the PJ!!

"Gallant is a precious word: they deserve it". - - Eric Sevareid.

Here is a military occupation that demands the highest possible level of physical fitness, speciality skill [emergency medical technician], and just plain guts. The U.S. Air Force [USAF] Pararescue man.

Men who have comported themselves on the battlefield in the most astounding way. Rescuing down American aviators behind [for the most part] enemy lines, at great danger to themselves, doing so with panache', seemingly heedless to danger and difficulty.

A military occupation that has been for decades almost SOLELY in the purview of the enlisted ranks. Persons [pararesuce] who undergo a grueling course JUST TO BECOME QUALIFIED! It is said that out of every one hundred [100] applicants [persons expressing a desire to become a pararescue man, only THREE [3] will actually receive the coveted maroon beret.

"Part of the little-known Air Force Special Tactics community and long an enlisted preserve"

The wearing of a beret by American military men is now common. But at one time, was NOT so. ONLY Special Forces '["Green Berets"] and pararescuemen [PJ's] were authorized to wear a beret. As a symbol of their elite status and the repute with which they were held. "EARNED, NOT GIVEN!!"

"They also wear the maroon beret, as a symbol of their elite status."

There are, world-wide, within the USAF ONLY two hundred [200] pararescue positions [slots] available, OF WHICH ABOUT ONLY ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY [170] ARE ACTUALLY FILLED WITH QUALIFIED PERSONNEL! So difficult and demanding is the qualification course, and retention thereafter!

Again, a very high degree of physical fitness is a requisite for the PJ. EVEN BEFORE ENLISTMENT, APPLICANTS TO THE PJ PROGRAM MUST HAVE A FAIRLY HIGH AND DEMONSTRABLE LEVEL OF FITNESS!! Determined by a USAF recruiter BEFORE enlistment. This is the PAST test! NOT easy, not for the fainthearted, a filter mechanism to weed out the weak and less motivated. THIS ALL BEFORE ENLISTMENT AND ACCEPTANCE INTO THE PJ PROGRAM!!

* "PAST Test -- First hopeful candidates must pass the Physical Aptitude Stamina Test. This can be given by a local Air Force Recruiter. It consists of 45 push-ups in 2mins, 6 chin/pull-ups 1min, 45 sit-ups 2mins, 45 flutter-kicks 2mins, a 1.5 mile run 10min 45 sec, a 500 m swim under 14min, and 2x20 underwaters. It is a pass fail test."

The entire PJ program, quite often requiring TWO YEARS to complete, consists of a variety of programs, beginning with the Indoctrination Course.

"The process of becoming a 'PJ' is known informally as 'the Pipeline.' (Even more informally as 'Superman School.') Successfully completing it takes about two years of intense physical and mental effort. Of the dozens who begin the process, only the most determined, sometimes as few as four to six, graduate."

The two-year ordeal begins with the "Indoctrination Course". Nine-weeks of hell during which an ever increasing and more demanding and amazing level of physical fitness is achieved for those that are willing and able! To include program of PT [physical training], supervised by MEDICAL DOCTORS specially trained in physiological development. A strenuous course combining physical and mental demands with extreme stress, again, to weed out the slackers, the no-can-do and those lacking initiative.

* Indoctrination Course, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas -- This 9-week (8 trng/1 admin )Indoctrination Course recruits, selects and trains future PJs through extensive physical conditioning. Training accomplished at this course includes physiological training, obstacle course, rucksack marches, dive physics, dive tables, metric manipulations, medical terminology, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, weapons qualifications, PJ history and leadership reaction course.

Further courses that are part of the PJ program include:

* U.S. Army Airborne School -- "basic parachuting skills".

* U.S. Air Force Combat Divers School -- "Trainees become combat divers".

* U.S. Navy Underwater Egress Training -- "how to safely escape from an aircraft that has ditched in the water".

* U.S. Air Force Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Course "SERE" -- "This two and a half-week course provides service members with training in survival, evading capture, and dealing with being taken prisoner."

* U.S. Air Force Arctic Survival School -- "This five day course instructs trainees in 'the arctic environment, medical, personal protection (clothing, shelter construction, and firecraft), sustenance (food and water procurement), and signaling.'".

* U.S. Army Military Free Fall Parachutist School -- "This course instructs trainees in free fall parachuting procedures."

* Paramedic Course -- "This 24-week course teaches how to manage trauma patients prior to evacuation and provide emergency medical treatment."

* Pararescue Recovery Specialist Course -- "Qualifies airmen as pararescue recovery specialists for assignment to any pararescue unit worldwide."

Upon graduation from the PJ program, the now qualified PJ is a:

* Parachutist.
* Diver.
* Emergency medical technician [EMT] with nationally recognized qualifications. "Upon graduation, an EMT-Paramedic certification is awarded through the National Registry."
* A survivalist.
* A person with the highest possible level of developed physical fitness.
* A highly-trained specialist who in furtherance of his mission, can pick up a rifle and fight at a moments notice.


* That free-fall parachutist course qualifies the participant for HALO and HAHO missions. Using oxygen supplement when jumping from the stratosphere!


* PJ's have to be able to operate IN ANY ENVIRONMENT IN THE WORLD. Jungle, desert, arctic, oceanic, etc. A lot of emphasis is placed during the selection and training phase on swimming ability. The term "Superman School" is not without foundation!

* Physical requirements and stress while on a mission are extreme. The PJ will be carrying at the MINIMUM about ninety pounds of gear, to include the basic combat load, the existence load, and the combat medic load. AND DURING A MISSION THE PJ MIGHT EVEN FIND IT NECESSARY TO CARRY A WOUNDED PILOT TO SAFETY ON HIS BACK!!!

The PJ! "Gallant is a precious word: they deserve it". YES!


Wednesday, March 4, 2009


This is coolbert:

Dresden - - 1945 - - an attack, a destruction, an atrocity, made possible, to some degree, because of the efforts of this man, who, post-war, developed a well-deserved reputation as a HUMANITARIAN!!

Leonard Cheshire, VC. English aviator who pioneered the marking of targets slated for firebombing and saturation bombing. A technique, marking of targets for a fleet of bomber aircraft, a measure, among a host of measures, that doomed the city of Dresden to obliteration by the allied strategic air forces.

"Cheshire helped pioneer a new method of marking enemy targets for Bomber Command's 5 Group, flying in at a very low level in the face of strong defences"

Area bombardment as practiced by the British Bomber Command was highly reliant upon dedicated Pathfinder aircraft [Mosquitos] dropping marker incendiary ordnance on the target. Illuminate for the bomb aimers of the massed air fleets the target. An important factor in the northern European environment, replete with fog, cloud cover, inclement and fast changing weather, further complicated by hours of darkness. The mass destruction of German cities such as Dresden would not have been possible unless the Pathfinder marker aircraft were "on target"!

"Group Captain Geoffrey Leonard Cheshire, Baron Cheshire, VC . . . was a highly decorated British RAF pilot during the Second World War. Among the honours he received as a bomber pilot is the Victoria Cross . . . After the war, he became a charity worker, setting up Leonard Cheshire Disability and other philanthropic organisations."

Again, in the aftermath of the war, Cheshire, mind, body and soul, devoted himself to humanitarian endeavors, on behalf of the handicapped, disabled, and terminally ill. Was voted in the year 2000 one of the top fifty greatest Britons of all time!!