Death once had a near-Sarah Palin experience.


calendar   Saturday - May 31, 2014

Held Captive So Long That He Forgot English

US soldier held captive by Afghan Taliban freed after 5 years


Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the only American soldier held captive in Afghanistan, was released Saturday by Taliban captors, an announcement that has Americans rejoicing but also raising questions on Capitol Hill and beyond about “negotiating with terrorists.”

Bergdahl was released from captivity after nearly five years, in exchange for five Taliban members being held in the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Bergdahl was taken prisoner after leaving his base in east Afghanistan on June 30, 2009. Why he left and whether he’ll face any consequences for his actions remains unclear.

U.S. officials said the deal was reached after a week of intense negotiations that were mediated by the Qatar government, which will take custody of the Taliban detainees.

They said efforts to negotiate Bergdahl’s release began in November 2010, that his return has been a top priority since May 2011 and that the opportunity to resume diplomatic efforts emerged several weeks ago.

“We ...made an ironclad commitment to bring our prisoners of war home. It’s who we are as Americans,” President Obama said Saturday evening in a Rose Garden ceremony flanked by Bergdahl’s parents. “Today, at least in this instance, it’s a promise we’ve been able to keep.”

“Like all Americans, we celebrate the release of Sergeant Bergdahl,” California Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe, the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a joint statement.

“However, we must carefully examine the means by which we secured his freedom. America has maintained a prohibition on negotiating with terrorists for good reason. Trading five senior Taliban leaders from detention in Guantanamo Bay for Bergdahl’s release may have consequences for the rest of our forces and all Americans.”

They also argued that Obama “clearly violated laws” that require him to notify Congress 30 days before any transfer of terrorists from Guantanamo Bay and to explain how the threat posed by such terrorists has been substantially mitigated.

Bergdahl is reportedly in good condition and able to walk. He was taken first to Bagram Air Base, in Afghanistan, then to Landstuhl, German, and will likely go to Brook Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.
The announcement of Bergdahl’s release comes as the United States winds down its military operation in Afghanistan.

The Bergdahls spoke briefly after President Obama delivered his remarks, expressing their joy and thanking those who secured their son’s release.

Bob Bergdahl, the father, spoke briefly in what experts think was Pashtu. He suggested his son will need an extensive recovery period and is having trouble understanding English after five years.

In the foreign language, Bergdahl thanked the Afghan people and told his son, “I am your father.”

Glad we’ve got him back. And I do hope the 5 who were let go were first secretly given some CIA slow acting biological, so that in about 13 months they all suddenly develop an incurable, debilitating, fatal cancer or horrible pathogen.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/31/2014 at 10:29 PM   
Filed Under: • Military •  
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Don’t Nobody Sneeze

Take a random midnight wobble around the Internets and you’ll find the oddest things ...


Royal Army Ordnance Corps men playing cards on bomb dump, Acheux, July 1916, Battle of the Somme.

Each one of those ball things is the 44lb explosive head from a device called a trench mortar, which would loft these bombs over the top and a few hundred yards towards the enemy in his trenches. A launching pipe was attached to the bomb part prior to firing, so that these things appeared to be launching large deadly lollipops, or candy apples on a stick.

And yes, there really is a place in France called   Achoo   Acheux.


Properly, it’s Acheux-en-Amiénois, and is about 2 miles SW of Gommecourt, infamous crossroads of the above battle, and about 10 miles NE of Amiens.

Wait, the formal name of the little town is even grosser than it’s short name? Achoo and a mayonnaise? Ewwwwww.

See More Below The Fold


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/31/2014 at 12:23 AM   
Filed Under: • Fun-StuffHistoryMilitaryUK •  
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calendar   Friday - May 30, 2014

Obama Plays CYA At VA

Shinseki, Under The Bus

Obama: It’s Bush’s Fault

President Obama accepted the resignation Friday of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, amid a burgeoning scandal over delayed care for veterans at VA hospitals.

In a hastily arranged statement after meeting with Mr. Shinseki at the White House, the president said he accepted the resignation “with considerable regret” and admitted that the decision was partly political.

The president said Mr. Shinseki told him “that he could not carry out the next stages of reform without being a distraction himself.”

“And so, you know, my assessment was, unfortunately, that he was right,” the president told reporters. “We’ve also got to deal with Congress and you guys.”

The president said VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson, who has been in his post only three months, will take over on an interim basis.

The scandal became public several weeks ago, but the calls for Mr. Shinseki’s resignation among Democrats began in earnest Wednesday when a VA Inspector General’s report that showed the scope of the problem at the VA hospital in Phoenix had affected about 1,700 veterans.


The scandal began last month when a whistleblower revealed that veterans were being placed on a “secret wait list” at the Phoenix VA facility that almost guaranteed they would not receive timely care. The initial report caused a handful of GOP lawmakers to call for Mr. Shinseki to step down.

[transcript of O’s speech] PRESIDENT OBAMA: In terms of responsibility, as I’ve said before, this is my administration; I always take responsibility for whatever happens, and this is an area that I have a particular concern with This predates my presidency. When I was in the Senate, I was on the Veterans Affairs Committee. I heard first-hand veterans who were not getting the kinds of services and benefits that they had earned.

Wow, 3 laugh tracks in that single short quote. I always take responsibility, an area I have particular concern with, and this predates my presidency. A lie, another lie, and a Blame Bush. Classic.

We’re not supposed to ask why Senator Obama, member of the Veteran’s Affairs Committee, didn’t make any effort to get to the bottom of the problem back then. And having known that this area, the one he is particularly concerned about, was having problems way back then, why is it only now, 5 years and more into his pResidency, that he’s even looking into it?


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/30/2014 at 11:56 AM   
Filed Under: • Health-MedicineMilitaryObama, The One •  
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calendar   Friday - March 28, 2014

meanwhile, here in Hunterdon

My post on Barnes Wallis, “Winning the war with weeds and seawater: the geodetic airframe” is taking far longer than expected. Just too darn many links and too many interesting side tracks. Like why the Pidgeon Process for isolating magnesium is so bad for Climate Change.

So here’s a picture  of Islamic Rage Boy with a pancake on his head  of the new bridge going up 3 hills over here, the new white bridge on White Bridge Road.


Pretty neat, huh? It’s a half connected Warren pony truss. But what makes it super neat is that the bridge was designed to carry modern loads while still looking like an old time bridge. So note the lacing between the beams, and the extensive use of rivets on the gusset plates. Cool. Because the folks in the neighborhood really really loved their old iron bridge (ca 1898), but it was just too beat up, too rotted away, and too weak to do the job any longer. 

If the rain lets up, I’ll run down to the job site today and get some fresh pictures. For now, here’s a link.

And Barnes Wallis? What a genius. What an amazing natural engineer. If Wallace, from the claymation films featuring Wallace and Gromit wasn’t named in his honor, he ought to have been. Cracking toast, what a brain he had.

Never heard of him? Actually, you probably have. He’s the WWII Dam Busters guy, but that was one of his lesser accomplishments.


On May 16, 1943, 19 aircraft took off from RAF Scampton, Lincs, to fly to Germany’s industrial heartland and destroy the heavily-defended Mohne, Eder and Sorpe dams on the River Ruhr.

The Lancasters were carrying 9,000lb of ­“glorified dustbins” – bouncing bombs designed by Sir Barnes Wallis, the “wizard boffin” immortalised in the gung-ho 1955 film The Dambusters.

Almost half of the 113 airmen who took off on that historic mission never made it back.

Hopgood and Byers were among the 53 British, American, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand airmen killed.

Three others were shot down and taken prisoner while 1,294 people on the ground in Germany were killed – many prisoners in forced labour camps.
“When Barnes Wallis heard about the losses he broke down and cried. He said ‘I’ve killed all those young men’.”

But, Johnny [Sqdr Leader John “Johnny” Johnson] says, Guy Gibson told him: “No Barnes, you didn’t. Without you that raid could never have taken place.”

Dr. Barnes Willis, pictured in front of a Lancaster bomber, perhaps one used in Operation Chastise.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/28/2014 at 09:51 AM   
Filed Under: • BridgesHistoryMilitaryUK •  
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calendar   Monday - March 10, 2014

just another result of lower standards and lower class ppl advanced via race and gender


Well maybe not so dumb and dense after all.  She gets a million for what?

Getting drunk and getting injured.
But it isn’t her fault. Oh no. It’s the Navy that let her down. Yup .. she’s a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy?


Here’s what happened.

She fell down. OK, she fell down 30 feet. Ouch. BUT, the bitch was was drunk at the time. So who is at fault. Well obviously not her. No, the Navy is to blame. The other participants in the fun night building human pyramids, with her on the very top. From which, she fell. And broke her back. Told she might never walk again, she was up and walking with sticks 6 weeks later. Although she still needed a wheelchair, she got out of that to get married, and with special equipment has been scuba diving and snowboarding.
By the way .... she’s still in the Navy. Oh yeah. They can’t dump her. She’s female and has extra special rights. Gee, too bad she’s white or she might get even more. Anyway, she is on the Paralympic basketball team. Isn’t that nice?
She has become a poster girl for the navy which celebrates her sporting achievements on its website, according to the press. I do not wish her well.
There are service people who have had limbs blown off who get half what she did, and all this ugly duckling did was get drunk and fall 30 feet.
Too bad it wasn’t her neck that broke instead. And .... she isn’t even pretty.

She argued her accident happened at an Armed Forces function where top brass had responsibility for her well-being.

Who I wonder, will she sue if she falls out of her wheelchair?

Navy’s £1million ‘drunken sailor’ is now a Paralympic basketball team star: Lieutenant who was given huge payout after alcohol-fuelled accident becomes poster girl for Navy’s sporting triumphs

Lieutenant Kirsty Wallace injured after falling of human pyramid in 2007
32-year-old feared paralysed from waist down after alcohol-fuelled night
But she managed to walk without wheelchair down aisle in 2011
Now poster girl for Navy and key member of wheelchair basketball team

By Sam Greenhill and Ian Drury and Claire Ellicott

Following a six-year legal battle she won a payout of £1million – ($ 1,663,222 ) nearly double the maximum £570,000 compensation given by the Ministry of Defence to soldiers with the most severe battlefield injuries such as paratrooper Ben Parkinson.

He lost his legs when he was blown up by a mine in Afghanistan in 2006.

Lt Wallace, who is from Ardrishaig in western Scotland, took up wheelchair basketball in 2009 and made her debut representing Great Britain at the BT Paralympic World Cup in Manchester in May 2011.

OK ... if you wanna read the entire unedited version minus my invective, go here.


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 03/10/2014 at 09:29 AM   
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calendar   Thursday - March 06, 2014

Cork U

Donuslaved !!

Donuslaved: verb A term that describes an action that cuts an opponent off from significant resources and tactical options. cf Vladmir Putin, The Ukrainian Crisis, 2014

Crimean Penninsula: On the western side of that bit of land that sticks out into the Black Sea, the one Western people with a sense of history should always think of as Sevastopol, runs the river Donuzlav. In 1961 a huge breakwater was built across the mouth of the bay, turning the river into one of the largest freshwater lakes in Europe. It quickly became a prime vacation spot, a wildlife sanctuary, fish farms and shellfish beds, and a perfect place for Ukraine to park its Black Sea navy. A deepwater opening in the middle of the breakwater allows capital ships to sail through, and in the past a small naval airbase guarded the gateway. The base is still there, hardly a kilometer away, runways and docks just waiting to be used.

Today, no matter what happens with the Ukraine Crisis, their navy is out of the game. Without firing a single shot, Putin effectively just sank the whole thing.

image image

Perhaps the old western expression “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” doesn’t translate into Ukrainian. And it looks like “Pearl Harbor” doesn’t either.


The Russian Navy Ochakov Kara-class cruiser was sunk last night to block the Ukrainian Navy ships deployed in Novoozerne, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence said in a press release today.

The information was confirmed by the Ukrainian military of the South Naval Base who were observing the operation.

Yevpatoria, Ukraine: An anti-submarine boat may have been the first casualty of the Russian incursion into Crimea, but it was hardly an act of violence, much less war: The Russian navy sank one of its own, junked vessels to create an obstacle, a Ukrainian official said on Wednesday.

Ukraine Defence Ministry spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Alexei Mazepa said Russian sailors pulled the anti-submarine vessel Ochakov out of a naval junkyard and sank it in the straits that connect the Black Sea with a body of water known as Donuzlav Lake. He said the act was intended to prevent Ukrainian navy ships from leaving a nearby base and going to sea.

As the Ukrainian-Russian rift over Crimea intensifies, a new tactic has emerged: intentionally sinking a ship to prevent Ukrainian government ships from leaving a southern port. The vessel in question, reported to be a Kara-class cruiser. Russians (or at least Russian sympathizers) towed the ship to the entrance to Donuzlav and sank it.

The act of sinking a ship on purpose is called scuttling. Navies typically do this to prevent enemies from getting their hands on the hardware. Doing it in a specific spot to create a blockade is something different—we’re going to call it ”strategic scuttling.”

No, I’m going to call it brilliant. So brilliant that it deserves to become a verb in its own right. Sure, it’s been done in the past. But as a non-violent “act of war, not really” that can stop a non-war from becoming one, while really tipping the scales for your side? I think this may be a first. Genius.

My only surprise is that they didn’t stage the thing as an accident in the middle of the night. Then he’d even have plausible deniability. “Who me? Nyet! Boatski sinksi! Is accident!” But then he’d have to make some token effort to try and remove it. No, this way is better. In your face comrades. And now everyone gets a fresh reminder of who The Man is. And it ain’t Obama.


h/t Sondra K

See More Below The Fold


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/06/2014 at 01:37 PM   
Filed Under: • InternationalMilitary •  
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calendar   Saturday - March 01, 2014

utter disgust

Officials at Fort Carson in Colorado said Wednesday they are investigating reports that a soldier posted a photo on Instagram of herself deliberately avoiding saluting the flag, touching off a storm of criticism from a group representing families who lost loved ones.

Base officials issued a statement Wednesday saying they are aware of a social media post allegedly made by Pfc. Tariqka Sheffey indicating she stayed in her car to avoid a flag ceremony and they are looking into the situation.

Comments posted with the photo showing a female soldier in uniform relaxing in a car said “This is me laying back in my car hiding so I don’t have to salute the (5 p.m. flag ceremony).”

news link.
blog link.

If you don’t want to do Army things, don’t join the Army. Fine, I can accept that. But if you do join, then your appreciation of, and willing participation in, certain traditions is expected. And to be disrespectful of them is an insult to the entire group.

This is just so wrong.

Sheffey is a member of the 59th Quartermaster Company, 43rd Sustainment Brigade, at Fort Carson, Colo., post spokesman Dee McNutt confirmed Tuesday.

When asked if an investigation was underway, McNutt said, “The chain of command is aware and looking into the situation. That’s really all I can say at this point.”


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/01/2014 at 02:07 AM   
Filed Under: • Military •  
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calendar   Wednesday - February 26, 2014

TThose crazy Russkis

Weirdest warship ever built?


A circular warship? You must be joking. Cue Billy Preston.

From 1872 to 1874, Russia built on the Black Sea one of the strangest-looking warships the world had ever seen. Andrei Alexandrovich Popov, the naval officer responsible for the design, wanted an ironclad monitor, which was a common naval design concept. But Popov built one had a circular hull. The Novgorod weighed 2,490 tons and had a diameter of 101 feet. It carried 2 12-inch guns that retracted into an armored turret. The guns sat on a turntable that could move 35 degrees in either direction. The ship had 6 engines, each of which powered 1 propeller. …

… Popov’s ships had a rare design premise—and for good reason. They often floundered even in calm water and rivers, let alone the open sea. Worse, when idling, Novogord and Popov tended to spin in circles. The Czar, however, was fond of the design and ordered the construction of the Livadia, a circular royal yacht. Historian Stanley Sandler jokes that this must have been because the Czar “presumably suffered more from seasickness than dizziness.”

H/T: Vilmar


Posted by Christopher   United States  on 02/26/2014 at 04:25 PM   
Filed Under: • MilitaryOdd-Strangeplanes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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calendar   Sunday - February 09, 2014

american military and minority religions

OK bmews .... whatcha think of this?

I’ll have to be honest and confess, I really don’t know what to think.  It’s like, is this going to be one of those slippery slopes we read about so often and hear mentioned in interviews?
If the military must make (reasonable) allowances for minority religions and foreign customs, doesn’t it leave itself open in the future for new religions or old ones it today has not heard of? 

Truth to tell ... I’ve finally come around to the attitude that, heck. Doesn’t affect me and nothin’ I could do about it if it did, so just ignore it. At my age with whatever time is left to me, I have other things to be worried about.  I was never even comfortable with those new style berets I see the military wear btw.
They look too European for my taste, and I think they were originally designed by one or more artsy-fartsy fags.

Pentagon Eases Rules on Turbans, Beards in Military

By Robert Longley

The Department of Defense has issued new regulations allowing members of the military who follow minority religions to outwardly display signs of their beliefs, such as turbans and beards, as long as they do not interfere with military readiness, mission or discipline.

According to a Pentagon press release, requests for religious accommodation, while considered on a case-by-case basis, will usually be denied only if officials decide the item being worn or displayed:

Impairs the safe and effective operation of weapons, military equipment or machinery;
Poses a health or safety hazard to the service member wearing the religious apparel;
Interferes with the wear or function of special or protective clothing or equipment such as helmets, flak jackets, flight suits, camouflaged uniforms, protective masks, wet suits and crash and rescue equipment; or
Otherwise impairs the accomplishment of the military mission.

“Each request must be considered based on its unique facts, the nature of the requested religious accommodation, the effect of approval or denial on the service member’s exercise of religion, and the effect of approval or denial on mission accomplishment, including unit cohesion,” stated a Pentagon spokesman quoted in a press release.

According to the new directive, “the importance of uniformity and adhering to standards, of putting unit before self, is more significant and needs to be carefully evaluated when considering each request for accommodation.”

The directive also spells out criteria for evaluating “hair,” “grooming,” and “religious body art,” including tattoos and piercings as valid expressions of “sincerely held beliefs,” that cannot used as a reason for discipline or other “adverse personnel action.”

In addition, the new directive specifies that service members are free to not observe any religion at all.

“The Department of Defense places a high value on the rights of members of the military services to observe the tenets of their respective religions and the rights of others to their own religious beliefs,” said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Nathan J. Christensen in a statement, “including the right to hold no beliefs.”

While members of the U.S. military are not required to declare any specific religious affiliation, Department of Defense statistics show that about 3 service members have self-declared themselves as Sikh Americans, 6,300 as Buddhists, 3,700 as Muslims and 1,500 as Wiccans.



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 02/09/2014 at 10:12 AM   
Filed Under: • MilitaryReligionUSA •  
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calendar   Monday - January 27, 2014

Scrutiny of American military bases in Britain could be increased dramatically.

Posting this because ... I am almost certain it won’t make the news in the USA.

I suppose Brits have some rights on what goes on in their own country.  What really bothers me though is, this whole thing is the work of the left and the useful idiots who enable them.  However, if it’s an American base, aren’t we paying rent for the place?
Just some food for thought with the info for you that, this report comes from a left wing newspaper.  Sometimes they do have opinions from the right, and at least they are not the Guardian.  So I skip the really anti American diatribes from a few of the jerks who will never find anything we do the right thing, unless they approve of it.  Which translated of course means we would have to come around to their way of thinking and seeing things. They’d be happy to approve of us then.
Screw em.  It’s really more than spying on friends although yes, that does bother the heck out of our critics friend and foe alike.
But the real underlying thing that has their collective knickers in a twist, is America’s use of drones.  Especially drones being launched or even controlled from their homeland or possessions.

Peers call for proper scrutiny of American military bases in UK used for drone strikes and mass spying

By Cahal Milmo

Scrutiny of American military bases in Britain could be increased dramatically for the first time in more than 60 years under cross-party proposals provoked by evidence that the installations are being used for drone strikes and mass spying activities.

Draft proposals tabled by peers from all three major parties demand that the Government overhaul the “outdated” rules under which the Pentagon’s network of UK outposts operate following claims of British complicity in US drone missions in the Middle East and eavesdropping on European allies.

The Independent revealed last year that RAF Croughton, the US Air Force base and CIA relay station in Northamptonshire, was used to funnel back to Washington data from the network of diplomatic spy posts implicated in the monitoring of the mobile phone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The same base has a secure data link to a US counter-terrorism facility in Djibouti used for drone strikes in Yemen while questions remain about the use of other US bases in Britain, in particular the National Security Agency eavesdropping facility at RAF Menwith Hill in North Yorkshire.

The revelations have fuelled concern in Parliament that British oversight of the bases, which operate under the 1951 Status of Forces Agreement, is outmoded and in urgent need of drastic revision because the legislation was drawn up long before technology such as drones or mass surveillance.

Three senior peers from the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats - along with a crossbencher - have tabled amendments to defence legislation currently going through the House of Lords demanding that the Government considers the introduction of measures including a new “scrutiny group” for each US base to ensure all activities carried out comply with British law.

Under current arrangements, each US base is nominally under the command of a British officer but critics say meaningful oversight is impossible.

There’s a lot more to read on this topic and some of you will find it of interest.



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 01/27/2014 at 05:00 AM   
Filed Under: • Democrats-Liberals-Moonbat LeftistsMilitaryUKUSA •  
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calendar   Thursday - January 23, 2014

Female recruits get £100,000 compensation each… because they were made to march like men

This story is a month old but no less interesting for that.

I’ve been digging my way thru news clippings I’ve been taking out of papers.  I manage to get so far behind in my efforts that sometimes, and this is one of them, where I actually can’t easily recall if I have already posted.  My habit is to discard immediately papers and clipping that have been used.  So, since I still have this and can’t seem to find another mention of it here at bmews, altho late ...  here it is.

Now then .... is this a bit of nonsense or do the ladies have a point?

I don’t recall ever hearing or reading women complain in the past.  I’m trying to remember and having a hard time of it but; When I was in the Navy I don’t believe our Waves wore skirts quite as tight as those shown here. Seems to me the dresses were a bit fuller.  Not too much so but still not tight.  Has memory failed me or have I remembered correctly?

Female RAF recruits get £100,000 compensation each… because they were made to march like men

Women claimed injuries were caused by parading alongside male colleagues
They have been awarded compensation after a five-year legal battle
The women received more than soldiers who suffered wounds in combat

By Mark Nichol

Three female RAF recruits have each been awarded £100,000 by the Ministry of Defence after suffering injuries caused by marching in step with their male colleagues.


The women claimed that parading alongside taller male recruits caused them to over-stride, a repetitive motion which, when repeated over several weeks, led them to develop spinal and pelvic injuries.

Now, after a five-year bitter legal battle, which saw the MoD accuse the women of exaggerating their symptoms, they have been awarded more compensation than soldiers who suffered serious gunshot wounds in Afghanistan.

Despite the fact that the women – aged 17, 22 and 23 at the time – were injured in the first nine weeks of their RAF training, they have been compensated for nine years of lost earnings and pension perks.

All have recovered and have successful careers outside the military.

The payouts come as the Armed Forces’ compensation bill for 2012/13 topped £108.9million – up £21million on the previous financial year.

former Defence Minister Gerald Howarth said: ‘This case is completely and utterly ridiculous – it belongs in the land of the absurd.

‘The defence budget is strapped and we’re making 20,000 troops redundant, yet these former recruits are being paid six-figure sums.

‘The MoD must stand up to the compensation culture and get the wider public on its side. If the RAF has erred in its training procedures it is because of society’s obsession with gender equality.

‘Every pound they’ve been awarded should be clawed back by offsetting their compensation against future earnings.’

Good God what kind of formation is that?  Are they in boot camp?

Some further info here


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 01/23/2014 at 10:09 AM   
Filed Under: • MilitaryUK •  
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calendar   Friday - December 27, 2013

One Two Three, Good Enough For USMC

Unless You’re A Girl

United States Marine Corps To Drop 3 Chin Up Qualification

For Female Recruits

God knows why we’d want our fighting forces to be pyshically fit.

Females in the Marine Corps will not have to meet the physical fitness standard--set to go into effect as of January --of being able to do at least three pull-ups, the Corps quietly announced on social media.

Unlike their female counterparts, male Marines have long been required to do at least 3 pullups.

The Marines have postponed the deadline for female Marines to be able to do at least three pullups for at least another year.

Currently, “women aren’t able to make the minimum standard of three pull-ups,” Marine spokesman Capt. Eric Flanagan told Fifty-five percent of female recruits tested at the end of boot camp were unable to do three pull-ups (1 percent of male recruits also failed).

Marine officers told NPR off-the-record that, given the three-pull-ups rule, they were afraid of losing “not only new recruits, but also current female Marines who can’t pass the test.”

Female Marines will be allowed to do the flex-arm hang instead of pull-ups this year. With the arm hang, a person grabs the bar with both hands and pulls their body up and holds their chin above the bar for as long as possible.

Uh huh, and to do the flex arm hang it seems that they have to do at least one pull up to get into the position. So will the ladies be given a lift, or have a step stool to stand on to start?


Pull-ups have been used to test Marines’ upper body strength for over 40 years. The ability to pull-up one’s own body weight over a bar shows the upper body strength that, in combat, is needed to lift fallen comrades, pull one’s self over a wall, and carry heavy munitions. Combat Marines also carry a pack that weighs around 90 pounds, with gunners carrying an additional 50 or 60 pounds.

Never having been a US Marine, I am utterly stupefied that the men are only required to do 3 of these. I would have figured ... oh, about 100, maybe 75. How about 50? 40? They’re not regular Joes, they’re Marines! I guess my mental image of what makes a US Marine is about 60 years behind the times.  I thought they were supposed to be tough guys, the hardest of the best. Silly Drew.

Oh, and BTW: chin ups and pull ups are not the same. Chin ups: palms face you. Pull ups: palms face away from you. Pull ups are a bit harder, but both work the lats (upper back muscles) and biceps.

Since chin ups put your biceps in a stronger line of pull, they’ll typically hit your biceps a bit harder than pull ups will.

Conversely, pull ups may hit your lats a bit harder, mostly as a result of your biceps being in a slightly weaker position.

Grip width also plays a role here too. The narrower your grip is, the more it will train your biceps. The wider the grip, the less it will train your biceps.

a similar source to the first link
a link to the old new rules


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/27/2013 at 03:54 PM   
Filed Under: • CULTURE IN DECLINEMilitary •  
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calendar   Friday - December 13, 2013

More Waste in Shitholitstan

Air Force Wastes HALF A BILLION (or lots more!) In Afghanistan

Buys Planes Nobody Wants, That Don’t Fly, No Parts, No Pilots


Why are we buying Afghanistan an air force? Even if it’s a transport force. If they want one, let them buy it. Besides, they’ll only use it to ship heroin and bomb each other.

Somehow I’m feeling a fuckup like this is no accident. What do you think, Yossarian?

Probe launched over $500M spent on Afghanistan planes now sitting idle

The U.S. military spent nearly a half-billion dollars on providing refurbished aircraft to the Afghan Air Force, only to abandon the contract and leave the planes collecting dust on airfields in Kabul and Germany.

With the planes potentially heading for the trash heap of the Afghanistan war, the chief military watchdog overseeing Afghanistan spending is launching a review into the terminated program.

“I’m very troubled with the fact we may have wasted a half-billion dollars on planes that don’t work, will never be flown and will probably be scrapped,” Special Inspector General John F. Sopko told in a statement. “We intend to get to the bottom of this and hold people accountable.”


He recently reopened an investigation into a $34 million military facility in southwestern Afghanistan that he’s described as entirely unnecessary.

The story of the G222 aircraft program bares similar themes.

According to the inspector general’s office, the Defense Department in 2008 launched a program to give 20 G222s (C-27A)—military transport aircraft built in Italy—to the Afghans. The department contracted with Alenia Aermacchi North America.

But despite spending at least $486 million on the program, officials determined that those in charge did a poor job getting the spare parts needed to keep the planes working.

Further, a Pentagon watchdog reported that the planes flew only 234 of the 4,500 “required hours” between January and September of last year, and another $200 million potentially would be needed to buy the outstanding spare parts. Some of those parts were described as “unavailable.”

In December 2012, the Air Force ended the contract. Several months later, officials ended the program altogether and opted to go with an “alternate aircraft” in the long term.

Funny that the Air Force would do such a thing. They themselves flew this plan in South America in the 90s, doing drug interdiction and aid delivery, and then dumped the plane because of maintenance and parts availability issues. So it seems pretty odd they’d get behind a plan to spend tons of money to buy these dogs for somebody else, just 8 years after their own decade long negative experience ended.

The C-27a/G222 was originally a contender for the Air Force’s push to replace the smaller, slower C-7 Caribou of the Vietnam era with something that could fly twice as fast with twice the cargo, yet fit the same physical footprint and use the same short, rough, back country runways.  No surprise: most of the specs could be met, but they couldn’t fly STOL with a plane of double the mass and the same wing size. So, FAIL. But it was a decent little airplane under regular circumstances, so I guess a bunch got bought anyway.

Also, it’s a bit interesting that a probe is being opened now: the program started up in 2007 or earlier, $348 million was spent back in 2008, 5 years ago, to buy the planes. When the program was canceled back in January it appeared that a dozen planes had been reconfigured and sent to Afghanistan, including 2 rigged up as VIP craft (gotta spoil the tinpot dictators, right?), when the Air Force only had requirements for 6. Of course, that same article says $600 million had been spent (nearly a year ago), $114 million more than this new investigation is looking at, yet even then, another $60 million was needed to keep things running smoothly.

Around $600 million has now been spent on the program, and the industry official believes that spending another $60 million would ensure the type’s continued operation. This would cost less than introducing a new type such as the C-130, according to the industry official, who says such a move would require the retraining of personnel on a more complex system.
The NATO Training Mission and the Air Force will suspend C-27A flight operations in Afghanistan in the coming weeks, but no decision has been made on the final disposition of the aircraft and the associated support equipment and spare parts.

Let’s just pour out a billion to give a cargo air force to a bunch of primitive nomad dope smugglers. Or 3/4 billion. Whatever. Who cares? It’s only taxpayer’s money. It’s not like the military or the administration is accountable, no matter who is at the helm.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/13/2013 at 12:16 PM   
Filed Under: • GovernmentCorruption and GreedMiddle-EastMilitary •  
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calendar   Saturday - December 07, 2013

up before the crack of dawn on December 7th

No, nothing dirty.

I’m just up early today. Either that, or my nightly episode of getting up in the middle of the night came really late. Whatever. I woke up, it was 6:05am. I got up, I made coffee. Still dark out.

We lost 2 out of 3 at Friday cheap league last night. It’s getting really depressing. The alley has taken to laying down some kind of strange ragged oil pattern, that acts like it’s used up and pushed down even when it’s brand new and freshly laid. Come on ... I can’t throw much of any hook ever, and I was arcing off the side of the lanes. I used my deadest ball and stood way left and it still came back far too far. I put away my robo-brace, put away my flat wrist Mongoose brace, and bowled bare handed. And the dead ball was still crossing over? Give it up. That’s just wrong. That’s how the lanes bowl on Saturday afternoon, when they haven’t been oiled since Friday and they’ve had a weekend full of kiddie parties and open bowling on them. WTF. I don’t want to pay money for that crap. 

It’s still dark out. Days are really short this late in the year. Sunrise isn’t until 7:07am today.

Oh, and it’s Pearl Harbor Day.  Ok, I remembered. Not sure what it is about it that I’m supposed to remember. Anyone want to tell me?

I’m not supposed to carry forward any race hatred against Japan, that’s not PC. Nor am I supposed to feel that they’re a never ending enemy, since they’re not, nor have they been in the slightest for longer than I’ve been alive. Am I supposed to cherish the memory of all the heroes that died that day? Well, for the small handful that got it together and were able to fight back, my thanks and my respect. You were heroic, and so were those who were first responders that day. For the rest, the 2400 who died and the 1200 wounded, especially those that drowned or burned, my prayers. Bad luck to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Worse luck to take a soldier’s risk when there is no war going on.

Damn shame the Navy didn’t have a workable plan in place that day. Something, anything, that would have given them a few minutes heads up warning. OTOH, what would they have done with it? Sure, they new the war was going to start any day. Were they prepared? Perhaps for some things, but obviously they weren’t ready for major anti-aircraft defense. Is that the lesson, the take away, I’m supposed to have?

Or is “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” the moral of this story, in reaction to how the Pacific Fleet was nearly destroyed that day? Except, well, maybe it wasn’t. Discounting the loss of life, maybe that attack was the best thing that could have happened. Not only did it all go down in protected shallow water, so that most of the damaged big ships could be refloated and repaired, a large number of the ships and planes lost were old clunkers, outdated relics from an earlier era. So a whole new Navy got built after this, with a big emphasis on air power.

And you can never ever really let go of the suspicion that FDR knew it was coming. That dirty sneaky lying bastige was the Obama of his day, and then some. So is “never ever trust the government” the real lesson here?



Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/07/2013 at 06:42 AM   
Filed Under: • MilitaryMiscellaneous •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.


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GNU Terry Pratchett

Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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