Would have been a Kraken, but someone stole my Kawachi kill by 724 hit points.
A very large portion of the modern ethos of the Marine Corps was forged in the crucible of the battles in the Central Pacific in World War II. The two most famous battles are likely Tarawa and Iwo Jima. And a large reason why they are so well known is because they were very well documented on film.
A large portion of the footage of the battles was the work of Norman Hatch. Hatch enlisted in the Marines in 1939. His film on Tarawa was prominently featured in the documentary short “With the Marines at Tarawa.” Hatch was so close to the front lines, he was able to capture film of Japanese soldiers and US Marines in the same frame.
I think it is fair to say every modern Marine owes Hatch a debt of gratitude for helping cement the reputation of the Marines as an elite force in the public’s mind.
Just the other day, China launched it’s first domestically build carrier. Here in the US, the future USS Gerald R. Ford has been in the water for some time, and last week finally began sea trials. Even after this, she still has a year or so of fitting out remaining before commissioning and shakedown. Still, it’s good to see her out burning neutrons and displacing water.
BEIJING (AP) -- China has launched its first aircraft carrier built entirely on its own, in a demonstration of the growing technical sophistication of its defense industries and determination to safeguard its maritime territorial claims and crucial trade routes.
The 50,000-ton carrier was towed from its dockyard just after 9 a.m. Wednesday following a ceremony in the northern port city of Dalian, where its predecessor, the Soviet-built Liaoning, also underwent extensive refurbishing before being commissioned in 2012, the Ministry of National Defense said.
Development of the new carrier began in 2013 and construction in late 2015. It's expected to be formally commissioned sometime before 2020, after sea trials and the arrival of its full air complement.
Vice chairman of China's Central Military Commission and Communist Party Central Committee member Fan Changlong presided over the launch, which came just three days after the anniversary of the People's Liberation Army Navy's symbolic founding in 1949.
Basically a repeat Kuznetsov, the new carrier gives China both experience in building large combatants, and eventually, a second flight deck to build a core of experienced naval aviators.
Both this new carrier, and its predecessor the Liaoning, will have very modest combat power. The real challenge for China will be building the follow on Type 002 class, which are expected to be larger, and equipped with steam catapults, and thus somewhat more capable, with larger air wings.
So, my output has been a little thin lately, no?
Well, in my defense, I’m doing something a little different for me.
I’m on a farm.
I’m visiting my niece’s place, while she’s out of town. I’m mostly here to help care for the kids during the day, as opposed to helping with the farm critters. And they’re good kids. A teen, a tween, and a toddler. Which, for a guy that has no kids, being left with them is something of a culture shock.
Why the long face?
And my special buddy, Sam.
(Image from Marine Corps Times)
Sixty-one years old, and runs a sub-5 hour Boston Marathon. Bad-ASS. Our Chairman of the Joint Chiefs is a warrior.
I first met Joe Dunford almost 30 years ago, when he was a newly-minted Major, the Marine Officer Instructor at Holy Cross. Even to a First Lieutenant, there was something special about him, his leadership, his command presence. General Dunford went on to do pretty well. I next saw him as a Colonel in Iraq, serving as Chief of Staff of the 1st Marine Division, under MajGen James Mattis. The ADC? BGen John Kelly. (The shirt he is wearing in the photo, "Team Kelly", is in honor of Marine 1st Lieutenant Robert Kelly, the son of General John Kelly. 1stLt Kelly was killed in Iraq Afghanistan in 2010) General Dunford was promoted quickly through the General Officer ranks of the Marine Corps, in fact never wearing two stars, as he was selected for Lieutenant General before he'd pinned on his Major General promotion. Of course, General Dunford went on to serve briefly as the 36th Commandant of the Marine Corps before being selected as the 19th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have served with and under some of the legends of the Corps. Marines such as James Mattis, Joe Dunford, John Kelly, SgtMaj Carlton Kent, Jim Conway, Larry Livingston. And it is a damned good feeling to have the adults in charge, men like Joe Dunford and Jim Mattis steering the Pentagon.
The LA Times has the story. Kori Ali Muhammed. Yep. Another one. It would seem Police Chief Dyer is either a half-wit, or thinks we are.
“This was a random act of violence,” Dyer said.
Dyer said Muhammad had expressed hatred toward white people and the government. Muhammad is black.
I rather doubt that, six months ago, a white man who expressed hatred toward black people and the government who went on to murder three (possibly four) black people would have his crime characterized as a "random act of violence". The suspect is wanted in connection with the Thursday murder of another white man who was a Motel 6 security guard.
Lord only knows how MSNBC and CNN will try to edit out his skin color. Despite the fact that California has all but outlawed private firearm ownership and the perp broke myriad gun laws, the cries for gun confiscation I am sure will be as loud as ever from the far left. But President Trump won't be crying crocodile tears when addressing the NRA annual meeting.
Fifty years ago today, in the Yankees' home opener at old Yankee Stadium, the erstwhile Bronx Bombers trotted out aging stars and mediocre replacements that were a shadow of the powerhouse teams that had dominated baseball since the days of Ruth and Gehrig. A hobbled Mickey Mantle did not start. Still, future Hall of Famer lefty Whitey Ford took the mound against a skinny 21-year old Boston pitcher named Billy Rohr, who was making his major league debut. Not much was expected of the 1967 version of the Red Sox, nor from their rookie pitcher on this early-season day. Ford would pitch well, but gave up a lead-off home run to rookie Reggie Smith, and a two-run shot to Joe Foy, and leave the game in the 8th, trailing 3-0.
It was Rohr, however, who nearly did the unthinkable. Using a sneaky fastball and a late-breaking curve, the young left-hander befuddled the Yankee line up for the entire afternoon. Working around five walks and his own throwing error, Rohr retired pinch-hitting Mickey Mantle leading off the bottom of the 8th, and erased Horace Clark (walk) on a double play grounder. Going into the bottom of the 9th, Rohr had given up no hits to the Yankees, in this, his first ever appearance in the big leagues.
Leading off the bottom of the 9th inning, Tom Tresh lined a 3-2 pitch into the gap in left center field. Left fielder Carl Yastrzemski turned and sprinted toward where he thought the ball would come down, glancing up just in time to make a leaping, tumbling catch. Sox radio announcer Ken Coleman called it "one of the greatest catches you've ever seen". Below is the video. NBC's Joe Garagiola makes the TV call.
You can see on the scoreboard behind him, 3-8-1 for the Red Sox, and 0-0-0 for the Yankees. Rohr induced Joe Pepitone to pop out for the second out. Rohr was now one out away from baseball immortality. Alas, on a 1-2 count, aging veteran catcher Elston Howard lined an opposite field single to right, breaking up the no-hitter. Rohr would get Charlie Smith on a routine fly to right on the next pitch to end the game, finishing a 3-0 one-hitter win, the very first time he ever walked on a major league mound. (Ironically, Elston Howard would be traded to the Red Sox later in the season, and would be the primary Sox catcher through the pennant race and World Series.)
For Boston Red Sox fans, the storied 1967 "Impossible Dream" season holds a special significance. That year, "Sox Nation" as we know it now was born. By 1967, a decade and a half had passed since the Red Sox had been anywhere near competitive in the American League. They had become cellar-dwellers. Most of the team's great stars, Ted Williams and Johnny Pesky and Bobby Doerr and Jackie Jensen, were long gone. In their places were young players who had barely finished out of last place the year previous. Prior to 1967, left fielder Carl Yastrzemski had a reputation as a moody prima donna, and younger stars such as Tony Conigliaro and George Scott, while decent players on bad teams, had never faced the pressure of a pennant race. 1967 didn't figure to be much different. In Las Vegas, the odds of a Red Sox pennant winner were set at 100-1. However, behind Manager Dick Williams, the Red Sox would shock the baseball world by winning the 1967 American League Pennant.
Carl Yastrzemski would in 1967 have probably the greatest all-around season any major league player has ever had. He won the triple crown, hitting .326 with 44 home runs and 121 RBI. He would win a gold glove, was an all-star, and voted the AL MVP. With Cy Young winner Jim Lonborg, Yaz carried the Red Sox to the most unlikely of pennants, and into a seven game World Series against the heavily-favored St Louis Cardinals.
Billy Rohr, for all the promise of his debut, won only one more game in 1967, also against the Yankees, and one more for Cleveland in 1968, before bouncing around in the minors for a few seasons. But on one cool afternoon fifty years ago, he came within one out of doing something no other major league pitcher has ever done. In that most improbable of seasons, Billy Rohr's near no-hitter was perhaps the unlikeliest of all.
Normally it behooves the services to stay detached from the political sphere. But if Congress doesn’t pass a defense budget this year, and instead simply keeps operating under a continuing resolution, the services are going to run out of money next month.
WASHINGTON (Army News Service) -- Right now, the U.S. Army is operating on a "continuing resolution" for its funding. That's not a real budget, not one that plans can be laid out against, and it's a situation that if it continues will mean that Army training will cease sometime this summer.
"Funding under a continuing resolution for a year will result in a dramatic decrease in training, starting next month, in May," said Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Mark A. Milley. "By July 15, all Army training will cease, except those units deploying to Afghanistan or Iraq."
With the exception of those units who are scheduled to go into combat operations, Milley told lawmakers on the House Armed Services Committee Wednesday that combat training center rotations would stop if the Army doesn't get a budget.
What will also stop, he said, is Basic Combat Training -- the training that turns young civilian Americans into Soldiers.
Milley pointed to Fort Jackson, South Carolina, as an example. That location is one of four where the Army conducts BCT for new Soldiers. Other locations include Fort Sill, Oklahoma; Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; and Fort Benning, Georgia.
"At Fort Jackson alone, on an annual basis, we train -- we recruit and bring in to Basic Combat Training -- the equivalent of the British Army, every year," Milley said.
And it isn’t just the Army. All services will essentially have to cease all training operations.
And given the parlous state of readiness throughout the forces, any suspension of training operations will simply dig that hole oh so much deeper.
We’re not a hollow force right now, but we’re not nearly as robust and resilient as we like to think we are.
In August of 1974, I was living at NAS Whidbey Island. One advantage of living there was that the air station had an annual air show, and the Blue Angels, already in the area for Seattle’s SeaFest, were routinely available to perform at the air show.
Switching from the F-4 Phantom to the petite A-4 Skyhawk in 1973, mostly to save on fuel costs, the Blue Angels the rock stars of Naval Aviation in those days. And for my money, the A-4 was the prettiest plane the Blues have ever flown. While it lacks the speed and raw power of the preceding F-4, and succeeding F-18, its fabulous roll rate, and trim, neat outline make it the best airshow plane ever.
As it happens, at the time, my dad was serving as CO of NAS Whidbey. Not unsurprisingly, this came with a few perks. For instance, just after the airshow, the skipper of the Blue Angels, then CDR Tony Less paid a courtesy call on dad. And of course, I got to have a pic taken with him!
Tony Less would retire as a Vice Admiral. I’d get my ass kicked for wearing Sears Toughskins jeans.
No bomb design has been as much maligned or otherwise disparaged as the first Soviet thermonuclear weapon. Detonated in August 1953, the bomb, officially tested under the name RDS-6s but usually known as Sloika or “layer cake” (the name Andrei Sakharov coined for it), was nothing to sneeze at. Shown in figure 1 and able to be dropped from aircraft, it released the explosive equivalent, or yield, of almost half a megaton of TNT. The result was a blazing fireball with 20 times the power of the bomb that leveled Nagasaki, Japan.
A very interesting look at the development of thermonuclear weapons in the Soviet Union.
The Montana isn't usually known as a close in slugger, but between a cyclone reducing visibility, and some poor play by my opponents, I had a chance to rack up some pretty good numbers.
Almost since Beechcraft started producing light twin turboprops, all the US services have been operating them as utility aircraft, trainers, and as intelligence/surveillance/reconnaissance platforms.
The latest variant to be fielded is the US Army’s MC-12S. Based on the Beechcraft Super King Air 350 ER, the planes are used to provide both full motion day/night video surveillance and a significant electronic intelligence collection capability in low threat airspaces. Due to funding and development issues, the actual mission equipment varies across the fleet. The end state desired is known as Enhanced Medium Altitude Reconnaissance and Surveillance System - Multi-Intelligence (EMARSS-M). Some of the airframes are modified MC-12W Liberty recon birds turned over from the US Air Force recently. The Air Force used their full motion video capability in support of Task Force ODIN, a counter IED operation. While they retain that capability in Army service, they can simultaneously conduct ELINT operations.
Another variant of the MC-12S carries a synthetic aperture radar with Moving Target Indicator capability known as the AN/ZPY-5 VADER, or Vehicle And Dismount Exploitation Radar. Basically, it’s a radar sensitive enough to track individuals on foot.
In March of 2016, a Beech Super King Air crashed in Iraq. Interestingly, it was in civilian markings, with a civilian registry. But it was also quite clearly modified for some sort of ISR role, and the registration clearly showed it belonged to the US Army. Exactly what it’s mission was is unknown.
Now, the MC-12S and its variants aren’t a secret. But nobody likes to go into too much detail of what they do, how they do it, and where and when they do it. But they will show off a little bit.
Don't like where you're spawned? Drive across the entire map. Don't like planes spotting you? Sink the carriers!