Day by Day

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Freedom of Expression

Blackfive asks the question, Would you let this in your neighborhood?



I encourage the Hammer's to do this. I don't want everyone to agree about the war. There are going to be disagreements. That's one part of what we are supposed to love about this country.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Great Action Heroes

This summer, there are quite a few action movies out, including another installment in the 20 year old "Die Hard" series (which I'm looking forward to seeing).

What you're not likely to hear about is an incredible tale of heroism coming out of Iraq.

These fine pilots are from a unit based out of Illeshiem, who just deployed to Iraq for their fifteen months.

They just got there.

From Blackfive:
Apache pilots evacuate critically-wounded Soldier, kill several extremists in Ramadi firefight
Staff Sgt. Lorin T. Smith
36th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs Office

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

Two attack weapons teams (with two AH-64 helicopters making up a team) flew to Ramadi in support of Coalition Forces in search of insurgents and weapons caches.

The teams reached Ramadi and received notice that Coalition Forces were taking heavy small arms fire. To maximize the helicopters’ time over a potential target, one team immediately went to the Ramadi forward arming and refueling point and the other attack weapons team flew into the fight.

They engaged extremists with 30 millimeter cannon fire neutralizing them. The team then supported other Coalition Forces engaging extremists using two tractor trailers as cover. The crew took small arms fire and multiple enemy rounds to their aircraft.

Despite the small arms fire, the attack weapons team destroyed the tractor trailers, causing secondary explosions, indicating to the crew that the trailers were possibly used as vehicle-born improvised explosive devices.

The crew stayed on station with the Coalition Forces until fuel levels became low, and returned to the FARP to refuel. Due to battle damage sustained, the Apache team performed a battle handoff to the second attack weapons team and flew back to LSA Anaconda.

The second team entered the engagement area in Ramadi. Coalition Forces were still taking heavy enemy fire. The attack weapons team shot hundreds of cannon rounds and rockets, expending their ammunition. As the team returned to the FARP to rearm and refuel, the ground forces commander informed the crews that he was coordinating a medical evacuation of wounded Soldiers including one critically-wounded.

Approximately 40 minutes later, after rearming and refueling, the team went back to the area and learned that the MEDEVAC aircraft had not arrived. Due to the critically-wounded Soldier and despite continued enemy activity, the Company B aviators landed and extracted the critically-wounded casualty with the Apache helicopter. While the Company A crew provided overhead security, the Company B crew landed within two kilometers of the enemy position.

Upon landing, the co-pilot/gunner helped load the injured Soldier into the front seat without further injury. Despite the heavy small arms fire and surface-to-air fire events in the area, the co-pilot/gunner strapped himself onto the left side of the aircraft and hunkered down on the wing. The pilot flew to Camp Ar Ramadi medical pad, where emergency medical personnel provided treatment. The team went back to the fight and continued to provide support for Coalition Forces. Upon neutralizing the extremists, the crew returned to LSA Anaconda.

Due to the extent of the battle damage, one extremists was confirmed killed in action, but multiple extremists were killed in conjunction with ground forces. The wounded Soldier has been transferred to LSA Anaconda and is in stable condition.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Allen Crist and Chief Warrant Officer 4 Kevin Purtee, Company B, 1st Battalion, 149th Aviation Regiment (Attack), 36th Combat Aviation Brigade, checks on the medical condition of Spc. Jeffrey Jamaleldine, Company C, 1st Battalion, 77th Armor, after an unusual Casualty Evacuation (CASEVAC) in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, on June 30, 2007. (U.S. Army photos by Maj. Gregory T. O’Connor)

If We Don't Know Where We've Been, We Won't Recognize Where We're Going

William J. Bennett, author of such great books as America: The Last Best Hope (Vol. 1), America: The Last Best Hope (Vol. 2), and The Book of Virtues.

His books have proven to be an interesting romp, and I enjoy his writing. So, with the upcoming Independence Day holiday, please take a peek at his latest column.

Curses to Iran

Curses to Iran.

One of the most magnificent, beautiful, and downright sexy aircraft that has graced the skies is being forced to suffer an ignominious death. Why? Because there are only two countries in the world that flew it: the United States (yay, us!) and Islamic Republic of Iran (boooo).

Which aircraft? The F-14 Tomcat.

Most of you may know her from her starring role in Top Gun (Sorry, Mr. Cruise, but the Tomcat was the star. Ask Naval Recruiters from that era.)

Anyway... since the US has had an embargo on Iran ever since Iran invaded the United States in 1979, thus severely limiting the Iranian Air Force's ability to acquire spare parts for the F-14. Understandably, with the recent retirement of the F-1 by the United States, Iran has drooled over the prospect of acquiring parts from the F-14s being stripped for military use.

Congress acted, and declared that it must be ensured that no parts that could be useful to Iran be available.

And there's only one real way to do that.

Destroy the F-14s we have. Viciously. Savagely. Reduce them to tiny little bits.

So, the beautiful beast that once owned the skies the world over... is being reduced to rubble. She was once lovingly maintained by crews who showered her with affection, and now... a mechanical monster sinks its teeth into it like a lion pruning the weak gazelle from the herd.

If you can stomach it, watch here:


Thanks, Iran. May your birds meet the same fate one day.