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12 September 2011
Note: This rough dispatch was written over many days during slivers of time between prepping gear and going on missions. Different sentences were written at different times. Many operations unfolded and there were more injuries and fatalities in the brigade, and more progress against the enemy in this area. On the 10th Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, 4-4 Cav was again in combat, as they are every day.
From: Micheal Yon
Rip, rend and slash are all in a day’s work here. Yet I have never seen so many troops with so many pairs of pants that are ready to fall off.
Last week this mortar crew was firing at some people who were trying to kill us. We have plenty of ammo. No complaints there. On the larger bases, the gyms are outstanding. The dining facilities have ice cream. Our troops are supremely outfitted and resourced, and so this missive is specific in nature and not a general resourcing indictment. Generally speaking, we are good to go in Afghanistan, other than never having had enough troops and aviation having been an issue at times and places. But overall, no complaints on the way units are outfitted. Five stars. The outfitting is so good that it’s embarrasing to complain. My tent has airconditioner. The showers have hot water. I live far rougher (other than the bombs and bullets) on some of my vacations. That’s a fact. But since we are talking about pants in combat, it’s worthwhile to say something.
The troops need better pants. For every ripped image here, I’ve seen many others. Usually the troops will duct tape their pants together, or sew when time permits. When your pants rip at midnight and you still have hours to move before sunlight, you might be wearing shorts and sporting bleeding legs before there is a chance to sew. I saw one troop who had sewn his trousers with parachute cord. (Must have used a knife for a needle.)
Shura with villagers July 23 at US Marine Patrol Base Salaam Bazaar in Helmand province, Afghanistan
The Miniature Air-Launched Decoy, or “MALD,” is a cross between a cruise missile and an aerial drone, able to distract or confuse enemy air defenses to protect attacking U.S. jets. It was already on its way to becoming one of America’s most important unsung weapons when this happened: MALD-maker Raytheon figured out a way to “deliver hundreds of MALDs during a single combat sortie,” company vice president Harry Schulte announced in a recent statement.
It is good to see the military continue to think about different methods of attack other than stealth and “smart” bombs.
From: Global Animal
… Like the fictional 007, the mysterious agent came in the dead of night, helped take out the world’s most notorious terrorist, and then melted back into the shadows alongside 79 two-footed comrades in arms.
In keeping with the rest of the SEAL Team Six that killed Osama bin Laden, the dog who reportedly accompanied the Seals on the mission remains shrouded in mystery, and surrounded by speculation.
Though 79 men snuck into Abbottabad, Pakistan, only two dozen of those soldiers slid down the ropes. According to The New York Times, a military working dog (MWD) was one of them, strapped onto an assault team member as he was lowered out of a Black Hawk helicopter.
The military is staying tight-lipped about the maverick dog’s identity, refusing to reveal even breed or gender. If the dog is a female, that would make her the one and only of the ‘fairer sex’ in the SEAL Team Six since the Navy SEALs is a men-only force.
ForeignPolicy.com has a weekly column on working dogs in the military written by Rebecca Frankel. This is a nice photo essay she did on war dogs. It is being reported that a dog was with the team that disposed of Osama bin Laden.
U.S. Pacific Fleet PACIFIC OCEAN (April 6, 2011) The amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) – Official prepares for a farewell formation steam with the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force Ship JS Hyuga (DDH 181). Essex, with the embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, has completed operations off the coast of Kesennuma in northeastern Japan, in support of Operation Tomodachi. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Mark R. Alvarez)
Marines wash the surface of an F/A-18C Hornet
Lance Cpl. Juan Olguin, from Lakewood, Calif., sprays the surface of an F/A-18C Hornet assigned to the Death Rattlers of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 323 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan during a countermeasure wash down on the flight deck. Sailors scrubbed the external surfaces on the flight deck and island superstructure to remove potential radiation contamination. Ronald Reagan is operating off the coast of Japan providing humanitarian assistance as directed in support of Operation Tomodachi.