Archive for April, 2011

Robotic Hull Bio-inspired Underwater Grooming tool aka HULL BUG

The Office of Naval Research recently conducted tests with a developmental ship hull grooming robot, called the Robotic Hull Bio-inspired Underwater Grooming tool. The HULL BUG is similar in concept to a autonomous robotic home vacuum cleaner or lawn mower and incorporates the use of a biofilm detector that utilizes modified fluorometer technology to enable the robot to detect the difference between the clean and unclean surfaces on the hull of a ship.

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Taliban announces plans to attack foreign troops

An Afghan policeman is seen alert at a check post as his colleagues check cars for Taliban insurgents that escaped from a prison in Kandahar. (Associated Press / April 26, 2011)

Reporting from Kabul, Afghanistan— By Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times

“The Taliban on Saturday declared the start of a spring offensive in Afghanistan, warning that insurgents plan to attack foreign troops, Afghan security forces and government officials in coming days.

In a statement, the Taliban warned civilians to avoid public gatherings, military bases and convoys, as well as government buildings.

“All Afghan people should bear in mind to keep away from gatherings, convoys and centers of the enemy so that they will not become harmed during attacks of mujahedin against the enemy,” the statement said.”,0,1570621.story

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NRA’s LaPierre: Obama will wait second term to gut Second Amendment rights, Eric Holder should resign

“President Barack Obama will wait until a second term frees him from political concerns to gut Second Amendment rights, NRA Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre tells Newsmax.TV in an exclusive interview.

Speaking Saturday at the NRA’s 140th annual meeting in Pittsburgh, LaPierre also called for the resignation of Attorney General Eric Holder over a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms sting that sold weapons to figures associated with the Mexico drug trade.

“Operation Fast and Furious may have gotten one or perhaps two federal agents killed, and countless other innocent victims have been murdered with the illegal guns that our own government allowed into Mexico all to advance a political agenda,” he said, adding that Holder has claimed he didn’t OK the sting..

“He’s the attorney general of the United States of America – the highest law enforcement officer in our land,” LaPierre said. “Who’s in charge? If he didn’t know, then who’s minding the store? If Holder didn’t know, Holder has got to go.

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Military working dog,Thor, and his handler, Cpl. Deano Miller

Thor, a military working dog, and his handler, Cpl. Deano Miller, walk through a town at Combat Center Range 220 Jan 31. The dog and handler are part of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, from Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., and will deploy with the unit.

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Lance Cpl. Ashley M. Rockhold, driver with 4th Platoon, Military Police

Lance Cpl. Ashley M. Rockhold, driver with 4th Platoon, Military Police Company, Combat Logistics Regement 17, 1st Marine Logistics Group, is a unique asset to her unit. Rockhold, from Linesville, Iowa, has her explosive license to haul ammunition for her unit. Marines with Military Police Co. are currently training for their upcoming deployment to Afghaistan.

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“The Scrambler” at CSAT

Combat Shooting and Tactics Scrambler drill.

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1st Sgt. Raymond Dakos on Patrol in Tabin

Army 1st Sgt. Raymond Dakos assigned to 1-66th Armor, 4th Infantry Division, patrols near Combat Outpost Kowall near the village of Tabin, Tuesday, March 8, in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Photo by Ensign Haraz Ghanbari

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Returning From Horn of Africa; Staff Sgt. Richard L. Nordhoff

Staff Sgt. Richard L. Nordhoff hugs his wife, Angela, and his daughter, Haley, on the Cherry Point flight line July 17. Nordhoff, VMGR-252’s staff non-commissioned officer in charge of power line, returned from a five-month deployment to the Horn of Africa where a detachment of two KC-130J aircraft conducted refueling missions in support of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit. Photo by Lance Cpl. Brian Adam Jones

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Firearm in your home “22 times more likely” to kill or injure family member?

Arthur L. Kellermann, M.D.

Is a firearm in your home “22 times more likely” to be used to kill or injure a family member than to be used for protection? Or “43 times more likely?” How about “18 times more likely?” Anti-gun groups and politicians say it is, citing research by Arthur L. Kellermann, M.D.

Dr. Kellermann’s dubious conclusions provide anti-gunners propaganda they use to try to frighten Americans into voluntarily disposing of their guns—in essence, to do to themselves what the anti-gunners have been unable to do to them by legislative, regulatory, or judicial means.

Most significant, though, Kellermann severely understates defensive uses of guns, by counting only those in which criminals are killed or injured.

Dr. Edgar A. Suter, writing in the Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia, explains the error in the context of an earlier Kellermann study, which compared family member deaths to killings of criminals:

“The true measure of the protective benefits of guns are the lives saved, the injuries prevented, the medical costs saved, and the property protected—not the burglar or rapist body count. Since only 0.1% to 0.2% of defensive gun usage involves the death of the criminal, any study, such as this, that counts criminal deaths as the only measure of the protective benefits of guns will expectedly underestimate the benefits of firearms by a factor of 500 to 1,000.”
(“Guns in the Medical Literature—A Failure of Peer Review,” March 1994, p. 134.)

Similarly, criminologist Gary Kleck notes, “More commonly, guns are merely pointed at another person, or perhaps referred to or displayed, and this sufficient to accomplish the ends of the user.” (Targeting Guns, Aldine de Gruyter, 1997, p. 162.)

Kleck’s 1995 landmark survey of defensive gun uses found guns used for protection as many as 2.5 million times annually. (“Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Gun,” Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Fall 1995.)

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Moon Dogs Make Stopover

Crewmembers of EA-6B Prowlers assigned to Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 3, exit their aircraft during a transient stopover. The Moon Dogs of VMAQ 3 are based at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina with a mission of supporting the Marine Air-Ground Task Force commander by conducting airborne electronic warfare, day or night, under all weather conditions, during expeditionary, joint, or combined operations.

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Discussion of the merits of 1, 2 and 3 point slings

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9 Americans killed when Afghan pilot opens fire at Kabul airport


An Afghan soldier keeps watch at the gate of an air force compound after the shooting. (Shah Marai / AFP/Getty Images / April 27, 2011)

Reporting from Kabul, Afghanistan— “Eight U.S. troops and an American contractor were killed early Wednesday when a veteran Afghan military pilot opened fire on trainers during a meeting in a military compound near Kabul International Airport.

The Taliban quickly claimed responsibility in what it said was the latest attack by an insurgent infiltrator.

… Azizullah [the attacker] contacted Taliban officials two years ago, and had been feeding them information. He planned his attack for five months, but it was only approved the day before because he was a valuable source.

“This attack indicates that we can access any security forces facilities of the enemy we want,” Mujahid said. “We have our infiltrators in all sections.”,0,3114785.story

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Iraq, Iran and the Next Move

Iraq, Iran and the Next Move is republished with permission of STRATFOR.

By George Friedman

The United States told the Iraqi government last week that if it wants U.S. troops to remain in Iraq beyond the deadline of Dec. 31, 2011, as stipulated by the current Status of Forces Agreement between Washington and Baghdad, it would have to inform the United States quickly. Unless a new agreement is reached soon, the United States will be unable to remain. The implication in the U.S. position is that a complex planning process must be initiated to leave troops there and delays will not allow that process to take place.

What is actually going on is that the United States is urging the Iraqi government to change its mind on U.S. withdrawal, and it would like Iraq to change its mind right now in order to influence some of the events taking place in the Persian Gulf. The Shiite uprising in Bahrain and the Saudi intervention, along with events in Yemen, have created an extremely unstable situation in the region, and the United States is afraid that completing the withdrawal would increase the instability. Read the rest of this entry »

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Presbyterian Minister fires gun, frightens off home intruder

Rev. Kimani Wright & Wife

“Presbyterian Minister Kimani Wright and his son arrived home in Hillendale, N.C. to find the house had been broken into. Wright retrieved a gun, went inside to investigate and discovered an armed intruder, whom he fired at. Upon coming under fire, the intruder fled the scene. (The Fayetteville Observer, Fayetteville, N.C. 04/22/11)

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Lance Cpl. Lucy Lopez Uses Personal Experiences to Help Afghans

Lance Cpl. Lucy Lopez, a Female Engagement Team member with Regional Command Southwest, teaches an Afghan girl how to chew gum during a visit to a village in Helmand province, Afghanistan. Lopez, 21, from Nashville, Tenn., once struggled for survival and is now dedicated to helping others who are struggling.

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