U.S. troops take over air base in Syria, local reports say

U.S. special operations troops have reportedly taken over an airfield in northeastern Syria, potentially clearing the way to flow more American military support to friendly militias fighting the Islamic State group.A small team of U.S. troops is setting up a base camp at Rmeilan Air Base in the Syrian Kurdish region near Syria’s Iraqi and Turkish borders, according to local reports.

Source: U.S. troops take over air base in Syria, local reports say

From what I can tell, it’s not really an airfield so much as a dirt strip. Still, US forces operating inside Syria on the ground is a significant issue.

Russian knock-off Skeet warheads

The US developed the Skeet “brilliant” BLU-108 anti armor warhead as the the Sensor Fuzed Weapon, the splodey part of either the CBU-97 or the AGM-154 JSOW.

Half the challenge of designing a weapon like that is configuration control. Once you’ve figured that out, it’s relatively easy to copy. Which, surprise, the Russians have done.

Most of the video is a mish-mash of various old clips from Syria. And the first cluster munition they show is actually a runway denial weapon. But you can very clearly see a Russian knock off of the Sensor Fuzed Weapon early in the video.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1He2McPpJ3g]

AF Reminds Commanders: Authorized Conceal-Carry, Open-Carry OK on Base | Military.com

The attack last July on a recruiting office in Tennessee has prompted the Air Force to remind commanders they may authorize qualified airmen to carry weapons on base while off duty and out of uniform. The Air Force on Wednesday said its review of “active-shooter incidents across the country” found that many ended without police intervention because someone present with a weapon stopped the shooter.Three programs authorize commanders at all levels — as long as they have authorization from the base commander — to allow conceal-carry or open-carry on the installation.

Source: AF Reminds Commanders: Authorized Conceal-Carry, Open-Carry OK on Base | Military.com

I find it rather interesting the Air Force is taking the lead on this. I haven’t seen anything from the other services in line with this.

The Unit Marshall program seems rather sensible.

Do I think every PFC should be packing heat during the working day? Not really. I think that would likely lead to more problems than solutions. But should the Staff Duty NCO at Battalion headquarters have access to a piece in case of an active shooter? Absolutely.

Essay: An Acquisition System to Enable American Seapower – USNI News

In order for a coherent vision of modern American seapower to move forward in providing the lion’s share of this nation’s peacetime presence, shaping, deterrence and assurance needs, the Department of the Navy must become more efficient in its acquisition processes. It must be more nimble, more flexible, more accountable and faster.

Because it is currently not these things, the true value of American seapower is muddled and somewhat drowned out by the noise associated with the expense and waste of maintaining it. We believe that for a new vision of American seapower to deliver on the promise of efficiently and effectively delivering security and prosperity to the nation, radical changes to the acquisition system are required. While these changes could or even should apply across the Department of Defense, our concern here lies mainly with the Department of the Navy.

Source: Essay: An Acquisition System to Enable American Seapower – USNI News

A great look at some much needed reform. I’d personally burn DoD5000 to the ground, but that’s not happening any time soon.

Some programs really are complex, and should be supported by a very complex acquisition program.

Others are something of a no brainer. For instance, if the Army decides it wants a new pistol, it should take PEO Soldiers around a month to hold a shoot off and recommend a winner.

How Obama Gun Control Works


Barack Obama made great theater out of his weepy press conference to declare he was closing the non-existent “gun show loophole” and other sundry evil means by which law-abiding citizens may acquire firearms.  His executive orders, he tells us, will “save lives”, Second Amendment rights and separation of powers be damned.


It would seem that the loophole our aspiring Imperator did NOT close was the one where a firearm, or two thousand firearms, is purchased with taxpayer money, transported at taxpayer expense, and sold to known criminals.  You know, the Fast and Furious loophole.  The loophole that is the reason that for the leader of the Sinaola drug cartel, the murderous Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, came to be in possession of a .50 caliber rifle, and undoubtedly more firearms, courtesy of the Obama Justice Department.



That’s right.  While Obama was crying his crocodile tears, the guns his Attorney General had authorized be allowed to “walk” into the hands of Mexican gangs on both sides of our borders, continue to kill Mexican citizens.  Hundreds of Mexican men, women, and children have been brutally slain by these violent criminals, with bullets from the barrels of Fast and Furious guns.  A US Border Patrol Agent has also died by the hand of a Drug Cartel criminal using a Fast and Furious weapon.  I have little doubt that other American citizens have lost their lives to criminals armed with guns provided them by the Obama Administration through Fast and Furious, whether we hear about them or not (which we won’t).

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What was the purpose of this deadly and entirely illegal gun-walking operation run by the Obama Justice Department?  Why, it was provide fodder for the gun-control zealots to make their pitch for the disarmament of the law-abiding in the United States.  That’s right.  So that the case could be made for yet-stricter gun laws further infringing on the right to keep and bear arms.  “Sensible” gun laws.  You know, like the Emergency Decrees after the Reichstag Fire.  Sensible.  Oh, and Obama’s Attorney General, Eric Holder?  Never HEARD of Fast and Furious, as he did his best Lois Lerner/Hillary Clinton under oath.  He has, of course, been replaced by his female doppelganger in Lois Lynch, in a job that seems to have but three qualifications:  melanin content, contempt for the Constitution, and a desire to disarm the American populace.  The ones that aren’t “her people”, anyway.



Who else has the Obama Administration been considerate enough to provide guns to, courtesy of the American People’s wallets?  Right.  You guessed it.  Islamic extremists and terrorists.  Murderous animals differing from those in San Bernadino, Fort Hood, Chattanooga, Little Rock, and Boston (or Paris, or Mali, or Burkina Faso) only in geographic location.  Terrorist groups who have murdered thousands of Christians (and Muslims) across the Middle East.  Sworn enemies of the United States bent on the destruction of all they encounter in the name of their violent cult disguised as a religion.  The very religion that Barack Obama pledged to stand with.


It would appear that the Obama White House is perfectly willing to believe that the populace of Syria, or Libya, needed to be armed, to help them in their struggle against the tyranny of dictatorship.  Americans, in Obama’s view, deserve no such redress against tyranny, despite the Second Amendment, and the clarity of the Founding Fathers on the requirement for it.  In fact, Obama is so dead set against our gun rights that he is willing to sacrifice the lives of an American CBP agent and hundreds of innocent Mexicans living in a virtual war zone, to produce a propaganda campaign to brainwash the American people into giving up their last means of protection from the tyranny of men and women like himself who hold so tightly the levers of power.


To someone who understands what Obama is, and what he intends, his faux-anger at “gun violence” is positively Orwellian.  To someone who believes such displays to be sincere, I would love to ask that person if Obama managed to mention between sobs the men, women, and children of Oaxaca, or Tijuana, or La Laguna, or Cuidad Juarez, or Aleppo, or Ramadi…  If that person doesn’t understand the question, then they can’t understand that Obama and his ilk (Hillary, Bloomberg, et al.) wish to disarm us for THEIR protection, not ours, and certainly not the children of Sandy Hook.   That is what Obama gun control is for.  That Obama is perfectly willing to have guns bought and supplied by the American taxpayer deliberately placed in the hands of the most dangerous drug cartels in Mexico, but not law-abiding Americans?  Why, that is how Obama gun control works!  So, please, if you still think that the “gun control” of the far left somehow makes us safer, you have the intellectual curiosity of a pack mule.  And no, I don’t want to have a conversation about “sensible” gun laws with you.  Because you haven’t the sense to do so.  Go hang out with loudmouth half-wits like Whoopi Goldberg or some other liberal nincompoop.






Not Just Classified, but Special Access Programs.

Which, there’s three levels of classification- Confidential, Secret and Top Secret. Then there Special Compartmented Information, wherein Top Secret Information is held to a close group of cleared individuals. And then there’s Special Access Programs– information that is under an additional set of protocols for information security assurance. Or you could just let it sit on Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

Emails from Hillary Clinton’s home server contained information classified at levels higher than previously known, including a level meant to protect some of the most sensitive U.S. intelligence, according to a document obtained by NBC News.

In a letter to lawmakers, the intelligence community’s internal watchdog says some of Clinton’s emails contained information classified Top Secret/Special Access Program, a secrecy designation that includes some of the most closely held U.S. intelligence matters.

Two American intelligence officials tell NBC News these are not the same two emails from Clinton’s server that have long been reported as containing information deemed Top Secret.

Hillary Clinton deliberately went to the trouble of setting up her own email server for herself and her closest associates at State. Why? A lack of secure facilities at State? Hardly.

Because she knew she was trading influence and favor in return for donations to her so called foundation (which, let’s face it, that’s pretty much a money laundering operation) and having her own email system would remove all her communications from oversight by Congress.

Indulge me in the fantasy that Clinton is indicted and brought to trial for mishandling of classified information, obstruction, and evidence tampering.  One fun aspect would be the jury pool. Every American has a right to examine the evidence against them. And the SAP evidence would likely end up being presented to the jurors. Which would mean they, as well as the judge, prosecution, and defense counsel, and a host of others, would have to be screened for a security clearance, and authorized limited access to the very programs the SAP is designed to protect.

Fairey Gannet

Spill can have his F-14. Growing up in an A-6 family, I learned early on to love ugly airplanes. And let’s face it, our British cousins managed to come up with quite a few very effective, but ugly, airplanes. One, the first turboprop designed to operate from carriers, was the Fairey Gannet anti-submarine aircraft.

First flown in 1949, the Gannet entered fleet service in 1954, and would soldier on in various roles including Airborne Early Warning, Electronic Countermeasures, and Carrier Onboard Delivery until Great Britain retired their carriers in 1978.

348 Gannets were built, with small numbers exported to Australia, Germany and Indonesia.


One very unusual aspect of the Gannet is that, despite it’s appearance, it is a twin engine airplane. The powerplant was the Armstrong Siddley Double Mamba. Basically, two of the earlier developed Mamba gas turbines were built side by side, and ran a common gearbox. Each turbine powered one of the two contra rotating props.


In flight, for economy, one engine could be shut down. Its associated propeller would be feathered to reduce drag.

The Gannet AEW.3 used the APS-20 radars taken from Fleet Air Arm early warning Skyraiders and mounted them on a heavily modified Gannet fuselage.


When the Royal Navy decommissioned the last of its fleet carriers, those same APS-20s would go on to serve in RAF Shackeltons.



[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfz_4D7gLsQ]

Incidentally, the French, with a similar need for a carrier based ASW aircraft, came up with the generally similar in configuration Breguet Alize, though it used a single Rolls Royce Dart turboprop for its power.

The US Navy, after having used the large single engine AF Guardian, instead went with the rather conventional S2F Tracker for its sea based ASW platform.