Archive for category Military News

Building Snowmobiles: Manoeuvre Warfare, By Captain Daniel Grazier

This is a fantastic video that I have watched several times and highly recommend. It is a Building Snowmobiles post because it is pure John Boyd and William Lind. I also wish this was available when I was a young Marine back in the day.

Captain Daniel Grazier is a Marine who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and just recently joined up with POGO’s military reform project. I will let the video speak for itself, and he does a fantastic job of explaining manoeuvre (not maneuver) warfare and drawing heavily upon the concepts of Boyd’s Pattern’s of Conflict. Enjoy and Semper Fidelis. –Matt


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Military News: Staff Sergeant Ty M. Carter Receives The Medal Of Honor

The 53 Fort Carson soldiers in the Keating fight earned the two Medals of Honor, the nation’s top award for gallantry, as well as nine Silver Star Medals, 18 Bronze Star Medals for Valor, 27 Purple Heart Medals and 37 Army Commendation Medals, leading Obama to describe them as the most decorated unit in the Army.

Quite the honor and this is the second Medal of Honor given to a participant of the Battle of Kamdesh. The first one was Staff Sergeant Clinton Romesha, not to mention all of the other battlefield awards given to the units involved. Above is the list of awards the 3rd Troop, 61st Cavalry Regiment have received from just this one battle. –Matt




Aug 26, 2013

President awards Staff Sergeant Ty M. Carter, U.S. Army, the Medal of Honor for his courageous actions while serving as a cavalry scout with Bravo Troop, 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, during combat operations in Kamdesh District, Nuristan Province, Afghanistan on October 3, 2009. Staff Sergeant Carter is the fifth living recipient to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan. August 26, 2013.

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Syria: Incredible Footage From A Tank In Damascus

This is incredible combat footage from a tank in Syria. The tank being destroyed by a missile (starting at 2:58), right next to the tank with the camera is absolutely brutal. The devastation is beyond belief and it right out of a scene during WW 2. –Matt


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This is a screen shot of a tank crew filming another tank, just as they were destroyed by an anti-tank missile.


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Military News: Soviet Soldier Missing For 33 Years, Found Alive In Afghanistan

The non-profit Warriors-Internationalists Affairs Committee, which falls beneath the Commonwealth of Independent States, found Khakimov after following a decades-old trail. He had fallen and cracked his head, he told them, and then a local village healer had found him and nursed him back to health.
Once he regained his health, he forgot Russian, picked up the local language, and took a wife, never seeking to reunite with his family. He has no children and is now a widower, and wishes to see his family, the report says.
The nonprofit which found him is dedicated solely to finding missing Russian soldiers. When they started, they had 271 to locate. Since then, they’ve found 29 alive in Afghanistan.source

This is just incredible and I had no idea that the Russians were still finding folks in Afghanistan. I imagine that contractors and military folks have bumped into several Afghans over the years that were probably former Soviet Union soldiers. lol

If you think you have a good lead on one of those, be sure to contact Warriors-International Affairs Committee and let them know. Although you might want to Google Translate your message into Russian first. –Matt



The current photo of Bakhretdin Khakimov. Military photo of a younger Bakhretdin Khakimov.


Soviet Soldier, Missing for 33 Years, Found in Afghanistan
Bakhretdin Khakimov, the Soviet soldier who disappeared in Afghanistan for 33 years.
There is a traditional healer living in the Shindand District in Afghanistan, known as Sheikh Abdulla, an elderly-looking, impoverished widower with a wispy beard leading a semi-nomadic life with a local clan.
His real name is Bakhretdin Khakimov and he is a Soviet soldier who has been missing in action since the first months of a nine-year-long bloody war that began when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in late 1979.
Khakimov, an ethnic Uzbek, was tracked down two weeks ago by a search party of the Warriors-Internationalists Affairs Committee, a nonprofit, Moscow-based organization, operating under the aegis of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), whose activists spent a year following the missing soldier’s decades-old trail.
That’s one down and 263 soldiers to go for the committee, which presented its latest findings in the search for Soviet servicemen in Afghanistan at a press conference in Moscow on Monday.
“Looking for missing soldiers is among our top priorities. And it’s a tough job,” said committee head Ruslan Aushev, who fought in Afghanistan and was president of the republic of Ingushetia in the Russian North Caucasus from 1993 to 2001.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Military News: Marine Corps Birthday, 2012

The Commandant and Sgt Maj of the Marine Corps, Gen. James F. Amos and Sgt. Maj. Micheal P. Barrett, present the 2012 Marine Corps Birthday Message. Footage includes historical b-roll and images from Guadalcanal as well as interviews with WWII veterans, subject matter experts, active duty Marines and Marine spouses.

Happy birthday Marines and Semper Fi! This is one of the great military traditions that I have seen carry on throughout the war zones over the years. Contractors that are Marines and current Marines would all get together to celebrate the birthday on the various FOBs  and outposts throughout Iraq or Afghanistan and eat some cake. Or folks all over the US and throughout the world, would get together and celebrate this. The message below is part of that tradition and it talks about where the Marines have been, and where they are going. –Matt


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Military News: A Soldier’s Load Or A Soldier’s Anchor?

Average Paratrooper 72hr kit is 103.69lbs. Paratroopers are carrying 55% of their body weight. The recommended fighting load for a conditioned soldier should not exceed 48lbs and the approach march load should not exceed 72lbs (FM 21T18)

A big hat tip to Tom Ricks at FP’s Best Defense blog for finding this. After reading through the load outs of today’s soldier in the document below, I was just floored. This is ‘not’ light infantry, and in our desperate attempt to take all of the risk out of war fighting, we are actually making it even more dangerous for them and making our forces less combat effective. That is my opinion at least.

I mean how can a heavily weighted down soldier like this, outmaneuver an enemy like the Taliban, who usually wears the bare minimum of what is required for their assaults? And if you read this report below, soldiers invariable are forced to use CAS as the only viable means of killing the enemy–just because they cannot maneuver effectively. Which is fine, if you are dealing with an enemy that is not wise to how CAS or artillery works. But this enemy is much wiser than that, and especially after fighting the world’s best military after 12 plus years of war. They know the windows of opportunity of when to attack, and they know how long they have until we bring the big guns onto the scene.

The other thing that you don’t hear too much about is the amount of skeletal and back injuries that our soldiers are suffering, because we are asking them to wear all of this crap? I suspect the VA will be busy long after this war is over.

I think these load outs are indicative of the damage highly bureaucratic organizations like the military can inflict upon itself. You have a military constantly fighting with itself as to it’s true goal–is it to win wars, or to render warfare ‘safe and sane’ to use a fireworks analogy.

Then of course there is the politics of the matter, which the west is a victim of as well. If the public is more concerned with their troops fighting a war safely and coming home alive, and less concerned with winning a war at all costs, then I blame the politicians for pushing such a ridiculous concept. It put’s into question why we are there in the first place, if in fact we are this concerned with the actions within that war, as opposed to actually winning it? I know our enemies could care less about such frivolous things–and they are purely focused on the win–and at all costs.

Of course you want to protect the troops as best we can, but how are we protecting them when they can’t move around? Or they become heat casualties because of all the stuff they are carrying. Are we fully focused on winning the war, and at all costs–or are we only willing to fight a war if it is done safely from an MRAP, while wearing over a hundred pounds of kit and a reflective belt. lol

I guess another way to look at this, is to see what the enemy is doing. Do you think the enemy has the same obsession with making warfare safe and sane, and loading down their troops with over a hundred pounds of kit? Likewise, do they believe carrying more kit than us, makes them more combat effective on the battlefield? Because in this contest over who has the heaviest load, we are winning hands down. lol

Finally, I am always inspired by the great thinkers of warfare, like Sun Tzu. These guys understood warfare and strategy, and they lived it. In this contest between the west and groups like Al Qaeda or the Taliban, we will always see the enemy attacking weakness with strength because there is no way they can take us on directly. The Vietnamese understood this in the Vietnam War as well. Sun Tzu understood this in his war against the Chu’s, and so on. This is some basic stuff here, and our military leaders continue to forget this.  –Matt


Rifle Platoon Basic Load, OEF XII, 1/A/2/504 PIR

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