Publius Forum

Monday, November 30, 2009

Logisticians preparing for massive move from Iraq

by Jonathan Stack
Defense Logistics Agency

FORT BELVOIR, Va. (Nov. 30, 2009) – Army Col. Mike Bird is about to move a mountain, but he won’t be doing it alone.

Bird, commander of Defense Logistics Agency—Central Command, will have help from his DLA support team and participants from several of the agency’s field activities. That, however, doesn’t make the task of helping the military services draw down a mountain of equipment and supplies accumulated during six years of operations in Iraq any less daunting. [Good, you SOB. We should stay until the job is done. Have you noticed Iran is becoming more active? Why do you think that is? Hmm??? Chicken crap.]

DLA provides the military services, other federal agencies, and joint and allied forces with a variety of logistics, acquisition and technical services. These services include disposing of excess military property or allowing for its reuse, as well as disposing of hazardous waste and materials.

Bird has made planning for the drawdown a priority since he assumed command this summer.

“This is much more than moving a mountain,” he said. “It surpasses any logistical challenge we have undertaken to date, all while we are still fighting two wars. It is critical that we ensure the warfighter is being sustained while we retrograde, refit and redistribute to the war effort.”

The drawdown is the return of all U.S. forces back to their home stations and the closing out the military presence in Iraq, said Donald Bruce, DLA’s Joint Logistics Operations Center lead planner for drawdown, retrograde and reset.

“Bringing back troops means bringing back all supplies,” Bruce said.

The U.S. equipment drawdown from Iraq will impact all DLA’s primary-level field activities to some extent, with the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service shouldering most of the workload. From its headquarters in Battle Creek, Mich., and offices throughout the world, DRMS disposes of excess property received from the military services.

“Coordination and flexibility are keys in any complex operation,” said Twila Gonzales, DRMS director.

DRMS already handles the military services’ excess property in Iraq, including disposal of battle-damaged equipment and surplus items. DRMS also removes scrap from both the small forward-operating bases and the larger bases. Gonzales said her team is also handling a portion of hazardous waste and materials disposal.

“We’re not just working with or for the military units in Iraq, we are working right alongside them,” she said. “Our mobilized reservists are doing great work on those teams.”

Earlier this year, members of a disposal team working at a large forward-operating base in Iraq removed more than 3 million pounds of scrap from the base in just 30 days.

“Good management of excess equipment in this case helps protect our fighting forces from the danger that an adversary will be able to use some of our own equipment against us,” Gonzales said. “Good stewardship over excess property serves both the warfighter and taxpayers.”

As U.S. military units start leaving Iraq, Bruce said, they’ll look at their supplies and equipment and decide whether to take items with them or leave them behind.

“In some cases, the services might decide they don’t need those consumable materials in Iraq because they’re drawing down the force,” he said. “But due to the buildup, the materials might be needed in Afghanistan.”

Much usable material will be shipped from Iraq to Defense Distribution Depot-Kuwait, Bruce said, while some will come back to DLA’s stateside depots. The depots, mainly co-located with military repair depots, act as receiving and temporary storage locations.

If a Humvee comes back to an Army repair depot, it will be received by the DLA depot and stored until the Army is ready to put it on the maintenance line and begin the rebuild, Bruce said.

“There’s a big impact there for DLA because there’s a lot of equipment that has to come back and be repaired before it can be provided to units to prepare for the next fight,” he said.

In addition, Bruce said, there will be an impact on the amount of repair parts DLA is supplying to support rebuilding the equipment coming back and going into the depot system.

“The fact that this equipment has been used in the desert for so long means the military services might have to replace a lot of parts that they normally wouldn’t,” Bruce said. “We have to work closely with the services to make sure we’re on top of that and we know what those demands are so we’re prepared to support them.”

DLA’s supply centers are expected to see a surge in business as the military services’ requirements evolve.

“We were sustaining the force in Iraq, and those demands are going to decrease over time and demands in Afghanistan are going to increase,” he said. [ if they haven't been all this time? What a piece of crap this foreign policy is. WEAKNESS INVITES STRENGTH. *sigh*]

Source: CENTCOM.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Liberty vs Copenhagen

Below is a video I received from Roxanna some time ago, but it is so pertinent today. Take 4:13 minutes and watch it. Build your strength and hope. We can do this. We must. It is up to us to preserve our Liberty.

If the video is not showing, here is the link. Just in case...

The unborn, the ignorant, and the unwashed are counting on us. We mustn't let them down either, although they won't be grateful it for a long time. All is well. We simply must do the correct thing and prevent Obama from signing this.

The number to the White House is 202-456-1111. The email address is President AT White (if he hasn't changed it). Thank you all, and sleep well tonight. God IS in control.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again. Digg! Digg!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Founders' Daily Quote(s): 11/23-27/09

Monday, November 23, 2009.
"It is a happy circumstance in human affairs that evils which are not cured in one way will cure themselves in some other." --Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Sinclair, 1791

Tue. 11/24.
"Wish not so much to live long as to live well." --Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1746

Wed. 11/25.
"It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage, and such only, as he believes to be acceptable to him. This duty is precedent both in order of time and degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society. Before any man can be considered as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe." --James Madison, A Memorial and Remonstrance, 1785

Thu. 11/26.
George Washington's 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to "recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.

Fri. 11/27.
"[R]eligion, or the duty which we owe to our creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and this is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity towards each other." --Virginia Bill of Rights, Article 16, 1776

Source: Patriot

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Iraqi engineers prepare to work independently

by Sgt. Benjamin R. Kibbey

BASRA, Iraq (Nov. 20, 2009) – A Basra, Iraq, native brings 50 years of experience as an architect, a master’s degree and a resume that reads like a travel guide ranging across Europe and the Middle East and even Japan to his job as leader of the Iraqi facilities engineering team here.

Abrahim M. Oda al-Timimi leads six other Iraqi electrical, civil and mechanical engineers hired to take over the job of the U.S. Air Force’s facilities engineering team.

Timini’s team will oversee quality assurance and control for all facilities, utilities and construction on the base in a capacity that’s the military equivalent of city planners. And the small city that is Contingency Operating Base Basra is more complex than many would guess. The base has full sewage, water and electrical systems, roadways that are constantly being adapted and improved, and any number of ongoing construction projects.

It’s a good-sized job, and the current facilities engineering team has taken time and effort to make certain it is one [of] the Iraqi team is ready to take over before they leave in the next few weeks and the new military team comes in.

Members of the Air Force team started training the Iraqi engineers on military regulations, customs and courtesies, as well as U.S. environmental standards, in October, said Air Force 1st Lt. Joe Gallegos, an electrical engineer with the 150th Civil Engineering Squadron out of Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. Now, he added, the Air Force is stepping back.

The Air Force team now acts primarily in a support role to the Iraqi team, providing consultation on American and military particulars and making certain the Iraqi engineers have everything they need, even such basic things as office supplies and furniture.

“The goal is that the Air Force [team] would never have to come back, and that the Iraqi [team] would be able to do everything,” Gallegos said. “We’re trying to work ourselves out of a job, basically.”

But as contractors, the Iraqi team cannot do some things, and even when the next – and last – Air Force team leaves in about six months, the Iraqi engineers will have a military officer to whom they can take their issues.

Still, with local contractors doing much of the work around the base, the Iraqi team can do some things that would be more difficult for their military counterparts. The Iraqis have no language barrier to overcome, and Timini and his colleagues know how to get materials locally, allowing them to propose cost-saving alternatives.

But cost isn’t always the primary factor. Standing in their office Nov. 14, members of the Iraqi facilities engineering team examined electrical outlets a contractor provided as samples. They looked OK on the surface and had “Made in UK” printed on the outside, but they lacked the necessary markings and certifications to meet U.S. Army standards. Achmed, an electrical engineer who asked that his last name not be used, rejected them without hesitation.

Achmed also is responsible for the electrical work in containerized housing units being refurbished at Logistics Support Area Anzio, where the local contractor is turning out eight finished trailers per day.

“We calculate the load,” Achmed explained, “and then check the circuit boards, wiring and sockets for each trailer.” He said he considers all the items that might be used in the units, from lights and electronics to coffee makers and mini-refrigerators. He then directs the contractor to make any changes the trailers need and provides the requirements the parts must meet.

The series of numbers and letters on a socket tell a variety of things about the part, he said, including its resistance to water. For a housing unit, a certain level is acceptable, he explained, but the same socket cannot be used in a shower trailer.

The base hospital, a short drive away, will be getting an overhaul of its electrical supply.

“This is our spaghetti,” Achmed said, pointing to a tangle of cables running out of the generators behind the combat support hospital. The cables were the “field expedient” solution when the hospital was first installed. “They are overloading the cables,” Achmed said, “because they didn’t know which cable is going where.”

Short cables were plugged into each other in place of long cables, and the connections are susceptible to water getting into them. The temporary remedy is obvious at a glance: several connections have been wrapped with bags and tape, already ragged from the weather. Most remain completely exposed.

The cables themselves are sound, Achmed said, so the team will not have them completely replaced. Instead, working in stages so as to not interrupt the operations of the hospital, they will test each cable and have the contractor replace the sockets with straight joints sealed against moisture.

Once that is done, Achmed explained, trenches will be dug and the cables will be arranged and properly buried or secured, allowing anyone who comes after them to know immediately which cable is which.

Hours later, on the other end of base at Camp Charlie, Mustafa Muhamed Atu al-Haidary, a civil engineer, explains the role he plays as a surveyor. In simplest terms, he collects data. However, the data is anything but simple.

Mustafa said he checks the levels of the land, records every angle of the area, as well as the width, length and even the GPS coordinates. He also takes down the measurements of any existing buildings and includes the structural and landscape changes to be made.

Jalil Dheyab, a civil engineer, pointed out the importance of surveying at the Anzio site.

“In getting the survey for us, it sometimes takes two or three days,” he said, “but it actually saves time and money.” At Camp Charlie, Mustafa reiterated the point.

“Without a database, that means you are floating,” he said, his hands gesturing a limbo of uncertainty.

Once all of the data is collected, Haitham Abood al-Hayati, a mechanical engineer, turns the numbers into visual plans -- Mustafa turns the site into numbers, Haitham turns the numbers into a plan, and then Mustafa sees that the plan is turned into a reality. Their partnership is somewhat like a marriage, Haitham joked.

The Iraqi team members said they enjoy working with U.S. forces, and Mustafa even made a crack about grabbing onto the treads of the U.S. vehicles and hitching a ride at the final drawdown.

Haitham’s story is one many soldiers on deployment may find familiar. With limited time off and a wife who works a good distance across the country, he will go months without seeing the woman he married only this year, he said. The couple is working to develop a base of funds for their future, but that is not easy in Iraq, he added.

Jalil, who has been working alongside Americans in Iraq since 2004, is preparing for an Internet-based English test, and with family in America already, he said, he hopes to go to the United States, become a citizen, and then return to Iraq to help in rebuilding the country.

Abrahim said he is not certain what he will do in the future. He is 68 now, and has a daughter who is a successful architect in her own right in Poland, where he studied for his master’s degree. He said he has considered moving to Canada or the United States, but that it ultimately comes down to what work remains to be done in Iraq.

“If I go to Poland, what can I do but just sit?” he asked.

PHOTO: A worker at the Anzio logistics site on Contingency Operating Base Basra, Iraq, bends rebar to be used in the placement of housing trailers for U.S. troops Nov. 14. The work at the site is being overseen and planned by an Iraqi facilities engineering team.

Source: CENTCOM.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Founders' Daily Quote(s): 11/16-20/09

Monday, November 16, 2009.
"In planning, forming, and arranging laws, deliberation is always becoming, and always useful." --James Wilson, Lectures on Law, 1791

It certainly doesn't help if you are supposed to debate a bill you aren't even allowed to see bill in question!

Tue. 11/17.
"This country and this people seem to have been made for each other, and it appears as if it was the design of Providence that an inheritance so proper and convenient for a band of brethren, united to each other by the strongest of ties, should never be split into a number of unsocial, jealous, and alien sovereignties." --John Jay, Federalist No. 2

Wed. 11/18.
"Adore God. Reverence and cherish your parents. Love your neighbor as yourself, and your country more than yourself. Be just. Be true. Murmur not at the ways of Providence. So shall the life into which you have entered be the portal to one of eternal and ineffable bliss." --Thomas Jefferson, letter to Thomas Jefferson Smith, 1825

Thu. 11/19.
"[T]he great Searcher of human hearts is my witness, that I have no wish, which aspires beyond the humble and happy lot of living and dying a private citizen on my own farm." --George Washington, letter to Charles Pettit, 1788

Fri. 11/20.
"We should never despair, our Situation before has been unpromising and has changed for the better, so I trust, it will again. If new difficulties arise, we must only put forth new Exertions and proportion our Efforts to the exigency of the times." --George Washington, letter to Philip Schuyler, 1777

Source: Patriot

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Video Potpourri 11/19/09

These videos were posted on November 5th, but I am just getting around to posting them here. I have been busy, so please forgive me for being late. Thanks.

New Videos from ReasonTV.
  • Buy American Pot: A Special Message From the AMGA, Dedicated to Keep Pot Illegal & Profits High!
  • Your Flight Has Been Delayed--And It's Washington's Fault!
  • Mike Flynn on Big Government (The Website) & The Videos That Brought Down ACORN.
  • Support And See More Vids With Drew Carey, PJ O'Rourke, John Mackey...and Barack Obama!
  • Why You Should Support Reason: Al Sharpton Edition.

  • New Videos from unclejimbomadcity
  • Bread & Circuses on Broadway.
  • Fall in Del Ray Alexandria, Virginia.

  • New Videos from machosauceproduction
  • Don't Mess With My Womens!
  • Red flag Drag.

  • May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

    Tuesday, November 17, 2009

    Still Waiting For New Computer

    I am fortunate enough to have a brother who understands that if he doesn't allow me to use his computer while he sleeps, I'll go stir crazy. I made the purchase on the 9th, but it won't be here until the 18th (Wed). I'm dieing!

    I can't write a long up-to-date, so I'll just say that I'm doing better than even I expected. After all, what else can I do? Boy, it sure does let one know how addicted to these machines one can get. Hmm...

    May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

    Monday, November 16, 2009

    Airmen speed delivery of vital vaccine

    by David Dobrydney
    379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

    SOUTHWEST ASIA (Nov. 16, 2009) -- Airmen in the 8th Expeditionary Air Mobility Squadron at this air base in Southwest Asia handle nearly every passenger and piece of cargo that travels through the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.

    Recently, the cargo they handled would, soon enough, find its way to every servicemember in the AOR.

    The 8th EAMS Airmen shipped the first half of the U.S. CENTCOM allotment of H1N1 flu vaccine Nov. 8 to military servicemen and women forward deployed in support of operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

    The vaccine was shipped out within 20 hours of its arrival here, said Master Sgt. Robert Kruger, NCOIC of special handling for 8th EAMS.

    The vaccine arrived at the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Center located at a nearby camp. Specialists there project theater medical logistics in support of the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.

    After receiving the vaccine from USAMMC Medical Logistics, the 8th EAMS members entered it into the global transport and executive system to be assigned to an outgoing flight. The cargo they were tasked to move on the mission necessitated special handling requirements.

    To maintain safety, the vaccine had to be kept refrigerated prior to being loaded on the plane, Sergeant Kruger said.

    "We had to monitor the icing times on the vaccine and if we couldn't get them on a specific flight, we would have to re-ice the packs," he said.

    However, within hours the vaccines were loaded and on their way.

    "If a warfighter in the CENTCOM AOR gets the vaccine, it was possible due to the hard work of the Airmen in the 8th EAMS," said Army Maj. Martin Russell, a USAMMC pharmacy consultant. "I can't say enough good things about them."

    Immunization for both seasonal flu and H1N1 is mandatory for all military personnel.

    PHOTO: Sherry Davis, a Lockheed Martin contractor from McDonough, Ga., packs H1N1 vaccines inside a medical logistics warehouse at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar, Nov. 4. The Lockheed Martin contractors were preparing the first H1N1 influenza vaccine shipment in the Central Command area of operations.

    Source: CENTCOM.

    May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

    Friday, November 13, 2009

    Afghan leaders discuss reconciliation

    by Capt. Tony Wickman
    Kunar PRT

    NANGARHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan (Nov. 13, 2009) – Four provincial governors and a 21-member executive committee from the eastern Afghanistan peace and development jirga – a group of elders -- met in the Nangarhar governor’s compound Nov. 10 to discuss the group’s charter and its top priorities.

    Provincial governors, elders and religious leaders from Nangarhar, Kunar, Nuristan and Laghman provinces gathered to lay out their home-grown plan to improve security and development in the four easternmost Afghan provinces.

    The group’s top priority is to find ways to reconcile with Taliban and other Afghans who do not support the central government.

    “Today is a day of happiness, because we are working for future peace and development,” said Nangarhar Gov. Gul Agha Sherzai. “The main purpose today is to discuss the problems and work for the reconciliation in the eastern zone. We want to bring our brothers back to peace.”

    Sherzai said many problems need resolution, and he called on the executive committee to rise to the challenge.

    The committee’s main objective is to support President Hamid Karzai’s decree of national reconciliation.

    “We’re ahead of what is happening elsewhere in Afghanistan, and it’s being noticed in Kabul,” said Kunar Gov. Fazlullah Wahidi. “We must reconcile with our brothers, because the fighting isn’t working.”

    Lagham Gov. Lutfullah Mashal told the committee that the regional jirga does not conflict with the laws or will of the national government.

    “I believe what we do here is in agreement with the Afghan Constitution and will bridge the gap between the [religious] leaders, the government and the people,” Mashal said. “The jirga will have a strong relationship with Kabul.”

    The jirga will help to address, over the long term, many of the economic, security and social problems in the eastern provinces, he added.

    Army Col. Randy A. George, Task Force Mountain Warrior commander, attended the meetings as an observer and expressed support for the group.

    “We're pleased to see Afghan-led initiatives at the regional and subregional level that can help connect traditional structures to the government, and pursue local opportunities for progress,” George said. “We’re here to help and support such endeavors, where Afghans work together for greater prosperity and peace.”

    The executive committee discussed its charter and mission statement, and voted in agreement on each tenet. Handling reconciliation, fighting narcotics and smuggling, rooting out corruption, helping with employment and social justice programs and coordinating on development projects are included in the charter.

    The committee also agreed that the governors would support the jirga executive committee financially to execute the charter. After the meeting, the four governors dedicated with much fanfare a new office for the executive committee near the Nangarhar governor’s compound.

    Sherzai told the executive committee to return in a week and bring their ideas, information and plans from their communities on what it will take to reconcile with “our sad brothers.”

    PHOTO: Army Col. Randy A. George meets with Afghan leaders and a U.S. State Department official to discuss ways to reconcile with Taliban and other Afghans who do not support the central government.

    May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

    Founders' Daily Quote(s): 11/9-13/09

    Monday, November 9, 2009.
    "Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time, who never loses any. It is wonderful how much may be done, if we are always doing. And that you may be always doing good, my dear, is the ardent prayer of yours affectionately." --Thomas Jefferson, letter to Martha Jefferson, 1787

    Who was that who tried to teach us that Thomas Jefferson didn't believe in God? Then why is he PRAYING? And Who is he praying to? It certainly was NOT Mother Earth!

    Tue. 11/10.
    "Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it." --Thomas Paine, The Crisis, No. 4, 1777


    Wed. 11/11.
    "Gentlemen, you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for I have grown not only gray, but almost blind in the service of my country." --George Washington, upon fumbling for his glasses before delivering the Newburgh Address, 1783

    Thu. 11/12.
    "Strive to be the greatest man in your country, and you may be disappointed. Strive to be the best and you may succeed: he may well win the race that runs by himself." --Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1747

    Fri. 11/13.
    "Human Felicity is produced not so much by great Pieces of good Fortune that seldom happen, as by little Advantages that occur every Day." --Benjamin Franklin, Autobiography, 1771

    Source: Patriot

    May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

    Thursday, November 12, 2009

    Task force to focus on Afghan IED threat

    by Donna Miles
    American Forces Press Service

    OSHKOSH, Wis. (Nov. 12, 2009) – Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has created a new task force to enhance existing department efforts to counter the threat from roadside bombs, the No. 1 killer in Afghanistan.

    Gates announced the new task force today, and said he expects its members to spend the next six months reporting to him about the best way to deal with the improvised explosive device threat in Afghanistan.

    The task force will be co-chaired by Ashton Carter, undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics; and Marine Lt. Gen. John M. “Jay” Paxton Jr., the Joint Staff’s operations chief. It will integrate work by the Joint IED Defeat Organization and the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and acquisition communities, Gates said.

    The task force also will work directly with Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top commander in Afghanistan, and other ground commanders.

    Gates noted broad efforts already under way throughout the department, but said he hopes the task force will cut through organizational stovepipes to make them more effective.

    “We have people working all these different pieces,” he said. “My concern is whether all this has been properly integrated and prioritized and aligned, and whether we are adaptable and agile enough.”

    Gates said he has tasked the new body “to make sure we have integrated all the capabilities we have to go after this challenge,” he said. “And if they identify a need for something new, then so we can go get it and get it into the hands of the troops and the commanders.”

    The goal is to ensure the military has the same level of capabilities in Afghanistan that it has built in Iraq, he said. These include not just counter-IED measures, but also forensics labs and analytical capabilities to help identify and track terrorist networks that build and emplace them.

    “The whole purpose of this, really, is to make sure we get the troops what they need to protect themselves, and also the tools to be more effective in taking down these networks,” he said.

    Gates already has sent the new task force a job: to analyze lessons the Mujahadeen learned when it used the same kinds of IEDs being used today against U.S. troops as in its struggle against the Soviet Union three decades ago.

    “So let’s go back and look at the playbook they used against the Soviets to see if there is something we have learned in terms of adapting our tactics, techniques and procedures,” he said.

    Source: CENTCOM.

    May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

    One Of My Best Friends Died

    I apologize for not being here for a while. See, my computer went to computer heaven. I am rather shook up. I started to buy a new computer immediately, but everytime I hit the 'Calculate' button, I received an error message.

    That's easy enough, or so I thought. I'll just call the store. So I did. After about 6 calls to the store and 2 calls returned to me, we were no closer to getting me a new computer. *sigh*

    The problem was in their bundling. None of their computers would accept the continue button. So, it wasn't just my imagination!

    We finally sold it separately (I told them I was only going to pay for the bundle price). That worked. It should be on its way after tomorrow. Until then, I have to use my brother's computer AFTER he goes to sleep. For once in our lifetimes, we have the same sleeping hours!

    Stay tuned. I have some very important information to share with you about the Farmers Relay Rally and the Citizens Initiative that we are going to get 1.2 million signatures for to get it on the ballot this November. Lots of info, and all of you can help. See ya then. God bless.

    May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

    Cross-posted @ Long Beach Patriots.

    Monday, November 9, 2009

    Why Govt Healthcare Is Bad

    The year was 1982, the month was June, the day was the first. The night before I had such a headache and lost the feeling on my right side, but this had happened before. I thought it would go away, so I went to sleep early instead of partying with everyone. After all, it was my graduation party.

    When I awoke, the pain in my head was indescribable. It wasn't a headache anymore, my head was on fire from the inside and it felt as if my brain had swollen to the point it was going to pop out. I could no longer walk at all, so I crawled to the phone.

    I could not talk so when the operator asked where I was, I was very proud of myself. I knew this answer! I was home. Where was home? Hell if I knew. I did not even know my name. I was having a stroke at the age of 22.

    She must have found out where I was somehow, because the police and neurologists rushed to my home. When I saw them, my body finally succumbed. Probably due to relief. It took 9 months for me to learn how to speak in one word syllables again, and it took me a year and a half to relearn how to walk so it would appear I was not limping. Two and a half months later I was stricken with epilepsy.

    There is so much more to be said, but you get the general idea.

    So what does this have to do with this health care bill Congress passed? A lot. You may not know this, but I have been on some sort of medical welfare ever since. I am forced to take medication for the rest of my life, so I have to see a specialist at least once a year.

    I receive news all the time about which medications the govt will no longer cover, yet other people can still be offered. No problem, right? Just pay for it, right? Well, NO. It is against the law for me to pay for any medication already. What do you think I was trying to tell you? I just didn't want to go into detail.

    This is my last plea. This is very important for you to know, for it will happen to you as well. I am afraid every time I open the news of which medicines they're going to stop funding, because I am allergic to all but one medication to control my epilepsy. What do I do when the day comes when they cancel that? What will you do when cancel yours?

    They are going to have to reduce medication for everyone, because they cannot afford to care for everyone. So who will it be? Will we turn into a nation of people who pray it happens to someone else or will we be the kind of people who prevents this from happening in the first place?

    It is up to you. I can no longer do this. I have done all of this by myself for a long time now, and I just cannot continue. You will find out why not in my next post. I've had it with this govt, and Saturday was the last straw. I have made up mind, but that's for the next post. Until then, someone please take over this blog!

    May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

    Cross-posted @ Long Beach Patriots and Tea Party Patriots. Digg! Digg!

    Friday, November 6, 2009

    Afghan farmers learn new techniques

    by 2nd Lt. Brooke Brzozowske
    Paktika PRT

    PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan (Nov. 6, 2009) – Civil affairs members of the provincial reconstruction team hosted an Afghan-led agricultural training event in the Bermel district here.

    The training offered instruction and discussion on agricultural topics for seven Bermel area farmers.

    “Most of the people in this area are farmers,” said Army Cpl. David Ferris, a civil affairs team member. “Even if they have other jobs, they often have an orchard, garden, field or herd.”

    Each of the training sessions was studied in detail over the three-day course, which ended Nov. 1.

    “Trainees practiced teaching various topics, and are expected to teach other farmers upon returning to their village,” said Army Sgt. Army Sgt. Lara Gale, a civil affairs team member.

    Two local Afghan farmers, Isalmudin and Hamimmullah, taught the course. Having studied agriculture in universities in Pakistan and Afghanistan, they brought skill sets in agricultural awareness to the teaching opportunity. Bermel’s sub-governor, Daulat Khan, also assisted in orchard care training, based on extensive experience with his own orchards.

    Ferris said the event seemed to accomplish its goal.

    “The students seemed excited for future collaborations between the government and the farmers in this area,” he said.

    PHOTO: Afghan farmers gather around a garden while working a practical exercise during an agricultural training class in Bermel, Afghanistan.

    May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

    Founders' Daily Quote(s): 11/2-6/09

    Monday, November 2, 2009.
    "And as to the Cares, they are chiefly what attend the bringing up of Children; and I would ask any Man who has experienced it, if they are not the most delightful Cares in the World; and if from that Particular alone, he does not find the Bliss of a double State much greater, instead of being less than he expected." --Benjamin Franklin, Reply to a Piece of Advice

    Tue. 11/3.
    "[T]he importance of piety and religion; of industry and frugality; of prudence, economy, regularity and an even government; all ... are essential to the well-being of a family." --Samuel Adams, letter to Thomas Wells, 1780

    Wed. 11/4.
    "As parents, we can have no joy, knowing that this government is not sufficiently lasting to ensure any thing which we may bequeath to posterity: And by a plain method of argument, as we are running the next generation into debt, we ought to do the work of it, otherwise we use them meanly and pitifully. In order to discover the line of our duty rightly, we should take our children in our hand, and fix our station a few years farther into life; that eminence will present a prospect, which a few present fears and prejudices conceal from our sight." --Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776

    Thu. 11/5.
    "Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience." --George Washington, The Rules of Civility, 1748

    Fri. 11/6.
    "It is of great importance to set a resolution, not to be shaken, never to tell an untruth. There is no vice so mean, so pitiful, so contemptible; and he who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and a third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world's believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good disposition." --Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, 1785

    Source: Patriot

    May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

    I Let You Down

    I was a little late this morning. Since I had to carry everying in my walker and packback, I was in such a hurry trying to get everything set-up that I couldn't find a few things until some people left. Someone even came all the way from South Bay, and I was unprepared. After all the time I spent preparing, I blew it. I apologize. It surely has been one of 'those' days. Thank you for coming.

    Today I had to leave early. It was around noon. I also heard about the people that were told to get out of the congresscritters offices, Well I ran into a problem with some people who appear to be ACORN proto-types. I was told I was not allowed to protest on one of the corners because it was a business area, so I asked if anyone complained. She said it was her job to remove me before they did! I asked when was the last time she read the constitution, especially the FIRST AMENDMENT!

    It was either leave or throw down. I wanted to show her that she couldn't push me around but the truth is, I'm only 5 feet tall and disabled. Back in the day it wouldn't have taken a second thought. In a way, I'm kind of glad it did. She probably could have stomped me. I wouldn't want to bring that kind of a message to our cause either.

    I complained to her boss who gave me a different story (lie) about why I could not use my megaphone and protest there. First it was due to the businesses, then it was because people live in the area. So I guess people are only allowed to protest in the middle of the woods where no one will ever hear them? Bull.

    I also questioned her boss as to whether the fact that I was the only one there at the time made a difference. She of course said no. Then I asked her if I were an illegal alien with hundreds of thousands of people with me if we would be having this same conversation? She lied right to my face and said yes. THAT is a lie. The police protect the illegals and arrest the citizens of my great country. I know. I've seen (heard of) it happening during (Karl) Marx Day (May 1st is known as May Day).

    When they protest, they block all the traffic in downtown Los Angeles. No work can be done, business have to shut down whether they like it or not, and the illegals get special treatment. Maybe I can be defined as a minority or some protected group? Gosh, and I used to believe my citizenship MEANT something. I guess it is only special to me.

    The few people who did show up today were very nice and took advantange of the opportinuty to go upstairs and voice their opinions to Congressmember Laura Richardson. For those of you who do not understand why there are no bands there and all that, it was a Tea Party in unity with Congresswoman Michele Bachmann to speak with our Congresscritter to kill the bill HR 3962.

    There is another issue I would like to bring up just this once. I am disabled and I take the bus. If you want a big time party, bring it yourself! I cannot. I do not have the equipment and if I did, I have no way to transport it. I continue to ask for help, but there is none forthcoming.

    I cannot say that about everyone, however. Many of you have asked how you can help, and many of you have actually helped. To you I am very grateful. On the 4th of July, Roxanna brought the helium for the balloons. There was also the ride to the Federal Building. That was the first time I have been able to make it there out of all the times I wanted to go. THANK YOU!

    Your posters are also great. I love them. Keep them coming. Jamie, was it you who hooked us up with the speaker for the 4th of July? Whoever it was, thank you. You guys sure are awesome. I just wish I knew the words to motivate everyone and get you to know how very vital a time we are facing.

    Pelosi thinks she has the votes. Otherwise I do not believe she would be calling for a vote on Saturday. Please keep those phone calls going! That is more important than what I did. I appreciate your efforts so much. Thank you.

    Off-Topic (OT): Please say some prayers today for our service men and women and their families in Fort Hood. God help them and heal them. Comfort those who have lost their loved ones. It was a jihadis attack, and I knew it as soon as they would not give his name or race. Do they really think we're that stupid? Oh yeah, they came out right away without any investigation to say it was NOT a terrorist attack. No, I guess it was just one of those "man-caused disasters'. I am so disgusted with him and all those who think that way.

    PS. If you have come to one of our Tea Parties and are not receiving a newletter, it is because I could not read your writing. Please send me your email address so I can fix this. Everyone who does receive my newsletters, please send me an email with the words "Yes, you have permission to add me" to our restricted google group in the subject line. It won't allow me to email you again using their Add Members, however I can add you directly by email.

    If I can mail everyone the newsletter in one email, it would surely save me much time! You may also write any info and ideas you have, too. All you have to do is write an e-mail post (or any post, and copy/paste to email), then use the e-mail address of our private group in the To: area. This way it will post to our site and send an email to everyone. Cool, eh? God bless.

    May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

    Cross-posted @ Tea Party Patriots and TCU. Digg! Digg!

    Thursday, November 5, 2009

    Osprey joins the fight in Afghanistan

    by Cpl. Thomas Hermesman
    2nd MEB

    CAMP LEATHERNECK, Helmand province, Afghanistan (Nov. 5, 2009) – In another history-making moment for Marine Expeditionary Brigade-Afghanistan, the first MV-22B Ospreys entered the Task Force Leatherneck area of operations today, alighting in three waves at Camp Bastion Airfield.

    Making the long journey from the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit aboard USS Bataan in the Indian Ocean to the Bastion Airfield in the Helmand desert, the 10 tiltrotor aircraft are the first of their kind to operate in Afghanistan.

    The unique design of the Osprey allows for not only vertical takeoff, but conversion to fixed-wing flight at much faster speeds than helicopters.

    "I am very excited to have these new birds here," said Lt. Col. William Depue, executive officer for Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263 (Reinforced), adding that the aircraft's increased speed and range will "cut the size of the area of operations in half."

    The Ospreys, which formed the bulk of VMM-263 (Rein) with the 22nd MEU will join Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 261 as part of MEB-Afghanistan's aviation combat element, Marine Aircraft Group 40.

    "Although we are not the Marines who will operate these birds here, we were happy to be a part of getting them into theater," said Depue.

    The Ospreys will be used for medium-lift assault support, transporting troops and cargo throughout the MEB's area of operations, and will augment the other fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft that have worked tirelessly since the MEB's arrival in Afghanistan in May, flying more than 19,000 hours.

    PHOTO: After making the long flight from the USS Bataan in the Indian Ocean the MV-22B 'Osprey' makes history entering Afghanistan and the Helmand province for the first time ever. Adding these aircraft to the rotary wing arsenal already in use by the Marine Aircraft Group 40, will further its capabilities in moving Marines and equipment around the Taskforce Leatherneck area of operation.

    May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

    Video Potpourri 11/5/09

    These videos were posted on November 5th, but I am just getting around to posting them here. I have been busy, so please forgive me for being late. Thanks.

    New Videos from ReasonTV.
  • Reason Foundation Co-Founder Tibor Machan on Ayn Rand.
  • Reason Foundation Co-Founder Manny Klausner on Ayn Rand.
  • Reason Foundation Co-Founder Bob Poole on Ayn Rand.
  • Rand-O-Rama: The Long Shelf Life of Ayn Rand's Legacy.

  • New Videos from idfnadesk.
  • Israel Navy Intercepts Iranian Weapons en route to Hezbollah, 4 Nov 2009.
  • Weapons found on the Karin A ship in January 2002.

  • May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

    OMG! She's Alive!

    Hi everyone. My computer has been down because VERIZON couldn't fix it over the phone. They gave me an appointment for Monday, but I forgot that's the day when someone else is coming to mess around with our electricity. Just what I needed, eh? Well as you can tell, she's working right now. So I'm taking this opportunity to let you know I'm alive. *heh*

    I have to get ready for the Tea Party I'm having today (100 W. Broadway, Suite 600, Long Beach, CA-between Pacific and Pine from 9 am-2 pm). Time to jump into the shower. Have a blessed day!

    May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

    Wednesday, November 4, 2009

    A Dreadful Thought

    May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

    Tuesday, November 3, 2009

    Marines shuttering major base as Iraq mission draws to close

    by GySgt. Katesha Washington
    2nd Marine Logistics Group

    CAMP TAQADDUM (Nov. 3, 2009) — Marine Corps participation in Operation Iraqi Freedom is drawing to a close, and Marines and Sailors are preparing equipment for shipment back home or to other parts of the world.

    As part of the departure, one of the Marine Corps' largest bases in the country is on its way to being in the hands of the Iraqi government once again.

    Drawdown operations are in full swing at Camp Taqaddum, a base located about 50 miles west of Baghdad in western Anbar province. Before the base was in the hands of American military commanders, it was used as an Iraqi Air Force base during former president Saddam Hussein's dictatorship. Today, it is a vastly developed base that occupies approximately 12 miles of desert land.

    Lately, forklifts, flatbed trucks and tow vehicles have been the main source of traffic aboard the base as units continuously send equipment and gear to Afghanistan or back to the States. But as the deadline gets closer for TQ, as it is locally called, to be returned to the Government of Iraq, those still left here acknowledge the enormous responsibility they have on their plates and are experiencing a nonstop operational tempo.

    "They have done phenomenal," Lt. Col. David P. Grant, commanding officer, 2nd Maintenance Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 27 (Forward), said of the progress his Marines and Sailors have achieved in the cleanup of the Lakeside area of the base since arriving in September 2009.

    "This [cleanup and retrograde mission] is not what we asked for and this is not what we expected, but this is what we got and the small unit leaders have been critical in [getting the job done.]"

    Although the retrograde and cleanup of the southern expanse of the base is one of the top priorities of the battalion, it is not the number-one priority. The battalion is ultimately still responsible for providing general combat logistics support to all outlying units within Anbar province.

    "The biggest concern is making sure we support the warfighter while we continue with our cleanup efforts. When we are down to the last toolbox, if a unit needs support at that time, we have to be able to provide that support," Grant explained.

    When Grant's battalion arrived at TQ, they took responsibility for general support in Anbar province and for the cleanup and closure of Lakeside from 2nd Supply Bn. At that time, 2,007 pieces of equipment and gear were still awaiting movement to either the Marine Corps Logistics Command (Forward) retrograde lot here or to the camp's scrap yard.

    Since then, they have significantly dwindled down the number of items left to be retrograded to a remarkable 1,265.

    One platoon in particular that is helping to make a dent in the battalion's overall stock has disposed of or retrograded 67 percent of their inventory. Staff Sgt. Scott A. Motroni, Engineer Ordnance Maintenance platoon commander, Maintenance Co., 2nd Maint. Bn., said his platoon makes an average of two scrap yard runs per day and has thus far disposed of approximately 40,000 pounds of scrap material.

    Motroni added that when they arrived at TQ in August, the platoon had 163 assets on its records. Nineteen of those assets were sent to the Defense Reutilization Management Office and 91 were sent to the Material Redistribution Center in Afghanistan for follow-on use. He said the remaining assets will be sent to the Marine Corps Logistics Command (Forward) for redistribution to the U.S. or to Afghanistan. They also sent 38 large shipping boxes of repair parts and miscellaneous equipment to Afghanistan.

    Motroni credits his Marines for the substantial progress the platoon has made in their retrograde efforts.

    "Our key to success is our Marines' determination to accomplish the assigned mission in the time frame given. We truly have an outstanding group of Marines and without their efforts we wouldn't have been as successful otherwise," Motroni said.

    PHOTO: Marines load an oversized floodlight onto a flatbed truck at Camp Taqaddum, Oct. 21. Marines and Sailors with CLR-27 (Fwd) are participating in the responsible drawdown by removing equipment and gear from Iraq.

    May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

    Monday, November 2, 2009

    Stand Against Healthcare Takeover Tea Party

    Below you will find the information necessary for you to attend this Thursday's Tea Party. It is coming down to the wire again, and we are all counting on your support. Please pick a time during the day when you can attend. Also, please email me and let me know which time you can make it. It is appreciated.

    Type: Causes - Protest
    Network: Global
    Date: Thursday, November 5, 2009
    Time: 9:00am - 2:00pm
    Location: 100 West Tower
    Street: 100 West Broadway, Suite 600
    City/Town: Long Beach, CA
    View Map


    For all the people who couldn't go to DC, we are having a Tea Party right outside of our Congresswoman's office. It is located between Pacific Ave and Pine Street on Broadway. (Downtown) We shall march up and down the block so that the people on the main streets (Pacific and Pine) may notice us.

    Flags, posters, music, CD player/cassette/radio player. I'll bring my megaphone for everyone's use. If anyone knows of a speaker, please send me an e-mail.

    Individually we shall go upstairs and express our views and concerns with the staffers. Be polite but firm. They are very nice in her office.

    Also bring your own food and drink. Although being downtown, you should have no problem finding something to eat. Let's have some fun while we venture to save our nation from socialism!

    PS. To find me on Facebook, look under Rosemary RawSense. I couldn't think of a name when I signed up a while back, so I just made something up. Now I'm stuck with it. *heh*

    May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

    Cross-posted @ Facebook, TCU, and Long Beach Patriots Digg! Digg!