The rocket carrying an experimental army strike weapon exploded seconds after take off from the Kodiak Launch Complex at about 12:25 this (Monday) morning. Witnesses report the rocket lifted off, but soon nosed down and either self-destructed or hit the ground and exploded.
As of 5:00 there has been no comment from the Alaska Aerospace Corporation or the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command.
As founder and president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation ( MRFF), a civil rights organization founded in 2005 to combat unconstitutional proselytizing in the U.S. Armed Forces, I don’t shock easily. However, a recent, truly SHOCKING allegation and charge by the American Family Association’s “Director of Issues Analysis” Bryan Fischer has parachuted well beyond the realm of error, landing roughly along the porous frontier separating blithering idiocy from criminal insanity. This fundamentalist Christian monster is a liar and I will prove it.
Recently, devastating reports dating back to 2010 have shown that athletes at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) have participated in wild benders off campus involving binge drinking, drug use, sexual assaults, gang rapes and all manners of debauchery unbecoming of Academy cadets (indeed, unbecoming of human beings). Investigations at USAFA (which is my alma mater and the alma mater of four of my children) implicated 32 cadets, half of whom were football players and three of whom were later court-martialed and expelled. This news comes after the Academy was humiliated by a report released in January 2014 which showed that a massive 45 reports of sexual assaults came from USAFA in 2012-2013, compared to 15 at the U.S. Naval Academy and 10 at West Point.
The U.S. is considering rotating more fighter jets and bombers through northern Australia as part of steps to deepen its defense ties with Asia-Pacific allies.
According to briefing notes reviewed by The Wall Street Journal ahead of a visit by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the plan is for more aircraft rotations at an Australian military air base near Darwin.
Australia’s defense minister, David Johnston, will discuss the plan this week as part of broader talks including proposals for a larger ballistic-missile defense shield for U.S. allies in Asia.
Since first running into TrackingPoint at CES 2013, we’ve kept tabs on the Austin-based company and its Linux-powered rifles, which it collectively calls “Precision Guided Firearms,” or PGFs. We got to spend a few hours on the range with TrackingPoint’s first round of near-production bolt-action weapons last March, when my photojournalist buddy Steven Michael nailed a target at 1,008 yards—about 0.91 kilometers—on his first try, in spite of never having fired a rifle before.
But big, heavy, bolt-action rifles were only the beginning, with the underlying idea being that the company would scale its weapons both up and also down in size. And, last month, we day tripped back out to the Best of the West range just outside of Austin in Liberty Hill to lay hands on TrackingPoint’s newest set of PGFs, the TP AR 556 and TP AR 762. Unlike the big XS-series long rifles we fired last time, these newest PGFs are semiautomatic carbines—the type of weapon that the media usually (and incorrectly) refers to as “assault rifles.”
But the smaller form factor wasn’t the only thing that TrackingPoint had on tap for our demo that day. Last trip out, the highlight was hitting targets at 1,000 yards; this time, we’d be aiming at targets a bit closer in… but aiming through a tiny wearable screen while looking backward, over the shoulder.
Russian strategic nuclear bombers conducted at least 16 incursions into northwestern U.S. air defense identification zones over the past 10 days, an unusually sharp increase in aerial penetrations, according to U.S. defense officials.
So, let’s remind ourselves since our “journalists” and “professional editors” have forgotten since the China ADIZ kerfuffle…
An ADIZ is a publicly defined area extending beyond national territory in which unidentified aircraft are liable to be interrogated and, if necessary, intercepted for identification before they cross into sovereign airspace. The concept is a product of the Cold War: in the 1950s, the United States declared the world’s first ADIZs to reduce the risk of a surprise attack from the Soviet Union. Today, the United States has five zones (East Coast, West Coast, Alaska, Hawaii, and Guam) and operates two more jointly with Canada. Other countries that maintain ADIZs include India, Japan, Norway, Pakistan, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom.
Notice what they flew? Propeller driven bombers. Maybe we should keep some antique jets around to intercept the old bombers. Have a little old school airshow circa 1955.
Or this renowned hero of the skies
Kidnap kits. Not a plus in the HAMAS public relations battle.
Grainy but gripping, the attacker’s-eye images begin underground, emerging to open fields and blue sky. Lasting nearly four minutes, the video shows the assailants — faces blurred to prevent identification — exchanging fire with Israeli soldiers. They stand over one body and fire repeatedly at close range. One attacker triumphantly displays a seized machine gun.
The army has countered with its own brand of tunnel video, releasing almost daily images of specially trained troops gingerly dismantling booby traps and uncovering dark passageways.
The presence of the tunnel network has long been known to Israel; one was used to stage the 2006 attack that resulted in the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. He was held captive in Gaza for five years before being freed in a massive prisoner exchange.
But the underground grid’s scope, scale and sophistication, which has become clear over the course of the current offensive, has caught many by surprise. Concrete-lined, with electricity and metal tracks for transport, the carefully ventilated passageways appear to have been designed as the conduit for both large-scale assaults and clandestine abductions. Israel says it has found “kidnap kits” consisting of handcuffs and tranquilizers in some of the tunnels.
He claims to have uncovered an Instagram account of a Russian soldier operating a Buk missile launch system on the Ukrainian territory.
He quotes the soldier thus:
“Sitting around, working on a Buk, listening to music, basically a good Sunday.”
The context however does not support this translation. The original can be seen on this screenshot (courtesy of Backwoods Sleuth):
Notice two things:
1. The word “буке” (“buke”) starts with a small letter. In fact, the whole sentence is not capitalized. Therefore 2 interpretations of this word are possible - either it means a laptop computer “noutbuk” = “buk” (this not the abbreviation that I would use, I prefer “nout”, but the fact remains that many do use it). Or it could indeed mean Buk-the missile launcher.
2. The word in question is immediately followed by an Android emoji “personal computer”. Just as the word “music” is followed by an emoji meaning “speaker with three sound waves”. Note: you will probably only see them in your browser if you’re on an Android device.
So in the end it’s “we’re working on a laptop” instead of “on a missile launcher”.
The soldier’s comments under some other photos (like his usage of the #бтр = “APC” tag) make clear that his vehicle is an APC. Under one photo he wrote: “my APC[,] [we’re] sitting around doing nothing #excercises2014”.
Unfortunately, this mistranslation has spread like wildfire and after it is inevitably refuted, this faux pas will make it easier for some to dismiss the evidence from social networks about the role of the Russian military in the conflict, and such evidence is, in fact, in abundance.
The unease among lawmakers surfaced during a recent hearing of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee where acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson presented the VA’s longer-term plan to improve access to care.
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., for example, asked about difficulties VA has in getting medical records returned from civilian providers, and monitoring the quality of care veterans receive in the private sector.
“One of the biggest challenges we have with purchased care in the community is maintaining continuity of care for the veteran,” Gibson said. “The ability to get medical-record information back and forth is a vital part of this, (to) ensure the quality of care. I will tell you, if the floodgates open, it will present the department with challenges.”
The Congressional Budget Office dropped an anvil of hefty cost estimates on both bills, to the shock of fiscal conservative among supporters.
It was announced last week that Air Force Lt. Gen. Lori J. Robinson has been nominated for promotion to four-star general and as commander of Pacific Air Forces, the first woman to lead Pacific Command, and the first non-pilot assigned to that large a command. This comes after 32 years of service in the USAF and being the Vice Commander Air Force Air Combat Command. Her promotion also coincides with a drive by the Pentagon to promote more women, in light of the numerous sexual harassment scandals plaguing the armed services, especially the Air Force.
You can read her bio here: LIEUTENANT GENERAL LORI J. ROBINSON
General Robinson entered the Air Force in 1982 through the ROTC program at the University of New Hampshire. She has served in a variety of positions as an air battle manager, including instructor and Commander of the Command and Control Operations Division at the Air Force Fighter Weapons School, as well as Chief of Tactics in the 965th Airborne Warning and Control Squadron. She has commanded an operations group, a training wing, an air control wing and has deployed as Vice Commander of the 405th Air Expeditionary Wing, leading more than 2,000 Airmen flying B-1 Lancer, KC-135 Stratotanker and E-3 Sentry in operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom. General Robinson was an Air Force Fellow at The Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., and served at the Pentagon as Director of the Secretary of the Air Force and Chief of Staff of the Air Force Executive Action Group. She has also been Deputy Director for Force Application and Support, Directorate of Force Structure, Resources and Assessment, Joint Staff, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C. Following this General Robinson was Director, Legislative Liaison, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C and prior to assuming her current position General Robinson was the Deputy Commander, U.S. Air Forces Central Command; Deputy, Combined Force Air Component Commander, U.S. Central Command, Southwest Asia.
Needless to say, Conservatives are not happy.
From the Washington Times
“non-pilot to manage the air force? Isnt that like hiring a community activist to be president?”
“If this women had any courage or was a military person through and through, she would refuse this appointment because she is unqualified and dose not want to put our pilots (and all service members) at risk with her incompetence.
If she accepts this appointment, given solely because she’s a women (according to the WH and State Dept. themselves), then no officer should treat her with respect.”
So now we have a glorified air traffic controller as Commander of Pacific Air Forces.
Welcome to the PC military.
“Gen. Robinson was nominated amid a diversity push by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and a general focus on women’s issues by the White House.”
Symbolism over substance, the liberal mantra.
My gaydar went off when I saw this homely woman the second I saw her.
She must be gay. That is the no. 1 qualification for any position in obama’s regime of frauds.
After all, it’s not really about commanding but political correctness and social engineering. All USAF pilots should refuse to fly until she is removed from that post.
And of course, on Twitter
Obama picks female, non-pilot general to head US Air Force in the Pacific. Next up: picking an aquaphobic to lead the Navy. #tcot
So the AF puts a non-flyer in charge of Pacific Air Force. That ought to cause some idiotic decisions. AF becoming a social experiment.
Feminizing, emasculating of military continues: female non-pilot now heads Air Force in Pacific. http://t.co/8P5NZhWnNx
But never forget, they support our troops.