Category Archives: ARMY TRAINING

Seasonal, Pumpkin Spice MREs Set For Release

Fall is arriving early as the Pentagon’s Combat Feeding Directorate announced the nation’s service members will be able to enjoy new seasonal versions of Meals, Ready-to-Eat (MREs), Duffel Blog has learned.

“The Directorate has worked continuously to update MREs to reflect the current preferences of our armed forces,” said Phyllis Ray, a senior food technologist. “We’ve seen an odd trend recently showing our warfighters prefer foods that actually taste good and reflect seasonal foods American’s enjoy back home.”

Ray went on to elaborate that a breakthrough in food preservation and barista technologies have allowed the Directorate to concoct the next generation of MRE flavors.

The following seasonal MREs are scheduled to be rolled out this fall:

Pumpkin Spice Taco Pasta

Spiced Chai Black Beans

Lasagna Latte

Venti-tarian Delight

via Seasonal, Pumpkin Spice MREs Set For Release.

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Yesterday, ATAC lost another pilot and Hawker Hunter in a mishap near Pt. Mugu. It’s too soon to speculate what the cause might be. But the incident is drawing attention from the public, so I’ll share what I wrote two and a half years ago.


Airborne Tactical Advantage Company. Lex was flying for them when he was killed. And tragically, CAPT Thomas Bennett was killed on May 18 flying for them as well. Now, anytime two accidents occur, heightened scrutiny of the organization is justified. But an automatic assumption that there is something wrong with the company would be an overreach.

I have to be honest here, I really hate writing anything having to do with the loss of an aircrew, but having done two of these with the Airborne Tactical Advantage Company in the headline within the last three months is pretty miserable. I have spent multiple days with the ATAC team at their NAWS Point Mugu operating location. These visits were in preparation for writing and shooting a large expose on the company for Combat Aircraft Magazine. I am lucky to be able to get around to quite a few military units across the US and I have to say, what ATAC does and how they do it is pretty damn amazing.

ATAC utilizes older fast jet aircraft than those that you would find in the active duty military, yet despite their age they are in pristine condition. Further, the ATAC fleet does not consist of just a few vintage jet trainers, it’s literally a full-sized aggressor wing, with aircraft based around the globe. As far as the talent involved in ATAC’s operations, the firm is stocked with decorated fast jet pilots with thousands of hours of flight time. Many of which served as weapons instructors, commanding officers, or even as CAG during their active duty military careers. Additionally their pilot corps also contains reserve officers who are still flying regularly mainline aggressor squadrons. The maintenance folks at ATAC also clearly display a high level of expertise, many with long and distinguished military careers under their belt before joining ATAC. I am not an NTSB investigator, or claiming to have any knowledge of what caused the May 18th crash of the ATAC Hawker Hunter that was on approach to land at NAWS Point Mugu. Nor did I directly know Thomas Bennett, the highly decorated Navy Captain killed in the crash, but I can tell you that after many interviews with their staff and observing their day-to-day operations that I cannot praise this company’s professionalism and apparent commitment to safety enough. The whole team seemed very confident in their mission and were fully cognizant of the risks involved as well as what is at stake on a daily basis for the company.

Go take a gander, and see what this company provides to our country.  Two fatal crashes in less than three months is a bit of a red flag. But two different types, in different locations, under different weather circumstances tells us that there was likely little in common between the incidents. And you can be sure ATAC is doing an awful lot of internal looking to ensure that they are not setting themselves up for accidents.

I had the opportunity to briefly speak with the CEO of ATAC at Lex’s memorial. I was pretty impressed with him and his company’s dedication, both to their mission and to their people. ATAC has a prospective pilot applying for a flying position similar to Lex’s.  In fact, he was an acquaintance of Lex’s. So almost immediately after the crash, ATAC hired him with the mission to serve as a “Casualty Assistance Officer” to the family. Think about that. How many companies do you know that would provide that kind of support?



“Maneuver warfare is not a doctrinal choice, it is an earned benefit” applied to the Civil War? | To the Sound of the Guns

Well DePuy’s quote touched upon something I’ve long weighed in regard to Civil War operations. While the Civil War generals didn’t name it “operations” as we do today, they still practiced operations at the same level (just called it “strategy” or “grand strategy”). So mull over this notion:

Maneuver warfare is an earned benefit.

Robert E. Lee earned the benefit of maneuver after fighting seven days of hard battles in June 1862, and that benefit paid out with an advance into Maryland. Lee again earned the benefit of maneuver in the spring of 1863, which he used to advantage during the first half of that summer.

via “Maneuver warfare is not a doctrinal choice, it is an earned benefit” applied to the Civil War? | To the Sound of the Guns.

Craig weighs in on maneuver warfare.  All you fans of the American Civil War could learn a lot from following him.

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Another View of the Antares



Orbital’s Antares Launch Failure

They’ve had many successes. Don’t let one failure shut down the program.



Royal Marines 350

Formed in the reign of King Charles II on October 28, 1664 as the Duke of York and Albany’s Maritime Regiment of Foot (or Admiral’s Regiment), the name Marines first appeared in the records in 1672 and in 1802 they were titled the Royal Marines by King George III.

via Royal Marines 350.

Happy Birthday to one of the finest military organizations in the world.

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Cold War Naval Ops on Iceland

Warbirds News has some very interesting photographs detailing US Navy operations in Iceland during the 1960s:

One of VW-11′s Lockheed WV-2 Super Constellations at Ernest Harmon AFB.

One of VW-11′s Lockheed WV-2 Super Constellations at Ernest Harmon AFB.

From contributor Will Tate:

In November, 1963, after boot camp and Aviation Electronics school, I arrived at my new command, VW-11 (AEWRON Eleven). The squadron’s home port was Naval Air Station Argentia in Newfoundland, Canada. However, to maintain readiness for the ever-present Soviet bomber threat, the twenty man crews for our EC-121K Super Constellation AWACs aircraft spent two weeks out of every month deployed to a forward base; Naval Air Station Keflavik in Iceland. Our role was to augment the Distant Early Warning Line, or DEW Line for short. The DEW Line comprised a series of radar stations spanning the northern rim of the Americas out over the North Atlantic to the Faroe Islands. Along with other units, our squadron helped form an Airborne Early Warning (AEW) barrier in the Denmark Straits between Greenland and Iceland, and another barrier between Iceland and the United Kingdom. The DEW Line’s land-based radar stations throughout Alaska, Canada and Greenland were thusly joined with an unbroken link to stations in Iceland and England. The Navy’s AEW barriers would fill the over-water gaps round-the-clock for the next three years. While at NAS Keflavik, I was able to observe and photograph Navy and NATO aircraft operating from base.

There’s interesting photographs here of classic naval aircraft.

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