Category Archives: Around the web

And so it begins- Saudi Arabia begins operations in Yemen.

Earlier today we told you that Iran was fighting a proxy war with Saudi Arabia in Yemen. Now it appears that Saudi Arabia has begun operations to roll back the Iranian supported Houthi rebels.

SANAA, Yemen — Saudi officials on Wednesday announced they had launched a military operation in neighboring Yemen, after Shiite rebels believed backed by Iran swept toward that country’s second-largest city and forced the president to flee.

The Saudi ambassador to the United States, Adel al-Jubeir, made the announcement on Wednesday evening.

Some parts of Aden remained held by forces loyal to President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who abandoned his refuge in the seaside city. But the troops appeared initially overwhelmed by the rebel blitz, suggesting the insurgents were close to taking control of their latest major battlefield prize, witnesses said.

It’s unclear just how far Saudi Arabia might want to push. They certainly wish to minimize their entanglement in historically messy Yemen, but still wish to address the threat to their southern border, and critically, ensure the strategic waterways in the area remain open.

Notably, there appears to be no US involvement in what just yesterday the White House defended as a success story in Yemen.

H/T to DKE for the news.

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Farewell, Concrete Charlie

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Sad news out of the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania.  NFL great Chuck Bednarik has passed away at age 89.  Bednarik was the last of the “60 minute” players, starring at both center of offense, and middle linebacker on defense, for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1949-1962.  He played on the 1950 and 1960 championship teams, and was known as a fearsome tackler.  Nicknamed “Concrete Charlie” for both his tooth-jarring hits and his off-season job selling cement (imagine an NFL player today having to work?), Bednarik most famously crushed the New York Giants’ Frank Gifford with a clean hit, knocking him out of football for a year and a half.

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Here’s a little treat where another tough guy, Sam Huff, and Bednarik, talk about the play, courtesy of NFL Films:

He also made the game-saving tackle of the Packers’ Jimmy Taylor on the final play of the 1960 NFL Championship game.  When Bednarik retired in 1962, he had his number 60 retired, and he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1967.

Chuck Bednarik grew up as a son of Slovakian immigrants, who worked in the Bethlehem Steel plant in Bethlehem PA.  He starred at Penn, where he also played both ways, and even punted on occasion.  He was a three-time All-America, and was drafted Number 1 overall by Philadelphia in the 1949 NFL draft.  He was incredibly durable.  Despite being on the field for nearly every play of every game, Bednarik only missed three games in fourteen seasons.  His fingers became almost famous, as well, pointing in all directions because of injury during his college and pro career.

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For his part, Bednarik did not think much of the modern game, believing players pampered and out of shape.  He lamented that nobody played both ways any longer, and that “specialists” who substituted on certain downs and situations showed how over-coached and under-skilled the game had become.

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Chuck Bednarik was also a decorated Veteran of World War II.  He enlisted in the US Army Air Forces upon graduating High School in 1943, and flew thirty missions as a waist gunner in a B-24 with the 8th Air Force over Germany, earning three Air Medals and four battle stars.  He was a legend, an icon, the prototypical American tough guy.  His like will not come along again.  Ever.  He will be missed by those who know the value of such men.

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Filed under Air Force, army, Around the web, Defense, guns, history

Intolerance

Of gluten.  Here is a primer.

It’s all about dogmatic feelings of victimization.

H/T Keith M.

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Filed under anthropology, Around the web, Humor, Personal, Splodey, stupid

Discounted Thanks.

So, Jonn at TAH had a bit that he found at the WaPo.*

This fellow Dave Duffy claims, in the Washington Post, that he’s a retired Army lieutenant colonel who is now an entrepreneur with a couple of smoothie shops. It sounds like he offers a discount to members of the military, but not their families. That decision earned one of his cashiers a rant from a family member;

Dave Duffy’s piece is here, and it’s a short read, and well worth it.

Every year, Applebee’s offers a free meal to veterans, and every year, I go and have my steak, and a Coke.** I tip the waitress generally about what the price of the meal would have been.

What I don’t do on Veterans Day is drive around to every establishment that offers a free meal or a discount and suck up a ton of food.

I always forget to ask for the veterans discount at Lowe’s.

I (eagerly) volunteered to serve. And twice a month, my nation expressed its thanks to me in the form of financial compensation.  That’s all the thanks I really needed. If someone wants to say thank you, and shake my hand, I’m generally left a tad discomfited, though I try to accept such thanks as gracefully as I can.

I’ll note that Mr. Duffy doesn’t even appear to offer a discount to veterans, only to first responders, and to those actually still in the service. Which is fine and dandy by me. It’s his shop, and his choice.

And his column appears to have been inspired by the spouse of a service member, more commonly referred to as a dependent. So let’s talk about that for a bit.

I’m the son of a dependent. Damn near all the moms of my friends in school were dependents. Even some of my teachers were dependents. If you serve in the military, a goodly portion of your social circle will consist of dependents.

And 90~95% of them are terrific people. They’re tough, resilient, independent (ironically, given they’re called dependents), supportive of their spouse and their spouses friends.

Then there are the others… Of course, in any large group of people, you’re bound to have some unpleasant people. People who wear their spouses rank, who game the system for every ounce of advantage rather than accepting that the life is an occasionally difficult one, who spread dissension and mistrust among the other spouses, and are just generally unpleasant.

They’re a large enough group that they’ve earned a moniker among servicemembers. “Dependapotamus-“ often shortened to merely Dependa.

Forgive me for stooping to low humor…

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For those businesses that do offer a discount to families of servicemembers and veterans, I feel for you whenever you must cross paths with the Dependa.

*Which, while still leaning far to the left, has seen great improvement since Bezos bought it.

**As much as I love beer, for some odd reason, when I east steak, Coke is my preferred beverage.

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Movement to Contact

One of the key battlefield tasks is avoiding being surprised by the enemy. The way to do that is to maintain contact with him. If contact is lost, it should be reestablished as soon as practical.

The way to do this is known as Movement to Contact. As the video explains, this is an offensive task. In effect, it’s something like a hasty attack, except you don’t really know where you’ll be conducting the attack.

Mind you, careful analysis of the terrain, and a fair appreciation of the enemy order of battle can often give you a pretty good idea where contact is likely. 

A doctrinal  here- to fix an enemy is to place sufficient fires upon him as to preclude him from either disengaging, or maneuvering.

While the video is geared toward the Combined Arms Battalion, Movement to Contact is a mission that can be conducted by light forces as well. Indeed, even Attack Aviation does it. The tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP) differ somewhat, but the fundamentals are the same.

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Filed under armor, army, ARMY TRAINING, Around the web

Those Who Know, Know… Part 2

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I almost spit out my coffee.  Carol is awesome.  Just awesome.  These days, she makes Shane look like Stuart Smalley.

H/T to Boston Maggie via Twiddah.

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Filed under Around the web, Defense, girls, guns, Humor, leadership, Personal, recruiting, Uncategorized, weapons

The President Talks Gun Control

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by | March 11, 2015 · 3:35 am