Iran reports, “Anti-ISIS” forces shoot down US helicopter supplying ISIS

FARS US Helo shot down

Iran’s Fars News Agency reported the Anti-ISIS Al-Hashad Al-Shabi militia forces shot down a US helicopter supplying ISIS.  It further reported US Apache helicopters airdropped food and arms to ISIS.  Fars published pictures of the shot down helicopter (see above). There are a couple of problems with the report.  First, the helicopter pictured isn’t a …

Fall of Saigon by Yankee Papa

Keanm crd by yp

We are on top of the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon.  A civilian (non-obligor reservist actually…) for almost five years when that went down, I still had a dim and very distant connection to that event.   At Marine Corps recruit training in 1968, my initial Series Officer (in charge of four platoons …

LEBANON 1958: Dancing Between The Raindrops By Yankee Papa

U.S. Marines and Lebanese Army personnel debark from the LCT (Landing Craft Tank) with one of the Marine Corps new ONTOS.  Lebanese soldiers expressed keen interest in this manual vehicle with its six 106mm recoilless rifles mounted on their own self-propelled chassis.  Lebanon 1958. USMC Photo

   The American had commandeered a Marine tank and a loudspeaker.  Pulling up to the gate leading to the Moslem section of Beirut he had the tank’s 90mm gun pointed into the quarter.  He announced through an interpreter that those who had taken the Marines hostage had three minutes to release them, their jeep… and …

Iranian raid kills five Americans. US response? Lawsuit

Vahid Salemi AP

Twelve men wearing US Army uniforms, armed with US weapons and riding in black GMC Suburbans passed through three Iraqi security checkpoints in Karbala Iraq.  Upon entering the compound of the joint Iraqi-American headquarters, the group moved with precision and purpose.  They attacked a US HMMWV guarding the entrance mortally wounding one soldier and taking …

US SOF Leaving Yemen, Unstated Ramifications…

USMC Photo

CNN reports that 100 US Special Ops forces, the last present in Yemen, are being withdrawn because of a deteriorating security situation.  This announcement should raise a list of questions, concerns and demonstrate some important truths. Why are we withdrawing completely from the administration’s only vaunted counter insurgency success?  One’s first response might be, “Well, …

Marines Defending New Vehicle

ACV at 2013 Maneuver Conference Photo by Will Rodriguez

The Marines were defending their number one modernization priority in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s Subcomittee on Seapower this week.  A “new” wheeled amphibious vehicle called the Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) is slated to replace the majority of the Corps 40 year old AAV-7 Amphibious Assault Vehicle.  GruntsandCo’s covered the ACV in its …

Iran, Er, “Iraq” Opens Tikrit Offensive

The commander of Iran's Quds Force, Maj. Gen. Qasem Solaimani, went to Baghdad this week. Shahaboddin Vajedi

Iran, Er I mean “Iraq”, surprised US officials with an offensive aimed at Tikrit that started a couple of days ago.  The composition of the offense, the manner it is being conducted, the lack of US involvement and the target all signal deeper truths about the current struggle going on in Iraq and Iran’s growing …

Soldiers don’t trust Generals, Army dealing with immoral leaders

Army officer cap device

Two dueling and paradoxically supporting reports surfaced today. The Daily Beast published a story by Rep Duncan Hunter reference the falling lack of trust soldiers have in their Generals.  The belief that senior military leaders have the best interests of their soldiers at heart dropped from 53% in 2009 to 27% last year.  He cited …

Operation Inherent Resolve is mostly conventional troops

1st Armored Div soldier, trains Peshmerga fighter  Kirkuk, Iraq, on June 14, 2010. - U.S. Army

Operation Inherent Resolve has been largely reported as a special operations effort to stop ISIS’ progress in Iraq and assist the Iraqis in taking the offense against them.  Not counting the significant Navy and Air Force conventional forces supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, the surprising and largely unreported truth is the majority of ground troops committed …