The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

Saturday, October 1, 2022

"The Green Dragon Put the Scare into the Viet Cong"

 I haven't done a Vietnam War story in a while, I used to do quite a few of them, I would bounce the material off my Dad who was a Vietnam Wat Veteran, I tried to be as accurate as I could, I wanted to honor those from his generation for the sacrifices they have done.  He didn't talk about his time in Vietnam until near the end of his life he got comfortable talking to me about what had transpired over there, he figured between his age, my age and my also being a combat veteran also made the subject matter understandable because unless someone has been in and  served like we had, then they don't get all what happened.  He was in the 25th infantry Division in his first tour, he was proud to wear that combat patch although I didn't learn more about what he did until much later and there are times I wish that he had talked to me sooner because there was so much that I still wanted to ask him, but so goes life.  When I was in the U.S. Army I was licensed to drive a M113 and a modified M548 Ammo carrier with a Electronic Hut mounted on the back.  I liked driving the M113, we in the service called the 113 a "Track", don't know what what they called the Bradleys, except Bradleys I suppose, but the 113's were called "Tracks", and they were fun to drive, except when you had to take them back to the motorpool and clean them...then it was several hours of wet dirty work getting the German mud off the equipment before we could park it and then see to the rest of our gear after maneuvers or coming back from the 1K zone.  If I got a bit of money from the lottery, I would try to buy one just because and of course a M151 Jeep....because I can dream you know.

   These are the Patches from my Dads Shadowbox, the  "Electric Strawberry" I think my friend "Old NFO" referred to the unit.  The Red one is a commercially produced one from the PX, and the green one was made locally by a tailor in Saigon according to my Dad.  

I shamelessly clipped this from an article from "Cherrie Writers" that was emailed to me, they publish stories about the Vietnam War from the Soldiers that were there.  I used to run these by my Dad and get his take on them and add his recollections to them before posting them.

The M113 personnel carrier, first exposed to combat during the Vietnam War, would join the Huey helicopter as one of the war’s iconic transports, but its legacy extended well beyond the conflict in Indochina. More than 80,000 M113s, built in a series of upgrades, saw action in engagements such as the 1991 Gulf War and the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. They served not only with American forces but with allied nations as well. Although another armored troop carrier, the M2 Bradley, was introduced in 1981, the M113 remained in the U.S. Army’s ranks and is just now being replaced with new “armored multipurpose vehicles.”

The introduction of mechanized units changed the way the war in Vietnam was fought. When the first M113s for the 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry, arrived in January 1967, battalion commander Lt. Col. Louis J. North said the troop carrier would “enhance the mobility and shock action of the battalion,” according to a unit history on the website of the 25th Infantry Division Association. North added, “It will simplify the problems of going into heavily booby-trapped areas and give us the ability to close in on the enemy faster and with greater firepower.”

Production of the M113, developed and manufactured by Food Machinery Corp., began in 1960, and the vehicle started its Army service in 1961. The first units in Vietnam went to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam in 1962. Run by a 209 horsepower Chrysler gas engine, the original vehicle was underpowered and plagued by other weaknesses. The highly flammable fuel was susceptible to firebombing, and the armor—while valuable against small arms fire—offered little protection against heavy weapons. In 1964, an upgraded version, the M113A1, provided a more powerful and reliable 212 horsepower General Motors engine that used diesel fuel, which had the added benefit of being less flammable than gas. The new version also had heavier armor, although land mines were still a real danger.

The driver and gunner on an M113 in the 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry, move through Ho Bo Woods in October 1967. (U.S. Army/National Archives)
The driver and gunner on an M113 in the 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry, move through Ho Bo Woods in October 1967. (U.S. Army/National Archives)

“Between November 1967 and March 1970, for example, mines accounted for 73 percent of all vehicle losses, including 1,342 M113s,” wrote Col. William T. Nuckols Jr. and Army historian Robert S. Cameron in the January-March 2016 issue of the Army publication Armor. They described the vehicle as “essentially an aluminum box on tracks,” unable to withstand explosive blasts. Some troops who have ridden in M113s called them “beer cans.”

The soldiers inside would place full sandbags on the vehicle floor to provide a little more protection if they hit a mine, recalled Jon Hovde, who drove an M113 in the 4th Battalion’s Company A and wrote a memoir, Left for Dead: A Second Life after Vietnam. Many troops preferred to take their chances riding on top rather than being trapped inside during an explosion from a land mine or rocket-propelled grenade. Outside, the commander, operating the machine gun, was in a particularly vulnerable position, Hovde and others point out, because he was an obvious first target for an enemy RPG.

The standard weapon on the vehicle was an M2 .50-caliber heavy machine gun, but smaller M60 7.62 mm machine guns were also installed on some vehicles. Those machine guns were the M113’s only firepower except for the individual weapons of the soldiers being transported. When they made contact with the enemy, the infantrymen dismounted from the vehicle and fought on foot, and the M113s moved side by side in a defensive position. Machine gunners on the vehicles provided overlapping fire, while the driver stayed ready for the returning fighters and the next movement.

Infantry units weren’t the only ones to use the M113. Cavalry troops mounted them as well. Although the vehicle was the same, the missions were different. The work of the mechanized infantry was much like the mission of the walking, “straight leg,” infantry—maneuver into position to engage the enemy and hold ground—but mechanized infantry could get the job done faster. Cavalrymen in M113s, designated armored cavalry units, were “scouts on steroids,” the eyes and ears of a much larger contingent of heavy armor (tanks).

The 4th Battalion of the 23rd Infantry received its deployment orders for Vietnam on Dec. 17, 1965, and was attached to 25th Infantry Division.

Though trained as a mechanized unit, the Alaska-based battalion shipped out as a leg unit because its M113s weren’t in Vietnam yet. The 4th Battalion reached Vietnam on April 29, 1966, but didn’t get M113s until December when 93 arrived for U.S. forces.

The 25th Infantry Division’s headquarters in Vietnam was about 25 miles northwest of Saigon near the village of Cu Chi, in an area of abandoned French rubber plantations. The camp grew into one of the largest and most fortified U.S. installations in Vietnam, covering 1,500 acres within a 6-mile perimeter. It had a field hospital, supply and ammo depots, and maintenance areas, along with sports fields, swimming pools and a miniature golf course.

Military planners chose Cu Chi as the site for a large camp in part because that location put the combat units stationed there—including the 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry—in position to provide a buffer against possible enemy attacks against the South Vietnamese capital. There was another reason Cu Chi was considered a good spot for a camp: The ground was fairly level, and despite Cu Chi’s closeness to the Mekong Delta, the area was not prone to flooding.

Those characteristics made the terrain ideal not only for a U.S. base but also for Viet Cong tunnels. Cu Chi was the heart of a massive, complex tunnel system. The first tunnels were dug during French colonial rule by the communist-led Viet Minh who were fighting for independence and later formed the Viet Cong to fight the Americans. The Viet Cong expanded the tunnel network—the most effective way to survive massive U.S. firepower. By the time the 4th Battalion arrived, hundreds of miles of tunnels crisscrossed the area, connecting villages stretching from Cambodia to Saigon.

Despite repeated efforts, American forces were never able to destroy all of the tunnel system’s connecting branches. The 25th Infantry Division’s camp was surrounded by hidden tunnel entrances and “spider holes,” camouflage-covered foxholes used for shooting at U.S. troops. It was very dangerous to leave the relative safety of the perimeter, and there were even tunnel entrances within the perimeter walls.

The camp was built on a former peanut plantation. Before the war, Cu Chi had been a vibrant area of intense agriculture. Villagers grew rice and cultivated fruit orchards and nut groves. They raised chickens, pigs and water buffalo. The land at that time was covered by great, dense masses of rubber trees, which had been exploited by French businesses, such as Michelin Rubber Co.

The war turned a vast green area into barren ground, pitted with bomb craters. The size and location of the American camp made it an attractive target for constant mortar and sniper attacks. The 4th Battalion was right in the middle of it. Hovde remembered that Company A alone took 20 percent casualties during his time in Vietnam. Cu Chi was one of the most bombed, shelled, gassed and defoliated areas in the country.

Hovde recalled the wartime conditions within the village: “The poverty there was unspeakable. There were children with no clothes and nothing to eat. There was an orphanage that provided some help to those children who lost their parents to the war, and we often gave a few dollars at payday to help care for the children. Most of their food was taken from them by the VC. When we found untainted rice caches, we would give it back to the people of the villages. The only problem was that as soon as we gave it back the VC would take it again.”

Before the M113 personnel carriers arrived in December 1966, the 4th Battalion operated as a straight leg unit in operations that were primarily search-and-destroy missions, starting with Operation Akron, initiated on May 9, 1966, followed by Operation Wahiawa, beginning May 16, and Operation Makiki, launched on June 3. Other search-and-destroy operations occupied the battalion throughout the summer and fall.

The unit’s actions picked up speed in 1967 as the men rode into battle aboard their new armored vehicles. The 4th Battalion’s first combat as a fully mechanized force occurred during five days in late January 1967 when it participated in the Operation Ala Moana search-and-destroy action. The battalion’s troops killed one Viet Cong, possibly four more and took four prisoners, according to the unit history. Additionally, they destroyed numerous bunkers, foxholes and tunnels, while also seizing 1,800 pounds of rice.

A succession of operations in the coming months kept the 4th Battalion’s M113s constantly on the move, including Operation Junction City (February-May 1967), one of the largest operations of the war against Viet Cong in the Saigon region, and Operation Manhattan (April-June 1967), yet another search-and-destroy mission.

During Operation Manhattan, the 4th Battalion was assigned to engineer units involved with jungle-clearing operations. The 65th Engineer Land Clearing Team employed 30 armored bulldozers to cut back dense jungle in the Boi Loi Woods, a hotbed of VC activity. The 4th Battalion provided security to the engineers, while still conducting searches to ferret out VC units.

The battalion was engaged in other land-clearing operations from June 1967 to early February 1968, this time to eliminate VC hiding places in the old Fil Hol rubber plantation, the tunnel-invested Ho Bo Woods and the Iron Triangle, a triangle-shaped Viet Cong stronghold northwest of Saigon.

Additionally, the 4th Battalion had to keep Highway 1 open. That duty was called “road running.” Numerous supply convoys moved up and down the highway to keep the military machine running. These supply trucks were easy targets for the VC, who often mined the roads and then attacked the vehicles with RPGs and sniper fire. Providing road security was considered “routine,” which the M113 troops discovered was a misnomer.

M113 Infantry teams advance into the bush. The personnel carriers often lined up side by side as they went into battle. (PJF Military Collection/Alamy)
M113 Infantry teams advance into the bush. The personnel carriers often lined up side by side as they went into battle. (PJF Military Collection/Alamy)

Godbout, as a mechanic, didn’t have to go on the convoy security mission at the end of December 1967. But after one of the convoy’s M113s broke down, Godbout volunteered to join the mission in the maintenance section’s vehicle, where he acted as commander. The other troops onboard his M113 were regular infantry soldiers.

As the convoy passed a small village about 5 miles from base camp, it came under fire. Godbout, manning the .50-caliber machine gun on his vehicle, took a direct hit from an RPG. The firefight ended when AH-1 Cobra helicopter gunships were called in and laid suppressing fire on the village. But it was too late for Godbout. He and three privates on his M113 were killed. Four others were seriously wounded. Godbout was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal and the rank of sergeant.

The land-clearing operations continued until the communists’ 1968 Tet Offensive, launched at the end of January. Still working in the Ho Bo Woods, the 4th Battalion was pulled from that operation and sent to bolster units defending Saigon. The battalion’s task was to help push Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army units out of the city and surrounding countryside. 

On the morning of Feb. 13, 1968, the 4th Battalion rushed in to reinforce the 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, which was engaged in a bitter fight with a battalion of NVA regulars in the village of Ap Cho, just south of Saigon. The 3rd Battalion, with the support of artillery and airstrikes, fought valiantly for 10 days but was unable to gain much ground against the larger and well-supplied enemy. The 4th Battalion began the slow push into Ap Cho, coming under heavy fire from RPG-7s launched from bunkers and spider holes.

By the evening of Feb. 13, still under heavy fire, the 4th Battalion had retaken about one-third of the village. Throughout the night a constant barrage of artillery fire hit the part of the village that remained under enemy control.

The following morning, with the help of the 25th Infantry Division’s M110 self-propelled 8-inch howitzers, the battalion took the rest of the village—a demonstration of a mechanized unit’s effectiveness.

Through March 1968, the 4th Battalion engaged in limited search-and-destroy missions and road sweeps to the north and south of the Cu Chi base camp to keep Highway 1 clear for convoy traffic. During a sweep on March 25, the 19 men and four M113s of a Headquarters Company reconnaissance platoon encountered the 271st VC Regiment as the enemy was preparing to ambush the 4th Battalion’s Company A. Though outnumbered, the recon platoon took on the NVA, facing down RPGs and recoilless rifles. After losing two troop carriers, the recon unit consolidated with Company A—and lost its two remaining M113s in the process. 

After hours of fighting, backed by artillery support and airstrikes, U.S. forces turned back the NVA attack. The 4th Battalion had shown again that M113 units were a strong addition to America’s fighting force in Vietnam, although there was a price paid: four M113s lost, six Americans killed and 11 others seriously wounded. Among the valor awards presented to the mech infantrymen were one Distinguished Service Cross, six Silver Stars, 10 Bronze Star Medals with a “V” device for valor and 16 Purple Hearts. The 4th Battalion was credited with 175 communists killed and a large but unknown number of enemy wounded.

From April 1968 until 1971, when the 25th Infantry Division was withdrawn from Vietnam, the 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry, participated in many such missions. Its ability to quickly bring the fight to the enemy won the battalion’s mech infantrymen high praise from both American and South Vietnamese commanders. The unit received two U.S. Army Valorous Unit Awards, the South Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm and the South Vietnamese Civic Action Honor Medal, 1st Class.

Dana Benner writes about history for regional, national and international publications. He holds a bachelor’s degree in U.S. history and Native American culture and a master of education degree in heritage studies. He teaches history, political science and sociology on the university level. Benner served more than 10 years in the U.S. Army.


Thursday, September 29, 2022

The A380, What Could Have Been.

 I clipped this from my work email from a 3rd party source, I get news and tidbits in my email about aviation happenings and future trends, I may be a Chemtrail Technician, but I do want to keep updated on what is transpiring in my industry. This article is an opinion piece,  I will add something to this persons opinion.  Emirates is a State supported Airline, they don't have to make money, they are supported by petrodollars, that is the reality that most airlines don't have is a "Sugar Daddy" known as a governmental entity that will subsidize them.  My employer and other American carriers before Covid had a huge squabble with the Middle Eastern carriers, it was called the "open Skies" agreement dealing with free trade, The threat the Middle East three carriers poses to my employer and other US airlines is a very serious matter. For more than a decade, Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar airlines have received over $50 billion in subsidies from their governments, in violation of Open Skies agreements that require fair competition. The subsidies allow these airlines to sell cut-rate seats without ever needing to turn a profit. That floods the international aviation market and forces other airlines out of important, profitable routes.  The CEO on one of the U.S. Carrier  has been quoted stating that within 10 years, one of the US majors will be out of business as a result of these unfair practices.  I tried to explain to people especially to people that never has been to the middle east, "It is not your country that determines what happens, it is your familial connection, your tribal connections, or what religion you belong to over there.  In Qatar for example, the extended family owns the airline, the airport, the airport services, and anything related to it, so they give each other the "Family Discount" and everyone else pays full freight plus a surcharge, it is the price if doing business in the Middle East.   Emirates is the Same way as are the other airlines in the Middle East, whereas here in the United States and Europe, the climate is much different, the governmental relationship is more adversarial."

     I view the A380 as a technological marvel, personally I preferred the Boeing 747, but the A380 is an impressive airplane and I have "Blogged about the A380" several times over the years.

Emirates aircraft on runway
Credit: Stefan Kruijer/Airbus

The Airbus A380 production line has closed, with the last of only 251 aircraft built delivered to Emirates in December. Now is a good time to look back on why the A380, though a favorite with passengers, was not successful commercially.

Explanations start in the cabin, where 10-abreast seating on the main deck was far too generous when compared to 10-abreast on a Boeing 777 or nine-abreast on a 787, the density standards to which almost all airlines have moved. While customers liked the extra room, they would not pay for it. No airline would push seating to 11 abreast, which is awkward, requiring a 3-5-3 layout.

A second feature that customers liked but that made the A380 less economically viable was the low noise level. Pushed by Singapore Airlines, Airbus designed the A380 to address that issue back when noise concerns around London Heathrow Airport were the driving environmental requirement rather than the carbon footprint. The result was that the Engine Alliance GP7200 and Rolls-Royce Trent 900 have a wider fan, and the aircraft has bigger, heavier nacelles than are optimal for fuel burn. If the A380 had been designed to minimize fuel burn, it would have been 0.5% more efficient.

The A380 also missed some key technologies and will be the last all-metal aircraft ever built. Carbon fiber is clearly superior, at least for the wings, though it is perhaps less critical for the fuselage. The metal made the aircraft heavier than it should have been, a problem compounded by carrying excess weight in preparation for a stretched version. The design and production delays, followed by slow deliveries, rendered the overall technology of the aircraft—particularly the engines—obsolete too soon. The slow sales did not encourage either engine manufacturer to invest in upgrades, a problem exacerbated by Airbus’ unnecessary and costly decision to provide a choice of engines.

The issues described here are not entirely market factors. The A380’s main problem was its inability to offer key features driving market demand.

Emirates was the only carrier that preferred the A380 over other options to the extent that it placed repeat orders, an acid test of a commercial airplane’s attractiveness. The aircraft works for Emirates because its average stage length for the A380 is low. Although used for some very long routes such as Dubai-Los Angeles, the more typical mission is 6-7 hr., to Europe or Asia. Emirates also often uses the A380 on even shorter routes, of a few hours, to the Indian subcontinent and within the Middle East. The A380 can compete on efficiency on dense routes of 7 hr., but not on routes of 10-12 hr., where the big twins are far more efficient.

Three changes would have been essential for the A380 to have been more viable commercially. First, it needed a stretch, perhaps of only 50 seats. Since adding seats would not have changed trip operating costs very much, the cost per seat would have decreased significantly. Second, to fill these seats with lower frequencies, operators would have needed to focus on leisure travel routes rather than business travelers. Finally, the aircraft needed technology upgrades or at least upgraded engines, the same recipe that has successfully been applied to the Boeing 737 and 777 and the Airbus A320 and A330.

When first launched, the Boeing 747-100 was not a big seller, but the stretched, reengined 747-200 was. With some different decisions and further investment, the A380 might have achieved similar success, at least in an environment not distorted by the disruptions of COVID-19.

Christopher Gibbs, senior advisor at Navier Consulting, served as Cathay Pacific’s engineering director for a decade.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

The Marine Corp has a weapons Maintenance problem..

 This ties in with a discussion I had with "Mack" Last weekend while we were at Hooters with him and Jackie, we were discussing the Rifles at camp and the new shooting sports director that happens to buy Hopps #9 by the gallon and yes he he is a Marine veteran.  I can't say too much, it almost was the same way in the Army when I was in, weapons cleaning was always a thing, even though the Rifles were spotless, we were always cleaning them...it was more of a "keep the lower enlisted busy, so they can't get into Mischief than any real purpose kinda thing"  With modern weapons you don't need to clean the $%#& out of it, you strip the coating out of the rifling and expose it to corrosion. My personal weapons( before that durn kayak accidents) I  would break them down once and a while, but usually I wipe them down and ran a boresnake down the barrel and and a spot of oil on the moving parts, and that was it and they were in excellent condition.  I shamelessly clipped this from "The Sandboxx"

The Marine Corps has a weapon maintenance problem

I can’t speak for the other military branches, but the Marine Corps has a weapons-cleaning problem. When I say that, I mean we clean our weapons too much. Too much, and often incorrectly, to adhere to the strict standards of the Marine Corps. The problem is complicated and tied to both the lower enlisted and the higher-ups. If the Marine Corps wants its Marines to be the most lethal warfighters, it’s a problem it needs to solve. As it’s known in the Marine Corps, weapon maintenance needs to be revised.

The problem with modern weapon maintenance

Keeping a rifle, machine gun, handgun, well, any gun, working relies on proper maintenance. Weapon maintenance is critical to the function of a weapon, especially in austere environments. We’ve fought for two decades in deserts, on snow-covered mountains, and in the worst places possible for modern weapons.

weapon maintenance in the military

However, the extent the Marine Corps engages in weapon maintenance can be completely detrimental to the weapon. Marines find themselves using improper tools to reach a standard. For example, Marines will often use hard, stainless steel brushes to clean their weapon. When used enthusiastically, these brushes will eventually destroy the finish of the inside and outside of your weapon.

A good finish protects the weapon and helps prevent rust. Without a good finish, the weapon’s long-term reliability will be in question. My issue M9 was almost more silver than black since the finish had been rubbed off over time due to excessive cleaning.

Your average lower enlisted will likely lose or break his issued cleaning kit. This will, in turn, cause them to purchase one, which is often the cheapest one out there. These cheap cleaning kits will often have stainless steel bore brushes that can damage the rifling, making the weapon lose accuracy and consistency over time.

Marines should use bronze bore brushes mixed with bore cleaner in their weapon maintenance.

Related: The APC9K: We get hands-on with the Army’s new SMG

Keeping it shiny

weapon maintenance in the military
Troops cleaning up their weapons.

Even Marines who keep their issued cleaning kits will find them lacking and may supplement them with tools to speed up the chore. This includes Q-tips and baby wipes. I’m guilty of this, as was every infantry Marine I knew. However, Q-tips and baby wipes come with their own problems.

Q-tips break easily and can break off or deposit little bits of cotton in areas that can disable the weapon. They can get stuck in all manner of areas in rifles, but especially in machine guns. However, Q-tips do make weapon maintenance faster, and they can reach into the spots that fingers and AP brushes can’t.

Baby wipes provided the quickest means to remove dirt, dust, and carbon. The problem with baby wipes is their low concentration of alcohol and very high concentration of water which creates rust and oxidation. In time, this gathers in small cracks and pits and eventually causes rust. Rust creates more little places for water and alcohol to gather and rust. The use of baby wipes creates a vicious cycle that will wear the weapon down sooner, creating a need for more weapon maintenance.

Finally, Marines will often turn in their weapons completely dry causing them to rust in the armory. A light coat of CLP prevents rust but can also be the reason a Marine fails inspection as CLP is slightly brown, so the weapon appears dirty when an inspector uses their finger, glove, or white patch.

Related: MQ-9B STOL: A new Reaper cousin could help Marines win the Pacific

Why is weapon maintenance a problem?

Cleaning guns on ships
Everything must be cleaned!

First, the Marine Corps culture demands perfection. If something can be cleaned, be it a humvee, a weapon, or a barracks room, it must be cleaned. This creates strict requirements for cleanliness. A weapon must be inspection-ready at all times. You never know when the commandant himself might bust into the armory and inspect the weapons.

To tap into that, lance corporals and PFCs can be lazy. Without the demand for perfection, things might be really slack. Give ’em an inch, and they’ll take ten clicks.

There is also a lack of education and clear objectives regarding weapon maintenance. You learn a little in boot camp, but it’s often sidelined in favor of drills, classes, and other training. Those cleaning methods are not retained in the feet, especially when the weapons go from rifles to machine guns, heavy machine guns, shotguns, pistols, missile launchers, and more.

How to fix it?

preventive weapons maintenance
Soldiers from the 414th Civil Affairs Battalion clean and perform preventive maintenance on their weapons at the Robert L. Poxon Army Reserve Center in Southfield, Michigan, Oct 19, 2019. Equipment maintenance is an essential task performed by Soldiers to ensure the Army Reserve maintains a high level of combat-readiness. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Robert Torres)

The Marine Corps needs to revamp and re-evaluate its weapon maintenance program, tactics, and techniques. It needs to provide modern equipment and do so in bulk. Cleaning kits are cheap, guns are not, and neither is losing a firefight due to a broken weapon.

The Marine Corps should consult with the firearms industry on the most effective means to maintain weapons. They should also ensure that the troops and command are educated on what’s important in weapon maintenance and how to achieve proper weapon maintenance. No one ever told me not to use baby wipes, steel bore brushes, or Q-tips. I learned it from higher-ups.

Ultimately, the Marine Corps needs to accept that parade-ready weapons should be reserved for parades. Additionally, Marines need to accept responsibility for the tools of their trade and treat them as such. It’s a problem that starts at both the bottom and top of the branch and should be fixed before we worry about adopting new weapons.


Monday, September 26, 2022

Monday Music "The Men of Harlech"

 I started this theme back in November of 2019?...With a couple of interruptions it has been consistent...Dang.


           Saw this meme and *rescued it from farcebook*, why? because I am a humanitarian, that's why.

I am continuing my string of "bugaloo" songs.  This discussion was started in the "Monster Hunter Nation, Hunters Unite", back in November of 2019? it is a Facebook group with enthusiast of the ILOH "International Lord of Hate" A.K.A Larry Correia.  We were talking about what song would we use if we looked out of our window or glanced at our security camera and saw this.....

One of the alphabet bois lining up to take down your house...What would be your "Valhalla" song and you would set it up to play as you load up magazines set up the Tannerite Rover, turn on the water irrigation system and fill it with gasoline instead of water and prepare yourself.

 I figured it would scar the alphabet boys if they come busting in and hearing a song from the 1990's, an excellent Music Decade where we had a President that Loved America and Distrusted Government and made the comment during a speech "The most feared words in the English language to a true American was I am from the government and I am here to help.." and we listen to good music unlike the crap they listen to now sipping their soi latte's and comparing notes on the latest soyburger recipes and who wears the best manbuns in the team. 

  Normally I do songs from the 1980's with other songs mixed in with it.  I decided to heed the martial side of my nature and use this song.  It is still on my bucket list to attend a "tattoo",

NOT one of these...

Nooo...something like one of these...

The Squids did really good on this...This was TATTOO
Norway 2013, and one of my favorite routines and it is on my
bucket list to go to Edinburgh and attend one.

"Men of Harlech" or "The March of the Men of Harlech" (in Welsh: Rhyfelgyrch Gwŷr Harlech) is a song and military march which is traditionally said to describe events during the seven-year siege of Harlech Castle between 1461 and 1468. Commanded by Constable Dafydd ap Ieuan, the garrison withstood the longest known siege in the history of the British Isles. "Through Seven Years" is an alternative name for the song. The song has also been associated with the earlier, briefer siege of Harlech Castle about 1408, which pitted the forces of Owain Glyndŵr against the future Henry V of England.
"Men of Harlech" is important for Welsh national culture. The song gained international recognition when it was featured in the 1941 movie How Green Was My Valley and the 1964 film Zulu

Men of Harlech is widely used as a regimental march, especially by British Army and Commonwealth regiments historically associated with Wales. Notably, it is the slow march of the Welsh Guards, the quick march of the Royal Welsh, and the march of the Royal Canadian Hussars (Montreal), The Governor General's Horse Guards, and The Ontario Regiment, for which it is the slow march.
It was first used for cinema during the titles of How Green Was My Valley (1941) and has featured in a number of other films. It is best known for its prominent role in the 1964 film Zulu, although the version of lyrics sung in it were written specially for the film. It is sung twice, only once completely, in the film (the British begin shooting the charging Zulus before the start of the final couplet), in counterpoint to the Zulu war chants and the sounds of their shields. Film editor John Jympson cut the scene to the song so that on either side of cuts where the British soldiers cannot be heard, the song is in the correct relative position. The song is also heard in the film Zulu Dawn, which is about the battle that precedes Rorke's Drift, the Battle of Isandlwana.

Rick Rescorla, Chief of Security for Morgan Stanley's World Trade Center office, sang a Cornish adaptation of "Men of Harlech" with a bullhorn,


                      Last Pic of "Rick Rescorla" on September 11 2001

 along with other anthems, to keep employee spirits high while they evacuated during the September 11 attacks. After helping save more than 2,700 employees he returned to the towers to evacuate others until the towers collapsed on him.
"Men of Harlech" was used as part of the startup music for ITV television station Teledu Cymru during the early 1960s and, until April 2006, in Fritz Spiegl's BBC Radio 4 UK Theme.
From 1996 to 1999, HTV Wales used part of the song for Wales Tonight.
Adapted versions are sung by fans of several Welsh football clubs and as school or college songs around the world. There is a humorous parody known variously as "National Anthem of the Ancient Britons" and "Woad", written some time before 1914 by William Hope-Jones.
Bryn Terfel recorded "Men of Harlech" for his 2000 album We'll Keep a Welcome


Saturday, September 24, 2022

Been Busy at casa de Garabaldi

 I have been really with life, Last week I was in dayshift in school in EWIS school, and it was actually a hard school,  EWIS is 

    This was stressed, We are not avionics, we can swap out boxes and sign off certain things, but they want me to get qualified in " CAT III Autoland systems" on certain airplane types. 

     The project I was working on,  I also added a Canon plug to it.  The project was to properly show how to route wires, plug and unplug, pin and unpin canon plugs in aviation applications.


 I have been very busy with work and was unable to post, last weekend I spend all day Saturday with the Boy Scouts running a range and got several boys qualified for the "Rifle" Merit badge...The Shooting part of it anyway. They still have to do the rest of the work, like identifying parts of the Rifle, the Safety Rules and parts of a bullet, ete. 
     I spent an extra hour shooting the rifles they had there just having a good time, it has been a long time since I spent time out there on that range.

And of course my phone charger that looks like and F150 was out there., then went to the "Blackbird cafe in Woolsbury and had supper there, haven't been there in a couple of years.


       On my first day off I was on Amazon Prime watching a movie called "Harry Brown" and it was a bit depressing, it reminded me of a phrase " No Country for Old Men".  It showed the decay of society where the old people are preyed upon and society don't care and the police are powerless to prevent it.  It kinda reminded me of my soon to be predicament as I get older, is this what I have to look forward to?  Was kinda depressing in a way, I see the lawlessness coming and the bureaucracy more interested in prosecuting the citizens because it is easier then going after the criminals, and this resonated with me.  in the movie "Harry" fought back and showed the young punks that old men are a reason to be feared.

        It reminded me of that meme floating around farcebook and instagram.,  There gets to a point where the old guys and gals don't care anymore, all their friends are gone, and they will start stacking bodies if people or .gov screws with them. 

"Shot with a cellphone camera, the film opens with a gang initiation, where a boy living on a council estate in South London is made to take drugs and hold a pistol. He is later shown joyriding with two others on a motorbike, harassing and shooting dead a mother walking her child, and then fleeing only to be killed by an oncoming lorry.

The eponymous Harry Brown (Michael Caine), an elderly former Royal Marine and Northern Ireland veteran, tries his best to be indifferent about his violent neighbourhood. He lives in a small flat at Heygate Estate in Walworth, London. He often pays visits to his hospitalized and comatose wife, but avoids cutting through a noisy public underpass under a local motorway, which is a gathering spot at all hours for a local street gang. Otherwise, he spends his days drinking and playing chess with his best friend, Leonard Attwell (David Bradley), at a pub run by Sid (Liam Cunningham), a shady Irishman who takes kickbacks from a pair of black marketeers, Kenny (Joseph Gilgun) and Stretch (Sean Harris).

Harry is awakened in the middle of the night by a phone call where he is informed that his wife is dying, but in order to reach the hospital before she passes away he must go through the underpass, but he is too scared to do so and arrives too late. After the funeral, Leonard confides that he is being bullied by some youths and shows him an old bayonet he now carries to defend himself, citing that the police would not heed his complaints. Leonard later wakes in his flat to find someone had pushed burning dog faeces through his mail slot. He goes on his balcony and curses loudly.

The next day, Harry is visited by detectives Alice Frampton (Emily Mortimer) and Terry Hicock (Charlie Creed-Miles), who tell him that Leonard had been murdered. Members of a local gang, including the gang's leader Noel Winters (Ben Drew), are arrested, but they refuse to answer questions about the murder and are all released due to lack of evidence. Noel is very abusive to the cops and refers to his jailed father as the local kingpin. Harry gets drunk after Leonard's funeral, and while walking home along a canal street, one of Noel's gang attempt to rob him with a knife; Harry's military training suddenly reasserts itself and he turns the knife on his drugged-up attacker, killing him.

Detective Frampton visits Harry again the following morning and informs him that because Leonard was killed with his own bayonet, the crime will probably be reduced to manslaughter on the basis of self-defense.

Harry decides to take matters into his own hands by becoming a vigilante. The following night, he follows Kenny from Sid's pub to a squalid house and manages to talk himself into a pistol deal. Inside, the drugged-up dealers are growing copious amounts of cannabis and making pornography, and have one of the girls abused in these videos on their sofa, suffering from a drug overdose. Harry asks Stretch to call an ambulance for her, but he threatens him instead, forcing Harry to kill them both. He then steals several handguns, burns down the den, and drives the girl to a hospital in the drug dealers' vehicle. He notices that the bag that he had picked up at the den contains an enormous amount of money, which he takes with him, after leaving a wad of notes for the girl, who is still unconscious. He later deposits this money in a church.

Over the next few days, Harry continues to survey the gang and underpass from Len's old apartment. He follows a major drug-trafficker to capture the man's nephew, newest gang member Marky (Jack O'Connell). Harry kills the man, then captures and tortures the young man into revealing some cellphone camera footage of Leonard's murder, proving the gang's involvement. Harry uses Marky to bait Noel and another gang member into a gunfight at the underpass, which ends with Noel escaping, but Marky and the other gang member are killed. Harry gives chase, but collapses after having an emphysema attack, leading him to be taken to hospital.

Certain that the recent violence is related to a gang war, Police Superintendent Childs (Iain Glen) orders a major arrest operation, unconvinced that Harry is the vigilante as Frampton has suspected. Childs tells Frampton she has been re-assigned to an Identity Theft Unit. The late-night raids on the neighbourhood result in a massive riot. Harry awakens and leaves the hospital, and Frampton convinces Hicock to help her stop him, but the two end up badly injured in a car crash in the riots. Harry rescues them and takes them to Sid's pub, where Frampton confronts Harry and tells him that Sid is actually Noel's uncle. Harry finds Sid and Noel in the pub basement and shows Sid the cellphone video. Sid appears to be apologetic but as Harry drops his guard with an emphysema attack Sid takes his gun and delivers a vicious blow.

Frampton is in the midst of calling for backup when Sid and Noel come upstairs. Noel kicks and pounds the already injured Detective Inspector. Harry is thrown on the floor semi-conscious. Sid decides they will kill the three and dump them outside as riot victims. Sid suffocates Hicock to death while Noel begins strangling Frampton. Harry then manages to draw a hidden revolver from his sock and kills Noel and Sid in return shoots Harry. Harry asks to be taken out of his misery but before Sid can finally execute him, Frampton's police backup arrives and he is gunned down by a police marksman.

At a news conference held after the riot, Childs states that Frampton and the late Hicock will be rewarded for their work, but denies the rumours of vigilante involvement in the entire case.

The final scene is of a seemingly recovered Harry walking toward the underpass, which is now quiet and safe and the gang nowhere in sight. The VoiceOver of Childs states the impressive decrease in crime due to police efforts in the estate
      I don't know if this is my future or not,  but it was kinda depressing in a way to watch, altough it was a good revenge flick and I do like those kind of movies, it resonates with my personality.