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A Naval Hymn shared by the US Navy and the British Royal Navy. Lyric poetry as well as a hymn. So, take a break from the latest outrage du jour. The first video features the lyrics as sung in St. Thomas’ Cathedral in Portsmouth, England. The second video features a US submarine. Preview Open

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Join Jim and Greg as they welcome House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul’s vow to get answers on the Biden administration’s debacle in Afghanistan. McCaul says the administration has been stonewalling on providing documents on how U.S. intelligence was so wrong on the advance of the Taliban, the deadly attack on U.S. service members outside the Kabul airport, and much more. They also shudder as a new report shows the U.S. is dangerously deficient in producing new weapons to replace the many munitions we’re sending over to Ukraine. In other words, if the U.S. got involved in sustained military action, we could run out of key weapons in less than a week. Finally, they shake their heads as Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s solution to the wave of street vendor robberies is to tell them not to conduct business in cash.

Join Jim and Greg as they consider whether Republicans have a better shot at winning a U.S. Senate seat in Arizona now that liberal Rep. Ruben Gallego announced he is seeking the Democratic nomination in order to run against Sen. Kyrsten Sinema – who was a Democrat and is now an independent.  Can the GOP take advantage of a three-way race? They also welcome the news that White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain will be leaving soon after steering the Biden administration far to the left on many issues and then unconvincingly trying to spin us on the consequences of that approach. Finally, Jim breaks down the impasse on the Pentagon opposing sending M1A1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine and Germany refusing to send tanks unless we do.

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So waiting in front of the Bank of America Versateller to deposit a check. Two older women in front of me. Another woman, not so younger, standing next to me. See her shirt. USAF Iraq Support. Whoa, I think. So first lady leaves and she invites me in to go first. Being on old guy. […]

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Lies? What Lies?

 

Nobody expects the US to keep its promises anymore. After all, the world has changed drastically, woke agendas must be pursued and commitments to others that don’t directly support that agenda are a waste of time. We’ve lost so much credibility on the world stage that few countries probably believe we can be trusted anymore. Trying to maintain truth, integrity, and honor are just foolish aspirations.

So when we left Afghanistan in August 2021, promises we had made to the Afghan translators simply became inconvenient. Joe Biden didn’t care about the promises we’d made to the translators to ensure that they would get passage to the United States; all he cared about was getting out, regardless of the lives lost and those at risk. Even losing 13 American Marines was barely acknowledged. As a result, a pathetic effort was made to get Afghans out with no effort to make sure that the Afghan translators were at the top of the list. Although a small number of Afghans and their families managed to escape on the designated military plane, or due to their own efforts and those of NGOs, such as No One Left Behind, many were killed by the Taliban; many still remain in hiding in fear for their lives.  James Miervaldis tells the story:

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As we approach the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine one can debate the achievements of Russian forces or the achievements of Ukrainian forces. We cannot be sure what the Kremlin timeline hoped to achieve in less than a year. When the invasion began taking Kyiv appeared to be the goal. That has […]

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The Missing Man Table

 

Among the many ways we can honor our fallen warriors is the Missing Man, or Missing Warrior, Table. A recent article by the incomparable Salena Zito titled “The Empty Place Setting at the Table,” here,  discusses this poignant tradition and described some of the history behind it:

All across America, families of service members—those fortunate their family member returned home and those whose family member tragically did not—will leave a place setting at their holiday table for those who never came home.

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Author’s Note: This is the shortest day of the year. Old Jim Champagne would jump from his seat at the Amen Corner of the famed Willow bar and sternly tell us they are all the same length. There is also a bunch of stuff to talk about in the chicanery that is our Federal Government. […]

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Not a Bad Landing – Part 2

 

In Part 1, thanks to his quick reactions and those of our classmate “Fast” Layne Smith, Ltjg Greg “X” Hale survived a flight deck ejection after what should have been a normal arrested landing . The landing would have been his first “trap” (full-stop landing) of the day. The LSOs said he’d made a fine landing so what the heck happened?

As you may recall, they’d just finished replacing the #2 wire and “X” was the first aircraft to engage it. The investigation concluded that in the rush of replacement, the arresting gear operator hadn’t reset the proper landing weight for “X’s” aircraft. The result: when “X” caught the wire, it couldn’t slow him to a stop. Instead when his jet reached the maximum extension of the wire, he hit the end stop with a massive jolt (he was still going 60 knots!) and that sheared his tail hook bolt so that instead of stopping, the jet continued off the front edge of the landing area into the water.

When the tail hook bolt failed “X” was too fast to stop and too slow to fly. His only option was to eject – and promptly – before the nose wheel went off the end. The Air Boss saw the hook failure and immediately radio’d “Eject! Eject!” but “X” was way ahead of him. He’d already pulled the handle and the seat was shooting up the seat rails through the canopy even as he heard the “Eject!” on his radio.

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The war in Ukraine has not ended yet, and no one knows what will happen in the future. If you would like to prepare yourself for the possibility that the Ukrainians may lose, there are resources available to understand what happened and how the issues in US civilian and military leadership can be improved. Preview […]

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Not a Bad Landing – Part 1

 

I recently attended a reunion of the pilots with whom I learned to fly A-7s…This story is about an ejection that happened to my classmate Ltjg Greg “X” Hale during our carrier qualification landings on the USS Lexington (CVT-16).

In the late 1970s, the training pipeline for Navy carrier jet pilots required successful completion of carrier landings three times before you were finally assigned to an operational squadron. First:  at the end of Basic Jet training in the T-2C Buckeye; second:  at the end of Advanced Jet training in the TA‑4J Skyhawk; and finally, in your assigned carrier-based fleet aircraft (like the A-7E shown doing a “hook-up” touch-and-go).

E-2C Hawkeye

If you didn’t master this skill, you couldn’t fly for the Navy. Nor could you switch to another flight training pipeline to fly either helicopters or fixed-wing turboprops like the E-2C Hawkeye Airborne Early Warning aircraft. The only exception was the very rare case of developing a physical limitation that prevented you from flying with an ejection seat but did not otherwise inhibit your flying.

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So seeing Seawriter’s posting about the young Army officer fighting in the Philippines who eventually got captured brought back both my Dad’s stories about the great WWII history from the Pacific.  MacArthur told Rossevelt to take Pelieulie on the way to get him back to the P.I. as he promised. Nimitz said no. The quickest […]

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Code Talker: ‘I’m No Hero’

 

The other day my son and I went to Powell’s Books. They have six stores in the Portland Metro area. Fortunately, they have one of those stores in Washington County.

Powell’s downtown Portland store takes up a city block. Four stories and 77,000 square feet of new and used books.

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From a Radio Free Europe report: The blast in NATO-member Poland that killed two people was likely caused by a Ukrainian air-defense missile but it was Russia that was ultimately responsible because it started the war, alliance chief Jens Stoltenberg has told a news conference in Brussels. Preview Open

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