Sunday, February 14, 2010

Damn!

Ok this is off on a tangent but could you imagine fishing and running across this???
via the Daily Mail...

Best site for PAK-FA photos...

Paralay.com has provided the best images of the PAK-FA T-50 that I've seen on the web.  I'm sure our intel analyst have been down loading from it like crazy.  If you have even a passing interest in this airplane then you should check it out.  (These hi-rez pics are just a sample of what's on the page)

T-50's second flight video...

Ares blog ran a story covering the second flight of the T-50 back on the 12th -- here is the video of that achievement.

2nd Amendment Limits...

FEMA encourages citizens to have at least 3 days worth of food and water available at all times...in case of emergency.  The Texas Dept of Emergency Management gives the same advice. Many people witnessed the flawed response to hurricane Katrina and have gone further. Which leads me to this post.  The good folks at "Everyday, No Days Off" have a post on a Boston area man that has taken it to the Nth degree.  He has what Police are calling a stock pile of weapons, food, medicine and a few prohibited weapons (in this case - police batons and OC grenades).

The raging debate is whether this is over the top or simply good planning. Oh and note that the guys wife alerted authorities.   Also note that what the police are calling kevlar helmets appear to be simple riot helmets that are no better than a good rock climbing helmet and the kevlar vests noted are simply plate carriers...they're no good without inserts. 

Air Assault into Marjah...

War News Updates has been giving a running account of the offensive currently going on in Afghanistan.  One story in particular has me slightly confused.  MCCLATCHY Newspapers via the Miami Herald is reporting that an air assault was conducted with the LZ being in the center of the city.

U.S. Marines and Afghan forces were airlifted over the Taliban-laid minefields into the center of town in Marjah Saturday, apparently surprising the insurgents and taking strategic positions from them, according to military officials.
Although billed as a major confrontation between the international coalition and Afghan forces and the Taliban, the first day of the offensive in the southern Helmand province saw only sporadic fighting. Two coalition soldiers were killed, along with about 20 insurgents. It was the biggest assault since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001.
The helicopter airlift into the heart of the city of 80,000 started around 2 a.m. and allowed the troops to quickly establish 11 posts throughout Marjah, while the bulk of the 15,000-man force carefully picked its way over land.
Read the rest of the story for details but I'm pleased yet surprised.  Regardless of the opposition that is one helluva move.  From other stories it is apparent that the full weight of available air power is being used to support this operation---still---to land in the middle of your target location?  Gutsy.

Details of the number of Marines involved in the assault were not provided but it would have to be (in my opinion) at least Battalion size.  Typically around 800 men unless reinforced.  Would they have used an entire Regimental Combat Team? What would also be interesting is to find out whether the MV-22B was used in the assault.  If it was then this should silence those critics for good.

NOTE*OPFOR provided this account...
The first wave of Marines and Afghan soldiers swooped into the farming community of Marja about 2 a.m. Saturday local time (4:30 p.m. Eastern), their CH-53 Super Stallion transport helicopters landing amid clouds of dust on fallow fields. As the troops, weighed down with ammunition and supplies, lumbered out and set up defensive positions, AV-8B Harrier fighter jets and AH-1[W] Cobra attack helicopters circled overhead in the moonless sky.
Two more waves of troops touched down over the following 90 minutes near other strategic locations in Marja. Insurgents mounted scattered attacks on the coalition forces in the initial hours of the operation, causing no significant casualties.
At sunrise, hundreds more Marines and Afghan soldiers entered the area by land, using mobile bridges to ford irrigation canals -- built by U.S. engineers more than 50 years ago -- that have served as defensive moats for the Taliban. Heavily armored mine-sweeping trucks and specially outfitted tanks worked to carve a path through a belt of makeshift bombs buried around the town.
(Not only Marines and Afghans, but I believe the Royal Welsh Regiment is also knee-deep in the fight, reprising an old partnership that dates back to the Boxer Rebellion.)
This battle will, as BGen Nicholson stated, be a turning point in RC-South. And if the Afghan government can seize the opportunity and exploit the gains we win for them, it will be a turning point in the campaign.
Go get 'em!
I have yet to read about MV-22B's participating in the assault.  Pity.