Monday, November 14, 2011

Former Marine does what we all want to do

Former NYPD cop Kevin Hiltunen tosses Occupy Wall Street heckler Adam Weissman out of Rep. Bob Turner’s Queens swearing-in event yesterday.

Kevin Hiltunen, a former NYPD officer, yesterday grabbed an Occupy Wall Street demonstrator by the collar and dragged him out of a Queens school where he’d been heckling US Rep. Bob Turner at the congressman’s swearing-in ceremony. “I guess you could say I sorted him out,” said Hiltunen, 48, his jacket and tie barely mussed after dragging the scruffy protester out on his rear end.
“All I was doing was trying to stop this historic occasion from being disrupted. There is a time and place to exercise your First Amendment rights,’’ said Hiltunen, of Bergen Beach, Brooklyn, who was identified by people at the ceremony as an ex-Marine.“This was not the time or the venue,” Hiltunen added.

Photos by Matthew McDermott

French soldier killed in Afghanistan

November 14, 2011 05:04 PM

PARIS: A French soldier has died after French forces came under fire from insurgents while escorting a logistical convoy in Afghanistan.
President Nicolas Sarkozy's office also said another French soldier was injured in Monday's attack on the convoy led by the Afghan National Army in the Kapisa province east of the capital, Kabul.
France has lost 76 soldiers in Afghanistan since 2001, including several in recent months.
About 4,000 French troops are taking part in NATO-led operations in the country. France plans to withdraw them all by 2014 - with 400 to leave by year-end.

Amazon wants to hire vets

BooRadley sent us a link to a plea from Amazon for veterans;, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) today announced that it is seeking military veterans to fill the tens of thousands of permanent and temporary positions in its nationwide fulfillment network. Amazon has long supported military veterans as an employer and was today named the #1 Top Military Friendly Employer by G.I. Jobs magazine.
In fact, someone emailed me the other day that they’re looking for exclusively veterans who are bilingual to fill some positions in Los Angeles. If you’re looking for work in the LA area and you speak you-know-what, drop me an email and I’ll try to put you in contact with him.
I don’t want to become a job placement service, but I’ll do whatever I can to get you people off of the streets and into a job.

Nov. 14., 2011. - ISAF Joint Command Evening Operational Update

ISAF Joint Command - Afghanistan
For Immediate Release

KABUL, Afghanistan (Nov. 14, 2011) —
A combined Afghan and coalition security patrol killed several insurgents and wounded one other insurgent in Marjah district, Helmand province, Sunday.

The Afghan and the coalition patrol received small arms fire from insurgents in the area during the operation. The patrol returned fire resulting in the deaths of the insurgents.

The wounded insurgent was detained and taken for medical treatment and further questioning.

In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout Afghanistan:

A combined Afghan and coalition security patrol killed two insurgents and seized a narcotics cache in Kajaki district, Helmand province, as part of an operation that occurred throughout the week. Armed insurgents approached the Afghan and the coalition patrol on a motorcycle while displaying hostile intent during the operation. The patrol fired, resulting in the deaths of the two insurgents. The operation seized 6,600 pounds (3,000 kilograms) of morphine base, a quantity of drug processing equipment, two AK-47’s and a quantity of ammunition. The drugs and weapons were safely destroyed on site.

In Nurgal district, Kunar province, a weapons cache was turned over to coalition forces by a local civilian.  The cache consisted of 28 various types of rockets and 29 cases for rocket-propelled grenade propellant.  All of the weapons were safely secured by coalition forces and will be destroyed at a later date.

Hamas complains to Egypt about Israeli strike

Palestinians look over destroyed police post in northern Gaza Strip, Nov. 14, 2011. An Israeli airstrike at a Hamas naval police post in Gaza killed a policeman and wounded four others, Palestinian witnesses and medical sources said Monday. (Xinhua/Wissam Nassar)     

GAZA, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- The Hamas authorities in Gaza complained to Egypt that Israel carried out aerial attacks last night and killed a Hamas officer, a statement from Hamas said Monday.
"We reject the (Israeli) occupation's treachery," the statement said, noting that the attacks took place despite a period of calm that followed days of violence. Egypt helped reach the calmness.
Ihab al-Ghussein, spokesman for Hamas authorities, said that contacts with Egyptian officials "aim at briefing them about the situation to communicate with Israel." He added that Israeli raids "can not happen this way" and that Hamas will "let the blood of our people bleed coldly."
"There are no reasons for this airstrike," al-Ghussein told reporters.
The attack targeted a naval police base in northern Gaza Strip. A Hamas officer was killed and four others were injured.
On Sunday, Israeli reports said Palestinian militants fired a rocket from the Gaza Strip. No Palestinian group claimed responsibility for the rocket fire, which caused no damage or casualties.
In October, Egypt and Hamas authorities persuaded militant groups to restrain after days of cross-border violence.

Coalition says Taliban 'security plan' is forgery

KABUL, Afghanistan — Attempting to embarrass the Afghan government ahead of a major national assembly, the Taliban on Sunday published what they called the government's secret security plan for the event, including details of troop deployments and cell phone numbers of security officials.
The Taliban emailed the 28-page document — which purported to carry the signatures of top U.S. and Afghan military officials — to McClatchy and other news organizations and published it on their website, saying they had obtained it from infiltrators in two government ministries.
But the U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force dismissed the claim early Monday, saying on its official Twitter feed that the "document doesn't appear authentic." It also said that the signature of a senior coalition commander, U.S. Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, on the last page of the document was "definitely not" authentic.
A spokesman for the Afghan interior ministry also dismissed the document as a fake; however, several of the phone numbers listed for Afghan security officials were authentic. U.S. officials had no immediate comment on the release.
The competing claims ratcheted up a propaganda war between the Taliban and ISAF ahead of the loya jirga, or grand assembly, which begins Wednesday in Kabul. If real, the document appeared to include details that the Taliban could have used to help plot an attack on the assembly. But if fake, it would bolster to the U.S.-led coalition's claims that the Taliban leadership is struggling to regroup after months of intensified NATO and Afghan military operations against its strongholds.
"The leaking of the security plan shows that important government officials are helping us," the Taliban said in a statement on their website. The group also claimed it was "a blow" to U.S. officials who'd argued that the Taliban have been unable to infiltrate the government of President Hamid Karzai.
Sediq Sediqqi, an interior ministry spokesman, said the claim was part of a "war campaign" by an insurgent group that's been weakened militarily. The Taliban previously had pledged to target anyone who participated in the assembly, which is expected to be attended by more than 2,000 politicians, tribal elders, businessmen and community leaders from across the country.
"The Taliban are under the full pressure of Afghan national security forces," Sediqqi said. "That is why they lied again about the security plan. They will never succeed in disrupting the jirga."
The plan doesn't appear to include any highly sensitive information, although it does describe a multi-layer system of security surrounding the jirga site, on a university campus in western Kabul.

It says that two rings outside the university would be manned by Afghan army and police, while inside the campus would be three rings of security checks by a government "VIP protection unit," the national intelligence service and, in the innermost ring around the tent, members of the elite presidential guard force.
The plan also says that U.S.-led coalition aircraft would fly over Kabul "intermittently" Monday and Tuesday but would provide "constant" air surveillance on Wednesday, the opening day of the three-day event.
It wasn't immediately clear how many Afghan government agencies or officials would have access to such a document.
The Taliban said that the publication was a response to the hacking of their website in July, when messages were posted claiming the death of Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, which the group said was untrue. It blamed the incident on the CIA and the National Directorate of Security, the Afghan intelligence agency.
Although U.S. officials believe the Taliban has been weakened militarily by coalition operations, the Taliban claim to have infiltrated Afghan government ministries and security forces. A coalition report in May found that there had been at least 26 suicide bombings or attempted bombings by members of the Afghan army and police against international troops over the previous four years, resulting in the deaths of at least 58 Western personnel.
As coalition forces gradually transfer security responsibilities to the Afghan government, the Taliban claim renews serious questions about the ability of the fledgling Afghan army and police to safeguard operational security.
Karzai convened the loya jirga mainly to discuss a future strategic partnership agreement with the United States and how to pursue peace talks with the Taliban. However, private U.S.-Afghan talks on the outlines of that partnership agreement are still in the early stages and U.S. officials expect little concrete progress from the meeting.
Karzai's main presidential rival, Abdullah Abdullah, said Sunday that he would boycott the jirga, saying it was an unconstitutional attempt by Karzai to circumvent the parliament.

Read more:

Taliban militants blow up girls school in Pakistan

Suspected Taliban militants blew up a government girls primary school at Swabi in northwest Pakistan, police said on Sunday.
The militants planted two bombs at the school in a village in Swabi district that went off late on Saturday.
Three rooms of the school were damaged though there were no casualties.
Taliban fighters have blown up scores of schools across Pakistan's restive northwest in the past three years.
The militants are opposed to the education of girls. Media reports say more than 40,000 girls have been deprived of education in the region.

AH-64D Apache Longbow Block III

The Army’s next-generation attack helicopter, the AH-64D Apache Longbow Block III (AB3), makes its professional debut today in Mesa, Ariz., and received a special blessing with some unique fanfare.
The White Mountain Apache Tribe joined the celebration by conducting a solemn ceremony at dawn that honored Apache ancestors and bestowed Indian blessing for strength and endurance on the newest evolution of this Apache helicopter.

Nov.02., MESA, Ariz - Inside a hangar against a backdrop of lights, fog, and looking as intimidating as ever, the first AH-64D Longbow Apache Block III (AB3) was revealed to the public for the first time during a Roll Out ceremony Nov. 2 at the Boeing Apache production plant in Mesa, Ariz.

Prior to the ceremony, a sacred blessing of the aircraft was performed by the White Mountain Apache Tribe led by Chairman Ronnie Lupe who is also a Korean War veteran, assisted by his executive officer Jerry Gloshay, Jr. and spiritual leader Ramon Riley. The blessing was steep in Apache tradition that included a prayer, a ‘smudging’ of the aircraft, the singing of two songs and a final blessing. The semi-private ceremony was held on Boeing’s flight line at dawn with approximately 30 attendees.

Apache Chairman Ronnie Lupe (middle) gives the traditional Apache sacred blessing to the first Apache Block III aircraft on the tarmac of the Boeing Apache factory in Mesa, Arizona. The blessing occurred at dawn just prior to the Apache Block III rollout ceremony.

(you can catch more hi-res images here)

Army Aviation’s leading general officers – MG Tim Crosby, PEO Aviation, and MG Anthony Crutchfield, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence – were on-hand to personally welcome this aircraft to the Army fleet.
So what makes the Apache Block 3 stand-out?  Let’s look at some hard facts:
  • Faster: Combat speed around 164 knots, about 20 knots faster than those currently in service
  • Higher: Ability to operate at 6,000 feet and 95 degrees at an out-of-ground effect hover with a full mission payload
  • Efficient: Re-manufacture program, that upgrades and furbishes existing Apaches with AB3 specific capability insertions
Essentially, the new Apaches will be stronger, faster and less constrained in extreme combat conditions.
Why is all of this important?  It’s critical that the Army continues to modernize the force by maintaining technical superiority over enemy forces as to ensure we retrain our fighting edge.
In need of more justification, look no further than the clip below that visually illustrates what capabilities AB3 will bring to the battlefield.

The first destination for the AB3’s will be at Fort Riley, Kan. – home of the 1st Battalion, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division.  Shortly thereafter, the fleet will held to Fort Campbell, Ky., as part of the Army’s first full-spectrum 101st Combat Aviation Brigade.
Now how does this aircraft support full-spectrum operations?  The AB3 will have Level IV functioning, which means the pilot can now control the flight path, weapons systems AND sensors on an Unmanned Aerial System.
All of these capabilities will once again demonstrate Army Aviation’s influence in the battlefield as a major combat multiplayer as it plays a critical role in future mission successes.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid possibly arrested in Afghanistan

Monday, November 14, 2011 – According to Afghan officials, Zabiullah Mujahid a spokesman for the Taliban militants group has probably been arrested following an operation by the Afghan security forces in eastern Paktika province.
Officials in the ministry of interior affairs of Afghanistan on Monday said, at least Taliban militants have been arrested by the Afghan security forces in eastern Paktika province.
Afghan interior ministry officials further added, they believe that the Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid is among the detained insurgents.
In the meantime, a spokesman for ministry of interior affairs of Afghanistan Sediq Sediqi said, Afghan security officials have started an investigation to find out whether Zabiullah Mujahid is among those detained during the operation.
Mr. Sediqi emphasized that it would be an enormous stroke for the militants group in Afghanistan if Zabiullah Mujahid was arrested by the Afghan security forces.
In the meantime, a spokesman for the Afghan intelligence agency, National Directorate for Security Lotfullah Mashal confirming the report said, a number of insurgents have been detained by the Afghan security forces, where the Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid is believed to be among them but emphasized that investigations are still in process.
Mr. Mashal further added, Afghan security forces have recovered a cell phone from a detained insurgent, which was normally used by Zabiullah Mujahid, the Taliban spokesman.

by KHAAMA press

Suicide bomber shot dead in capital Kabul

Monday, November 14, 2011 – According to Afghan security officials, Afghan security forces managed to recognize and kill a suicide bomber before he reaches his target to storm the Afghan national grand assembly camp in capital Kabul.
The officials further added, the incident took place around 2:00 pm local time near the Loya Jirga, National Grand Assembly camp in capital Kabul.
According to reports, the incident took place while Afghan interior affairs minister Gen. Bismillah Mohammadi was visiting the area.
A spokesman for the ministry of interior affairs of Afghanistan Sediq Sediq said, Afghan security forces managed to gun down an insurgent who was trying to enter the Loya Jirga camp in Polytechnic University of Kabul.
Mr. Sediqi further added, the insurgent was equipped with the explosive devices and.
This come as the traditional Afghan Loya Jirga, national grand assembly is scheduled to be held on 16 November 2011 to discuss the strategic pact between Afghanistan and the United States of America and Afghan peace talks with the Taliban militants.
The incident near the Loya Jirga camp in Kabul capital is followed by a series of threats by the Taliban militants to target the national grand assembly.

by KHAAMA press

One suicide bomber blew himself up in the Afghan capital while another was shot dead by security forces Monday. No civilian was injured in the incidents, an official said.

Another attacker was captured by security forces close to the Loya Jirga or grand assembly venue in Kabul, Xinhua reported.

'There were three attackers who got off a car just in front of the main gate of the Loya Jirga compound. The first bomber blew himself up,' an Afghan army officer said.

The suicide blast was not powerful. The second bomber was shot dead and the third attacker was captured, he said.

The traditional four-day Loya Jirga -- an assembly of tribal elders, MPs and government officials -- is going to be held within a couple of days.

NATO forces kill 4 Taliban militants in Zabul province

Monday, November 14, 2011 – According to local officials in southern Afghanistan, at least four Taliban militants including two Taliban fighters were killed following an operation in southern Zabul province early Monday morning.
Provincial police chief for southern Zabul province Gen. Fazal Ahmad Shirzad confirming the report said, at least two Taliban commanders and two Taliban fighters were killed following an operation by NATO-led international forces in this province.
The source further added, the operations were conducted by NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Sewrai district of southern Zabul province based on intelligence reports.
Gen. Shirzad also said, NATO-led international forces also seized some arms and ammunitions including motorcycles and explosive devices during the operation.
According to Gen. Shirzad, Afghan national police forces in a separate operation on Sunday seized some ammunitions and explosive devices in Shahjoi district of southern Zabul province.
Gen. Shirzad further added, the arms and ammunitions included 20 rounds of B-21 missiles, rocket launcher missiles and some other explosive devices.
Taliban militants group yet to comment regarding the two separate operations by Afghan and coalition forces.
In the meantime, a spokesman for Taliban militants group Qari Yousuf Ahmadi said, at least six NATO soldiers were killed following Taliban militants ambush in Shahr-e-Safa and Qalat districts of southern Zabul province on Sunday.

Timberlake follows through

can you remember this invitation video?

as you see on the picture above, as he promised, he was there

Justin Timberlake is a man of his word. The superstar made good on his promise after accepting a YouTube invitation to attend the Marine Corps Ball on Saturday night in Richmond, Virginia.
The singer-turned-actor fulfilled his promise and arrived on the arm of U.S. Marine Cpl. Kelsey de Santis, who asked him to be her date in a YouTube video.
Timberlake looked dapper in a black suit, white shirt and a snazzy bow tie as he made a grand entrance into the Greater Richmond Convention Center.

At his website, Timberlake seems grateful for the invitation;
I had the honor and privilege last night of attending The Basic School Instructor Battalion 236th Marine Corps Birthday Ball at the Greater Richmond Convention Center with Corporal Kelsey DeSantis…
I knew I would have an evening that I wouldn’t forget… Something I could tell my friends about. What I didn’t know was how moved I would be by the whole experience.
I’ve always been very vocal about my support of our Armed Forces. I’ve always felt like they offered us the opportunity to live our lives freely without the fear that so many other nations have to endure still to this day. And, they do it without asking for anything in return. I had this very feeling walking into this dinner. So, to say I was stoked to be there would be more than accurate.

24 Hours on an Aircraft Carrier

On 11-11-11, Veteran's Day, a basketball court assembled on the deck of the USS Carl Vinson for the Carrier Classic basketball game. But the action on the hardwood between Michigan State and North Carolina is no comparison to the teamwork that's seen here on any given day.

An ESPN Feature - 24 Hours on an Aircraft Carrier - Produced by Sharon Kum-Matthews, ESPN. Filmed and Edited by The Seventh Movement

ESPN Front Row - Behind the Scenes:

Nov. 14., 2011. - ISAF Joint Command Morning Operational Update

ISAF Joint Command - Afghanistan
For Immediate Release
KABUL, Afghanistan (Nov. 14, 2011) — A combined Afghan and coalition security force captured a Taliban leader during a security operation in Maiwand district, Kandahar province, Sunday.
The leader coordinated ambush and roadside bomb attacks against Afghan forces and enforced Sharia law throughout the area.
The security force detained one additional suspected insurgent during the operation.
In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout Afghanistan:
A combined Afghan and coalition security force discovered an improvised explosive device and detained multiple suspected insurgents during an operation in Marjah district, Helmand province, yesterday. Coalition forces observed multiple males emplace a suspected IED and depart for a nearby compound while conducting surveillance activities in the area.  After confirming the location and securing the IED, the combined force proceeded to the compound and detained multiple males for further questioning. An Afghan explosive ordnance disposal team was dispatched to the scene and destroyed the IED on site.
In Garm Ser district, Helmand province, a Taliban facilitator was captured and two suspected insurgents were detained by a combined Afghan and coalition security force during an operation, yesterday. The facilitator coordinated the movement of roadside bomb materials, weapons and suicide bombers for use in attacks against Afghan forces in the Garm Ser district.
A Haqqani network cell leader was captured and multiple suspected insurgents were detained by a combined Afghan and coalition security force during an operation in Musahi district, Kabul province, yesterday. The leader coordinated and conducted attacks against Afghan government officials. The security force also seized more than 100 pounds (45 kilograms) of illegal narcotics during the operation.
In Sayyidabad district, Wardak province, a coalition security force detained numerous suspected insurgents during an operation, yesterday. The insurgents were sought for questioning about their roles in recent insurgent IED attacks against Afghan and coalition forces in the area.

A combined Afghan and coalition security force detained multiple suspected insurgents during an operation in search of a Haqqani network leader in Pul-e ‘Alam district, Logar province, yesterday. The network leader directs attacks against Afghan and coalition forces.
In Deh Yak district, Ghazni province, a combined Afghan and coalition security force killed one insurgent and detained multiple suspected insurgents during an operation in search of a Taliban leader, yesterday. The leader operates a roadside bomb attack cell in northeastern Ghazni province and is responsible for bomb attacks against convoys in Andar and Deh Yak districts. During the operation, the security force was threatened by an armed individual. Responding to the threat, the security force fired, killing the insurgent. Multiple weapons were confiscated during the operation.
A combined Afghan and coalition security force captured a Haqqani network leader and detained numerous suspected insurgents during an operation in Chamkani district, Paktiya province, yesterday. The leader distributed rockets, firearms, and roadside bomb components, as well as, coordinated attacks throughout Sabari district, Khost province.
In Sabari district, Khost province, a combined Afghan and security force patrol discovered a weapons cache while conducting an operation to disrupt insurgent activities in the region. The weapons cache consisted of three rocket propelled grenades, two 82 mm mortars, 20 rocket boosters, 2 RPG tail fins, one rifle, one RPG launcher, one IED, and 750 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition, which were seized by the force for destruction at a later date

Sunset Overwatch

Staff Sgt. Brandon Hilker, infantryman with 2nd Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, Task Force Black Lions, provides over watch for explosive ordinance disposal team members and local police in the Orgun-E district of Eastern Paktika. Acting on a tip about a possible improvised explosive device from the local police chief, Zarif Khan, coalition forces moved in to identify and render the device safe. Located in a steep cliff overlooking a major road and surrounded by civilian foot traffic, the device posed a serious threat to the local civilians, Khan said.
Photo by Sgt. Charles Crail | 172nd Infantry Brigade | Date: 09.06.2011

click here for hi-res

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