Monday, May 23, 2016

DIY Insurgency

What happens when the capabilities that we give to special operators can instead be deployed by amateurs?

From Mike: Required reading for Threepers.

Ghost Fleet.

New Fast and Furious emails show Obama administration obstructing Congress

But there is no pressure for an investigation. Indeed, the entire Fast and Furious scandal is now ancient history, the press having concluded there was nothing there. No amount of new information will get the New York Times or Washington Post to reopen the files on the case, and the rest of the media will almost certainly fall into line. The Obama administration can claim success. They were able to stretch out their response to the investigation to the point that with just months to go in Obama's term, no one cares if the facts of the case are revisited or not. They conducted a classic Washington cover-up campaign that did as it was supposed to do: it protected the principals – Obama and Holder – from being held accountable for their stupidity and criminal activity.

Herschel Smith: Irrational Christian Bias Against Guns, Violence And Self Defense

You see, by invoking the police, Benjamin has said too much. He isn’t really a pacifist, he doesn’t really want to perish at the hands of criminals, and he doesn’t really take the teachings of Christ as seriously as he claims. He just believes in the same thing all progressives do – monopoly of force. The ugly little truth of progressives, including Christians who have progressive tendencies, is that they haven’t yet been able to turn away from the state as savior and protector, judge and jury, lawyer and arbiter. They are statists, and their reflexive tendency is to attempt to reconcile their statism with the Holy writ.

Valediction of a Three Percenter by Mike Vanderboegh

"Valediction -- noun, An act of bidding farewell; a leave-taking; a speech or statement made as a farewell." -- Merriam Webster Dictionary

(Note from Mike: As time gets close, I wanted to get these words out while my mind is still clear.  Don't write my obituary just yet, but these words needed saying.)  
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. -- Ephesians, Chapter 4, 1-6.
"I love my country, my God and my kind. I have served them all and I want no praise of song or prose." -- C.C. Sheats, Alabama Unionist
Valediction of a Three Percenter
For many years I have introduced myself as a Christian libertarian who believed in God, free men, free markets, the rule of law under the Founders' Republic, and that the Constitution extended to everyone regardless of race, creed, color or religion. As I take my leave from this existence, I must admit that the Constitution, as the Founders crafted it, is now or soon will be dead -- killed by corruption and collectivism and mostly by our own sloth and moral cowardice in opposing its enemies.
Yet if the Constitution is dead as an organizing and unifying force in this nation, the principles enunciated in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights can never die as long as there remain free men and women who believe in the Founders' vision. This is the essence of the Three Percent, that no matter how small our numbers are -- if we remain armed and determined -- we may yet preserve the flickering flame of liberty.
However principled, you must still be clearheaded about the realities facing us. We are on the brink of chaos that will make the agonies of the former Yugoslavia look like child's play. Anyone who believes otherwise is whistling past the graveyard of history. There will be no deliverance from the rigged game of national politics. If any of our traditional liberties are to be saved it will be on a local basis of community, county and church, secured by your own efforts, your own organization, with your own friends and neighbors according to the principles enunciated by the Founders. I envisioned the Three Percent movement with that local focus in mind, as a philosophy, a discipline, of the armed citizenry. I enunciated some of these in the Three Percent Catechism. The growth of the concept has been startling. Yet many of those who claim to be "Three Percenters" haven't a clue about the principles upon which the movement was founded. While the concept of a determined minority of the armed citizenry has continued to grow, so has confusion about the mission of the Three Percent and how that mission should be carried out. I summed up the Catechism in this way:
"These four principles -- moral strength, physical readiness, no first use of force and no targeting of innocents -- are the hallmarks of the Three Percent ideal. Anyone who cannot accept them as a self-imposed discipline in the fight to restore the Founders' Republic should find something else to do and cease calling themselves a "Three Percenter."
As said in the Washington Post just this morning by B.J. Soper of the Central Oregon Constitutional Guard: "If we're going to effect change it has to be done at a local level." Anything that takes time and resources from such local efforts is a waste that we cannot afford. At its most basic and irreducible, what the Three Percent movement was designed to do was to REBUILD THE CONCEPT OF CITIZENSHIP, one citizen at a time. This begins with you, with each and every one of us. Citizenship is defined by the dictionary as "the state of being vested with the rights, privileges, and duties of a citizen." Three Percenters are insistent about all three of those components of citizenship, that is why our collectivist would-be masters are so hateful and afraid of us -- we actually take citizenship seriously, as a way of life, and not just a word. This attitude makes us scary even to folks who silently agree with what we say -- we LIVE what they CLAIM to believe. But that is the difference between a citizen and a subject, between free people and mere inhabitants of a place. If I am remembered at all, let me be known as a citizen of the Founders' Republic.
Not long after my doctor gave me the final prognosis, I was told by a reader that I would be recalled as someone "who taught us how to fight on every battlefield." It was humbling to me for him to say so, but that is what a citizen does -- he fights on every battlefield to best of his ability and resources. And if after I am gone the Three Percent movement should prove to be my living monument, it will be because it is made up of citizens of the Founders' Republic, faithful to their vision and to God's will and purpose.
God has blessed me throughout my life with many friends and supporters. I could not have accomplished anything without them. They are all truly citizens in all senses of the word. I am proud to have known you. It has been an honor. Now I leave you behind on this battlefield to carry on the fight. I wish I could stick around but God seems to have a different schedule in mind. Your futures and those of my family -- all our families, our friends -- indeed our country as envisioned by the Founders as well as our entire way of life are in your own hands, yourselves alone, subject to the will and infinite power of God. God does not promise us victory. He does command us to stand. The Founders bent their knees in prayerful supplication to the Almighty. I believe that the string of improbable events that comprised the miracle of the Revolution can be ascribed to nothing less than God's will. He may yet provide others.
But absent a miracle, your victory will be won by citizens rising to the duties and challenges of citizenship. It will be won one citizen, one locality, one community at a time -- according to the example of the Founders, organizing fellow citizens in the light of Three Percent principles.
As for me I have tried to live up to the epitaph of Chris Sheats, an Alabamian who I long ago admired as a member of my pantheon of American heroes:
"I love my country, my God and my kind. I have served them all and I want no praise of song or prose."

Saturday, May 21, 2016

U.S. orders body armor plates from 3M

The U.S. Defense Logistics Agency has ordered 177,000 body armor plates from Ceradyne Inc., a subsidiary of 3M. The lightweight enhanced small arms protective inserts, or ESAPI, are inserted into outer, modular tactical vests to provide torso protection against small-arms fire. The order is worth $92.7 million. Deliveries are expected to begin this year.

Everything's bigger in Texas

Sunday Jams - Tito and Tarantula

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Apparently we can't even compete in armor crew skills.

U.S. Crews Fail To Place in NATO Tank Competition

Logistics, Necessities and Improvisations

AHC is running a series on "Against All Odds," about desperate fights throughout military history. Among these is the valiant stand of 2nd BN 120 Infantry Regiment at the battle of Mortain, France, in August 1944.
My interest was drawn to one anecdote from that action, so I looked for more details and found it here: 'Operations of the 2nd Battalion, 120th, 30th Infantry Division) at Mortain, France (Personal Experiences of a Company Commander)' by Major Ralph A. Kerley.
There are three points in this report that bear mentioning with relevance to today. The first is that there are some things that cannot be substituted for. On Hill 314, after the battalion was cut off, that essential item was radio batteries. According to the AHC documentary there was one artillery forward observer who had laid in an extra supply of radio batteries and in the end it was the only way the battalion had of communicating with the supporting artillery which in the end saved the position after the infantry had pretty much run out of ammunition.
By the end of the second, Kerley reports:
The last of the K rations were consumed at noon, ammunition was dangerously low and the evacuation of dead and wounded was impossible. This was one of the most serious problems confronting the company commanders. Communication with regiment was entirely by radio, and this contact was sporadic. Regiment was requested to supply by air some food, ammunition and medical supplies.
On the third day:
The 8th of August was fairly quiet. The enemy made no serious attempt to take the position. He continued his attack, by-passing the HILL #314. The observers on the Hill #314 had all round observation and made the most of it. The enemy supply lines and rear areas were constantly harassed by our artillery. The serious problem of food, ammunition and medical supplies still confronted the battalion. Radio batteries were rapidly weakening. In an effort to conserve the batteries, only one company turned on its radio at a time, with the exception of calling fire missions. Orders and information received from regiment was disseminated to the companies by patrol. . .
On the fourth day:
Attempts by the regiment and the remainder of the division to relieve the battalion had failed. The first gnawing pains of hunger and thirst were appearing. The ammunition supply had dwindled to practically nothing. Several of the severely wounded died during the night. . . In an effort to relieve the situation, supplies were loaded into two of the division by faster aircraft. Division tried next to schedule a flight of C-47’s for the supply mission. Finally, after four requests were made through slow moving channels, a flight was scheduled for 10 August. This information was relayed to the besieged men, but due to past unpleasant experiences with close supporting air, there was some doubt of success in the minds of the men. The enemy had no doubt been monitoring our radio and knew the existing situation.
Foxhole on Hill 314.
This was immediately followed by a German surrender demand, It was obscenely refused.
True to their promise, the enemy launched a strong attack at approximately 2015 hours. The battalion ammunition supply was so low, the enemy encountered little resistance other than our artillery. After the enemy had penetrated the position, the E Company Commander called artillery on his own position. This broke up the attack and the enemy took a severe beating. This success served as a ‘shot in the arm” to the sagging morale of the men on the Hill.
The survival of all the men on the hill had rested on the flickering of just a few radio batteries. Today's technology rests even more on portable power systems, especially batteries. Lesson One: Batteries are an indispensable item as much as ammunition. Yet there are many of us who are careless about this vital logistical element of success.
Lesson Two: Careless communication arms the enemy. This is so obvious it should not require explanation.
Kerley also provides a third lesson: Improvise, adapt and overcome. The air drop scheduled for the 10th was a partial failure:
Approximately one half of the drop landed far into the enemy lines, but at least, the battalion had some food, ammunition and a limited amount of medical supplies. One of the most important items contained in the drop was radio batteries. A report was made to regiment of the drop and an attempt to schedule another drop was made, especially for medical supplies. In the meantime, the S-3 of the 230th Field Artillery Battalion had an idea to relieve the situation. Ten rounds of M-84 (base ejection HC smoke)) ammunition were opened, and the smoke canisters and base ejection charge removed. The rounds were then filled with medical supplies, bandages, dressings, sulfanilamide and morphine syrettes. The steel disc in the nose was replaced to prevent the fuze, when detonated, from ruining the contents. Four other shells were treated likewise, and were filled with sand to approximately the same weight. These rounds were to be used for adjustment. The S-3 then made his intentions known to the men on the Hill and gave instructions for opening the projectiles. The adjustment was completed at approximately 2130 hours, and the medical rounds were then fired. None of these rounds were recovered due to ricochets and darkness. Even though the medical supplies were badly needed, the presence of food and ammunition served to raise morale to a new high. As soon as the mist lifted on 11 August, the artillery again attempted to fire in medical supplies. Six rounds were fired and all were recovered. This operation was only partially successful, however, the concussion being too great for the containers of the morphine and plasma.
Kerley's account (as with all military history) should be read for such universal lessons. -- Mike
105th Medical Battalion Aid Station (30th Inf Div) established in the vicinity of Mortain, treating casualties after the battle, Mortain, France, August 1944
Mortain after the battle.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Science is settled, man. Or something. Dammit.

"Futurist and Market Analyst Peter Temple says cycles show that the world is entering a 500 year ‘Little Ice Age’ and that the Dow Jones will crash 90% in value by 2020."

Need link to good gunsmith in central Ohio

Have a family member who needs a couple of jobs done by a competent gunsmith in the Central to northern Ohio area. The first is the replacement of a front bead sight on a Mossberg 500 cylinder bore barrel. The second, requiring much more finesse, is the restoration of a rusty Ithaca Model 37 heirloom that was gifted by their grandfather. Not looking for a museum quality job, just recovering the weapon's utility. Anyone having experience with a good one, please email us at the George Mason address.

"The Gurka RPV Civilian Edition, a street-legal tactical vehicle designed to withstand just about anything."

"If and when the apocalypse ever comes, it won’t be the meek who inherit the Earth. It will be whoever can afford one of these bullet-proof beasts: Introducing the Ghurka RPV Civilian Edition, a street-legal, 13,500-pound off-road vehicle designed to roll through war zones like a rhinoceros in a petting zoo. Built by Terradyne, a Canadian manufacturer of armored personnel carriers and light tactical vehicles, the Ghurka RPV can ram through chained gates and drive in water up to 30-inches deep. It can also withstand 7mm armor-piercing rounds. And it’s packing heat: the 6.7 liter V8 turbodiesel delivers 300hp and 660 Ib.-ft. of torque, as well as a top speed of 70mph. The only catch? It costs $278,000. But, hey, you can’t put a price on indestructibility."

Tacticool Tuesday - How realistic is your training?

Much appreciated Mr. Typeay for sending this one over on a Bob Owens article with some interesting questions:  They're using real bullets?

And the local news piece from Detroit:  New gun training program in Eastpointe uses real bullets, scenarios

The Big Idea for the range is introduce the trainee to approximate real life gun fights by ditching the Simunitions for real bullets. 

“For me, even having a ton of shooting experience, some of it – I don’t want to say goes out the window – but in a stress scenario you kind of stop thinking about all that,” says gun owner Stefan Bahri.

When you are in a high stress situation, your vision narrows, your heart races, your mind clouds and compartmentalizes into single blocks of information.  Assuming you have the weapon already on you, you see bad guy, recognize threat, reinterpret threat, brain signals to hand to reach for gun, you reach for gun, so forth and so on until you have the sights lined up and pull the trigger.  In the mean time your mind reels at the prospect of having to shoot another person.  You will always fall on your lowest level of muscle memory developed through training.  Always. 

That nice Kimber carry gun you throw on your hip on occasion to show off to your buddies but dare not shoot to lower the value?  It does very little for you when you need it.  That shotgun that you keep in the master bathroom, you know...just in case, you took to the range once.  You never cleared your house.  You never identified how many steps it takes to get to your living room in pitch black.  You never trained. 

This is also true for the BOB, BOV, route plan, martial arts training, expensive commo gear, food grinder, plow, you name it.  We keep these weapons and "stuff" around just on the off chance that it will be needed.  Might as well include some realism in your training to best approximate real world experiences.