The first Marine death of the Iraq war has been avenged, 13 years later - We Are The Mighty
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The first Marine death of the Iraq war has been avenged, 13 years later

The first Marine death of the Iraq war has been avenged, 13 years later


Over a decade after Marine Lance Cpl. Antonio “Tony” Sledd was killed in Kuwait — marking the first American casualty of the second Iraq War — the terrorist mastermind who was responsible has been killed.

The Pentagon reports that an aerial drone was used to take out two Kuwait men who were tied to Sledd’s death, according to Time Magazine.

Sledd was 20 years old when he was killed on Fylaka Island in October of 2002, about 20 miles east of the city of Kuwait. He and fellow Marines were training on the island, five months before the official invasion.

Sledd had been creating a makeshift baseball diamond during a break when a white truck driven by two Kuwaitis burst through the training exercise, opening fire with AK-47s. One of the men was Mushin al-Fadhli.

The 34-year-old al-Fhadli was killed in a drone strike on July 8 while he drove his vehicle through northwestern Syria.

The Times reports:

“Al-Fadhli was the leader of a network of veteran al-Qaeda operatives, sometimes called the Khorasan Group, who are plotting external attacks against the United States and our allies,” Navy Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement. He added that al-Fadhli also was “involved” in the 2002 attack “against U.S. Marines on Faylaka Island in Kuwait.”

Read the full article at the Times

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Intel

Watch Conan O’Brien train to be a military working dog

Late night host Conan O’Brien visited with Air Force working dog handlers and got into all sorts of shenanigans. He joked with the handlers, watched the dog chase down a suspect, and even tried to out-dog the Air Force’s canines.


You read that right. He tried to compete with the dog in an obstacle course.

Some of the obstacles went well:

The first Marine death of the Iraq war has been avenged, 13 years later
GIF: Youtube/Team Coco

Others, not so much:

The first Marine death of the Iraq war has been avenged, 13 years later
GIF: Youtube/Team Coco

Check out the full video below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2gYZza5coofeature=youtu.be

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Air Force builds up Alaskan F-35 fleet in ‘great power competition’ Arctic pivot

April 2021 marks one year since the Air Force’s first two F-35A Lightning II advanced stealth fighters arrived at Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska. Twenty-five of the Air Force’s fifth-generation fighters are now at Eielson, part of the service’s overall plan to turn Alaska into a “fifth-gen powerhouse,” according to an Air Force press release.

“We have come a long way since the arrival of the first aircraft in April 2020 to now,” Air Force Maj. Jarod DiGeorge of the 354th Fighter Wing said in the release. “Flying 24 sorties in one day barely eight months after first wheels down at Eielson. We are currently on track to achieve initial combat capability this spring and full combat capability next winter.”

Former Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James issued a 2016 “record of decision,” effectively establishing Eielson as the home for the service’s Alaska-based F-35s. Additionally, the measure reactivated the 354th Fighter Wing and placed it at Eielson. The wing is slated to receive 54 F-35As in total and is on track to reach full capacity by March 2022.

The first Marine death of the Iraq war has been avenged, 13 years later
A US Air Force F-35A Lightning II assigned to the 354th Fighter Wing flies over Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Dec. 18, 2020. Thirty-five F-35As, F-16 Fighting Falcons, and KC-135 Stratotankers conducted an “Elephant Walk” formation showcasing the air assets located in interior Alaska. US Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kaylee Dubois/Released.

A strong deterrent in Alaska is quickly becoming a focal point of a renewed “great power competition” between China, Russia, and the US. In January 2018, Beijing’s so-called Polar Silk Road Arctic strategy declared China to be a “near-Arctic state” — even though China’s nearest territory to the Arctic is some 900 miles away. Additionally, Moscow and Beijing have agreed to connect the Northern Sea Route, claimed by Russia, with China’s Maritime Silk Road.

By 2022, Alaska will be one of most heavily defended airspaces on earth. When Eielson’s F-35 fleet is at full strength, Alaska will have more of America’s advanced, fifth-generation fighters than any other US state.

“America cannot afford to fall behind as other nations devote resources to the Arctic region to secure their national interests. America’s very real interests in the Arctic will only increase in the years to come,” authors Luke Coffey and Daniel Kochis wrote in a March 2020 report for The Heritage Foundation.

As Eielson AFB gets more F-35As, it gets closer to being fully combat capable. “It allows our aircrew to be able to train realistically without limitations and to accomplish their specific airborne requirements to be fully proficient in the mission and fly at a combat mission ready rate,” DiGeorge said. “Each and every aircraft we receive is also a projection of the wing’s airpower and furthers our ability to strike in a moment’s notice.”

Intel

This is how Singapore could strong-arm China

If you believe some reports, or breathless commentators, China is becoming an unstoppable naval juggernaut in the Pacific region. That may be somewhat overstated. Yes, China’s navy has become far more modern in the last ten years, but ironically, a country that is the size of the entire Washington D.C. metropolitan area (District of Columbia, Arlington County, Fairfax County, Alexandria, Montgomery County, and Prince George’s County) could bring it to its knees.


 

The first Marine death of the Iraq war has been avenged, 13 years later
A 428th Fighter Squadron crew chief member marshals an F-15SG fighter in front of the Republic of Singapore squadron May 6, 2009. The unit includes approximately 180 active duty and 130 support personnel as part of a long-standing partnership with the United States to train Singaporean aircrews. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Renishia Richardson)

Singapore is so small, about 25 percent of its combat planes are based in the United States due to a lack of space for training. In absolute terms, Singapore’s navy is small, with six frigates, six second-hand Swedish submarines, and six guided-missile patrol boats (plus a host of smaller combatants) according to the 16th Edition of Combat Fleets of the World.

The first Marine death of the Iraq war has been avenged, 13 years later
RSS Archer prior to its re-launch. (Kockums AB photo by Peter Nilsson)

China’s just in the South China Sea fleet is much larger, and the Luyang-class destroyers outclass Singapore’s Formidable-class frigates. Yet, Singapore has one very big advantage in any conflict – and it’s best summed up in that real-estate maxim: Location, location, location.

The first Marine death of the Iraq war has been avenged, 13 years later
This map shows Singapore’s strategic location between Malaysia and Indonesia. (CIA map)

 

Singapore controls the Strait of Malacca, the most critical maritime chokepoint on the Pacific Rim. The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) had a notable collision with a merchant ship near this choke point, which contributed to the Pacific fleet’s commander being passed over for a promotion.

 

The first Marine death of the Iraq war has been avenged, 13 years later
A Singaporean F-16D Fighting Falcon with the 425th Fighter Training Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo)

While a lot of merchant traffic goes through this chokepoint – so called because those who control it can choke the trade of other countries – the most important are supertankers. With its diesel-electric submarines and frigates, combined with modern F-15 and F-16 fighters, Singapore can shut down traffic in the Strait of Malacca.

The first Marine death of the Iraq war has been avenged, 13 years later
The Republic of Singapore Navy missile corvette RSS Vengeance launches two Barak missiles during a missile exercise in support of the Singapore phase of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT). The two missiles successfully shot down two U.S. Navy BQM-74E aerial drones, launched from the dock landing ship USS Tortuga (LSD 46). (U.S. Navy photo)

China may be a high-tech power, but one resource it doesn’t have a lot of is oil. Cut off the oil supply, and the People’s Liberation Army Navy isn’t going anywhere. Nor will the People’s Liberation Army Air Force or the People’s Liberation Army Navy Air Force. That is how tiny Singapore could put a stranglehold on China. It’s all about location – and Singapore has prime geo-political real estate.

Intel

Kids Hate MREs Just As Much As You Do

A local news crew was there when a group of middle schoolers got their first taste of MREs at Caruso Middle school in the Chicago suburbs, and it turns out they don’t really like them either.


Also Read: The Best Military Meals Ready-To-Eat, Ranked

The event was put on by the school council last year as part of their “Empathy Meal” program where students eat meals like those consumed by people of different backgrounds.

The school went for the authentic experience, with students heating their meals using chemical pads and eating on the ground outside.
The first Marine death of the Iraq war has been avenged, 13 years later

Students were assigned a meal, either cheese tortellini or pasta marinara.
The first Marine death of the Iraq war has been avenged, 13 years later

It was a communal meal and students, like the service members they were emulating, exchanged components of the meals.
The first Marine death of the Iraq war has been avenged, 13 years later

The popular items with the teens were, to the surprise of no one, the cookies and trail mix.
The first Marine death of the Iraq war has been avenged, 13 years later
Check out the full video.

And also, via Buzzfeed, it turns out adult civilians don’t like them much either:

NOW: The 13 Funniest Military Memes Of The Week

OR: The 7 Things That Bring Joy To Soldiers In The Field

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These countries still force people into their militaries

Conscription in the United States military — also known as “the draft” — ended with the Vietnam War. Today men and women serve because they want to, not because they have to, but it wasn’t always that way.


Throughout history, when a country waged war and needed a large Army, it turned to drafting its people. The U.S. applied conscription as early as the Revolutionary War by drafting men into the militia and state Army units.

But every time a government turned to conscription, it stirred controversy, exposing fault lines of race, culture and social class. Some say it unifies the country, others argue it tears a society apart. Despite the all-volunteer force of the United States as an example of defense without conscription, there are many countries which still use a draft in 2015.

Watch:

Intel

‘A War’ shows the complexities of ROE while trying to win hearts and minds

‘A War’ is an Oscar-nominated Danish film that deals with what happens in the field and on the homefront when warfighters are made to fight with restrictive rules of engagement. As much as the film is a story about one officer’s experience (and how his choices under fire potentially affect his family) it is also a commentary on the nature of the limited wars that members of NATO and ISAF have found themselves involved in since 2001.


The war in Afghanistan has been specifically challenging with respect to ROE. The enemy isn’t another nation-state. Some areas are more secure than others, but overall there are no front lines. Add to that the overall mission of convincing the local populace that modernity and following a western model of rule of law is the better choice over the savage and unmerciful nature of Sharia law and the draconian elements that come with it. The ability to win “hearts and minds” is heavily leveraged against avoiding collateral damage while attacking the enemy.

All of that distills down into an ROE matrix that requires the warfighter in the field to accept risk. This primary mission is keep the locals safe; it’s not keep your troops safe. And it’s not kill the enemy at all costs.

The first Marine death of the Iraq war has been avenged, 13 years later
Scene from the Danish film ‘A War.’

In all-out warfare unflinching ROE can be established, stuff like “if it flies it dies” and “everything east of this longitude is hostile.” In limited war the steps are complex and nuanced, almost like trying to build a case in a courtroom. Only a battlefield is no courtroom.

In limited war the fact your unit is under attack doesn’t give you carte blanche to defend yourself. “Positive ID” must be established. You have to be able to prove you know where the bullets are coming from before returning fire rather than destroying whole city blocks. You have to be able to tell “the pepper from the fly shit,” as they say.

Complying with this PID methodology gets harder when troops start dying around you. At that point you’re apt to do whatever it takes to make it stop.

And once the shooting does stop and you’re back in the antiseptic light of day, you will be judged on your conduct. You’ll be judged by those who weren’t there, and who probably never have been or ever will be there.

Such is the essence of the Post-9/11 conflicts. The harm into which we’ve sent our most recent generation of warriors is distinct from those who fought before them, and the respect they’re due is unique and equal.

Articles

DARPA wants your mess cranks to be robots

The first Marine death of the Iraq war has been avenged, 13 years later


DARPA is making your next kitchen appliance in the form of a robot named Baxter that can learn to cook your favorite dishes from watching YouTube videos.

Also watch: The 7 coolest high-tech military projects

According to DARPA researchers at the University of Maryland, funded by the agency’s Mathematics of Sensing, Exploitation and Execution (MSEE) program, recently developed a system that enabled robots to process visual data from a series of “how to” cooking videos on YouTube. “Based on what was shown on a video, robots were able to recognize, grab and manipulate the correct kitchen utensil or object and perform the demonstrated task with high accuracy – without additional human input or programming,” DARPA said.

These scientists throwing the calculus of “cooking is as much of an art as it is a science” way off. Perhaps one day having a personal robot chef will be as commonplace as having a toaster, microwave or blender.

“If we have robots that are humanoid and they have hands, that will be the next industrial revolution,” said Yiannis Aloimonos, University of Maryland computer scientist. “I am particularly very happy to be participating in this revolution because it will change fundamentally our societies.”

Still, it’s hard to imagine Chef Ramsay getting any satisfaction out of yelling at a robot on an episode of Hell’s Kitchen . . .

The first Marine death of the Iraq war has been avenged, 13 years later

Here’s the robot in action.

Intel

Here’s how you get prickly heat (and you avoid it)

The first Marine death of the Iraq war has been avenged, 13 years later
Photo: Sgt. 1st Class Michel Sauret/US Army


As if death runs, clueless commanders, and having no place to sleep weren’t enough, “prickly heat” intensifies all the discomforts of the field and takes it up a few notches.

Also read: 7 first-world problems only Post-9/11 troops will understand

Prickly heat is that very annoying rash that develops when you’re out in the field for days or weeks without taking a shower. The sweat glands become blocked when you sweat profusely and don’t allow the sweat to evaporate. The blockage occurs:

  • In areas between skin creases like the neck, armpits, and groin where skin touches adjacent skin preventing sweat to evaporate.
  • By wearing tight clothing.
  • By bundling up with heavy clothing or sheets that make it difficult for air to circulate. Yes, you can also get prickly heat in the Winter.
  • By using heavy creams that block skin pores.

It feels like pins and needles on the surface of the skin that only get worse when you relieve yourself by scratching. Prickly heat is actually the second level of heat rash. Heat rash levels are:

  1. Clear (miliaria crystalline): this type of heat rash looks like small, clear beads of sweat on the skin. This is the mildest version of heat rash and doesn’t produce many uncomfortable symptoms.
  2. Red (miliaria rubra): this is the most common type of heat rash and it’s the one known as prickly heat because of it’s intense itching and burning.
  3. White/Yellow (miliaria pustulosa): when prickly heat turns white or yellow it’s the first sign of skin infection and you should see the doc.
  4. Deep (miliaria profunda) this level of heat rash produces large, firm bumps on the skin. The sweat glands become chronically inflamed and cause damage to deep layers of the skin.

Luckily, preventing prickly heat is easy by maintaining good hygiene and keeping the skin cool and dry. This is easier said than done without the amenities of first-world living. In the field, this means trying not to sleep in your sweaty, dirty uniform and using baby wipes to keep yourself somewhat clean.

But in case you do get prickly heat, you can also treat it with calamine lotion and hydrocortisone creams and sprays, according to MedecineNet.com. Just make sure you pack it in your ruck.

NOW: 5 problems infantry Marines will understand

OR: Watch what life is like in the US Marine infantry:

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Vince McMahon gives veterans some great advice in candid Q&A

The first Marine death of the Iraq war has been avenged, 13 years later


As the Chairman and CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, Vince McMahon knows a thing or two about leadership, business, and being successful.

So when he offers advice, it’s a good idea to listen. McMahon did just that in a question answer session specifically for veterans in partnership with American Corporate Partners, a mentorship non-profit for vets (Disclosure: This writer went through ACP’s year-long program in 2011).

The full QA is worthwhile to read in full, but we picked out the best ones here.

On how to keep people motivated without stifling their creativity:

“One of my expressions is to ‘treat every day like it’s your first day on the job.’ When you do that, it either confirms what was done yesterday was right—or it gives you an opportunity to take a fresh look at something. I always ask our employees not to think traditionally in a non-traditional world.”

On what veterans offer to civilian employers:

“Work ethic, leadership, communication skills and time management, as well as the ability to multi-task and work under pressure are traits I believe veterans can offer any organization. At WWE, we recruit experienced talent from a variety of industries and pride ourselves on promoting from within the company.”

On what veterans should do when they are transitioning out of the military:

“Don’t just be satisfied getting a job. Determine what it is you really want to do and be passionate about it. Be tenacious and don’t take ‘no’ for an answer.”

On how to choose what to do with your life:

“My advice to anyone is to follow your heart and passion, and reach for the brass ring. You shouldn’t be afraid to try new things. This may mean working long hours in your current career field and then going into business for yourself in your spare time.

You’ll know when the time is right to make the jump in its entirety, but be totally prepared. You need a well-thought out plan of action. Obtain as much professional advice as you possibly can and don’t let your ego get in the way.”

Read the full QA here

 

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Marine vet/comedian Rob Riggle uses his star power to showcase veterans’ strengths

The first Marine death of the Iraq war has been avenged, 13 years later


Popular comedic actor and retired Marine Corps Lt. Col. Rob Riggle volunteered his time to star in a new public service announcement to help showcase the strengths of military veterans.

The PSA titled “What to Wear” is the third in a series created by Easter Seals Dixon Center, a non-profit changing the conversation about veterans and military families to highlight their potential and create life-changing opportunities.

The majority of the PSA’s production team were made up of veterans, including actor and Air Force veteran Brice Williams, who co-stars with Riggle, and director Jim Fabio, who currently serves as an Air Force Combat Camera Officer (all three are pictured above). Fabio was selected out of more than 50 directors — all military veterans — and was mentored by Hollywood producer-writer Judd Apatow during the process.

Learn more about how the project came together by reading Col. David Sutherland’s post on the Easter Seals Blog 

Or watch all three PSA’s on the campaign’s website

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76Gt1MYpmyw

Intel

The guy who made the handgun-firing drone is now under Federal investigation

The Connecticut man who rigged up a handgun with a drone for a now-viral video has attracted even more attention — from the feds.


The drone is illegal under FAA regulations, and 18-year-old Austin Haughwot is now under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration, according to Gizmodo.

The video, which was released July 10 and has over two million views so far, is allegedly what tipped off the FAA to the crime.

Watch the video again here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-5XFYIkz-w

For the full story, check out Gizmodo

NOW:These new mini-drones could revolutionize ground warfare

OR: There’s going to be a ‘Top Gun 2′ — with drones

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New annual rifle qualification to make Marines more lethal

Marine Corps-wide implementation will take place no later than the beginning of fiscal year 2022, with active-duty forces transitioning by October 1, and Marine Forces Reserve transition in FY22. During the second and third quarters of fiscal year 2021, Weapons Training Battalion at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, will provide training and assistance on the conduct of ARQ to formal marksmanship training units in order to facilitate the transition to service-wide ARQ implementation.

The ARQ includes a three-day course of fire. Day one includes a “holds day,” with the drill portion conducted first. Days two and three are pre-qualification and qualification, respectively, where the destroy portion is conducted first with engagements starting far to near in order to foster an offensive combat mindset.

The more operational training requires Marines to conduct the course of fire in helmet and body armor but allows the opportunity to use bipods, rest the weapon on their magazine, or rest their weapon on their assault pack as long as time constraints are met. Scoring is measured by lethal effects with destroying targets in the allotted time.

The first Marine death of the Iraq war has been avenged, 13 years later

“This enables the individual Marine the opportunity to engage their weapon system from multiple firing positions and find the most efficient way to utilize alternate shooting positions throughout the course of fire,” said Viggiani. “Our operating environment has changed over the years, so we had to make changes to our qualifications on marksmanship.”

Other significant updates include the incorporation of a singular target throughout the course of fire, with exception of a moving target at the 100-yard line, with a requirement to score by hitting “lethality zones” and the introduction of support barricades at the 100 and 200 yards, allowing Marines to shoot from the standing, kneeling, or supported position with stationary and moving targets. This transition from a competition-style course of fire to assessing lethal effects on a target is a significant change for the ARQ.

Similar to the Physical Fitness and Combat Fitness Tests, Marines must achieve a minimum standard in each portion of the course of fire to qualify in the overall assessment.

The implementation of the ARQ directly impacts the mission statement, “We must adapt our training in a manner consistent with the threat and anticipated operational challenges,” as stated in the Commandant’s Planning Guidance.

This article originally appeared on Marines. Follow @USMC on Twitter.

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