Thursday, January 31, 2013

Wings Over Houston

Well rotary wings that is.

After watching the news story on the helicopters flying around Houston (if the link is not working, go to, I wanted to make a few observations.

From The Videos

1. This was not just helicopters flying around Houston. This was a drill/exercise on assaulting a building (here it was a school) that is being held by a force of bad guys.

2. In the linked video, you can see the paint markers that the Opposing Forces used in the exercise.  I counted 15; there may be more, but the resolution isn't great.  That leads me to think that this was not a school shooting drill--too many shooters.  Also, an operation like this in a real-world event would require at least an 8-12 hour lead time to move the men and equipment, get vehicles setup, and so on. Recent active shooter incidents such as Virgina Tech, Aurora, and Sandy Hook all took a maximum of 15 minutes from the beginning of the criminal event until it was ended.  There would be no reason to even contact the military if an active shooter event had taken place. 

3. The air assault was conducted by a US Army Helicopter unit, the 160th SOAR. They are the only ones with black MH/AH-6M Little Bird helicopters. Other Army helicopters are green. I have seen the green and black helicopters sitting next to each other on an airfield.
4. Some have suggested that the army unit on the ground is DELTA, but it is most likely SF or  Ranger, not DELTA. First, they were in uniform, not plain clothes or black kit. Second, the news showed a brief clip of two soldiers taking up a tight 360-security position.  Delta is in and out--not a lot of hanging out and securing the objective. Again, that is based on my experience supporting the task force types.

5. This was most likely a joint exercise, but only to the extent that the Army had to communicate their operation to the local athorities and to get permission.  This was not a culminating event at the end of a class conducted by the military for local law enforcement on how to attack a building. If it were a class, you would have seen the cops flying in the helicopters and wearing their tactical gear. You would have seen more integration of the military with law enforcement.  In this instance, there were no cops anywhere--not city, county or state.  The HPD helicopter was nowhere to be seen. To me this points to an independent military operation.

6. These Guys Mean Business
The vieo of the raw aerial footage clearly shows a Little Bird helicopter armed with rocket pods. They weren't just there for observation.  They have dedicated observation birds. These dudes (the Army) had a scenario set up where they were going into a hostile area where they may have to strike a fortified structure either on or adjacent to the objective.  Otherwise why bring a gunship?

So, What Do We Know?

United States Army shock troops are openly training and operating with City of Houston police (not just the SWAT guys), on performing military--NOT “military like”--raids on buildings in Houston.

So Why Houston?

The Army did not need to use  the school, they have fake cities to conduct this kind of training, Fort Benning has a much better facility for practicing urban operations, let alone Fort Hood, Fort Bragg or any other post.

But Why?

I don't know and I doubt we ever will.
Tinfoil hat warning!!!
This could be seen in the same light as, for example, the US sending ships to the Korean peninsula
It is a warning
If this is a warning, it says that the President and the chain of command are not afraid to send a highly trained assault force into the heart of a red defiant state (or State) whose citizens have stated that they don’t like a big powerful government (and don't view secession as a dirty word), whose government is passing laws to protect its citizens' right to bear arms, and whose attitude stands as an example to the rest of the country, and take out a "terrorist" stronghold.

Wait that is CRAZY right?

Let’s Look at One More Observation.

This exercise was conducted in broad daylight!

I would bet my CIB that if this had been a real mission, it would have gone off at night!
Here are the facts:
1. They were attacking a facility, which means the enemy was in a fixed location and the raid likey could have occurred at any time the assaulters chose.
2. They are fully prepared to operate at nigh. All of the soldiers I saw were wearing night vision. In fact, the two soldiers pulling security in the field, who I mentioned near the beginning of my post, were wearing the new panoramic night vision goggles (NVG's) and  the helicopters are all equipped to operate at night.
3. It is safer and more tactically sound to conduct raids in the short hours of the morning. It’s when there is little to no activity on the ground, meaning less non-combatants to deal with. It’s when people are sleeping, making it less likely that the defenders will be at 100% security. It’s when people on guard are getting sleepy and sloppy.

These soldiers all train extensively at night. Yet here they are in broad daylight!
So, Why is this weird?
Trditionally when the army conducts training missions, they keep their involvement out of the public eye. This operation was in the clear.

My Final Thoughts

I think in the end, the Houston cops got to see some cool equipment and some high speed operators. Most people (99.9998%), observers and participants alike, think that this was just another training mission, just in another city.
I do, however, believe there are likely some people somewhere in the chain of command, maybe as few as dozens, that see this as a warning to the "domestic terrorists".
They may also see it as a reassurance to democrat mayors that may see their sovereignty threatened.
They may also consider it social engineering to the average citizen to teach them that if you see a military force you should not be worried.  They are not coming for you, so don’t get involved . . . nothing to see here.

Some things I never thought possible are quickly becoming actual observed history.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

And Away We Go

I got the guitar.  It is a handsome looking item.  Unfortunately the tag says "Made in China."  Why did I buy a Fender instead of a Yamaha if the Fender is not made in USA?

Anyways, Got the thing tuned up and I am following the lessons on this site.
All is going well. . . . I think.  I can play the D, A, and E chords and nothing else.  
I think I am doing well.  I can play for about 20min before my fingers hurt too much, but that is to be expected, and they should start to callous soon.  I think tomorrow's lesson includes playing a song.  Oh the joy!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Because if you Brought a Computer to a Camp Fire...

So, HH6 provided some counseling the other day which wan't too positive.

Seems that my family's desire to move away from "main-stream" has come into conflict with my love for FPS.  (no, not feet per second,but first person shooters)  Sigh.... Diablo III likely won't be good anyways.  

I took my counseling statement like every good joe does, but it wasn't easy.
Eventually, she got to the corrective action: I had to find a new hobby.  I told her that I always wanted to learn to play the guitar. She stated that while the video game budget was in danger of the axe, the budget for musical instruments is flush with funding and may be used in this instance.

Tomorrow, I expect to receive my new equipment, a Fender Starcaster acoustic guitar.  I found mostly positive reviews, but I will keep you all no-one up to date as I learn to play.
Better than my exercise routine that is.

That is all.

Friday, April 20, 2012


In a previous post I mentioned that HH6 has begun to apply pressure to the firearm-bar that she has me in, to get me to stop playing so many "violent" video games (which is basically every game I enjoy playing).

A couple of weeks ago she really clamped down when she gave the green light to start shopping in earnest for a full caliber (a handgun of .32 caliber or greater according to TxDPS) hand gun.

Our search began in earnest at Academy, where she was willing to handle the weapons I recommended and I learned that she did not want a steel gun.  Which meant no 1911's Sig 226's, Beretta 92's.

Soon after we found ourselves at Carter's Country, where she plied her womanly charms and yet again engaged in handgun handling.  There I learned three important features that the boss required:
  1. It had to be "curvy" like an M&P or a Beretta PX4
  2. It could not be too rough and pointy like an XDM or Gen 4 Glock
  3. It had to have a weighty slide with a point of balance over her knuckles
When we left Carter's Country I thought I had her pegged for an M&P in 9mm (more on the caliber choice later)...

So, we scheduled a date day which involved dinner, a movie, and a trip to the range.

We ended up shooting 200 rounds of 9mm through the following range guns (about 3-4 mags each):
1&4. H&K P30
2. S&W M&P
3&5. Glock 17

-All pistols were full size.

I fancy myself a bit of a gun snob so obviously the H&K was the bestest right? Sadly, no.
We both agreed that it had the most noticeable muzzle flash, loudest report, and most felt recoil of the bunch.

The M&P wasn't that greatest for felt recoil, but at least I didn't see spots from the muzzle flash.  Interestingly enough though, the wife and I noticed that there was a lot more unburned powder exiting the muzzle of the M&P, which turned into powder burns on the backs of hands and exposed forearms, and lead to pain when we washed up after our range time was up.

I had never really noticed unburned powder or had a problem with powder burns before that range trip.

BUT, that could all be due to the FMJ ammo that we bought at the range.

After dumping three mags through both of these, we got our hands on the Glock 17.
I didn't expect much of a reaction from HH6 as she was unimpressed with it in the store.  I figured we would have to track down a Walther P99 for her. 

Boy was I wrong.
Have y'all seen that scene in the first Harry Potter film where Harry get his wand?  Well it was kind of like that except it was in a gun range and the wand wasn't 11" of holly and Phoenix feather. No, we had 7.32" of polymer and steel.

So now we are looking and waiting for a good deal on tactical Tupperware.....Maybe I can get the wife to host one of those parties.

Any ways, looks like we are going to drink the glock cool aide (more on that later).
At least we came to that conclusion without the undue influence of flashy advertising and marketing gimmicks.  The glock simply felt the best in my wife's hands and when she shot it, she had the biggest smile on her face.  I knew she was in love.

P.S. Though I did the lion's share (connotation not denotation) of loading magazine, HH6 loaded fully a third of all the rounds she shot.

More on the adventures in firearms selection to come.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Forget your Grand-daddy's deer rifle and get your self a ...Deer Carbine?

I am starting out as a hunter.  A novice. A noob.
Hopefully, I will go on my first deer hunt where I am the hunter later this year.

A few months ago I was able to convince HH6 that the TO&E was deficient in the equipment section if I had indeed been given the task of securing dinner.  As such she instructed me to put together a plan and estimate the cost to fulfill my assigned duties.

When I began to price gear and arms suitable to take medium size game cleanly, I began to realize something.  I began to realize that the US Army had spoiled me. I mean have you seen how much an ACOG costs? let alone ammo?

So, I figured that the only way HH6 would allow me to redirect funds from mortgage payments to my own personal arsenal of democracy was to try and expand the tasks that my desired death stick would cover.

I said to my self, why do I NEED a different rifle for fighting the zombie horde, beating back the read coats, and harvesting uncured  Bambi jerky?  why don't I just get ONE rifle that could cover all of those bases?  So, that began my analysis of the non-conventional hunting rifles.

 Okay I wanted at evil black tacticool death widget, in 7.62 NATO no less.

So, after narrowing down my selection between the three beauties I decided that I should get a second opinion on the matter in case my idea was less than stellar.

So I talked to my close buddy (an actual experienced hunter) about my desire to use an "assault rifle" (complete with a "the shoulder thing that goes up") on white tails told me that my semi-automatic Texas type-writer would violate the magazine size restrictions, well lucky for me TPWD respects my right to defend myself against the random stampede of wild animals.

Alas, one cannot live under a rifle.

So after HH6 stopped beating me about the head with our budget we decided that we should adjust our sights a bit lower and purchase a rifle with less than three digits in succession of the first.
which lead us to a Remington 700SPS old army death guage (7.62 X 51) okay, .308 Winchester.

But! following the great American tradition, I bought the cheapest piece of glass that I thought wold hold a zero.

The first time at the range, I was making ragged holes at 100yrds, and fliers were kept within 2-3", confirming that the rifle is more accurate than I am.

Now, if only I could figure out how to feed this new mouth.

Be safe and God speed.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Aim is important. Without it you are ineffective

First, I am sorry for the long leave. The crazy things happens when you start a blog. First, you realize how no one really cares what you think until you can obtain a critical mass of people who think you have something noteworthy to say or make someone at the Brady campaign angry. Second, all of those topics you love discuss in conversation with your friends become very difficult to put down in words and your thoughts become fleeting.

However HH6 has put out the following guidance:
1. Stop playing video games and work on your blog (not because she wants me to blog, but because she doesn't like me playing video games)
3. Profit!

Expect more to come in the future.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Pray for Norway

May God have mercy on the people of Norway.
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