Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Adam West Has Died

Saturday, June 10th, 2017

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Adam West and fellow US Army veteran Leonard Nimoy, Circa 1966

William Adam West, best known for his role as Batman in the 1960s TV series, passed away from leukemia at age 88 on 9 June 2017.

Adam West was a United States Army veteran, having served two years as a draftee in the 1950s where he served as an announcer and producer in the early days of AFN Television at San Luis Obispo, CA and Fort Monmouth, NJ.

West still has one last turn as Batman left: he’ll voice the character in the animated movie titled Batman vs. Two-Face with William Shatner voicing Two-Face, it’s due out later this year.

West is survived by his wife, six children, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Fifty Years Ago: The USS Liberty

Thursday, June 8th, 2017


SIGINT is, and has always been, a quietly dangerous business for the collectors.

On 8 June 1967, during the Six Day War, Israeli Mystere and Mirage aircraft along with torpedo boats attacked the USS Liberty (AGTR-5) which was conducting intelligence collection missions in Eastern Mediterranean.

33 US military personnel and one NSA civilian were killed and 171 were injured. The Liberty, a converted WWII “Victory Ship”, was so badly damaged that it was scrapped after being limped to a drydock in Malta.

Rather than dwell on the political aspects, let us remember the sacrifice of men in an unglamorous but critical job.

73 Years Ago Today

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

Gen Dwight D Eisenhower gives the order of the day: “Full victory – nothing else” to paratroopers in England, just before they board their C-47s to participate in the first assault in the invasion of the continent of Europe. 6 June 1944.


Saturday Night at the Movies: “Friends and Neighbors-People You Know”

Sunday, June 4th, 2017

Here’s a fantastic 1970 USAF educational documentary covering the mobilization, trainup, and deployment of USAF Air National Guard F-100 units. Narrated by the late Bob Crane of the television show Hogan’s Heroes, the film chronicles the mobilization of four F-100 equipped ANG squadrons in response to the Pueblo Crisis during 1968. One particular two-ship mission is covered from pre-flight briefing to post-flight celebration.

The Super Sabre, better known as “The Hun” was the USAF’s first supersonic fighter and formed the backbone of the USAF and many NATO and allied Air Forces prior to the arrival of the F-4 Phantom.  The last Huns were retired from the Taiwanese and Danish air forces in the early 1980s, following USAF ANG retirement in 1979.

The squadrons mobilized and highlighted in the film are:

  • 120thTactical Fighter Squadron (TFS) Bobcats of the Colorado ANG (tail VS)
  • 174th TFS Bats of the Iowa ANG (tail HA)
  • 188thTFS Tacos of the New Mexico ANG (tail  SK)
  • 136th TFS Rocky’s Raiders of the New York ANG (tail SG).

These four squadrons collectively logged more than 30,000 sorties during their deployments to Southeast Asia during 1968 and 1969, with some aircraft pulling up to five CAS sorties per day.

While the film may predate many of the SSD readership, many of our fathers and uncles likely owe their lives to “Weekend Warrior” CAS.


Coyote’s Rules

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

A whole lot of men I learned from during my service, were personally mentored by one of the most brilliant men I have ever met. GEN Peter Schoomaker not only commanded SOF elements from the small unit level all the way up to USSOCOM, but he was also called back to active duty from retirement to serve as Chief of Staff of the Army, early in the war.

His Coyote’s Rules are a simple example of his leadership philosophy. I hope you gain from them as much as so many others have.

Sneak Peek – Vickers Guide To The AR-15 (Volume 2)

Sunday, May 7th, 2017

Snesk peek of the LMT L129A1 from the upcoming AR-15 (Volume 2) by Larry Vickers.


Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

Each April 25th some of our closest allies; Australia and New Zealand, commemorate the service and sacrifice of their Veterans. It’s a rather solemn affair. The day begins with a dawn service and then, there are several other events throughout the day, including parades.

It’s bigger than Veteran’s Day here, with more participation. ANZAC stands for Australia New Zealand Army Corps. While April 25th might seem an odd date, it is actually the anniversary of the first major battle fought by ANZAC forces during World War One; the battle of Gallipoli, in what is now Turkey.

Please join us in honoring not only their fallen, but also the fact that they are on our team. Please take a moment and have an ANZAC biscuit on us.

Thank you Australia and New Zealand for everything you do in the Coalition.

Remembering The Fallen Of Operation Eagle Claw

Monday, April 24th, 2017

Today marks the anniversary of Operation Eagle Claw. In the early morning hours of 25 April, 1980 President Carter announced to a stunned world that the United States had undertaken an ambitious raid into Iran to liberate 52 American hostages held illegally at our Embassy in Tehran. Unfortunately, Operation Eagle Claw was unsuccessful and we lost eight American servicemen in a horrible aircraft ground collision. Join me in remembering their sacrifice.


Their sacrifice was not in vain. The hostages were eventually repatriated and the accident was the watershed event that created over the next several decades, the world’s preeminent Special Operations capability; USSOCOM and its components. We wouldn’t be where are today without the determination of that fledgling task force. Join me in remembering those that had the guts to try.