U.S. Marines

Resource Of The Week: Steve’s Pages ‘US Joint Services Manuals’

Back on January 15, 2015, I named “Steve’s Pages” as the “Resource Of The Week.” I blogged:

Wish you had a manual for a particular gun?

Chances are, you can find it on Steve’s Pages.

Stephen Ricciardelli has compiled a ton of FREE firearm manuals in .pdf format on the aptly-named Steve’s Pages website…

Regrettably, Mr. Ricciardelli passed away. However, not only does his site live on, but there’s another section of it that contains an incredible number of U.S. military manuals and other publications which can also be downloaded for free (donations encouraged). Categories include:

• US Air Force Manuals
• US Army Correspondence Courses
• US Army Field Manuals
Note “FM 3-05.70” “17 May 02” “Survival”
• US Army Training Manuals
• US Army Forms
• US Marine Corps Manuals
• US Navy Manuals
• US Joint Services Manuals
• US Federal Highway Administration
• Other Publications
• Canadian Manuals

Like that section containing firearm manuals, another great resource. You can visit the military manuals section of Steve’s Pages here.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: Link added to “Resources” page)

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Chicago Hosting ‘Routine Military Training Exercise’ Over Next 2 Weeks

As posted on the City of Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications website before the weekend:

The City of Chicago is providing support for a routine military training exercise in and around the Chicagoland area over the next two weeks. This routine training is conducted by military personnel in cities across the country, designed to ensure the military’s ability to operate in urban environments overseas, as service members meet mandatory training certification requirements and prepare for upcoming deployments worldwide.

All training activities have been pre-coordinated with federal, state and city officials, and these locations have been carefully selected to minimize the impact on the daily routine of residents.

The training is not open to the public and the sites will be secured to ensure the safety of residents and the participants.”

The Chicago area is no stranger to these “routine military training exercises.” I’ve blogged about such events in 2012 (April) and twice in 2013 (April and July).


“Military helicopters flying low over Chicago River”
YouTube Video

I wrote back on April 16, 2012:

Now, I’ve heard the U.S. military has been busy developing its urban warfare training program for some time already. Spencer Ackerman wrote in the Wired.com blog Danger Room back on January 18, 2011:

American soldiers spent seven years patrolling the urban neighborhoods of Iraq; its troops battled insurgents there block-by-block and house-by-house. Now that the Army is getting out of Iraq, it wants to make sure its urban combat skills don’t wither away. So it today it gave Lockheed Martin a contract worth up to $287 million to build Urban Operations Training Systems — essentially, giant simulation facilities and modules to help soldiers get ready for life in the big, bad city.

Versions of those training systems can be as simple as shipping containers tricked out to resemble multi-story houses and arranged in village formations, so soldiers can practice how to seize a building without causing needless damage. The Army’s got an entire 1000-acre facility in Indiana it uses to train soldiers in urban combat.

As for the Marines? From the CBS Channel 2 (Los Angeles) website on January 25, 2011:

A 1,560-building mock city has risen in the Southern California desert.

The $170 million Marine Corps urban training center at the Twentynine Palms military base, some 130 miles northeast of Los Angeles, is roughly the size of San Diego.

The Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center facility uses mock cities and role players to prepare Marines and sailors for urban terrain missions.

If our armed forces already have such resources, what’s with the urban warfare training in American cities then?

The question still stands today…

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Monday, July 13th, 2015 Government, Military, Training, War No Comments

U.S. Military Commanders Being Purged By Obama Administration?

“But as I’ve already said, I have had my military and our team look at a wide range of options.”

-U.S. President Barack Obama, in a statement to the media regarding the Syrian crisis, August 30, 2013

“My military.” Nice.

Champaign, Illinois. Fall 1992. I’m sitting in a Soviet history class I’m taking at the University of Illinois when I learn more about the purges of Joseph Stalin. One of these purges really caught my attention- that of the military. In 1937, the commander-in-chief of the Red Army and seven leading generals were shot. In 1938 and 1939, every admiral and half the Army’s officers were either executed or imprisoned.

Is there any surprise Nazi Germany did so well early on in its military campaign against the U.S.S.R.?

So why do I bring up Stalin’s purge of the Soviet military in the days before World War 2? Well, something I read this weekend on the Investor’s Business Daily website reminded me of it. From an October 29 editorial:

Yet what has happened to our officer corps since President Obama took office is viewed in many quarters as unprecedented, baffling and even harmful to our national security posture. We have commented on some of the higher profile cases, such as Gen. Carter Ham. He was relieved as head of U.S. Africa Command after only a year and a half because he disagreed with orders not to mount a rescue mission in response to the Sept. 11, 2012, attack in Benghazi.

Rear Adm. Chuck Gaouette, commander of the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group, was relieved in October 2012 for disobeying orders when he sent his group on Sept. 11 to “assist and provide intelligence for” military forces ordered into action by Gen. Ham.

Other removals include the sacking of two nuclear commanders in a single week — Maj. Gen. Michael Carey, head of the 20th Air Force, responsible for the three wings that maintain control of the 450 intercontinental ballistic missiles, and Vice Adm. Tim Giardina, the No. 2 officer at U.S. Strategic Command.

From Breitbart.com’s Facebook page comes a list of at least 197 officers that have been relieved of duty by President Obama for a laundry list of reasons and sometimes with no reason given…

Nine senior commanding generals have been fired by the Obama administration this year, leading to speculation by active and retired members of the military that a purge of its commanders is under way.

(Editor’s notes: Italics added for emphasis)

A purge of United States military commanders by Barack Obama?

Well, it’s been nowhere near the “cleaning house” of 35,000 military officers that was carried out by Comrade Stalin in the late 1930s- that’s for sure.

Although, President Obama does still have 1,172 days left before he departs the Oval Office.

I can understand these officers being removed from their posts for incompetence or something like that. But if the firings are being carried out without cause and over differences in political views, for example, the American public should be worried as our national security is at stake at a time in the world where growing threats coincide with significant budget cuts for the military. Back on October 21, U.S. Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno even revealed that only two Army brigades are combat-ready these days. A U.S. Army brigade’s strength typically ranges from 2,500 to 4,000 personnel.

As far as I can tell, General Odierno still has his job.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

“Obama’s Military Coup Purges 197 Officers In Five Years.” Investor’s Business Daily. 29 Oct. 2013. (http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/102913-677116-197-military-officers-purged-by-obama.htm). 4 Nov. 2013.

“Army chief: Just 2 brigades combat-ready.” FOX News. 23 Oct. 2013. (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/10/23/army-chief-just-2-brigades-combat-ready/). 4 Nov. 2013.

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Monday, November 4th, 2013 Africa, Europe, Government, Military, Political Parties, War 2 Comments

Apocalypse 101: New TV Show Premieres Tonight After Doomsday Preppers

Last night I saw on my satellite TV schedule a new show that’s going to be aired on the National Geographic Channel after Doomsday Preppers this evening:

Apocalypse 101

From the Nat Geo Channel website:

Episode: Expect the Unexpected

Next Airing: TUE MAR 12 10PM ET

Meet four former Marines who believe that they have what it takes to survive any doomsday scenario. Joel, Mark, Mike and Jimmy own Forge Survival Supply; their mission, use what they have on hand to teach and test their clients’ skills. In a remote area of Colorado, Mike and Mark meet a couple who are serious preppers. They want to step up their game, but the guys worry their open land and young children could interfere. The Marines will put them to the ultimate test with a simulation attack.


“Homestead Fortification”
National Geographic Channel Video

Looks promising. And it’s not a one-off either. According to the Nat Geo Channel site, there are four more episodes on tap for the next couple of Tuesdays.

So, after watching Doomsday Preppers tonight, remember- don’t touch that dial.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Urban Warfare Training Exercises To Desensitize, Prepare For Mass Civil Unrest In Cities?

The City of Chicago is providing support for a routine military training exercise in and around the Chicagoland area on April 16 -19. This routine training is conducted by military personnel in cities across the country, designed to ensure the military’s ability to operate in urban environments as service members meet mandatory training certification requirements and prepare for upcoming overseas deployments.

The training sites have been carefully selected to minimize the impact on the daily routine of residents.

The training is not open to the public.

-City of Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC), April 16, 2012

Back when I blogged about Chicago hosting an urban warfare training exercise for U.S. military personnel in April 2012, I mentioned other major American cities had experienced something similar: Boston (July 2011) and Los Angeles (January 2012).

Since that time, countless other municipalities have hosted this training.

However, in that April 16 post I pointed out the U.S. military was already busy developing its urban warfare training resources, including the construction of mock cities. I wrote:

Now, I’ve heard the U.S. military has been busy developing its urban warfare training program for some time already. Spencer Ackerman wrote in the Wired.com blog Danger Room back on January 18, 2011:

American soldiers spent seven years patrolling the urban neighborhoods of Iraq; its troops battled insurgents there block-by-block and house-by-house. Now that the Army is getting out of Iraq, it wants to make sure its urban combat skills don’t wither away. So it today it gave Lockheed Martin a contract worth up to $287 million to build Urban Operations Training Systems — essentially, giant simulation facilities and modules to help soldiers get ready for life in the big, bad city.

Versions of those training systems can be as simple as shipping containers tricked out to resemble multi-story houses and arranged in village formations, so soldiers can practice how to seize a building without causing needless damage. The Army’s got an entire 1000-acre facility in Indiana it uses to train soldiers in urban combat.

As for the Marines? From the CBS Channel 2 (Los Angeles) website on January 25, 2011:

A 1,560-building mock city has risen in the Southern California desert.

The $170 million Marine Corps urban training center at the Twentynine Palms military base, some 130 miles northeast of Los Angeles, is roughly the size of San Diego.

The Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center facility uses mock cities and role players to prepare Marines and sailors for urban terrain missions.

If our armed forces already have such resources, what’s with the urban warfare training in American cities then?

I added this about the Chicago training at the time:

I wonder if the exercise isn’t related to counter-terrorism.

Responding to an “American Mumbai” or dirty-bomb attack, perhaps?

However, these days, a Midwest-based writer and decorated Navy veteran is claiming that an unnamed “high-ranking, military source” in the Department of Homeland Security says the military exercises, conducted jointly with local law enforcement, are being conducted to desensitize urban dwellers in preparation for mass civil unrest in American cities. David Bard wrote on “progressive liberal” sociopolitical commentary blog The Allegiant on February 6:

I spoke with a high-ranking, military source in DHS. Preferring to remain unnamed for obvious reasons, he told me, “DHS and DOD are conducting desensitizing exercises all across the U.S.,” he paused, then added, “we’re being prepared for mass civil unrest in major U.S. cities. DOD will be expected to help – when we’re requested.”

I asked if there was a timeline for expecting civil unrest in our cities and why should we expect it to begin with. I was told that there were many reasons, but that the continued devaluation of our currency, the predicted history-setting prices for gasoline this summer and the continued gun control debate are forming a perfect storm of civil discontent. When this storm hits, it will most assuredly produce mass casualties. When does DHS expect this to happen? This summer.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

I can’t speak for Mr. Bard’s credibility, so “take it or leave it” as it concerns this explanation for the urban warfare training.

Still, I’ve heard similar talk about the purpose being to prepare for civil strife since I first blogged about those exercises in spring of last year.

You can read Bard’s entire piece here on The Allegiant. Disturbing stuff.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

Ackerman, Spencer. “Lockheed Gets Big Bucks to Prep Soldiers for Urban War.” Danger Room. 18 Jan. 2011. (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/01/lockheed-gets-big-bucks-to-prep-soldiers-in-urban-war/). 22 Feb. 2013.

“$170M Mock City Built For Marine Training In Twentynine Palms” CBS Channel 2 (Los Angeles). 25 Jan. 2011. (http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2011/01/25/170m-mock-city-built-for-marine-training-in-twentynine-palms/). 22 Feb. 2013.

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U.S. Marines Disarmed During Presidential Inauguration Parade?

It seems to me some active/retired elements of the United States armed forces aren’t too hot about the anti-war/anti-military component of the Democratic Party (or just Democrats in general).

And vice versa.

But recently, the word is out that Marines from Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., who participated in the 57th Presidential Inauguration Parade on January 21 were seen marching with the bolts removed from their M1 Garand rifles, rendering the iconic firearms inoperable. David Codrea, Gun Rights Examiner on Examiner.com, confirmed this was indeed the case and reported on the site Monday:

Wondering if this may be an inauguration policy of long standing that transcends administrations, Gun Rights Examiner made a cursory search and found something even more curious. In the 2009 Inaugural Parade, the United States Navy marched with rifles that had not been so disabled…

Unlike in 2009, in the 2013 inaugural parade, someone in authority made the decision to change that and order the Marines to march with visibly disabled guns.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)


“Marines Support the 57th Presidential Inauguration Parade”
YouTube Video

Last March, Marines were also disarmed when U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta visited Afghanistan. Elisabeth Bumiller reported in The New York Times on March 14, 2012:

In a sign of the nervousness surrounding the trip, a sergeant major abruptly told the Marines gathered to hear Mr. Panetta in a tent at Camp Leatherneck to get up, place their M-16 and M-4 automatic rifles and 9-millimeter pistols outside, and return unarmed. The sergeant major, Brandon Hall, told reporters that he was acting on orders.

“All I know is I was told to get the weapons out,” he said. Asked why, he replied:

“Somebody got itchy — that’s all I’ve got to say. Somebody got itchy. We just adjust.”

Normally, American forces in Afghanistan keep their weapons when the defense secretary visits and speaks to them.

Bumiller added that reporters were later informed by Major General Mark Gurganus, the top U.S. military official in the Afghan province, that he wanted a consistent policy for everyone in the tent, as our Afghan allies in attendance were unarmed.

Disarming our own soldiers in the presence of high-level civilian government officials?

On one hand, I’m guessing somebody in Washington actually paid attention in history class and hopes to avoid a repeat of what happened to Anwar Sadat. On the other, if there’s serious concern about something like this taking place here, what does that tell us about the state of things in America that would lead to such an act.

All I can say is, these sure are interesting times we live in.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

Codera, David. “Disabled Marine rifles at inauguration signal shift in administration policy (Photos).” Examiner.com. 11 Feb. 2013. (http://www.examiner.com/article/disabled-marine-rifles-at-inauguration-signal-shift-administration-policy). 14 Feb. 2013.

Bumiller, Elisabeth. “Panetta Is Safe After Breach Near His Plane at Afghan Base.” The New York Times. 14 Mar. 2012. (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/15/world/asia/panetta-visits-afghanistan-following-massacre.html?_r=4&ref=elisabethbumiller&). 14 Feb. 2013.

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Thursday, February 14th, 2013 Asia, Firearms, Government, Military, Political Parties 2 Comments

Have Gun, Need Ammo

In my old life, I would occasionally talk to Marine Corps guards stationed at various U.S. diplomatic compounds around the world as I tried to get a hold of State Department Consular Section staff during off-hours via telephone here in the States. They seemed like a good lot, and I had the pleasure of working alongside two former embassy/consulate guards later on during my time in the public sector.

So I felt for these guys when I heard of the attacks on U.S. missions in the Middle East on the 11th anniversary of 9/11.

Now, there’s been talk the last couple of days of the Marines guarding the U.S. Embassy in Cairo (Egypt) not being allowed to carry live ammunition. From NightWatch, a nightly newsletter from Kforce Government Solutions that “tracks and assesses threats to US national security,” on September 12:

[U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Anne W.] Patterson’s operations at the US Embassy in Cairo bespeak a comparable misjudgment of the Egyptian Arab situation, its volatility and the depth of anti-American sentiment.

She did not permit US Marine guards to carry live ammunition, according to USMC blogs. Thus she neutralized any US military capability that was dedicated to preserve her life and protect the US Embassy.

In this respect, she did not defend US sovereign territory and betrayed her oath of office. She neutered the Marines posted to defend the embassy, trusting the Egyptians over the Marines.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Since that was written, the Pentagon and Marine Corps have responded. Mark Thompson wrote on the TIME magazine website yesterday:

UPDATE: “With or without a weapon, Marines are always armed,” Pentagon spokesman George Little said Thursday afternoon. “I’ve heard nothing to suggest they don’t have ammunition.”

UPDATE II: The Marines said late Thursday that any reports “of Marines not being able to have their weapons loaded per direction from the ambassador are not accurate.”

Maybe we’ll find out what really happened one day. But when I first heard about the Marine guards possibly not having any live ammunition for their firearms, it reminded me of a similar incident during the 1992 Los Angeles riots:

Initially, National Guardsmen weren’t given live ammunition.

“B.B. in California” wrote on James Wesley, Rawles’ terrific SurvivalBlog.com back on July 21, 2010:

I am writing this article not to glorify what I have seen, but perhaps to make some of you think about some unknowns. I am a U.S. Army veteran who served in the 1980s, and when I honorably discharged I was recruited into law enforcement at a termination of service briefing at Fort Irwin, California. From there I went into law enforcement in Los Angeles for over 20 years and never looked back. I am writing this article because many people are writing about living through and how to survive civil unrest (I am sorry, a riot is a riot no matter what you call it), but I don’t think many of the readers can comprehend what it is like.

The Los Angeles riots in 1992 were some of the craziest times I have ever lived through, and even my military background didn’t prepare me for what we saw. I am not here to talk politics or why the riots kicked off; I am only here to write about what I witnessed and give the readers of SurvivalBlog.com a glimpse of what happened from the eyes of a young man…

Another interesting note on weapons and ammo was that when the National Guard was first called out they responded with empty weapons. That’s right, no ammo! We were giving guardsmen what we could spare from our own dwindling supplies, but we couldn’t believe the State sent them in with no cartridges (in hindsight and much more experience under my belt in dealing with the many idiots in government, I totally believe it now), but once again not many people would choose to charge a National Guard position to see if their rifles are empty.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Don’t believe “B.B. in California?” Then watch for yourself the following news segment where then-California Governor Peter “Pete” Wilson admits California National Guard troops weren’t initially given bullets:


“LA Riots the GOV explains that the Guard has no ammo”
YouTube Video

Governor Wilson revealed:

There was some hesitation on the part of the Guard officers. I gave the order that they should take the ammunition that they had distributed as I would think they should in any case to those who are platoon and squad leaders making it available as needed.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Anyone else think that sounds a little bit like Alan Greenspan’s “Fedspeak?”

Based on the clamp-down on live ammo during the 1992 L.A. riots, I can understand why some might believe the claim purportedly made by U.S. Marine Corps blogs.

Now, the line of reasoning for a “no bullets” order might be the belief that the sight of a firearm would be enough to scare away the bad guys. In fact, Gun Facts 6.1 even shows:

Every day 550 rapes, 1,100 murders, and 5,200 other violent crimes are prevented just by showing a gun. In less than 0.9% of these instances is the gun ever actually fired.

Well, while this has proven to be effective back on Main Street in normal times, displaying a firearm in hopes that its sight alone will stop further aggression probably doesn’t work as well in more unstable situations and locales, like the Middle East these days. Something tells me those tasked with embassy/consulate security already tried this on the unruly, supposed “film critics” before they gave the Uncle Sam Show two big thumbs down.

Have gun, need ammo. Or else.

Sources:

“NightWatch 20120913.” NightWatch. 13 Sep. 2012. (http://www.kforcegov.com/Solutions/IAO/NightWatch/NightWatch_12000175.aspx). 14 Sep. 2012.

Thompson, Mark. “What’s Worse: No Marines, or (Possibly) Unarmed Marines?” TIME. 13 Sep. 2012. (http://nation.time.com/2012/09/13/whats-worse-no-marines-or-possibly-unarmed-marines/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+timeblogs%2Fswampland+%28TIME%3A+Swampland%29&utm_content=Google+Reader). 14 Sep. 2012.

B.B. in California. “Riots and Civil Unrest in America.” SurvivalBlog.com. 21 Jul. 2010. (http://www.survivalblog.com/2010/07/riots_and_civil_unrest_in_amer.html). 14 Sep. 2012.

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