This is Blackfive's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Blackfive's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Blackfive
USA
Recent Activity
Image
Marines board MV-22 Ospreys before they take off from the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island off the coast of Camp Pendleton, Calif., Feb. 23, 2015. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Ronald Gutridge Continue reading
Posted 6 hours ago at BLACKFIVE
Image
U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Nicholas Ferris signals to an AH-64 Apache helicopter during deck landing qualifications aboard the amphibious dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry in the Arabian Gulf, Feb. 24, 2015. Ferris is a boatswain's mate. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Adam Austin Continue reading
Posted yesterday at BLACKFIVE
Image
An AV-8B Harrier prepares to take off from the amphibious assault ship USS Essex during Marine integration training near San Diego, Feb. 24, 2015. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Emmanuel Ramos Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at BLACKFIVE
Image
A U.S. soldier salutes his fellow soldiers while jumping from a C-130 Hercules aircraft over a drop zone in Germany, Feb. 24, 2015. The soldier is assigned to 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group. U.S. Army photo by Jason Johnston Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at BLACKFIVE
Image
The following book review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper. You can read all of our book reviews by clicking on the Books category link on the right sidebar. Past Crimes by Glen Erik Hamilton is his debut novel starring Army Ranger Van Shaw. It is a book about family and forgiveness, and how circumstances can affect the interaction between people as they embrace and reject their past. Within that story is an action-packed plot that looks at the different aspects of crime. Donovan, “Dono,” Shaw, Van’s estranged grandfather, raised him to become a thief, following in his footsteps. Having had enough of the criminal world, Van exiled himself, abandoning his illicit past, by joining the army. Van, an Army Ranger returns home to Seattle after ten years in response to a terse message from his grandfather. After arriving home he discovers Dono was shot and left for dead. Van becomes the prime suspect and is drawn back into the criminal underworld of his youth as he hunts for the shooter with the help of his grandfather’s peers. The author gives a shout out to those in the military. Van enjoys being a Ranger because it has given him a sense of duty. He was injured in Iraq when his unit was ambushed. He received his facial “tribal marks” from pieces of shrapnel that took off part of his cheekbone. After recovering he knew he had to “get back on the horse” and was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Being a warrior has given Van a different perspective on life. Hamilton commented to blackfive.net, “A good friend of mine was in the Special Forces. To fast check information in the book, I spoke to Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. I wanted to make sure that Van’s formidable years were spent as a warrior since he entered the army at age eighteen. The reason I made Van a Ranger is that they are all about knocking down doors and direct action.” Readers instantly like Van for being loyal, tough-minded, and independent, traits inherited from his grandfather. Actually all the protagonists in this story have very similar traits. The main female character, Luce, also has these qualities. Hamilton explores how each of the three main characters deals with the issue of crime. Dono has a contentious relationship with Van because of Van’s desire to escape his criminal youth, removing himself from the temptation. While Luce, whose grandfather was Dono’s partner, responded to her criminal surroundings by staying in Seattle to confront it head on through embracing the straight and narrow. The author noted, “Van has matured during the years he’s been in the Army. He may not completely forgive or even understand his grandfather, but he also knows that he’s not blameless himself. The two men are much more alike than either of them realize, in their faults and their loyalties. . Van had completely bought in to the criminal life as a teenager. When he left it, he left everything from his youth along with it. Yet, Van knows family is important to Dono as he raised him from the age of six. Van and his grandfather have a complicated relationship where they love each other but it was hardly ever expressed in words.” Past Crimes is edgy and suspenseful. It will be interesting to see what Hamilton has in store for the main characters as the series moves along. If this first novel is any indication Van and company will be pitted into action-packed emotional story-lines with many twists and turns. In the next book Hamilton hopes to explore how Van will establish himself in the civilian world, using the skills learned from being a Ranger. He will also continue the relationship with Luce as he struggles to bring justice to those he knew from his past. Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at BLACKFIVE
Image
Airmen aboard a patrol boat speed through the water near Dock Charlie on Joint Base Charleston – Weapons Station, S.C., Feb. 11, 2015. The airmen are assigned to the 628th Security Forces Squadron. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Clayton Cupit Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at BLACKFIVE
Image
Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Adrian Martinezgarcia, left, instructs Petty Officer 2nd Class Jerry Williams as he directs a landing craft air cushion into the well deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Essex in the Pacific Ocean, Feb. 12, 2015. The Essex is underway completing certifications in preparation for an upcoming deployment. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Jason M. Graham Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at BLACKFIVE
Image
Search and rescue swimmers assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 4 train from an MH-60S Seahawk helicopter during qualifications in San Diego, Jan. 28, 2015. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Shannon E. Renfroe Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Image
Airman 1st Class Ryan Galante blows an overnight snowfall from a KC-135R Stratotanker on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., Feb. 17, 2015. Galante, assigned to 108th Maintenance Squadron, 108th Wing, New Jersey Air National Guard, operates the de-icing system from a cabin at the end of a 42-foot boom. Air National Guard photo by U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Carl Clegg Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Article here by Greg Jaffe of the Washington Post... His three combat tours in Afghanistan had been boiled down to a 38-second video clip, played and replayed on YouTube more than a million times. In it, Rob Richards and three other Marine Corps snipers are seen urinating on the bodies of Taliban fighters they had just killed. “Total dismay” were the words then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton used to describe the video when it surfaced on the Internet in January 2012. “Utterly deplorable,” agreed then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. Richards’s career in the military was finished. More than two years later — long after the rest of the country had moved on to other scandals — Richards, 28, died at home and alone from an accidental painkiller overdose... Now an ammunition can carrying his cremated remains sat on the table of a hotel bar in Arlington, Va., as his family, friends and fellow Marines swirled around it.... Read the whole thing. Godspeed. Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Image
The Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Guadalupe delivers supplies to the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island during a nighttime vertical replenishment in the Pacific Ocean, Feb.12, 2015. The Makin Island is returning to homeport in San Diego from a seven-month deployment to the western Pacific and U.S. Central Command areas of responsibility. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Ronald Gutridge Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Image
A U.S. soldier secures Marines to a cable dangling from a UH-60 Black Hawk medevac helicopter during a casualty evacuation exercise near Camp Buehring, Kuwait, Feb. 5, 2015. Minnesota National Guard photo by U.S. Army National Guard Spc. Jess Nemec Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Image
U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Michael A. Grinston, foreground right, reviews Iraqi army trainees passing by to observe a platoon live-fire demonstration on Camp Taji, Iraq, Feb, 5, 2015. Grinston is the senior enlisted advisor to the 1st Infantry Division. In an upcoming session, Iraqis will lead a similar live-fire exercise requiring the use of complex maneuver and communication among units. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Daniel Stoutamire House destroyed by U.S. Army soldiers and witnessed by the Iraqi Army trainees. Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Image
The following book review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper. You can read all of our book reviews and author interviews by clicking on the Books category link on the right sidebar. The Nazis Next Door by Eric Lichtblau is a compelling reminder of how quickly man’s inhumanity to man has been forgotten. Many in the FBI, CIA, the space program, and other agencies of the US government teamed up with war-criminal Nazis to combat the Soviets. As WWII came to an end there were those in the government that were more concerned about the next great conflict, the threat of Communism. The book delves into two issues. The first chapter in the book examines an important topic, the myth of the concentration camp liberation. The second narrative is the story of the people who worked so hard for decades to find war criminals given safe haven by the FBI, CIA, and military. Lichtblau points out how many Jewish survivors had to be bunked side by side with the Nazi POWs, while in certain cases, the Nazi tormentors were given the duties of overseers of the camps including medical care. These terrible conditions in the Displaced Person’s Camp were highlighted, showing how the detainees were kept there because of illness, lack of resources, or because visas were limited. The author compares this to the thousands of Nazis able to gain entry as self-proclaimed refugees, or with the help and protection of US government agencies. The author commented to blackfive.net, “History has forgotten what happened to the survivors. There is an image that they were embraced by the allied forces as they flooded out from the camps, given warm showers, beds, and plentiful food. It was really not like that at all. The blame has to go to U.S. Army General George Patton who was in charge of the displaced persons camps. He had sort of an odd fondness almost for the Nazi prisoners, believe it or not. He believed that they were the ones in the best position to efficiently run the camps, and he gave them supervisory approval to basically lord over the Jews and the other survivors. I hope the book makes people aware of the horrific conditions of the camps and Patton’s overt Anti-Semitism. Jewish groups complained to President Truman who did not ignore it. After an investigation there was a blistering and condemning report, lost to history, by Penn Law School Dean, Earl Harrison. This report to Truman stated, ‘As matters now stand, we appear to be treating the Jews as the Nazis treated them except that we do not exterminate them.’ Even though conditions did improve some survivors were kept in the camps for as long as five years. They were still confined behind barbed wire, under armed guard in camps.” Nazis who were able to flourish in the US included Dr. Hubertus Strughold, Arthur Rudolph, Otto von Bolschwing, and Rocket Scientist Werher von Braun. American civilian and military leaders chose to look the other way because of the information and knowledge in science, medicine, military, and engineering the Nazis provided during the Cold War fight. For example, Dr. Hubertus Strughold, M.D., once director of the Aviation Medical Research Institute in the Third Reich, was recruited by the U.S. Air Force and rose to head its School of Aviation Medicine in San Antonio. He became celebrated as "the father of space medicine,” even though he performed medical experiments at Dachau involving subjecting victims to high altitude and freezing torture. There is also the case of Otto von Bolschwing, an asset for the CIA, even though he was a onetime colleague of Adolf Eichmann's who had laid out a plan for persecuting Germany's Jews. Lichtblau noted, “There was this blind spot of the benefit of having them help in the Cold War effort. Remember the Dulles quote, paraphrasing, ‘I would deal with the devil himself if it would help national security.’ In the early months, and the first few years after the war, beginning in mid-1945, there were only a very limited number of immigration visas to get into the United States. There were many, many thousands of Nazi collaborators who got visas to the United States while the survivors did not.” The Nazis Next Door powerfully examines if the cost of harboring Nazis within US society outweighed the gains for national security. There was the new mindset that the Nazis were yesterday’s enemies, with the newfound enemy the Soviet Union. Readers are asked to consider if the allies betrayed those who suffered atrocities. The book is very interesting and an eye-opener. Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Image
U.S. and Czech soldiers patrol along a canal and a farm field near a village in Parwan province, Afghanistan, Jan. 27, 2015. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class David Wheeler Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Image
The guided-missile destroyer USS Farragut conducts an exercise in the Atlantic Ocean, Feb. 3, 2015. The Farragut is training with the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group to prepare for deployment. U.S. Navy Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jackie Hart Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Image
Air Force 1st Lt. Greg Johnston, left, and Capt. RJ Bergman fly a UH-1N Iroquois over a mountain range near Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls, Mont., Jan. 27, 2015. Johnston and Bergman are assigned to the 40th Helicopter Squadron. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dillon Johnston Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Image
Marine Corps Staff Sgt. John Freeseha begins singing the Marines' Hymn after completing a plunge into freezing water during an ice-breaker drill as part of Winter Mountain Leaders Course 1-15 at Levitt Lake on Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, Calif., Jan. 30, 2015. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Charles Santamaria Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Worth the view...almost wished he'd drop the mic. [Edit note: Cotton was a Representative. He is now a Senator.] Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Jeff W. sent this one. It's awesome! From last summer: The only king that ever kicked me out the door was MSG Larry King. Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Image
U.S. Marines train with a rubber raiding craft from the USS Bonhomme Richard in Aichi, Japan, Feb. 2, 2015. The Marines and sailors launched and recovered the boat to prepare for their upcoming patrol. The Marines are assigned to Fox Company, Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Ismael Pena Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Image
U.S. Army Sgt. Gordon Scott shows what an all-terrain vehicle can do to soldiers during a safety course in Boeblingen, Germany, Jan. 29, 2015. Scott is assigned to 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group. The solders are assigned to 554th Military Police Company. U.S. Army photo by Jason Johnston Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Image
U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Hickman provides security from behind a partial stone wall during a patrol with Czech and Afghan soldiers through a village in Parwan province, Afghanistan, Jan. 27, 2015. Hickman is assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 3rd Cavalry Regiment. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class David Wheeler Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
The Stars & Stripes has an AP article about westerners fighting for the Kurds against ISIS: "I'm not going back until the fight is finished and ISIS is crippled," Matson told The Associated Press, using an alternate acronym for the militant group. "I decided that if my government wasn't going to do anything to help this country, especially Kurdish people who stood by us for 10 years and helped us out while we were in this country, then I was going to do something." Go here to read the whole article. There's another "westerneres fighting for the Kurds" piece by Time about Dean Parker, a painter with zero military experience who joined the Kurds. The article goes on to state that the Kurds need arms more than Americans. From the Daily Caller: ...According to The Wall Street Journal, the Kurdistan Regional Government has provided a military base outside Kirkuk to train a newly formed Christian “battalion.” 500 recruits are expected to undergo training this month... The Kurd Facebook recruiting page is here. Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Go read this post over at Commander Salamander's place about the Jordanian response...based on History, he doesn't think we've actually seen one, yet. Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2015 at BLACKFIVE