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Blackfive
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Two U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets and two Malaysian air force Su-30MKI Flanker-H aircraft fly in formation during an exercise over the South China Sea, May 10, 2015. The exercise promotes cooperation between the U.S. Navy and Malaysian military. The F/A-18 Super Hornets are deployed with the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group. U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Jonathan Pfaff Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at BLACKFIVE
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Landing Craft Air Cushion 27 transports U.S. Marines from the amphibious transport dock ship USS New York to shore in Djibouti, May 6, 2015. The Marines are assigned to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, and the landing craft is assigned to the U.S. Navy’s Assault Craft Unit 4. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan B. Trejo Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at BLACKFIVE
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A U.S. Army paratrooper secures a room as his four-man team, which includes Georgian soldiers, clears a room during close-quarters battle training as part of Noble Partner 15 in Georgia, May 13, 2015. The field-training and live-fire exercise occurs between the U.S. Army and Georgian military to support Georgia's participation in the NATO Response Force and build military ties between the two nations. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Daniel Cole Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at BLACKFIVE
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Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Mark Salvador demonstrates how to use a field containment kit to test viruses such as Ebola during the Defense Department's first Lab Day at the Pentagon, May 14, 2015. Salvador is assigned to the Naval Medical Research Center. DoD photo by EJ Hersom Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at BLACKFIVE
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U.S. Marines brace for the rotor wash of a CH-53 Super Stallion while conducting flight operations aboard the USS Kearsarge during an integrated training event in the Atlantic Ocean, May 9, 2015. The event helps prepare the Marines, assigned to the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, for deployment to the areas of responsibilitly for the 5th and 6th fleets later this year. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Andre Dakis Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at BLACKFIVE
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U.S. sailors conduct special patrol insertion-extraction technique training near Naval Station Rota, Spain, May 7, 2015. The training helps sailors prepare for contingencies in which U.S. special operations and expeditionary forces need to quickly extract from areas where helicopters cannot safely land. The sailors are assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 8, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 28, and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Training and Evaluation Unit 2. U.S. Navy photo Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at BLACKFIVE
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U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Jessica Gomez-Hickman holds a young earthquake victim before placing her in an ambulance at a medical triage area at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, Nepal, May 12, 2015. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Ricardo Morales U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Ricardo Morales Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
The Marines and Nepalese soldiers who perished in the crash in Nepal have been identified. Even in peace, undergoing rescue and humanitarian operations, our troops are at risk... This morning, the Chicago media is reporting about Cpl. Sara A. Medina, a 23 year old Marine from Aurora, Illinois, who perished in the crash and was engaged to be married to another Marine. And the Marine Corps Times has short profiles on each Marine including this piece about their relief efforts filmed right before the crash...: Capt. Dustin R. Lukasiewicz, from Nebraska, served as a UH-1Y pilot and aviation safety officer with HMLA-469. Lukasiewicz received his commissioned on March 28, 2008. He deployed to Afghanistan, with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and to Nepal. Lukasiewicz was featured in a Marine Corps video about relief efforts in Nepal posted days before the helo accident. He described how they delivered rice, potatoes and tarps to remote areas devastated by the earthquake. Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
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U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Matthew Shiver waits for earthquake victims to board an MV-22 Osprey at a landing zone near Charikot, Nepal, May 12, 2015. Shiver is an Osprey crew chief with Joint Task Force 505. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Jeffrey D. Anderson Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
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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 side bar The Harvest Man by Alex Grecian portrays Scotland Yard Murder Squad detectives pursuing a violent serial killer. The main plot has the detectives targeting The Harvest Man, while a secondary plot has detective Walter Day trying to find Jack the Ripper. These series of books includes a mystery, some historical facts, and explores the new techniques of evidence gathering. The plot begins where the previous book, The Devil’s Workshop, ends. Readers new to this series might want to start with the previous book to gain a better understanding of the characters and their motivations. Regarding the sub-plot Grecian fully explained in The Devil’s Workshop how Jack the Ripper was out for revenge against a group of vigilantes who had captured and tortured him. Grecian noted to blackfive.net, “It is a tight ropewalk with every book. I don’t spell everything out, but try to put in refreshers, especially since there is a year between books. It is like watching a TV show where in the first minute they recap what went on and then start the new show.” The main plot has the antagonist, The Harvest Man, killing and mutilating couples by slicing their faces off. This sadistic killer is named after the spider that hides in attics and eats the pests. He enters homes during the day and hides out in the attics until the family retires for the night. In this installment he has killed the parents of two children, leaving them orphans whom Inspector Day finds and takes home. One of the most interesting parts of the book is how the author explores the transition to modern day crime solving. Introduced are finger printing techniques, roping off of the crime scenes, profiling, and drawing sketches of the culprit. Grecian incorporates his characters doing these duties: Walter Day is the profiler, Dr. Kingsley is the CSI, Fiona is the sketch artist, while Nevil Hammersmith is the action hero. These characters compliment each other with Day (the brains,) Hammersmith (the brawn,) and Kingsley (the conscious.) But Grecian is of the mindset that no character is safe except Claire. He explained, “Partly because I am stubborn and want those who told me to kill her off to know that is not going to happen. They will have to put up with her. I will also give a heads up that at least one of the main character’s lives will be ended. By the way, those that had the intriguing theory that Walter Day was Jack are wrong. Regarding Jack there will be a resolution, but done in my fictional universe, not the real world theories.” The author also gave a heads up about his next project due out in the summer. It is a collection of the first five issues of his Rasputin comics put into a book. It takes place during and just after WWI. It will be a fictional version of Rasputin’s life and times that will include the conspiracy theories. As with all his books Grecian likes to take a real-life antagonist and place him in different fictional settings. He places his own mindset on what will happen to the criminal, deciding on a more original version. These books are thrillers set in the early 20th century, late 19th century. Readers will be scared and thrilled as they read these gruesome, violent, dark, and graphic stories. Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
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U.S. sailors refuel an MH-60R Seahawk helicopter on the flight deck of the littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth in the South China Sea, April 30, 2015. The MH-60R is assigned to Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 35. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Conor Minto Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
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An MH-60S Knight Hawk performs plane guard operations near the USS John C. Stennis in the Pacific Ocean, May 1, 2015. The Knight Hawk is assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 14. U.S. Navy Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ignacio D. Perez Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
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Air Force combat controllers prepare to free fall from an MC-130H Combat Talon II during Emerald Warrior over Marianna Municipal Airport, Fla., April 29, 2015. The combat controllers are assigned to 21st Special Tactics Squadron. U.S. Air Force photo by Cory D. Payne Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
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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. Solitude Creek by Jeffery Deaver is a riveting mystery. He is definitely the Master of Suspense with the many twists and turns throughout the novel. It is an understatement to say he manipulates his readers as he sets them up for one course of action and then abruptly changes it. This latest Kathryn Dance novel is no different. Deaver commented to blackfive.net, “I like to camouflage clues but the surprises must be grounded with a reference somewhere. Twists are definitely my trademark. I think it is better to create suspense than depict gore. I want to grab readers with the story. I look for incidents that could scare the heck out of them. It is important to get that balance where the reader is horrified but not repulsed, which is why I cut away with the sex and violence scenes. To make my books resonate I raise different questions, but never preach.” What makes this plot so gripping is that any person can see themselves in the victim’s situation. Whether in an elevator, a music club, a book signing, or an amusement park, the antagonist is able to manipulate a situation to cause chaos and panic, something he thrives upon. His first attempt at turning people’s fears and greed into a weapon was at a small concert venue on the Monterey Peninsula in California. Cries of fire caused people to panic and run for the doors, only to find them blocked. Investigators led by Kathryn Dance discover there was no fire and the six who died were stampeded. The rest of the book finds Kathryn and her team racing the clock to find the perpetrator before he strikes again. Deaver had this idea for a storyline, “for many years. In the book I refer to the 25th Anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, where in 1989 at a FA Cup semi-final 96 people were crushed to death. I came up with this quote from the book from a personal experience, “when the crowd takes over. You become a helpless cell in a creature whose sole goal is to survive, yet in attempting to do that it will sacrifice some of itself…” I remember feeling like that during an incident in Greenwich Village. There was this parade and the streets were completely packed. A scuffle ensued and the crowd started to move. I lost control and the crowd was moving me. I thought if someone or I fall we would be completely crushed.” Kathryn Dance, a California Bureau Investigator, uses kinesics to question suspects and witnesses. As a body language expert she is able to tell if someone might be lying if they begin “to speak more slowly, since your mind is trying to craft the lie and make sure it’ll be consistent with everything you’ve said before. The second is a slight increase in pitch.” Readers will like Kathryn, finding her caring, intelligent, and perceptive. Deaver came up with the idea of having Dance as a body language expert, “after watching this special where a jury consultant used it to analyze jurors. I used it as a springboard for Kathryn’s profession. I wanted her to go one-on-one psychologically with the villains.” Through her family interaction, including her two dogs, Dylan and Patsy, named after Bob Dylan and Patsy Cline, Deaver is able to show Kathryn’s personal side. This makes her more of a realistic character, and in this novel the love triangle that was happening between Kathryn and her two beaus will be settled. Because he was a folk singer and a failed musician, Deaver decided to have Kathryn mimic him, including loving the era of Dylan and Cline. Solitude Creek, as with all Deaver books, keeps readers on their toes. He does not have just one main twist and turn, but numerous ones. This novel is literally a page-turner since on one page the author sets up an expectation and on the next page twists it around. The author also gave a heads up about his latest projects, past and present. The Starling Project written in 2014 is set all over the world. What makes this unique is that it is an audio play where there are over eighty characters. The protagonist, Harold Middleton, and his team tracks down war criminals, warlords, and individuals responsible for atrocities. His next project will be a Lincoln Rhyme novel set in Italy involving that country’s illegal immigration problem with a terrorist twist. Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
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The guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham enters the Baltic Sea, May 4, 2015. The Jason Dunham is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Weston Jones Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
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Soldiers and airmen gather on Melrose Air Force Range, N.M., to conduct a parachute jump during exercise Emerald Warrior, April 28, 2015. The soldiers are assigned to the 193rd Infantry Brigade and the airmen are assigned to the 26th Special Tactics Squadron. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Shelby Kay-Fantozzi Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
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Air Force Lt. Col. Christine Mau navigates her F-35A through a wash rack on Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., May 5, 2015, after returning from her first flight. Mau, the deputy commander of the 33rd Operations Group, is the first female pilot in the F-35 program. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Marleah Robertson Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
The 1-325th Airborne Infantry Regiment is the first conventional U.S. Army unit using the LTATV. The Red Falcons and 2BCT serve as the nucleus of America's Global Response Force for the 82nd ABN DIV. They can be rapidly-deployed anywhere in the world in 18 hours. The Falcon Brigade is integrating the LTATV as a part of this highly deploy-able mission set. [Gotta get me one of those!] Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
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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 side bar. Gathering Prey by best selling author John Sandford is a thrilling Lucas Davenport story. Per his usual style the plot combines suspense and humor; although, this one is a lot more graphic and violent. The plot begins with Lucas’ adopted daughter, Letty, about to leave Stanford University, heading home for the summer. At a stop over she meets two “Travelers” and befriends them. They tell her about a Charles Manson like gang originally from California, but now operating throughout the Midwest. The leader’s name is Pilate and he has about twenty followers who kill for fun, rob, torture, and rape. After arriving home, Letty tells Lucas about her encounter and how she plans on helping the “Travelers.” Through the first half of the book she becomes Lucas’ sidekick, playing a major supporting role. The rest of the book has Lucas working mainly alone, tracking and attempting to apprehend this cruel gang. Sandford noted to blackfive.net, “The Juggalos are fans and followers of the group, “Insane Clown Posse.” They “travel” to see this group perform. They look like street people, but have bike packs, staffs, hiking boots, and a lot of the women have dogs. For awhile the FBI had them classified as a gang, but there is a lawsuit filed to declassify them. I guess the best description is for them to be considered a modern day hobo. They are not homeless and just “travel” around because they like it. The Juggalo subculture is split between violent and nonviolent factions. Some of the more violent ones have committed acts against the non-criminal ones. I made my violent Juggalos essentially a Manson type group. They are crazy, lost, and screw-ups. When Lucas finds this group it becomes like a war.” Readers are being set up by the author for a possible career change by Lucas. As with previous books there is a sense that Lucas is getting fed up with the bureaucracy, office politics, and the way cases are handled. Throughout his early career at the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) he was someone who worked independently. In this novel, Davenport’s team is sparingly mentioned, basically missing in action, while Lucas hunts down the bad guys mainly by himself. The author commented, “I do not consider what I am about to say a spoiler since I have been hinting at this for awhile. It is a goodbye to Letty and Weather since Lucas will be solving cases alone. They will be there but just in the openings. Over the years Lucas has become too bureaucratic and too family oriented. This career change will have him go back to his early days of solving crimes. In the next book as Lucas is taking it easy around the house he gets a call from the Governor who is now running for President. What he is hoping to do is get the Vice-Presidential nomination. Sort of like when the former Governor of Minnesota, Tim Pawlenty, ran. No one thought he would get the nomination, but he ran anyway to get the Vice-Presidency. In my book the Governor, Elmer Henderson, is told to become more a centrist on the issues because ‘something might happen to the lead candidate.’ He fears for his life and the lead candidate’s life so he brings in Lucas, someone he can trust. The following book will have the Governor elected Vice-President and he appoints Lucas as a US Marshall. His job is to find violent criminals throughout the US that essentially have disappeared.” Sandford gave a heads up about his next book, which will not be a Virgil Flowers novel. It is entitled Saturn Run and will be released in October. Co-written with physicist, Ctein, Sandford describes it as a scientific thriller. This stand-alone is set in 2066 where China and the US race to find some alien technology left behind on Saturn. He has decided to deviate from many science fiction books by portraying the leadership characters as women, including the President of the US, the chief engineer for both China and the US, and China and America’s Joint Chief of Staff. It has become obvious that Sandford wants to expand his writing. With Gathering Prey and his next novel he has decided to move in a new direction. Regardless of what he decides to do this author always seems to incorporate in his novels an adventurous story that is compelling and enjoyable. Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
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The littoral combat ship USS Freedom travels alongside the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis, not shown, while preparing for a replenishment at sea training exercise in the Pacific Ocean, April 28, 2015. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ignacio D. Perez Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
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Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Joseph Pico fires during night training at the Suffolk County Police Range in Westhampton Beach, N.Y., May 7, 2015. Pico is assigned to the 106th Rescue Wing. New York Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher S Muncy Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
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A U.S. Army AH-64 Apache fires point detonation rounds during a training exercise in South Korea, May 6, 2015. The Apache is assigned to the 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jesse Smith Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
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Navy ships travel together as part of a group sail with the John C. Stennis Strike Group in the Pacific Ocean, May 2, 2015. Group sails provide an opportunity for crews to hone their skills and focus on teamwork and communication. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ignacio D. Perez Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
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An M1A2 Abrams fires a 120mm round at a target during live-fire qualifications at the Udairi Range Complex, Kuwait, April 26, 2015. U.S. Army photo by Capt. Shaun Manley Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
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An Air Force pilot and co-pilot return to base in an AC-130W Stinger II after a live-fire mission to support Emerald Warrior on Hurlburt Field, Fla., April 27, 2015. Emerald Warrior is the Defense Department's only irregular warfare exercise which allows joint and combined partners to train together and prepare for contingency operations. The airmen are assigned to the 73rd Special Operations Squadron. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cory D. Payne Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2015 at BLACKFIVE