2/25/2011 “WRAP Pack” CNA and Birthday Celebration

March 11th, 2011 by xformed

As is the manner of it is to gather every other Saturday AM, last time we met, we celebrated the birthday of two of our members (2 USMC (Ret) Colonels), as well a recognition of the Centennial of Naval Aviation (CNA).

If you have an excellent eye for history, there is some of them in the video…..

The creator of the document that became known to me as the “EDORM” (Engineering Department Regulation and Organizational Manual) is present,

along with the high time and most traps pilot in the Vought F7U Cutlass. A RA-5C NFO, several P2V/P-3 pilots, three “‘Shoes,” two Army types from the Vietnam Era, a A-1 pilot with VA-196, and a Navy Cross recipient are all around the table, as well as the two senior Marines, who both flew in WWII.

Category: Army, History, Marines, Maritime Matters, Military, Military History, Navy | Comments Off on 2/25/2011 “WRAP Pack” CNA and Birthday Celebration

Fast Roping Basics.

June 3rd, 2010 by xformed

Yeah…keep this in mind next time you look out the door.

H/T: Abu Muqawama

Category: Humor, Military, Military History | Comments Off on Fast Roping Basics.

33 Years Ago: First Day at Work

April 4th, 2010 by xformed

…in my chosen profession. It was a Monday and I had checked in the prior Saturday night while the USS MILWAUKEE (AOR-2) was moored on the southside of Pier 2 at Norfolk Naval Station. LTJG George Parrish, the Ship’s Navigator was the CDO that Saturday night. He ended up being the first one I carpooled with from the Virginia Beach area to our normal location at NOB.

But on Monday morning, I began real work, after many years of study and almost a year of directly related schooling.

My assignment was to be the Combat Information Center/Electronic Material Officer (CIC/EMO). I met CDR Dave Martin, the XO, LCDR Frank Mueller, the Operations Officer, LT Randy Rice, the Communications Officer, CAPT Richard Wright, the Commanding Officer, and, shortly after lunch, ET2s Mike Krutsch and Craig Johnson, when they needed a set of initials on a CASREP Update. The officer I was relieving was on leave, so I didn’t meet him for a few more days.

But the highlight of the day, was OSC Michael P. McCaffrey. USN, inviting me to the Chief’s Mess for a cup of coffee.

It was a day full of good sea stories, another one was about the schooling of mine being put to work.

It was not my choice to end up on MILWAUKEE, which, was the oldest ship I served abaord at 8 years when I stepped aboard, I got there by failing to make it through the Salvage Diving Course, but it was a blessing in disguise at about the 14 year point in my career.

Sometimes it takes that long to see what’s the right path in a career path, beyond what you thought was good at 22 years old.

My other shipmates I can recall off the top of my head at the moment were LCDR “Doc” Seibart, CDR Karl Kline, and Engineering Duty Officer who was pushing for EDOs to serve aboard ships as Engineers, ENS Harry Watkins, LTJG Cliff Barnes (DCA), LT Pat Wahl (2nd Div), LCDR Leo Pivonka (1st LT), OS3 Tom Mazzula,and many, many more in a crew of about 450 on a 653′ ship that carried 6M gallons of F76/DFM, 2.5M Gallons of AV GAS and later F44/JP-5, 600 tons of cargo ordnance, and then chow and spare parts.

That part of the Navy is now all in the hands of the Military Sealift Command (MSC), but I was lucky to have begun a career as a Naval Professional on a ship where the main mission was seamanship based.

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Category: "Sea Stories", History, Leadership, Maritime Matters, Military, Military History, Navy | 3 Comments »

RIP: CPL Jonathon Proto, USMC

March 24th, 2010 by xformed

Monday a local hero returned home from Afghanistan, not with his unit, to happy families, but to be placed at final rest.

Cpl Jonathon Porto, USMC


Cpl Porto Arrives 3/22/2010. Photo credit: 10 Connects

Today was perfect weather for such a fitting ceremony – high 60s and mostly clear, bright skies.

At the Bay Pines National Cemetery, St Petersburg, FL, his family, friends, the Patriot Guard, othrs who came a show of community support, an Air Force Chaplain, and a reasonable number of Marines in Full Dress Blues, CPL Porto’s life was eulogized.

The Patriot Guard surrounded the area with flags.  The St Petersburg Police guided traffic.  Marines from LCol to PFC were there, some to the side, 8 in a rifle squad, 6 as pall bearers and two of them the CACOs (Casualty Assistance Call Officer) to the Porto Family since the death on 3/14/2010.

The hearse arrived in the motorcade, with large Marine Corps emblems on it’s side.  After the family had gathered near the rear of the hearse, the 6 Marines carried their fallen brother to the center of a small gazebo in the portion of the grave site for the ceremony.  It was the same place my friend, Jim Sr, had his final good byes from those of us who knew him.

The Chaplain delivered a strong message about a man, who, like Christ, had lived and died and had risen, a man who served his fellow mankind.

The eulogies began with one of Jonathon’s older sisters.  She told of a man in diapers, who was one to stand up to the system, to be himself, in a humorous way.  She described a man who grew and was loved, and loved and had a love of cars, rock music and girls.  One who, when he met his wife, told his sister that she was “the one.”

The family and friends came forward to speak.  The Best Man at Jonathon and Rachel’s Wedding talked of a great friend, an inseparable buddy, who loved his blue Porsche.  Younger and older sisters spoke of a “protector,” long before he was a Marine.  One sister read a poem she had written about her brother and his service and his death.  His mother said she always said “I love you” at the end of each phone call, but lamented she had not talked to him more.  Brothers spoke of a brother who had found his passion in the Marine Corps, and how they admired how he had served a greater purpose than himself.

Jonathon’s wife, came to speak.  She allowed us to know of a short romance before the wedding, but a wonderful relationship, and how proud she was of her husband.  Standing strong in the circumstances, she ended saying she would not say “Goodbye” as that was forever, but she would one day, be with him again.

Jonathon’s father spoke.  He marveled at how his son grew into a man, and into a Marine.  How proud he was of someone, and he being admittedly biased, that he thought of as the best man he had ever met.  A man who loved and sacrificed for the justice of others.  In addition to speaking of his fine son, he also talked of an in credible outpouring of support and love from an entire community, and how he vowed to do something with that show of support, settling, as prompted by one of his sons to turn it into service.  He invited us all, even those who he had no clue who we were, just that we were there, to come to a reception after the funeral.

The wife of a Marine Sargent, who knew CPL Porto, talked of how Marines are all brothers, and how Jonathon’s wife is now and will be part of the “family.”  The Marine Sargent is stationed in Okinawa, and his wife said for the next 30 days, morning formation in Jonathon’s honor would be held.

The rifle squad was commanded to attention by the Staff Sargent and 21 volleys filled the air, and “Taps” played as the last 7 rounds echoed in our ears.  The flag from Jonathon’s coffin was folded with dignity and honor, and three flags were presented to the family by kneeling Marines.

We were excused.  I asked the LCOL to point out the two CACOs, which had been mentioned by several of the speakers as preforming their duties in a superior manner, and I went and thanked them.  I received the training many years ago, but never was called upon for that difficult and extremely important duty.  Off to the car and the rest of my day, considering my privledge to have heard of a fine man, who served the country well.

One very sad note:  Jonathon, who was not only a friend, son, brother, and husband before departing life, was also a father, yet he had never held his daughter, since she was born after he deployed.  A trust fund has been set up in her name and the details are listed at the end of the post here.

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Category: Military | 1 Comment »

65 Years Ago Today in History: USS FRANKLIN (CV-13) is attacked

March 19th, 2010 by xformed

USS Franklin (CV-13) approaches New York City,...
Image via Wikipedia

50 miles off the coast of Japan on 19 March, 1945, the crew of the USS FRANKLIN (CV-13) got a close up look of hell.  A Japanese bomber made it through the defenses and sent two bombs into the flight deck full of armed and fueled aircraft.  The resulting death and devastation, and heroism were beyond belief.

I have written on the subject before, in more detail.  SteelJaw Scribe did an excellent job with his post in 2008:  “The Crucible.”

Today, in Branson, MO, the crew members and family and friends are gathered for a reunion and holding a memorial ceremony.

I also had the privilege of posting a memorial to Omer Dee Simms, thanks to the trust of his son, Richard.  Omer died saving his shipmates on this day 65 years ago.

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Category: Military | 3 Comments »

Today in History: Linebacker II Begins

December 18th, 2009 by xformed

When the enemy thinks they can stall peace talks, how do you respond?  With a diplomatic tools that “communicates” beyond the Paris meeting room.

On this day in 1972, Linebacker II, the largest air campaign since WWII began, with Air force and Navy planes filling the skies over North Vietnam.

For 11 days, the fury of America was unleashed over their capital and sea ports. On this day, 189 bombers (B-52D/Gs) and 39 support aircraft from the 7th Air force, and Navy and Marine Corps assets (EB-66/EA-6B/KC-135s/F-4/A-6/A-7/F-111/F-105), as well as SAR (Search and Rescue) aircraft took to the skies for a night attack. This mission targeted airfields and warehouses.

3 B-52s were shot down, and three more heavily damaged. One F-111 was also shot down, as the North Vietnamese put and estimated 220 SAMs in the air.

This afternoon, I attended an MOAA lunch and one of the men there reminded the MC to mention the history of today. It turns out that gentlemen had spent time in a B-17 over Schweinfurt, B-29s over Korea and B-52s over Vietnam. I suspect he was in the cockpit for this operation, but I did not have the opportunity to speak with him, as the room was full of living history.

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Category: Air Force, History, INternational Relations, Marines, Military, Military History, Navy | Comments Off on Today in History: Linebacker II Begins

Technology Tuesday

November 3rd, 2009 by xformed

Technology.   Someone commented on a blog elsewhere a few weeks back most of mankind’s greatest accomplishments were driven as a function of the need to conduct warfare. I’ll have to go along with that. While going to the moon has had a vast array of technological advancements, it was to help improve our missile/rocket technology and the abilty to function on the “high ground” That being said, there is technology developments, more like a “fusion” of hardware and software to help our wounded warriors. Laptops and Dragon Naturally Speaking. Life changing, capability restoring. Project VALOur-IT running on raw volunteer power and passion. Join up…serve the cause. Change a life. Invest in a future citizen out of uniform.

Just when you’d thought you’d read enough about VALOur-IT, Jeff Bacon a noted naval cartoonist, has done his duty to help promote the fund raising campaign.

Not only has Jeff jumped in, he connected with Steven Pastis, creator of “Pearls Before Swine” (an excellent cartoon strip, I might add) to jointly promote helping our wounded warriors.

Here is the first frame

YOu have to go to Jeff’s post to see the rest of the story.

And…if you still haven’t been convinced to contribute…please reconsider and chip in a few bucks, and send the information to your friends, family and co-workers.

Category: Air Force, Army, Charities, Coast Guard, Leadership, Marines, Military, Navy, Public Service, Supporting the Troops, Technology Tuesday, Valour-IT | 1 Comment »

Memorial Day 2009: Map the Fallen Tribute to Iran and Afghanistan KIAs

May 25th, 2009 by xformed

Sean from San Francisco has used his geoscience education to create a Google Earth Map layer of those who gave their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has been at this for a few years now, and it now complete.

Helpmates divx

On Any Sunday dvdrip

The Return of a Man Called Horse divx

Orgazmo movie full

Amazon Women on the Moon movie

Take a minute and read of the research and connections to many organizations to indicate the home of record for each of the service men, and see the tribute it will create for their families and friends.

Fitting news for a day such as this, as we remember those who went before us and gave us the gift of continuing freedom beyond their time on this earth.

Category: Public Service | 1 Comment »

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