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That Holiday Spirit

USS Mount Whitney (LCC/JCC 20) dressed for the season:

The Blue Ridge-class amphibious command ship has been in the fleet since 1971– making her one of the oldest vessels on the Navy List and, indeed, older than just about everyone who walks her decks. She is 6th Fleet flagship forward-deployed to Gaeta, Italy, and the afloat command platform for STRIKFORNATO.

Meanwhile, in Scandanavia, the Royal Swedish Air Force’s Norrbottens Flygflottilj F 21 just conducted their annual “Julgransflygning” (Christmas tree flight) across the country– putting their JAS39 Gripens in formation in an ode to the O’ Tannenbaum.

Photos by Jesper Sundström/Försvarsmakten.

Photo bomb, equis edition

You never know who is going to crash a photography session. Trying to get some shots of my G19X after a year of use for an upcoming publication and this strange looking puppy dog edged in.

Her name is Reno and she is a sweetheart…

Of course, *no horses were hurt in the production of this post.

Feels like the Good Old Brezhnev/Andropov days

I saw that “New Coke” is back and the music of Queen is more popular than ever, but the whole reboot of the 1980s seems to be getting a little extreme.

So this happened, from the USN 7th Fleet PAO:

190607-N-NO101-001 PHILIPPINE SEA (June 7, 2019) The U.S. Navy cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG 62), right, is forced to maneuver to avoid a collision from the approaching Russian destroyer Udaloy I (DD 572), closing to approximately 50-100 feet putting the safety of her crew and ship at risk. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

At approximately 11:45 am on June 7, 2019, while operating in the Philippine Sea, a Russian Destroyer (UDALOY I DD 572) made an unsafe maneuver against guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG-62), closing to approximately 50-100 feet putting the safety of her crew and ship at risk.

While USS Chancellorsville was recovering its helicopter on a steady course and speed when the Russian ship DD572 maneuvered from behind and to the right of Chancellorsville accelerated and closed to an unsafe distance of approximately 50-100 feet. This unsafe action forced USS Chancellorsville to execute all engines back full and to maneuver to avoid a collision.

We consider Russia’s actions during this interaction as unsafe and unprofessional and not in accordance with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS), “Rules of the Road,” and internationally recognized maritime customs.

Eight legs of range fury

One thing about the range, you never know what you will come upon in the weeds, berms and backstops. This guy tried to flex.

Also, bee (see what I did there) sure you always pack Benadryl in your range bag for all the creepy crawlies you don’t see! Stay safe out there.

So maybe hold off on that Sig P365 purchase

It looks like there may be trouble in paradise with Sig’s new subcompact P365 carry gun. While the double stack micro is about the same size as Glock’s G43 (which has sold an amazing one million units in the past two years), the Sig comes to the party with 10+1 rounds of 9mm rather than the Glock’s 6+1, which guarantees it to be a smash hit.

However, growing word on the street is that Sig’s gun is not a rival for Glock’s reliability.

Not my words, but check out the below from Max Life Tactical, who got 550~ rounds through one on a review before the fit hit the shan (the review starts off glowing but then rapidly makes a 180 at the 6-minute mark)

Then, Tim Harmsen from the Military Arms Channel dropped this on social media yesterday. The words “failed catastrophically” are used.


Could just be a bad batch of guns. Could be that Sig used the customer as a beta tester. All platforms have hiccup periods. I’ve seen it before, regularly.

Still, you may want to wait until the hiccups are over on this one…

Have a great weekend!

I give you, the summary of the weekend safety brief:

Stay safe out there!

Happy Halloween, all

May the Great Pumpkin bring you everything you ever wanted.

CBP takes delivery of first of 52 Coastal Interceptor Vessels

Last year Safe Boats International announced the award of a contract for a fleet of 52 boats to replace the agency’s aging 42-foot Invincible-class Miami Vice style cigarette boat style interceptors.

SBI’s 41 Center Console-Offshore craft design, which uses a 41 ft (12.5 m) deep-V aluminum monohull and was already in use with the Colombian Navy and Royal Bahamas Police Force, uses four outboards to hit 54+ knots in open ocean (though not likely that fast in anything but the calmest of sea states). These craft will carry a up-to four armed AMO agents in shock-absorbing seats and are capable, like slightly smaller USCG 45-footers, of 12~ hour patrols.

Photo: CBI

Photo: CBI

Now, CBP announced they have taken possession of the first of these $923,000-a-pop coastal gunboats, which will be named the Alexandria, after of one of the first maritime law enforcement “collectorships” used by the Department of Treasury in 1789.

Photo: CBP

Photo: CBP

Portrait Goals

Lieutenant General Hugo MacNeill Hugo McNeill irish army uniform

Here we see the very dour Maj. General Hugo MacNeill of the Irish Army about 1923. Note the red staff pips on his collar and the Irish national harp insignia on his jacket buttons.

MacNeill was reportedly a bit of a scrapper and was the Irish Army’s cloak and dagger man.

As a teen he was a member of the Fianna Éireann, a sort of pre-IRA boy scouts before the IRA existed. This of course led to his service in the the Irish Volunteers (Óglaigh na hÉireann) which naturally morphed into the IRA proper after 1919. However, upon independence from the UK in 1922, he cast his lot with Michael Collins and the pro-Treaty National Army of the Irish Free State, becoming a Colonel in the regulars tasked with intelligence missions. He was then assistant Chief of Staff (as a Maj. Gen) after the Civil War, when this image was likely taken.

He remained at that grade through WWII, during which he commanded a division of the Irish Army during the island’s tense neutrality against all comers, founding an indigenous commando school and apparently was very chummy with both the Germans and the Brits during the conflict, as befitting a neutral.

He retired in the 1950s as a Lt. General and helped form the Irish equivalent of the American Legion for former servicemen.

More excellent photos of MacNeill here.

11B gets to know Charlie G

Men of War was a forgettable 1994 action film in which Swede tough guy Dolph Lundgren plays an American mercenary by the name of Nick Gunar who gets paid to lean on some local South Pac indig types for the rights to sell bat guano. Well one reoccurring theme in that film is Nick/Dolph’s Bofors/Saab-made Carl Gustav M2 – 84x246mm recoil-less rifle which he uses off and on between his SWD/Cobray Street Sweeper against hordes of 2nd line mercs who get called in when Nick’s guys go native. Dolph even drops, “Spring, era jävlar!” which is Swedish for: “Run, you bastards!” and has become a catch phrase in Sweden these days.

The 84mm tank buster has been around since 1948 (not a misprint), first adopted by the Swedes as the Grg m/48 (Granatgevär – “grenade rifle”, model 48) and is commonly just called the Carl G, Charlie G, Charlie Golf, in the West.

Well, U.S. anti-tank/anti-bunker weaps are the AT-4, the Javelin (which is heavy and requires a dedicated crew) and the M72 66mm LAWS which the Army has been trying off and on to get rid of since Vietnam. Other, much less successful rockets such as the Dragon have come and gone.

Now, Big Green is going Swedish and adding a Carl G to each infantry platoon, which they have been flirting with since 2013.

Here is some footage of the updated M3 in U.S. service, which is dubbed the Multi-Role Anti-Armor Anti-Personnel Weapon System (‎MAAWS).

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