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Now this is what I call one really tough Dude!

Words fail me on how to express my admiration for this guys guts and courage! Grumpy

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have some spare time & want to see a Good Movie? Then check out Lincoln


My Gentle Readers, Frankly this has been one of my better DVD buys lately.  In that it was so refreshing to go back to a time.
When the Land abounded in adults and even during a horrible Civil War. They were some giants walking the land & because of their guidance. Made us the Last Great Hope of Man.

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The Eight Essential Characteristics of Officership A Guest Post by Nathan Player

Player Photo.jpg
 
I wrote this article while sitting in a hotel room in Madrid contemplating how I got here. I was visiting the Spanish and Portuguese militaries as part of my experience in the Army’s Schools of Other Nations (SON) Program. I have spent the last nine months studying at the Colombian Superior School of War, and I sometimes pinch myself to make sure I am not dreaming.
In 2007, if you told 2LT Player, a “CHEMO” for 3-7 Field Artillery, what the next decade would look like, he would have told you to stop teasing him because he had to finish the USR.
I am confident about what he would have said, because I am him, just ten years later. However, in the next ten years, I served in multiple leadership positions at the platoon and company level. I also served in a joint special operations unit, taught ROTC, and was selected to attend a foreign service’s ILE.
I arrived at my first assignment at Schofield Barracks with doom and gloom ringing in my ears. During my Basic Officer Leader Course, my small group leader told me that as a 74A headed to the 25thInfantry Division, I most likely would not have a chance to lead and it would be a constant struggle to be viewed as a serious professional.
Fortunately, the battalion operations officer changed my outlook during our initial counseling session. He listened intently as I told him my concerns of being “stuck on staff” and my desire to lead a platoon.  He said: “There is no such thing as a bad branch, only bad officers.”
He went on to say that if I wanted to lead Soldiers, I needed to demonstrate my leadership potential by performing well. He had a good point. In the Army, we do not always have control over duty assignments, but we have complete control over our performance. I committed myself to earning the right to lead Soldiers and developing the skills and attributes required for success.
As a result, I discovered what I consider the “Eight Essential Characteristics of Officership.”
LEAD
Leadership is more than knowing where you are, where you want to go, and how you are going to get there. Leading includes inspiring others to take the journey with you.
All officers are leaders, regardless of duty position. You must be ready to make decisions, move the mission forward, and lead by example.
Great leaders never ask a subordinate to make a sacrifice that he or she is not willing to make. If we hold ourselves to the same standard that we hold our Soldiers, they will strive to meet or exceed that standard.
LISTEN
Keep an open mind and seek advice. Every team has experienced members that are an extremely valuable resource.
These team members can provide historical examples of past issues and help guide your decisions. But first, you must be approachable and willing to listen.
SUPPORT YOUR COMMANDER
An officer who understands mission command and commander’s intent is worth 10 officers who don’t. When you are given a legal and lawful order, execute and stay within your limits.
When a commander decides on a course of action, it is not your place to second guess. We advise and make recommendations, commanders make decisions and assume the risks.
LEARN AND IMPROVE
Superior leaders are acutely aware of their strengths and weaknesses. They actively build on their strengths and improve upon their weaknesses.
Complacency is a fatal leadership flaw and we should never find comfort in remaining stagnant. This goes for every aspect of the profession of arms. Make realistic and achievable goals and then work to achieve them.
REQUIRE MINIMUM SUPERVISION
Officers who require constant oversight are detrimental to high op tempo organizations that operate in complex environments.
Valuable members of the team understand their responsibilities and execute with little supervision. Asking for the occasional azimuth check is important, but don’t inundate your boss with questions you should be able to answer yourself.
COUNSEL SUBORDINATES
Counseling is the most important tool that leaders have at their disposal. Clearly communicating expectations and standards provides a baseline for measuring performance and ensures that both the rater and rated officer understand expectations.
This is especially important when managing your rater profile and justifying the contents of evaluation reports for both officers and NCOs.
ENSURE THE SUCCESS OF YOUR SUBORDINATES
Leaders who take a genuine interest in their subordinates will see their teams achieve amazing feats. This goes hand in hand with counseling.
You must get to know your Soldiers and help them personally and professionally. Find out their goals and help develop a plan to achieve them. If you take care of your Soldiers, they will always take care of the mission.
BE A STUDENT OF HISTORY
As a professional, you must immerse yourself in your profession. Military history is full of lessons and examples that you can compare to your situation.
“Top block” officers read history and apply it regularly in their work. Taking the time to learn from the past will increase your ability to answer the tough questions when they arise.
While the above list is by no means comprehensive, Officers who adhere to these principals will be given the opportunity for increased responsibility.
The Army needs and rewards good leaders. If you strive to be a true professional, take care of your Soldiers, and solve problems within the commander’s intent, your branch won’t matter. You will have an amazing Army Story, even as a “CHEMO.”
Major Nathan Player is currently a student at the Superior School of War in Bogota Colombia. He is assigned to 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg following graduation. He has 13 years of combined enlisted and officer service, has commanded at the O3 Level, and has served in various Joint Staff and professional education assignments.

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Of course we all know this- From the Feral Irishman

My “in” box filled up on Thursday with questions, after the shooting that took place at a Country music bar out in California Wednesday night. Well, let me clarify that. 99% of them were questions/comments and about 1% were rants about how we need more gun controls.
Most of the questions came from people asking if there’s anything you can do in a situation like that. The answer is yes, to some extent.
The answer SHOULD be that no mentally ill person even attempts such a thing, because everyone behind the bar, and every “bouncer” has a concealed weapon on them, and have been trained how to use them. A sign on the door should read that all employees are armed and trained. Unfortunately, that’s just a dream.
Mass shooters do NOT frequent places where they know the people are armed. There’s no active shooters at gun shows. None at gun ranges. None in police stations. You know the reason why. They can’t get their ten minutes of fame when 20 people blast them to pieces after they fire their first shot. No, they go exactly where our stupid laws TELL them to go.
Gun free zones are hunting preserves for the Mentally ill. Period. This isn’t rocket science folks. Think about it logically for just 2 silly minutes and you’ll know I’m right.
If I somehow snapped my lid and decided I want to go out blazing and taking 20 people with me, where would I go to achieve the best success? Would I go to the hunting and fishing expo, where upwards of 100 people might be carrying a concealed weapon? Probably not. You know that.
Of course he’s going to go to the school. The college. The nightclub. All places where normal law abiding folks are barred from carrying their weapons.
And, it works. It works because he knows he’s got between 5 and 9 minutes to shoot the hell out of people before the police get there. So, he marches in, sees 200+ people enjoying themselves and for what ever evil went berserk in his mind, he starts mowing them down. They are absolutely defenseless. Fish in a barrel.
Now, the lowest hanging fruit for those that don’t want to spend the time to realize the reality of things, is to push for either more gun laws, or outright gun bans. It’s so perfect in their minds. Make everyone turn in their guns,and outlaw them. See, problem solved! Except the problem isn’t solved. For one, you still have a mentally deranged evil person that wants to kill people.
Remember a while ago the spat of “truck killings?” where they were simply using trucks to run over people on sidewalks? Just last year, some lunatic used a moving truck on a bike path in NY and killed 8, wounding 30. The year before in Ohio another evil scum ran over 4, and then got out and started slashing people with knives. Evil people will find a way to do their deeds.
In London, it is virtually impossible to get or own a gun. In fact, not only have they banned guns in England for years, two years ago they banned “knives”. So how is this happening:
LONDON is experiencing a horrifying rise in violent crime, with 100 suspected murders in the capital since the start of the year.The total number of offences involving a knife or bladed instrument that have been recorded by cops in the year to March 2018 rose to 40,147, a seven-year-high.There was also a two per cent spike in the number of gun-related crimes too – that is now at 6,492.
Excuse me? Aren’t knives and guns banned in London? Indeed they are. Did it stop 40 THOUSAND knife assaults and over 6 THOUSAND gun related crimes? No.
And therein lies the problem with the low hanging fruit idea of outlawing, or banning guns. It doesn’t work. But wait, consider this. England has never been a “gun” country. The population was never very free to own guns, and only hunters and collectors would usually go through the hoops to obtain one.
But here in the states? Guns have been a part of rural America for 200 years. Remember the Christmas cards of Grandpa’s fireplace with the rifle hanging on the hooks above it, and a cozy fire burning?
That wasn’t fantasy, that was just a look into “every home” USA 80 years ago. Kids in the 50’s often had marksmanship classes at school. Kids in the 30’s often had to hunt rabbits and squirrel and deer, etc, to help put food on the table.
There’s an estimated 500 million guns in the US. I think that number is ridiculously low, but let’s use it anyway. Until 1968, you could buy a gun by mail order.
Read that again. Mail order. No back ground checks, no registrations, no records, nothing. So where are they coming up with their numbers, when there’s no way to know who bought what back then?
Or consider “bring backs”. In WWII tens of thousands (more) of our soldiers brought back German Lugers and Walters. These didn’t get registered anywhere. Who knows how many of them are still floating around.
So problem 1 is that guns are like drugs. They’re everywhere. They’re in uncle Joe’s attic, and Grandma’s basement. No matter how illegal you make them, I could find you one in ten minutes. Just like crack, coke, heroin, fentanyl, etc is illegal, I could get you any of it within the hour.
Problem 2 of course is that only law abiding citizens abide the law. Duh. So, they pass a gun ban, only the good people turn them in, the bad guys of course don’t, and they get to go play their evil games, knowing no one’s going to be shooting back at them.
We are way way past the idea that banning anything is going to stop evil people. This shooting happened in California. Very tough gun laws. It’s said he had extended magazines. They’re illegal in CA. Did it stop him from getting one? Did it stop him from breaking the law? Please.
So what’s the answer? Is there one? Well to start, I’d like to see all the states go back to spending a lot of their budget on mentally diseased people. Somehow we got civilized and did away with “Mental institutions.”
Now those people walk among us, often jazzed up on a cocktail of antidepressants and God knows what else. One of pharma’s dirty little secrets is that almost 95% of these kind of events finds the person has been using mood altering pharmaceuticals. Let’s start by getting people that need help, the help they need.
Of the 67 ‘shooters” in the last 30 years, 65 had been treated for mental issues. Let that sink in folks
The gun didn’t shoot those people. The person brandishing the gun shot those people. Since guns will always be available, no matter what laws come down the pike, why not work on the person that wants one to commit his evil?
Beyond that, things get messy. Why do I say messy? Because it will take a huge shift in societal thinking to put an end to these sort of events.
Consider this:
Two trends:
1930-1960-most mass shootings were familicides and felony related killings.
1960-present-most mass shootings are in public places against unknown bystanders.
Or this:
Mass shootings in America
By decade:
1900s:0
1910s:2
1920s:2
1930s:9
1940s:8
1950s:1
1960s:6
1970s:13
1980s:32
1990s:42
2000s:28
2010- present 54 so far
For 50 years, we didn’t have issues with mass shooting. Then starting in the 70’s (AFTER Gun registration became law!) they started soaring.
Why? Was it that gun education was removed from schools? Could be.
Was it the gradual breakdown of the nuclear family? Could be.
Was it the loss of mental illness funding? Could be.
Could it be the amount of anti-depressants that started rolling out about then?
Could be. Was it removing “God” from the school? Could be. It could be all that and much much more.
Look at the decade of the 50’s. There was one mass shoot situation.
What was different about life in the 50’s? Everything. Literally everything. June Cleaver hung at home, always nicely dressed while raising the boys. Ward made sure there was discipline in the home. Men went to sporting events wearing jackets and ties. People were civil to each other. One paycheck paid the bills. I could go on for ever.
Well this isn’t the 50’s and I don’t suppose we’re ever going there again. Today’s society is broken in a million different ways. Each year brings more violence, more insanity, more drugs.
With the left taking over the House, they’ve made it clear that they’re going for the low hanging fruit. “Gun control” is big on their list. This is a Headline from the Wall Street Journal on Saturday:
WASHINGTON-Democrats say they will pass the most aggressive gun-control legislation in decades when they become the House majority in January, plans they renewed this week in the aftermath of a mass killing in a California bar.
It’s coming folks. One thing I have to give the left credit for, is that they never stop. Ever. If they have a desire, they work toward it hard and long. They’ve wanted everyone disarmed and continue to work toward that goal.
Okay, so what could you have done in that bar? The answer unfortunately is not much. Even if you’re a legal concealed weapons carrier, most states have laws stating that you can’t carry in a bar. In the case of California, the law states:
While exercising the privileges granted to the licensee under the terms of this license, the licensee shall not, when carrying a concealed weapon:
* Consume any alcoholic beverage.
Be in a place having a primary purpose of dispensing alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption.
So as you can see, a law abiding person with a valid permit couldn’t legally have his weapon in the Country music bar.
The shooter knew this, that’s why he went there. I so suppose that if a couple patrons of that bar had “broken the law” and carried their weapons in that bar that night, the outcome would have been different. But there’s the rub. Most Concealed weapons folks are incredibly law abiding.
So, since you can’t carry there, your choices are extremely limited when the shooter starts shooting.
First and foremost is situational awareness. I’ve mentioned this in previous letters, try and determine “exits” when you first enter any place. I like to know where the fire exits are, and I often make seating decisions around them.
If you hear a gunshot in a store, restaurant, grocery, bar, etc, GET MOVING.
There is NEVER a time when it’s okay to hear a gun shot in any of those places. If you hear one, you’ll probably hear many more soon. Get out as fast as you can.
Try your best NOT to head toward the main entrance if possible. There’s going to be a stampede trying to get out of there, and you could get trampled, or worse, the shooter might enjoy having 25 or 30 people stacked up in one spot that he can mow down.
Again, try fire escapes, or something else. If there’s a kitchen, you can almost always rely on their being a door to the outside for deliveries, etc. Head there.
If you’re in a big place, and the shooting is going on quite a distance from you, please realize that you are free to do any damned thing you can to get safe.
If that means picking up your chair and hurtling it through the front windows to get out, well so be it. They have insurance for their windows.
Proximity to the shooter will play the biggest role in your decision. If you remember nothing else in this article, remember this fact “Distance is your friend.”
Again, if you’re seated near an exit, and you’ve been smart enough to sit “facing the crowd, or entrance” and you hear shots or see someone walking in with a gun drawn, get moving.
But what if it doesn’t play out that way? What if our shooter kept his weapon in his jacket, until he was snuggled up to the bar, the same bar you’re sitting at just feet away?
At that point your choices get slim and ugly. Your first instinct will be to dive to the floor, or get behind cover. That’s a decent first reaction, but you can’t stay there.
You’re still going to want to use that cover for just long enough that you can make a break for a get away. These people get their jollies shooting people curled up in a ball under a table. Always be thinking about running.
What you need is distance more than anything. At 15 feet, it takes just a 5 degree cant of the weapon to miss you. Yes you read that right.
At 15 feet, if this guy puts his front site on your heart, but just wobbles that gun 5 degrees right or left, he misses you completely.
At 20 feet it’s even harder for him. So while cover is good to initially not get shot, the further away you can get, as quickly as you can, increases your survival by multiples.
Being unarmed in an active shooter situation is about as butt ugly as it gets.
Try and remember these basics, and you’ll have a better chance.
1) at the first hint of a shooting (like you hear one shot go off) DO NOT sit there and look around wondering what’s happening. Don’t pull out your phone and take video’s.
2) you want OUTSIDE and you want it as fast as you can get it. Get there any way you can, fire exit, kitchen door, break a window, etc.
3) distance is your best friend. If you can blend some distance, WITH some cover, you’re gold. ( for instance you make a move across the floor to a ceiling support column. Angle your next run away from the shooter by trying to keep that support column angled between him and you as you’re running)
Finally, there’s the run and hide idea.
That’s the worst one and only useful if there’s absolutely no way to get outside. The problem is that we don’t just want to run and hide in the building, because he might play “hide and seek”.
If ten people pile into the men’s room, this guys got a fish in the barrel game to play. The only way run and hide works is if you can run, hide AND DELAY this nut from coming in.
That’s easy in say a classroom, you can pile up desks, and file cabinets, etc. But in a bar bathroom? Not so easy.
It’s not 1950 any more folks. Learn to be aware of your surroundings. The worlds gone crazy, and it’s getting worse.
Stay safe.

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Some seriously bad ass Cops in the worst Neighborhood in the World

“WE TRY TO LEARN EVERY TERRORIST ATTACK”: INSIDE THE TOP-SECRET ISRAELI ANTI-TERRORISM OPERATION THAT’S CHANGING THE GAME

Governments around the world are quietly turning to YAMAM, Israel’s special police force, for help with their most intractable security problems. And now, elite commandos publicly reveal the tactics that have made it one of the most fearsome counterterrorism units in the world.
Tel Aviv, Israel. December 2017. YAMAM rappellers simulate retaking a skyscraper from terrorists.
Video still by Adam Ciralsky.

I PURSUED MY ENEMIES AND OVERTOOK THEM; I DID NOT TURN BACK UNTIL THEY WERE DESTROYED. —PSALM 18:37 (MOTTO OF ISRAEL’S CLANDESTINE COUNTERTERROR SQUAD)

On a spring evening in late April, I traveled to a fortified compound in the Ayalon Valley between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The location is not identified on Waze, the Israeli-built navigation tool, and so, as far as my app-addled cabdriver was concerned, it does not exist.

Then again, the same could be said for its inhabitants: YAMAM, a band of counter terror operatives whose work over the last four decades has been shrouded in secrecy.

Upon arrival at the group’s headquarters, which has all the architectural warmth of a supermax, I made my way past a phalanx of Israeli border police in dark-green battle-dress uniforms and into a blastproof holding pen where my credentials were scanned, my electronic devices were locked away, and I received a lecture from a counter-intelligence officer who was nonplussed that I was being granted entrée to the premises. “Do not reveal our location,” he said. “Do not show our faces. And do not use our names.”

Then he added, grimly, and without a hint of irony, “Try to forget what you see.”

YAMAM is the world’s most elite—and busiest—force of its kind, and its expertise is in high demand in an era when ISIS veterans strike outside their remaining Middle East strongholds and self-radicalized lone wolves emerge to attack Western targets. “Today, after Barcelona,” says Gilad Erdan, who for the past three years has been Israel’s minister for public security, “after Madrid, after Manchester, after San Bernardino—everyone needs a unit like YAMAM.” More and more, the world’s top intelligence and police chiefs are calling on YAMAM (a Hebrew acronym that means “special police unit”). During his first month on the job, recalls Erdan, “I got requests from 10 countries to train together.”

I made my way to the office of YAMAM’s 44-year-old commander, whose name is classified. I am therefore obliged to refer to him by an initial, “N,” as if he were a Bond character. N’s eyes are different colors (the result of damage sustained during a grenade blast). His shaved head and hulking frame give him the vibe of a Jewish Vin Diesel. At his side, he keeps an unmuzzled, unbelievably vicious Belgian shepherd named Django.

I made my way to the office of YAMAM’s 44-year-old commander, whose name is classified. I am therefore obliged to refer to him by an initial, “N,” as if he were a Bond character. N’s eyes are different colors (the result of damage sustained during a grenade blast).

His shaved head and hulking frame give him the vibe of a Jewish Vin Diesel. At his side, he keeps an unmuzzled, unbelievably vicious Belgian shepherd named Django.

Near Tel Aviv, Israel. March 1978. The aftermath of a bus assault by P.L.O. guerrillas, which claimed the lives of 37 Israelis and wounded 71.

Photograph by Shmuel Rachmani/AP Images.

Last fall, Israeli officials agreed to provide Vanity Fair unprecedented access to some of YAMAM’s activities, facilities, and undercover commandos.

When I asked N why his superiors had chosen to break with their predecessors’ decades of silence, he gave an uncharacteristically sentimental response: “It’s important for operators’ families to hear about our successes.” (Field “operators,” as they are called, are exclusively male; women sometimes serve in intelligence roles.) N does not discount less magnanimous reasons for cooperating, however.

First, YAMAM has devised new methodologies for responding to terrorist incidents and mass shootings, which it is sharing with its counterparts across the globe. (More on this shortly.) Second, Israel, as an occupying power, faces international condemnation for its heavy-handed approach toward the Palestinians; as a result, some top officials evidently felt it was time to reveal the fact that governments—including a few of Israel’s more vocal critics on the world stage—often turn to them, sotto voce, for help with their most intractable security problems. And last come the bragging rights—perhaps the unit’s most meaningful rationale.

YAMAM, it so happens, recently won a bitter, 40-year bureaucratic battle with Sayeret Matkal, a secretive special-forces squad within the Israel Defense Forces (I.D.F.). Sayeret Matkal was formerly the ne plus ultra in this realm; indeed, Vanity Fair, in an article published right after the 9/11 attacks, called the group “the most effective counterterrorism force in the world.”

It counts among its alumni political leaders, military generals, and key figures in Israel’s security establishment. And yet, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a Sayeret Matkal veteran, had to quietly designate one unit to be the national counterterror A-team, he chose YAMAM over his old contingent, which specializes in long-distance reconnaissance and complex overseas missions.

Netanyahu’s decision, supported by some of the prime minister’s fiercest foes, had all the sting of President Barack Obama’s selection of the navy’s SEAL Team Six (over the army’s Delta Force) to conduct the 2011 raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. YAMAM is part of the national police force—not the military or the Mossad, which is Israel’s C.I.A., or the Shin Bet, the country’s domestic-security service, which is more akin to Britain’s M.I.5.

And yet, in recent months, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has blurred some of the lines between these agencies’ duties. YAMAM’s primary focus involves foiling terror plots, engaging militants during attacks, combating crime syndicates, and blunting border incursions.

In contrast, the military, in addition to protecting Israel’s security, is often called upon to respond to West Bank demonstrations, using what human-rights activists often consider excessive force. But as Hamas has continued to organize protests along the fence that separates Israel and Gaza, I.D.F. snipers have been killing Palestinians, who tend to be unarmed.

What’s more, Hamas has sent weaponized kites and balloons into Israel, along with mortar and rocket barrages, prompting devastating I.D.F. air strikes. While members of the YAMAM have participated in these missions as well, they have largely played a secondary role.

Off and on for a year, I followed N and his team as they traveled, trained, and exchanged tactics with their American, French, and German counterparts on everything from retaking passenger trains to thwarting complex attacks from cadres of suicide bombers and gunmen firing rocket-propelled grenades.

YAMAM’s technology, including robots and Throwbots (cameras housed in round casings that upright themselves upon landing), is dazzling to the uninitiated. But so are the stats: YAMAM averages some 300 missions a year.

According to N, his commandos have stopped at least 50 “ticking time bombs” (suicide bombers en route to their targets) and hundreds of attacks at earlier stages.

“I’ve been out with the YAMAM on operations,” John Miller, the New York Police Department’s deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism, told me in his office, a few blocks from the World Trade Center. “There are a lot of outfits that have a lot of knowledge and do a lot of training, but that’s different from a lot of experience.” He pointed out that for every terrorist attack in Israel that makes the news, there are 10 that are prevented by YAMAM acting on perishable intelligence provided by Shin Bet.

Avi Dichter agrees wholeheartedly. After serving in Sayeret Matkal, he joined the Shin Bet and in 2000 rose to become its director. He now chairs the Committee on Defense and Foreign Affairs in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament.

For years, he admitted, counterterrorism officials shared only a portion of their most sensitive intelligence with covert operatives, out of fear of its being compromised.

Now, Dichter says, YAMAM representatives sit in Shin Bet’s war room to ensure they have the full picture. “It took us a long time to understand that you can’t keep information from the unit you’re asking to perform a mission, because what they don’t know may undermine the entire operation.”

When I asked him how he would describe the unit to outsiders, he said, “YAMAM is a special-operations force that has the powers of the police, the capabilities of the military, and the brains of Shin Bet.” They are, in effect, the spy agency’s soldiers.

NOWADAYS, SOME TERRORISTS AREN’T INTERESTED IN NEGOTIATIONS OR EVEN SURVIVAL.

The N.Y.P.D.’s Miller, for his part, claimed U.S. law-enforcement agencies benefit from YAMAM’s successes. A former journalist, who once interviewed bin Laden, Miller maintained, “You can learn a lot from the YAMAM about tactics, techniques, and procedures that, when adapted, can work in any environment, including New York.

It’s why we go to Israel once or twice a year—not just to see what we’ve seen before but to see what we’ve seen before that they’re doing differently. Because terrorism, like technology—and sometimes because of technology—is constantly evolving. If you’re working on the techniques you developed two years ago, you’re way out of date.”

Kirstjen Nielsen, Trump’s secretary of Homeland Security, concurs: “We have a lot to learn from [Israel—YAMAM in particular] in terms of how they use technology as a force multiplier to combat an array of threats. Over the last 15 years, we at D.H.S. have partnered with them on almost every threat.”

A NEW PARADIGM

“I saw a few Hollywood movies about fighting terrorism and terrorists,” N said. “But the reality is beyond anything you can imagine.” Back in the States, I trailed him and his entourage, who met with the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department’s Special Enforcement Bureau, as well as New York City’s Emergency Service Unit, which falls under Miller. “Terror organizations used to take hostages because they wanted to achieve a prisoner exchange; now they’re trying to do something different,” N observed, remembering a bygone era when terrorism was a violent means of achieving more concrete political ends.

The conventional wisdom for how to deal with fast-moving terrorist incidents has evolved over time, most notably in hostage situations. Since the 1960s and 70s, first responders have sought to establish a physical boundary to “contain” an event, engage the perpetrators in dialogue, draw out negotiations while formulating a rescue plan, then move in with a full team. Similar principles were adapted for reacting to kidnappers, emotionally disturbed individuals, and mass-casualty incidents.

But over the last 20 years—a period that dovetails with N’s rise from recruit to commander—he and his colleagues have come to treat terror attacks the way doctors treat heart attacks and strokes. There is a golden window in which to intervene and throw all their energy and resources at the problem.

While units in the U.S. have tended to arrive on the scene, gauge the situation, secure a perimeter, and then call in specialists or reinforcements, YAMAM goes in heavy, dispatching self-contained squadrons of breachers, snipers, rappellers, bomb techs, dog handlers, and hostage negotiators.

Metaphorically speaking, they don’t send an ambulance to stabilize a patient for transport. They send a hospital to ensure survival on scene. Moreover, they establish mobile units with clear lines of authority, not an array of groups with competing objectives. These teams can rove and respond, and are not unduly tethered to a central command base.

“The active shooter changed everything,” John Miller elaborated. Nowadays, the terrorist or mass murderer isn’t interested in negotiations or even survival. “He is looking for maximum lethality and to achieve martyrdom in many cases.”

Because of this, the response teams’ priorities have shifted. The primary objective, said Miller, echoing YAMAM’s strategy, “is to stop the killing. That means to use the first officers on the scene whether they’re specialized or not. The other part is to stop the dying.

How do you then set parameters inside as the people are chasing the threat, going after the sound of gunfire, engaging the gunman? How do you get to those people who are wounded, who are still viable, who could survive?

American law enforcement has struggled with [this] since the Columbine case”—when responders waited too long to storm in. “We’ve got to get inside within 20 minutes. It can’t be within the golden two hours—or it’s not golden.”

Major O, the 37-year-old who commands YAMAM’s sniper team, explained that one of the unit’s signature skills is getting into the assailant’s mind-set. “We try to learn every terrorist attack everywhere in the world to find out how we can do it better,” he noted. “Our enemies are very professional, too, and in the end they are learning. They try to be better than us.”

To maintain its edge, YAMAM, after analyzing far-flung incidents, fashions its training to address possible future attacks.

In the time that I spent with the operators, they rappelled down a Tel Aviv skyscraper and swooped into an office dozens of floors below, testing alternative ways that responders might have confronted last year’s Las Vegas attack in which a lone gunman on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel fired more than a thousand rounds at concertgoers, killing 58.

A YAMAM squad also spent hours on a dimly lit platform taking over a stationary Israeli passenger train—alongside members of France’s elite Groupe d’Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale. (The French had come to Israel, in part, to practice such maneuvers, evidently mindful of 2015’s Thalys rail attack, which recently found its way to the big screen in Clint Eastwood’s The 15:17 to Paris).

And at a telecommunications facility north of Tel Aviv, Israeli operatives simulated a nighttime mission with Germany’s vaunted Grenzschutzgruppe 9, facing multiple gunmen and explosions in all directions. Taking it all in, I felt like I had unwittingly been cast as an extra in a Michael Bay movie.

As they briefed their European guests, the YAMAM team preached its gospel of never allowing the perfect to be the enemy of the good. “To be relevant and to win this battle, sometimes you must go with 50 percent or 70 percent knowledge and intelligence,” N said.

As he considered what his counterparts faced at places such as Orlando’s Pulse nightclub or the Bataclan concert hall, in Paris, N asserted that in today’s scenarios, unlike those in the 20th century, “we don’t have the privilege of time. You must come inside very fast because there are terrorists that are killing hostages every minute.”

Dimona, Israel. March 1988. The so-called Mothers’ Bus attack, in which three nuclear-research workers were executed by P.L.O. terrorists.

From Polaris.

THE SECOND DIRECTIVE

The inside story of YAMAM’s genesis has not been told by its leaders, until now.

In 1972, during the Summer Olympics in Munich, members of the Palestinian group Black September kidnapped and murdered 11 Israeli teammates.

The cold-blooded attack—and Germany’s botched response—prompted Israel’s prime minister Golda Meir to initiate Operation Wrath of God, sending hit squads to track down and kill the group’s organizers and others (later depicted in Steven Spielberg’s Munich).

And though it may have escaped public attention, a secret second directive would go forth as well, which ordered the establishment of a permanent strike force to deter or defeat future attacks.

This mandate would not be realized until two years later, after terrorists sneaked across the border from Lebanon, killed a family of three, and took over an elementary school in Ma’alot with 105 students and 10 teachers inside—hoping to negotiate for the release of their brethren held in Israeli prisons.

Sayeret Matkal raced to the scene and mounted a disastrous rescue attempt. Twenty-one students perished. Addressing the Knesset, Meir exclaimed, “The blood of our children, the martyrs of Ma’alot, cries out to us, exhorting us to intensify our war against terrorism, to perfect our methods.”

Following the attack, counterterrorism responsibilities—especially the delicate art of hostage rescue—shifted from the I.D.F. to a new police unit, initially dubbed the “Fist Brigade” and, later, YAMAM. Chronically underfunded, ostracized by the military, and deemed an unknown quantity by the intelligence services, the unit was a backwater.

That is, until Assaf Hefetz was put in charge. He was a well-regarded I.D.F. paratrooper with important friends, among them future prime minister Ehud Barak. Hefetz had supported the April 1973 operation in which Barak—famously disguised as a woman—infiltrated Beirut and killed several Palestine Liberation Organization leaders as part of Israel’s ongoing retaliation for Munich.

Hefetz professionalized YAMAM, persuading skilled soldiers to join his new police commando unit—whose work was a secret to all but a handful of Israelis.

In May, I visited Hefetz, aged 74, in the seaside hamlet of Caesarea and found a man with the body of a 24-year-old and the hearing of a 104-year-old.

Like many of his generation of Israelis, he speaks his mind without regard for how his words may land. “After 18 months, I had recruited and trained three platoons, and I knew that my unit was much better than the army,” he insisted.

“But I was the only person in the country who thought so.” In due course, he found an eager partner in the spymasters of Shin Bet, who agreed to let YAMAM try its hand at the treacherous work of neutralizing suspected terrorists.

Still, it was Hefetz, personally, who first put YAMAM on the map. On the morning of March 11, 1978, armed guerrillas arrived on Zodiac boats from Lebanon, coming ashore near Haifa.

Once inland, they encountered and murdered an American named Gail Rubin, whose close relative happened to be Abraham Ribicoff, a powerful U.S. senator. Next, they flagged down a taxi, murdered its occupants, then hijacked a bus.

Traveling south along the picturesque coastal highway, they threw hand grenades at passing cars and shot some of the bus passengers. The attack was timed in hopes of disrupting peace talks between Israel’s prime minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian president Anwar Sadat.

The rolling pandemonium came to a halt at a junction north of Tel Aviv. “When I arrived, my unit was [still] an hour away,” Hefetz recalled. The bus had stopped, but it was a charred wreck. “No one knows [exactly] what happened. Call it the fog of war.” Hefetz soon learned that some of the assailants had escaped on foot and were moving toward the beach.

He grabbed his gun and gave chase, eventually killing two of them, capturing a third, and rescuing some of the hostages. In the process, he took a bullet to his right shoulder and lost hearing in one ear.

The incident, known as the Coastal Road Massacre, claimed the lives of more than three dozen people. But Hefetz’s valor raised the question: given what YAMAM’s commander accomplished on his own, what could the unit as a whole do if properly harnessed?

The answer was a decade in coming, during which time YAMAM was bigfooted by Sayeret Matkal during its response to terrorist attacks. In the notorious Bus 300 affair, for example, Sayeret Matkal commandos stormed a bus to rescue hostages and claimed it had killed four terrorists when, in fact, two had survived.

The pair were turned over to Shin Bet operatives, who, a short distance away, murdered them in cold blood. The debacle and its aftermath, which disgraced Shin Bet chief Avraham Shalom—who had ordered the on-site assassinations and then tried to cover it up—left an indelible stain on Israel’s institutions and international credibility.

FOR EVERY TERRORIST ATTACK IN ISRAEL THAT MAKES THE NEWS, THERE ARE 10 THAT ARE PREVENTED.

In 1987, Alik Ron, a man with deep credentials and a devil-may-care attitude, took over YAMAM. He had served in Sayeret Matkal and participated in the legendary 1976 raid on Entebbe, in which an I.D.F. team stormed a Ugandan airport and successfully freed more than 100 hostages. “I was in our most elite units and took part in the most celebrated mission in our history,” said Ron, who in retirement has become a gentleman farmer. “Only when I was put in charge of YAMAM did I realize I was in the company of the most professional unit in Israel.”

And yet when he first addressed his men to say how proud he was to lead them—describing all the great things they would accomplish together—they broke out laughing.

Apparently, the operatives were fed up with being highly trained benchwarmers, always left on the sidelines. Ron persevered nonetheless. And he is withering in his assessment of his old unit (Sayeret Matkal) and its overseers. “Nobody, nobody, not the head of Shin Bet, not Mossad, not the prime minister, can give me an order [to kill terrorists after they have been captured]. He can get me an order, but I will do like this,” he said, lifting his middle finger. “I will not murder them. I will have already killed them in the bus.”

Ron soon got the chance to try things his way. In 1988, he learned that three terrorists had crossed in from Egypt and hijacked a bus full of working mothers on their way to Dimona, the epicenter of Israel’s top-secret nuclear-weapons program.

As Ron raced toward the Negev Desert to link up with his team, he saw CH-53 Sea Stallions on the horizon heading in the same direction. Pounding his fist on his dashboard and unleashing a stream of expletives, Ron recalled, he screamed, “Sayeret Matkal . . . again?!

Ehud Barak was on one of those helicopters, a man who would go on to hold virtually every position in Israeli officialdom—prime minister, defense minister, commander of the armed forces, and head of Sayeret Matkal. Recalling his first encounter with YAMAM 30 years ago, Barak, now 76, expressed astonishment at how Ron and his team had somehow managed to arrive ahead of Sayeret Matkal’s helicopters, raring to go. “We asked them what they brought with them,” Barak recalled. “It ended up they brought everything which was needed for taking over the bus. So we let them do it.”

Israeli-Egyptian border. August 2011. Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak (gesturing) visits the scene of a deadly jihadist incursion.

From the Israeli Defence Ministry/Getty Images.

According to David Tzur, who was a major at the time and would later take over as YAMAM’s commander, the so-called Mothers’ Bus incident was a turning point because it showcased the unit’s speed, judgment, and agility. “We were called to the field at 7:30 in the morning,” he said. “Before we arrived, [the attackers] had killed three hostages.”

At around 10:30, the team’s snipers shot two of the attackers while other YAMAM members stormed the bus and shot the remaining assailant. “No hostages were killed during the operation,” Tzur proudly recalled. Israel’s national-security apparatus—including skeptical I.D.F. generals—took notice and recognized that when it came to counterterrorism they had a scalpel at their disposal instead of blunter instruments. “I don’t believe that anyone has a better unit,” Barak observed. “They are kind of irreplaceable.”

THE ROAD TO SINAI

Lately, YAMAM has gotten used to terror’s new face: extremists intent on inflicting maximum carnage with maximum visibility. “I’ve been in dozens of operations and many times under fire, [facing] many terrorists and suicide bombers,” N admitted. “But the [one] I remember more than all the others is the terror attack on the border in the Sinai Desert.”

It was August 2011, six months after the Arab Spring ouster of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak—and three years before ISIS formally declared its caliphate. YAMAM, tipped off by Shin Bet that a large-scale attack was imminent somewhere along Israel’s southern border, dispatched one squadron and a sniper team by helicopter. They waited through the night before getting word that shots had been fired at a bus, injuring passengers inside. A family of four, traveling the same highway, was ambushed and slaughtered. “This group of ISIS-Salafi jihadists that came from the Sinai Desert, they were a different challenge for us,” N said of the 12-man death squad. “We know from intelligence that they received training abroad. They were proficient with weapons, grenades, explosive charges, [and even] had handcuffs to kidnap people.” They also brought cameras to film their handiwork.

N, who was a squadron commander at the time, was fired at twice as his YAMAM team arrived on the scene. In the skirmish, one militant detonated a suicide vest, killing himself and a bus driver, and, N recalled, “a terrorist shot a surface-to-air missile at one of our helicopters, but it missed.” Two gunmen were spotted crossing the highway. One was killed in an exchange of fire while a second took aim at a passenger vehicle, killing the driver. By midafternoon the scene seemed to be under control, and Pascal Avrahami—a legendary YAMAM sniper—briefed his superiors, including then defense minister Barak. A short time later, shots rang out from the Egyptian side of the border. Four YAMAM operators scrambled for cover, and in the frenzy a 7.62-mm. round hit Avrahami above the ceramic body armor covering his chest. The sniper, a 49-year-old father of three, had been killed by an enemy sniper, who simply melted back into the desert.

I joined N this past April at Mount Herzl, the final resting place of many of the nation’s fallen warriors. It was Israel’s Remembrance Day, a somber holiday when life and commerce grind to a halt. On this day, N spent time with Avrahami’s parents at their son Pascal’s grave, embracing them and reminiscing about his outsize role in the unit. (The previous evening, as the sun descended, squad members had stood in the courtyard of the YAMAM compound, having refreshments and trading stories. Family members of slain commandos were taken inside a darkened shooting range where their loved ones’ holographic images were projected in midair. The scene was otherworldly but somehow appropriate for this secretive, high-tech cadre.)

On this Remembrance Day, N mourned the loss of his friend, whose 24 years of service made him YAMAM’s longest-serving member. But he stopped at one point to stress that his team is focused less on the past than on the future: “We know the enemy will always try and do something worse, something bigger, something extraordinary that they never did before. And for this scenario we are preparing ourselves.”

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Leadership of the highest kind Stand & Deliver

This is what I call a Good Man!


This is when you can tell who is the Stand up guy. Since you just know that he thinks that nobody is looking at him. But still does the right thing for no thought of reward! Grumpy

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Hard Nosed Folks Both Good & Bad Soldiering Stand & Deliver The Green Machine This great Nation & Its People War

Another Stud got what he deserves!!

Shok Valley Medic to Receive Medal of HonorImage result for Army Staff Sgt. Ronald J. Shurer II



A former medic with the 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) who heroically fought his way up a mountain to render aid to his Special Forces teammates and their Afghan commando counterparts will receive the Medal of Honor.

Soldier poses with gun on armored vehicle.

Former Army Staff Sgt. Ronald J. Shurer II will receive the Medal of Honor at an Oct. 1, 2018, White House ceremony for going above and beyond the call of duty April 6, 2008, while assigned to Special Operations Task Force 33 in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. Photo courtesy of Ronald J. Shurer II

 
White House officials announced that former Army Staff Sgt. Ronald J. Shurer II went above and beyond the call of duty April 6, 2008, while assigned to Special Operations Task Force 33 in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. He will receive the highest military award for valor at a White House ceremony Oct. 1.
In April 2008, Shurer was assigned to support Special Forces operators working to take out high-value targets of the Hezeb Islami al Gulbadin in Shok Valley.
As the team navigated through the valley, a firefight quickly erupted, and a series of insurgent sniper fire, rocket-propelled grenades, and small arms and machine gun fire forced the unit into a defensive fighting position.
Around that time, Shurer received word that their forward assault element was also pinned down at another location, and the forward team had suffered multiple casualties.
With disregard for his safety, Shurer moved quickly through a hail of bullets toward the base of the mountain to reach the pinned-down forward element.
While on the move, Shurer stopped to treat a wounded teammate’s neck injury caused by shrapnel from a recent RPG blast.
Rendering Aid
After providing aid, Shurer spent the next hour fighting across several hundred meters and killing multiple insurgents.
Eventually, Shurer arrived to support the pinned down element and immediately rendered aid to four critically wounded U.S. units and 10 injured commandos until teammates arrived.
Soon after their arrival, Shurer and his team sergeant were shot at the same time. The medic ran 15 meters through a barrage of gunfire to help his sergeant.
Despite a bullet hitting his helmet and a gunshot wound to his arm, Shurer pulled his teammate to cover and rendered care.
Moments later, Shurer moved back through heavy gunfire to help sustain another teammate who had suffered a traumatic amputation of his right leg.
Keeping Enemy at Bay
For the next several hours, Shurer helped keep the large insurgent force at bay while simultaneously providing care to his wounded teammates. Shurer’s actions helped save the lives of all wounded casualties under his care.
Shurer also helped evacuate three critically wounded, teammates down a nearly vertical 60-foot cliff, all while avoiding rounds of enemy gunfire and falling debris caused by numerous airstrikes.
Further, Shurer found a run of nylon webbing and used it to lower casualties while he physically shielded them from falling debris.
Shurer’s Medal of Honor was upgraded from a Silver Star upon review
____________________________________Thank God, that we can still grow such MEN! Grumpy

Categories
Stand & Deliver

Glock 20 Ends Bear Attack, Just Barely Some critters take a lot of killing, and the Glock almost didn't do it. by Russ Chastain

When a New Mexico hunting guide reportedly found himself the target of a bear, he dropped his phone and reached for his pistol. It would turn out to be one of the best decisions he ever made. An earlier decision, though, threatened to cost him his life.
He’d been working out his dogs in preparation for the upcoming hunting season when they’d struck a bear’s trail.
The only way to put an end to that was to catch up with his dogs, so he pursued, with family members following. As he approached the fight, he grabbed his not-fully-loaded pistol as he left his UTV.

As an afterthought, he took the GLOCK 20 10mm pistol from his vehicle and shoved it in his waistband behind his cowboy belt.Image result for GLOCK 20 10mm pistol
It was loaded with 175 grain Hornady Critical Duty FlexLock loads. The magazine only had 10-12 rounds in it.
A few months earlier, he had heard the theory of “spring set” and decided not to keep the magazine fully loaded.

He approached the melee, expecting the bear to run at the sight of him. And when he spotted the bruin, he grabbed his phone to take some video of its unusual cinnamon coloration. But the bear had other ideas.

Bridger’s first thought was to get video. It would be an incredible image. Big cinnamon bears aren’t common. The bear would run at any moment, once he saw or smelled the man. Bridger grabbed his phone.
That bear never read the rule book. It didn’t run.
The bear saw Bridger, turned toward him, and flattened its ears back along its head. Its eyes had locked on Bridger.
He’d watched hundreds of bears in similar situations and he knew he’d been targeted. He dropped the phone and snatched the GLOCK from his belt.
A lot happened very fast, but for Bridger, everything slowed down as he went into tachypsychia.
It’s a common occurrence in high stress life-or-death situations. The mind speeds up and events appear to be happening in slow motion. In reality, the person is acting faster than they ever have before.
The bear was coming for him. Bridger elected not to aim for the head. He didn’t want to hit one of his dogs.
He triggered two or three shots aimed at the bear’s body. The bear started to spin, snapping at the wounds, about six feet away.
Bridger decided to retreat. He turned and hopped to the next boulder, then the next. He was mid air to the third when he saw dogs moving past him.
In his fast mind-state, he realized this was bad. As he landed and turned, the big GLOCK in his hand, and saw the bear coming at him like an over-sized NFL linebacker with claws and big, pointy teeth.
Before he could fire again, the bear hit him. They went over the edge of the shelf together, tumbling down a steep, rocky slope in mortal combat.

Although he has no memory of shooting as they fell, empty shells were later found along the path of their descent.

Bear and man stopped down slope, wedged into brush and boulders.
Bridger could feel the bear and frantically attempted to disentangle.
The bear reared erect, jaws ready to strike. Bridger shot him again, in the front of his chest before falling/sliding further down the slope.
The bear pursued him. He screamed at Janelle to stay away.
Bridger tried to kick the bear away from him as it tried to get at his upper body. He couldn’t shoot for fear of hitting his own legs.
The bear dodged a kick, and grabbed Bridger’s right inner thigh in its jaws, lifting him like a dog lifting a rabbit.
Bridger shoved the muzzle of the GLOCK against the bears neck, trying to shatter its spine and shut the bear down. He fired.
The bear released his lower thigh, then grabbed his calf, just below the knee.
The shot missed the spine. Man and bear are still moving fast, but in Bridger’s hyper-aware state, time slowed. He saw an opportunity for a head shot and pressed the trigger on the GLOCK.
Click.
Later, Bridger found bear hair between the guide rod and the slide of the G20 pistol. The hair prevented the slide from returning into battery.
Bridger knew he should still have ammunition left in the magazine, so he racked the slide and saw a live round eject in slow motion.
Fractions of a second later, another opportunity for a head shot presented itself.
The bear ripped at his leg. As the bear tried to tear off his calf muscle, Bridger saw his chance and pressed the trigger.
Blam!
Man and bear went down together, rolling and sliding a bit further down the slope.

Although the bear was dead, its teeth were still hopelessly tangled in Bridger’s calf muscle. When rescue personnel arrived — quickly, thanks to his family’s close proximity at the time of the attack — they struggled and failed to free the meat from the fangs.
Only after cutting the bear’s head off with a pocket knife could they transport Bridger and his now-gray leg muscle.

Which was another problem. After seeing the aftermath of a helicopter crash months before, Bridger had sworn never to ride in a chopper. But that was his only choice…

As he heard the rescue helicopter come in, Bridger started saying “I am not going on that thing!”
The helicopter landed asd [sic] shock was setting in. Bridger started convulsing. Bridger told one of the flight paramedics from the helicopter, a lovely young woman, that he couldn’t ride in that machine.
She hooked up an intravenous drip as they transferred him from the mountain litter to a gurney. “Let me help you get more comfortable,” she said. She reached across and fastened the chest strap, leaned over, lips close to his ear, and said, “Honey, you don’t have a choice.”
The morphine started to hit. The world changed, and Bridger said, “Lets go!”

Surgery took more than 4 hours, and he received more than 200 stitches.

The article says Bridger is “thinking about heavier, deeper-penetrating bullets in 10mm cartridges designed for bear defense, to carry in his GLOCK.”
I’d say that’s not a bad idea… although a revolver chambered for a more powerful round might be a better one.

________________________________              Myself am a fan of the Sig 220 with some GI 45 acp 220 gr FMJ in the magazine. None the less this man put up one hell of a fight! Grumpy