Marines Allowed To Smoke In Afghanistan

Be it Afghanistan or Saipan, Marines want their smokes.  Now Marines, and other servicemembers, will be allowed to smoke,

The Pentagon reassured troops Wednesday that it won’t ban tobacco products in war zones. Defense officials hadn’t actually planned to eliminate smoking — at least for now. But fear of a ban arose among some troops after the Defense Department received a study recommending the military move toward becoming tobacco-free — perhaps in about 20 years.Battle Weary, Cigarette Smoking Marine on Saipan During Fight to Wrest the Island from Japanese Photographic Print

Press secretary Geoff Morrell pointedly told a Pentagon news conference that Defense Secretary Robert Gates is not planning to prohibit the use of cigarettes, chewing tobacco or other tobacco products by troops in combat.

“He knows that the situation they are confronting is stressful enough as it is,” Morrell said, noting the wars inIraq and Afghanistan. “I don’t think he is interested in adding to the stress levels by taking away one of the few outlets they may have to relieve stress.”

yojoe out

Pentagon Plans To Send 14 Brigades To Iraq In 2009

Despite the dramatic drop in violence, and resulting casualties, in Iraq over the past year, the Pentagon does not anticipate a dramatic drop in U.S. troops deployed to Iraq.

The planned deployments involve about 26,000 troops and would maintain 14 combat brigades in Iraq from about February to early fall. But the decisions do not rule out potential changes as military leaders assess the security there and eye more troop withdrawals.

Continue reading

Army Not Happy With The Size And Weight Of MRAP

The Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle have been life-savers on the battlefield.  But, they are just to big and bulky.

The 10-ton vehicle must be transportable on a C-130 cargo plane. It should have a minimum range of 300 miles, and a turning diameter of 49 feet, And the crew has to be able to get out quickly, in case of a rollover. (“Of the 38 MRAP accidents between Nov. 7 and June 8, only four did not involve a roll-over,” Army Times noted.)

Maybe the Army will be interested in the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, that was placed on hold last year.

yojoe out

Blackwater Worldwide: Sues City Of San Diego Over West-Coast Traning Facility

Readers of Dreadnaught know that Blackwater Worldwide is does not shy away from controversy. Whether it be providing security in for the Department of State in Iraq, being asked to leave Iraq, or statement by its owner Erik D. Prince. Blackwater has been planning for a west-coast campus for some time, but San Diego has not been welcoming them with open arms.

Now the boys of Blackwater are suing the City of San Diego to hasten the opening of its west-coast campus. Lawyers for the city claim that Blackwater failed to apply for the proper permits. Blackwater’s lawyer claims the city’s argument is “absolute nonsense.”

Be careful San Diego, you know Blackwater Worldwide is essentially a private army, and possibly an air force.

yojoe out

Civilian Contractor: First To Be Tried By Court-Martial

Alaa “Alex” Mohammad Ali is a civilian contractor charged with stabbing another civilian contractor. Alex will be the first civilian tried under the 2006 amendment to the UCMJ.

Alex is a citizen of both Iraq and Canada. He was hired as a interpreter by the U.S. Military. Alex will be provided with a military defense lawyer.

This will be a test case for the new procedure for trying civilians.

yojoe out

Air Force Wants New Drone

From the best technology-military blog Danger Room, comes the story of the Air Force’s desire to replace the Reaper with a new “hunter-killer” drone. MQ-9 Reaper first deployed to Iraq in the fall of 2007. It looks like the Air Force wants some of the $500 million budgeted for drone aircraft.

yojoe (in drone mode) out

General Petraeus To Command CentCom

Secretary of Defense Dr. Robert Gates has named General David H. Petraeus, USA, as the commanding general of United States Central Command.

Not that this makes up for the attack by Moveon.org, but it is a start.

yojoe out!