Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

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August 29, 2014 at 8:02am

Friday Morning Joe: Obama's ISIS world plea, U.S. tanks to Europe, VA improving, world's prettiest woman ...

49th Military Police Brigade, California Army National Guard, toss coffee pots down range during warrior task training at Camp Roberts, Calif. Original photo by Spc. Edward Siguenza

GRAB A COFFEE POT AND READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 8.29.14 >>>

Obama calls on other nations to fight Islamic State.

U.S. fighter planes conducted five airstrikes against Islamic State targets in northern Iraq on Thursday, continuing a limited campaign aimed at helping Iraqi and Kurdish forces retake key territory and degrade the militants' capability.

The Islamic State group killed more than 160 Syrian government troops seized in recent fighting, posting pictures Thursday of terrified young conscripts stripped down to their underwear before meeting their deaths in the arid Syrian countryside.

With only about a dozen legislative days left before November's midterm elections, a U.S. congressional debate and vote on a Syria strikes authorization measure could further delay work on two defense bills.

Why Obama backed off more ISIS strikes: His own team couldn't agree on a Syria strategy.

At least four hostages, including slain American journalist James Foley, were waterboarded in the early part of their time being held captive in Syria by ISIS.

On The Origin Of ISIS: Why has a terrorist state blossomed in Syria and Iraq?

Alarmed members of the U.N. Security Council demanded Thursday that Russia remove its fighters from a new front in the Ukraine crisis, while the U.S. ambassador accused Moscow of having "outright lied."

Russia's President Vladimir Putin today called on pro-Russian separatists to release Ukrainian soldiers who have been surrounded by the rebels in eastern Ukraine.

U.S. Army troops equipped with tanks will head to Eastern Europe soon to reassure NATO allies anxious over Russia's intervention in Ukraine, Pentagon officials said Thursday.

Ukraine plans to seek NATO membership after what Kiev and its Western allies say is the open participation of the Russian military in the war in Ukraine's eastern provinces. 

Putin Ends The Interregnum: The West needs to reevauate everything it thought it knew about the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Admirals want to buy more Landing Craft Air Cushions in light of the increased global missile threat in the Pacific.

Exercise Ulchi Freedom Guardian: It culminates this week in South Korea, is helping strengthen U.S. partnerships in the Pacific, said Lt. Gen. Stephen Lanza, the commander of U.S. Army I Corps.

Officials confirmed today the pilot was fatally injured in the Aug. 27 crash of an F-15C Eagle in the remote mountains near Deerfield Valley, Va.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has reduced by half the number of veterans waiting more than three months to see a doctor since a scandal erupted at the agency in spring over delays in health care.

Engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney is close to performing tests on a potential design change for its F135 engine following a June incident that led to the devastation of an F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Army Gen. Joseph Votel has taken the helm of U.S. Special Operations Command located at MacDill Air Force Base.

Eight in 10 of the U.S. Army majors being dismissed from the service had poor evaluations or otherwise bad marks.

Jack White had fun with Eddie Vedder and Paul Simon at a Seattle Mariners game.

See the new teaser for Foxcatcher with Steve Carell and Channing Tatum.

TV Tango round up more than 350 TV marathons airing this weekend.

Fans try to re-edit Star Wars to make it look like the hard-to-find original version.

Denny's has arrived in New York with style (in the form of a $300 brunch).

Finally: Eight of the world's prettiest women merged into one (perfect?) being.

Let's look at horses wearing costumes ...

LINK: Original photo by Spc. Edward Siguenza

August 28, 2014 at 7:04am

Thursday Morning Joe: Russian forces are in Ukraine, Islamic State terror, changing memories to treat PTSD, Ramones film ...

Sailors assigned to Weapons Department wait for the command to toss their coffee pots during a live training exercise on the fantail aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman. Original photo courtesy of U.S. Navy

GRAB A COFFEE POT AND READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 8.28.14 >>>

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko declared today that "Russian forces have entered Ukraine" and called an emergency meeting of the nation's security council to respond to what he said was a "sharp aggravation" in eastern Ukraine, where Ukrainian armed forces are battling separatist rebels.

According to a pro-Russian rebel leader in eastern Ukraine, between 3,000 and 4,000 Russians have joined the separatist ranks.

China said it will continue responding to U.S. military surveillance flights off its coast, rejecting American accusations that one of Beijing's fighter jets acted recklessly in intercepting a U.S. Navy plane last week.

Islamic State fighters have executed dozens of members of the Syrian army they took hostage after capturing an air base in the northeast of the country.

Militants with the Islamic State are increasingly relying on terror tactics and suicide squads, and the method was key in their recent capture of one of Syria's largest air bases.

American forces face formidable challenges as President Obama considers an air assault on Islamist fighters in Syria, including intelligence gaps on potential targets.

Pressure from the opposite end of Pennsylvania Avenue is mounting on President Barack Obama to seek congressional approval before launching military strikes inside Syria.

The U.S. airstrikes targeting Islamic extremists in northern Iraq have probably cost about $100 million since they began three weeks ago, according to a defense budget analyst.

The Obama administration is investigating reports from Syria that a second American was killed over the weekend while fighting alongside Islamist State extremists.

Sen. Lindsey Graham says all U.S. citizens who join Islamist militant organizations in the Middle East should be defined as enemy combatants and subject to capture or death. 

As fighters for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria continue to seize territory, the group has quietly built an effective management structure of mostly middle-aged Iraqis overseeing departments of finance, arms, local governance, military operations and recruitment.

Ground teams planned to resume searching today for a pilot who went missing after an F-15 fighter jet crashed in a remote, heavily wooded area of western Virginia.

Opinion: A new era in anti-submarine warfare.

The Obama administration is considering launching a humanitarian relief operation for Shiite Turkmen in northern Iraq who have been under siege for weeks by Islamic State militants.

Changing memories to treat PTSD.

Novel: Fives and Twenty Fives tells how members of a Marine Road Repair Platoon in Iraq deal with the war and its aftermath.

A team of researchers thinks they've found the best explanation yet to how the great pyramids were built.

Here's a list of the 50 best garage rock songs.

Robert Plant talks about his new record.

Reunited Ramones estates plan big comeback including Martin Scorsese film.

Twitter finally lets you see just how few people are faving your tweets.

The moon smells like spent gunpowder.

Scented duct tape for half-assed repairs that at least smell good.

It's now time for Angry Dogs in Cute Costume ...

LINK: Original photo courtesy of U.S. Navy

August 27, 2014 at 7:37am

Wednesday Morning Joe: Obama wants ISIS plan, war crimes confirmed, China threat, honest Ghostbusters trailer ...

9th Mechanized Brigade and the 307th Marine Battalion, Naval Infantry out of Babadag, Romania, participated in coffee pot competition against Marines with Black Sea Rotational Force 14. Original photo by 2nd Lt. Danielle Dixon

GRAB A COFFEE POT AND READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 8.27.14 >>>

President Obama's New VA Initiatives: Many of the 19 "new executive actions" aren't as novel as presented; just over a quarter represent fresh efforts while the remaining either have been in the works for months or were introduced by Congress and now have White House support.

The United States said it would not coordinate with the government of President Bashar al-Assad on targeting Islamic State militants on Syrian territory, as preparations for possible air strikes gathered pace.

Obama wants new ISIS war plan, ASAP.

Democratic Sen. Jack Reed (R.I.) said President Obama must convince lawmakers that airstrikes in Syria are the "only alternative" available for defeating the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria before expanding military operations.

United Nations investigators have concluded that both the Syrian regime and ISIS are committing war crimes and crimes against humanity, concluding that both should be brought before the International Criminal Court.

An open-ended ceasefire in the Gaza war between Israel and the Palestinians held as Prime Minister Netanyahu faced strong criticism in his country's newspapers over a campaign in which no clear victor emerged.

Afghanistan's election stalemate this summer hurt progress in training the country's military, and resolving the political chaos will be key to that military's success in 2015, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford said as he stepped down as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan.

A U.S. man believed killed in Syria was there to fight alongside an extremist militant group, most likely the Islamic State.

The Islamic State militant group is holding hostage a young American woman who was doing humanitarian aid work in Syria.

Ukraine accused Russian forces of launching a new military incursion across its border today, a day after the leaders of both countries agreed to work towards ending a separatist war in the east of the country.

Egypt and the United Arab Emirates secretly carried out airstrikes against Islamic militias inside Libya.

U.S. Giant Slumbers: The U.S. could check China, but our leaders need to wake up to the threat.

Army Professionalism: Why the Army needed to cut officers.

Tracking Space Junk: Defense Department officials announced additions to its space situational awareness program's Space-Track.org website.

Two soldiers who served in Vietnam will receive the Medal of Honor. A third soldier, who fought in Gettysburg during the Civil War, will also receive the top valor award.

The USS America is configured with more deck space than previous ships of its kind to accommodate a range of aircraft.

The Future Is Scary: Video shows Israel's Iron Dome intercepting 15 rockets at once.

Jet skiing through a canyon looks a lot like podracing in Star Wars.

Watch John Malkovich play a vampire in this French commercial.

We can watch this time-lapse video of the Panama Canal's ship traffic forever.

H. Jon Benjamin has launched a hilarious Kenny Loggins-related Kickstarter.

NPR is streaming Interpol's new record.

This guy watched the Simpsons marathon for 24 hours straight.

David Lynch does the Ice Bucket Challenge, David Lynch-style.

Finally: Here's an honest trailer for Ghostbusters.

We dare you to watch the whole thing ...

LINK: Original photo by 2nd Lt. Danielle Dixon

August 26, 2014 at 7:17am

Tuesday Morning Joe: Fixing VA delays, surveillance flights over Syria, ISIS tough to beat, best concert films ...

The Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 149th Infantry Regiment, Kentucky Army National Guard toss coffee pots at the Harold L. Disney Training Center in Artemus, Kentucky. Original photo by Sgt. David Bolton

GRAB A POT OF COFFEE AND READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 8.26.14 >>>

The White House is unveiling a slate of executive actions today designed to ease troops' transition from military to civilian life and boost veterans medical-care options in the wake of scandals at the Veterans Affairs Department.

The U.S. has begun surveillance flights over Syria after President Obama gave the OK, a move that could pave the way for airstrikes against Islamic State militant targets there.

Obama's Iraq-Syria Dilemma: No force now on the ground can beat ISIS.

Ukraine released a video of captured Russian soldiers, escalating a dispute over Moscow's alleged backing for separatist rebels in the east of the former Soviet republic

Israel bombed more of Gaza's tallest structures today, bringing down a 13-story apartment and office tower and destroying most of a 16-floor residential building.

According to Gaza's Health Ministry, more than a quarter of those killed in Gaza so far during the war have been children.

After 49 days of war, the armies of Israel and Hamas appear to have run out of new ideas - but not bombs. They are now slugging it out in a lopsided war of attrition.

Sgt. Christopher Waugh Mulalley's death in Afghanistan is under investigation.

A female solider died of a self-inflicted gunshot at the U.S. Army base at Fort Lee, Virginia.

Nearly two-thirds of the public say governments shouldn't pay ransoms to terrorists in exchange for hostages, according to a Reuters/Ipsos survey released today. 

It's time to sink the Littoral Combat Ship.

The Pentagon wants next-generation armored vehicles that are more mobile, maneuverable and survivable, but without more armor.

The U.S. Army's new Advanced Hypersonic Weapon failed during an early morning test Monday.

End Of An Era: There have been 20 rotations of more than 600 explosive ordnance disposal technicians who have left their mark in the history of Operation Enduring Freedom since the 2004 inception of the 466th EOD Operating Location Bravo Flight.

Enjoy this cool video of some Royal Danish Air Force's F-16s flying low level over Greenland.

Six months after the Olympics and Sochi looks like a ghost town.

Birds are awesome creatures, but seeing huge flocks of them - like these pelicans diving into a feeding frenzy - both amaze and scare the bejesus out of us.

Watch Billy Crystal's tribute to Robin Williams from last night's Emmys.

Can Game of Thrones be explained in a two-and-a-half-minute video?

Prince has two new albums on the way in September.

What are the greatest concert movies of all time?

One morning we would be preparing our usual gigantic breakfast assortment of tropical fruits, whole-grain toast points and pricey organic cereals, when a wee voice would issue from your little feathered head and you would finally say to us, "Race me!"

LINK: Original photo by Sgt. David Bolton

August 25, 2014 at 7:10am

Monday Morning Joe: ISIS myths, Russian tanks cross, US ultra-high speed missile, Twinx candy ...

Laghman Provincial Reconstruction Team throws coffee pots at the off-base firing range near forward operating base Mehtar Lam. Original photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Crane

GRAB A COFFEE POT AND READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 8.25.14 >>>

American Peter Theo Curtis held captive for two years by an al-Qaida-linked group in Syria was released Sunday.

Islamic State fighters captured a major military air base in northeastern Syria, eliminating the last government-held outpost in a province dominated by the extremist group, activists and state.

The nine biggest myths about ISIS.

The Ukrainian military said today a group of Russian forces, in the guise of separatist rebels, had crossed into south-east Ukraine with 10 tanks and two armored infantry vehicles, aiming to open a new front in the separatist war.

While the rest of the country took to the streets to celebrate Kiev's 23 years of independence from Moscow, rebels in the east dragged out prisoners of war for a "parade of shame."

Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard said it has brought down an Israeli stealth drone above the Natanz uranium enrichment site in the center of the country.

As the United States military's intervention in Iraq intensifies, so does the debate between legislative and executive branch officials about President Barack Obama's muscular use of war powers.

As the Obama administration weighs further action against the Islamic State, one of the top defense voices on the Hill is sending clear signals he expects action soon. "To the terrorists organizations who wish us harm, we're about to come after you again, all over, and we're gonna beat you, yet again," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey said if Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants pose a direct threat to the United States, he would recommend that the U.S. military act against the group in Syria.

Iran unveiled a new generation of short-range marine missiles and aerial drones, as President Hassan Rouhani said its military doctrine was based on deterring and countering threats from unnamed foreign powers.

U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh: Expect further integration of active, guard and reserve components

American and Chinese companies are getting caught in the crossfire of a brewing cyber war.

The Pentagon will conduct a crucial flight test of a new ultra-high speed missile this week that is a key part of the strategic weapons program of preparing arms that can attack any point on earth in 30 minutes.

U.S. submarine fleet set to shrink by 25 percent.

Osprey crew members recognized for actions during ambush.

Unexpected Pressure: Research raises concerns for new Army helmet design.

How one female officer won over her skeptical combat-arms Marines.

California's drought is so bad its mountain rose a half inch.

Maybe you don't want to commit to a playground friend for life. Maybe you just wanna meet new people, just have a casual game of hopscotch. Thankfully, there's a new app that's disrupting online playdating.

Little girl's reaction to rocket launch is awesome.

Mark David Chapman, now 59, has been denied parole for the eighth time. Chapman shot and killed John Lennon in 1980.

Richard Attenborough has died. He was 90.

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For didn't do well at the box office.

Finally: A Twinx = a Twinkie stuffed with a Twix bar, wrapped in bacon, fried and doused in chocolate-caramel sauce.

John Daker!

LINK: Original photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Crane

August 23, 2014 at 7:34am

Saturday Morning Joe: China's 5 military game-changers, aid trucks leave Ukraine, improve military vehicles, new Tarantino film ...

Alpha Company, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion throw coffee pots on Range 210F at Camp Pendleton, California. Original photo by Lance Cpl. Christopher J. Moore

GRAB A CUP AND READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 8.23.14 >>>

Two suicide bombers in Iraq killed at least 17 people in apparent revenge attacks after a major assault on a Sunni mosque heightened sectarian tensions.

Unidentified war planes attacked positions of an armed faction in the Libyan capital Tripoli today.

An armed Chinese fighter jet aggressively confronted a U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon surveillance aircraft earlier this week over international waters in the South China Sea.

America, Take Note: China's five military game-changers.

In Case It Wasn't Clear: U.S. considers ISIS's murder of James Foley a terrorist attack.

U.S. Central Command released two new videos Friday on its YouTube page of military Aug. 18 airstrikes on Islamic State targets in Iraq.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called for an urgent resumption of peace talks as violence continued unabated in the Gaza Strip.

According to NATO, the Russian military moved artillery units with Russian military personnel into Ukraine over the past few days and is firing on Ukrainian forces.

Trucks from a bitterly disputed Russian aid convoy to rebel-held eastern Ukraine rolled back across the border into Russia.

An American veteran has been killed in Ukraine while helping in the fight against Russian-backed separatists near the border.

The government's release of records relating to the downing of a Chinook helicopter in 2011 that killed 30 U.S. troops has been unsatisfactory, according to a complaint filed by conservative group Freedom Watch.

Less armor, but more protection?: The new, high-tech push to improve military vehicles.

Talks to reboot the military-themed comedy Enlisted via Yahoo's emerging video service ended without a deal.

John Oliver's Ferguson piece: It's worth watching Oliver's commentary on the shocking events that have taken place in Ferguson, Mo.

A teaser for the new Tarantino film has leaked.

This video of the evolution of Nike shoes since 1971 is pretty cool.

Overly attached ice bucket challenge ...

LINK: Original photo by Lance Cpl. Christopher J. Moore

August 22, 2014 at 7:57am

Friday Morning Joe: Islamic State threatens U.S., DoD broke law, Army tattoo policy change, Foo Fighters HBO show ...

The III Marine Expeditionary Force throw coffee pots in the Central Training Area near Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan. Original photo by Lance Cpl. Matthew Manning

GRAB A COFFEE POT AND READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 8.22.14 >>>

After U.S. planes bombed its forces in Iraq, the jihadist juggernaut that calls itself the Islamic State threatened to attack Americans "in any place," adding for good measure: "We will drown all of you in blood."

The sophistication, wealth and military might of Islamic State militants represent a major threat to the United States that may surpass that once posed by al Qaeda, U.S. military leaders said.

Iraqi Shi'ite militiamen opened fire on minority Sunni Muslims in a mosque today, killing dozens just as Baghdad is trying to build a cross-community government to fight Sunni Islamists whose rise has alarmed Western powers.

Defense Secretary Hagel and Gen. Dempsey said that U.S. airstrikes against ISIL will be limited to Iraq for the time being.

The Islamic State has grown because it seemed unstoppable. Our air strikes have changed that.

For all its horror, the beheading of an American journalist in Syria appears unlikely to change lawmakers' minds about military intervention against Islamic State extremists. It's equally unclear whether the Obama administration will be asking them to back a new U.S. approach.

The Pentagon might have to retool its $555 billion 2015 budget proposal to account for the threats posed by and actions taken against the Islamic State.

A five-step plan to stop destroy the Islamic State.

Hamas-led gunmen in Gaza executed 18 Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israel today, a day after Israeli forces killed three Hamas commanders, the highest-ranking militants to die in the six-week war.

Russia ordered aid trucks across the border into eastern Ukraine without Kiev's permission, raising the danger of direct confrontation.

The Defense Department broke the law when it transferred five Taliban detainees from the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to Qatar in exchange for former prisoner of war Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the Government Accountability Office said.

The U.S. Air Force is officially looking into a replacement for the Russian-made RD-180 rocket engine.

The U.S. Navy's effort to develop and install a new shipboard tactical electronic network took a major leap forward with the selection of five commercial teams to fill the fleet's needs for the next eight years.

Tattooed soldiers seeking to trade in their sergeant's stripes for a lieutenant's bar may soon see some relief from one of the Army's most controversial regulations.

Mad genius Colin Furze is back again with a new invention. This time he built himself a steel safe suit with the sole purpose of standing inside a fireworks display and enjoy the views.

For those who ditched their click-and-clacking Newton's Cradle decades ago, this Solar Marble Machine just might be the modern ball-based meditation tool of your DIY dreams. What does it "do"? Not much! But that's precisely the point.

Cool history of evolution turns lifeforms into robots.

Mythbusters fans were surprised to learn that three cast members won't be returning.

Pitchfork names the 200 best songs of the decade so far.

The Hollywood Reporter gathered 24 well-known TV show creators for a big feature.

See the trailer for the Foo Fighters' new HBO show.

Someone has too much free time on their hands ...

LINK: Original photo by Lance Cpl. Matthew Manning

August 20, 2014 at 7:35am

Wednesday Morning Joe: Israelis hit Palestinians, neo-Islam campaign, sequester fears return, Army rival gun, SEALs sub, best albums of decade ...

The 545th Military Police Company, of Pawleys Island, S.C., throws a practice coffee pot at Kraft Coffee Pot Range on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. Original photo by Justin Connaher

GRAB A COFFEE POT AND READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 8.20.14 >>>

Islamic State militants posted a video on Tuesday that purported to show the beheading of American journalist James Foley in revenge for U.S. air strikes against the insurgents in Iraq.

Lawmakers mourned the death of freelance journalist James Foley after video purporting to show his beheading at the hands of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. 

Israeli air strikes killed 11 Palestinians in Gaza, including the wife and infant son of Hamas' military leader, after a ceasefire collapsed. 

The mission for U.S. troops in Iraq to help Kurdish and Iraqi security forces in their fight against Islamic militants remains limited for now, but may expand after Iraqi leaders form a new government.

After a long slumber spent in denial, the UN Security Council has decided to do "something" about the forces of neo-Islam now on the rampage in more than a dozen countries across the globe.

The U.N. refugee agency begins a massive four-day airlift today into Irbil in northern Iraq. It's one of the largest humanitarian aid push the agency has ever undertaken. And it's much needed. Half a million refugees have been displaced as ISIS militants have advanced.

Afghan special forces brace for exit of elite U.S. troops.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has the authority to suspend a program that sends surplus military equipment to local law enforcement agencies.

After month on back burner, sequester fears return.

Federal regulators on Tuesday outlined interim rules for streamlined firing of Veterans Affairs Department senior executives, a new authority backed by Congress in an effort to clean up cultural problems at the embattled department.

In its latest personal attack on a prominent official from a rival country, North Korea called U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry a wolf with a "hideous lantern jaw."

A competing rifle outperformed the Army's favored M4A1 carbine in key firings during a competition last year before the service abruptly called off the tests and stuck with its gun, according to a new confidential report.

The U.S. Navy is hard at work developing new underwater transports for its elite commandos. The SEALs expect the new craft - and improvements to large submarine "motherships" that will carry them - to be ready by the end of the decade.

A squirrel's gonna do what a squirrel's gotta do: Until he's up against a pole greased with Vaseline

Big couch, small car: Add someone who's really bad at physics, and you get this

When koala bears argue: It's adorable.

If there is such thing as a perfect motorcycle accident, this might be it.

Pitchfork names the "100 Best Albums of the Decade So Far."

Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul go into business together and this time it's legal ... barely.

Here's a schedule of when every Simpsons episode will air on FXX, starting tomorrow.

Dave Letterman's tribute to Robin Williams will bring tears to your eyes.

First a couple exercises before we begin the day ...

LINK: Original photo by Justin Connaher

August 19, 2014 at 7:33am

Tuesday Morning Joe: US blows up its tanks, Russia in Ukraine, Camp Grayling is bad news, best CGI films ...

The 299th Eng. Co., 463rd Eng. Bn., 411th Eng. Bde., perform the coffee pot throw segment of Mystery Event 1, during the Best Warrior Competition at Fort Devens, Mass. Original photo by Sgt. 1st Class Lyndon Miller

GRAB A COFFEE POT AND READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 8.19/14 >>>

As many as 700 heavily armed Taliban insurgents are battling Afghan security forces in Logar, a key province near the capital Kabul in a test of the Afghan military's strength as foreign forces pull out of the country.

U.S. spends millions to blow up its own tanks.

President Barack Obama promised that while the U.S. would use its formidable air power to help Iraq push back extremist Islamic State fighters from Erbil and other key northern Iraqi cities, Baghdad shouldn't count on the U.S. "being the Iraqi Air Force."

Russia invaded Ukraine early in the spring. They started with the so-called "little green men" - Russian soldiers without insignia on their green uniforms -- then proceeded with uniforms with epaulets and the annexation of Crimea. Russia has been the force behind, and on the ground, with the separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Despite sanctions relief, Iran aids Hamas with missile technology.

The U.S. Navy destroyed the "most dangerous chemicals in Syria's declared stockpile," aboard a ship in the Mediterranean.

Will the U.S. defend Japan? More of a definite maybe.

First Time: It was one small button push for man and one giant catapult launch for the Navy's unmanned air combat program Sunday as the X-47B flew its first takeoffs and landings with F/A-18s on the aircraft carrier Roosevelt.

The Defense Department awarded 78 contracts potentially worth $5.6 billion in the week ending Aug. 15.

A backpack able to lower its wearer down the side of a building could become must-have gear for troops in urban combat.

A Michigan National Guard investigation produced allegations of widespread theft, moonlighting, destruction of government property and nepotism at an equipment maintenance facility at the Camp Grayling military training base.

Report: Army Olympian cited for hunting deer at car dealership.

Interesting: This neat short film explains the evolution of film opening titles throughout history.

The 10 most visually striking movies that are filled with CGI.

Here's a recipe for fun: Go up to the 48th floor of a skyscraper in London. Enjoy a beer at the rooftop bar. Change into your base jumping gear in the restroom. Make a beeline for the balcony and jump into the heart of London.

This is sad: Saturday Night Live announcer Don Pardo died. He was 96.

How Would They Know?: Children reenact Emmy-nominated shows like Game of Thrones, House of Cards and True Detective.

Tom Hanks' typewriter app is a hit.

Legendary American singer-songwriter Stevie Nicks invites fashion designers and stylists across the world to design a show-stopping shawl inspired by her mystical visual style and symbolic lyrics.

Max-imize your day ...

LINK: Original photo by Sgt. 1st Class Lyndon Miller

August 18, 2014 at 7:55am

Monday Morning Joe: Kurds retake dam, National Guard in Ferguson, evolving Obama doctrine, hipster Luke Skywalker ...

The 545th Military Police Company refresh their skills with employing practice coffee pots in various scenarios at multiple simulated targets before throwing live ones at Kraft Hand Grenade Range on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. Original photo

GRAB A COFFEE POT AND READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 8.18.14 >>>

Kurdish fighters and Iraq security forces say they have retaken Mosul Dam, a key piece of infrastructure that Islamic extremists might have used to cause chaos in the country.

The U.S. military ramped up its air campaign on Sunday against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) fighters in Iraq.

The numbers are murky, but up to several thousand foreign fighters from the West, including as many as 100 from the United States, have joined jihadist fronts in Syria and Iraq. Some will be killed in the ongoing violence. Some will choose to remain in Syria and Iraq. Some will become disillusioned.

Ukraine accused pro-Russian rebels today of hitting a refugee convoy of buses with rocket fire near the eastern city of Luhansk, killing people trapped in the burning vehicles, but the separatists denied responsibility.

It's time to wonder whether Israel and Palestine will ever be able to move out of the moral abyss into which they've plunged themselves, and address the threat of peace.

North Korea warned Sunday of a possible "merciless" pre-emptive strike as it blasted an upcoming joint U.S.-South Korean military exercise as a rehearsal for nuclear war.

China's use of swarming tactics with fishing vessels to project and protect Beijing's territorial claims in the South China Sea appears unstoppable.

The Evolving Obama Doctrine: Limited bombing raids, stronger partnerships.

Missouri's governor today ordered the National Guard to a St. Louis suburb convulsed by protests over the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teen, after a night in which police used tear gas to clear protesters off the streets well ahead of a curfew.

The Army has extended the investigation into former Afghanistan prisoner of war Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for at least three more weeks.

Turkey's foreign minister said the German ambassador was summoned to "discuss" reports that Germany's foreign intelligence agency had listened in on conversations between U.S. and Turkish officials.

The number of backlogged veterans' health care applications grew despite an online program the Veterans Administration introduced in 2010 and touted as a quick, easy way for veterans to apply for benefits, according to a newspaper report.

Army investigators are warning about a scam by which phony soldiers use tales of war to steal cash from unsuspecting civilians.

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter program hits its stride.

Life after Iraq: Refugee begins career in uniform.

How cities sleep, visualized.

Does indie film have a future?

10 stunning writing studios

This video shows a Rubik's Cube being solved around the world.

Mark Hamill is rockin' a beard for Star Wars.

Joe Strummer's Thunderbird is on eBay.

Finally: A roundup of popular soundtracks that never hit No. 1.

Then there's this ...

LINK: Original photo by Justin Connaher

About this blog

News and entertainment from Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s most awesome weekly newspapers - The Ranger, Northwest Airlifter and Weekly Volcano.

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January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2018
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2017
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2016
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2015
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2014
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2013
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2012
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2011
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2010
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2009
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2008
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2007
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2006
March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December