Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

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June 16, 2014 at 7:13am

Monday Morning Joe: Pakistani pounding, Iraq War III, new armored vehicles update, History Cops ...

2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division toss training coffees from behind cover during hand grenade training at Yakima Training Center. Original photo courtesy of U.S. Army


The Defense Department late Saturday officially announced the names of five soldiers killed in combat June 9 while deployed to Gaza Village, Afghanistan.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel today ordered the amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde into the Arabian Gulf.

Pakistani fighter jets pounded North Waziristan today, a day after the army announced the start of a full-scale military operation to flush Islamist insurgents out of the volatile region bordering Afghanistan.

The Pakistani army says it has launched a "comprehensive operation" against foreign and local militants in a tribal region near the Afghan border.

Sunni militants captured a key northern Iraqi town along the highway to Syria early on Monday, compounding the woes of Iraq's Shiite-led government a week after it lost a vast swath of territory to the insurgents in the country's north.

The United States is contemplating talks with Iran to support the Iraqi government in its battle with Sunni Islamist insurgents.

Two Iraq war veterans now in Congress disagree on a possible solution on Iraq's collapse.

Militants from jihadist group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant have executed dozens of captured Iraqi security forces members, according to photos posted online.

In Iraq Crisis, a tangle of Alliances and enmities.

Iran is the biggest loser in Iraq.

How the Kurds seizes Kirkuk.

WikiLeaks source Chelsea Manning broke her silence on Sunday, writing the US military's control of the media gave the public a distorted view of Iraq and Afghanistan.

The US Navy welcomed four members of China's military aboard one of its aircraft carriers - and said it hoped to receive a return invite someday.

Exhibitors at France's Eurosatory show gave a first glimpse on Sunday of a new armored vehicle designed by General Dynamics and a new Medium Altitude Long Endurance UAV being pitched to European governments by Dassault Aviation, Airbus and Alenia Aermacchi.

The global armored vehicles market is projected to reach $28.62 billion by 2019 with the primary drivers being in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia.

The US Navy's most important and shadowy submarine outposts is not located along the ocean, but rather in a lake in landlocked Idaho.

Ever wish you could pick a place on the planet and instantly have a drone's-eye view? Well, now you can.

Game of Thrones Season 4 Finale Recap: The Children

How Twitter killed the official move website.

Legendary radio personality Casey Kasem dead at 82.

NBC developing the Beatles series.

14 awesome Bill Murray moments.

Abraham Lincoln and painter Michelangelo as crime fighters ...

LINK: Original photo courtesy of U.S. Army

June 7, 2014 at 8:45am

Saturday Morning Joe: Fixing VA, Gunmen in Iraq, Bergdahl boomerang, colossal cannibal great white shark

8th Commando Kandak fire rocket-propelled coffees during a live-fire exercise in Tarin Kowt district, Uruzgan province, Afghanistan. Original photo by Petty officer 2nd Class Jacob Dillon


GOP to Obama: Fix VA.

Ukraine's new president Petro Poroshenko said his country would never give up Crimea and would not compromise on its path towards closer ties with Europe, using his inaugural speech to send a defiant message to Russia.

Gunmen take hundreds of students hostage on Iraq university campus.

The Bergdahl boomerang: GOP lawmakers who long urged a rescue now sour on the idea.

Bergdahl's father said one of his son's Taliban captors lost his son in a U.S. drone strike.

Vet unemployment drops, beating nation's unemployment rate.

A handy guide to the potential candidates to be the next VA secretary.

Inside the liberal take-over of U.S. national security.

The five most powerful navies on the planet.

The most important disruptive technology systems and ideas that DARPA is working on.

Scientists at University of Akron claim they've cracked the code, so to speak, by creating a super-tough screen out of transparent electrodes.

A cocktail glass designed to work in zero gravity.

Mystery solved: This is the monster that ate a great white shark.

The definitive reason why you should delete your Facebook account.

The game has really stood the test of time: Tetris' 30th anniversary.

The BoJack Horseman trailer for the animated Netflix series, which debuts in August.

Orange in the New Cat ...

LINK: Original photo by Petty officer 2nd Class Jacob Dillon

May 23, 2014 at 6:57am

Friday Morning Joe: Defense bill action, Shinseki speaks, Terminator-like soldiers, 10 awesome algorithms ...

The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit practices throwing a training coffee at Range 109 aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif. Original photo by Cpl. Emmanuel Ramos


Armed pro-Russian separatists clashed with Ukrainian self-defense fighters near the eastern city of Donetsk today, two days before the presidential election, and at least two people were killed.

The Kremlin's crazy shock troops.

VA Secretary Eric Shinseki issued a message to veterans defending his leadership and promising to fix delays in care that have rocked his agency and the Obama administration in recent days.

The House approved a measure that would authorize just over $600 billion in 2015 U.S. defense spending, while blocking A-10 retirement plans and ordering an independent group to study the Army's future.

The House passed legislation that tacitly approves a 1.8 percent pay raise for military service members next year, and includes a number of other pay, benefits and workforce provisions.

The leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee unveiled a $514 billion defense bill that differs in several ways from the version approved by the House.

The Senate Armed Services committee wants to put $320 million saved from cutting personnel to pay for flying the A-10 another year.

The Navy has dispatched a cruiser to the Black Sea in the latest sign that Washington is ramping up pressure on the Kremlin's power play in Ukraine ahead of a disputed referendum.

The intelligence community is on the verge of "revolutionary" technical advances.

DARPA has invented a device that gives soldiers Terminator vision.

The 10 algorithms that dominate our world.

Here comes the Headfoams.

Veruca Salt played for the first time in 18 years on Conan.

Watch the big drum-off between Will Ferrell and the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Chad Smith.

See a trailer for the new season of Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

Finally: This lengthy piece explores the history of Don and Peggy's relationship on Mad Men.

Suddenly American idol is much better ...

LINK: Original photo by Cpl. Emmanuel Ramos

May 22, 2014 at 7:20am

Thursday Morning Joe: Wartime funds bill, Thai army coup, N. Korea fires shot, BAH stall, best bike rides ...

Company E, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, tossed a coffee aboard Range 701 as part of a company squad competition aboard the Combat Center. Original photo by Lance Cpl. Charles Santamaria


Defense bill amendment to restrict wartime funding usage.

Thailand's army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha took control of the government in a coup saying the army had to restore order and push through reforms. 

North Korean artillery fired at least one shot which landed near a South Korean navy patrol ship south of the two sides' disputed maritime border.

The U.S. has deployed a Predator drone team of 80 military personnel - mostly airmen - to Chad to help find nearly 300 schoolgirls kidnapped in neighboring Nigeria.

UAV platforms begin to mature.

Air Force security failed nuke test.

A U.S. Senate subcommittee has backed the Pentagon's plans to curb military pay raises and housing allowances next year.

Spurred by allegations of mismanagement and scandal at numerous Veterans Affairs facilities, House members overwhelmingly approved a measure giving the department's secretary more power to fire underperforming employees.

Navy chief Adm. Jonathan Greenert says the Navy needs 11 aircraft carriers to meet security demands despite the Pentagon's plan to retire one and bring the count down to 10 to meet caps on defense spending.

The House passed by voice vote an amendment to the 2015 defense authorization bill that takes the Obama administration to task over the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

The first launch of an anti-ballistic missile from a new shore-based version of the classic Aegis missile system was successfully carried in Hawaii.

This incredible Russian dash cam footage shows a car driving through a forest fire while the drivers wonder if they are going to die or not.

18 places you should ride your bike before you die.

Song premiere: Peter Murphy's "Eliza."

Rolling Stone's new cover story is an interview with Jack White.

Watch the new trailer for the Roger Ebert doc, Life Itself.

Cool creature alert: Video from the Star Wars set.

It's gonna be a beautiful day, Walkie Talkie readers. So take Bert and Zachary Levi's advice: GO OUT AND PLAY.

LINK: Original photo by Lance Cpl. Charles Santamaria

May 20, 2014 at 7:21am

Tuesday Morning Joe: Military pay raise, Special Ops funding, the spy who vaccinated, McDonald's creepy new mascot ...

615th Military Police Company, 18th MP Brigade, fires a M203 coffee launcher practice round down range at the 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command's Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany. Original photo by Visual Information Specialist Markus Rauche


The House this week will vote onlegislation that tacitly approves a 1.8 percent pay raise for service members next year.

The Pentagon still plans to increase funding for special operations equipment in the coming years, but after years of plus-ups, that trend is expected to flatten.

America still has way more air power than any rival.

Thailand's army declared martial law nationwide to restore order after six months of street protests that have left the country without a proper functioning government, but denied that the surprise move amounted to a military coup.

A top White House official has promised that the CIA would no longer use vaccination programs as a cover for spying.

The White House is threatening a veto of the House version of a $601 billion defense bill over election-year moves to spare weapons systems and popular programs in the face of limited budgets.

President Obama is relying less on drones and more on foreign governments in the global fight against terrorists.

Retired Marine Cpl. Kyle Carpenter, 24, will receive the Medal of Honor for heroism in Afghanistan in 2010.

The United States invented the Internet, but we may not rule it any more.

Navy officials expect ship defenses to get a boost following the introduction of the Block 2 Rolling Airframe Missiles.

Turns out a littoral combat ship will be headed to Hawaii this summer after all.

A new bill would allow members of the military and their families to keep their current auto insurance policy if they are ordered to relocate to a new state.

House approves Congressional Gold Medal for Civil Air Patrol.

A small, easy-to-use and lightweight explosive screening kit continues to move forward toward full fielding as a means to provide soldiers with the capability to screen for suspected homemade explosive materials.

Army PULSE-W watercraft proves ability, benefit of enduring presence in Pacific.

Veterans remember historic Strike Brigade deployment.

This looks like some end of the world type weather.

Spielberg's masterful use of the long take is one of the things that make him so great.

"Fangirl" and "unfriend" are among the new words Merriam-Webster is adding to the dictionary.

McDonald's has a creepy new mascot.

How much money is it possible to win on Jeopardy!?

Here's a tribute to Road House for its 25th anniversary.

And finally, this story is for all the drummers.

Back To The Future love song ...

LINK: Original photo by Visual Information Specialist Markus Rauchenberger

May 17, 2014 at 7:43am

Saturday Morning Joe: Iran hates U.S. Navy, VA turnover, new Army gear, Halo TV show, real Transformer ...

Soldiers of the 545th Military Police Company run through stations at Kraft Coffee Range on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. Original photo by Justin Connaher


A top Iranian naval commander said that he is prepared to order suicide attacks, drone strikes, and missile technology to "destroy the U.S. Navy" in any confrontations.

The Veterans Affairs Department's top health official abruptly resigned amid the exploding scandal over delays in veterans' care.

A week before Memorial Day, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is railing against the Obama administration for its treatment of veterans.

The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote next week on a defense budget that, as it stands now, prizes pork over readiness, an analyst said.

A recently-published book about an Army Green Beret is sparking controversy in military circles about whether veterans are getting proper treatment for mental health.

Why aren't sanctions stopping Putin?

The Air Force is flying manned MC-12W Liberty and unmanned RQ-4 Global Hawk surveillance sorties over Nigeria to assist in locating more than 200 girls kidnapped by militants.

Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh said challenging NATO exercises to National Guard units is key to maintaining the component as the nation's operational reserve.

More than 20 Fort Leonard Wood military police officers tested the regiment's newest body armor vests.

Researchers at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory continue to develop and evaluate methods for navigation and communication that are "hands-free, eyes-free and mind-free" to aid soldiers in the field.

The military power-generating boot isn't quite battlefield ready.

This American Life's "Call for Help" episode includes the parents of two young children who needed to be rescued at sea a few weeks ago.

The Hanson brothers' new beer Mmmhops went on sale this week. They say their Pale Ale "goes down easy and continues to surprise you with toasted richness."

This guy's Transformers costume actually transforms into a mini car.

Steven Spielberg is producing a Halo show scheduled to premiere when the next Halo video game comes out.

Eurovision: "Why?" and "Wait, what?"

The 10-year process it took to build out the World Trade Center Memorial...

LINK: Original photo by Justin Connaher

May 13, 2014 at 7:38am

Tuesday Morning Joe: U.S. vs China, 2-2 SBCT anniversary, military maternity leave, R&R bump, Twitter mute button ...

An Afghan National Army Special Forces member fires a rocket propelled coffee on a range during training in Washer district, Helmand province, Afghanistan. Original photo by Sgt. Benjamin Tuck


U.S., China spar again on South China Sea dispute.

The VA health care system has so many perverse incentives that it may have actually given rewards to those who treated veterans the worst.

Iran's purported reverse-engineered copies of the Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel unmanned aircraft are nothing but cheap mockups, industry sources told USNI News.

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wants to rebalance the use of military power.

A small group of U.S. Special Forces troops will arrive in Nigeria later this month to advise on combating Boko Haram.

Former Sgt. Kyle White will receive the Medal of Honor for valor today at the White House.

The Navy's cost-saving plan to lay up 11 cruisers is being met with skepticism on Capitol Hill.

Combat veterans of the 2nd Infantry Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team, will mark the 10th anniversary of the U.S. Army's historic first operational deployment from South Korea, this August.

Legislation introduced by Reps. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) would extend maternity leave for women serving in the military.

The Defense Department has reinstated two-week rest and recuperation leave in nine countries for troops who deploy before June 1.

Reda Hicks, an Army wife and attorney who works to improve the lives of military families, was recognized Friday as Army Spouse of the Year.

U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command recently developed a "We Care" app that can be used by victims of sexual assault, someone who witnesses sexual harassment or assault, and those in need of suicide prevention help.

The Cold War is over, but the risk of atomic miscalculation is not.

600-day trip around the world makes us dizzy.

A home in Brentwood, New Hampshire, exploded live on TV as an ABC News helicopter was flying over the area, filming as it was burning.

West Antarctic Ice Sheet had begun its inevitable, unstoppable collapse.

Twitter quietly debuted a handy "mute" feature to silence users without having to unfollow them.

Strange: Casey Kasem's whereabouts are unknown.

Strange:  A Kenny G song is hugely popular in China.

Morrissey has released the first single off his new album, due July 15.

A is for the A-Team, B is for the Brady Bunch and so on.

LINK: Original photo by Sgt. Benjamin Tuck

May 12, 2014 at 7:32am

Monday Morning Joe: DoD wants BRAC, Taliban spring offensive, military transgender ban, Navy NeRD, Tarantino Star Wars ...

Anti-Tank Platoon, 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division throws at Fort Pickett, Va. Original photo by Lance Cpl. Joey Mendez


Ukraine rebels claim victory.

Militants carried out a deadly attack on a government building in eastern Afghanistan and fired rockets near Kabul's main airport today as the Taliban began their annual spring offensive.

The Defense Department is calling on Congress to authorize another round of base realignments and closures because of excess capacity that is cutting into funding for troop readiness and other higher priority needs.

U.S. Air Force faces more tough choices in 2016.

Japan to take major step toward collective self-defense.

Cold War 2.0 at Sea.

Brad R. Carson is the Army's new undersecretary.

Slowing the growth of military pay and housing allowances, reducing commissary subsidies and adjusting TRICARE costs will save $31 billion over the next five years and enable readiness to be maintained, said Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno.

House lawmakers shot down most of the Pentagon's proposals to cut costs.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says Fort Bragg will need to make adjustments as the military prepares for downsizing.

Hagel: Military should review transgender ban.

Debate grows over proposal for CIA to turn over drones to Pentagon.

Tomorrow's submarines could sink America's Navy.

Sailors drive potent new riverine boat in Persian Gulf.

Army designing next-generation protective mask.

"Arlington at 150" is the theme for sesquicentennial celebrations at Arlington National Cemetery, slated to run from tomorrow to June 16.

Service academy nominations often withheld from public.

The Navy has an e-reader for submarines: The NeRD.

A high-speed robot arm that snatches objects out of mid-air.

Why settle for snake skin boots when you can have the entire snake?

Cool: Jack White and Neil Young are appearing together on The Tonight Show tonight.

Yep: NBC canceled Community.

Parks and Recreation will end next year.

Larry Wilmore will take Stephen Colbert's slot on Comedy Central.

Finally: Eleven Comic-Book Superpowers the World Could Do Without.

Awesome: Mother's Day Game Show.

How Star Wars would be if it were a Tarantino film.

LINK: Original photo by Lance Cpl. Joey Mendez

May 8, 2014 at 7:13am

Thursday Morning Joe: House Armed Services Committee says so, recruiting fraud, Army's best tanks, space vacation ...

Company B, 615th Aviation Support Brigade, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division try to qualify from a foxhole position at an M-203 coffee launcher range. Original photo by 1st Lt. Alun Thomas, 1st ACB, 1st Cav. Div. PAO


The House Armed Services Committee unanimously approved a measure that would authorize just over $600 billion in 2015 U.S. defense spending and block plans to retire the A-10 attack plane.

House panel pulls BRAC from budget.

Powerful factions in Congress are moving to set up an independent commission that would examine the sweeping force structure changes the active duty Army says are necessary.

The U.S. House Armed Services Committee called on U.S. national security officials to report back on the threat posed by Russian satellite monitoring stations.

A U.S. House panel approved provisions restricting the Air Force's ability to retire its E-3 warning aircraft, encouraging the Navy to build two F/A-18E/F Super Hornets each month, and ordering the Pentagon to hand over reams of information.

The House Armed Services Committee approved legislation that prevents the Defense Department from retiring a nuclear aircraft carrier.

The House Armed Services Committee added language to prohibit the department from enforcing the new hair rules.

The House Armed Services panel rejected the Army's plan to transfer the National Guard's Apache attack helicopters to the active side

Three crashed drones were launched from North Korea for spying purposes and had been programmed to fly over South Korea.

U.S. Army sends its best tanks to European war game.

Five Chinese weapons of war the U.S. should fear.

Recruiting fraud is "pervasive" across Army, Guard according to a vocal Guard advocacy group.

Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki said he would not resign amid charges that the department attempted to hide long wait times for appointments at VA health clinics.

Inside the Army's growing Artic Circle mission.

Researchers just published findings from the first ultra-realistic simulation of our universe's growth. And it covers 13 billion years.

Inside the Boeing capsule that could take you on a space vacation.

Climatologist, author, and former NASA scientist Dr. Roy Spencer offers ten good skeptical arguments against global warming.

Five crowdsourcing projects that defy all logic and reason.

Fox has canceled three comedies: Dads, Enlisted and Surviving Jack.

Big news, Sweathogs: Welcome Back, Kotter: The Complete Series is coming to DVD.

WTF?: Tommy Lee will play drums on the next Smashing Pumpkins album.

Finally: A chart of the most overrated and underrated movies of all time.

It's finals week at the U.S. Naval Academy. ...

LINK: Original photo by 1st Lt. Alun Thomas, 1st ACB, 1st Cav. Div. PAO

May 3, 2014 at 8:33am

Saturday Morning Joe: Ukraine street battles, Hagel calls out NATO, Tomahawk 2.0, China's warship plan, new element discovered ...

Charlie Company, 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, throws a cup of joe during a training exercise. Original photo by Cpl. James Gulliver


At least 42 people were killed in street battles between supporters and opponents of Russia in southern Ukraine, bringing the country closer to war. 

The Kremlin is receiving "thousands" of calls for assistance from Russian speakers in eastern Ukraine.

The United States has warned its citizens of a plan to attack one of two Sheraton hotels near Lagos, Nigeria's main commercial hub, which so far has been spared by the country's violent Islamist militants.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel urged large NATO nations to step up their defense spending and contributions to the alliance as Russian military movements have shown Europe "still lives in a dangerous world."

What Obama should tell Americans about Ukraine.

Obama vowed to continue using his executive authority whenever possible this year, but Republicans countered that the commander in chief's lack of action on Ukraine hurts the U.S. at home and abroad.

Why American can't contain China.

Army prepares new tack for deploying forces in Pacific.

With lawsuits and mergers, U.S. space market primed for changes.

It took 18 months for Judicial Watch to unearth the emails on Benghazi.

Over the past four years, the Defense Department's logistics agency threw away a significant portion of the spare parts it purchased via a $21-million contract with the manufacturer of Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected trucks.

The Navy and Raytheon are looking at starting planned Tomahawk missile re-certification and modernization efforts at least one year ahead of the 2019 planned time frame.

Learning more about China's new massive warship plan.

Nine of the 10 Medals of Honor from the Afghanistan war have been earned in Nuristan and Kunar Provinces.

Army (and Boston) Strong: Colonel awarded for heroism at marathon.

Science has finally figured out how to win Rock-Paper-Scissors.

Passenger films one of his airplane's engines on fire.

Make some room on your periodic table, there's a new metal in town.

Don't forget Sunday is Star Wars Day. Why not celebrate with some Chewy cufflinks?

The five best new songs of the week.

Hundreds (if not thousands) of copies of a badly reviewed Atari E.T. game were found buried in the New Mexico desert.

How many days of your life would it take to whip through all of the TV that's worth binge-watching?

Cool ...

LINK: Original photo by Cpl. James Gulliver

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

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